April 29, 1988

PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

And the Budget never came into being. Those poor people got poorer because of the social democratic alliance between two Parties. They joined together to keep people in poverty, to continue to receive government cheques, and to vote for them.

Why do we need a western diversification program in 1988? We need it today because the two social democratic Parties, in alliance, with public policies over time, 17 to 18 years in a row, created a situation, an advantage for certain regions of the country, and a disadvantage for other regions so that they could send out more cheques. This Party believes in sending out more jobs-more jobs for Atlantic Canada, more jobs for western Canada. In three and a half years we have created one and a quarter million new jobs.

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

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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:

Go to Calgary and say that.

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

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

One half a million Canadians are now off the poverty rolls.

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

Marion Dewar

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dewar:

Not in British Columbia.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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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 significantly increased standard of living for seniors in the country, and retired people. That is what this legislation is all about. It is about jobs for friends of Members opposite, their neighbours who live in their neighbourhood in western Canada and who are unemployed today as we do not have policies-

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

Some Hon. Members:

That's right!

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

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

We do not pass legislation that provides the help we need. We listen to bells instead of passing legislation. We get filibuster, filibuster. We do not pass the laws that will help Canadians.

I will make Members an offer right this minute. Do we have unanimous consent to go beyond the normal hours of adjournment after Private Members' Hour to continue this debate and to pass this Bill? Can we have that from the Opposition?

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

Some Hon. Members:

No!

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

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

"No", they say. They say: "We want to help the West". Will they give us unanimous consent to talk? They say that they believe in democracy. They say that they will not go on, that we will not have freedom of speech, and that we will not pass the Bill. They say that they will filibuster and ring the bells.

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:

Go to the people. Let them decide.

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

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hawkes:

The tyranny of this minority cannot continue. There is a will on the government side to pass the Bills that will help the victims of crime, that will help the environment, that will help Atlantic Canada, and that will help western Canada.

For that and many other reasons, but to stop at least a tiny portion of this filibuster and to move this Bill forward one small step, I move:

That this question be now put.

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:

Thanks, Jim, I can make another speech now.

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

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

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

Some Hon. Members:

Debate!

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

The Chair recognizes the Hon. Member for Churchill (Mr. Murphy) on debate.

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

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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

Rodney Edward Murphy (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rod Murphy (Churchill):

Mr. Speaker, in the next 10 minutes I will have a chance to speak on this matter. I find it interesting that the Parliamentary Secretary who got up in the House is the same person who charged the Deputy Speaker many years ago. I find it interesting that he did not respect the procedures of the House of Commons on that late night many years ago when he physically charged the Deputy Speaker. Today in the House 10 minutes prior to the end of debate, he has moved a motion to cut off debate.

One of the problems we have had in the House is that when the Liberals were in government they ignored the minority. The Conservatives in those days used to rise in the House and say that the minority, the opposition Parties were being ignored. They made the claim that there was no chance for debate in the House of Commons; that the Liberals were ignoring the voices of the West, ignoring those who said that Parliament has a right, an obligation, a duty to examine carefully government legislation. Time after time we heard that view expressed by Progressive Conservative Members of Parliament. The very mover of the motion to bring in closure on this measure was so incensed when that happened when he was in Opposition that he, along with other Tory backbenchers at the time, physically charged the Chair.

April 29, 1988

It is interesting that this same Progressive Conservative Member, now sitting on the government benches, puts forward the closure motion in respect of this particular measure. And, immediately upon doing so, he left the Chamber.

There has not been a filibuster in respect of this measure. For that matter, there has hardly been adequate debate on it.

The legislative committee charged with studying Bill C-113 was not allowed to travel to the West in order to hear from those who wished to appear before it. We find that unacceptable. Whether one is talking about the West, the North, or Atlantic Canada, the residents themselves should be heard.

In the case of this particular measure, the committee should have had the opportunity to hear the views and opinions of those living in the West. Those living in the West should have been afforded the opportunity to put before Parliament their ideas, their concepts, their suggestions. Not many are in a position to travel to Ottawa in order to be heard. They have views to offer on community-based development, on cooperative development, on development based upon the resources of a given region.

I know that there are Progressive Conservative Members sitting opposite who recognize this. But they, too, must accept responsibility for the fact that this Progressive Conservative Government would not permit the committee to travel to western Canada in order to discuss with the people of western Canada this particular measure.

I remind Members of the House that the western diversification legislation that we are now discussing is about how to diversify the economy of western Canada. It does not make sense that a decision in respect of the economy of western Canada be made in the cabinet room in Ottawa, based only upon the advice of bureaucrats, most of whom are easterners. That makes no sense. Yet, that is the approach that this Government has taken with regard to Bill C-l 13.

When the Government of the Right Hon. Member for Yellowhead (Mr. Clark) was in power, there was talk of a "community of communities". It was the view of that Government that it was important that we understand that each province is different from its neighbours.

That is not what is happening now. I do not believe that we should pass legislation affecting a given region of this country without going to that region for input. The West is a very large region of this country, and certainly we should not pass Bill C-113 without going to the West and listening to the views of the people. We should have the opportunity to listen to their ideas and suggestions.

One of the problems that we have with Bill C-l 13 is that we have not had that opportunity. As is apparent from what is happening in the House at the present time, this Government, for political reasons, is afraid to go to the West.

Western Economic Diversification Act

At the time that diversification of the economy of Atlantic Canada was the subject, a parliamentary committee did travel throughout that region gathering input from the residents. But this Government, for political reasons, was afraid to have the legislative committee travel from place to place in western Canada for the purpose of receiving input in relation to Bill C-113. This Government was afraid that the remarks of the Hon. Member for Edmonton-Strathcona (Mr. Kilgour) would be remembered; it was afraid that past remarks of Progressive Conservative Members of Parliament would be thrown back at them; it was afraid that the people of the West would not accept the political propaganda of this Government and its legislation.

Bill C-l 13 would provide money for the West, but it does so in such a manner that the main purpose is not the development of the West, or the diversification of the West, but the realization of the maximum political benefit for the Progressive Conservative Party. That is the aim in respect of each and every project announced by this Government for western Canada.

To give an example, the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Epp), the "political" Minister for the Province of Manitoba, made the claim, in Manitoba, that the ideas for western diversification of the then Government of Manitoba, the New Democratic Government, were unworthy; but, in the same breath, he said that some would be approved before the election campaign in Manitoba had concluded. On the one hand, he criticized the projects; on the other hand, he recognized that the western diversification pool of money could be used as a political tool, with money being allocated to Manitoba prior to the Manitoba election campaign being concluded.

That type of thinking is what westerners used to complain about when the Liberals were in power in this country. The criterion was not whether a project was good or bad but whether it had political benefit. We have seen that time after time in this country. Last weekend, we had the Minister of National Health and Welfare travelling to my riding to announce a $88.5 million water and sewage program for native communities. Certainly it is a worthy project. The irony, however, is that the previous Liberal Government, in the opening days of the 1984 election campaign, announced the very same project. That was a project that involved the same communities, though a little less money. The $88.5 million figure no doubt reflects the effect of inflation from 1984 to the present.

What we have here is a worth while project which has been ignored between elections. It was promised during the 1984 election campaign by the Liberals, and now, four years later, during a provincial election, the same project is announced by the federal Progressive Conservative Government.

That is but just one example of what is wrong with the approach taken by this Government. There are good projects being suggested in all of the western provinces. We have community-based groups in the West who know best what can

April 29, 1988

Property Rights

be done within their own communities. We have people with ideas. But, the central political decision-making process, a process which ignores the communities, which ignores the development corporations in the West, creates a problem. We do not want a repeat of the bad old days of the Liberals and the way they did things. We want new ideas.

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that it is two o'clock. I will be here on Monday to continue the debate, assuming the Government call for a continuation of the debate at that time.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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April 29, 1988