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House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fcc.

Topics

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the Bloc Quebecois is organizing a big party to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

The Bloc Quebecois is ten years old. Ten years is a long time for a party that was supposed to be there for just a short time.

I clearly remember Lucien Bouchard, the founder of the Bloc Quebecois, saying that the success of his party would be measured by the shortness of its mandate.

Ten years later, the Bloc Quebecois must admit defeat and recognize that it has failed.

The fact that the great sovereignist leaders Lucien Bouchard and Jacques Parizeau will not attend the anniversary evening clearly shows that the movement is running out of steam.

By being so bent on destroying Canada, the Bloc Quebecois is weakening Quebecers. By refusing to listen to Quebecers and to comply with their wishes, it only blocks the development of our society.

MuseumsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, employees of the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography are on strike. The requests being made by these dedicated workers are reasonable and unselfish. Yet, despite the fact that an agreement is within reach, no one has taken the initiative to finalize the deal. Where is the leadership? Where is the minister?

She who pays the piper calls the tune. The minister of culture and heritage pays the piper but she is slow to pay the employees. It is time she called the tune by making sure these frontline people are back doing the work they love and do best, making our national sites pleasant and rewarding places to visit.

The peak tourism season is here. Is this the best we can offer our visitors? I ask the minister to do her job.

Presence In The GalleryStatements By Members

June 8th, 2001 / 11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

Before we begin oral questions, I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of the hon. Gordon Campbell, premier of British Columbia.

Presence In The GalleryStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on that note, I understand the premier of British Columbia will be meeting with the Prime Minister today. Already Premier Campbell has taken bold steps to reinvigorate the economy of his province through tax relief and through eliminating the barriers to growth and productivity, and that is commendable.

We know that there is a productivity and competitive gap between Canada and the United States, to the extent that last year we saw a record year for Canadian investment out of Canada into the United States because of the greater incentive there.

Will the Prime Minister be seeking advice from Premier Campbell on how to invigorate the national economy?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the discussions will be very fruitful and constructive. I am also sure that advice will flow in both directions.

After all, we have already introduced and put in place the largest tax cuts in Canadian history of $100 billion over five years. This is a signal to Canada and this is a signal to our provincial partners.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the mini cuts that they performed before the last election do not quite match the 25% cut that we are hearing about.

It is not just in western Canada but in Atlantic Canada also. The Canadian Alliance has consistently supported renegotiating the equalization formula, especially with a view to doing something about the clawback provision that keeps provinces like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland from truly moving to economic independence and moving away from dependence on federal aid programs.

The minister for Nova Scotia has also called for changes. The Minister of Industry when he was premier of Newfoundland and Labrador called for changes. When will the federal government announce that it will sit down and meet with our Atlantic Canadian partners to look at renegotiating the equalization formula in a way that will invigorate Atlantic Canada?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we certainly welcome a debate on this issue, but one must recognize that if we exclude resource revenues then we are being unfair to those provinces which do not have them and would be getting equalization.

Clearly the objective of our equalization program is to provide an equal level of public services in every part of the country regardless of means or income.

Is the hon. member suggesting that Alberta's resource revenue should not be included when calculating provincial entitlements?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he talks about having a debate. We are talking about having a discussion with Atlantic Canadians.

The debate, however, lies within their own government because we have the Minister of Finance who has one position, we read today, on equalization. I can hear them still debating among themselves on this issue. The Minister of Finance has one position but his leadership rival, the Minister of Industry, former premier of Newfoundland, has another position.

Could the government indicate whose position represents the government? Is it the Minister of Finance's or is it the Minister of Industry's?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition may find this hard to believe because he and his party cannot achieve this, but this party, this government, can speak and work in one voice for all Canadians.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, a tradition existed in this country before the present Minister of Finance appeared on the scene. Historically, democracy required that a budget be tabled every year. Now the Minister of Finance thumbs his nose at this tradition and at taxpayers' right to know the government's financial priorities.

Since parliament will soon adjourn for the summer, will the Minister of Finance tell us whether he will table a budget when we return in the fall?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is considering this important question. However, perhaps the hon. member can explain why he told the National Post , a few days ago, and I quote:

“I voted against the tax cut last year for a whole lot of reasons”. Why does he not explain why he voted against the tax cut and is going in the opposite direction today?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this party proudly stands for real tax relief for working families, not the kind of token tax relief which continues, by the way, to discriminate against single income families and which continues to see Canada fall behind the United States in terms of productivity.

This week we learned that Canada had lost 30% against the United States in terms of personal disposable income. How can the government continue to carry us through two years without a federal budget when Canadians have a disposable income 30% lower than the United States? While Canadians are getting poorer the government does not act. Why does it not bring in—

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Willowdale Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, we brought in record tax cuts of $100 billion over five years. Those tax cuts on the personal income tax level were 27% on average, 35% for families with children.

This means that many of our low income families, 800,000 of which have been removed from the tax roles, are better off than they would be in the United States.

However it is not just about taxes. It is about a balanced approach, tax cuts, paying down the debt and making those strategic investments in our future which are critical for all Canadians.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning we read in Le Devoir that the Council for Canadian Unity had, just by accident, neglected to identify itself as the promoter of a new Internet site “The New Federalists”. This has a certain déjà vu feeling to it, and even if the Council has remedied this and identified itself by now, once again it took disclosure in the House to find out who was behind this initiative.

How can the government explain that, once again, after secretly being the power behind Robert-Guy Scully's Heritage Minutes, it is now up to the same old tricks, funding an unidentified Web site?

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, to err is human. A mistake was made and it has been corrected.

I would like to thank the Bloc Quebecois members for giving this site some publicity. I hope they are going to consult it. It may give them some food for thought this weekend, when they are celebrating their tenth anniversary as a party.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I on the other hand would like to inform the minister that we have visited the site and find it particularly interesting for our reflections to see that the federal government was launching, in keeping with last week's secret document, into the most odious of propaganda against Quebec sovereignists.

What is the objective of this second site, when the council already has one of its own? What is the objective of this second site if not to render their propaganda more underhanded and therefore more effective?

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we would not use such harsh language to describe the Bloc Quebecois' strategy for advancing its option.

What I would suggest is that it finally call itself what it is, the Separatist Bloc, because Quebecois is a word that applies to all Quebecers, regardless of their affiliation.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Liberal Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

It should take advantage of this weekend to change its name, to include secessionist or independentist instead of Quebecois. We are already sovereign. We are part of a democracy based on the sovereignty of its citizens.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will not change our name, we will change our country. This is what is important to us.

The Council for Canadian Unity, which spends millions of dollars without being accountable to anyone, now has an Internet site where the tone is very clear. The CCU continues to spread despicable propaganda.

Is the tone used on the anonymous site of the Council for Canadian Unity, a tone that promotes confrontation between the federalist friends and the sovereignist enemies, not strangely similar to the federal government's secret communication strategy that was exposed by the Bloc Quebecois last Friday?

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it will be very gratifying to hear the Bloc Quebecois member use a different tone and avoid terms such as enemies and others we hear yelled out in the House every day.

So, if he wants to lead by example, I will be very pleased. I personally have no enemies. However, some of my fellow citizens want Quebec out of Canada. It would be nice if separatist leaders said so clearly, like the member just did. They no longer want to be part of Canada. They want to have an independent country.

Let them say so clearly, instead of coming up with complicated formulas about a European type of confederation, something that does not fool anyone.

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should take a look at the Internet site, he should read the study that we exposed last week. The separatist enemies, this is the tone used by federalists, not by us.

I am asking the minister how many such anonymous propaganda initiatives are being taken by the Council for Canadian Unity against Quebec, with the sponsor remaining anonymous?

Is this not a good illustration of what the secret communication strategy identified as the marketing war against Quebec?

Council For Canadian UnityOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, what a sudden shift. We are not talking about a war against Quebec. Who is at war against Quebec? We have a disagreement. The member wishes for Quebec no longer to be a part of Canada. He would like to be a Quebecer without being a Canadian. No one is attacking Quebec.

However there is a semantic shift here. It is not the government, it is the CCU. It is not the government, it is a study made by an academic.

Why always malign the adversary? If the member were so sure about what he is saying, he would tone down his remarks.