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House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Chinese CanadiansOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Chinese head tax of 1885 and the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1923 were terrible pieces of racist legislation that caused great harm to individual Chinese workers, their families and the community as a whole, but even today members of the Chinese Canadian community are still struggling to seek redress and compensation.

Will the Prime Minister commit today to enter into negotiations with the Chinese-Canadian community to redress this longstanding injustice in a just and honourable manner? Will the government commit to do that today?

Chinese CanadiansOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Jean Augustine LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)

Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the member that we have all agreed, and I think all Canadians have agreed, that the wrongs of the past are lessons that we have learned.

We have put together and set in motion a whole series of programs so we can work together to recognize the diversity of all people and to ensure that the wrongs of the past will not be repeated.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, in his first major policy address last Friday, the Minister of National Defence stated “It is wrong to continue overstretching our military people and their families”.

Finally we have a minister who is prepared to acknowledge what has been apparent to the rest of us for years. The minister has finally seen the light. We know that this is the position of the Minister of National Defence.

My question is for the acting Prime Minister. Was the minister speaking for the Government of Canada and has the Government of Canada finally seen the light?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned in response to an earlier question, I did acknowledge very clearly in my speech that the government has put more than five billion new dollars into the budget.

I acknowledged that at the end of the day the government would be making the decision but that I, having seen our soldiers in Afghanistan, having seen that they are in some cases overstressed and overstretched, will be making a case for additional resources.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, actually the Minister of Defence said today that he was making respectful requests of his colleagues in cabinet.

Could I ask his colleagues in cabinet, has he made that request forcefully enough? Will the acting Prime Minister please tell me that in the next budget there will be funding for the military? Will the acting Prime Minister please answer that question?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thought the hon. member was an intelligent person who has been around this House a lot longer than me. He should know by now that budgetary decisions are made at the time of the budget.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister said that he would not raise the GST to pay for health care.

Five years ago the former finance minister stood in the House and said “We have stated that contributions to the Canada pension plan is not a tax”.

Is the government considering an increase in the CPP premium to pay for health care?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of reports, one obviously being the Kirby report, and the Romanow commission being another. We will be looking at various proposals. However let us be very clear, as I said earlier, that we will not increase the GST to pay for health care.

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, that answer had nothing to do with the question. Senator Kirby's committee has called for new funding for health care. The Romanow commission will likely do exactly the same thing.

Canadians do not need and do not want a higher tax burden. Will the government raise taxes, yes or no?

TaxationOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Vaughan—King—Aurora Ontario

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, the hon. member should know by now that this is the government that introduced the largest tax cut in Canadian history, $20 billion this year. That has to do with the fact that we want to reward Canadians for their hard work and sacrifice. We also want to make sure that we build a very competitive economy just like the one that is being created now.

The IMF and the OECD has said that Canada will lead in growth this year and next year. This is the type of economic management that speaks to the success of this country.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

October 28th, 2002 / 2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, when the government presented its assistance plan for victims of the softwood lumber dispute, it said that specific measures might be proposed to help companies. In addition to Abitibi Consolidated, the president of Uniforêt has also confirmed that the softwood lumber trade dispute is seriously harming logging companies.

Will the measures being planned by the minister contain loan guarantees, which comply with WTO and NAFTA rules, as both the Bloc Quebecois and the industry itself have been calling for?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

London—Fanshawe Ontario

Liberal

Pat O'Brien LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the government announced a program some two or three weeks ago and opportunities will be there to add to that if the situation warrants. The reality is that we are pursuing our case through the courts. The facts are on Canada's side. We have won disputes in the past and we will certainly win again in the courts if necessary.

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry, to whom the question was addressed, knows quite well that Export Development Canada provides loan guarantees that comply with WTO and NAFTA rules.

What is stopping the minister from applying similar measures to companies that have suffered as a result of the softwood lumber dispute?

Softwood LumberOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that was such a multifaceted question that many ministers wanted to answer it. We will certainly take the hon. member's representations and get back to him.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence has now confirmed that it was wrong for his government to have treated the Canadian Forces in such a shabby way. The minister now states publicly that his predecessor's quality of life initiative was achieved by raiding the capital budget and that to continue in this way would mortgage our future.

Will the defence minister commit now to substantial increases in military funding?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member across the way seems to have a tendency to take things out of context. What I did say was that there were stresses in the military, both in terms of people being stretched because of too much time away from home, and because of some of the very positive accomplishments of my predecessor in terms of improving quality of life. Some of those were financed by deferring the capital budget. We do have those sustainable issues. We do have them even this year and I will be making a case to address them.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is currently fighting a global war against terrorism and faces the prospect of war in Iraq in next year. Canada's war fighting capability must be transformed for counter terrorist fighting, in addition to our conventional and peacekeeping roles.

The defence minister now admits that this government's gross negligence is not sustainable, but talk is cheap. What specific action will this minister take to ensure that his government will not fail to take the necessary action and provide the funding under his watch?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know why the hon. member considers it appropriate to dump all over our military that has always done what it has been asked to do and that has performed magnificently in Afghanistan.

As for Iraq, the ball is in the court of the United Nations. It is hoped that we will not have a war at all, so I will not comment on a hypothetical contribution to a hypothetical war.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, in September of 2000 the first ministers announced the early childhood development initiative as a national priority. At that time the Government of Canada committed to working with aboriginal peoples to address the developmental needs of aboriginal children. We know that aboriginal children are more vulnerable to poverty than children in the mainstream of Canadian society.

Could the Secretary of State for Children and Youth tell us what is being done to address the pressing needs of aboriginal children?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Children and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne the Government of Canada committed to improving the lives of aboriginal children by expanding aboriginal head start, establishing early childhood development for first nations, improving parental supports, providing communities with the tools to address fetal alcohol syndrome, improving educational outcomes for first nations children and taking steps to help special needs first nations children.

It also committed to helping families and children out of poverty by increasing the national child benefit, increasing access to early learning opportunities and quality child care and helping children with special needs and--

Aboriginal AffairsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton--Strathcona.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has been given the job of squeezing the last few cents from the wallets of Canadians. To do this the minister has targeted those least able to defend themselves, the disabled. There are claims that tax inspectors and CCRA management are receiving bonuses for meeting and beating tax revenue targets.

Could the Minister of National Revenue explain to the House why the CCRA has cut the number of qualified people receiving the disability tax credit and if bonuses are being paid for doing so?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, first, let me correct the member and say that there has been a 70% increase in benefits to Canadians with disabilities since 1996. In the recent throne speech the government committed to continue to improve benefits to Canadians with disabilities.

The criteria defining the disability tax credit is very clearly set out in the Income Tax Act, which CCRA administers. I also want to be very clear that there are no quotas for auditors at CCRA.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the only consistency the minister demonstrates is that she has no idea what is going on in her department. We hear from people on this issue. Why will she not come clean on exactly what is happening with her tax agents?

Are tax inspectors responsible for reviewing disability tax claims also receiving bonuses for taxing Canada's most vulnerable citizens? Yes or no.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is the role of CCRA to ensure that the income tax law is administered fairly. We are determined to ensure that those people who are entitled to receive the disability tax credit receive it and we are auditing to ensure that those who are not eligible under the law and are not entitled do not receive it. That is there.