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 tax.

Topics

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the bulk of the tax cuts in our statement yesterday are for Canadians earning under $60,000. There is a fundamental difference between our budget and the Canadian Alliance's position, which would see most cuts going to those earning more than $60,000.

Commentators in Quebec, such as Alain Dubuc, and the great majority of economists are saying that this is a budget for the middle class and for low income earners.

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has not read all the newspapers. I also read that the money he has used to give big tax breaks to the rich is coming out of the EI fund. This means that he has used the money he took from the pockets of unemployed workers to pay for tax breaks for the rich. That is what has happened.

Does he realize that he is using the EI fund, which should be reserved for the most disadvantaged, that he has helped himself to $30 billion from this fund, to pay for these tax cuts? Does he not think this is just a little bit indecent?

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's budget is a great victory for Canadians.

The reason we had surpluses is because of Canada's economic activity, which drove unemployment down from 11.5% to 6.8%. This was because of the creation of 360,000 new jobs this year. This was because of the efforts of Canadians.

If I might continue, Mr. Speaker, I much appreciate your forbearance on your last day.

Things are going well in Canada, and because they are we can now give Canadians—

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's mini-budget neglected many: the victims of the major oil companies were left out.

This morning, we learned that Imperial Oil has reported profits of $1 billion, in the first nine months of this year alone.

What is the Minister of Finance going to say to taxi drivers, who find nothing for them in the budget, to the truckers choking on the price of gasoline, to the farmers whose profits are disappearing into the pockets of the major oil companies? What will he say to them?

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first off, when companies such as Imperial Oil, Esso, or any company earns profits, we take our share and return it to Canadians. That is one thing.

Second, we know full well that Mr. Landry, the Quebec minister, shares the opinion that there is no point in lowering the tax on gasoline, as it would disappear into the pockets of the oil companies.

This is why we lowered personal income tax for the middle and low income groups and this is why we put $1.3 billion into the pockets of Canada's taxpayers, in order to help them with heating oil costs.

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can the Minister of Finance claim that truckers, farmers and taxi drivers are going to benefit from lower personal income tax? They are penniless, in the red because of the price of gasoline.

How is he going to explain to taxi drivers, truckers and farmers that he has given the amount they should have had to Canada's richest taxpayers, by cutting the income tax of his millionaire friends significantly? What will he say to them?

Economic Policy
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for early January, we gave $2 billion to low income Canadians. That is immediate.

Second, we asked the provinces if they wanted to share in a tax cut with us, to co-operate with us. However, the PQ minister, Bernard Landry, refused outright. Let the hon. member talk to his head office.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government was elected because it promised a national plan for pharmacare. It did not promise a national plan for stockbrokers.

Why has the Prime Minister chosen big breaks for stockbrokers and no breaks for Canadian families struggling to pay their medical bills?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on September 11 we met with all the premiers. We made an agreement where the federal government will invest $21.5 billion over the next five years in health care. In the debate we had with them we agreed that this money was to serve among other things to have a better system for pharmacare for the citizens of all the provinces.

The NDP government in B.C., the NDP government in Saskatchewan and the NDP government in Manitoba signed on to the agreement. They were among those who wanted to do pharmacare through a federal-provincial agreement rather than have unilateral action by the federal government.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, seven years later and there is not one ounce of leadership from the federal Liberal government on pharmacare. The government was elected because it promised a national plan for home care. It did not promise corporate tax cuts for high rollers.

I have a question for the Prime Minister. Why did he choose tax breaks for high rollers and no breaks for Canadians struggling to take care of their loved ones, struggling to take care of the sick and the elderly in their own homes?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should have taken the time to read the budget but she was a bit too upset listening to the budget. Next year a single parent with one child earning $25,000 will see the net federal tax benefit rise by $800 to $2,200. The member only has to read what is in the budget. I would like to quote Roy Romanow, the premier of Saskatchewan, who said “This budget is headed in the proper direction and is in the best interests of Saskatchewan and Canadians”. I could go on and on like that.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

October 19th, 2000 / 2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It relates to the secret deal at Downsview.

The Prime Minister will know that crown corporations established by this parliament are subject to the access to information law. Crown corporations established as Downsview was are not subject to the access to information law. Is that the reason the Prime Minister set up Downsview in a way that has been criticized by the auditor general? Did he set it up deliberately to avoid scrutiny by the access to information law?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will tell the leader of the Conservative Party that this was done under a law passed by this parliament. The Canada lands organization has been set by this government. It has to produce an annual report to the House of Commons. In the case of the Downsview land that belongs to national defence, all of it is reported through the estimates of the Minister of National Defence for the participation of the Department of National Defence. The annual report will be tabled in due course in the House of Commons.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is talking about the Canada lands corporation which is required to report. The Downsview corporation is not. It is protected by the way the government set it up. The Prime Minister can change that. He and the governor in council have the power under the access to information law to designate crown corporations that would be subject to the law.

My question is simple. Will the Prime Minister right now today give us a commitment that he will later this day have an order in council processed that would make the Downsview corporation subject to the access to information law so these secrets will be in the public domain so the public will know what is going on?