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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was petro-canada.

Topics

The Mini-BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we will all have to wait and see what happens.

The Mini-BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, their future may be short. The concern that we have with October 16, as we have heard that date, is that the 17th is a very exciting day. It is the day that the auditor general intends to release the report on the scandal plagued HRDC. We would like some assurance that there would not be a mini-budget and then an election call before we had the great opportunity to view that particular report.

The Mini-BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to take the hon. member's question as a representation.

The Mini-BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I understood that in English. I will get the French translation.

What we are concerned about is the representation of the people of Canada. Can the Deputy Prime Minister give us the assurance one way or another, either by advancing the release of the auditor general's report from the 17th, or moving a prospective mini-budget from the 16th to the 17th, that an election would not be called before the public had the great honour and pleasure of viewing the auditor general's report on the scandal plagued HRDC? Can we get that confirmation?

The Mini-BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

It is interesting, Mr. Speaker, that the Leader of the Opposition is now backtracking from his demand for an immediate election.

Government PoliciesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Oh no, Mr. Speaker, we are ready whenever it is, but the Prime Minister seems to have a new game in the lead-up to the election call. It is called hide and highlight.

He will hide that upcoming HRD audit. I am sure he does not want to see that, but he will highlight vote buying down in Atlantic Canada. He will hide that pesky APEC report, I am sure of it. He will highlight the new health accord but he will hide the fact that it was he who slashed all that funding in the first place.

When will the government admit that yes, it can run, but it sure cannot hide?

Government PoliciesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the deputy leader is making a very bad attempt at trying to hide the fact that if her party ever got power, which is unlikely, it would kill medicare. That is the fact and she cannot run away from that.

Government PoliciesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we would highlight the fact that under the Prime Minister's watch we have seen higher taxes, longer hospital line-ups, and the Liberals can hardly blame us for that, a hepatitis C nightmare that the government has overseen, the GST flip-flop of course, and prison parties.

If the Prime Minister has done such a fabulous job in these seven years, why the rush to backtrack and fast track?

Government PoliciesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend is totally mistaken. We have not been raising taxes, we have been lowering taxes. We have been lowering taxes by billions of dollars. In the last budget we put down a tax package where we would lower taxes over the next four years by close to $50 billion.

Why does the hon. member not get up and speak accurately and praise us for these real achievements for Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

September 28th, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister admitted in the House that the EI cuts were used to pay down the $42 billion deficit.

Now that there is no longer a deficit and surpluses are the order of the day, should the government's priority not be to help unemployed workers, who have been required to pay more than their share in the fight to reduce the deficit?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our priority is not just to help the unemployed by creating millions of jobs, but to help the entire Canadian economy. So far, we have been very successful.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should mention this to all these unemployed workers, the more than 65% who pay premiums and are not entitled to benefits when they are out of work. The word that would appropriately describe what this is is unparliamentary, but I know what it is.

Could the government not use 90% of what it is going to relieve unemployed workers of this year, a surplus of $5.6 billion, to help young people, women, seasonal workers, all the people who are discriminated against in the existing Employment Insurance Act?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have reduced EI premiums by millions and millions of dollars. Why is the hon. member not congratulating us on how successful we have been at reducing EI premiums for all employees in this fine land of ours?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the rejects of the employment insurance system have been the main contributors to paying off the government's deficit, as the Prime Minister himself confirmed yesterday.

Now that it has the full financial manoeuvrability it requires, is the government going to finally do away with the incredible discrimination toward young workers, who need to have worked 910 hours to quality for employment insurance when everyone else needs 400 to 700 hours?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, this government continues to act on behalf of Canadians who find themselves unemployed.

We celebrate the fact that two million more Canadians are working today than were working when we took office in 1993. We celebrate the fact that when we look at youth unemployment, it has been reduced by 3.8% since that time. We celebrate the fact that women are working more today than they ever have and at the lowest unemployment level in 25 years for that very important part of our workforce.

We support Canadian workers not only with employment insurance benefits and making changes as we need to, but also by direct programs that deal with their immediate concerns.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is trying to use improved working conditions to justify her discrimination of young workers. This is disgusting.

How can the government continue to penalize young people by treating them differently, when they have already contributed their share to paying down the government's deficit?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, let us review some of the investments we make on behalf of Canadian youth. There is $155 million every year through the Canada youth employment strategy. There is the $2.5 billion that has been put into the millennium scholarship fund to help young people interested in post-secondary education. There is the introduction of the very popular Canada education savings plan and the continued commitment through the Canada university grant system.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

One of the justifications that Liberals are giving for the possibility of an early election is that they have a surplus and they do not know what to do with it. They need a mandate. They want to have a national debate.

I ask the Deputy Prime Minister, why do they need to have this debate when they have committed to and already have a mandate to bring in a national pharmacare program? This mandate was recommitted to by the Minister of Health this spring when he promised a pharmacare program. Why not bring in the pharmacare program that they have a mandate for, spend some of the surplus on that and do that before any election call?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we already indicated the way we want to help Canadians in the health care area with our $21 billion health accord with the provinces signed by the way by the NDP premier of the member's province. We have put billions into the national child care program.

We are doing things along the lines the member is asking for. I do not know if he is asking for an election or not, but we will see what happens.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, surely the Deputy Prime Minister does not believe that the accord was the last word on health care, unless he is prepared to repudiate all the other things the Liberals are committed to.

Incidentally, today is the day that bill 11 is proclaimed in Alberta yet we hear nothing from the other side. One would think that the political flags would be flying at half-mast over this new era in the destruction of medicare. However, that is not the case because it is this government that collaborated with the government that the Leader of the Opposition was part of to make sure that this kind of privatization could happen, both in terms of the 12 points and the obvious deal that was cut between the Prime Minister and the premier of Alberta in order to get Mr. Klein to sign on to the accord in the first place.

What was the deal? Could you tell us what the deal was?

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, please address your questions always to the Chair.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is totally wrong. There is no such deal. We have said clearly that we do not agree with bill 11. We said clearly that we will monitor what is done or not done with respect to the actual use of the bill.

We put $4 million into more funds for the health department to monitor how the Canada Health Act is respected in Alberta and across the country. If the Canada Health Act is not respected in Alberta or any other province, we will assume our responsibilities and the hon. member should know that.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear that one of the reasons the government would call an election would be to hide the auditor general's report.

It is well known that the draft reports from the auditor general would now be in the hands of ministers for their comments.

May I ask the minister of HRDC if she is prepared to table today in the House of Commons the copy of the audit by the auditor general which otherwise would be hidden from the people of Canada?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member with his years in the House should know that it would be a breach of the privileges of the House to pre-empt the role of the auditor general, an officer of the House, in tabling his report and making it public through tabling in parliament.

I am surprised that the hon. member has forgotten this, although I realize he took two years off when he could have been updating himself on the rules of the House.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, conscious as we all are of the proprieties of the House, will the Deputy Prime Minister right now commit his party to an all party agreement in the House to permit ministers to lay upon the table in parliament today the copies of the audits they have of the Downsview scandal and the HRDC scandal, so that the people of Canada will know what the ministers know, so that the Government of Canada will be prevented from hiding these facts from the people? Will he agree to that all party agreement in the House?