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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was waste.

Topics

Literary WorksOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that Mr. Saul throughout years of being an author has expressed a number of views, not all of which the hon. member may be comfortable with. The fact is that he has the right to express those views. He is an author. Simply because he now is with the Governor General at Rideau Hall is no reason to tell people that he can no longer pursue his chosen career as an author.

Literary WorksOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on a day when bin Laden's guilt is an accepted fact around the world, His Excellency Mr. Saul contends that western democracies are to blame for the September 11 disaster.

If the government will not demand that the viceregal household desist from making comments like this, will it at least disassociate itself from such insidious remarks?

Literary WorksOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said outside the House and the Deputy Prime Minister yesterday said that Mr. Saul's thoughts on various subjects in no way represent an official statement of government policy.

Literary WorksOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Canadian Alliance Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism. I am wondering if the minister who imagined burning crosses on lawns in my riding knows real bigotry when she sees or hears it.

His Excellency Mr. Saul blames Canada and the west for the events of September 11 and he even blames Christian civilization for the Holocaust. Does the minister condone these bigoted, anti-western and anti-Christian statements?

Literary WorksOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not think it serves debate well to enter into this kind of discussion. The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and I, today, have stated the government's policy on this matter and I think that should be the end of it.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this session ends today. Unfortunately, we learned in recent days that thousands of seniors who were entitled to the guaranteed income supplement never received it.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. As the holiday season is fast approaching, would it not be nice to show to seniors that the government changed its mind and has decided to apply full retroactivity to those who did not get what they were entitled to?

The government once accepted a $1 billion tax free transfer for a family trust on December 23. This time, why not do something nice for the elderly?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, one of the most remarkable achievements in Canadian social policy in recent decades has been the substantial reduction in poverty among seniors.

According to Statistics Canada, the incidence of low income among persons aged 65 and over declined from 20.8% in 1980 to 8.2% in 1999.

Without question, that has a lot to do with programs like the guaranteed income support system. From my point of view I think the best thing we can do together is ensure that all citizens know about the guaranteed income supplement, have access to the information and, if they are eligible, receive those benefits.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister's figures are small consolation for the 300,000 seniors who are living below the poverty line and who are listening to us. These figures will not put food on their table.

I am asking the government, and more specifically the minister, to show some compassion. I am asking her to follow up on this request and to treat seniors fairly. This is what they expect from their government and this is what the opposition is demanding from the government.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, indeed Canadian seniors expect justice and Canadian seniors appreciate the program of pension structures in place to support them.

The job here is to make sure those benefits that are so important are known to seniors.

I would point out that as a result of the programs we, myself along with my colleague, the minister of revenue, are putting in place, the Ontario Coalition of Senior Citizens' Organization and St. Christopher House are all agreeing that our strategies are the correct ones and they will help us get the news out to Canadian seniors. I would ask the hon. member to join us in that undertaking.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, many seniors listen to our debates in the House. They do not understand why the Liberal government is refusing, despite what everyone would expect, to apologize to those who were deprived of their due and, worse, why it is refusing to pay them the full retroactive amount they are owed.

The federal government is cross referencing information in order to track down unemployed workers who leave the country or anyone who owes it taxes.

How is it that the government is refusing to do the same in order to track down those seniors—

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, there are two important things. The guaranteed income supplement has been a part of the pension structure for the last 30 years and since the very beginning there has been a retroactivity provision. This provision is the same provision, or in some cases better, as the provisions that are provided in the Canada pension plan and the Quebec pension plan.

We do want to support and serve Canadian seniors well and I believe with the structures we have in place we are doing just that.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, we do not understand the federal government's attitude.

Seniors do not understand the government's stubborn insistence on denying them their rights either.

Does the government not think this is a good time to do the right thing by seniors and drop its present petty-minded attitude?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member would be interested to know that in Quebec alone my department's outreach workers have directly contacted 600,000 clients to explain old age security and guaranteed income supplement.

He would be interested to know that in Quebec alone 2,000 service providers and seniors' groups are working with us to get the news out about these important pension programs. I would expect that the hon. member's constituents would ask him and want him to join us in that constructive endeavour.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, as parliament recesses for the holiday season I would like to ask the Revenue Canada minister to imagine for a moment that he has Down's syndrome, or that he is blind, to imagine that he is among the 106,000 Canadians who received a letter from their government demanding proof that they are still mentally challenged or still blind and that if they cannot pay to get that proof from a doctor they will not receive a penny of their disability tax credit this year.

Will the Revenue Canada minister now connect his head with his heart and announce the cancellation of this cruel harassment of Canadians living with disabilities?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the tax system is based on the self-assessment system. As I have said many times, we do proceed with audits of our major accounts in order to verify the integrity of the self-assessment system.

We do know that it is something very sensitive. That is why we have been in touch with all the associations across Canada in order to fulfil that duty in a very professional manner.

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is not season's greetings or goodwill messages that the minister has sent out to the 106,000 Canadians living with disabilities. It is not just a sensitive matter, it is a lethal threat to the thin thread of economic security that supports those Canadians in coping with the demands of daily living.

I will try this again. In the spirit of the holiday season, does the minister have it in his heart to put an end to this cruel harassment and announce the termination, the cancellation, of this unreasonable demand, and reinstate this lifeline to Canadians living with disabilities?

Persons with DisabilitiesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, that tax credit could be a lifelong tax credit. The agency is receiving more than 160,000 demands for the tax credit on a yearly basis. We are doing the work we used to do. We are just reviewing the files through an audit.

I would like to tell the member one more time that we do understand it is a very sensitive issue. We are in touch with all the associations across Canada to ensure that we are working in co-operation with them, and we will fulfill our duties in a very professional way.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

December 14th, 2001 / 11:25 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at 7 a.m., the RCMP raided the home of François Beaudoin and seized his laptop computer.

Oddly, this computer was not on the list of documents, material and equipment which the BDC seized unlawfully last spring. This illegal seizure was overturned by Judge Silcoff.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether there is any new information which would justify this new seizure and whether any new charges have been laid against Mr. Beaudoin?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP does not seek the permission nor does it give any notice to members of the cabinet or any member of the House prior to conducting its work. In this case no notice was given and no consent was sought.

The RCMP is doing its job. I would suggest to the former right hon. gentleman that we let it do its job.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, could the solicitor general advise the House if there is any intent to seize computers or records of any parliamentarian, any journalist, any media outlet or any other persons who have been investigating any aspect of the François Beaudoin or the Auberge Grand-Mère issues?

This allows for a yes or no answer. Will the records of parliamentarians or journalists be seized?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if my hon. colleague is trying to destroy the integrity of probably one of the best police forces in the world. As a former prime minister of Canada that is totally unacceptable.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the RCMP conducted its second raid on François Beaudoin's home in its investigation of whether a BBC document connecting the Prime Minister to the Auberge Grand-Mère is forged or authentic. Apparently a Southam news journalist was informed of the raid before Mr. Beaudoin or his lawyer.

What is the solicitor general doing about this breach of confidentiality of an RCMP investigation?

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is well aware that, if he has some concerns about the RCMP, there is a proper process to take. My hon. colleague should also be aware that he is trying to discredit one of the best police forces in the world. If he has a complaint there is a proper way to make it.

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister discredits justice because he does not give a damn about justice in this country. This investigation involves the integrity of the Prime Minister and the independence of the RCMP. This apparent leak to a journalist may bring the administration into disrepute.

Will the solicitor general assure the House that there is an independent investigation into the leak of this at arm's length of both the RCMP and the PMO?