House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gas.

Topics

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when you continue to live in the past you continue to be wrong. The Prime Minister said very clearly that he would like to see the next election based on values. In 1995 when he—

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will start again. As I said before, when you live in the past you continue to be inaccurate about the present and the future. The Prime Minister has indicated he would like to see the next election based on values. I am encouraged by that, because he made a promise in 1995 when he slapped a tax on the excise tax for gasoline that it would be to eliminate the deficit.

The deficit is gone now and I believe very strongly that keeping one's promises is a very important value. Will he now live up to that value and scrap this increase in tax?

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said that we are looking at all options at this moment. We are discussing them with the provincial governments because, as many people said, there is a big danger that just the reduction of that tax will not be passed to consumers.

I would like to quote somebody the hon. member might know. Al Palladini, the Ontario minister of economic development and trade, said yesterday: “Cutting fuel taxes is not the answer to this situation. Whenever government has cut fuel taxes it has not been reflected at the pumps”.

We have to consult and act in the interests of consumers, not in the interests of giving an opportunity to oil companies to pocket the money.

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, taxpayers will hold the Prime Minister to account for his words, not some other minister from another province.

During the 1993 election campaign, the Liberals promised to eliminate, abolish and scrap the GST. We know what happened.

In 1998, a Liberal committee proposed to stop collecting the GST.

Will the Liberal government once again break its promises regarding the GST?

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member spoke about a new era in the House, an era where we have to be very careful and very clear about what we are saying.

If he wants to take a moment to be very accurate, he should take a look at the 1993 red book. The Liberal Party policy on the GST was very clearly stated. We said that we wanted to harmonize the GST with the provincial governments. That is the promise we made and that is the promise we kept.

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was very encouraged to see a statement of moral obligation being made by the finance minister. Apparently, if he was accurately reported, and it is in the newspaper and so I do not doubt it, he said very clearly that he saw it as a moral obligation to reduce the particular tax on the excise.

I am very pleased to see that, just as I was pleased to see him stay with his commitment to go ahead with putting the surplus toward the debt. I commend him for that and I am sure they will all start to applaud now, but that was very good work. I appreciate that. Does the Prime Minister not also see this as a moral obligation?

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just said that the government is considering many options. Among those options is the one that was put forward by members on the Liberal side of the House today, an option which said that any help the government should give should go into the pockets of Canadians, especially those with lower incomes.

The fact is that by using procedure the official opposition rejected that amendment. The question is: Why does the official opposition object to Canadians getting the benefits of any such reductions? Why does it want to give it to the oil companies?

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister needs to look at the credentials of his research staff. If they had informed him and briefed him properly they would have indicated very clearly that that motion is being taken up tomorrow. In fact we will be discussing that among our caucus. We are open and willing to do that type of thing. Does the finance minister's moral obligation—

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

I will be here on Friday for that discussion. It will be interesting to see.

Will the finance minister's sense of moral obligation, which I take sincerely by the way, also extend to protection for consumers, to diesel fuel and to home heating fuel?

Fuel Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition says he is prepared to discuss it tomorrow at his caucus. Why will he not discuss it today before the Canadian people?

The Liberal amendment can be accepted with unanimous consent of the House. I challenge the Leader of the Opposition to accept the Liberal amendment.

Budget Surpluses
Oral Question Period

September 21st, 2000 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year, the Minister of Finance was off by $9 billion in his forecast for the surplus. This year, he expected a $4 billion surplus. We know that, after only four months, the surplus is much bigger, at about $11 billion.

Could the Minister of Finance tell us if he has revised his figures, his forecasts, and can he give us his current forecast for this year's surplus?