House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was park.

Topics

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

June 13th, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today StatsCan confirmed what Canadians have known for years, that the government is swallowing up more of their income in taxes than ever before. What does the government spend it on? Boondoggles, fountains, canoe museums, hotels, golf courses, and that is just in the Prime Minister's riding.

What right does the finance minister have to take so much of what Canadians earn and then squander it away?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the reason the government's revenues are up is that things are going very well in Canada. There are more people who are working. There is more economic activity. People's salaries are up. I hate to say this to the leader of the Canadian Alliance, but that is good news for Canadians.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is for sure that incomes had to rise. It is the only way they could afford the taxes really.

The government is spending $15 billion on transfers to health and $17 billion on grants and contributions. Canadian families have been forced to finance for example the history of strippers, a display of French prostitutes, and the porn flick Bubbles Galore . That is not to everyone's taste.

Why is the finance minister against Canadian families keeping more of what they earn?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, two-thirds of all of our new spending is in health care, education and basic research. The issue really is, why did the Canadian Alliance vote against the increases in the national child benefit? Why did the Canadian Alliance vote against increases in preschool child nutrition? Why did the Canadian Alliance vote against every single measure the government has brought in to help the middle class in the country and to help Canadian families?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, because we do not believe it for some funny reason. Maybe it is just a drop in the sea to a shipping magnate but to the average family, $12,000—

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Please address each other by our proper titles.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister, his highness, maybe does not realize that $12,500 is a lot of money to the average Canadian family.

If the finance minister could convince Canadians that he is buying better health care or improving the education system, Canadians might not mind so much, but he has not. He knows that he has not restored the health funding even to 1993 levels and the government is running a $5 billion surplus.

Why is the government plundering Canadian families to pay for bungles, bubbles and boondoggles?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Canadian Alliance would have us believe that her party is interested in health care. Let me say that we were surfing the web the other day and we found the Canadian Alliance website. We looked under health and I will read what it has under health, “There are no current articles for this category or department”. The page is blank.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I remind members to please not use props either in questions or answers.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister needs to remember that it is Canadian entrepreneurs and Canadian businesses that fuel the economy. It is the hard work of individual Canadians that provides not only family income but the government's income. There is a limit to their generosity. Government is confiscating more and delivering less. Worse, the Liberals do not even blink at a billion dollar bungle.

Perhaps the finance minister could tell Canadian families why he needs so much of their money.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the last budget brought in personal income tax reductions and unemployment insurance reductions of $54 billion out of a total of $58 billion.

I would be prepared to defend on any podium in the country our tax proposals against the flat tax of the Reform Party, which is a tax designed to do only one thing and that is to flatten the middle class.

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is certainly an equal opportunity tax man. It does not matter whether people are rich or poor as long as he gets his money. Robin Hood used to take money from the rich to give to the poor. The finance minister takes money from the rich and the poor to give to the human resources minister.

Why should Canadian families give the government so much of their money so the finance minister can give it to the human resources minister for boondoggles?

Government Spending
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, on July 1 of this year, within a couple of weeks, the middle income tax rate will drop from 26% to 24%. The full benefits of indexation will come into play. Let us look at what that party would offer. According to Catherine Ford of the Calgary Herald :

I first encountered the snake oil selling tactics promoting a flat tax years ago in the U.S. It was flawed, a tired, discredited and inherently unfair tax scheme that even the powerful right wing—