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

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister clearly indicated that his millennium scholarship fund was designed to make his government more visible to young people.

Now that we know what the Prime Minister really thinks, will the government admit that, instead of stating before the Canadian Club that he is not playing politics on the backs of our young people, the Prime Minister should have said that he cares about their future as long as it benefits him politically?

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed in the attitude of the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean, a young man, toward the Prime Minister, who made a point of ensuring that students benefit from the 1997-98 dividends to get a post-secondary education at a time when they are getting deeply into debt.

The Prime Minister chose to put young people first and promote the knowledge and skills on which tomorrow's economy will be built. That is what the Prime Minister had in mind in celebrating the millennium, not the political benefits the member referred to.

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am getting tired of these melodramatics. Everyone agrees that this millennium scholarship fund makes no sense.

On behalf of young people, I am asking the government, if it has an ounce of good sense left, to backtrack before it is too late.

Millennium Scholarships
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, people spoke out, like André Bourbeau, of the Quebec Liberal Party, who urged the government to sit down at the negotiating table. Mario Dumont, of the ADQ, said the same thing.

The only thing PQ members care about is scoring political points. The two opposition parties in the National Assembly are urging them to sit down with us so that, together, we can see what can be done in this important area to ensure the future of our young people.

There are numerous stakeholders who have absolutely no problem with our action.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, after four years of fairly significant cuts to medicare, how does the finance minister have the nerve, the audacity, the chutzpah to say that forgoing the reduction in funds is somehow new money for medicare? Will he admit here today that this new money for medicare is simply a slowdown in the cuts that he himself ordered?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member can play with words if he likes.

The bottom line is that as a result of our decisions, the very first major decisions taken after we put the fiscal house in order, the provinces are going to have $7 billion more money than they would have over the next four years. That is money for hospitals, that is money for treatment, that is money for health.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, here is what the Prime Minister had to say about medicare today. He said “I am not going to give any more money to the provinces because I don't like the way they spend the money. They will probably spend it on something that isn't for medicare. In fact, Ontario spent the money for tax cuts”. But at the same time Ontario cut taxes, it also gave more money to medicare. Since Ontario can walk and chew gum at the same time, why cannot our Prime Minister?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is quite incorrect in saying that the Prime Minister said there would be no more money for medicare. He did not make that statement. He did not say there would be no more money for medicare or no more money for health care.

What the hon. member is saying is based on an incorrect radio news report and there has been a correction sent out. If my hon. friend wants to be taken seriously by his little friend Zachary, he ought to be accurate when he gets to his feet in this House of Commons.

Employment Insurance Fund
Oral Question Period

February 26th, 1998 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

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

Between now and 2000, according to the government's own figures, $25 billion will accumulate in the employment insurance fund. Much of this money comes from business, including those that hire the most.

Does the Minister of Finance realize that by inflating the employment insurance surplus this way he is slowing job creation, and that because of him—

Employment Insurance Fund
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Finance.

Employment Insurance Fund
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member should know that, when we took office, UI premiums were $3.07. They were to rise to $3.30. Today they are $2.70. In other words, we have lowered them substantially, three times.

We lowered them last year by $1.4 billion and the previous year, by $1.7 billion. These are the most substantial reductions in the history of the fund.

Employment Insurance Fund
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the most substantial thing in this is the astronomical surplus, which, this month, will reach $15 billion.

Does the minister realize that, with this $15 billion, he could eliminate premiums for a year? He could pay all benefits for a year and still have $3 billion left? What more could he want?

Employment Insurance Fund
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is one of the reasons we were able to waive unemployment insurance premiums over two years for employers hiring young people between 18 and 24. That is what we did.

Main Estimates
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, this morning the government tabled the main estimates and we now see that the Prime Minister will celebrate the balanced budget by increasing the budget for his own office by $700,000 a year.

When Canadians were given tax relief amounting to just a case of beer, why does the Prime Minister need an extra $700,000 to run his own office?

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 hon. member asks a question about the functioning of the Privy Council Office and others. I want him to know that in the last Parliament there were two ministers directly related to the Privy Council Office. In this Parliament there are five because of a realignment of functions. There are now five ministers related to it. That is the reason for the budget increase.

Individual ministers are not increasing their budgets. It is a matter of not having a separate line department and hon. members opposite know it.