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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

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is certainly a lot more to do in terms of helping Canadians who want to work find jobs, but we have made a very good start with a very good basis.

Some 700,000 new jobs have been created since the government took office. A further program of action was outlined in the very effective budget of my colleague, the Minister of Finance. We have laid the groundwork for further progress that I am sure will be achieved.

I wonder why my hon. friend on the one hand says that things have to be done at the local level, at the community level, but he is rejecting the successful infrastructure program which was designed, worked out and supported by the Canadian Federation of Municipalities.

The Reform Party has just given a slap in the face to thousands of mayors and reeves across the country and they will not forget it.

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, this spring, hundreds of owners of satellite dishes will lose the last analog signal in French, that of Radio-Canada. While technological progress may be a good thing, these people should have been informed of that change, before investing over $1,000 in satellite dishes that will no longer work.

Why does the industry minister not conduct a real information campaign on this issue, so as to reach people, particularly those who live in rural areas, instead of merely publishing a brochure distributed by the sellers of satellite dishes, who do not always have an interest in telling the truth to their customers?

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, we said on several occasions in this House that it is the objective of Industry Canada to ensure that all consumers are informed and that the purchasing of satellite dishes should be made with the knowledge that the technology is changing.

We recently issued a licence to Telesat Canada to provide DTH services to Canadians. I believe these new services, including LMCS and the cable broadcasting service to be introduced by telephone companies, will result in many technological changes all consumers should be informed of.

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Broadcasting Act provides that Radio-Canada's signals must reach the largest possible audience.

Given that the satellite broadcasting industry is still in its infancy, will the minister ask Radio-Canada to put off its decision to eliminate its analog signal for at least one year, so as to give consumers time to adjust to the technological changes he just mentioned?

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Why not do like the Americans you like so much?

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

I am sorry, madam.

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

The minister is not allowed to speak to me directly. He must go through the Chair.

Satellite DishesOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

John Manley Liberal Ottawa South, ON

If I can get a word in, I would advise the member to direct his question to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. I would say to the hon. member that it is definitely the government's objective to ensure that all Canadians can receive Radio-Canada's signals.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:35 a.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the finance minister.

Given that the finance minister has claimed he has not raised personal income taxes in any of his three budgets, why is it that the after tax disposable income per family is down by $3,000 per year?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, for eight years prior to our taking office this country had a Conservative government. That was when the decline in after tax income took place. Since we have taken office it has stabilized. If one takes a look at the projections of most economists, it is that it will be going up.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I find this funny. I said since 1993 this is what has happened. It has nothing to do with the Conservatives. When they were over here they blamed the Conservatives. Now that they are over there, they blame the Conservatives. Liberal-Tory same old story.

I have a concern that the finance minister is basically using the UI fund as a surtax on his deficit cutting promises. He has said that if the cuts to the Canada health and social transfer are $7.5 billion, he would cut program spending by $9 billion. Revenues in the UI fund will hit $7 billion by the end of this fiscal year and revenues from personal income taxes are up by $4 billion after only11 months, and that is from the Fiscal Monitor .

If the finance minister has not raised personal income taxes, if he claims that he has not touched personal income taxes, why are tax revenues from personal income up by $4 billion? We have the time to handle this and answer it properly, so just take your time and answer it.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of answers to the hon. member's question.

I think the hon. member would be interested in knowing that in 1966 the real net worth per household rose 2.7 per cent. What that means is that households have more assets, more money and are better off. Canadians are better off. I am sorry, 1996. When you are talking to the Reform Party you are lucky to get the century right.

Let me simply say that the reason our personal income tax revenues are up is that in the private sector there are 850,000 more Canadians working. That is why, that is the way it should be, and that is good news.

Canadian Cultural InstitutionsOral Question Period

April 18th, 1997 / 11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

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

This morning we learned that the CBC is toying with the idea of privatizing Bon Matin , a news broadcast now under the responsibility of Radio-Canada's news service. This represents yet another step on the road to abandoning great Canadian cultural institutions like Telefilm Canada and the CBC to the private sector, where the rules of ethics and accountability are not the same as those found in the public sector.

Would the Minister of Canadian Heritage agree that her government is responsible for dismantling Canadian cultural institutions and abandoning them to the private sector?

Canadian Cultural InstitutionsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, through its protection of Canadian cultural institutions in recent budgets, I think the Canadian government has shown that it values

them greatly and that it intends to continue to protect them in the future.

Whether we are talking about Telefilm Canada, Radio-Canada or the CBC, the federal government has stated its objectives, and we intend to continue to serve the Canadian people, including the people of Quebec, in such a way as to promote the development of culture in Canada through strong and sustainable institutions.

Canadian Cultural InstitutionsOral Question Period

11:40 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the idea of starting to privatize the news broadcast by Radio-Canada is the direct result of Liberal cuts to the CBC. Instead of providing decent funding for the corporation, the Liberals diverted the money to the Copps fund, administered by the private sector and by Heritage Canada.

Why are the Liberals doing everything they can to weaken Radio-Canada and Telefilm Canada, instead of strengthening Canadian culture?

Canadian Cultural InstitutionsOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, when we are putting more than $1 billion annually into supporting our cultural institutions, there is no doubt that our government is showing that it wants to give effect to the principles of which we spoke and to continue to defend our cultural institutions.

As for the privatization of Bon Matin , I would like to remind the hon. member that the CBC is an autonomous agency in which we do not interfere. It is precisely because we do not want there to be any political interference that we are allowing the CBC to take decisions such as the one it may eventually take regarding Bon Matin . Opposition members would be the first to complain if there were any political interference. In this case, we are not interfering, so how can they complain?

Interest RatesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, financial institutions are charging 17 per cent interest on their major credit cards. Department stores are charging up to 28 per cent interest on their cards.

Is there any progress by the government on reducing credit card interest rates?

Interest RatesOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his work together with other members of the House from all parties, especially the parliamentary secretary to the House leader, for their work in raising the awareness of Canadians on this issue.

What we have seen since they began to raise this issue is that consumer awareness in Canada has increased significantly of the fact that low rate cards are available, as well as new low rate cards that have come into existence; five new ones in the last few months. Now consumer awareness of these cards has increased from 30 per cent to 60 per cent, a very important contribution to the ability of consumers to make the choices that are in their best interests.

In addition, Industry Canada continues on a monthly basis to make available to the public full disclosure of information on the comparative rates and other costs associated with credit cards. As well, we have recently instituted on our web site, Strategis, the ability for consumers to use a credit card calculator. Inputting their own consumer practices, we can calculate for them which credit card is the best one for them to use.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister of agriculture.

In the last three and a half years this government has messed up every agriculture policy it has touched. It killed the Crow subsidy without having a competitive and efficient grain transportation system in place and as a result farmers have bins full of grain that cannot be moved.

Full grain bins and empty pockets have been Liberal and Tory policy for the past 130 years. How does this government expect farmers without cash to put in this year's crops?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Essex—Kent Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, over the last several weeks we have been asked by many people to work on this situation and to put out a committee to look at it.

We feel that is not the direction to take. We feel the minister is working with the rail companies, with the product groups in the west trying to move this question forward as quickly as possible.

There is no question that grain has moved very slowly off the prairies this year. There was an avalanche which slowed things down for a week. We understand there was a major wash-out of rail lines a week ago which caused another huge slow down.

We sympathize with all the producers in the west. There is no question we want to see this move forward as quickly as possible. We are involving all the stakeholders and we are working with them to make certain these problems are clarified and sped up.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:45 a.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, this government has to realize if farmers had been given a marketing choice, as the Western Grain Marketing Panel recom-

mended, they would already have resolved the transportation problems.

But because the minister arrogantly refused the recommendations of his own panel, the whole exercise was a waste of millions of taxpayer dollars.

How do the minister and the government plan to compensate farmers for his arrogance and negligence?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Essex—Kent Ontario

Liberal

Jerry Pickard LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the member's question is totally wrong. In absolutely no way has the minister, in any of the judgments made, done anything to cause delays in the transportation of grain on the prairies.

The member knows very well that the cause is due to problems within the rail companies. We are working with the industry and everyone in the industry knows we have been working with them to resolve the problem.

You don't have a good-

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

The Speaker

I know you are going to catch me the next time around.

The hon. member for Anjou-Rivière-des-Prairies.

CultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On February 28, in response to a letter from Quebec Minister of Cultural Affairs Louise Beaudoin, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that there was no question of Quebec artists being excluded from funding programs on political grounds.

If this is so, will the minister confirm that he has altered the objectives of his financial assistance program for touring companies by withdrawing the criteria linking departmental subsidies to the promotion of Canadian unity?

CultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the new policies, we made it clear that decisions on individual artists would be based on each person's artistic merits. There is, therefore, no change.