December 4, 1979

?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Permalink

EMPLOYMENT-PROPOSED CESSATION OF JOB CREATION PROGRAM-ALTERNATE PROGRAM TO ASSIST YOUTH

LIB

Gilbert Parent

Liberal

Mr. Gilbert Parent (Welland):

Mr. Speaker, during the last campaign candidates in the Niagara Peninsula said time and time again that the unemployment rate in that area was 14.5 per cent. Yet, virtually, the day after the election, the figures which were bandied about varied. I called the Department of Employment and Immigration to ask them what truly was the unemployment rate in the Welland riding, and I was told it was 6.9 per cent. I queried the statistics, so then they said that was not quite right, that the figure they had for unemployment in the Niagara Peninsula was 5.9 per cent.

You wonder, Mr. Speaker, why I bring this up. It is very simple. It is because under the previous government we had the Canada Works program under which we had a distribution of the wealth of Canada among those people who did not have jobs. It was truly a redistribution of the wealth. Now the new government has come in and has virtually abolished the Canada Works programs in almost all the provinces of Canada. Surely Ontario, and the Niagara Peninsula in particular, which was supposed to have had such a high rate of unemployment, should have been able to benefit from that

December 4, 1979

Adjournment Debate

program. But it was cut off entirely, and 1 think that was unjust.

1 asked the Prime Minister (Mr. Clark), as reported at page 1240 of Hansard of November 13, 1979, how long it would take for a program to work its way through the economy. He had mentioned in a previous speech that it would take about six months. 1 asked the Prime Minister whether it was six months and, if so, when were we going to get some action, when were we going to see this government stop flip-flopping and get on with the business of governing this country.

What have we now, Mr. Speaker? We had a speech by the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Atkey) given to the Canadian Club on November 26, 1979, in which the minister brought out these new great programs through which they say are going to create jobs for the youth of Canada, specifically for the youth of Ontario in the Niagara Peninsula. Under the job experience training program of some years ago my daughter was able to get a job and earn enough money to go back to school. This is the kind of help we must have for our young people. This was a Liberal program we brought in; we benefited from it as did all the people across Canada.

What do we have now? We have a new minister coming in saying he is going to have new programs. Outside of doing political somersaults, 1 suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that this government does not have any new ideas and it is bankrupt. We have seen the suggestion in the Speech from the Throne, for example, that we have a youth employment secretariat. We have had a youth employment branch in the CEIC for the last ten years. This program has created tens of thousands of jobs.

The minister suggests that we have a wage subsidy program with the magnificent amount of $1.25 per hour, and that is supposed to benefit 105,000 youths across Canada. What will happen is that they will abolish the employment tax credit program, a program which gives geographically various tax credits from $1.50 to $2 across the country. For example, under this program that we have set up, people in urban areas such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, the big areas, could get up to $1.50 in subsidy if they wanted to train these young people for the kinds of jobs that are available in Canada. In other areas outside the urban areas the subsidy was $1.75, and in the Atlantic provinces where my colleague, the hon. member for Restigouche (Mr. Harquail) lives, and where this meant thousands of jobs in his and surrounding ridings, there was great benefit because the Liberal government of the time was willing to pay up to $2 per hour in subsidy. Now what do we have? We have a new subsidy. This government is going to bring in $1.25 in subsidy, which shows us that ministers are not really interested in creating new jobs for youth. They are not really interested in putting the young people of Canada to work.

What we are getting are rehashes of the ideas brought forth by the Liberal government which created jobs to the tune of 7,200 per month for the last 18 months. What do we have now from this great new government? We have nothing except an

adoption of our ideas that they said would not work, but they are now claiming them as the great remedies for all the problems we have across Canada. I suggest that the ideas they have been putting forward are not worth the powder to blow them to kingdom come. I suggest that the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers get together and get this country rolling again with the jobs for the young people that they need if we are to grow economically as a country.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT-PROPOSED CESSATION OF JOB CREATION PROGRAM-ALTERNATE PROGRAM TO ASSIST YOUTH
Permalink
PC

William Paul Joseph McCrossan (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Paul McCrossan (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Employment and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the diatribe over there by the hon. member for Welland (Mr. Parent). I found it sort of interesting because it seems he does more talking than listening. If he had been listening in the House he would have recognized and realized that in the budget next week we will be bringing forth a number of major measures, and will be bringing forth measures next spring as well.

Perhaps I could just outline the government's job employment strategy for youth. As the member indicated, we are trying to consolidate the various functions toward a new youth secretariat to provide a focus particularly upon improving employment prospects for youth. The various functions of forming a new youth secretariat have provided a focus particularly upon providing prospects for youth. I mentioned that in all likelihood there will be something in the budget next week.

I think that what we will see is a form of tax credit, as the hon. member has suggested. I suggest that he wait and see what will happen.

The government is placing an increased emphasis on programs for developing job skills for youth because we see tremendous shortages of skills in this country and yet high unemployment at the same time. The previous government allowed the situation to develop where good jobs are available in our economy but we have not been able to get the people to these jobs. Solving this problem is particularly important to our young adults, and the government has recently introduced legislation to increase the flexibility of our programs so that we may respond to the needs of our youth and to the skill requirements of industry.

A third option which we are looking at is the establishment of a national service corps which will enable young people to participate in community and environmental projects of lasting value to society. 1 have mentioned that there will be more proposals of this kind later on in the session. As hon. members are aware, we are currently involved in a study on the reform of unemployment insurance policies. One of the commitments of my party is, and has been, taking money we can save by reforming a plan which is full of abuses and using it to create the jobs that our youth need today.

1 am sure it is obvious to all hon. members that in order to create jobs for our youth we will require the closest consultation with the provinces and, to that end, officials of the ministry and myself will be meeting next week with officials of the various provincial departments to discuss job strategy, and

December 4, 1979

revision of the unemployment insurance fund, and the redirection of those moneys.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT-PROPOSED CESSATION OF JOB CREATION PROGRAM-ALTERNATE PROGRAM TO ASSIST YOUTH
Permalink

NORTHERN AFFAIRS-SETTLEMENT OF NATIVE LAND CLAIMS- GOVERNMENT POLICY

NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rod Murphy (Churchill):

Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to thank the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Mr. Epp) for attending this evening. I would much rather have the minister deal with this issue than his parliamentary secretary. The issue I wish to raise deals with land claims across Canada but specifically those within the province of Saskatchewan.

Last week I asked the minister a question with regard to the government's policy on land claims dealing particularly with the province of Saskatchewan. In the last two years the Government of Canada has not completed one land claim settlement or land entitlement settlement. There is one exception, and that is the COPE agreement, but the government has refused to ratify it.

The minister has admitted that his government, even after six months in office and after having showed us the thick binders which were supposedly to indicate that they were ready to govern, still does not have a land claims policy. As a result, native groups throughout this country are waiting to see what the government intends to do. The problem which the minister has is that he must go to his cabinet committee, make presentations to them, and from there he must go to the full cabinet to get agreement. We understand the minister has a problem. He is not in the inner cabinet and he does not have a direct say in the direction of this country or control over what is happening in his own department.

The question which we, as parliamentarians, must ask is, how can the government act or negotiate with native people if it does not have a policy?

Even more curiously, how can the government allow mining developers to go ahead with their developments if it does not have a policy? It cannot negotiate and settle negotiations with native people because it does not have a policy, but at the same time it allows mining developments to go ahead. 1 would suggest there is a contradiction there, Mr. Speaker.

1 would like to mention the specific problems of the native people in Saskatchewan and I refer, of course, to the Saskatchewan formula. In 1975 the then minister of Indian affairs and northern development stressed to the premier of Saskatchewan that certain land claims and land entitlements were outstanding. As a result of the meeting that took place then, an agreement was signed in 1976 which resulted in the Saskatchewan formula. The agreement set the figure of 128 acres per person for the population registered in December, 1976.

Three years later, on October 19, the minister wrote to the government of Saskatchewan saying that the federal government was reviewing the availability of Crown land for native people. In effect, he was also saying that he was reviewing the

Adjournment Debate

obligations of the federal government. Last week in the House 1 put a question about this to the minister and he replied that he wanted a settlement which was agreeable to the other provinces. Unfortunately, the province of Manitoba with its Conservative government, and the province of Alberta with its Conservative government, will not accept the Saskatchewan formula. The impression that the minister left with the House and with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians was that he would not live up to the agreement referred to as the Saskatchewan formula. He had apparently said at a meeting with his provincial counterparts, the previous night, that the formula was too costly or too rich.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS-SETTLEMENT OF NATIVE LAND CLAIMS- GOVERNMENT POLICY
Permalink
PC

Arthur Jacob (Jake) Epp (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Epp:

I never said that.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS-SETTLEMENT OF NATIVE LAND CLAIMS- GOVERNMENT POLICY
Permalink
NDP

Rodney Edward Murphy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Murphy:

That is what was said, according to the news report, Mr. Speaker, and that is the impression he left with this House last week.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indians wrote to the minister about this answer, not at some private meeting, but which were given to questions in this House. I know that the minister has received that letter and responded to it. The problem is, however, that the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians and other native people in the country are not sure of the direction the government is taking. They are not sure whether the government will live up to the Saskatchewan formula which was signed three years ago, and they are not sure what type of recommendation the minister is making to the government.

I would ask the minister to answer these charges and make it perfectly clear where the government stands, not only in the Saskatchewan case but in the case of all native Canadians.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS-SETTLEMENT OF NATIVE LAND CLAIMS- GOVERNMENT POLICY
Permalink
PC

Arthur Jacob (Jake) Epp (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Jake Epp (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development):

Mr. Speaker. 1 want to tell the hon. member for Churchill (Mr. Murphy) that the government's land claims policy is very clear. I will not repeat that because of lack of time now, but I went into it today in committee when the hon. member was present.

The hon. member is correct that no new land claims have been settled in the last two years. For that reason my parliamentary secretary is attending at the negotiations now proceeding with the Council of Yukon Indians, so that we may reach an early agreement. It has been agreed to seek an agreement in principle by the end of April, 1980. I would suggest to the hon. member that this shows we are moving with great speed, in view of the complexity of the issues faced in the comprehensive land claims.

The hon. member has said that 1 have refused to ratify the COPE agreement. I would indicate to him, Mr. Speaker, that at this stage there is no agreement to be ratified. There is an agreement in principle which was approved by the former administration. What is needed now is a final agreement, and this will have to be negotiated between the Committee for Original Peoples Entitlement and the Government of Canada. In order to get that process under way, I will meet with them at 3.30 tomorrow. 1 hope that we can eradicate some of the

December 4, 1979

Adjournment Debate

differences that presently exist before we get down to negotiating the final agreement.

With regard to the Saskatchewan formula, 1 would suggest to the hon. member that he not reply on news reports that I said this was too rich. What 1 asked the ministers at that meeting was whether the Saskatchewan formula was acceptable to them. I would suggest to the hon. member that he rely on what is said in this House rather than on news reports.

In order to clarify quite clearly, Mr. Speaker, beyond the answers that I gave today to the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grace (Mr. Allmand) regarding the Saskatchewan formula, 1 want to tell the member that I have responded in telex form to the president of the FS1. 1 just want to read one section of that into the record and possibly this will clarify the situation. In part it reads:

The discussion which I had with provincial ministers on Monday, November 26, was a general and broad ranging one, related to various matters concerning Indian people in the provinces which were represented. As part of our discussion,

I wanted to hear the views of each provincial minister. In this context, I asked the provincial ministers affected (those of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) about their approach to the fulfilment of outstanding treaty land entitlement claims. Since each of these governments has placed different interpretations on their obligation to provide land for treaty entitlement purposes under the natural resources transfer agreements, 1 noted that the outcome of such different approaches would be widely differing settlements among the three provinces. Since it is my responsibility to ensure that the interests of the Indian people across Canada are taken into account fairly and equitably, I was bringing to the attention of those present the concern that I have that the Saskatchewan formula, if it is not applied in Manitoba and Alberta, would create disparities which would affect the Indian people in the latter two provinces.

I want to tell the member, and as 1 have indicated in the House earlier today as well, that the Saskatchewan formula is in place. I know that the agreements are in place and I want to see early movement on the land entitlements.

The Saskatchewan government, obviously in view of the 1930 transfer agreement, has to provide the majority of the land.

[ Translation]

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   NORTHERN AFFAIRS-SETTLEMENT OF NATIVE LAND CLAIMS- GOVERNMENT POLICY
Permalink

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-INQUIRY WHETHER GRANTS WILL BE INCREASED

SC

Armand Caouette

Social Credit

Mr. Armand Caouette (Abitibi):

Mr. Speaker, as 1 said on November 19 last to the Minister of State for Science and Technology (Mr. Grafftey), statistics show that from 1976 to 1978 the federal government earmarked $392.8 million for university scientific research in Ontario as against $190 million for the same period in Quebec.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, 1 would like to remind the minister that Quebec has been at a great disadvantage when it comes to the distribution of the federal research centres. 1 feel therefore, Mr. Speaker, that the government should review its whole scientific research policy to restore more equity among the provinces and increase substantially the budgets with a view to making scientific research play an effective role. Mr. Speaker, Quebec received $94 million from 1976 to 1977. For

[Mr. Epp.)

the same year Ontario was given $203.7 million, but fortunately that situation was reviewed in 1978 and Quebec got $96.4 million which represents a small increase in comparison with the $189.1 million granted to Ontario.

[DOT] (2225)

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, never has the government in the past made scientific research one of its priorities. Significant budget cuts have been imposed in this area in the past, and what is more serious is the lack of long-term planning in awarding grants. The lack of long-term funding is creating an impossible situation for researchers and causing the brain drain which benefits other countries at the expense of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I should like to quote Dr. Herzberg, the 1971 winner of the Nobel prize for chemistry and a member of the National Research Council of Canada, who blamed the federal government for depriving the National Research Council of all authority over last year's grants:

The time and money which the government is wasting on commissions appointed to look into the problems in scientific research could be better employed encouraging research.

Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of resentment in the world of medical research. Moved by a feeling of frustration because of the government's indifference, researchers could change professions or leave Canada unless federal authorities remedy the situation, remarked Dr. Hudson, a representative of the University of Ottawa Medical Research Committee.

The same doctor stated, and 1 quote:

-while the costs of research are increasing by 15 per cent every year, the budget of the MRC is in real value 10 per cent lower than last year.

[DOT] (2230)

Then, Mr. Speaker, we realize that only one per cent of the federal budget is spent on research, although that sector is a vital necessity to ensure the economic viability of our society. I know, Mr. Speaker, that the minister said that the government intended to increase the funds allocated to research. But when will they be increased? Will that indexing be based on the gross national product in order to provide a serious basis for research? What does the government intend to do specifically to cope with Quebec's inferiority in that area?

The announcement of the establishment of an engineering institute in Bouchervillc is a beginning. However, 1 would like to point out to the minister that a much greater effort than the establishment of an $18 million research centre will be needed to correct the situation. Can the minister also tell us whether he intends to establish a long-term scientific policy, extending over a three to nine year period, supported by funding commitments for three years and reviewed annually? Furthermore, is he prepared to admit as full members in the federal organizations which have their own budgets representatives selected by the Canadian scientific community?

December 4, 1979

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I say that the time has come for this new government to tel! us what kind of policy it intends to follow to provide Canada with researchers capable of helping the Canadian people as a whole in view of the fact that according to recent newspaper reports, researchers are saying that the priorities of the NSERC lie in agriculture, food, oil and many other areas.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-INQUIRY WHETHER GRANTS WILL BE INCREASED
Permalink
PC

Richard Janelle (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Regional Economic Expansion)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Richard Janelle (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Regional Economic Expansion):

Mr. Speaker, I take pleasure, on behalf of the Minister of State for Science and Technology (Mr. Grafftey), in replying to the hon. member for Abitibi (Mr. Caouette). First of all, I want to thank the hon. member for his question of November 19 regarding aid to research in Canada. The present government considers research and development as a priority concern and it is determined to make regular and continued progress in this area in order to increase the country's gross expenditures from 0.9 per cent to 2.5 per cent of the gross national product.

Our greatest weakness in the field of research and development lies in the industrial sector and the government is working on ways to stimulate increased research at that level. It must respond to market forces. The government's objective therefore is to create a proper climate for research and development and adopt means for improving or supporting and not replacing market operations.

The universities also have an important role to play in our national research and development efforts. The recent press

Adjournment Debate

release of the minister concerning the 32 per cent increase in the budget for 1980-81 of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council proves undeniably that the government recognizes the importance of research in the university environment. That increase will enable the council, in co-operation with the universities and the provinces, to improve the research potential in the universities, to add training programs for new researchers and to foster joint research programs in fields of national interest such as energy, toxicology of the environment, oceans and communications and, as the hon. member mentioned in his question, food and agriculture, with a view to stimulating closer interaction between the universities and industries in free research, and also to renew obsolete material. In a word, it represents an impulse that will enable the council to perform the task for which it was created.

To sum up, in the past Quebec has not always received all it was entitled to expect. To a large extent that difference can be explained by reasons of structural factors, namely, the composition of its industry, the number and importance of science and engineering programs in its universities and the extent of the participation of Quebec university researchers in federal grant programs. Our government will do its best to overcome those difficulties. I trust this answers the question of the hon. member.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-INQUIRY WHETHER GRANTS WILL BE INCREASED
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

A motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Motion agreed to and the House adjourned at 10.32 p.m.

Wednesday, December 5, 1979

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-INQUIRY WHETHER GRANTS WILL BE INCREASED
Permalink

December 4, 1979