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House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

The curriculum, the management of educational institutions, including universities and colleges, are matters of provincial jurisdiction and we will not touch them.

However, since the war, the federal government has been funding education, in Quebec and across Canada. We have been doing it since the war. The government has been active in promoting access to knowledge and skills, and in preparing for the future. We want to help young people across the country. I will sit down with Mrs. Marois and we will do a good job together.

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in Montreal, the Minister of Human Resources Development suggested to the Government of Quebec that it consider millennium scholarships as income earned by students when awarding Quebec loans and scholarships.

Are we to understand that the minister is suggesting to the Government of Quebec that it reduce its grants to young people to take into account the grants received from Ottawa?

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I hope the Government of Quebec will be more imaginative than that.

Yesterday, in Quebec City, I mentioned that our government was available to sit down with each of the provinces, with the Government of Quebec, so that the particular needs of each of our societies within the country would be reflected.

I know that Quebec's situation with respect to the scholarships is special in several respects. I am perfectly prepared to meet with Mrs Marois and I think we will be able to arrive at an arrangement ensuring that Quebec students are well served by our government.

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the arrangement is that it withdraw, with fair compensation for the Government of Quebec, nothing less.

Does the fact of suggesting that the value of millennium scholarships be included when calculating Quebec loans and scholarships not finally confirm what the minister has always refused to admit until now, namely that his millennium scholarships create duplication with Quebec?

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, it would be a good idea for the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot to take the time to read the budget.

It states specifically that the goal of the millennium fund is to avoid any duplication—

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Millenium ScholarshipsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Liberal Papineau—Saint-Denis, QC

—to consult with the provinces, so that we can meet students' particular needs, and that the loans and scholarships program must complement existing programs. It is there in black and white in the budget.

So the member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot would do well to take another good look at the budget before making such ridiculous accusations on behalf of young Quebeckers.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Canadians want to have access to quality health care, but the Liberals are not listening. Despite its election promise, the Liberal government will not be investing one cent more in provincial transfer payments to improve the health system.

Can the Minister of Finance explain this decision to Canadians, whose health is jeopardized by the overcrowding in hospitals?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Canada's health insurance is one of our greatest achievements. It has certainly remained a priority for our government.

I can assure the member that the first thing the Prime Minister and the government wanted to do when we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel was to put $1.5 billion back into the Canada social transfer for health. This will amount to $7 billion by 2002. When this is added to all the other measures in—

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, following Tuesday's budget only Ralph Klein and Russell MacLellan applauded the government's betrayal of its health funding promise.

Most Canadians and all other premiers believed the red book promise “as we get our fiscal house in order a Liberal government will commit new resources to address priority needs in health care”.

Why did the finance minister choose to break this promise?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should recall that the very first thing the government did, when economic prospects improved and the fiscal house was in order, was to forego cuts in transfers to the provinces and add $7 billion of additional revenue over the next four years.

The hon. member can scoff all she wants, but that money is available for hospitals, for technology and for treatment. I hope that those provincial governments follow our lead and put the priority on health care and education.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the provincial governments follow the example of this government it will be disastrous for the health care system.

The Prime Minister has cut cash transfers to the provinces by 35%. Yet, in an interview the Prime Minister gave yesterday, he said “We have cut some transfer payments. I said that most of it had been restored, not completely, but most of it”.

Will the Prime Minister and his government not recognize today that statement is in fact not true?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to point out to the leader of the Conservative Party that in 1993-94, when our back was to the wall, we took some very difficult decisions. One of the first things we did, when we began to see that the climate was improving, was to put $1.5 billion back into health care.

I would ask the leader of the Conservative Party to speak to the premier of Ontario and ask him why, when our reductions were $850 million, he took $4.8 billion out of the health care system and out of the education system in Ontario.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

I noticed, Mr. Speaker, that the minister did not answer my question.

I would be happy to note for the Minister of Finance and the Liberal government that notwithstanding the 35% cut in cash transfers in Ontario, the Government of Ontario increased its budget for health care in the province. That is a fact.

I would like to know today whether in the province of Nova Scotia for example that is going to receive $224 million less a year in the year 2002-03 than in 1993-94—

Health CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, there is an irony that this question comes from the leader of the party whose platform was to eliminate altogether cash transfers to the provinces.

This is a government that will not take that approach. We will not gut medicare. We will not destroy the role of the federal government in enforcing its standards and its principles because we believe in medicare for now and for the future.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

February 26th, 1998 / 2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that yesterday the finance minister said “all Tory taxes are odious”. For once I agree with the Liberal finance minister. Tory income taxes are odious. Tory surtaxes are odious. Tory bracket creep is odious, that is, repulsive, repugnant, disgusting, disreputable, despicable and detestable.

Let me ask the finance minister one straight question. Does this finance minister think then that this torrible, terrible, terri—whatever it is—GST is odious too?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Tory taxes are not the only things that are odious, detestable and terrible. I will tell you what is equally bad, a boondoggle, and I cannot think of anything else. That is in fact that the Reform Party would take $10 billion further out of spending.

There is only one place where that $10 billion will come out of. It will come out of equalization. It will come out of health care. It will come out of education. It will come out of all those things the middle class in this country deal with.

Why will the Reform Party not stand up and tell us what kind of a country this would be if they took another $10 billion—

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton North.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the question was about the GST and the finance minister just forgot to answer it. I will remind him one more time that yesterday he said “all Tory taxes are odious”. That is what he said. I think Canadians probably would agree with him and so he probably would want to make some changes in that.

It was about the GST. I will ask him one more time, not to go on the rant but to clarify his position on the GST. If he thinks Tory taxes are so odious, why did he break his promise and not scrap the Tory-Liberal GST?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all if the GST is so odious, why in fact did the Reform Party recommend that there be a harmonized sales tax across the country?

I would simply like to tell the Reform Party that what we did—

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

I think we will try somebody else. The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean.