November 17, 1997

?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Okanagan—Coquihalla.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Airbus
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REF

Jim Hart

Reform

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan—Coquihalla, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the minister will be happy to table those documents in the House.

Again, let us get this straight. The government has spent about a million dollars on Brian Mulroney's legal costs. There is another $2 million for the lawsuit. Now there has been another $35 million lawsuit launched by Karlheinz Schreibner.

How much more are Canadian taxpayers going to have to pay for this Liberal cover-up?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Airbus
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LIB

Herb Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the hon. member's question. There is no cover-up. If the hon. member had his way the Canadian taxpayer would have paid Brian Mulroney $50 million. Because of our negotiations that claim was dropped and that money saved to the Canadian taxpayer.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Airbus
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment.

Ever since the Canadian position on greenhouse gases has been raised, the government has repeatedly accused the Reform Party of disregarding environmental matters and of lacking the courage to take a stand on such matters.

After the meeting in Regina, does the federal government realize that it has assumed the Reform Party's position, based on the lowest common denominator?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Christine Stewart (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we had a very successful meeting in Regina last week, as I said, with environment and energy ministers in which we recognized that climate change is a real and serious issue that all of us in Canada must confront. We had a significant agreement about this and the fact that we will define implementation strategy post-Kyoto. They gave us the flexibility as an international negotiator to work with the international community for success in Kyoto.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Bernard Bigras

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, considering the weakness of the federal government's position, did the minister at least obtain assurances from the provinces that they will accept to ratify the agreement that will be reached in Kyoto?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Christine Stewart (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have to repeat that what came out of our meeting Regina last week was not a definitive position of the federal government with regard to the meeting in Kyoto. We did agree with our provincial environment and energy counterparts to flexible ideas of what targets we might put in place. However, the provinces recognize the important and significant role that the Government of Canada plays in negotiating international agreements.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the Association of Canadian Pension Management released a report today on Canada's retirement income system. Its report states that the current system is fundamentally unfair to future generations.

Why is the finance minister so willing to sacrifice the best interests of our children to paper over the cracks of his CPP pyramid scheme?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, over 75% of Canadians support the Canada pension plan.

The basic difference of opinion that has existed between ourselves and the Reformers has to do with the unfunded liability.

The hon. member in a statement on the weekend that I would like to quote for the first time has announced what Reform would do in terms of the unfunded liability. She said “we need to look at paying this unfunded liability out of general tax revenues”.

I would like to simply tell her that it would require a 25% increase in personal income tax to pay for that unfunded liability.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, it is probably because of the finance minister's continued bogus numbers that the Association of Canadian Pension Management recommended today that education about pensions should start in high school. Of course, this means that our kids would be sure to find out that their return on a lifetime CPP investment will be less than 2%.

Is not the finance minister in such a hurry to push through this CPP tax grab just so Canadians—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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?

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Finance.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, if you want to know the definition of a tax grab it is the 25% personal income tax increase recommended by the Reform Party or it is the doubling of the GST recommended by the Reform Party as a means of paying the unfunded liability.

That is the basic difference between the Reform Party and us, and we are not prepared to engage in a smash and grab tax program like the Reform Party.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

It is becoming obvious that the increasing dislike the Reformers are showing for the Calgary declaration makes its acceptance very unlikely.

What is the government's reaction to the fact that overall support for the Calgary declaration seems to be dissolving into thin air, especially since the Prime Minister had promoted the leader of the official opposition as a key player in this issue?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I believe this is wishful thinking on the part of the member.

Basically, the Calgary declaration reflects great Canadian values, a profound respect for diversity and support for equality. Except for the separatist party, all parties in this House have agreed to it. It has support from across the country, and what the member has just said about wishing there were none is even more reason for supporting it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
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BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, if I were him I would not be so quick to rejoice at Reform's support.

Does he not realize that the statement made in Calgary by the provincial premiers is déjà vu, in other words what is definitely not enough for Quebec is quickly becoming too much for the rest of Canada?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, what is definitely not enough for Quebec is this narrow minded plan to split Quebec from Canada. Quebeckers want to stay in Canada and they are quite right.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Calgary Declaration
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REF

Dave Chatters

Reform

Mr. David Chatters (Athabasca, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, for weeks now we have been asking this government for details on its position going into Kyoto and for weeks now the ministers have refused to discuss either how we achieve those targets or the cost to Canadians of that achievement. Over and over all we hear, and we heard it again today, is “we take this very seriously and it is a serious matter”.

If the government takes it seriously why are we the only country in the G-7 that has yet to announce a position going into Kyoto?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Christine Stewart (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this government would love the Reform Party to announce its position about whether or not it considers this to be a serious issue.

So far we hear nothing but scaremongering, fear, denial. What does this party represent?

We had a successful meeting in Regina with environment and energy ministers from all provinces and all territories who agreed that this is a serious issue and wanted the federal government to negotiate an international success for Kyoto.

We are working with all partners in this country toward implementing a strategy that will reduce emissions.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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REF

Dave Chatters

Reform

Mr. David Chatters (Athabasca, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, our position is not important. You are the government. It is your position.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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?

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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November 17, 1997