May 14, 1985

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

BUSINESS OF SUPPLY

LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Winnipeg-Fort Garry) moved:

That this House condemns the Government for undermining the will of Parliament and the Legislatures by failing to use industrial, decentralization, agricultural, transportation and equalization policies as well as its Crown Corporations to further economic development in all communities across Canada.

He said: Mr. Speaker, in one of the more unusual and quixotic episodes in the history of this Parliament, we are now in the fourth straight day of opposition resolutions. Perhaps the Government House Leader (Mr. Hnatyshyn) has had a curious bit of absence of mind and has simply not realized that his agenda is now being dominated by the legislative and policy agendas of the opposition Parties. On the other hand, perhaps it is more that the Government has taken a look at its own legislation and has realized just how awful it is and is afraid to bring it forward for any further public examination. Perhaps the Government will now withdraw most of its legislation, as we have been suggesting it do, because it simply does not match up, or perhaps this is simply the calm before the storm. Perhaps government Ministers are now cowering in their bunkers awaiting the Gotterdammerung of the Budget which will take place on May 23 and are simply using this period to lull the Canadian public into forgetting that the Government is no longer a part of the fabric of our society because it is obviously afraid to face Parliament with any form of legislative agenda.

I can only speculate on these things. I would not want to draw any firm conclusions. However, I think all Members of the House would recognize that this is one of the more unusual kinds of House strategies, and it is with some interest that I would request of members of the Conservative caucus, when they meet with their Ministry-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

Order, please.

[ Translation]

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Claudy Mailly (Chief Government Whip's assistant; Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Mailly:

Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

Order, please. The Hon. Member for Gatineau (Mrs. Mailly), on a point of order.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Claudy Mailly (Chief Government Whip's assistant; Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Mailly:

I question the relevance of the Hon. Member's speech. He has hardly begun, and he is already off on a tangent.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

Mr. Speaker, I almost set a new record. It took me only 45 seconds to get the Hon. Member on her feet with totally extraneous and superficial points of order to which no one pays any attention. Aside from that, I am sure there will be many other opportunities during the course of my remarks for the Hon. Member to get sufficient exercise by hopping up and down in her chair like a certain kind of seat-cover.

The fact of the matter is that this resolution is attempting to draw attention in a fundamental way to the fact that within a week's time, we hope we will be faced for the first time with the Conservative economic agenda. I hope Hon. Members opposite recognize what an historic moment that will be. Ministers of the Crown will no longer be able to use their normal repertoire of blaming everything on the nasty Grits. They will have to learn a whole new script. They will not be able to rise any longer and say that they inherited all these problems. For the first time, they will have to put forward to the Canadian people exactly what it is that they believe in.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Paul Wyatt Dick (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dick:

What do you?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

I would say that the "member for Mitel" is a little noisy this morning. If I were him, I would be a little more careful about what I had to say, because we are going to make some comments about him later on.

Come next week, the Government will finally have to "fess up". It is going to have to show its commitment to keeping all those many hundreds of promises it made. The great negotiator and promise-maker, otherwise known at times as the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney), will have to put his cards on the table and show the Canadian people that he meant what he said last summer.

Time and time again, we have seen the most convoluted form of political acrobatics ever witnessed by the Canadian public performed by the pretender Prime Minister while he is trying to evade his commitments and promises. We have seen more dancing on the floor of the House of Commons than one will see in an all-night ballroom as Ministers of the Crown have done a remarkable minuet trying to evade and avoid the kind of responsibilities for economic leadership that we assumed they would take.

May 14, 1985

Supply

We will see the clear obligation of the Government to fill the many economic vacuums which exist. There are more economic potholes in the agenda of this Government than there are on the unpaved roads of the Yukon. That is why the Conservatives lost that election yesterday.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens (Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

What about the Liberals?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

We did very well. I am glad the Minister raised that. Guess which seat the Liberals won in the Yukon election? The seat of Faro, which is the site of the Cyprus-Anvil mine which the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion (Mr. Stevens) has done such a wonderful job of pushing into the ground. I would like to thank the Minister personally for giving us the opportunity to win that seat. We won it because of his inaction.

We on this side can be pleased with the Minister because his record of inaction, indecision and vacillation on a whole front of economic activities is one of the primary reasons for which the Conservative Party is in full retreat across the country, in every province and Territory. That is why it is losing elections and its popular vote is in retreat. I think it is incumbent upon the Liberal Party to give full credit where it is due, and a large part of the credit is due to that Minister.

O)

The people of the country are realizing that the Minister does not understand regional economic development. Not only does he not understand it, he does not care about it. We only have to look at the statements which he has made. Last week he gave a wonderful presentation to The Financial Post. The article described the grand new industrial strategy, compliments of the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion. However, if we study what he is proposing, we realize that he is proposing the elimination of industrial grants to small businesses and replacing them with tax incentives. That may be fine in the region which he represents, but when he begins to withdraw industrial grants from businesses in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, western Canada and northern Ontario, it will mean that there will no longer be economic activity in those areas. There cannot be tax credits when taxes are not being paid because there is not enough economic activity to support them. Anyone who has any experience, understanding or anyone who cares about the requirement of the federal Government to provide parity and equity across Canada would know that. But the Minister in The Financial Post statement said that he had a grand new design. What is curious is that the "Minister for free enterprise", as he likes to portray himself, put forward in that article far more drastic interventionism than any Liberal Minister ever considered. The Minister is going to dictate to different industrial sectors their long-term plans.

The Minister loves to stand in the House and berate our poor socialist friends. Yet the Minister is prescribing far more direct social economic planning than anything our socialist friends in the NDP would consider. The Minister is a mass of contradictions wrapped up in a ball of enigma warped in a

hazy gray mass of indecision-if I may use a somewhat loose interpretation of Mr. Churchill's famous statement.

What we are discovering is that this Government does not have an economic development policy which is directed toward the priorities of the country. For example, yesterday in the House questions were asked which related to the takeover of Mitel by a British telecommunications firm. What was very clear was the total absence of any policy or prescription to deal with Canadian involvement, investment and control of its own high technology industry. Every economic commentator will tell us that that industry must provide the cutting edge in terms of international competition. It is an area which has incredible growth potential. It is an area in which Canadians have been able to formulate and develop some of the most interesting and innovative products in the world. It has been nine months since the Government has come into power with its so-called "open Sesame" invitation to foreign investors. Now we are seeing the takeover of that intrinsic, generic and effective Canadian industry by foreign investors. The Minister has no response. He does not have a policy and he does not know what to do. He is now being caught in his own contradiction of saying: "Let's just have wide open foreign investment". That investment will not bring new development to the country, it will simply take over the existing investment. It is sad because there is nothing in place to offer opportunity, encouragement or incentive to Canadian investors. Look at the anomaly. Bell Canada enterprises, a major Canadian telecommunications firm, is putting up $1.5 billion to buy an oil company but we have to rely upon a British telecommunications company to come over and invest in our own telecommunications industry. If Mitel needed new capital, why did the Minister not take some responsibility directly in working with Canadian investors to provide the necessary capital? He said, "Hands ofF', yet in the Financial Post article he said, "No, hands on. I'm going to require individual companies and industrial sectors to provide a 15-year plan in order to provide for long-term development", except in the high-tech industry and in another wide range of industries, which we will take full opportunity in this debate to draw to the attention of the House.

What we are saying is that the real sacred trust of this Government should be the effective allocation and direction of economic development across the regions of Canada. Yet what we have seen and witnessed in the past nine months is a total abdication of that responsibility and an unwillingness to use the powers, resources and investment possibilities of the federal Government in order to provide for effective leadership. Even its friends are losing patience. Beginning today in Grande Prairie, the western premiers have on their agenda a clear-cut item dealing with the lack of federal consultation on economic development matters. For instance, its friend, Grant Devine, the Premier of Saskatchewan, is saying that what they are really afraid of is that in next week's Budget the federal Government, through the Nielsen task force, is going to slash, hack and cut away at all kinds of economic programs and the

May 14, 1985

provinces will have to pick up the slack. And Mr. Nielsen and his task force have not even had the courtesy to consult with their friends, the provincial Premiers.

What an incredible contradiction, Mr. Speaker! All the western papers are saying that neither the Nielsen task force nor, I presume, the western Ministers, have bothered to sit down with their cohorts in the western provinces to decide on what they can provide joint action. That is on the agenda. It is not the agenda of the Official Opposition; it is the agenda of the western Premiers who are complaining mightily of the lack of consultation. Yet this is the Government which came into office promising that there would be full and open discussion and open sharing of information and responsibility-except with the western Premiers. They seem to have been left out of this grand plan of the economic Ministers. They have not been included in this development. The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Nielsen), just as he has avoided the issues of the native people, women and the regions, is now avoiding the provincial Premiers.

I want to know who the Minister is really talking to. We are fully aware he does not talk to his caucus. I presume he is musing with some past ghosts of ages gone by. I know where the muses are, Mr. Speaker, because the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion has said that his particular idol is C.D. Howe, a former Liberal. That is who the Minister wants to emulate. He has a fat chance of doing that because he got off to a very poor start.

The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that this Government is a fraud. It is not living up to the kind of spirit of co-operation it talks about. It is not consulting with the provinces. It is going to bring down the Budget next week based upon, I believe, the hidden agenda, which will be to make a number of severe reductions in federal government programs and throw the buck back at the provincial Governments. It is going to assume that the provincial Governments will pick up the slack. The onus will be thrown back on the provinces to carry the economic responsibilities of this country. This is a Government that does not want to take responsibility. It does not want to face up to its obligations.

Let me speak for a moment, Mr. Speaker, about the Economic Regional Development Agreements, the ERDA programs, two major Liberal initiatives which were brought in about a year and a half or two years ago in order to provide for a coherent framework of economic development. I know the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion and other Ministers take all the credit for delivering programs under ERDA. They stand up and say, "Look at the wonderful thing we have done in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Quebec and others", based upon a program that we brought in and a Budget that we set aside. The regional development fund that was set aside in the previous Estimates has provided the financial allocation for which this Government is now taking credit. At the same time, it is trying to take credit for the results under that program, it is substantially undermining the spirit of the program. The Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion lost $200 million on the IRD Program in the November statement.

Supply

Who did that affect? It affected about 80 per cent of the communities in this country which could no longer have tier one funding. The major economic centres in every province across Canada are no longer able to find grants and supports for expansion or new business in their regions. That has been the result of this Minister's responsibility.

Equally, you find in the development of the ERDA program a total and complete lack of action in key areas of the provinces. Western Canada has been waiting for months for some kind of an agreement with the Province of British Columbia. The forestry industry is virtually past its seeding season and nothing has been signed. Negotiations that proceeded and were about to be signed have now been totally forestalled and held up for nine or ten months. It is inexplainable, these kinds of hesitations, lack of action and lack of progress.

Let me point to an example in my province which goes back to the resolution. We had provided as one of the initiatives in the Province of Manitoba the development of the National Research Council Institute of Manufacturing Technology. The reason for providing that was to provide a national centre of research and development in robotics and the newest area of research and technology for small business to move into high technology areas. It was a centre planned to provide opportunities for business, universities and engineers in the private sector to become involved. The building was constructed and the plans were in place.

In the November 8 statement, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson) cut off totally all funding for that program. The provincial Government, industrialists, the universities and Members of the Opposition began to raise questions expressing their concern about this matter. The Conservatives rushed together, huddled together and said, "Don't worry, we will look after that". Seven months later, the Minister of State for Science and Technology (Mr. Siddon) came to my province and, in one of the great all-time jokes, said, "What I am going to do is set up a committee and have another nine months study of the program". In the meantime, we have lost a number of major businesses that were going to relocate in Winnipeg because of that centre. There is a total discredit of that kind of program. Conservative Members of Parliament are saying that it would have been a closed laboratory. That means they did not read the original prescription.

That is a complete abdication of responsibility for Members of Parliament from Manitoba, not even to have read the original plans, goals and objectives of that centre to know what is going on. They now go around saying something totally different. It is a joke, a travesty,and a transgression that simply points out that this Government has no understanding, care, sensitivity or willingness to try to provide the federal resources in its Crown agency to get involved in plans for economic development.

We have a lack of leadership and direction in the whole transportation agreement with the Province of Manitoba. The

May 14, 1985

Supply

Minister in charge of the Wheat Board says that we will deliver some grain, but he is not sure how much. There is no willingness to give direction, set goals and go ahead with the original program. As a result, it is working on idle. The opportunity in that province to establish major opportunities in transportation, the construction of new prototype grain cars, developing the port as an alternative, moving ahead in the urban transportation area, and using those agreements to give that region an opportunity for economic growth and development is again put in low gear. Nothing is happening. There is no direction, no leadership, no purpose.

Clearly, the point of this resolution is to say that we have a Government that does not understand economic development. It has not provided any leadership in this area. It is forcing the regions to rely upon their own resources by relinquishing the federal role. The Budget on May 23, on the basis of evidence we have seen until now, will be built on the backs of the poorer provinces and the poorer regions. This Opposition is opposed to it. We are simply giving notice now that they have a week to change that Budget. We hope they take our good advice.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

Questions or

comments?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

James (Jim) Stewart Edwards

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Edwards:

Mr. Speaker, I have much empathy with the Hon. Member because we have just heard an anguished cry from purgatory. The demons are at work. We do not know how long the term in purgatory will be, but we sincerely hope that the Member will survive his stint there because it is good for his soul. I think that we are all concerned with souls ultimately.

I believe we have had a lecture on regional industrial expansion. It was a little difficult to track some of it. I would point out to the House that the people of Manitoba were not fooled by regional industrial expansion in their region on September 4. There was certainly a basket of goodies for the Winnipeg-Fort Garry riding, but the people in the other 13 ridings in that province reacted otherwise. We have also had a dissertation on robotics. I believe that the Party opposite can give us some expert advice on robotics since it has practised that art for so many years.

On a more positive note, Mr. Speaker, I will point out one clear example of good results achieved from federal-provincial consultation in these days of economic difficulty. That example is the Cold Regions Laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta. The funding of that laboratory was cut in the November economic statement as part of sharing the pain across the country. I have had the privilege of participating in an alternative plan to revivify that very worth-while project as a combined operation among federal and provincial Governments and the private sector. I am happy to say that it is well on its way to revival and will be fulfilling its role as it should. That is an example of an NRC project that is being revived. That type of consultation did take place prior to the Grande Prairie meeting of Premiers. With this Government it is taking place hourly, daily, weekly, and continually.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

Would the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry (Mr. Axworthy) like to respond?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

Mr. Speaker, in what is becoming a pattern of total absence of mind, the Hon. Member neglected to ask a question. However, I will be glad to answer it anyway because I know what he was aiming at. In his last set of remarks he fell back on the great premise that there is a wild and wonderful system of consultation. I would like him to comment on another independent objective source, The Western Producer. This newspaper is read by virtually all grain producers in the prairie region. The headline reads, "Uncertainty about future bothers many groups". Once again the Canadian agricultural community is in a total state of uncertainty because of the lack of consultation by the Government on agricultural programs. The article reads:

A large part of the unease flows from ignorance and confusion about the Conservative agenda for agriculture mainly because Minister John Wise has yet to articulate a clear vision of where he wants to take the industry.

That is not my comment, Mr. Speaker. That is the comment of very respected observers of the Canadian agricultural scene. Conservative Members are living in a fantasy land where there is daily and hourly consultation. They are simply drinking each other's bathwater. I presume they are talking to one another. At least I hope they are talking to someone rather than being in total isolation tanks. It is clear that they are not talking about what is going on in the country to the Canadians who really count. The provincial Premiers say they did not talk to the Government. Now the farm groups say that they are not talking to it. To whom is the Government talking?

Therefore, I ask the question in return: if consultation is taking place, is it a secret society that is being consulted? Do you have to belong to the Mulroney Club in order to be consulted in this country? Does one have to anteup to the Mulroney Club before one can be consulted?

Obviously in western Canada the major groups are not being consulted. Their interests are not being looked after, as we have seen in the House with the antics of the Nielsen group who have been making all kinds of recommendations that the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Mr. Crombie) knows nothing about. Obviously the Ministers of the Crown are not being consulted.

Therefore, I return to my original point. The Hon. Member, in all his interest of having a good policy emerge from the Budget, as I am sure it is his interest, should use his opportunity in the caucus tomorrow to raise the questions he has raised in the House today with his own Ministers.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

James (Jim) Stewart Edwards

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Edwards:

Has the Hon. Member ever talked to his Liberal friends in western Canada? Indeed, is he aware that there have been six in-depth meetings with his friend, the Mayor of the City of Edmonton, which were initiated by federal Members of Parliament, to discuss matters of mutual

May 14, 1985

interest from which some very concrete results have flowed and will continue to flow?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
LIB

David Charles Dingwall

Liberal

Mr. Dingwall:

Mr. Speaker, I have a brief question for the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry (Mr. Axworthy), who has a distinguished track record when it comes to economic development when he was a Minister in the former Government.

Would the Hon. Member care to comment on the operative word of the Throne Speech, which was "consultation"? Shortly afterward, the Minister made his economic statement in which he announced some very massive cuts. I believe that in excess of SI.7 billion was reduced from the regional economic development envelope.

Would the Hon. Member comment on that, in view of the fact that there have been a great number of regions in Canada, including the Atlantic, Manitoba and parts of Quebec, that have been greatly affected by those cut-backs, which were made without any consultation whatsoever with the Canadian people, the provincial Premiers or Members of Parliament? One example of these cut-backs is the winter ferry services in Yarmouth, from Bar Harbour to Maine. That was cut unilaterally by the Minister of Transport (Mr. Mazankowski) without any consultation. Would the Hon. Member comment on such tactics by the Conservative Government?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Mr. Axworthy:

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Hon. Member for his good memory and kind compliments about the past record.

Let me point out to the House that it was only approximately six or seven weeks ago that the Hon. Member for Cape Breton-East Richmond (Mr. Dingwall) and I had the opportunity to consult with members of the Atlantic Economic Council who, during the course of those meetings, clearly pointed out that a continuation and strengthening of the IRDP was essential to the economic well-being of the Atlantic province. Through such programs, direct grants would go to individual businesses in those areas to give them the opportunity to start and develop new enterprises. However, we have seen that such action runs totally contrary to what the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion is proposing.

It would be a very sad day for regions like Atlantic Canada, northern Quebec, northern Ontario and the western regions on budget day next Thursday if the Minister has once again lost out and the IRDP has been eviscerated and cut back, reduced or transferred so that the federal Government has withdrawn even further from its ability or capacity to provide for an over-all economic plan to help those regions.

It is our hope that this debate will serve to let Members opposite take strong notice that if a further reduction of the IRDP is contemplated in the Budget and its replacement with some kind of tax incentive system, the poorer economic regions of Canada that are trying to improve themselves with federal assistance and co-operation will be sadly and sorely dismayed. It would only prove the case we have seen in the last nine months that the Government does not care.

Supply

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink
PC

Charles James Mayer (Minister of State (Canadian Wheat Board))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mayer:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to respond briefly to the comments of the Hon. Member about the direction of the Canadian Wheat Board. It is very interesting to look at his record when he was Minister of Transport and later Minister responsible for the Wheat Board. During his term, grain exports through Churchill went down over 30 per cent, from exports of a little over 600,000 tonnes in 1983 to a little over 400,000 tonnes when he was the Minister responsible.

It is very interesting to note that this happened at a time when Canada experienced record exports. If one wants to look at the record of the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Fort Garry (Mr. Axworthy) when he was responsible for Churchill, it is very dismal. Use of the port went down close to 30 per cent at the same time that we had record exports.

If we want to talk about commitments to the Port of Churchill and at that Member's record when he was the Minister responsible, it is a very dismal record and anything but the distinguished track record that was referred to by the Member for Cape Breton-East Richmond (Mr. Dingwall).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
Sub-subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S O. 62-REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Permalink

May 14, 1985