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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Fight Against AidsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I take note of the question. When the Minister of Health is in the House, she will provide a detailed answer to the hon. member.

Fight Against AidsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is not sure, but he can also take note of my supplementary question.

Are we to understand that the Prime Minister's government was not able to use the allocated resources because there is no master plan for the implementation of phase 2 of the national strategy on AIDS?

Fight Against AidsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my answer to the first question also applies to the supplementary question.

Gosap Energy IncorporatedOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal pork barrel is overflowing. GOSAP Energy Incorporated, a new Calgary based consulting firm, is siphoning money out of the federal government to compete in the private sector.

We have learned GOSAP is getting free office rent and grants from the Federal Business Development Bank and grants from Industry Canada and western economic diversification totalling $118,000.

Is the Minister of Human Resources Development willing to kibosh this outrageous abuse of taxpayers' dollars?

Gosap Energy IncorporatedOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, I would be very pleased to take the submission by the hon. member and look at his allegations. I am certainly not going to respond in the House of Commons to a 30-second charge that he has made about the value of this organization. I would certainly be prepared to take a look at the facts he has presented and assess them accordingly.

Gosap Energy IncorporatedOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

I am sure when you get the chance to do that you will agree that this is-

Gosap Energy IncorporatedOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will please address the Chair.

Gosap Energy IncorporatedOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure when the Minister of Human Resources Development takes a look at the facts he will agree it is an outrageous waste of taxpayers' dollars.

My supplemental is for the Minister of Industry. It is on the same topic. His department also granted this company $15,000. GOSAP's initial investment of $24,000 has been matched by $118,000 in federal grants notwithstanding office expenses and it does not even have the people with the expertise in place. Many small Canadian businesses can only dream of such access to capital. It is too bad one has to be a Liberal to receive such funding.

Would the minister tell the House how he can justify such wasteful and unfair spending when faced with cuts to social programs?

Gosap Energy IncorporatedOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as with my colleague, the minister of human resources, we will certainly have to try to determine the facts of the case.

I can assure him that if the qualification was that the applicant was a Liberal, nobody consulted with me on whether or not in fact they were.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

In an interview published Saturday in the newspaper La Presse , the Minister of Finance announced clearly his intention to replace the GST by a national sales tax. He clearly implied that Ottawa would act first and negotiate with the provinces later.

Does that mean that the federal government intends to impose its vision on the provinces regarding the implementation of a national sales tax and present them with a fait accompli?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker. Actually I talked on Saturday about the process that I discussed with the provinces during the meeting with provincial finance ministers, where I said that since consumers and the business community were so much in favour of a harmonized tax and since some provinces, including Quebec, agreed to it, we should carry on with the process. That is certainly our intention.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Finance be honest enough to tell things as they are and admit that the Minister of Finance of Quebec told him that he would reject any proposal to replace the GST and the PST with a national sales tax?

This being said, will the minister admit that by practising as he did over the weekend a domineering, cynical and dreadful kind of federalism when he proposed a national sales tax, he is heading straight for a deadlock because he is attacking the provinces head-on on their taxation jurisdiction?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Not at all, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member must know that Quebec's sales tax is the one that resembles the federal government sales tax the most. Besides, such an agreement between Quebec and Ottawa, as between Ottawa and other provinces, will not be that major a step.

Moreover, I must say that during our discussions, which were very constructive, the new government of Quebec said very clearly that it would not accept a domineering federalism. Once more, I notice that the gap between the Bloc Quebecois and the PQ, since they came to power, is widening.

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

On September 22 of this year the minister said in response to a question I asked him: "We read the report recently about the defects in the present registration system for restricted firearms and the need to improve the registration".

Was the minister referring to the justice department report covering the review of the present handgun registration system submitted by Mr. Terence Wade, or is there more than one report outlining the defects of Canada's handgun registration system?

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cape Breton—The Sydneys Nova Scotia

Liberal

Russell MacLellan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice will be bringing forward his proposals on gun control very soon. I think at that time the hon. member's questions will be answered.

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is for the same department.

The Minister of Justice has not tabled the Terence Wade report with the standing committee on justice. He has not made it available to the public and the departmental officials have refused to release the report to members of Parliament.

Is the reason the report is being concealed the fact that it contains a devastating condemnation of the current handgun registration system, which not only reveals its failure to reduce the criminal use of handguns but also exposes the uselessness of the minister's plan to expand this failed registration system to rifles and shotguns?

Gun ControlOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Cape Breton—The Sydneys Nova Scotia

Liberal

Russell MacLellan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when the minister brings forward his proposal it is his intention to have meetings with all members of the House, to answer questions and to give a full, detailed explanation of the changes that will be presented.

Underground EconomyOral Question Period

November 28th, 1994 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. During an interview, the Minister of Finance clearly confirmed the importance of a flourishing underground economy and I quote: "The Minister of Finance believes what his officials have been saying all along, which is that the black market accounts for 5 per cent of the economy. Paul Martin believes that it is a lot higher than that".

Underground EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

If at all possible, we should refer to our colleagues by using the names of their ridings.

Underground EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will try again. During an interview, the Minister of Finance clearly confirmed the importance of a flourishing underground economy and I quote: "The Minister of Finance believes what his officials have been saying all along, which is that the black market accounts for 5 per cent of the economy. The Minister of Finance believes that it is a lot higher than that".

Does the minister recognize that the growth of the underground economy, confirmed by a drop in GST revenues during the first half of the year as compared to last year at the same time, is due to the recent increase of the tax burden and the inequities of an outdated taxation system that an increasing number of Canadians are trying to evade?

Underground EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is next to impossible to measure with precision something which by its nature is illegal and beyond the scope of measurement by normal government means.

However there is no question that the underground economy is serious. I have no doubt that my hon. colleague, the Minister of Finance, is quite correct in saying that we are faced with a serious problem which we will address.

I would remind the hon. member that only two months ago, because he apparently overlooked it the first time, I sent him a copy of a press release I issued a year ago in which I outlined a series of measures to deal with the underground economy. I am pleased to report today that the efforts the press release led to have resulted in something in the neighbourhood of three-quarters of a billion dollars in taxes assessed.

Underground EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Minister of Finance who should be more concerned about differences with his colleague, the Minister of National Revenue, than between the Bloc Quebecois and the Parti Quebecois.

Does the minister recognize that only a comprehensive review of the tax system will be able to bring the black market phenomenon under control since, as he admits himself, the new administrative measures brought about by his colleague in charge of national revenue in order to improve tax collection will not be enough?

Underground EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member should look a little further into the reason for the level of GST payments to the government.

The fact is that we have had a substantial improvement in the economy, thanks in large part to the measures of my colleague, the Minister of Finance. The result has been more investment in productive goods which indeed are often GST exempt. As a result of that and as a result, I might add, of my department's speedy repayment of certain measures, we are now able to see that the GST level is again increasing.

TransportationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Liberal Cochrane—Superior, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport.

Residents of northern Ontario and rural Canada are concerned that major transportation changes may happen in an ad hoc manner. This creates uncertainty for the future.

Could the minister tell us whether he is developing comprehensive rail, air highway and marine policies? Could he reassure the residents that there will be enough time to adjust to the possibility of the changes?

TransportationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the comprehensive review obviously that is under way. I think we have made significant progress on airports. We hope to be able to deal with the ports. Rail is something a bit different.

What has happened to railroading in the country over the last 20 years has literally been done on an ad hoc basis. That is why we are in the trouble we are with abandonment and decisions being made on a day to day basis without any real policy.

We have the Bob Nault task force out there now looking at what we can do with the commercialization of CN. We also have to deal very soon with the unsolicited bid from CP for the purchase of CN assets east of Winnipeg. In that context, with the ongoing consultations we have been conducting with shippers and interested parties we are committed to making clear a very comprehensive rail policy in 1995.

We have not been stopped. We will deal with the CP offer. We will deal with commercialization. We will bring an end to the ad hoc decision making that has been plaguing railroads in the country for the last 20 years.