January 24, 1984

SPEECH FROM THE THRONE

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY


The House resumed from Wednesday, December 14, 1983, consideration of the motion of Mr. Jack Burghardt for an address to his Excellency the Governor General in reply to his speech at the opening of the session; and the amendment thereto of Mr. Mulroney (p. 45).


LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):

Mr. Speaker, 1 am delighted to have an opportunity to say a few words on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I express congratulations to the mover and to the seconder on their speeches in this debate.

Also I want to express my compliments to you, Mr. Speaker, on being chosen the Speaker of the House of Commons. You have been a distinguished Member of the House for many years. The recent expression we hear when we talk about astronauts being made of the right stuff certainly applies to you. Certainly during your tenure as Deputy Speaker you proved that in fact you had the right stuff to take on that important and difficult role in which you distinguished yourself. We wish you well, and I know that you have equipped yourself well for your important role in this difficult year of the rest of this Parliament.

In speaking to the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, I believe the Government has set out an excellent range of priorities and plans for the Second Session of this Thirty-second Parliament. It is easy to say that there is not enough detail in it; of course, a Speech from the Throne is never designed to give complete detail. That will come as individual Bills are introduced in the House during this session, as well as the Budget which I understand will be announced later this week.

The two priorities of global peace and security and national prosperity are the twin themes on people's minds today. Clearly the concern for economic recovery, the opportunity for jobs and an improved economic situation have to be the top priorities of any politician. At the same time we recognize that as a significant middle-range power in the world Canada has an important international position of responsibility.

[DOT] (UIO)

Having been in office for the last 15 years, the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) had an international position of seniority and I think most Canadians are pleased and happy that

he has taken on the role of trying to make a really meaningful contribution to international peace and security.

Last September the Prime Minister visited my constituency of Algoma and the neighbouring constituency of Sault Ste. Marie. At that time he had the opportunity of meeting with the parents of one of the passengers on the KAL-W07 flight involved in the Korean airline disaster, Mr. and Mrs. Hendrie. It was a very difficult time for that family and I am sure it will be in the months and years ahead.

While speaking to 500 to 600 people I realized how much concern there was for the international scene, the growing hostility of the superpowers in the East and West. As the Prime Minister spoke to the gathering about peace. Although we were furious, disturbed, discouraged and concerned with the Russian action in shooting down the airliner, it was obvious that in the end we had to communicate with them in order to find a way to cool down the cold war rhetoric and the ongoing difficulties that exist between the East and the West bloc.

I think it is important that the Prime Minister, because of his position on the international scene, has gained a lot of support for his peace mission, not only from the 45 countries attending the Commonwealth of Nations meeting in New Delhi, India, but from the western European nations, the Chinese, the President of the United States and the Pope, as well as from the countries of western Europe and here at home.

Late in December a poll was conducted by the Toronto Star which indicated that four out of five Canadians polled at that time support the Prime Minister's peace initiative and urge him to continue with it. In the face of the tremendous cynicism there is among the press toward any Canadian taking on any international function or activity, that is encouraging and indicates that the Canadian people do not share that cynicism.

No one underestimates the enormity of the task or the chances of success. It is a very difficult one. It is easy to gain support for a mission of this nature from western democracies and the Third World countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. The real difficulty in western and eastern bloc countries and in Russia is that they do not have the same open society that we have and the same freedom of the press.

As the Prime Minister leaves tonight for a visit to the eastern bloc countries of Europe, I am sure all Members of the House wish him well in this momentous and important undertaking.

I want to comment now on a number of items in the Speech from the Throne, Mr. Speaker, relating to the economy because these things are important in my constituency. I am

January 24, 1984

The Address-Mr. Foster

especially pleased that the Government has focused on the question of youth unemployment and has taken a number of initiatives in that regard. A Youth Opportunities Fund of $1 billion has been set aside for youth training. I am pleased that a lot of that money will be earmarked for programs like the Access Program which will provide subsidies for young people to go into the private sector and get jobs. Unemployed youth are always confronted with the question: "What experience do you have?" The youth Access Program will provide the employer with some subsidization while the young person is training. I believe the 400,000 or 500,000 young people who are unemployed and looking for work in this country today represent a great potential opportunity for us if we give them the opportunity for employment, and hopefully much of it will be through the private sector. Conversely, if we do not zero in on that problem, if we do not work very hard to resolve it, it can become the most destructive and wasteful situation in our country.

I am pleased that the Government is going to commit nearly $100 million more to the Canada Works Program. In my constituency that translates into some $445,000, which will, of course, be beneficial. Likewise, the Summer Canada Program which provided approximately 400 jobs last year will be funded at a similar level this coming year. Although there have been additional funds put into the Canada Works Program, I note that there is no corresponding NEED Program this year. I certainly hope that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Lalonde), when he brings down his budget next month, will look very seriously at reinstating a program of that magnitude. I know he is concerned that he not increase the budget deficit and I feel that is a sound fiscal position. However, if we look at that $500 million which was spent last year on the NEED Program, we find that the Ontario Government alone put up an extra $100 million which was augmented by several hundred millions of dollars by the private sector and non-profit groups. I believe we see a massive megaproject in terms of dollars being expended. The beauty of that is it is expended in a hundred small communities across the Province of Ontario and across the other provinces of this country.

Unemployment insurance payments, I understand, are running in the order of $1 billion a month now. A commitment of some $400 million or $500 million for additional employment with emphasis on youth in the Budget would be very wise. When you subtract the amount of money which is being paid out in unemployment insurance benefits for those people who are being employed under the NEED Program-in Ontario we call it the Co-Ed NEED Program-the net cost is probably only 25 per cent or 35 per cent of the actual cost of reinstating that program. Therefore, I hope that the Government will look at that when it is planning the Budget later next month.

The important measures which were in last year's Budget, the special recovery tax credits of some $2.4 billion, will start to show a benefit in terms of plant expansion, in export marketing and in additional economic activity in this coming year. In my constituency some of these programs under the

special recovery project got underway last year. Last year we spent about $1 million on small craft harbour development in communities like Little Current, Gore Bay, Bruce Mines and a number of other communities. In this coming year an additional six or seven small craft harbours will be developed and some $2 million will be spent.

This provides not only construction opportunities but a real boost to tourism in our area. We have the north channel of Lake Huron, one of the best cruising and boating areas in the world, and the Government is making an important contribution to small craft harbour development.

As well, in the next few weeks a major project will be tendered and construction will get underway in Elliot Lake on the $8 million mine research laboratory. Construction is slated to get underway in May of this year and will provide significant employment opportunities, and ultimately a very important mine research facility to support the uranium mines there and other mining operations throughout our country.

In Sault Ste. Marie, Mr. Speaker, in the Algoma constituency, a new $5 million airport terminal is being designed by the architect and is slated to go to tender later this spring. Those projects will play an important role in providing jobs in this coming year.

There is a project which I have been working very hard in my constituency for, under the Distribution System Expansion Program of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. This program extends natural gas pipelines to unserved areas of eastern Canada. A study is now underway on building a major natural gas pipeline from Sault Ste. Marie along the north shore of Lake Huron, ultimately to the natural gas pipeline in Espanola, but serving all the intervening communities of Bruce Mines, Thessalon, Blind River and Elliot Lake. We hope that project will be approved for support under the DSEP program.

One of the most difficult economic problems faced by my constituency, Mr. Speaker, is that of the steel industry in Sault Ste. Marie which during the past two years has been in a very depressed state of development. There have been important layoffs both in Sault Ste. Marie and many other areas of our country where the steel industry is the main employer. 1 am hopeful that the $16 billion of economic development provided under the Crow Bill which was passed in this House last fall will be beneficial there. I am also hopeful that the agreement which the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Lumley) has been working on with the Japanese auto industry will be successful because I think that will provide additional opportunities for the steel industry.

There has been very encouraging news in the last few days concerning exploration and development in the oil and gas industry. I think this will provide additional incentives to this industry which is so important to many communities in our country.

January 24, 1984

The Government has to continue to be cautious about dumping of steel in this country. The surtax which was imposed on specialty steel in January shows its concern and interest. There are bills in the United States House of Representatives which would likewise provide protection in the United States. We have to be careful to try to keep the opportunities for sales of steel in the United States open and flowing. That is very important to our steel industry.

1 would like to mention one or two other matters which were mentioned in the Speech from the Throne and which are very important in my constituency. There was mention of strengthening the regional development agreements with the provincial governments. I would like especially to mention the forestry industry. It is important that this Government recognize how important this industry is, not only to hundreds of single industry towns such as those in northern Ontario that depend on it, but to the whole national economy. I would like to see the Government make a firm and full commitment to that forestry agreement with the Province of Ontario.

I hope there will be a renewal of the NORDA agreement which will be running out in a couple of months. It is important to the small rural communities in tourism, agriculture and economic development, because some of the other programs just do not reach in and assist those communities. We need to put an important priority on tourism. My constituency is immediately adjacent to the United States and can benefit from the announced program there in many ways.

I would also like to mention the Livestock Stabilization Program which was mentioned in the Speech from the Throne. It is very important to that very depressed industry that we work out an agreement with the provincial governments to maintain this industry, which is beneficial to all rural agricultural areas.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I think 1984 should be a time of building for our country; a time to build on the turnaround that we have seen in the economy, a time to make the improvements to the social security programs that were suggested in the Speech from the Throne, and to continue to provide the opportunities for all age categories in the communities which we represent in this place.

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PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Hon. James A. McGrath (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to you on being promoted to the chair. I wish you well. I would also like, through you, Mr. Speaker, to extend my congratulations to Mr. Speaker Francis on his election as Speaker of this Parliament. I would like to extend my very best wishes to him as well.

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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGrath:

The Speech from the Throne is a traditional part of the life of Parliament at the commencement of a new session. It is put there for a very good reason. It enables the House to examine the Government's program which is epitomized and contained in the Speech from the Throne. It gives

The Address-Mr. McGrath

all Members of the House, particularly Private Members, an opportunity to relate the Government's initiatives and legislative plans to the needs and priorities of Members' respective constituencies. It is a useful exercise. Unfortunately, nobody pays very much attention any more. One could say that is a contradiction. If it is a useful exercise, why are people not paying attention?

I look at the Government Treasury benches and I notice that another convention is being defied here today. It is an established convention of this House that there shall always be a Minister present throughout the sittings of the House regardless of what item the debate is on. That is another convention that seems to have died. That speaks to the need for the Government to get on with parliamentary reform.

We are now operating under an extension of provisional rules which were brought in by the special committee on parliamentary reform. We are essentially operating under the recommendations of the third report of that committee but there are seven other reports, substantively six, which speak to the evolutionary process of parliamentary reform and complete the work of the committee.

The recommendations contained in the third report under which we are now operating were indeed just the beginning of the exercise. In order to complete the exercise, the Government must get on with the implementation of the recommendations of the other six reports. I say six reports because one of those seven reports still outstanding is merely one that corrects the language of one of the previous reports.

I hope the Government will take seriously its plans to get on with parliamentary reform. It certainly is a priority of this Party because we must make the institution relevant to the needs of this modern country. We had to take a look at perfunctory debates, like the Speech from the Throne debate, to see whether or not it still has a useful place in our proceedings.

The Speech from the Throne to open the session, which was supposed to outline the Government's legislative program and address its priorities, was certainly a long speech. In terms of addressing priorities or announcing new intentions, we found very little in it. In fact, we found that the Government was paying lip service to the urgency of getting on with addressing the most pressing problem, unemployment, while at the same time not coming forward with any new programs. All we had was a recycling of existing programs by changing their names. Essentially, instead of getting a program of new legislative intentions, we in fact got an exercise in public relations.

The fact is that there are no new funds in any of the programs announced in the Speech from the Throne to address the problem of unemployment in this country. We are still operating under the same program that was announced in the Budget of last spring and fine-tuned in the announcement in April by the then Minister of Employment and Immigration. That situation will not change until the commencement of the next fiscal year and I do not think we can expect any change

January 24, 1984

The Address-Mr. McGrath

until the Government brings down its Budget in April which, of course, will be its pre-election budget that will contain all the goodies that are designed to attract the Canadian people and restore confidence in a Government that in fact has lost the confidence of the electorate.

I suppose one can hardly blame the Government in a way when we look at how the press is treading this question. It is difficult to understand how the press could ignore it every time it is raised in the House. That has been the pattern lately. For example, the last unemployment date released a few days before the House opened indicated that unemployment in Canada had actually risen during the recovery year of 1983 over the recession year of 1982. In 1982, the year ended with a rate of unemployment of 11 per cent. In 1983 the year closed out with an unemployment rate of 11.9 per cent. We had fallen behind in terms of unemployment in the country bearing in mind the growth in the labour force.

We saw something in those figures which should be very disturbing to the Government and the country. We saw unemployment locked in at 11.1 per cent over the past quarter, the past three months. There has been no change month over month for the past few months. We are told that that situation will continue into 1984.

We sometimes lose sight of the fact that behind these statistics there are human beings and human problems with potential human tragedies. We seem to forget the fact that there are 1.3 million people in this country today without work. Many of them are long-term unemployed. We forget the fact that there are still over 500,000 young people in this country who are unemployed. That is a situation which has not changed in the past 16 months. Youth unemployment in this country has averaged between 18 per cent and 20 per cent over the past 16 months and we are told by the OECD and economists that this will continue on into 1984 and 1985. That is totally unacceptable. Yet there are no new dollars going into youth programs for this current fiscal year and no new dollars for the next fiscal year. All we have is a recycling of existing programs.

A few days ago I put questions in the House to the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Roberts) regarding what is called a Special Employment Initiatives Fund. What is the Special Employment Initiatives Fund? That is good question. There is $150 million in the Budget of June, 1982 for what is called the Special Employment Initiatives Fund. That reappeared in the Budget of April last year under a new name.

But it was the same fund, $150 million. It has $300 million so far but we cannot get any information about how that money was spent. We cannot get any information on the criteria regarding how that money is to be spent. We are told that it is not part of the four streams of employment programs of the Department of Employment and Immigration. We are told that it is global in nature and touches all Departments. We are told that we must wait until the Government sees fit to let us have the criteria.

In actual fact, this is a pre-election porkbarrel. We must recognize it for what it is. It is a Cabinet porkbarrel to which

only Cabinet members have access so they can announce grants for swimming pools and hockey arenas across the country in constituencies where they believe it might buy them some political points.

That $300 million is equal to the amount the Government is spending on the only special program it has for young people, the Career Access Program. If that $300 million was taken out of that porkbarrel, or the $200 million which we see was budgeted for that special program next year and which we are told will continue is added to the Career Access Program, we just might do something for the young people rather than provide a mere 90,000 jobs for the 540,000 young people who are unemployed. Yet there was not a word about that from the Government. In the committee we asked for the criteria and were told that it would be coming. We asked for the criteria in the House and were told that it would be coming. We were told by the Minister that it is a fast-tracking program. In other words, you can get your hands on it very quickly if you are a Minister.

There are no criteria. There are no regulations. They answer to no one. It is a hidden porkbarrel and there is not one single line about that fact reported by the press of this country. Why? Because they are bored with the unemployment question. They cannot come up with any new headlines; they say that we are saying the same things over and over again. Certainly we are saying the same things over and over again. We have an obligation to say the same things over and over again as long as unemployment in this country remains the same. We have that clear, moral obligation to say the same thing over and over again. The press has a concomitant obligation to report what goes on in this House, and as long as the press continues to refuse to report the unemployment story and continues to be bored by it, the Government will complacently seem to have nothing to worry about. I say that is a sad commentary on what is going on in this place.

The Hon. Parliamentary Secretary just made a rather unbecoming intervention. I hope he will say the same thing when he gets the floor, if he does get the floor.

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LIB

Douglas Glenn Fisher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Fisher:

Do you know what I said?

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PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McGrath:

I know what the hon. gentleman said. What he said is not parliamentary and I will not repeat it.

I could continue with the national unemployment statistics but I have an obligation to make some references to my own province. I did a little bit of checking this morning prior to coming into the House. The Province of Newfoundland, with a work force of 221,000 people, has an unemployment rate of almost 20 per cent; 19.5 per cent in actual fact. There are

43,000 people considered to be unemployed, seasonally adjusted with labour force participation factors built in.

That is bad enough, but if you look behind the figures the situation is even worse. I checked with the Unemployment Insurance Commission to see how many people in Newfoundland were drawing unemployment insurance. There are 94,000

January 24, 1984

people, out of a work force of 221,000, or 42 per cent of the work force, in Newfoundland at this moment who are drawing unemployment insurance. That is twice the unemployment rate of 20 per cent. We all know that to draw unemployment insurance you have to be available for work. That is one of the conditions of being able to draw unemployment insurance. Presumably, these people are legitimately unemployed, yet they are not reported as part of the unemployment statistics.

A few days ago an announcement was made that Eastern Provincial Airways would be moving 300 jobs from Gander to Halifax. I am glad the jobs are staying in Canada. I do not begrudge Halifax. All I say to you, Sir, is that Eastern Provincial Airways has the right to move anywhere it wants in Canada but the Government has an obligation to pick up the slack.

Newfoundland gets 0.9 per cent of the national defence budget. Newfoundland receives 0.9 per cent of the national defence budget as opposed to 13.3 per cent for Nova Scotia. Here is an area where the Government can move in and pick up the slack.

Shortly before this we were told that the Bowater mill in Corner Brook would be closing down in April unless a new buyer was found. There will be 1,300 jobs lost in April, not to mention the spin-off in terms of the woodworkers and the City of Corner Brook. A major paper mill in this country will close in April unless a new buyer is found. We are told that the prospects are not good. Yet a few weeks ago the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Regan) announced that this Government was financing to the tune of U.S. $143 million a new paper mill in Malaysia.

Where in the name of God are our priorities? Does the Government think that because we have a built-in unemployment rate of 20 per cent nobody really cares, that the people in Newfoundland do not want to work? We would expect this Government to be looking for new markets for the paper that comes from that mill as opposed to financing the construction of new mills which will further exacerbate the situation for an industry in this country that is in very big trouble because of changes in the trading patterns and new trade arrangements between the Scandinavian countries and the European Economic Community. We are in deep, deep trouble.

Imagine 42 per cent of the work force drawing unemployment insurance in a province that has an abundance of natural resources, the greatest fisheries in the world, a province that has some of the greatest timber resources in the world, a province that has the greatest mineral resources in the world and the greatest potential in terms of untapped hydro resources in the western world, not to mention offshore oil and gas where we have the greatest proven reserves of very high grade crude in the world outside of the Middle East. Yet a province with that kind of a resource base has 42 per cent of its work force drawing unemployment insurance. The Hon. Parliamentary Secretary can call that by the same four-letter word if he likes, but the fact is that that kind of a situation in a federation like ours cannot be allowed to continue. It cannot be

The Address-Mr. Penner

allowed to exist. It cannot be condoned and it cannot be tolerated.

If we were to have an agreement today to develop the offshore, we would probably have to wait two or three years before we would feel the results of it. At least it would be something to look forward to. I came to Ottawa from my province during the weekend. There is a feeling of doom and gloom in Newfoundland. There are people watching me on television in Newfoundland right now because they have nothing else to do except watch television. They are drawing unemployment insurance. They do not want to. They want to work. They want to be able to produce. This is lost productivity to this country which we will never regain. They want to get on with the job of producing that tremendous resource base that we have in our province.

Newfoundlanders want to contribute to this country. They want to see opportunities for themselves and they want to see some kind of a future for their children. I say to you, Sir, those opportunities and dreams will go largely unfulfilled as long as we have a government that can accept a national rate of unemployment in this country of 11.2 per cent, that says that full employment is no longer a realistic goal, and that can ignore a provincial economy where 42 per cent of its work force is drawing unemployment insurance.

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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Are there any questions or comments? Debate.

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LIB

B. Keith Penner

Liberal

Mr. Keith Penner (Cochrane-Superior):

Mr. Speaker, I, too, wish you well in your new duties. In the brief time available to me to participate in this debate, I want to direct my remarks to just one sentence in the Speech from the Throne. That sentence is as follows:

Action will soon be taken to respond to the report of the parliamentary committee on Indian self-government.

May it be so, because the time is now to end an anomaly which has existed in Canada for far too long. This abnormality, this gross irregularity to which I refer, is that there are

400,000 of our citizens, Indian people, who are living in this country today in a state of colonialism. I am aware that is an emotion laden word, but I chose it very deliberately and carefully. I ask Members of this House how else do they describe a situation in wich 400,000 people living in 600 communities scattered across Canada have virtually everything determined for them on a top-down, decision-making basis.

Their education, their child welfare, their economic development, their housing, their community development, their social services and health are all looked after for them by a huge bureaucracy of some 5,000 people who operate under an antiquated, unjust, discriminatory, prejudicial piece of legislation called the Indian Act, which is the worst piece of legislation that exists anywhere in the entire western world. Officials carry out their duties with appropriations from this House amounting to some $2 billion a year.

January 24, 1984

The Address-Mr. Penner

I want to be fair. It is true that the Government of Canada has endeavoured to carry out consultations with Indian people regarding policies and programs, but the process has not worked. It has been totally unsatisfactory, so much so that in the Indian community today the word "consultation" has been discredited. It is a tainted and unacceptable word.

To be perfectly fair, and I want to be fair, the Government has made efforts to transfer administrative responsibility to the Indians, but it has never transferred any real control. In transferring administrative responsibilities, it has created more officials to monitor, examine, check and cross-check, to look over the shoulder and breathe down the neck with a never-ending series of memorandums and directives. The special committee that I chaired learned, for example, that there are Indian chiefs and councils across this country that are spending up to 75 per cent of their time as elected people, looking after the administrative over-burden imposed upon them by the federal bureaucracy, the Department of Indian Affairs.

This Elouse is generous, or so it would seem, in appropriating $2 billion annually for all of these programs for Indians. Surely to goodness there is something to show for that amount of money. There must be something good out there to which we can point with pride, because $2 billion is a lot of money.

Let me refer to some statistics, Mr. Speaker. Among Indians there are five times the national average of children who are taken into care. Among Indian young people, only 20 per cent complete high school compared to the national average of 75 per cent. Housing? Well, I do not even want to get started describing housing in Indian communities. It is just deplorable. No other Canadian would live in such conditions.

Income? Indian people have one-half to one-third the national average income. My hon. friend across the way spoke with great passion about the serious problem of unemployment. I share his concern. We have a national rate of unemployment of 11.2 per cent, which is shocking, but among Indian people it is 35 per cent on average. There are Indian communities where unemployment is as high as 80 per cent or 90 per cent.

Infant mortality is 60 per cent higher among Indians than the national rate. As for life expectancy, an Indian woman can expect to live for 66 years; a non-Indian woman in Canada can expect to live 79 years on average. There are too many Indians in prison. There is far too much alcoholism among Indian people, too many violent deaths and too many suicides. All of this is well documented in the Government's own report published in 1980 entitled "Indian conditions-A survey". It is all there, and much more.

It is a shocking, dreadful story. Something is terribly wrong. These statistics tell us that this bureaucratic, top-down, colonial approach is not working. It is a total failure. After reading yesterday's The Globe and Mail, I probably have to correct that. There was a little item in "Morning Smile" which stated: "nothing is ever a total failure-it can always serve as a bad example".

What we have with the Indian conditions in this country is a national disgrace. This national disgrace puts a severe strain upon our international credibility. The report of the Special Committee on Indian Self-Government in Canada, to which I now want to refer, deserves careful study and consideration. I want to pay tribute to the Members of Parliament from all political Parties in this House who worked with me in the production of this document. I also want to give special thanks to the three Indian members who served in an ex officio capacity. They made a very significant contribution to the findings in this report and to the recommendations.

The report has been well received by Indians and by non-Indians alike. It is a positive response to the fair, just, reasonable and legitimate aspirations of Indian people in Canada today.

This report was not conjured up by a group of Members of Parliament sitting in a committee room in the West Block, dreaming up some ideas that would be good for Indians. It is based on the testimony that we received in one full year of public hearings across this country, listening to Indian leaders and to people who live in Indian communities. We took that testimony, digested it and put it into language that can be utilized by Parliament and by the Canadian people. The report is based soundly on the testimony that we received.

I want to thank this Parliament for having given to this Special Committee terms of reference that were broad enough to enable us to do a comprehensive job. I want to thank this Parliament for granting us the necessary funds so that we could carry out what I consider to be a monumental task.

What, then, are the fair, just, reasonable and legitimate aspirations of Indian people in this country? What is it that Indian people want and have a right to expect? First and foremost, Indians want to have Indian forms of government recognized in Canada, constitutionally, and, if necessary, in the interim by legislation. Let me remind Hon. Members that Indian people governed themselves quite acceptably long before Europeans set foot on these shores. Long before the Europeans came here as explorers and later as settlers, Indian people were governing themselves. One of the world's great anthropologists, Claude Levi-Strauss, has described the Indian culture of the northwest coast of British Columbia as one of the great efflorescences of mankind, fit to be compared with the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Let me say to my hon. friends in this House that Indian people are governing themselves today, but in governing themselves they are being controlled and manipulated. Their aboriginal right of self-government is eroded, undermined and diminished by the Indian Act and by the Department of Indian Affairs. Indian people want their forms of government to be recognized so that they may direct, manage and control their own affairs. Is that so radical or revolutionary? Is that so unacceptable to thinking men and women who make up the House of Commons today? Surely not.

Let me just summarize this report in a sentence. If I had to put it in one sentence, I would describe it this way: All and

January 24, 1984

every aspect of Indian affairs should be the sole responsibility of the Indian people themselves.

If the Government carries through in its commitment to act on this report, the Members of this House will be called upon to deal expeditiously with legislation and with constitutional accords that will enable the Indian people to live their own lives in their own way and at the same time be contributing members of Canada.

Indian people are demanding to get out from under the domination, the suffocation and the top-down control of the federal Government. They want a new working relationship. Have no fear or concern, Mr. Speaker; there is no question here about separation which frightens us so much. There is no question about sovereignty association, which we do not like. There is no question here about apartheid which we have rejected and condemned in other parts of the world. There is none of that. The Indian people are asking for the opportunity to become active partners in Confederation, to become participants in Confederation. They do not want to be outsiders any longer, observers looking in and recipients of our largess. They are not asking to opt out. They want to opt in. They are not asking to leave Confederation. They want to join it. They want to work together with us to define precisely and accurately what is the Indian jurisdiction. They want to negotiate with us fair fiscal transfer arrangements so that they can carry out their own obligations as elected leaders, chiefs and councillors to their own people. They want to be assured that they will get their fair share of all national programs.

Certainly there is the need for a new day to dawn in this whole area. A new order has to be recognized. Indian people are not asking the Government of Canada to give them some power. They are asking that the Government of Canada recognize the right of Indian power to be used.

1 would like very briefly to say something about three items which arose continuously during the course of our public hearings and have continually been referred to since. The first is accountability, the second is leadership in the Indian community, and the third is cost.

We heard much about accountability. If there were direct transfer payments to Indian people, there is no question that there would be a system of accountability put in place. I want to make a prediction: I believe that Indian people will put into place a system of accountability which could be an example for us. Certainly we cannot provide them with an example of accountability, can we? One just has to ask the Auditor General, if there is any doubt on that question.

Is there sufficient leadership in the Indian community? There is a quality and quantity of leadership within the Indian community at the local, regional, provincial and national levels which is equal to anything in the non-Indian community in local councils, provincial legislatures or here in the House of Commons. I realize in saying that that I am not necessarily being all that complimentary to Indians.

The Address-Mr. Yurko

What about cost? Some people have said that if this report were to be implemented, it would cost huge amounts of money, some $4 billion. If we wanted to bring up to the national standard all Indian communities, it would involve a substantial amount of money. If we transferred the $2 billion we now appropriate and allowed Indians to utilize the resources on their own lands and obtain revenues from them, and if we shrunk the Department, we would do a great deal more than is being done now.

Indian self-government is a concept whose time has come. At the present time-and I do not want to sound too much like a poet-the concept is like a small stream bubbling across the country, uniting Indian people as they have never been united before. This stream will become a mighty river and no government will be able to resist its impact.

When Indian self-government is recognized in Canada and is fully operative, Indian people will become an economical and political force in the country. A proud, noble and dignified people will have their independence and self-respect restored. Indian people in Canada do not want to be locked into the past. Never did we hear that, but I can tell Hon. Members of the House that Indian people deeply resent being excluded from the present.

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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Questions or comments? Debate.

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IND

William J. Yurko

Independent

Mr. Bill Yurko (Edmonton East):

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for recognizing me and thus giving me the opportunity to speak during the Throne Speech debate.

As I said a few weeks ago in the House, the Throne Speech is a time for sowing-sowing new ideas, new intentions, new directions, new determinations, new anticipations and even new obsessions. Those who wrote the Throne Speech did a great deal of sowing. Nevertheless, they missed planting in several areas. Permit me to point out some of these misses.

First, the Government should have announced that no political embargo would ever be imposed upon any form of technological transfer or sale from Canada to any world nation. It should have planted firmly the principle that technology, except military technology, is the common heritage of all mankind regardless of where and by whom it was evolved and developed.

Second, the Government should again have enunciated the desire and in fact the necessity of entrenching property rights in the Constitution.

Third, it should have again enunciated its determination to have the Quebec government of the future become a signatory to the Canadian Constitution.

Fourth, the Government should have announced the formation of a joint federal-provincial commission or committee to establish conditions and criteria for new-province formation.

Fifth, it should have announced a tri-level Government committee or commission to study all aspects of the growth of governments in Canada and establish criteria for some stabilization and reduction in this area. In my view the Macdonald

January 24, 1984

The Address-Mr. Yurko

Commission is not necessarily an adequate mechanism to handle the problem.

Sixth, it should have enunciated the need to maintain and increase international trade with all nations and, in particular, to maintain and increase western Canadian grain trade with Russia and China.

Seventh, the Government should have announced its intention to become a full member of the Organization of American States and play its full and destined role in the future of the Americas.

Eighth, the Government should have announced new determination and new mechanics to reduce United States-Soviet tensions.

Ninth, in my view the Berger moratorium on building a gas pipeline through the Mackenzie Valley should have been scrapped.

Tenth, capital gains taxation should have been again revised either by totally scrapping it or by providing a maximum non-taxable annual gain of $25,000 for all taxpayers.

Eleventh, a constitutional limitation on the national debt as a percentage of the national GNP should be considered seriously. The increasing debt structure is not a comfort to national well-being.

Twelfth, some major policy changes on energy pricing and taxation should be worked out with the provinces. Energy feedstocks for all petrochemical upgrading plants should be free of any federal taxation. Domestic crude oil energy pricing should be fixed to international pricing. All major oil sands plants should pay no royalties and no federal taxes until full capital recovery of the plants has been accomplished. An entire new natural gas pricing regime for export should be evolved, The PIP exploration grant program should be effectively equalized as between offshore and onshore exploration.

Thirteenth, property taxes paid on the principal residence by all families should be deductible as income for calculating both federal and provincial income tax. No one should have to pay taxes on taxes in our free society.

These are but a few areas of concern that might have been included in the Throne Speech as government policies. There are others. Permit me to speak briefly about the quality of the debate thus far.

From past experience, I would have thought that the Throne Speech debate would have brought some life to this House but it has produced little more than a yawn. I am reminded of a plaque I once gave to my brother which describes this place quite appropriately. It states: "Sometimes we sits and thinks- and sometimes we just sits". Perhaps this place sits and thinks sometimes, but I have concluded that mostly it just sits.

Not long ago I read in Richard Needham's column in The Globe and Mail a nugget of wisdom I thought I would share with the House. Needham said that silence should never be broken unless it can be improved upon. Unfortunately, it is

often the case in this House that when silence is broken, it is not improved upon. That cannot, however, be said for the Leaders' day debate that took place on December 9. The verbal joust that occurred in the House of Commons that day was oratory par excellence. Exchanges of the like that we witnessed are too few and far between.

I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that as we approach the next election, the Leaders of the three Parties should be encouraged to face each other more often across the floor of this House in open debate. Canadians want to see them test their intellectual mettle, they want to see them exchange the occasional barb, to blow off steam, and even to broach a subject which appears to have become taboo-that is policy. Although it was a little thin on ideas, the Leaders' day debate was stimulating and exciting, there was no denying that. It was a grand prelude to entry into 1984 when all of Canada will know who will lead the pack and who will be sent to pasture. It was a good debate even though it was a debate of words rather than of ideas.

May I repeat several statements I made in this assembly in my very first speech on October 11, 1979. I said then:

We would be wise to remember that the troika that leads all good governments consists of honesty, husbandry and humility.

Second, I said:

I look upon the world society and I see it adrift. There seem to be no overall goals, no consistent philosophy, no inspiration, no overall meaning, not even any hope. The global society seems apprehensive and confused. It is the rapid growth of technology that has brought us to this condition; whereas on one hand we have the potential to build heaven on earth, and yet on the other we can create hell on earth and destroy it utterly as a place for mankind.

It is on these two areas of concern that I also wish to speak briefly today.

More and more Canadians are beginning to sense that Canadian leaders-political, scientific, business, religious and even labour leaders-have a unique role to play in stabilizing the nuclear madness that faces the world society. We all support the Trudeau world peace initiative. We support the initiative not as a partisan political policy or ploy, but as a desperately needed shot in the arm for generating political will to find world peace and the reduction of world tension.

The Prime Minister is doing what destiny and geography has dictated that he do. He is the leader of this nation. Canada is a nation which is sandwiched between the two most powerful nations in the history of mankind, each capable of destroying the world with its respective nuclear potential. It is incumbent upon the leader of this nation of Canada actively to seek accommodation and peace between our two global, giant neighbours. We must seek not only peace but peace with freedom rather than peace with slavery, and by slavery I mean slavery to fear, apprehension, pessimism and hopelessness.

In fact, I do have some minor criticism to direct to the Prime Minister in regard to his pilgrimage of peace. Why has it taken him so long? I, like so many others, kept repeating the need for a superpower summit conference almost two years before the Prime Minister was struck by a bolt of lightning. The 1981 Pugwash conference in Banff which I was fortunate

January 24, 1984

to attend convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that vastly greater efforts by world political leaders were vital.

At that conference we were certainly apprised of the following facts. First, there are no absolute policies to prevent nuclear war. Dialogue between the superpowers is mandatory. Second, we must evolve and choose and live with policies which minimize the odds of aggression; in other words, deterrence. Third, Canada must of necessity promote and follow policies of deterrence, hopefully to be followed by policies of arms reduction after an arms freeze is negotiated. And fourth, policies of deterrence must encompass the principles of (a) verifiability; (b) mutual applicability; (c) minimization of blackmail; (d) balance at the lowest possible deployment level; (e) multilateral application to minimize lateral proliferation; and, (f) limitation of vertical proliferation.

The Trudeau pilgrimage is based upon four guide posts. First, a summit meeting of the five nuclear powers; second, shoring up both vertical and horizontal proliferation treaties and practices; third, balancing conventional force deployment in the European theatre; and fourth, a ban on space weapons development and deployment.

A reasonable agenda to some, yet somewhat fanciful. The pyramid of negotiable success, as has been proven several times now, must start first with a meaningful summit meeting of the two superpowers. The meeting of the five is a secondary step in the pyramid of success.

All world leaders must first promote a meeting of the heads of state of the two superpowers and Canada is perhaps in the best position to bring such a meeting about. However, it is not timely because of the political timing in our southern neighbour and possible leadership transition in our northern neighbour because of the health of the present leader. However, I would like to predict that such a meeting will evolve within the next several years. It simply must take place. The Prime Minister should journey to Russia to promote such a meeting at the earliest acceptable time. This peace initiative by the Prime Minister, in my view, will stand the test of time and rank as the greatest initiative undertaken by any Canadian Prime Minister.

Some international superpower agreements on the military use of space must be realized in the next five years. Initially, the nuclear delivery mechanisms involved hours in their delivery time-that is conventional aircraft and Cruise missiles. This has now been reduced to minutes with the Pershing 2 and SS-20, and space deployment will reduce the time frame for delivery to seconds.

War by accident and massive escalation will then be beyond the control and reason of man and totally under the control of computers. To the modern mind, technological development is the very essence of mankind. Without technological progress some people believe we die as a human race. The very pride of man decrees that space will be conquered and space systems both for military and peaceful use will be developed and deployed. That is the general view in America today. What we

The Address-Mr. S. Robinson must find is the human will to rationalize and then regulate these systems for the continued constructive evolution of civilization itself. The converse is only darkness.

As I said earlier, we as a nation are destined to be a bridge of reason, the catalyst of conciliation, the substance of accord and understanding and trust between our two mighty neighbours to the south and to the north of us. We can, and we must, bring these two giant nations, these two peoples, together. To the north of us is a nation whose history is filled with war and conflict and a degree of sadness; 270 million people who fear war but who wish to become so strong that no one would ever again attack their land.

When I was a young lad, I lived in northern Alberta. From the south we would welcome the warm winds, the sunshine, the interchange and the friendship with that giant south of us- the United States of America. We loved the people of the U.S.A.; they were like us, our neighbours, our supporters, our protectors. From the north we got cold winds, snow, blizzards, darkness and the Northern Lights, which we often likened to the Russian people fighting. Now the winds bring needed snow and the Northern Lights seem more like the Russian people dancing rather than fighting.

On a recent trip to Russia, I found the people desperately wanting to be friendly with the Canadian people. We in this modern world have no choice but to see our northern neighbour and its people in a different light. They are there. They have built a world order. They are armed to the teeth. Nuclear war is not acceptable in our world society. We must change their ideology, therefore, through peaceful means, friendship and trade. We must become friends with their people, if not their system and ideology.

Last year some 14,000 Canadians visited Russia and some

6,000 Russians visited Canada. There is a vast potential for tourism which should be actively promoted, and in doing so we should not in any way reduce, minimize, or interfere with our love and friendship with our southern neighbour. No, we must build a bridge so that these two peoples, each some one-quarter of a billion in number, can get to know each other and live in peace and trust. We have no other choice. They are our neighbours. It is only through trade, tourism, sports and dialogue that a bridge of reason and trust will be built. Dialogue with the eastern European leaders is necessary for bridge building between East and West. The meeting between the Prime Minister and the leaders of Romania, Czechoslovakia and Poland are welcomed as part of the process.

No other nation in the world can play Canada's role in bringing these two powerful neighbours of ours to the conference table to talk peace and arms limitation, to talk progress for a world which is staggering from the number of nuclear weapons and the potential for total destruction of this earth.

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NDP

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Svend J. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to take my place in this debate on the Speech from the Throne, which gives all Members of Parliament an opportunity to raise some of the concerns they have heard during the course of the, indeed, years since the last Speech from the

January 24, 1984

The Address-Mr. S. Robinson Throne. In the past several months I have taken the opportunity to get out and listen to the concerns of my constituents in Burnaby by going door to door in different parts of my riding. I have listened to the views of my constituents, young and old, men and women. As well, I have held a series of accountability sessions and, of course, received many letters and telephone calls from my constituents expressing their viewpoints on the issues of the day.

I have noted over the past four years a significant shift in the priorities and in the mood of the people I represent. In my view, Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne which was tabled by the Government fails to come to grips with the various concerns of the people I represent. I would group those concerns into three major categories. First, and certainly most important, is the failure of the Government to recognize and respond to the very serious and devastating economic crises facing the people of our country. For most, of course, it is the question of unemployment, of layoffs, of insecurity and the need to create jobs.

The second major area of concern-one which, of course, in the Province of British Columbia is even greater as a result of the vindictive and destructive policies of the provincial government-is that we must preserve and indeed strengthen essential social programs which we in this country have for many years taken for granted. Now, in the face of the neo-conservative mood which seems to be prevalent in the Official Opposition and at the provincial level, and, indeed, in the Government itself, important social programs are being whittled away and dismantled.

The third area-in many ways the most important one because, indeed, it is a question of basic survival-is the end of the madness and waste of the arms race. Certainly, if I would have to identify one issue above all others which has grown in significance to the people I represent in Burnaby over the years, it would be the very important question of disarmament.

I will address first the issue of job creation and economic security. Certainly, Hon. Members of this House are all too familiar with the grim statistics of unemployment and layoffs in our communities and in communities right across this country. In Burnaby, for example, according to the latest official figures, there were over 5,000 of my constituents receiving unemployment insurance. Many more have had their unemployment insurance benefits run out and have been forced on to the welfare rolls. In some cases they have been forced to return home or to go back to school, if indeed they can afford to do so in the face of cuts in post-secondary education. A recent two-line advertisement in a Vancouver newspaper seeking clerical assistance resulted in over 425 applications from qualified people who were desperate for any kind of work.

Behind these grim statistics of thousands and thousands of people who want to work and cannot find jobs, lie far too many human tragedies. All of us as Members of Parliament have had the agonizing experience of having to deal personally with

individuals who are victims of this Government's economic policies. Just yesterday in my constituency office I received a telephone call from a young man who said he was in graduate studies at Simon Fraser University. He was desperately trying to find a job but had been told by his advisers-indeed, in looking for work it became clear-that there was nothing for him.

In the almost five years I have represented Burnaby, I have not yet heard the kind of tragic feeling of hopelessness and despair that this young man related to me. He said he felt he could do one of three things. First, he has a kidney for sale in the United States. What kind of society have we come to when our young people seriously contemplate selling an organ of their body in order to survive? Secondly, he said he had spoken with the Manpower counsellor who said to him, perhaps only partly in jest, that maybe his only alternative was to turn to criminal activity in order to survive in British Columbia today. We know too well there has been an increase in crime in our community. I believe this Government must accept some of the responsibility for that because of the bankruptcy of its economic policies.

The third and final alternative he set forth was leaving the country he was born and raised in because he felt there was nothing left for him here. Again I ask you, Mr. Speaker, what kind of message is it that this Government and its allies at the provincial level and in the Official Opposition are sending to the people of our communities, particularly young people, when they are so desperate they feel they have no alternative but to leave the country?

"Help me find a job", he said. "I want to work. I don't want welfare. I don't want unemployment insurance". How do we as individual Members of Parliament respond to that plea? Should I quote to him the comments of the Minister of Finance in March, 1982, when he said: "If you go overboard saying I am going to fight unemployment, create jobs and all that, well, the first thing you know you create a loss of confidence". Well, Mr. Speaker, what about the confidence of these young Canadians who want to work? Should I remind him of the words of the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) in June of 1982 who mused and shrugged his shoulders and said: "Well, it is always possible to scare the hell out of people by creating more unemployment". Perhaps he might be interested to hear those comments. Hundreds of thousands of young people right across this land share the agony and personal despair that this young man expressed so eloquently to me in my constituency office.

In addition to the problem of unemployment and the inability to find work, there is another great crisis, that of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are working now but, because of technological change, face the insecurity and fear of losing their jobs.

We have heard much talk of this in the House in recent months. Once again I would like to draw to the attention of the House a personal example from my constituency, a letter which I received and which I think documents, far more clearly and eloquently than any statistics or reports could do,

January 24, 1984

the impact of changes in technology and the impact of a government which has refused to come to grips with the need to respond in a human and civilized fashion to those changes. This is a letter from a man 46 years old. He writes:

-for all my adult life I've worked at the same trade (rubber engraver). In April 1982 1 was temporarily laid off due to lack of work & six months later was informed that, because of a new process my line of work & job had been eliminated. I then found myself at age 45 & with very little education (grade VIII) looking for a new field of employment-or any work for that matter-

He says that he realizes now:

-that 1 should have prepared myself by up grading my education via night school etc. during the past yrs while I was working, but I always thought, my job would last me out till retirement. However such was not the case.

He was thrown out of work, Mr. Speaker, and desperately tried to find something else or train for another line of work. What he decided to do was to train for horticulture. He put together his meagre savings and went into a horticultural course, was refused unemployment insurance and found that his savings ran out. In December of this year he asked UIC to give him a hand in his retraining. Well, Mr. Speaker, instead of saying yes, they are prepared to assist him with unemployment insurance benefits while he upgrades himself and retrains for another job, he was cut off from benefits and forced to quit the retraining program. As he says:

I strongly believe in my situation, because I desperately need a trade in order to find employment I should have been able to collect benefits in order to complete the course in March.

Of course, when his unemployment insurance benefits run out he will be in a worse situation. He will go on welfare with no trade, no profession, and his own training as a rubber engraver is useless in a world in which technology has passed him by. As he says:

-I do strongly feel that there must be something wrong with our system, where I after paying into UIC all my life (from the age of 15 yrs old on, without collecting benefits till now), that now I find myself in this unfortunate situation, desperately in need of financial help in order to re-establish myself, 1 am denied the opportunity & will sit around wasting time where I could be bettering myself with a chance for a new career.

He continues:

What are people like myself who at the age of late 40s, who are repeatedly told we're too old & are not given a second chance to regroup & start over, are supposed to do? Do we curl up & die?

Again, Mr. Speaker, how does this Government answer that cry, a cry which has been repeated right across this country? My constituent closes by saying:

I'm not belittling this country we live in, as we who live in Canada are a fortunate people compared to other countries, but all the same it is very discouraging & depressing.

What are we to do?

Is there any hope?

Is there any hope for a man in this situation in Canada today, Mr. Speaker? We must recognize that there is need for a fundamental restructuring of our economy, a reordering or our priorities, to ensure that investment capital is not being used to serve the needs of corporate shareholders by flowing wherever they get the maximum return on their investment.

The Address-Mr. S. Robinson Rather, that investment must be channelled into the creation of jobs here in Canada in the manufacturing sector as well as strengthening the resource sector.

It is a national shame that, despite the fact that we are one of the major mining and forestry countries in the world, we still have a massive balance of payments deficit when it comes to mining machinery and forestry machinery. We have a similar situation in the agricultural sector. If we are going to be creating new jobs, we have to do it by revitalizing manufacturing. We should also be looking at establishing a merchant marine so that Canadian products are transported on Canadian ships.

Instead of talking about cutting back on social services such as post-secondary education, pensions and health care, we should be recognizing that in many areas there is no need to expand those social services. We should be revamping the taxation system in this country to bring a sense of equity and fairness. Wage earners in Canada are paying their taxes by deductions. Despite this, last year almost 8,000 Canadians with incomes above $50,000 did not pay a penny in income tax. In fact, 239 Canadians who earned in excess of $250,000 in 1982 did not pay one cent in income tax. Where is the fairness in that? Our Finance Minister said he did not see any problem with this because down the line those individuals will be called upon to pay their taxes. In tough times there certainly is a need for sacrifice and restraint. However, there must be a sense of equity and fairness in that.

What is the alternative that the Official Opposition offers to the people of Canada? Naturally, people are anxious to get rid of the present Government. I fully share that sentiment. Let us look at the record, Mr. Speaker. Let us look at who votes time and time again with the Government. Over the past three years the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party voted together on 103 occasions. The New Democratic Party voted with the Government on 54 occasions. It is the Tories who prop up the Government time and time again.

I would like to quote from an article in The Globe and Mail in November which refers to the Finance critic, the Hon. Member for St. John's West (Mr. Crosbie):

He says that if he were in government tomorrow he would continue with the general approach taken by Finance Minister Marc Lalonde: that is, emphasize the need to reduce inflation and interest rates, support business and talk about restraint.

He says as well on policies:

We're not giving anything away. If you want to find out (what the policies are), elect us.

What kind of contemptuous attitude is that to the people of this country, Mr. Speaker? I know my time has come to an end. I hope that the Government will recognize that there is a crisis in terms of economics, preservation of social services and, more importantly, in terms of the survival of this planet and an end to the nuclear arms race.

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LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Questions, comments?

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PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

Mr. Speaker, I have one very simple question for my colleague after listening with some interest to his

January 24, 1984

The Address-Mr. S. Robinson dissertation on what he thinks is necessary in terms of economic policy. I would like to thank the Hon. Member most sincerely for his advice to the Official Opposition. I appreciate the constructive approach that the Member takes. His Leader indicated the position of the NDP as a Party at the beginning of this sitting. I am glad the Hon. Member is separating himself from his colleagues in the Party, as he often does.

His Leader, the Member for Oshawa (Mr. Broadbent), said that the preoccupation of the New Democratic Party would be to attack the Conservatives at every possible opportunity. I accept by inference that that means they would support the Liberal Government in order to attack the Conservatives. I would like to deal specifically with some of the points that have been raised by the Member in terms of the economic policy of the NDP.

Over the course of the Christmas break the NDP underwent a "Laxertive". They received advice from their senior policy adviser, Mr. James Laxer, who has typified the Party as being basically still in the 1950s as far as philosophy and policies are concerned. The seatmate of the Member for Burnaby, the Member for New Westminster-Coquitlam (Miss Jewett), has dismissed Mr. Laxer as irrelevant and not appropriate. She has snapped her fingers at him and said he did not know what he was talking about.

I am taking a poll of all my friends in the NDP and I am interested in where the Member for Burnaby stands. Does he support the criticism of the NDP economic and social policies as enunciated by their senior policy adviser, Mr. James Laxer, who ran for the leadership of the Party? I know what the Member thinks about the Conservative Party because he is critical of our Party. I would like to know what he thinks about his own Party. Could he in a very few words tell us whether he supports Mr. Laxer's observations or whether he shares the position taken by the Member for New Westminster-Coquitlam that Mr. Laxer knows not of which he speaks?

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NDP

Pauline Jewett

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jewett:

Try and make something out of that.

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NDP

Svend Johannes Robinson

New Democratic Party

Mr. Robinson (Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that the Member for Saskatoon West (Mr. Hnatyshyn) has given me an opportunity to reiterate once again my concerns about the total absence of policy of the Official Opposition and to put on the record the stand which was taken by the Finance critic for that Party.

He refers approvingly to his Party's stand on specific issues as "a blurred shadow" or "a moving target". He goes on to say that in principle he favours universal access to such programs as family allowance. He favours taking us back to the old days of the means test. I would be most interested to hear the comments of the Member for Saskatoon West on that particular suggestion. I know that the Member for Saskatoon West is a strong supporter of the economic policies of the Hon, Member for St. John's West (Mr. Crosbie). The Hon. Member for St. John's West goes on to say that in most cases he approves of Mr. Lalonde's actions and he rarely attacks the Minister in the House of Commons. That is a most interesting admission, Mr. Speaker. The Finance critic for the Conservative Party is so taken with and so enamoured of the policies of the Finance Minister that he does not even feel motivated to get up and attack those policies.

When the Member for Saskatoon West raises questions about economic policy, I suggest that what he and his Party have an obligation to do is to put on the record the fact that they have no policy. Or indeed, if they do have a policy, as the Member for St. John's West indicates, it is a policy which basically supports the Government in power.

I am also pleased that the Member for Saskatoon West, in raising this issue, gives me an opportunity to point to the fact that both his Party and the Government are supported very heavily by the banking sector in this country. For example, last year the Bank of Montreal gave $30,000 to the Conservative Party and $30,221 to the Liberal Party.

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?

Douglas Jung

Mr. de Jong:

How much did they give the NDP?

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January 24, 1984