House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was waste.

Topics

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

We are getting close to the question. The hon. member for Saint-Jean.

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the minister admit that he is currently letting the dispute deteriorate because he wants to get these $2 million and put them into the government's consolidated fund? Instead of settling the basic issue, he is appropriating these $2 million and too bad for his friends, the retired Singer employees.

Singer
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it want to tell you, since we must address the Chair, that we asked our legal advisers to review this extremely important issue. Given the seriousness of the situation, I asked my department's officials to act with great diligence, so that the issue can be settled at the earliest possible moment.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

December 11th, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, last night Johanne Savoie from Montreal wanted to know why the Prime Minister had broken his promise to abolish the GST. Instead of giving her a straight answer, the Prime Minister said that he did not make such a promise, but the tape does not lie. During the last campaign when he was asked about the GST, the Prime Minister said publicly on CFRB radio in Toronto: "I will abolish it".

I ask the Prime Minister: Which statement is true? Is it the one he gave Johanne last night when he said that he did not promise to kill the GST, or is it the one he gave on CFRB radio that he did promise to abolish the GST? What will it be, flip or flop?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, contrary to the Reform Party, we put in writing what we were going to do. We said that we were going to modify the GST, that we would harmonize it with the provinces so there would be only one form of taxation.

Not long ago the Reform Party said that was the solution. Reformers applauded the actions of the Minister of Finance. They agreed that it was the proper solution to put provincial tax with the federal tax to make a new tax, a harmonized tax. The GST is not a harmonized tax.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe this is a classic case of believe what I write but not what I say.

Ms. Savoie showed last night that her memory was certainly far better than the Prime Minister's. In October 1990, December 1992 and May 1994 the Prime Minister promised Canadians that he would scrap, kill and abolish the GST. He even said it in this place. That is the promise that Johanne Savoie said she voted for in 1993. That is the promise the Liberals ran on in 1993 regardless of some small print in the red book.

Instead of trying to rewrite history and change what was seen on the news last night which was the actual truth, why will the Prime Minister not just admit that he broke his campaign promise to abolish the GST? He should just admit it.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we wrote in the red book that we were going to modify the GST. For a while the Reform Party had the GST in its program. After it did not have-

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was just commenting that in the report made by the Reform Party on the harmonization of tax on page 118 it said: "We commend the government on its attempt to harmonize the tax with the provinces. While we support the much needed harmonization of the tax, this will be a very difficult political objective to achieve".

Let us not forget that at its party convention in 1992 it promised to eliminate the GST only after the budget is balanced. It changed its position about six or seven times. We put it in the program and we are in the process of harmonization right now.

Information Centres
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard St-Laurent Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Until November 1, there were 126 people working in 11 Quebec information centres, 66 of these people in Montreal, and the other 60 distributed throughout the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec City, Outaouais, Eastern Townships, Eastern Quebec and North Shore regions. According to certain sources, the government apparently intends to close 9 of the 11 information centres as early as February of 1997.

Will the minister confirm that his government intends to close nine information centres, retaining only two: one in Montreal, which is totally logical from a geographical point of view, and the other, purely coincidentally, in the Prime Minister's riding, in Shawinagan?

Information Centres
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it is true that today's technology makes it possible for us to repatriate certain services to a certain number of strategic spots, to which we can gain access in a far more interesting and administratively far more efficient manner.

We are, therefore, taking advantage of the technologies now available to deliver better government services.

Information Centres
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard St-Laurent Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us call a spade a spade. Will the minister admit that there is only one thing involved here: patronage?

Information Centres
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the people in the opposition will have to do their homework a bit better. The Quebec regional division selected Shawinagan for their centre for reasons of efficiency, because the Revenue Canada centre is already located there.

Since Revenue Canada is there, this was an opportunity to save the Canadian taxpayers a considerable amount of money.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, last night the Prime Minister tried to browbeat a waitress from Montreal simply because she had the nerve to call the Prime Minister on his bogus GST promise. At least the tape does not lie.

Is this Prime Minister so arrogant and so out of touch with reality and so contemptuous of the electorate-