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House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was following.

Topics

Military BasesOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Prime Minister or his substitute.

The government is apparently incapable of enforcing its principle of the polluter pays. First, it has been unable to make Irving pay back the cost of refloating the Irving Whale , and second, it failed to convince the United States that it should pay the full cost of cleaning up the military facilities they occupied on Canadian soil.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that the total cost of cleaning up former U.S. military facilities on Canadian soil may exceed $500 million, which is well in excess of the agreement for $100 million just signed with the United States?

Military BasesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the figure of $500 million mentioned by the hon. member was not established by the Government of Canada.

We negotiated with the U.S. government to find out whether it was possible to reach an agreement on cleaning up certain sites.

I may remind the hon. member that the Americans deployed military units in various parts of the country over a period of nearly 40 years. At the time, conditions were vastly different from what they are today, especially with respect to the environment.

I hope the hon. member realizes what happened in other countries where the Americans had military facilities. I suggest the hon. member find out what happened when other countries, including Canada, had to deploy units for 40 or 50 years in certain countries, such as our stint in Europe with NATO.

These are situations we are dealing with now that the environment has become an important factor, but we should also remember what the situation was like when these incidents occurred.

Military BasesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, the figures I mentioned may not have been released by the Canadian government but they are accurate. The agreement with the United States is clearly inadequate.

I wish the Minister of National Defence would tell us which scenario we should expect. Either the government completely decontaminates U.S. military facilities on Canadian soil, in which case Quebec and Canadian taxpayers will bear the cost, or decontamination will be only partial or non existent, and Quebecers and Canadians will have to live with the environmental damage caused by the American army on Canadian soil.

Military BasesOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I hope the theory advanced by the hon. member is not an indication of his party's attitude to the Americans who came to Canada during the Cold War, not as invaders, but as part of an alliance to defend the interests of North America as a whole.

Canada recognizes its responsibilities regarding the environment. We will do what it is our responsibility to do as far as cleaning up is concerned, and not only in the case of U.S. facilities but also in the case of other sites. As far as the U.S. government is concerned, we have done our best to reach an agreement that is realistic.

I think the hon. member should find out more about this, because it is the only agreement signed by the Americans who, during two world wars and subsequently during the Cold War period and even today, have worked and are working throughout the world to protect the interests of people who want to maintain their freedom. I hope the hon. member understands that.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the following is from an elderly couple in Prince George:

My ears must be going as on Tuesday, the 18th of February, 1997, I heard-the Minister of Finance, say that this government had not put up taxes. If this is the case I would like you, to ask him, why, after drawing pensions for the past five years, this year I am paying income tax for the first time since I retired. Especially as my wife and I are being paid government supplements which I assume we are getting because they figure we don't have enough money to live on.

In light of this, does the minister still maintain he has not increased taxation?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the government has not in any of its budgets increased personal income tax rates.

There is no question that as the economy has recovered there has been growth in revenue partly accounted for by growth in the economy. Surely the member opposite does not believe that is a bad thing.

As a percentage of GDP, which is the way people measure these things, it has remained roughly unchanged over the course of the government.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is typical lawyer smart talk which is not selling out in the real world. Seniors are simply the latest victims of bracket creep when income tax basic exemptions are not indexed to inflation.

Who over there will take responsibility for it? Who is the bracket creep? Why is the Prime Minister intent on pursuing a tax policy that directly targets seniors on fixed incomes?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will not use the word creeps but it is incredible to hear members of the party opposite, which plans to decimate and devastate seniors in its budget, talk about what the government has done.

As the member knows, through seniors benefits, changes to the CPP and all the steps we have carefully taken through our four budgets, we have ensured seniors will have the support and the help they need to count on, those seniors most in need. Those are the facts.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Don Valley North, ON

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

Considering the many changes necessary to improve Canada's blood supply system, could the minister assure the House that the need for accountability and transparency in the blood supply system will be met under the new system endorsed by the provincial ministers of health?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—East Richmond Nova Scotia

Liberal

David Dingwall LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

For the last year I have been working very closely with ministers of health across the country. We came together just over a year ago and agreed to create a new national blood authority.

Work is continuing with regard to the details and all the aspects as they relate to the new authority. In the meantime ministers of health are anxiously awaiting the decision of Justice Krever, in particular his comments with regard to the whole system of blood governance. As soon as we receive this information from Justice Krever we will be able to proceed quite expeditiously.

To be very specific to the question of the hon. member, yes, accountability and transparency will be first and foremost as they relate to the new national blood authority.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this tax season hundreds of constituents are writing letters to us about the taxation they are facing. For these people high taxes have not just become an inconvenience. High taxes are making it impossible for many people to make ends meet.

With people from coast to coast suffering real hardship because of the government's destructive tax policy, why was the Prime Minister saying during his Kodak tour that everything is just fine, nobody is suffering back in Canada and things are great? Is he really that out of touch, or is he simply hiding his government's tax record?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, at this time of year everyone is focused on taxes. The hon. member is right. It is tax season.

Canadians understand the taxes they have been paying support a number of things that are extremely important to them.

The government has taken extraordinary actions in each of its budgets to close loopholes, to make the system fairer and to respond to the concerns of Canadians. We all look forward to the day when that burden can be reduced. When that day comes we will do that. We are getting the fiscal house in order. Canadians know and understand that.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, seniors earning under $20,000 a year are asked to pay over $1,000 in their income tax bills. Young families are having difficulty making their mortgage payments. Meanwhile the heritage minister has a cocktail party which cost $65,000 for one party, according to the access to information request I have.

The minister is buying caviar with the money of seniors and single parent families. How could the minister justify an expense for caviar while Canadians are suffering?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I do not eat caviar and I certainly would not be paying for a reception of caviar.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

April 14th, 1997 / 2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gilbert Fillion Bloc Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

Last week, all of the members of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, including those from the Liberal majority, vigorously spoke out against the fact that federal departments were awarding close to 40 per cent of contracts without calling for tenders. The committee members reached that conclusion after close to two years' study of the federal tendering process.

How does the minister explain that, after three and a half years, her government has been unable to obtain compliance with the

government's policies and directives, and has allowed $3.2 billion worth of contracts to be awarded annually without any tendering?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, we are still working on making the contract system more open. We will continue to make changes to our tendering system. Of course, in certain situations, we have no choice but to purchase from the one company that can supply us.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury, ON

We will soon have a new tendering system called MERX. We have worked in conjunction with the provinces, including Quebec, to ensure that all companies in Canada have access to the bidding system with both the federal and the provincial governments.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Dear colleagues, that was the last question.

Presence In The GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I wish to draw to the attention of members the presence in our gallery of the Hon. Hevhen Marchuk, Deputy of the Supreme Council and former Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Presence In The GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Credit Card Interest Limitation ActOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-402, an act to provide for the limitation of interest rates in relation to credit cards issued by financial institutions, companies engaged in retail trade and petroleum companies.

Mr. Speaker, I would remind you that, on numerous occasions, the hon. members of this House have proposed, along the lines of this bill I am introducing today, that there be limits set on the interest rates that major companies, banks and petroleum companies can charge on the credit cards they issue for the convenience of cardholders.

This bill is in the same vein. You will recall that I had made a commitment to my colleagues and to the public to introduce such a bill if the banks did not bring their interest rates down to a more acceptable and reasonable level. I have now done so.

(Motion deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Criminal CodeOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-403, an act to amend the Criminal Code (prohibiting certain offenders from changing their name).

Mr. Speaker, a victim of a terrible crime, Rosemary Eaton of Windsor, Ontario, provided me the motivation to forge ahead with this bill. Since my initial contact with Rosie, I have learned that many serious offenders are changing their names in prison under provincial law, getting out and under a new name they are able to begin another life of crime without our knowing it.

Somewhere, somehow, we must get the government to understand that those in prison should not have the same rights as those outside. In this case, the safety of Canadians is at stake.

This bill would apply when an offender is convicted of first or second degree murder or sexual assault. These offenders would not be able to change their names for life or for another period determined by the court. Every person bound by this prohibition order would be guilty of an indictable offence should they not comply.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

PetitionsOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have the honour to present a petition.

It brings to the attention of the House that Bill C-17 adds a clause to the Criminal Code which allows police to seek a warrant to take a bodily imprint, even if the suspect refuses. Specifically, the bill authorizes a court to grant permission to police to obtain handprints, fingerprints, footprints, teeth impressions or any other print or impression of the body.

The petition, signed by approximately 1,000 residents of my constituency, calls on Parliament to enact Bill C-17 so that the police may obtain teeth impressions from a suspect in a new trial.

PetitionsOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by 870 people in my riding of Red Deer.

Parliament's recent amendments to the Criminal Code in response to the Daviault and Seaboyer cases, as well as amendments to deal with stalking and harassing conduct, reflect public policy

underlying the law which requires males to take responsibility for their violent behaviour toward women.

Therefore, the petitioners request that Parliament review and change relevant provisions of the Criminal Code to ensure that men take responsibility for their violent behaviour. I support the request which is made by the petitioners.