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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ocean.

Topics

National Family WeekOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the confusion, perhaps I can give an example.

Seventy per cent of women with young children have stated they would stay at home to care for their own young children if they could afford to do so. Recently a letter from the finance minister in response to a question about taxation policy stated that government taxation policy must not work as a disincentive to a spouse seeking to work, but made absolutely no mention of those who are desperately seeking to stay home.

I ask the Minister of Finance: Will the Liberals show respect for all Canadian families and commit to a level playing field by giving families real choice in the provision of care for their children?

National Family WeekOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, you have got me again. I will certainly try not to make policy on behalf of my colleague. However, when it comes to social policy, I am not sure we need any lectures from the Reform Party of Canada.

The FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell became the Minister responsible for Francophonie and International Co-operation, and I offer him my congratulations.

The FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

From now on, his new responsibilities will lead him to encourage close links with Quebec in order to enhance the Francophonie on the international level.

I am therefore asking the minister what sort of relationship he expects to develop with the Government of Quebec when he, the new minister of Francophonie, is involved in organizing a rock concert in defence of those who have violated Quebec law?

The FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the hon. member across the way ought not slap a guilty label on people who have not had their day in court.

Second, I would remind my hon. colleague that this government, and all of its ministers, including myself, intends to entertain excellent relations with our counterparts everywhere, and in particular with my counterpart, the minister responsible for Francophonie in Quebec.

The FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister expect to have great credibility within the Francophonie, when one of his last acts before his ministerial appointment was to get rid of one of his colleagues who wanted to cast some light on the use of French in the national capital?

The FrancophonieOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. I must remind him that he himself had said that the hearings in question ought not to be held, if they were going to be held on both sides of the river.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Liberal Essex—Windsor, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

A number of recent articles about the new seniors benefit claim that the new system will impose double taxation on seniors and discourage savings in RRSPs. Can the parliamentary secretary please clarify how the new seniors benefit will affect millions of retired Canadians?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question provides an opportunity for the government to respond to those who are fear mongering among seniors. This frightens seniors and I am happy to set the record straight.

The new seniors benefit does not affect current seniors and most Canadians I hope now know that. We have protected the payments of every current senior. We have improved the system for those who will be seniors in 2001. There is no across the board 50 per cent tax back rate as some articles are suggesting. There is no disincentive to save for RRSPs. The fact is the benefit looks at the after tax income of seniors and it will be tax free. Seventy-five per cent of seniors and couples will be as well off or better off than they are today.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Reform Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families purchase RRSPs to look after themselves in their retirement years. The new seniors benefit means that seniors will pay tax at a rate of 50 per cent beginning with the first dollar of income earned from other sources. This means that RRSP income will be taxed at 50 per cent; it means that CPP income will be taxed at 50 per cent.

Will the minister tell young Canadians why they should buy RRSPs today when the marginal rate is 17 per cent only to pay 50 per cent when it is taxed back when they are seniors?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I guess I get to do it again.

For those members opposite who did not hear the earlier answer, I will repeat there is no across the board 50 per cent tax back rate. I further say on this occasion that it is interesting to hear such a question from the member opposite when his party proposes to privatize it all with no indication of what the cost would be to individual Canadians.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Reform Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, it defies reality. The government's own budget documents clearly state that income from other sources is taxed back from the first dollar to $16,000 at 50 per cent. After $16,000 to approximately $24,000 it goes to zero. It makes absolutely no sense. This is from the government's own documents.

The Liberal 50 per cent senior tax hurts needy seniors the most. Why then are Liberals deliberately discriminating against the most needy senior citizens?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is simply untrue. Seventy-five per cent of those Canadians who are the most needy among us will be better off under the new seniors benefit. That is also in the papers to see.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

October 7th, 1996 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

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

On September 20, the minister told this House he would act quickly to ensure the site of the Irving Whale wreck is decontaminated. He said that, should sediment samples show a high concentration of contaminants, he would give instructions to clean up the area before winter comes.

Since it has been confirmed that only 10 per cent of the 7,200 kilograms of PCBs were recovered, could the minister bring us up to date on the results of the seafloor analyses?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned to the member about 10 days ago when she asked a similar question, we were very concerned about the possible traces of PCBs that may have still been at the bottom in the area of the footprint of the barge.

The member should know that some 20 per cent of the PCB contaminated fuel was recovered. On the way down or during its 26 years on the bottom, it obviously may have leaked at a greater rate than earlier anticipated. We did get some 3,400 tonnes of oil fully recovered, which would have been an environmental catastrophe for P.E.I. as well as Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Boats are on the scene today. Fourteen samples were taken over the weekend and those will be analysed as quickly as possible to determine the extent and the seriousness of the results. I mentioned before in the House and I mention again that if the analysis determines that there should be further remediation, then further remediation it shall be.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister undertake to table as soon as possible all the information pertaining to the analyses carried out on the bottom of the St. Lawrence River?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member is already behind the times. We have made it fully public.

For the last week the department has been talking to the public advisory committee representing Îles-de-la-Madeleine as well as the public advisory committee for P.E.I. Not only are we making the business of the Irving Whale public, but both committees have applauded the efforts of my department as well as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. I would suggest that the openness, transparency and the co-operation with the communities is what has made that operation a success.

MiningOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

When the minister announced August 8 that the BHP Diamonds project in the Northwest Territories had received conditional approval, he laid down a 60-day deadline for satisfactory progress to be made on negotiating both an environmental agreement with Ottawa and impact benefits agreements with aboriginal peoples.

Two months later that deadline is upon us. One thousand construction jobs are on the line and the window is quickly closing in which winter work can be contracted that far north. What comes next for Canada's first diamond mine, the BHP Diamond project?

MiningOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House that the parties are negotiating well. I met with Mr. Kakfwi from the government this morning. I met with the chief on treaty 8 last week. The Deh Cho negotiations are going on with the Dog Rib and the government.

There is a sense that it can be done. People are staying in the north rather than going to Vancouver or coming here to negotiate. It has a feel of closure. There have been some complications as the hon. member might know. The water board adjourned its hearing of two months back a few weeks ago. This has complicated the situation but I would advise the member that it is on track. Everybody feels if they work together with the governments and the First Nations that we will have an agreement the whole country will be proud of.

MiningOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, mining communities worldwide are watching what happens with this project and they will make decisions based upon what happens up there.

We understand and the minister knows there is only a certain timeframe that work can be done in the north. What is the minister doing to ensure this project moves forward now?

MiningOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, there is more at issue than the desires of BHP. The meetings with BHP have been very positive. I met with them last week. There are governments, First Nations and people living there. There are at least six major agreements which have to be brought together. They are coming together. I have heard no one say that they are leaving the table or that it is a no go. As of today everybody seems to think that significant progress can be made and it is moving along.

Land MinesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, the international conference on land mines held in Ottawa last week raised hopes that, one day, we will succeed in eliminating these terrible devices in developing countries, thus preventing a great many serious and often fatal injuries.

Could the Minister for International Co-operation and Minister responsible for Francophonie, whom I congratulate by the way, tell this House what steps the government plans to take in order to achieve this goal?

Land MinesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister for International Co-operation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out the excellent work done by my predecessor, and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the latter's leadership in this area.

The Canadian International Development Agency, for which I am responsible, has subsidized mine clearing operations in Bosnia, Angola, Afghanistan and Cambodia to the tune of $9 million since 1993-94.

It is this government's intention to stay on course to ensure that these devices will eventually be completely eliminated.

Canada Post CorporationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gilbert Fillion Bloc Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for the Canada Post Corporation.

On July 31, the minister received copy of the report prepared by the committee on the Canada Post Corporation, commonly called the Radwanski report. Earlier, the Standing Committee on Government Operations had passed a motion asking to obtain a copy of this report within five days of its submission to the minister.

My question is very simple. Why, more than two months after receiving copy of the report, does the minister refuse to give a copy of this document to the government operations committee, as she had pledged to do?