December 3, 1992

NDP

Iain Francis Angus (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Iain Angus (Thunder Bay-Atikokan):

Mr. Speaker, the Tory government has a responsibility to develop a national highway program and it has failed utterly to meet that obligation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HIGHWAY PROGRAM
Sub-subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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NDP

Howard Douglas McCurdy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Howard McCurdy (Windsor-St. Clair):

Mr. Speaker, this is a compilation of press comments on the mini budget. It is uninspiring, unimaginative, as bad as the Liberal statements in the early 1980s. Canadians have been scrooged by a mini budget which is too little, too late, too Tory, a terrible exercise. The Tories did not know what the right thing was for the last eight years and still do not. This is a mini budget, heartless and brainless, a brazen attack on the nation's most vulnerable citizens. As Tories run out of gas, this has been a government running on an intellectual fuel tank marked empty. I quote from La Presse: Le remede de Mazankowski est me boite de Q-Tips.

But there is also hope from the same source. It is la fin du regne.

The program that the minister announced yesterday is not a national one. It does nothing to meet the transportation needs of much of Canada, in particular northern Ontario.

The Ontario Auditor General has found that it will take $20 billion to bring that province's highway system to a satisfactory level. Provinces and municipalities throughout Canada have been hard hit by the Tory recession so the federal government must participate in a shared program of infrastructure reconstruction.

The federal government should identify all federal transportation responsibilities that require upgrading, including VIA Rail, CN, CP, marine facilities and funding for provincial transportation services.

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Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HIGHWAY PROGRAM
Sub-subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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FIREARMS CONTROL


Federal investment in Canada's infrastructure is long overdue and would assist Canada's economic recovery while creating desperately needed jobs. The projects that would result would also make many of our highways safer.


PC

Bill Attewell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Attewell (Markham-Whitchurch -Stouff-ville):

Mr. Speaker, last July legislation was passed to tighten the control of firearms. However, one important measure to reduce the illegal use of firearms was not addressed. I am referring to the need to amend the Criminal Code to introduce a law that would have a minimum mandatory prison sentence whenever an individual, including a young offender, commits a crime using a firearm.

The finance minister's economic statement yesterday was bad news for transportation in Canada and bad news for the economy. It is a shameful product of a Tory government that has lost the right to govern.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FIREARMS CONTROL
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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DISABLED PERSONS


Many law enforcement officers are supportive of this idea. Chief Bryan Cousineau of the York Regional Police agrees. He is adamant that even first-time offenders committing a crime while carrying a firearm should be given a mandatory jail sentence. It is time for us to get tougher with those who threaten the lives of our citizens. We should not tolerate people who use guns to commit crimes. There should be no plea bargaining, only mandatory jail sentences for such actions.


PC

Bruce Halliday

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bruce Halliday (Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations has declared today, December 3, as the International Day of Disabled Persons.

Canada must invest in all her citizens, including persons with disabilities, if we are to ensure that the Canada of tomorrow will be strong and competitive. Such a commitment has been clearly demonstrated in recent years by our annual National Access Awareness Week and the current five-year National Strategy for the Integration of Persons Disabilities.

Canada is recognized as a world leader in integrating disabled persons into the community.

Earlier this year we hosted Independence '92 in Vancouver. In October the Secretary of State, the minister responsible for the status of disabled persons hosted the first ever International Conference of Ministers Responsible for Persons with Disabilities in Montreal. A few days later he addressed the UN General Assembly in special session to mark the end of the Decade of Disabled Persons.

Today, as we recognize the International Day of Disabled Persons, I congratulate the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for their vision, energy and leadership in working for equality of opportunity for persons with disabilities, both in Canada and around the world.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DISABLED PERSONS
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GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE

LIB

Don Boudria (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Don Boudria (Glengarry-Prescott -Russell):

Mr. Speaker, farm producers in supply managed sectors are concerned about the GATT trade talks. For five years Canada and about 100 other countries have been negotiating a new trade agreement. Today the talks are deadlocked and some countries are threatening to impose tariffs.

Canadian farmers have been well served by GATT article XI. They want it to be maintained. The government must help them now and give them the assurance that article XI will be kept.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE
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ECONOMIC RECOVERY MEASURES

PC

Gaby Larrivée

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gaby Larrivee (Joliette):

Mr. Speaker, I must say I welcome the economic recovery measures announced by the Minister of Finance. First of all, the government is maintaining a sound and responsible economic policy. Second, the government is introducing measures to help small businesses.

We all know that small business is the primary engine of our economy and the prime creator of jobs. The government's measures include an exemption from unemployment insurance premiums for new businesses starting up in 1993.

Oral Questions

Furthermore, a 10 per cent investment tax credit will be offered to small businesses. Finally, the ceiling for loans to individual businesses under the Small Businesses Loans Act will be raised from $200,000 to $250,000.

Mr. Speaker, I am confident that these support measures for small business will stimulate economic recovery and help Canadians who are seeking jobs.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC RECOVERY MEASURES
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

ECONOMIC STATEMENT

LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, now that Canadians have had a chance to look at the statement of the Minister of Finance it is evident that the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and the cabinet just do not get it.

There is absolutely nothing in it for the unemployed. They are not attacking unemployment; they are attacking the people who are not working. There is nothing in this budget that will create jobs and create growth. That is very evident and we have made some suggestions to the government.

Why has the Minister of Finance not taken the suggestion of the opposition to plug the loopholes referred to by the Auditor General last week when he said that hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars are placed abroad by big corporations which are avoiding taxes in Canada?

That money could be used to create a program for infrastructure as demanded by the municipalities. The government could create jobs immediately. For every dollar invested by the federal government it could have had $3 of success.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, there was a very sensible and affordable infrastructure program advanced in the economic plan I introduced yesterday.

With respect to the closing of loopholes, for example, financial institutions were paying $150 million a year in tax in 1984. We introduced the large corporations tax and the capital tax on large financial institutions. Last year financial institutions paid $1 billion in income tax.

December 3, 1992

Oral Questions

In 1985, we introduced a minimum tax regime for high-income individuals. We eliminated income splitting among family members through the use of interest-free loans. We removed tax shelters based on investments in yachts, recreational vehicles and other similar properties. We terminated the scientific research tax and credit measure. We stopped the so-called carve-out transactions in oil and gas. We prevented the use of trusts and market securities issued in such a way that the capital returns to investors were distributed tax free.

I could go on to 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1990 to cite more.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Leader of the Opposition):

What a great speech. While the government did that, it produced a deficit of $30 billion every year.

Now the Auditor General tells the government there are some loopholes and it is not moving on them.

Yesterday the Government of Quebec, using the limited resources at its disposal, tabled a program that may create jobs. We suggested a program to the federal government. This summer I travelled across Canada. I spoke to the mayors of Montreal, Laval and a number of other municipalities, and they are all ready to create jobs immediately.

Why does the government not do something? Is it because when they give money to municipalities they cannot play the patronage game themselves?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, the economic plan I outlined yesterday takes steps to encourage investment in growth, investment in people, investment in infrastructure, investment in trade, encouraging partnerships and takes action with respect to costs.

The infrastructure program announced yesterday is something that can go forward very quickly. Discussions with a number of provinces are at an advanced stage. We want to transform the commitment for these infrastructure undertakings into action as soon as we possibly can

so there can be jobs created and a spin-off benefit can occur. That will not only stimulate economic activity. It will also improve the competitiveness and productive capacity of our country.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, there is something in the minister's budget that is worrying a lot of Canadians. That is the new rule forcing those who quit their jobs voluntarily out of the unemployment benefit scheme.

We have received many telephone calls today from women's organizations telling us there are a lot of people who are obliged to quit their jobs because of sexual harassment. In order to keep their privacy they are willing to take a penalty of 12 weeks but still benefit from the plan to which they have made contributions for many weeks or months.

Is it fair to oblige them now to make a case for their situation if they want to draw what they have invested in an insurance program?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, I think this is a very serious question. The hon. member mentions receiving calls from women's organizations. Looking at the irresponsible and false statements made yesterday by Judy Rebick and Nancy Riche, the president of the NDP, no wonder those people are concerned out there.

Some people have interpreted this measure as meaning that sexually harassed people in Canada can no longer receive UI benefits. This is a falsehood. This is a false statement.

Sexually harassed persons are still protected. They were yesterday. They are today. They will be tomorrow. For those who are yelling on that side of the House, look at section 28 of the Unemployment Insurance Act.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ECONOMIC STATEMENT
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December 3, 1992