Chris AXWORTHY

AXWORTHY, Chris, Q.C., B.A. (Hons.), LL.M.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
March 10, 1947
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Axworthy
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=784f02b9-731c-4916-a183-c2b4ab93dc54&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
professor

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
NDP
  Saskatoon--Clark's Crossing (Saskatchewan)
  • N.D.P. Deputy House Leader (January 22, 1990 - January 1, 1993)
October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
NDP
  Saskatoon--Clark's Crossing (Saskatchewan)
  • Whip of the N.D.P. (September 6, 1994 - January 10, 1996)
June 2, 1997 - June 1, 1999
NDP
  Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 105)


May 13, 1999

Mr. Chris Axworthy (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, with these, my last words in this House, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the constituents of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, and before that Saskatoon—Clark's Crossing, and the hundreds of workers in election campaigns who granted me the privilege of being a member of the House for almost 11 years. It truly has been a privilege to be one of the 301 members who come here to serve the people of Canada.

I also extend my thanks to the House of Commons support staff, people like Tom, J. P. and Ray, who really make this place work, to my own staff over the years, and to my present staff, Mike, Adrian, Doris and Erika, in particular.

I thank members on all sides of the House for their many courtesies over the years and for their many friendships.

Lastly, I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and each and every member of the House for the privilege of working with them, as we all, each in our own way, strive to make Canada an even better place in which to live.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Resignation Of Member
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May 12, 1999

Mr. Chris Axworthy (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to present what is probably my last petition.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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May 12, 1999

Mr. Chris Axworthy

I am glad people are happy that it will be my last one.

The petition is from people all over Saskatchewan who confirm what everybody knows, that the Senate is undemocratic, unelected and unaccountable, costs $50 million and undermines the institutions of this House. They call upon parliament to undertake measures to abolish the Senate.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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April 12, 1999

Mr. Chris Axworthy

Madam Speaker, the member will know that the primary beneficiaries of the tax cuts he mentioned in Ontario and Alberta are the wealthy, not middle income Canadians. I share his view that it is the middle income Canadians who face the brunt of our tax system. In the 10 years I have been here we have seen middle income Canadians face an ever increasing tax burden. As a result of the important and necessary attack on the deficit they have seen themselves receive less and less in return. They are not getting good value for their money. They know that. That is the reason they are so disgruntled.

However, it is still the case across the country, no matter what the Reform Party says, that Canadians recognize the importance of the kinds of services that define the country—health care, education and social programs—and the need for those services to be paid for by tax revenues. That support, no matter what the Reform Party says, is there. It is there solidly and it will not go away.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 1999
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April 12, 1999

Mr. Chris Axworthy

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the member's earlier comments. Of course I regard him as a friend as well.

The point the member makes is an interesting one. If it were the case that tax cuts were the answer to problems faced by countries at the turn of the century, we would see countries with very high tax burdens being totally unsuccessful in the economic ventures we see ourselves facing. Countries with high taxes like Germany have very successful economies. There is no panacea to tax cuts as an instrument of ensuring economic success.

We would all favour lower taxes rather higher taxes, but in the context of ensuring that we provide the kinds of services Canadians demand, not just want, we need to ensure the level of taxation is adequate to meet those demands.

I would not necessarily put the member who spoke in this category, but the unfortunate aspect of those who argue for tax cuts is that it is a smoke screen for eliminating social services, social programs and government initiatives that those people find undesirable but the population at large finds quite desirable, continues to vote for and continues to see as important.

Health care is perhaps the greatest example of this. It seems that people will always take health care over tax cuts. There is no clamour across the country for the kind of tax cuts which the Reform Party and to some extent the Conservative Party argue for. People know they have to pay taxes for the services they need and they know there is a balance. The appropriate question is how to find that balance.

Plainly we do not have that balance with the present unfair tax system. I recognize that we cannot have a tax system that is far out of whack with our competitors' tax systems if we expect to be able to compete with them in terms of ensuring that our young people stay in this country to work, in terms of ensuring that employers invest in Canada and in terms of ensuring that we are competitive.

Canadians deserve tax cuts. I do not believe they should be the millionaires who received an $8,000 tax cut; they should be the people making $10,000 who only got a $51 tax cut. I would rather have given them something more meaningful than giving something to the millionaires. We need a more fair tax system which also reflects our international competitive situation.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 1999
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