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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gst.

Topics

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Minister of Health made an announcement that will improve the health of Canadians living in rural areas.

Can the minister tell the House how the world health program and the Canada Health Infostructure Partnership Program will bring better health services to Canadians who live in rural areas?

HealthOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this morning, in the presence of the government rural caucus in the beautiful Ontario riding of Stormont—Dundas—Charlottenburgh, we announced $130 million for programs and efforts that will strengthen access to quality health care in rural Canada.

The first of these is $50 million for demonstration projects throughout the country, increasing access to doctors, diagnostic services and quality care.

The second is $80 million for electronic patient records and telemedicine.

We believe these investments will strengthen access to quality care for rural Canadians throughout the country.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

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

Over 50,000 British Columbia homeowners have been devastated by the leaky condo crisis, yet where we see disaster the Liberal government sees an advantage. The government is taxing individuals who are forced to use their retirement savings to pay for repairs and to prevent foreclosures.

These individuals have no choice. They are depleting their life savings to keep a roof over their heads.

When will this Prime Minister—

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, when will this Minister of Finance exempt them?

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

HousingOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is aware that we have been working with the organizations and the province of British Columbia to address this very serious issue.

CMHC has been there from the beginning, not only giving advice, but also approving loan insurance for everyone who has to do repairs but may have difficulty getting loan approval. Mortgage insurance is available.

There is a new minister in British Columbia. We are trying to see how we can work co-operatively on this issue.

HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Reform Kelowna, BC

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

The government is heartless. Many of the owners of leaky condos are low income earners and senior citizens. They are using their entire life savings to keep roofs over their heads, yet the government is saying “No, no, we have to tax these people”. It is sheer greed by the government. All of the members on that side of the House should hang their heads in shame.

Will the finance minister exempt them from paying taxes on their RRSP withdrawals?

HousingOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, this question has been discussed and debated over time with the stakeholders and with the provincial government.

The tax system is a national tax system. We cannot change the tax system every time something occurs. There are other things we can do, which we are doing to help the people who are in need.

TaxationOral Question Period

June 12th, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, banks have closed hundreds of branches and laid off thousands of employees, services have gone down in the banks while service charges have gone up, and profits have reached obscene levels. We now learn that the Minister of Finance is planning to give the banks a half a billion dollar tax break.

In light of the fact that the Minister of Finance said there is no money available for social housing, would he say that this tax break to the banks is simply not on?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the government's priorities are very clearly health care, education and taxes. In the tax area, the government said in the budget—and in fact I repeated this last week before the House of Commons finance committee—personal income taxes.

The best proof is that of the $58 billion minimum tax cut that we will be providing over the course of the next five years, $54 billion is for personal income tax and employment insurance premium reductions.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, we also know that the truth is the government's priority has been to help out the big banks.

I wonder, when the finance minister delivers his gift to the big banks, will he have anything to say to Canada's children? Not only is Canada failing internationally, as pointed out by the leader of the NDP, but to add insult to injury, now Statistics Canada, with a stroke of a pen, wants to change the low income cut-off.

Why is the finance minister still willing to help the banks but cover up poverty in Canada?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had looked at the budget, what she would have seen is that a large part of our tax cuts was the reintroduction of indexation, which helps low and middle income Canadians.

We cut the middle income rate from 26% to 24%, on its way to 23%. We are increasing the child tax benefit, the very people the hon. member refers to, from $1,800 to $2,400 a year.

We have brought in massive tax reductions and we are increasing the amount of money we are giving to middle income and low income Canadians. We will continue to do that.

ChstOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister recently suggested that the CHST be divided into three separate packages—health, education and welfare—instead of the blanket transfer we now have.

Does the Minister of Health support this idea? Is there any chance that it is going to be implemented by the government?

ChstOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is not what I said.

I was asked a question about whether the government would be open to such a consideration. What I said was that there will be ongoing negotiations, as there always will be, with the provinces. If the provinces put that forth, I am sure the government would be prepared to listen.

Revenue CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of National Revenue.

A constituent owes Revenue Canada some money as a result of a reassessment. Although he has asked for an accounting, he has not received it. In the meantime, Revenue Canada has made a formal demand of his investment firm to deregister his RRSP and send his pension funds to Revenue Canada.

Is it the policy of Revenue Canada to collapse RRSPs and take away the only pension funds that some Canadians have?

Revenue CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the answer to the last part of the question is, obviously, not. Never would that be the intention of the government. If the hon. member wants to bring a particular case to the attention of the minister, he is quite free to do so. Failing that, he is quite free to give me the information and I will contact the minister so that we can assist the individual, if such assistance is possible.

Clearly, the government always operates in such a way as to ensure the integrity of the tax system, while at the same time exercising compassion when we can provide assistance to individual Canadians.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Following the Israeli army withdrawal after a 22 year occupation of South Lebanon the land is littered with land mines. Mines have killed several children in the past few weeks alone.

Considering Canada's successful record in the promotion of land mine control, what efforts are being made by the Government of Canada to see that this military threat will be removed from Lebanon soil once and for all?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Mine Action Service recently concluded an assessment mission to evaluate mine action needs in South Lebanon. Canada is anxiously awaiting the official conclusion of the assessment mission.

We anticipate that one of the first needs will be to establish a mine awareness campaign to proceed with our contribution. Canadian involvement in mine action in South Lebanon is in keeping with the objectives of the Canadian land mine fund and our goal to integrate mine action through the Middle East peace process.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the justice committee of the last parliament spent a year travelling this country, at great taxpayer expense, hearing from Canadians about youth justice. Just before the last election the committee submitted its report to the government. After the election the minister said that youth justice was among her top priorities.

Three years have now past and still Canadians have nothing. Her Bill C-3 has stalled. Does the minister intend to have new youth justice legislation in force before an election is called?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, as a minister of the justice committee, it has been through no lack of trying on my part and on the part of members on this side of the House to move Bill C-3 through the legislative process. I suggest that the hon. member attempt to lobby some of his colleagues on that side of the House to ensure that the legislation becomes law in a timely fashion.

Jean Lesage AirportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, the members of the Conseil régional de concertation de développement de la région de Québec criticized the federal government for leaving them out of the Jean Lesage airport question.

What is keeping the minister of public works from bringing together the regional stakeholders to implement an action plan that will truly ensure real development for the Jean Lesage airport, in keeping with the priorities of the region?

Jean Lesage AirportOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am taking careful note of the hon. member's representation relating to the Jean Lesage airport and its regional development aspect.

I will ensure that the Minister of National Revenue, who holds responsibility for these programs in Quebec, as well as the Minister of Transport, are informed of her representation.

HealthOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance.

The report of the health ministers released last Friday was yet another urgent 911 call to the federal government on our ailing health care system. It follows the 911 call after the last budget with its two cents on the dollar for health care provision.

The Minister of Health is not answering this urgent call. Will the Minister of Finance answer this 911 call and cut a cheque to replace the $4.2 billion this government ripped out of our health care system?