House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

If I had known you felt that way about me I would have changed my mind.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, just a few moments ago I was down the street at a coffee shop getting a cup of coffee. The woman who was working there asked if I was upset that the government was making a weak attempt to steal the Canadian Alliance tax plan.

The more profound question I was asked came from the gentleman who was working behind the till. His question in this cynical attempt before an election to capture votes was “Does the government really think Canadians are this dumb?” Will the Prime Minister please address that question?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we returned in September the first question raised in the House was about having a mini-budget. They wanted the Minister of Finance to say what he would do with the great results he was having in terms of surpluses and so on. We obliged.

We told the Canadian people that because of the good management we have provided to the country over the last seven years there was some money available. We were delighted to return some of it in the form of tax reductions and at the same time investments in education, research, medicare, and so on. I am sure the people of Canada will recognize that they have been extremely well served in the last seven years.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the Prime Minister would be willing to test that sense of confidence. I know he has a busy schedule, but would he be willing to accompany me down to the coffee shop just a few blocks down and try that answer on the people who asked me the question? Would you like to try that on with real Canadians? Do you want to try that one on?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask hon. members to direct their questions to the Speaker.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I might be visiting a lot of coffee shops in the next few weeks. I am very confident. We are going into an election and members of parliament on this side are inviting me, the Minister of Finance and other ministers of the government to visit their ridings. We will visit a lot of coffee shops. When we come back perhaps we will find the Leader of the Opposition in another coffee shop.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the confidence of Canadians has been shaken by the most scathing auditor general's report possibly in our history, by the most scathing information commissioner's report possibly in our history talking about a government undermining democracy, and by one after another of RCMP investigations.

They will be remembering a previous tax commitment where the Prime Minister said he would abolish, kill and eliminate the GST. How are these tiny tax cut commitments any different than the big commitment you made and that you have never—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The Right Hon. Prime Minister.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition makes all sorts of accusations. I just want to say that in public administration we always have some problems and we have to cure them.

On the wire a minute ago there was an item. I just learned this morning that the company that owns and operates the Swan Hills waste treatment facility in Alberta announced that it would no longer operate the plant.

I am sure that the Leader of the Opposition is aware of this project as his former government subsidized it to the tune of $440 million, a figure confirmed by the auditor general. Apparently the word for a situation like that, I have a problem with this word in English, is boondoggle in Alberta.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, seeing that there are at least four police investigations in the Prime Minister's riding about misuse of funds, perhaps the Prime Minister should keep those kind of comments to himself.

To return to reality for a minute, the auditor general has graded the government's fiscal management. The auditor general gave it an f for a grade. In fact he said that they have placed little emphasis on the importance of maintaining financial controls. Perhaps that is why its own budget estimates for last year were overspent by a few billion dollars.

The government wants to open the floodgates even more on the spending. Why should the voters of Canada give the Prime Minister another—

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have explained, and I repeat, that there are problems in public administration anywhere in Canada. Sometimes even in the private sector they have problems and they have to correct the situation.

Today the premier of Ontario admitted that all governments have administrative problems which need correcting. As he put it, “I do not want to be casting stones at glass houses”. It is a lesson for all of us.

This is why I have to show the hon. Leader of the Opposition that it was only one project of $440 million that went belly-up. I do not say they made a mistake. I just say that it is not a success. They probably did it in good faith.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals seem to think that there is a connection between massive spending and electoral success. They are right. After seven years of boondoggle spending and widespread mismanagement, the Liberals will find the more they spend, the less they will succeed at the polls.

Canadians want their governments to manage their money carefully and the government has failed them. Why should Canadians trust the government with more of their tax money when that trust has been so badly broken over the past seven years?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general has reported. He said there were some problems and we admitted that there were problems. The minister put in place a program of six points that he approved and said was working.

It is amazing and a great compliment to the Minister of Finance that they do not dare ask a question on the budget.

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

October 19th, 2000 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance's budget is a budget for the rich.

Those earning $250,000 and up a year will get tax breaks of $19,000, while those earning $35,000 will get only $550. So much for compassion and values.

Will the minister admit that the main purpose of his budget is to woo voters away from the Canadian Alliance, rather than to promote the supposed Liberal values he claims to espouse?