December 3, 1984

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

BUSINESS OF SUPPLY

LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Jacques Guilbault (Saint-Jacques) moved

, seconded by Mr. Ouellet:

That this House regrets that, after less than three months in office, the Government is in growing disarray as demonstrated by its harmful, inadequately considered and irresponsible cuts in government services of importance to the economic and social development of the regions and of individual Canadians as well as by Ministers' apparent inability to manage their departments and their relations with the provinces and with the public.

He said: The Opposition motion you just read, Mr. Speaker, and you did so very well I may add, may seem unduly severe, condemning the Government for various measures taken since it came to power, during the three months it has been in office.

I, for one, do not think the motion is too severe, and I shall try to demonstrate that during the few minutes I am allowed.

This morning, I would like to show the House the dire results of the last three months, which have brought us a succession of cutbacks the magic word which, according to the Progressive Conservatives is supposed to be the cure for all our ills, but unfortunately, has brought no positive results and has managed to please no one.

In my comments, I also would like to mention the negative impact of several of these cutbacks on Canada's remote areas which, for the most part, are economically vulnerable and stand to suffer most from the budgetary cutbacks of this Government.

I shall also comment on the inability of some Ministers to manage their departments and finally, about the impression given that some Ministers are resorting to all kinds of tactics instead of dealing with the problems confronting Canadians.

1 shall also comment briefly on this Government's less than satisfactory record in its relations with the provinces of our Canadian federation.

Finally, I intend to prove that to this day, Canadians have not been able to benefit from a single measure introduced by

this Government. Canadians have been told to wait and that better days will come tomorrow. Meanwhile, cutbacks are the order of the day.

Suppose we consider the past three months. First of all, we have a Government that promised Canadians the earth, making about 338 promises during the election campaign, and that has now failed to come up with any concrete measures to keep those promises, a Government that, it must be said, was elected with a tremendous majority and now resembles an elephant that has been incapable of bringing forth so much as a mouse.

None of the promises the Government made are so much as starting to materialize, and the people who gave this Government a blank cheque are wondering how it is going to proceed to keep some of its promises.

Mr. Speaker, this is a Government that has resolutely turned its back on many of the ideas it was championing when its Members were crisscrossing the country during the election campaign, telling Canadians, for instance, that social programs would be protected, that it was a "sacred trust", as they said. Now nothing is certain. Cuts have been made in programs like housing which are certainly social in nature. We are not sure what this Government is going to do to the universality of social programs, and in the final instance, this so-called "sacred trust", which was one of the cornerstones of the Progressive Conservative program, may not be so sacred anymore.

This Government talked constantly about open government. They told Canadians: Get rid of the Liberals who put a veil of secrecy over everything. And where is this open government today? I will get back to that later. We have now reached a point where the Progressive Conservative Government, after promoting open government, is now keeping everything under wraps. Practically no announcements are made, and guidelines have been issued that have made public servants feel less free to communicate with the media and with Canadians in general.

Finally, we have here a political party that during the last election campaign made employment and job creation one of its main themes.

[DOT] (UIO)

We now find ourselves in a situation where funding for job creation programs has been slashed. As far as the jobs are concerned, we will get them next year, they have been promised for fiscal year 1985-86. I should think that most Canadi-

December 3, 1984

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ans, particularly the unemployed, realize by now that the new Conservative government is like a balloon that burst, it did not simply deflate, it burst. The government appears to have a secret agenda, and that ought to worry all Canadians. What we already know is bad enough, but we are more concerned about what we do not know and will never know, since public servants can no longer speak as freely as they did before. In a nutshell, so far the government has given every indication of being totally confused, disoriented and unorganized. Let us hope it will soon get back on the right track.

The one thing we know for sure, Mr. Speaker, is that the government has decided to make drastic cutbacks in public outlays. Unfortunately, such cutbacks are bound to hurt and, for now, the outlook is not very promising for unemployed Canadians, nearly bankrupt farmers and small and medium-size businesses which had expected the new government to help them be more productive and more competitive. Those cutbacks are particularly distressing for young people, for example, because the new Conservative government had raised their hopes by promising to find jobs for them.

What kind of scenario have we had since the Conservative government took office, in the three months since it has taken over?

First, the Summer Canada job creation program for youths will not be funded next summer. That was one of the most constructive measure to create temporary employment needed by students during summer. No, Sir, that program no longer exists, it has been cancelled, as were others which gave young Canadians a fighting chance to retrain and try to land a job. Similar existing programs have also been shelved. That is a rather sad comment on a government whose priority was to create jobs. The way I see it, they are doing the exact opposite of what they had promised. And young people are not alone in this predicament, for cutbacks strike elsewhere. Let us take environment, for example. The Canadian Wildlife Service budget has been reduced considerably and this issue has been raised several times in the House by the Hon. Member for Davenport (Mr. Caccia), who usually sits to my immediate left, in questions to the Minister of Environment (Mrs. Blais-Grenier), but unfortunately they have remained unanswered.

And then, the budget of cultural organizations which have been the prime target of the new Conservative government. As we know, the CBC will have to do with $75 million less. What needs to be emphasized, Mr. Speaker, is that the $75 million cutback is for 1985-86 alone. It is not a $75 million reduction spread over the three-year Conservative mandate. In answer to one of my questions a few days ago, the Minister of Communications (Mr. Masse) did say that the smaller CBC budget for next year will be the starting point for the following budgets. In other words, we are looking at a $75 million cutback in each of the three years of the Conservative mandate-which, hopefully, will not be extended-or $225 million less for the CBC over a three-year period.

Hon. Members are aware as well that other government organizations-The National Film Board, the Canada Council, the CRTC and the National Arts Centre, four organizations which have had their overall budgets reduced by $10 million. Here again, of course, those $10 million are for the coming year, but since the Minister of Communications has confirmed that those cutbacks are likely to be a permanent fixture, we are in fact talking about $30 million less for those four organizations during the mandate of the government.

A word now about programs designed to promote social housing. Is there something more necessary in our society, something more helpful? For instance, residential rehabilitation, low rent housing, the survival and development of cooperative housing projects . . . the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation will have to manage with $47 million less. Needless to say, Hon. Members have been getting phone calls from people in every region of Canada who have a direct interest in social housing and who are deeply concerned about those cutbacks.

Cutbacks have also taken place in the field of health research. I have in my hand a list which comes from a well-known Canadian business newspaper but because it is in fine print and therefore it would take more time than I have available to me. Instead, I shall let my seatmate read it while I make my comments.

There were some very important programs designed to save money to individuals and to conserve Canadian oil supplies. For instance, as of next January 1 there will be a cutback in the Canadian Home Insulation Program as well as in the Oil Substitution Program which offered grants to assist homeowners in their conservation effort switching from an oil heating system to electricity, natural gas or other types of fuel. These were extremely useful programs in which the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson) decided in his wisdom that cuts and reductions should be made. In fact, these cuts will affect everyone especially middle income Canadians.

Moreover, the government will not stop there. It seems that more bad news are in store as a result of the announcement made by the Minister of Finance that further cuts should be expected in his budget, which is to be brought down either next spring or next June: the exact date has not been set yet. However, we already know that there will be more cuts. In other words, the worst is yet to come.

The worst is yet to come. What this Government has done, after promising jobs during the election, has been to start with several cuts in job creation programs and then promise a billion dollars in job creation. We do not know how that will be spent; we have no details so far. After having read the documents and listened to the Minister, we know that this billion dollars will be spent next year. In other words, job creation programs are now being cut. This will put more people out on

December 3, 1984

the street. People are being told to tighten their belts now and that they will get a job in a year from now. That is not being serious, especially for a Government elected on a job creation mandate.

The worst of it is the fact that the impact of these cuts will be felt in the regions, and this will occur in many fields, especially the field of culture which 1 mentioned earlier, the research activities of the Wildlife Service, and so on. Let us look at the CBC cuts, for instance. We already know that these will affect regional and local programming, which has always played second fiddle in any case. We are all aware that the bulk of CBC expenditures goes to major urban centres in Canada, such as Toronto and Montreal. Therefore, any cuts will greatly affect the regions.

The regions will also be affected by cuts being made in the area of transport. We already know that certain ferry services will be reduced or their schedules shortened for the winter months in the Maritimes, and we all know what is the situation in Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, which are isolated islands in need of such services. I find this absolutely awful, especially since the government certainly did not brag about taking such action during the election campaign when its representatives, led by the Prime Minister, went to the Atlantic Provinces and made 338 promises to the residents of that region.

Let us now examine the case of Quebec. The critic for the Treasury Board has already stated that those cuts will cost about $700 million to Quebec. The Hon. Member for Laval-des-Rapides (Mr. Garneau) did refer to this during the oral question period and he is reviewing the issue. The people of Quebec will not be able to absorb the costs of these cutbacks. This is why one of the questions that we ask the government is this: Where can we find the money to replace these lost funds? And what I am asking myself is this: What will the 58 new Progressive Conservative Members from Quebec do to ensure that the economic position of Quebec is protected?

Will they let this Government slash to that extent the major grants and expenditures intended for Quebec that are now being cut? They are rather silent, except to applaud when their party's tenors rise in this House. I look forward to hearing what those Members, those new Members from Quebec, will do in defence of the people they represent.

One of the things that strike me most is the difficulty some ministers seem to experience in managing their departments and putting forward certain programs and proposals. It is not for lack of advice because each and every ministers' office has a "super executive assistant", a so-called political advisor who would be better named "political commissar", with a salary reaching up to $80,000 a year. Hence we would have thought that the ministers would be expertly advised, that their depart-

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ments would be efficiently managed and that everything would run better than under the previous government, which the Conservatives are constantly criticizing. However, we cannot say this Government is any great shakes. With officials who can no longer communicate with the people, nor the media . . . We have seen the guidelines which require an official, when giving information, to be quoted by name. This is a pretty way of imposing the rule of silence. And they went to the trouble, Mr. Speaker, of having a press conference just for that in the Press Club across the street! Really it takes gall, under the guise of providing a new access to information, to put forward-in a clever way I must admit-guidelines designed to restrict the already restricted freedom of officials to give information to the media and the public.

Interestingly, maybe that was the reason why the Prime Minister last Friday went out of his way to have lunch in the Press Club. I saw him, I was there. It was probably in an attempt to bridge the chasm that the new Conservative Government has opened between itself and the media with those new guidelines. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, if the Government were more open with the people, the Prime Minister would not have to resort to flirting with the media at the Press Club. It is not by having lunch there and being all smiles that he will manage to be in the best of terms with the media people. All they are asking for is clear information on the Government's intentions. If they get that, there will be no need to go and wheedle them. They will be satisfied with the Government. However, that does not seem to be forthcoming.

When information comes to the surface and gets to the public ear, it is because of errors. When, for instance, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson) forgets a file in Winnipeg. Then we learn something of the Government's intentions, but this is by no means with the Finance Minister's agreement. Under a government that is committed to openness, we now have to rely on accidents in order to be informed of the Government's intentions. By accident, such as when the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Clark) sends out a cassette on which he had dictated in his office that we learn what is going to happen in Central America.

It certainly is not through well-established Government policy that we get information, but by accident. At times we get it at the wrong moment. We have a Solicitor General who gives out details of an investigation that is under way, and then rises in this House to say he never did so. One of my colleagues has already asked questions on that matter, and he will surely do so again. Then they volunteer information at the wrong moment and when people require information, they cannot make up their minds to say what they intend to do. I think I know why, Mr. Speaker; it is because these people have no clear idea of what they are going to do. They wonder how to go about implementing what they promised during the last election. And this is why they hide everything under the veil of secrecy.

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I wonder, for instance, what will happen in the area of federal-provincial relations. I wonder whether the episode with the Manitoba Minister of Finance is just a sample. Our minister met his counterpart, the Manitoba Minister of Finance, to review the transfer formula. As I said earlier, by accident we heard that the Province of Manitoba would probably lose its $72 million in transfer payments. And better still, when that meeting was held, it was taped by someone in the Minister's Office. Can you imagine that? I suggest this government's manipulation of information is unacceptable and a source of great concern. I shall leave to some of my colleagues to examine in depth a number of its actions.

For now, I pause and urge my fellow Canadians to think it over and ask themselves whether this government, from the moment it assumed power and started to operate, has been delivering to them what they should rightfully expect. To me, the answer is a clear and resounding no. I urge them also to watch this government closely to make sure that it keeps its election promises and that it is truly addressing the problems we are faced with. In the meantime, I cannot help but be dissatisfied with this government, and that is why I have moved today this motion which at First sight might seem harsh but which will receive the support of many Hon. Members of the House.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Are there questions or comments on the speech of the Hon. Member?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Jean-Guy Hudon (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hudon:

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member for Saint-Jacques (Mr. Guilbault) claimed at the beginning of his remarks that the government had made major and even drastic cuts in the social programs. He mentioned, among others, those in the area of social housing. Could he name the other social programs where cuts have been made?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

Mr. Speaker, in order to enumerate these programs, we must rely on the information provided by the Government. I must say that the information has been rather meagre. I indicated in my speech that one of our greatest difficulties with this Government is trying to find out what is going on. So far, in the long list of cuts which I have here, the only sure thing with regard to social programs is the $47 million cut in the area of housing. We are experiencing much difficulty trying to ascertain what is going to happen to the rest of them, although when we examine the total envelope which the Government has at its disposal, we realize that $4.2 billion must be cut and as the Government is already committed to cutting transfers both to individuals and the provinces in the area of established programs, it is operating in a sort of straight jacket, and if it wants to cut $4.2 billion, it will have start somewhere. We expect the Minister of Finance will provide us with full details ... I already have tons of informa-

December 3, 1984

tion in several areas, but I do not have quite as much in the social area. All I have so far concerns social housing. But I feel it is already significant.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Are there other questions or comments relating to the remarks of the Hon. Member for Saint-Jacques?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Gabriel Desjardins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Desjardins:

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member for Saint-Jacques referred in his motion to uneasy relations between this Government and the provinces. How does he see our relations with the Quebec Government?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
LIB

Jacques Guilbault (Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition; Liberal Party Deputy House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Guilbault (Saint-Jacques):

When I said that the Government had rather peculiar relations with the provinces, it seemed clear enough to me. I imagine that the Hon. Member reads newspaper reports as much as I do and that he attends from time to time the oral question period. Can you imagine that Manitoba which is hardly one of the richest provinces in Canada since it receives substantial equalization payments, will probably-it is not a sure thing yet because negotiations are going on-have them reduced by $72 million.

As far as Quebec is concerned, how will the Prime Minister get along with Mr. Levesque? It is hard to tell, but you may be sure, Mr. Speaker, that Mr. Levesque will come with a rather long shopping list. He will not be asking for peanuts. We will then find out if the honeymoon of a sort which the PQ and the Progressive Conservative Party have enjoyed since the last election will endure. Do not ask me how those talks will develop. One thing I know is that there are some rather hefty cuts in the Quebec programs and Mr. Levesque will not be arriving in Ottawa with a big smile on his face. How will things turn out? Everyone is anxious to know.

And if relations or rather talks with Quebec are handled as skilfully as with Manitoba, watch out for the Fireworks.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Are there any other comments or questions on the speech of the Hon. Member? If not, we shall resume debate.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Doug Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Treasury Board):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to enter into this debate. By way of reference, after reading the motion of the Hon. Member opposite I was prompted to reflect that this Government regrets that, after less than three months in office, the Opposition is in growing disarray. One would have thought that such a small group of people could get their act together quickly but all we have seen is a rerun of the last election campaign.

The previous Prime Minister has suggested that if he had run he could have won. The Hon. Member for Saint-Maurice (Mr. Chretien), or for Main Street or Bay Street, or wherever he is now from, suggested he could have done better. The present Member for Vancouver Quadra (Mr. Turner) suggest-

December 3, 1984

ed that he had to run because there was no one else. So I believe it is fair to say, Mr. Speaker, that the disarray is basically over on the opposition side.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
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NDP

Derek Nigel Ernest Blackburn

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blackburn (Brant):

Do not include us!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of State (Government House Leader); Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

You make the Liberals look good!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lewis:

With respect to comments made by the Lion. Member regarding what is bizarre, I suggest that perhaps one of the most bizarre relationships existing in this country is the relationship the federal Liberal Party has with the provincial Liberal Party in the Province of Quebec. I believe that all of us are enjoying the way that one is breaking down for the Hon. Member.

I am astonished when I see the obvious contradictions contained in the motion introduced by the Opposition. For instance, on the one hand this motion states that the government has been in office, for a short time, namely less than three months, and on the other hand, it accuses the same government of lacking judgment or of being in disarray. There is a contradiction in terms. After such a short time, it is improper to make this kind of accusation. Up to a point, it even reflects some disarray on the side of the Opposition.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
LIB

André Ouellet

Liberal

Mr. Ouellet:

We should applaud the Hon. Member for his French.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
Permalink
PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lewis:

I think you ought to applaud the translator.

Second, the motion seems to imply that Ministers are having a tough time in coming to grips with their departmental responsibilities. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that nothing could be farther from the truth. I can assure Hon. Members of this House that all Ministers of the Crown have a good grip on their responsibilities in their respective Departments. I believe it is fair to say that all Ministers and their staff have been taking a measured, intelligent, thorough and wide-ranging approach in becoming conversant with the issues and views of all those people concerned and in carrying out the mandate and programs of the various Departments.

The Ministers are not just satisfied to read their background material, they carry on consultations with experts in the private sector, businessmen and ordinary Canadians whose life and livelihood can be affected by Government programs. [English]

It is evident, Mr. Speaker, from the seating arrangements in this Chamber that this Government was elected with a strong nation-wide mandate for improvement and change. I point out that it is a mandate which does not stop at one provincial border. It is interesting that both opposition parties have mandates which stop at certain provincial borders. I feel it is important to demonstrate to the House that our mandate sweeps across the country.

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While the process of change and improvement has begun with the Speech from the Throne and the economic statement of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson), the first evidence of change has been a carefully balanced and realistic approach to government. Our initial broadly-based expenditure review has a number of important objectives. First, it is aimed at promoting growth and employment. It attempts to treat all regions of the country as equitably as possible under the circumstances and at the same time ensure that those who are in need are not unduly affected. Government objectives honour existing commitments with provincial governments and others, and fulfil our pledges. A careful examination of the whole range of programs, subject to expenditure reduction and revenue recovery, clearly shows that these objectives have been met as fairly and humanely as possible in the time available.

I would like to point out, Mr. Speaker, that we are dealing with a global situation in trying to reduce government expenditures, yet it impacts differently on each riding of the Hon. Members of this House. For example, in my riding there has been a move by the Government to stop funding a scientific interpretation centre at the Wye Marsh. This is one of five interpretation centres across the country. I must admit, Sir, that I am receiving a great deal of mail from the people of my riding. However, I believe we must point out to the country- and I have pointed it out to my constituents-that there is a difference between the present Government and the former government in the way this is being done. There are five interpretation centres being shut down across Canada, and all of those centres are in Conservative ridings. The move was based upon the principle that the federal Government should get out of the interpretation business, that this should be handled by non-governmental organizations or by the provinces. The move taken by the Minister of the Environment (Mrs. Blais-Grenier) has basically been accepted on the broad scale. In my riding there are some difficulties but we are receiving complete co-operation from the Minister of the Environment in looking at ways in which it could be taken over by non-governmental organizations. I feel that is the key. Perhaps we could put a user-pay concept to it rather than making it free. That is the kind of examination which is being conducted.

We are coming to this House with clean hands in that the decision was based on principle. It was not done in the way of the last government where there would be cuts in Tory ridings and initiatives in Liberal ridings based on pure politics. Our reductions are based on principle which makes it much easier for all Hon. Members of this House to support them.

Of course, people will be affected by these changes in the near or distant future and in various ways. However, it should be emphasized that the Progressive Conservative Party has made a commitment to reduce the deficit without bringing about a major increase in taxes.

December 3, 1984

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The platform of our Party, Mr. Speaker, as clearly stated during the election campaign, is that the fundamental priority of a federal Government led by the Progressive Conservative Party would be to improve the way government works. [Translation]

If we consider the various types of reductions in expenditures, Mr. Speaker, we find that we shall be recovering $700 million by reducing general costs and implementing general restrictions. We have to put some order in our taxation system before asking our fellow citizens to take us on trust.

Our party also said that the primary purpose of a Progressive Conservative Government would be to give our Canadian unemployed their jobs back. We added, because there is no doubt in our mind about it, that job opportunities for our unemployed would improve only as a result of a lasting economic recovery.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to remind you that the previous Government was going to cut the funds allocated to direct job creation in 1985-86.

We are now building the necessary framework which will equally attract new investments and create new jobs.

We believe that we are establishing a climate of confidence which will be favourable to business and good for investment. We believe, Mr. Speaker, and the private sector seems to agree with us, that the Government is moving in the right direction both in its policies and its intentions.

We do not believe that everything should be done by the Government. Surely a reliance on a healthier private sector and an enduring economic recovery is the most advantageous regime under which Canada can thrive. Canadians from all ten provinces have placed an onerous charge on this Government to do just that and I believe the pools would indicate that Canadians are not disappointed by our progress so far. However, they expect more and I can assure them that they will not be disappointed.

I have pointed out the expenditure reductions that we have made. I suggest that the significance of those reductions should not be underestimated. We have identified some $4.2 billion in expenditure savings and revenue increases. This includes some $2.8 billion in spending reductions. We have used $1.4 billion of the gross savings for special initiatives which will help the economy get going again and take care of disadvantaged groups which have been adversely affected in the past.

Moreover, the remaining $2.8 billion will be applied to reduce the cash requirements of the Government. Of this, $2.2 billion is a direct contribution to reducing the deficit. In fact, this $2.2 billion is a downpayment on the deficit's reduction. More important than the mathematics of that downpayment is

the signal we are sending to the private sector, to our trading partners and to our investors, both foreign and domestic, that the Government is seriously committee to deficit reduction as a principal method of restoring sound economic health. The Government's Ministers have been travelling abroad to meet with foreign business people and investors to explain our Government's policies and direction. I would suggest that they have been favourably received.

It is not just Canada that understands the importance of coming to grips with the deficit and government spending. It is a realization that is world-wide. Canada, with its new Government and new mandate, is leading the way in coming to grips with that runaway deficit.

In combination with what we are trying to do to reduce the deficit, I would suggest to the House that we are committed to productivity improvement in the federal Public Service. That is not a new suggestion because the Prime Minister (Mr. Mul-roney) spoke at some length and in some depth about the issue before the election last September. The Prime Minister released a major position paper which addressed productivity improvement in detail, laying out our Party's intentions quite comprehensively.

I might say that earlier this morning I was the keynote speaker at the Canadian Comprehensive Auditing Foundation's meetings which are being held in Ottawa. In a speech which I had prepared prior to assuming the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, I dealt with the question of comprehensive auditing and the importance it could mean to productivity in the Public Service and in the Government. This morning I suggested that we on this side view comprehensive auditing as a management tool to help government examine policies. Policies must be developed by politicians and administered by public servants. We must have a method by which we examine that policy and ensure that taxpayers, whether at the municipal, provincial or federal level, are getting the best value for their dollar.

That is the mandate that is given to politicians at all levels. I can assure the House that the Government intends to do everything it can to further disciplines such as comprehensive auditing and to give the people the accountability that they deserve.

We produced a position paper called "Towards Productive Management-The P.C. Approach". We stated in that paper that it will be a top priority to implement changes in federal Government management techniques and processes to ensure that Canadian taxpayers receive value for money. We added that it is our goal to create a management philosophy in government which starts at the political level-a philosophy based on accountability, the appropriate delegation of authority and the encouragement of creative and efficient management within the Public Service.

We have already begun to move in that direction. We inherited rules and regulations-perhaps it is the nature of the beast-which are too many, too detailed and too universally applied to do the job. This was acknowledged last spring by the former President of the Treasury Board, the Hon. Member

December 3, 1984

for Windsor West (Mr. Gray). We intend to make significant improvements in this area.

The policies that we inherited do not provide for adequate flexibility for Departments to achieve real value for money in specific circumstances. There is much work to be done and it is work that we will do. Our goal is to shift from a reliance on regulations and controls and detailed procedures toward a greater reliance on managers' competence and the achievement of results. Our goal is to simplify government and let the managers manage.

If the Opposition is unsatisfied with the achievements to date in this area of simplification and rationalization, I can assure them that we have further plans to have a more extensive and more encompassing grass roots review of programs. That is under way. A committee chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Nielsen) is continuing to review federal programs and regulations with a view to consolidation, simplification, ending duplication and improving the deliverance of important government services to the public.

The considerations are proceeding at the present time. The committee is undertaking to present its recommendations in the months ahead. The action to implement these recommendations will be preceded by an appropriate period of consultation with those who are substantially affected. Our Government believes in an applied approach to government expenditure reduction which allows sufficient time for those who are affected to adjust. As proof positive, I suggest to the House that there will be some reductions in the number of jobs in the Public Service but it will be done on a consultative basis. The consultations with the heads of the unions and the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. de Cotret) had already started before the economic statement was released. It began with a very frank and friendly meeting between the President of the Treasury Board and the heads of the Public Service unions.

I want to assure the House that that is a process of consultation which the President of the Treasury Board started and which I know he intends to continue. We are committed not to act prematurely or precipitously on these issues.

That is why the review made and the results which were published are something that can be read and understood by the ordinary public and the ordinary politician. We did not slash "x" per cent across the board. There are specific programs that were cut out and the rationale for those reductions are explained.

I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that that is evidence of this Government's intentions to act in a rationale way. I appreciate the opportunity to engage in this debate. 1 naturally think that the motion is perhaps not frivolous but very close to it. I am sure though that the Member who presented the motion did so in good faith. We have no hesitation in defending our policies and actions based on the mandate that was given to our Government on September 4. We look forward to a debate throughout the country and a consultation process that will

Supply

prove that our moves on behalf of Canadians, especially on behalf of the taxpayers, can be supported by the briefs and the reviews we have taken.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
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PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Are there any questions or comments?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
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LIB

John V. Nunziata

Liberal

Mr. Nunziata:

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member indicated that when his Party came to this House of Commons to form the government that it came to the House with clean hands. Since the Tories came to the House their hands have quickly become soiled, if not soiled, bloodied by breaching the many promises made.

Will the Hon. Member define the mandate his Government received? He spoke of the massive mandate which the Tories received from people coast to coast. Will he define what he means by the mandate his Party received? Does the Hon. Member not agree that the mandate received to govern was based on the some 300 odd promises made by the Tories during the election campaign? Will the Hon. Member not agree that it is incumbent upon the Government to fulfil those promises?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
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PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lewis:

Mr. Speaker, there were several questions included in the Hon. Member's comments. The only way we got our hands soiled once it came to office was when we moved out the furniture of the previous government.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-BUDGETARY CUT BACKS
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December 3, 1984