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House of Commons Hansard #195 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, let me read into the record the opinion of an author quoted by Justice L'Heureux-Dubé, who overturned an Alberta court judgment acquitting a person accused of sexual assault.

One of the myths about rape is the idea that women dream about being raped; that even when they say no, they mean yes; that any woman could fend off a rapist if she really wanted to; that women often deserve to be raped because of their behaviour, the way they dress or their attitude; and that it is worse to be raped by a stranger than by an acquaintance.

As members know, this ruling was the subject of much discussion. However, you will agree that, discuss as we may, the distress of sexual assault victims can never be adequately expressed.

On this International Women's Week, we must take a long look at our collective responsibility regarding violence against women.

The controversy surrounding the Ewanchuk ruling must not obscure the primary message sent by the supreme court on February 25, namely that “no means no”.

EmploymentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to share with members of the House the recent Statistics Canada figures for employment.

In October 1993, when the Liberals formed the government, the unemployment rate in my province of B.C. was 9.4%. It is now 8.1%, a reduction of 1.3%. It is clear that job creation is a priority for this government.

Statistics Canada has reported that national unemployment is only 7.8%, which is an all-time low since 1990. This is good news for Canada and for British Columbia.

The United AlternativeStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, here are the top 10 reasons Liberals love the united alternative: No. 10, seeing John Crosbie at another united alternative convention; No. 9, maybe it will convince the Leader of the Opposition to get a new haircut; No. 8, seeing Reformers fighting amongst themselves; No. 7, more page 1 stories about missed phone calls between the Leader of the Opposition and Joe Clark; No. 6, the sight of the official opposition admitting it can never hope to form a government; No. 5, Reformers begging separatists to join; No. 4, more watering down of Reform blue book principles; No. 3, a wedding proposal and a wedding date, and the Tory bride says no to both; No. 2, we Liberals love seeing Reformers living alternative lifestyles; finally, the No. 1 reason Liberals love the united alternative is that its preordained failure will guarantee a third consecutive Liberal majority government.

Camille LaurinStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were struck yesterday by the news of the death of Dr. Camille Laurin.

Sovereignists in Quebec have lost a great leader. His masterpiece, Bill 101, lives on and will long ensure the development of the francophone society in Quebec.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Dr. Laurin in the Quebec National Assembly between 1981 and 1984 and I recall him as a very cultivated, determined and humanitarian individual, always ready to listen to and support his colleagues.

Passionate about the French language, he has carved himself a place in history with his remarkable work to protect it.

All of Quebec today mourns the loss of this remarkable man. PQ supporters are profoundly affected by his departure, and I would, on their behalf and that of my colleagues, offer my deepest sympathies to those close to him.

Angelo MoscaStatements By Members

March 12th, 1999 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Liberal Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the indulgence of this place may I take just a brief moment to recognize the presence in the Speaker's gallery of football hero, Hall of Famer, former Hamilton Tiger Cat great, generous Hamiltonian and a Canadian by choice, Mr. Angelo Mosca, along with his wife Helen, son Nathan and son's friend Stephanie.

Young Offenders ActStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, seven years ago in Courtenay, B.C., six year old Dawn Shaw was brutally raped and murdered. Her 15 year old killer, Jason Gamache, was a repeat sex offender.

Not even the RCMP were aware of Jason's history of child sexual assault because the Young Offenders Act forbade professionals treating a young offender from discussing the case in public. He was prohibited access to children, but because of the YOA nobody knew about his record. He lived next door to a school and was babysitting Dawn Shaw the night he killed her.

In the new legislation, the public must be made aware of repeat sexual offenders like Jason Gamache if we are to protect our children. We must ensure that the new YOA is drafted to protect our children, to punish the offenders and to make public the names of the offenders and the details of the offences. The new YOA, as presently drafted, does not address these points.

Young Offenders ActStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday new legislation concerning young offenders was introduced. There was concern expressed about offenders younger than the age of 12 being lost between the cracks with respect to receiving opportunities for rehabilitation.

The minister pointed out that these children would not be lost but would be caught up in the social services and mental health systems. I certainly agree that these would be the appropriate systems for dealing with these young children rather than the criminal justice system.

However, I would strongly urge that the federal government, if it is serious about children, ensure adequate funding for the social service and mental health system so that these young children are not simply dumped on an already overburdened and underfunded child welfare system.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, in one single day Alberta did what the federal Liberals have refused to do for the last six years.

In yesterday's budget Alberta cut taxes deeply and raised health care to record levels. The federal Liberals have done the opposite in the House. Their taxes are at a record high and they have beaten our health care system into submission.

What is the junior finance minister's excuse? Why can the rest of Canada not have the kind of low taxes and strong health care that Alberta has?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member must have been dreaming about the new reformatory party he wants to create when the budget was read. If he had paid attention to it, he would have realized that the government is committed to bringing in over $16 billion in tax relief for Canadians over the next three years.

He should be getting up today and praising us for this, as well as for the fact that unemployment remains at the lowest rate this month in the past nine years. It is the eighth consecutive month of employment growth. Why does he not get up and recognize that? That is something important for all Canadians.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, maybe we should put up somebody from that side who knows what he is talking about.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

I urge the hon. opposition House leader to be very judicious in his choice of words.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be judicious, okay.

One of the smartest things about the Alberta budget yesterday was that it removed any tax discrimination against stay at home parents.

What is so embarrassing for the Liberals is that in order to give families this fairness Alberta had to break away from the federal tax system altogether. It has set up a completely separate, discrimination free tax rate of only 11%.

Will the junior finance minister over there, now that Alberta has spelled it out for them, remove all discrimination from the federal income tax system too?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, in spite of difficult fiscal circumstances we have recognized the need to support families with children.

This is why in the last budget there was $213 for a single earner family in the child tax benefit. This is why we have increased the child tax benefit by $2 billion, to a total now of $7 billion to support families with children.

As we move ahead with further tax cuts it is important to recognize whether we will have across the board tax cuts or whether we will target our tax cuts to particular family situations or a combination of both.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting over here. Alberta is dealing with a surplus, the same as the federal government, and yet Alberta comes up with the answers.

Let us look at what it has done. Alberta ended anti-family tax discrimination. It lowered taxes for everyone. It moved to a simple single tax rate of 11%. It outlawed bracket creep taxes and it increased health care spending at the same time. That is the modern, smart way to run a government in 1999.

We know the junior finance minister's view of stay at home parents is stuck in the 1970s, but why is his tax system stuck in the 1970s as well?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have in my hand a report from the Ottawa Citizen datelined Edmonton which says that the proposals in the Alberta budget are such that they “delay major breaks for taxpayers well into the next century”.

Furthermore the report says “poor economic performance could scuttle the proposal. The province's failure to increase total revenues by $1.6 billion by 2002 would delay all the tax changes, possibly putting them off indefinitely”.

We want tax relief for Canadians now. They are getting it now, not like in Alberta—

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Dewdney—Alouette.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister offers doom and gloom about Alberta. It is Alberta that is taking action instead of lip service when it comes to substantive tax relief. In one day it provided tax relief for everyone. In one day it ended tax discrimination against stay at home parents and in one day it reduced its tax system to a much simpler system, and it did this while it increased health care spending.

What is the Liberal excuse today for not cutting its punishing taxes in the exact same way?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, on this issue we have seen from the Reform Party three different proposals within one week.

They range in cost from $4.5 billion a year to $56 billion per year, and not one of its proposals does what it purports to seek, that is tax equality among one and two earner families with children at home.

This is why we cannot afford to make tax policy on the fly. This is why we have referred it to the finance committee for sober and reasoned consideration.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party believes in tax relief for everyone and Alberta proved that can be done in a single day.

It is this government that is stubborn and that refuses to provide that substantive kind of tax relief. It continues to pick on stay at home parents with kids. It continues to pick on low income families. Eight hundred thousand Albertans will not be paying provincial tax yet the federal government will continue to wring taxes out of those people.

The working poor are left alone by the Alberta tax man. Why does the federal government not do the exact same thing?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the finance critic for the Reform Party in his questions yesterday showed that the Reform Party's priority was tax relief for billionaires. Our priority is tax relief for all Canadians.

The hon. member has not dealt with the report in the Ottawa Citizen which states that “in the Alberta budget says any tax relief is conditional upon achieving certain economic goals and that if they are not achieved, then there is no tax relief and any changes are put off to the next century”. I dare the member to answer that question.

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage sees herself as the defender of Canada's culture, but once again, as we have seen this week, she says one thing and does another.

What credibility does she have to claim to properly represent Quebec in cultural terms, when she belongs to a government that is doing everything to diminish Quebec's place internationally and when she goes along with that?

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, it is important that we continue to work together. It is also important internationally that there respect for a nation's sovereignty.

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Canadian Heritage keeps repeating wherever she is that Quebeckers have nothing to fear, that they will have all the room they need to grow within the Canadian family. That is what she says.

And yet, once again, together with her government, has she not underscored the huge difference between word and deed and that her remarks are completely devoid of meaning?

Cultural DiversityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, we have a policy on sound recordings that the Bloc supports. We have a copyright act the Bloc Quebecois supports. We have final debate today on Bill C-55 in order to protect Canadian publications, with the support of the Bloc.

Therefore, our action promotes the growth of cultural diversity in Canada, supported by the Bloc.