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

The Canada Shipping Act
Government Orders

6:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of our party will be voting against the motion.

The Canada Shipping Act
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree that the bill should originate here. I vote yes to the amendment.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Division No. 93
Government Orders

February 23rd, 1998 / 6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the amendment lost.

The next question is on the main motion.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I propose that you seek unanimous consent that members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House, with Liberal members voting yea.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the House give its consent to proceed in such a fashion?

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Reform Party members present will vote yes to this motion.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bloc Quebecois members will be voting yea.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, members of the NDP vote yes on this motion.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, members of our party will be voting in favour of the motion.

Division No. 93
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Independent

John Nunziata York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will make that unanimous. I vote yes.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 94
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

Business Of The House
Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That on Thursday, February 26, 1998, notwithstanding any standing order:

  1. The House shall meet at 8.30 a.m. for the purpose of considering Government Orders.

  2. The daily routine of business, members' statements and oral questions shall take place at the usual times.

  3. Any questions required to be put on that day pursuant to Standing Order 84 shall be put no later than 4.45 p.m.

  4. The House shall then adjourn immediately after the question referred to in part 3 above is decided.

(Motion agreed to)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Business Of The House
Adjournment Proceedings

7 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister in December drew attention to the fact that yet another report graphically portrayed the tragedy of a million and a half Canadian children living in poverty in Canada.

There have been too many reports from the Canadian Association of Food Banks, the Canadian Council on Social Development, Campaign 2000 and others. All of these reports point to the same thing, that the Liberal government has failed to address poverty.

In fact, the situation is much worse than when this House passed a resolution unanimously in 1989 to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. The only thing that the Liberal government has offered and has announced about four times is the national child tax benefit.

But even the child tax benefit is woefully inadequate. The $850 million promised for the child tax benefit will not in any way compensate for the regressive policies of the Liberal government, nor the cutbacks in funding for social assistance of 40%.

As the benefit has been proposed, people on welfare will receive no additional funds. While the funds will initially be distributed to every child below a specified income level, provincial governments will deduct that amount from current welfare payments. This means that welfare poor children and their families will gain absolutely nothing from the government plan.

Despite government assurances that no child will be worse off under the plan, anti-poverty activists have real concerns regarding the implications and the messages that this segregation of working poor from welfare poor entails.

Without a commitment to a comprehensive anti-poverty agenda, the national child benefit is a band-aid solution that actually acts to depress wages and further marginalize poor people. Children are poor because their parents are poor. Eliminating child and family poverty will require a comprehensive strategy that must include other essentials such as job creation, housing, child care, training and post-secondary education.

The lack of affordable child care is a particular concern because the benefit is structured to push low income mothers into the workforce without providing funding for quality child care options.

The federal government has consistently put child care on the back burner despite promises to the contrary. There is no discussion and no plans that we have seen about strengthening child care as a complement to the child benefit.

We call on the government to review its child tax benefit and to acknowledge and recognize that this benefit is woefully inadequate and will not in any way compensate or substitute for the cutbacks that we have experienced.

If the government is committed to eliminating poverty in this country and helping poor children and their families, then we must at the very least ensure that this child tax benefit has adequate funds, is fully indexed and also applies to families on welfare.

Business Of The House
Adjournment Proceedings

7 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time but the second time in the last week that I have been asked to speak on behalf of the government as it relates to child poverty based on a question that the member from Vancouver East has asked.

I am quite frankly appalled that the member continues to suggest that this government and in fact all governments in Canada do not think that child poverty is a priority. Two years ago this June governments of all persuasions, not only Liberal, Conservative but in fact NDP governments, came together at a premiers' conference, with the Prime Minister chairing that particular conference, and made it very clear that the number one priority of Canadians was child poverty and that we would put in place in a partnership kind of scenario, certain programs that would help children and, of course, help their families at the same time.

We started that off with an $850 million down payment on a program that is going to be one of the most far-reaching programs that this generation has ever seen. I cannot for the life of me understand why this member continues to suggest that not just this government but all governments are not committed to this very important issue.

Let me emphasize that this particular question is one which we have taken very seriously. The Campaign 2000 organization, which we all know, of course, is not a Conservative think tank, has said this is the first time that both levels of government have acknowledged the need for a plan to jointly address child poverty. I again emphasize a plan.

Yes, of course there are problems. We are working toward it. We are going to put programs in place and we will see them roll out as that plan starts to unfold in the weeks and months and years to come.