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House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Gun RegistryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for York West.

TaxationStatements By Members

October 5th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance proposes a flat tax which would have exactly the opposite effect of a fair and progressive tax system.

Under this plan, the higher the income, the bigger the tax break. For example, a taxpayer earning $30,000 would receive a tax reduction of about $600, while another taxpayer earning $200,000 would receive a break of over $22,000. That is not fair.

The Liberal government believes tax cuts must benefit all Canadians, but first they must benefit those who need it the most: low and middle income Canadians and families. Our five year plan will reduce personal income taxes by an average of 15%. Combined with cuts in the last three budgets, annual personal income tax reductions total 22%, and for families with children, at least 30%. That is a fair and equitable approach to income tax reform.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, four years ago the auditor general warned that contamination at abandoned mines is a serious problem. There are 25,000 abandoned mines exposed to air and water. The waste rock is washed into the ground and eventually reaches groundwater.

The environment minister began addressing this problem at abandoned mine sites by committing $38 million to help clean up the Sydney tar ponds. The estimated cost of cleaning up contaminated sites on federal lands alone is $2 billion. This is a bill the mining industry should pay, but it is left to the government to find funds to deal with the pollution at abandoned mines.

I urge the Minister of Finance to allocate in the next budget funds for cleanup and also to propose a plan so that from now on mining companies will be responsible for the environmentally sound closing of mines.

VolunteersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Reform Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Calgary East to give my thanks to the countless volunteers who give their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live.

Last weekend I attended a volunteer appreciation night in the community of Dover. It was my pleasure to spend an evening with these dedicated volunteers whose commitment and efforts help to make Dover a better community for everyone.

I cannot stress strongly enough that these volunteers are a sense of pride for all Canadians.

I therefore today take great pride in acknowledging all volunteers who contribute to the following community associations in my riding: Abbeydale, Albert Park/Radisson Heights, Applewood Park, Marlborough, Marlborough Park, Crossroads, Dover, Erin Woods, Forest Heights, Forest Lawn, Inglewood, Millican Ogden, Lynnwood, Penbrooke Meadows and Southview.

My heartfelt thanks go to all these community association volunteers. We are proud of them.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are gripped today by the latest turn of events in Yugoslavia. Protesters have taken over the Yugoslav parliament. Apparently some people have been injured and some have been killed and there is real potential for even further violence.

Can the government give us an update on the situation in Yugoslavia? Can it assure us that Canadian nationals in Yugoslavia are safe and that there is a plan in place to ensure their safety during this period of unrest?

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canada applauds the courage of the Yugoslav people who have taken to the streets over the past 10 days to defend their victory by peaceful means. We are concerned by the violence which erupted at today's demonstration but we understand it is as a result of deep frustration on the part of those who are protesting the denial of their democratic rights.

We urge Mr. Milosevic to accept the clearly expressed will of the Yugoslav people and step down now.

I will get more information for my hon. friend with respect to the other part of his question, which is—

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fraser Valley.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are concerned with the possibility that the fledgling democracy in Yugoslavia could degenerate into even further violence if things do not progress properly.

Has the government been in touch with our allies to ensure that we have a common approach and a common front to assist that stable transition to what we hope will be a stable democracy?

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the very questions the hon. member has raised are being discussed today at a meeting of the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and Canada has a representative at those meetings.

I will endeavour to keep my hon. friend informed as to the progress of these discussions, again on the points my hon. friend has raised.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on another more specific front, has the Canadian government been in touch with our Russian counterparts to ask the Russian government to exert all possible influence that it has on Mr. Milosevic to get him to recognize the democratically elected government in Yugoslavia? Has he been in contact specifically with the Russians and asked them to do their job as well?

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not have that specific information but I am confident that we are in contact with all the relevant players so we can collectively play a constructive role in this very difficult situation.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know from the government if it has had any contact with the coalition in Yugoslavia which won the elections, headed up by Mr. Kostunica. I would also like to know if there have been any specific requests of Canada from the coalition and, if so, what has been the response. I wonder if the Deputy Prime Minister might have some kind of a specific answer to some pretty important questions.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to follow events in the federal republic of Yugoslavia very closely.

Our embassy in Belgrade is monitoring the situation in co-ordination with democratic NGOs and like-minded countries. As the Deputy Prime Minister said, we are also in close contact with international partners, including Russia.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with all Canadians who have relatives who might be affected by the unrest in Yugoslavia.

I have a question about two Canadians in particular, Shawn Going and Liam Hall, who have unfairly been held prisoners in a jail in Belgrade since August.

Has the government been in touch with Mr. Hall or Mr. Going since the protest began? If so, what is their status, what is their condition and what steps have been taken to ensure their safety during this period of unrest?

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the decision to extend the remand period is unacceptable for those prisoners. Canada believes that there is no legitimate reason for their continued detention, which is clearly motivated by political purposes.

We appreciate the efforts of the OSCE, the United Nations and our bilateral partners to help secure the release of the four men. We will continue to press the FRY authorities to secure their quick release.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Yugoslav people have risen up following the decision by the constitutional court to annul the elections. Former president and tyrant Milosevic has apparently fled, and President Clinton has asked Russia to recognize the former leader of the opposition, Mr. Kostunica, as president.

I would ask the Deputy Prime Minister if the Government of Canada also intends to recognize Mr. Kostunica as the winner of the elections and the rightful president of the Yugoslav federation.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that opposition candidate Kostunica won a majority in the first round of presidential elections on September 24.

We do not accept the validity of yesterday's ruling by the constitutional court which tried to overturn the September 24th elections and called for new ones next summer. This is clearly a political move on the part of Mr. Milosevic to retain power.

Therefore we urge Mr. Milosevic to accept the clearly expressed will of the Yugoslav people and, as I said before, to step down now.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the latest news, President Milosevic has left Yugoslavia. President Clinton is asking Russia, a key player on the issue, to recognize Mr. Kostunica as the president of the Yugoslav federation, because he was duly elected, as the Deputy Prime Minister has just acknowledged.

I therefore ask the Canadian government a second time if it will recognize that Mr. Kostunica is indeed the president elect of the Yugoslav federation.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think I have stated the government's position quite clearly. The situation in Yugoslavia is certainly in a state of great flux. I do not think it would be appropriate to add anything to my answer for the time being.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just learned with great delight that Milosevic has left the capital, but we do not know yet what the army will do.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister make a commitment on behalf of the government that Canada would not tolerate any violence perpetrated by the army against the people's movement?

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we hold, as we indicated in the latest throne speech, certain values in this country, and personal safety is one of them. This is something we advance in the world. We are obviously opposed to violence and we congratulate the Yugoslav people on their courage in very trying circumstances.

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Milosevic, who is responsible for so many deaths and so many crimes against humanity, has fled.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister assure us that Canada will remain firm in its desire to have Milosevic brought before the international criminal court at The Hague?

YugoslaviaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our position on this matter remains the same as it always has been. I will add something to the answer given to her previous question. It is the international practice to recognize states rather than individual governments of those states, but we are demanding that Mr. Milosevic step down now.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the launch of an $8 million federal ad campaign on health takes self-serving, cynical politics to an all time low in this country.

Unbelievably, the political ads brag about the so-called Liberal plan. Would that be the plan for pharmacare, the plan for home care or the plan to halt the privatization of our entire health care system?

Is the Liberal government so arrogant that it feels free to spend Canadians' own hard earned money to engage in this false advertising?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

We are getting a little bit close. The hon. Deputy Prime Minister.