House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

How are you going to vote? Are you going to vote for equality?

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

I cannot support any bill which breaks away from this principle of equality. Canadians do not support discrimination from their citizens and especially not from their governments.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Winnipeg—St. James, MB

How are you going to vote?

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

This government once again is allowing discrimination under Canadian law. Equality before the law and the merit principle should be the only principles on which we are judged.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Winnipeg—St. James, MB

Are you going to vote for equality, Leon?

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, sometimes it happens that we are near microphones that are open. I am sure we make inadvertent statements, but I wish we would be very conscious of the microphones near us being open.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Day of the Worker, the federal government is adding insult to injury by amending the Unemployment Insurance Act without a true debate.

By going ahead with its reform, which seeks to make the poor pay for part of the deficit, the federal government is breaking a long Liberal tradition.

Liberal MPs in Fredericton, Shediac, Halifax, St. John's, Charlottetown and Bonaventure, who were elected to govern differently from the Conservatives, are being asked by their constituents to challenge their government. Canadians expect their MPs to oppose this unfair reform.

They too, like the official opposition, must demand that the minister go back to the drawing board and proposes a new reform that will be fair to workers and regions of this country.

Francophones Outside Quebec
Statements By Members

May 1st, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that, this week, opposition parties are trying to outdo each other with racist and discriminatory statements.

After a Reformer made totally unacceptable comments about black people and homosexuals, the Bloc member for Québec-Est is now trying to win the prize for bigotry.

While commenting the report tabled yesterday by the commissioner of official languages, the Bloc member compared French speaking people outside Quebec to paraplegics in wheelchairs with only two wheels.

The intolerant and discriminatory comments of the Bloc member are an insult to French speaking Canadians outside Quebec and to physically disabled persons.

If the Bloc member and the Reformer had the least bit of respect for Canadians, they would make a formal apology.

Richard Le Hir
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Quebec's former minister responsible for restructuring, Richard Le Hir, resigned from the PQ caucus.

In his letter of resignation, which his leader, Lucien Bouchard, apparently did not have the time to read, Mr. Le Hir said, and I quote: "Quebecers must understand that sovereignty has hung like a cloud over the province for 30 years now-It is high time to begin thinking about the billions spent pursuing it, on the tax revenues that did not come our way and that could perhaps help us to hold on to what we already have".

Quebec's separatists must realize that though they may get rid of the messenger, his message still remains. Lucien Bouchard should take the time to read the important message sent him by Mr. Le Hir and recognize that it is time that the threat of sovereignty stopped weakening Quebec's economy.

Old Age Security
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, April 21 over 50 people gathered at the Wu Centre in my riding to partake in an afternoon of discussions focused on seniors issues.

The forum provided constituents with the opportunity to voice their concerns regarding the old age security system. Although there was not a great deal of consensus on the issue, I believe that a lot of misunderstandings were cleared up about the new plan.

The most common concerns surrounded taxation and whether or not the new plan will be harder on middle class earners. Many felt there still needs to be a great deal of educating of the public surrounding the details of the new plan before those details are finalized.

This is an important debate over a fundamental change in the system. I encourage my colleagues to hold similar forums in their ridings.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in response to the speeches by all the members of this House, as well as public pressures, the Deputy Prime Minister has finally stepped down. She had no other choice, moreover, since she had made a public commitment to quit if the GST was not abolished.

Will the Prime Minister admit that this resignation is evidence that it was not only the Deputy Prime Minister who did not keep her word concerning the GST, but the Liberal government as a whole, and he himself?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Copps, who resigned earlier today-and I must express my admiration for her in this connection-had made a personal commitment. At her press conference, she indicated clearly that the government was respecting the commitments it had made in the red book, on page 20 in French and page 22 in English, that she herself had made an additional commitment, and that now her credibility was being criticized or questioned by the public.

In response to the incessant attacks against her, she has decided to rely on the judgment of the voters of Hamilton East, and I am convinced that, after the June 17 byelection, she will be back with the support of the people of Hamilton East.

She had made a personal commitment to which she has been faithful. For this lady, who has so well served the province of Ontario, first as an MPP and then as an opposition MP and later a minister and Deputy Prime Minister in this House, an attack on her integrity was unacceptable. She is putting her fate in the hands of the voters. They have always had enormous confidence in Ms. Copps, as do we on this side of the House.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week, Number Three in the government, that is the Minister of Finance, admitted his error and apologized for it. Number Two has just done the same, and has resigned.

Does the Prime Minister realize that now there is just Number One left, who has not admitted, nor is he capable of admitting, to the Canadian people that he has not respected his commitments?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, some ten times or so I have read out here in the House the Liberal Party's commitment, made at the time of the election, namely that we were going to replace the GST by a form of taxation that would be harmonized with the provinces, that would generate the same level of revenue as the GST did in the past, that there would be a single administration to implement it, that there would be only one group of auditors bothering businessmen, etc.

We have begun the process of having a national tax harmonized with the provinces. We regret not having been able to do so across the board immediately, but we have had the co-operation of four provinces so far, and are counting on the others, in order to have a single tax. According to many of the opposition members, we are the only country in the world to have two competing levels of sales tax.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, to clarify things for the Prime Minister and for anyone else, the Minister of Finance had promised to abolish the GST. He said "We did not do so, and I apologize for that, it was a bad thing to do". The Deputy Prime Minister had said "We are going to scrap the GST or I will quit". Acknowledging her commitment, she has resigned. As for the Prime Minister, he had said "We are going to scrap the GST". So what is he going to do now?