March 28, 1974

NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Six months.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
PC

Reginald Francis Stackhouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stackhouse:

Yes, opening up the new deadline in six months. I hope whichever party is in power in six months-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Not you.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
PC

Reginald Francis Stackhouse

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stackhouse:

Maybe. The hon. member was wrong a few minutes ago, and he may also be wrong in the near future. One thing we do hope is that six months or a year from now there will be in office a government that is prepared to honour the public's commitment to the veterans of this country. The government has been forced into this extension and it is clear to the whole country that the

March 28, 1974

Veterans Land Act

legislation which this parliament is about to adopt is strictly because of the pressures put upon the government by the opposition.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Arnold Peters (Timiskaming):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to participate on third reading may I say I hope very few members of the House feel the same way as the previous speaker. It is a fact that this legislation has been handled very badly, and this because of the lack of initiative that has been taken and because the committee was not seized of the matter during the period when the committee had very important legislation before it arising out of the Woods commission report. Although this is no excuse, I think it would be unfair to members of parliament if the political discussion that has taken place is again introduced when further legislation is presented.

I am pleased that the minister, no doubt reluctantly- not because of personal reluctance but obviously because the decision had been made, minority government being what it is-has made this change to the legislation. However, I do not wish to echo the observation that the change has come about as a result of political expediency.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
PC

Charles Humbert Thomas

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas (Moncton):

What else?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

The hon. member says, "What else?". That may be a good question but I think the fact is that this extension was brought about because of-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
PC

Charles Humbert Thomas

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Thomas (Moncton):

Political expediency.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink
NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

-manipulation and manoeuvering, and a lot of effort on the part of a number of hon. members. I do not consider the work done by the hon. member for Humber-St. George's-St. Barbe (Mr. Marshall), the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) and a number of other members to have been motivated entirely by politics, but rather by the expediency of a situation that presented itself.

To ensure that this does not happen again and that veterans' legislation is not changed in this way from now on, I strongly urge the minister to give full consideration to how far the government can go in making the required changes to the act, and that he do it through the normal legislative process, namely, by introducing the changes, referring them to the committee and hearing representations from the various veterans' organizations. These changes should be dealt with before the legislation enters the political arena where 20 members or so discuss it in a partisan way. That has not been the practice in my experience over the years. It was not the way changes were brought about in the veterans' charter.

I hope we do not start projecting changes of this kind into the political arena. It seems to me that if this is the case, then in the end the veterans will be poorly done by. Rather, we should in full conscience, after discussion and deliberation, make such changes in the normal way. I have not consulted the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, but I hope that his amendment to the bill today does not have to be used, though I am sure it will be. The only way that it will not be used is if the government comes forward with an acceptable proposition which it

puts before the veterans affairs committee and that proposition receives the sort of discussion it should receive in that committee.

There are other matters I could deal with, Mr. Speaker. Personnally, I do not want to see legislation relating to prisoners of war brought before the House in the manner of this piece of legislation. But with a minority government this can happen, and if it does I am sure the legislation will pass. However, this is not the way we have operated in this House in matters relating to veterans affairs, and I strongly hope it will not become the way in which we make changes in this field.

I hope the minister will seriously consider just how far he can go, and will weigh the merit of the various proposals put forward by hon. members during this debate. I trust he will refer these and several other subjects that he knows are important to veterans' organizations in the country to the standing committee, where they can be deliberated free from pressures that are applied in the political arena.

As a veteran, may I say I am proud of the legislation we have developed over the years. But it is never so good that it cannot be made better. I suggest that members of parliament who wish to do as much as possible on behalf of the nation to repay the veterans for the service they have given should make generous and effective provision for our veterans, and in a non-partisan way, as has been our custom. To bring this about we will have to depend on the minister bringing forth legislation that will eliminate some of the immediate problems veterans in Canada today are beginning to face.

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   VETERANS LAND ACT
Sub-subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FROM MARCH 31, 1974 TO MARCH 31, 1975
Permalink

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell:

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, could I have confirmation of the business for tomorrow, since we have made such excellent progress tonight?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

John Mercer Reid (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

Mr. Speaker, we will be taking the competition bill tomorrow.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

And if we

finish it?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink
LIB

John Mercer Reid (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

If we finish it, we will have a choice between the CNR financing bill and the parks bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Permalink

PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 40 deemed to have been moved. March 28, 1974


MANPOWER-OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH PROJECTS- NATURE OF CONSULTATION OF PRIORITIES-REASON FOR DISCONTINUANCE OF CONSTITUENCY ADVISORY GROUPS

PC

David Samuel Horne MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Mr. David MacDonald (Egmont):

Mr. Speaker, the question I am raising again this evening is the original question raised on March 4 with respect to the notice given by the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Andras) to members of parliament on February 28 concerning the letter that had been circulated indicating both the nature of the selection process for Opportunities for Youth grants and the initial allocation of funds.

Hon. members may recall that on March 4 I raised with the minister the problem of the abandonment of the previous principle of constituency advisory groups. The minister indicated to me at that time that they were being abandoned for two reasons, which he indicated. First, he said there was some question about the time involved in terms of processing in order to approve these projects and notify the fortunate recipients, and the other question was a matter of the amount of money. In a later answer to me the minister said in the House that there was also a problem in respect of the selection of Opportunities for Youth groups, which would take place in what are known as 33 labour market areas rather than within precise constituency boundaries.

I must say at the outset that I find the minister's logic and argument fallacious and illusory. If he is talking about time to process these grants, I do not know for the life of me why there should be less time available this year than there was in any preceding year when this principle was adopted. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the deadline of March 15, and more than a month to file before the projects would finally be approved and the individuals notified, is more than sufficient time for individual constituency advisory groups to meet. We have known for the past few days, for instance, the list of projects which have been submitted from the Egmont constituency. Tomorrow evening I plan to meet with a publicly-appointed representative group of citizens from the Egmont area who will advise me and, hopefully, the minister as to the projects they think merit funding, and some priority in respect of these projects. That does not seem to involve an inordinate amount of time and I think the minister's excuse that there is no time is really no excuse at all.

Secondly, the minister said there is the problem of distribution into the market areas. Since there is no further explanation of what this means, and since I assume that projects are being listed and sent to members item by item on a continuing basis, this is simply some kind of bureaucratic gobbledygook which has no real impact on the problem. Thirdly, when the minister suggested there is not much money being used, I am reminded of the minister's predecessor from the same riding who is reported to have said, and who will go down in history having had this attributed to him, "What's a million?" This minister is apparently prepared to say, "What's $25 million or $30 million?" It is still a great deal of money in this country and I think the government has the responsibility to be accountable to the public in this House.

Adjournment Debate

There is an additional aspect to this matter. I think there is necessity for an effective accounting to the young people themselves. The young people who take the time and the trouble to submit projects have a right to know that they are selected on some other basis than the smile of lady fortune, the turn of a wheel or by some official who has the most peripheral kind of information and awareness about a constituency, with the result that decisions are not made on the basis of sound, rational judgment or comparison.

In addition to that, if that is not sufficient, we have had the ridiculous situation that in a great many areas there has been no project officer either to advise or to assist young people or, in later stages, to assist in processing or judging these projects. It is true that there is no project officer in a number of cases where there was none during the submission period of this program, but the thing that strikes me as a piece of irony is the response to my criticism about the lack of project officers-and Prince Edward Island must stand out as the classic case. The very day the minister announced the new Opportunities for Youth program, the number of project officers in Prince Edward Island, and I believe New Brunswick, ceased to exist, or at least the last ones had served their time and that was the end.

From the end of January until March 15, when the deadline closed for submissions, there were no project officers in Prince Edward Island. I think this can be verified quite easily. I do not think there were any in New Brunswick, and there was only a limited or skeleton staff operating from the regional office at Halifax. I do not have the facts and figures as to the rest of the country, but I presume the same situation pertained. And this is the situation which the minister says is rational and fair for the young people of this country.

Mr. Speaker, quite frankly I think the administration of OFY has gone full circle to the first year of its innovation. There is no excuse for this. It must seem to some people that this is an example of irresponsibility, I think the department is deliberately trying to torpedo this operation and make it so ineffectual and so insufficient that one would not consider funding it in successive years. I think this is a great loss to the young people who have submitted these programs over the years and who this year have submitted many worth-while proposals. I hope the minister will begin to take seriously a program which has been taken seriously by many young people in this country.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   MANPOWER-OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH PROJECTS- NATURE OF CONSULTATION OF PRIORITIES-REASON FOR DISCONTINUANCE OF CONSTITUENCY ADVISORY GROUPS
Permalink
LIB

Mark R. MacGuigan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Mark MacGuigan (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Manpower and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, as my minister has stated in the House, members of parliament will not be put in the position of having to decide the priority of projects. The government agrees with the hon. member for Egmont (Mr. MacDonald) that that would be most improper. On the other hand, hon. members will be consulted in the assessment of project applications. We will also consult with the provinces and with local agencies, community groups, civic officials and persons of expertise in the fields which might be of interest to this year's OFY program. In the last analysis, however, the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Andras) is the only person who decides the approval or rejection of any project application.

974

March 28, 1974

Adjournment Debate

The hon. member for Egmont has spoken of a reversal of policy in the decision-making process for OFY. There is no reversal of policy. In previous years, when that program was the responsibility of another department, the funds were not allocated on a constituency basis. They will not be this year either. As my minister stated in his letter to hon. members on February 28, "the allocation of funds for the Opportunities for Youth program will be made on the basis of the 33 labour market areas in Canada, which in most cases cover several constituencies."

Since the funds for OFY are not allocated on a constituency basis, it would be difficult to form constituency advisory groups. However, in the consultation process, when we ask the advice of hon. members we would hope that their views would reflect their own consultation with local agencies, community groups and civic officials. I want to reiterate that consultation will take place widely and that we depend on it for the success of the program. We appreciate the constant interest of the hon. member and the interest we hope all hon. members will show as projects are being considered.

With particular reference to Prince Edward Island, there was one project officer in Charlottetown until the end of January. Another has since been hired. In the meantime, a fully briefed secretary, experienced in the OFY program, was in charge of the office. She was able to personally assist almost all who requested her advice. In the rare cases where she was unable to help, she either contacted the regional office herself or encouraged the applicant to call Halifax collect where help and advice were given. Information on the program was sent to schools, libraries, Canada Manpower centres and student manpower centres at universities. Thus, I am able to assure you, Mr. Speaker, that prospective applicants in Prince Edward Island received no less aid than their counterparts in other provinces.

In view of the alarmist statements the hon. member has made about the program, it would seem to me that perhaps it is the hon. member himself who is trying to torpedo it.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   MANPOWER-OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH PROJECTS- NATURE OF CONSULTATION OF PRIORITIES-REASON FOR DISCONTINUANCE OF CONSTITUENCY ADVISORY GROUPS
Permalink

GRAIN-FEED GRAIN-POLICY RESPECTING MARKETING

March 28, 1974