November 4, 1969

LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Order, please. I regret to interrupt the hon. minister but his time has expired.

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Some hon. Members:

Carry on.

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LIB

Albert Béchard (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bechard):

Does the house give unanimous consent?

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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

I want to mention the fact that through these two programs, involving heavy expenditures for the people of Canada, we are touching those persons who are at inadequate levels of income and employment security. We are satisfied that for every dollar that we spend on occupational training in this country we will receive $3 in the form of increased productivity from the contribution that the worker will make in his working life to the economy of Canada. This is a very important aspect of our program because it makes good sense economically and it certainly makes the best sense from the point of view of social justice.

We all know, Mr. Speaker, there can be no better social form of investment than an investment in human resources. Manpower programs not only contribute to the quality of people and the pace of change but they set the preconditions for employment security and a better life. No government and no right thinking person in Canada can be unaware of the tempers and distempers of our times. If we are to meet the challenges that our young people are directing at us today; if we are to respond to their call for involvement in social action and social justice, we must find better ways of reaching the poor, disadvantaged and alienated. We as parliamentarians must make stronger attempts to break the barriers to opportunity, the barriers to unemployment and the barriers that are created by the vicious cycle of poverty, and social deprivation which inevitably lead to disenchantment with the bonds and structures with society.

My department is attempting to make that kind of outreach, to make an extra effort to reach the disadvantaged, the alienated and the poor. If the senior member for Halifax were here he would espouse with me the

work that has been accomplished in our manpower centres in Halifax, in the Gottingen Street project, working out of a store office in a poor and black neighbourhood. We have helped people through that outreach program by employing those from among the alienated to find jobs and better employment opportunities.

We are working in Toronto with the Rotary Club which is attempting to find employment for young people who have been incapable of entering the labour market. We are actively working with a youth group in Montreal trying to find better ways of reaching and solving the problems of the poor. I do not predict that what I have been talking about will bring about the complete transformation of our society. We are all aware of the importance of a healthy, viable economy and adequate levels of labour demand to any antipoverty labour strategy. Nor will new outreach alone resolve the roots of selfish ambition and intolerance that breed social injustice. Perhaps these initiatives, together with vigorous pursuit of the other programs by the government, will mark a new beginning.

We have heard in this debate a good deal about social policy in general. The predominant theme of the criticism has been that as a government we had been more concerned with planning and individual rights than with social justice and social programs for the people. It is not very long ago, Mr. Speaker, that I sat here and listened to hon. members opposite bemoaning the initiative we were taking in the field of social justice. I can still hear ringing in my ears the criticisms of members opposite when we brought in the Canada Pension Plan, the Canada Assistance Plan, the Medical Care Insurance Plan and the guaranteed income supplement. The cry then was: Wait for spring. Why do it now? let us do these things in stages.

Canada has come a long way in the field of social security. Any member of parliament can understand what this costs the people of Canada. We still have a long way to go in some of the programs that have already passed this House. Medicare, for example, is still not universally applicable. There are features of the Canada Assistance Plan of which many provinces have not taken advantage, such as the work activity program. In the government's view, the need now is to carry out a careful review of the social security system we have created. What are the gaps? How can the program be improved? Are we

November 4, 1969

The Address-Mr. MacEachen getting the best value for our tax dollar? What should be the next step? Should it be new programs additional to those we now have, a refinement and extension of current programs or some radically new initiative such as the guaranteed annual income? Just what are some of the options open to us in the field of social policy? We have the option of improving and strengthening existing social insurance and social assistance programs. We have the option of combining with this an extension of the guaranteed annual income concept.

The development of the guaranteed income supplement has provided the government with expertise and experience in this field and has also alerted us to some of the problems in this approach. When looking at existing programs and discussing options, the question of selectivity-which has been discussed at length-must be examined carefully. In this examination the government must take into account our financial resources and the willingness or otherwise of the Canadian taxpayer to support additional programs. It must take into account jurisdictional realities as well as existing programs, because we cannot start as if nothing had happened or as if there were no programs in existence in Canada. Whatever system we adopt or whatever technique we devise, we must be aware that the first focus is on people and that ultimately the techniques exist to deliver incomes and services to the people of Canada. We are trying to answer these questions and determine our course of action. Our conclusions will be made public in the white paper on social security.

What of the opposition? What are their proposals? In his speech the hon. member for Edmonton West (Mr. Lambert) attempted to explain why his party had voted against the subamendment of the Creditiste party. He quoted extensively from the Niagara resolutions to show that his party was in favour of the incentive society. What is an incentive society?

[DOT] (9:40 p.m.)

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NDP

David Lewis (Parliamentary Leader of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

Don't ask me.

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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

The official opposition guru in exile, Dalton Camp, claims that the Conservative Party is now left of the NDP. This was after Niagara Falls and before Winnipeg. Where "left of the NDP" is now, after the rhetoric and double-talk at Winnipeg, only God himself can tell the House.

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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please.

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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It is obvious that the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr. Asselin) rose at the expiration of the minister's time. Quite properly, the minister was allowed to continue. Discussions have taken place between the house leaders which indicate that there are only a few minutes of formal business to be conducted after the question is put. On behalf of my hon. friend from Charlevoix I feel I must ask whether the House is prepared to allow him the few minutes of time he would normally have taken, provided we finish our business before ten o'clock.

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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Is that agreed?

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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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PC

Martial Asselin (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Vice-Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Martial Asselin (Charlevoix):

Mr. Speaker, what we have just heard is the voice of the conscience of the Liberal party, of the government in power. Every time the government is in trouble, it invariably calls upon its trouble-shooter, the Minister of Labour and Immigration (Mr. MacEachen) to come to the rescue.

I must say the minister has responded with his usual skill, but many a time he makes inconsistent statements.

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Labour and Immigration attempts to ridicule the Progressive Conservative party's Niagara Falls meeting, he is out of order, because the purpose of this major meeting at Niagara Falls was not only the guidance of our party, but also a study of the problems now facing Canadians in order to find solutions for them. And if the minister has faith in the democracy of parties, I think he should be proud of the efforts made by the Progressive Conservative party at Niagara Falls to reach that objective.

Indeed, I think the Liberals will follow our lead in this field. They do so often because, on the first day of our Niagara Falls convention, the national chairman of the Liberal party announced in the newspapers that his party would hold sessions in Vancouver next fall in order to review its political programme and study the problems of Canadians.

The minister lacks sincerity when he tries to ridicule the serious meeting we had. Undoubtedly he merely wanted to joke about

November 4, 1969

the solutions that the government itself should find to rectify Canada's present situation.

Mr. Speaker, this serious situation has not been corrected in the Speech from the Throne which, in my opinion, lacks aggressiveness. I think that two priorities should have deserved more attention: inflation and the way to fight unemployment effectively.

It is not by propounding the abolishment of

25.000 jobs in the civil service any more than by closing four or five embassies that this government will effectively and definitely deal with the problem of inflation.

If the government neither has the courage nor the possibility to convince union leaders and industrialists to co-operate with it in order to support its anti-inflationary measures, the suggestions contained in the Speech from the Throne are not worth anything to settle existing problems.

Mr. Speaker, the province of Quebec with

140.000 unemployed finds itself in a serious situation. A recent study carried out throughout the province showed that with the exception of the Italians, it is the French Canadians who are getting the lowest wages.

We are amazed at the unrest now existing in Quebec. If action was taken-and I do not only accuse the federal government but also every other level of government-to settle the unemployment problem and economic matters, it would be easier to solve the cultural and linguistic problems.

As we have seen lately, Quebec is in a turmoil because federal politicians have failed to take seriously the options which the separatist movement offers to Quebecers. It was attempted to ignore the problem and to pursue an ostrich policy by saying: There are no separatists. Unfortunately there are many separatists in Quebec.

As for the separatism which was feared at a certain time but which was ignored, I think it has gone beyond reasonable limits. We do not witness mere excessive demonstrations of separatism and nationalism, but as could be seen last week, the explosion of a movement likely to cause a bloody revolution in Quebec.

May I ask that members be more quiet, Mr. Speaker?

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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. May we have silence in the chamber.

The Address-Mr. Asselin [DOT] (9:50 p.m.)

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PC

Martial Asselin (Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Vice-Chair)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Asselin:

Being nationalist scarcely

one year ago, these movements have perhaps become sovereignist or independantist. All this has been stired up by professional agitators. In Quebec, some teachers who should educate our children have become professional agitators and had the students take part in protest marches against the authorities.

Will the speech recently given by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) in Montreal settle the question? Indeed, the Prime Minister asked Liberal supporters to change the present Quebec government. Did the Prime Minister call on the Liberal militants to contest the policy of the Quebec government which is going to fight effectively the revolutionary movement that is beginning to be felt in Quebec? In my view the Prime Minister's statement had only one purpose: to fan the fire of the separatists, because these people have only one aim the dismemberment of the federal state.

It is not by using violence that we can check such movements as that, but rather by offering to the reasonable people of Quebec a new philosophy and a new orientation, by showing them that it is in the best interests of Canadians to live in a federal state.

How shall we achieve this? The responsibility in this regard does not rest solely with the members of the opposition, but also with the government members, especially with those from Quebec and also with the members of the Ralliement creditiste.

In my opinion, it is absolutely necessary to awaken within the adult population of Quebec a feeling of responsibility so that they may stand up to the young people who do not understand the problems now being discussed in Quebec.

I know that I have no right to criticize provincial legislation, but I wish to emphasize that three quarters of the young people who demonstrated recently in front of the Parliament buildings in Quebec had no understanding whatever of Bill 63 which was being discussed in the National Assembly.

How shall we achieve this, Mr. Speaker? By trying to awaken a sense of responsibilities among highly placed people in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada: union leaders, industrialists, directors of Chambers of Commerce, members of Rotary Clubs, in short, all those whose task is to support a legitimate government which introduces legislation for the benefit of the population.

November 4, 1969

Business of Supply

Anti-gaullist demonstrations by French students stopped when responsible people told the government: We are with you and we will back you.

Then the revolutionary students returned home and the population listened to common sense and to reason.

As a Quebecker, I am deeply sorry to see that some people in Quebec who have certain responsibilities towards their community, although perhaps not actively involved in politics, witness such events as those of last week without uttering one word or showing some reaction.

It is now high time that the voice of common sense and reason be heard in Quebec. May I tell my colleagues from Quebec that regardless of their political affiliation, they must stand united with us and urge the responsible people in that province to support every legislative proposal aimed at saving the Quebec community, both French-speaking and English-speaking.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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LIB

James Hugh Faulkner (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. It was my understanding of the concensus of the House that the hon. member be given until ten o'clock. If that was the agreement, then pursuant to section 5 of Standing Order 38 it is my duty to interrupt these proceedings and to put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the said motion?

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Some hon. Members:

On division.

Motion (Mr. Cullen) agreed to.

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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. H. A. Olson (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the said Address be engrossed and presented to His Excellency the Governor General by Mr. Speaker.

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Motion agreed to.


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

November 4, 1969