August 17, 1988

WESTERN DIVERSIFICATION PROGRAM

NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Birds Hill):

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was careful once again not to say that he would promote the Province of Manitoba as a site for an aluminum smelter.

The Prime Minister continues to maintain, as the Minister did yesterday, that there has been no proposal from Manitoba. This is not a proposal that Premier Filmon has to resurrect. It is a proposal that was made to the Government in the form of the Manitoba Government's submission with respect to the Western Diversification Program, for instance, within the last year, and no answer was ever received from this Government with respect to that proposal until we heard from the Prime Minister in Quebec just the other day.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   WESTERN DIVERSIFICATION PROGRAM
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PC

William Hunter (Bill) McKnight (Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Bill McKnight (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Minister for Western Economic Diversification):

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to be given an opportunity to correct the record. As the Hon. Member for Winnipeg-Birds Hill points out, it was a proposal that was put forward by the previous New Democratic Government of Manitoba. It was one line on a 19-page document that totalled over a $1 billion request to the Government of Canada for assistance to that provincial Government at that time, including municipal roads, support for all university programs, as well as almost every election commitment made by the New Democrats and unfulfilled over the last elections.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   WESTERN DIVERSIFICATION PROGRAM
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   WESTERN DIVERSIFICATION PROGRAM
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PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION

NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Birds Hill):

Mr. Speaker, we have heard that line before. However, Manitobans know and statistics prove that we have been getting the short end of the stick with respect to the Western Diversification Program for a long time. It has not changed under the current Progressive Conservative Government of Manitoba. Manitoba continues to be done in by this Government.

Oral Questions

I go back to the Prime Minister because I notice he was reluctant to get up a second time. We still have not a commitment from the Prime Minister with respect to the so-called level playing field. We have not a commitment from the Minister or an explanation as to why, on the same day he talked about a level playing field, he released a report which states that the prospects in Manitoba are not as good as they are in Quebec, with no explanation. What was the intention of this, to reinforce the Prime Minister's already predetermined political decision that Quebec and not Manitoba would be favoured for such a smelter?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, we are hearing increasingly disturbing statements by the New Democrats and the Liberal Party critic. I have just come back from a disadvantaged region. Premier Bourassa and myself, reacting to a proposal by an international consortium, quite simply indicated that we favoured Sept-Iles as a potential site for the new plant. Now the Liberals and the New Democrats in the House of Commons apparently want to raise all kinds of concerns about the nature of the project, thereby harming not only Quebec's interests but also the interests of Manitobans. There is no connection between the proposal for Quebec and the project being proposed for Manitoba. The New Democrats and the Liberals seem to think we have to choose between the two, and that if there is one in Quebec, we can't have another one in Manitoba. That is absolutely false. We can have both a fair deal for Quebecers and a fair deal for Manitobans. That is something the Liberals have never understood!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRIME MINISTER'S POSITION
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CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT

LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Mr. Don Boudria (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell):

Mr. Speaker, my question is addressed to the Prime Minister. It concerns the Government's futile and expensive advertising campaign to con Canadian taxpayers into supporting the free trade deal.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Mr. Boudria:

I have in hand a copy of a newspaper advertisement in which a Winnipeg business woman, Ms. Meghan Grey, is depicted as supporting the Prime Minister's trade deal.

Given that Ms. Grey said in an interview, and I quote: "I still haven't made up my mind. But people who see the ad might think I'm pro free trade, and that isn't the case". Will the Prime Minister immediately order a withdrawal of this ad? Will he apologize to Ms. Grey and to all Canadians who have

August 17, 1988

Oral Questions

been so misled? Will he do what he suggested himself a while ago, tell the truth to Canadians?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, the ad in question is an ad that does not advocate free trade. It is an ad that states: "Free trade. We're getting ready now."

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Crosbie:

The person in the ad describes how they are getting ready for free trade. Then, in the advertisement, more information is available on the free trade agreement, and it gives where one can call toll-free. It is an ad of the Government of Canada.

With respect to the young business woman in question, she has not said that she is displeased with this ad. She has confirmed that she has agreed to further use of the same ad featuring her in other publications. She was never asked to endorse the free trade agreement. She was asked to tell other Canadians how her firm was preparing to take advantage of the opportunities created by the FTA. She knew in advance that the ads were sponsored by the Government. She approved the copy of the ad before it appeared.

We are very happy with the publicity we are getting from this because the truth is coming out, despite the best efforts of the hon. gentleman in the Official Opposition and his Leader who had to be admonished by the Winnipeg Free Press to occasionally tell the truth, and the NDP.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Mr. Boudria:

Mr. Speaker, the Minister says that this ad is not designed to promote free trade. It states: "Canadians are getting ready for free trade. The Government of Canada is there to help."

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Mr. Boudria:

What is that if it is not promotion? [Translation]

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADA-UNITED STATES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT-NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENT
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REQUEST FOR GENERAL ELECTION

LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Mr. Don Boudria (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell):

I would like to put my supplementary to the Prime Minister. Mr. Speaker, this is the second time in two days that the Government has been caught with its pants down. Yesterday, $6.3 million were spent to influence public opinion after a negative poll, and today we have advertisements that are completely false. I want to ask the Conservative Government when the Prime Minister and his Govennment will be frank and honest with Canadians on this issue. When will he call an election?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GENERAL ELECTION
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PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, the advertisement in question states: "Free trade. We're getting ready now". The Canadian business community, small, medium, and larger businesses, are trying to get ready

for the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement which holds out great possibilities for them, for those who work for them, and for their suppliers. However, they are prevented from getting ready by the Leader of the Opposition and his threat to use the Senate, and by the obstructive tactics of the opposition Parties.

Finally, with respect to this Member, let me just tell him that truth does not lurk in rat holes.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GENERAL ELECTION
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August 17, 1988