December 14, 2001

?

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Guaranteed Income Supplement
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there are two important things. The guaranteed income supplement has been a part of the pension structure for the last 30 years and since the very beginning there has been a retroactivity provision. This provision is the same provision, or in some cases better, as the provisions that are provided in the Canada pension plan and the Quebec pension plan.

We do want to support and serve Canadian seniors well and I believe with the structures we have in place we are doing just that.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Guaranteed Income Supplement
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BQ

Marcel Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we do not understand the federal government's attitude.

Seniors do not understand the government's stubborn insistence on denying them their rights either.

Does the government not think this is a good time to do the right thing by seniors and drop its present petty-minded attitude?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Guaranteed Income Supplement
Permalink
LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the hon. member would be interested to know that in Quebec alone my department's outreach workers have directly contacted 600,000 clients to explain old age security and guaranteed income supplement.

He would be interested to know that in Quebec alone 2,000 service providers and seniors' groups are working with us to get the news out about these important pension programs. I would expect that the hon. member's constituents would ask him and want him to join us in that constructive endeavour.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Guaranteed Income Supplement
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NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, as parliament recesses for the holiday season I would like to ask the Revenue Canada minister to imagine for a moment that he has Down's syndrome, or that he is blind, to imagine that he is among the 106,000 Canadians who received a letter from their government demanding proof that they are still mentally challenged or still blind and that if they cannot pay to get that proof from a doctor they will not receive a penny of their disability tax credit this year.

Will the Revenue Canada minister now connect his head with his heart and announce the cancellation of this cruel harassment of Canadians living with disabilities?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Persons with Disabilities
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LIB

Martin Cauchon

Liberal

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the tax system is based on the self-assessment system. As I have said many times, we do proceed with audits of our major accounts in order to verify the integrity of the self-assessment system.

We do know that it is something very sensitive. That is why we have been in touch with all the associations across Canada in order to fulfil that duty in a very professional manner.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Persons with Disabilities
Permalink
NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is not season's greetings or goodwill messages that the minister has sent out to the 106,000 Canadians living with disabilities. It is not just a sensitive matter, it is a lethal threat to the thin thread of economic security that supports those Canadians in coping with the demands of daily living.

I will try this again. In the spirit of the holiday season, does the minister have it in his heart to put an end to this cruel harassment and announce the termination, the cancellation, of this unreasonable demand, and reinstate this lifeline to Canadians living with disabilities?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Persons with Disabilities
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LIB

Martin Cauchon

Liberal

Hon. Martin Cauchon (Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, that tax credit could be a lifelong tax credit. The agency is receiving more than 160,000 demands for the tax credit on a yearly basis. We are doing the work we used to do. We are just reviewing the files through an audit.

I would like to tell the member one more time that we do understand it is a very sensitive issue. We are in touch with all the associations across Canada to ensure that we are working in co-operation with them, and we will fulfill our duties in a very professional way.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Persons with Disabilities
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PC

Joe Clark

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at 7 a.m., the RCMP raided the home of François Beaudoin and seized his laptop computer.

Oddly, this computer was not on the list of documents, material and equipment which the BDC seized unlawfully last spring. This illegal seizure was overturned by Judge Silcoff.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether there is any new information which would justify this new seizure and whether any new charges have been laid against Mr. Beaudoin?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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LIB

Brian Tobin

Liberal

Hon. Brian Tobin (Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP does not seek the permission nor does it give any notice to members of the cabinet or any member of the House prior to conducting its work. In this case no notice was given and no consent was sought.

The RCMP is doing its job. I would suggest to the former right hon. gentleman that we let it do its job.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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PC

Joe Clark

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Calgary Centre, PC/DR)

Mr. Speaker, could the solicitor general advise the House if there is any intent to seize computers or records of any parliamentarian, any journalist, any media outlet or any other persons who have been investigating any aspect of the François Beaudoin or the Auberge Grand-Mère issues?

This allows for a yes or no answer. Will the records of parliamentarians or journalists be seized?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if my hon. colleague is trying to destroy the integrity of probably one of the best police forces in the world. As a former prime minister of Canada that is totally unacceptable.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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CA

Rahim Jaffer

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the RCMP conducted its second raid on François Beaudoin's home in its investigation of whether a BBC document connecting the Prime Minister to the Auberge Grand-Mère is forged or authentic. Apparently a Southam news journalist was informed of the raid before Mr. Beaudoin or his lawyer.

What is the solicitor general doing about this breach of confidentiality of an RCMP investigation?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague is well aware that, if he has some concerns about the RCMP, there is a proper process to take. My hon. colleague should also be aware that he is trying to discredit one of the best police forces in the world. If he has a complaint there is a proper way to make it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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CA

Rahim Jaffer

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton—Strathcona, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the minister discredits justice because he does not give a damn about justice in this country. This investigation involves the integrity of the Prime Minister and the independence of the RCMP. This apparent leak to a journalist may bring the administration into disrepute.

Will the solicitor general assure the House that there is an independent investigation into the leak of this at arm's length of both the RCMP and the PMO?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Permalink
LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am kind of surprised that my hon. colleague would be discussing misrepresentation. The fact of the matter is, as I have said many times, there is a proper process to take if he has a complaint against the RCMP. He knows that is the process to take.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, a coalition of people who support the introduction of a new parental leave system is meeting today with the government of Quebec. They want the two governments to agree to the introduction of a new program, but right now Ottawa is refusing to co-operate.

Since the Employment Insurance Act allows the federal government to transfer money to provinces which set up an equivalent or superior program, how can the Minister of Human Resources Development explain her refusal to co-operate in the introduction of a new program for Quebec?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on this side of the House, we are very proud of the fact that we have been able to double parental benefits to ensure that all Canadians, including those living in the province of Quebec, now have the choice to stay at home with their newborns or their newly adopted children for up to a year.

As I have always said, if the government of Quebec, wishes to add to that important addition in the employment insurance system, it is welcome to do so.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's program is limited to those receiving employment insurance benefits, which excludes many families.

Quebec wants to introduce a program that would cover all families, including self-employed workers. Furthermore, the EI fund is full to overflowing.

If the government truly has the interests of families at heart, why will it not support the new parental leave program the government of Quebec wants to set up?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, another important aspect of the expansion of the benefits the government has provided is the fact that we have done it without increasing costs. As the Minister of Finance has said, in every year for the last eight years we have been able to reduce employment insurance premiums.

Again, if the government of Quebec chooses to add to that very strong base, it is welcome to do so.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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December 14, 2001