Some Hon. Members:
Subtopic: FREE TRADE
Sub-subtopic: DEFINITION OF SUBSIDY
The hon. gentleman may find a vacancy at the top of his own Party. It has been vacant now for four years.
Mr. Speaker, in response to the main body of the Hon. Member's question, we do not know whether the negotiations to find common definition of trade distorting subsidy will be successful or not. In the history of the world there has never been a successful negotiation to that end, but we will give it our best effort.
I am delighted to see that the Hon. Member got his Party's chief financial officer to work on his leadership campaign. He will need him.
I know that, given the fact that one issue took up a great deal of time, Hon. Members will co-operate in letting the Hon. Member for New Westminster-Burnaby have her first question in this session.
December 22, 1988
Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):
Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of National Health and Welfare. The Minister is aware that there are more than one million Canadian children living in poverty. He is responding to their desperate need with a miserly 36-cent increase in family allowances this January. In fact, that is a cut in the real value of family allowances.
During the election my Party called for a 20 per cent increase in family allowances and the refundable child tax credit. Will the Government consider making that increase as a real first step in dealing with the desperate problem of child poverty?
Hon. Jake Epp (Minister of National Health and Welfare):
Mr. Speaker, I answered a similar question earlier in this session. Let me point out two things to the Hon. Member. The reduction of poverty, particularly as it affects Canadian children over the last four years, is obviously what the Government and I think Canadians generally are pleased with. We would like to see more, but that statistic is something I want to point out to the Member.
Second, the other day I gave figures on the increases for Canadian families, particularly those low income groups, relating to the family allowance and the child tax credit. I was incorrect in some of those figures because they were, in fact, higher than the ones I gave to the House. The total benefits that the Hon. Member refers to, from 1986, with actual full indexation, was an increase of $370.32.
While it was not in the legislation, there was a substantial increase in the child tax credit included in the terms of the budgetary provisions of the Minister of Finance. I think every social policy agency argues that the child tax credit is the way to go. We have expanded that dramatically.
The Hon. Member should look at that side of the ledger. She will find a substantial increase well beyond any inflationary figure.
I regret to advise the Hon. Member that, given the time, I will do everything I can to get her second question in, perhaps tomorrow. She might discuss this with her Whip.
Business of the House
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. May I ask unanimous consent of the House to table a report?
Mr. Benno Friesen (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Employment and Immigration):
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 101, I have the honour to present to the House in both official languages the report of the Canadian Group of the Interparliamentary Union, report of the official parliamentary delegation which represented Canada at the Interparliamentary Conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, September 19 to September 24.
I want to add that the Canadian group is proud of the notable accomplishments by our delegation led by Senator Nathan Nurgitz. Canada's proposal to amend the rules to ensure that the Union's executive committee always includes at least two women parliamentarians was adopted unanimously.
Second, Senator Joan Neiman was elected to the union's committee which monitors and investigates violations of human rights of parliamentarians throughout the world. The essential work of this committee, which will now have direct Canadian input, deserves the support of all parliamentarians.
Hon. Herb Gray (Windsor West):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order to ask the Deputy Government House Leader the usual question which will enable him to give us a statement of government business for the next period of days.
Hon. Doug Lewis (Minister of State and Minister of State (Treasury Board) and Acting President of the Treasury Board):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the
December 22, 1988
Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement
Elouse that for the balance of the day the House will continue consideration of third reading of Bill C-2, the legislation to enact to Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States.
The Opposition has quite properly stated its intention to prolong debate at third reading. Therefore, I give notice that at the next sitting of the House, immediately before the Order of the Day is called for resuming debate on the motion standing in the name of the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Crosbie) for third reading of Bill C-2, an Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States of America, and on any amendments proposed thereto, I will move that the debate shall not be further adjourned.
Tomorrow we will proceed with the motion of closure and complete debate at third reading of Bill C-2, probably at one o'clock a.m. Saturday, December 24.
During Motions under Routine Proceedings tomorrow, after discussion with my colleagues opposite, we will propose a motion without debate, the effect of which will be to adjourn the House to the call of the Chair for the purpose of receiving a Message from the Senate respecting the giving of Royal Assent to the said Bill, and that immediately following Royal Assent on the said Bill a motion to rescind the Order of the House of December 16, 1988, respecting sitting hours shall be deemed to have been moved by a Minister of the Crown, and the Speaker shall forthwith deem such motion adopted, in keeping with the undertaking we gave during debate, and shall adjourn the House for a reasonable time.
The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Crosbie that Bill C-2, an Act to implement the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the United States of America, be read the third time and passed.