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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cpp.

Topics

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

An hon. member

Don't use that word disrespectfully.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Don't talk about disrespectful. We almost had one of the Reform Party fellows going into fisticuffs, climbing over a chair this morning. That is the mentality we see on that side of the House. They should be ashamed of themselves and embarrassed.

Canadians watch television and see the kind of behaviour we saw here this morning. A member actually had to be restrained physically from climbing over chairs to attack another member of Parliament. That is the mentality. That was the Reform Party. Canadians are fed up with that kind of nonsense. Canadians want leadership.

Several years ago another very important pension fund members opposite might be familiar with, the teachers' pension fund of the province of Ontario, was in some difficulty for very similar types of problem.

The contributions had been too low from both the teachers and the employer, the Government of Ontario. The investment procedures used by that pension fund were inadequate and unfair. Many of the roads, bridges, schools and other parts of the infrastructure in our province were paid for from that pension fund at interest rates as low as 3% when market interest rates were in the double digit area. It was a fund from which to borrow cheaply to build public infrastructure.

As a result we wound up with a pension fund the actuarial people said was in serious trouble. The Liberal government in office at the time decided we had to bite the bullet. We increased the contributions of teachers and we matched that with an increase to the employer, the Ontario government. We set up an independent body for investments and today the teachers' fund is one of the strongest financial vehicles in the entire country, perhaps in North America.

The teachers were not happy when we did that. They demonstrated. They came to Queen's Park. They were very unhappy. Today the fund owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, although there are days when I am not sure it would want to. The fund has substantial investments such as investments in newspapers. Teachers have a financially strong pension fund because the government of the day had the courage to make those changes.

I give that example because it relates. The CPP must change from being simply a pay as you go fund, which in a sense is exactly what the super RRSP fund would be. If one has the money to invest and has a job then under the Reform plan one would be able to invest in an RRSP. A lot of Canadians simply do not fall into that category.

This is not rocket science. If we split them out and tell people they will be given the option of opting out of the plan, obviously the financial integrity of the CPP will be jeopardized. We are not prepared to do that. Canadians have investment options for their retirement. They have options to invest in RRSPs. We believe there should be a publicly funded, solid, government backed Canadian pension plan for all Canadians and for future generations.

What do we do? We either increase the contributions, reduce the benefits or change the procedures. Frankly we are doing all of that in an effort to put the CPP in a sustainable format. Yes, there will be an increase.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

Oh, oh.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

I do not expect the member to understand. I am really not talking to him. I am talking to the Speaker and to the Canadian people. They understand that some people might benefit from the simple black and white solution that everybody gets to invest in an RRSP fund for their retirement.

I think my colleague was right on. We are talking about who will benefit from a wide open RRSP fund and the elimination of the CPP. Is it the average working Canadian? Is it the working poor? Is it families and young people who need some leadership and some strong financial backing from government?

I think it will be big business. The oil barons out west may benefit from it, and God bless them. That is why we have a system for everyone to invest in their own retirement savings plan. There are rules that guide the investment.

What is the Royal Bank's profit up to today? It is $1.6 billion. That is absolutely unbelievable. Why is that? It is probably in large measure because of the amount of money Canadians have been putting into RRSPs and the banks. Whether it is through RoyFund, investment procedures or whatever, the banks are benefiting.

Reformers simply care more about the banks, the oil companies and rich Canadians than taking care of all Canadians in a universally funded system that will accrue to the benefit of our children and in spite of their rhetoric will accrue to the benefit of their children.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, we have just had a classic example of greenhouse gas. The member made absolutely weird comments. He does not seem to understand a very simple principle.

The principle is that people in the workforce today are having CPP premiums extracted from their paycheques. That extraction will increase by 73%. Under the Reform super RRSP or a plan like it, they would continue to have premiums extracted but not at the 73% increase.

The member misrepresents the Reform position. It is really a scandal that he just does not understand. We cannot get blood from a stone. We cannot give the opportunity for super RRSPs to people who are not working, who are not deriving an income, but those same people are not paying CPP premiums.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Oh, that is going to help.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Do you have it all figured out now?

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Unbelievable.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Now he understands. That is wonderful.

During the election campaign the Liberal candidate accused me of scaring seniors at a seniors' home in Revelstoke. He said “Before the election the member went into the seniors' home in Revelstoke. He took in a so-called expert who was explaining the new seniors benefits program to them. He scared them so much that they would not talk to me, the Liberal”. Guess what? The so-called expert I took in was an official from HRD who explained the Liberal policy to the seniors. That is what made them scared.

The point is that the CPP is just the first shoe. The second shoe is the seniors benefits program the government has not told Canadians about. These people hide behind the cloak of we are going to protect you. They are dropping both shoes on the heads of seniors and people who will become seniors. At the same time, just for good measure, they are doing an intergenerational transfer of wealth from 25 year old people who will never see their CPP premiums again.

Has the member learned anything here? Has he learned that only people who work pay CPP premiums and only people who work would pay super RRSP premiums? Does he understand that simple concept?

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Madam Speaker, I have learned quite a bit, actually. The member mentioned in his opening remarks that this was an example of greenhouse gas. This is proof that if we were to collect all the flatulence from the cattle industry and from what I just heard across the way, we could probably reduce greenhouse gases dramatically beyond our wildest dreams.

The nonsense. Can we imagine? I just heard that people who are not working do not pay CPP premiums, therefore they will be okay if we go to a wide open RRSP plan for their retirement. That is what I heard. I would ask the member to check Hansard because that is what he said and he does not know what he is talking about.

The fact of the matter is that the Reform Party's simplistic solution to long term sustainable pension funds is to throw them wide open so that the banks can make more money by playing with Canadians' money.

Let me tell you. It was just announced today that the Royal Bank made $1.6 billion. They do not need your help. They are doing just fine. They do not need you to pass pension legislation.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I just caught the tail end of the remarks. Please, I ask all hon. members to address the Chair. Do not address each other directly.

We will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Dick CarrickStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, many people gathered in Rockwood, Ontario on November 15, 1997 to say goodbye to Dick Carrick.

Dick was a member of the executive of the Guelph—Wellington Federal Liberal Association, a veteran of World War II and a man who volunteered for a number of charities. Above all Dick was a friend to many, including me.

In various election campaigns and other projects, Dick kept us in good spirits with his wonderful sense of humour as well as his commitment to always doing what was right.

He is survived by his wife Olive and several children and grandchildren. He will be missed by them and by all who are made better because he was a part of our lives.

Maple Leaf Plant ClosureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Peter Goldring Reform Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, 1,000 jobs lost forever. One thousand families face a bleak new year.

In Edmonton a 90 year old plant was struck and then closed. Michael McCain was true to his word. The legacy is shattered lives that will exist long after labour brass and Maple Leaf have left town.

Must labour always wield a primordial club of strike? Must management always sit resolute awaiting the blow? Must our community always suffer in silence?

Can we do no better than repeat the past? Workers and their families want to know. Have we not learned at last? Sadly I fear the answer is no.

Alex LingStatements By Members

December 4th, 1997 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, today an outstanding member of my constituency, Mr. Alex Ling, received the Award of Merit from the city of Toronto. This award is given to people who have helped to improve the quality of life in Toronto through endeavours outside of their chosen vocation.

Mr. Ling, a small business owner in Bloor West Village, has been integral to the development of the Bloor West Business Improvement Area. Most recently Mr. Ling and the BIA were successful in implementing the construction of a fountain at the intersection of Bloor and Jane Streets in partnership with federal infrastructure moneys.

Mr. Ling has shared his knowledge and experience with other BIAs in the Toronto area. As founding member and current chairman of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, he has championed the cause of small business in Toronto.

I congratulate Mr. Ling on his Award of Merit. I draw inspiration from his contribution. I encourage all Canadians to follow his example of tireless volunteerism.

Lucie BrouilletteStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 11, 1996, while vacationing in Costa Rica, Lucie Brouillette, a resident of Le Gardeur in the riding of Joliette, saved a man from drowning in the Pacific Ocean.

Caught in a current that was carrying him out to sea, the man had given up and was bobbing in the waves to save his strength in the hope that someone would rescue him. As soon as Ms. Brouillette realized what was happening, she quickly swam out, battling a strong current for almost 200 metres before reaching the victim. Somehow, she made it back through the waves to shore with the man.

Tomorrow, in recognition of her courage, Ms. Brouillette will be presented with the Medal of Bravery by the Governor General of Canada.

I wish to pay tribute to this individual for her heroic action in very dangerous circumstances.

Search And RescueStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

George Proud Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today to congratulate members of the Canadian forces search and rescue team along with coast guard members as they were recognized this week for brave efforts at sea.

Two of them, Ken Power and Greg Smit, were awarded the Star of Courage, our second highest honour for bravery in peacetime. In September 1996 they and other members risked their lives to hoist four people off a sinking sailboat in the stormy seas off Sable Island.

Most recently the heroism of search and rescue teams was demonstrated during the rescue off St. John's, Newfoundland of the Vanessa where 10 lives were saved.

Two members of the Canadian forces team, Darryl Cronin and Marques Reeves, received the search and rescue commander commendation for their contribution to that rescue. They parachuted into the north Atlantic to provide medical treatment to the survivors.

The dedication and selfless commitment of these individuals is a reflection of all the men and women who provide on a day to day basis search and rescue.

Search And RescueStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Paul's.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in honour and remembrance of the 14 young women who were brutally murdered in Montreal on December 6, 1989.

In Toronto at Women's College Hospital we have an annual remembrance ceremony in their honour. This year the Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain, the former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, will be the keynote speaker. Her talk will raise the issue, what have we learned from the Montreal massacre?

As we remember the sad events of eight years ago, I am reminded of the courageous stand taken by our former minister of justice in bringing about comprehensive gun control in our country. It is clear that we have indeed learned from the Montreal massacre and that we have tangible evidence that this government is committed to ensuring that this type of horror never happens again.

I know I am joined by the women's caucus and all members of the House in remembering the victims of the Montreal massacre, including those who have chosen to act to end violence against women.

Alberta Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the spirit of youth will be celebrated in Red Deer from February 19 to 22 during the 1998 Alberta winter games. More than 3,000 athletes and coaches, more than 3,000 volunteers, as well as parents and spectators will fill the city.

Alberta is divided into eight zones. Participants in the 21 sports must qualify to represent their zone at this premier provincial sporting event. Provincial success could be the beginning of national and international achievement.

The games are more than a biannual sporting event. They started in 1974 as a provincial movement to provide opportunities for amateur sports. They also motivate Albertans to aim for a higher level of physical fitness.

While winning is important, sometimes achieving a personal best or fulfilling a dream is an even more important achievement.

We welcome everyone to come to Red Deer, the Alberta capital of volunteerism, to watch these young athletes achieve their goals.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, Saturday, December 6 will mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Eight years ago, Geneviève Bergeron, Hélène Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Maria Klucznik, Maryse Laganière, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michèle Richard, Annie Turcotte and Annie St-Arneault were assassinated at the École Polytechnique de Montréal.

The pain of this day is still with us. We mourn their deaths, as we mourn all women who have died through violence.

I urge all members to work with women's groups, communities, businesses and individual citizens to end violence against women.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 13 hours on December 1, 13 women held a vigil to commemorate the 13 years women in the federal public service have fought for pay equity.

On December 8, Treasury Board and the Public Service Alliance are scheduled to resume negotiations.

The government is sending a mixed message. In a note to public servants, the Treasury Board President warns them that unless they accept his reduced offer of $1.3 billion, negotiations will be long and painful. Quite a threat.

For her part, the Secretary of State for the Status of Women told us that the Treasury Board President had some leeway.

The government must put a stop to the injustice which has dragged on from one government to the next. The Liberals must take another look at what they said when they formed the official opposition. The Minister of Finance must cut the Treasury Board President enough slack to resolve this issue once and for all.

Land MinesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, as hon. members are aware, history is being made in Ottawa this week. More than 120 nations have signed a treaty to ban land mines.

Joining us in the gallery today are several land mine survivors. Judy and Bruce Isfeld from Courtney, B.C. lost their son Mark, a Canadian peacekeeper, to a land mine. They are here representing Canadian survivors. Mines Action Canada has brought here for this conference people from around the world who have been disabled by land mines. In the gallery are Song Kosal, Tun Chunarreth and Sokeng, all from Cambodia.

I invite my colleagues to join in paying tribute to the courage and the remarkable will demonstrated by these land mine survivors here in our gallery, and to come to Room 200 West Block to meet them after question period and to bring their staff. They deserve our support.

Land MinesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

PeacekeepersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, today our first group of peacekeepers returns from Haiti.

For the past two and a half years these troops and others have worked to build stability and democracy in a state which has for too long been ruled by a brutal dictatorship. They also helped to train a national police force so the Haitian people could walk the streets free from fear.

We sent our peacekeepers into a volatile situation that few people could handle. They not only handled it but they performed extremely well.

They earned the respect of the Haitian people and the world with their hard work, their kindness and their dedication. They did not solve Haiti's problems but no one could reasonably have expected them to.

On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to thank our peacekeepers for their good work and congratulate them on a job well done. I would also like to thank their families for their sacrifice and their crucial support.

And so I say to our peacekeepers, thank you and welcome home.

Quebec City CouncilStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec City council finally has decided to set up a working group to determine the criteria governing the occasional or permanent raising of flags in front of city hall.

We do not need any criteria or committees to find out whether we love the Canadian flag. Pride in our country is not occasional or temporary. It is permanent.

The pride of our country is not a temporary or transitory thing, but it is a permanent pride.

We think the Canadian flag represents the value of belonging to a nation that is growing in the spirit of tolerance and openness to others and to the world. Another ridiculous decision forced by the mayor of Quebec City.

We would never agree to criteria for occasional support for our country. We should ask the separatists if they want to break up our country occasionally.