House of Commons Hansard #162 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Young Canada Works
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the hon member in this very public forum that, when the Parti Quebecois was elected to office in Quebec, it forced representatives of Quebec abroad to resign, unless they bowed down and practically swore an oath to the cause of independence. Nothing like this ever goes on in the federal government.

Auto Pact
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Shaughnessy Cohen Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, the late Right Hon. Paul Martin Sr. signed the auto pact 32 years ago. Since then it has generated hundreds of thousands of jobs in southwestern Ontario and contributed immeasurably to the national economy.

Constituents of mine are concerned that the auto pact is under attack from Japanese auto makers. Will the Minister for International Trade confirm to the House and to the constituents in Windsor that the government will protect the auto pact and the future jobs it will create?

Auto Pact
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, a year ago the tariff on auto parts used in manufacturing was lifted. That benefited all Canadian auto manufacturers.

Canadian manufacturers, the big three and the Japanese auto makers are all an important part of the economy. We have no plans to lift the tariff on vehicles. We are however undergoing a regular comprehensive review of the auto pact and are consulting all stakeholders.

I must say the auto pact has been an enormous success to Canada in terms of job creation. It is the biggest single component of the trade surplus of the country. Certainly the big three auto manufacturers are a very key part of that.

We want to maintain that industry's strength. We want to maintain those jobs.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked why the Liberal government allowed prisoners the right to vote in the upcoming election and the government responded: "We will look at it".

This brilliant response shows Canadians where the government has been coming from all along. "Conditional sentences, we will look at it; victims rights, we will look at it; early release for Clifford Olson, we will look at it; Young Offenders Act, we will look at it," and nothing gets done.

Four recent cases of rape or attempted murder were given conditional sentences, no time in prison. Is the Liberal government prepared to do more than just look at it and exclude serious offenders from conditional sentences now?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Gordon Kirkby Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. As a result of working together the federal and provincial governments have determined that the use of the conditional sentence, properly applied by the courts, will improve the safety of our citizens over time.

A problem that has been in place is that many violent and dangerous offenders are put in jail. The jails are often full of people who are not a danger to society. As a result of conditional sentences, those who are not a risk to society can be released to serve their sentence in the community, leaving more room in our correctional facilities for dangerous offenders who should be in jail.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I take it that the answer was no and dangerous offenders are actually rapists and attempted murderers.

A corrections investigator observed in prison:

Drug trafficking, loan sharking and brew making are on the rise.

The recommendation he made to the Liberals to fix the problem was:

-that immediate action be taken to ensure that offender pay scales reasonably reflect the cost of living within institutions.

A pay raise, they say, for brew making and drug trafficking.

My question is obvious. Why would the government consider a pay raise for prisoners after what it said about victims rights, that we could not afford them, that we could not afford the implementation of them? Why is that?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Vaudreuil
Québec

Liberal

Nick Discepola Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the member's allegations are totally unfounded. The government is not considering giving any pay raise to any prisoner.

They are paid the scale that has been established for a long time for work done in the prisons. I do not know where the member is coming from, as usual.

Food Inspection
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

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

Since the Liberal government took office, it has increasingly made the Quebec and Canadian agri-food industry pay for food inspection costs. The Liberal government is imposing all sorts of fees, but forgets that farmers are always the ones stuck with the bill, and that consumers ultimately have to pay for it.

How can farmers remain competitive if the 1996-97 estimates for the agriculture department provide for cost recovery measures in at least 42 areas for the next three years?

Food Inspection
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Essex—Kent
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I believe we have been very consistent in looking at agriculture and agricultural policies. We have put priorities within our spending in agriculture. We have made certain that research is the number one priority with agriculture. We are making sure that our producers are well treated and have markets.

The excursions by the Prime Minister and the minister of agriculture have increased our markets so that we are almost at $20 billion in exports today. Our agricultural market is being defended and worked upon very readily by all policies we are bringing down.

There is no question that it has been a very high priority and that we will continue that priority.

Election
Oral Question Period

April 23rd, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Thunder Bay-Atikokan just issued a householder claiming that the Reform Party has been urging the government for three months to have an election. He should have been paying attention because the Reform has been asking why we are having an election.

Surely the Prime Minister does not think he can win based on the conditional sentences bill or his section 745 lack of action or his refusal to do anything with the Young Offenders Act. Is he calling an election because Aline Chrétien told him to do it now? If he is, could he please give me her phone number so I can call and ask her why we are doing this?

Election
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I do not know if that relates to the administrative responsibility of anyone.

Italian Canadian Community
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It has to do with a promise he mad to the Italian Canadian community prior to the last election when the Liberals were in opposition. At that time a promise was made to the Italian Canadian community that an apology would be forthcoming in the House of Commons with respect to the treatment of Italian Canadians during the second world war, along with a variety of other things that would be part of an overall package.

I want to ask the Prime Minister why that promise was not kept. What is the position of the Liberal government in respect of that promise today?

Italian Canadian Community
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party's position on this issue is quite clear. My predecessor, the hon. member for Mount Royal, made a statement in the House in 1994 which said very clearly that while things had happened in the past history of the country, that if history could be repeated, they would never happen again.

It is time for us to move on to form a new future. In doing so, we have created a Canada where the charter of rights and freedoms guarantees that this can never happen in the future.

We have created the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. We have met with many communities to hear their history and their stories.

Seniors Benefit
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Some Canadians have expressed concern that the new seniors benefit will be based on family income. They believe that this provision will unfairly discriminate against married senior couples and favour single seniors who co-habit.

Can the minister assure Canadians that the new seniors benefit will in no way discriminate against married senior couples?

Seniors Benefit
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is quite right. This is a concern. It is completely wrong, however, to describe senior couples as being disadvantaged under the seniors benefit as compared to single seniors. The base benefit for couples will be twice as great as for singles at the same income level.

Since the GIS has always been targeted to income levels, it is equally appropriate to combine the incomes of higher income couples to determine their levels of benefits. In addition, we use the family income in many instances for targeted benefits and that is what we will do in this case.