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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

World Trade OrganizationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to register the objection of the NDP to the decision by the Minister of International Trade to appeal the ruling of the World Trade Organization which went against Canada with respect to the exporting of asbestos to France and Canada's complaint about the law in France which prohibits the import of asbestos into France.

This points out to us exactly what is wrong with the World Trade Organization. It can be used by various countries, embarrassingly so this time by Canada, to try to overthrow legitimate attempts by elected national governments to protect the public interest and to act in the interests of public health and the environment.

I call upon the Minister of International Trade to reconsider this particular decision.

Leader Of The OppositionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hec Clouthier Liberal Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest when the hon. Leader of the Opposition said that one of his political heroes was the former finance minister of France, Anne Robert Turgot, who was the finance minister from 1774 to 1792 under King Louis.

Anne Robert one time said that the expenses of government having for its interest the object of all should be borne by everyone and the more a man takes advantage of society, the more he should hold himself honoured to pay for those expenses.

How in heaven's name is it justified that a millionaire, the most advantaged in society, would pay over $100,000 less in taxes under his goofy 17% plan than an ordinary person working at Loblaws? My goodness, gracious, Anne Robert Turgot would turn over in his grave as a mentor of this particular person.

Leader Of The OppositionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Goofy is a little close.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

September 21st, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister indicated with some concern that he could not allow a free vote to go ahead on the Canadian Alliance motion on lowering gas taxes for all Canadians because in fact it could be seen as a motion of non-confidence in the government as it is a budgetary item. I take him at his word that that is a concern of his. I would not want him to be in that tough position.

I have consulted with members of the Canadian Alliance caucus. We have all agreed we would not see this as a motion of non-confidence. As a matter of fact we would see it as a motion of great confidence in the government. Canadians would see it as a motion of great confidence and I would give the Prime Minister credit for doing it.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when the Leader of the Opposition met the press in the whine cellar, he said that he was a member of parliament.

He indicated more or less that he was not in favour of increases in the price of gasoline in Alberta. When he was part of that government he voted for that. Not only that, it was done in three stages. The second and the third times he was the whip and he had to make sure that people voted that way.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when you continue to live in the past you continue to be wrong. The Prime Minister said very clearly that he would like to see the next election based on values. In 1995 when he—

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will start again. As I said before, when you live in the past you continue to be inaccurate about the present and the future. The Prime Minister has indicated he would like to see the next election based on values. I am encouraged by that, because he made a promise in 1995 when he slapped a tax on the excise tax for gasoline that it would be to eliminate the deficit.

The deficit is gone now and I believe very strongly that keeping one's promises is a very important value. Will he now live up to that value and scrap this increase in tax?

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance said that we are looking at all options at this moment. We are discussing them with the provincial governments because, as many people said, there is a big danger that just the reduction of that tax will not be passed to consumers.

I would like to quote somebody the hon. member might know. Al Palladini, the Ontario minister of economic development and trade, said yesterday: “Cutting fuel taxes is not the answer to this situation. Whenever government has cut fuel taxes it has not been reflected at the pumps”.

We have to consult and act in the interests of consumers, not in the interests of giving an opportunity to oil companies to pocket the money.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, taxpayers will hold the Prime Minister to account for his words, not some other minister from another province.

During the 1993 election campaign, the Liberals promised to eliminate, abolish and scrap the GST. We know what happened.

In 1998, a Liberal committee proposed to stop collecting the GST.

Will the Liberal government once again break its promises regarding the GST?

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member spoke about a new era in the House, an era where we have to be very careful and very clear about what we are saying.

If he wants to take a moment to be very accurate, he should take a look at the 1993 red book. The Liberal Party policy on the GST was very clearly stated. We said that we wanted to harmonize the GST with the provincial governments. That is the promise we made and that is the promise we kept.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was very encouraged to see a statement of moral obligation being made by the finance minister. Apparently, if he was accurately reported, and it is in the newspaper and so I do not doubt it, he said very clearly that he saw it as a moral obligation to reduce the particular tax on the excise.

I am very pleased to see that, just as I was pleased to see him stay with his commitment to go ahead with putting the surplus toward the debt. I commend him for that and I am sure they will all start to applaud now, but that was very good work. I appreciate that. Does the Prime Minister not also see this as a moral obligation?

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just said that the government is considering many options. Among those options is the one that was put forward by members on the Liberal side of the House today, an option which said that any help the government should give should go into the pockets of Canadians, especially those with lower incomes.

The fact is that by using procedure the official opposition rejected that amendment. The question is: Why does the official opposition object to Canadians getting the benefits of any such reductions? Why does it want to give it to the oil companies?

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister needs to look at the credentials of his research staff. If they had informed him and briefed him properly they would have indicated very clearly that that motion is being taken up tomorrow. In fact we will be discussing that among our caucus. We are open and willing to do that type of thing. Does the finance minister's moral obligation—

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

I will be here on Friday for that discussion. It will be interesting to see.

Will the finance minister's sense of moral obligation, which I take sincerely by the way, also extend to protection for consumers, to diesel fuel and to home heating fuel?

Fuel TaxesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition says he is prepared to discuss it tomorrow at his caucus. Why will he not discuss it today before the Canadian people?

The Liberal amendment can be accepted with unanimous consent of the House. I challenge the Leader of the Opposition to accept the Liberal amendment.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last year, the Minister of Finance was off by $9 billion in his forecast for the surplus. This year, he expected a $4 billion surplus. We know that, after only four months, the surplus is much bigger, at about $11 billion.

Could the Minister of Finance tell us if he has revised his figures, his forecasts, and can he give us his current forecast for this year's surplus?

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois leader is well aware that we are going to have meetings with economists. In fact, we are going to start meeting with the country's top economists next week. Following these meetings, we will examine their projections and tell Canadians about them. I will personally do it in the financial statement that will be presented in November.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister already has figures, which date back to the spring. He could have revised them. I realize one thing: his department's public servants are after taxpayers who use two sets of books, one for tax purposes and one for their personal use. It seems that the Minister of Finance also uses two sets of books: one for the public and one for his personal image.

Will the minister stop playing hide and seek with the public and release the real figures? I am convinced that he knows them.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the projections will be presented in the financial statement, during the month of November, after an extensive consultation exercise with the country's top economists.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Finance made the following statement:

Following our last budget, a family with two children and an income of $30,000 will not pay any net federal income tax.

The minister just happened to neglect to point out that this was forgoing to be four years down the road.

With $12 billion in surplus last year, and $11 billion the first four months of this year, will the minister not agree that, if one's heart were in the right place, the time to act is right away, not in four years? Why does the Minister of Finance not reduce taxes immediately for those with low and middle incomes? They have been waiting for this for seven years.

Budget SurplusesOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, seek and ye shall find, ask and it will be answered. In four years, it will be $35,000 and it is $30,000 today for the example the hon. member has just given.