December 12, 1979

?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

Even the Tories applaud you.

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

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

1 find it no more unacceptable to be applauded by Conservatives than 1 do the odd time that I am applauded by my friends to the far right in the Liberal party. Guilt by association is not pleasant, but it is not always possible in this game of politics to choose people who decide to align themselves with you for their own reasons.

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

William Heward Grafftey (Minister of State for Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grafftey:

How pompous!

December 12, 1979

The Budget-Mr. Rae

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

An hon. Member:

You should know.

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

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

There are alternatives to the policies of this government, Mr. Speaker. This is the last time we should be taking Canada on a forced march to a reduced deficit of $4 or $5 billion in 1984. On the government's own figures, this will lead to unemployment of 7.5 per cent, which is an increase. Inflation will remain at exactly the level it is at now, but next year will be higher. We have to ask ourselves what we are getting. We are getting Herbert Hoover and R. B. Bennett, but I do not see any advantage to the policy.

The minister says that we have terrible unemployment and terrible inflation in Canada and that we need a five-year plan to deal with these horrendous problems. But with this five-year plan we find we have exactly the same inflation and the same unemployment as there is now. if that is the kind of long march the minister now wants to take us on, I suggest he put on his mukluks and head off by himself. He will not be followed by the rest of the Canadian people.

In his closing remarks the minister mentioned his grandfather. I should like to mention my grandfather. Seventy years ago he came to Canada as an immigrant, worked hard, fought in a war, suffered through a depression. Were he alive today, I doubt very much that he would find anything has changed in the consecutive budgets produced by Liberal and Conservative governments.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

I should like to recite to hon. members a poem by T. S. Eliot, which goes as follows:

Though you have shelters and institutions,

Precarious lodgings while the rent is paid,

Subsiding basements where the rat breeds Or sanitary dwellings with numbered doors Or a house a little better than your neighbour's;

When the Stranger says: 'What is the meaning of this city Do you huddle close together because you love each other?'

What will you answer? 'We all dwell together

To make money from each other'? or 'This is a community'?

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

William Heward Grafftey (Minister of State for Science and Technology)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grafftey:

You look like a college boy now.

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

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

I see the minister with his usual knowledge and common sense has a comment. I should like to tell him where I first saw this poem. It was in a United Auto Workers' hall in Port Elgin, Ontario. If he wants to go and see it himself, he can. The message that came from that union movement is one with which I am not the least bit ashamed to associate myself. It is:

What will you answer? 'We all dwell together

To make money from each other'? or 'This is a community'?

Let me suggest that there is a very clear alternative to the policy of this government which is about to be defeated, and that alternative is a policy which recognizes that Canada is a community-not a community of communities only, but a community. It is a community in which the critical question in

the 1980s will be: are we simply here "to make money from each other" or are we here to do something different?

In the policies which this party suggested during the election campaign, such as a cost of living tax credit, the need for an industrial strategy, the importance of providing jobs for Canadians and looking at the real health of the economy, and not some abstractions which so upset hon. members opposite, we have suggested that there is an alternative to the policies of the government. That alternative is the social democratic alternative.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Let me suggest that between the new Conservatism and the new democracy there is no middle ground. It has something which my friends to the far right in the Liberal party are quickly going to discover, that there is a message in this budget-the government has thrown down the gauntlet, the government has waved its flag and said, "We dare you in these trying political times, with the resignation of the leader of the Liberal party, to oppose the policies with which we want to take Canada into the eighties." We accept that challenge, Mr. Speaker. We accept it happily. We accept it with confidence and with vigour, because we are convinced that the message contained in this budget is a message of injustice. It is a mean message, not a generous or compassionate message; it is a message which will be rejected by the Canadian people because it is so mean and not compassionate.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Bob Rae

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rae:

Mr. Speaker, 1 therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles):

That the amendment be amended by changing the period at the end thereof to a comma, and by adding immediately thereafter the following words:

and this House unreservedly condemns the government for its outright betrayal of its election promises to lower interest rates, to cut taxes, and to stimulate the growth of the Canadian economy, without a mandate from the Canadian people for such a reversal.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jim Hawkes (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House as the first new member of Parliament to speak on the budget debate. As I sat here and listened to hon. members opposite, I was reminded of some phrases that were thrown at us that I might like to twist and throw back at them.

There is a choice for Canadians, and the hon. member is correct when he says that our budget clarifies that choice. One of the choices we have is to continue to deal with poetry or choose to deal with reality. Are we going to become a nation of doers, or are we going to continue to be a nation of dreamers? Are we going to deal with promises, or are we going to deal with plans?

I am particularly proud to stand up in this House today, because about three years ago I committed a significant portion of my life working within this political party to develop plans for governing this nation. As most new members of

December 12, 1979

Parliament have done, one does so at some personal cost in terms of time and other dimensions. I chose to do so, and I think most of the new members on this side of the House chose to do so because we were concerned about this nation and about the direction in which it was heading.

I understand that it is parliamentary tradition to be allowed a little latitude on the subjects to which one chooses to address oneself during the throne speech debate and the budget debate. I am going to digress from the budget for a moment but 1 will return to it.

I want to deal with something which has caused me increasing concern as I sit here day after day. We on this side have been accused of being no different from the previous government. I think one of the differences, which has been long in the planning and is taking some time in the execution because of obstructionist tactics from the othei side, is the reform of the institution of Parliament. In the last week or two we have been treated with increasing frequency to those kinds of tactics which delay, which waste the time of members of the House, which waste the attention of the Canadian people, the longterm consequences of which are for Canadians to lose faith in their political process.

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

An hon. Member:

They waste the taxpayers' money.

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

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

This government is concerned about changing the institution of Parliament and, after having sat in this House for only two months and three days, I understand even more completely why that is a priority of this government. In that connection I would just like to review our two-month record with respect to the change of this institution. The most important piece of legislation which is before this House and before the Canadian people is the freedom of information bill. If we, as Canadians, are dependent upon the interpretation of information which flows from the other side of the House, we are going to be bankrupt of ideas, bankrupt of the kind of information which will enable us to make solid decisions. If we pass the freedom of information bill in this House, and then put the information out into the public domain, we can let Canadians decide who is telling the truth and who is playing a magician's game.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

We believe in that principle over on this side of the House, and I believe our actions give credence to that principle.

Last night we had our Minister of Finance (Mr. Crosbie) stand before us and lay out for the information of the Canadian people, for the members of this House, a five-year budgetary projection, not a six-day wonder, not a six-month wonder, but a five-year budget projection. That is what we laid out in the House of Commons. And that is an important principle for the kind of stability which this nation needs.

Members opposite might ask: what is so important about that? Where is the courage in that kind of step? Well, Mr. Speaker, 1 say to the people of Canada and to the members of

The Budget-Mr. Hawkes

this House that in the next five years we are going to have those numbers thrown back at us. They are projections which represent the best guess we can make today as to the state of the economy over the next five-year period of time. As is true of all guesses, not all of them will be correct. And members opposite will take advantage of that and attempt to throw those figures back in our faces. But I say that the Minister of Finance, and this government, have the courage to say to the Canadian people, "This is the way we think it will go." We had that same kind of courage in March, April and May of this year.

Based on the information which was provided to us we laid out to the Canadian people the kind of steps we felt we would be able to take, the kind of things we felt were necessary to undertake. And today we are getting some of those things flung back in our faces. In some cases 1 welcome the opportunity to debate them.

One other thing 1 would like to say before I turn to the budget itself is that we have had another historic precedent set by the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Clark) in recent days. The Prime Minister chose to voluntarily appear before a committee of the House of Commons to defend his personal budget. The accountability of the expenditure of taxpayers' dollars begins on this side of the House. From the Prime Minister it flows to the cabinet, and it continues to be a concern of each and every one of us who sit on this side of the House.

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

December 12, 1979