May 16, 1978

?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PAYMENT OF INCOME TAX REBATES
Permalink

THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Finance has no other argument, he hides behind the Canadian flag.

I have a question for the Prime Minister. The Royal commission on the effects of corporate concentration having wasted $3 million of taxpayers' money on behalf of Argus, Power Corporation and the like, I would like to ask a question on this important subject which we thought would be dealt with by the royal commission. When the Prime Minister cancelled plans for a summer election, he said he wanted co-operation on measures to deal with the Canadian economy. The Royal commission said nothing about the serious effects of multinationals like Inco setting their own priorities: having

May 16, 1978

Oral Questions

the exclusive right, for example, to invest millions abroad precisely at the time we need such investment to create jobs here in Canada.

Will the government in the next few weeks bring in legislation similar to what has been done in most other industrial countries, which will give the Government of Canada authority to enter into long-range planning agreements with such corporations to ensure that when decisions like that are made by Inco to invest abroad, the public, through the Government of Canada, will have a crucial say in such decisions?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the New Democratic Party is making light of a report by the Royal commission with which he does not happen to agree. The position of the government is that this Royal commission researched into a very difficult and complex subject. They came up with many recommendations, some of which are liable to be accepted by the government and some of which are not liable to be accepted by the government.

However, we will not, as the leader of the New Democratic Party does, let our prejudices speak for an intelligent judgment on it. We will study it and the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs will make a report to cabinet on it.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

I wish the Prime Minister would at least pay members of the House the courtesy of listening to the questions. I simply said the Royal commission did not deal with that issue. I pointed out that Canadians are losing thousands of jobs because multinationals in this country, unlike most other countries, have the unilateral right to transfer funds out of the country. Will the government of this country, like most other countries in Western Europe, and Japan, bring in legislation which will give it some authority to play a role in this decision-making process? 1 would like the Prime Minister to reconsider and answer that question.

I will ask a related question. Another area that was neglected by the Royal commission was the right of the banks, for example, to set their own investment priorities. In particular, considering the kind of decision that was made by the Royal Bank of Canada at the time, which was to give Power Corporation $150 million to buy Argus-which would have created no new jobs and would only have resulted in the concentration of more power-will the government bring in legislation similar to that which exists in other countries in order to give the Government of Canada a role to play in major investment decisions affecting the economy?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, the second question was a variation of the first. The hon. member uses the fact that he does not agree with the Royal commission report as a pretext for making a certain number of representations to the government. I will note those representations.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Mr. Speaker, in 1975, as a result of questions I asked, the Prime Minister set up this silly Royal commission and we have seen where it has got us after three

{Mr. Broadbent.]

years. Bearing in mind that he has asked for co-operation from this side of the House in the coming months to deal with serious legislation, allegedly to find jobs for Canadians who need them, can he tell the House what plans he has to bring in legislation either in the short-term or the medium-term which will effectively come to grips with the shortcomings of the Canadian economy?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. We shall be announcing such legislation very soon.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

After ten years!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   INVESTMENT IN CANADA TO CREATE JOBS
Permalink

FINANCE

SC

Gilles Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Gilles Caouette (Temiscamingue):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance. Since we have been informed today that the generous handouts of the federal government in the sales tax field were made at the expense of the provinces and that they have been forced to increase their taxes by $100, we can appreciate the attitude of the government and its sincerity in helping people. Considering that the Quebec minister of finance has decided to help productive sectors with this tax reduction, that is furniture, textiles and footwear, and that the province of Quebec had every right to use these funds as it saw fit, what does the minister propose to do to respect those decisions and to give to everybody equal opportunities of obtaining his fair share of the refund made by the federal government and not only to those who file a federal income return?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   METHOD OF COMPENSATING QUEBEC FOR LOSS OF SALES TAX REVENUE
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, we have made the same proposal to Quebec as to other provinces. The federal transfer of funds has been made through a federal income tax reduction and provinces other than Quebec have increased their income taxes accordingly. As for the benefit they have obtained, they applied it to all items covered by the sales tax. It was up to the Quebec government, if it wanted all taxpayers to take advantage of it, to reduce the sales tax on other items.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   METHOD OF COMPENSATING QUEBEC FOR LOSS OF SALES TAX REVENUE
Permalink
SC

Gilles Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Caouette (Temiscamingue):

I wish to direct a supplementary question.

In view of the fact that the application of the sales tax is not limited only to taxpayers but to the public as a whole, and that the minister was wrong a while ago when he said that Quebec was the only province out of step, is the minister aware that the four western provinces have supported Quebec's claims?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   METHOD OF COMPENSATING QUEBEC FOR LOSS OF SALES TAX REVENUE
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Chretien:

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid this is not the right interpretation to give to the statement of the western prov-

May 16, 1978

inces. As a matter of fact, a number of provinces have not supported Quebec's decision to cut off this tax unilaterally, and all the ministers of finance have indicated to me when I talked to them how disappointed they are that Quebec has refused to co-operate in this matter as they did among themselves.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   METHOD OF COMPENSATING QUEBEC FOR LOSS OF SALES TAX REVENUE
Permalink

THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sinclair Stevens (York-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. Now that the Statistics Canada figures with respect to inflation have been made public, indicating that when the provincial sales tax figures are added back in, the inflation level in Canada in the past year has been 9.1 per cent, would the right hon. gentleman tell us whether Governor Bouey of the Bank of Canada was expressing government policy today when he said the falling dollar was contributing to inflationary pressures, and that whatever advantage it would give to Canadian exports would be lost if we did not contain the fall-out effect of the devalued dollar on costs and prices?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   VALUE OF CANADIAN DOLLAR-CONTRIBUTORY EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I have not read the speech by the governor of the bank, who agreed to appear before a committee this morning. I will look into that. I think the hon. member should recognize that in the last three weeks the value of the Canadian dollar has increased substantially.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   VALUE OF CANADIAN DOLLAR-CONTRIBUTORY EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   VALUE OF CANADIAN DOLLAR-CONTRIBUTORY EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Chretien:

Perhaps, Mr. Speaker, you should give permission to the hon. member to be away for another week, because when he is not here with his rumours the dollar moves up.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   VALUE OF CANADIAN DOLLAR-CONTRIBUTORY EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Go home.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   VALUE OF CANADIAN DOLLAR-CONTRIBUTORY EFFECT ON INFLATION
Permalink

May 16, 1978