House of Commons Hansard #208 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is unseemly to see the crocodile tears of the Reform Party members when they talk about poverty. They never talk about poverty and it is not part of their agenda.

The basic issue is that we want to cut taxes as much as anybody. In fact we have cut taxes substantially for that person.

The member has a supplementary question and she could tell us. Three quarters of our spending was on health care and education. Would she not do that? We spent money on equalization. Would she not do that? We spent money on medical research. Would she not do that? If her questions are to have any credibility, she should stand up and say what she would cut.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, what we would cut is taxes. And I do not think the minister can talk about crocodile tears.

The minister knows that in his latest budget this woman would save a paltry $60. The tax experts have confirmed that and they are no rivals. She would still have to pay over $600 in her taxes this coming year. That is shameful. This same woman also had to pay $9.77 in the federal individual surtax when she made less than 12,000 bucks.

I would like the minister to get up and give a supplementary answer. Why does he force the working poor to keep paying so much money to him?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is not the issue at all. The issue is the fact that that woman will be able to go to a hospital and get decent health care which she would not get if she followed the Reform agenda. That woman will get decent medical research for breast cancer which she would not get if she listened to the Reform Party. And that woman's daughter will get decent prenatal nutrition. There will be children's programs which they would not get if they listened to the Reform Party.

The Reform Party wants to cut taxes. It wants to cut taxes on the backs of the poor and low income people. That is its agenda and we will never follow it.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the plan proposed by Germany and approved by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, would be acceptable as a solution to all the members of this House and may in fact be the key to the end of the conflict in Kosovo, should Canada not show some leadership?

Would this not be a fine time to be the first country whose House of Commons adopts the peace plan? Should Canada not seize this opportunity before it?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I spoke this morning with Kofi Annan on the peace proposal. Our discussions included the importance of a negotiating process.

There is no agreement at the moment. A group has put forward ideas. It is very important to develop a negotiating process. It is still too early to ask the House of Commons to express its view. When agreement has been reached, I would like an expression of support from the House of Commons, but at the same time—

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, am I right in understanding the minister to say that the government would be ready, once an agreement has been reached, something committed and of substance, to put it to a vote in the House so members may decide on it?

If that is the case, it is an interesting proposal and we would ask the minister to reiterate it.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has said on many occasions, we are always prepared and interested to bring to parliament for its consideration important initiatives that we must take internationally. At the same time we are saying that we must carefully examine this question of a vote because it begins to provide serious limits on the fundamental issue of cabinet government. We are very interested in having the full Commons take note of these initiatives and express its point of view. Those were my words.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

April 15th, 1999 / 2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, 85% of Canadians and 80% of Quebeckers say that tax cuts should be a priority. They say that taxes are eroding their quality of life and hurting the economy, the dollar and the national standard of living.

Is the Minister of Finance so cut off from reality that he does not see the serious consequences of his heavy taxes on Canadians?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have said, and I will say again, that we want to lower taxes and that we have lowered them substantially, by $16.5 billion over 36 months.

That is not the question. The question is this: Is the member, who is his party's health critic, saying that he does not approve of our decision to earmark $11.5 billion in federal transfers for health? Is he saying that he is not in favour of our investments in medical research and development? Is he now going back on everything he has said in the last two or three weeks?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you what I was against. I was against the $21.4 billion this government took out of medicare in the previous five years and this little driblet, this $11.5 billion it is putting back. It is two to one, two dollars out and one dollar back in. That is not a very good record as far as I am concerned. How can the finance minister stand up and possibly justify that record? It is awful.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member was against that, then why is it that after we put $11.5 billion into the transfers to the provinces the hon. member stood up and—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order. We heard the question. We will hear the answer.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the question is, if the hon. member objected to the $3.5 billion which his party was going to cut in transfers, why did he not stand up and say so? If the hon. member objected to reductions in transfers when his party was going to cut $16 billion out of transfers to the provinces for health care, why did he not stand up in this House and say so?