House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Municipalities
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, municipalities are the level of government closest to home. City officials hear from local people every day and know whether their city needs essentials like upgrades to water systems or sewage treatment facilities.

However, the latest Statistics Canada report revealed Ottawa had an $11.3 billion surplus while municipalities slipped back into deficits. It is time for this government to respect Canada's constitution in its tax policies, not just in words.

Ottawa must quickly reduce its share of the tax pie so the endangered taxpayers can afford to let their city proceed with essential infrastructure rather than filtering their tax dollars through Ottawa first, just so Liberals can look generous when they give a small fraction back.

The Canadian Alliance supports infrastructure spending. However, we also recognize that federal tax cuts are needed so that these local decisions can once again be left to the discretion of local taxpayers and their city council rather than being used as make work programs or political pork barrelling.

Employment
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, over two million new jobs have been created since the Liberal government took office in 1993. What a record.

The employment rate was 6.6% in May, the lowest since March 1976. In one year employment has grown by over 400,000 jobs. In fact, employment rose in every category including employment of women and youth.

I hope the opposition can handle such good news on a Friday.

Sergeant Tommy Prince
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Sergeant Tommy Prince was Canada's most decorated aboriginal soldier. Today his name lives on in his home community of Winnipeg with the creation of Canada's only aboriginal cadet corps, the 553 Sergeant Tommy Prince Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.

Winnipeg Centre is a troubled community in many ways. Aboriginal youth in the core area often grow up exposed to crime and violence. Brutal murders have taken place just feet away from where the 553 held its inaugural parade, murders where the victims and the murderers were no older than the young cadets who marched so proudly before us.

It is heartening that these young people can now develop a sense of belonging in their cadet corps rather than less healthy choices that could result in crime, prison or worse.

Congratulations to Donald Mackie, CD, for his tireless efforts in bringing the 553 to fruition; Mr. Garry Grouette, president of the Central Community Centre; and, the National Aboriginal Veterans Association for its support.

Canadian Economy
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not mention the economic news that we received this morning. Today's economic update speaks volumes about the merits of the federal government's policies.

Since this government took office, in 1993, over two million jobs have been created in Canada. This is proof that the economy is thriving.

According to the figures released by Statistics Canada this morning, the unemployment rate is at its lowest in over two decades, at 6.5%, which is two tenths of a point lower than in May. This is very good news.

It shows that the policies to promote investments and the pursuit of sound management are working well, with the result that we have a strong economy right across the country.

I would be remiss if I did not mention in particular the unemployment rate in Ottawa's national capital region, which is at 5.1%. Such a rate should give hope to all those who are looking for work. Jobs are being created. Let us not lose hope.

Canada Gazette
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish Mississauga Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that the Canada Gazette Parts I and II are now available on the Internet in a alternate format which makes it accessible to persons with disabilities.

The Department of Public Works and Government Services is committed to providing all Canadians with equal access to Government of Canada information.

As the Government of Canada moves toward connecting Canadians on-line, the Canada Gazette on the Internet will play an important role in enabling more Canadians to be part of the democratic process by commenting on the proposed regulations published in the Canada Gazette .

This initiative reflects the federal government's commitment to work with other governments, the private and voluntary sectors and all citizens to build communities in which Canadians with disabilities are fully included.

The Canada Gazette is available on the Government of Canada website at www.canada.gc.ca.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Dubé Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of Madawaska—Restigouche, whom I have the honour of representing here in the House, I want to express the frustration we feel with regard to the changes that were made to the employment insurance map for that region.

People will have to work at least 595 hours, instead of the 425 hours currently required, to be eligible for benefits, for which they are still paying astronomically high premiums.

Moreover, these same people will be entitled to only 18 weeks of benefits, compared to 28 weeks as is currently the case. And all that while there is a $30 billion surplus in the EI fund.

These changes do not take into account the social and economic reality of the Madawaska region. A large percentage of the jobs in our region are seasonal, whether it be in forestry, agriculture, construction or tourism.

I call upon the Minister of Human Resources Development to review the current proposal and to join the Madawaska region with the economic region of Restigouche-Albert.

Health
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is a wish list for the people of the Prince George: three anaesthetists, two orthopaedic surgeons, two radiologists, one plastic surgeon and ten general practitioners. The reason for this list is because over the last year and a half the Prince George Regional Hospital, which serves north central B.C., has lost all these health care professionals.

To say that we have a crisis at the Prince George Regional Hospital is indeed an understatement, and the blame for this crisis lies directly at the feet of this Minister of Health and this Liberal government which has gutted the health care system.

While the Minister of Health stands in the House every day and claims that Canada's health care system is so important to him, people all across Canada and in my riding who need critical health care are asking “Why does he not just recognize that there is a crisis in health care in Canada?”

I say to the government and to the health minister that if they really care about the state of health care in this country, they should stop talking about it and fix it.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, many fishermen in my riding have expressed concern that the federal minister of fisheries has excluded them from the negotiation process with native fishermen.

Like everyone else in the House, they heard the minister continually mention that there needed to be a negotiated settlement to address the Marshall decision and that it would require participation by all stakeholders.

Well non-native fishermen have been excluded from discussions, discussions that will have a direct impact on their livelihoods. They have heard about licences, boats and gear being provided to the natives but have no details about the extent of their use. They are concerned that the boats that were provided to the aboriginal communities could be used to expand the controversial summer food fishery.

Why does the minister not share the same concerns? Has he taken appropriate steps to prevent such a situation, and, if so, could he please tell us what they are?

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

June 9th, 2000 / 11:10 a.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to light Canada's aboriginal veterans, an issue of grave importance that requires an honourable resolution of recognizing our mistreatment and disrespect of returning veterans.

The aboriginal veterans of first nations, Métis and Inuit ancestry were amongst the first to volunteer and contribute to defend our freedoms and our nation.

Canada must recognize the unfair treatment of past governments disallowing their qualifications to the same benefits and privileges of returning veterans from these horrible conflicts and engagements.

A recent tour of Holland demonstrated the emotional gratitude that our liberated allies extended toward our visiting veterans in these homelands where peace, freedom and democracy are the gifts and the legacies that all people appreciate.

Let us salute our veterans with respect and lay to rest all the inequities and injustices that tarnish the glory and honour that bestows a warrior. We must extend to all our heroes, our brothers and sisters in arms, a gesture of our appreciation and recognition of their rightful place in our history.

Greenhouse Gases
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal-provincial meeting of environment ministers just ended. In this Environment Week, we must push the federal government on the issue of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Liberal government's record on the smog issue and, more generally, on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, has been branded as disastrous by the commissioner for the environment and for sustainable development. Emissions have increased considerably, and there is no sign of an eventual improvement in the quality of the air we breathe.

Quebec's record on this issue is clearly better, mainly because of its energy choices. The federal government must now do its share and take its responsibilities. To distribute the efforts in the fight against pollution, the development of a strategy which would take into account, in a fair manner, each province's record in this area is essential.

The time has come for the federal government to meet its commitments and to make sustainable development a true priority.

All Saints' Anglican Church
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, along with people of faith around the world, the congregation of All Saints' Anglican Church in Westboro has dedicated itself to the message of Jubilee, the renewal every 50 years of a society of love and justice.

The people of All Saints have given me a petition to present to the government, to honour the agreement it made in Beijing, to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women at all stages of life, to remove obstacles to active women's participation in all spheres of public and private life, and to promote social development that recognizes empowering the poor, particularly women living in poverty.

The people of All Saints calls on the government to acknowledge both its pledges in Beijing and at the world summit in Copenhagen for social development, and to create a better society for all Canadians.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the provinces and territories are releasing a unanimous report on federal health care spending. We have received a copy of the report and it shows that the federal government has virtually turned its back on its responsibility to fund health care.

While the minister uses tax points to give the illusion of larger federal spending, in realty federal per capita spending has fallen 27% since this government came to power.

Why is the health care of Canadians such a low priority to the government?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the transfers to the provinces today are at an all time high. That means we have put our money where our mouth is.

We believe that health care is a priority. We have also said that we want to sit down with the provinces and work out an agreement on the fundamental nature of how to protect the Canada Health Act. Our money will be there in addition to what we have already done.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about some facts. This year Canadians uncovered a black hole of mismanagement into which billions of federal dollars are poured every year.

While federal spending on grants and contributions will reach $17 billion this year, total spending on health and social transfers will only be $15.5 billion. That is more spent on boondoggles than on hospital beds.

Why does the federal government choose to spend more on grants and contributions than it does on the health care of Canadians?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let us look at our transfers to the provinces: over $30 billion in terms of the CHST and the tax points that go with it; and ,in addition, we have about $10 billion in equalization payments that go to the provinces and that can be dedicated to health care.

Our transfers for health care to the provinces are at an all time high. We have said that we will increase them when we can get an agreement to protect the Canada Health Act. That is our commitment to health care.