House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the Greenberg stores, the fact of the matter is the stores, indeed all retailers in Atlantic Canada, will gain as much if not more as a result of the introduction of input tax credits than any other cost.

At the same time, the minister of finance in New Brunswick stated very clearly that he is prepared to sit down with any of the retailers in New Brunswick, as indeed are the other ministers of finance, to make sure tax inclusive pricing is introduced in a way that will not cause hardship but that will in fact give consumers what they want.

The issue nonetheless that remains in this House is why the Reform Party has supported in House of Commons committee and in fact in its own official program, all 18 versions of its own official program, tax harmonization. Why is it prepared to support it in principle but when Atlantic Canada wants to do it in order to

make its small and medium size business more competitive, to give it an opportunity to get a leg up, the Reform Party in an act of blind attack against Atlantic Canada refuses to accept that very good measure?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, Reformers are standing up for Atlantic Canada. My question is why do we have all these Atlantic Canadian MPs sitting over here using up perfectly good oxygen but not standing up for their constituents.

Despite a billion dollars in hush money the facts of this political deal have started leaking out. Everything is going up in price: new houses, rents, heating fuel, children's clothing, gasoline. Nova Scotia's opposition leader says this deal will mean $53 million in new gas taxes in Nova Scotia. Even Nova Scotia's finance minister admits that municipal property taxes are going to have to rise because of this deal.

Why is the finance minister allowing this tax attack on the hard pressed people of Atlantic Canada when it is clear that it will hurt the poor and it will kill jobs?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hidden agenda of the Reform Party is very clear. It comes out in its body language, it comes out in the words it uses.

The hon. member uses the words hush money. Any time money is transferred to Atlantic Canada it is hush money. It was not hush money when Ontario received stabilization payments from the federal government. It was not hush money when western Canadian grain farmers were given the support for agricultural payments. It was not hush money for the Reform Party when the Alberta tar sands were given a very important deal that would create jobs there.

But transfer a penny to Atlantic Canada and it is hush money and the reason is the Reform Party refuses to take a pan-Canadian view of this country. The Reform Party refuses to understand that the regions of this country support one another.

The problem that exists here is that the Reform Party simply has given up on Atlantic Canada while the Liberal Party has not. We believe in Atlantic Canada.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is the Liberal Party has made a career of creating divisions in this country, which is why it is not willing to come up with $3 billion for Ontario and the other provinces.

The devil is in the details. A copy of this deal says a cut in the provincial portion of this tax requires the unanimous consent of all provinces involved.

When was the last time we had unanimity on anything in this country? But a rate increase only needs a simple majority. That is one of the reasons the finance minister himself opposed harmonization back when he ran for the Liberal leadership. This deal entrenches higher taxes forever.

Why has the finance minister compromised his own belief that harmonization guarantees higher taxes forever and, in doing so, why did he sell out the people of Atlantic Canada?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would simply ask the hon. member to go back to the byelection which took place in Labrador when the Reform Party was prepared to stand up and speak for Atlantic Canada. Now all of a sudden, having lost that byelection as well as every other election in Atlantic Canada, Reform members are taking out their vengeance on Atlantic Canadians, saying "we will not allow you to have a lower tax rate, we will not allow you to have lower consumer costs, we will not allow you to break away from a cycle of dependence, toward independence".

The hon. member asks when was the last time we had unanimity in this country. I will tell him. It was when Canadians from coast to coast to coast said "the Reform Party has had it; it is going down the drain". They do not want to have anything more to do with those vicious policies it stands for.

Sponsorship By Tobacco Companies
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Last Friday, the Toronto Star reported that the Minister of Canadian Heritage was against sponsorship by tobacco companies, even at the cost of killing cultural and sporting events like the Du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival in Toronto, the International Film Festival in Vancouver, the Formula One Grand Prix and all summer festivals in Montreal and elsewhere.

How can the minister say such things when her mandate is to promote the cultural interests of Canada and Quebec?

Sponsorship By Tobacco Companies
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I said the same thing as the hon. member who spoke on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois two weeks ago.

Sponsorship By Tobacco Companies
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health announces he will be making a statement, but then nothing happens; the Minister of Canadian Heritage has it all wrong. We in the official opposition, in the Bloc, are the ones saying: "The priority is health. That is clear". But at the same time, the question I am putting to the minister is as follows. There are cultural and sporting events at stake. She has a duty to look into finding a solution. What solution, if any, can she offer this House?

If she has one, let us hear it right now. Otherwise, let the people be the judge.

Sponsorship By Tobacco Companies
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I was following what the hon. member representing the Bloc Quebecois in this issue was saying. I was actually following her advice.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada pension plan is in trouble because it is not backed by investment but only by taxes on future generations. Today's young face a very bleak prospect. When they have families of their own, three of them will have to pay the taxes to take care of one pensioner, half of the six doing so now. Only the full private investment of CPP premiums can prevent such an unfair burden.

When will the Minister of Finance do the right thing, stop the unfair burden on future generations and make the CPP a fully funded system?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, when the finance ministers met there was, by and large, a consensus for the necessity of having a fuller funded plan and that, in fact, the moneys should be invested at arm's length from governments by an independent investment group.

To the extent that deals with the member's question, I believe there is consensus across the country on that particular issue. Hopefully we will be able to move to consensus right across the board because I believe that all members of the House would agree that the Canada pension plan is indeed an essential pillar of the Canadian retirement system. I would suggest that all provincial governments, as well as the federal government, deal with this as quickly as possible.

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, higher job killing premiums are the cornerstone of the Liberal reform of the Canada pension plan. Lower job creating premiums for employment insurance are overdue and demanded by nearly everyone except the Minister of Finance.

Will the minister do the right thing for future generations and today's workers and commit himself to a package of simultaneously higher CPP and lower EI premiums, a package which does not increase job destroying payroll taxes?

Canada Pension Plan
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member knows that the employment insurance plan and the Canada pension plan are quite separate. They are not linked, as indeed are health levies, education levies and workmen's compensation, which are all payroll plans in the provinces. For that reason the Canada pension plan must be dealt with on its own.

I have a little difficulty with the member's question, how it reconciles with the Taxpayers' Budget brought forward by the Reform Party which states: "To ensure that savings from reform of UI translate into deficit elimination, the Reform Party recommends the establishment of a permanent reserve fund for the UI. Until the budget was balanced, funds from this reserve would be applied against the deficit".

Has the Reform Party changed its mind or does it still hold to this statement?

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

November 25th, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

This morning, a coalition of organizations, including the Canadian Hemophilia Society, renewed its request for access to the documents the Krever commission wishes to examine. These documents, including draft regulations on blood products, go back to 1984, when the Liberal Party was in power and the current Prime Minister was Deputy Prime Minister. According to testimony given by certain senior health officials, the draft regulations were blocked at the highest level.

How can the minister explain his stubborn refusal not to table these documents, unless it is because their publication could be embarrassing to the present government?

Krever Commission
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is not a stubborn refusal, it is a legal requirement.