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

Health
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about this government's disgraceful legacy on the issue of health care.

When medicare started the federal government picked up half the cost of health care; that was 50 cents on every dollar. It now picks up just 10.2 cents of every health care dollar spent.

This government has a bigger surplus than it has ever had. Canadians are more worried about health care than they have ever been in the past. They want a simple answer to a very simple question: When is this minister going to contribute his fair share to health care?

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 the breakdown of how our transfers apply. When we include the tax points, which the provinces have not said they want to give back to us, we are funding fully 31% of all publicly provided health care in Canada.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is more like a meltdown, what is happening on the other side.

The provincial territorial report to be released today is unanimous. Every province agrees that the federal government has failed to live up to its responsibilities to fund health care.

I will quote from the report. It says:

A long-term look at spending on health care reveals a federal government withdrawing from its partnership with the provinces and territories.

While the government is planning to buy the next election with health care dollars, there are 200,000 Canadians on waiting lists who need help now.

Will the minister properly address the funding issue today and deal with it in a reasonable fashion instead of waiting until the next election?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let us just look at the numbers.

The CHST is $31 billion. If we go back to the old formula of 54% of that going for health, that is about $17 billion. In addition the federal government spends another $3 billion itself on health care, which brings our expenditure up to $20 billion out of the $64 billion which is spent every year by governments on health care in Canada.

That is—

Health
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The hon. member for Peace River.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I notice that the health minister sits in his chair and does not answer while he lets the number cruncher over there do it for him.

The provinces want to meet with the federal government next week to discuss this issue and this report. We have learned that the federal government has reserved rooms in Vancouver for June 15 and 16 just in case it changes its mind.

Will the minister commit today to attend this meeting, or will he dodge it like he does his responsibility to health care?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, let me first of all say that we welcome the report which is to be delivered today from the provinces and territories. I have not yet seen it but I hope very much that it is a constructive contribution to a dialogue we are having with the provinces on health care and its funding into the future.

As Minister of Health I believe strongly that there should and must be more federal money in health care. All we ask is that it go to support the public health care system, not to fund tax cuts in Ontario. We ask that it go to make the changes that are needed to make it a truly sustainable health care system. I look forward to talking about those plans with my counterparts in the provinces.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

June 9th, 2000 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week the Prime Minister has proven two things to us as far as parental insurance is concerned. First, that his objective is not to respond to the present needs of young families but rather to raise the profile of his government. Second, that he is woefully ignorant of developments in Quebec's parental insurance project when he states that the federal government is in the lead role in this matter.

Is the Prime Minister aware that the parental insurance project was announced by the Government of Quebec as far back as February 1996 as the third component of its family policy?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the federal government is the leader as far as parental leave is concerned, and has been for some time. It is fully entitled to broaden this system in the interest of all Canadians. If the hon. member is serious about this, I wonder why she does not support our efforts for the entire population.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is clearly determined not to understand something that is, after all, simple. The decision by Quebec dates back to February 1996 and led to a consensus at the November 1996 economic summit.

Right from the start, right from February 1997, Quebec has attempted to negotiate the mechanisms of this program with Ottawa. Despite Quebec's offer on several occasions to resume negotiations, nothing has yet come of it.

What is holding back the government from merely showing a bit of open-mindedness, from sitting down at the table and negotiating in this matter?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that the hon. member does not possess the facts.

In 1997, the PQ government chose to walk away from the negotiating table with the federal government, which is one more reason why we decided to move ahead in the interest of all Canadians.

If the separatist PQ government wants to do anything more, it is perfectly entitled to do so.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, parental insurance is a cohesive element of the family policy that has been developed in Quebec over the past 20 years. The Quebec society deems it essential to support all young families. In spite of the Quebec government's offer, reiterated today by minister Marois to the Minister of Human Resources Development, the government persists in its refusal.

What will it take for the Prime Minister to adopt an attitude that will allow us to meet the current needs of all young families?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is the reason why, in the throne speech and in the budget speech, we announced our intention to broaden the scope of parental leave.

We want to work in the best interests of poor families and of all families in Quebec and across the country. Again, I wonder why the Bloc Quebecois is not interested in supporting our serious efforts to help all Canadian families.

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the issue of parental insurance has been the subject of discussions in Quebec since February 1996. Having received support at the November 1996 economic summit, Quebec has been trying to negotiate such a program with Ottawa since 1997.

Instead of giving a positive reply to that request to negotiate, the federal government, in its September 1999 throne speech and its February 2000 budget, did not hesitate to propose a measure that willfully excludes thousands of young families from its program.

How can the government justify its decision to block a process that has the support of all Quebecers and to merely propose an incomplete, unfair and unsatisfactory measure?

Parental Leave
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we did not block any program. If something is unfair, it is the hon. member's question; it is unfair and it is not based on facts, because we work for all families, including young families and poor families.