May 28, 1984

LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Well, we can hope for it, can we not? If you lose hope, what do you have left?

The same process is under way at de Havilland. Obviously, CDIC has more to do there. We know that. We do not need to be told. The Government believes that there is a good opportunity to have in Canada a commercially viable aircraft industry. That is a decision we had to make. Do we want an aircraft industry or not? Diefenbaker in his time decided we did not want one. We have decided at this time that we do. We will have to wait and see what happens in the future. The lesson to be learned from this experience of the last two years is that turnarounds of the sort which is underway at Canadair do not just happen on their own. The turnaround at Canadair happened because the Government had in CDIC an instrument it could use to manage its investment in Canadair.

Quite simply, the Government needs an instrument like CDIC to manage its investments when it becomes a shareholder. The critics of CDIC cannot wish away these shareholding situations by attacking the vehicle through which the Government is managing its investments. Last Fall, this House passed Bill C-170, the Atlantic Fisheries Restructuring Act. Again, this was a situation in which the Government found itself as a shareholder in three companies involved in the catching, processing and marketing of fish, companies whose operations are vital to the well-being of the entire fishing industry and of the economies of the five eastern provinces. Hon. Members know the story behind that investment and I will not go over that old ground.

However, once the Government found itself, for pragmatic reasons, with new shareholdings, there was quite obviously a continuing need to manage those investments. Those companies, or their predecessors, had all lost money in recent years, but all of them must become internationally competitive because the major markets for Canadian fish are broad. They must operate on a commercial basis and the Government's investment must be well managed.

The Government could not ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Mr. De Bane) to do that job; he is the regulator of the resource and its harvesting. This time the Government had a vehicle available to manage those investments; CDIC. We need CDIC to take charge of such cases and to return them to the private sector when it is commercially feasible to do so. That makes sense to me, and it should make sense to Hon. Members opposite. We do not want to see the Government losing more money than it has already.

CDIC has proven its usefulness in the case of Canadair. It is applying the same analytic and problem solving ability to de Havilland and it will do the same in the fishing industry. Hon. Members know that any Government will find itself with investments in industry. They know that these investments need sound management. They know that there must be an instrument available to Government to provide that management. CDIC is that instrument, and I am confident that its creation represents a major step forward in dealing with the issue of managing government investments.

May 28, 1984

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Are there any questions or comments?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Paul Wyatt Dick (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dick:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Hon. Member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Mr. Robinson) whether he believes all that he said in his speech, including the portion dealing with Canadair. Does he really and truly believe that?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is Chronicles III in the Bible which talks about faith, hope and charity. I believe it has now been changed in the modern version to faith, hope and love. I have faith, I have love of my country, and I have hope. If the Hon. Member has as much hope as I have for this and will work as hard to make it work, it will be successful.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Paul Wyatt Dick (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dick:

Mr. Speaker, I do not think any Members of the House would disagree. We all have faith and hope, and, to a greater or lesser degree, I think we all have some charity. I asked the Member whether he believes all that he said, including all that he said about Canadair in his speech.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, my friend reminds me of a doubting Thomas, if I may refer to the good book again. I personally am a believer. When I cease to be a believer, I will not be here.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

William Herbert Jarvis

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jarvis:

Mr. Speaker, I think the Hon. Member misunderstood the question. We were simply giving him the opportunity to disassociate himself personally from some of the things which were contained in his speech as compared to associating himself, quite naturally, in terms of his parliamentary responsibility. If he wishes to take the opportunity to disassociate himself personally from some of the contents of his speech, I will give him the opportunity to do so.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, let me say this. If the positive points which I made in my speech do not come to fruition, I will certainly be taking exception to it and will agree with the Hon. Member.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
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NDP

Edward Allan Miller

New Democratic Party

Mr. Miller:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify something with regard to the Hon. Member's speech. The Conservative Party makes a great deal about divesting itself of Crown corporations. The Government has indicated that part of the rationale behind CDIC is that at some stage it will divest itself of Crown corporations. With regard to the fishing industry, that was made fairly clear by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Mr. De Bane) in the Bill.

At what stage do we divest ourselves of these Crown corporations? At what point do we feel that we have had an adequate return on the taxpayers' investment in those corporations? Are we going to divest them as soon as they become profitable and become a source of interest in the private sector? Or, are we going to demand that for all that public investment there is going to be an adequate return to pay the taxpayer for saving those industries and saving the jobs which we have had to save in the fishing industry and returning the

Development Investment Corporations Act

$138 million, if it is under the Fisheries Bill, to the Canadian purse? At what point do we divest ourselves and what return do we expect for the Canadian public?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the Hon. Member's altruistic motives. I am sure it is altruistic motives that are contained in the Bill, and the reasons for providing them. I do not think that as yet we have decided upon the policies as to when we would divest ourselves of the assets. Surely it is going to have to be actuarially sound. There would probably not be too many people interested in acquiring the business unless it was making a profit. I see nothing wrong with making a profit, whether by the Government or private enterprise.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
NDP

Edward Allan Miller

New Democratic Party

Mr. Miller:

Mr. Speaker, the point I was trying to make was whether we write off all the investment that the Canadian public has made in that industry at the point that it becomes profitable and the private sector is interested in buying it, or do we demand that we make some profit to return to the taxpayer who bailed out an industry that was badly managed by private enterprise?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, I would venture to say that quite a number of items would have to be considered before that decision could be made. Obviously, we do not want to continue losing money in a losing venture. If we spent a lot of money, we would like to have a recovery for the people of Canada who invested their money in the enterprise through Government. One must make a judgment based on the facts at a particular time. Whether we are making or losing money at the time is a decision which would have to be made at that particular time. To say anything other than that would be purely speculative at this point in time.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Paul Wyatt Dick (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dick:

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Mr. Robinson) in much of his speech dealt with Canadair and the bad shape it is in. Is he aware that the Government of Canada forced General Dynamics to sell what is Canadair to the Government of Canada because the Government of Canada wanted to get into a different type of manufacturing of airplanes than General Dynamics wanted to get into? At the time General Dynamics did not want to sell and, as a matter of fact, still has a working relationship with Canadair.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, I can neither confirm nor deny the allegations which are made by the Hon. Member. That is something which could be looked into. I am sure the Department would be only too glad to provide him with the facts.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Paul Wyatt Dick (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Progressive Conservative Party Deputy House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dick:

Mr. Speaker, when the Hon. Member was talking about Massey-Ferguson and referring to majority shareholders, was he aware that at the time that the largest shareholder owned only 17 per cent of Massey-Ferguson, it offered to invest more money if the Government wished to participate at the time? The Government refused to participate at the time and the only way they could get the Government to participate

May 28, 1984

Development Investment Corporations Act was if they themselves bowed out. They did not bow out by selling their shares. The largest shareholder at that time got out by giving its shares to the employee pension fund, thus making it possible for the Government to come in.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

William Kenneth Robinson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. Robinson (Etobicoke-Lakeshore):

Mr. Speaker, I really do not know what question the Hon. Member is posing. It seems to me that you certainly do not need to have a very large portion of a company in order to have control of it. I would think that if the major sharehoder had 17 per cent of the company, it obviously had control of it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Resuming debate, the Hon. Member for Western Arctic (Mr. Nickerson).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
PC

Dave Nickerson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dave Nickerson (Western Arctic):

Mr. Speaker, before beginning my debate on Bill C-25, I should thank the Hon. Member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Mr. Robinson) for 20 minutes of humorous interlude. I found it very entertaining. It was not particularly enlightening, but certainly very entertaining. Reading out a speech of that particular ilk displayed a loyalty on his part to the Liberal Party that was way beyond the call of duty.

I recall, however, being invited by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce to a film show a few years ago. The Minister had all his directors and people from Canadair there. He was saying what a good thing Canadair was going to be. He was saying what a good job he had been doing getting these Canadair Challenger jets going. To use a biblical phrase, as the Hon. Member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore was doing, today we see the Government acting like Pontius Pilate. He was washing his hands of the whole affair. He said that the Government had nothing to do with it. He said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce was not to blame, that it was the fault of the management of Canadair. That is what we heard today after the fact. You cannot have it both ways.

This afternoon we are dealing with the brainchild of that famous Senator from the other place, one Senator Jack Austin. I know he has laboured over this Bill for some time. It attempts to legitimize-

I see you waving at me, Mr. Speaker. I only had two minutes, and it was not enough. However, I look forward to going into this in considerable detail at the next opportunity.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Guilbault):

Order. It being five o'clock, the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENT CORPORATIONS ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ESTABLISH
Permalink

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS

May 28, 1984