House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was family.

Topics

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Division No. 1274
Government Orders

7:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 1275
Government Orders

April 10th, 2000 / 7:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Division No. 1275
Adjournment Proceedings

7:50 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the opportunity to pose a question to the Minister of Health with regard to the CHST funding by the federal government.

At the time the debate was about whether or not the transfer was as the provinces had provided the information or in fact as the federal government had presented the information. The House will know that the provinces were suggesting the transfers under CHST were 11 cents to 13 cents in cash, whereas the Minister of Health advised the House very clearly that it was some 33 cents.

I thought it would be useful to try to clarify why there would be this difference. As hon. members know, there continues to be ads on the television which demonstrate a pile of pills representing the provincial government's share of health care funding and a smaller pile for the federal funding. Canadians probably want to know a little bit more about why there is this discrepancy.

It has to do with the change of the rules way back in 1977 when the federal government transferred the ability to tax income to the provincial governments. At the same time as transferring the taxation authority to the provincial governments, the federal government reduced its tax rates so that the net impact on the taxpayer in fact was nil. It was an interesting period of time. If I am not mistaken at that time the transfer of points was 13.5% on personal income tax and 1% on corporate taxation.

As it turns out, Canadians would probably be interested to know that in terms of the value of the cash portion of transfers of CHST funding, which includes health and the tax points or the authorization to collect income tax given to the provinces, that in 2000-01 the provinces will receive a total of some $30.8 billion in the Canadian health and social transfer amount. Of that, $15.3 billion will be tax transfers and $15.5 billion will be transfers in cash. Canadians will have to make up their own minds about whether or not they believe there is some value in tax points.

Before we went to the whole situation of tax points there used to be three separate bins, including a bin for established programs funding as well as post-secondary education. Even then, back in 1977, there was a tax component as well as a cash component. As the value of taxation, as the revenues or the economy of the provinces grew, tax on the growing economy would increase and generate greater dollars of revenue for them, and therefore the cash went down.

The only way that the federal government can enforce the provisions of the Canada Health Act is to have a real cash component so that it can be withheld in the event that a province would decide, as Alberta has, to introduce legislation which would, I believe, violate the Canada Health Act.

I raise the question today and ask the parliamentary secretary if he understands that those are the details and that the real truth is that the federal government contributes, in the form of transfers to the provinces, regardless of what form they take, 33 cents of every health care dollar.

Division No. 1275
Adjournment Proceedings

7:55 p.m.

Ottawa—Vanier
Ontario

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I am standing in this evening for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, as my colleague was unable to be with us this evening.

On February 28, budget day, the Government of Canada announced a $2.5 billion increase to the Canada health and social transfer for provinces and territories to be used over four years for health and post-secondary education. Let us not forget that this $2.5 billion increase follows the largest single investment in this government's history made through the previous budget, an $11.5 billion increase in funding over five years specifically for health.

In 2000-01 the CHST will reach a new high of close to $31 billion. Of this amount $15.3 billion will be in the form of tax transfers and $15.5 billion in the form of cash transfers. The bottom line is that the federal government spends in excess of 31 cents of every public health care dollar spent by governments in Canada. That is clearly more than 7 cents or 13 cents, as some provinces and the opposition claim.

Let us review the facts. It is projected that governments will spend—not individuals, but governments—$64 billion on public health care this fiscal year. Federal direct funding combined with CHST health spending means that about $20 billion out of next year's projected $64 billion in public health care spending, or 31 cents on the dollar, will be financed by the Government of Canada.

In fact if we factor in the $9.5 billion that the federal government will transfer to the less prosperous provinces and territories to invest in health care and other priorities, total federal transfers in 2000-01 will reach $40.6 billion.

All told, Government of Canada spending clearly exceeds 31 cents on the dollar. Let me emphasize, as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have said, that if more money is needed to ensure accessible and sustainable high quality health care for the 21st century, the Government of Canada will be there.

Division No. 1275
Adjournment Proceedings

7:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7.58 p.m.)