House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agency.

Topics

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to put any lives at risk. Search and rescue is about saving lives and we do not put up aircraft unless it is safe to use, safe for crews and safe for the people who will be recipients of this service.

The chief of the air staff has examined this situation very carefully. He is a professional man, a very caring man. He knows the circumstances under which this decision had to be made. He believes, after consultation with crews, that this is the right decision to make and we will fly these aircraft only after further inspection and when they are fully safe to fly.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, on October 5 the minister said that he did not know how long the investigation into the crash would take but “as soon as we get the results, the better”.

We do not have the results, nor do the families of the victims. It has been reported that crews not comfortable flying the aging Labradors will not have to. Why are the crews being given this option?

If the minister believes the Labradors are safe and if none of them want to fly the Labradors, what alternatives does the minister have for meeting Canada's continuing search and rescue needs?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the cause is not known but there is no evidence also to support any systemic failure. So it has been decided by the chief of the air staff, and I fully support his position, that these helicopters can go back in the air.

The majority of the search and rescue crews want to get back in the air, want to get back to providing this service for Canadians. Some of them were part of the squadron where the six deaths occurred. They will be given a little more opportunity to make their decisions before going back into the air and I think that is a good way to move it.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government repeatedly argues that employment insurance money does not really belong to workers but the very fact that the government pays interest on the billions of dollars it borrowed from the EI fund is an admission that the government does not even believe its own story. Otherwise, why would it be paying interest?

If, as it has claimed, the fund belongs to the government to spend however it wants, then why in the world is it paying $711 million in interest charges this year on the money it borrowed from the fund? Why is it paying interest?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's position that contributions to the government, whether they come from EI contributions from employers or employees or whether they are taxpayer dollars, they come from the taxpayers of this country and they must be administered with great prudence. That is what we are in the process of doing.

We do not regard taxpayer dollars as simply found money. That may well be the difference. That is why we provide good administration.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

So in other words, Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is saying the government is paying interest to itself. That is what he seems to be saying.

If you take money that does not belong to you, you go to jail. You do not pass go, you do not collect $350 per worker. Why doesn't the finance minister just give back that $350 per worker and quit this Liberal larceny?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I prefer that words like larceny not be used in question period.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the climate outside our borders was benign, when Japan was not in a depression, when Russia's government was operating, the Reform Party recommended that the government use the EI fund to reduce the deficit.

Now outside our borders the situation is certainly stormy and the government must protect itself and the Canadian people. By what twisted logic does the Reform Party decide all of a sudden that we should abandon that cushion? The issue is what torturous minds develop economic policy for the Reform Party.

Election In Quebec
Oral Question Period

October 27th, 1998 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federalist camp is in disarray, and some people have even asked the Prime Minister to shut up for the duration of the election campaign in Quebec.

Does the Prime Minister intend to follow the advice of his Quebec federalist allies, who are asking him to shut up for 36 days and to wait until after the election campaign to say what he thinks?

Election In Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this has to be the first time the opposition asks the Prime Minister not to answer its questions. I sit in the House of Commons. It is my duty to do so and I answer all questions.

I would like to say that the PQ and the BQ do not want to talk about their mismanagement of Quebec. They are trying to pick a fight with the federal government, instead of talking about the mess they created in Quebec, particularly in the health sector.

Election In Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should give a call to his friend Jean Charest, who said that it is not Bouchard or Rochon, but the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien that should be blamed.

Election In Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind my colleagues that they must not use names.

The hon. member for Témiscamingue.

Election In Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, if Jean Charest's friends are asking the Prime Minister to shut up during the election campaign, is it not proof that what Jean Charest is promising is precisely what the Prime Minister calls unachievable hopes?

Election In Quebec
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let me say whom the member should ask to shut up. He should ask the only person who said something despicable last weekend to shut up, namely the person who did not hesitate to compare the Quebec Liberal Party leader to a dictator in exile. That was despicable.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, two families in Prudhomme, Saskatchewan. In one of them, Preston Tkatch is the sole breadwinner but his monthly take home pay after taxes is only $220 more than the welfare cheque a family of the same size receives. It is this government's tax policies which are pushing more and more Canadians into poverty.

Why does this finance minister allow a situation to exist in which there is more incentive for people to go on welfare than to work?