House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Mothers' Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to remind this House that Sunday is Mothers' Day.

This is a most important day, because it gives each of us an opportunity to show our attachment and our gratefulness to our mother. Our mothers are a source of inspiration. They never fail to display their courage, their love and their organizing skills.

Who has never phoned his or her mother in a panic to get a recipe? Mothers also show their kindness, their determination and their strength. Their contribution to our society is invaluable. On Sunday, let us think about the tremendous influence of our mother in our personal life and let us thank her.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank my mother, Yolande Bélanger, for the values that she instilled in me. I will be forever grateful to her.

Acadia University
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Acadia University in my riding of Kings—Hants will graduate 750 students this weekend. These students, along with honorary degree recipients, the Hon. William Hoyt, Reverend William E. O'Grady, Mr. Hector Jacques and Col. Ian S. Fraser, will forever be connected to a university with a reputation second to none.

The Maclean's annual ranking of universities has again declared Acadia the most innovative and once again the best overall undergraduate university in Canada. Acadia has also placed first in the leaders of tomorrow and most innovative categories. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Acadia has been considered the most innovative.

Acadia has been honoured by the Smithsonian, has received the Canadian information productivity award and recently was the only Canadian university to receive a pioneer award, an award that recognizes outstanding commitment to the creation of a successful, ubiquitous learning environment.

The launch of the Acadia advantage program has been a key factor in Acadia's success. This program connects students, faculty and staff to a campus wide network. I hope the Canadian fund for—

Acadia University
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Champlain.

Air Transportation
Statements By Members

May 11th, 2001 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Transport and the very serious Minister of Finance accused the separatists of being the reason for the problems of Mirabel and Dorval Airports. What arrogance.

The federal government is the one responsible for the decision two decades ago to make Toronto the Canadian hub of international flights. That same government penalized Dorval and Mirabel in allocating routes to Asia.

It sure takes a lot of nerve for a Minister of Transport from Toronto, backed up by an aspiring Prime Minister from Montreal, to lecture to us.

There is a response to this arrogance, and it is Quebec sovereignty. A sovereign Quebec will negotiate its own international routes and will do everything possible to make the airports of Quebec a model of cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Quebec sovereignty, that is the answer.

Teaching Awards
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the right hon. Prime Minister participated in an awards ceremony recognizing the teaching profession.

The Prime Minister's awards for teaching excellence recognizes teachers across the country. Some 65 teachers, men and women who teach subjects as varied as Spanish, music and mathematics and using innovative methods to inspire youngsters to learn, received this award yesterday.

An innovative society needs the next generation of youngsters to be educated. I congratulate these teachers. We give them full recognition and appreciation for their work as they go back into the classroom to inspire future generations.

Pensions
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me tell Canadians how far the government will go to empty the purses or wallets of Canadians. A senior in my riding cashed in a life insurance policy he had held since 1935 so he could buy a computer.

Cashing in that $3,187 life insurance policy reduced his old age security by $1,400 per year, his Alberta seniors benefit by $648, and increased his federal and provincial taxes by $686. His rent which had been subsidized according to his usual income level increased by $50. The $3,187 windfall set in motion a chain of events that put him $161 in the hole.

I will be introducing a private member's bill that will allow seniors a one time windfall of up to $10,000 that will not be subject to clawback by federal programs.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing more reports and assessments which the government has received from outside economists and organizations in recent weeks. These are very disturbing to taxpayers.

One of Canada's most respected economists, Dale Orr of WEFA, is warning today that for the fiscal year just ended federal spending will be about $2 billion more than expected.

How can the government pretend that we are not on track for a deficit or possible higher taxes when its spending is wildly exceeding even the finance minister's own projections? How can it deny we are not on track for a deficit?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have met and achieved our targets in the past. This is evidence that we will meet our targets in future.

Certainly our spending commitments will be carried out in a fiscally responsible manner and in keeping with our usual prudent budgeting process.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he is right on one thing. They have grossly exceeded their spending targets. They are way over.

It is very clear, as a former economist and now the member for Markham said as far back as last November, that the government through its wild spending would be eating into its contingency reserve. That account is there to protect Canadians, should there be unexpected downturns.

How can the government justify wild spending plans which cut into the very savings account that is supposed to be there to protect Canadians?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not have wild spending plans. We have prudent plans to make key investments in matters of importance to Canadians like health care, research and higher education. Why does the hon. member oppose helping Canadians in these key areas?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they are wildly exceeding their spending plans. The Canadian Alliance said as far back as last November that there would be a possible deficit within three years. Just this week economists are saying the same.

The finance minister has said he would only bring out a mini update covering the next two years. In November he promised taxpayers everything was fine on a five year projection. He is not talking five years any more, just two.

Is he afraid of what lurks in that three year window, which is a deficit according to economists? Will he bring in a five year plan, not a two year one?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I recall it is customary for the Minister of Finance to successfully make his forecasts on a two year basis. Doing that is not a change from the past.

Speaking of economists, Tim O'Neill, chief economist of the Bank of Montreal in today's Toronto Star said:

I don't think they (the government) are going to have any problems avoiding a deficit for the foreseeable future.

He went on to say, as quoted in the National Post :

The tax cuts and the other measures ended up being perfectly timed—

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, while we are quoting economists, perhaps the Deputy Prime Minister noticed that Dale Orr from WEFA said that things would get pretty tight between 2003 and 2005 and that was why it was very important to make sure spending was well restrained.

The government was more than $2 billion over budget for the last fiscal year. In the month of March, the last month of the fiscal year, the government spent 70% more than the average for the other 11 months of the fiscal year. It was March madness taking over.

How can the government say that it has spending under control, when it threw billions out of the window in the last month of the year to satisfy its political agenda?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our spending is restrained and we are on target. We are exceeding the commitments we are making. We are not over budget.

As evidence of this from an outside source, Craig Wright, chief economist of the Royal Bank is quoted in the National Post today as saying:

Everything this government has done in the past would suggest we don't have to worry about a deficit.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general has repeatedly criticized the government's practice of March madness where ministers and departments blow billions out the door in order to spend it before the end of the fiscal year when the finance minister claws it back.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us why his government continues to ignore these warnings from the auditor general? Why did it announce $16 billion of spending in the last month, in the dying days of the fiscal year just closed? Why did we spend 70% more in March than in any month in the rest of the year? Why is that?