House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Agriculture
Statements By Members

September 25th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the election must be getting close. The Liberal ads are getting bigger and better.

The minister of agriculture stubbornly refuses to admit that all his multi-million promises to Canadian farmers are not worth the paper his press releases are printed on. Farmers wait months for responses to their requests for assistance after spending hundreds of dollars getting them prepared by professional accountants.

I suggest to the minister that his programs are too complex for the people who need help. As it is, 58% of the claims in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, two of the hardest hit areas, are rejected. Ninety per cent of claims for 1999 remain unprocessed. I suggest to the minister that his programs are too complex for the people he has running them.

On Friday the minister stated that the full commitment of $600 million had been disbursed for 1998. That is not so. In fact that is the total including the 40% provincial contribution; a couple of dollars short. Of the promised 1.7 billion federal dollars only 41% has gone out to the few farmers who have been able to fight through the government red tape.

Clearly it would be enlightening to have all Canadians check the facts on this government.

Pharmaceuticals
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, drug prices are the fastest growing costs in our health care system. We now spend more on drugs than we do on the salaries of doctor.

In 1993 the Liberals promised to reduce drug prices. Instead they broke those promises and left the pharmaceutical companies with a 20 year patent protection on their products even though a generic company can often produce the same product for a fraction of the cost.

This situation has turned into the greatest corporate rip-off in Canadian history worth billions per year in unnecessary costs to our health care system and putting billions into the pockets of drug companies, the Liberal Party's corporate friends and sponsors.

What was a problem in 1993 is now an emergency. We hear of seniors who must choose between paying their rent and paying for their drugs. We hear of seniors who cut their daily medication in half to make their prescription last longer.

Incredibly we are now hearing of people being forced to move from province to province, shopping for the best deal, the best coverage to meet their health care costs. So much for national standards and so much for a national pharmacare plan. It is another Liberal broken promise, this time one that costs more than just money. It costs—

Pharmaceuticals
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

We will now proceed to oral questions.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am excited today. There is a whiff of democracy in the air because some Liberal MPs are beginning to speak out against the practice of the Prime Minister of not letting them vote for their constituents.

Will the Prime Minister inhale this fragrance of freedom, send a signal, and stand to say that he will not punish his MPs in any way if in 24 hours they vote for the Canadian Alliance motion to lower taxes? Will he keep them free from punishment?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last seven years there were a lot more free votes on this side of House than on the other side.

I would like to say that while the hon. Leader of the Opposition was with the Government of Alberta he was asked for a free vote on same sex benefits at that time as was permitted in Ontario. He said this was Alberta and it was not on the agenda. His answer was no.

A few months ago there was a request for a free vote on Bill C-11. Some MLAs of the Conservative Party wanted a free vote. He went there to make sure that there was not to be any.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely wrong. A very hon. premier just resigned today and I truly respect that man. He was right when he said that we needed a new generation of leaders. The reason for that is obvious with that response.

Will the Prime Minister, who disagrees with his finance minister on the high marginal rates of taxes and who now disagrees with his MPs, do one of two things? Will he either resign because he has no support over there or call an election based on his record of being the highest taxing leader in the G-7 countries?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago he was for an early election. Over the weekend he was not for an early election. Now he is for an early election again. This gentleman flip-flops so much that we are having fun on this side.

I tell him that Canadians know the person I am, a politician who has served Canada for more than 37 years. I will never be afraid to go in front of the Canadian people with my record and the record of the Liberal government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is an exciting record. In the olympics of high taxation Canadians deserve the gold medal for having to carry the heaviest weight of taxes of any of the G-7 countries.

Will the Prime Minister do something about the fact that for people to move from low income to middle income it is the greatest and most difficult leap of any of the G-7 nations because of the high marginal rates? Will he lower these rates?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget the Minister of Finance reduced the rate for middle income earners in Canada. We did that in the last budget.

We have reduced taxes for three years since we balanced the books. We balanced the books. We had a $42 billion deficit. Now we have a surplus. We have started to reduce the national debt. We have started to reduce the income tax for people. We have invested in health and in universities.

I am telling the House that Canadian people are quite satisfied with the performance of this government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since he will not answer the question on whether he will protect his MPs if they vote for the people, and since he will not do anything about marginal rates, will he answer a question related to his own advisory committee on science and technology which said that brain drain was continuing in the country?

Young people, entrepreneurial people, hard working people continue to leave. A year ago he said let them leave if they want to leave. Is that still his answer today?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have acted in a very responsible fashion. Of course some people from Canada will go abroad for opportunities and some will come from abroad to Canada.

When we created the chairs of excellence program we were praised because thousands of the best brains would stay in Canada or would come here because this government is looking at the future. We are very proud of our record on that program.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the court of public opinion I find the Prime Minister in contempt of the people for not answering these questions. I have no further questions for this unco-operative witness.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

I will ask the Minister of National Revenue if he has run the econometric models to show that we can lower taxes and still maintain the surplus needed to take care of the debt and social welfare—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.