February 9, 1976

PC

George H. Whittaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. H. Whittaker (Okanagan Boundary):

Mr. Speaker, on December 20 last I asked the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), in the absence of the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan), whether the $10 million reduction in the federal share of crop insurance will mean that the farmers, and the provinces will be expected to cover this reduction. The Prime Minister replied: "In our cuts we are expecting everybody to bear some share of the sacrifice ..." Surely the Minister of Agriculture should have said he would make cuts in other areas rather than important programs such as crop insurance, farm credit, and so on.

Out of a total budget of $664 million it would have been better to reduce expenditures first in the area of professional and special services, utilities, materials and supplies, which total $9.4 million and $12.8 million respectively in the 1975-76 estimates, since the former too often causes morale problems, and the latter too often proves to be unnecessary.

Federal contributions to crop insurance have grown from $16 million in 1973, to $30 million in 1974, to $49 million in 1975, to a projected $62 million in 1976; and some .1 million is to be subtracted from the $62 million. However, the federal government is already committed to give a certain level of contributions to the provinces.

What happens if the projected figure of $62 million is reached for the level of federal contributions? Where does the crop insurance section get this extra $10 million? No one seems to know.

In 1976 the federal government is committed to make a certain level of contributions; 1977 is different. The crop insurance people talk of restricting the amount of insurance available to an individual.

For example, if strawberries can be insured up to a 70 cents per pound level, this would be cut back to a maximum of 60 cents per pound. Does this not go against the

February 9, 1976

very concept of insurance? The aim of insurance is to protect from unforeseen losses. Reducing the maximum level of insurance only seems to harm the farmer's interests more.

In farm credit it originally had $400 million to give out in loans. This was cut by $20 million in June of 1975, and by another $20 million in December. These cuts have severely constrained the farm credit program. Already the farm credit corporation has committed part of next year's funds. This means fewer people will receive loans. In 1974 the average size loan was $50,000. In 1975 it was $65,000. Inflation and higher input costs have caused this rise so that now, when costs are at their highest, loans are at their lowest.

On farm credit loans a farmer pays 9 per cent interest and has 29 years to pay it back. Such aid is invaluable to the young farmer just starting out. However, with these cutbacks the Farm Credit Corporation seems to be becoming more conservative and refuses to lend money to those farmers it considers to be risks. This latter group usually includes the young farmers.

Rather than attacking these programs, why did the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Chretien) not look elsewhere for cut backs? In the Department of Agriculture itself cuts could have been made in professional and special services, and in materials and supplies. The former group is largely made up of consultants and these outside people have often caused morale problems among regular workers. Their budget has soared 35.7 per cent from the 1974-75 estimates of $6.9 million to the 1975-76 estimates of $9.4 million.

One cannot help wondering why the Department of Agriculture needs $12.8 million for material and supplies? Is its turnover rate for furniture etc., that high?

Although cuts in government spending are necessary it would seem that the government is wrong in making cuts in crop insurance and farm credit. These cuts will only exacerbate the problems of many farmers. Should these problems not be met now, when costs are reasonably low, rather than in the future when it might be too late?

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE-REDUCTION IN FEDERAL SHARE OF COST OF CROP INSURANCE-GOVERNMENT ACTION TO OFFSET
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LIB

Irénée Pelletier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Irenee Pelletier (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, since 1959 the federal government has assisted the provinces in making all-risk crop insurance available to Canadian farmers under the authority of the Crop Insurance Act. The program is designed to stabilize incomes of individual producers by a guarantee against losses by natural hazards. For those farmers who have purchased crop insurance there has been a satisfaction of security and protection against crop loss disaster and many farmers who have experienced crop losses have been paid indemnities.

Crop insurance is a joint federal-provincial program in which the federal government, the provincial government, and producers participate. The program is most beneficial to producers as the producer pays for only 50 per cent of premium costs and none of the administrative costs.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Whelan) has written to all his provincial counterparts explaining to them the reasons for restraining the increases in expenditures for the 1976-77 fiscal year. Officials of the provincial governments have generally expressed agreement with the restraint

Adjournment Debate

policy undertaken by the federal government. Provincial crop insurance officials have indicated to the department their willingness to meet with our officials to negotiate a mutually satisfactory means of implementing the announced intentions. Therefore the precise manner by which the reduction of federal contributions to this program will be accomplished has not yet been determined. It is not anticipated that the current costs sharing formula will be altered in the next crop year. Therefore there should be no additional cost to either the provinces or the producer.

The commitment of the federal government to this program is clearly indicated by the growth of the program in recent years. In the 1974-75 fiscal year expenditures under this program amounted to only $31 million. Contributions in the current year are expected to reach some $49 million, an increase of $3 million, or approximately 5 per cent, over the 1975-76 program has been provided for-even after the reduction of $10.1 million. Therefore it should be quite evident to all that the federal government is not reducing its participation in the crop insurance program, but rather, is applying some restraint to the rate of growth.

It remains the intention of the government to support the crop insurance program as a primary means of assistance to producers who suffer serious crop losses as a result of natural hazards.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE-REDUCTION IN FEDERAL SHARE OF COST OF CROP INSURANCE-GOVERNMENT ACTION TO OFFSET
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MANPOWER-POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF SOME YOUTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS-ALTERNATIVE MEASURES TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

PC

David Samuel Horne MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Mr. David MacDonald (Egmont):

Madam Speaker, I am returning this evening to a question which has concerned me for some time, one with respect to the chronic and consistent high unemployment rate among young Canadian people under the age of 24 years.

May I say at the outset that the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Andras) is in the House to respond to this question and I think this is an indication of the seriousness of his concern with this issue. I believe that the minister has tried very strenuously to provide some workable solution to what I consider one of the most serious social situations that exist in this country. It is not something new; it is something that has existed for some years and has been particularly exacerbated during the time the Trudeau government has been in office.

I suspect when the history of the eight or nine years that this government has been in office-

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   MANPOWER-POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF SOME YOUTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS-ALTERNATIVE MEASURES TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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LIB

Irénée Pelletier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Pelletier:

Twenty years.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   MANPOWER-POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF SOME YOUTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS-ALTERNATIVE MEASURES TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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PC

David Samuel Horne MacDonald

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacDonald (Egmont):

I would hope if it should befall this country that the government is in office that long that it will not have as sorry a record as it has with respect to unemployment among young people-we would have millions of young people who would have undergone the most disheartening situation of being unemployed for a long time.

On December 11, prior to the introduction of the antiinflation measures taken by the government in the middle of December, I asked the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) whether rumours suggesting that programs like Oppor-

February 9, 1976

Adjournment Debate

tunities for Youth and the Company of Young Canadians would be curtailed. The Prime Minister simply indicated that the government was aware of the importance of those programs and also was aware of its own responsibilities with respect to anti-inflation measures. In spite of the fact that on December 11, when I raised the question, some

317,000 young people were unemployed-a figure which has now risen a month later to 327,000 unemployed and I suspect when we receive the figures tomorrow it will again show an increase-the only kind of firm indication that the government was concerned about this problem was the announcement that the Department of Manpower and Immigration was assigning $24 million to obtaining student employment next summer.

That would create an estimated 12,000 jobs, a drop in the bucket, and far fewer jobs that the government had said it would create by way of various programs established in the preceding three or four years. That shows how much the government's anti-inflation fight is being fought on the backs of the disadvantaged and of those unable to protest against the government's action. Young people, for the most part, are not organized into pressure groups. Many of them are in secondary educational or post-secondary educational institutions, or have just left such institutions, and their job opportunities are limited.

Surprisingly, from time to time Prime Minister has made protestations to suggest that he takes the problem seriously. Although I congratulate the Minister of Manpower and Immigration for being concerned about this problem, I suggest that he ought to be more forthright than he was with my colleague from Hamilton West who, on December 9, raised specific questions about youth unemployment. The minister indicated then that a number of programs are designed to alleviate the problem of youth unemployment. He referred to such things as manpower mobility, youth training, counselling, and so on, general programs relating to the specific problem affecting young people. The minister was good enough to suggest that, after he had looked at the statistical trends on which the hon. member based his question, he might be able to answer the question in more detail, and presumably provide the country with leadership in alleviating this serious and continuing problem.

I will not read questions asked in the House in the past half dozen years about youth unemployment. Instead I shall quote from the report of the committee on youth, commissioned by the government in 1969, and received in 1970. On page 166 of the report there occurs the following passage:

Not only is the rate of youth unemployment rising, it is consistently at a higher ratio among this age group than all others. It is evident, first of all, that no substantive solution can occur until one of Canadian economic policy's major goals becomes full employment within sectors, whether by age, sex or region.

After referring to the high level of youth unemployment that existed four or five years ago, the report said this:

The present tragedy is more than personal; it is societal in scope. Canadian society cannot seem to generate a broad range of options for its young in the employment field.

The government has not been short of advice. It received the advice of the Hunter task force of 1971, and the advice of my party in the last general election. We said:

For the immediate short term, a Progressive Conservative government would establish a jobs agency for young Canadians in the Department of Manpower to:

a. co-ordinate and focus federal economic and social policies affecting youth employment;

b. seek to co-ordinate provincial and private-sector policies affecting youth employment;

c. provide a year-round national counselling facility designed to serve young Canadians; and

d. provide young Canadians with one agency that would go out and locate potential jobs, encourage young people to come for aid in finding work, and encourage potential employers to consider hiring young workers.

Those are some of our suggestions. Since the government has not been reluctant to use some of our suggestions to do with other matters brought forward in 1974, I hope it will review some of the other things we said somewhat less than two years ago about this basic social problem. Perhaps this evening the minister, in responding to the question and to the concerns raised by the Prime Minister on December 11, will provide some leadership and encouragement.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   MANPOWER-POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF SOME YOUTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS-ALTERNATIVE MEASURES TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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LIB

Robert Knight Andras (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. Robert K. Andras (Minister of Manpower and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, regrettably the three minutes for reply permitted on the late show does not allow one to cover the whole ground. Without question I share deeply the concern the hon. member has expressed with regard to this continuing phenomenon which has been exacerbated in Canada by the rapid growth of the labour force, a statistic with which we are all familiar. We share this misfortune with other countries which are beginning to realize the serious and perhaps all pervasive, long-lasting damage which can be done if we do not mutually find ways to correct the situation. Incidentally, I shall be attending an OECD conference in two or three weeks which will deal with this subject matter. I say that to give the hon. member some information. I hope it will help. I might also indicate that many other countries are facing the same problems without, unfortunately, yet finding pat solutions.

We have cut out Opportunities for Youth. I am glad to get the indication that that program was accepted by the hon. member. However, it was not accepted by all members of his party. It was, I felt, an unhappy necessity because of budget constraints on one hand and looking very carefully at where we get the biggest bang for a buck, if I can put it that way.

The hon. member understated the position when he mentioned that the $24 million will provide only 12,000 jobs. That is a fact with regard to the direct employment. There will be another 110,000 indirect jobs provided in unpaid program activities and the like.

I really think that to concentrate on where the solutions must be found in the intermediate and longer term, it will have to be in the private sector. I do not think in any size of job creation that we attempt to soak all of this that the government, as an employer of last resort, would be successful, and in fact could introduce other evils or difficulties that we better watch very carefully before we go that route.

About 85 per cent of the jobs provided to students in summer, in spite of the job creation of the federal and provincial governments working in co-operation, has been

February 9, 1976

in the private sector. That is where the gains are to be made if we are going to make them.

Last summer we operated 300 special Manpower centres for students. We received co-operation from such organizations as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and so on. That has an ongoing lower budget, but far more effective in results than even Opportunities for Youth and the more visibly direct higher profile job creation efforts.

We also addressed ourselves to the employment needs of youth who were no longer in school and had entered the labour market on a permanent basis. It is unfortunate that they encounter a very high unemployment rate. However, I believe the causes are extremely complex. They will not be solved simply by job creation or by the federal government alone.

As unpopular as it may be in certain circles, I am increasingly convinced that part of our problem lies in the school systems. I am not knocking the provincial governments, but I hope they will begin to take a deep look at some of the schooling ideas of the last few years. In too many cases they are not preparing our young people to find gainful employment when they get out of school.

We are consulting businesses and the provinces about the employment problems of youth, as was suggested by the hon. member. We introduced 18 pilot youth employment service projects across the country. They are designed to provide specialized intensive employment placement and counselling service to youth. We do not yet have an evaluation about which I am satisfied. It is not that it is not good; I am simply saying that it is not complete. However, it is the right route.

I indicated that we have worked in co-operation with the chambers of commerce across the country and certain local school boards. This was a special program of job exploration and so on. There are many things we are doing. I hope to have a more appropriate and lengthy opportunity to place on record our ideas in this field.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   MANPOWER-POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF SOME YOUTH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS-ALTERNATIVE MEASURES TO INCREASE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
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AIR TRANSPORT-INTRODUCTION OF BILINGUAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IN PROVINCES OTHER THAN QUEBEC

PC

Benno Friesen

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Benno Friesen (Surrey-White Rock):

Mr. Speaker, on December 18 last I asked the Minister of Transport (Mr. Lang) the following question:

Since the introduction of bilingualism for air traffic controllers is based on constitutional grounds, can the minister inform the House as to his schedule for introducing bilingual services into airports in other provinces of Canada?

The minister replied:

The studies which have been carried out relate essentially to the Province of Quebec, although there was an examination of the question in relation to the National Capital Region. The question of any possible extension is a very difficult one indeed because of the nature of the bilingual quality of the controllers who would be required and there is therefore no plan in this regard. Our first and obvious step is to examine the use of both languages in air traffic control in the Province of Quebec, as the statement I made the other day indicates.

I am deeply disturbed about this issue. I believe the bilingual program was well intended and that it has certainly met the needs of thousands of people who previously had been deprived of government services because they

Adjournment Debate

were unilingual French-speaking or unilingual Englishspeaking. But I am deeply concerned because the program is now being applied to an area which, I am convinced, is not so much a matter of the constitution as one of safety. A spin-off has been the public reaction across Canada.

The promoters of this plan have alienated many people who travel by air in this country. For example, I had a call from a lady in my riding who evidently travels east a good deal saying she would no longer take a plane into Montreal. That is too bad. Then again, because of the haste with which this program has been introduced, a reaction has developed across the country which is unfortunate. It is the impression among many people that the pressure of the bilingual program is so inexorable that people who are not unilingual French or who are not bilingual will be obliged to become bilingual whether they wish to do so or not.

The official position is based on constitutional argument but all of us know that questions involving emotion cannot be solved by the law. There are other ways of solving such questions.

It is my understanding that to be a fully qualified pilot, qualified to fly by instruments, it is necessary to know only approximately 120 English words. That is not asking too much of anyone who really wants to fly. I should like to think it is not too great a burden to impose. The issue here is one of safety.

I had the pleasure a few months ago of visiting Mexico City and on my return from that city I was privileged to sit in the cockpit of the plane while awaiting clearance from the tower for the take-off. I was wearing a headset and listening to the instructions coming from the tower. Most of them were in Spanish but in the jumble of words coming from the headset there was one instruction in English. I did not catch it, but the pilot, with his more acute perception, had no difficulty in doing so.

It may be one's constitutional right to be able to use one's native language, but in my view the lives of hundreds of people are more important than my right to use a particular language. When I hear there have been approximately 27 near-misses since this program began, and when I learn that the Ministry of Transport is refusing to publish details of these near-misses so that the public might be in a position to know about them, I have still greater cause to be concerned. It is now a fact that the tower in Moncton refuses to answer a call that comes in another language.

I have before me the Canadian General Aviation News, the January 1976 issue-I believe a very responsible journal. In an article it has this to say:

The Ministry of Transport appears to be reacting to political pressures in its announced intention to introduce bilingualism into these vital areas. The aviation community is frustrated by the fact that the knowledge and experience it can offer have been ignored. In particular the two groups with the greatest knowledge of the situation, the operational air traffic controllers represented by CATCA and the airline pilots represented by the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association, have continually opposed such action.

This Association cannot stand by while misplaced linguistic passion emotionalism, and political pressure degrade what has been up until now the safest air traffic control service in the world, and jeopardize the safety of the hundreds of thousands of airline passengers who each month go through the airports of the province of Quebec, or the skies overhead.

February 9, 1976

Adjournment Debate

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIR TRANSPORT-INTRODUCTION OF BILINGUAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IN PROVINCES OTHER THAN QUEBEC
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LIB

Irénée Pelletier (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Irenee Pelletier (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I must pinch hit for a colleague, and give the answer that comes from the department. But following that answer I will have a word to say to the hon. member who asked the question.

There is no schedule in existence at this time for introducing bilingual services into airports in other provinces of Canada, other than the possibility of such services being provided in the national capital region. Of course one compelling reason for this is that at the present time there are not sufficient bilingual controllers in the air traffic control service to provide such services outside the province of Quebec.

It is also essential that this entry into the provision of bilingual service in the air traffic control service in the province of Quebec, which it must be remembered is a new experience for both the pilots flying in this area and for the controllers providing the service in this area, must be certified to ensure that there is no decrease in safety. With regard to the question as to whether the bilingual or unilingual French pilots will in due course request bilingual service in other provinces, as the minister indicated earlier in reply to a question, this is a hypothetical question and I can only reiterate that at the present time we do not have any intention to provide bilingual services in other provinces.

Mr. Speaker-and that does not form part of the answer I have to give the hon. member-I travelled pretty well all over the world, and in most African countries, the French language is used, it is used in France, in Switzerland, in at least 32 countries, and I do not understand at all that the hon. member who lives 3,000 miles away from the place where that is going to apply should come and say that it is a nonsensical reason.

To say that it is a matter of safety rather than a constitutional matter is not really the answer. I travelled across this country. There are pilots who use French, and it is not because one uses that language that one is a less competent pilot than someone who uses the English language.

When you go to Russia you land in the Russian language; when you go to Spain, Italy or some other country of the world you land in the language of that country. I find it absolutely inconceivable that one would come up with questions regarding safety to try to justify a position that one would like to see respected.

The government of Canada already agreed to make it possible, not in the other provinces of this country but in Quebec, for pilots leaving an area of Quebec for another to be able to converse in their language. One would have to be unrealistic to try to take away that entirely legitimate right from people who live in a province and always speak the language of that province.

Motion agreed to and the House adjourned at 10:33 p.m.

Tuesday, February 10, 1976

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   AIR TRANSPORT-INTRODUCTION OF BILINGUAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL IN PROVINCES OTHER THAN QUEBEC
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February 9, 1976