May 24, 1984

REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Sinclair Stevens (York-Peel):

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is also for the Minister of National Defence. I would like him to answer the question that I put. Would he indicate to the House whether the Government has definitively committed to a 3 per cent real growth expenditure increase not only for this fiscal year, but for the fiscal years 1986 and 1987? In short, can he assure the House that the Government has agreed to fund fully its commitment to NATO and our defence commitments generally at a 3 per cent real growth rate for the years to which I have referred?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
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?

Hon. J.-J. Blais@Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I was in Brussels last week.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
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PC

Erik Nielsen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nielsen:

Yes or no?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
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LIB

Jean-Jacques Blais (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

The Member for Parry Sound-Muskoka was with me at the time I made this statement. I indicated that Canada's undertaking to meet the 3 per cent real growth commitment is a real one, and one which I propose to honour.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

Is it approved?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
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LIB

Jean-Jacques Blais (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blais:

I suggest again, Mr. Speaker, that the proof of the Government's performance lies in how we have done in the past. Over the past five years, except for the time when the hon. gentleman was in government, our real rate of increase was 3.5 per cent in terms of defence expenditures.

May 24, 1984

Oral Questions BROADCASTING

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
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CONTROL OF ABUSIVE PROGRAMMING

LIB

John Gerald (Jack) Masters

Liberal

Mr. Jack Masters (Thunder Bay-Nipigon):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Communications. Pornography is an increasing concern to Canadians. At the moment the Subcommittee on Communications and Culture is studying sexual abuse in broadcasting. Is the Minister contemplating any action on Bill C-20, which is an Act to amend the Broadcasting Act, to address what is a very great concern to many Canadians?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONTROL OF ABUSIVE PROGRAMMING
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LIB

Francis Fox (Minister of Communications)

Liberal

Hon. Francis Fox (Minister of Communications):

Mr. Speaker, this is indeed an issue which we take very seriously. I have followed very closely the proceedings of the Special Committee on Communications and Culture which has heard a number of witnesses on this issue. I have also had the opportunity to discuss it at length with the Minister of State responsible for the Status of Women, and with my Cabinet colleagues. We have indeed decided to introduce an amendment to Bill C-20 to deal with the problem of abusive programming, particularly as it relates to women.

I think that this amendment will indeed make explicit the Government's commitment to the principle that all Canadians have the right to programming which respects the dignity and equality of individuals and groups. I would very much hope that we would have the co-operation of the Opposition to see to it that this amendment to Bill C-20, along with Bill C-20 as a whole, is adopted by the House as soon as possible.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CONTROL OF ABUSIVE PROGRAMMING
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HOUSING

NDP

Daniel James Macdonnell Heap

New Democratic Party

Mr. Dan Heap (Spadina):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Public Works, who is responsible for housing. As the Minister knows, his Government allotted SI.8 billion in 1983 to subsidize housing in Canada. Of that, $372.5 million went to non profit housing, including co-ops, and $393.4 million to publicly owned housing, which is about 41 per cent of the total. The other 59 per cent went to private profit builders and renovators.

Considering that private profit builders serve the more affluent people in Canada and that subsidies to them encourage inflation of housing costs, why did the Government give nearly three-fifths of the total subsidy to the affluent, and a little over two-fifths to the needy?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HOUSING
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS
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LIB

Roméo LeBlanc (Minister of Public Works; Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Liberal

Hon. Romeo LeBlanc (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, while not accepting the Hon. Member's convoluted arithmetic, I would tell him that this Government, in social housing terms, has done a great deal. In fact, if the Hon. Member bothers to look at the annual expenditure, he will

realize that this Government does more than all of the provinces put together.

The Hon. Member also confuses different types of housing which constitute social housing. That is why, if he attends meetings like the one held in Toronto the other night, he may be tempted to confuse co-op housing and social housing. The reality is that the problem of co-operative housing concerns the percentage of those who are assisted and who benefit from the program. In fact the Hon. Member should know that the queue of those waiting for social housing, including singles, ex-psychiatric patients, and battered women, is growing longer. It is to these groups that I have tried to give some attention in the past couple of years.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HOUSING
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS
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NDP

Daniel James Macdonnell Heap

New Democratic Party

Mr. Heap:

If the Hon. Minister had accepted the invitation that he was extended to meet with 700 people on Tuesday, he could have presented that point directly and tried to make it credible. In fact, he dodges the arithmetic that he talks about.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HOUSING
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS
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FUNDING FOR CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING

NDP

Daniel James Macdonnell Heap

New Democratic Party

Mr. Dan Heap (Spadina):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister has reduced the total social housing budget for this year by 10 per cent, to 22,500 allocations, but he has cut co-op housing by 45 per cent, to 3,339 allocations. Since his own CMHC report admitted last year that the capital costs of co-op housing are not significantly different from the capital costs of private profit housing, will he tell us why he has so savagely cut the allocations for co-op housing, and will he announce now where he will place the 7,653 allocations that he has not yet announced this far into 1984?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FUNDING FOR CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING
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LIB

Roméo LeBlanc (Minister of Public Works; Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Liberal

Hon. Romeo LeBlanc (Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member should know from answers in the House that in fact, for a number of years, we had been given more than the normal allocation in social housing units in order to create some economic activity. It was understood all along by those who bothered to find out that, at one point, we would come back to the 22,500 level, where we are this year.

As for the reduction in one type of social housing, co-op housing, again I say to the Hon. Member that, as we face the problems of homeless singles, the problem of ex-psychiatric patients who have nowhere to go, and as we face the problems of rural and native housing, housing those who are the worst housed people in our country, we had to do some reallocation, and that is what I have done.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FUNDING FOR CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING
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NATIONAL REVENUE

PC

Henry Perrin Beatty

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Perrin Beatty (Wellington-Dufferin-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of National Revenue. It concerns the economic intelligence network of his Department, which appears to have been set up by someone who has seen too many B movies and felt it was necessary to

May 24, 1984

have a group of gum shoes within the tax Department. In view of the fact that his chief of audit, Mr. Robertson, said that the group was killed because he found it frightening in its perception, why was the group ever established in the first place? Was it established with the knowledge of the then Minister? Precisely what was the nature of the information which the group hoped to get from External Affairs, the RCMP, FIRA, Statistics Canada, Energy, Mines and Resources, and from informers?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT'S ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE NETWORK
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LIB

Pierre Bussières (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. Pierre Bussieres (Minister of National Revenue):

Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member was perfectly right in stressing the fact that this group was never operational and that, after the concept was developed, the departmental authorities decided that it did not meet its objectives. I am in complete agreement with this decision.

The idea was to have a special group appointed to collect information on larger companies, which information could be used to further clarify certain income tax returns. As was indicated by the Hon. Member, when this concept was developed, it was not considered to be compatible with the objectives of the Department and it was felt that it would not be proper to implement such a system in view of the nature and the function of the Department. In other words, this system was never put into effect and has never been operational.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATIONAL REVENUE
Sub-subtopic:   DEPARTMENT'S ECONOMIC INTELLIGENCE NETWORK
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May 24, 1984