May 20, 1983

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21

LABOUR CONDITIONS

PC

Thomas Scott Fennell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Scott Fennell (Ontario):

Mr. Speaker, on Monday I spoke to a class of bright, young students at Henry Street High School in Whitby. 1 was impressed with their intelligence, and disturbed by their anger, for these students, Mr. Speaker, were very angry. Imagine facing a future where there are no jobs, a future where the old rules do not apply.

I want to get some answers to the students' questions. What is the Goverment going to do about youth unemployment? We all know that it will be over 50 per cent this summer. Yet, when the Opposition asks serious questions of the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Axworthy), he will only recite a list of short-term programs instead of long-term solutions. Mr. Speaker, the statistics for youth unemployment prove that these programs are not effective, and the human factor is even more telling.

This is a letter I received from one of my constituents:

I am writing to you and I need assistance. I have a problem. I cannot get a job.

I have been unemployed for over a year. 1 have a bookkeeping certificate and am now taking an accounting course through the Ministry of Education. I am also on the NEED program through Manpower. Nothing. Please is there anything you can do?

The letter was signed "Desperate".

It is time to bring together a task force, with representation from labour, industry, small business and the Provinces, to examine the transition from the post-industrial to the technological era.

The next time I speak to a class of students who are about to start their working lives, I hope the Government will have some answers for them.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
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EDUCATION

PC

Claude Girvin (Girve) Fretz

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Girve Fretz (Erie):

Mr. Speaker, it is incredible and tragic that in this day and age, in this era of space travel and electronic wizardry, one out of four people across the Province of Ontario cannot read a simple newspaper article.

Experts speaking recently for the Movement for Canadian Literacy believe that up to 70 per cent of Canadians read so poorly they cannot understand information brochures sent in the mail by various levels of Government. Indeed, there is reason to believe that the problem may be more acute now than ever. The advent of the electronic media has made it easier than ever before to exist from day to day without reading. Use of the telephone saves many poor readers from having to use the rudimentary skills they may have.

The connection between illiteracy and unemployment has been established by many experts in the field of literacy. Illiterate people have difficulty reading newspaper ads for jobs, and health and safety notices at the worksite. Since grade ten, and sometimes grade 12, is required for many technical retraining programs, illiterate adults are denied even this opportunity to improve their lot in life.

Given the seriousness of this situation, perhaps the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Axworthy) would consider using some of the money allocated to his Department through the Special Recovery Program to initiate literacy programs across the country.

As well, the Minister is aware of organizations in the voluntary sector which are devoted to helping out illiterate Canadians. I would ask him on behalf of these organizations to make sure that any tax regulations affecting the volunteer workers and their organizations are fair and geared to their best interests.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   EDUCATION
Sub-subtopic:   LEVEL OF ILLITERACY
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

LIB

Alexandre Cyr

Liberal

Mr. Alexandre Cyr (Gaspe):

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased with the news that the Bill proposing amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act has been tabled. The proposed changes would confirm the authority of the Employment and Immigration Commission to establish regulatory provisions concerning fishermen's benefits. These provisions differ from those regulating ordinary benefits in order to allow for the specific needs of this particular group. If we authorize the Commission to establish special regulatory provisions for fishermen's benefits, it would also be possible for the Commission to implement the recommendations contained in the Kirby

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May 20, 1983

Task Force Report, especially the suggestion that benefits paid to fishermen who have accumulated fifteen weeks of employment or more should be based on the earnings of their ten best weeks of fishing.

I am therefore asking for the co-operation of Members of all parties in this Elouse so that we can adopt this Bill before June 4, which will be in the interests of all fishermen in Eastern Canada, and especially those in the Gaspe.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST THAT AMENDMENTS TO ACT BE ADOPTED BEFORE JUNE 4
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VETERANS AFFAIRS

NDP

Raymond John Skelly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ray Skelly (Comox-Powell River):

Mr. Speaker, I wish, through you, to call to the attention of the House an important matter related to the Canadian atomic veterans. The Government knows that during the 1950s and 1960s approximately 300 members of the Canadian Armed Forces participated in a nuclear defence group, and a number of fighter pilots were exposed to nuclear radiation in the course of their duties. Exposure sites included atomic bomb tests at Nevada, and Maralinga in Australia.

It is our contention that some years ago the Department of National Defence made a commitment to protect those individuals exposed to radiation in the course of their duties. That protection had not been forthcoming. The Government has largely turned its back on those veterans today.

In the United States, however, the United States Government has now acknowledged the potential difficulties of the exposure to radiation of its servicemen in the bomb tests in Nevada, and has agreed to provide free medical services to all those veterans. This is a major step forward in the process of recognition of the dangers of exposure to nuclear radiation.

With other Members of the House I suggest it is time the federal Government recognized its obligations and fulfilled its commitment to the Canadian atomic veterans. The Government should immediately issue a statement that all Canadian veterans who participated in the nuclear defence group, all those fighter pilots who were exposed in high altitude flights to atomic bomb tests in other countries, should-

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   FORMER DEFENCE PERSONNEL'S EXPOSURE TO NUCLEAR RADIATION
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LIB

Cyril Lloyd Francis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Order, please.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   VETERANS AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   FORMER DEFENCE PERSONNEL'S EXPOSURE TO NUCLEAR RADIATION
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

PC

Joseph Lloyd Reid

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Joe Reid (St. Catharines):

Mr. Speaker, police brutality in Poland resulted in the death of a 19-year old student, Grzeyorz Przemyk, and a new martyr for the cause of opposition to martial law in Poland was born.

Twenty thousand mourners, in the largest peaceful demonstration held in Warsaw since the imposition of martial law, heard read the Lech Walesa telegram, "Every death is painful but this one is especially brutal-it will not be forgotten." The Solidarity movement was a peaceful movement by masses of Polish people simply wanting a little greater freedom of individual expression. Now, with the alleged suspension of martial law, civil, human and workers' rights continue to be brutally trampled upon. The Gdansk Accords are still being completely and flagrantly violated. In short, all of the major advances of Solidarity over its 16 months of existence have been rolled back.

The free peoples of the world must not allow the alleged suspension of martial law to serve as a political ploy to convince the world that, for a people who have enjoyed one thousand years of Christianity, life for them has returned to normal. We must all protest in the strongest terms possible the continued grievous violations of basic civil and workers' rights in Poland.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POLAND-STUDENT MARTYR VICTIM OF MARTIAL LAW
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

LIB

Stanley Hudecki (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Stanley Hudecki (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, major peace initiatives in Central America are currently being promoted by Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, referred to as the "Contadora Group". These countries are discussing ways and means to bring about a reduction of violence and tension in Central America and an eventual peaceful settlement.

In a communique dated May 11, 1983, the Government of Canada indicated support for the work of the Contadora Group. It considers this work as an important step in the process of reconciliation and peaceful settlement. It has been the view of the Government of Canada that the resolution of difficulties in Central America requires a process of discussion and dialogue between the various Governments concerned.

The Government of Canada is prepared to do whatever it can to facilitate and encourage this process if the countries directly concerned feel that Canada can play a useful, positive, and effective role. Canada has protested the waves of violence in those countries. It has offered its good offices to provide a site in Canada, or abroad at a Canadian embassy, for negotiations. Canada supports the right of each country to enjoy genuine independence, non-alignment, and stability, without threat of outside interference. It is a concern that, to date, countries directly involved in facilitating and encouraging dialogue and discussion have not availed themselves of this genuine offer. Nevertheless, I feel that it is important that Canada keep its lines of communication open to these directly concerned nations in the event that its help is requested.

May 20, 1983

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CENTRAL AMERICA-SUPPORT FOR PEACE INITIATIVES
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HUMAN RIGHTS

PC

Geoffrey Douglas Scott

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Geoff Scott (Hamilton-Wentworth):

Mr. Speaker, I associate this statement with my colleague, the Hon. Member for Esquimalt-Saanich (Mr. Munro). There has been much talk recently, in the media and in legislatures across the land, about the Holocaust and the attempted extermination of a race more than 40 years ago. Everyone keeps saying that such a human tragedy must never happen again. However, a 1980s' version of the holocaust is happening again. The Government of Iran is determined to wipe out that country's largest religious minority, the Baha'is. The hateful Ayatollah Khomeini regime is quietly, but systematically, executing hundreds of people every year. The most recent death camp exercise has claimed at least 200 lives.

This continuing horror story was graphically brought to the doorstep of my constituency office in Dundas, Ontario, a few days ago. A delegation from the Baha'i Assembly of Dundas included a lovely young lady, Dr. Feri Jabbari, who had just lost her distinguished father before an Iranian firing squad. The Baha'i delegation's message was twofold: first, to bring about greater public awareness of the campaign of terror being visited upon Iran's largest religious minority, and second, to thank the Parliament of Canada for being among the first of the world's democratic nations to pass a unanimous resolution expressing alarm at what is happening to the Baha'is in Iran.

I only wish, Mr. Speaker, that the international community could do more than just pass formal resolutions about the persecution of the Baha'is. Another holocaust is in the making, and no one seems able or willing to stop it.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN-PERSECUTION OF BAHA'I FAITH
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RAILWAYS

NDP

Ian Deans (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Deans (Hamilton Mountain):

Mr. Speaker, the announcement made by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Pepin) earlier this week with regard to the allocation of the rail car orders was most heartless and did not even begin to recognize the unemployment which has almost become structural in National Steel Car. There has been hardly anyone working there over the course of the last year. There is a sufficient amount of work which needs to be done and which could be done by those employees and by the employees of the other plants across the country. There is the necessity to repair the existing rolling stock, work which is not currently being undertaken, and should be undertaken.

The Minister on many occasions has expressed his concern for rail safety. This would be an ideal time both to meet his commitment to rail safety and to provide much needed employment in many centres in every part of the country.

Oral Questions

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S.O. 21
Subtopic:   RAILWAYS
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOCATION OF RAIL CAR ORDERS
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

CORPORATE AFFAIRS

May 20, 1983