April 29, 1988

NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to call a quorum.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Fred Alward McCain

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McCain):

I see a quorum. The debate will continue.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

I thank my colleague for doing that. I want my good friends opposite to be able to enjoy my remarks.

I want to mention the main items that would ensure the success of diversification and opportunity for Atlantic Canada and for western Canada; have the Canadian dollar go down, reduce interest rates and, if necessary, bring in limited foreign exchange. If an investor in Canada wants to invest in some processing or manufacturing, and he wants to do it in the United States, he could be given a tax incentive to do it in Canada and it will cost him if he tries to do it somewhere else.

We must also look at Canadian history and remember and realize that transportation subsidies of various types, direct and indirect, are an absolute necessity for western Canada and for Atlantic Canada to be able to diversify their economies and compete where the markets are in central Canada and the heavily populated areas of the United States. Without that, no matter what political Party is in power, efforts to diversify the economies of northern Ontario, and northern Quebec, Atlantic and western Canada are doomed to failure. It has been tried before without ensuring that the things I have mentioned were in place. I hope that the Government's program for western development succeeds, but I am warning that it cannot succeed

unless interest rates are reduced, unless the value of the Canadian dollar in relation to the United States dollar goes down, and unless something more is done about subsidizing transportation costs for our processors and manufacturers in those other regions of Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson A. Riis (Kamloops-Shuswap):

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to participate in the debate regarding western Canada. As a western Canadian I must say that I remember when there were thousands of small and medium sized businesses in western Canada requesting assistance of one type or another from the federal Government to allow them to expand into new product lines and new markets, and we kept hearing that there was not any money available. Then the announcement was made that the Ghermezian brothers received $5 million from the federal Government for Fantasy-land. They are one of the richest families in Canada, they have one of the largest and most powerful industrial business conglomerates in Canada; and they received $5 million from the federal Government.

We remember that because it seemed to send a certain signal that, if you were a small western business person or a struggling westerner trying to establish a business or to expand a business, there were no funds available. However, if you had political connections with the Conservative Party, and presumably had lots of campaign funds, you could ask for $5 million and would receive it. Many westerners remember that day.

They also remember the day regarding the CF-18 maintenance contract where virtually every adviser to the federal Government said that the maintenance contract for the CF-18 fighter planes should be given to Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg; in other words, a western Canadian maintenance operator. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) overruled every adviser and said that that maintenance contract would go to Quebec.

That was a political decision, and the Prime Minister has the right to make political decisions. However, he should have had the gumption and the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say: "I am going to make a political decision which goes against all the advice that I have received, which goes against sound business reasoning, which goes against running a decent, up-front Government, and I am making this political decision". He did not, Mr. Speaker. He fumbled and fiddled around for days attempting to justify how he knew better than all of the advisers regarding the maintenance contract for the CF-18s. Of course, western Canada lost that contract.

We also remember that not long ago Preston Manning decided that he needed to found a new political Party in the West because the Conservatives had let westerners down. They had sent a lot of Conservatives to Parliament to reverse the dastardly deeds that Liberals had been doing to western Canadians for so many years. What is the record, Mr. Speaker? When he formed the Reform Party, a western

April 29, 1988

Canadian Party, Preston Manning stated that the situation has actually worsened under the Mulroney Government.

Then a few weeks ago the Premier from British Columbia indicated that he had had enough; British Columbians were fed up with always getting the short end of the stick, always getting short shrift, being left out of federal government programs, and never getting their fair share. The Premier went on to explain that British Columbia represents a major portion of the Canadian population. It pays in excess of $11 billion annually to the federal coffers in terms of corporate and personal income tax. The number of federal government contracts and supply and service contracts were almost infinitesimal.

Earlier this week people representing the printing industry in British Columbia came to lobby. They stated that although British Columbia has almost 11 per cent of the population, it received less than 1 per cent of all of the federal government printing contracts. In other words, the lion's share of printing federal government brochures and of all printing that the federal Government does goes to central Canadian printers. The representatives of the printers stated that they wanted to get their fair share, and 1 per cent is not a fair share to British Columbia.

I could go on and on about others from western Canada who have registered their disappointment and disillusionment of the West not receiving its fair share.

The federal Government then decided to set up the western development office with a western development fund of $1.2 billion over five years, which comes to about $60 million per province per year. This was going to be the major government initiative to diversify the western economy.

The first announcement made was that the money required to develop South Moresby Park, $79 million, would be coming from the Western Diversification Fund rather than the Policy Revenue Fund from where money normally comes to develop a national park. A few days later another announcement was made. The funding for the Salmonid Enhancement Program for British Columbia, $53.7 million, would not come from the fisheries budget, from where one would normally expect it to come, but from the Western Diversification Fund as well. That is British Columbia taken care of for two or three years. It is like a shell game-now you see it, now you don't.

I decided that it was time to do a little research to find out what the situation was. I listened to one of the cabinet Ministers, the Minister of State for Grains and Oilseeds (Mr. Mayer) from Manitoba, who said with regard to the Western Development Fund:

It sounds like a lot of money, but in the over-all scheme of things it is not

that great.

That was a Minister of the Crown saying that the amount of funds is not that great.

Western Economic Diversification Act

I noticed that the Hon. Member for Edmonton-Strathcona (Mr. Kilgour) spoke to the Rotary Club just after the announcement was made and was quoted in the Edmonton Journal as saying:

The recently announced western diversification strategy,... is certainly a

modest step in the right direction-but certainly inadequate in its funding.

One of the most outspoken western Members of Parliament has said that it is inadequate.

Two days after the announcement The Financial Post said that there is no doubt whatever the potential contribution of Ottawa's western diversification initiative is truly piddling. The Financial Post called the amount of money piddling in terms of western diversification.

One of the senior officers of the Western Diversification Office, whose name I will not mention because it would not be fair to him, said on the public record that the fund is not all that big when you look at the amount of capital.

I could go on with a whole list of people who are members of the Cabinet, members of the Government, or senior officials in economic development portfolios for the federal Government, saying that this is an inadequate amount of funds to do anything. However, that is a little too close to the Government.

Let us go to one of the spokespersons for small and mediumsized business in Canada. Mr. John Bulloch heads up the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. He put out a report from which I will read only two or three things, because that is all I have time for. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said that the Western Development Fund "is a political slush fund to support vulnerable constituencies".

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business calls it a political slush fund. Good for John Bulloch for having the courage to speak out and call it what it is. He went on to say that it is also a "bureaucratic slush fund available for other line Departments of the Ministers to raid in lieu of other national programs that should have their fair share spent in the West". It is a slush fund for the politicians and for the bureaucrats.

He went on to say that it is a "narrow and highly concentrated centralized approach to diversification".

There is no grass roots involvement; it does not involve the people. A few bureaucrats headquartered in Edmonton will be making the decisions on western diversification based on political slush.

Mr. Bulloch went on to say that the Western Diversification Office was "a confusing black box lacking clear criteria or policy direction, and on a collision course with a myriad of client groups who are inevitably going to see thousands of applications rejected and thousands of hopes dashed".

I hate to say it, Mr. Speaker, but that is what has happened. In my own constituency there is a group called the Thompson

April 29, 1988

Western Economic Diversification Act

Nicola Manufacturers Association representing 500 manufacturing enterprises in the Kamloops region. They are struggling to co-ordinate organizations and represent manufacturers wanting to expand their operations. They went to the Western Diversification Fund and requested a paltry $40,000 per year for the next two years. They said that within two years their income from marketing royalties and software sales would be sufficient to ensure their ongoing financial independence.

Did the Western Diversification Fund support the Thompson Nicola Manufacturers Association to diversify the economy of central British Columbia to the tune of $40,000 a year for two years? No. It was rejected. I guess we should be asking the Ghermezian brothers to apply for us because they obviously have the right connections. They can get $5 million to build Fantasyland in Edmonton, but we cannot get $40,000 to expand a manufacturing base in western Canada.

Let us go on. Let us look at the facts. We have heard a lot of rhetoric and a lot of flim-flam and shell games. Let us look at the facts with regard to industrial assistance between September, 1984, and March, 1986, the last period for which we have good data. Over that period of time British Columbia received $47 million, Saskatchewan received $18 million, Alberta received $16 million, and Manitoba received $13 million, for a total of $111 million. In the same time frame Ontario received $260 million and Quebec received $430 million.

Once again the West did not get its fair share. We are not saying that Quebec should not get that amount of money or that Ontario should not get that kind of industrial assistance support. However, we are saying that the West should get its fair share; nothing more, just its fair share. However, it is not getting its fair share.

Let us refer back to the report which the Canadian Federation of Independent Business put together for parliamentarians. They talked about procurement, the fancy word for the federal Government buying things from western Canada. They said that with 11.4 per cent of the population, British Columbia received only 3.6 per cent of federal government procurement. Alberta won only 3.6 per cent of the contract even though it has 9.3 per cent of the Canadian population. Saskatchewan has 4 per cent of the population and gets only 1 per cent of government contracts, and Manitoba has 4.2 per cent of the population of Canada and gets only 2.8 per cent of the contracts. However, Ontario and Quebec together receive 76 per cent of all government contracts.

The source of this is not a partisan research division. It is the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in a report dated April 12, 1988, which points out that government supply and service comes overwhelmingly from central Canada.

Let us go on and look at Employment and Immigration. The Estimates indicate that last year the Department of Employment and Immigration spent $479 million in the West. Next year Employment and Immigration will spend $339 million in the West. That is a net reduction of nearly $140 million. At a time when the West is struggling to play its rightful role in the

Canadian economy, rather than providing support or even maintaining support the federal Government is cutting back on employment funds for western Canada.

Let us look, for example, at all supply and service purchases from western Canada. In the early 1960s, before the present Government took office, the federal Government purchased about 16 per cent of all its supplies from western Canada. When the Government of the present Prime Minister was elected in 1984 that had fallen to 13.9 per cent. In 1985 that had fallen to 12.8 per cent, and in the past year it fell to 11.5 per cent. There are the facts in black and white. Under this Conservative Government procurement in western Canada has actually decreased every year.

The West has 28 per cent of the population, and when we are told that the Government only purchases 11.5 per cent of its supplies from western Canada we get angry and upset. That is why western Canadians are telling the Government that we have had enough.

Let us go on. I have piles of material here which indicate that in virtually every Department the West is getting shafted, the West is getting the short shrift, the West is getting the short end of the stick.

With regard to service contracts I will compare, for example, Ontario and British Columbia. British Columbia is representative of any of the four western provinces. The information indicates that in 1986-87, the most recent year for which we have data, Ontario received $206 million in service contracts and British Columbia received $21 million in service contracts. When you consider the population of Ontario and British Columbia, you realize that there is no way British Columbia should get such an infinitesimal amount of contracts in terms of money.

Ontario received $138 million worth of goods and services contracts while B.C. received $15 million in contracts. When one adds up all the different contracts, including industrial cooperation, equipment contracts, goods contracts and service contracts, Ontario received $360 million worth in the last year while B.C. received $41 million. This is more evidence to indicate that British Columbia, like all western provinces, has to receive what it ought to receive in terms of federal Government investment in developing economic infrastructure.

I have already talked about the CF-18 contract. I have not mentioned the gas taxes that keep rising by one, two, or three cents a litre. It is westerners who are hurt the most by an increase in transportation cost. Westerners must travel over vast distances not only in terms of moving goods but for personal transportation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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PC

Bernard Valcourt (Minister of State (Indian Affairs and Northern Development); Minister of State (Small Businesses and Tourism))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valcourt:

What about farmers?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

What about interest rate policy? The Governor of the Bank of Canada says that high interest rates are required to dampen the fires of inflation in Ontario. What about the

April 29, 1988

West? There are no fires of inflation in the West. Inflation is extremely low in the West, because many areas still face severe economic depression. The interest rate policy of the Government discriminates against western Canadian enterprises and western Canadian consumers.

Let us consider flow-through shares. 1 give credit to an Hon. Member from Calgary who earlier today stood in her place, as others have, to say that the Government must change its attitude about flow-through shares.

The flow-through share mechanism allowed small and medium sized resource companies in Canada, particularly in western Canada, to obtain the necessary capital to expand and explore for more deposits. It created tens of thousands of jobs in the most remote areas of Canada.

However, it did not create many jobs in downtown Toronto or in the heart of the cities. The Government proceeded to gut this program that was assisting western Canada. The prospectors, placer miners, the smaller junior mining companies and oil companies are on bended knee asking for a chance in western Canada. The Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson) simply tells them that the Government has decided to do away with this program that provides so many benefits to junior oil and mining companies in western Canada.

It came to my attention recently that while there will be the Western Diversification Fund in western Canada, and a new agency in Atlantic Canada, the new Department of Industry, Science and Technology retains the regional development responsibilities for Ontario and Quebec. This new, dynamic division of the Government will be responsible for regional economic development in Ontario and Quebec. Will that not give an advantage to central Canada? Will it not have the automatic advantage of putting all these government programs and Departments at their disposal for industrial and economic development?

Will the Western Diversification Office play a co-ordinating role in light of the absolute failure of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion in terms of co-ordination? The Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Mining simply continued programs while ignoring the programs of DREE.

We in the West need an office that will play an advocacy role and will ensure that an issue like the airbus contract will be carefully considered in order to ensure that anything that is done with Air Canada will benefit western Canada. That is what is required.

I realize that my time has expired. My colleagues will have much more to say about this subject. We recognize that there is potential for the Western Diversification Office. It could play a significant role, but it lacks capital and it lacks a mandate.

As Mr. Bulloch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business calls it, it is a black box. We do not know what it does or what are its terms of reference. That must be changed.

Western Economic Diversification Act

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Steven W. Langdon

New Democratic Party

Mr. Langdon:

Mr. Speaker, I want to raise a question with my distinguished House Leader because I do not want him to be unaware of the fact that many parts of central Canada also suffer from serious economic problems.

My own constituency has a 9 per cent unemployment rate, and parts of northern Ontario have an unemployment rate well above 10 per cent. One must also recognize that there is a tremendous poverty problem within Toronto, as there is in other cities like Edmonton, Vancouver, and Halifax.

Will he indicate the alternatives we are considering for the country after the next election and outline an approach that does not discriminate against the West nor attempt to follow the traditional political rhetoric of blaming central Canada for problems which exist? After all, it is the Conservative Government, not central Canada, that is responsible for the problems the country faces.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Mr. Speaker, my hon. friend, the Hon. Member for Essex-Windsor (Mr. Langdon), is absolutely correct. In examining the economic hardship facing people in the country today, we have been looking at what is happening in western Canada. In the last few days we have been examining the appalling situation that continues to exist in Atlantic Canada.

As the Member so aptly points out, central Canada is also experiencing severe problems, even in the largest cities. When one considers that the largest city in Canada has the distinction of having one of the largest food banks, I think it tells the tale.

There is an obvious solution. It is to have a new Government. A New Democratic Party Government would set itself apart from the others by a simple distinction. At the top of the list of its priorities, the goal it would set out to achieve as one of the wealthiest countries in the world would be full employment and strategies to accomplish that goal.

One of the first steps should be not only to have a goal of full employment; we should set targets for the lowering of inflation and interest rates. We set targets in a whole range of areas. Why not set a target to lower unemployment not only across Canada but in the regions of the country which the Tories have essentially abandoned? They have abandoned the North, the West, the East, and whole regions of central Canada. Once we start setting a goal of full employment and putting in place strategies to accomplish that goal, once we start setting targets to reduce unemployment, we will be able to make real inroads into reducing the number of jobless and getting economic development back on track where it belongs.

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Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
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PC

Ted William Schellenberg

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Schellenberg:

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the politically motivated diatribe of my colleague, the Hon. Member for Kamloops-Shuswap (Mr. Riis), and I must confess that over the course of his 20-minute speech I had to smile. As a western Canadian I remember full well that his Party was the Party which supported a federal Government

April 29, 1988

Western Economic Diversification Act

that for years, if not decades, excluded western Canada from its fair share of federal government programs.

In 1984 the Canadian voters in western Canada got the groom by reducing the western representation in the Liberal Party, but we did not get the bride. We reduced her effect, but we will get her in 1988 or 1989.

What we are hearing today is this born again interest in western Canada of the New Democratic Party, the Party that supported the Liberal Party of Canada. The Hon. Member talked about percentages in his speech. He said that British Columbia, having 10 per cent of Canada's population, was receiving 10 per cent or less of some federal government programs, not quite a proportionate share, in some cases.

I understand his argument, but is he suggesting that the sword cut both ways? The Government initiated $1 billion in reforestation funding, of which 30 per cent goes to British Columbia. Should that 30 per cent be reduced to 10 per cent? B.C. sends 30 per cent of unsolicited proposals to the Department of Supply and Services. Should that be reduced to 10 per cent, as well? How about the world's largest ice-breaker commissioned by the Government, $500 million worth? Should we build 10 per cent of that in British Columbia?

What about Phase II of the Salmonid Enhancement Program of $200 million? Should British Columbia only get 10 per cent of that? Is that what the Hon. Member wants, or is he just being selective with his figures? Is he suggesting that British Columbia be restricted to 10 per cent of all federal government programs, that all federal government funding be proportioned according to population, or is he simply having fun with figures this afternoon?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the Hon. Member refer to the forest industry. I would think he would be embarrassed to refer to the forest industry, because his Government promised the people of British Columbia, indeed the people of Canada, that if elected it would put in place a full ministry of forests. The Tories failed to do that. Once again, another lie to the people of Canada. They broke another promise because they quite clearly said this was a priority. They are four years into office and we still have not seen this promise delivered. Again I say, another broken promise or even a lie.

Where is the Polar 8? We have heard some announcements, but the action is not there. The Hon. Member asks if British Columbia or the West should have its fair share? Not only should the west have its fair share but, for the next number of years-perhaps even for a two-year or three-year period- could we not have a program called economic affirmative action? Every Canadian understands that the West has been short-changed right from the very beginning. For the next few years, let us have not only a fair share but perhaps even a little more to allow, for instance, the manufacturing sector to be buoyed up. The printers in British Columbia came to Ottawa the other day asking for a fair share.

We are talking about regional industrial support and encouragement. Under the trade deal with the United States that will be impossible. That is what the Hon. Member is suggesting. He advocates, on the one hand, a free trade deal with the United States knowing full well that the minute it is signed regional development programs to support the West will be pulled right away. In other words, he wants to impoverish westerners and discriminate against western Canadians in terms of economic development.

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Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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NDP

Jack Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harris:

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the House Leader of the New Democratic Party in this debate. As a Member of Parliament from the far eastern part of Canada, I want to put on the record that Atlantic Canadian New Democrats also support regional development in western Canada. I know the Deputy House Leader spoke out Wednesday against people from Ontario who supported regional development in Atlantic Canada.

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Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
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PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Minister of State (Government House Leader); Minister of State (Treasury Board))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lewis:

That's nonsense.

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NDP

Jack Harris

New Democratic Party

Mr. Harris:

I know the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Crosbie) attacked the Hon. Member for Hamilton Mountain (Ms. Dewar) for supporting regional development in Atlantic Canada, but I want to put on record that I support regional development in western Canada as well.

Would the Hon. Member care to comment on the attitude the Government seems to have about the fact that only people from eastern Canada can talk about eastern regional development and only people from western Canada can talk about western regional development?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Mr. Speaker, we have heard comments in this House that only can be called regional racism. It was a very sad day when a leader for the government benches felt it was appropriate that debate on an issue of particular interest to Atlantic Canada, be restricted to only Members from Atlantic Canada. I think it should be made clear that those who represent the New Democratic Party represent all Canadians. We represent northerners, easterners, westerners, and people from central Canada. I do not apologize for that. I do not apologize for being part of a Party which cares about Canadians no matter where they live.

I realize the Conservatives have regional interests, that they come from a particular region and do not care about another particular region, but I am proud to be part of a Party that puts Canadians first no matter where they happen to live.

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PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jim Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to know where to begin. Perhaps I will pick up on the last exchange which so clearly identifies the two sides to the New Democratic personality. Those Members talk about people from all across Canada and not being afraid to stand up and talk on behalf of all Canadians. No one in this Chamber in the last nine years has fought more often than I

April 29, 1988

have to ensure that all Canadians are first-class Canadians no matter where they live.

Members of the New Democratic Party go on about the need to talk, and all of us have to have a 24-hour memory. Yesterday afternoon at between three o'clock and five o'clock when we could have been talking about western diversification, we spent one quarter of a million dollars of taxpayers' money bobbing up and down in the Chamber, getting exercise every six minutes when we stood to vote, instead of talking about western diversification.

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NDP

James Ross Fulton

New Democratic Party

Mr. Fulton:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The point the Hon Member just put on the record is categorically false. There were 133 Tories missing from Parliament.

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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:

Could I please ask all Members to be relevant to the Bill. Thank you very much.

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PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

Mr. Speaker, there is a parliamentary tradition that goes back over centuries. We have evolved our right to freedom of speech. We have evolved principles to stop the tyranny of the majority, but we have also evolved principles to stop the tyranny of the minority. The New Democratic Party, aided and abetted by the Liberal Party of Canada, this week stalled support for victims of crime. They have stopped perhaps the most significant environmental Bill in 25 years, a Bill that was given over 100 amendments in committee and more in the House of Commons at report stage. This Bill needs to be in place to protect the health, environment and heritage of Canadians. That is what they have done this week. Then, when we brought on the Bill today to help western Canada we get a filibuster, and political gamesmanship-

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NDP

Pauline Jewett

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jewett:

Who is filibustering now?

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PC

Frederick James (Jim) Hawkes (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

There is a place for tactics of filibuster, that is, with respect to matters of fundamental principle.

I remember sitting in this place in 1980 when a constitutional proposal was brought forward and the Government of the day with its majority tried to ram it through. It was legitimate to use every rule of this Chamber because the principle was so fundamental to the future of our nation-

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April 29, 1988