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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

CultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, that is not an answer to the question. I have asked the minister whether he had changed the criteria in the law, rather than in promises. We all know what happens to promises. We were promised that the GST would be scrapped, and it was not.

If the Minister of Foreign Affairs has not changed the criteria of his program, how then can he write Minister Beaudoin saying that the political opinions of Quebec artists will not be taken into account when his department awards funding to artists?

CultureOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I wrote to Madam Beaudoin to ensure we cleared up the total misinformation that was put forward by members of that party suggesting that political views would be taken into account. Never at any time was that the case. It was only in the minds of the Bloc Quebecois members. They attempted to exploit it as a way of trying to drive a wedge. Never was it part of our guidelines.

All we said was that we wanted to ensure that when we promote the opportunity for Canadian artists to go abroad that it be the widest possible range of artists, young people, aboriginal people, people representing the various cultural groups. Never were political beliefs taken into account.

The Bloc Quebecois must apologize to the Canadian public for creating that kind of perception.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, just days before a needless federal election call the Liberals are spreading money around the way farmers would spread fertilizer. They obviously did not learn from the fact that Trudeau's 1984 patronage binge cost them the election. What a flip-flop from the days in opposition when they criticized the Tories for their pork-barrelling.

While it still has time, will the government commit to cutting taxes so that real jobs can be created?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget we brought in over $2 billion worth of selective tax cuts, which will take effect over the next three years, for Canadians with disabilities, for students and for low income families. We brought in a series of targeted tax cuts directed where the impact will be the greatest.

Given that the government has reasonably restricted financial resources, that is the option which any reasonable government would take. The alternative recommended by the Reform Party is to bring in a broad based tax cut which would benefit the wealthy of this country. It would be paid for by cutting services which low and middle income Canadians desperately need.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is up to his old tricks of misquoting the Reform Party's policies.

For the last 78 months the unemployment rate has been high in this country. At no other time has it been this high except during the Great Depression.

If, as he claims, they are creating jobs, how is the minister prepared to explain to the 1.4 million unemployed Canadians that his policies are working?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the numbers are very clear. There are 850,000 new jobs that have been created by the private sector since we have taken office. The hon. member says I have misquoted from their budget.

Let me quote exactly from false start: "The federal government contributes about $3.5 billion each year to provincial welfare programs through the transfer payment known as the Canada health and social transfer. A Reform government will eliminate these payments". That is a direct quote; 3.5 billion out of the pockets of those who need it most. That is not a misquote, that is what Reformers would do.

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

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

We are all quite aware of Canada's longstanding tradition of peacekeeping initiatives. Canada's contributions throughout the globe are second to none. One such initiative was the participation of Canadian troops in UN peacekeeping operations in Cyprus.

I would like to ask the minister today to inform the House of any new developments with respect to Canada's role in Cyprus that may help bring a just and peaceful solution.

PeacekeepingOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member from Scarborough Centre and the members from Don Valley East and Saint-Denis who have worked actively over the last several months to develop an initiative for Canada to assist in the reconciliation of the problems in Cyprus.

I am pleased to announce today that we have established a special ambassador, Mr. Michael Bell, to be the envoy for Canada in Cyprus and to work closely with the United Nations and to work with other countries. We think it is at the right moment with the proposed admission into the European Union. We hope that Canada continues to play the constructive balanced role that we played during peacekeeping in Cyprus. Now we can provide a constructive political and diplomatic initiative. If we can do that, we can help bring peace and demilitarization to that country and to that land which so desperately needs it. I am very pleased that we have been able to make that announcement today.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the President of the Treasury Board.

One of the recommendations of the Bloc Quebecois on tax reform concerned the Governor General's salary of $97,400 on which he does not pay a cent of income tax. Of course, the Minister of Finance did nothing about this.

Although all taxpayers must do their fair share to help the Minister of Finance fight the deficit and even the Queen of England now pays income tax, what justification does the minister have for the fact that her representative in Canada, with a salary of $97,400, does not?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, accountants could go on about this at length. Is it better to pay him the salary of a Deputy Minister, around $140,000 or $150,000, so that he will have a net income of $97,000, or to pay him his salary tax free, because technically, the Crown cannot tax the Crown? That is a choice accountants have to make, and one way or another, it will not have much of an impact on the future of this country.

The LiberalsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, just like the old line patronage ridden parties before it, this government is digging deep into the taxpayer trough so that it can hand out hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money to last minute pre-election goodies for Liberal ridings.

If we add the cost of the election to the cost of the handouts and the cost of the MP pensions for the 30 or so Liberals who are deserting a sinking ship, Canadians are probably going to be out about $1 billion for this folly.

Other than being an excuse to shower Liberal ridings with largesse, could the government please explain the purpose of the upcoming early June election.

The LiberalsOral Question Period

Noon

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there has been no election call as yet, except perhaps in the minds of the Reform Party.

Could the Reform Party please explain why its leader is not around here and is out campaigning across the country every day? Could the Reform Party explain why it is distributing copies of its false start program all over the country?

The LiberalsOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

We are all aware it is getting close to the end, but we should not mention who is here and who is not.

PovertyOral Question Period

April 18th, 1997 / noon

NDP

Simon de Jong NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Human Resources Development. A Statistics Canada study shows that poor children are three times more likely to be in remedial classes than children from the richest families.

Since the government was elected the number of children living in poverty have increased while the transfer payments to provinces for social support programs and education have been slashed. The opportunity of getting out of the poverty cycle has been reduced.

Is this an example of the new Liberalism that oversees the entrenchment of a permanent underclass?

PovertyOral Question Period

Noon

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the member should be aware it is obvious that child poverty is the number one issue on the minds of all Canadians.

Therefore the agreement that we made with the provinces and the new child tax credit are intended to help alleviate the concern of all Canadians. To suggest that somehow any member of Parliament on any side of the House would not see this as a major challenge is quite disgusting, to say the least.

We are trying as governments to deal with child poverty. They are not interested on all sides of the House in having any underclass in our country.

That is the NDP philosophy. That is why people do not vote for the NDP. It tries to split people into interest groups. We try to deal with Canadians overall.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

Noon

Liberal

David Collenette Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

The Canada infrastructure program created tens of thousands of jobs across Ontario. As we approach round two the Ontario government has proposed to exclude municipalities from the project approval process. To add insult to injury, it is rumoured that the amount of money to be allocated to the greater Toronto area is disproportionately low.

Will the President of the Treasury Board guarantee that before the program goes ahead with Ontario the municipalities will be given a meaningful role?

InfrastructureOral Question Period

Noon

Hull—Aylmer Québec

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in early February I indicated to Minister Eves of Ontario that we were ready to have an agreement on the basis of the current guidelines.

Mr. Eves then proposed an approach where the province of Ontario selected all the projects and subsequently presented the federal partner with a list. This is a very substantial change from the current guidelines where the municipalities had the responsibility to identify and select the projects.

I cannot in good conscience agree the municipalities which pay one-third of the cost of the program would have no voice in deciding where the projects are.

It is true, according to the current list developed by Ontario that has not been fully revised by federal officials in particular, that the counties of Muskoka, Haliburton and Parry Sound received disproportionately high benefits relative to population. Coincidentally and to our great surprise, this is Minister Eves' riding.

InfrastructureOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

I am glad you two members are getting close together.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I would like to present a petition signed by many constituents in the Ottawa area.

They call on the House of Commons to ask the federal government to enact a national infrastructure program to help the country to rebuild its national highway system.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Madam Speaker, I have three petitions to present. The first one contains 51 names.

The petitioners call upon Parliament to recognize the fundamental right of individuals to pursue family life free from undue interference from the state and to recognize the fundamental right and responsibility of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.

I fully support the petitioners.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Madam Speaker, in the second petition the petitioners pray that Parliament not increase the federal excise tax on gasoline in the next federal budget.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Madam Speaker, in the last petition the petitioners call upon Parliament to urge the federal government to join with provincial governments to make the national highway system upgrading possible.

I agree with the petitioners.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I present two petitions on behalf of 133 and 25 constituents respectively.

They request that Parliament ask the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to suspend negotiations on social housing to the province of Ontario and to resume these negotiations only if the federal government proceeds under publicly declared principles with input from housing co-operative stakeholders.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present a petition which indicates that 38 per cent of the national highway system is substandard.

Therefore the petitioners call upon Parliament and urge the federal government to join with provincial governments to make the national highway system upgrading possible.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, over the last couple of years two petitions have been circulating across Canada. I would like to present them on behalf of my constituents of Mississauga South.

In the first petition the petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that our police officers and firefighters place their lives at risk on a daily basis as they serve the emergency needs of all Canadians.

They also state that in many cases the families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty are left without sufficient financial means to meet their obligations.

The petitioners therefore pray and call upon Parliament to establish a public safety officers compensation fund to receive gifts and bequests for the benefit of families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.