House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I take good note of your comments to the effect that we should not repeat arguments that have already been presented in the House.

I am greatly comforted by the remarks of the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis and I fully support what he proposed.

I will simply touch very briefly on two issues. First, is this a tax or a levy? Dictionaries clearly define the word “tax” as “a contribution to the revenues of the government that is compulsory for taxpayers, goods or businesses”.

The levy mentioned in Bill S-15 does not in any way contribute to government revenues. It comes from the tobacco industry and it is paid to the foundation without ever being part of the treasury, even if the foundation were to be disbanded. At that point, the balance would be transferred to the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council.

My second point is whether or not this is a matter of law. Such issues usually come under the jurisdiction of the House of Commons. As we know, according to our tradition and rules, the Speaker of the House does not rule on constitutional or legal issues.

If we listen to the debates on the point of order raised by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, we begin to see that this may be a legal issue. Therefore, I urge the Chair to simply look at the Canadian precedents on the issue of levies, at the two conditions that are proposed and see if this bill does meet these two criteria. If so, I call on the Chair to deem the bill in order, thus allowing the debate to continue in the House.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am responding to the point of order made by the government House leader earlier today.

It seems that he is looking for ways or mechanisms to weasel his way around routine proceedings. He seems rather fond of that. He is looking to procedurally disable his own caucus members and their bills.

We heard from the members for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Davenport, Lac-Saint-Louis and Peterborough.

I would like to add that this was done without notice. It is something that our opposition House leader mentioned and I think therefore merits 24 hours of notice.

Finally I would like to add that the government House leader seems to enjoy following the rules when it is convenient for him. Yesterday he asked for unanimous consent and I denied it.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

The Speaker

This is a procedural argument that we are hearing, not one on personalities or arguments about the conduct of members or the reasons why they raised the points.

If the hon. member has some point to make in respect of the admissibility of this bill, I would like to hear it. In fact I will not hear questions regarding the conduct of other members from him on the point of order we are now discussing. I want to hear about the admissibility of the bill. If he has a point on that I will hear him. Otherwise we will move on.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will just wrap up by saying that I think some of the government House leader's actions with regard to procedures over the last few days have called into question not only my judgment of his pronouncements on these things but also the judgment of his own fellow caucus members.

Points Of Order
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I have indicated that I will hear submissions from two other hon. members on this point tomorrow, that is, the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough and the House leader of the official opposition. That should conclude the submissions on the point. The Chair will take the matter under advisement and get back to the House in due course.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition endorsed by over 200 residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Nain, Davis Inlet, Makkovik, Sheshatshiu, North West River, Mud Lake, Paradise River, Rigolet, Churchill Falls and Cartwright, all in my riding of Labrador.

The petitioners call on parliament to prohibit corporal punishment of children by repealing section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

I am pleased to bring their concerns and my support to this House on their behalf.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have three pages of petitions from people who are rather concerned about some aspects of coercion. Nurses, pharmacists, physicians, students and health care workers are being coerced into participating in practices they consider to be against their ethical or moral standards or religious beliefs.

These petitioners call upon the government to ensure that these people are not dictated to, that they have freedom of conscience, that they are not discriminated against and that they not be asked to do anything they do not feel meets with their beliefs.

I would like to submit this on behalf of all those who do not wish to experience discrimination for their own ethical standards and beliefs.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to present several petitions signed by citizens both in my constituency and other parts of Canada pertaining to an issue I have raised previously in the House, for which I had support of members, and that is warning labels on all alcohol beverage containers and the problem of fetal alcohol syndrome.

The petitioners are very supportive of action in this regard. They point out that consumption of alcoholic beverages causes health problems. They are concerned about fetal alcohol syndrome and other related birth defects which they believe are preventable by avoiding alcohol during pregnancy.

They call upon the House to mandate the labelling of all alcohol products to warn pregnant women and other persons of certain dangers associated with the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

May 30th, 2001 / 4:05 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge River
Ontario

Liberal

Derek Lee Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 36 and 38. .[Text]

Question No. 36—

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

With regard to the child tax benefit calculated by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and its predecessor Revenue Canada for each of the tax years from 1994 to 1998 inclusive: ( a ) how many taxpayer files were reassessed because the child tax benefit was originally calculated using the income of one spouse instead of both spouses; ( b ) what is the total dollar amount that was reassessed because the child tax benefit was originally calculated using the income of one spouse instead of both spouses; ( c ) how many taxpayer files cannot be reassessed even though the child tax benefit was calculated by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency/Revenue Canada using the income of one spouse instead of both spouses because the reassessment was statute barred having been over three years since the original assessment; and ( d ) what is the total dollar amount that should have been reassessed but cannot be reassessed even though the child tax benefit was calculated by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency/Revenue Canada using the income of one spouse instead of both spouses because the reassessment was statute barred having been over three years since the original assessment?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, formerly the Department of National Revenue, does not record the income tax data related to the Canada child tax benefits in ways that would provide the information requested. Presently, the agency does not have an automated system or mechanism that will track the number of changes made or their dollar value for specific adjustments such as the recognition of spousal income. This is only one of several reasons for an adjustment. Other reasons include the addition of a newborn child or custody change and advice that a child has left home. In order to identify the implications of any specific reason for change, it would be necessary to manually review the details for any change in the three million monthly payments to families.

Question No. 38—

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

With respect to the agreement reached during the Uruguay round of international trade negotiations for a single tariff rate quota of 20,412 tonnes of cheese imports into Canada, tariff heading 0406, what are the reasons the government has allowed, through supplemental import licences since 1995, imports of dairy product, such as breaded cheese sticks and cheese waste, over and above the limits previously agreed upon?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Cheese sticks are produced by coating cheddar and/or mozzarella cheeses with either batter or bread crumbs. The overall finished product contains less than 50% dairy product and is primarily used in the food service industry served as appetizers or finger foods. For over 20 years Canada and the U.S. have had bilateral trade in this product. After the 1995 implementation of the WTO agreement, Canada customs ruled that battered cheese sticks should be classified under the same tariff item as cheese and would therefore have been captured by the cheese tariff rate quota (TRQ). As these products had not previously been subject to the cheese quota, and as the U.S. continued to allow imports from Canada, Canada continued imports through the issuance of supplemental permits. Supplemental permits for imports of cheese sticks containing less than 50% cheese are issued on request. Without these permits a duty of 245% would apply. In October 1999, the U.S. customs service notified a Canadian exporter of breaded cheese sticks that the product was being reclassified and would be subject to the U.S. cheese quota. We have been pressing the United States to restore access for Canadian exports, given the longstanding reciprocal treatment for imports of this product. We have made it clear to the U.S. that its action has necessitated Canada reviewing its current policy of issuing supplemental permits for cheese sticks.

Waste cheese is used in animal feed, mink feed. Cheese waste is an important ingredient as it is high in protein, which is required to produce top quality mink pelt. The product is low valued and not regularly available from domestic sources. All customs documentation for this product is labelled “Cheese scrap and mink feed” and not fit for human consumption. Sources of Canadian waste cheese for use in mink feed have not been located.

The issuance of supplementary import permits for breaded cheese sticks and waste cheese does not undermine the control and enforcement of Canada's tariff rate quota for cheese imports. These supplementary imports represent approximately 0.5% of the cheese production in Canada.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

I ask, Mr. Speaker, that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

4:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Is that agreed?