December 10, 1979

NDP

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member wants to look at Hansard tomorrow and raise this matter as a question of privilege, 1 will be glad to answer. I personally do not think I breached any privilege. I simply said that what he said was an untruth. He said we had not presented any amendments. I said that was a lie, and 1 will say that again.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

David Kilgour (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kilgour:

Mr. Speaker. I think it is well known, even to the hon. member for Broadview-Greenwood, that "lie" is an unparliamentary word. I would ask for a ruling from Your Honour with respect to that and that the hon. member be permitted now to withdraw it on the basis that it is clearly unparliamentary language, a fact which is known to every member in this House, even members in the corner.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
NDP

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Mr. Speaker, the point of my submission today has been to suggest to the government-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

Mr. Speaker, I think the Chair should consider the point of order raised by the parliamentary secretary. I know that in the heat of passion generated by a raging debate of this kind sometimes we let our emotions get away with us, and we say things we should not.

Some years ago I myself had occasion to say that some statements made by the then prime minister were a lie, and I was compelled to withdraw it. which I did. I know that the hon. member feels very strongly about this. I admire and respect him as a very bright member with a future. He has some problem mathematically with regard to some of the issues which face this House, but I want to say honestly that Your Honour should give some consideration to the statement

December 10, 1979

Time Allocation

made. 1 heard only part of it-1 was outside-but if he did say it was a lie, then 1 think he should withdraw it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The House will know from the interventions that have been made that the point at issue, as always, is not what the hon. member can say but how he can say it. The problem does not relate to the ability of the hon. member for Broadview-Greenwood (Mr. Rae) to differ with the statements to which he has made reference in his intervention and to indicate that they are, in his opinion, wrong or that they are categorically different from his own view of the circumstances or of the facts. No member is deprived of the right to make those interventions, and in fact debate is the very place for them, to challenge statements made on the other side of the House and to disagree.

However, the practice in terms of the etiquette of the House is that interventions, no matter how vigorous or how strident, always be made in parliamentary form. It might have been possible and accepted on past occasions that the word "lie" be used in some context, and it is indeed possible to use it, as the hon. member did at the beginning of his speech this afternoon, as "the big lie" or things of that sort. The precedent books will turn up examples in which the Chair has examined the use of the phrase and said that in a particular context it was acceptable. However, in general terms, as soon as the hon. member referred to an individual member-that is to say, the statements of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie)-and as soon as he indicated that in making those statements the Minister of Finance was lying, it seems to me that the hon. member has clearly departed from our practices and has clearly said what he is entitled perhaps to say but in a way in which he is not entitled to say it in the chamber. Therefore, 1 would ask him to withdraw the remark and perhaps put it in more parliamentary language.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
NDP

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Mr. Speaker, I want to make it quite clear that 1 did not want to attribute any motive, in so far as the word which I used could be ascribed as attributing a motive, and 1 would withdraw the word and replace it with the word "untruth", which I hope will be acceptable to Your Honour.

I can assure the House that 1 was not even particularly passionate when 1 was speaking. It was nothing compared to what I can be. But in so far as a motive could be ascribed to either the hon. member from Edmonton or the Minister of Finance, naturally, quite happily and generously I withdraw the word "lie" and replace it with the word "untruth". But I hope that the confusion that has been created-and it is my own fault-by the use of that word will not obscure the thrust of my intervention. The thrust of my intervention is that the government has been attempting to convince the people of Canada-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

David Kilgour (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kilgour:

Mr. Speaker, 1 rise on a point of order. The hon. member has said that he withdraws the word "lie" and replaces it with the synonym "untruth". I have Beauchesne's here and 1 see there are about 35 Speaker's rulings with respect to the word "lie". I assume, sir, that your direction to the hon. member would not simply be to allow him to with-

draw a word and replace it with a synonym which, to all intents and purposes, means the same thing.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. There are two points to be made. In the first place, no member has the right to replace language that he has withdrawn. It is a freedom that members seem to take unto themselves when they make what has now become a characteristically ungenerous withdrawal of unparliamentary remarks. When members do withdraw their remarks, their ingenuity in finding a way to withdraw the offending words and still keep the sword in, as it were, is quite remarkable, and this was no exception.

However, it is not open to a member to attempt to replace retroactively language which he previously used. He can withdraw the offending phrase, which the hon. member says he does completely. In addition, the problem is that no expression which has been found to be unparliamentary can be categorically and always described to be unparliamentary until the context is seen. Therefore, attempting to reverse now and decide on the context to be put on the language by the hon. member, even if he could rephrase his language in the way he wishes to do, would be most difficult for the Chair.

I think that the point which has to be made in all these circumstances is the one that has been accepted by the hon. member, and that is that there are some constraints, not upon the message he can deliver but only on the form in which he can do it. He has accepted that and he has withdrawn it. I think that every member must be permitted to do that and that must resolve the matter procedurally.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
NDP

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Mr. Speaker, the point of my intervention has been to say that the government has been attempting to convince the Canadian people that the people who are obstructing this legislation are the opposition. 1 want to suggest to the government that that is completely untrue. The case is that we have a serious difference of opinion within the House of Commons as to the nature of the tax credit, which is a major reform of our income tax system and which some of us have been studying for some time. To suggest that members of the opposition should lie down and let a piece of legislation through because of some Gallup polls which have been put forward by the government and which are waved at us from time to time is, I suggest, an abuse of the democratic and parliamentary process.

The government does not seem to recognize that there is a legitimate difference of opinion in the House as to the merits of the proposal, that there are serious amendments which have been put forward. As 1 said before, we have played no games with the government. We have submitted our amendments, we have let them see our amendments, we have not concealed a thing. We have done it in a constructive spirit and we have indicated from the very first day on which I spoke in this debate on October 20 what our position was going to be with respect to amendments.

Now we are told that the government is not prepared to consider any of our amendments, that all our amendments will be considered, on a prima facie basis, unreasonable. That

December 10, 1979

attitude, coupled with the untruth 1 have suggested that unless this legislation is passed before December 31, somehow we are robbing the Canadian taxpayer of a benefit-and that is an untruth because, as hon. members will know, the legislation provides that it should apply in 1979 regardless of whether or not it is passed in 1979, so that it can be passed in 1980-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

Robert Jarvis (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jarvis:

Be practical. When are they going to file?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
NDP

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Let me suggest to the Minister of State for Federal-Provincial Relations (Mr. Jarvis) that he has created the problem by mailing out the forms prior to passage in Parliament.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

William James Kempling (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Kempling:

You haven't been around here long enough.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
NDP

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

The chief whip, in his usual style, suggests that I have not been around here long enough. Perhaps some people have been around for so long they have forgotten the most elementary basis of parliamentary government, a matter that goes back to the origin of Parliament in the seventeenth century, that the control of supply must remain with the House. I would point out that the control of supply does not remain with the government, the Queen's Printer or whoever has to publish the tax forms.

If it is a question of holding up the mailing of tax forms for an extra ten days, I suggest the government has its priorities all wrong. It would be far better if Canadians understood that debate took place in Parliament, and that as a result of the debate a delay took place in the submission of a piece of legislation to this House. It would be far better if Canadians understood that, as a result of that debate in the House of Commons, there was a delay of a number of days in the sending out of tax forms. I submit there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. To suggest otherwise is to mislead the Canadian people. It is to tell the Canadian people that the Queen's Printer and the government together are dictating not only the schedule but the measures and legislation which will be passed by the House before we have had a chance to consider them.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I regret to inform the hon. member that his allotted time has expired.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
LIB

Céline Hervieux-Payette

Liberal

Mrs. Celine Hervieux-Payette (Mercier):

Mr. Speaker, after having witnessed Friday last the show given by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie) allow me to give my opinion a little more soberly on the subject matter of Bill C-20, an act to amend the Income Tax Act to provide a tax credit in respect of mortgage interest and home owner property tax. In that area as in many others, the Progressive Conservative government has tried to improvise rather than develop a housing policy. It wanted to meet three objectives or promises; first, keep one of its election promises made on the basis of surveys; second, give the necessary impetus to construction to

Time Allocation

spur the economy; third, help the owners of single-family dwellings burdened by land taxes and now crushed by the mortgage interest rate which has now reached a record level.

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal opposition recognizes that we have to assist owners, it deplores that the Progressive Conservative government has not made more original proposals. If we only take into account the mortgage interest rate set under this government, the benefits of such legislation are cancelled. I suggest that the government should tackle the cause of the problem instead of its effects. It should look for a scapegoat other than the previous administration since the Gallup poll showed clearly that the public is not satisfied with this excuse.

Mr. Speaker, the Progressive Conservative government must understand that it will not buy the credibility it lacks with its tax credit program on mortgage interest. What is expected from it is much more a sense of responsibility and the capacity to govern the country in the best interests of all Canadians.

As to the second objective of this program, here is what Mr. Barry Gander, a construction expert, had to say about it in the December 1979 issue of Construction magazine, and I quote:

In fact, if the government is under the impression it has "taken care" of the construction sector problem with its tax credit program on mortgage interest, this impression will be shattered to pieces when it realizes that 75 per cent of the construction is non-housing construction.

And he added:

The lesson to be learned from the intentions announced by the government during the present parliamentary session is clear: aside from a few measures of regional impact, industry needs much more diversified policies than those which were announced up to now and we would like to be informed of those policies before rather than after some of our businesses go bankrupt.

You have only to refer to the government buildings construction programme, where most of the projects have been cancelled throughout the country. This programme would have met the needs of the construction industry. The government has not even given it the least thought as a means of putting the construction industry back on its feet. This is one of the numerous examples shown by the present government of its inability to take wise and non-partisan decisions which are not inspired by electoral considerations. Canadians have now realized they were fooled on May 22, and a measure such as Bill C-20 will not help them regain their confidence in a government which shows no leadership.

Economically, it relies on the private sector or on the provinces. The case of Alberta can probably be solved without too much difficulty. But as far as the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and the other provinces are concerned, we need more than pious wishes. To date, Mr. Speaker, what kind of agreement has this government concluded with the private sector to ensure the revival of our economy? How many Crown corporations were sold?

As to the third objective, namely, helping owners in difficulty, in its July 1979 report, the Toronto Real Estate Board

2198

December 10, 1979

Time Allocation

makes suggestions which seem interesting to us, and particularly which are less costly than the suggestions made in the bill. Under the heading "Tax Credits and Incentives", their report says on page 27, and 1 quote:

It is feasible to introduce a simple income-tests refundable tax credit which would provide benefits to lower income groups.

And the report reads further:

The deductibility of mortgage interest payments should be reviewed; such a review should give careful consideration to delivering the greatest benefits to the lowest income groups.

We realize, Mr. Speaker, that Bill C-20 is very far from that recommendation. The lack of planning, the lack of concrete measures for renters in this bill, the lack of respect for the parliamentary system by the Minister of Finance who ridicules the business of the House, and sends the tax forms even before the discussions on the bill have been completed, as well as the lack of a-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
SC

Armand Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Caouette:

Mr. Speaker, would it be possible to know whether we are discussing Bill C-20, or a motion which has been put forward this afternoon?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

Fred Alward McCain (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McCain):

It is on the motion on Standing Order 75C.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
LIB

Céline Hervieux-Payette

Liberal

Mrs. Hervieux-Payette:

Perhaps the hon. member has not read the bill. 1 think I am dealing with the subject matter. That is quite clear. So in view of that, coupled with the lack of a budget setting out the government's priorities, no responsible member of this House could support this measure. The philosophy and the leadership of the government are clearly expressed in this statement made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Clark) during his weekly press conference of November 30 last, when he said, and 1 quote:

(English]

Our judgment was that it was far preferable to try to move the bill quickly through Parliament and allow the people of Canada to take advantage of the tax credit early rather than have an extensive debate with wide discussion of amendments now, which would mean that no benefits would get to Canadians for another year.

[ Translation]

Quite simply, after six months, the government is proposing a bill which, when it is fully in force, will cost some $3 billion, yet the Prime Minister wants to limit the debate to its barest minimum. Not only that, but he wants to muzzle the opposition less than two weeks after the House has started discussing the bill. This is the same Prime Minister who emphatically spoke of deficits during the campaign and who refuses to tell Canadians how they are going to pay for this ostentatious and

discriminating piece of legislation. The population of Mercier cannot be fooled, no more than the rest of Canadians who, with tomorrow's budget, will learn much of the Progressive Conservative's inability to govern.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
?

Mr. C.-A. Gauthier@Roberval

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for giving me the floor. 1 shall try to speak on this motion instead of on Bill C-20 because I understand that the motion we are studying this afternoon has to do with time allocation on Bill C-20. 1 do not understand why we should extend ad infinitum the time allocation on that bill. I have never been in favour of motions under 75C, especially when introduced by the former government in relation to a so-called omnibus bill. May I call it five o'clock, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink
PC

Fred Alward McCain (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McCain):

Order, please. May I remind the House that the time allotted for this debate under Standing Order 75C was two hours. One hour and 54 minutes has now elapsed. The debate will, therefore, be interrupted six minutes after resuming debate at 8 p.m.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF TIME TO CONSIDER COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE STAGE OF BILL C-20
Permalink

December 10, 1979