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House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pick up on an odious reference from the member's preamble to his other question, the use of the word "bribe" in reference to one section of the country.

Yesterday the premier of Alberta said he felt Alberta is entitled to a reduction in the federal sales tax rate as it applies to his province. That is a point of view that may well be expressed in honest debate. No one in that government has referred to bribes or other odious terms used.

I quote the Minister of Finance for Alberta: "We are Canadians from one end of the country to the other. The fact is that Canadians living in Alberta will probably pay more to Confederation during this time and certainly during the 1970s than Canadians living in say Saskatchewan or in Newfoundland. I do not believe this government", the Conservative Government of Alberta,"is a believer in cheque book federalism. Canada is much more than that".

I certainly hope there is never a merger between the Reform Party and the Tories. If that were the case, there would be a fundamental lack of decency in the Reform Party that would disappear from the right wing of the spectrum.

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Yesterday Louise Harel, Quebec's minister of employment and solidarity, was quoted as saying the following: "While Quebec is

focussing considerable efforts on getting employment back on its feet, in partnership with all those involved within the province, Ottawa is headed in the opposite direction, without any co-operation with the Quebec authorities".

While everyone in Quebec is pooling forces in an attempt to solve the unemployment problem, how can the Minister of Human Resources Development justify the federal government's unilateral action, which creates divisions?

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to holding discussions with our Quebec colleagues, in order to find ways of meeting our commitments concerning withdrawal from manpower training.

As for all of the other issues relating to active measures and what is reflected in part II of the employment insurance bill now before Parliament, we have every intention of entering into negotiations with the province of Quebec, and all of the provinces in this country, for it is the intention of the Government of Canada to show good faith in this entire matter, once again demonstrating that, with flexibility and good intentions, we can prove the federation is working very well.

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, where manpower is concerned, the time for talking is over. We have been hearing for five years now that the governments are going to talk together about it, yet every time there is a meeting, you do not attend. Do something.

Does the minister confirm that what Louise Harel, the minister, says is true: by his involvement in manpower training, he is perpetuating overlap, creating five new programs which duplicate provincial programs already in place, in Quebec in particular?

Manpower TrainingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

No, Mr. Speaker, we do not believe that what we are doing at this time is adding to duplication and overlap.

What we believe is that there is a desire country-wide to find new ways of getting federation to work. This includes anything related to job creation, trade training, active measures in the private sector. We hope to be able to find solutions to these knotty problems, for they have been discussed long enough, as the hon. member has said.

I do, however, find it somewhat surprising that, when we are attempting to withdraw from manpower training, the hon. member appears to think we are heading in the wrong direction. I thought that was the direction the consensus in Quebec wanted us to take.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, what we have seen here today in the House is the Prime Minister of Canada who made a cold, calculated promise to Canadian taxpayers, Canadian citizens, to kill the GST with absolutely no intention of keeping that promise.

He then turned around and blamed his advisors for it. He booted out anyone who got in his way and then he forced his own finance minister to accept the blame for his broken promises.

Why does the Prime Minister, not the finance minister or his advisors, not have the courage and the honesty to stand up in the House-

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sure the House will agree that neither the courage nor the honesty of any of our hon. members is in question in the House.

I ask the hon. member to please rephrase his question and go directly to the question now.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, why in order to win the 1993 election did the Prime Minister mislead Canadians from coast to coast?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not too offended because I had the prudence to put all that in writing. From page 22:

In the first session of a new Parliament, a Liberal government will give the all-party finance committee of the House of Commons a 12-month mandate to consult fully with Canadians and provincial governments and to report on ways to achieve tax fairness, simplicity and harmonization. In particular, the committee will be mandated to report on all options for alternatives to the current GST. A Liberal government will replace the GST with a system that generates equivalent revenues, is fairer to consumers and to small businesses, minimizes disruption to small business, and promotes federal-provincial fiscal co-operation and harmonization.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Prime Minister, instead of referring to the red book, should look at the fourth edition of the blue book, Reform's way of running the country.

The Prime Minister knew before the election that the GST was not going to go, yet he pawned it off on regular Canadians who were thinking there was going to be a break in this country, and it was a bold faced lie.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask the hon. member for Fraser Valley West to please withdraw the last statement.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I cannot do that in all good conscience.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

We will take a couple of minutes to quiet down. I will return to this at the end of question period. The hon. member for Saint-Jean.

TelecommunicationsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

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

An event dubbed "Extreme Fighting" is scheduled to be held on the Kahnawake reserve this Friday. I think the atmosphere at these events is not unlike that now prevailing in this House.

In the last few days, promoters have been advertising this event, which is due to be broadcast on Pay-TV throughout the U.S. At first sight, this type of combat violates provisions in the Criminal Code.

Since the setting up of equipment to allow satellite broadcasting of "Extreme Fighting" in the U.S. must be authorized by Industry Canada, can the Minister of Industry tell us if he has received an application in this case? If not, can he assure us that any potential broadcaster will not use a general authorization from his department to transmit an illegal event?

TelecommunicationsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, the setting up of equipment per se is not illegal. If there is an illegal act it will be dealt with by the authorities in Quebec.

There have been meetings between Grand Chief Norton and the Quebec government. They set out rules of combat: no biting, no scratching and no time outs, which I found was a preference by the Mohawks in the province of Quebec for the next referendum rules.

TelecommunicationsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to notify the Minister of Industry that, this morning, the Quebec government advised one of his departmental officials, the one in charge of telecommunications, that this event was illegal.

My question is very simple. Since this event is illegal, can the minister promise not to authorize the setting up of technical equipment so that the event scheduled to be held on Friday in Quebec can be broadcast all over the U.S.?

TelecommunicationsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding from the meetings that there has been no definitive finding of illegality. If there is, it is up to the authorities in Quebec to stop the illegal action. It is clearly within their jurisdiction. If they do not want to exercise it that is their problem. It is their decision whether the event is illegal or legal.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the end of World War II a grateful British government sent certificates of appreciation to 6,000 Canadian volunteers whose service as radar technicians had been vital to the air defence of England. Unfortunately those certificates were never distributed and all but one were destroyed.

Will the minister of defence now, finally after 50 years, authorize the production of replica certificates so these Canadian radar technician veterans can finally be thanked?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this is a misunderstanding that has gone on for 50 years and has continued until recent days. I think all Canadians recognize the great contribution made by the radar technicians in the second world war when attached to the Royal Air Force.

Certainly if the British government is willing to recognize replicas of the original certificates, we will have a Government of Canada representative present those certificates to the survivors or to their families.

I hope this action will meet with the approval of the survivors and their families.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

April 24th, 1996 / 2:50 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we have witnessed the outrage many members of the House feel about the government's attempt to reinterpret and hide its broken promise on the GST. It is the same outrage felt by millions of Canadians who took that promise at face value.

What the government has done reinforces the public perception that promises made in election campaigns are utterly worthless and that politicians, even prime ministers, cannot be trusted.

In reinforcing that perception, the government has undermined the integrity of every member of the House, regardless of their party.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge the damage the GST shell game has done to the integrity of politics in Canada, and what, if anything, does he propose to do to repair the damage he has done?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will set the record straight. For many days we have read the

commitment on page 22. It is very clear. If we were only to defend it, that would be something people might say is a bit political.

There was a committee of the House, all members were there and for a year they looked into the problem. The Reform Party tabled a minority report and talked about a solution: "It is simply unacceptable that Canada remains the only country in the world with ten different sales tax regimes. We commend the government on its attempt to harmonize the tax with the provinces".

These are the words of the leader of the Reform Party. If he wants to show integrity, he should repeat that in the House and compliment the Minister of Finance.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister evades the issue of integrity. If he wants me to repeat something in the House, I will repeat something he said in 1991 when he was in opposition.

He was asked by a fellow Liberal what assurance he could give the people of Canada that the Liberal Party will have a value system that people can trust. The Prime Minister said: "Trust will come when we say we will get rid of the GST. We will have an alternative, but we will not try to buy votes. People want an honest government. They do not want a repetition of what this government", the Mulroney government, "has done to this nation, making promises and breaking them all the time".

How does the Prime Minister reconcile what he said in 1991 with what he has done this week with the GST? Will he admit the integrity of his government is in danger of sinking to the level of the Mulroney administration?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not afraid of that at all. We have it in writing on page 22. If we were not to implement page 22, he would be complaining to the House. However, he found our solution was so good that he commended us and said we were on the right track. He is in agreement with us that page 22 was the right approach and he confirmed that when members of his own party in committee said we were doing the right thing.

The position of the Reform Party and the position of the Liberal Party, on page 22 in writing, is exactly the same. That is why people have confidence in the government today.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we heard how businesses and consumers in three Atlantic provinces will benefit from harmonizing the provincial and federal sales taxes. Businesses and consumer groups have endorsed this plan. My province, Ontario, did not sign an agreement with the federal government.

Can the minister tell the House why Ontario should join the process and harmonize its provincial sales tax with the federal sales tax?