House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2000
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for stating that absolutely correctly. Solution 17 addresses that point. Let me just read what solution 17 is going to do for families.

Solution 17 will create a marginal rate of 17%. It will increase the basic personal and spousal credit to $10,000. It will introduce $3,000 per year per child. It will decrease the EI rate to $2 from $2.40. I see every member on the other side has disappeared. I guess they do not like good news either.

Solution 17 will reduce the capital gains tax to about 20% from nearly 40%. This is what Canadians are demanding. It will address the issue of families trying to put food on the table.

Budget Implementation Act, 2000
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

On questions or comments, the hon. member for Souris—Moose Mountain, who I am sure will not refer to the absence or presence of other members in the House.

Budget Implementation Act, 2000
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. I congratulate my hon. colleague not only for his presentation but for his response. I want him to agree with what I have to say about this because it is a very tenuous issue.

We talk about increasing funding to the attorney general's department. Within that department at the present time we have taken over 300 RCMP officers off the street to engage in gun registration at a huge expense. Does my hon. colleague think that is a good way to spend money, registering guns by taking officers off the street where we need them?

Budget Implementation Act, 2000
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, what my hon. colleague has said is just one example of the waste of money that has been going on. The government has the wrong priorities. We need officers on the street. The auditor general has talked about tools not being available to the RCMP. We are now taking the RCMP away from the job of keeping our streets safe and putting them into looking at a registry. That is a burden on Canadians, a waste of taxpayers' money and will not address the situation.

This is the same as the $1 billion boondoggle with the grants and contributions in HRDC. The government is giving money on one side and taking money on the other, perhaps giving it to their friends. Businesses with government connections are doing very well compared to those which do not.

Budget Implementation Act, 2000
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to have an opportunity to speak to Bill C-32, the budget implementation act, 2000.

Canadians expect budget 2000 to be a highlight and a major departure from where Canada has been with regard to fiscal restraints in this country. However, there has been a major oversight by the government regarding health, education and social transfers.

In recent years the provinces time and time again have been backfilling the many cutbacks and program reviews that the Liberal government has so steadily and efficiently deployed, all in the name of fiscal restraint, debt reduction. Health care is a major social structure component of Canadian livelihood. Education in Canada is a major challenge for us.

Canada is a vast country. Major changes have happened in our lifestyles, such as the role of families on family farms and the small remote communities in northern Canada. People want jobs with higher incomes such as can be found in the high tech environment, but these may only exist in large urban centres. With the evolution and revolution of technology through the Internet and so on, these jobs could inevitably exist in remote communities. One does not necessarily have to be a major stock market player in downtown Calgary. This may eventually be done in Cumberland House.

If someone wanted to trade some fresh fish from the Athabaska Lake or Great Slave Lake, they could hook up on the Internet and trade with Hong Kong, Germany or wherever. We have to look into the future and the whole aspect of the technology revolution and restructuring Canadian society.

Students visit Parliament Hill from many different high schools from all corners of Canada. This has been a major highlight for many of them. We must empower them. We must given them an opportunity to dream of developing a better life in their communities in Canada. We must provide them with the resources.

We must provide them with budgets, not empty bank accounts, when they take their rightful place in society. They may be in this place or they may become legislators in their provinces. They may find their place as mayor or in the council rooms of their cities and villages. They may take their elected place on band councils in their first nations government.

These young people have to be given hope and there is no better place than in Canada. We must keep from dismantling our social structures, things like medicare, health care and affordable drugs. With regard to education, there is the high cost of student loans, deteriorating universities, infrastructures, and first nations education on which a report was released this week.

A previous government put on post-secondary caps, limits on first nations accessibility to post-secondary education. What dreams do the high school students and the junior high school students have when they see that only a selected few will be able to continue their journey to higher education? We need to motivate them and give them an opportunity to dream for a better future. This requires strategic financial investments.

The program reviews—I must applaud the government—are now history. We must acknowledge that are no more cutbacks like the $104 million cutback in the national parks. Not a cent of that cutback has yet been returned to the national parks system in the country. None has been announced.

We have a major initiative for our young people when they graduate. A program exists for them if they are uncertain where their careers are going or where their journey of education is going. The program is called Katimavik. It is a very worthwhile program for youth in the country.

The demand has been growing exponentially as successes grow in each community and region. More people want to have access to these community projects. Volunteers come from all over Canada to work on these projects. The Katimavik program makes it possible. There was no increase in the funding for Katimavik. They work on environmentally sensitive issues and on community programs that will not exist.

Budget Implementation Act, 2000
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The member still has 14 minutes left in his talk. I thought this might be a good place to interrupt. It is almost two o'clock and it might allow us to get an extra statement in before the end. He will have the floor when we resume debate after question period.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, National Volunteer Week is an opportunity for all Canadians to pay tribute to the millions of volunteers who improve the lives of their fellow citizens every day. The contribution they make helps our communities to remain strong and is important in maintaining the quality of life of all Canadians.

I am now actively working on developing a community program to provide direct assistance to all volunteer organizations. Their needs remain great, and we must do more to help them.

I hope I will have the unanimous support of all political parties here in the House for my private member's bill.

Let us thank all these volunteers from the bottom of our hearts. I take this opportunity to invite all parliamentarians to attend the opening reception of the Volunteer Canada exhibit tomorrow at 9.30, in Room 200 of the West Block.

Via Rail
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Transport predicted the revival of passenger rail in Canada when he announced an additional $400 million in funding for VIA Rail.

However, let us look a little closer at the announcement. The Liberals have to put the money into VIA. After all, the government provided a billion dollar loan to the American passenger rail system Amtrak.

The minister says the loan will get commuters out of their cars and on to the train. The only problem with this is that VIA Rail does not operate commuter rail. The regional transit authorities do.

The minister says that privatization would not work. Can he explain why the Rocky Mountaineer, a profitable private company that has never received a penny in government subsidy, would like to buy VIA Rail's transcontinental route?

While the minister is correct in stating that trains helped build the country, we need to remind him that train travel has changed over the last 120 years. It is too bad that the government's thinking has not.

Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we mark Volunteer Week this week, I want to acknowledge an organization in my riding that runs on volunteers.

West Hill Community Services was incorporated in 1977 by a caring and committed group of volunteers with a common goal: to improve the quality of life for all persons within Scarborough East. They did not choose to focus on any disadvantaged group, but rather to choose a holistic approach and encourage volunteers to help all social groups and all ages.

Today over 800 volunteers deliver 64,000 volunteer hours annually to the West Hill Community Services. Churches, schools, Boy Scout and Girl Guide groups and service clubs facilitate drives that provide services for 9,000 families on an annual basis with food hampers and great toys for kids. On an annual basis 1,800 meals, prepared by volunteers, are delivered to homebound people. Volunteers transport frail elderly—

Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik.

Chrysler Cup
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, from April 12 to 16, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region will be hosting hockey teams from throughout Quebec as part of the Chrysler Cup tournament.

Some 226 teams will be taking part in these provincial ice hockey championships in 13 cities in the region. The organizing committee chaired by Louis Blanchette from Malartic has put almost two years of work into making this event a success.

My thanks to the organizing team: Louis Blanchette, Robert Meunier, Robert Larochelle, René Boucher, Pascal Pelletier, Régis D'Amour, Jean-Gilles Racicot, Gilles Laperrière, Joël Lacelle, Pierre Dupuis, Marc Moreau, Daniel Asselin, Serge Demers, Laurent Demers, Mariette Brassard, Audinette Gagnon, Jean-Claude Babin and André Lalonde.

My thanks also to the 2,000 volunteers, 4,436 athletes and 932 escorts and visitors. And we thank the Government of Canada for taking part and helping young Quebecers.

Fullarton Book Launch
Statements By Members

April 13th, 2000 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of this year's ongoing millennium celebrations, I want to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in the Fullarton history book launch this past weekend. Entitled Water under the Bridges: The Story of Fullarton Township , this 950 page book examines the significant people and events of the last 150 years that helped define the area.

Participants to the book launch were entertained by guest speakers and local performances, including bag piping, gospel singing, solo violin and theatrical performances.

My special gratitude goes to the 22 member history book committee, especially the chair, Jean Park, who for the last three and a half have been working extremely hard to see that this project was a smashing success. Congratulations to all.

Health
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government has received a failing grade on its health care spending. The finance department conducted a survey that found nearly 70% of all Canadians feel that not enough money was put into health care funding in the last budget.

The provinces have pleaded with Ottawa to restore funding levels. The federal government countered with a lame tax point strategy that is deliberately confusing and causing irreparable damage in federal-provincial co-operative relations.

The federal government talks about solving the problems of health care but no plan has been put forth. The provinces have programs in development. The provinces have programs in effect. What they need now is a funding commitment which will allow them to proceed with assurances that health care funding will be stable.

This government's actions have done little to assure Canadians that this is something they can count on.

Health
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask hon. members to stay away from the word deliberately. It always causes a reaction.

Investor Education Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, if our young people are to be educated consumers of financial services, it is important they have access to the most up to date Canadian information about today's financial world.

To meet this need, the Canadian Bankers Association spearheaded the development of YourMoney Network, an integrated network of websites that contains neutral information for Canada's youth. This initiative was developed in a partnership among the Canadian Bankers Association, the Bank of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Toronto Stock Exchange and was launched last year.

As part of this year's Investor Education Week, the YourMoney Network is introducing a new online resource guide with over 800 financial topic resources and five new partners.

This is an outstanding initiative of Canada's banking industry that will ensure Canada's youth are well prepared to make wise decisions about their own financial futures.