House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the government and the people of Canada, I wish to express our deep sympathy and regret to the families of the victims and the people of Lebanon. This morning's attacks, which killed civilians, including children, and members of the UN peacekeeping mission, are unacceptable to Canada.

We called a meeting with the Israeli chargé d'affaires to convey this message. We asked for a ceasefire, a cessation of hostilities, and the reinforcement of the peace process in Lebanon.

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, can the minister undertake to intervene with the UN to have the Security Council present Israel and Lebanon with a plan for a lasting peace?

Lebanon
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the suggestion from the hon. member. The security council will take up this matter sometime this afternoon based on a resolution from the Egyptians.

We are not at present a member of the security council. However, I will certainly have our ambassador there make the position of the Canadian government known, as I have stated it.

There is a meeting scheduled for Monday in Luxemburg of all the foreign ministers whose governments were part of the Sharm el Sheikh meeting a month ago involving a number of Arab states, Israel, the Palestinians and us.

We will use that forum as well to express our strong concern about the attacks, to put in place actions against terrorism, to promote the development of peace and to initiate the kinds of aid or assistance which my colleague, the Minister for International Co-Operation, is working on to help the development of the peace process in the West Bank, for the Palestinian authorities and in Israel itself.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in seeking the leadership of the Liberal Party, the finance minister said he would get rid of the GST. He further stated on March 6, 1990 it

would be difficult to do that if the federal tax becomes integrated with provincial taxes.

If harmonization was bad then, why is it not bad now?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, harmonization obviously leads to a better tax for consumers and for small business.

With a harmonized tax one still has all of the flexibility required to administer the tax system both at the federal level and the provincial levels.

I cannot believe the hon. member is actually suggesting we should not try to rationalize the system, that we should not try to reduce the costs, that we should not try to develop a tax system that would be far more efficient and make us far more competitive as we face the opposition that exists outside our borders, not inside.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I guess the short version of that answer is he is now enlightened.

Not all the Atlantic provinces have jumped on the harmonization band wagon. The MLAs of Prince Edward Island are seeking further input because, to quote one, "a blended levy would broaden the tax base moving into areas not currently taxed by the PST such as electricity, heating oil, drugs, some clothing and footwear, equipment for the physically challenged and textbooks".

Is this what the finance minister wants to do, tax the physically challenged?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if one takes a look at the GST one will see there is an extensive line of rebates to take care of physically disadvantaged people or lower income people. This is a great advantage that exists within the GST that does not exist within the PST.

Mr. Speaker-

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Do not choke on your own words.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

It was a rough trip to Thailand.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

What happened in China?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

I am sorry, Jim. This is not working out well for either one of us.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Just stay tuned. We may come back to it some day.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

April 18th, 1996 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

Those concerned continue to oppose the coast guard's new fee structure. One of the major points raised by a majority of stakeholders is that, if the minister goes ahead without measuring the impact of the new fee structure, our marine sector will become less competitive vis-à-vis the U.S.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister admit that the coast guard's new service fee structure will not apply to ships using the St. Lawrence Seaway to deliver their cargoes to American ports on the Great Lakes?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the actions of the ministry are based on very careful consultation with the industry, based on the principle of user pay, user say.

I should, however, remind the House and the hon. member that this matter is now the subject of an inquiry by a parliamentary committee which is currently sitting. It will complete its very extensive hearing of witnesses from all parts of the country this afternoon and will write a report this evening.

The minister has engaged himself to read the report, to wait on it before making decisions. It would be a lack of conformity to the comity that the government owes to this House and its parliamentary committees to attempt to anticipate the report. Therefore, further statements should wait until the minister has read the report.