House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mai.

Topics

Child Poverty
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have been working along with our partners in the provinces on the issue of child poverty.

We are already committed to having $850 million added to the Canada child tax credit as of July 1, 1998. As a government we are committed to having another $850 million added during the course of this mandate. That is very important to alleviating child poverty.

We in this place believe that every child in the land needs to have a good start in life. That is why my colleague in the department of health has great programs like CAPC, for which financing has been restored and even enhanced.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, with the government's high tax policies the best way to start a small business in Canada is to start a big one and wait.

High taxes, especially payroll taxes, continue to deny Canadians real employment growth. Will the Minister of Finance offer meaningful tax relief to small businesses to get governments off their backs and to get employment growth back on track?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow at 4.30 p.m. the budget will be presented to the House. I invite my hon. colleague to be here tomorrow so he can hear quite clearly what is in the budget.

As we saw in the prebudget consultation the government is listening to Canadians. I am sure he will see in the budget what will be a reflection of Canadian priorities.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, that answer does not work for Canadians and it does not put Canadians back to work.

My second question is about tax relief for low income Canadians. Our party has been putting this issue on the table for 18 months but the finance minister refuses to commit to any specific relief.

Will the finance minister finally listen to us and increase the basic personal exemption from $6,500 to $10,000 and take two million Canadians off the tax rolls, or does the minister believe that Canadians making less than $10,000 should be paying federal income tax?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Stoney Creek
Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member mentioned, last week the Conservative Party released a prebudget submission in which it urged that we cut taxes before we balance the budget. That goes to show the kind of priority that party places on balanced finances.

It is hardly surprising from a party which left Canada to dig out from under a $42 billion deficit, hardly surprising.

National Parole Board
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the solicitor general. While statistics show that crime is down, the fear of crime is up among Canadians.

The parole board has been often criticized when releasing offenders into the very communities in which they were sentenced.

What has been done at the National Parole Board to improve public safety?

National Parole Board
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has made a number of changes to the National Parole Board. Most important, all appointments are made on the basis of merit and not political affiliation.

As a result of these changes all vacancies are publicly advertised. We receive many applications. They are reviewed by senior managers at the parole board against objective criteria. Interviews are held.

Because most offenders return to the communities they left, it is very important that we have a controlled and gradual release or reintegration program. The first step in that exercise is a sound hiring policy in the National Parole Board.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier the Deputy Prime Minister said that the opposition did not care about young Canadians. It is no mistake that there are more young Canadians on this side of the House than there are on that side of the House in a government which is giving young Canadians an additional $100 billion in debt, a $600 billion debt, 17% youth unemployment and $25,000 in average student debt. Now the government is assessing the investment of Canadians in their own education as a taxable benefit.

Will the minister of revenue tell us whether or not it is the policy of the government that Canadians whose companies invest in their training should actually be penalized through the tax system?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member.

I wish to inform the House of a press release put out by the hon. member which was totally irresponsible and very immature. He says millions of Canadians may face retroactive tax on training and education.

This is patently false and the hon. member should stand and apologize to the House and to Canadians.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

Whereas the federal government is the primary supplier of blood products, whereas the provinces already pay the costs of health care for victims of Hepatitis C; and in light of the huge cuts by the federal government to provincial health transfer payments, is the federal government prepared, in negotiating the damages to be paid to victims of Hepatitis C, to take into account the large amounts the provinces are already contributing to health care for victims of Hepatitis C?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the best I can do is reiterate what the Minister of Health said on the issue last week in the House.

He said that no one would be happier than he with a compensation package for hepatitis C victims. He said that victims were best served with a package of compensation that involved both levels of government, and he said that he was prepared to wait a little longer to see if we could get that agreement.

Pay Equity
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has acknowledged the findings of the advisory committee on senior level retention and compensation in the Public Service of Canada. He says that the government values top quality executives in the public service.

Why is it that the government will accept the findings of the advisory committee but refuses to accept the ruling of the human rights commission on pay equity?

Is it because the government does not value the work of female employees, or does it just not care about low and middle income workers?

Pay Equity
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the simple truth is that the commission has not made a ruling.

What is important now is that we have made an offer of $1.3 billion for pay equity. The union has refused to put it to a vote by its members. For the common good, I once again ask the member to put pressure on the syndicates and the unions so they will put this offer to their members.

Education
Oral Question Period

February 23rd, 1998 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious to everyone in the House that the mysterious millennium fund is nothing more than an ego fund for the Prime Minister. It should be more properly called the “me lend my name” fund. Students want an education fund that addresses the issues of all students today, not the ego of their Prime Minister.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. While students of the next millennium might benefit, what do students of this millennium have to look forward to?

Education
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have said time and again that student debt is a major problem. We have been working hard at it. Tomorrow our budget might be interesting.

I find the millennium fund absolutely extraordinary. I was in London last weekend at the G-7 meeting. I listened to the debate on how to celebrate the millennium. They are building a very expensive dome that will cost millions of pounds while this Prime Minister is choosing to invest in the great brains of our young. That is what he is doing and that is a good thing.