House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Cardigan
P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the opposition has an awful interest in my mode of transportation. The fact of the matter is, I have been dealing with the media more than probably any member of the House of Commons in the last week.

Last Friday I issued a statement to indicate exactly what took place. My hon. colleague is well aware, if he would just listen, that all was done under Treasury Board guidelines. It was publicly posted. We all know that.

Mr. Wilson is reviewing the facts. We should let him do his job.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

October 10th, 2002 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of acknowledging the obvious, the Prime Minister denies the existence of the fiscal imbalance and wrongly claims that the federal government is a better manager than the Government of Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister tell us what best illustrates his government's so-called good management? Is it the multiplication of social insurance numbers, funneling money from the employment insurance fund, the cuts that have been made on the backs of people with disabilities and seniors, or the sponsorships scandal?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that we have gone from a $42 billion deficit to successfully posting five surpluses in a row since.

The provincial governments have the same taxation powers as we do. What the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois want is for us to collect the taxes, and for them to hand out the cheques.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a Prime Minister who is proud that his government has reduced its contribution to health care to 14 cents from the 22 cents it was at when he came to power.

Is this the federal government's good management? Are cuts on the backs of the sick good management? He wants Quebec to make others pay for his problems, when he was the one, as Minister of Finance, who ran up appalling deficits in Canada.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the member were to look at the situation calmly, he would realize that the Government of Quebec spends less of its own money on health care than all the other provinces. Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Manitoba all spend more money per capita than the Parti Quebecois government.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister tried to hold himself up to the Quebec government as an example of a good manager of public funds. Since 1995, his government—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. members' enthusiasm is great, but we must be able to hear what the hon. member for Joliette is saying; he has the floor.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was saying that, yesterday, the Prime Minister tried to hold himself up as an example. Since 1995—

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Preambles are always difficult to get in. The hon. member for Joliette. Perhaps he could put his question immediately.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister tried to hold himself as an example, but chose a poor one. Since 1995, his government has helped itself to $42 billion in the employment insurance account. This is $42 billion that belongs to the unemployed.

Does the Prime Minister call that good management? Is that what he expects from the provinces?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the employment insurance program is a plan into which workers pay, as do the government and employers as well.

When, under the Conservatives, the unemployment insurance program ran a deficit, the taxpayers were replenishing the UI account. Now that the economy is doing much better, there are surpluses, and a balance is being achieved. What the government paid in the past came out of the consolidated revenue fund.

So, the so-called EI surpluses belong in fact to the consolidated revenue fund.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just gave us an example of poor management. He should know that the federal government has not put a cent into the employment insurance account for quite some time now.

Is the example the same when it comes to the mismanagement of SIN cards? Is that what he calls good management?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously, we no longer need to pay into the account because unemployment has decreased. When unemployment was 11.5%, we did. Now that it is down to 7%, we do not anymore, and I hope we will not have to start paying again. That is why we continue to work for good economic conditions across the country.