This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #228 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I accept the withdrawal and I ask the hon. member to put his question now.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, will the minister join us in unshackling our health care system, medicare plus?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have one thing I would like to say to the hon. member. I probably have others.

One issue that has been spoken to is that I should respond to provincial ministers of health. I do at all times. I would like to remind the hon. member as well as anyone out there that I was not elected by ministers of health. The government was elected by Canadians, who value our medicare system, a system that works for Canadians.

It is my responsibility as Minister of Health for all Canadians to ensure that health care is available to all Canadians, based on need, that we do not have a system where taxpayers subsidize queue jumping by the rich, and that we offer the very best care in the future, as we have in the past.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Tobacco ProductsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Health.

The Supreme Court finally rendered its decision on the Tobacco Products Control Act. The court concluded that the total ban on the advertising of tobacco products was unconstitutional, and it also questioned the legality of forcing companies to display a health warning on cigarette packages.

Since tobacco companies have decided, for the time being, to comply with the Tobacco Products Control Act, when does the minister intend to meet with these manufacturers, to ensure that we do not go back to the situation that existed before?

Tobacco ProductsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that yesterday I informed manufacturers that I was going to meet with them to discuss the decision. That was before the decision was even known.

However, it goes without saying that we need some time to look at this decision, which is 116 pages long and which took 7 years and 21 days to come. Consequently, you will understand that we need a bit of time to look at that judgment and decide on what to do next.

Tobacco ProductsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, following the failure of the previous government's strategy of excessive taxes on cigarettes, and given the court's questioning of the obligation to display a health warning, what is left of the tobacco strategy?

Tobacco ProductsOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we are in the process of studying the decision. We will use the guidance of the decision to set the course and we will use those powers that are appropriate to their fullest extent.

There continue to be 40,000 deaths that are directly attributed to tobacco use, so it is a very serious matter for all Canadians. We will do our utmost to continue in this fight against tobacco and the use of it.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Bernie Collins Liberal Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers depend on international sales, as does every other sector of the Canadian economy. My question is for the agriculture minister.

Following ongoing lengthy negotiations with the American government, can he confirm that U.S. tariff rate quotas on wheat

imports from Canada have been removed? Further, will the minister indicate what stance Canada will take if the Americans might attempt to reimpose a tariff rate quota?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, once again we are getting into the realm of hypothetical questions. The question as worded is hypothetical. If the hon. minister wishes to respond I will permit it, but the formulation of the question is not acceptable.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to respond to the question that has been raised.

On the first part, I am pleased to confirm that the U.S. tariff rate quota against Canadian wheat expired on time at midnight on Monday, September 11, 1995.

On the point about future U.S. trade action, Canada fully expects the United States to honour all of its international trading obligations. Should that prove not to be the case, we have the right to respond and we will do so firmly in defence of Canadian farmers if necessary.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

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

The provincial ministers of health are frustrated after yesterday's meeting with the federal minister. She insists that funding will be cut, but she also insists militantly that none of the provincial ministers' policies to save money are acceptable. This policy stance is not only arrogant, it verges on the irrational.

What precisely are provincial health ministers allowed to change in the allegedly perfect present system?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, many of the provincial ministers of health have done some very good work. I have worked very closely with them and I encourage them to continue with the good work.

There is one place where I and this government draw the line: We will not allow a U.S. style two tier medicare system because it does not work. It is not good for Canadians. It is not good for the economy. That is what we are talking about here.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, of course the health minister's policy stance is not entirely irrational. It is rational if she expects provinces to raise taxes to pay for the financing deficit of the federally mandated program.

What does the minister say to those who see her policies as an unwarranted violation of provincial rights that feeds the demand for independence in Quebec?

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this government spends considerable sums on health and social programs. Under the spending powers this government has it can set certain principles. That is what the Canada Health Act does.

Oftentimes in this debate we are not aware of just how much money this government does spend on social programs and health. It is time to remind people.

I think it is important also to put this all in context. I used an example yesterday. For instance, the cuts in transfers next year for the British Columbia government will be minus 1.7 per cent of their total revenues. The revenues are projected to increase by 5 per cent. We still contend that this is manageable.

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. In his last budget, the Minister of Finance announced that he would need to proceed this autumn with the review of the Canada pension plan. There is now some urgency for the government to submit a reform plan for old age pensions. That document is close to a year overdue.

What is keeping the Finance Minister from making public his government's intentions with respect to old age pensions? What does the federal government have up its sleeve for older Canadians?

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in both departments, Human Resources Development and Finance, we are still involved in examining the document. We will release it as soon as it is ready. The member across the way has my assurance that the Liberals were the party that created our social programs and the Liberals will be the party to preserve them.

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand from the attitude of the Minister of Finance that he is doing the same with seniors as he is doing with Canadians as a whole, that is putting off delivering the bad news until after the referendum?

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

An hon. member

That is exactly it.

Old Age SecurityOral Question Period

2:55 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 were very clear in the last budget on the reforms that will be necessary. It is our intention to consult Canadians on these reforms.

If the hon. member wishes to talk about concealing things, since you bring up the matter, where are the Fluet-Lefebvre studies? Where are the Mathews studies? Where are all the studies Mr. Le Hir commissioned? If the hon. member wishes to talk about

concealing things, tell us what the true consequences of the referendum will be.

Capital PunishmentOral Question Period

September 21st, 1995 / 2:55 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in Atlantic Canada I was told that 70 per cent of Atlantic Canadians support a return to capital punishment and a June survey stated that 69 per cent of all Canadians agree.

The justice minister has continually stated that he consults and follows the wishes of Canadians. The justice minister claimed high moral ground on firearms control because he said police supported this legislation.

Since Atlantic Canadians, police officers and all Canadians are demanding a binding referendum on capital punishment, will the justice minister be consistent in his operations and offer a binding referendum to citizens?

Capital PunishmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I wonder as a matter of logic if I can deduce from the hon. member's question that he is now prepared to support the gun control proposals put forward by this government. Would he do that?

The fundamental objective of this government as we said in the election campaign of 1993 is safe homes and safe streets. Everything we have done in the justice agenda and through the Solicitor General since we have been in this Parliament has been to achieve safer communities in this country.

If the hon. member and the members of that party are truly concerned about the safety of Canadians and their communities, he will work with us on the proposals we are bringing forward to deal with high risk offenders and to strengthen the criminal justice system of this country.

Capital PunishmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would be more than pleased to vote on the gun legislation; it would be no. I would be pleased to vote on the capital punishment referendum; it would be yes, if he wants to know how I feel. Seventy-eight convicted murderers on conditional release murdered again.

This minister in Bill C-41 for hate crimes believes that getting tough on crime is the answer.

Since the minister agrees harsher sentences prevent crime, will he not prevent future murders by enacting the return of capital punishment for first degree murder?

Capital PunishmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we believe that the way to work toward increased public safety is through proposals that have substance and that rely on real analysis and get results.

We do not believe that the answer is simply to rely on bluff and bluster or mean-spirited personal attacks or to exploit tragedies.

We are interested in real public safety. I invite the hon. member to work with us on the proposals the solicitor general and I are bringing forward to deal with high risk offenders and strengthen the criminal justice system instead of going to what looks like the simple answers to exploit the public mood.

Climate ChangeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday an editorial in the Globe suggested that there are benefits to be reaped from recent trends in climate change.

This conclusion is contradicted in a draft report by the United Nations panel on climate change and a recent Environment Canada report citing increasing summer temperatures.

My question is for the Minister of the Environment. Does the minister agree with this editorial? If not, what does she and the government plan to counter the human causes of climate change?