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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was per.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for St. Paul's (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 54% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Committees Of The House June 22nd, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a very short comment.

I guess the hon. member opposite does not much like the report. That is a shame because he spent tremendous time and enormous effort listening to Canadians across the country express their views about the current GST and recommend alternatives.

All of those views are expressed in the report and reflected. It is a shame that the hon. member and the loyal opposition did not have the courage to present alternatives in a written form. At least the Reform members had the courage to express in writing what they agreed with and what they did not agree with.

While the Bloc agreed to the mandate to look at alternatives to the current GST and supported that mandate of the committee

and put in all the work, at the end of the day what does it do? It says: "Well, it is not good enough. Why not give it to the provinces and let us have a provincial tax grab?"

There has been a complete flip flop. During the election campaign the Bloc members liked the GST. Now they do not like the GST and they want more provincial taxes. Indeed, they have engaged in what I would express as the big lie, that the report recommends a tax on food and pharmaceuticals. There is no such recommendation on any one of the over 100 pages in the report, no such recommendation at all.

I make them an offer that one of our colleagues south of the border once made to the Republican Party: "If they will stop telling lies about us we will stop telling the truth about them".

Privilege June 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it is not so much about the reporter checking his facts as it is about the hon. member opposite reading the story to completion.

Privilege June 15th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege with respect to certain statements made about me by the hon. member for Calgary Centre. If he had read the article in its entirety, which is always a good idea before commenting in this House, he would have found that the author of the story indicated and I quote, "Mr. Campbell refused to comment on the recommendations of the committee". I made no statement to the author of the story about my view on the question. Further, the reporter has apologized to me for the misleading headline and misleading story.

I would ask the hon. member for Calgary Centre through you, Mr. Speaker, to withdraw this statement.

Bankruptcy Act June 9th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place today to respond to the bill of the hon. member for Portneuf.

Bill C-237 would adjust the priority of claims of the Bankruptcy Act so as to provide employees with the first priority of the proceeds of a bankruptcy, up to a limit of $9,000 per person.

I would remind the House that in 1992 the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act was revised for the first time in 40 years. There had been six previous attempts to reform the act and they all failed.

Hon. members who were present during the last Parliament will no doubt recall that one of the most controversial aspects of the original legislation was the proposal for a wage claim payment act that would enable employees to obtain wages and expenses after a company has gone bankrupt.

The debate focused on the best way to finance the payment of this type of claim. Several methods were recommended. The original bill provided for the creation of a wage claim payment program, that was to be financed through a tax paid by the employer and collected with UI contributions.

Many members of the Standing Committee on Consumer and Corporate Affairs and Government Operations, however, argued against that method of financing wage claim payments. They maintained it was not right to impose an additional tax burden on business in the name of helping the employees of bankrupt companies. The act might only succeed in driving more companies over the edge and into bankruptcy and the last thing Canadians needed was legislation that might kill jobs. Therefore the government of the day dropped the wage earner protection provisions in the interests of getting the bill through Parliament.

We must examine very carefully the eventual impact of the various proposals, as well as the results of the 1992 amendments. The consequences of the priorities established in the new Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act will help us better understand what works and what does not.

Let me provide an example. The 1992 act gives unpaid suppliers the right to repossess goods sold and delivered to a debtor if the debtor is bankrupt or in receivership at the time the supplier demands the return of the goods. This rights comes into effect when the following conditions exist.

The supplier must demand repossession in writing within 30 days of delivery. The buyer must be bankrupt or in receivership. The goods must still be in the possession of the buyer, trustee or receiver, be identifiable and in the same state as when delivered, and not have been resold or subject to an agreement of sale.

A supplier's right to repossess goods supplied ranks ahead of any other claim against the goods, except that of a purchaser who bought the goods in good faith and for value without notice if the supplier has demanded repossession.

The new bankruptcy laws make other provisions in the case of farmers, fishermen and aquaculturalists. Usually the goods they provide are perishable and the normal 30-day period would not respond to their needs. The goods they provided would already have been processed or resold. The act gives them a super priority over all holders of security in respect of unpaid amounts on inventory supplied within the 15-day period. There is no need to establish the existence of products supplied because they are perishable and will likely be disposed of shortly after delivery.

We must ask ourselves whether the solution proposed by the hon. member will help workers or make life more difficult for them.

If workers were asked what they would prefer, super priority in the event of a bankruptcy or a chance that the company will survive and they will keep their jobs, I am sure there would be no difficulty getting a response. Workers might value a higher priority in bankruptcy proceedings but not at the expense of putting jobs at risk in the first place.

Lending institutions maintained they would raise the interest rates they charge on business loans if super priority were given to wage earners. They say they would be inclined to charge higher rates of interest to labour intensive firms. They say they would be less willing to provide a loan to a company facing tough times and they might move more quickly, regrettably, to realize their securities.

The banks might call the loan before the company declared bankruptcy. Calling that loan would unfortunately result in creating the bankruptcy.

That is what credit institutions said to the various committees that have considered this issue in the past. I do not necessarily agree with them on this. There may be ways of reviewing wage earner protection while guaranteeing the availability of capital. We however need more information than what is now available to us to understand the impact superpriority will have.

At the same time there are other issues that must be addressed in assessing priorities of creditors in the event of a bankruptcy. I wonder if the hon. member has given some thought to protection for consumer deposits, for instance.

A consumer who makes a down payment to a retailer for the purchase price of a good or a service may be left with only a claim as an ordinary creditor. If the retailer goes bankrupt or into receivership before delivery, current law relegates the consumer cannot establish ownership in particular goods to ordinary creditor status. Consumers who pay for goods yet to be identified or not yet produced will be ordinary creditors as will buyers of unperformed services.

Is this fair? Consumers do not intend to give credit and do not see themselves as creditors when they give deposits or make down payments for consumer goods or services.

Consumers are vulnerable. They cannot easily obtain information on the seller's financial situation. They cannot afford multiple risks when they buy. Neither can they realistically expect their deposits to be guaranteed.

The argument can be made that consumers are in as much need of protection as suppliers and wage earners. If we give suppliers protection and wage earners super priority, what are we to do for consumers?

Once again we get into the same difficulty. Any gain for consumer buyers arising out of a privilege would be offset by a corresponding loss for other creditors. Special treatment for consumers would depart from the principle of equal treatment of creditors. This protection might have a detrimental impact on the availability of credit.

There is one more example of the complex issues that arise. Under the Income Tax Act the crown has a super priority to a bankrupt's unremitted source deductions for income tax, Canada pension plan and UI. Bill C-237 puts the wage earner's super priority ahead of the crown's right. The employee might get compensation for wages lost in the bankruptcy, but the crown would find it difficult to have funds to make UI payments. Premiums might have to be raised. The cost of business would rise and more businesses might well fail.

It all has a ripple effect, and I do not believe the bill pays enough attention to the impact it would have on business viability or job creation. We need to examine impacts more closely. We need more information.

Hon. members may be aware that the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act provides that after three years a parliamentary committee will review both the new provisions and the operation of the act. This provision was established because we do not want to wait another 40 years before we can change the bankruptcy legislation again. We want to keep the act up to date and successful.

According to the act, the review to be conducted after three full years should be held in 1995. We will soon have to study these questions in detail but, for the moment, what we should consider is the big picture.

To prepare for the review the government has created a bankruptcy and insolvency advisory committee. It is a representative group of insolvency stakeholders. The object is to bring together representatives from all interests affected by the law. These groups often have interests that compete with one another, so we want to try to build a consensus on what is fair and reasonable before the government introduces changes as part of the three-year review.

Since its establishment, the committee has created eight working groups that have submitted their preliminary recommendations. This month they will review the recommendations and send them back to the working groups for fine tuning. I hope the report will be complete by the end of this year. The minister will then be able to use these recommendations to draft a new bill.

As you can see, Mr. Speaker, we will have to answer not only the many questions related to the reform of the Canadian bankruptcy legislation but also those concerning wage earner protection. The fact that the previous government could not find a better way to protect wage earners did not make anyone happy. A piecemeal approach to the problem is certainly not the solution.

I believe the House should vote down Bill C-237 and prepare instead to look at wage earner protection as an integral part of the larger issue of bankruptcy reform we will address in coming months.

Budget Implementation Act May 31st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I guess we can conclude that the member opposite is not happy with the bill.

I was chair of the subcommittee on C-17 and I want to congratulate all members of the subcommittee from all political parties in this House for their work and the time they spent hearing innumerable witnesses, almost some 60 witnesses representing hundreds of thousands of employed and unemployed Canadians. Members of the subcommittee spent many hours listening to Canadians and their views both for and against the changes contained in Bill C-17.

The fact remains that the changes proposed will preserve the viability of this system. The changes proposed will build flexibility. The changes proposed make sense at this time for people on the system.

While the member opposite may wrap himself in all the indignation in the world, the fact is that he did not like the bill from the beginning. He was not prepared to hear anybody who was in favour of it. I will not get into discussions in the House about what took place in committee. I will not discuss that out of committee except to say that people on all sides of the issue were given a full and fair hearing.

Committees Of The House May 25th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Finance.

Pursuant to an order of the House dated Tuesday, April 19, 1994 the Standing Committee on Finance studied Bill C-17, an act to amend certain statutes to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 22, 1994 and agreed to report the bill without amendment.

Supply May 5th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this debate. Let me reinforce the comments made earlier today by the Minister of Industry with reference to defence conversion.

The plan recognized that the time had come to help defence industries make the transition from high tech military production to high tech civilian production.

We are determined to reach that objective and we have already accomplished significant progress towards the development of an effective strategy.

Our defence conversion program has three major components: First, defining Canada's defence policy; second, rationalizing the military infrastructure; third, rationalizing the defence industrial base.

Later today in this debate my colleagues will describe the government's policy and program for expediting the first two components of our overall strategy. We will also discuss the nature and direction for defence conversion of the industrial base.

Conversion of defence production can be described as industrial adjustment with an added element of national security. To understand the scale and scope of the challenge which Canada faces one must appreciate the evolution of Canada's aerospace and defence industry.

We have followed a path quite different from that of almost every other nation in the western world. We have long maintained a relatively small domestic military procurement budget. In order to sustain themselves and indeed to grow Canadian defence firms pursue two avenues. The first has been to focus on export markets. The second has been diversification.

As I said the Canadian aerospace and defence industry pursued export markets as suppliers of components for the manufacturers of major military systems such as radar systems to detect low flying aircraft and military flight simulators. Their clients were generally not governments but defence companies world wide. Canadian manufacturers have designed, developed and sold world-class high tech products aimed at buyers of sophisticated, specialized equipment and our industries have produced these special components at competitive prices.

By contrast most of the western world's defence firms have relied on large domestic military sales. They have produced entire systems for a closed and essentially less competitive market. They have had little export focus and have sold almost exclusively to their national governments.

In many countries domestic military budgets were cut back severely at the end of the cold war. The shifts in geopolitical power required nations to re-evaluate their defence role.

Suppliers in other countries which focused on a domestic market for major weapon systems found themselves suddenly without a traditional market. Add to this equation the fiscal and budgetary problems facing all western governments and the result has been what might be described as a double whammy of radically different requirements and a rapidly shrinking market.

The inevitable results: Significant downsizing, rationalization and large layoffs, what we all too readily identify with defence conversion.

But here in Canada, defence industries are faced with a very different reality. Most have concentrated on export sales. The size of world markets, as well as the number of world suppliers, are diminishing.

The reduction of military spending at the international level could put out of business some competitors of Canadian companies and thereby create new market opportunities.

Canadian industry reliance on Canadian government procurement is already small by world standards and it is declining. In aerospace for example, 30 years ago defence products comprised 65 per cent of total sales. Today defence sales are less than 30 per cent of sales and projections indicate that by 1997 the percentage will fall to 25 per cent.

These figures indicate that in Canada defence conversion has been going on as a gradual process for almost 30 years.

The sudden and precipitous changes taking place in the United States and Europe in the defence industries will not occur in Canada to the same degree. For example, between 1991 and 1993 in the United States the aerospace and defence sectors lost almost 300,000 jobs. That is 10 per cent of their workforce. In Europe the experience has been similar. Over the same period, 150,000 people have lost their jobs in defence and in aerospace.

In Canada, in marked contrast, we have lost 5,000 jobs in this sector and forecasts indicate they will be regained by 1998.

Our successful Canadian manufacturers aim at small niche markets around the world. The export focus of Canadian manufacturers of subsystems and components has cushioned our industry from the worst of the fallout occurring in the United States and in Europe.

As I stated earlier, the other major factor in our success in avoiding severe contractions has been diversification.

A large number of defence industries have developed technology which can be sold for both military and commercial purposes. These companies have gained the necessary skills to successfully manage operations producing both military and commercial products.

The Canadian defence industry is in a good position to make the necessary transition from a high tech military production to a high tech civilian production, as illustrated by the changes which have occurred in recent years.

Canada's defence industry comprises more than 500 firms. The majority of them have already begun the diversification process both in commercial and military production and in domestic and export sales. On average 60 per cent of sales by Canadian defence firms are for the commercial market and only 40 per cent for the defence market. Many of these firms also have strong export sales. More than 80 per cent of all commercial sales are to export markets and 35 per cent of defence sales are abroad.

The only notable exceptions are the large shipbuilders in the Atlantic provinces and in Quebec and the munitions manufacturers in Quebec. In recent years they have depended almost entirely on defence production.

In United States, defence conversion has been quite different. The U.S. defence industry has been a domestic market nearly 40 times that of Canada. It produces large scale, fully integrated systems. These include, for example, military aircraft, submarines and sophisticated weapons systems.

Until now, a large number of American defence industries have been almost totally dependent on domestic military sales. These industries do not follow the Canadian tradition of either diversifying, being geared to operations, or relying on an important volume of commercial sales.

An American solution to a typically Canadian situation is a highly unlikely solution.

As I mentioned earlier, Canada's solution is threefold: first, a defence policy review which will of necessity take time to complete; second, the rationalization of bases and defence infrastructure, both of which elements will be addressed by the minister of defence; third, the rationalization of Canada's defence industry base, a complex question but one on which progress is being made.

In the Liberal plan for Canada "Creating Opportunity" the government made a commitment to expand the mandate of the defence industry productivity program to assist in the conversion and diversification of the industry.

I am pleased to say that earlier this year the government followed through with a provision in the budget to redesign, DIPP for 1996-97. This will help industry convert from defence to high technology civilian production. This is the first step in redirecting existing government programs and initiatives. We are also proceeding on other fronts and will be announcing further initiatives soon.

Some elements of the government's support program, however, must await the report of the defence policy review and therefore will not be fully developed for some time.

This type of measured response will be problematic if the Canadian context for the conversion of military industries is similar to that of Europe or the United States. As I pointed out, the situation is very different in Canada. Generally speaking, Canadian companies are in the unique position of being much less vulnerable to military world market slowdowns than their foreign competitors.

This is not to say that Canada does not face challenges in expediting a smooth transition. Rather the defence industry and therefore some Canadian workers face a unique situation.

Canadian companies are generally well positioned in international markets. They have strong order books. They have good employment prospects. They have solid, diversified international export markets for both their commercial and defence product lines.

There are some exception to the quite strong positions enjoyed by many companies in Canada. These exceptions include munitions and shipbuilding where a number of specific problems generally beyond the scope of a defence conversion program continue to cause concern. We will address these problems through a combination of defence conversion programs and other programs that can help provide solutions.

I have outlined the unique challenge facing us in the matter of conversion of defence industries. In some, while the defence conversion problem in Canada is similar in scope to that in other parts of the western world, it is not by any means of the same scale.

Sales and employment prospects vary by company: some positive, some neutral, sadly some negative. Specific problems affecting a particular firm require specific solutions. We do not need to embark on sweeping programs offering sweeping and expensive solutions. Programs that are carefully targeted require careful preparation.

Targeted programs take time to develop but in my view are the most effective in the medium term. It would be naive to assume that the defence conversion problem in Canada can be solved overnight.

The solution which the government is in the process of developing will be responsive to market forces, fiscally responsible, properly directed and effective.

As specific elements of the program take shape in the near future, the government will be providing information on the scope of its provisions.

The member who brought forth the motion also brought to the attention of the House a most important question. As I pointed out, companies in the Canadian defence industry have long diversified their products and their markets. They have been carrying out, some of them for as long as 30 years, what the defence industry in other countries is just beginning to try, that is to produce other products and to market in other markets.

The government is determined to continue on the path to success with policies and programs which meet the needs of all the Canadians who are part of the industry.

Those companies in sectors where the challenges have been more demanding and more difficult are to receive the attention and assistance of this government which understands the problems and intends to contribute to the solutions.

Pearson International Airport Agreements Act April 26th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of Bill C-22, an act respecting certain agreements concerning the redevelopment and operation of terminals 1 and 2 at Lester B. Pearson International Airport.

This is the bill to cancel the agreements made by the previous government for the operation of terminals 1 and 2 at Pearson airport. As my colleague, the member for London East, made clear a few moments ago, it is time we close the book on this ill-conceived project so that we can get on with the important work of planning Pearson's future.

I support the bill for a number of reasons because it puts an end to agreements contrary to the public interest reached through what have been described charitably as a flawed process. The legislation enables the government to get on with planning the future of Pearson airport and air transportation and that future is too important to be tied up in procedural knots.

Most of all, the bill should be supported because it clears the decks for the serious work of rebuilding Canada's transportation system, including our air transportation network which has Pearson as its hub.

One of the government's first priorities is to secure Canada's economic future, a task in which transportation plays a key role. There is no question that the cost of moving goods and people is a major factor in our nation's economic health. For Canada it is a daily challenge.

The growth and prosperity of the country have always depended on transportation. This was true before Confederation and it is true today. It is even truer today; a fast, reliable, low cost transportation system is vital to Canada's prosperity. It is the life support system of the country's exports and a critical factor in our competitiveness. It is transportation which keeps us together as a nation.

Air travel plays a particularly important role in binding the country together. It is how we travel when we go home for the holidays, when we take a vacation, when we seek out new business. Pearson is the hub of air transportation in Canada, our largest airport, one of North America's busiest gateways. One-third of all air travellers in Canada pass through Lester B. Pearson International Airport. Twenty-one million people passing through on their way to visit friends and family make business connections or even take their first steps on Canadian soil.

As Mr. Nixon said in his report to the Prime Minister, Pearson is a critical national gateway and a hub service to travellers, families and shippers. It cannot be duplicated by any other facility in the area, indeed in the province or in the country.

However Pearson is more than a transportation hub. It is also an economic generator for southern Ontario. The airport generates employment for 57,000 people directly and indirectly, including 14,000 people who work on site, and these jobs generate almost $2 billion a year in personal income. Add to that the almost $4 billion a year in direct revenue for local businesses and tourism and the $633 million in taxes from airport activity that go to various governmental jurisdictions. That gives us some idea of the airport's economic contribution to southern Ontario, the greater Toronto area, and all of Canada.

When we consider its economic and social importance to the region, the provinces and the country we see that Pearson is far more than a transportation facility. It is one of the most important public assets in our economy, an airport which serves the entire region, Ontario and all of Canada.

It is incredible to me that the previous government would have planned to sign away this vital asset in the heat of an election campaign without financial prequalification and constraining airport development in the entire region.

As Mr. Nixon concluded, this was an inadequate contract, arrived at in a flawed process and under the shadow of possible political manipulation. This deal was contrary to public good.

Being against the Pearson deal is not the same as being against renewal of our transportation system; far from it. As the Minister of Transport said in his response to the budget, the government is fully committed to helping Canadians build a stronger economy. An essential part of this effort is renewing Canada's infrastructure and that includes our transportation system. This renewal will contribute to long term economic growth by enabling Canadians to transact their business and move their goods quickly, efficiently and at competitive cost.

The government is committed to improving transportation effectiveness, but we must avoid simplified solutions that stem from a political agenda rather than clear eyed planning. We must avoid sacrificing the interests of the nation as a whole to serve a narrow, ideologically based vision.

That is why the government is developing a national transportation policy, a framework to allow us to retool our facilities and services to meet current and future needs.

To meet these needs we need to develop an integrated transportation system. To get maximum benefits from transportation we have to focus on the entire system, not on its parts, its many parts. The transition may be difficult, especially for aspects or facets of our struggling transportation industry but it must be done.

We must also encourage and stimulate competition. Government can do this by providing the regulatory framework, incentives, and infrastructure the private sector needs to deliver transportation services competitively and safely.

The government intends to pursue a pragmatic mix of modal integration, innovation and realism. Transport Canada is reviewing all its policies and programs. This review is intended to address the challenges and pressures facing Canada's transportation sector through a comprehensive, coherent strategy of reform.

Being against the flawed Pearson deal does not mean being against private sector participation in what were once viewed as traditional government activities.

The government does not believe that it has to own and operate a system in order to achieve its public policy goals, but government does have as role to play as a facilitator, as a catalyst, setting goals, providing direction, monitoring performance, making sure the job gets done fairly and effectively.

Yes, the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that Canada has the national transportation system it needs and we intend to live up to that responsibility. We see no reason why the private sector should not be invited to do what it does best. The government believes that commercialisation is an attractive option, one that brings business discipline to the provision of services that have traditionally been delivered by government.

However commercialisation does not necessarily mean outright privatization. It can take many forms, ranging from the contracting out of services, public-private partnerships, non-profit entities, special operating agencies, crown corporations.

Regardless of what form it takes, what is essential is a business like approach to the provision of services, an approach that is more efficient, more responsive and less dependent on the Canadian taxpayer.

This will result in better capital planning, access to private financing, faster approval, easier introduction of new technologies and more user and client input. For example, the government sees great potential for commercializing the air navigation system. The International Civil Aviation Organization cites a clear trend toward the establishment of autonomous authorities to own and operate AMS facilities around the world.

Commercialization in these and many other areas of government activity can bring major savings to taxpayers and better service to clients. Any move to commercialization must always maintain Canada's high transportation standards. Cancelling this deal is not an attack on the private sector. It is an attack on what is a flawed, suspect deal contrary to the public interest.

Our action in regard to this transaction does not rule out future involvement by the private sector in some of the activities now undertaken by government. We will look at every opportunity to collaborate with the private sector to provide transportation services to Canadians.

The private sector has a role to play in airport operations. Non-profit private sector management groups now have responsibility for five of Canada's major airports. We must take the necessary action to terminate the ill-conceived terminals 1 and 2 deal and allow the government to move forward with its plans for Pearson.

Under the proposed legislation the government may make a payment to developers, but this will not include lost profits or any fees paid for lobbying. The Minister of Industry said when he introduced the bill: "We publicly asked the previous government and the company not to conclude this highly controversial deal during the election campaign. They chose to proceed anyway".

The legislation does not stop or hinder any negotiations or compensation. It simply sets the necessary limit on how long this process should go on, how long negotiations might block resolution of this matter.

The government prefers a negotiated settlement. However once this legislation is passed and proclaimed the government and the developers will have 30 days to come to an agreement. After that there will be no further discussion and no additional compensation. After all, the government has been negotiating with Pearson Development Corporation on behalf of T1 T2 Limited Partnership since last December when the Prime Minister announced that the government would cancel the agreements.

I remind the House that the legislation is required to finalize the cancellation of this contract because the original agreement negotiated by the previous government did not include a cancellation clause.

The transport minister has said decisions affecting airport expansion projects are linked directly to decisions on the airport's management structure. These decisions cannot be made as long as the previous agreements are in place. That means nothing can move forward until we have cancelled this agreement which should not have been made in the first place. Our decisions with respect to Pearson can no longer be held hostage to those agreements.

One result would be that there would be no new construction this year on terminal 1 and terminal 2 development or runway expansion projects at Pearson. I am sure we would all agree that it is in the best interest of the people of southern Ontario and the country in general to move as quickly as possible to develop a new administrative structure for the airport so that we can move ahead in making the critical decisions to maintain Pearson as a vital economic asset for the entire country.

The time to act is now. We can no longer allow this to proceed. The passage of the legislation will allow the development of Canada's air transportation hub to proceed in the public interest unhindered by yesterday's mistakes. We must proceed now.

The Budget February 24th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

There are no tax increases in the budget and I have every confidence, unlike the hon. member and some of his colleagues, that we are up to the challenge. I am not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the total collapse of this country. I am shouldering my burden along with my colleagues on this side of the House and the few who are over there in getting on and in getting the job done.

The Budget February 24th, 1994

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his question.

The budget is very much about the quality of life. It contains numerous programs, many of which I have focused on, that are all about the quality of life: our youth, the jobs they must have, the retraining that must take place and the preservation of the social programs that he referred to in a sensible way which contributes to getting people back into the workforce.