House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nuclear.

Topics

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I assume that we are speaking about the incidents in Somalia that occurred in early 1993 for which individuals have been charged and for which individuals have been found responsible. The names of the Somalia citizens who were killed are known to Canadians and to the hon. gentleman if he is interested in finding out. The incidents have been described, reviewed, investigated and the subject of judicial proceedings.

What I said yesterday, and what I believe the Canadian people understand very well, is that what happened in Somalia was absolutely unacceptable. Two years later Canadians know that what happened subsequent to those incidents in Somalia, how the military justice system responded, how the military investigative capability was not up to snuff, was also intolerable.

We believe that Canadians expect us to do something about it and that is what we are going to do.

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister has not answered the question. He made a clear statement of fact yesterday that there was no cover-up of the murder of the teenager in Somalia and yet that is the very reason that the inquiry was called in the first place.

I ask the minister one more time: Is he prepared to tell the House the facts on which he based the statement that there was no cover-up of the murder in Somalia or is he going to leave us with the conclusion that he is making an erroneous statement in the House?

Somalia Inquiry
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I do not want the hon. member to spend a sleepless weekend worrying about whether or not I understand, and that Canadians understand, what happened with respect to the murders in Somalia.

What I said yesterday is that every Canadian who really wants to get a clear understanding of what took place in Somalia knows who pulled the trigger. Everybody in Canada knows exactly what happened on the ground in Somalia to the extent that it can be determined after two years of work by the commission, military investigations, the courts martial and everything else that took place.

The hon. member cannot distinguish between the problems that occurred, the incidents that resulted in death and the difficulties that the system had and the inappropriate responses that took place subsequent to those events. I think he should give Canadians more credit for understanding this than he has so far. Canadians know-

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

February 14th, 1997 / 11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry.

If the CRTC gives in to Bell Canada's demands, business customers in small communities will pay between $44 and $54 a month for telephone service, while in larger centres the bill will be about $10 less.

What action does the Minister of Industry intend to take to ensure that telecommunications and telephone services essential to the competitiveness of businesses are just as affordable for SMBs in rural areas as for those in urban settings.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I believe the member knows that the CRTC is in the process of examining issues related to the affordability of telephone services.

I think this is a very important question. One of the objectives of our information highway policy was that all Canadians should have affordable access to telephone services. But I think the member also knows that some very important changes are taking place in the telecommunications sector. There are new services, using advanced technology, and all Canadians would like to receive them.

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are well aware that the CRTC is presently studying the whole question of telecommunications and telephone rates, but I have put my question to the minister, not to the CRTC.

In its red book, the Liberal Party said that it would do what was necessary to promote job creation. With the proposal now on the table, SMBs could see their telecommunications and telephone bill shoot up by 41 to 77 per cent.

How can the minister reconcile these huge increases with promises of increased productivity and job creation?

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the member is confusing the government's responsibility with that of the CRTC.

I would point out that the basic issue here is that we have put in place a system of competition that has already resulted in a substantial reduction in long distance rates, thus benefiting all SMBs. This system has made it possible to set up competitive services not just for Canadian businesses, but also with respect to American businesses. Here in Canada, we will receive modern and different services, and prices will be-

Telecommunications
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton Southwest.

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

Anyone who has signed a paycheque understands that payroll taxes are a disincentive to hiring. Employment insurance, workers' compensation and the proposed new Canada pension plan premium of nearly 10 per cent means payroll taxes will be almost 20 per cent of earnings. Then the victim pays income tax and then the GST. No wonder Canadians are tax poor.

How can the government create an economic climate conducive to job growth, particularly for first time job applicants, when payroll taxes make it more cost effective to pay overtime or to utilize part time contract employees?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member ought to know that as a result of the actions of the government, employment insurance premiums will be down by $1.7 billion. That is money which will be put back into the hands of Canadians.

I want to thank the hon. member for giving me the opportunity to elaborate on this. He said there should be incentives for first time hiring. The hon. member may have forgotten that in the last budget we brought in a measure that forgave employment insurance premiums for all small and medium sized businesses. Some 900,000 businesses across the country will be able to employ young Canadians without having to pay the premiums.

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians understand intuitively when a finance minister rises to speak that his hand goes into their pockets at the same time.

Employment insurance premiums currently take in over $5 billion more than is paid out in benefits. It is nothing more than a federal payroll surtax. Canada pension plan premiums will be increased 69 per cent because the plan is seriously flawed.

To limit job killing regressive payroll taxes, will the government limit increases in Canada pension plan premiums to a corresponding reduction in employment insurance premiums?

Employment
Oral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member did not notice that my hand went into my own pocket.

Reform is advocating a $3.5 billion cut in the CHST. It is advocating cuts in equalization. It is saying that it wants to withdraw moneys currently given to Canadians, in particular middle income Canadians. It wants to take it away from them. Our goal is to maintain the services that Canadians require for their livelihood.

Employment
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Chairman

With my apologies to those members who were not able to ask their questions, this concludes oral question period.

Employment
Oral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Simon de Jong Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, a point of order. I seek the unanimous consent of the House to ask one question of the government.

Employment
Oral Question Period

Noon

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to allow the hon. member to ask a question of the government?