House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Canadian Television Fund
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Laval East
Québec

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, I think that the Minister of Finance's commitment to give $75 million to the Fund over two years will guarantee a secure future and a bright future for Canadian programming production.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's political forces have expressed their opposition to the federal budget. The PQ's minister of finance, the leader of the ADQ and even the finance critic of Quebec's Liberal Party all expressed their total disapproval of the federal government's interference in provincial jurisdiction.

Why does the minister not trust the provinces to administer programs for health, families, social housing and education?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, two things. First, we have full confidence in our ability to establish cooperation with the provinces. That is what we have done in recent years in all of the areas the member mentioned.

Second, if he wants to know what Quebeckers think of the federal budget, he will find out during the next election.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the minister respected the provinces, he would give them the trust they deserve.

The Liberals' funding promises are packaged in a way that could be taken back in the next budget, or after the next election.

Why does the minister refuse to allocate funds in the form of additional tax points, which is the only way to guarantee stable and long-term funding for social programs?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.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 hon. member's proposal would take away some $350 million from Pauline Marois, who is the minister of finance for Quebec.

Tax points are taken into account when calculating transfers to the provinces. This helps the have-not provinces. That is why tax points exist and the provinces must take this into consideration.

Highway Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Minister of Transport will forgive us our relentless desire to see an agreement finally reached on the completion of highway 30. Many rumours have been going around in the past few hours.

My question is very simple. Could the Minister of Transport confirm that the negotiations are progressing, and that an agreement on the completion of highway 30 can be expected very shortly? Is there finally reason to be optimistic about the completion of highway 30?

Highway Infrastructure
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Yes, Mr. Speaker. I understand my hon. colleague's interest in the highway 30 issue. As I have explained on several occasions, this is a priority for the Government of Canada. We have offered $150 million so that the work can start sooner.

We are also working together with the infrastructure office and with the Province of Quebec to find a solution. I think one will soon be found.

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

February 20th, 2003 / 2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, $753 million was spent over three years, supposedly to help the homeless. It could have helped build 30,000 homes for homeless people but it built none. Shelter space is no more than when the program began. The homeless count is up nationally by 40%. Transit stations were open for emergency shelter and a man died this winter in Red Deer.

This colossal failure to help the homeless is a shameful risk of human lives. Will the finance minister call for a review of the homeless funding wastage before committing more money?

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, the next day after the budget I received a call from the president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities saying how happy he was that we had renewed the funding to homelessness. He represents every mayor and councillor in 61 communities. Community organizations in 61 communities have let me know how happy they were.

On Monday I opened Ron Kolbus House in Ottawa where there are 22 apartment units. We are helping the homeless and we will continue to help the homeless.

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Well, the mayors are happy, Mr. Speaker, but are the homeless people happy?

Only a Liberal would applaud waste and three years of spending with no real improvements. Only Liberals would applaud the failure of one of its own ministers.

If the money did not create homes, more shelter space, and lower the homeless numbers, where did the $753 million go?

Homelessness
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe
New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, how dare the hon. member talk about waste when he talks about homeless people.

I have two pages of funding that went to community based organizations in the hon. member's riding. It went to the Aboriginal Partners and Youth Society in the form of apartments, and the Edmonton City Centre Church Corporation in the form of transitional boarding houses. I have two pages.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois asked for a lower federal excise tax rate for microbreweries, to help them compete with large Canadian breweries and with foreign microbreweries. This measure was also recommended in the prebudget report of the Standing Committee on Finance.

The Minister of Finance chose to ignore the committee's unanimous recommendations. Could he tell us why?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I accepted two thirds of the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Finance, whether in whole or in part. I think that it is not so bad for the parliamentary committee.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, when a person moves between jobs the employer and employee begin paying a new set of payroll deductions. This results in overpayments to the Canada pension plan and employment insurance. Employees get their overpayments back at tax time but employers do not. This taxation by stealth costs businesses $750 million each year.

Why did the finance minister's budget fail to stop this unfair tax grab? Employees get their overpayments back, why do employers not?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I reviewed this issue with a number of representatives of small business who, by the way, have been expressing, quite clearly, their satisfaction with the budget of Tuesday where a number of measures were put forward that met their requests.

On this one, it is, at this point in time, rather difficult to contemplate what kind of system could repay employers without divulging information that is private with respect to the activities of their employees.