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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I really believe that the finance critic for the Reform Party has a responsibility to Canadians to do his homework. The premiums for the Canada pension plan do not go into the government's coffers. They go into a separate fund which is invested for the benefit of premium contributors.

If he is so upset in his question about income taxes, would he please explain this to his colleague from Calgary—Nose Hill who has suggested a 25% increase in personal income taxes in order to make up for the $600 million liability.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The investigation of Option Canada by the Directeur général des élections du Québec has revealed a flagrant lack of co-operation by the former administrators of that organization. Its former director of operations, René Lemaire, refusing to open Option Canada's books, lawyer Michel Hudon, who incorporated Option Canada, refusing to say what its activities were, and so on.

Is it standard practice, within 20 days of incorporation, to give close to $5 million to people who—

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the amount awarded matched the full amount donated to Option souveraineté by Mr. Duhaime.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question.

Claude Dauphin, former president of Option Canada, former Liberal MP and board member of the Council for Canadian Unity, has stated, moreover, that Option Canada was the political arm of the Council for Canadian Unity.

What political activities has the Minister of Canadian Heritage managed to finance?

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way is making certain allegations concerning statements that have been made.

I would suggest he take care, because it must be kept in mind that, on January 16, 1997, the Quebec minister of finance said of the Government of Quebec's financial statements in connection with the referendum, “It would be negligent on our part to make public the financial plan of the Government of Quebec in connection with the referendum”. This statement was made by the finance minister of the PQ government of Quebec.

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the poor member for Calgary—Nose Hill never ever suggested a 25% increase. That is a fabrication by the Minister of Finance. In the same way, he is trying to fabricate a very private audit of the CPP investment board although the auditor general has said that his department should do that audit.

Why does the Minister of Finance not want the auditor general, Canada's auditor general, to be the watch dog over this huge CPP investment fund? What is he trying to hide?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first, that option is open to the investment board.

As to the reference made by the member for Calgary—Nose Hill that the $600 billion liability would be made up by an income tax increase, that income tax increase is 25%. This statement is a matter of public record. If that is not the case, will the hon. member now stand up and tell us how they will fund the $600 billion liability or is it their intention to renege on the contributions and obligations to Canadians?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is wrong not once but twice in his response.

I will deal with the investment fund. The fact is that the legislation shows that the CPP Investment Board will hire its own private auditor for the board. The auditor general will not be involved in that audit.

I will ask the Minister of Finance again. If the auditor general says that he can do it and it would be more efficient and cost effective, why will the Minister of Finance not allow public scrutiny of the CPP Investment Board? What is he trying to hide?

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first, there will be complete public scrutiny. All of the information will be made available. The auditor general will have it all made available to him and he will report on it.

The investment board has the option of either appointing an outside auditor who has greater expertise than the auditor general or in fact of appointing the auditor general. The member should read the legislation.

Why does the hon. member refuse to talk about the $600 billion liability? Is the Reform Party going to renege on the obligations to Canadians? Why is it afraid to stand up and say what it is prepared to do? Do Canadians have a reason to be afraid of what the Reform—

Canada Pension PlanOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, $4.8 million of taxpayers' money was used by we know not whom, nor do we know why, exactly how, and when, and the Minister of Canadian Heritage is still refusing to answer any questions about Option Canada.

I would sincerely like to know the answer to the following question: Does the minister, who has on a number of occasions told the courts she has nothing to hide, not think that her most fundamental responsibility, as the minister responsible, is to answer all these questions frankly and without delay?

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, if the member is so interested in public spending, perhaps he could take a little look at what the Government of Quebec spent on the separatist option: studies by the Secrétariat à la restructuration, $9.4 million; the Le Hir report, everyone remembers the Le Hir report, poof; the Commission régionale et nationale sur l'avenir du Québec, $8.5 million; grants to the Conseil de la souveraineté, $4 million; mailings to all citizens, $2 million and $3 million; hiring—

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Roberval.

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely what I am asking her for. Quebec's figures are public knowledge. We want to hear Ottawa's figures.

Does the minister not realize that by taking this tack, by giving any old answer, she is guilty of a cover-up?

Option CanadaOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the amounts spent by the Government of Canada are in the public accounts. We cannot, therefore, be accused of keeping them a secret.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the last few days we have had several incidents in Coquitlam and Saanich, B.C. and Calgary and Sunbury, Alberta, my home town, of teenage thugs savagely beating both youths and adults. In Saanich, B.C. they took a young girl's life and threw her body into a gorge.

Is the justice minister going to scrap this Liberal Young Offenders Act which is absolutely no deterrent to youth and has been proven to be absolutely useless?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. In fact, as the hon. member is probably aware, my department is preparing a government response to the standing committee report on the Young Offenders Act which was filed in this House in April. My provincial colleagues and I will be meeting in Montreal next week and the Young Offenders Act will be one of the most important items on that agenda.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is not news. We have heard these kinds of things before.

They fly around the country with the elite. They visit the elite. They are supposed to be doing all this consulting. There is not a member in this House, including yourself, Mr. Speaker, that could stand on any street corner in this country and not hear everybody in society say: “Scrap the Young Offenders Act. It is no good.”

When is this minister going to get her priorities straight? When is she going to quit talking about useless things and start getting after some meaningful things, or leave her seat and get somebody in there that will do the job?

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the hon. member that I believe most Canadians understand that the problem of youth crime is much more complex than that perhaps suggested by comments of the hon. member.

Let me reassure the hon. member and all Canadians that we take the problem of youth crime very seriously and that is why in fact we are consulting with provincial counterparts. We are consulting with those. We work with young offenders to make sure that when we reform this law, we get it right.

Young Offenders ActOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I know we get a little bit excited in question period, but I am having a tough time even hearing the answers. I would ask you please to keep it down a bit.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

November 24th, 1997 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

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

After environmental groups, the Canadian environmental ambassador and the Government of Quebec condemned the Regina accord on greenhouse gas emissions, we have learned this morning that a number of industrialized countries have reached a consensus at Tokyo to stabilize their greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2005, not 2010, as set out in the Regina accord.

Is the Minister of the Environment prepared to revisit the Regina accord in order to endorse this compromise position?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The Minister of the Environment.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I said last week that the agreement that we reached in Regina was a good consensus, but it was not the definitive time line and target of the federal government.

We will make our announcement about our target before Kyoto, but at the moment we are continuing to negotiate not only with developed nations, but developing nations as well around this very serious issue to try to make sure that we have a consensus when we go to Kyoto.

Revenue CanadaOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

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

Canadian taxpayers are concerned about the confidentiality of their tax files after what happened in Quebec City last week. If taxpayers are to have faith in the taxation system, we must ensure the confidentiality of the information provided beyond a shadow of doubt.

Can the parliamentary secretary assure this House and all Canadians that the information provided by taxpayers is kept confidential at Revenue Canada?