House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Kenworth Plant In Sainte-Thérèse
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Secretary of State (Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as I said already, the Canadian government is currently working on it. In fact, the minister responsible for Quebec has sent a letter to PACCAR. We are waiting for the company's response. Once we have all the facts, we will let this House know what the Canadian government's position is.

Rrsps
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of human resources.

This year's budget punishes seniors by reducing the RRSP age limit for contributions from 71 to 69. Why impose this hardship on seniors when they are now living longer and healthier lives and will need their savings over a longer life span?

Rrsps
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, one of the hallmarks of the budget brought in by my colleague, the Minister of Finance, was to deal with problems such as the demographic change taking place in this country and elsewhere in the most fair and equitable way.

I would have thought the hon. member would have made reference to the fact that the proposals made by the Minister of Finance allow for those people who wish to take advantage of RRSPs to go back as far as they can to pick up those years where, because of child rearing or for other reasons, they were unable to make maximum contributions.

The proof is in the pudding. As one looks at the reactions across the country to the proposals made by the Minister of Finance with regard to RRSPs and other elements of the budget, they have all been very well accepted by people who understand them.

Rrsps
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is still refusing to deal with the age difference. By lowering it, he is really harming seniors. By reducing the age of mandatory rollover from seniors' RRSPs, the government will raise close to $100 million by the year 2000.

This is just another Liberal tax grab. Why does the minister not have the courage to be frank with our seniors about what he is doing and admit this is another tax grab at the expense of seniors?

Rrsps
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the challenge is always with comprehension. There is no doubt about that.

What we are dealing with here is undoubtedly an effort to be equitable. There is no question the hon. member has stated the record in terms of the reduction to age 69.

Whatever the alleged tax grab may have been as a result of that change, if the hon. member would look at the cost to taxpayers, the benefits made available to people who want to avail themselves of the RRSP, going back over the years where they missed making maximum contributions, the hon. member would understand this.

If she takes the time and the care to look carefully, what has been retained by the government in terms of the change at the upper end will be more than compensated for by being more generous to people who were not able to make maximum contributions to the program through their working life.

Wildlife Poaching
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

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

The Humane Society has indicated that in Canada the illegal profits of wildlife poaching rank third after drug and tobacco and liquor smuggling. Especially prominent is the smuggling of bear gall-bladders.

What measures has the government taken to curb this illicit smuggling of animals and animal parts?

Wildlife Poaching
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vaudreuil
Québec

Liberal

Nick Discepola Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Humane Society's report did confirm the hon. member's question.

I reassure the hon. member the RCMP is working at the national level with Environment Canada, at the provincial and territorial levels with natural resource and enforcement agencies, and even at the international level with INTERPOL to ensure that we not only develop but implement a comprehensive enforcement program which takes into account the illegal smuggling of wildlife and endangered species. I reassure the hon. member that the illegal trade of bear parts forms a key element of that enforcement program.

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

April 15th, 1996 / 3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. For more than four days, the Israeli army has been conducting air raids and artillery shelling in Lebanon. These actions are in line with the Israeli policy of retaliation against rocket fire from the Hezbollah militia stationed in South Lebanon. Unfortunately, these hostilities have already killed 29 people and wounded more than 120 others.

Can the minister tell us what is the Canadian government's position on the situation now prevailing in that region?

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I issued a statement urging the parties to the dispute to use all restraint and to seek out the most effective ways of dealing with the situation, not through the use of force but

through the use of negotiation which is the very heart and soul of the whole peace process.

We will have an opportunity to address those questions directly next Monday when there will be a meeting of the group that came out of the Sharm el Sheikh meeting on the peace process where the Israeli and Arab countries will all be there and I will make similar representation.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is déjà vu all over again. Seventy-nine years ago the government at the time promised that income tax would be a temporary measure, and we are still paying for that broken promise.

In 1993 the Liberals promised that under them the GST would become a temporary measure. Canadians are waiting for them to fulfil their promise.

Now the Liberals have turned around and instead of getting rid of the GST they want to integrate it. They want to make it something that Canadians are stuck with forever.

My question to the Deputy Prime Minister, who has made all kinds of pronouncements on this issue, is why are they breaking their promise? Why are they not getting rid of the GST as they said they would?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer is not very complicated. The hon. member has only to read page 22 of the red book. We were talking about the harmonization of taxes, the sales tax in Canada. It will be done.

We are not worried about them because they will not be there for a long time.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of fisheries on his B.C. fleet reduction policy, a policy that has been strongly condemned by fishers, coastal communities and the B.C. New Democrat government.

Why did the minister ignore the recommendations of the Cruickshank commission? Will the minister now agree to reconsider this policy, in particular the stackable area licensing, the totally inadequate amount of buyback and the absence of habitat protection and enhancement? Will the minister recognize that his policy will have a particularly devastating impact on small owner operators and on coastal communities in British Columbia?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Fred Mifflin Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I have to tell the hon. member and reassure the House that the Pacific salmon revitalization plan stems from the Fraser report which led to the a consideration by 70 stakeholders in this industry and a report that made 27 recommendations. We took these recommendations and came up with a plan.

This industry has gone from $400 million to $200 million to $80 million to a possible loss of $10 million this year. The capacity has quadrupled. We are looking at areas where 40 per cent of fishermen lost money a couple of years ago. This year it is 60 per cent plus. This is a sick industry and this is a plan that is meant to revive it. It is tough medicine but like all tough medicine it is made to improve the health of the industry.

Direct Deposit
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for government services.

The Department of Public Works and Government Services has been working hard to make direct deposit its standard method of making various payments to Canadians.

Can the minister tell the House if this initiative has actually saved money and if so, how much?

Direct Deposit
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, last year alone we saved approximately $28 million as a result of direct deposit. These are savings on postage, paper and on banking charges. In the last six months alone 1.7 million Canadians have agreed to join the direct deposit system.

While at this time 40 per cent of all payments by the federal government are made by direct deposit, it is our intention to increase that in the short term to at least 60 per cent for an annual savings of $44 million.

I encourage Canadians as much as possible to join others to help us save money and at the same time have a very reliable way of receiving payments.