House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was animal.

Topics

Cinar
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the minister has done nothing of the sort. The member's accusations are not at all true.

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency may provide the RCMP with information only for the purpose of enforcing the Income Tax Act, once charges have been laid, and only if tax information is requested and related to the charges in question. That is the law.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

December 6th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government of Ontario has called the EI surplus “staggering excess taxation” and “a money grab”.

Two-thirds of the surplus comes from Ontario workers and the best the government can do is a measly five cent cut in premiums. That means there will still be a $6 billion annual money grab from workers by the federal government with Ontario workers footing most of the bill.

When will the government stop its excess taxation and let workers keep the money that rightfully belongs to them?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member said that we have been grabbing money away from workers and taxpayers. Let me tell the member what we have done for the workers and taxpayers.

Since we have been in surplus we have cut personal income taxes 27% and 35% for families with children. That is on top of the cuts of $6.8 billion that we have made each year for the EI premiums.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is living in a parallel universe from the one where the government has raised payroll taxes by 26% since coming to power. The government will be giving a measly 38 cents a week back to workers in EI premiums but it will be taking back seven times as much next year in CPP premiums. Instead of giving a break to workers and employers, the government will be spending $100 million more on a crazy Internet scheme.

When will the government get its priorities straight and let workers keep the money that belongs to them, instead of giving it to the industry minister?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let us go back and look at what we have done to help the workers.

When we took office the employment insurance rate was at $3.07. It is now at $2.20. This is a huge saving of $6.8 billion this year for those workers.

The member should look at the overall picture of what we have done in terms of our tax cuts. We have cut personal income taxes for our workers with families by 35%. That is a huge cut.

The member should not just pick out one small portion of it and say that we are wrong.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, the principle of retroactivity is not new.

It exists, for example, in connection with income tax, and the government is not shy about using it to collect money from taxpayers.

Does the Minister of Human Resources intend to apply the principle of full retroactivity and give seniors all the money she owes them?

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the guaranteed income supplement, there is already a retroactive component to the legislation. The hon. member will know that it is the same retroactive principle that applies for the Canada pension plan.

I understand that in its work the standing committee reviewed the program. As I said before, I am looking forward to reviewing the recommendations of the committee and responding to them in due course.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, why limit the retroactivity to 11 months, as in the law? Why not full retroactivity? The minister has no excuse for refusing to pay up.

So, I ask her once again when she intends to pay and pay back the money she owes seniors.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the guaranteed income supplement, the most important thing we must do is ensure that Canadian seniors are aware that the program exists.

One of the key priorities for us, and indeed for the committee, is to take all opportunities, in forms of outreach, to make sure Canadian seniors who are eligible for the guaranteed income supplement have access to it.

I would welcome recommendations and suggestions from the hon. member as to what organizations in his own community we should work with to ensure that seniors in his region know about the guaranteed income supplement.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, this question is for the finance minister.

The chief actuary has said that a $15 billion EI surplus that exists is enough for the worst recession, but by March 2002, the EI account should be more than $40 billion. Premiums can be cut by 50 cents, yet all Canadians have received is a five cent reduction.

The question needs to be asked again because the government has not dealt with it. If the EI account is in such good shape, why does the government not provide working men and women with a real EI premium cut?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out what we have done in order to help Canada's workers.

When we took office, the unemployment rate was at 11.4%. It is now significantly below that with the government having created over two million new jobs.

Let us look at what we have done in terms of tax cuts. A one earner family of four earning $40,000 will save $1,100 this year. That is 30%, rising to 59% by 2004.

A two earner family of four earning $60,000 will save $1,000 this year. That is about 18%, rising to 34% by 2004.

A single parent--

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Richmond.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Joe Peschisolido Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government does not want to deal with the question.

It is very simple. We have a $40 billion surplus in that account. The chief actuary says that we only need $15 billion. It is obvious the government does not trust its own numbers.

Since the minister must be using some other numbers rather than those of the chief actuary, is the finance minister prepared to table those numbers? How much does he need? Is it $25 billion, $50 billion or $35 billion? What is the number?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what the official opposition would have us do. In just a little over a year since the last election it has come up with additional spending measures of over $30 billion and additional tax cuts of over $25 billion. Now it wants another huge tax cut.

This type of irresponsibility is maybe not surprising because when the leader of that party was the treasurer of his province, he increased spending 28 times. Within six months of Alberta passing its balanced budget legislation, it had to scrap it.

Copyright Act
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Copyright Act currently allows a compulsory licence for the retransmission of a broadcaster's signal by cable and satellite companies. As we know, several companies have shown that it is unclear whether and how the Copyright Act applies to retransmission via the Internet. Broadcasters, film and television producers have been very concerned that the unrestricted transmission via the Internet would adversely affect our rights.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell us what the House will do?