House of Commons Hansard #148 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.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the sad fact is that many Canadians are on the dole.

Let us look at those job growth figures the government loves to boast about. There has been a 25 per cent increase in temporary jobs since 1989. For half of those entering the workforce since December 1995 the only job they could get was a part time job. Fifty-five per cent of the people who did find a job are self-employed and they are the ones the government is going to hit hardest with the massive CPP tax increase.

Can the minister explain how sucking $3,300 out of the pockets of the self-employed creates jobs? Why does he not admit that what he is really doing is killing jobs?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, how can the hon. member complain about the 9.9 per cent CPP premium rate that was arrived at by the federal government and eight of the provinces which have joint stewardship over the plan when the plan put forth by the member's party called for a rate of 13 per cent to 14.2 per cent? How can the hon. member stand up here and complain about the Canada pension plan?

Will he say what his party's super RRSP will do for Canadians who have an automobile accident and are suddenly disabled? I will tell him. It will do nothing. It will put that person on the dole. What will Reform do for parents who need maternity leave? Our Canada pension plan protects them; Reform abandons them. What will the Reform do if there is a market crash? The Canada pension plan will protect them; Reform will abandon them. That is the problem: Reform abandons Canadians.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that Reform's plan will give all Canadians better benefits at lower costs than the Liberal plan. The numbers the finance minister was quoting are probably from Liberia or Panama or somewhere else.

The government's jobless record for youth is absolutely pathetic: 16.9 per cent last month, up from 11.9 per cent in 1988, 12.7 per cent in 1990, a 40 per cent increase in joblessness for Canada's youth. As the last hired and the first fired they know the effects of job killing policies.

To quote the finance minister, payroll taxes are a cancer on job creation. Can the finance minister explain again how his $10 billion annual payroll tax hike is going to encourage jobs among our youngest Canadians? Can he explain how his job killing payroll tax is going to encourage businesses to hire more young people? We want an answer.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the Reform Party is so concerned about jobs, why did the leader of the Reform Party say in 1993 in Penticton that it would bring forth a financial plan that would cost the country jobs, not add jobs. That is what Reform members are prepared to run on. We have created 795,000 jobs in the private sector since we have taken office. That is 795,000 jobs more than Reform said it was capable of doing.

Look at the state of the country when we took office. Interest rates were going up, taxes were going up, the country was dispirited. As a result of the actions of this government and of Canadians, our interest rates are at an all time low. There is no longer a debate about rising taxes; the debate is about lowering taxes. The fact is there is hope in this land. Our exports are up, our inflation is down. Canadians know full well it is because we have confidence in them and Reform has confidence in nothing.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

March 20th, 1997 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

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

Yesterday, in response to my question on the compensation owed to Quebec for harmonizing the QST with the GST, the minister finally admitted that the compensation formula used is not designed to provide harmonization assistance but rather assistance to the Atlantic region. This clearly shows that his bad decision is politically untenable.

How can the Minister of Finance tell us today that he has found nothing better to do, to provide assistance to the Atlantic prov-

inces, than to dig into the pockets of Quebec taxpayers to subsidize the maritimes and help them better raid Quebec businesses?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I stated unequivocally yesterday that mutual assistance between regions was an inherent part of the Canadian confederation. And, yes, helping a province or region through difficult times involves using taxpayers' money.

Let us not forget that Quebec's equalization payments come from the taxes paid by Canadians, as does the financial support to Quebec's aviation industry.

Looking at how Canada builds its strength, the hon. member should know that the regions are there to support one another. Therein lies Canada's strength, and it will continue to be a building block for Canada.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am always baffled when I listen to the Minister of Finance talk about what he has given to Quebec. We are paying $30 billion per year to the federal government. We are asking for what is ours. Nothing more.

Why does the Minister of Finance not take the advice of the three premiers who support Quebec on this? Why not, for once, be fair to Quebecers and give them the $2 billion he owes them?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have explained time and time again in this House that compensation was offered to those provinces whose loss in revenues resulting from tax harmonization exceeded 5 per cent.

I would like to quote some statistics now. In Quebec, in 1989-90, the sales tax brought in $5.1 billion in revenues. In 1990-91, the first year of the harmonized tax, $5.3 billion; in 1991-92, $6.1 billion; in 1992-93, $6 billion; in 1993-94, $5.5 billion; in 1994-95, $5.4 billion; in 1995-96, $5.6 billion.

Each year following harmonization, Quebec has brought in more money that before harmonizing. That is why, like some other provinces, Quebec is not getting any compensation.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, for 77 months the unemployment rate has been over 9 per cent in this country, which is the highest rate for the longest time since the great depression. People are going bankrupt in record numbers. One number the Minister of Finance did not trot out in his long diatribe was the fact that 100,000 people's lives are in tatters in this country because they have gone bankrupt under the Liberal government's policies.

What did the minister's parliamentary secretary say when the unemployment numbers were announced? He said: "It is disappointing". It is not disappointing, it is a tragedy. It is an absolute disgrace for people whose lives are being left in tatters because of the policies of this Liberal government. Will the Minister of Finance tell us when he is going to make a real commitment to job creation and family security by reducing taxes?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that in our budget we dropped taxes by $2 billion over three years. We did it directly to help those Canadians who need the help.

We should understand that the debate between the Reform Party and ourselves is not over a desire to reduce taxes. Every single Canadian in this country, including every member of this caucus and this government, wants to reduce taxes. The issue is when and under what circumstances and at what cost.

Let us understand what Reform would do to reduce taxes. In order to reduce taxes and justify its tax cut, Reform will cut old age pensions by $5 billion. That is the difference between Reform's projections in its original budget and the projections it is making today. Reform members will cut equalization payments by $3 billion and will cut all kinds of people off in the seven receiving provinces. Reform has essentially said that it will cut the Canadian health and social transfer by $3.5 billion in order to justify its tax cuts.

In other words, the tax cut Reform is offering is a tax cut for the rich and it will eviscerate the programs that help the poor and the middle class in this country. We will not do that.

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, if you would give us the time, we could refute each and every one of those statements because they are not true.

The minister has no concern for the people who are worried about a missed mortgage payment and the desperation they feel when they go another month without a job. He has no concern for the pain of a taxpayer trying to explain to his children that the government can take his taxes but it cannot give him a job and that his little kids have to go without their soccer and hockey practices because they cannot afford it.

Canadians are feeling a lot of pain and the minister has nothing new to offer to them. In all good conscience, how can he preach about an improved economy and how his policies are going to deliver a better life when 1.5 million Canadians have no jobs and millions more are struggling to put food on the table and trying to make ends meet?

Employment
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is nobody in this government, in fact there is no right thinking person in this country who is happy with the level of unemploy-

ment. The fact is that there is great pain and suffering out there. Young Canadians are looking for jobs.

We ought to understand the different approaches the respective parties are taking. We have created over 790,000 jobs in the private sector. At the same time it is important to understand that since we have taken office we have created 550,000 full time jobs.

I can tell this House exactly what Reform policies would lead to. Now that we have seen very clearly that the Conservatives are battling the Reform for bragging rights over the extreme right wing, let us look at what happened under its administration. Reform policies as practised by the Tory party: compared to the 550,000 jobs that we have created, in the last Tory mandate it lost 150,000 full time jobs. That is what these guys would do.

Ferry Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

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

On February 6, I asked the minister about replacing the Magdalen Islands ferry, but he would only say that the ferry service between the islands and P.E.I. would be maintained, without specifying what he will do with the $30 million budget that he has had available for more than two years, but has yet to use.

Will the Minister of Transport confirm, without beating around the bush, that his government is about to replace the Lucy Maud Montgomery with the old Princess of Acadia to provide ferry service for the Magdalen Islands, and that his government has therefore decided not to buy the Irish ferry Island of Inishmore ?

Ferry Service
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the government's position is very clear. It is the position which I explained to the hon. member a few weeks ago. We will replace the Lucy Maud Montgomery as soon as we find another ferry that will not cost the taxpayers anything over and above the $30 million mentioned by the hon. member.

The Lucy Maud Montgomery has undergone safety inspections, as well as maintenance and repair work. It will be ready to serve the people of the Magdalen Islands when service resumes, in April.

Ferry Service
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport is currently assessing the condition of the Princess of Acadia and it is no secret that he is about to try to dump that ferry on the people of the Magdalen Islands, with a big red ribbon, on the eve of the election.