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

Canadian Cultural Institutions
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when we are putting more than $1 billion annually into supporting our cultural institutions, there is no doubt that our government is showing that it wants to give effect to the principles of which we spoke and to continue to defend our cultural institutions.

As for the privatization of Bon Matin , I would like to remind the hon. member that the CBC is an autonomous agency in which we do not interfere. It is precisely because we do not want there to be any political interference that we are allowing the CBC to take decisions such as the one it may eventually take regarding Bon Matin . Opposition members would be the first to complain if there were any political interference. In this case, we are not interfering, so how can they complain?

Interest Rates
Oral Question Period

April 18th, 1997 / 11:45 a.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, financial institutions are charging 17 per cent interest on their major credit cards. Department stores are charging up to 28 per cent interest on their cards.

Is there any progress by the government on reducing credit card interest rates?

Interest Rates
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his work together with other members of the House from all parties, especially the parliamentary secretary to the House leader, for their work in raising the awareness of Canadians on this issue.

What we have seen since they began to raise this issue is that consumer awareness in Canada has increased significantly of the fact that low rate cards are available, as well as new low rate cards that have come into existence; five new ones in the last few months. Now consumer awareness of these cards has increased from 30 per cent to 60 per cent, a very important contribution to the ability of consumers to make the choices that are in their best interests.

In addition, Industry Canada continues on a monthly basis to make available to the public full disclosure of information on the comparative rates and other costs associated with credit cards. As well, we have recently instituted on our web site, Strategis, the ability for consumers to use a credit card calculator. Inputting their own consumer practices, we can calculate for them which credit card is the best one for them to use.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of agriculture.

In the last three and a half years this government has messed up every agriculture policy it has touched. It killed the Crow subsidy without having a competitive and efficient grain transportation system in place and as a result farmers have bins full of grain that cannot be moved.

Full grain bins and empty pockets have been Liberal and Tory policy for the past 130 years. How does this government expect farmers without cash to put in this year's crops?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Essex—Kent
Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, over the last several weeks we have been asked by many people to work on this situation and to put out a committee to look at it.

We feel that is not the direction to take. We feel the minister is working with the rail companies, with the product groups in the west trying to move this question forward as quickly as possible.

There is no question that grain has moved very slowly off the prairies this year. There was an avalanche which slowed things down for a week. We understand there was a major wash-out of rail lines a week ago which caused another huge slow down.

We sympathize with all the producers in the west. There is no question we want to see this move forward as quickly as possible. We are involving all the stakeholders and we are working with them to make certain these problems are clarified and sped up.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, this government has to realize if farmers had been given a marketing choice, as the Western Grain Marketing Panel recom-

mended, they would already have resolved the transportation problems.

But because the minister arrogantly refused the recommendations of his own panel, the whole exercise was a waste of millions of taxpayer dollars.

How do the minister and the government plan to compensate farmers for his arrogance and negligence?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Essex—Kent
Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the member's question is totally wrong. In absolutely no way has the minister, in any of the judgments made, done anything to cause delays in the transportation of grain on the prairies.

The member knows very well that the cause is due to problems within the rail companies. We are working with the industry and everyone in the industry knows we have been working with them to resolve the problem.

You don't have a good-

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

I know you are going to catch me the next time around.

The hon. member for Anjou-Rivière-des-Prairies.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On February 28, in response to a letter from Quebec Minister of Cultural Affairs Louise Beaudoin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that there was no question of Quebec artists being excluded from funding programs on political grounds.

If this is so, will the minister confirm that he has altered the objectives of his financial assistance program for touring companies by withdrawing the criteria linking departmental subsidies to the promotion of Canadian unity?

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the new policies, we made it clear that decisions on individual artists would be based on each person's artistic merits. There is, therefore, no change.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer to the question. I have asked the minister whether he had changed the criteria in the law, rather than in promises. We all know what happens to promises. We were promised that the GST would be scrapped, and it was not.

If the Minister of Foreign Affairs has not changed the criteria of his program, how then can he write Minister Beaudoin saying that the political opinions of Quebec artists will not be taken into account when his department awards funding to artists?

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I wrote to Madam Beaudoin to ensure we cleared up the total misinformation that was put forward by members of that party suggesting that political views would be taken into account. Never at any time was that the case. It was only in the minds of the Bloc Quebecois members. They attempted to exploit it as a way of trying to drive a wedge. Never was it part of our guidelines.

All we said was that we wanted to ensure that when we promote the opportunity for Canadian artists to go abroad that it be the widest possible range of artists, young people, aboriginal people, people representing the various cultural groups. Never were political beliefs taken into account.

The Bloc Quebecois must apologize to the Canadian public for creating that kind of perception.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, just days before a needless federal election call the Liberals are spreading money around the way farmers would spread fertilizer. They obviously did not learn from the fact that Trudeau's 1984 patronage binge cost them the election. What a flip-flop from the days in opposition when they criticized the Tories for their pork-barrelling.

While it still has time, will the government commit to cutting taxes so that real jobs can be created?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget we brought in over $2 billion worth of selective tax cuts, which will take effect over the next three years, for Canadians with disabilities, for students and for low income families. We brought in a series of targeted tax cuts directed where the impact will be the greatest.

Given that the government has reasonably restricted financial resources, that is the option which any reasonable government would take. The alternative recommended by the Reform Party is to bring in a broad based tax cut which would benefit the wealthy of this country. It would be paid for by cutting services which low and middle income Canadians desperately need.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is up to his old tricks of misquoting the Reform Party's policies.

For the last 78 months the unemployment rate has been high in this country. At no other time has it been this high except during the Great Depression.

If, as he claims, they are creating jobs, how is the minister prepared to explain to the 1.4 million unemployed Canadians that his policies are working?