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 finance.

Topics

Main Estimates
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, realignment does not mean increase and these are increased expenditures. Not only does the Prime Minister get another $700,000 for his office, but the PMO duties are taking another 75% increase, $3.6 million in extra money and there is no decrease in ministerial staff budgets either.

This is extra money and we want to know why, when Canadians are getting no tax relief at all, the Prime Minister is spending all kinds of money on himself.

Main Estimates
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the individual staff of ministers was increased by one and the individual allocation of members of Parliament was also increased recently. The hon. member opposite knows that. One was used as a precedent to set the other, and he knows that too.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development says he is very concerned about the decrease in the number of unemployed workers receiving EI benefits.

He supposes this might be because the number of self-employed workers is on the increase. One thing is certain: although 83% of unemployed workers received benefits in 1989, today only 40% do so.

Instead of looking for some obscure explanation, why does the minister not admit that the only thing to do is to make EI more accessible? Everyone knows that is the answer.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether that is everyone's view. Canadians are perfectly happy that we had the courage to change the EI system.

The opposition is asking us to take a step backward to an obsolete system that no longer served them well with respect to the modern labour market. They are asking us to take a step backward.

As a government, we will do the responsible thing. We want to serve Canadians well with respect to the current labour market. I have admitted to being concerned about the people in the system; we are going to look into the matter and make the right decisions.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Trade.

Constituents are calling my office and other members' offices regarding the negotiation of the multilateral agreement on investment. Individuals in my riding are particularly concerned about the impact the agreement will have on Canadian culture.

What is the minister's position on preserving our rights to promote and protect Canadian culture during these negotiations?

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I would thank the hon. member for her question. She is a passionate advocate for Canadian culture.

The very simple and straight answer to that question is that culture is non-negotiable. I have said many times in this House and outside the House the Canadian government would not sign an MAI if it were to include and involve Canadian culture.

I appeal to the NDP, if they care about the culture community, not to misrepresent the position and as well appeal to the Reform Party which is the only party in the House that is advocating opening the deal on culture, health care and social services. Let me reflect—

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for The Battlefords—Lloydminster.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told Canadians to relax and rejoice. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians are waiting for health services, 1.4 million are trapped in the unemployment line, 17% of our youth are searching for a full time job.

Does the prime minister in waiting also believe these people should rejoice and relax?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was confirming that since this government took office unemployment is down by over two and a half per cent. We created some one million jobs. Inflation is gone. Interest rates are down, providing thousands of dollars in the pockets of people buying cars and paying mortgages.

When the Prime Minister wanted to reassure Canadians, he brought out the facts, unlike the hon. member who has overlooked completely how this government has helped this economy move ahead and how the budget that came out earlier this week will add to that progress for all Canadians.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister says this budget is going to give tax relief to middle income Canadians, but private sector economists are saying that because of bracket creep, this insidious tax on inflation, that the middle class is going to end up paying a billion dollars more next year than this year.

When the OECD is calling for the reindexation of the tax system, when the finance committee has called for it, when Canadians are going to be paying more, not less, because of bracket creep, why did this minister not act to take this insidious tax on inflation out of our tax system?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us take a look at what we have done. In fact, there are targeted tax decreases for students, for families, for poor families, for caregivers. Then there are general tax decreases. We increased the threshold by $500 for an individual or $1,000 for a family. We eliminated the 3% surtax for 13 million Canadian taxpayers.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, one day the Prime Minister says no new money ever for health cash transfers. The next day he retracts it. It does not matter so much to Canadians who is lying. What matters to Canadians—

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint John.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

February 26th, 1998 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, health care is a very important issue in this country. You cannot go to college and get your degree if you do not have your health. You cannot go to work and pay your taxes if you do not have your health.

The medical society in Canada is begging for more money from this government. The Liberal finance ministers from Newfoundland and New Brunswick are saying there is no more money in this budget for health care. P.E.I. is saying the same thing.

When will the Minister of Finance stop the cutting and start the healing because he has devastated the health care system?