House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Status Of Women
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this is something of importance to the government. I think it is clear to people serving in this House that the Minister of Justice on

behalf of this government has had a very heavy legislative program in the area of justice reform, particularly matters of concern to women.

Chief among them is the new Firearms Control Act. This was a major priority. With this act being adopted, we are well on our way to having the most effective gun control system in the world. This is important to prevent violence against Canadians generally but particularly against women.

I thought I heard some grumbling from members of the Reform Party. I wish they would listen to what has been said in the House this morning and change their narrow-minded position and give support to this measure if they are sincere in their wish to fight against family violence, particularly violence against women.

Employment
Oral Question Period

December 6th, 1996 / 11:20 a.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada announced today to nobody's surprise that the unemployment rate for November was stuck at 10 per cent.

For the benefit of the Minister of Finance who seems to love creating lists, here is a list for him created by three years of Liberal government: 1.5 million Canadians unemployed; a youth jobless rate of over 17 per cent; two to three million Canadians underemployed; and 25 per cent of all Canadians worried about losing their jobs. So much for the Liberal promise of jobs, jobs, jobs.

Why will the finance minister not create real jobs by balancing the budget, lowering taxes in this country and making government smaller?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the last year, over 200,000 new jobs have been created in the private sector. Quite clearly one should look at the tendency over a longer period of time. There were 7,000 new jobs created as was announced by Statistics Canada this morning.

It is the overall job creation that is by far most important. When we look at the G-7 countries, outside of the United States, Canada this year and last year has created more jobs than any other G-7 country. This is as a result of the economic climate created by this government and the desire and the ambitions of Canadians for which we should all be proud.

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Minister of Finance is aware that if we compare Canada with what other countries are doing, perhaps we do look good. The fact is we should be considering where Canada could be if we had a responsible government running the country. Let us compare it to where we could be.

The association of Certified General Accountants has said that we could create 108,000 new jobs if the Liberal government would lower taxes by only $4 billion. Just think of the jobs we could create if the government took the Reform Party's lead and lowered taxes by $15 billion. It is obvious that the Liberals' approach is not working because jobs are scarce in this country.

I ask the minister again: Why will he not create real jobs by balancing the budget and lowering taxes?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that the hon. member opposite has not had the opportunity to read the full CGA report which he has just cited.

Reform members say that they want a faster deficit reduction. They are advocating slash and burn policies. In the CGA report the accountants have suggested slower deficit reduction than what we are engaging in. Furthermore, if I might quote from the CGA report: "To give credit where credit is due, two years ago we could not have even considered entering into this debate on a tax reduction". What the CGA is saying is that it is the policies not of the Reform Party but of the Liberal government that are giving us the success in cleaning up the balance sheet and allowing us to have the debate which we are now engaged in.

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian people are not going to be fooled and the Reform Party is not going to be fooled.

We know that the only reason the deficit figures are looking good is that the Liberal government has wrenched out of the pockets of Canadians an extra $25 billion in increased taxes which the Liberals have raised 35 times since they have been in office. As a matter of fact they have only lowered taxes, lowered the deficit, lowered spending by about $3 billion. If you have an endless money tree you can shake down any time, any deficit can look good.

The minister can bluster all he wants about what the Liberal government is doing but I ask the minister: Why has the Liberal government and the minister failed to deliver on what Canadians are asking for: lower taxes; real, long lasting, good paying jobs, not part time jobs to replace the full time jobs that they are losing; and a balanced budget? That is what is really needed. When is the finance minister going to listen to Canadians and do the right thing?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately again the hon. member's facts are wrong. If we look at the 200,000 jobs that have been created this year, the vast majority are full time, permanent jobs.

Most economists, for instance Rosenberg from Nesbitt Burns has said that as a result of the low interest rate policies of this

government, over $5 billion of new purchasing power has been put into the pockets of Canadians. If the hon. member refuses to fully read reports of outside advisers, perhaps he might look at what his own party has said.

In its 1995 taxpayers budget, the Reform Party advocated a slash and burn course and then went on to say: "Under the Reform's taxpayer budget the short term employment impact of spending and deficit reduction is negative but manageable". What is manageable: the loss of 30,000 jobs, the loss of 50,000 jobs, the loss of 100,000 jobs? That is what Reform has advocated. We are creating jobs.

Illegal Immigrants
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General.

A few weeks ago, we learned about the smuggling of illegal immigrants from Hong Kong. This morning, we learned about the smuggling of illegal immigrants, this time from Iran through the Netherlands. This smuggling is said to have allowed the illegal entry into Canada of 4,000 Iranians, and to be operated by a very well organized network with connections in Canada.

What serious and effective steps does the Solicitor General intend to take in order to stop this smuggling of illegal immigrants and reduce the number of people illegally entering Canada?

Illegal Immigrants
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the situation of immigrant smuggling is of serious concern to the government and certainly to the RCMP. It is a worldwide phenomenon and all countries are working to develop effective means of dealing with this problem.

The RCMP is giving priority to dealing with the situation. More money was appropriated in recent estimates to assist the RCMP in working on this problem. I can assure my hon. friend that the RCMP is working closely with other governments to deal with the situation. Dealing with it continues to be a priority.

Illegal Immigrants
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, only one RCMP officer handles this case. The Dutch authorities themselves said they were surprised that there was only one RCMP officer investigating such an important matter, when they themselves had assigned more than 30 police officers to work on it.

Does the Solicitor General appreciate that by downplaying such important matters, police authorities are in fact penalizing all legal immigrants, who will suffer the direct and indirect repercussions of these illegal entries?

Illegal Immigrants
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. friend that the RCMP is working closely with foreign governments, including the government of Holland to combat immigrant smuggling problems. This will continue because we agree it is a serious problem that deserves the high attention and priority of our police authorities. This is the case now and it will continue to be the case.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is about to announce its plan to fight child poverty.

We all agree that families are suffering. Under this government unemployment is chronically at 10 per cent, personal bankruptcies have hit record levels, and the average family income has shrunk by an incredible $3,000.

The finance minister says he is committed to fighting family poverty. Why will he not adopt Reform's plan to take at least one million of Canada's working poor completely off the tax rolls?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is incumbent upon the Reform Party to put the full impact of its program before the Canadian people and before the House.

While Reform advocates a tax cut, that tax cut will only come well down the peace and substantially two to three years after the Reform Party has in fact cut the Canadian health and social transfer, cut equalization payments, after it has cut the basic social programs upon which those very Canadians rely. It is simply not reasonable or an accurate representation of the facts for the Reform to stand in the House and talk about a tax cut when what they would do would be to impose an unbearable financial burden upon low income Canadians.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are talking here about the difference between this government's policy of taxing people whether they are poor or not and leaving their earnings in their own hands.

Let me tell the truth about the Reform Party's plan. A single parent on social assistance with two children will have $1,300 more per year. A single parent earning $22,000 would get to keep an additional $200 each month and would keep that away from the tax man. Two parents making $35,000 would have their taxes reduced by $2,800 per year.

This country is in trouble when we have a finance minister who cannot understand how wrong it is to tax the poor. Why is the minister refusing to give poor parents tax relief so that they can provide for their children with pride and independence without having to rely on government handouts?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the Reform Party is suggesting.

The Reform Party has said that its very first act will be to cut $3.5 billion in welfare payments. At the same time Reform has said that none of its positive programs will come in for years after it has in fact devastated the social fabric. That is the basis of the Reform program.

In last year's budget the government doubled the working income supplement. That helps poor Canadians. In last year's budget the Minister of Justice and myself announced a tremendously reformed set of social programs for families with a custodial parent who is having difficulty.

If we look at the caregivers credit and every single measure of our budget, they were all directed to helping low income Canadians. The only question that comes up is: Why did the Reform Party vote against every one of them?