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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetStatements By Members

March 14th, 1994 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted the government has declared in its budget that it intends to review the funding of some 500 special interest groups which are relying on taxpayers' dollars rather than raising their own money. The results of this review are to be incorporated in the 1995 budget.

I hope that this review will result in ongoing cuts where obviously warranted this year, not next. We must concentrate on the genuinely needy now, not later.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jane Stewart Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, like all Canadians I am encouraged by the reduction in Canada's national unemployment rate in February. However it is with great concern I report to the House that the riding of Brant was not so fortunate.

Our monthly unemployment rate jumped from 11.7 per cent to 14.1 per cent in February, well above the provincial average of 10.7 per cent.

One way that government can address the unemployment problems of smaller centres is by decentralizing some of its services. In my riding, for example, we have no unique post-secondary institution. Our level of post-secondary education falls well below the national average.

My community could greatly be supported by the location of a federal research and development centre or some other technological institute or agency within its boundaries.

While I strongly support the job creation measures taken in the budget, I believe that decentralization is another proactive step that governments can take to create opportunities in our smaller communities.

I encourage our government to take steps in this direction.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Deshaies Bloc Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the "Mining, an industry to support" campaign launched by the mining industry last September has received massive public support in over 150 mining communities in Canada and Quebec as well as from many other Canadians and Quebecers who are concerned about the future of this industry.

The mining industry is one of the driving forces of the economy and as such requires more serious attention from the government as well as urgent action.

Canada's mineable reserves keep decreasing. But this country cannot afford to lose an industry which contributes so much to the national economy and to regional development. The government must take steps to revitalize this industry. Time has come, for example, to look at the possibility of giving preferential tax treatment to mining flow-through shares as well as at the need for a definition of "research and development" in the Income Tax Act that would include mining exploration.

World Cup SkiingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, during the last two weekends the resort community of Whistler in my riding hosted three World Cup skiing events.

They were a great success as a result of the hard work of a large army of volunteers, the management and employees of the Whistler Ski Corporation, sports federations, the media and sponsors from the private sector. Over 12,000 spectators and many more television viewers throughout the world saw the events.

In the women's downhill Michelle Ruthven finished third, Kate Pace fourth and Kerrin Lee-Gartner ninth. In the men's downhill Cary Mullen finished fifth, Rob Boyd tenth and Edi Podivinski fourteenth. Cary Mullen also placed fifth in the Super Giant Slalom yesterday.

Let us thank all those who have made the event such a success. Let us congratulate those who braved one of the world's most challenging race courses and send sleds full of roses and a hearty thank you to those who represented Canada so well by beating some of the world's best racers.

Sixth Paraolympic Winter Games In LillehammerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the official opening of the Sixth ParaOlympic Winter Games took place last Thursday, in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Paralympic games are the premier competition for high performance athletes with disabilities.

Six hundred athletes representing 31 countries are participating in these Games, which are held from March 10 to 19.

Canada is represented by 34 athletes competing in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, sledge hockey, biathlon and ice sledge racing. These athletes deserve our full support and recognition for their hard work and commitment to their sport.

Stacy Kohut of Calgary has won Canada's first gold medal of the Paralympics today. She was victorious in the Super G event. Lana Spreeman of Calgary has won two bronze medals, one in downhill skiing and the other in Super Giant Slalom. Ramona Hot of Edmonton won a bronze in a separate downhill event.

I am very pleased to announce that Canada's athletes have already won four medals at these Games.

Rotary InternationalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian unity has been enhanced by the unselfish contributions of many organizations that have worked so hard to make Canada a better place.

One such organization is Rotary International. I was first introduced to Rotary 12 years ago by Mr. Allan Shulman and over the years I have been most impressed by its community leadership role.

In recognition of Rotarians, I would like to share with the House the Rotary International four-way test to guide what we say, think and do:

First, is it the truth?

Second, is it fair to all concerned?

Third, will it build goodwill and better friendship?

Fourth, will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Rotarians reflect the true spirit of Canadians and it is because of that spirit that Canada will always remain strong and united.

Collège Militaire Royal De Saint-JeanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, some 3,000 people gathered to ask that the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean remain open. This demonstration was truly a show of solidarity, with residents from Saint-Jean, Montérégie, the greater Montreal and my own riding participating. Politicians representing all political affiliations joined in a common front to convey the message that the French-speaking military college in Saint-Jean must remain open.

The federal government must not make the mistake of closing this unique institution in North America, which serves to train military officers in their own language and milieu. The government must reconsider its decision and have the courage to recognize its mistake, to clearly show that French-language institutions have their place in the federal system.

The Reform PartyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, charges of racism have been used all too often as a means of attempting to undermine the Reform Party. These allegations of course are completely false and contribute nothing to the daily operations of the House.

These allegations are based on the fact that Reformers speak openly and honestly on issues such as Indian affairs and immigration. The members opposite sometimes seem more concerned about choosing politically correct words in a speech or question than with the actual content.

Members should be able to express themselves without looking over their shoulder for that politically correct watchdog every time they speak. A return to basic values, including respect and consideration regardless of gender, race or religion, is a much needed improvement in the House.

LobbyingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, on pages 94 and 95 of the red book the government made a commitment to develop a stringent code of conduct for lobbyists under the auspices of the soon to be appointed independent ethics counsellor.

The people of Simcoe North and Canadians in general expect substantial reform in the way lobbying is conducted. I feel the government must go all the way, making mandatory the full disclosure of fees, clients and the names of government officials being lobbied for first and second tier lobbyists.

In addition the government should give serious consideration to making the costs of lobbying non-tax deductible.

Canadians really appreciate the fact that this government kept its election promises in the recent budget. With the implementation of these reforms, they will be all the more pleased to see that a real effort is being made to reinstill political ethics in our parliamentary institutions.

UkraineStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

London East Ontario

Liberal

Joe Fontana LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay homage to the victims of the 1933 Ukrainian famine and make fellow Canadians aware of this atrocious historical event.

Last year was the 50th anniversary of the famine and Ukrainians throughout North America and Europe held special ceremonies to commemorate the atrocities inflicted on their people.

The famine inflicted the highest casualties during the winter of 1932-33. While city dwellers were kept healthy and supplied with food, the countryside was wiped clean. By the spring of 1933 people were dying at the rate of 25,000 a day. By the end of 1933 it is estimated that between six million and ten million Ukrainians had starved to death.

Even today as Ukrainians commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famine, the events are still largely unknown.

I realize that we cannot do anything to bring these people back. However, we can make Canadians aware of the social and political injustice that has been relatively unknown for too long and ensure that such atrocities are never repeated.

University HockeyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in Toronto, and for the third consecutive year, Acadia University hockey team participated in the National University Hockey Championship Tournament. For a school of 3,000 students, this is a great accomplishment.

While Acadia, the defending national champions, fell just short against the eventual winners, Lethbridge, I feel the accomplishment of this year's team must be recognized.

Led by the CIAU's player of the year, Duane Dennis, Acadia had an outstanding season; a season marked by dedication, hard work and a commitment to excellence.

I am proud of the young men involved in Acadia's hockey program and their academic achievements. I believe that the members of this team have shown themselves to be responsible, dedicated and hard working on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.

Congratulations to Acadia. It has every reason to be proud of its accomplishments.

Indian AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development announced the devolution of his department's responsibilities to the First Nations of Canada, beginning with a demonstration project in Manitoba.

All I can say is that it is about time. We have heard a lot in this House about the need to define self-government. Self-government will not be defined the same in Yukon as it is in Manitoba because we must define it in terms of the cultural heritage, of the various aboriginal groups that are being dealt with. It must be an item for negotiation.

Each settlement will be defined by the history and culture of the First Nations people. This is an extremely important initiative and because of that I ask the minister to place before the House a plan with clear timetables and, most important, the financial resources to be allotted to this plan of devolution. That will determine whether this initiative is genuine or just another step on the highway of broken promises.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

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

Several members of the government are attending the G-7 summit on employment held in Detroit today. According to a government source quoted in this morning's newspapers, Canada intends to submit to its G-7 partners a proposal to put in place

a tax credit for employers who create new jobs and for those who save jobs.

Can the Prime Minister confirm that Canada is about to present such a proposal, and can we expect the government to put in place such a tax credit for employers who create new jobs and for those who save jobs that would otherwise be threatened by technological changes?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the Minister of Finance will present in Detroit a proposal on Canadian taxation. I think that the ministers who are there today want to look with their colleagues at solutions that could be applied in the Western world and that many ideas will be debated, but in Detroit, the Minister of Finance will not be making any proposals concerning Canadian taxpayers. All that must be done in the usual way, as we did a few weeks ago when the budget was tabled.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is very disappointing to hear that so many ministers went off to discuss and chat without having anything new to propose.

I ask the Prime Minister what justifies their presence at the G-7 summit if it is not to come up with new ideas.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our ministers will talk about what we are trying to do here in Canada at this time, and I imagine that the other ministers will explain what they are trying to do in their own countries. Unacceptable unemployment levels are now a problem throughout the Western world. That is why President Clinton convened this summit, so that the ministers responsible in this area can meet and exchange ideas. And if this summit produces new ideas that can apply to the Canadian situation, I am sure that our ministers will be happy to take note and report to Parliament.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we hope that the representatives at this summit will do more than compare their respective countries' unemployment rates. All this is not very encouraging.

Can the Prime Minister tell us today if, after the G-7 summit, his government will introduce a real policy, a real job creation strategy to give a little hope finally to the 1.5 million unemployed Canadians and especially to young people, nearly 20 per cent of whom are without jobs?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that was debated in the budget debates over the last few weeks. We explained our plans, including the infrastructure program and the youth program. We want to make sure by changing the nature of our social programs there is more money available for creating jobs.

When meeting with others they discuss our approach and we discuss their approach. That is the reason we meet with them. We try to have good exchanges with the people involved and thus have as much stability as possible in the western world. Everyone agrees it is better when people talk than when they do not.

It was a good initiative by the President of the United States to invite all the ministers involved with labour and employment to get together.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

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

The government keeps saying that its real priority is job creation. Today, a large delegation of Canadian ministers is attending a G-7 conference which we thought would deal with ways to stimulate employment.

In the meantime, the government maintains the unemployment insurance premium increase which it put in effect last January 1, and which is truly a tax on employment. In fact, last week in this House, the Minister of Finance himself said it was absurd.

Does the Prime Minister agree that, if the government wants to be logical when it talks about job creation, it must immediately eliminate this premium increase?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is precisely what the government has done. The previous Conservative administration had decided that UI premiums would go up to $3.30. We passed legislation to lower these premiums to $3.07 for the current year, and to $3 at the beginning of next year. So, we have done precisely that.

Again, the premiums were set at $3.30 by an act of Parliament, but we have lowered them to $3.07 for the current year, and to $3 as of January 1, 1995.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the Prime Minister that he implemented a decision made by the Conservatives to lower UI premiums to $3.07 as of January 1994. He maintained the decision to set premiums at $3.07 until next January, in order to get $800 million from Canadians.

Does the Prime Minister recognize that cancelling this premium increase would have an immediate effect on employment, and does he agree that if this increase is absurd, as the Minister of Finance admitted, maintaining it is a lot more absurd?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we would have preferred to lower premiums to $3 right away, but we have serious budget constraints. Nevertheless, we did reduce premiums from $3.30 down to $3.07 for this year, and to $3 for 1995.

Obviously, we would have preferred to set premiums at $3, but it is not just a matter of pleasing people, we have to do what we can with what we have, and the decision made by the Minister of Finance to lower premiums to $3.07 for the first year and to $3 for the second year was the best one that could be made under the circumstances.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

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

As has been already mentioned, the government is represented at the G-7 meeting in Detroit to discuss worldwide unemployment and underemployment. I would like to ask the Prime Minister whether his ministers are taking any specific proposals for job creation at all to that meeting and particularly whether the private sector's views on job creation have been included and are going to be presented.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is certainly what the Minister of Finance and the other ministers will do.

We said that 85 per cent of the jobs in Canada will be created by small and medium size businesses in the future. That is why we have passed some legislation and made some adjustments that will induce the private sector to create these jobs.

They will explain the technique Canada has decided to use. I hope that others will benefit from our views.

If in the course of the discussions someone were to come up with the miracle solution, of course we would take it, but it is a complicated situation all over the world.

We know Canada has a problem. Some will say perhaps we should reduce or abandon the minimum wage. Canada is not that kind of a country. Canada does not want to have sweatshops in order for people to have jobs. We are a civilized nation that wants to do it the proper way. We have a good regime, but if somebody has a better idea then we are open to it.

I am a Liberal. I am not a doctrinaire person. I borrow from the left and I borrow from the right, as long as the solution is right.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the Prime Minister's answer and we certainly recognize that the Prime Minister borrows.

The Prime Minister made reference and the Minister of Finance is now admitting that a $1 billion spending cut in UI creates more jobs than a $1 billion spending increase on infrastructure. To be consistent therefore will Canada be recommending tax cuts as a job creation strategy at the G-7 meeting?