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House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Registered Retirement Savings PlansOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that the Bloc Quebecois is afraid of listening to Canadians, of a pre-budget process that will be open and of making constructive suggestions. It is very clear that the Bloc has nothing to say to Canadians who want a chance to tell us what they want to do.

Social ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, details of the government's social policy review appeared today on the front page of the Globe and Mail . It seems the only place the minister has not discussed details of his much delayed action plan is here on the floor of the House of Commons.

Why is the Minister of Human Resources Development insulting members of Parliament by leaking details of this action plan to the media before presenting it to Parliament?

Social ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is almost a historic moment that someone has accused me of actually talking to the Globe and Mail .

I caution the hon. member and all members that this is a period of time when there are going to be all kinds of speculative stories and reputed leaks. I suggest that the member be patient and simply wait for the real paper and real proposals which will be tabled in the House next week.

Social ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate that these are proposals and not just discussion points that the minister has referred to.

The minister boasted at the beginning of this Parliament that he would be introducing an action plan to reform Canada's social program but we have seen this delayed again and again for months.

Has the minister lost his nerve? We want to know, where is the action?

Social ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the action really resides in the will and motivation of the Canadian people to make a fundamental reform and bring about a modern social system based upon real compassion and justice for Canadians.

Presumably during the last election campaign opposition members made certain commitments to their electors ensuring that their points of view would be heard. Therefore I find it exceedingly strange they would be so opposed to any attempt to have real serious dialogue and consultation.

I recommend that the hon. member change her position and turn around and use this as an opportunity to engage Canadians in a very serious debate about the future of this country.

Social ReformOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, of course we are in favour of consultation. It is just that consultation must end sooner or later and then we must act on it.

The social policy review was undertaken because as the minister knows, the status quo is simply unsustainable. Our social programs are too costly, too inefficient and in desperate need of reform.

Knowing that social programs must be better targeted and that Canadians will have to take more personal responsibility to provide for their own retirement, will the minister tell the finance minister to keep his hands off Canadians' private pensions and RRSPs?

Social ReformOral 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 prefer to answer my own questions if you do not mind. In my experience the hon. Minister of Finance is a gentleman of great discretion and judgment and he knows exactly where he wants to put his hands.

Tax ReformOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Ontario's finance minister proposed giving Ottawa exclusive control of a national sales tax that would replace the GST and all provincial sales taxes. In return, the provinces would receive a greater share of individual income tax revenues.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Does he intend to follow up the Ontario finance minister's proposal and are we to understand that the GST reform he is considering will be based on this suggestion?

Tax ReformOral 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

Before answering, Mr. Speaker, may I say I would like to see the Hansard blues.

The treasurer of the province of Ontario telephoned me yesterday morning, just before question period, to let me know about the suggestion he made yesterday. The details were not provided and I think that our officials are going to meet. We are very open to any suggestion that will help us harmonize the tax. That said, we will certainly have many questions about the suggestion, but I think that any constructive suggestion is worthwhile.

Tax ReformOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Finance think that to really simplify consumer taxes, eliminate duplication and reduce the huge administrative costs, he should instead abolish the GST as promised and transfer this tax field to the provinces in exchange for an equivalent reduction in transfers, as the Bloc Quebecois recommended in its report on the GST to the finance committee in June? The minister wants suggestions-there is one.

Tax ReformOral 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, we will certainly consider the suggestion from the Bloc Quebecois with the same open mind as we received the suggestion from the Treasurer of the Province of Ontario. We did so when they presented their report. We discussed with the provinces and we must say that the provinces, including Quebec, are not unanimously in favour of it.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a 1992 internal report which examined mismanagement in the Department of National Defence and raised the spectre of abuse and cover up.

The deputy minister's office was renovated at a cost of $327,000. This contract was awarded without tender and concealed under a completely different project in order, and I quote from the report, "to hide the cost of the DM refit which would be considered excessive by the public".

Can the Prime Minister tell the House what action the government has taken to correct this bureaucratic mismanagement within the defence department?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSecretary of State (Veterans)

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of National Defence I will take the question under advisement for the minister.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is not just one of excessive spending; it appears that the department compounded its sins in trying to hide the report by classifying it "protected C".

According to the Treasury Board guidelines "protected C" is reserved for extremely sensitive information which might cause extremely serious injury such as loss of life.

Will the minister agree that this seems to place DND in a position of deliberately trying to conceal information?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, we are skating on a little bit thinner ice, "deliberately conceal". I would ask hon. members to please be very judicious in their choice of words. I will permit the hon. Secretary of State for Veterans to answer the question if he so wishes.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSecretary of State (Veterans)

Mr. Speaker, again in the absence of the minister, I will take it under advisement for the minister of defence.

Fishing QuotasOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister refused to admit in this House yesterday that he had encouraged Gaspesian fishermen to gear up for turbot fishing. Yet, at the very last moment, just hours before they were to cast their nets, the minister refused to authorize the transfer of turbot licences in addition to having slashed their quotas one month earlier.

How can the minister explain his decision to grant a turbot fishing quota to Seafreez, a company located in his riding which hires Russian trawlers, when he refused to grant the same quota to the Gaspesian fishermen, thereby forcing them to live off UI or even welfare?

Fishing QuotasOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member really ought to try to be consistent.

The issue here is cutbacks in quotas and whether or not new entrants would be allowed into the fishery. New entrants whether they were in Newfoundland, Quebec or anywhere else were not allowed into the fishery.

With respect to the allegation made for the second day in a row, and I admire the member's persistence and also his power to take a punch, that allocations to Seafreez increased or that allocations to Russian vessels increased, let me read the numbers.

The allocation in 1993 to Seafreez was 5,000 tonnes. In 1994 it was reduced to 2,200 tonnes. The allocation caught by Russian vessels under charter with Canadian companies, and they were doing this for years in advance of this government coming to power, decreased by 60 per cent last year.

Fishing QuotasOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that quota cutbacks may become necessary for reasons relating to the biological environment. But what we want to know is why the minister gave part of the available quotas to a company located in his riding, a company that used Russian trawlers to fish its quota? That is what we want to know.

Fishing QuotasOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, the member knows the answer. Not a single pound, not an ounce, not even a sniff of that turbot has been processed in my constituency, not one single job. It is processed in the great historic community of Canso, Nova Scotia, which is in a different province.

When all the members of the fishing constituency in every province in Canada recognize there is a resource crisis, when the world meets in New York and recognizes a fisheries crisis, when NAFO meets in Halifax and recommends a fisheries crisis, surely even the Bloc Quebecois should recognize a fisheries crisis.

Fishing QuotasOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

September 27th, 1994 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Last week I asked the minister if he would release the Nordicity study which recommends a new tax for the CBC. His ministry received the study in early March, fully six months ago, and still we have not seen it. This document has now been leaked to the press, but the minister continues to say there will be no secrets regarding the CBC.

When will the minister release the study his government has commissioned recommending a new tax for the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Laval West Québec

Liberal

Michel Dupuy LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, our colleague will be very pleased. The report will be released but there is no recommendation by the government to impose new taxes. If there are recommendations they are contained in that report which I have read.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to hear that the minister has now read the report. However through the Access to Information Act I do have a copy of the contract between the minister and Nordicity and I quote: "a report to examine a tax on theatre tickets, video rentals, cable fees, TV sets, VCRs, radios, satellite dishes, pay per view services". This list goes on and on.

We have the contract and the media has the complete report. How can the minister now deny that he is planning a new tax to pay for the CBC?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Before the minister answers the question I would ask all hon. members please not to use papers or anything to wave around to make their point. The point is very well made with just your voices.