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House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gas.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

An hon. member

On this side.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Yes, on this side we certainly understand that. The excise tax on diesel fuel is four cents. In Ontario the tax on diesel fuel is about 13.5 cents a litre.

How could we realistically come to the Chamber and put before us a motion that does not address the issues they are proposing to address? At the same time they ask, if we did something on excise taxes and it did not flow through to consumers, would it be such a big deal?

We are managing the tax dollars of Canadians. If we are to do anything we want to make sure it gets to consumers. The NDP has proposed some regulatory mechanism to try to ensure that would happen. I personally do not support it because it would be far too regulatory and cumbersome.

As members on the benches opposite know, the reality is that it would be virtually impossible to determine if a reduction in the excise tax made its way to consumers. There are many different variables. The oil companies will say that they were planning to do it but forgot it because their other costs went up.

The motion is horribly flawed. I am very disappointed that we did not have an opportunity to vote on an amendment so the House and Canadians would have an opportunity to see the two sides of the coin. I certainly will not be supporting the motion put forward by the Alliance Party. I would encourage everybody in the House to do the same.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, I take exception to some of the comments that were made on flow-through costs. Part of the difficulty is that truckers cannot pass their costs on because of long term contracts.

The issue is like a nutcracker. High fuel costs are part of it. The other side of the nutcracker is that truckers and the people of Canada are caught in low economic conditions like in British Columbia where logging trucks are facing markets that are non-existent. I talked to a mill lumber manufacturer who said that he was trying to do business where there were no markets for his product. The difficulty is the federal government is responsible for softwood quota agreements that have deprived the industry of the profits it needs to pay the high taxes demanded by the government.

How can truckers pass the costs on through long term contracts which do not allow for this pass through? What recognition has the government taken of the difficulties it has placed on industry through faulty international trade agreements like the softwood quota agreement?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, having lived in British Columbia for 13 years I am quite sympathetic to the forest industry. What will happen after the softwood agreement is somewhat extraneous to the debate.

With respect, I think the member is confusing two issues. I came from the private sector. It is a very competitive market and sometimes one is quoting on a fixed price. It seems to me that if truckers have learned anything, they should probably include in the next go-around some escalators when talking about a major component of their cost base.

The reality is the member is right that there are some truckers in this predicament. That is why the government is seized with the question. However, if we look at the GST, it has nothing to do with the contracts with their customers or clients. It is an input tax credit. They pay the GST, fill in the forms and get it back.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is a brave man to be speaking to this issue. I respect him for that.

When I fill up my gas tank in my province I pay 15 cents a litre provincial tax. I also pay 10 cents a litre federal tax. Would the member mind telling the House what percentage of that tax per litre, which was a designated tax because I was grabbed at the pump, went back to the province of Saskatchewan for the purpose for which it was taken?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, if we look at the province of Saskatchewan, the provincial tax on gasoline and diesel is 15 cents. Our diesel tax is four cents and our excise tax on gasoline is 10 cents.

The point is that excise tax on gasoline like the tobacco tax and a whole range of other taxes go into the consolidated revenue fund of the government. They are used to serve the needs of all Canadians, including relief for farmers on the prairies which was between $1 billion and $2 billion in the last budget alone.

The revenues from excise taxes flow through to the consolidated revenue fund. They fund, for example, the $23.5 billion the Prime Minister recently concluded with the provinces and territories to invest in health care and education. They are not a dedicated tax. They were never intended to be and never will be.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Rather than proceeding with the debate, we could hear a few more statements today with a little luck.

Police And Peace OfficersStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday thousands of police and peace officers from across Canada will gather on Parliament Hill to pay tribute to colleagues who have died in the line of duty.

The police and peace officers national memorial day ceremony is a lasting tribute to the sacrifice of these brave men and women. These services provide Canadians an opportunity to express their appreciation for the dedication of police and peace officers and their ultimate sacrifice to keep our communities safe.

The names of fallen police and peace officers inscribed on the memorial pavilion is a solemn reminder to all of us of the danger of this noble profession. The memorial's motto is a fitting expression of our appreciation: “They are our heroes. We shall not forget them”.

Bill C-3Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am beginning to see why Canadians have so little respect for politicians.

For the past number of months the justice committee has heard witnesses from across Canada on Bill C-3, the youth criminal justice act. These folks have tried to convince the committee to change the bill. I thought they were successful. The committee ended up with approximately 260 amendments.

However, through the ineptitude of the rules, coupled with the government majority on the committee allowing one individual to prevent any discussion on these amendments, months of committee time has been wasted. The bill is to be reported back to the House in exactly the form it left over a year and a half ago.

Those who testified cannot be impressed that the justice committee was unable to make the changes. Canadians cannot be impressed that the committee has done nothing with this legislation.

As a member of parliament I am most disappointed that when we send a bill to committee for review and potential improvement it is not done. We have a problem when an individual who has not seen fit to present any amendments of any real substance to the legislation is able to prevent all other parties of the committee from doing their jobs for Canadians. I am outraged and Canadians should be outraged.

VolunteersStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the outstanding volunteer efforts of Dr. Jan Barica and Mr. Gary Norton.

These two Burlington residents have recently returned from working internationally with CESO. Dr. Barica provided her considerable expertise to the laboratory of applied ecology in the faculty of agriculture at the University of Southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. Mr. Norton assisted the Peruvian Central Reserve Bank to develop a reporting system, train staff, review technologies, and ensure it has the best possible system.

These two bright, caring individuals demonstrated the best of Canadian values internationally. My congratulations to Dr. Barica and Mr. Norton for their incredible achievements. They are fine Canadian ambassadors. I am sure all colleagues join me and their family and friends in proudly celebrating their accomplishments.

Hiv/AidsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday, 16 communities throughout Nunavut will participate for the first time in the national AIDS walk campaign to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS.

I will be taking part in this important event in my home community of Arviat as we help raise national awareness of this devastating disease in an attempt to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

I wish to congratulate Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association, the sponsor of the Canadian Inuit HIV/AIDS Network with funds from Health Canada, on its excellent work in co-ordinating Inuit participation in the national AIDS walk campaign.

I wish all participants in Nunavut and throughout Canada good luck and say a big thanks to all sponsoring organizations that have donated tokens of appreciation and food for the participants to enjoy after their walk. Mutna .

Communities In BloomStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to let you know that Richmond Hill in my riding of Oak Ridges has received the highest possible rating, a four bloom rating this past weekend at the awards ceremony of the national Communities in Bloom program.

To win a four bloom rating a municipality must achieve more than 800 out of a possible 1,000 points in eight different categories. The town is particularly pleased that it achieved its highest scores in the areas of heritage and community involvement.

Richmond Hill has been invited to represent the province of Ontario in the national competition next year, one of only six towns and cities to have earned that opportunity.

The Communities in Bloom program is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Canadian municipalities. Improving the appearance of neighbourhoods, parks and streets through the use of flowers, plants and trees and increasing environmental awareness helps make Richmond Hill a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Good luck next year in the national competition. I look forward to seeing yet another beautiful display of my community in bloom.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me tell you a sad story.

Sergeant John, a World War II veteran returned home in 1944 from the battlefields of Europe. He married his high school sweetheart Sylvia in 1945. For the past 10 years John and Sylvia have received veterans independence payments from veterans affairs to help them live in their own home rather than be put into institutional case.

John passed away a few months ago and now a severe injustice has occurred. Sylvia, his wife, is denied by legislation the VIP monthly allowance that her husband was eligible. That was to help her to continue life in her own home. If the couple needed help keeping their own home when John was living, is it not obvious that his wife will need even more help now that he has passed away?

Parliament needs to correct this disgraceful injustice and provide veterans' spouses the same standard of living, not just one year after the veteran dies, but for the rest of a spouse's life.

Nicolas GillStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to pay tribute to the achievement of one of Canada's judo greats, Nicolas Gill of Ville-Saint-Laurent.

This athlete did Canada proud today, winning the silver in judo at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. This was Canada's first silver medal.

Mr. Gill first made a name for himself on the international judo scene at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, where he won a bronze. After a serious knee injury, which almost ended his career, Mr. Gill returned to the sport and won a bronze medal in the 1999 world championships and a gold at the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg the same year.

Nicolas is a model of commitment and perseverance for all the young people who meet him, including my seven-year old daughter, Anne-Darla, who has her yellow and white belts and for whom Nicolas is a great hero. I call on hon. members to join with me—

Nicolas GillStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can have all the tax cuts and social programs we want, but if we do not have the ability to produce our own food we are not a sovereign nation.

We cease to be self-sufficient in food production if we allow the Americans to put our farmers out of business by artificially lowering the commodity prices through their huge subsidies. We are seeing it now with skyrocketing oil prices. We do not control the supply and are being held hostage by foreign nations. Just think what would happen if we had to depend on other countries for our food.

Ontario grains and oilseeds organizations sponsored 11 meetings across the province last month, with one of the largest being held in my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex. They reminded the provincial and federal governments that the low income situation is reaching crisis proportions.

The government has made some positive changes for the agricultural sector but recognize our work is not done.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, if repeated calls from the Canadian Alliance were not enough to convince the government that agriculture is in the throws of a crisis, perhaps the Prime Minister should consider the latest StatsCan figures which indicate that there are 26,200 fewer farm workers on the prairies this fall than there were last fall.

Sadly, there is no reason to expect this trend to stop. Input costs are soaring out of control, commodity prices remain at record lows and poor weather across the country has affected crop yields.

But this should come as no surprise to the Prime Minister. The Canadian Alliance action for struggling agricultural producers report warned that 75% of farmers surveyed thought the future of agriculture was bleak.

Perhaps the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Prime Minister should have a look at ISAP report that the Canadian Alliance sent them this spring before they get any more nasty surprises.

Marie-Louise GagnonStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Appartements Louise in Jonquière have a special reason to celebrate because, on September 30, Mrs. Marie-Louise Gagnon will be celebrating her one hundredth birthday.

Mrs. Gagnon was born in 1900 in Pibrack, in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region. Mother of eight, she can point with pride to 35 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Gagnon remembers, perhaps with nostalgia, the wonderful roaring twenties. Her memories of the two world wars and the Depression are sad ones, but Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon is still a source of wonderment.

She has lived through the key events of the past century and her recollections are part of our collective memory.

What better to wish you than health and the love of your family? And for the one hundredth time in your life: Happy Birthday, Mrs. Gagnon. You have earned it.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to illustrate what Quebec will be able to do in health care in the next five years thanks to the recent agreement signed with the Canadian government.

Quebec will be able to purchase some $1 billion worth of hospital equipment. It will be able to empty waiting rooms. It will provide quality health care to seniors. It will be able to have a more appropriate policy on pharmaceutical products. It will be able to resolve the problem of shortages of doctors in the regions. It will be able to invest in new information and communications technologies in health care.

This agreement is in keeping with the spirit and the rule of Canadian federalism. It is another example of federal-provincial co-operation that will benefit Quebec.

Workplace SafetyStatements By Members

September 21st, 2000 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, corporations and corporate executives should face criminal prosecution when they are found responsible for workplace accidents that kill or harm employees. This principle is at the heart of a unanimous motion by the House of Commons justice committee and is one that Canadians overwhelmingly endorse. The ball is in the government's court.

Canada's New Democrats, members of the United Steelworkers of America and bereaved families in communities from coast to coast are watching very closely to see that our efforts lead to success. We will not let this matter drop.

The campaign for corporate criminal responsibility in Canada is based on the Westray tragedy of May 1992 when 26 people died in Pictou, Nova Scotia. The report on the commission of enquiry into the tragedy by Justice Peter Richard released three years ago said that the attitude of senior Westray managers to their responsibility for workplace safety was “wilful blindness”. Justice Richard identified a terrible flaw in the Canada Criminal Code.

The Liberal government has had three years to consider the recommendations of Justice Richard. Working Canadians want this legislation now.

Nicolas GillStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois would like to congratulate today Nicolas Gill on winning a silver medal in judo at the Sydney Olympics.

According to the experts, Mr. Gill won the four earlier matches with grace, before conceding defeat in the finals to the Japanese Kosei Inoue, but not without a good fight.

This is Nicolas Gill's second Olympic medal. He won a bronze medal in Barcelona in 1992. Used to taking first place in many international competitions, Mr. Gill was dreaming of bringing back gold. We say to him that his silver medal is a source of great pride to all of Quebec.

Mr. Gill started his judoka career at age six, obtained a black belt at age 17, and took first place on the podium in most of his competitions in recent years.

Nicolas Gill is an accomplished athlete, who will certainly inspire hundreds of youngsters, who will put on their judogis with pleasure in the hope of becoming judokas.

Iranian Revolutionary CourtStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to express regret and concern at the decision of the Iranian Revolutionary Court to uphold the convictions of the 10 Iranian Jews, despite flagrant violations of the defendants' rights to a fair trial as guaranteed under Iranian law including: being held incommunicado in detention for over a year; denial of the right to the presumption of innocence; the absence of any evidence implicating the accused; denial of the right to counsel of their choice; and denial of the right to an independent judiciary as the Iranian Revolutionary Court serves as one and the same as investigator, prosecutor and judge.

This is justice delayed and justice denied. I call on Iranian authorities to vacate the convictions and release the accused, the whole in accordance with Iranian justice and Islamic law.

Cfb ShiloStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has had all summer to come to a decision on the future of Manitoba's land forces.

I am sure the minister's officials gave him a copy of the May 24 report entitled “Final Business Case”.

The defence report clearly states that the best option for restructuring would be to relocate the Second Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry to Canadian forces base Shilo to share the training facilities with the First Regiment of Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. It is clear CFB Shilo outranks all of the other options available.

The Minister of National Defence assured me that the decision would be made this month. The minister also told me in the House that the final decision on Manitoba's land forces would be made on the basis of what is good for our military, not what is good for politics. I would like to take him at his word.

The defence department recognizes that CFB Shilo is and can remain one of the top military facilities in the world. The facts are in black and white. It is now for the minister to decide. The men and women of the Canadian military deserve a decision and they deserve it now.

Early Childhood DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Liberal Winnipeg North—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the first six years of a child's life shapes that child's health, learning and behaviour across a lifetime. This formative period is anchored on four critical pillars: a healthy start to life, parenting and family support, a child's personal growth and a strong community milieu.

To support these pillars, our first ministers, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, agreed 10 days ago to the early childhood development initiative. To this end, the Government of Canada has committed $2.2 billion over the next five years.

The constituents of Winnipeg North—St. Paul welcome this initiative, our collective legacy and promise to the next generation.

Indeed, Canada's continued vitality and economic prosperity in this new century and beyond depend on the opportunities we provide today to the very youngest of our citizens. Truly, when we secure the future of our children, we secure the future of our nation.

Organized CrimeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the new RCMP commissioner's statement that “there are criminal organizations that target the destabilization of our parliamentary system” should come as no surprise to the House.

It is well known that since my election to parliament I have provided evidence warranting criminal investigations which has resulted in intimidation, death threats and finally a fictitious assault charge. The documented evidence I provided to the solicitor general shows RCMP negligence and intelligence leaks. The solicitor general refuses to act.

The government must immediately investigate and address these internal RCMP problems before it can hope to tackle organized crime. The advantage that organized crime has is that it is using our justice system to protect its criminal activity.