House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was million.

Topics

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, based on that response I suggest the finance minister get himself a fur coat.

A study done at the University of Toronto Institute for Policy Analysis found that the Liberal plan for harmonization could lead to the direct loss of 70,000 jobs in Ontario; 70,000 more people on UI in Ontario. The government was elected on a promise of jobs, jobs, jobs.

Will the Minister of Finance now admit that his harmonization proposal breaks yet another red book promise? Does the finance minister consider one job, the Deputy Prime Minister's job, ahead of 70,000 jobs in Ontario?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Tax Foundation and most other commentators have indicated that the savings available to small and medium size business would be between $400 million and $700 million, and they may well be in excess of $1 billion. That is the kind of money that small business needs to create jobs and it is the kind of money that harmonization and the new tax would provide.

There is a reason the majority of Canadian exporters have called for a harmonized tax. They know it would put them in a more competitive position vis à vis the United States. That means jobs.

There is a reason the consumers have called for it. They understand the simplicity it would provide to small retailers. That means jobs. Virtually every economic group in the country has called for a single tax. They all recognize the benefits.

The hon. member is calling for ten different sales taxes plus the federal sales tax across the country. Immense complexity. We are the only country that does not have a single sales tax.

Why does the hon. member continue to try to take Canada backwards? Is that an essential part of Reform Party policy?

Information HighwayOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would seem that what is good for manpower training is also good for the information highway: the federal government keeps infringing upon areas of provincial jurisdiction, increasing the overlap and the waste of public funds and getting taxpayers in deeper trouble by adding new programs left and right. We just had another example of this when the Minister of Industry announced he intended to link every school in Canada to the Internet, even though some provinces already have similar programs.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. When will the federal government recognize that education is an area of provincial jurisdiction and transfer to the provinces all the money it currently spends on these institutions?

Information HighwayOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec students have the same right as students elsewhere in Canada to be connected to the information highway and that is what we are trying to do with this project. It is unfortunate that the Bloc Quebecois is much more interested in political separatism than in the information that will open the doors to the 21st century for our students.

Information HighwayOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister just demonstrated all the respect she has for areas of provincial jurisdiction. Such is her position. In the information the federal government is releasing about Rescol, teachers are invited to apply to the federal government to get funding for this Internet project. Again, the federal government is going over the heads of the provinces.

When will the minister and the government recognize the provinces' jurisdiction in the matter and transfer all the money they spend on schools?

Information HighwayOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, I took part with students from the cities of Hull and Dorval in a project dealing precisely with the information highway.

The system linked us with students in Hamilton, Winnipeg and other parts of the country. Why is the hon. member scared of information? Why is he afraid to let students from various areas of the country start talking to each other? Does it go against his separatist policy which closes doors instead of opening them up?

FednorOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry recently announced that the budget of FedNor, the regional development agency in northern Ontario, is being increased to $60 million over three years.

In view of the concerns of the auditor general, will the parliamentary secretary advise the House what the minister will do to ensure that Canadian taxpayers get full value for this expenditure, particularly as it relates to access to capital for small businesses in northern Ontario?

FednorOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Saskatoon—Dundurn Saskatchewan

Liberal

Morris Bodnar LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there was an announcement last week by the Minister of Industry revitalizing FedNor and providing the financing that has been referred to in the question.

This is a necessary step in helping small business in northern Ontario. By setting up the system that has been put in place there will be a leveraging approximately fivefold in the money from the banks in helping establish greater financing for small business in northern Ontario.

FedNor is a regional agency along with other agencies in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and western Canada; the same agencies the Reform Party would have destroyed in its budget. It wants to eliminate development and employment in the different regions of Canada.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

March 29th, 1996 / 11:45 a.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to issues of national security the solicitor general has taken the approach that Canadians will just have to trust the public statements from CSIS, SIRC and him.

The minister is so secretive that he has even denied the national security subcommittee unexpurgated copies of his ministerial directives to CSIS, although his Conservative predecessors gave the subcommittee full access.

Can the minister explain why he is so intent on keeping secrets from members of the House?

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I will be happy to review the matter to see if we are doing anything different from my predecessor and I will be happy to get back to her. Certainly we want to co-operate with the subcommittee which is part of the justice committee of the House.

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps saying "trust me, trust CSIS and trust SIRC", but trust must be earned.

Has all the information in the documents the minister has tabled in the House of Commons from CSIS and SIRC been completely accurate?

Canadian Security Intelligence ServiceOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has not identified the documents she is talking about. As far as I am aware the material I have tabled on behalf of CSIS or SIRC is accurate. If she has any suggestions to the contrary, I ask her to bring them to my attention so we can go into the matter.

Canada-U.S. Tax TreatyOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

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

When tens of thousands of pensioners saw their American social security payments cut by 25 per cent, the only thing the government found to say in this House on March 14 was that it would raise the issue with the U.S. government, in order to find a solution to this inequity resulting from the new Canada-U.S. tax treaty.

Such a meeting has not yet taken place, and the pensioners are still waiting. Will the minister commit to raising the issue on his next visit to Washington, and can he tell us right now exactly when that will be?

Canada-U.S. Tax TreatyOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Yes, Mr. Speaker, my next trip to Washington will be in two weeks, and it is on the agenda for the talks I shall be holding with the Secretary, Mr. Rubin.

Canada-U.S. Tax TreatyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the minister agrees these pensioners are not being treated fairly, why does he not commit to passing the appropriate tax measures to compensate Quebecers and Canadians, if the U.S. does not respond favourably to his request.

Canada-U.S. Tax TreatyOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that this is an American legislative issue that affects other countries as well as Canada. There seem to be exemptions, which is rather discriminatory, but Canada is not in a position to compensate Canadians who are taxed by other countries, whether that country be the U.S., Britain or France.

I am totally in agreement with the hon. member that this is unfair. We do not agree with the way the Americans are handling this, and I certainly intend to raise the issue directly with Mr. Rubin. I should add, moreover, that there have already been discussions between officials of our two departments.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year John Fraser's report on the Fraser River fishery laid the blame for millions of missing salmon clearly on the mismanagement and negligence of the fisheries minister.

Since then the government has also failed to negotiate a new Pacific salmon treaty. It failed to use licence fees to help fishermen and even failed to keep open the fish hatcheries which are the future of the industry. It destroyed the fishery and now the minister will be forced to announce the destruction of the fishing fleet.

Will the minister accept that his bungling, his mismanagement and his negligence of the west coast fishery are responsible for this? Or would he like to blame it on his predecessor, Brian Tobin?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Fernand Robichaud LiberalSecretary of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not accept the premise of the member's question.

The minister is on the west coast and will be making an announcement later today. This follows a long series of consultation with the industry and will also go a long way to meeting recommendations that were made by people who participated in the round table.

I would have thought the member would be out there today to applaud what the minister will be announcing. The measures will be in the direction which will certainly contribute to the revitalization of the salmon industry in B.C.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I suppose they will have lots of places to hold the press conference. About 18 fish hatcheries have been shut down.

One recommendation of the Fraser report was that fee increases were acceptable but only if "it can be assured that all moneys collected will be used only for local fisheries management". Now we find that $65 million collected in fees did not go to fisheries at all, the government has already shut down 18 fish hatcheries and enforcement is at a dismal level.

Why did the minister not follow the recommendations of the Fraser report accepted by the government and use the fees collected from fishermen to help out the fishing industry?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Fernand Robichaud LiberalSecretary of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague will listen to the announcement that will be made later this day from the west coast, I am sure he will find occasion to applaud the minister's action. This announcement will go a long way in meeting the expectations of the industry on the west coast.

MiningOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Thalheimer Liberal Timmins—Chapleau, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party was the only party to have a mining policy during the last election. The Liberal mining agenda and the mineral exploration measures in this month's budget laid out a forward looking strategy to assist the Canadian mining industry.

Mining and exploration are vital to the Canadian economy, in particular to the people of Timmins-Chapleau in northern Ontario.

My question is to the Minister of Natural Resources. On Tuesday the keep mining in Canada campaign statistics indicated that mineral exploration in Canada is declining at an alarming rate. Is mineral exploration in Canada decreasing?

MiningOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Dauphin—Swan River Manitoba

Liberal

Marlene Cowling LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the surveys by keep mining in Canada cover only 10 per cent of the total number of companies conducting mineral exploration in Canada. They exclude any company spending less than $4 million annually.

This year exploration expenditures are forecast to reach $850 million. Canada has ranked first in the world in 11 of the past 15 years. In 1996 I am confident that Canada will maintain its premier position in the world, thus creating jobs for thousands of Canadians.

Foreign PolicyOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the parliamentary secretary.

Following personal comments made during the referendum campaign by George Berthu, the president of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with Canada, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs exerted pressure in a number of ways, including cancelling a visit by European parliamentarians to Ottawa last February, with the aim of having Mr. Berthu relieved of his duties by the European authorities concerned.

Does the Minister of Foreign Affairs intend to pursue the course taken by his predecessor, by continuing to intrude in this unacceptable manner in the affairs of European parliamentarians, through the person of his Canadian ambassador to the European Union?

Foreign PolicyOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Cape Breton Highlands—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Francis Leblanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs intends to work with all members of Parliament in the conduct of Canada's foreign policy, in Europe as elsewhere.

Foreign PolicyOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the minister realize that by burning bridges with the leadership of the European Parliament's delegation for relations with Canada, he is alienating one of the better allies Quebec and Canada have in several very important issues involving Europe that represent thousand of jobs here?