November 24, 1978

PC

Steve Eugene Paproski

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Paproski:

Go ahead.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Thomas Edward Siddon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Siddon:

I recited some statistics which showed that the tax bite imposed on ordinary Canadians has doubled in the past ten years. As the tax bite on the individual wage-earner and investors in our society increases, what happens to efficiency? Efficiency decreases because governments become irresponsible in the manner in which they dispose of the assets of the hard-working people who earn them.

What happens to waste as the tax bite increases? It is easy to get money if you take it out of the pockets of the Canadian wage earner or borrow it from West Germany, or wherever. The government has become wasteful. When governments become inefficient and wasteful, they become secretive. The hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Baldwin) has had much to say about the question of government secrecy and restriction from this parliament of the decisions on which government spending is based.

November 24, 1978

The Budget-Mr. Marchand

As the percentage bite of taxation on individual earners in this nation increases, it destroys incentive, then the only way to even come close to balancing the budget is to incur more debt.

Getting back to the question of foreign investment for a moment, there are certain political philosophies in this country which regard profit as a dirty word, whether it is earned in Canada or anywhere else, because somebody is getting that profit. I would rather have Canadians attaining a profit so that we can have productive industries in this country than have foreign lenders charging us enormous, staggering levels of debt interest. They help us maintain a false sense of security and a false sense of well-being based entirely on debt dollars. That attitude which allows an increasing imposition on the ordinary wage-earners of this country is tied in essentially to the whole concept of Keynesian economics-that we can continue to borrow more and more and continue to print paper dollars. But sooner or later someone else is going to keep the profit. We will become so far in debt that we will have to put up walls, ever-increasing levels of tariff protection, to pay the high wages and accept the low productivity which comes from an inefficient society, a society where it does not matter if you work or not. What do we then become? Look at the example of the countries which belong to the Soviet bloc. I submit that if we value our freedom we cannot afford to build these walls around Canada. We have to trade competitively in an international world. Our labour has to work for competitive rates of compensation and our tax system has to be competitive with that of our immediate neighbour, the United States.

I have not talked much about specifics, but I should like to-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

1 am afraid the hon. member will not have time. His time has expired.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Thomas Edward Siddon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Siddon:

I should like to have a closing word, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The only way to do that is by unanimous consent. Is there consent to allow the hon. member a closing word?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Thomas Edward Siddon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Siddon:

I do not believe we want a dual monetary system that keeps people locked in this country. I think we should listen to the things our Prime Minister has been saying. He says we must accept more authority in our lives, one party democracy-that seems to be a concept of his-and we should consider that we might be going in a different direction than the one in which we thought we were setting out. I ask hon. members to consider these facts and to consider that this budget is far less than adequate in coming to grips with the problems which confront our economy.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Len Marchand (Minister of State (Environment))

Liberal

Hon. Len Marchand (Minister of State (Environment)):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have been losing my voice today so I am not sure how long I shall be able to carry on, but I will do

my best. First, I should like to congratulate the hon. member for Burnaby-Richmond-Delta (Mr. Siddon) who has just resumed his seat. I understand this was his maiden speech.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. Member:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Len Marchand (Minister of State (Environment))

Liberal

Mr. Marchand:

Maiden speeches in the House of Commons are all special occasions for hon. members. I cannot be so generous as to say I agree with everything he said. He was preceded in this chamber by two distinguished members from Burnaby-Richmond-Delta, Tom Goode, whom I knew very well, and John Reynolds, whom I also knew very well. They were both distinguished members who always addressed themselves to this chamber in a very good manner. I expect the hon. member will want to carry on the high tradition of his predecessors and, of course, the high tradition of this House.

Before I get into some of the notes I have here, I want to say in a general way that as a British Columbian I welcome a number of portions of the budget. One portion of the budget I particularly welcome is that which refers to the mining community. If anything needed a shot in the arm in British Columbia, it was the mining sector. It is a very important sector of the country and a very good sector of the economy of British Columbia. Coming closer to home, it makes a very important contribution to the economic life of Kamloops-Cariboo.

There are some on the other side who have said that the budget presented by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Chretien) was cautious and unimaginative. Of course, there are always those on the other side who will say he has not gone far enough with respect to whatever happens to be their favourite target. If it is a cautious budget, I will not fault my colleague for that, given the delicate balance which has to be maintained, with respect to inflation, unemployment, economic development and the health of the Canadian dollar abroad. We certainly do not need any of the imaginative flights of fancy suggested by some hon. members opposite for the financial management of the country.

One of the areas in which the Minister of Finance and the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Andras) have quite rightly insisted on caution and restraint is in the field of total government expenditure. We have reduced planned expenditures for 1979-80 by $2.5 billion as a painful though necessary part of bringing government expenditures into better balance.

My department, the Department of the Environment, has, of course, made its contribution, and a significant one, to this necessary restraint program. Next year we shall be reducing planned expenditures by more than $40 million, and if anyone thinks this is a fictitious reduction, I shall be glad to demonstrate in some detail that it is very real. It is never an easy matter to cut one's budget, but we in the Department of Environment realize that cutbacks have to be made and rather than suffer because of this, we have honed our operation down to essential programs and activities. Where possible, as in the case of the Petawawa Forestry Experimental Station, we have combined rather than terminated programs. Certainly, the cutbacks were hard to make, but while accepting the necessity

November 24, 1978

of these reductions, we did not resign ourselves to the idea of a poorer operation. On the contrary, we were guided by one principle, that of getting more for less from our department. Because of this commitment, we have produced a leaner and more efficient operation. We have, in short, produced a richer though less expensive Department of the Environment. We remain as strongly committed as ever to preserving and, indeed, to enhancing the quality of the Canadian environment, not just for those of us who want to enjoy it now but for future generations. The environmental decisions we make today will determine to a large extent the quality of the environment we pass on to future generations, and it is by the quality and wisdom of these critical decisions that we shall be judged.

I have said we are determined to maintain the most important work of this department even in times of needed budgetary restraint. Perhaps by way of illustration I should give the House a few examples of what the department actually delivers. Two days ago my colleague, the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Jamieson) signed with the United States Secretary of State a new Great Lakes water quality agreement to replace and extend the one originally signed in 1972. That first agreement undertook to reduce levels of pollution in the largest body of fresh water in the world. In successfully doing so, we set an example of international co-operation which has been remarked upon throughout the world. Great progress has been made in overcoming the sources of pollution of the Great Lakes, and with the signing of this new agreement we have committed ourselves to completing the revitalization of the lakes. Strict deadlines have been set for both municipal and industrial pollution control programs. Measures will be taken to largely eliminate the discharge of toxic substances into the lakes. New water quality objectives have been set and renewed attention will be given to the reduction of pollution from land use activities and from airborne pollutants. This major project, which brings together the governments of Canada, Ontario and the United States, continues as a high priority for my department because we can already see tangible results.

Another example: I mentioned the Petawawa Forest Experiment Station earlier. The preservation of that station in the face of our heavy budget reductions was one of the toughest chores the Department of the Environment faced. The goal of achieving more for less will, in this case, be accomplished by consolidating the work of the Forest Fires Research Institute and the Forest Management Institute with that of the Petawawa station. Because of this consolidation, which preserves and integrates the most vital elements of the station and the two institutes, we will have one of the most valuable forestry research resources in the world.

Forestry remains of primary importance to me and to the federal government. Even with the cutbacks, federal funding of forest management programs will actually increase through the use of DREE and Canada Public Works dollars with the provinces.

The Budget-Mr. Marchand

There is a growing recognition of the overwhelming importance of a strong forestry sector to Canada's economy, especially to our balance of payments and employment picture. In addition, it is increasingly understood that Canada's economy could be dealt a severe blow without measures to keep the cost of timber low, to keep the Canadian industry technically competitive and to stimulate the use of forests for new products, such as energy, chemicals and foods.

These facts are well known by members of the forestry fraternity, but only lately have they been gaining wide enough acceptance to be discussed by first ministers and to result in new federal programs in the coming year which will channel an estimated $49 million in federal funds to the provinces for reforestation, timber salvage and intensive forest management. The recognition of the importance of forests in meeting energy needs is reflected in two recently announced federal programs. These are the $143 million program known as FIRE to help the forest industry use wood wastes rather than oil and gas as a fuel source, and the $35 million ENFOR program for research and development on the use of biomass as a source of energy. In both these cases, the Canadian forestry service of my department has played a key role in providing technical input to the programs.

All of this indicates that a national forestry service remains vital to Canada. However, important shifts in program emphasis and new arrangements with the industry and the provinces are needed.

The Canadian Forestry Service will move toward a direct role with the research to support it, specifically in four areas. First, CFS will continue to play the leading role in federal forestry matters. This leadership will be based on the sound scientific knowledge which comes from a research program directed toward economic, physical and biological problems of federal interest. Second, CFS will bring a knowledge of the forest and vegetative environment to departmental decisions and policies on environmental management and protection. Third, CFS will work with the provinces to provide knowledge needed in direct forest management and protection. Fourth, CFS will work with industry to ensure provision of knowledge required for new product development and maintenance of the vitality of the forest industry.

For the First of these, federal policies and actions in taxation, transportation, trade, international relations and other fields can profoundly affect forests and the forest industry. International movement of damaging forest insects and diseases must be better controlled. Research and information programs in a number of areas, including national forest management and energy from forest biomass, are all of high priority if we are to provide the expertise needed to ensure that federal programs and actions are scientifically sound. To be effective, the Canadian Foresty Service will have stronger supporting mechanisms to ensure that all federal departments and all provincial governments are able to take full advantage of the available economic and biological knowledge.

As for the second responsibility, the CFS must conduct research and collect data on the impact of pollution on trees

1500

November 24, 1978

The Budget-Mr. Marchand

and other vegetation. The evironmental effects of forest management and exploitation practice must also be examined.

In working with the provinces it must be recognized that some of the research needed for federal purposes is also required by the provinces for the discharge of their management responsibilities.

In such cases provinces should assist in funding research needed to meet their needs. The CFS will negotiate this point with the provinces on the basis of research support, especially at the regional forest research centers.

A similar approach is required where forestry research and data collection in any way benefits industry. Like the provinces, industry should assist in the funding of such work. Federal contributions to forest products, forest engineering and pulp and paper research should cover research needs for policy input to federal agencies, support research needed where there is a large number of small companies unable to support their own research needs individually and ensure that nationally and internationally accepted codes and standards apply to Canadian forest products.

In short, to meet the needs of the next decade, the Canadian Forestry Service will, first, increase studies of economic and institutional aspects of forestry in Canada. Second, it will establish mechanisms at headquarters and in the regions to combine these studies with information in the natural forest science to improve federal actions and policy making affecting forestry and the forest industry. Third, the CFS will negotiate with the provinces a more realistic sharing of costs of research and data collection done in part, or largely, to meet provincial needs.

Fourth, the CFS will develop co-operative arrangements with industry to ensure direct financial contribution and management by industry of forest products and related research, while retaining federal financial and other involvement required for policy making to support small, scattered industrial enterprises and to establish and maintain suitable codes and standards for forest products.

When such changes are implemented, the Canadian Forestry Service will be able to play an enhanced role in forestry in Canada. Over the next decade and through the authority of its information base the service will assume increasing leadership of federal forestry activities.

Given the importance of forestry in Canada's economy, the enormous potential for growth and diversification of the forest based industry and the central place of forests in Canada's environment, the revitalization of the Canadian Forestry Service is one of the most compelling priority projects of the Department of the Environment.

The many different forms of life contained in our forests somehow manage to co-exist and to thrive. A natural system of management prevails which, though not completely understood by man, provides a benchmark by which all of our organizational efforts should be measured. We must try to integrate ourselves with this system if we are to prosper not only in our forests but also in our entire physical environment.

To this end every major federal project involving use of federal lands or federal funds is subject to the federal environmental assessment and review process. Agreed to by cabinet in 1973, the process was revised and given new strength in 1977.

Any projects likely to have significant environmental effects are subject to a study by an environmental assessment panel on the basis of an environmental impact statement submitted by the proponent. Panel reports have already been submitted to me with respect to matters as varied as the proposed construction of a uranium refinery near Port Hope, a highway in the far north of Canada and proposed drilling in the South Davis Strait.

Other panels are looking at proposed port expansion at Roberts Bank, a proposed port near Quebec city, three alternative sites for a uranium refinery, and the environmental terms and conditions which should apply to the Alaska gas pipeline. In all, there are over 20 major federal projects of this sort which are being subjected to environmental scrutiny by a variety of experts, an essential part of whose work is to hold public hearings so that we may hear what the affected public thinks of them. These panels, which report directly to me, are a major means of ensuring that the federal government in its activities acts in an environmentally responsible fashion.

I do not have enough time, Mr. Speaker, to detail all the work my department is doing and will continue to do in its regulatory activities for the protection of the Canadian environment. In this regard, it acts under the authority of important pieces of federal legislation-the Fisheries Act, the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Contaminants Act, and the Ocean Dumping Control Act.

In this important part of its activities my department is fully aware of the economic implications of our regulatory work, as well as the need to work as closely as possible with the provinces, in a way which recognizes the need to take into account the often conflicting uses of the physical environment. Our regulations and our guidelines will increasingly be developed in collaboration with our provincial counterparts and with those knowledgeable about the precise impact in both physical and financial terms of the regulations on the industry which will be affected.

In these days of growing concern about the total impact of the regulatory activities of governments on the economy, my department is working actively to implement the policy of this government which requires that each new major regulation in the field of safety, health and fairness be accompanied by a justification. The justification must take into account not only the costs, but the benefits to be derived from it. We must be willing and able to demonstrate that the costs we are placing on the Canadian economy are justifiable ones. Not only the immediate short-term impact on the affected industry must be considered, but any long run implications to the physical environment as well.

It is this balance of all our attempts to live as well as possible within our environment and our attempt to let our

November 24, 1978

environment live as well as possible around us, that concerns the Department of the Environment. We can change our surroundings for our betterment, only if we accept and understand that we are dealing with an ecosystem of which we are a part. Our environment measures our actions carefully and responds accordingly. We will continue to be graciously accommodated by our surroundings only if we reciprocate. Knowing how to do this-divining a sort of environmental protocol-is the goal of my department.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Rob Parker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Parker:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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IND

René Matte

Independent

Mr. Matte:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Having tested my patience to the limit, I should like to request the unanimous consent of the House to participate as well in the budget debate.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I have already recognized the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Parker). The decision is no longer in the hands of the House; it depends entirely on the hon. member for Eglinton. If he wishes to yield, he may do so, but as far as I am concerned, I have already recognized the hon. member for Eglinton.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Rob Parker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rob Parker (Eglinton):

I will try to leave a minute or two for the hon. member, Mr. Speaker. That is about all that it will take to demolish this budget.

In rising to speak on the budget, it occurs to me that there are a great many similarities between this document and the cabinet shuffle that we had this morning. Both contained some minor measures, in one case, the movement of some minor people; in both cases, striking up the bland. There is nothing important in either document. I will give the government some credit though because there are some examples of Conservative policy in the budget. There is a sales tax cut, an income tax reduction, improved procedures for research and development, and all of these are Conservative policy.

This morning when the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) shuffled his cabinet, he eliminated the Department of Urban Affairs, and that too is Conservative policy. In fact, when you see all these things happening, Mr. Speaker, when you listen to that kind of hooraw-coming from the other side-it is a wonderful example of the awful things that can happen when cousins marry.

If you examine what the government has done, you might be led to conclude that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Chretien) or even the Prime Minister are trying for a seat on the benches over here. I have talked to my leader, and I know there is a seat waiting for them in the row immediately behind me.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order. I hope that hon. members will understand that the hon. member has only five minutes, and

The Budget-Mr. Parker

that it is his maiden intervention. I think hon. members should be fair to him.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Rob Parker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Parker:

There is a difference between a non virgin and a prostitute, and undoubtedly the minister understands very well.

In the couple of minutes that remain, I would like to point out some of the ways in which the government has distorted figures used in the budget and in some of its accompanying documents. We are used to the idea that the government distorts figures to try to justify its miserable record of accomplishment. We have the CPI-2, which now leaves out the prices of food. The Prime Minister, in his speech to the Economic Club in New York said that, food excluded, the inflation rate is coming down. Presumably that means we will be all right if we do not eat.

In this budget the Minister of Finance noted that the indexing figure would be 9 per cent and indicated that for a family of four, that would increase the personal exemptions by S490. What he did not refer to was the fact that indexing has been part of the Income Tax Act for some time, and if he had not put it in at 9 per cent now, it would have been indexed by 8.6 per cent in any event, and that the net effect of his 9 per cent indexing is about $10 increase in exemptions. That is not all a tax saving, it is simply a reduction in taxable income. At an income tax rate of 35 per cent, it means that that individual wage earner would save about $3.50 which in many cities in Canada is enough to take him to a movie.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

It being five o'clock p.m. it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forward the question necessary to dispose of the question now before the House.

Mr. Chretien moves that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the said motion?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. Members:

On division.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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November 24, 1978