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House of Commons Hansard #159 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, I asked the minister a straightforward question. I imagine when his students asked him questions, he had some answers. Why does he have no answers now that he is in the House? What kind of teacher is he?

I will repeat my question. He decided that hearings would be held. We agreed. However, he must first table a motion in the House. Let us stop being hypocrites, here.

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

I know I am not supposed to say that, but I said it.

Last Monday, they came to ask us when we would be ready to proceed. We said: "The Government of Quebec will proceed Tuesday, we will be ready Wednesday". At the time, they were talking about going ahead on Monday.

The minister knows as well as I do-perhaps he does not because he told us the other day he was not very knowledgeable on the rules of procedure-but in any case, when does he intend to table this notice of motion? Ask the House leader, but when are you going to table your notice of motion?

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think the acting opposition House leader forgot that her party and the Reform Party agreed that on Monday we would, I hope, pass the anti-gang bill. Did she change her mind? Does she want to renege on her commitment?

Because of a previous agreement we cannot start with the resolution on Monday, but as we say in Parliament, the hon. member may rest assured that we intend to start consideration of the resolution as soon as possible after Monday.

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, with all due respect for the hon. member and his career as

a parliamentarian, first of all, I am not the acting House leader but, as far as I know, the official House leader.

Second, we agreed on an agenda until next Thursday. Does this mean that the House will adjourn on Thursday? Does this mean the government has no intention of tabling the motion? Is that what it means?

In one of those end-of-session deals, we also suggested an approach that would meet both the government's objectives and ours. With the unanimous consent of the House, we asked the government to proceed today with debate on the motion so that Monday, the constitutional amendment could be referred to the Senate and then to the joint committee for 48 hours of hearings, and after that the amendment would come back to the House so we could vote on it before the House adjourns. Is the government prepared to accept this deal in its entirety, yes or no?

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec government waited at least two years to table its own resolution, and the National Assembly took three weeks to adopt the resolution after it was tabled. Why should the hon. member expect us to consider this very important constitutional motion within a shorter time frame than the National Assembly?

Second, the hon. member does not like the word "acting" connected to her position, and I apologize for the fact that I forgot she is leader of the acting official opposition. I may remind her that we are all here in an acting capacity, to a certain extent, and this is especially true of the present official opposition party.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now know this is a government delaying tactic. If I were the leader, I would not be too worried about our return.

My question is for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

As we speak, a family from Belgium seeking to immigrate to Quebec is in prison. The father, the mother and the three children aged 9, 13 and 14 are at the Laval detention centre. The entire situation is based on a bureaucratic mess arising from misunderstanding, and false and erroneous information.

It appears that Mr. Truzewicz is being held on account of a robbery committed 18 years ago in Belgium. He however has shown that it was not he who committed the robbery, but someone using his car.

Is the minister prepared to examine this matter immediately so that Mr. Truzewicz and his family are accorded fairer treatment? A little understanding, please.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I looked into this matter personally, but the Quebec privacy act precludes my commenting publicly on the facts of this case, and I think we should protect people's privacy as a matter of course.

If I have anything to say to the family today, it is to suggest that they comply with Canada's laws. That is the best approach, if they want to return some day.

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is not a matter of course is our treating these people as if they were criminals, when they are not. This family is being treated like criminals. The parents and the three children have been thrown into prison.

Until the situation is clarified, could the minister arrange to release these people who are accused of nothing so that we can at least stop aggravating the situation these innocent people are facing?

ImmigrationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member for Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to stop making political points with a human situation that is difficult for all concerned.

Clearly, everyone must obey Canadian law. I would hope the Bloc members would do the same in this country.

TobaccoOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the ink was barely dry on the anti-tobacco legislation before they started changing and watering it down.

In public the Liberals talked a really good line about not caving in to the tobacco lobby and protecting the health of our young people. They seemed concerned then but then in private the health minister could not backtrack fast enough on tobacco sponsorship. In fact he became the host of "Let's Make A Deal" with the tobacco lobby. Tough on tobacco, I do not know. I am not sure.

Why did the Liberals cave in to the tobacco lobby, or was it always part of the pre-election plan? Who is going to answer that one?

TobaccoOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member ignores one very basic important fact.

Bill C-71 passed from this place to the other place and passed in the other place without any amendments. The bill still maintains all its integrity. It has all its objectives which the House supported, notwithstanding the reluctance of some members opposite.

TobaccoOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the fix is in. The government has already passed the legislation and it talks about the other place. It is already talking about amending it again. It is absolutely ridiculous and it proves the Liberals are shameless.

They ought to be saying to the Canadian public that the only thing the Government of Canada cares about at the moment is the political fortune of the Liberal Party of Canada. How ironic this should be on the eve of an election.

First there was the Somalia inquiry. Then there was a $260 million payout for Pearson and Airbus, airports and Airbuses. Then came salmon, cod and now the anti-tobacco bill.

Why is the government so concerned about losing votes that it is willing to compromise its conscience?

TobaccoOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the only thing that is shameless is the poor attempt to try to score political points by distorting the facts.

The facts are still as follows. Bill C-71 went from the House to the other place and from there into the public domain with clear health objectives that remain as they were when they left this place.

We had already considered all other ramifications of the bill. Those ramifications are included in some amendments that were accepted here, for example that we would have an implementation period following which there would be consultation with all stakeholders and a review of some of those implications in the context of Health Canada's health objectives as stated in the bill.

TobaccoOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is great to hear them talk so eloquently about the fact that they really care about young people and smoking, and then they say they are making these changes. I do not think the Canadian public cares what House it has been through. It is seeing the Liberal government caving in to the tobacco industry on labelling.

He did not mention that the Liberals were planning to cave in to the tobacco lobby after the bill was passed and amended in the fall with the arrogance of assuming that they will be here to make those changes. He did not mention the Liberals differentiated between a tobacco ad on a billboard and a tobacco ad on a race car.

Why should Canadians vote for a government that talks tough on smoking and then puts a Liberal logo on a race car?

TobaccoOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, if we were to put a Liberal logo on a race car I am sure we would get all kinds of support. The hon. member knows full well that all the articles of the bill indicated that we would have restrictions on sponsorship. There was never any question of anything else.

I might add for the member's edification that we would have an opportunity to get people to understand the objectives. There were restrictions but no bans. We said here are the health objectives and we carried those out.

The legislation went through the House with the health objectives in place, consistent with the Supreme Court decisions that generated this and consistent with all consultations we had in the field leading up to the legislation.

Nothing has changed, absolutely nothing. Canadians are pleased the Canadian government could get the legislation out of the Commons, into the Senate and into the public. She should applaud it.

Pay EquityOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, one can tell there is an election in the offing. That is why the President of the Treasury Board and member for Hull-Aylmer would like to see the public service pay equity issue resolved, in his interest and that of his colleagues in the Ottawa area.

The Bloc Quebecois strongly urges the government to stop stalling over this issue and show respect for its 80,000 employees, who have been waiting for 12 years. Otherwise, the campaign trail might be bumpy, especially in Hull-Aylmer.

On this issue, the minister chose to make an offer via the Toronto Star rather than directly at the bargaining table. Why did he take this disrespectful approach to labour relations?

Pay EquityOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, naturally, I have no intention of negotiating in this place something that should be negotiated between the employer, namely the Treasury Board, and its employees.

On Monday April 21, we will be putting on the table an offer regarding pay equity for the public service employees' union to consider. At that time, the details of the offer will be released, I guess, by the union itself.

People will be able to see for themselves what our position is. As far as we are concerned, we want both parties to negotiate in good faith, and we would not want to prejudice either the employees' position or that of the employer by discussing the matter in this House.

Pay EquityOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Treasury Board has called a meeting with PSAC for April 21 without providing an agenda for the meeting.

Will the President of the Treasury Board confirm that he plans to put an offer on the table to resolve the issue, or is this just another stalling tactic because an election is coming?

Pay EquityOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

Marcel Massé LiberalPresident of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure

Mr. Speaker, as I just indicated, we will be putting on the table, on Monday April 21, an offer regarding pay equity. These matters have already been negotiated with the unions.

A settlement has already been reached with one of the unions, the one representing professional employees, and we hope not only that a settlement can be negotiated in good faith but also that it will be fair to both taxpayers and employees.

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

April 18th, 1997 / 11:30 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, is there no shame in the Liberal ranks?

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Pearson airport, $260 million taxpayer dollars; cancelled helicopters, $745 million taxpayer dollars; Brian Mulroney, only $2 million taxpayer dollars. He must be feeling hard done by. Canoe museums, armouries and hotels in Shawinigan.

Is there no new low the government will stoop to in its panicked rush toward an early election? Where are all those good jobs the red book promised?

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I wonder why the Reform Party is supporting the program of a party it says it opposes, namely Brian Mulroney's Conservative Party.

Why does the Reform Party want the taxpayer to spend $5 billion to $6 billion on helicopters that do not meet Canadian requirements? Why does the Reform Party want the taxpayer to spend $600 million instead of $60 million on an airport deal that was strongly criticized by Canadians across the country?

Are Reformers turning into a new set of Mulroney Tory clones?

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people know Liberal-Tory, same old story. We are not the ones paying out taxpayer dollars for all these things.

It is now painfully obvious to every Canadian except Liberal MPs that infrastructure programs and other big government make work projects only produce short term jobs. Real job creation will only come through smaller government, balanced budgets and across the board tax relief.

Has the Prime Minister finally learned this, or does he still believe, as he said during the CBC town hall, that if Canadians cannot find a job they should simply move to where there is work, to where his government is spending their tax dollars, to Shawinigan?