House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, following Tuesday's budget only Ralph Klein and Russell MacLellan applauded the government's betrayal of its health funding promise.

Most Canadians and all other premiers believed the red book promise “as we get our fiscal house in order a Liberal government will commit new resources to address priority needs in health care”.

Why did the finance minister choose to break this promise?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should recall that the very first thing the government did, when economic prospects improved and the fiscal house was in order, was to forego cuts in transfers to the provinces and add $7 billion of additional revenue over the next four years.

The hon. member can scoff all she wants, but that money is available for hospitals, for technology and for treatment. I hope that those provincial governments follow our lead and put the priority on health care and education.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the provincial governments follow the example of this government it will be disastrous for the health care system.

The Prime Minister has cut cash transfers to the provinces by 35%. Yet, in an interview the Prime Minister gave yesterday, he said “We have cut some transfer payments. I said that most of it had been restored, not completely, but most of it”.

Will the Prime Minister and his government not recognize today that statement is in fact not true?

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to point out to the leader of the Conservative Party that in 1993-94, when our back was to the wall, we took some very difficult decisions. One of the first things we did, when we began to see that the climate was improving, was to put $1.5 billion back into health care.

I would ask the leader of the Conservative Party to speak to the premier of Ontario and ask him why, when our reductions were $850 million, he took $4.8 billion out of the health care system and out of the education system in Ontario.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

I noticed, Mr. Speaker, that the minister did not answer my question.

I would be happy to note for the Minister of Finance and the Liberal government that notwithstanding the 35% cut in cash transfers in Ontario, the Government of Ontario increased its budget for health care in the province. That is a fact.

I would like to know today whether in the province of Nova Scotia for example that is going to receive $224 million less a year in the year 2002-03 than in 1993-94—

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health Care
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is an irony that this question comes from the leader of the party whose platform was to eliminate altogether cash transfers to the provinces.

This is a government that will not take that approach. We will not gut medicare. We will not destroy the role of the federal government in enforcing its standards and its principles because we believe in medicare for now and for the future.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

February 26th, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that yesterday the finance minister said “all Tory taxes are odious”. For once I agree with the Liberal finance minister. Tory income taxes are odious. Tory surtaxes are odious. Tory bracket creep is odious, that is, repulsive, repugnant, disgusting, disreputable, despicable and detestable.

Let me ask the finance minister one straight question. Does this finance minister think then that this torrible, terrible, terri—whatever it is—GST is odious too?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Tory taxes are not the only things that are odious, detestable and terrible. I will tell you what is equally bad, a boondoggle, and I cannot think of anything else. That is in fact that the Reform Party would take $10 billion further out of spending.

There is only one place where that $10 billion will come out of. It will come out of equalization. It will come out of health care. It will come out of education. It will come out of all those things the middle class in this country deal with.

Why will the Reform Party not stand up and tell us what kind of a country this would be if they took another $10 billion—

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton North.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the question was about the GST and the finance minister just forgot to answer it. I will remind him one more time that yesterday he said “all Tory taxes are odious”. That is what he said. I think Canadians probably would agree with him and so he probably would want to make some changes in that.

It was about the GST. I will ask him one more time, not to go on the rant but to clarify his position on the GST. If he thinks Tory taxes are so odious, why did he break his promise and not scrap the Tory-Liberal GST?

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all if the GST is so odious, why in fact did the Reform Party recommend that there be a harmonized sales tax across the country?

I would simply like to tell the Reform Party that what we did—

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services Tax
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I think we will try somebody else. The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean.