House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pay.

Topics

Harmonization Of Sales Tax
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's important announcement made by the Minister of Finance regarding the harmonization of the GST was well received in Quebec.

The Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance of the PQ government said: "This is very good. It sets a VAT all around us. Ours has the advantage of being the lowest one, thus putting us in a competitive position. This is good for trade and it harmonizes the economic space".

With this reaction, the PQ government proved wrong the gloomsters who keep saying that no agreement is possible between the governments of Quebec and Canada. Now that these people have been proven wrong, let us hope that the Bloc Quebecois will take note and will stop obstructing any attempt to bring the two governments closer to each other.

Armenian Genocide
Statements By Members

April 24th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of Parliament who participated in yesterday's debate in the House and to congratulate them on passing the historic motion which reads:

That this House recognize on the occasion of the 81st anniversary of the Armenian tragedy which claimed some 1.5 million lives that took place on April 24, 1915, and in recognition of other crimes against humanity, the week of April 20 to 27 of each year as the week of remembrance of the inhumanity of people towards one another.

Canadians thank their MPs for this motion. It is a giant step forward toward recognition that the use of genocide and violence as instruments of national policy by any nation or any group at any time is a crime against humanity and must be condemned.

Government Grants
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is an interview for a grant, I mean a loan. No, I mean a contribution or whatever it is called.

Knock, knock. Come on in. Yes I'd like some money. Well first you have to qualify. What do I have to do? Do you know a Liberal? Yes. Have you paid your share to a Liberal's campaign? Yes.

Do you live in the region? No, do I have to? Has your business been successful? No. Will you employ more people? Not necessarily. Will you pay the money back? No. It's a grant isn't it? Are there similar businesses in your area? Yes, but they won't get a regional development grant. Well sir, it looks as though you qualify. As soon as we borrow the money from Japan, Germany or the U.S.A., we'll write you a cheque. And don't worry about any pay back-our children will look after it.

Tribute To General Jean Victor Allard
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay special tribute to the first francophone to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general in the Canadian Armed Forces, Jean Victor Allard.

Mr. Allard had a brilliant career. In 1964, he was promoted to the highest rank in the Canadian military forces. It was the first time that a French speaking person was appointed to that strategic position.

In 1965, he was appointed commander of the new mobile force, in Saint-Hubert. In 1966, he was promoted to the rank of general and appointed chief of the defence staff. It is under his supervision that the Canadian forces were integrated. In the late sixties, Jean Victor Allard left the military and proudly represented the Government of Quebec in New York City.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Allard, and I salute the great soldier that he was.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government was elected on the strength of a solemn commitment to abolish the GST. The Prime Minister said during the electoral campaign, "We are going to scrap the GST". The Deputy Prime Minister said, "If the GST is not abolished, I will resign". On May 2, 1994, the Prime Minister again said, "We hate this tax and we will get rid of it".

The Liberals made a number of solemn promises to eliminate the GST. Yesterday, however, not only did the Minister of Finance announce that the GST was being kept, he went on to say that we were going to pay $1 billion to extend it to the Maritimes.

How does the Prime Minister justify such a spectacular about-face?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, we can see what is going on in the Government of Quebec, where the mother house is making major changes to the Parti Quebecois program as it stood at election time. I just make this comment in passing.

I would simply like to read what is in the red book, the document our election campaign was based on. Here is what appears on page 22 of the English and on page 20 of the French:

A Liberal government will replace the GST with a system that generates the equivalent revenues, is fairer to consumers and to small business, minimizes disruption to small business, and promotes federal provincial fiscal co-operation and harmonization.

This is exactly what we have begun to do. We have succeeded in doing it with three Atlantic provinces and are negotiating with the others. Quebec was even ahead of the others. It understood the advantage of harmonization. We will finish the job with Quebec and we hope the other provinces will understand that a unified sales tax system in Canada is much simpler for everyone and much more effective.

We made it clear in the red book that we could not abolish a tax without equivalent revenues, because the priority of all governments at the moment, in Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto or elsewhere, is to eliminate deficits, which have been a source of economic problems throughout Canada, in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of Canada is becoming a specialist in post-election program changes. The changes should have been made before.

As the Minister of Finance acknowledged yesterday, it was a mistake to promise to eliminate the GST and not do so. Is the government not making a second and very serious political mistake by developing another harmonization model, different from the one already in place with Quebec, which had the advantage of not costing Canadian taxpayers a thing.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, now the Bloc Quebecois is asking us to be inflexible, to give the exact same thing to everyone. Because it is complex, we are looking with the provinces for a solution that is acceptable and fair to everyone.

I hear the leader of the Bloc Quebecois saying we are changing our program; we are not changing our program. I just read our program. But we will see on Monday whether the leader of the Parti Quebecois in Quebec City has changed the Parti's program on Bill 101.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister in such a tight spot in this House that he has to try to draw attention away from commitments he made and did not keep? It was right there on the TV screen yesterday: the Prime Minister in shirt sleeves before Liberal supporters making commitments to scrap the GST. What about the Deputy Prime

Minister who was going to resign if the GST were not eliminated. Where is she now?

How can the Prime Minister explain to Quebecers that, really, they have not been taken in again by the federal government, when, despite their good faith and their being the first to harmonize their sales tax with the federal tax, they did not get the compensation the Maritimers got.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will not read what I read earlier again; it is in the red book. It was very clear, and we are keeping the promise we made in the red book.

The Bloc Quebecois told Quebecers to vote for the real power. They are in opposition and they will be there for a long time to come. Their cousins in Quebec City are today changing, for political gain, the political program Mr. Parizeau used to get himself elected.

They are the last people to talk to me about not keeping my word. I have it in writing, and I-

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I would remind hon. members please to not use any props in the House of Commons.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, documents submitted this morning to the commission of inquiry indicate that the chief of defence staff, Jean Boyle, had indeed received a memo addressed directly to him suggesting that the information to be handed over on Somalia be modified, contrary to what he told the military police last December, when the current minister was in office.

Since this memo was directly addressed to Mr. Boyle, how can the minister justify that it was not handed over to the commission of inquiry at the very beginning and that, in order to obtain it, it was necessary to mobilize the entire army in an unprecedented search? How does the minister explain that?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to say that I share the sentiments expressed by the hon. member for Shefford on the death of former General Jean Victor Allard. He was a man of great distinction who served Canada well. He was the first French-Canadian chief of defence in our history. He was a great man.

Concerning the question of the hon. member for Charlesbourg, he knows I have been giving the same answer to that question for two weeks. I have answered the question for two weeks because that is what Canadians expect to hear.

They expect to hear that the commission that was established by this government, an impartial setting, will look at all of the allegations which have come forward.

The hon. member should have paid attention to the comments made by the counsel for the commission this morning who at the hearings warned Canadians not to be misled by partial evidence, not to jump to conclusions, but to allow the commission to come to its deliberations and answers in the fullness of time.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, on a number of occasions the minister has replied that we must wait, but now we have the proof that the chief of defence staff did not carry out his duties.

With this new cover-up, which severely undermines the chief of defence staff's credibility and by extension that of the entire armed forces, what more is the minister waiting for to suspend him temporarily from his duties, so that we can get to the bottom of this business once and for all?