House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was programs.

Topics

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I heard today, and I will repeat it for the benefit of the Prime Minister, that six white vans loaded with smuggled cigarettes crossed the ice bridge on Lake of Two Mountains, heading for the 10 outlets selling smuggled cigarettes in the Oka area.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does he realize that his refusal to take action and the incompetence of his government are contributing to destabilize Quebec society as a whole?

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Solicitor General said in the House yesterday, instructions have been given to RCMP officers to do their job and to arrest anybody who is not following the laws of the land.

If the hon. member is aware of some information that can be very useful to the RCMP, he should give it to me and I will pass it on to the RCMP.

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

February 2nd, 1994 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

It would be a good idea to give the RCMP a subscription to La Presse .

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister not recognize that the inefficiency of his government and its refusal to take action have allowed cigarette smugglers to expand their network into Quebec high schools?

Cigarette SmugglingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is easy for the opposition to lay the blame on this government which has been in office for two months and a half. We gave orders and, as a result, several people were arrested. But the problem is not new. It started with the intolerance of the Conservative government. In those days the Leader of the Opposition was a member of the Tory cabinet.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Would the Prime Minister tell the House whether he believes his government has a clear mandate from the public to expand the tax base and the total tax bill paid by Canadians?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the mandate we received from the Canadian people is based on the program in the red book which was distributed across the land, that we have to improve the situation in Canada, create jobs, create growth and make sure at the same time that the tax system is fair for all Canadians.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister.

Thousands of participants in RRSPs-contributors, financial institutions and recipients-wish to make direct and effective representation to the government to dissuade it from reducing contribution levels.

Is the government willing to receive and respond to these representations prior to finalizing the 1994-95 budget?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Reform Party has to wait a few weeks for the budget that will be introduced by the Minister of Finance.

I hope the Minister of Finance will not take the idea proposed by the Reform Party leader who wants us to cut the pensions of old age pensioners.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have one further supplementary question.

Thousands of customers, investors and workers involved in the production, distribution and consumption of fossil fuels wish to make direct and effect representation to the government to dissuade it from instituting a carbon tax.

Is the government willing to receive and respond to these representations prior to finalizing its 1994-95 budget?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I must say the first time I heard somebody raise the issue of a carbon tax was when it was raised by the leader of the Reform Party.

I would also say that when I was in Calgary I met with groups on that particular issue. I am certainly prepared between now and the date of the budget to meet with other groups.

I would tell the leader of the Reform Party that there have been very strong representations made to me by the members of the Alberta caucus, led by the Minister of Natural Resources.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister have clearly stated that substantial budget cuts will be made next year. The Minister of Human Resources Development is also announcing that his social program review will result in a restructuring of these programs during the next year.

Is the Minister prepared to concede, in spite of his magnanimous remarks, that this strange coincidence gives all Canadians much cause for concern as to the extent of the cuts that will be made to social programs?

Social ProgramsOral 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, what we have been saying together is that there are much more effective ways of delivering government services.

In particular I point out to the hon. member that in discussions with provinces there are many ways to eliminate the repetition or duplication of services and to work out more rational ways of delivering services.

These are all parts of our efforts and attempts to have a new partnership of federalism in Canada so that not only can we begin to save taxpayers' money but we can also give better service.

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question for the Prime Minister.

Will the Prime Minister recognize, in spite of the laudable comments of the Minister of Human Resources Development, that the government is preparing to impose its views on the provinces through the extremely powerful medium of the upcoming renegotiation of various transfer programs? Will he concede that his views will prevail in the social program reform process?

Social ProgramsOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the provinces are not being pressured. On the contrary, they are asking the federal government to respond to their efforts to develop new approaches to the social security system.

It is the Bloc Quebecois, in this House, that is rejecting the reform process, thereby isolating itself on this issue. Surely you are aware that all of the Quebec newspapers, Le Soleil, Le Droit and others, have published articles stating that the time for reform is now.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. Last year the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench struck down the parts of the Canada Elections Act that restrict spending on election advertising by anybody other than political parties to just $1,000.

The court ruled that these restrictions could not be justified in a free and democratic society. Is it the government's plan to restore faith and trust in the process by abandoning any appeal of this case and by amending the Canada Elections Act to reflect the court ruling?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we believe this case involves very important issues. Therefore we think it appropriate that this matter be tested further by a higher court, the Supreme Court of Canada.

The issues are of sufficient importance that whatever the Alberta court of appeal has ruled, Canadians deserve to have this matter dealt with by the Supreme Court of Canada if it is willing to accept the appeal.

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister believe the restrictions imposed in the act as it presently stands are compatible with a fair and open political process?

Canada Elections ActOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think yes. Many people would like to influence the result of an election but do not have the guts to run. They use the power of their money to try to gain that influence.

I want to make sure the people can make a choice in an election that is based not on the amount of money that is spent but on the quality of the programs and the candidates of every party.

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. The game goes on between Quebec and Ottawa regarding an agreement, yet another agreement, on manpower training. Yesterday evening, the Quebec employment minister announced that an agreement was imminent, a statement that the Minister of Human Resources Development immediately denied. This morning, the Minister from Quebec qualified his statement.

Can the minister confirm that no agreement on job training was reached with Quebec, in spite of what the Quebec minister of employment said?

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I had a positive discussion with Mr. Marcil on Monday evening. We see eye to eye on the importance of an extensive restructuring of the social security system. We share the same determination to fight unemployment. We agree that the one-stop concept, similar to what we have now in New Brunswick, is a valid goal as far as the provinces are concerned. That is what Mr. Marcil said not so long ago.

Indeed, we will first report to our respective Cabinets on our discussion and then, at the provincial ministers' meeting to be held on February 14, we could suggest together some ideas on how to save money and develop a new approach to deal with unemployment and poverty. As you know, in Canada, we generally work together.

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we do work together, but we generally do not have much to show for it.

Can the minister confirm that the two to three month deadline announced by the Quebec minister yesterday-because he did mention that yesterday as well- is the same for Ottawa? Are we to understand that these negotiations are nothing more than a smokescreen put up by the two ministers to prevent this issue from being discussed during the public consultations that will be held at the same, as it were, as a possible election campaign in Quebec? Is that the minister's strategy?

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it may be the strategy of the Bloc Quebecois to try to fight a provincial election in this Chamber. We are interested in actually solving the problems of unemployment. We are interested in a partnership with the provinces.

We are interested in developing a new sense of co-operation and federalism and that was the basis for the discussion with the Quebec minister, as it has been with all the provincial ministers. They have agreed to come together for a meeting on February 14 so we can establish new arrangements.

If members of the Bloc Quebecois want to play election politics that is their business. We are interested in getting Canadians back to work.

Board Of Internal EconomyOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the representative on the Board of Internal Economy. In view of the Speaker's ruling on January 31, will the representative on the board undertake to discuss the subject of extra salaries with the board with a view to doing three things.

First, agreeing on a procedure for making all such expenditures-