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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I said a moment ago, the matter is not sitting on my desk. The matter is in full process toward a decision that will be made.

Yes, we will replace it by 2005. We have been able to streamline the procedures for procurement over and above what the Conservatives had when they were in government. We will be able, in a shorter period of time, to purchase the right replacement for the Sea King.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, here is another chapter in the great tax rip-off carried out by the finance minister. This is a pay stub for Jean. Jean is a pipefitter who works in Fort McMurray. His gross pay was $2,265, but by the time the finance minister got through with his paycheque, Jean took home about $1,200, a 49% tax bite.

I want to ask the finance minister a very simple question. When is he going to give people like Jean, hard working Canadians, a tax break? When is he going to do that?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, Reform members' performance in standing is not going to confuse Canadians about the fact that the Reform Party is not prepared to carry through with what it is saying. The issue really is that Jean has got more after-tax disposable income today as a result of what this government has done than what Reform would have delivered.

The issue is, why will the Reform Party not stand in the House to defend what it has said in the prebudget debates and, in fact, in its election campaigns? That is the issue.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is nonsense. Jean's family income has decreased over $4,000 since 1993. His disposable income from his cheque has decreased over $2,200 since 1993 under this finance minister's insatiable tax campaign.

Jean cannot hide his income under some offshore foreign flag. He—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I ask the hon. member to please go directly to his question.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Jean feels the full impact of this finance minister's insatiable appetite for taxes.

I want to ask the finance minister, is he really proud of what he does to Jean's family? Is he really proud of how much tax he—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, is every member of the government proud that we put $11.5 billion back into the health care system? Absolutely.

Is every member of the government proud of the national child tax credit? Absolutely.

Is every member of the government proud that we have taken 600,000 taxpayers off the tax rolls? Absolutely.

The fact is that we are prepared to stand in the House to defend what we have done.

Are Reform Party members proud of what they have said, that they would not cut EI premiums for employees? They are clapping. They are proud of it. Are they proud of the fact that they would not have provided any tax relief until the year 2000?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

November 25th, 1999 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I had occasion to quote the Prime Minister, who on referendum night in 1995, boasted of the merits of democracy, which gave him a 50.6% victory. Today, he is refusing to recognize 50% plus one as the rule.

Could the minister tell us where, in the supreme court opinion, he is asked to give votes different values according to their being for or against sovereignty for Quebec? In other words, where in the supreme court decision does he come up with the fact that clarity means 60,000 from Lac-Saint-Jean and 40,000 votes from Westmount?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, perhaps it is time for the Bloc to answer a few questions.

They were asked: Why in municipal referendums in Quebec is it not 50% plus one if 50% plus one is supposed to be the sacred rule? They were asked: If 50% plus one is a clear rule, is a clear majority, what would a majority that is not clear be? The Bloc cannot answer these questions.

What counts most is respect for Quebecers' right to be fully Canadian, until such time as they clearly give it up. As Quebecers clearly want to be Canadians, the people opposite are looking for confusion.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week the minister gave the members of this House a lesson, saying that it was wrong to mix apples and oranges. I wonder what he is doing when he talks of municipal referendums.>

Will the minister not acknowledge that the purely academic debate over a theoretical percentage, which he wants to be different from the way things are, is a desperate measure to come up with a way to avoid the constitutional obligation to negotiate the Supreme Court of Canada set for the government?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, if the simple amalgamation of municipalities requires more than 50% plus one, would such a majority be enough to break up a country? Has this ever happened somewhere in the world, outside colonial settings? Never.

There have even been cases where majorities of 60% did not lead to secession, as in the case of Western Australia and on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.

National UnityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the only reason the Prime Minister stands alone on the national unity debate is because he is totally out to lunch. He does not even have the support of his cabinet.

This government seems to forget that Quebecers and Canadians want more than the status quo or sovereignty. Canadians want a renewal of the federation, a third route.

Why is the Prime Minister so determined to become one of the winning conditions of the sovereignists?

National UnityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the unity of Canada, the Prime Minister does not stand alone. Thirty million Canadians stand with him, except for Reform Party members, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

National UnityOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister boasted that his heritage and his selfishness were behind his actions in national unity matters.

What is more important, the Prime Minister's selfishness or Canada?

National UnityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we reiterate that Canada is his priority, which is not the case with the Reformers, who want to play games with the separatists.

PovertyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, while we were engaged in various activities to mark the tenth anniversary of the House of Commons resolution to end poverty, the Liberal members on the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs were moving that the defence budget be substantially increased.

My question is for the minister responsible for the homeless. Does she intend to approach cabinet and ask that funding to stamp out poverty be given priority over increased defence spending?

PovertyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, as I have said time and again, if the hon. member would read the Speech from the Throne she would see that there are very firm commitments on the part of the government to support children and to help eradicate child poverty.

PovertyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is for the minister responsible for the homeless.

Yesterday, I asked the government for a specific, concrete and detailed plan to combat poverty, complete with numbers.

Has the minister responsible for the homeless finally finished travelling around the country and is she now ready to table a plan to end the poverty that has continued to grow since the Liberals took office?

PovertyOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Human Resources Development said, we have programs in place for poor children, and we will pursue them.

As for the homeless, I wish to inform the House that, since my tour, we now have facilitators in communities who are working daily with the homeless, and we will continue to work for the homeless in this country until all Canadian children have a bed in which to sleep.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Reform Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding about the growing crisis in rural Canada. We in the west have come to realize that this government does not care. Tough love the minister calls it. Imagine my surprise today when members opposite voted against committee hearings for Ontario producers. Is the government now practising tough love for Ontario producers as well?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows that committees are masters of their own business, and if he is trying to say that we should direct every committee from debates in the House at question period, need I tell him that that would be the wrong way to do it? He should know the rules of the House by now. He has been here long enough.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Gerry Ritz Reform Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, they are kind of hiding behind the rules. That was not the question at all.

The reality of Liberal agriculture policy is borne out by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. He said: “Let's face reality. There are some farms in Saskatchewan that are not going to make it and maybe we need to put our efforts into those farms that are going to make it and try to help others move into some other transitional economy”.

Is the finance minister going to decide who is viable and who is not viable? Is the finance minister planning a TAGS program for farmers? We all know how well that worked.