House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I categorically reject the unwarranted assertion that the Prime Minister is hiding something that he should be releasing. I want to further say, and I can be corrected if I am wrong, that the Deputy Prime Minister said she had been informed that none of the documents sought by Mr. Justice Krever were produced during the government of the Right Hon. John Turner.

The Prime Minister is in fact doing the right thing. He is following and acceding to the constitutional convention which is part of our parliamentary government that a current government does not have access to the confidences of a previous government nor does it release such confidences.

The hon. member, as in so many other instances where she has been wrong, is wrong on this one.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is easy for the minister to say that he categorically rejects my argument here, but frankly there are thousands of people in this country who have been infected with hepatitis C or have died from

AIDS who categorically reject this kind of nonsense from this government.

Justice Krever and the victims of tainted blood do not have time for the Prime Minister and this minister to keep waffling on this issue. Michael Pitfield, a former clerk of the privy council, said: "The government that wants to is the government that can".

For some unknown reason, the Prime Minister and his government are lacking the political will to help these 15,000 victims discover why the blood supply and the federal government have failed them for years and years.

I ask the minister once again, let us not play games here. This is far larger than a political or a partisan issue. Will the government release the documents to Justice Krever so that this full inquiry is something more than a sham? Let us get to the bottom of it. Release the documents.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am advised that the only exception to the convention I have mentioned is where specific criminal charges have actually been laid against a minister or a former minister.

I want to further say that it is my understanding that Mr. Justice Krever has other means to get at the information by summoning before him previous ministers.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

They refuse to go.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Gray Windsor West, ON

The hon. member says previous ministers refuse to go. I am advised that Mr. Justice Krever has the power of subpoena and if he wishes to use it then he is in a position to question former ministers. The only thing wrong here is my hon. friend's attempt to exploit this tragic issue in a way which is not founded on convention or the facts.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, in response to a question on the possibility of a family trust being transferred abroad without payment of capital gains tax and without interest on tax owing, the Minister of Finance declared in the House, and I quote: "The Bloc Quebecois critic is wrong. As soon as taxes are due they have to be paid. If they are not paid, interest will be charged".

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Does the minister still hold to his Tuesday version of the facts, that a millionaire transferring a family trust abroad must pay taxes to Revenue Canada and interest owing on unpaid taxes?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I repeat what I said last week. When taxes are due, they must be paid. If, for one reason or another, a tax due is not paid and the tax is duly levied, interest accumulates.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have a problem. We have a Minister of Human Resources who does not know his business, a Deputy Prime Minister brandishing flags at all and sundry and a Minister of Finance who is uninformed about the tax system he claims to manage.

In the technical document he tabled with his ways and means motion on October 2, he said that when a family trust is transferred abroad, and I quote: "The person transferring must provide Revenue Canada with a guarantee of future payment without interest costs".

He says there are interest costs, and his document says there are none. We just do not understand this government any more.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately it is the member opposite who does not understand the tax system.

The change we made to the system means that, when someone leaves the country, it is quite likely the tax is not due, since the item in question was never sold; so there is no capital gains tax. We want to be sure that, when the item or shares are sold, the tax will be paid by someone who is now a non-resident. So we insist on a debenture.

Unfortunately, the situation is clear enough for the member to perhaps have some difficulty understanding it.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister has said very clearly that no documents that are being hidden from the Krever commission came from the administration of John Turner. That means she knows, the Prime Minister knows and the cabinet knows where those documents came from.

I would like to ask the solicitor general, very plainly, could he state for this House that these documents did not come from the administration of Pierre Elliott Trudeau?

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I was simply repeating to the House my recollection of what the Deputy Prime Minister had said as to what she had been informed by the clerk of the privy council. I have no further information that I can convey to the hon. member.

If he would like to specifically indicate what documents he is talking about, if he has any such knowledge, I will see if I can obtain further information on a proper basis for him.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the excuses continue.

It is interesting that the cabinet has called these documents draft regulations, every one of them. It is also interesting that the draft regulations were given to Krever. In fact, I happen to have those draft regulations with me today.

I ask again, since these regulations are not draft regulations that they are hiding, exactly what documents are they? I ask again, did they come from the administration of Pierre Elliott Trudeau?

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I see no way to answer my hon. friend's question unless he precisely identifies the documents he is talking about. If he is talking about documents of which he has a copy, which he said Mr. Justice Krever already has, why is he wasting the time of the House asking his question?

Credit Cards
Oral Question Period

December 5th, 1996 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Industry.

We have learned that a record number of people in Canada and in Quebec are experiencing financial difficulties and are being forced to dip into their registered retirement savings plans. At the same time, banks and major department stores are charging exorbitant interest rates on their credit cards and the government is refusing to assume its responsibilities with respect to this issue of public concern.

Does the Minister of Industry realize that the low interest rate cards being touted by the secretary of state the day before yesterday are available only to clients who are well off financially, and that it is those in the middle class who are paying for others through the elevated rates still in effect on regular cards?

Credit Cards
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saskatoon—Dundurn
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Morris Bodnar Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the whole matter of credit cards is one of the market dealing with matters. When there are lower interest rate cards which are available to some, others can be cut out who may want cards and who are eligible now for the higher rates.

It is a matter of the marketplace taking care of the situation as it exists at the present time.