House of Commons Hansard #159 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the ink was barely dry on the anti-tobacco legislation before they started changing and watering it down.

In public the Liberals talked a really good line about not caving in to the tobacco lobby and protecting the health of our young people. They seemed concerned then but then in private the health minister could not backtrack fast enough on tobacco sponsorship. In fact he became the host of "Let's Make A Deal" with the tobacco lobby. Tough on tobacco, I do not know. I am not sure.

Why did the Liberals cave in to the tobacco lobby, or was it always part of the pre-election plan? Who is going to answer that one?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member ignores one very basic important fact.

Bill C-71 passed from this place to the other place and passed in the other place without any amendments. The bill still maintains all its integrity. It has all its objectives which the House supported, notwithstanding the reluctance of some members opposite.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fix is in. The government has already passed the legislation and it talks about the other place. It is already talking about amending it again. It is absolutely ridiculous and it proves the Liberals are shameless.

They ought to be saying to the Canadian public that the only thing the Government of Canada cares about at the moment is the political fortune of the Liberal Party of Canada. How ironic this should be on the eve of an election.

First there was the Somalia inquiry. Then there was a $260 million payout for Pearson and Airbus, airports and Airbuses. Then came salmon, cod and now the anti-tobacco bill.

Why is the government so concerned about losing votes that it is willing to compromise its conscience?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is shameless is the poor attempt to try to score political points by distorting the facts.

The facts are still as follows. Bill C-71 went from the House to the other place and from there into the public domain with clear health objectives that remain as they were when they left this place.

We had already considered all other ramifications of the bill. Those ramifications are included in some amendments that were accepted here, for example that we would have an implementation period following which there would be consultation with all stakeholders and a review of some of those implications in the context of Health Canada's health objectives as stated in the bill.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is great to hear them talk so eloquently about the fact that they really care about young people and smoking, and then they say they are making these changes. I do not think the Canadian public cares what House it has been through. It is seeing the Liberal government caving in to the tobacco industry on labelling.

He did not mention that the Liberals were planning to cave in to the tobacco lobby after the bill was passed and amended in the fall with the arrogance of assuming that they will be here to make those changes. He did not mention the Liberals differentiated between a tobacco ad on a billboard and a tobacco ad on a race car.

Why should Canadians vote for a government that talks tough on smoking and then puts a Liberal logo on a race car?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, if we were to put a Liberal logo on a race car I am sure we would get all kinds of support. The hon. member knows full well that all the articles of the bill indicated that we would have restrictions on sponsorship. There was never any question of anything else.

I might add for the member's edification that we would have an opportunity to get people to understand the objectives. There were restrictions but no bans. We said here are the health objectives and we carried those out.

The legislation went through the House with the health objectives in place, consistent with the Supreme Court decisions that generated this and consistent with all consultations we had in the field leading up to the legislation.

Nothing has changed, absolutely nothing. Canadians are pleased the Canadian government could get the legislation out of the Commons, into the Senate and into the public. She should applaud it.

Pay Equity
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, one can tell there is an election in the offing. That is why the President of the Treasury Board and member for Hull-Aylmer would like to see the public service pay equity issue resolved, in his interest and that of his colleagues in the Ottawa area.

The Bloc Quebecois strongly urges the government to stop stalling over this issue and show respect for its 80,000 employees, who have been waiting for 12 years. Otherwise, the campaign trail might be bumpy, especially in Hull-Aylmer.

On this issue, the minister chose to make an offer via the Toronto Star rather than directly at the bargaining table. Why did he take this disrespectful approach to labour relations?

Pay Equity
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, naturally, I have no intention of negotiating in this place something that should be negotiated between the employer, namely the Treasury Board, and its employees.

On Monday April 21, we will be putting on the table an offer regarding pay equity for the public service employees' union to consider. At that time, the details of the offer will be released, I guess, by the union itself.

People will be able to see for themselves what our position is. As far as we are concerned, we want both parties to negotiate in good faith, and we would not want to prejudice either the employees' position or that of the employer by discussing the matter in this House.

Pay Equity
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board has called a meeting with PSAC for April 21 without providing an agenda for the meeting.

Will the President of the Treasury Board confirm that he plans to put an offer on the table to resolve the issue, or is this just another stalling tactic because an election is coming?

Pay Equity
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, as I just indicated, we will be putting on the table, on Monday April 21, an offer regarding pay equity. These matters have already been negotiated with the unions.

A settlement has already been reached with one of the unions, the one representing professional employees, and we hope not only that a settlement can be negotiated in good faith but also that it will be fair to both taxpayers and employees.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

April 18th, 1997 / 11:30 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, is there no shame in the Liberal ranks?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Pearson airport, $260 million taxpayer dollars; cancelled helicopters, $745 million taxpayer dollars; Brian Mulroney, only $2 million taxpayer dollars. He must be feeling hard done by. Canoe museums, armouries and hotels in Shawinigan.

Is there no new low the government will stoop to in its panicked rush toward an early election? Where are all those good jobs the red book promised?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I wonder why the Reform Party is supporting the program of a party it says it opposes, namely Brian Mulroney's Conservative Party.

Why does the Reform Party want the taxpayer to spend $5 billion to $6 billion on helicopters that do not meet Canadian requirements? Why does the Reform Party want the taxpayer to spend $600 million instead of $60 million on an airport deal that was strongly criticized by Canadians across the country?

Are Reformers turning into a new set of Mulroney Tory clones?

Government Expenditures
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people know Liberal-Tory, same old story. We are not the ones paying out taxpayer dollars for all these things.

It is now painfully obvious to every Canadian except Liberal MPs that infrastructure programs and other big government make work projects only produce short term jobs. Real job creation will only come through smaller government, balanced budgets and across the board tax relief.

Has the Prime Minister finally learned this, or does he still believe, as he said during the CBC town hall, that if Canadians cannot find a job they should simply move to where there is work, to where his government is spending their tax dollars, to Shawinigan?