House of Commons Hansard #205 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nato.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:05 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to what the member had to say. He mentioned the child tax benefit. I think his comment was that it was a step in the right direction.

I was a great supporter of the initiative by the government, the attempt at the federal level to reach down to children all over the country to try to alleviate child poverty, which is such a serious problem.

It is not a problem but it is a fact of life that the federal government has to deal with each province separately in these matters. In the case of the province of Ontario, the agreement we effectively had was that if the federal government were to allocate large funds to the children of poor families, the Ontario government made the rule that it would take away an equivalent amount of money from people on social assistance. It would apply the money it had saved to the children of poor families but the children of poor working families. It seems this is a serious mistake and a serious fault in logic. Surely we want to help all children in poverty. In some ways we particularly want to help those on social assistance.

My question for the member is from my own information. How does the province of Quebec handle this same matter? Did the province of Quebec have the same condition of taking money away from families on social assistance and applying those moneys to the families of the working poor, or did the province of Quebec proceed to allocate the child tax benefit to all poor children no matter what the source of income of their families?

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his intervention.

I will remind him why the Bloc Quebecois finds the measure unsatisfactory. In 1997, we called for this fund to contain $2 billion, and with the present government measures, that $2 billion will be reached, but in the year 2000.

The impact needed to be far greater than that. According to the Canadian Council on Social Development:

—Canada's performance is extremely poor in comparison with the low income levels of nine countries for families with children. It barely manages to rank eighth for market income ... and seventh for total income after taxes and government transfers.

In other words, compared with nine similar countries, Canada ranks second highest in child poverty according to market income, and third for total income, after the United States and Australia. We have some catching up to do, and in our opinion we should have caught up faster.

The second part of my colleague's question addressed how the Government of Quebec had handled this.

Negotiations were held between the provinces and the federal government. The agreement was that the additional amounts put in by the federal government could be used by the provinces for other expenses. That led, among other things, to the $5 daycare policy, which gave 70% of parents with young children the opportunity to significantly reduce the money paid to daycare centres. I think that was a worthwhile measure.

However, in connection with the child tax benefit, I think people everywhere in Canada would agree child poverty should be attacked directly and more aggressively. It is in this sense that the Bloc Quebecois hoped that the money allocated would be available more quickly and that the fact there is a surplus this year would mean it would be allocated quickly.

July 1999 and not July 2000 could have been set as the time limit for the $2 billion. The people affected by these measures do not eat over the long term, but every day, and they need money quickly. As we can afford this measure as a society, we could act now.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to address Bill C-71, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget, and to say from the outset that I will vote against this legislation.

My speech will deal with four specific points, which I will develop.

This sixth Martin budget, the first so-called deficit free Liberal budget, is a crying shame.

First, it formalizes the misappropriation of funds by the federal government, at the expense of thousands of Canadian workers who cannot get employment insurance benefits.

Second, this budget does not reflect any will to help older workers who lose their jobs following plant closures.

Third, as regards the environment, where are the necessary moneys to fulfil the commitments made in Kyoto?

Fourth, this budget gives legal status to the federal government's will to encroach freely on provincial jurisdictions, by getting fully involved in areas of jurisdiction in which it has simply no business.

However, no matter how shocking and outrageous the Liberal government's attitude may be, it does not surprise anyone. About this time last year, when it tabled its previous budget, this government showed its true colours.

We then saw a Prime Minister of Canada who wanted to go down in history by creating a monument to his own glory. I am referring to the millennium scholarships.

Members opposite are getting all worked up. If the government really wants to help young people, why does it not transfer the moneys to the provinces, which are responsible for the loans and scholarships programs?

Quebec has the best loans and scholarships system. Our program adequately meets the needs of young people. Why not recognize excellence and give to the Quebec government additional funding to ensure a sound management of that initiative, instead of duplicating an efficient system?

That was a year ago. Now, the Minister of Finance, our master magician, our sleight of hand specialist, is getting into the act and unveiling his own monument. He did not want to be outdone. For weeks, he laid the groundwork. Day after day, he told us to wait for the budget.

Now we are considering the budget and what do we see? We see a Minister of Finance completely lacking in long term vision, a Minister of Finance whose concerns are all short term and motivated by political gain. What a bitter disappointment this is for all these workers and middle income earners.

In his new budget, the Minister of Finance is determined to conceal his surpluses rather than turn them over to unemployed workers and middle income earners.

Having contributed to the acknowledged $4.5 billion surplus in the EI fund, six out of ten Quebeckers and Canadians who lose their jobs will still not qualify for benefits. Many of my colleagues have spoken at length in the House about the unfortunate and very harmful impact of EI reform on women, pregnant women and young people. What the minister is doing is no small matter. Workers and employers contribute to this fund. The federal government has not put in one red cent in over ten years.

In this budget, where are the proactive measures, particularly those for older workers over the age of 50? Thousands of people in the various regions of the country will be affected by plant closures or massive layoffs. Where are the concrete measures in this budget to help them?

This government has abolished the program especially designed for them, POWA. Did these workers not contribute to the employment insurance fund for years? Many of them have never drawn benefits. This is an essential measure for them. The billions of surplus dollars that have accumulated must be used for this purpose, among other things.

Why has this minister not been listening to the thousands of workers by introducing such an active and positive measure in this budget? Perhaps the answer is obvious.

Where are the concrete messages to the middle-class taxpayer? Are these not the people who have made it possible for the Minister of Finance to do away with his deficit? Why has he not used part of his hidden surpluses to adjust the tax tables to the cost of living, thus putting $2 billion back into the economy?

To give an example from my riding, one of my constituents wrote me on January 22 to express his outrage at the unjust treatment of couples with a family income of $50,000 a year, when the wife does not work outside the home. Such a couple pays $4,000 more taxes yearly than a couple with both spouses working. He describes this as “unfair”, and is waiting for a response and a correction of the situation.

As my party's critic on the environment, I was greatly disappointed that the budget did not show any willingness, on the part of the government, to act in this area. Yet there is extreme urgency. This government is already behind on the formal commitments it made at Kyoto on eliminating greenhouse gases. And what about the elimination of 5,000 contaminated sites? Where is the money to get started on decontamination?

What about highway rehabilitation? Where is the funding for this? When is there going to be any follow-up on the $16 billion proposal made last spring by all provincial ministers of transport to the Government of Canada, with the agreement of their ministers of finance?

Once again, I see that this is just a lot of fancy talk by the Liberals, with no willingness to do anything.

A few days ago, on March 29, the Minister of Transport told us he was trying to convince his cabinet colleagues to give him $3.5 billion for this, whereas the provincial ministers of transport are talking about $16 billion. It is always tomorrow, tomorrow, later, later. We see no willingness to act in this budget.

Where is the money for this year? When are they going to bring back programs such as the strategic highway improvement program, which all the provincial ministers of transports are calling for?

Quebeckers, particularly the people of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, are not fooled by the fancy words repeated by petty politicians. The Conservatives did the same when they were in government between 1984 and 1992. They did nothing to improve roads, especially highway 175.

We in the Bloc Quebecois are here to tell them the real truth, to defend them against these petty politicians, because Ottawa is not so far removed and we are well informed.

Another matter dear to my heart is regional development. From every podium, we hear this government saying that its first priority is regional development. Is there a bit of “Do as I say not as I do” here? I think this can be said of the Liberals. If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that in this budget, in black and white, spending on regional development was cut by $100 million cut this year and $200 million next year. Find the discrepancies between the words and the figures.

Our national Minister of Finance also treated himself to a monument in this budget, the find of the century, the health care budget.

Canadians are not fooled. They know very well that the Liberal government is responsible for the deterioration in this country's health care system. They know the real story, not what the government would have them believe.

Since 1994, the government has slashed provincial transfer payments for health, education and social assistance by over $6.5 billion. The Liberal government is to blame for the terrible repercussions on the entire health system from coast to coast.

Underlying the Minister of Finance's new health budget is a dark history of billions of dollars in cuts that have hit the public very hard, and we must never forget it.

With the support of his colleague, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance is now charging into the health sector, a provincial jurisdiction, and imposing his views, new structures, statistics, monitoring, and additional paperwork. The final cost will be $1.4 billion over three years. This money will not benefit the sick; no, this government prefers to spend $400 million on administration alone just for the visibility.

What is the word for this? Irresponsible. But I say to the Minister of Finance that it is not too late. The minister should show some compassion and hand over these millions of dollars to the provinces with no strings attached so that the public can finally get the care to which it is entitled.

In conclusion, for all these reasons, and for all the other reasons my Bloc Quebecois colleagues have mentioned in their speeches, I will be voting against Bill C-71.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member for Jonquière for her good speech. I want to ask her a question concerning a very important point she raised, namely the issue of older workers.

The Minister of Human Resources Development keeps telling us that active measures are in place for these people. Could the member for Jonquière elaborate on the fact that, in the case of older workers—those aged 55 and over—active measures are often not enough, and passive measures are also necessary? The word “passive” may sound derogatory, but we are referring to support measures to help these workers make it to retirement. Would it not have been appropriate to include such initiatives in the budget?

Furthermore, is the hon. member pleased that the proposal made by the Bloc Quebecois, for which she is the critic, resulted in this issue being submitted to the human resources development committee, which will look at it over the next two months and which will hear witnesses? Would the hon. member like to send an invitation to those who made representations to us and who would like to take part in the committee's work regarding this issue?

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me first thank my Bloc Quebecois colleague.

The hon. member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques is a member of the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development. He succeeded in having the committee approve the proposal that we will review over the coming weeks regarding this very sensitive issue, and I thank him for that.

In the riding of Jonquière, between 200 and 300 workers will lose their jobs in the weeks to come. It is all fine and well to tell a worker between 50 and 55 years of age that he or she will get training, that he or she will be sent back to school, but these people need other things.

I thank the Bloc Quebecois for having given me responsibility for this issue. I am asking all those interested in testifying before the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development to contact us. We will be very pleased to hear all their suggestions.

It is not true that this issue is really a priority for the government. The government is not providing proactive measures for this group of citizens. We will not let it get away with this. We will, along with all Canadians and Quebeckers, propose concrete measures.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House for what might be one of my last times to talk about the budget.

The budget sets out a road map for the government. It gives an indication of its priorities and hopefully it gives an indication of the priorities of the population at large. The extent to which a budget is successful is the extent to which it represents the priorities of Canadians.

The government has made much of arguing the budget to be a health care budget, with which I will deal in a moment. If we look at that issue we see a government which has over the last five years cut over $21 billion out of health care and is about to put $2 billion back. This is not the kind of health care commitment that would qualify most budgets in the minds of most people as a health care budget.

The budget did many things and omitted many things. I will focus for a moment on the things it omitted and could have done in order to meet the priorities of Canadians. Canadians, as we know, face a number of crises at the present time. Canadians face a health care crisis which the budget addresses in a small way.

The population at large faces significant challenges with regard to job opportunities for both parents and younger people. The country also faces challenges with regard to the accessibility of students to education and a whole range of other questions including homelessness, our infrastructure problems and a tax system which remains extremely unfair.

The budget could have but did not address the priorities of Canadians with regard to their challenges in looking for work. The budget did nothing to increase the chances of any unemployed person finding work or of a person in a job feeling any greater security in terms of keeping that work.

The budget did nothing to improve the benefits for those most vulnerable in society, the unemployed, a group for which the federal government has responsibility in terms of its legislative jurisdictional powers over employment insurance and as a result of its control over fiscal and monetary tools which leads to certain levels of unemployment in the economy.

Over the last 10 or 11 years I have been in the House unemployment has been used as an economic tool for various other purposes dealing with interest rates, the value of the dollar and so on.

Nothing was done in the budget to combat the homelessness crisis with which we are all familiar. The Prime Minister has taken some steps since, but there is nothing in the budget or in the finance minister's set of priorities to ensure that those who are facing life's most severe problems, the unemployed and the homeless, have those matters addressed by the government. That is a priority which is askew.

There is nothing to address the unfair tax system. There is nothing to reduce the GST. As we all know, the government has given a tax break of $8,000 to millionaires and a handful of dollars to those at the lowest income levels. This hardly addresses the problem. It seems to make the problem worse.

There are other things too. There is nothing in the budget to tackle what are environmental concerns across the country, even the simple issue like a transit pass being available to employees in the same way as parking passes are. This modest and easy to administer environmental change did not find its way into the budget. As we probably all know, there is no adequate or proper funding for our cultural institutions.

Major Canadian priorities are not being addressed in the budget even though some tax changes were made. A person who makes $10,000 a year in income will receive from the budget tax savings of $51, a dollar a week. A person who receives $25,000 a year in income will receive a tax break of $115. A person who receives a $50,000 income will receive $160. A person who receives a $75,000 income will receive $595. A person who receives a $105,000 income will receive $813.

The more we make the better off we will be. That is not the priority of those who are fighting to survive in what is an ever increasingly challenging world. If one is making $1 million a year one will get a $8,000 tax break from the budget.

Let us remember all the fuss about whether or not hockey players should get tax breaks to stay in Canada. They did because those millionaire hockey players will get $8,000 extra a year to play in Canada while a family trying to get by on $10,000 will make $51 a year more, probably not enough to buy one ticket to go to a hockey game to watch that millionaire hockey player who gets an $8,000 tax break play in Canada.

Even where changes are made we see them made in the interest of those who are better off rather than in the interest of those who are less well off. We know our tax system is one of the most unfair in the developed world. Yet there is nothing here to make it more fair. Indeed we see a strategy of making it increasingly unfair.

Let me raise a few comments about health care spending. The government made much of the budget being a health care budget. Over the years of the Liberal government and over the years of the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard as the Minister of Finance, we have seen $21.5 billion taken out of the health care system. Only a couple of provinces have been able to fill that gap.

In my province of Saskatchewan each year the NDP government has consistently put more money into health care than what the Liberals took out, at a great burden to a province with a small tax base and significant financial problems left over from nine years of provincial Conservative government mismanagement. The Saskatchewan NDP government saw health care as a priority, as did the residents of that province and Canadians as a whole, and thereby committed more money than was cut by the Liberal government in Ottawa.

What is the response of the Liberal government? As a result of the budget it will put back $2 billion, one dollar for every ten that was taken out of health care. We know the angst across the country over the state of our health care system. That angst is exacerbated when billions of dollars are cut from the health care system.

This is a modest prescription for the health care crisis caused by the federal government over its years of belt tightening. This modest prescription will not satisfy the needs of Canadians or do anything very significant to improve our health care system.

I would add in terms of the priorities of the most recent budgets of the Liberal government that it is plain the brunt of deficit reduction was borne by the most vulnerable in society. That deficit reduction was called for and was necessary. The minister is to be credited for having steered Canada through this difficult time.

However, the way in which he did it meant that he attacked the most vulnerable in society. That is in sharp contrast with the way in which Saskatchewan balanced its budget, the first province to do so. There were increased commitments to the things that are most important to Canadians, not the Liberal model of increased cuts to the things that are most important to Canadians.

In that strategy, in that model of Saskatchewan NDP government's deficit reduction, we saw continued increases in funding for health care, education and social programs, not cuts. That is a distinct contrast with the way in which the deficits were addressed in the two jurisdictions.

We remain with some serious problems that could have been addressed by the government but were not. For example, as students have indicated the budget does nothing to solve student debt and the base funding crisis facing post-secondary education. Tuition fees will continue to rise while the quality of education continues to erode according to the students. Those of us who spend any time on university campuses can ensure that is the case. Without increasing accessibility, without increasing the numbers of Canadians who have access to post-secondary education, it is difficult to see how we can solve the economic difficulties we face.

On a personal note, as someone who is the only person from my extended family to attend university, and it was 30 years ago at least when I was at university, the question of accessibility is a critical one that we cannot leave in the state in which it is at present. It takes a lot of support for those who come from families who do not traditionally see university education or post-secondary education as a tool for their children to find a way to break through and to have access to post-secondary education.

It is an obligation of the country as a whole and of the government which represents the country to ensure that accessibility is there. It is the only way we will individually ensure that we can make the greatest contribution to our economy and to our society. Education is critical in this regard and yet nothing in the budget addresses this matter.

Children in poverty is surely the most serious problem we face. Not only Catholic bishops but practically everybody in the country has called this issue a national disgrace. There is nothing in the budget for Canada's poorest children, even though there is much rhetoric on this point in a number of committee reports and so on from the Liberal caucus.

There is nothing for homelessness, nothing for those who do not even have a place to live in what is one of the richest countries in the world. As the Minister of Finance indicated in the past, only the national government has the financial resources to address the full dimensions of this problem.

There is nothing for child care. We have the problem of parents, single parents in particular, wanting to access the job market, wanting to make a contribution and wanting to ensure their own independence, being denied that opportunity simply because child care is out of their grasp. Either there is not enough accessible quality child care available to them or the cost is simply prohibitive. Again this is holding people back rather than enabling them to move forward.

I mentioned the problems of our tax system and how unfair it is. Even a reduction in GST of 1% would have meant a lot to everyday people. The Minister of Finance could have taken a lesson from the Saskatchewan NDP government's book and in fact given everybody a break, particularly those on low income who spend all their money on the most basic items. There is no commitment to assisting those at the lowest end of the economic scale with a tax break.

Perhaps the most glaring omission is with regard to those who are unable to find work in Canada and are forced to rely on what is becoming an ever more meagre unemployment insurance system. There is nothing to address this concern. Indeed everyone has to be reminded that it is the employment insurance surplus which has made the deficit reduction record of the government as credible as it is. In other words the taking of money from those who are working and those who are unemployed in order to balance the country's books. This is not something many people would be proud of.

We face significant problems across the country both in highways and in other infrastructure elements. There is nothing in the budget for them.

While budgets set out a course of action and a set of priorities which should represent the priorities of Canadians, it is clear that the budget has not done that. More important, it has left the most vulnerable, the most in need, out of the picture almost entirely. That is to be regretted.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to state to my hon. colleague, the member from the province of Saskatchewan, since he mentioned that this may be one of the last speeches he makes in the House, that I consider him to be a very thoughtful contributor to the House of Commons. We wish him the best in his future endeavours as he moves into another venue.

Although his approach in terms of social democracy may be different from my fiscal conservative approach, he did highlight some priorities in terms of what the economy has to do. The best way to actually grow an economy in which we can make interventions with respect to education and our health care system is to lower taxes and lower our debt level. Then we could have a more vibrant private sector that would increase revenues. We have seen this in the province of Ontario where the Harris government has been able to lower taxes and therefore increase government revenues.

My comment to the hon. member is simple. I concur with his initiatives in terms of making post-secondary education more accessible, but government intervention is not necessarily and always the easy way out.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

April 12th, 1999 / 12:40 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's earlier comments. Of course I regard him as a friend as well.

The point the member makes is an interesting one. If it were the case that tax cuts were the answer to problems faced by countries at the turn of the century, we would see countries with very high tax burdens being totally unsuccessful in the economic ventures we see ourselves facing. Countries with high taxes like Germany have very successful economies. There is no panacea to tax cuts as an instrument of ensuring economic success.

We would all favour lower taxes rather higher taxes, but in the context of ensuring that we provide the kinds of services Canadians demand, not just want, we need to ensure the level of taxation is adequate to meet those demands.

I would not necessarily put the member who spoke in this category, but the unfortunate aspect of those who argue for tax cuts is that it is a smoke screen for eliminating social services, social programs and government initiatives that those people find undesirable but the population at large finds quite desirable, continues to vote for and continues to see as important.

Health care is perhaps the greatest example of this. It seems that people will always take health care over tax cuts. There is no clamour across the country for the kind of tax cuts which the Reform Party and to some extent the Conservative Party argue for. People know they have to pay taxes for the services they need and they know there is a balance. The appropriate question is how to find that balance.

Plainly we do not have that balance with the present unfair tax system. I recognize that we cannot have a tax system that is far out of whack with our competitors' tax systems if we expect to be able to compete with them in terms of ensuring that our young people stay in this country to work, in terms of ensuring that employers invest in Canada and in terms of ensuring that we are competitive.

Canadians deserve tax cuts. I do not believe they should be the millionaires who received an $8,000 tax cut; they should be the people making $10,000 who only got a $51 tax cut. I would rather have given them something more meaningful than giving something to the millionaires. We need a more fair tax system which also reflects our international competitive situation.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about tax cuts. The member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar is a little off track when he talks about who should get tax cuts. It is middle income working Canadians who have continuously borne the brunt of the tax burden. They pay far higher personal income taxes than those in any of the G-7 countries. We pay the highest.

Although there is ample evidence, the member does not recognize that there is a direct correlation between a buoyant economy and a liveable tax regime. We do not have that in this country. The governments of Alberta and Ontario have taken some bold steps to lower the personal income tax levels of provincial workers. Those are the two leading economies in the entire country. Despite the tax cuts, their overall revenues have dramatically increased because their economies were given that stimulant.

In order to make this country attractive for investors, in order to restore consumer confidence and in order to give Canadian families a break in this country, in particular middle income families, this government has to recognize that it has an obligation. Considering that it has raised taxes to the tune of $39 billion or $40 billion since 1993, considering that the average Canadian worker's net income has decreased about $2,100, considering that the average family's disposable income in this country has decreased by $4,500 since this tax-mad Liberal government took over, I think the member would agree that this government is morally obligated to give Canadians a break in the income taxes they are paying. That is what will get the economy going again and that is what will provide money for social programs.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:45 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Madam Speaker, the member will know that the primary beneficiaries of the tax cuts he mentioned in Ontario and Alberta are the wealthy, not middle income Canadians. I share his view that it is the middle income Canadians who face the brunt of our tax system. In the 10 years I have been here we have seen middle income Canadians face an ever increasing tax burden. As a result of the important and necessary attack on the deficit they have seen themselves receive less and less in return. They are not getting good value for their money. They know that. That is the reason they are so disgruntled.

However, it is still the case across the country, no matter what the Reform Party says, that Canadians recognize the importance of the kinds of services that define the country—health care, education and social programs—and the need for those services to be paid for by tax revenues. That support, no matter what the Reform Party says, is there. It is there solidly and it will not go away.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Madam Speaker, I wish to seek consent for the following motion:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice, during consideration of Government Order, Government Business number 23, any speech by the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition may be followed by a ten minute period for questions and comments and the House shall continue to sit after 6.30 p.m. this day for the purpose of considering the said Government Order, provided that after 6.30 p.m. the Chair shall not receive any quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent to propose any motion and provided that when no member rises the House shall adjourn to the next sitting day.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to proceed?

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Budget Implementation Act, 1999
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I appreciate the hon. House leader's point; however, we in the Reform Party would wish to be consulted just a bit more on this motion before we give concurrence.