March 21, 1984

LIB

Judith A. Erola (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs; Minister responsible for the Status of Women)

Liberal

Hon. Judy Erola (Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs):

1. Yes, as follows:

(a), (b) and (c) Justyna Kuryllowicz, executive assistant to the Minister; Judy Blanchard, private secretary to the Minister; Robert Benoit, senior policy advisor; William Babcock, senior special assistant; Peter Black, special assistant; Steven Megannety, special assistant; Jean Parri, special assistant.

2. No.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPT STAFF OF MINISTER OF CONSUMER AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS
Permalink
LIB

John Leslie Evans (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Evans:

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPT STAFF OF MINISTER OF CONSUMER AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS
Permalink
LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The questions enumerated by the Hon. Parliamentary Secretary have been answered. Shall the remaining questions be allowed to stand?

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPT STAFF OF MINISTER OF CONSUMER AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPT STAFF OF MINISTER OF CONSUMER AND CORPORATE AFFAIRS
Permalink
LIB

John Leslie Evans (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. John Evans (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 182 could be

made an order for return, this return would be tabled immediately.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Permalink
LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the pleasure of the House that Question No. 182 be deemed to have been made an order for return?

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   QUESTION PASSED AS ORDER FOR RETURN
Permalink
PC

Mr. Blenkarn

Progressive Conservative

1. In the fiscal year (a) 1981-82 (b) 1982-83 were outside consultants employed by the Department of Employment and Immigration and, if so (i) how many (ii) what was the total amount paid?

2. Were any consultants paid more than $20,000 and, if so, in each case what (a) was his/her name (b) was the amount (c) services were provided?

Return tabled.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS EMPLOYED BY DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT AND IMMIGRATION
Permalink
LIB

John Leslie Evans (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. John Evans (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Permalink
LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Shall all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand?

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT AND THE YUKON ACT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Sub-subtopic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Permalink

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH


The House resumed from Tuesday, March 20, consideration of the motion of Mr. MacLaren that Bill C-21, an Act to provide borrowing authority, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs.


PC

Stan Darling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stan Darling (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to say a few words on Bill C-21. However, before I do so I would like to present an amendment to the motion for second reading of Bill C-21 as follows:

That all of the words after the word "That" be deleted and the following substituted therefor:

"this House holds the opinion that the granting of an authority for the borrowing of a sum greater than the amount required to meet the Government's needs to the end of the fiscal year is objectionable in principle and this House therefore declines to give second reading to Bill C-21, an Act to provide borrowing authority."

March 21, 1984

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

Eymard G. Corbin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I think it is incumbent upon me to take the matter under advisement. I will attempt to render a decision on the acceptability of the motion presented by the Hon. Member later this day. In the meantime, we will carry on with debate.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Stan Darling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Darling:

Mr. Speaker, we have had a good many of these Bills presented to us in this Parliament. It is rather staggering to go over some of them. We have had presented to us Bill C-30 for $12 billion; Bill C-59 for $14 billion; Bill C-l 11 for $6.6 billion; Bill C-125 for $7 billion; Bill C-151 for $10.7 billion. Now we have a Bill before us, Bill C-21, for the highest amount, some $29.55 billion. This brings the total to $102 billion all in one Parliament, and we are still going.

This Bill, as we are all aware, is to pay for past borrowing. One third of tax dollars are used to service our national debt. Our national debt could be as high as $180 billion, most of it because of this Government. All Canadians should realize that governments borrow money just like individuals. However, when the Government goes to market and asks for $29 billion, it has the effect of driving up interest rates for everyone else. This is precisely what is happening today.

I am well aware, Mr. Speaker, that the Government needs money to operate. It needs money just to pay interest on its debt. However, I believe the Canadian people have already made up their minds as to what they are going to do with this Government when the next election comes along. They are going to say we have had enough of them, we are going to give them their walking papers. Kick the rascals out.

A lot of us are interested in how this money being sought is going to be spent, Mr. Speaker. Rather than just saying it should not be passed, some of us might like to make some suggestions as to what could be done. Certainly it has been a profligate Government. It has been handing out money like a drunken sailor to various pet charities, shall we say. I refer to such programs as the Winter Works Program and others in ridings throughout the country. Coincidentally, the lion's share of this money seems to fall in Liberal ridings, primarily those of Cabinet Ministers.

I suggest that the Government could use a considerable amount of money this year and in succeeding years to combat one of the greatest and most serious problems we have, that of acid rain. The Minister of the Environment (Mr. Caccia) is meeting with his counterparts from nine European countries as well as from the ten provinces. I hope they are going to come to some conclusions and that the federal and provincial Governments will put their money where their mouth is. They should enact legislation to reduce nitric oxide emissions from automobiles and sulphur dioxide emissions from these huge smelters.

Canada is certainly a fairly substantial polluter, emitting some five million tons a year. This compares to our American friends' emissions of 25 million tons a year. Comparing that on a population basis it should be more or less ten to one, so we are certainly not lily white by any manner or means. I therefore hope this Government will take positive steps in this

Borrowing Authority Act

area this year, because it will only have the power to do so for this year.

The Government also spends a good deal of money advertising itself. We see these full-page ads extolling the Ministers and their Departments, and that runs into many millions of dollars. Despite the high powered advertising by the soap companies and various others, the biggest advertiser, the biggest spender, is the federal Government. It is about time it looked to cutting down on advertising considerably. Another particular interest of mine is the tourist industry, the second most important industry in Canada. It generates $18 billion a year. There will be some comments about that tomorrow because I believe the Opposition Day motion will be on the tourist industry, and the Government should be doing more to help this industry which employs 1.1 million people. The name of the game is to get more people back to work, which will turn the economy around. I am hoping some things can be done in that area.

We have some real prizes when it comes to subsidizing various Departments. I am thinking particularly of Crown corporations. I think of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which has been referred to by many people as the "crazy broadcasting corporation" and it is costing the taxpayers about $900 million a year.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

John Gerald (Jack) Masters

Liberal

Mr. Masters:

About the same as public broadcasting in the U.S.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Stan Darling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Darling:

I am well aware of that. However, it is a $900 million expenditure. When a great event takes place here in the House of Commons, the Budget or the Prime Minister's resignation, when you go out front you see the whole place is cluttered up with CBC trucks. CTV and Global, which manage to put out pretty good programs, do not need all that paraphernalia. It makes you wonder how much of this $900 million touch could be cut considerably. Canada Post is a Crown corporation which is supposed to deliver the mail within a reasonable time at reasonable expense. We do not expect Canada Post to operate as a self-sufficient entity right now. A lot of Members are taking a very dim view of Canada Post going into the general store business to try to raise money which will put small business people out of business. That is another area into which the Government should check.

There is also the $4 billion slush fund, which is a reserve fund for whatever the Government is going to do. There is a Bill for $25 billion as well as the $4 billion. Maybe this is to be held as a special election fund to bring out additional goodies to try to save the Government as it slides downward into oblivion. I see you are signalling to me, Mr. Speaker, that my time is up.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
NDP

Robert Joseph Ogle

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have a few minutes to make some remarks this afternoon on Bill C-21, which is an Act to provide borrowing authority to the Government for $29.55 billion for the fiscal year 1984-85. This is made up of $25.6 billion for financial requirements and

2294

March 21, 1984

Borrowing Authority Act

an extra $4 billion for unseen contingencies. Individual people in the House of Commons are going to be asked to vote to put the country into almost $30 billion worth of debt.

The word "debt" is a word we do not hear too often in the House I am afraid. It is a word I heard very clearly when I was growing up. Like many other people of my age in the House, I grew up when times were tough. It was a time of depression. One word that I can remember being taught was a bad word is the word "debt". It meant that we were not able to pay for what we were doing. The budget at our home was nothing compared to what we are talking about today.I would like all Members in the House to consider what debt does and what it means to borrow and put people into debt. Even though debt is now talked about in billions of dollars, it is not unlike the debt which was in people's homes during the depression. In homes and communities it meant that people were going to go broke. They were not going to be able to continue living the way they had been prior to the depression. It is important that Houses of parliament and governments do not forget the word "debt". When times became good again people took for granted that they could always get credit. The word debt became credit. I suspect the Government is looking upon this Bill today as if it were raising credit. It in fact remains debt, which is something that has to be paid off.

We must be aware that the problem of debt has brought governments, people and countries down. In the last few years some of the countries in Latin America which were taking off and beginning to become developed countries, suddenly got into the debt trap. This means they can no longer pay their debts. When that happens, the country goes down. It may come up or it may not come up. This is a new phenomenon in world international economic life.

I brought those points to the forefront in beginning my remarks because I believe that we do not frequently talk about debt. We do not talk about what debt does. We do not talk about the fact that if debt gets out of hand it can be totally destructive to a person, a family, a community or a country. I believe that is a serious situation which we have to keep in mind.

Several years ago the Government was elected under the phrase "a just society". I have no quarrel with that phrase. I believe it is a good phrase. I am sure there is not anyone in the House of Commons or in Canada who would not want to see a just society. I understand a just society to mean that every person within that society is treated in a way that is human and equal so as to make it possible for them to live a full life. I do not think anyone challenges that notion. However, did that happen? Was there a just society? Did that come about simply because it was said? Or, on the other hand, has it not been a just society? Is it a society which is not being just to great sectors of the population? I believe it is not being just. I do not believe that simply because we are going to borrow $30 billion, society will become just. I would like to say a few things about that.

To bring about justice in a society it is extremely important to remember the side which is weak, the side which has no

power, the poor, those who do not have political connections. Remember them before you remember the side which is powerful, the side that does have political connections, the side that has wealth. To bring that just society about, those on the weak side must be looked after in a special way in order for them to live as human beings. I believe that is not the way the decisions are made.

Earlier today in Question Period my Leader made a simple statement about who became rich during the past year and who will get richer in the future. He used the Canadian banks as an example. The profits of the Toronto-Dominion were up 33.6 per cent last year. The profits of the Canadian Imperial Bank were up 59.8 per cent. The profits of the Bank of Nova Scotia were up 66 per cent. The profits of the Royal Bank of Canada were up 130.3 per cent. Profit is not a bad word. However, millions of young Canadians cannot get a job. Universities are not getting funding to allow young Canadians to go to school and become educated so they can go out and make their own living. As a senior citizen who is visiting from Saskatoon told me today, people cannot possibly live on $550 a month when their rent is $325 a month. How can they possibly live like human beings?

When we talk about borrowing money to bring about justice in a society, let us be very careful to see what is happening in the society. I believe that for the powerful, rich and those who have connections things have been good and are getting better. The example of the banks is a case in point. On the other hand, the odds of those who are poor, weak and do not have connections are poor and getting poorer. The weak are the young, unemployed, senior citizens and people in the middle who can no longer get a job. I do not believe that what is taking place in our country now is balancing that off so that there will and can be a just society, one to which we are all looking forward and which we want.

Who got the tax breaks in the recent Budget? Was it those who do not have anything, the poor? Did they benefit? No. The people in the upper income brackets were able to put money away in RRSPs. A person with a $50,000 income is able to save $1,600 on his taxes. Those who happen to be in a higher bracket, those who make over $86,000, were able to save $5,000 on their taxes. But will they be the ones who will pay the money? It is not the people in those brackets but the low income Canadians who will still be forced to pay at least another $9.2 billion in personal income tax as it was announced in the Budget last year.

That is what is happening to Canadians. I believe that when there is power on one side and weakness on the other, connections on one side and no connections on the other, the burden should go to those who have the power, strength and economic backing rather than upon those who do not.

We oppose this borrowing Bill on the grounds that it does not set out the correct priorities. Our experience in the House shows that the priorities are not being directed toward those who need the help most; they are being directed toward those

March 21, 1984

who already have economic power. 1 believe that is wrong. For that reason we are opposing the Bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1984-85 MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink

March 21, 1984