House of Commons Hansard #142 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was labour.

Topics

Chinese Golden Age Society
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—Woodbine, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Friday I had the honour of attending the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Golden Age Society.

The volunteers of this organization organize outings, put together fundraisers and offer companionship as well as moral support to other seniors in the Chinese Canadian community.

Companionship and a sense of community are so important to us all, no matter what our age. At a time in all our lives when we may be less mobile than when we were younger, the Golden Age Society ensures that no one feels left out. The society also provides an excellent example of communities helping communities, of seniors helping seniors and is a model of success for any similar group.

I and the people of the Chinese Canadian community in Beaches-Woodbine congratulate and thank the Golden Age Society for 25 years of hard work and we look forward to another 25 years of success.

People Of Tibet
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois wants to mark today the 38th anniversary of the uprising of the people of Tibet against Chinese occupation.

On March 10, 1959, ten years after the invasion of Tibet by China, the people of Tibet people rose up against Chinese oppression. The Chinese army moved and quashed the legitimate public protest.

During the following weeks, more than 80,000 civilians died. The Dalai-Lama has been representing Tibetans in exile and peacefully crusading for his people's sovereignty and self-government ever since.

The Chinese government is pursuing settlement and assimilation in Tibet and will not act on UN resolutions demanding respect for the fundamental rights of the people of Tibet, including their right to self-government.

Canada cannot remain silent about the disastrous situation in Tibet, in its dealings with the Chinese authorities. Today, the official opposition reminds the Canadian government of its international responsibilities.

Reform Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I am proud to have my two daughters in the gallery.

When I first became involved with the Reform Party of Canada, almost 10 years ago, it was out of concern for their generation. I realized then that for the youth of our country to have the opportunities we have enjoyed, major reforms would be necessary.

In 1987 our national debt was half the $600 billion that it is today and Reformers were concerned about interest cutting into social spending then. In 1987 tax revenue was around $97 billion. Now it is $135 billion. And we felt overtaxed then.

In 1987 we suspected governments cared more for the rights of criminals than the rights of victims. Today they have proved it. In 1987 we thought Parliament needed a complete democratic makeover. Now we know it. In 1987 I believed the only hope of a brighter future for our children was the Reform vision of a new Canada. Today I am sure of it. 1997 is the year of a fresh start for all Canadians.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, waiters and waitresses in New Brunswick have launched an educational campaign in hopes of teaching both levels of government about tips.

Most waitresses and waiters are mainly minimum wage employees and rely on tips to make ends meet. Over 80 per cent of them are women. A high percentage of them are single parents. Many of them have a university degree with no other job opportunities.

Revenue Canada considers their tips to be taxable income and use it to calculate eligible child tax benefits and GST rebates. However, they cannot use these tips to claim UI benefits, workers' compensation, Canada pension, bank loans, nor is it added to calculate their RRSP allowable contribution. There seems to be some inequities when a government considers tips as income for tax purposes but does not consider tips for benefit purposes.

I urge the government to consider changes to enable waiters and waitresses to fully benefit from their tips and the inequity can be corrected.

Mining
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the chair of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources I congratulate the government and the Minister of Natural Resources, in particular, for the response to our committee's final report on streamlining environmental regulations for mining.

I am pleased to see that the reforms put forward fully reflect the committee's recommendations which were formulated following extensive consultations with stakeholders. These reforms will provide investors with greater certainty of requirements, reduce unnecessary delays and costs, and ensure the need for a strong and effective environmental protection regime.

The mining industry provides jobs for some 350,000 Canadians and supports hundreds of communities in rural and northern regions. It is an important component of the government's commitment to rural Canada.

The committee's report and the department's response are further evidence of the government's commitment to economic growth and job creation, to sustainable development and creating efficient and effective regulation for business.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements By Members

March 11th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anna Terrana Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians are very concerned about the cuts at the CBC. The issue is a very emotional one. It is a question of unity, of one message from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic.

The CBC has been with us all our lives and has become a part of our existence.

In the last year I have held three town hall meetings on the CBC. The last two meetings, held in the last two months, were very well attended. During the meetings support for the CBC was expressed very strongly.

At the time of the last meeting Nigel Peck, a constituent, had collected over 23,000 signatures. I was informed that as soon as the signatures reach the 50,000 mark they will be delivered to me. Of these, almost 13,000 signatures have already been received. The petitioners ask that the cuts to the CBC be stopped and funding restored. The minister has listened and has restored $10 million.

The main concern is the cuts to regional programming. By cutting them, you silence the voice of Canadians outside of Ontario and Quebec.

Health Care
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise again to express my concern about the erosion of universal, single tier health care in Ontario. The Queen's Park government seems to be charging more and more fees every week. We have fees on prescription drugs and now patients waiting in hospitals for transfer to other care facilities are being charged $43 for every day of their wait. Imagine what this daily charge does for the health of already sick people.

The federal government is the only level of government that can protect health care for all Canadians. I urge the ministers of health and justice to carefully consider whether the Government of Ontario is meeting the requirements of the Canada Health Act.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 53rd session of the UN Commission on Human Rights has just opened in Geneva. This important exercise provides an opportunity for the international community to learn and consult about serious human rights violations.

In these days of market imperatives, the government must uphold its past reputation. It must break the silence that confers a sort of international impunity on regimes that are trampling the most elementary rights. It must vigorously denounce the sorts of actions taking place in Burma, Turkey, Algeria, East Timor, Nigeria and the Great Lakes region of Africa.

This government has given itself the mandate of promoting Canadian values. Will it take a stand and assume leadership on the fundamental issue of human rights? While it continues to conduct trade with impunity, men, women and children are being tortured, imprisoned and killed daily. It is high time to move from denunciation to concrete and decisive action.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, what used to be a justice system in Canada has gradually deteriorated into little more than a legal system, no longer serving the needs of society and the victims of crime, but concentrating instead on the bizarre promotion of the so-called rights of the criminals.

The Olson section 745 hearings which begin today are an example of that bizarre promotion of the rights of criminals. Thank goodness Olson is likely to be one of the few criminals for whom the faint hope clause is truly a faint hope clause.

For about 80 per cent of criminals who apply, as everyone except the government seems to recognize, section 745 is actually the sure bet clause. It forces the victims of crime to relive the events which so dramatically changed their lives.

The people of Canada are calling for the complete repeal of section 745. It is about time that our lame excuse for a Minister of Justice got with the program.

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, delegates at the Bloc Quebecois policy and leadership convention will not fail to notice the very dominant presence of their former leader, Lucien Bouchard.

He is scheduled to speak on at least two occasions, in addition to all the informal meetings in which he will take part. It is really rather unusual to see this provincial political leader occupying so much space at a federal political party convention.

Does the PQ leader intend to infiltrate the Bloc Quebecois convention to keep it from heading off in a direction he would not want to support? Or is it just that he wishes to reaffirm that he is the only real leader of this party?

Whatever the case, I hope that the Bloc Quebecois delegates will reserve a warm welcome for Lucien Bouchard, or they too may be treated to one of his sulks.

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance forecast a deficit of $24 billion for 1996-97. Three weeks ago, in his latest budget, his forecast were adjusted downward to $19 billion.

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Today, after ten months, the cumulative deficit is reported to be $7.3 billion, which could mean a real deficit of 10 or 12 billion in 1996-97 instead of the $19 billion he announced three weeks ago.

My question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Either the minister was aware that he had this kind of flexibility and hid this from the public, or he did not know because he had no way of telling this would happen. Is the Minister of Finance sneaky or incompetent?

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, considering how my predecessor was criticized when he was incapable of meeting his objectives, I must say that being criticized because I did far more than meet my objectives is a criticism I am entirely prepared to accept.

As the Leader of the Opposition must know, we have a month and a half left before the end of the year. We have no figures for February and we have none for March. Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition must know that a lot of adjustments are made in March which may alter the figures.

What I gave is perhaps a very prudent forecast, but I am convinced that once again, we will be able to build on the credibility the government has established.

The Deficit
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government would have to produce a deficit of $12 billion in two months to get the extraordinary figures the Minister of Finance gave us three weeks ago.