House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was decision.

Topics

Taxation
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Hallowe'en the mood on Parliament Hill is eerie, to say the least. The cabinet is huddled around the Ouija board trying to find a friendly spirit who will agree with the new gas tax. It is frightening.

This government is not at all shy about taxes. It figures if there is a problem it will just conjure up a potion and place a tax spell on Canadians.

That is the Liberals' answer to things that go bang in the night—tax law-abiding Canadians like duck hunters. The criminals are howling at the full moon over this tax. The Prime Minister is even taking credit for the Conservatives' hated GST. He says that the GST is a wonderful tax. He brought the hated tax back to life and gave it personality, like Frankenstein. The next trick is no treat for small businesses whose life's blood will be drained with the new CPP tax hike.

This Hallowe'en Canadians will not rest in peace while plagued by the finance minister, who from this day forward will be known as Count Taxula.

Employment
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Kenora—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 we inherited a $42 billion Conservative deficit. By next year the budget will be balanced.

What does this mean for Canadians? It means we can relieve some of the burden off the shoulders of our children and grandchildren by paying down the debt. It means we can start to reinvest in those areas of economic and social policies that mean so much to Canadians like job creation, education and health.

If the forecasters are right, it has placed Canada in the enviable position of leading the G-7 countries in growth. It has created an environment for jobs. There have been a million created during our first mandate, and over one-quarter million this year alone, and young people are filling more jobs than they have filled in nearly a decade.

That is a record to be proud of. In sum, we have put an end to crushing interest rates, we have slain the deficit and have begun to pay down the debt. More important, jobs and hope are being restored to Canadians.

The deficit fight is best measured by its human factor. Numbers are abstract, jobs are real. What a difference four years makes.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, gas company profits are up. The profits of Petro-Canada and Imperial Oil tripled in the last quarter by 103%, Shell Canada by 129%, Suncor by 152%.

As we know, Canadians have been concerned about high gas prices at the pumps for some time. We know that when prices of gas go up it affects negatively the whole economy. The federal government's position and that of its oil company friends is “Don't worry, be happy”.

Canadians are not happy when they are being gouged at the pumps. At this time of trick or treat Canadians are being tricked at the pumps by high prices while oil companies have been treating themselves to record profits.

When will the government stand up for Canadians instead of oil companies who contribute so much to Liberal Party election campaigns?

Linguistic School Boards
Statements By Members

October 31st, 1997 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the members of the parliamentary committee responsible for examining the bilateral constitutional amendment to facilitate the creation of linguistic school boards had the pleasure of welcoming the Quebec ministers of intergovernmental affairs and of education as witnesses.

Their purpose for appearing was to reiterate their unequivocal support for this bill and to explain the reasoning behind the creation of two systems, one French and one English, and the importance of consolidating these resources.

There is a strong consensus for this undertaking across Quebec which has been in the making over the past three decades. We are an evolving a flexible federation able to modernize ourselves, thereby reflecting our diversity in multicultural and multiracial reality. Co-operation between the federal and provincial governments always serves the best interests of Canadians and that of course includes all Quebeckers.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the collapse of the Newfoundland cod fishery has had a devastating effect on the Newfoundland economy. However, many fishermen are trying to stay afloat in the industry by fishing other species. One fishery that is being developed as a supplementary effort is our seal fishery.

However, when I turned on the TV last night I found that the International Fund for Animal Welfare is running ads back to back condemning that fishery. Needless to say it is causing damage to our marketing efforts in North America and Europe.

The federal government regulates the seal fishery. I call on the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to take measures to counter that ad campaign and thereby safeguard the efforts of those who are still trying to make a living from the sea.

The Deficit
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Vaughan—King—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month the finance minister announced that the final deficit for 1996-97 was $8.9 billion. This is down almost $20 billion from the previous year and is the largest year over year improvement in Canadian history. However restoring health to Canada's finances is not an end in itself. It has always been this government's goal to build a strong economy and a strong society which provide Canadians with opportunity and security.

As our nation enters this new economic era full of challenges and choices, it is vital that we hear from Canadians about their priorities, values and expectations. As chair of the Standing Committee on Finance, I encourage Canadians to participate in the town hall meetings being held by their local members of Parliament. Your views are important to our committee. Let them be heard.

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, you can check in Hansard . This fall we have asked this government literally 50 times to clarify its position on Kyoto. We have given it lots of opportunity. We think it is a fair question. We just want an answer. That is why we have had to ask the question 50 times. After all, every other G-7 nation has already released its position on greenhouse gas emissions and the countdown to Kyoto is on. It will take place 31 days from now.

My question for the Prime Minister is this. What are those Liberal targets and how much are they going to cost Canadians?

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has stated very clearly that our position will be before the public and the world before the Kyoto meeting. We want to continue and complete our consultations with the provinces before we finalize our position.

We want to make it clear that our approach is to negotiate fully but for a good deal for Canadians that will take into account the needs of every part of the country. Unlike the Reform Party, we will have a position. All we hear from the Reform Party are questions and suggestions but as yet nobody in this country can say—

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. The reason the Liberals cannot answer the 50 questions is because of the process they are using to cook up this deal. They are developing a position in secret. There has been no public discussion on it. They refuse to wait for all the provinces to sign on to the deal and they have actually already committed to signing the deal in Kyoto when the treaty has not even been written yet.

This kind of process did not work when we went through our constitutional fixing process. Why does the Prime Minister think Canadians will agree to this environmental Meech Lake process?

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member why the Reform Party has abandoned its principled position where it says that the party believes that environmental considerations must carry equal weight with economic, social and technical considerations. What happened to the Reform principles? Have Reformers abandoned these principles? Is the position of the Reform Party nothing more than what was done by the tongue troopers in the Reform leader's office when they muzzled the Reform critic and said that anything he says is nothing more than a dopey mental hiccup?

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, for a government that is supposed to govern, the answers get weaker every day. Every day this government fudges the answer is another day that taxpayers worry about what position this government is cooking up behind the doors. Studies by the conference board say that the Kyoto deal could cost the average Canadian thousands of dollars per year. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers warns that it could cost a lot at the gas pumps.

So I ask again, and please just give us an answer. Canadians cannot wait for the Prime Minister to settle all these internal cabinet struggles. How much is this Kyoto deal going to cost the average Canadian?

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the fearmongering is being created here by the Reform Party. All Reformers are doing is talking about taxes. They ignore all the other means available to deal with this problem without having to slow down the economy. Why does the Reform Party fail to adopt a position which recognizes threats and costs to human health, to the economy of western Canada, to future generations? Do Reformers not care about their children and grandchildren?

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister has been here for a few decades so he should know by now that the opposition asks the questions and the government is supposed to answer them.

When the finance minister was in opposition, he boasted that the Liberals would cut carbon emissions to 1988 levels by the year 2000. But now the man who was then a radical environment critic is silent about the Kyoto deal. So my question for the government is this. With all the talk of taxes in the air, why has the finance minister been silent about the Kyoto tax attack?

Environment
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are working on this as a team, unlike the Reform Party. The member for Kelowna questioned whether there is a problem, he questioned the science. The Leader of the Opposition suggested that there is a problem, but he does not like the process we are using to follow up on it. And their critic is muzzled by the tongue troopers in the Reform leader's office and is accused of being nothing more than a dopey mental hiccup.

Yes, the Reform members can ask questions. However they claim to be the next government in waiting and as such they have a responsibility to state their position.