House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offence.

Topics

Prebudget Consultations
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government has cut employment insurance and health, it wants to lower taxes for the rich, and it is prepared to grant special treatment to sports tycoons.

Given the actions and the direction taken by this government, is it not the one responsible for increased poverty, for the greater number of children living in poverty, in spite of the economic growth of the past five years?

Prebudget Consultations
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if we look at the transfers made to the provinces by the Canadian government, we notice, for example, an increase in equalization payments. The last budget included a $7 billion increase in transfers, over a three year period.

It also included programs designed to improve access to knowledge, including the millennium scholarship fund and the $3,000 paid to single parents. However, if we look at all the areas in which the federal government invested to help Canadians secure a better future, we can see that, in each case, the Bloc Quebecois opposed the government's initiatives.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

December 7th, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, family incomes are down. Economic growth is dropping. Brain drain is speeding up. The unemployment rate is nearly twice as high as it is in the United States.

What is the government's answer? According to the industry minister it is higher taxes. He said “high tax levels increase productivity”. Perhaps the finance minister could help me here. If higher taxes lead to higher productivity, why does Canada not have the most competitive economy in the world today?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I really want to congratulate my colleague, the Minister of Industry, and all my colleagues.

Perhaps the hon. member missed the announcement last Friday. Four hundred and twenty-five thousand new jobs were created this year alone. Last month the private sector, in the context of a climate established by this government, created 103,000 new jobs, 75,000 of which were permanent. The vast majority went to young Canadians.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is boasting about his economic record while the unemployment rate is twice as high as our major economic competitor, family incomes have been dropping 15 years straight and brain drain is accelerating.

He congratulates the industry minister for contradicting the government's alleged fiscal policy, just like he congratulated the Prime Minister this summer for saying that a low dollar helped the Canadian economy.

Who really speaks for the government when it comes to economic policy, the finance minister, the Prime Minister or the industry minister? Does he agree that high taxes are good for productivity?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question, as did the industry minister this morning. He was talking about higher productivity and lower taxes.

Let us look a the results of that. Last month job gains came in eight of the ten provinces. This is the fifth straight month that the unemployment rate has gone down. The unemployment rate in Canada is now at its lowest level since 1990.

Professional Sport
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, with reports showing that the number of poor children in Canada continues to rise, government members are pushing for sizable tax breaks for professional sports teams and their multimillionaire players.

With the House about to rise in a few days and recommendations soon to be made to cabinet for the next budget, is the Minister of Canadian Heritage ruling out tax breaks for professional sports, yes or no?

Professional Sport
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the government will carefully consider the 68 recommendations in the report on sport. Any decisions about tax investments will be announced with the budget.

Professional Sport
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the House is about to rise. The minister must therefore give a clear answer.

She must make recommendations to cabinet. Her Liberal colleagues are lobbying hard for tax breaks for sports millionaires. Will she or will she not be going ahead with these indefensible recommendations that are to the advantage of sports professionals?

Professional Sport
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the member does not want to wait for the entire report to be examined. I respect the work done by both sides of the House and I want the report to be studied in depth, with no options excluded.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have been calling on the agriculture minister for a long time now to get tough with the Americans and Europeans on their high unfair subsidies. But after what we saw this weekend, tough is not exactly the word that comes to mind.

Liberal toughness meant allowing U.S. pork, wheat and grain into Canada without inspection. What do we get in return? New and bigger roadblocks.

Why does the government's idea of really getting tough always mean caving in to American pressure?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows full well there will be no products coming into Canada from any country without inspection. We have the strongest and best food and agriculture commodity inspection system in the world.

The agreement we reached on a number of issues with the United States on Friday builds on that to increase, not deter, trade between our two countries.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, American farmers are far more heavily subsidized than we are. The U.S. produces far more wheat and pork than we do, but it is Canada that always bends over backwards.

Canadian farmers are always taking it right between the pockets. It is time the minister started getting really tough with high agricultural subsidies in the U.S. and Europe.

When will the government stop buckling and start battling for Canadian farmers?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, we in no way, shape or form buckled in the agreement we reached with the United Stated on close to 20 issues on Friday. Previous to that a long series of negotiations has the support of the government, the farm organizations in Canada and the United States. If the hon. member does not wish to believe me, speak to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture which congratulated the government on the moves we made last Friday to increase trade with the United States.

Business Development Bank Of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Economic Development for the Regions of Quebec.

This government seems to have a dubious propensity for helping the rich stay in shape. In addition to the tax advantages proposed for the sports millionaires, we learn that the Business Development Bank of Canada spent over $221,000 on golf club memberships for its executives.

When there are 1.5 million poor children and the government continues to cut employment insurance and transfers to the provinces, how can the minister justify one of his crown corporations spending—