House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Bill Parker
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Acadia University in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants is truly losing one of its biggest assets. On July 1, Mr. Acadia, Bill Parker, is retiring from his position as vice-president of external relations after 33 years of service to that university.

Bill's relationship with Acadia was developed during his time as a student 40 years ago. Over the years, his commitment to the university has never wavered. Through Bill's leadership and participation, fundraising drives have brought the university over $50 million from the private sector since 1963.

As well as helping serve and bringing new buildings to the university and developing new programs and scholarships, Bill is quite simply known as Mr. Acadia.

I have had the honour of knowing him very well over these last number of years and can say honestly that his presence will be greatly missed and his legacy will not be forgotten.

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is getting ready to meet the premiers at a conference where he will probably announce the federal government's intention to withdraw from some areas of provincial jurisdiction in which it is now involved.

My question is for the Prime Minister or the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Will the Prime Minister admit that the federal government's withdrawal from areas of provincial jurisdiction in which it is now involved can only be done by transferring at the same time the funds now spent by the federal government in these areas? Otherwise, this will be nothing but a dumping operation likely to place the provinces in a difficult financial situation.

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the meeting is to enable the two orders of government to work together, even better than they do now, to provide Canadians with better services at a lower cost. And we will succeed.

In some areas, it is important to better clarify the respective roles played by the two levels of government, as in the case of mining and forestry. In other cases, the federal government will transfer substantial amounts to the provinces. For example, $2 billion will be transferred for active employment measures over the life of this program. The federal government will also transfer $1.9 billion to the provinces for the management of some 660,000 social housing units.

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in this regard, given the extremely high cost of renovating our social housing stock, the Prime Minister said he wanted to give this area back to the provinces.

Given, then, the substantial amount of renovation work needed, is the government committed-it is important to set the record straight on this-to withdrawing from this area, but only if it helps pay for the work needed to repair all these social housing units?

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to transferring the money we now spend on social housing.

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what I want to find out from the minister-It is important to set the record straight. The minister talks about the money now spent by the federal government, but we know that the government is not spending anything on repairs to our social housing stock, which has been deteriorating for several years.

My question to the minister is this: Is the federal government preparing to transfer to the provinces apartments in need of major renovation work, thus forcing them to pay exorbitant repair bills? Is this not an example of the kind of federal withdrawal that is tantamount to dumping on the provinces?

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Sudbury
Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, our commitment is clear. The Leader of the Opposition, however, should make up his mind. Does he want us to withdraw from areas of provincial jurisdiction, yes or no? We said we would continue to contribute the same amounts as at present, to be administered by the provinces. Any savings will benefit the provinces, which will be able to do more with the same amount, as there will now be a single level of management.

The provinces should make up their minds. If they do not want us to withdraw, we will not.

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister gave as an excuse for putting the securities issue on the agenda of the first ministers' conference the fact that it was requested by a number of provinces. Six provinces also asked the Prime Minister to put the GST on the agenda.

My question is for the Prime Minister, the Acting Prime Minister or the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. How does he explain his refusal to put the GST on the agenda of the first ministers' conference, as requested by six provinces representing 90 per cent of the Canadian population?

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the GST issue will be discussed very soon at a finance ministers' conference.

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, when a number of provinces ask that the Canadian social policy be on the agenda, the Prime Minister puts it on the agenda. When other provinces ask that securities be on the agenda, the Prime Minister agrees to put this topic on the agenda. But when six Canadian provinces ask that the GST be on the agenda, the Prime Minister says: "No, we will not discuss the GST".

My question to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is this: Why does the Prime Minister not want to talk about the GST, an issue of interest to the four western provinces as well as to Ontario and Quebec? Is he afraid?

First Ministers' Conference
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, one of the comments made was that the agenda was quite heavy and that there might not be enough time to deal with everything on it. This is a very good point, but I think that, if we keep a tight schedule, we should be able to go through the whole agenda.

The opposition would like to add yet another item. A number of provinces would like to discuss several other issues. But we have had to make a selection to put the agenda together. If it is too heavy, it will require a great deal of discipline on the part of the ministers to deal with all the issues constructively.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

June 18th, 1996 / 2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in his-

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southwest.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in his luncheon speech today the Prime Minister outlined the subject matter of the first ministers conference that will be held later this week.

In particular he said job creation will be one of the main themes of the discussion. The key to job creation in this country, particularly private sector job creation, can be summed up in two words: tax relief. It is taxes, taxes taxes that kill jobs, jobs, jobs.

If job creation really is an objective of the first ministers conference, why is tax relief not front and centre on the agenda?