House of Commons Hansard #156 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, every time the Reform Party stands up and cites numbers, what it has to do, unfortunately for it, is to go back to the Tory regime. In order to compensate for the good numbers that the government has brought in, it has to bring in the bad numbers that the Tories had. It will not work.

We are responsible for that which happened since we took office in 1993. Since that time, disposable income and family incomes have stabilized. For the three years prior to our taking office they had worsened. We have stabilized them. Virtually every economist in the country now projects that those numbers are going to get better.

It is particularly ironic that the hon. member stands up and talks about seniors pensions, given the fact that her party in their original budget recommended that seniors pensions be cut, that they have fought protecting of the Canada pension plan, that they have fought every measure this government has brought in to take care of our senior citizens. The Canadian people are entitled to a little consistency.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party has said and always says that the Canadian pension plan as it is now is a farce. There is going to be nothing there for young people when they get to be seniors.

The one pension plan that we did want to cut was the MP pension, yet the people across the way would have no part of that.

High taxes mean high unemployment. The government is collecting more in taxes than any other government in the history of the country and it has the worst string of jobless numbers since the great depression. That is no coincidence and it is certainly nothing to brag about.

If the Liberals were serious about dealing with the 1.4 million Canadians unemployed they would be offering Canadians a balanced budget soon and tax relief through smaller government.

Since the Prime Minister has made it clear that he has absolutely no intention of giving Canadians tax relief, just where in the world are these real jobs going to come from?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must understand that when she stands up and cites numbers in her preamble, she must be prepared to defend them.

She talked about what the government has done in pensions. Let me quote: "In the Reform Party's taxpayers budget it is projected that spending on seniors' benefits in 1997-1998 would be $17 billion". They have come in at $22.3 billion. The Reform Party has recommended a $5 billion cut in seniors old age pensions.

Second, the hon. member has complained about the 9.9 per cent premium that has been arrived at by the federal government and the provinces, provinces representing every region of the country. The hon. member's numbers come out, by almost anybody's calculation, at 13 per cent. If those are not the right numbers, would she stand in the House now and tell us what her premiums will cost?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the number in the taxpayers' budget that the finance minister refers to were 1994 numbers and a lot of projections have changed since then.

The Prime Minister's idea of job creation is building canoe museums, hotels and now armouries in his riding. That might improve the Prime Minister's chance of re-election but it is not going to give real sustainable jobs to Canadians across the country.

Mr. Speaker, 1.4 million people are unemployed, two to three million people are underemployed, 800,000 people are moonlighting to try to make ends meet and one in four Canadians are worried about losing their jobs.

Members can cackle and crow all they like across the aisle, but that is such a poor record that the government ought to be ashamed of it. What it is trying to do is run away from that record in the next election.

Instead of doling out patronage appointments and money in Shawinigan, why will the Prime Minister not just give all Canadians tax relief and help create some real jobs across the country?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I draw to the attention of the House that the hon. member was given an opportunity to say what her party's Canada pension plan premium or super RRSP premium would do. She did not take that opportunity. Do I now understand that she accepts the number that most economists have said? In fact, it is 13 per cent, 4 per cent higher than what we and the provincial governments have arrived at.

Let me go on. The hon. member wants to talk about tax cuts. She says that her party will bring in tax cuts. Let us take a look at the tax cuts that she would bring in.

The Reform Party will bring in, for a single parent with two children earning $30,000 a tax cut of $175 per year. If people want to know where their constituency lies, under the same program, under the same budget, a one-earner couple earning $250,000 with two children will get a tax cut of $6,700. That is what they are trying to protect.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

April 15th, 1997 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Health.

We just heard that the Minister of Health will not extend the mandate of the Krever inquiry, contrary to a request by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

How does the minister explain his decision to ignore the request made by Chief Justice Lamer?

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the preamble of the hon. member's question is completely and unequivocally false.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear from the minister whether they will really extend the mandate of the Krever inquiry, as requested by Chief Justice Lamer.

Krever Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond
Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has quite incorrectly interpreted the comments of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada made a comment and an observation in terms of providing sufficient time for Justice Krever to make his report.

It has been the position of the government, it has been the position of ministers of health across the country, that we would wait to hear the full report of Justice Krever before making final recommendations as they relate to a national blood authority.

I have asked through the appropriate channels, through PCO, that we go to Justice Krever to try to get an interim report with regard to the issues of governance of the blood system.

Justice Krever did that with regard to an interim report for the safety of the blood system. I asked Justice Krever, on behalf of Canadians, on behalf of consumers, on behalf of health ministers, that we have that kind of information in order that we may take the appropriate action on behalf of all Canadians.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government has a spending problem. The Liberals spend millions on their buddies for patronage, MP junkets, gold plated MP pensions and even caviar receptions in the case of the heritage minister.

Meanwhile, I just had a letter from a 74-year-old senior. She writes that for the first time she has to pay $1,100 in her year end income tax bill when her gross income was under $18,000. This is robbery of seniors and the poor.

Can the government explain why this senior is having her pocket picked to fuel the wasteful habits of the heritage minister and her big spending colleagues?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, words like robbery and have their pockets picked are a little strong. I would ask hon. members to be very judicious in their choice of words.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member made certain claims about what he alleged to be a very exclusive reception.

The reason I answered about the reception in the House is because the reception I attended was the same kind of reception that we have held for Olympic athletes ever since we have been a country and entered the Olympics.

I have here a partial list of the over 600 Canadian athletes and their families who attended. From the province of New Brunswick selected by the provincial government, Lynsey Bartlett; from the province of Alberta, from Blairmore, Gail Bigcharles. We had 14-year-old wheelchair basketball athletes. We also had a team from the city of Montreal. They are so committed to the Olympic process that to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Olympics they cycled from Montreal to Atlanta. Yes, they too were invited to this very exclusive reception.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, what we are concerned about is careers, not caviar. We are concerned about jobs.

The government's spending problem has led to enormous tax rates that are killing jobs and destroying hope for unemployed young people. I have three children, all of them university trained. All of them had to leave the country because of the government's record.

Why is the government through its destructive tax policies giving our young people the choice between no hope for a job or reaching for their passports? Is that the Liberal solution for job unemployment for the young?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, in the course of the show of appreciation by the country for our Olympic and Paralympic athletes we have had three receptions: one for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes here on the Hill, another one in Atlanta, and there is going to be a third reception next week to honour the athletes from the Special Olympics.

I was thrilled that at the last event held on the floor of the House of Commons, all members from all sides of the House were thrilled to participate with Olympians. I happen to have a picture of the hon. member for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca who was very happy not only to go to the reception but to have his picture taken with the athletes.

I would say to members of the Reform Party that please, you can't have it both ways.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.