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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

TaxationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised the government is not planning to compensate Quebec, given how free it has been with taxpayers' money with respect to Atlantic Canada.

The truth of this Liberal GST fiasco is that consumers are going to end up footing the bill. New Brunswick is planning to create a new business tax to make up for the harmonization shortfall. Nova Scotia has already boosted its corporate taxes. Newfoundland said that it plans to make up the revenue somehow.

The government can saw it in half, can pull it out of a hat, can try to make it disappear, but the truth is that this harmonization plan is bad for consumers. When will the minister admit that it is not revenue neutral and it will cost billions in higher prices and higher taxes for Canadians?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am a little surprised at the hon. member's supplementary question. As members of the committee, his colleagues were with us on the road when Canadians said this is what they wanted to see, harmonized taxes, not two sales taxes in this country.

He talks about Doug Henning the magician. A more appropriate analogy for him is King Canute trying to roll back the waves.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

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

Two days ago, we questioned the Minister of Defence about the questionable circumstances under which the army arrested Corporal Michel Purnelle to prevent him from making information available to the Somalia inquiry. A mere five hours after question period, seven charges were laid against him for having had the courage to disobey an order from a superior who wanted to stop him from speaking.

How can the Acting Prime Minister justify the fact that, a mere five hours after the Minister of Defence stated that no member of the armed forces would be prevented from giving information, seven charges were laid against a member of the armed forces who had to disobey orders so he could speak to the commission's attorney?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

John Richardson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the minister has said on many occasions in this House that no member of the Canadian forces will be penalized for testifying before the commission. Indeed, any member with information must come forward and volunteer that information before the commission.

That being said, part of the duties of a person in the armed forces is to stay at their post. Until I see the details upon which this corporal left his post, I cannot answer the member's question.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we hear in this House and what takes place outside is equally appalling. The chairman of the commission himself, Mr. Justice Létourneau, expressed great concern about the turn events were taking in this matter.

What message does the Acting Prime Minister think this is sending to our military when anyone who attempts to give evidence at the inquiry faces a court martial?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

John Richardson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the operational effectiveness of the Canadian forces depends on a discipline based society. When members of the forces ignore basic rules about leaving their posts without authorization, there could be anarchy in the armed forces.

Until we have the full details I cannot answer the question.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Department of National Defence has just laid seven charges against Corporal Michel Purnelle. His crime? He wanted to testify before the Somalia commission. Yesterday the inquiry chairman said he was troubled and strongly disappointed by the decision to detain and charge Purnelle.

Why does the minister allow his department to intimidate potential witnesses?

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

John Richardson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, again the minister has stated in this House that no member of the Canadian forces would be penalized for appearing before the commission. Indeed, any member who has information that would assist this inquiry should appear before the commission.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 27, 1995 the minister told this House and Hansard states: ``Every member of the Canadian armed forces has an obligation to come forward to that commission. The government will not tolerate any intimidation toward any of those people''. These are fine words but Purnelle listened to the minister and is being punished for coming forward.

Why is the government talking out of both sides of its mouth by publicly encouraging soldiers to come forward by permitting-

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. parliamentary secretary.

Somalia InquiryOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

John Richardson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will have to say again that the ethos of the service is based on a discipline based organization. People who join know and are trained not to leave their posts without permission. As for further details, I cannot answer that question.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

Earlier this week, the auditor general said that, because of decisions made by Revenue Canada, the government will not tax capital gain transfers. This situation, which the government could correct in a matter of hours, will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. However, the comments of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue indicate that the government will not budge on this issue.

Will the Minister of National Revenue use her authority to immediately put a stop to this tax loss which only benefits the very rich?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate having yet another opportunity to remind the House that we are a government of action. Let us look at what really happened.

On Tuesday the auditor general brought to our attention that he had concerns about particular legislation with regard to the Income Tax Act. He wanted it clarified and we said that we wanted it clarified so on Tuesday we asked the finance committee to put it on its agenda to review it. He said he had some concerns about lacking documentation. That same day I directed my department to improve the standards for documentation. He noted that he was glad that from now on we will be tabling our rulings for all Canadians to see.

I do not know what more the hon. member wants. This government has acted directly and expeditiously.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the minister is talking, billions of dollars are being transferred out of the country every day.

The minister has the power to revoke the decisions made by Revenue Canada and to collect hundreds of millions, if not billions, in taxes owed to the federal government. Will she act responsibly or will she condone these decisions?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general himself pointed out how difficult and complex this tax legislation is.

We feel that the appropriate strategy is to have that tax legislation reviewed in an open forum at the finance committee where members of Parliament from all parties have an opportunity to state their case, review it and make recommendations. We look forward to those recommendations.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the fisheries minister is a flip-flop pro. First he said that the B.C. buy back would conserve fish and then he said it would not. Then he said there would not be a fee holiday for fishermen this year and then he said there would. While he is flip-flopping to protect his own career, fishermen are convinced that the government is going to do to the west what it did to the east. I do not know whether to laugh at the minister or to cry for the fishermen.

Why is the government proceeding with a brutal restructuring plan when it admits that it does not know if a single fish will be saved in the process? What is the real agenda?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Fernand Robichaud LiberalSecretary of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the point my colleague wants to make. All along members have been saying that the minister should listen to the industry, should listen to the stakeholders. That is exactly what the minister has done.

Last week he went out there and met with groups, with all the people who had a stake in the salmon fishery. He met with some people again this week. As late as yesterday he issued some fine tuning points to his plan which will reflect the preoccupation of the people in the industry. The minister is listening. The minister has made accommodations for those people.

The plan will work. The plan is supported by the industry. Some people have come out this week in support of that very same plan.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

All two of them, Mr. Speaker.

More than fine tuning is required to rejig this plan. The government wants B.C. fishermen to take hard medicine yet neither the minister nor the premier of B.C. are interested in saving fish. The minister is cutting the number of fishermen in half while the premier of B.C. is giving half of the resource away, adding up to no fish saved and fishermen's lives decimated.

Fishermen want a plan that will hurt as few people-

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Will the member please put his question directly.

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, will the government back off this ill-conceived plan and come up with something that saves fish without sacrificing fishermen?

FisheriesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Beauséjour New Brunswick

Liberal

Fernand Robichaud LiberalSecretary of State (Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my previous answer, this plan has received wide support from the industry and many groups out on the west coast.

The members of the Reform Party might not agree with that but the situation is that this plan will go ahead with the support of the industry.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

May 10th, 1996 / 11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

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

All the complaints received by the official languages commissioner concerning the language used by the federal government on Internet came from francophones. This is not surprising, since it is hard to see how the government would respect the Official Languages Act there, when it cannot even manage to do so using traditional means of communication.

Will the federal government follow up on the commissioner's recommendation that it make a clear commitment in favour of promoting both official languages in its information highway strategy?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, certainly.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, I like the minister's answer, because, following his colleagues' example, he promised to do so in November 1995 and he has still not delivered. Obviously, this kind of response is proof to us that the promises of this government are never kept.

When will the government make public its information highway strategy?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I had a little trouble hearing the member, but if I understood his question correctly, we are going to announce our information highway strategy soon.

We received a very important report from the advisory committee on the information highway a few months ago. We will soon be ready to reply. I would also like to point out, with respect to the member's question, that Canada will be hosting the Inet conference in 1996 here, in Canada, in Montreal. Canada was chosen, but we chose the city of Montreal for this meeting of Internet experts in order to try to come up with a plan promoting languages other than English on the Internet.