House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would not want to insult the House of Commons.

There is a motion now being debated which could send this entire matter to a parliamentary committee. Certainly, the allegations made by the hon. member on Thursday are linked with the letter that he sent before the referendum.

I want to respect Parliament and let Parliament decide whether or not the matter should go to committee. If the matter goes to committee, the burden of proof is on the hon. member for Charlesbourg to name names, give minutes and tell us the truth.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Canadian public is demanding that the government do its job and govern this country, which it is not doing.

We know two things. One, the Bloc Quebecois member said that officers were prepared to create a Quebec defence staff. Two, the Bloc Quebecois member said these officers confided this to the hon. member for Charlesbourg.

Canadians want to know why the Minister of National Defence refuses to do anything about these admissions.

Canadian Armed Forces
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, allegations have been made by the hon. member for Charlesbourg and now he is not so sure that what he alleged on Thursday is actually true.

Any member of the House can make any statement. That does not mean to say the armed forces or any department has to launch an investigation. In this case the hon. member can rest assured that Parliament will deal with the matter through committee. All of the questions he has asked today should rightly be asked at the committee, not of the government but of the hon. member for Charlesbourg.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

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

His planned unemployment insurance reform will bring the maximum yearly pensionable earnings down from $42,389 to $39,000 in five years.

Since employers will no longer contribute to unemployment insurance once this new ceiling is reached, does the minister realize that this measure will encourage businesses to ask their workers to do more overtime?

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, obviously, it is very difficult to forecast how businesses will behave but we believe that generally the changes to unemployment insurance will result in providing coverage and access to the program right from the first hour worked. This will be very beneficial for many workers across the country.

As my hon. colleague knows, there is in the bill a system to monitor the impact of all the changes. If results do not meet the program objectives, we will have to take corrective action, of course.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I were an employer, I would be tempted to take advantage of this opportunity, especially now when competitiveness is so important; and I am afraid that money will prevail over people.

Every government tackling youth unemployment is recommending banning overtime. Does the minister realize that his so-called reform is contrary to any youth job creation policy and is actually a counter-reform?

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the situation for years and years has been, and everyone who is familiar with what is going on is aware, that week in week out, month in month out, young people and women in every part of Canada have had to go to work for 13 and 14 hours. Not only did they not qualify for unemployment insurance but also they did not get access to any of the programs that were designed to support people in the workplace.

What we have done is to respond to a request from people who understand how the system was exploited. We have gone to an hours based system. We believe that women and young people will benefit from the system.

As I indicated to my learned friend, we have foreseen that there will be changes and there will be impacts arising out of this new legislation that may not be helpful. That is why we are going to have a monitoring process in place, to ensure that the changes are fair and equitable and that employers and employees both respect the objectives of the new legislation which is to provide first hourly coverage for young people and women, people who in the past oddly enough were not working overtime, they could not get 15 hours a week.

Clifford Olson
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general.

Correctional Service of Canada has assisted Clifford Olson in producing a series of videotapes about his sadistic crimes. Now we are informed that Clifford Olson has received a copyright for these tapes. Given the fact that five of these tapes are in the hands of Robert Shantz, Olson's lawyer, there is the potential they may fall into the hands of the media, or even worse, into the hands of the commercial distributors.

Can the minister tell us why copies of the tapes were given to Mr. Shantz and what the solicitor general will do to retrieve them?

Clifford Olson
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vaudreuil
Québec

Liberal

Nick Discepola Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the tapes in question were in the hands of Mr. Olson's lawyer as a result of an agreement entered into by the former warden of the penitentiary in Saskatchewan in June 1993. The agreement allowed for the taping to occur, as was done. Unfortunately this took place in 1993.

Both the solicitor general and the commissioner of corrections deplore the situation. We are looking into the matter in great detail. We will assure all Canadians that no criminal will be able to profit from such a venue at all.

Clifford Olson
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the families of those victims that were murdered want to know what is going to be done about it, not a bunch of Liberal rhetoric.

Corrections officials said that some dangerous repeat offenders like Olson receive either educational grants from Correctional Service of Canada or student loan funding or both so that they may take university education. Will the solicitor general deny that this killer, Clifford Olson, is receiving a student loan to further his university education?

Clifford Olson
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Vaudreuil
Québec

Liberal

Nick Discepola Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am not aware that Mr. Olson is receiving a loan. What we are aware of is that definitely Mr. Olson never had access nor was he given permission to use video cameras.

In the situation at hand, we are looking for a full inquiry and the commissioner has asked for a full report. Once the report is available, we will make it available to all members of the House.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. On page 94 of the red book, we can read, and I quote: "The integrity of government is put into question when there is a perception that the public agenda is set by lobbyists exercising undue influence away from public view".

What are we to think about the credibility of the taxation committee, six of whose eight members contributed more than $80,000 to the Liberal Party in 1994?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know if they made contributions as individuals, in partnership or if they are companies.

I am convinced that they likely made donations to other political parties at the same time.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government gives contracts to defeated candidates and provides government committee seats to those who contribute to the election fund. The Liberals have come full circle.

To ensure the transparency of the decision making process, does the minister commit to at least expand the committee to include parliamentarians, so that the taxation review will be public and that

the recommendations and decisions will be made in the public interest?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, any discussion concerning the taxation review will certainly be public, because the objective of that committee is really to prepare a background document that will be used for consultation, undoubtedly by parliamentarians, including members of the finance committee with his colleague.