House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Environment Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Environment Week and time to reflect on environmental issues, such as climate change, the loss of biological diversity, population growth, pollution, water supply and quality, the sustainability of natural resources, food safety and genetic engineering to name a few.

Kofi Annan, the secretary-general of the United Nations, recently said:

Unsustainable practices are woven deeply into the fabric of modern life and myths have taken hold suggesting there is little alternative to short-sighted and wasteful patterns of consumption and development.

One myth is the belief that there is a trade-off between the environment and the economy. Actually they are two sides of the same coin. We therefore have to learn how to integrate economic, environmental and social goals for the benefit of generations to come.

Environment Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, following and acknowledging the last speaker, it is Environment Week, and I draw to the House's attention the situation in Ontario and the crisis we are facing with air pollution.

It causes 1,800 early deaths in Ontario annually. Thousands more suffer from respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. According to the Ontario Medical Association, smog and poor air quality costs the Ontario economy alone an estimated $9.9 billion in health care and related expenses each year. That is almost 10 times more than what the government is committing to spend on cleaning up the environment, on things like climate change and air pollution.

I call on the government on behalf of all Canadians to take real effective action to combat the air pollution problems we have.

Dr. Stanley Vollant
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois and all members of the House, I wish to congratulate Dr. Stanley Vollant on his recent appointment as president of the Quebec Medical Association. Dr. Vollant is the first aboriginal to hold this prestigious position.

The Quebec Medical Association represents some 6,000 of the 17,000 doctors in Quebec and offers its members various training seminars, as well as useful advice on a wide range of topics.

Originally from Betsiamites, on Quebec's North Shore, Dr. Vollant was headed for a brilliant career in law when he finally decided on medicine. Whatever Dr. Vollant's career choices, it was clear that what he wanted to do was to look after the well-being of his community.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates Dr. Vollant and wishes him much success in his new position.

Atlantic Salmon
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Greenland, after a three year suspension, is preparing to catch 200 tonnes of Atlantic salmon, yet the number of salmon returning to Canadian rivers has dropped to 350,000 from more than 1.5 million in the 1970s.

It is clear that any Greenland fishery is wrong-headed. Salmon return to their native rivers to spawn after spending one to four years at sea and the 550 rivers on the east coast will be without salmon if careless and unsustainable fisheries are allowed to occur.

On the west coast we recognize that salmon belong to country to which they return to spawn, not to anyone on the high seas.

Is the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans prepared to make sure that similar protection is afforded to Atlantic salmon that we already give to salmon on the west coast?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

June 7th, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all this week Canadians have been left wondering what issues are really important to the government and what issues really require urgent action. There are many problems that do require urgent action, but I can say for Canadians that raising the Prime Minister's personal pension by 82%, far beyond what any MP is receiving, is not one of those pressing public needs.

How can the Prime Minister justify to hardworking Canadians, many of whom are struggling to save for the future, that he is now ramming through parliament a personal pension increase of 82%? How can he justify that?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as is typical of the opposition member, he does not check his facts. What he said is not true at all. The article is based on false information. I have a pension, like any other member of parliament, as a member of parliament and as the Prime Minister. The new pension will apply only if I remain Prime Minister for another five years.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

That is exactly the type of incentive we are worried about, Mr. Speaker. We cannot afford five more years of that.

He can try to joke about it but the fact is our senior citizens are looking on in envy as the Prime Minister looks at ramming through this personal pension increase of up to 82%. Seniors cannot even dream about that. Maybe the problem is that he is just not aware of what seniors face in terms of hardship.

Does the Prime Minister know what a low income senior with no other income receives in terms of a monthly cheque from this—

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said that was not true. He is not interested in the truth at all.

I just said that a commission looked at the salaries of members of parliament and the Prime Minister and concluded that the Prime Minister of Canada should make as much as a chief justice of Canada. I do not know how long I will stay because this morning the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that he was ready to take over.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as a leader, I know the feeling of other people wanting a position. However, I also know what hardworking Canadians are facing.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation calls this sweet pension deal of the Prime Minister's “the most sweet parting gift a Prime Minister has ever given himself”. That is quite a legacy.

How does he justify this huge increase in his own personal pension to hardworking Canadians?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, he did not hear me. I have said, and I will say it again for the third time, what he is saying is not true. He is still quoting something that is not true. Of course I am not leaving. I want everybody in the House to join me in making sure the Leader of the Opposition does not lose his job.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says the story is not true. I would be very interested in hearing from him what the percentage increase for his pension is.

Senior citizens are saying that his pension is just too rich. Firefighters are saying that it is just too rich. The nurses are also saying that it is just too rich.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Why did he not campaign on this new pension in the last election? Is this not what we would really call a hidden agenda?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many of the poor in Canada drive a Ferrari. I cannot afford to have one.

The salaries of members of parliament were frozen for eight years with no increase at all. The legislation calls for a 20% increase. The commission said that the Prime Minister of Canada should not make less than the chief justice of Canada, not me.

It is a job and I am trying to do it the best I can.

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I notice that the Prime Minister is not talking about the pension, which is what we are talking about.

Firefighters, by the way, came to the Hill asking for a change in their pension because many of them have to retire when they are 55 due to their hazardous working conditions. Do members know what the Prime Minister said? He said no. He ignored them.

How can the Prime Minister justify his new pension when he totally ignored the firefighters? Could he tell me that?

The Prime Minister
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is a wondrous thing to see the Alliance finally beginning to wake up. The whole issue of the firefighters was brought to the government's attention by members of this caucus.

We have had extensive meetings with committees of the firefighters. We are looking very seriously at their situation as a result of the members of this caucus. The Alliance was no where to be seen.