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House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was acadian.

Topics

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, sadly, federal tax collectors are in the process, as we speak, of bankrupting junior amateur hockey teams in Saskatchewan. By treating players' room and board and $100 per month expense money as income, they are literally killing hockey dreams. At the same time they have totally ignored junior A teams in other provinces.

Why is the tax collection system discriminating against Saskatchewan amateur junior hockey?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:50 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, the member's question is completely inaccurate in its premise.

The goal of CCRA is to ensure that Canadian tax laws are fairly applied to all Canadians from coast to coast.

I would say to him further that he knows that we are working with the Canadian Hockey Association so it can understand the Income Tax Act and how it can be fairly applied to all of its teams in a manner which will ensure that young players are eligible for the social programs and also ensure that the teams are in compliance with our tax laws.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, she should come out to Saskatchewan and speak to the president of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and just say what she is saying now.

Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan has a strong amateur junior hockey tradition, as you know. Hockey is our national sport. The winters will be very long and cold if the minister kills amateur junior hockey in rural Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan simply wants to be treated fairly and equally. What is the government doing about this shameful case of discrimination?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I want to be absolutely clear that there is no discrimination. The member should be reassured that when it comes to the Income Tax Act, the Canada pension plan and the Employment Insurance Act, all Canadians are treated equally.

Further, he should be aware, and I will repeat it again, that we have been working with the Canadian Hockey Association. We want to ensure that young players are eligible for the benefits to which they are entitled and, where there are issues where the hockey teams may have difficulty, fairness provisions are in place to assist those teams.

National Identity CardOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, testifying yesterday before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, the Privacy Commissioner said, speaking of the identity card, that it will not only cost an arm and a leg—an estimated $5 billion—but will also, and I quote, “inevitably reveal more information about us than is required”.

Apart from the forum entitled “Biometrics: Implications and Applications for Citizenship and immigration”, and before implementing the national identity card, what positive steps will the minister take to properly inform the public about the real issues and the foreseeable costs of implementing this card?

National Identity CardOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bourassa Québec

Liberal

Denis Coderre LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her question. At this time, we are debating the issue. Canadians are not yet ready to make a decision, nor is cabinet ready to consider the issue.

Of course, we are talking about a societal decision. No cost study has been carried out concerning this type of document. We are not yet at the stage of asking ourselves if there will be such a document, but in the current international context, it is important to deal with domestic problems such as identity theft, and find solutions among ourselves so that we can have a made-in-Canada solution.

House of CommonsOral Question Period

September 19th, 2003 / 11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Can he tell the House what recent initiatives have been undertaken to improve procedures in the House of Commons?

House of CommonsOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that yesterday the House of Commons adopted the fourth report of the modernization committee. It will allow MPs to table more petitions on behalf of their constituents. It will streamline speech times. It supports greater use of technology in the House of Commons.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of this House for their unstinting work on the Special Committee on the Modernization and Improvement of the Procedures of the House of Commons. I congratulate them on their excellent work. Once again, our Prime Minister has honoured another throne speech commitment.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the budget brought down on February 27, 1995, the former finance minister increased the gasoline excise tax by 1.5¢ per litre in order to eliminate the deficit.

Now that it is no longer needed, does the current Minister of Finance intend to eliminate this tax and, finally, show his sympathy for the plight of consumers, or is he still waiting for orders from the real boss?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Oak Ridges Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know how concerned the Bloc members are about taxes because they voted against the tax reductions the government has brought in.

Let us put this in context. The money goes into consolidated revenue. We know the government has listened to Canadians. They have said that it is personal income taxes they want to reduced. Currently, as the House knows, we have a $100 billion tax plan. We have gone ahead with another $20 billion this year in the five year program.

We are delivering. We are not talking, we are acting.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:55 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, floods last spring devastated parts of several Nova Scotian communities, including parts of the town of Kentville.

I asked the Minister of National Defence to act and to provide reasonable federal assistance immediately so flood victims could move on with their lives. Instead of helping out, the minster has shirked his responsibilities.

When will the minister stop pointing fingers at the province and start providing meaningful and immediate relief to flood victims in Nova Scotia?

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

Noon

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, far from shirking its responsibilities, the federal government has been present, active and supportive in a number of emergencies that have occurred across the country this year.

In the firefighting case in British Columbia, 2,600 soldier were actively fighting fires, and the government is now in discussion with provincial officials for financial assistance. This is the most recent case.

In the case that the hon. member mentioned, the government will deal with in the appropriate way and display the generosity that is normal in cases of emergencies across the country.

Canada PostOral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for Canada Post.

The government has had a longstanding moratorium on the closure of rural post offices. However the Liberal Party's fine print now opens the door to what it calls amalgamations which really means closures.

There are now over 20 rural post offices in the province of Saskatchewan that are slated to be amalgamated, including Hubbard in my riding.

Since amalgamation really means closure, can the minister give the House a commitment that his government and his party will keep their word: no more closures, no amalgamations?

Canada PostOral Question Period

Noon

Mississauga West Ontario

Liberal

Steve Mahoney LiberalSecretary of State (Selected Crown Corporations)

Mr. Speaker, it would be interesting if the government were to suggest that Canada Post should not look for ways to improve mail delivery in rural Canada. I do not think the people in rural Canada would frankly expect us to do that.

It is not about fine print, as the member said. It clearly is about looking at the service delivery that is serving Canadians in rural Canada, recognizing the importance of mail delivery and all services in rural Canada and living up to the commitment that the government has made.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

Noon

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, it has been nine months since the Auditor General blew the whistle on the billion dollar gun registry. The minister promised that he would be more open and transparent and that he would provide a full accounting of the costs, but he has done neither.

I ask the minister who is in charge of this mess for the umpteenth time: How much will it cost to fully implement the gun registry and how much will it cost to maintain it?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

Noon

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Québec

Liberal

Marlene Jennings LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House we are very pleased to say that the gun registry has been working really well.

The Canadian Firearms Centre has met the standards that it set for processing licence applications in 45 days and registration applications in 30 days. The Internet registration, which is free of charge, has had a major uptake by Canadians.

I think we can safely say that it is working and that Canadians support it.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

Noon

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today in the House when I asked a question answered by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services regarding the $1.4 billion advertising contract to Royal-Lepage, she clearly said that there was no RCMP investigation.

The parliamentary secretary, and I will also say the minister involved, either misled the House today or yesterday, because yesterday in the House, in answering a question about an RCMP investigation, the parliamentary secretary said, “I am certain he”, and she was referring to our leader from Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, “knows from the many years he has sat in the House that we do not comment on RCMP investigations.

The member for Lakeland yesterday asked the minister quite clearly:

--the parliamentary secretary said that she does not comment on RCMP investigations such as the one that is currently going on regarding the Royal-Lepage contract being cancelled.

The minister said:

--the hon. member knows full well that that is an operational matter of the RCMP.

As the Solicitor General or as any other minister we do not get involved in operational matters.

Yesterday we had the minister and the parliamentary secretary telling the House there was an RCMP investigation. Today we have the parliamentary secretary saying that there is no investigation. Who is telling the truth and when was it told?

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this may be an interesting way to lengthen question period by a few minutes or to have the adjournment debate occur earlier in the day than it would normally take place. Either way, that is not a point of order.

This is a matter of debate on an issue as to whether it is proper or improper to comment on a real, imagined or otherwise RCMP investigation or non-investigation. Either way we would not comment, and in any case we would repeat that at the adjournment debate when it was held at the proper time.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The Chair is satisfied from the intervention I have heard that clearly this is not a point of order based on the rules of the House. This is a matter of debate, which can be taken up at some other point. However on this point of order, the matter is now closed.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am seeking the guidance of the Chair as to how we deal with a ruling by the Speaker that suggests, I think for the first time in a long time, that an issue relating to the truthfulness, the reliability of information given to the House of Commons by a minister, is not a point of order but is instead simply an extension of debate.

There is a clear principle in the House of Commons that we have a right to rely upon the accuracy of information given by government ministers. In this case directly contradictory information has been given by two ministers on precisely the same question. One of them, sir, prima facie, is misleading the House.

You, Mr. Speaker, have argued that is not a point of order and I am asking your guidance as to how we secure a review of that ruling which suggests that what to most of us would appear to be prima facie, a major point of order, cannot be raised in the House on those grounds?

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The Chair has a very high regard for the right hon. member but I believe he answered in part his very own question when he stated correctly that in fact answers were given to a similar question by two different members of the government.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

An hon. member

The same government.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

The same member too.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Two different members responded with a different answer, so clearly we have a dispute of the facts, debate on a matter but this is not deemed to be procedural or otherwise related to the rules of the House in terms of a point of order.

With the greatest of respect to the right hon. member and the entire House, this matter is now closed. I have been patient. I may have some doubts as to whether we might be re-entering the debate on the same point of order which I had hoped to conclude. In fact at this time it is concluded.

Points of OrderOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.