House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Rcmp Investigations
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

I apologize, Mr. Speaker, but my question is for the Prime Minister and concerns his compliance with the government's code of conduct. With all due respect, I will put the question to the Prime Minister rather clearly, so everyone can understand what it is about, given that I have only one question.

I am asking the Prime Minister to tell us why his ministers comply with the government's code of conduct, but not him, since he left a person strongly suspected of influence peddling mingle with Liberal Party members and ministers.

I think the Prime Minister has a duty to respond.

Rcmp Investigations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I will allow the Prime Minister to respond because the question is on the code of conduct.

Rcmp Investigations
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the code of conduct applies to the government and to public servants.

In this specific case, the investigation concerns an organization that is not part of the government. It is a political organization. Moreover, in the case of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the person involved admitted he had made a mistake and the code of conduct was immediately applied because that person was an employee accountable to the minister and to the government.

Employment
Oral Question Period

October 7th, 1997 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

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

Canadian analysts including Wood Gundy's chief economist charge that the government's endorsement of last week's interest rate hike is “like waging war on yesterday's problem”. It is predicted that as many as 500,000 jobs will be lost if the government continues on its current path.

When will the Prime Minister show some leadership, start to live up to his campaign commitment and tell his finance minister to stop killing jobs?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, everything the government has done since it took office, whether it be re-establishing the credibility of government to bring interest rates down, keeping inflation low, investing in research and development or investing in youth employment, has been directed to the one aim of giving Canadians an opportunity for a better quality of life and greater job creation.

Since we have taken office over a million jobs have been created in the private sector. It is very clear that the policies we have put in place have worked.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is telling us that it is just too bad about the 1.4 million people who still do not have jobs. I have in my hands a paper—

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind hon. members that we can read from papers but I prefer that we not use them as props.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I refer to a finance department report that says the very best Canadians can expect from the government until the end of the century is 7.8% unemployment.

Before the election the Liberals said their unemployment goal was 5%. Now we learn that it is really closer to 8%.

Why does the Prime Minister not make this his big millennium project and put a million and a half Canadians back to work so they can join in the celebration?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, since we have taken office we have already put a million Canadians back into the workforce.

I refer the leader of the New Democratic Party to the numbers that came out last week. Long term interest rates have dropped and five year mortgage rates are now at the lowest level they have been since 1965.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It has to do with the continual misuse, abuse and rip-off of the employment insurance system by the government, a rip-off we have been denouncing for some time which it refuses to acknowledge.

The auditor general in chapter 17—

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Would the hon. member for Sherbrooke please get to the question.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is this and it is to the Prime Minister. Will he guarantee to the House that his government, as the auditor general reports, will cease to abuse the employment insurance system at the expense of Canadians who are unemployed?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said last week and I will repeat that when we took over as the government the premiums paid by Canadians were $3.30. This has been reduced to $2.90 and is going down every year.

When we took over the unemployment insurance fund it was many billions of dollars in the red. We put it in the black. Good administration led to a reserve and led to a reduction in premiums. We are doing that on a regular basis.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, surely the prime minister knows that he is alone in this position. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, le Conseil du patronat du Québec all share the view that these premiums must come down.

Let me ask the question to the Minister of Finance. Since the prime minister will not move, will the Minister of Finance accept the recommendations of the auditor general and table here in the House of Commons the analysis on which he bases the premium rate?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the analysis is well known. The leader of the Conservative Party is very badly placed to comment on unemployment insurance premiums. The prime minister has set it out very clearly.

Let us be very clear. For a Tory to blame the Liberals for the unemployment insurance premiums is like a mosquito blaming the doctor for malaria.