December 20, 1974

?

An hon. Member:

To call for restraint.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

We have done that all week. I should like to point out that only a few months ago we were in the midst of an election campaign in which the government opposite called for a majority government so that it could give this country leadership. I am startled that the government House leader tries to get up this morning and pretend that we have had leadership in the few months in which this parliament has been sitting. The number of bills that have been passed is nothing compared to the problems facing this country.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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?

An hon. Member:

Don't blame it on the government.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

The government has a clear and absolute majority in this House. It can do what it wants to, except when it tries to do something foolish, as it did this week. With the country's support, we were able to stop it.

Mr. Speaker, we are aware of the plight of 20,000 auto workers laid off or about to be laid off and nothing has been done about that by the government. Inflation is increasing apace, and the bill the government brought in this week will trigger even more inflation. It has no programs to cope with inflation problems, no new programs to cope with unemployment generally or winter unemployment in particular. We have a major increase in our trade deficit and no programs to cope with that situation. No legislation has been passed regarding housing. We had a bill yesterday, but the new Minister of State for Urban Affairs (Mr. Danson) gave the impression, when he took over the portfolio, that there was going to be action right away. But 1974 has gone, Mr. Speaker, and housing starts are down. We have a bill that really will not do much.

As for the promises we had from the Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. MacDonald) on November 5 and 6 that there would be legislation to replace the Veterans Land Act, it is now pretty clear that there is not going to be legislation. There is going to be some kind of arrangement, but we have not yet got that. I also say very strongly and with deep concern that nothing has been done in this session to cope with the problems facing old age pensioners who have to rely on old age security. There have been improvements to the Canada Pension Plan that will come into effect in 1975, it is true, but those improvements are no help to those who receive no CPP. There have also been the ordinary quarterly escalations in old age security and the guaranteed income supplement that we won in the minority parliament. But those escalations are always behind the actual rise in the cost of living both in terms of amount and in terms of the time they come into effect.

This week there was a proposal that certain privileged persons in Canada, namely, ourselves, were to get the cost

December 20, 1974

of living covered in advance for several years, but our old age pensioners have to wait until several months have gone by before they get an increase that does not equal even then the rise that they have already suffered in the cost of living. I contend, Mr. Speaker, that the Old Age Security Act should be amended in this parliament to provide for a pension that is adequate, and that provisions should be made for those pensions to escalate, certainly quarterly but also on a basis that will enable people in the coming quarter to meet the rising cost of living in that quarter. Getting increases in arrears at a time when they do not help to meet current problems is adding insult to injury. For the government House leader to stand up today, exuding the Christmas spirit and boasting that the government has a good record and has given leadership in the days this parliament has been in session, is a mockery of the facts.

We are glad there is going to be a recess, Mr. Speaker. This place needs it after the way it has been behaving this week. There are things that members now have to take to their constituents and find out what they think-about one bill in particular. I hope that when we come back in 1975 to continue this session, we will have a record of progress at least ten times as great as we have had in these few weeks; otherwise it will not be worth another of these speeches by the government House leader when the end of it comes.

Mr. Speaker, having said that-not as strongly as I would have liked, because I am disappointed in the leadership the government has given, disappointed in the lack of legislation to meet our problems, disappointed in the way that a government that paid some attention to the opposition in the minority days now has all its arrogance back-I hope the government has learned a lesson this week and realizes that there are some things it cannot get away with. What is important in this parliament is not just that we stop things that are wrong, but that we get things that are right. I hope the government will take that to heart in 1975.

Having said that, may I thank the government House leader again for having initiated this debate.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
LIB

William Warren Allmand (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Allmand:

Stanley, would you permit a question?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Would the hon. member address his remarks to Mr. Speaker, and not to

"Stanley."

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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LIB

William Warren Allmand (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Allmand:

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the hon. member a question-

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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?

An hon. Member:

Why don't you wait for the question period?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) has the floor. I was under the impression he was concluding his remarks. Perhaps the question could be asked at the conclusion of his remarks.

Christmas Recess

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

I would love to hear the question. After all, at this time we are usually in the middle of the question period.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
LIB

William Warren Allmand (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Allmand:

Mr. Speaker, does the hon. member not realize that of our 58 sitting days, 26 were taken up with opposition days, the budget and the Speech from the Throne?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Judging from all that has been done on government days, all our sitting days could as well have been allocated to the opposition. I gather from the question that somehow the government does not like the fact that the opposition has allocated to it opposition days in this House.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

How much is there on the order paper right now? How many measures are on it that would advance the economy and well-being of this country? I was at the end of my remarks in that vein, Mr. Speaker. I was about to conclude, unless hon. members feel that this is the question period, because it is now 11.30 and perhaps some of them would like to put questions to me. I don't mind.

I thank the government House leader for starting this debate. Every member can participate, if he wants to. It gives me the opportunity once again to say on behalf of all members of my party that, whatever our differences of opinion may be-and certainly we have our differences- we extend our warmest greetings for Christmas and the New Year-

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

Thanks.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
NDP

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

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

I heard someone say "Thanks." We extend our warmest greetings for Christmas and the New Year to Your Honour and to all hon. members, and I accept the thanks I heard being extended to me.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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SC

André-Gilles Fortin

Social Credit

Mr. Andre Fortin (Lotbiniere):

Mr. Speaker, I feel it is my duty to take part in what looks increasingly more like a debate on the effectiveness of House proceedings during the first session of this 30th Parliament.

I listened most attentively to the remarks the President of the Privy Council (Mr. Sharp) has made on the effectiveness of these proceedings and the expected results of the bills adopted by the House of Commons.

Mr. Speaker, there are always two faces to every coin. Several bills have indeed been adopted by the House. However, it remains that there are 39 other bills still on the order paper and waiting to be examined by members of the House.

Mr. Speaker, because of these 39 bills that are pending, when the House is about to adjourn, we are justified in questioning the effectiveness of Parliament.

As members of the Social Credit Party, we are aware of the need for streamlining this institution called Canadian Parliament with procedures which are truly our own, not imported from foreign parliaments, in order to attain

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December 20, 1974

Christmas Recess

optimum effectiveness, thanks to the efforts and planning of the President of the Privy Council.

It is mostly on his planning that I want to commend him, because through his co-operation and direction, we are made aware day by day of what the business of the House calls for on following days. So, we can plan in advance and determine who our speakers will be, research more fully our contributions and stop talking through our hats.

As a result of that planning and co-operation among parliamentary leaders of the various official parties in the House, we can attain maximum efficiency, despite the props of our old procedure.

A motion passed by the House to modernize our procedure, even if it means altering the time of the House sittings, is before the Committee on Procedure and Organization. Indeed, anything is allowed under that motion so that the Canadian people may really expect results from their Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, reference is now made to salary increases for members, a recess period, the efficiency of Parliament, the representability of members in their work, the distribution of member's work between standing committees and the House and, the increasing use of the committee of the whole. It is stated that 26 out of the 58 sitting days were allotted to the opposition. Such are the basic facts in our present procedures.

I wanted to limit myself today to saying that we, from the Social Credit Party of Canada, claim vehemently that we insist on participating intensively in the upgrading of those procedures. We are proud of Parliament, we are proud of being here to represent our fellow citizens, but we are disappointed to find ourselves bound by procedures imported from elsewhere, with the result that we very often lose our time discussing side issues.

Mr. Speaker, several members have businesses which they have to take care of during the private members' hour. Oftentimes the bills are put off indefinitely when they are not simply thrown away when someone asks for the quorum, as it happened this week.

Mr. Speaker, I think that since the government can judge its effectiveness by the number or the quantity of bills it puts forward, we must consider the possibility of judging the members' and every party's effectiveness by the quality and the number of the bills they put forward themselves.

Through an agreement, we should give more attention to private members' legislation, I think. Once more we shall prove the importance of private members' business.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the parliamentary leaders for their co-operation and congratulate the President of the Privy Council for the manner in which he conducts the business of the House through constant consultation and planned organization. I want to praise the Chair for the way it conducts our discussions in general and especially praise the newsmen for their presence and their honesty towards Social Crediters.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. Is the House ready for the question?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Question.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHRISTMAS RECESS
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December 20, 1974