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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, absolutely I know the attitude of my colleagues. The attitude of my colleagues is one that works with the government to pass amendments like those in Bill C-2 that will reduce the number of hours required to receive special benefits and that will double parental benefits; and to meet with me and members with their communities to talk about economic development.

On this side of the House we know that employment insurance is important but we also believe in a balanced approach, which means diversifying economies in those regions of Canada that need our help.

Citizenship And ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is shameful to note that the House failed to endorse the resolution to make Nelson Mandela an honorary Canadian citizen.

South African apartheid was a brutal racist regime. Nelson Mandela's long walk to freedom was a triumph for his people and an inspiration to all freedom loving people.

A petty parliamentary incident cannot be permitted to stand in the way of Canadians honouring this most respected of world leaders. If the House fails to remedy this embarrassment, what action will the Prime Minister take to make Nelson Mandela an honorary Canadian citizen?

Citizenship And ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased with the question of the leader of the New Democratic Party. From what I read in the paper I hope they were misquoted.

This man is a saint if we can have one in democracy. He spent 27 years in jail to fight apartheid and to have democracy in his country. Parliament will take all the steps after this incident to make sure he will become a Canadian citizen.

Citizenship And ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, a new immigration law is making its way through the House. It is a supreme irony that the law, if it had been on the books 30 years ago, would have meant that Canada was a not safe place for Nelson Mandela. A secret immigration board could have branded him a terrorist and deported him to face torture and imprisonment.

What will it take to persuade the government to change the immigration bill to protect people like Nelson Mandela from brutal, dictatorial regimes? Will the Prime Minister commit to making the necessary changes?

Citizenship And ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the immigration bill, as the legislation that has been in place for 25 years, has in place discretion available to the minister and the government to ensure that cases such as Nelson Mandela's are dealt with at the highest levels of government.

However I also want to point out that Bill C-11 which is presently before the House is no different from the legislation that has been in place for 30 years. The intention of the bill is to give Canadian authorities the opportunity to stop those who are inadmissible, at the same time allowing those such as Mr. Mandela access to our country.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said that the Deputy Prime Minister was not chairing any cabinet committee on the Sea King replacement. The Minister of National Defence, before the standing committee in March, said:

The cabinet has had discussions through a committee chaired by Mr. Gray—

Was there a cabinet committee overseeing the procurement of the Sea King replacement? Was the Deputy Prime Minister involved in that committee? What is the Deputy Prime Minister's role now in assessing this project which has profound implications for his own constituency?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as Deputy Prime Minister he presided over a committee to look at the process of establishing the bids that are out at the moment for people to make submissions.

I cannot believe that the leader of the last party, and he deserves to stay there for a long time, would attack the Deputy Prime Minister who has served the House very honourably for 39 years. He should be completely ashamed of himself for implying that because there is a company in his riding he has a conflict of interest.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, that was a pretty shameful answer. While there is plenty of appetite by the government to split something as complex and controversial as a helicopter procurement project, the government seems completely unable to somehow split a bill that lumps cruelty to animals together with protecting children.

My question is for the Minister of Justice. On the omnibus bill, would the minister put aside her partisan rhetoric, her newfound bombast, and find some way to pass legislation to protect children before we go home this summer?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows or should recall from yesterday, we on this side of the House offered to pass Bill C-15 in its entirety.

I believe the government House leader did seek unanimous consent from opposition parties and that it was refused. It seems to me it is the opposition that is holding up Bill C-15, not us.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister and the HRDC minister are dreaming up new ways to spend taxpayer money to develop Canada's infrastructure for research and development. Funding for science technology is a very worthy cause but business leaders say it is not enough by itself. They contend that Canada's productivity cannot be improved without lowering taxes.

It is obvious that the Liberal government is in denial of its role in the productivity decline in Canada during its reign. When will it realize that it cannot spend its way to productivity in Canada?

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that this type of accusation is based on nothing. The incentives for research and development in Canada are the best in the world.

They always talk about taxes. When our program of taxes is in place in 2004 the rate of taxes for corporations in Canada will be lower than in the United States. Today the capital gains taxes in Canada are lower than in the United States. The stock option system in Canada is better than the one in the United States.

We have done a lot. We are better placed than the Americans in these fields at this moment.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the tax issue the government reminds me of the marathon runner that has just been lapped in the race. It is so far behind it thinks it is ahead.

The government has not even caught up to the tax levels of our major trading partners who are now embarking on another round of cuts. These cuts will leave Canada even further behind. When will the government realize its misguided policies are hurting the standard of living of Canadians?

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member simply ought to listen to what was just said. The fact is our capital gains taxes in Canada are now lower than in the United States. In the year 2004 our corporate taxes in Canada will be lower than in the United States, including capital taxes.

We have brought in the rollover, the angel provisions, specifically designed to help us in the new economy and we are now ahead of the United States. The hon. member ought to wake up and smell the roses.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

June 7th, 2001 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, employment insurance recipients—

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

It is very difficult to hear the questions and the answers today, and I do not know why. The hon. member for Roberval.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Employment insurance recipients and seasonal workers need the government to follow up on its election promise, because they are not mere statistics, they are people who, more often than not, have families to provide for.

Could the Prime Minister set aside, for a while, his ridiculous answers on Bill C-44, because this is not what is at issue? We are talking about the reforms that must be made to employment insurance. Will the Prime Minister make good on his election promise, for the sake of those who believed him?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, Canadians, especially Canadians living in the province of Quebec, know that the Bloc has no credibility on the issue of employment insurance.

When we asked Bloc members to co-operate with us last fall and make the changes in Bill C-2, they denied it. When they had the opportunity to vote on these important amendments in support of seasonal workers this spring, they voted against them. They voted with the Alliance.

The questions they ask day after day are nothing more than a smoke screen. They might as well admit that they were wrong and that they should have supported the government on these important changes.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are telling the minister once and for all that Bill C-44, which became C-2 and which let the government siphon off the employment insurance fund, has been passed. This is not the issue, however. The unemployed need the act to be improved. Your party is in office, we want to help, we want to work with the government on behalf of the people who need these changes.

I say to the minister: seize this opportunity before the House adjourns and work for the unemployed. This is what we want.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we have made changes to the Employment Insurance Act. We have reduced the number of hours required for special benefits. We have repealed the intensity rule. We have doubled parental benefits. On top of that, we appreciate that it is more than just employment insurance that people in Quebec want. They want jobs.

Along with my colleague, the minister responsible for economic development, we are in their communities working with community members to diversify the economy. The fact remains that they voted against these changes and they cannot bear to go home and tell their constituents.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, today three representatives of western Canadian organic farmers clearly outlined why they need marketing choice. Arnold Schmidt, John Husband and Eric Leicht gave repeated examples of how members in their organizations had lost sales because of the Canadian Wheat Board.

The board has completely closed its mind to the requests of organic farmers for an exemption. Why is the Canadian Wheat Board minister ignoring his responsibilities and refusing to introduce the changes to the Canadian Wheat Board Act that are necessary for the development of organic farming in western Canada?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I will examine very carefully the testimony of the producers that appeared today. I will make sure that testimony is drawn to the attention of the duly elected producer-directors of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister has not been paying attention to western Canadian farmers. He was not even paying attention to the committee today because the representative of Canadian Wheat Board, Mr. Ken Ritter, was at the committee meeting. It already knows about this.

Western Canadian organic producers want an exemption from this monopoly so that they can market their grain at the highest price possible. The Canadian Wheat Board merely adds costs to marketing. It does not reduce costs. Will the minister do the right thing and give an exemption for organic farmers to market their grain outside the wheat board monopoly?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated repeatedly that the issue to which the hon. member is referring is a matter that should properly be referred to the directors of the Canadian Wheat Board.

There are 15 members, 10 of which are farmers elected by farmers. Obviously the testimony given by farmers today will be taken very seriously.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are surprised to learn that the democracy clause negotiated in Quebec City is no longer a matter of consensus among the foreign ministers gathered in Costa Rica to follow up the Quebec City summit.

Could the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell us what happened in Costa Rica, and specifically why there is no longer a consensus on the democracy clause?