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House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was discrimination.

Topics

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is funny that Sheila Copps did not see it that way and all we have left in her memory are roses on her desk used as a prop.

Sheila Copps said today in her press conference that she overstepped the red book. She had every opportunity to overstep the red book when it was lying on the floor because that is where that red book belongs, especially page 22.

Liberal candidates campaigned on a promise to abolish, scrap and kill the GST and they know it. What Canadians demand to know now is why has the Prime Minister tried so hard to hide the fact that the Liberals broke their number one election promise.

I ask the Prime Minister again, why did he not simply come clean with Canadians from the very start and tell them that he had absolutely no intention of eliminating the GST?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if you want to quote Madam Copps, she said a few hours ago that we are doing exactly what we said in the red book. She said that she had made a personal promise that was more than what the red book stated and that she had to live with that promise.

Yesterday, you challenged her to have the guts to go to her riding. She is waiting for you to come to her riding with the member for Nanaimo-Cowichan. She will tell the people of Hamilton what kind of party you are, which attacks everybody who is coloured or who has other differences in order to please the narrow-minded people in Canada.

The majority of the people of Canada are not like the Reform Party. They are generous people who tolerate people of colour, of different religions and different mode de vie, which was so shamefully mentioned yesterday by the member for Nanaimo-Cowichan and supported by the acting leader of the Reform Party. During that time, the leader of the party has been hiding in British Columbia.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I would remind you of two things. Would you please all address your remarks to the Chair. Second, would you please refrain from mentioning whether a member is here or not.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, a challenge has been put out for me to be in Hamilton East. I will be there, you betcha.

The member for Hamilton East-

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the former member for Hamilton East's decision to honour the promise she made to her constituents puts the rest of the Liberal caucus in a pretty tight spot. I think we can see that today.

Like Sheila Copps, they ran on a platform that included scrapping the GST. I am sure there will be a lot of soul searching going on in Liberal offices today now that the former Deputy Prime Minister has blown the GST red book sham completely out of the water.

I ask the Prime Minister one more time, what does he have to say to Liberal MPs who got elected on a promise to abolish the GST and are now considering whether to follow Sheila Copps' lead?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we go back to the basic issues.

On the issue of human rights, we saw what happened to the chief whip. The member for Beaver River claimed yesterday that what the chief whip said was supported by the majority of her constituents.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Shame, shame.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have been in the member's riding and I do not believe that reflects the views of her constituents. I do not believe it reflects the views of Canadians. If the hon. member is going to go to Hamilton East, we will all be there. I want to make sure I am there the day she is.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

The history of the Liberal Party's election campaigns is revealing. In 1974, they promised not to freeze wages and prices. They did not keep their word. In 1979, they made a commitment not to raise the gasoline tax. They did not keep their word. In 1989, they promised to tear up the free trade agreement if elected. They did not keep their word. In 1993, they got elected on the promise of eliminating the GST, and again they did not keep their word. And that is not to mention countless unkept constitutional promises made to the people of Quebec.

Facts clearly show that, in every election over the past 20 years, the Liberal Party has repeatedly taken office under false pretences.

How can the Prime Minister still expect the public to have any confidence in his government?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we got a fair number of our candidates elected in the last election. The next time an election is held, we will get re-elected with a substantial majority. I can bet the hon. member a much smaller number of her colleagues will be elected to this House in the next election.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is very well known in Quebec. In the last referendum, the people voted yes-

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

In his own riding.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

-in his own riding. He should run in Rimouski-Témiscouata to see who would win then.

My second question is as follows. When will the Prime Minister come to the realization that the only thing he can do at this point is to apologize to the people of Canada for breaking his promise regarding the GST?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer is to be found on page 22 of the red book.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister has apologized for his role in the GST fiasco. The former Deputy Prime Minister, Sheila Copps, has jumped, or was she pushed? Now we have the situation of the Prime Minister in denial.

The question is very simple. When is the Prime Minister going to admit that he and his government broke their promise to scrap the GST?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has brought in a policy after going through over 20 options and after working for close to two and half years to find a better solution. This policy is the one recommended by the finance committee and supported fully by the Reform Party.

Why is it that the Reform Party now stands up day after day denying what it said? Why is the Reform Party swallowing itself whole? Why does it not admit what it admitted at the time of the finance committee, that this is good public policy. Is it afraid to endorse something that is good for Canadians?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister knows very well that we have called on the government from day one to fulfil its promise to scrap the GST. It is how the Liberals won the election. He and all the members across the way who ran on that promise should take the high dive.

I want to quote from the House record from June 16, 1994. These are the words of the Prime Minister. He said: "There can be no substitute for responsibility at the top. The Prime Minister sets the moral tone for the government and must make the ultimate decision when issues of trust and integrity are raised. That is what leadership is all about. As Harry Truman put it: The buck stops here".

My question is for the Prime Minister. When is he going to start accepting responsibility? When is he going to admit that he broke his promise on the GST?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said what was the policy of the government very clearly.

A committee of the House, as promised in the red book, studied the problem of finding an alternative to the GST. The committee came up with this recommendation. It was supported by the Reform Party, the same party that changed its position five times on the GST.

We were consistent. We said that it had to be replaced by one sales tax. I remember very well the Reform Party saying that it was completely unacceptable to have 10 different provincial sales taxes plus a federal sales tax.

The members of the committee went across the nation for a year. Their report was supported by the Reform Party and it is exactly what the Minister of Finance is implementing at this time.

We have nothing to apologize for. It is what is written in the red book on page 22 and it is what was recommended by a committee of the House formed by Liberal members and Reform members who supported that policy as the only good alternative to the present system.

Canadian Human Rights ActOral Question Period

May 1st, 1996 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just learned that the Prime Minister has decided that the members of his party will vote freely on Bill C-33, which seeks to add sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act. Yet, the Minister of Justice has said on numerous occasions that there would be a party line vote on Bill C-33.

In a letter dated October 18, the Prime Minister-

Canadian Human Rights ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleague, I have trouble following the question. I would ask the hon. member to put his question, but I would remind him that, in doing so, he should not anticipate the agenda, as he is doing now with this bill. Please put your question.

Canadian Human Rights ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Prime Minister is an important one. It concerns Bill C-33. Will the Prime Minister keep to his word and make sure that his members follow the party line regarding Bill C-33?

Canadian Human Rights ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The question is out of order. The hon. member may ask a second question if he so wishes, but not on this bill. Again, you may ask another question, but not on this legislation.

Canadian Human Rights ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, can we ask the Prime Minister whether he intends to fulfil his commitments regarding all the bills, and Bill C-33 in particular? Does the Prime Minister-

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

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

The current consultation process for the Canada pension plan is a top down, closed door, elitist sham. The fix is in. The chair has been ordered to report by mid-June and he has already decided the outcome, and now I have been denied the opportunity to stand before that committee in my home town of Calgary to make a five minute presentation.

I ask the minister to explain to the House why a member of Parliament has been denied this opportunity.