House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Finance has the floor.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

If we were able to lower taxes as we did in the last budget, and if we are going to be able to lower them in the next budget, it is because economic activity in our country is on the upswing; it is because there are more Canadians working; it is because there are more businesses growing; it is because the country is in good shape. And all this is because of the good management of this government.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister finally learned he does not contribute to EI.

He told us that, since he did not contribute, he was not covered and that it did not bother him. Perhaps the Prime Minister is indeed not bothered by the fact that he does not contribute and is not covered.

But does the Minister of Finance know that there are thousands of workers who are bothered about paying premiums and not being entitled to the benefits of the plan, especially when they know that he is preparing to lower our taxes with their contributions?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the opposition here that the Prime Minister is not the only one not to pay EI premiums. No elected official in Canada, no mayor, no city councillors, no Bloc Quebecois members, pay premiums, and I would point out to the opposition—

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Human Resources Development.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would also point out to the member for Roberval that 78% of workers are covered by the employment insurance system, contrary to what he is trying to insinuate once again in this House in order to upset the workers who are still covered by the system.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know there are things that cannot be said here, but I would simply give the minister a warning. For the last time, I ask him to stop repeating what he has just said.

It is clearly stated on page 47 of the study you commissioned—

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I wish to remind the hon. member that remarks must always be addressed to the Chair.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, would you kindly advise the minister once and for all to read his own studies. The figures provided on page 47 are wrong.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, 78% of workers who have lost their job or left it for a valid reason are covered by the Canada employment insurance system.

The point the Bloc keeps trying to make is that people who have never contributed to the employment insurance system, young people who are newly arrived in the labour market and those who have left their jobs without a valid reason are not covered by the system. These are the people they are talking about. Seventy-eight per cent of workers are covered; that is the real figure.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

November 5th, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health claims that he opposes the American style two tier health care system. Yet we have details of a federal-provincial agreement that this government has entered into with Alberta to expand opportunities for private sector involvement in medicare.

Which is it? Does the government support increasing privatization of health care or does it not?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Canada introduced medicare in this country. The Liberal Party of Canada is responsible for medicare. This is a government that is committed to its principles, committed to the best and most responsive public health care system in the world. That is our philosophy. That is our commitment. That is exactly what we intend to do.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about what is actually happening to health care in this country. The minister claims that he views privatization as a threat. Yet this government entered into a deadly pact that will kill our public health care system, a pact that is a virtual road map to privatization.

To protect the integrity of medicare, will the health minister agree today to renegotiate that deadly pact?