House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gst.

Topics

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is aware that we have been working with the organizations and the province of British Columbia to address this very serious issue.

CMHC has been there from the beginning, not only giving advice, but also approving loan insurance for everyone who has to do repairs but may have difficulty getting loan approval. Mortgage insurance is available.

There is a new minister in British Columbia. We are trying to see how we can work co-operatively on this issue.

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Minister of Finance.

The government is heartless. Many of the owners of leaky condos are low income earners and senior citizens. They are using their entire life savings to keep roofs over their heads, yet the government is saying “No, no, we have to tax these people”. It is sheer greed by the government. All of the members on that side of the House should hang their heads in shame.

Will the finance minister exempt them from paying taxes on their RRSP withdrawals?

Housing
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel
Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this question has been discussed and debated over time with the stakeholders and with the provincial government.

The tax system is a national tax system. We cannot change the tax system every time something occurs. There are other things we can do, which we are doing to help the people who are in need.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

June 12th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, banks have closed hundreds of branches and laid off thousands of employees, services have gone down in the banks while service charges have gone up, and profits have reached obscene levels. We now learn that the Minister of Finance is planning to give the banks a half a billion dollar tax break.

In light of the fact that the Minister of Finance said there is no money available for social housing, would he say that this tax break to the banks is simply not on?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the government's priorities are very clearly health care, education and taxes. In the tax area, the government said in the budget—and in fact I repeated this last week before the House of Commons finance committee—personal income taxes.

The best proof is that of the $58 billion minimum tax cut that we will be providing over the course of the next five years, $54 billion is for personal income tax and employment insurance premium reductions.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we also know that the truth is the government's priority has been to help out the big banks.

I wonder, when the finance minister delivers his gift to the big banks, will he have anything to say to Canada's children? Not only is Canada failing internationally, as pointed out by the leader of the NDP, but to add insult to injury, now Statistics Canada, with a stroke of a pen, wants to change the low income cut-off.

Why is the finance minister still willing to help the banks but cover up poverty in Canada?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had looked at the budget, what she would have seen is that a large part of our tax cuts was the reintroduction of indexation, which helps low and middle income Canadians.

We cut the middle income rate from 26% to 24%, on its way to 23%. We are increasing the child tax benefit, the very people the hon. member refers to, from $1,800 to $2,400 a year.

We have brought in massive tax reductions and we are increasing the amount of money we are giving to middle income and low income Canadians. We will continue to do that.

Chst
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister recently suggested that the CHST be divided into three separate packages—health, education and welfare—instead of the blanket transfer we now have.

Does the Minister of Health support this idea? Is there any chance that it is going to be implemented by the government?

Chst
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is not what I said.

I was asked a question about whether the government would be open to such a consideration. What I said was that there will be ongoing negotiations, as there always will be, with the provinces. If the provinces put that forth, I am sure the government would be prepared to listen.

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

A constituent owes Revenue Canada some money as a result of a reassessment. Although he has asked for an accounting, he has not received it. In the meantime, Revenue Canada has made a formal demand of his investment firm to deregister his RRSP and send his pension funds to Revenue Canada.

Is it the policy of Revenue Canada to collapse RRSPs and take away the only pension funds that some Canadians have?

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the answer to the last part of the question is, obviously, not. Never would that be the intention of the government. If the hon. member wants to bring a particular case to the attention of the minister, he is quite free to do so. Failing that, he is quite free to give me the information and I will contact the minister so that we can assist the individual, if such assistance is possible.

Clearly, the government always operates in such a way as to ensure the integrity of the tax system, while at the same time exercising compassion when we can provide assistance to individual Canadians.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Following the Israeli army withdrawal after a 22 year occupation of South Lebanon the land is littered with land mines. Mines have killed several children in the past few weeks alone.

Considering Canada's successful record in the promotion of land mine control, what efforts are being made by the Government of Canada to see that this military threat will be removed from Lebanon soil once and for all?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi
Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Mine Action Service recently concluded an assessment mission to evaluate mine action needs in South Lebanon. Canada is anxiously awaiting the official conclusion of the assessment mission.

We anticipate that one of the first needs will be to establish a mine awareness campaign to proceed with our contribution. Canadian involvement in mine action in South Lebanon is in keeping with the objectives of the Canadian land mine fund and our goal to integrate mine action through the Middle East peace process.