House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Simcoe.

Canadian Forces Base North Bay
Statement By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the work of the people in my riding of Nipissing for their efforts to save CFB North Bay. In recent weeks there has been a remarkable team effort made to inform the members of this government about the consequences of the NORAD facility leaving our city.

Our most powerful weapon has been the co-operation that has existed between all the stakeholders. So far we have received over 16,000 signatures on a petition to save our air base. This grassroots support is echoed across our community. It extends from the affected employees and their local unions to our city council and our business community.

This support has been essential in allowing Mayor Jack Burrows and I, along with the valuable assistance from North Bay MPP and Ontario Premier Mike Harris, to bring a strong and unified message to Ottawa.

This issue crosses political and ideological lines as we fight collectively to save hundreds of jobs in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec.

The Budget
Statement By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, this morning on CBC the finance minister said his government is focusing spending on those things which are most important to them: health care, children and jobs. Let us look at the record.

The minister has slashed $7 billion from health care, education and welfare. In fact health care has been cut 40 per cent. This is how the finance minister focuses on health care.

The minister has gouged the average family's after tax income by $3,000. Parents are working longer and harder just to make ends meet. This is how the finance minister focuses on children.

And jobs? Our unemployment rate is hovering around 10 per cent compared to Japan at 3.4 per cent and the United States at5.4 per cent. If the minister taxed less and left more in the hands of those who earn it, this would increase consumer spending and drive the economy and businesses to create jobs. Instead, through 36 tax increases this minister takes $24 billion more every year, killing jobs in our communities. This is how the finance minister focuses on jobs.

The finance minister's words and his record conflict.

National Battlefields Commission Of Canada
Statement By Members

2 p.m.

Independent

Gilles Bernier Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the archaic method used by The National Battlefields Commission of Canada to collect fines for traffic violations on federal property, particularly in Quebec City.

The people ticketed for very minor violations cannot pay the fines even if they wanted to because these fines are not set in advance. They have to immediately sign a guilty plea, which is referred to the Court of the Sessions of the Peace for a judge to set the amount of the fine and additional court costs. Failing that, the documents will be served on them.

This is a costly procedure for all taxpayers. It is high time that The National Battlefields Commission of Canada updated its procedures. This is another good way of saving money.

Medical Hall Of Fame
Statement By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame is a national organization which recognizes the outstanding achievement of Canadian medical

scientists. The Medical Hall of Fame was founded in November 1993 and is located in my home city of London, Ontario which has earned an international reputation as a leading medical centre.

Inductees to the Medical Hall of Fame are all outstanding Canadians, both men and women, who have distinguished themselves with extraordinary careers to the benefit of mankind. Perhaps the best known example is Sir Frederick Banting, the discoverer of insulin, who started his work in London, Ontario.

Today I am pleased to welcome to Ottawa several distinguished laureates of the Medical Hall of Fame, accompanied by J. Allyn Taylor, honorary chair, Ted Eadinger, board director, Betsy Little, executive director and Barbara Tomlin, administrative assistant.

Matthieu Da Costa Award
Statement By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, a year ago on February 13, along with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, I announced the Matthieu Da Costa award. The award honours black history month by commemorating the life of Da Costa, the first recorded black person in Canada. Through literary essay and art competitions it encourages students to explore contributions made by individuals of cultural minority backgrounds to the development of Canada.

Today I am proud to announce that elementary and secondary schools all over Canada from coast to coast actively participated in the award contest. A special ceremony was held at the Canadian Museum of Civilization to honour the 1997 winners. We all congratulate Skye Smith, Caitlyn Doyle, Crystal David, Marie-France Pare, Kimahli Powell, Marie-Claude Latreille, Warren George Lefthand and Michael Lomenda.

Along with the Canadian Teachers' Federation, I invite all members to join me in celebrating this truly unique initiative which fosters a shared sense of Canadian identity.

Medical Hall Of Fame
Statement By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome today to our nation's capital six members of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Although we are very pleased to have the physical presence of London as the hall of fame the talent comes from across our diverse land.

Dr. Henry Barnett from London has been recognized for his work in stroke and clinical trials.

Dr. Douglas Harold Copp from Vancouver discovered the hormone calcitonin which regulates calcium levels in the blood.

Dr. Jacques Genest from Montreal has been recognized for his research on hypertension.

Dr. Herbert Jasper from Montreal has been recognized for his work in electrophysiology and EEG.

Dr. Charles Leblond from Montreal has been recognized for his research in anatomy and cell biology.

Dr. Robert Salter from Toronto has been recognized for his work in orthopedic surgery.

These individuals are our best and brightest. It is a wonderful and fitting tribute that they are here today. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude. I encourage all members to show their gratitude.

Unparliamentary Language
Statement By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, an election year is no doubt a time when things get a little hot in this place. That in itself comes as no surprise. What is regrettable however are the unacceptable attacks on our colleagues that we have witnessed on a number of occasions in the past few weeks.

Following the incident the hon. member for Beaver River was involved in yesterday, I would call upon each and every member of this House to behave like a mature adult.

The House of Commons is a forum for debating ideas. The fact that the two sides of this House hold diametrically opposed views is normal.

There is nothing wrong with heated debates per se, but I wish the respect we owe one another would always prevail. This way, unfortunate events that do nothing to improve the opinion the public has of parliamentarians could be prevented. This is another responsibility that rests with all of us.

Taxation
Statement By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, hello Edmonton North. I look forward to campaigning on Reform's platform of more jobs through smaller government and lower taxes and against the Liberals' tax gouging, job killing record.

The Minister of Finance says that he has not raised taxes. Oh, really?

What about the tax increase on life insurance premiums, gasoline, air transportation, private corporation dividends and securities?

What about the elimination of the lifetime capital gains exemption, the income test for age credit, and the lowering of the withdrawal age for RRSPs?

What about the 70 per cent increase in CPP premiums that will deliver $9,000 a year to Edmonton pensioners while the MP pension plan yields five to six times that amount?

Call it what you like but it is still a tax, T-A-X. By increasing overall taxes for Edmontonians 30 per cent and personal taxes40 per cent, the Liberals have picked an extra billion dollars out of our pockets.

Let us set things right. Hello, Edmonton North.

Fonds De Solidarité Des Travailleurs Du Québec
Statement By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to applaud the joint decision made by the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec and the Fonds régional du Bas-Saint-Laurent to invest $1.5 million in Carrière Glendyne, located in Saint-Marc-du-Lac-Long. This investment will bring the slate mine back into production and preserve 60 direct jobs in this small village of 534 people.

Getting Carrière Glendyne back into operation will give new impetus to the economy in Saint-Marc-du-Lac-Long. The initial stages involving rock scaling activities have resumed, and it is expected that all of the company's 60 employees will be called back to work by March 17.

Quebec is among the world's ten largest mining countries, and the first one in the Francophonie. To be a master in one's own home is to have at one's disposal the means to make decisions and to fully benefit from them.

The Budget
Statement By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

Mr. Speaker, this budget is yet another Liberal con job.

Instead of jobs, there is $3.2 billion in further cuts to social programs scheduled this year. Instead of helping to reduce child poverty now, there is another red book promise to help children in need effective July 1998, only 18 months from now. And if it does materialize, it is only 20 per cent of the commitment the B.C. NDP government has made to help end child poverty now.

The Liberals have taken $14 billion out of the economy through cuts to social programs. Now they insult Canadians with a snow job pre-election budget. This budget offers nothing for struggling families who are looking for stable employment and no hope for their children's future.

The Liberals have achieved one thing. In 1993, the last year of the Mulroney government, 5,250 taxpayers earning over $70,000 per year paid no taxes. Under the Liberals, there has been a 400 per cent increase: 21,270 Canadians earning over $70,000 a year paid no taxes.

Women's Institute
Statement By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to celebrate the centennial of the Women's Institute with my colleagues in the House. Over the last 100 years the work of the Women's Institute has become well known and respected across Canada and around the world.

The movement began with one woman, Adelaide Hoodless, and her response to the death of her 18-month old son from drinking impure milk. Impelled by her personal loss, Mrs. Hoodless became an activist campaigning for clean milk. On February 19, 1897 at Stoney Creek, Ontario the Women's Institute began, creating a movement to educate women in the home sciences.

The local movement spread quickly to become the pre-eminent women's organization in Canada. At the turn of the century the concept spread to Britain and throughout Europe. In 1933 the organizations joined forces and the Association of Country Women of the World was formed.

Over the years, issues have changed and the WI continues to make a difference. I am honoured to acknowledge those who continue that important community based work which was started a century ago.

National Child Benefit System
Statement By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to draw attention to the Liberal government's commitment toward building a strong future for all Canadians, especially Canadian children.

Yesterday we were presented with a workable budget, a budget that invests in jobs, health care, education and children.

The government has long recognized that children are our greatest resource, that they are our future and we must invest in them. The government has made the investment.

The national child benefit system is an innovative approach to reducing the number of Canadian children who live in poverty. The new system will provide a total of $6 billion in assistance to low

income families across Canada which will improve the living standards of hundreds of thousands of Canadian children.

The national child benefit system is a step forward in the fight against child poverty. It is exactly the type of program that will give our children a fighting chance for a better future. It demonstrates our commitment to our future: Canada's children.

The Budget
Statement By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Lavigne Verdun—Saint-Paul, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance confirmed that our deficit reduction objectives have not only been reached but exceeded. Indeed, the deficit is a little over $5 billion less than expected.

Yesterday, the Minister of Finance announced that his budget does not include any tax increase or new tax affecting individuals or corporations.

Yesterday, the minister also showed that it is possible to manage public finances effectively, while also helping the poor in our society. And I do mean the poor in our society.

Our government has once again demonstrated that the solution to our country's economic and social problems does not lie with extremists, but is based on a good Liberal government establishing a balance between economic and social needs.

International Trade
Statement By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, from February 22 to 26, the Minister for International Trade and sixty or so business people will make an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The Bloc Quebecois expects the minister to raise the topics of democracy and human rights in his meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. A climate of peace and democracy is essential to prosperous trade between our countries.

We hope the minister will take advantage of this trip to obtain, from the Palestinian authorities, the letters promised during consideration of the bill to implement the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement. We are still waiting for these letters.

This Middle East visit is therefore important and the results of the minister's meetings during this trip must be made public and will be of the greatest interest for the future of the Canadian and Quebec economies in this part of the world.