House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last four years of the Mulroney administration about 150,000 new jobs were created. In less than four years 725,000 new jobs have been created in the economy. That is because we have managed the situation.

I know that the member is a former voter for Mulroney before he had the Reform Party obviously, unless he voted Liberal. That would be a big surprise but I am waiting for that judgment.

We have restored the finances of the nation. The low interest rates of today are the best in 35 years. People are using them because the housing market is increasing very quickly. People are buying cars and so on. However, we had to cure the mess that had been created by the Conservatives in the previous nine years first. Now the country is in much better shape and more than 725,000 jobs have been created.

As everybody knows, we will continue working because we are always preoccupied that whenever somebody wants to work we want to make sure that they can find a job. It is not easy but our record is much better than that of the Conservative Party.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

The bottom line is, Mr. Speaker, 1.5 million unemployed when Mulroney left office, 1.5 million unemployed today.

The Prime Minister just does not get it. Taxes, taxes, taxes are what are killing jobs, jobs, jobs. Seventy-one tax increases by the federal Tories, 37 tax increases by this government. The government now collects more taxes than any other government in Canadian history, including wartime. And there is a connection between those high levels of taxation and the record of unemployment, the worst record of unemployment since the depression.

Instead of trying to justify high unemployment, exactly like Brian Mulroney used to stand in this House and do, why does the

Prime Minister not actually do something for the 1.5 million unemployed and start by lowering taxes?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot to create jobs. Look at the record, 725,000 jobs have been created.

More than that, 825,000 jobs have been created but both the federal and the provincial public sectors had to reduce the number of jobs by 100,000 to put the finances of the federal government and the provinces in good order.

We are doing better than any other nation of the G-7 at this moment. We have created more jobs than Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain together. However, it is not enough. We will be working on that.

I do not think the recipe proposed by the Reform Party is being taken very seriously because we have to finish the job of reducing the deficit and not try to buy votes with tax cuts for the rich like the Conservative Party and the Reform Party want to do.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Brian Mulroney always had an explanation for his dismal job record. Our interest rate was lower than Liechtenstein's, our growth rate is better than Antarctica, we have a better job record than somebody in the G-7.

What do we hear from this Prime Minister? Exactly the same thing. Our job record is better than somebody in the G-7. But there are still 1.5 million unemployed, two or three million under employed and one out of four workers afraid of losing their jobs.

Instead of trying to justify high unemployment records exactly like Mulroney, why will the Prime Minister not do something different and start by addressing the high tax levels in the country?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have not increased taxes.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Saint-Maurice, QC

We have had growth and therefore we have more revenue. He does not know the difference between the level of taxation and the level of revenue. We have not increased taxes at all. Oh yes, I am sorry, we have taxed the banks by $200 million more.

We have plugged loopholes for some people who were not paying their fair share in the insurance business because they were abusing the system. But we have not increased taxes. We have a good, solid administration. Revenues have increased substantially. Because we had good growth and low inflation, 725,000 new taxpayers are now working who were not working when we formed the government.

Copyright
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is getting ready to break another of its election promises: to renew copyright legislation.

With the election deadline, the government is ensuring that Bill C-32 will die on the Order Paper by unduly delaying its legislative progress, and this will end up hurting authors, composers and performers.

My question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Since the minister has said that the difficulties between herself and her colleague in industry were resolved, could she explain why she is running the risk of aborting Bill C-32 by postponing its third reading?

Copyright
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well what he is saying is false.

Copyright
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the Minister of Canadian Heritage that, if the bill is not passed before the election is called, her government will have to bear the responsibility of depriving creators and performers of their rights.

Will the minister ensure Bill C-32 gets to third reading before the Easter break?

Copyright
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am shocked and surprised that the member would try to misrepresent the position of the government. The member was in the House last Thursday when we agreed collectively to extend the hours of the House so that we could complete report stage in one day, a report stage which I might add was supported by every single member of the government.

I can assure the member on behalf of the entire government that third reading will take place in a few days.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

March 19th, 1997 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, on page 50 of the budget plan the finance ministers says the only way you can judge the impact of taxes is to measure them relative to the economy. Let us do that. I think that is a good idea.

Since the government came to office personal income taxes have gone up 15 per cent relative to the size of the economy. That contradicts what the Prime Minister just said. That means more money out of the pockets of every single man, woman and child in

the country to feed a government who spends that money on things life golf carts, sock factories and of course the Hotel D' Shawinigan. We are talking billions of dollars.

Why will the finance minister not admit that he is socking it to Canadian taxpayers?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, when the government took office, revenues as a percentage of the economy were substantially higher than they are now. The conclusion of that is very clear, our take as a percentage of the economy has come down.

There are areas where we have absolutely changed the tax act. Tariffs are down substantially. Close to $600 million is being put back into the hands of Canadians. On the other hand, and again if I could quote the Prime Minister: "Yes, there are areas where we have increased taxes," areas where the hon. member has objected to increasing taxes.

We have eliminated the tax advantages for family trusts. Reform opposed it. We took measures to combat the underground economy. Reform opposed it. We eliminated the preferential rate for large corporations. Reform opposed it. We increased the capital tax on financial institutions. Reform opposed it.

I could go on for a long time, but let me tell you those loopholes-

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it looks like I struck a nerve. You will notice that the finance minister did not try to answer my assertion directly. I said that according to the government's own statistics, personal income taxes have gone up as a percentage of the economy by 15 per cent.

Does the Minister of Finance deny that the government has raised personal income taxes so they have gone up 15 per cent relative to the size of the economy?