House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tobacco.

Topics

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the CPP will be there for Canadians.

Why do Reformers not tell Canadians what their rates will be if they put their plan forth? Why do they not tell Canadians that the pension plan will not be there for the 50 year-olds and over and the present pensioners with their plan? Why do they not tell Canadians that it is going to cost them twice as much for their plan than it is for CPP and it will not secure their future for them?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians of all age groups want and need to know that they can count on a decent standard of living upon retirement. There is no question of that. However, Canadians have been deceived in the past by successive Liberal-Tory governments about the sustainability of the CPP.

First the rate was 3.6 per cent. Now it is 5.6 per cent. Soon it will be 9.9 per cent. The minister talks about rates. Where is it going to stop? No one seems to know.

The government has proven that it cannot be trusted on the GST promise. What would lead Canadians to believe that it can keep a promise on the CPP?

Pensions
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, was there a question?

The Reform Party misses the point. This reform of the CPP is supported by a majority of the provinces. This is a federal-provincial initiative. The Reform Party has no province supporting its suggestions whatsoever. We are going to secure a firm public pension plan for lower and middle income Canadians, for all Canadians.

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

March 4th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

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

When the official opposition comes to the defence of sponsorship of sports and cultural events, when it defends the importance of keeping the thousands of jobs that depend on it, the only remark the Prime Minister can muster is that the official opposition is being politically opportunistic.

If the Prime Minister defines opportunism as an attempt to save sporting and cultural events, how does he describe the behaviour of his own government, which continues to pocket billions of dollars in taxes on tobacco? Is that is not what one would call opportunism?

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the member did not reveal how much smoking costs the Quebec economy. In 1991, taxpayers paid $4 billion because of smoking. This is in addition to the costs involved for all those who die of smoking related cancer or heart conditions.

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, would it not be opportunism to talk about improving health on the one hand and to protect the revenues Canada Post makes from continuing to allow the tobacco companies to advertise by mail on the other?

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about productivity. We are talking about jobs. Every year, 12,000 people die in Quebec, unfortunately, from smoking. We are taking action because we agree with Louise Beaudouin, the Quebec minister of culture, who said, and I quote: "I agree that Quebecers' health comes first and foremost" in Le Soleil last year.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, what hypocrisy. After slashing health care funding to the provinces by 40 per cent, the Prime Minister is meddling in Ontario's affairs when that province is closing a hospital. It is like a business partner that pulls out of the business and still wants to run the thing.

Will the Prime Minister stop interfering in the personal affairs of Ontario when he is directly responsible for the crisis?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is rather obvious that the Reform Party does not wish to stand in its place and support francophones outside the province of Quebec.

I want to tell the House and the hon. member that the Prime Minister of Canada has every right as a Canadian citizen to voice his opinion, whether in this House or outside. When it comes to defending francophones there is none better than the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is interesting because I went to the hospital this morning and asked the chief executive officer what he thought of the Liberal government's cuts. His comment to me: "If there weren't Liberal government cuts we wouldn't be in the position we are in today".

Where does the problem lie? Listen to this. The government gives $221,500 to the Society for Canoe Championships. It then

gives $734,766 to the Majestic Fur Association. Reform would give that money to health care.

Why does the government look after its buddies rather than looking after health care and the hospitals?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this is a great day. We have a representative of the Reform Party standing in the House in an unholy alliance with Michael Harris, the premier of the province of Ontario.

Canadians will not swallow this unholy alliance with the Conservatives in the province of Ontario. The Mike Harris tax break is going to cost in excess of $5 billion on an annual basis. That is what the province of Ontario is doing with the money.

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

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

Last weekend, his own supporters drew the labour minister's attention to the catastrophic effects this quasi-ban on tobacco sponsorships will have on Montreal's economy. Content with blindly defending his government's position on the matter, he added insult to injury by stating that, once they were through with tobacco, the Minister of Health would probably address alcohol.

Are we to understand from the irresponsible remarks made by the minister that his government is set to take the absurdity of its policies one step further by threatening to ban beer sponsorship of sports events? Does the minister mean to say that someone, somewhere in the federal government is preparing to shut down the Molson Centre or to prevent Labatts from sponsoring the Expos?

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Labour and Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the opposition would have us believe the apocalypse is upon us.

More seriously, I would like to quote someone who, we must agree, is an authority on the organization of the Montreal Grand Prix, Jacques Duval. He sent me a letter by fax yesterday, in which he states clearly the following: "Contrary to what you may think of someone who has been involved with auto racing for many years, I fully support the government policy on the tobacco control legislation.

He concludes by saying: "Media attitude in this issue is deplorable, and the remarks of some journalists are far from objective. I urge you not to yield to a campaign that is starting to look more and more like intimidation".

I think there is no lack of support for the government's action, and we are here to-

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh!

Tobacco Act
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

An hon. member

Answer.