House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is investing $1.9 billion in social housing on an annual basis.

We continue working with the provinces. We are investing $300 million in the RRAP. Last year, in our public-private partnership program, we built 2,100 new units of affordable social housing. We are continuing to work with that program and this year another 3,000 units will be built.

I am working with my colleague who is the co-ordinator for the homeless. Just last year in Toronto we spent over $13 million on the homeless. Maybe the hon. member should look at that.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

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

Instead of the GST being scrapped, what has been scrapped in Canada, in Quebec in particular, is the health system.

I would like the minister to confirm that the principle of accessibility to which all Canadians have a right is being respected, when tens of thousands of people are either on waiting lists or being forced to go out of the country for care.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, yes, we firmly believe in the principles of the Canada Health Act. Some months ago, all provincial premiers reiterated their commitment to those principles.

It is our intention to ensure that everyone respects these principles. We recently increased transfer payments to the provinces in the health field in order to ensure they would be in a position to delivery quality services to everyone.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to know whether the minister feels surgeons are wrong in saying that waiting lists are growing by the day and that they are being made martyrs of those lists.

This morning in Chicoutimi, 2,857 people were on surgical waiting lists. It is not all to transfer funds, national legislation must be enforced. The Canadian Health Act exists and must be enforced.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we must respect its principles and we must administer the system in such a way that services are available.

Yes, we are having problems within the health care system, but Mrs. Marois and the other ministers of health are working at this time on finding solutions to those problems.

East Timor
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, for thousands of East Timorese displaced after the independence vote, the situation in East Timor is still serious. Humanitarian organizations are having trouble responding to the needs of the Timorese, who are homeless and suffering from malnutrition.

Will the minister tell the House what action is now being contemplated to respond to the humanitarian crisis in East Timor?

East Timor
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Beaches—East York
Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna Minister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada's response to the humanitarian crisis in East Timor has been speedy and effective.

Today I am pleased to announce an additional $1.5 million to the money that was announced some time ago with respect to assistance in East Timor. This brings Canada's contribution to $2.9 million since the crisis in East Timor started.

Canada's contribution will, among other things, assist the victims of violence and provide them with the very much needed food and shelter.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government is doing a lousy job in reducing taxes, according to an internal poll of Canadians from the finance minister's own department. The poll came out after the government's alleged tax relief program came into effect.

Why is there no plan for real tax relief when Canadians are saying that the government has done a lousy job in reducing their taxes?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I think we better look at what Reform is really asking for. Its budget plans have called for $52 billion in tax cuts and debt relief in its third year.

Last session, we asked the Reform Party time and time again what it was going to cut to pay for it. I would like to suggest that maybe in this session of parliament it will come clean with Canadians and tell us what it is going to cut. Is it going to be health care? Is it going to be equalization payments? Is it going to be education? Is it going to be aid to western farmers?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

October 25th, 1999 / 2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The minister maintains that the parental leave announced by her government will actually meet women's needs.

Does the minister not understand that the 700 hour minimum to qualify for EI benefits is much too high for most claimants and that it must be lowered to 300 hours if the minister truly wants to see more women benefit from parental leave?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Oakville
Ontario

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, through our monitoring and assessment report, we have learned to become concerned about some of the unintended effects of the 1996 reform. We are working on those. Our first announcement has been to double the parental benefits allowable under EI for maternity leave. We are also examining the question of hours at this time.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, a report released today shows that the 1994 Liberal rollback of cigarette taxes and the cave-in to the tobacco industry is killing our kids. More young people are smoking today than when the Liberals took office. What a legacy for the millennium.

I know the Minister of Health has had his own trouble standing up to the tobacco industry but it is not too late to start standing up for young people.

What level of taxation on cigarettes is he recommending to his cabinet colleagues? What measures is he taking to ensure that the government has a policy for linking pricing and prevention?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, ever since we brought in our national strategy against smuggling in 1994, we have been very strongly in favour of increasing the taxes on tobacco products. As a matter of fact, we have done this three times already.

We are currently in negotiations with our four partner provinces to bring these taxes even higher. We will raise those taxes just as high as the circumstances relating to smuggling will permit.

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, why does the Prime Minister not admit what we already know: his direct culpability in the way security was implemented at APEC?

Apec Inquiry
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I reject out of hand the premise on which the hon. member's question is based.

Let us allow the APEC inquiry to do its work. All these questions are up to the Hon. former Justice Hughes to decide. So let us allow the tribunal to do its work.

Why does the hon. member want to hinder the important work of this inquiry?