House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Fisheries
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Charlie Power St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has created a race relations crisis in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This problem is growing and has now reached the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Yesterday a native fishing crew from Nova Scotia attempted to fish crab on Newfoundland's south coast. A serious confrontation with local fishermen ensued, resulting in a violent confrontation and four arrests. The federal government must be made to realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Newfoundland fishermen are sending a clear message that they will not stand idly by while their livelihoods are put at risk by non-resident native fishermen. Members of the House should be aware that similar confrontations are almost a certainty without leadership from the government and without a sensible plan to prevent further violence.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to note that the premiers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan will be coming to Ottawa tomorrow to highlight the current farm income crisis facing prairie farmers.

I am also pleased to note that the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, which I am honoured to chair, will meet with and hear directly from premiers Doer and Romanow and their delegations.

The farm income crisis is real. The government recognizes that many farm families are suffering. Canadians know that it is in our interest to maintain a stable agricultural industry.

That is why the government has allocated $900 million in assistance to the agriculture income disaster assistance program. That is why the government has modified AIDA to make it more accessible to struggling farmers. That is why the government has indicated that it will look at further changes to strengthen the program.

The government is committed to helping Canada's farmers get through the current income crisis.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

October 27th, 1999 / 2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's tax mountain continues to grow. He is not satisfied with the highest taxes in the developed world. He has hiked taxes 60 times since 1993.

Still not satisfied, he has planned the greatest tax hike in Canadian history on January 1 when he brings in the CPP increases. According to the auditor general this insatiable Prime Minister is hoarding an incredible $21 billion in EI overpayments from workers and businesses.

Reform pointed out this overtaxation to the minister last year, yet the auditor general now says this overtaxation is at record levels.

Why will the government not return the EI surplus to the people it belongs to, the people he taxed it from: overtaxed Canadian businesses and families?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the current rate is $2.55. That is a 15 cent reduction from the previous year. That is a 52 cent reduction from the day we took office. That is $4 billion more in Canadian pockets. That is what we have done since we have taken office.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is odd the minister thinks that a $21 billion surplus is a good thing. It might be a good thing for him, but it is certainly not a good thing for Canadian consumers.

The EI taxes hit low income Canadians the hardest. Premiums stop going up once a person makes $39,000 a year. That means people making more than $39,000 a year have a tax advantage over the poor.

The government already takes $6 billion from people who make less than $20,000 a year. Why does the minister not climb down off his wallet and start giving tax policies that will help out the poorest in the country?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about what the government has done for low income Canadians. Let us take a look at what we have done.

The amount of income for which taxpayers are now exempt before they have to begin paying taxes was increased by $675. Last year Reform voted against it. The Canada child tax benefit has been increased by $2 billion. Reform voted against it.

There are now 600,000 low income Canadians who were previously paying taxes who are not paying taxes, and Reform wanted them to pay taxes.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is that $6 billion are gouged out of the pockets of people that make less than $20,000 a year. That is the legacy of the minister.

Small businesses struggle to win their share of consumers ever shrinking after tax dollars. They struggle to stay competitive in a growing competitive world market. They struggle to hire more people because the government taxes them excessively every time they try to employ a new worker.

Inflated EI premiums are a tax on the poor, a tax on families and a tax on businesses. Why will the government not give tax relief where it is needed: to the poor, the families, and the businesses of the country?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let us take a look at the questions that have been asked by the hon. member.

He started with his first preamble and asked why we were protecting the Canada pension plan. Why is the federal government and all the provinces protecting the Canada pension plan? We are doing it because we believe that Canadians are entitled to a decent retirement, which obviously the Reform Party does not.

The member talked about small business and why we brought in and increased the Small Business Loans Act. Why does small business have the lowest level of corporate tax of the major industrial countries? They do because of this government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is getting pretty thick in here.

The government is sitting on a $21 billion EI surplus while the finance minister pursues his favourite pastime, and that is picking the pockets of Canadian workers and businesses. At the same time those workers and businesses are struggling to making ends meet under this Liberal tax regime.

Why does the finance minister not just do the right thing and return the EI surplus, which belongs to the workers and businesses, in the form of tax relief and give Canadians a break for a change?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party likes to talk about its desire to cut taxes.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Reform members are applauding. Does the House know what they are applauding? In their election campaign they said that they would not cut personal taxes until the year 2000. That was part of their election campaign.

We cut taxes in 1997. The Reform Party would not have done it. We cut taxes in 1998. The Reform Party would not have done it. We cut taxes in 1999. The Reform Party would not have done it. We cut them three times. We are ahead of the cart and they are down in the hole.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

I will tell you where they are ahead, Mr. Speaker. They are at the head of the class for the highest personal income taxes of all G-7 countries. That is where they are ahead.

They say that they are saving the EI fund for a rainy day. We better go home and start building our ark because there is a heck of a flood coming. There is no doubt about that.

I have a question for the finance minister. With his $21 billion surplus, what is his problem? The auditor general says that he does not like what he is doing. The money is not his. Why does he not just give it back to the people whom he took it from?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party sure as heck better build its ark because it is drowning. The only thing in the country that is dropping faster than personal income taxes is Reform's share of the popular vote.

Air Transportation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the process presented yesterday by the Minister of Transport relating to air carriers is absolutely absurd.

He is proposing that parliament look at the 10% rule and states that no decision has yet been taken. Air Canada shareholders will be voting on the Onex proposal on November 8, well before parliament has made a decision. If parliament were to decide to retain that 10% limit, and the shareholders had accepted the Onex bid, it would still be illegal. We would therefore be back to square one.

Is this not the best possible proof that the Onex bid will go nowhere if the law is not changed?