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House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was band.

Topics

TaxationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was terrifying. The bandit forced me to go from room to room in my house and watch while he and his accomplices loaded half of everything I owned into his truck to haul away. I was powerless to stop him. When he was done and left I phoned the police. But they would not help.

Why did the police not come to help? The answer is simple. The bandit was the tax collector.

If an ordinary criminal were to come into my house and take half of everything I own, we would not let him get away with it. But when it is the tax collector, he is authorized to take half of my earnings every year and the only person who can get into trouble is me if I do not help him load.

It is high time that we gave Canadians some tax relief. It just is not right to take half of their earnings year after year after year.

Economic DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 13, the Quebec City region received very good news for its economy.

Indeed, the Canadian government, through the Export Development Corporation, agreed to join Investissement Québec in funding the construction of the Spirit of Columbus platform in the Lévis shipyard.

Now that funding has been secured for the platform, anything is possible. The Government of Canada was involved in the search for viable solutions, which open up interesting perspectives for the future.

The Bloc Quebecois had accused the Liberal government of not abiding by its promises in this respect. Once again, they have been proven wrong. The government did deliver on its promises to the workers of this shipyard. The funding granted will have a positive impact and boost the economy in the Quebec City and Chaudière—Appalaches region.

This is further proof of the Canadian government's vigourous involvement in this country's economic development.

Kangiqsualujjuaq TragedyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 31, while the community of Kangiqsualujjuaq was ringing in the New Year, a terrible avalanche destroyed the school gymnasium, killing nine and injuring 25.

But for the vigilance and determination of members of the community who rushed to free people from the snow, the toll would have been much higher. Let us pay tribute to the community spirit of the Inuit of Kangiqsualujjuaq.

To the families who were touched by this tragedy, and to the entire population of Nunavik, the Bloc Quebecois extends its deepest condolences.

JusticeStatements By Members

February 1st, 1999 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 this House passed Bill C-121 which made the production, dealing and possession of child pornography indictable offences. But the recent B.C. court decision has reminded us that child pornography remains a serious problem in Canada.

Depictions of child pornography comprise a permanent record of a child being sexually abused. People who possess child pornography may not have participated in the original crime, but they are certainly accomplices. Each time a pedophile taps into this pornographic underworld the children portrayed are victimized over and over again.

Preventing the sexual abuse of children is a battle that must be fought by all Canadians, regardless of their political stripe or ideological stance.

I and my colleagues in the NDP caucus urge parliament and all parliamentarians to reaffirm their commitment to Canada's children by voicing loudly society's utter condemnation of this form of child sexual abuse. We must send a clear message: When the rights of children, our most precious resource, and the rights of pedophiles and predators come into conflict, the rights of children must prevail.

Louise ArbourStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois wishes to congratulate the chief prosecutor for the international criminal tribunals, Madame Justice Louise Arbour, for her courage and determination in the present crisis in Kosovo.

By trying to get to the bottom of the events that led to the deaths of 45 Kosovars, among them women and children, in Racka, Madame Justice Arbour has shown once again that she takes her job seriously and that she has no intention of caving in to those seeking to escape international criminal justice.

With a new round of fighting under way and the parties summoned to Rambouillet with a view to a ceasefire and the resumption of negotiations, it is to be hoped that the agreement to be signed at the international peace conference will give Madame Justice Arbour the tools to bring to justice those who have committed the massacres and atrocities that have so appalled humanity.

Parti QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the referendum game is on again, since this past weekend.

At the Parti Quebecois national council meeting, the party and Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard did not exclude the possibility of public funds being used to promote the secession of Quebec.

The Parti Quebecois has not understood that, not having obtained a majority vote in the last Quebec election, it cannot do anything it wants. The Parti Quebecois has not understood that the population of Quebec has given the government a mandate to govern within the framework of Canadian federalism, not one to pave the way for another referendum.

The population of Quebec has given the Government of Quebec a mandate to work effectively and in collaboration with the Canadian government, not to seek to harm and destroy our country.

International Development WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Diane St-Jacques Progressive Conservative Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus, I would like to draw attention to International Development Week.

This week affords us the opportunity to celebrate the exceptional work being done by the thousands of Canadians actively involved in developing countries in helping to bring about peace, reduce poverty and injustice, preserve our shared environment, and forge links of trust and friendship world-wide.

International aid, which plays a decisive role in the social and economic transformation of increasing numbers of developing countries, must remain one of our national priorities for this reason.

By continuing to invest in sustainable development in the developing countries, we shall succeed in meeting the needs of the present without compromising those of the future, thus building a safer and more equitable world.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, on December 14, 1995, on a motion introduced in the House, the House of Commons declared February as Black History Month.

From the earliest period of our history to the present, people of African origin have contributed toward making Canada one of the most envied nations in the world.

Black people, both as slaves and as free men and women, gave greatly of themselves to the development of our nation. As fishermen and domestics in New France, soldiers and labourers in Nova Scotia, fur traders for the Hudson's Bay Company, prairie farmers, skilled tradesmen, teachers, and businessmen in pre-Confederation British Columbia, African Canadians have brought a wealth of skills to our country and continue to do so.

I encourage all members of parliament to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with members of the Black community in their ridings and to join in the celebration of Black History Month.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked and deeply hurt to learn recently that an organizing committee chaired by a federal bureaucrat discriminated against the Christian faith at the Swissair crash memorial service held on September 9.

Christian clergy were not allowed to mention the name Jesus or use their New Testament scriptures. The remarks of other religious groups received no such censure.

As when any basic human right is transgressed, there are unfortunate and painful consequences. This censure was unfair to the Christian clergy making presentations and it was a disservice to those Christians at the ceremony seeking comfort, solace and healing from their terrible pain.

Appropriately, the federal government offered an apology and expressed some responsibility. However, Canadians want to know that religious discrimination like this will not happen again. They demand constructive solutions.

Therefore it is now up to the government to put its apology into actions. It is time for the Prime Minister to develop strict guidelines to ensure that religious discrimination like that which occurred at the Swissair memorial service never happens again.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister is a funny guy. Whenever he talks about taxes he gets a twinkle in his eye. I am serious. He has it there now.

Last week in Switzerland he said a funny thing. He said he was glad that Brian Mulroney had imposed the GST. At the time he publicly criticized the GST and now he admits that he secretly admired the tax.

I would like to ask old twinkle eyes over there, just between you and me—

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I would hope we would address each other as hon. members rather than give ourselves nicknames.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what I said in Davos is that we do not want the country to be in the same situation as the government was in after years of not balancing the books and having a huge deficit. The government had to raise taxes just to pay unemployment insurance because it had a very large deficit and it had no choice.

I said the same thing will not happen in Canada under the present management and the people applauded me for that.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, twinkle toes.

The finance minister, who is not such a funny guy, is bringing down a budget this month. It seems we just paid for our Christmas presents and now we have to pay the taxes. Every Canadian approaches tax time a little differently. Some people dread it. Some people shrug their shoulders. Some people say one thing and think another.

We know the Prime Minister has mixed feelings. Will he tell us how he feels about tax time 1999?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister at tax time 1999 feels much better than at tax time in 1994. He knows that the Minister of Finance has reduced taxes in the last two years. He has reduced the EI contribution in the last four years. I hope the minister will be able to carry on with the policy of balancing our books as well as payment on the debt, reduction of taxes, and money for social and economic programs.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, surely the Prime Minister is kidding. When he was in the official opposition he publicly attacked Brian Mulroney for raising taxes. Now we know he actually secretly admired him for raising taxes.

How are we to know that when the Prime Minister says he favours tax relief now, he really is not secretly hoping that he can maintain high tax levels?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced the taxes. We have balanced the books since we formed the government.

The previous government could not manage it and it had to increase taxes constantly. It did not prudently manage at the beginning of its mandate as this government has done.

When I listen to the Leader of the Opposition I understand why he needs a group therapist from the United States.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the federal Liberals say they are ready to reinvest in health care, but they chose to cut $16.5 billion cumulative out of health care. They chose business subsidies to cut health. They chose regional giveaways to cut health. When every single Canadian would choose medicare, why did they choose to cut it?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, soon enough this government will demonstrate in a very tangible way its long term commitment to the health care system in Canada.

The real issue is how can the Reform Party stand and pretend to speak in favour of medicare when it would spend nothing additional on health? Let me quote from a document that was distributed at a Reform meeting in Victoria recently. This is what it would do with the surplus: “Half of the surplus should go toward debt reduction with the other half devoted to tax relief”. Nothing for health.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask the hon. member not to use a prop.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister missed the $6 billion over the next three years for medicare. He missed that.

What is the health minister trying to do? He is trying to get a report card on the provinces for health. What does the federal Liberal report card look like? When it comes to transfers to the provinces, F. When it comes to 188,000 people on waiting lists in Canada, F. When it comes to 1,400 doctors having left this country in the last three years, F.

How could this minister look at others for a report card on health care when his record is an F?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party would not do well in mathematics. It might get an F because it seems to me that if we devote half the surplus toward tax relief and half toward debt reduction, we have not got any money left for health care.

The Reform Party really has an agenda that is quite hidden. It talks about privatizing medicine, about removing the restrictions of the Canada Health Act, allowing Canadians a choice. We all know what that means. It is code language for an American style system of private health care. We will never be in favour of that.

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has cut $6.3 in transfer payments, including $3.2 billion in health care.

By doing so, it has forced the provinces to bear political responsibility for federal cuts.

Does the Prime Minister not find it distasteful to impose conditions on the provinces now that he has a surplus, which he in fact accumulated on the backs of the provinces?

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all we are asking is that the provinces taking the money we want applied to health care guarantee that that is where it will go. I think that is what the House of Commons and the people of Canada want.

We also want to make sure that the public and voters in each province know exactly where the money will be spent, and this way we will know too. We want to find a way to prevent disputes between the federal and provincial governments. These are not very dangerous requests, and I think that—

Health CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. leader of the Bloc Quebecois.