June 21, 1984

THE ADMINISTRATION

CONDUCT DURING PRIME MINISTER'S TENURE

PC

David Kilgour

Progressive Conservative

Mr. David Kilgour (Edmonton-Strathcona):

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) was reported earlier this week as saying that he was happy that there had been no serious scandals, I think the phrase was, during his 16-year administration. We must congratulate the Prime Minister on this achievement, and in future perhaps we should refer to some of the peccadillos which took place as errors of judgment by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues, rather than as scandals.

Many of these minor errors of judgment involved Cabinet resignations, and included such careless mistakes as participating in an illegal international uranium cartel, airport shop sales, bid-rigging and price-fixing in Hamilton, contempt of court both by criticizing a judge's ruling and also by phoning a judge and trying to influence him, evasion of income tax, building in national parks against the rules, lobbying within two years of resignation, extensive examples of conflict of interest especially in connection with anti-dumping problems, forging of abortion papers, suppression of information and failure to act regarding illegal activities by the RCMP, bribes to achieve atomic sales, maintenance of blacklists unknown to the victims-

Topic:   THE ADMINISTRATION
Subtopic:   CONDUCT DURING PRIME MINISTER'S TENURE
Permalink
LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The Hon. Member's time has expired.

Topic:   THE ADMINISTRATION
Subtopic:   CONDUCT DURING PRIME MINISTER'S TENURE
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THE CANADA COUNCIL

REQUEST FOR EXCLUSION FROM PROVISIONS OF BILL C-24

NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Caucus Chair)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Birds Hill):

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask, as others have before me, that the Government remove the Canada Council from the listing of Crown corporations and agencies included in Bill C-24.

Considering the operations of some Crown corporations in the country, there is little doubt that legislation is needed to make these agencies accountable. In fact such legislation is long overdue. However, the Canada Council is not an economic machine. It produces no profits or losses, and the Auditor General has never complained about its accounts. What is more, the Canada Council was never intended to be under the kind of direct Cabinet control outlined in Bill C-24. Instead, it

June 21, 1984

Oral Questions

was supposed to be an independent funding organization for the arts, and direct Cabinet control of its operations would compromise the Council's independence.

There is no need for the Canada Council to be governed by Bill C-24. Such action will only threaten the future integrity of the Council. Obviously the monolithic tendencies of the Government have once again manifested themselves. I urge the Government to leave well enough alone and allow the Canada Council to operate as the efficient and independent agency it is and must remain, outside the provisions of Bill C-24.

Topic:   THE CANADA COUNCIL
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR EXCLUSION FROM PROVISIONS OF BILL C-24
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

FINANCE

PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (St. John's West):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Prime Minister, of the Deputy Prime Minister, and of the Minister of Finance when the Bank of Canada rate is announced today, I will direct my question to the Charlie McCarthy of the Department of Finance, the Minister of State for Finance. He will know that today the Canadian dollar hit its lowest value.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
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?

An Hon. Member:

What should we call you?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Evans:

His name is Mortimer Snerd.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
Permalink
PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

The birdbrain should keep quiet for a minute.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
Permalink
?

An Hon. Member:

Sit down then, John.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
Permalink
PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

Today the Canadian dollar hit its lowest value ever in our history. The Bank of Canada rate has gone up again to 11.98 per cent, which will force up the prime rate and all interest rates in Canada.

This has been done in lieu of a report of the OEDC which indicates that our unemployment, currently at 11.7 per cent, will stick close to that level until the end of 1985. For the next 18 months it sees unemployment averaging about 11 per cent for the whole period. Also it indicates that the jobless rate for young Canadians under 24 years of age will be at least 19 per cent during the whole period. At the same time the jobless rate in the United States will be about 7 per cent.

In view of the fact that the resurrection of Mr. Turner, Pierre Elliott Turner, has not given any confidence to the financial system, and apparently has not done our economic situation any good-there is no confidence in him either-will the Minister recommend an immediate election to the Government unless the Government can take steps to reverse this increase in interest rates, the weakness in the Canadian dollar, and the horrendous unemployment situation? Will you get

your courage about you and call an election, if you cannot do any better than this?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
Permalink
LIB

Roy MacLaren (Minister of State (Finance))

Liberal

Hon. Roy MacLaren (Minister of State (Finance)):

Mr. Speaker, the answer to the Member's last question is no. The answer to his earlier question is that the basic reason for what has happened today in the case of the Bank of Canada rate is that in the United States there has been the publication of what is called a "flash" on second quarter growth in the U.S. Substantial economic growth has been estimated for the second quarter, and the estimates for the first quarter have been revised upward.

In the United States there is rapid, real economic growth. At the same time there is a continuing concern in the U.S. that nothing is being done about the very high levels of government deficit financing. Equally, there is severe continuing monetary restraint. Those factors have come together to produce, in the United States, a fear that interest rates may go up again. This has had its impact in Canada, both in terms of our bank rate as the Hon. Member noted, and upon the Canadian dollar.

I would, however, point out to the Hon. Member opposite that all major currencies have weakened against the U.S. dollar, not just the Canadian, as the expectation, fear or speculation about an increase in U.S. interest rates has continued. The Hon. Member opposite knows perfectly well that Canada is a major trading nation with open currency borders. It is not immune from, and indeed is vulnerable to, interest rate movements in the United States. That is exactly what has been happening-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
Permalink
LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The Chair has concern at this point about time limits. We are not getting questions and answers; we are getting debate when a very long preamble with a long initial question is followed by a lengthy answer. If it takes ten minutes for the original questioner, it is at the expense of the back-benchers of the Member's own Party. It is very difficult for the Chair to enforce time limits because the Chair has no guidelines on this. Will the Hon. Member for St. John's West bear this in mind in posing his supplementary question?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EXCHANGE VALUE OF DOLLAR-INCREASE IN BANK OF CANADA RATE
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INTEREST RATE LEVELS

PC

John Carnell Crosbie

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (St. John's West):

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question is addressed to the same Minister. The Minister just flashed at the Canadian public. The Canadian public is not interested in these silly reasons for what is happening here. We have now had three months of inactivity while the Liberal so-called leadership convention went on and Mr. Turner received his coronation, and Mr. Chretien was crucified by the Deputy Prime Minister among others.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INTEREST RATE LEVELS
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LIB

Gildas L. Molgat (Speaker pro tempore)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. The Hon. Member for St. John's West, being an experienced parliamentarian, knows that it is not the practice of the House to refer to Cabinet Ministers by name. I am sure the Hon. Member knows that his question should be addressed to the Chair.

June 21, 1984

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   INTEREST RATE LEVELS
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June 21, 1984