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House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is extremely disturbing that relevant audio tapes are presently held by a forum other than the public complaints commission. It suggests a cover-up either from senior levels of the RCMP, the solicitor general or the Prime Minister.

I ask the solicitor general why were all these recordings not turned over to the public complaints commission as requested. Or is the solicitor general again covering for the Prime Minister?

Apec InquiryOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said many times, the counsel to the commission has expressed no problem with the availability of information. The government has been very forthright. In fact, there has been a remarkable collection of information made available.

The counsel to the commission and the commission are doing their job and the hon. member should allow them to continue.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the health minister says that BST modified milk has been studied a long time and not approved and it is fine. The interesting thing is that scientists say that $2 million was offered to the department and when this was reported to the department absolutely nothing was done.

I do not care if a television show did expose this. Why is the health department not doing anything if millions of dollars were offered?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we found the member had not read his clippings from the summer. Now we can see the member has not watched television since 1994.

All these allegations in relation to the alleged break in and so on were dealt with when they were reported to officials in 1990 when they allegedly occurred. They were looked into. There were inquiries. The matter became public and aired on a television program.

Let me come back to the real point. The real point is that Health Canada is watching for the safety of Canadians. We have not approved rBST. We will not approve it—

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, this story gets worse. When the five scientists who were on the top of this file made these complaints what happened to them? Due to the company they were removed from the file.

My question is straightforward. Just who is looking after the safety of our milk in Canada, our scientists whom we trust or some faceless big drug company? Who is looking after us?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the member has his facts wrong. He should be embarrassed. The member should double check his facts.

In the meantime, Health Canada has not approved rBST. Health Canada will not approve rBST until we are satisfied it is safe notwithstanding the fact it has been approved in the United States and appropriate for sale in Canada.

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

October 22nd, 1998 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government refuses to admit that it has a sizable budget surplus with which it could give back to the provinces the money it took from the health sector. As Alain Dubuc wrote in La Presse : “This fiction about a zero surplus has become an insult to the intelligence and is totally unacceptable in a democracy”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he has some latitude, since he has already allocated $20 billion to the debt over a period of 15 months, and since the surplus for the first five months of the current fiscal year has already reached $8 billion?

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we obviously have a surplus for the period to date, but there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future. One third of the world is currently in a recession. We will continue to act in a prudent and responsible way. It is our duty and our plan of action.

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government does have some latitude; what is totally missing is compassion for the people. That is the reality.

I am asking whoever speaks on behalf of the government, someone who is responsible—

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

There is no one.

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

—whether the government will pledge to give a favourable reply to the provincial finance ministers and give them back the $6.3 billion it owes them for health and social programs?

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we obviously had to cut transfers in certain areas, on behalf of all Canadians and because of the deficit. But what the Bloc is suggesting is truly irresponsible.

It does not take into account the $1 billion in equalization payments, the $2.1 billion increase in tax points and the $650 million transferred for the infrastructure program. Quebec did not suffer much in net terms.

It is obvious that—

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Budget SurplusOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is a new study out which shows that Canadians are getting poorer, yet this government continues to overtax Canadians with one of the most regressive taxes imaginable. The fact is that EI taxes hurt working class Canadians the most.

Why should regular working class Canadians pay for this government's multibillion EI rip-off?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, this is very much a question of choice. It is incumbent upon all of us to look at the alternatives.

Are we going to cut taxes that relate only to eight million taxpayers or are we going to have a tax cut right across the board in the income tax spectrum which would benefit fourteen million taxpayers? This is one of the choices we have to make.

We have cut employment insurance taxes. It was going to $3.30 and we froze it at $3.07. We then cut it to $3. We then cut it to $2.95—

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a measure of this government's arrogance that it is trying to make choices with other people's money. That money does not belong to the government, it belongs to workers and employers.

A $350 EI tax cut may not mean much to a cabinet minister, but it means a lot to a fisherman, a waitress or people who are just trying to make it out there. It means a lot to them. This is a regressive tax that hurts people who are working the most.

When is the government simply going to obey the law and give that money back to them? Obey the law. When is it going to do that?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, in the last budget we cut $1.4 billion from payroll taxes.

We have some choices to make in terms of a global competitive economy. When we have among the lowest payroll taxes in the G-7 and yet we have the highest personal income taxes, which is going to help Canada the most on a competitive basis? These are some of the choices we have to make.

We are committed to continuing to cut these payroll taxes. That is what we have done in the past—

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the provinces will agree to sign a three-year plan if the federal government cancels the $6 billion cut in transfer payments for health and social programs.

Will the Minister of Health undertake to give back the money taken away from the provinces for health?

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have clarified and specified that health is a key issue, one of our top priorities.

We already increased transfers by $1.5 billion last year—

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HealthOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

—and the Prime Minister also stated that health would be at the heart of our next major reinvestment.