House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Byelections
Oral Question Period

November 1st, 2002 / 11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are currently three vacancies in the House of Commons: Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, Berthier—Montcalm and Perth--Middlesex. This morning the Prime Minister called only two of those byelections.

Why is the Prime Minister treating the voters in Perth--Middlesex as second class citizens by denying them the same opportunity to elect a representative to defend their interests in the House of Commons? How can the government defend this blatant double standard?

Byelections
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there is no double standard and the right hon. member should know that. He should know that the last vacancy occurred only a few days ago as a result of an illness. His colleagues are familiar with that. Out of respect, he should also know that gives very little time for the election to be called and for the people of Canada in that particular constituency to choose a representative.

The member has been here a long time and I think he would have known all these things.

Byelections
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the way to demonstrate respect for the people of this country is to give every citizen the same opportunity to have a representative in the House of Commons. The government has just denied that basic principle.

He cannot hide behind the time it takes to call a byelection. The Prime Minister could have called a byelection in Perth--Middlesex at the same time if he wanted to. He chose to deepen the democratic deficit. He is taking it out on the people of Perth--Middlesex. Why are they being treated with such a double standard?

Byelections
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. member talks about the respect for the electorate. Should he not know that the electorate has the right to choose in all political parties, democratically, candidates to represent them in the election? Why does he have so little respect as to want to deny that process to them because of a vacancy which occurred only a few days ago?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General suggested that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is responsible for the delay in preventing Hezbollah from engaging in certain activities in Canada. I do not agree.

Does the minister think that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is too slow, too busy doing other things or, maybe, afraid of making a recommendation to the Liberals? What is the reason?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as has been said several times in the House, we have listed the military wing of Hezbollah. In that regard we join all of our other allies. We have not listed the political wing of Hezbollah, nor have the British, nor have the Europeans.

If the hon. member or anyone has any information regarding terrorist activities in Canada, it is incumbent on them to bring them forward to the Solicitor General, which he made adequately clear in the House yesterday.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government would have us believe that Hezbollah kills thousands of people with its left hand and makes peace with its right. However CSIS commentary number 63 shows that after funds are raised by the political wing there is “no way of controlling how the funds are actually used”. The entire group is controlled by Hassan Nasrallah who had VIP seats at the Prime Minister's francophone speech.

What proof can the government provide that the political funds raised by Hezbollah in Canada are not being used to further fund terrorism?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in listing Hezbollah's military wing we freeze all its assets and we prohibit any fundraising. It does not have charitable status in Canada and the activities to which the hon. member expresses his concerns and views are simply being very carefully monitored by CSIS at all times.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, not only will the government not participate in any debate on how the surpluses ought to be used, but it will not discuss the fiscal imbalance issue either, going so far as to deny the existence of such an imbalance.

This issue is the subject of public debate in any case, and there is even unanimity, both among all opposition parties in the House of Commons and among provincial governments, on the existence of a fiscal imbalance.

Will the minister commit to taking part in a real debate, since his management style is to ignore people's concerns and since he is reneging on the commitment made by the Prime Minister during the 2000 elections?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is prepared to discuss the issue of fiscal imbalance. That is what we are doing. We have explained why it does not exist. We have also explained that, in a federation where the provinces all have access to the same source of revenues and even have a monopoly on natural resource royalties—and Canada is a country rich in natural resources—they are responsible for managing their finances to the best of their abilities, and some do better than others.

There could be a debate in Quebec on why, of all the provinces, Quebec is the deepest in debt, has the highest taxes and is spending in many areas, not necessarily health.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister must be aware that the same taxpayers are paying income tax to the provinces and to the federal government, and that these taxpayers realize that they are sending too much money to the federal government, when the services they consider as essential are provided by the provinces.

If the minister really had the best interests of the taxpayers at heart, would he not recognize that there is a fiscal imbalance?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the International Monetary Fund recently determined that Canada had the healthiest public finances in the G-7, and that Canada also has the strongest economic growth in the G-7.

The worst mistake we could make, in my view, is to change direction. The provinces have much lower deficits than ten years ago. Their situation has improved as well.

There is no fiscal imbalance in Canada, but there is definitely an obligation to support one another to provide Canadians with the strongest growth possible.

Health
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, it only took one day for the finance minister to revert to typical Liberal spending. On Wednesday he touted fiscal prudence and responsibility, but by Thursday there was a call for an additional $5 billion in new spending.

The government says that there is no money for health care and yet it finds $72 million for gun control, bringing that up to $900 million; $8 million to Communications Canada, that discredited organization that breaks every rule in the book; and $100,000 for marijuana research.

I do not know what the minister is smoking but he sure has the money munchies with taxpayer dollars. What does he say?

Health
Oral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, all the estimates that were tabled this week are included in the fiscal framework of the government. I think the member would agree with us that we must have very good spending for the citizens of our country.

What does the member have against giving some money to CIDA? What does the member have against giving more money to the health institutes to have better health research? What about the fact that we will also help with pay adjustments for our army personnel?

All this spending is worth--

Health
Oral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Prince George—Bulkley Valley.