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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Sydney Olympic GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Sydney Games are in full swing and the Canadian delegation has already made its presence felt.

We have seen the magnificent win by Simon Whitfield, the first-ever gold medal winner in the men's triathlon, and the performance of swimmer Curtis Myden, who won the bronze in the 400 metre individual medley.

The young people on our delegation have sacrificed years out of their lives to earn the honour of representing Canada in this landmark event.

We wish them the best of luck and thank them for all of the efforts and sacrifices that have brought them so far.

Thanks are also owing to those who have been behind them throughout their careers—their coaches, their parents, and their friends. Their contribution also deserves recognition.

Good luck to all our wonderful Canadian athletes. We are anxiously awaiting their return home.

Organized CrimeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the escalation of violence is a sign of the powerlessness of the police to do anything about organized crime, which is growing faster than our efforts to come up with a means of stamping it out. This is why, for years now, the Bloc Quebecois has been calling for real anti-gang legislation which would give the police the tools they need to combat this form of crime.

On September 14, the Bloc Quebecois accordingly gave notice of a motion calling on the federal government to introduce anti-gang legislation before October 6, 2000.

We believe that the House must make it very clear that it does not intend to yield to criminal groups' attempts at intimidation. Members of the House must join forces, stand firm against the actions of members of organized crime and demand that the federal government amend the legislation immediately.

WharvesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year when the Liberal government decided to divest itself of the Digby wharf, the PC Party expressed concern that local stakeholders would no longer have any input in the management of their wharves.

Already our fears have come true. Since the federal government transferred responsibility of the wharf to the Maritime Harbours Society, docking fees have increased significantly and services such as garbage removal and water delivery appear to have been eliminated.

The federal government has given Maritime Harbours Society, a supposedly non-profit organization, over $3 million to operate the wharf yet our local fishermen are refused entry into the society.

If the purpose of the divestiture was to give local communities greater input into the future of their wharves, the Digby experience shows it was a complete and utter failure. Wharves are the lifelines of all coastal communities.

By failing to recognize their importance the Liberal government puts at risk the livelihoods of all Atlantic Canadians, a prospect I refuse to accept.

The Late Mel SmithStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the late Mel Smith served as constitutional adviser to the government of British Columbia through a number of different premiers.

B.C. constitutional positions included the notion of the province as a distinct society, a constitutional idea accepted and confirmed by the present federal government in a joint resolution of both Houses of parliament recognizing B.C. as a fifth region within the federal constitution.

His book Our Home or Native Land? aroused lively debate as to the constitutional status of aboriginal land claims and the Nisga'a treaty in particular. The federal government expressly provided in the federal legislation enacting the Nisga'a treaty that it is legally subject to the constitution and the charter of rights.

Stockwell DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a new day in Canada. There is a new guy in town and his name is Stockwell Day.

He is the conductor of the new Canadian Alliance political train that is sweeping across the country picking up passengers from all parts of Canada and from all walks of life. His destination is the House of Commons. He is bringing with him a new agenda, an agenda of respect for the House of Commons, for tax dollars and for all Canadians.

Stockwell Day is a truly national leader with a genuine national vision, a proven policy track record and a love for Canada.

Canadians young and old are looking for change, hope and a new political home. They are finding it in the Canadian Alliance.

It is too bad the government has been derailed by its old style Liberal politics, its old style Liberal governing and its old style of Liberal leadership. In other words, the old Liberal Party is parked on a siding and the new Canadian Alliance Party is picking up speed.

On behalf of all Canadians and the House of Commons, we welcome the new Alliance leader. He is ready to govern. He is ready to go. He is the new Leader of the Opposition and the next prime minister of Canada, Stockwell Day.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

September 18th, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are excited to have our new leader in the gallery today, but we are more thrilled that he will be on the floor of the House of Commons tomorrow.

Since he was the Alberta treasurer our new leader has been asking the finance minister to cut gas taxes. We are headlong into a fuel crisis now and the government is still inflating the price at the pumps.

Why has the Prime Minister not cut the gas tax?

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank the member from Pickering who raised this subject a lot sooner than any member of the Alliance or Reform.

We have made it very clear that if there is going to be a cut in gas taxes it must go into the pockets of Canadians, not into the pockets of oil companies. That means the size of that cut must be substantial which will require federal-provincial co-operation.

I have said that we are quite prepared to sit down with the provinces at any time to see if this is where their priority lies.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I bet the member from Pickering does not like that in his pocket. In the finance minister's 1995 budget he upped the gas tax by a cent and a half every litre. He said he did that to help reduce the deficit. The deficit has been gone for two years now but the tax is not.

Canadians are worried about their heating fuel and filling up their cars and truckers are threatening to strike, but the government keeps on taxing and coming up with excuses.

Why did the finance minister not keep his word?

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for pointing out that we have eliminated the deficit. That has certainly changed a great deal of the particular debate.

I would also like to point out for the hon. member that we have cut taxes substantially. If you take a look, Mr. Speaker, we as the federal government have cut taxes more for Albertans than has the Alberta government.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in fact people from coast to coast are not taking any heart from this finance minister when they are filling up their gas tanks.

This Thursday the official opposition will put forward a supply day motion which will call for lower gas taxes. The government charges GST on its own tax on gas. We want that to stop. The government upped the gas tax to lower the deficit. We want it lowered again. These are common sense ways to bring relief to Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister allow a free vote by all his members on our motion? Yes or no.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have made it very clear that we are going to cut taxes, that cutting personal income taxes is our priority. We have dealt with the issue of gas taxes.

Let me be very clear. There is a lot of pain out there for people who are paying for home heating fuel, for people who are paying for gas at the pump. The real problem is that oil prices are too high and it is going to take international concentration to make sure that we get those taxes down.

That is one of the things we will be discussing at the G-7 meeting in Prague. It is one of the reasons all of the finance ministers will be coming together to make sure that we have two things: lower oil prices but at the same time sustainable energy prices so that the oil companies and those—

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister said that he has dealt with the tax on gas. He has done that by raising the excise tax by a cent and a half supposedly to eliminate the deficit which is gone. He has done it by soaking gas consumers with the GST tax on tax.

The Liberals had a committee in 1998 which said the government should stop the double taxation on gasoline. Even its own members do not want to charge tax on tax through the GST.

In the middle of a gas crisis, why does the finance minister continue to impose double taxation on consumers at the pump?

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the first thing I would like to do is congratulate the member for Calgary Southeast on his appointment as finance critic. I would also like to congratulate the former finance critic, the member for Medicine Hat, on his promotion.

Let me simply say that the issue of GST on gasoline taxes, an issue that the hon. member from Pickering has been raising for quite some time, is obviously something that the government will look at. For the hon. member to raise the whole issue of the GST, given what happened two or three weeks ago and the confusion that seemed to reign in Jurassic Park—

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member for Medicine Hat is pleased with that and the fact that his appointment as critic has scared off the foreign affairs minister.

For this minister to raise the GST is really something special. This is from the government that was going to scrap, kill and abolish the GST. This is the same government that told us in a report that it would “consider removing the GST from other taxes and apply it only to the wholesale price for gasoline in the retailer margin”. That is what the liberal caucus report said two years ago. There has been no action on that to this date.

Why will the Prime Minister not allow a free vote so his members can represent their constituents when we bring forward a motion to end the double taxation of gasoline later this week?

Gasoline TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one must wonder about the crocodile tears being raised by the hon. member for Calgary Southeast. The fact is that his party has brought forth a flat tax that would provide somebody earning $1 million a year with a $130,000 tax cut compared with $1,400 for somebody making $40,000.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the public is fed up with seeing criminal gangs call the shots in Quebec and in Canada.

Is it not our duty as parliamentarians to take control of the situation, to react, to make the public feel more secure, in short to assume our responsibilities?

Will the Prime Minister pledge today to give his full attention to this issue and to draft real anti-gang legislation?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have shown in the past and we continue to show that we are very concerned about this issue. This is why the Minister of Justice and the solicitor general met last week with their provincial and territorial counterparts to move ahead on this matter.

I should point out to the hon. member that, in 1997, the Minister of Justice proposed measures regarding this issue which were supported by the Bloc Quebecois. At the time, the Minister of Justice was congratulated by the Quebec government and he enjoyed the support of editorial writers in Quebec.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we did support Bill C-95. It is obvious that this legislation is inadequate as a response to the needs and the situation that confronts us.

This week, a federal report revealed that jury members, lawyers, police officers and even parliamentarians are being threatened.

Will the government realize that we currently do not have all the necessary means at our disposal to fight organized crime? Will the Prime Minister assume his responsibilities and say “Enough is enough. Our society will not be controlled by criminal gangs. We will react with adequate tools and we will use all available means”? Will the Prime Minister assume his responsibilities?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member will realize that we significantly increased resources at the department of the Solicitor General to allow the RCMP to do its job properly.

A problem of this nature is not just a federal responsibility since the administration of justice within the provinces is the responsibility of the provincial governments, which must also take the necessary measures to ensure that the police can do its job effectively under the circumstances.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec the issue of organized crime is one of great concern. It should be of similar concern to the government opposite.

As my party leader has said, a federal report shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that judges, juries, lawyers, crown counsel, even elected officials, not only in Quebec but throughout Canada, are increasingly being intimidated. The whole offensive deployed against organized crime ends, more often than not, in proceedings being dropped or in an acquittal.

Does the Prime Minister not see this as an indication that the weapons we have at our disposal are woefully inadequate and that anti-gang legislation is required?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member, everyone in the House and all Canadians that this government takes organized crime very seriously. That is why organized crime is the number one law enforcement priority of this government.

My colleague and I, the solicitor general, have instructed our deputy ministers to travel to Quebec tomorrow to meet with Quebec officials. We will be working with other provincial and territorial colleagues. If we need new laws in this country to break the back of organized crime, we will have those new laws.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past five years the Bloc Quebecois has been calling for legislation to fight organized crime effectively.

In 1995, there were 28 organized motorcycle gangs in Canada. Today there are 35. Something is amiss on the other side of the House.

Will the Prime Minister act like a real head of government, assume his responsibilities and ask the House to debate, vote on and pass anti-gang legislation?