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House of Commons Hansard #219 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentencing.

Topics

Income Tax ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried. When shall the bill be read a third time? Now?

Income Tax ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Income Tax ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Liberalfor the Minister of Finance

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Income Tax ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North Centre Manitoba

Liberal

David Walker LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to again rise in support of speedy passage of Bill C-70, an act to amend the Income Tax Act.

As the House is aware, the bill will implement a number of measures relating to taxation that were introduced in the 1994 budget, along with certain others announced by the government over the last year.

In moving to third reading, it is again appropriate to remind ourselves of the context of this legislation. The fiscal challenge facing the country is familiar to us all. Few dispute the need for tough action and that difficult choices face us all. Surely we will all agree that fairness and effectiveness must be essential guiding principles of the steps we have to overcome in our challenge in dealing with the deficit.

These principles have guided the government as we have worked to restrain spending. They have guided the minister in crafting the budgets of 1994 and again in 1995. In both cases, spending cuts alone could not deliver the deficit reductions that Canada needs. Rigorous government restraint needed to be complemented with some measures on the tax side.

Doing so for us was simply a question of fairness. It was our vision of fairness that guided us as we looked at the tax system, addressing unsustainable tax preferences instead of imposing general tax hikes on Canadian taxpayers.

In looking at the corporate tax regime we sought to ensure that corporations paid their fair share of the tax revenues needed to fund government programs and to prevent certain businesses or sectors from taking undue advantage of certain tax provisions.

With this in mind, the 1994 budget proposed a number of measures to the rules governing the taxation of business income. Our goal, and let me stress this, was not to penalize the business sector or to impede the competitiveness of Canadian corporations. In fact, we believe that it is essential to maintain a competitive tax system in today's global economy.

I would like to now outline some of the specific measures from the 1994 budget which have been reflected in Bill C-70.

One fairness issue this legislation addresses is the tax rules dealing with debt forgiveness and foreclosures. Under the old provisions of the Income Tax Act many transactions involving the settlement of debt were not recognized in any meaningful way for income tax purposes.

The new rules provide a comprehensive basis to deal with debt settlement. In general, they provide that forgiven debt amounts will be applied to a loss carried forward and expenses are partially included in the debtor's income. I should point out, however, there are special relieving rules to minimize undue hardship from these new rules.

Let me now turn to the tax treatment of securities held by financial institutions. Until now the Income Tax Act has not provided specific rules regarding the tax treatment of such securities. The measures under Bill C-70 seek to reduce uncertainty in this regard and also to ensure that the income derived from such securities is measured appropriately. The amendments provide that certain securities will be marked to market, meaning that the

appreciation or depreciation in their value each year must be recognized in that year.

In keeping with our goal of fairness, the amendments include a transitional rule that allow increases in income resulting from the new rules to be spread over five years. These new measures have been generally effective after February 21, 1994.

In addition, new rules are provided for debt securities that are not required to be marked to market. These rules deal with the measurement of income while the securities are-

Income Tax ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will have the floor when we return to debate.

The House resumed consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-69, an act to provide for the establishment of electoral boundaries commissions and the readjustment of electoral boundaries; and of the amendment.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Earlier today the Chair had a request for the deferral on the division of the amendment to the amendment relating to Bill C-69.

I would ask the whips to consult with each other and I hope they manage to agree or at least produce a recommendation for the Chair.

I hope the whips would consult with each other. If the whips have not reached a decision, I will return to the House at 4 p.m. and I will set a time for the vote at that time.

There was a request for a vote at 1.30 p.m. That is a moot point. We are past 1.30 p.m. and now I would like the whips to discuss it and if they cannot arrive at a decision I will decide at 4 p.m.

The hon. member for Roberval, on a point of order.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order which concerns the procedure in this House. When a whip asks for a division to be deferred-and I looked up a number of precedents-the Chair always defers the division at the request of the whip who rises in the House, when there is just one.

Perhaps you could tell us why you are now asking the whips to consult with each other, since there is only one valid request before the Chair and, in our opinion, the Chair must consider that request?

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I asked for a little more time, since question period will start in a few minutes, to review what happened. I would like some time to do that.

Furthermore, I would ask the whips to consult with each other. If they are willing, perhaps it would be unnecessary to have a decision from the Chair.

However, should it be necessary, I will announce my decision at 4 p.m.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, Standing Order 45(5)(a)(ii) clearly states:

During the sounding of the bells, either the Chief Government Whip or the Chief Opposition Whip may ask the Speaker to defer the division.

That is what happened.

The Speaker then defers it to a specific time, which must be no later than the ordinary hour of daily adjournment on the next sitting day that is not a Friday.

That occurred. The opposition whip asked for a deferral. Five minutes later the government whip stood up and gave a speech asking not to defer it. He asked for a time of 1.30. Two different times were asked: deferral of the vote until the next sitting day which would be tomorrow and subsequently would have to wait until Monday or 1.30 p.m. today. The 1.30 p.m. today has expired so there has been no valid request by the government whip. The request of the opposition whip must be respected and accepted.

Electoral Boundaries Readjustmentact, 1995Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I thank the whip of the Reform Party for his opinions. I will surely take them under advisement when I make my decision at 4.00 p.m.

It being 2.00 p.m., the House will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Co-Operative EducationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, a group of co-op students from the University of New Brunswick are visiting the capital today. They are here to encourage development of new and exciting co-operative education programs in Canada. These programs are made up of six work terms for two years in total of valuable work experience for every participant.

Students, especially those who work away from school and home, develop personal skills such as independence and time management. Co-op students are also given the opportunity to acquire vital contacts with employers. Out of 37 co-ops graduating from UNB this year, only five are still searching for a job.

Most non co-op students only begin the job hunt on graduation. The most immediate and tangible benefit from the co-op program is financial. The program funds the students' educations with little or no assistance required. The students of UNB ask our government to encourage the development of co-op programs.

Patented DrugsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' insistence at the beginning of this session on amending the legislation on patented drugs is hard to explain from an economic point of view. In fact, the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board announced this week that patented drug prices fell by nearly 0.5 per cent in 1994.

Since 1987, when the legislation came into force, patented drug prices have risen an average of only 2.1 per cent, below the rate of inflation, while drug prices generally rose an average of 7.5 per cent. In other words, generic drugs were the ones to increase significantly in price.

In addition to containing their prices, manufacturers of patented drugs invested $561 million in research and development last year, which is more than they are committed to do. The Liberals should stop harassing a major industry that has a considerable impact on the economies of Quebec and Canada.

Free VotesStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, after the 1993 election, my party asked if I would take on the responsibility of dealing with the issue of parliamentary reform. I quickly came to the conclusion that the main issue was freer voting. It is not just the situation where the leaders of the government side would declare a particular bill the subject of a free vote, but the situation where parties allow dissent to occur, true dissent on particular government bills, bills that form part of the government program.

It was the opinion of those involved in the writing of the McGrath report in 1985 and those who sat on the House management committee in 1993 that dissent should be allowed to be expressed without fear of retaliation by the leadership of the political party concerned. Both groups believe the expression of dissent would make the House a healthier place.

I am pleased to see that members on both sides of this House are beginning to express themselves in dissent. However, in order for freer voting to occur, the fear of reprisals by party leadership must disappear. I hope the leadership on the government side will respect the dissent that has been expressed as a healthy part of our democratic system and that no reprisals will come to those expressing dissent.

Professional HockeyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the government to the fact that a ruling from Revenue Canada is being sought with respect to the deal that has been arranged to save the Winnipeg Jets.

What has been sought from Revenue Canada and which may not have been received yet is a ruling which would have the effect of making the millions of dollars that are being donated toward the purchase and the saving of the team for Winnipeg as a charitable donation.

It seems to me given all the other things that are happening in this country that hockey, particularly professional NHL hockey, is not a charity. I would like to see the team stay in Winnipeg, but I do not want to see a precedent set whereby professional hockey is regarded as a charity for tax purposes. I think that would be an awful precedent and an awful injustice.

Federal Business Development BankStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, since its inception 50 years ago, the Federal Business Development Bank has addressed the needs of Canada's small and medium sized businesses. This institution has continually adapted its operations to meet constantly changing political, social and economic climates. However, once again the time for significant change has come.

That is why the business leaders of London-Middlesex are applauding the business development bank of Canada act which was recently tabled. The proposed act would not only allow the present bank to change its name, it would also allow it to evolve and to expand its programs and services to meet today's requirements.

At present, we must adapt to the realities of the new global economy, an economy which in large part sees entrepreneurs along with small and medium sized businesses charged with the responsibility of promoting economic growth and job creation.

I believe that this initiative demonstrates yet again our government's commitment to the people of Canada. I look forward to its implementation.

Forging The LinkStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on June 8 and 9, Acadia University, Chrysler Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Education and the Department of Economic Development hosted "Forging the Link", an international symposium on education and the economy. This conference as a preamble to the Halifax summit brought business leaders, educators and youth together to discuss new partnerships between education and the economy.

For young Canadians the chances of finding that first job in a chosen field are a lot better with relevant training and work experience. Whether it is post-secondary education or an internship that helps get a foot in the door, available jobs are going more than ever before to people with more schooling and more skills.

It is crucial therefore that we as a government forge closer links between educators and business. Through important forums such as this, more young Canadians will gain an understanding of the ties between good education and good jobs.

Elders And Traditional Peoples GatheringStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the 12th annual Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering was held at Trent University in Peterborough. Three thousand aboriginal people and others met to address the theme: family growth through our elders.

There were ceremonies, plays, concerts and workshops. Workshop topics included oral traditions, immersion schools, being Indian today, Inuit life, the spirit of healing, native women's issues, traditional language and medicinal herbs. A highlight was the play "Earth Rhythms" about young people creating change in their own environment. This was performed by people from the First Nations of Curve Lake and Hiawatha.

The annual elders conference is aboriginal Canadians helping themselves and others to make Canada an even better place.

I am delighted to add that Trent University will be appointing a new chancellor this fall. She will be Mary Simon, former president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and currently Canada's ambassador for circumpolar affairs.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning's Globe and Mail reported staff cuts at the CBC which are the start of further major cuts that could well change the role, nature and even the mandate of the corporation entirely.

As a result of the latest budget, the SRC and the CBC will have to cut 1,000 employees. However, Tony Manera, the former president had indicated that between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs would have to be cut in the next three years. In this context, it is therefore surprising that the Minister of Cultural Heritage continues to refuse to reveal the budget cuts he has imposed on the corporation.

We should not be surprised to discover more American television programs in CBC programming in the near future or to find ourselves witnessing the long slow demise of what was once the jewel of Quebec and Canadian culture.

Democracy In CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sad to say that the past few days have ended democracy for the people of Canada.

It was not so long ago we had a Prime Minister promising fair representation for all Canadians who elected Liberal members of Parliament. Not only has it become blatantly obvious that he has reneged on one of his iron clad red book promises, he has taken it a step further by threatening his caucus members to toe the party line or he will use the ultimate weapon of refusing to sign nomination papers for those members prior to the next election. This in turn could deny access to their beloved gold plated pension plan which is the worst possible catastrophe for a Liberal to experience.

I want to inform members opposite that our constituents have their wishes followed on a day to day basis. They have the power to nominate their own representatives. As well, our leader will sign nomination papers based on constituents' wishes. With these three policies alone, our constituents know that we are the only truly democratic party left in Canada.

Youth Service CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian youth have a wealth of fresh insight, energy and intellect

to offer our national institutions, our workplaces, our society. What they require in return is opportunity. It is therefore laudable that this government is helping young people who are both out of school and out of work receive the training and experience they need for future success.

Through Youth Service Canada 850 young people nationwide are taking part in 63 projects which will help them gain invaluable work experience while making significant contributions to their communities.

In my riding of Winnipeg North the Maples Youth Justice Committee will target as a project racism, gang violence and fraud with crime awareness programs.

Indeed Canadians have much reason to take pride in Youth Service Canada. We take pride in the renewal, the hope and the vision our young Canadians offer our great nation.

2002 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

June 15th, 1995 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Quebec Liberal caucus, I want to join with all Quebecers and Canadians in wishing good luck to Quebec City, which might be chosen tomorrow as the host city for the 2002 Winter Games. The decision will in fact be made in a few hours, and we will finally find out whether Quebec City is the lucky winner.

It goes without saying that we are keen to hear the outcome of the decision and that we will be delighted to have the 2002 Winter Games here. Quebec has a worldwide reputation because of its athletes, whose remarkable performances have made them provincial ambassadors, and because of the warm welcome it reserves for visitors.

The fact that Quebec City is among the top contenders is confirmation that we are a strong candidate for the next Winter Games. I offer my thanks to all those who have had a part in this important bid, and I extend my best wishes for good luck to Quebec City.

Job CreationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Lavigne Liberal Verdun—Saint-Paul, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec's Minister Responsible for Restructuring released the 8th report on Quebec's sovereignty. One of the first conclusions drawn by the author is that the Outaouais region would lose at least 3,500 jobs if Quebec declared its independence. These 3,500 well paid jobs coupled with the 5,000 others the minister says will also disappear in the head offices of big companies in Montreal already puts the separatist's balance sheet for job creation in a debit position of 8,500.

Quebec's Minister Responsible for Restructuring should devote his efforts without delay to putting an end to these reports and start using the funds at his disposal to create jobs instead of to announce they are going to disappear. This is what Quebecers want and this is the goal towards which the Government of Canada is working.

Family IncomeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study done by Statistics Canada which was released yesterday revealed that the after-tax income of families dropped 2.1 per cent in 1993. Compared to 1989, Quebec and Canadian families have on the average $3,025 less money to spend per year. All levels of society have been hit by this drop which started in 1989 and which has carried us back to income levels we have not been seeing since the early 1970s. Even the poorest families have seen their after-tax income drop since 1989.

Economists predict that this decline could very well continue over the next few years, all the more so because the federal government's unemployment insurance reforms are having a negative impact on workers at the lower end of the pay scale. The dignity of working is above all the dignity of being able to earn a living at it. That is what the government should have realized before it started blindly cutting its support to those in need.