House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was say.

Topics

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are certainly not going to support a rinky-dink government with its rinky-dink budget.

A single income family of four making $30,000 will pay 90 per cent less in taxes under a Reform government. That is 1.2 million low income Canadians who will be lifted completely off the tax rolls under a Reform government. Those are Reform values.

Is it Liberal values for the government to tax the working poor so they can give money to their buddies at Bombardier which just announced a $400 million profit? Is it Liberal values to try to explain away one and a half million unemployed just like Brian Mulroney did?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Reform Party members want to talk values. They want to cut $3.5 billion from health care. We will not do it.

Reform Party members want to talk values. They want to cut $3 billion from equalization. They want to deprive seven provinces of decent public services. We will not do it.

Reform Party members want to cut $5 billion from old age pensions. We will not do it. We will match our values against theirs any day of the week.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Defence.

In February, the CBC revealed that, contrary to what the Minister of National Defence has been promising students signing up for subsidized university programs, the Canadian Armed Forces are requiring participants to meet their contract commitments or be forced to repay huge sums even after changing or ending their program of study.

How does the minister explain that students registered in good faith, like those whose course of study was cut out from under them with the closure of the Collège militaire de Saint-Jean, are forced to meet their contract obligations and even to pay back the salary they received, when he is not fulfilling his part of the bargain?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone who signs a contract must try to fulfil it and I think most people expect this sort of contract to be met.

However, in certain cases, a person may have been forced to change career or been unable, for some reason, to continue his or her studies.

In some instances, there may be a way to resolve the problem, but, in general, because the costs involved are very high- whether in Saint-Jean or at the Royal Military College in Kingston -Canadian taxpayers expect everyone to fulfil their commitments as in the case described by the hon. member.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am quite prepared to talk about costs, as a career change for a young person often involves considerable cost.

Since we know that those recruiting students lead them to believe that the course of study they choose will continue, would the minister not agree that this practice is outrageous and that his department should act quickly to settle the case of the dozens of students who were lied to by his department?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, the hon. member used the word "lied", but he did not say that the minister had lied. Nonetheless, I would prefer that such words not be used.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously it is disappointing for everyone when courses are changed along the way.

I have explained to my hon. colleague that, under the circumstances, where it can be shown that the changes had an effect, the government should look closely at the situation. Each case must be decided on its own merits. I am prepared to review the cases the hon. member would care to put before me and the department.

But I would explain to him that a person who has agreed to take courses in a civilian institution must honour the debts he has incurred or the commitments he has made if he decides to leave the institution because he is dissatisfied or because the courses have changed.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

March 13th, 1997 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, on April 1, 1993, while he was still in opposition, the Prime Minister was quoted as saying: "Canadians have reached the saturation level with respect to taxation". Yet the reality is that since his Liberals have come to power the average Canadian family has suffered a $3,000 pay cut because of the government's tax hikes.

Did the Prime Minister really mean what he said when he was in opposition or was he just pulling a cruel April fool's joke on the Canadian people?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can stand in this House and spout nonsense all he wants, but it is still going to be nonsense, no matter how much he repeats it.

There has been an increase in the government's revenues. That increase has occurred overwhelmingly as a result of economic activity, which is exactly what anybody should want.

At the same time there has been a tremendous reduction in the cost that consumers have to pay for refrigerators, for houses and for cars. It is estimated by most economists that over $5 billion in additional purchasing power has gone back into the hands of Canadians as a result of the actions of the government. The hon. member ought to recognize that.

There is not much use of me standing in the House and responding to nonsense. What I would really ask is that the Reform Party's researchers go back and come up with the odd question that reflects the economic realities.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, if there is anyone in the House spouting nonsense, it is the hon. minister.

We constantly hear about how good low interest rates are. What good are low interest rates to the unemployed? When was the last time the minister heard of a bank manager approving a loan or a mortgage for someone who does not have a job?

There are 1.5 million people out of work in Canada. Unemployment has remained high ever since the Liberal government came to power. Even though in other countries unemployment rates have been decreasing over the last two years, it has become a distinctly Canadian problem.

When will the government members get it through their heads that high taxes cost Canadians jobs?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is not a distinctly Canadian problem. There is no doubt that the government is not happy with the level of unemployment. It is for that reason we brought in programs to help youth unemployment, programs to help our exports and programs to help small and medium size businesses.

In terms of the world, and the Prime Minister has said it, outside of the United States, if we look at the G-7, we have stronger job creation than any of those countries. We have done very well.

That does not mean we are happy. That does not mean we will rest as long as there is one Canadian unemployed. This government will work on it.

Where was the Reform Party three years ago, two years ago and one year ago? Every day in the House its members stood and said cut, gouge, slash, burn, ignore health care, ignore unemployment. We on this side said that we would not do that. We will protect the Canadian worker. We will protect the Canadian social fabric. The Reform Party ought to recognize that.

Israel
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

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

The Middle East peace process is in crisis. After announcing plans to build a new Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, an occupied territory since 1967, the Israeli government has just decided that it would return only 9 per cent of the West Bank territories, rather than the 30 per cent expected by Palestinian authorities.

With senseless violence breaking out once again, can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us Canada's position following Israel's an-

nouncement that it would withdraw from only 9 per cent of the West Bank territories, and would continue building settlements.

Israel
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be very committed to the peace process in the Middle East and we encourage all parties to the process to remain committed themselves.

We experienced today a very unfortunate incident in the Middle East and we send our condolences through Mr. Netanyahu of Israel to the families of the victims. With him we wish that the rhetoric in the Middle East were diminished to avoid these kinds of unacceptable incidents.

Just to say that Canada does remain committed to the peace process, we are not in a position to demand that Israel take certain actions but we feel that through dialogue and negotiation peace can prevail in that region.

Israel
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary of state did not exactly answer my question.

I asked her what Canada's position was following Israel's announcement that it would withdraw. We can all say what we would like to see and offer condolences, but this does not sort out the immediate problem.

Because I was unable to get an answer on Canada's specific position regarding Israel's withdrawal, I would like to ask the secretary of state if she can assure us that the government will do everything in its power to bring an end to the cycle of violence and to help salvage the peace process, before it is too late.