House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bankruptcy.

Topics

François-J. Lessard
Statements By Members

October 5th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, François-J. Lessard, dubbed “the stubborn old tiger of Saint-Jacques Street” by the staff of Le Devoir back in 1994, passed away on September 25.

A man of commitment, he worked for 45 years in the heart of Montreal's financial sector. More than once he engaged in spectacular battles against a group of stockbrokers who fomented fear among Quebec's francophones in order to deny them access to the financial community.

He was the initiator and principal founder of the first cooperative mutual fund company in Quebec: Placements collectifs inc., and also founded his own securities brokerage firm, Lessard et Associés.

There was really only one battle he was engaged in throughout his entire life: the battle for Quebec independence. The Bloc Québécois honours his sense of duty and his successes. Our condolences to his family and friends.

François, we thank you for the wonderful legacy you have left us.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the summer and especially over the last several weekends when I visited with constituents at local fairs, I heard how gas tax prices were affecting people in my riding.

My riding of Carleton—Mississippi Mills is a mix of suburban and rural communities where individuals are often required to travel long distances in their daily lives, whether it is to drive to work, get to class, attend doctor's appointments or plow a field. As a result, the cost of fuel has a very direct impact on their lives.

Gasoline taxes account for an average 40% of the pump price. GST is charged on the pump price, gasoline taxes included. It is a tax on tax. As the pump price increases, so does the GST.

On Monday I tabled a petition signed by over 2,000 of my constituents who are calling on the government to immediately reduce fuel taxes. Today, with the Leader of the Opposition, I repeat this call.

While the Liberals dither, my colleagues in the Conservative Party, along with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, will continue to press for a reduction of fuel tax on gasoline.

Mental Illness Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Twenty per cent of all Canadians are likely to be affected by mental illness at some time in their lives. My family has been one of those families. It has been devastating for our family member and for us as a family.

By the year 2020, depressive illness will be the leading cause of disease burden in Canada.

People suffering from schizophrenia occupy one in twelve hospital beds in Canada, second only to cardiovascular disease, yet only 10% of research funding is allocated to mental illness compared to other major illnesses.

There is too little research and there is too little understanding. It is time to put aside these stigmas. It is time to put aside these stereotypes and get off to a good start. I urge all members to support Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government can justify hundreds of thousands of dollars for David Dingwall, but nothing for everyday Canadians who are struggling with the high cost of fuel.

Despite the so-called big announcement on rebate cheques, farmers, taxi drivers, truckers and the vast majority of consumers will not get a single cent from this government.

Why is the government so insensitive to the needs and concerns of everyday middle-class Canadians?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is because the government is so concerned with the everyday needs of Canadians that under the aegis of the Minister of Finance the government will be introducing legislation to this effect.

I want to congratulate the Minister of Finance, but I also want to congratulate the other ministers and the other departments. They have worked very hard on this very comprehensive package. I also want to congratulate our caucus, including the member for Pickering, who has also worked very hard on this. This is indeed a comprehensive plan.

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once again the government can confirm that this great announcement on fuel prices is not going to put any cheques in the mail for truckers, taxi drivers, and farmers, or for the majority of consumers.

Why is this government so insensitive to the concerns of the middle class?

Gasoline Prices
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this plan is readily understood. It will help workers and the least well off. It is a response to the need to conserve energy. It is not the work of a single minister. Other ministers and our caucus worked on it as well. They are the ones who are the true sponsors of this plan, of which we are very proud.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

We will wait and see, Mr. Speaker, but the CTF says we have been waiting for 10 years, and $9.5 billion later, for some help on gas taxes.

Despite the Prime Minister's silence, no one believes that taxpayers have a legal obligation to give David Dingwall a gold plated severance. Half of his own caucus does not even believe it.

Canadians know they cannot quit their jobs and then demand severance.

Will the Prime Minister table the legal opinion that proves he owes David Dingwall a severance?

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I explained several times, the government has taken legal advice from the Privy Council Office. I cited--

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The minister seems to be managing with his answer. I do not think he needs all this assistance. We have to be able to hear the answer. The minister has the floor.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cited three pieces of legislation that are pertinent to this advice. In addition, there is the case law and the policy framework. Taken together, this body of law, according to our legal advisers, is such that the government does have an obligation to pay severance, but as I have said several times, we are paying the minimum that is required by law.

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the--

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

David Dingwall
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

It is obvious that the hon. member for Central Nova is a popular member, but we do have to be able to hear his question. The hon. member for Central Nova has the floor.