House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was driving.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance says that he does not like being called a Conservative.

When the minister gets up in the morning and looks in the mirror, does he not see a Conservative rather than a Liberal? If he does not see a Conservative looking back at him, then why does he not allow the Minister of Human Resources Development to make changes to employment insurance, especially since the fund will have a $42 billion surplus by March, 2002?

Why does he not hand this money over to her, since it belongs to Canadian workers?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again, the member should know that, according to the auditor general, employment insurance premiums and government revenues have to be consolidated.

The member has to look at what we have done. We have invested in health, in parental leave, in job creation, and in research and development.

We have done this because when we on this side of the House look into the mirror, all we see are Liberals.

The Media
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, there is a growing outrage over the worrisome new editorial policy in the Southam chain of newspapers. Now a national editorial will be printed in every paper and the local editorial board will be forbidden to contradict it.

This loss of editorial independence is a direct consequence of the concentration of ownership in the media and our worst fears are being realized because of the laissez-faire attitude of the government toward the issue.

What concrete steps does the government intend to take to prevent even further corporate centralization of the media and an even further erosion of the editorial independence in the country?

The Media
Oral Question Period

December 7th, 2001 / 11:45 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the government has no plans at this time to impose any new rules or regulations with respect to the operation of the free press in Canada.

The member's views about the state of play with respect to editorials are views that members on all sides of the House would, from time to time, have some sympathy for. Occasionally, there is an editorial or two that I do not like much myself but I do not want to go out and change the rules in the way in which newspapers operate.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, in his response to a question today from our leader, the industry minister said that the economy was in a recession.

Does the finance minister agree with the industry minister that indeed Canada is in a recession?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what the Minister of Industry said was that the global economy was in a recession. There is no doubt that when we look at the problems in the United States, Japan and Europe, members will understand the very difficult context within which the government is now doing this budget. It is in fact because of the slowdown that is outside of our borders. It demonstrates the extent to which we have a very important balancing act in terms of providing stimulus, in terms of staying out of deficit and in terms of making sure we do things consistent with our long term plan. I can assure the House that we are up to the challenge.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago the Minister of Human Resources Development used her crystal ball to interpret a question from one of her colleagues as to whether or not EI recipients will get their cheques before Christmas. The minister said that they would.

However, as late as today, her officials have said that the only way a recipient will get a one week cheque is if they go in and make an individual case.

Who is calling the shots and what will the minister do rectify the situation?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that I did not need a crystal ball. All members of the House realize that the opportunity for employment insurance claimants to get an advance payment before Christmas is a very important provision in the act.

I can confirm for the hon. member that we will ensure, as has been the case in the past, that EI claimants will be able to request in advance a cheque before Christmas.

Cbc
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year when the CBC series Canada: A People's History was announced, the government took great pride in the quality of the show. However, I got an e-mail yesterday from a constituent which stated:

--I am a teacher at Pinetree Secondary in Coquitlam. I am currently the Humanities Dept. Head at the school. I would like to use the excellent video series Canada: A People's History at our school. However, the cost to the school (viewing rights) is $2,147.00.

Canadian taxpayers paid the CBC to create this series. Why is the government creating a disincentive for Canadians to learn about their history by charging them over $2,000 to watch what they have bought?

Cbc
Oral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the independence of the CBC is guaranteed by parliament under the Broadcasting Act. Moreover, I would like to point out that section 39 of the Broadcasting Act provides that the board of directors is responsible for the day to day management and operations. As well, under subsection 46(5), programming independence is also guaranteed by the CBC.

I would submit that perhaps what the hon. member should be doing is asking the CBC the same question.

Cbc
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am asking the government because it has the authority to do it. It brokered a deal with the province of Manitoba to undercut the prices so that Canadian kids could learn about Canadian history.

What is it about this government that it sees the need to tax taxpayers twice for the cost of learning about their own history with their own resources? Why is the government not stepping forward and showing leadership so that Canadians can learn about their own history?The government should step up to the plate and show leadership.

Cbc
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the government has been investing in the arts and culture, and in our children and our history. On May 2 we announced the largest reinvestment in the arts. We invested $560 million in our stories, our identity and our history. I would submit that we are investing in our children, in our history and in our identity.

Interest Rates
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bank of Canada key interest rate keeps going down. It has dropped nine times this year, for a total of 3.5 points. The bank rate now stands at 2.5%, a 40-year low.

The gap between the Bank of Canada rate and the rates of the lucrative credit card market continues to widen and is now 16.4% in this unstable and difficult economic period.

Is the government going to continue to do nothing while financial institutions continue to rake in $34 billion in profits of various sorts, including unpaid debts, to the detriment of consumers in this period of recession?

Interest Rates
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are many kinds of credit card, as the member knows. There are cards with much lower interest rates, and there are also cards with higher rates, which offer various options. What the banks will say is that this is a way they protect themselves against fraud and so forth.

That having been said, there should be a much closer relation between interest rates and the interest on credit cards.

Interest Rates
Oral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, some commercial credit card interest rates are as high as 30% in Canada, while the average rate in the United States is 14.4%. U.S. banks have thus dropped average rates by over 2% this year.

Is the government going to continue to let financial institutions rake in profits on the backs of consumers this way?