House of Commons Hansard #21 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

Topics

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Let us be clear, Mr. Speaker. Nobody over there is taking responsibility for this. The public accounts committee has heard from senior bureaucrats. All of them knew nothing. They saw nothing. They heard nothing. The former Minister of Public Works knew nothing. The President of the Privy Council, even though he was hip deep in it with his cronies, knew nothing.

When will somebody in the government take responsibility for this? When will somebody tell us who among the Liberals was responsible for this scandal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. With all this yelling it is very difficult to hear the Deputy Prime Minister, who has the floor and is trying to answer the question asked by the hon. member for Calgary Southeast. I am sure he will want to hear the answer too.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am not sure but I think I may have forgotten the hon. member's question with all the shouting.

In fact, let me reiterate again that we are committed to transparency and accountability. We are committed to answering the questions that the Auditor General identified in her report and could not answer. We want to get to the bottom of this matter. That is why we have a public inquiry. That is why we have public accounts. That is why the Prime Minister released--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the governments of Quebec and the provinces are denouncing the serious fiscal imbalance in Canada, citing a new study by the Conference Board. The fiscal imbalance consists of the $10 billion surplus for next year, which will gradually rise to $80 billion in 2019.

Will the Prime Minister admit that there is a fiscal imbalance in Canada and that the only way to solve the serious problems in the fields of health, education and poverty is for the federal government to agree to correct this fiscal imbalance once and for all?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the study being referred to, done by the Conference Board, is in fact a static linear projection that as we stand here today is already out of date because its assumptions are out of date.

That projection does not include any investments in municipalities. It does not include the most recent thrust with respect to health care. Obviously the study suffers from some very major statistical defects. In fact, the evidence of the government's performance is in the investments that we make in children, in education, in health, in communities--

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has enormous budget surpluses at hand without making any effort, while the provinces and Quebec that have to provide the services directly to the people.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, as he is getting ready to budget enormous surpluses, despite his encroachments on the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces, the latter are about to announce deficits even though they have made major cuts and painful choices?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I hate to disillusion the hon. member, but I am afraid there will be no enormous surpluses. I would point out that on the analysis filed by the Conference Board a 1% variation in either revenue or expenditure changes a projected surplus of $80 billion to a deficit of $10 billion.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and the provinces have just launched an ad campaign explaining that, in 1976 and 1977, the federal government was paying 50% of all health care expenditures but now pays no more than 16% of these same expenditures.

Will the federal government admit that, over the past 30 years, it has gradually withdrawn from health care funding, forcing Quebec and the provinces to shoulder this increasingly heavy burden? It is disgraceful.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

No, Mr. Speaker.

In fact, all of the expenditures by various levels of government on health in Canada today total about $87 billion. The federal contribution to that is about $34 billion. That is 40%, not 16%.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are only three weeks left in this fiscal year.

Will the Prime Minister admit that there will be an approximately $7 billion surplus—an amount much greater than his government announced—and that the entire surplus will go to paying down the federal debt on March 31, when health should be the top priority?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the answers to those two questions are no and no. In fact, I hope the budget will be in a position to make some important contributions to Canadian quality of life, but I would point out to the hon. gentleman that extrapolations of the surplus are grossly exaggerated and in fact we are dealing with a very tight fiscal situation.