October 25, 1979

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Call in the members.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I declare the motion lost.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lome Nystrom (Yorkton-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, the quickest way to evacuate the House is for me to get up to speak.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

1 obviously do not have the charisma of the hon. member for Saint-Maurice (Mr. Chretien) or the hon. member for Windsor West (Mr. Gray), Mr. Speaker, but I could not resist getting up to speak for a few moments on a bill that is presented to the House by an old friend, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie)-old "Scrooge MacCrosbie" over there who is bound and determined, now that he is on the treasury benches, to do all he can to make things tougher and tighter for the ordinary people of this country.

I have spent a lot of time reading old Scrooge MacCrosbie speeches made when he was sitting in opposition. He spoke then of the inflation rate being too high and how it was hurting little people, how the interest rate was too high and was hurting ordinary people, how the high interest rate was hurting the maritime provinces and Newfoundland. He said that when he got into government he would wave a magic wand and remedy all these problems. All of a sudden he is in government and he has turned into a real Scrooge. He is tightening the screws on the treasury.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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PC

Eric W. Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

October 25, 1979

Borrowing Authority

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member for Saint John (Mr. Ferguson).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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PC

Eric W. Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

Mr. Speaker, the words "old Scrooge" do not seem to sit very well with me as a new member. I wonder if this is really parliamentary language.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member for Yorkton-Melville.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

Well, Mr. Speaker, I see you are not going to rule on this but if you did I would change the word to "clown".

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

I have learned all these things from watching the Minister of Finance when he was in opposition, listening to his rhetoric and reading his speeches. It strikes me as strange that there would be such a conversion on the road to Damascus as we have seen by this minister across the way. Before the election he and his party were the progressive party; after the election they became the Conservative party. Perhaps we can now call them the regressive Conservative party, Mr. Speaker.

Just before the debate the hon. member for Regina East (Mr. de Jong) remarked to me that perhaps the new name for the Prime Minister (Mr. Clark) should be "R. B. Clark" because of the economic policies he is following in this nation which perhaps are leading us into another recession that might be even more serious than the great recession. But it strikes me as rather strange that the Minister of Finance should pick as his first bill to introduce to the Canadian Parliament and the Canadian people a bill to borrow $7 billion. It is especially strange because the Conservative party spent so much time in opposition talking about the national debt being too high and how it would wipe out the national debt. It said it would not have deficit financing, yet the first bill that has been brought into the House is a bill to increase the national debt.

I did some research to see whether or not the Conservative party really believes in reducing the national debt in Canada. I looked at what some Conservative party governments were doing in comparison to other political parties across Canada. For instance, in Alberta, which has a Conservative government, despite its wealth the average per capita debt in 1976 was $1,880. But in the province of Saskatchewan, which has had a NDP government for years-and we are always being accused of having grandiose schemes; even an Alberta friend of mine accuses us of that once in a while-its per capita debt was only $980.

Then we have wealthy Ontario, where "Big Billy" is now dancing and fighting against "Little Joe". With about 40 years of Conservative governments, what was the per capita debt in Ontario? It was $2,059. And what about Newfoundland, where the Minister of Finance cut his teeth and did his training? Under that tremendous leader, Joey Smallwood, and later on under another tremendous leader, Frank Moores, the per capita debt in that province was $3,274. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that those statistics show where the Conservative party really stands. It will not keep the debt where it is. It will increase the national debt in this country and put an even larger burden upon the children of the nation who will be growing up, working and living here in the years ahead.

I ask why. Why is Scrooge MacCrosbie doing this? Why is this guy, this gallant Newfoundlander who is taking food from the children and making it difficult to put clothes on their backs, doing this? He says, "Well, we have to borrow money; we have to increase interest rates." Interest rates are the highest ever in this country. The rate is 14 per cent. They are the highest ever in the country. He says, "We have to do that because we have to support the Canadian dollar; we have to borrow that money so we can pay off the debts which the previous government ran up."

We are borrowing money to pay off our debts. We are increasing our debt so we have to borrow even more money to pay it off. That is like taking an enormously obese person and trying to remedy his obesity by feeding him with candies and cake. This government is making the problem worse by borrowing more and more money in order to pay off the debt which the Liberal government for years and years ran up. Unfortunately, my friend from St. John's is following and pursuing exactly the same course as his predecessors.

Why do we have the problem? Why does the dollar drop? Why is the Bank of Canada increasing the interest rate? I think the reason is relatively simple. The dollar is a reflection of our economy. It is a mirror. When the Minister of Finance gets up in the morning he looks in the mirror and sees himself. So too is the dollar a mirror. It reflects the economy of this country. The currencies of Germany, Japan, France and Switzerland are strong because the economies of those countries are strong. They are strong because they have had some sound economic planning. They have done their own things. They have manufactured their own goods and they have made the best possible use of the manpower and skill they have. Yet in this country we have not been doing that at all. Just look at the outflow of money in dividends and interest from Canada because of the tremendous foreign ownership that we have. I hear some Conservatives interjecting across the way, defending once again the policies of the former Liberal government, I suppose.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

No difference.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

But I look at the facts. It seems the hon. member is concerned about being in bed with the Liberal party. I suggest if he goes to bed with the Liberal party he had better keep a firm hold on his pyjamas.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

We are speaking from experience.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

1 do not know which interjectors are easier to handle, the one from my own caucus or the ones from across the way.

[Mr. Ferguson.1

October 25, 1979

I am trying to be serious. In 1977, for example, there was an outflow from Canada of approximately $240 million in the form of dividends and interest because of foreign ownership and foreign equity. In 1978 that figure increased to over $2 billion. I say again $2 billion. So we have a government across the way that is borrowing more and more money to pay off all these debts. It is allowing more and more foreign ownership in this country. It intends to privatize more and more firms and turn over more and more control of our economy to private and foreign hands. We see this as having a negative effect on the economy.

We in this party say that we need a real change in Canada. We need an economic and an industrial strategy to start doing our own things. We need to take control of our economy by processing our own goods from our own raw materials. We need to start to manufacture the things we are using. We need that industrial strategy. Unless we have it we will have more of the same thing. This means a sagging dollar, more and more borrowing, more and more foreign ownership and control and more and more increases in the bank rate.

I suggest that we do nationally what is being done in the province of Saskatchewan, that is, to plan the economy, to take control of resources, to develop them for ourselves, to keep the profits from those resources at home and to keep the jobs in processing those resources in the hands of Canadians instead of having raw materials processed elsewhere. The province of Quebec is devising an economic policy based on cheap hydro power from the James Bay plants that are coming onstream. Even before the days of James Bay, hydro rates in Quebec for industry were 50 per cent cheaper than they were in Ontario and 100 per cent cheaper than in many parts of the United States.

May I call it five o'clock, Mr. Speaker?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1979-80 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY FOR 1979-80
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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION

October 25, 1979