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House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Government SpendingOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, after the minister was booed so loudly while giving a speech recently in his part of the country, I do not think things look so hot for him either.

The Prime Minister says he is against broad based tax relief. I guess that becomes very obvious after he has gone out and spent just about $7 billion in the last little while. The fact is that if he had taken that $7 billion and given it back to Canadians in the form of tax relief, we would have had about 200,000 jobs created in this country.

Can the Prime Minister tell us why he thinks buying votes with borrowed money is more important than real job creation through tax relief?

Government SpendingOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, once again the member's facts are all wrong. Included in the figure that he is putting forward is a significant amount of money spent under manpower transfers which is currently going toward job creation.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

April 22nd, 1997 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

While spring brings joy to many, it brings anguish to a great many Quebec families and Acadian families facing the harsh reality of the spring gap. Between the time when unemployment benefits run out and the time when they get back to work, there is

waiting period during which unemployed workers can be without an income for more than ten weeks.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister say that the severe cuts made in the unemployment insurance program create jobs when they are forcing an inordinate number of families in Quebec and elsewhere to live on public charity?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, that question has been asked by the member on a number of occasions.

One of the key areas she fails to mention every time she gets up on her feet is the fact that the employment insurance system has been significantly changed. When the changes came in, included in the changes as she relates to Cape Breton and other high unemployment areas was the $300 million transitional jobs fund. This has created a significant amount of economic activity in ridings like the member's and mine. That extra $800 million we also put in the investment portion of the employment insurance system is helping people to find employment.

To suggest that part two of the EI system is not improving the plight of the unemployed is factually incorrect.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that these millions are not nearly enough and there are thousands of families confronted with the spring gap.

The unemployed are not fooled by the government's compassionate words. They can see that poverty has grown because of this government's actions. They know that there have been billions in cuts to transfers for social programs and to the unemployment insurance program.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister honestly think that making people poorer will boost consumption and stimulate employment?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, this is an unfortunate situation, and the one to blame for the welfare cuts in Quebec is not the Government of Canada but the Bouchard government.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians should and do know that on the eve of the election this government is creating last minute jobs. Unfortunately for Canadians, these jobs are in appointments to the Senate, the Immigration and Refugee Board, agricultural boards, the IDRC, the National Research Council, the Cape Breton Development Corporation and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. You name it, if there is a commission the government has appointed somebody to it.

Meanwhile 1.4 million Canadians are out on the street looking for work with the highest level of unemployment since the 1930s.

When will the Prime Minister drop the Liberal agenda and come down to the people's agenda of jobs for ordinary Canadians, not just highly placed Liberal pals?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I find it slightly hypocritical on the part of the Reform Party-

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I encourage all hon. members to be very judicious in their choice of words.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party is publicly decrying the government for making investments in very important job creation issues. However, just before question period the member for Edmonton Southwest slipped me a note asking if he could get a $40,000 government grant for someone in his constituency.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will let the member from Edmonton deal with this issue of funding for a centre for the handicapped. She can deal with that herself. It is interesting; once a rat packer, always a rat packer.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Reform Edmonton Southwest, AB

Sheila, that was a shitty thing to do and confirms you are one bitch.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Day after day the papers are revealing more about the avalanche of pre-election goodies being poured out by Liberals for Liberals but they are being paid for by the taxpayers. The taxpayers would like to know the cost of these new measures.

People are interested in the new armoury which the Prime Minister announced last week for his riding. But he has neglected to tell us exactly how much it will cost or how many votes he expects to get for it.

What is the total amount the Liberal government is spending in the Prime Minister's riding just before the election? How much pork is enough pork?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the hon. member's question concerning the armoury in Shawinigan, it is obvious he has not paid much attention to how that project has been set up.

The announcement we made last week with respect to that armoury calls for a private-public partnership where the armoury would be built as a facility for the reserves, for the militia. It would also be privately owned. It could serve for many other purposes. It

could be part of a larger complex. It could be an existing building or a new building.

The hon. member should look more closely at exactly what the government has proposed. He should understand that we are moving to meet what I thought his party supported. When I made the report to the government with respect to the future of the Canadian forces we said we were moving the reserves and the militia from 20,000 or 22,000 to about 30,000. Is the hon. member against the increase in the number of people who are going to be functioning in the Canadian forces as part of the militia and the reserves or is he not?

CultureOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

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

The federalist propaganda is spreading throughout the federal government. The Department of Foreign Affairs is taking part in this despicable process by tying financial support for Quebec artists performing abroad to the promotion of national unity.

Will the heritage minister do like Quebec's Minister of Culture and Communications and call to order her colleague from foreign affairs? Will she tell him to stop using this unacceptable criterion and to provide support to artists strictly on the basis of the artistic merit of their projects?

CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I made it clear to the Quebec Minister of Culture that the government does not make political decisions regarding artistic issues.

I find it confusing that the same people who accuse us of interfering with cultural decisions asked us last week to overrule a decision made by Telefilm. If we follow the principle of non interference, then we have to do it consistently, including the fact that Telefilm made its decision on the basis of artistic criteria, which has nothing to do with politics.

CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is truly regrettable that the heritage minister does not know the artistic stature of Mr. Falardeau, whose project was turned down because it dealt with the Patriotes of 1837 and because Mr. Falardeau is a committed sovereignist.

It comes as no surprise that the heritage minister would endorse the politicization of the Department of Foreign Affairs' grants process.

My question to the heritage minister is: Why does her Liberal government refuse to recognize and respect Quebec's culture, and why is it in fact incapable of doing so?

CultureOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member claims that the decision is based on politics, when in fact we said clearly that any decision made by Telefilm to give a grant for any project should be made independently. Now, the separatists are asking us to interfere.

If they want us to respect the cultural institutions' autonomy, as we do, then they should not ask us to overrule a decision which was made strictly on the basis of artistic criteria, not political ones.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, you see, it is election time again and enumeration has taken place in my riding, in particular at Matsqui prison.

A judge said prisoners should have the right to vote because "preventing prisoners serving more than two years from voting is too sweeping an infringement". This government must be really hard up for votes these days.

Why did the justice minister not ask for a stay of the judge's decision until the appeal was decided on so that prisoners would be unable to vote in this election?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Prince Albert—Churchill River Saskatchewan

Liberal

Gordon Kirkby LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question. I will take the question under advisement and provide an answer as soon as possible.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a great answer. He is going to take it under advisement a few days before they drop the writ. Great.

This is about the rights of criminals versus the rights of victims and law-abiding Canadian citizens. That is what this is about.

Criminals can now vote. They can play golf at Ferndale prison. They get Canada pension, old age security, the guaranteed income supplement, overtime pay and they can sue the crown at taxpayer expense.

Why do victims have to fight this Liberal government so hard for rights and these Liberals trip over themselves to cater to criminals?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Vaudreuil Québec

Liberal

Nick Discepola LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

If they want a response, Mr. Speaker, I think our record on victims rights speaks for itself. This government has acted time and time again to protect the rights of victims

and time and time again it was that party which voted against every single piece of legislation.

Young Canada WorksOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

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

Heritage Canada is at it again. For the second year in a row, young people applying for jobs in Heritage Canada's Young Canada Works Program will have to show that they are federalists. In order to get a job with Heritage Canada, young people, whom the department will transform into ambassadors for Canada, must write a 250 word essay telling their future employer what Canada means to them.

The Bloc Quebecois takes exception to the government using young people to further its political ideology. How can young francophones in Quebec hope for a job with Heritage Canada when it is estimated that close to 75 per cent of them said yes to Quebec in the last referendum?

Young Canada WorksOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, when you work for Heritage Canada, it is obvious that you must also belong to Canada.

Young Canada WorksOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has obviously lost all common sense. In order to obtain a summer job with Heritage Canada, young Quebecers and Canadians will have to show that they believe in and are prepared to promote Canadian unity.

Does the representative of the Prime Minister share this discriminatory opinion, yes or no?