December 16, 1988

?

An Hon. Member:

For 20 years!

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PC

Vincent Della Noce (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Della Noce:

So, if we had to raise taxes ... I see the Minister of Finance in front of me. Were it not for him, the price of heating oil would be even lower. Perhaps the price of gasoline would be lower still. Gasoline costs 9 cents a litre today. The rest is tax.

Although our Minister had to tax gasoline, it still costs half as much as in 1982. That is something. Of course, no one likes taxes. No one, no politician can afford to try to get elected by increasing taxes.

But even while he raised taxes, this Minister managed to lower prices because he had a good policy. This Minister should have a statue in front of the door here. He has been Minister of Finance for four years and it

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has been wonderful. So this Minister should have a statue next to John Diefenbaker outside.

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?

An Hon. Member:

It would be Michael Wilson!

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PC

Vincent Della Noce (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Della Noce:

Yes, sir! Nothing like it has ever been seen.

We are talking about the motion, Mr. Speaker. If it is in the book, it means we are entitled to use it. Look, it is like giving a policeman a revolver and then telling him not to use it. Come on! It is in the Standing Orders. We can use it. Others have used it before. It is a matter of using it reasonably, at the right time.

Mr. Speaker, I say that we have been elected by the people. Even if the same people who shout in front said: [English]

Let the people decide. Well, guys, the people have already decided.

It is clear, as the Liberal Party's great slogan goes. It is clear.

Yes, it is clear, all right! There you have it.

Stay there for another four years and we will see what we will do with those guys afterwards.

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NDP
PC

Vincent Della Noce (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Della Noce:

And when I hear my .. .

You are pretty, Madam, with your blue dress, but you are not in the right party. You are a socialist.

When I heard the leader, the House leader who has left, my friend the House leader say that if the Prime Minister of Canada had confidence in this approach with the Americans, why would he not call an election. You were spoiled. It is done! Do you want us to call another election?

That was the phrase the Leader of the Liberal Party had. We have 10 pages of his quotes. "I will stand by the people's judgment." The people have decided. Why do you not stand by their judgment, Mr. Leader of the Official Opposition? Why not let Canadians decide the matter? They decided it where I come from, 61 per cent in favour. That is clear. That is easy to understand. It does not take a chartered accountant to understand that. Even if we combine the votes for the NDP and the Liberals in my riding, they still have only 35 per cent. So they would still have to double their numbers. Even if I gave them 20,000 more, they would still be behind. Would you believe it?

December 16, 1988

Extension of Sittings

Let the people decide, and they did decide yes, and we have to do something about it because in my area there are people already doing business with the United States and they are very happy about it. They want to continue and do more business. In my area there are people who are doing some sort of secret military pieces for the U.S. Defense Department. For example, in my area-

-Quebeckers. You will never be able to compete with the Americans. We are being disparaged, run down as unable to compete. Sure we can compete. We already have one up on them. I think of Mr. Peladeau, of Peladeau-Quebecor, one of the greatest businessmen in Quebec. He said: "Only weaklings are afraid of the Americans. Let the Americans come. We do not fear them. We will bring them here." That is the way he talked publicly about them. He said: "I had to get involved in the election campaign because the Liberals make me look as if I were afraid." The first thing that man, Pierre Peladeau, had to do when he started a business, Mr. Speaker, was to sell his mother's piano to get his first printing done.

His mother asked him where was the piano when she returned. He told her he had sold it, that he had started a printing business. That is how Mr. Peladeau got started. Today, he has a turnover of $2 billion. He takes over companies, he operates in the United States. He is not afraid. Quebeckers are not afraid. If they ever were, that was before my time. They are no longer afraid. Stop saying we are unable to compete, that we are afraid. I worked in the United States and did business there. I was a leader back home. I was not afraid of the Americans. They invited me back to make speeches later on. We gave them advice on "how to sell products". If we listened to both Opposition Parties we would say that is not good, we are not able to compete and we will be swallowed whole. That is not true. We can compete.

Our workers have the ability, and if you study the hourly rates, and the trade union activities, and what not, you will see that, give or take 60 cents, we have about the same hourly rates. But as I heard someone say during the campaign, "I have a good union, but I would rather have a good job than a union membership card. 1 have been on strike for six months". And then I saw my good old friend Louis Laberge hugging the NDP leader, like two people in love, while the latter was campaigning in my constituency and posing as a trade-unionist. But

let me remind you of something though. The NDP leader did not solve the Canadair problem. We, in the Progressive Party, did. Mr. Laberge should have been hugging Brian Mulroney. The NDP leader did not put an end to the Bell Canada strike. Mr. Laberge should have hugged the Minister for Labour here.

But, no, he hugged a politician who, to me, is the Bob Hope of politics, because they are what we called funnies. It is funny how they never tell the truth. They are scaring people. They are funnies, they put on a show. But, in my constituency, people need more than a show to live. They need money. Those people have to live, to eat, and they want some means of transportation. They do not want to pay too much for all of this, and they want a little more, because they are affluent people. They are all in favour of progress, and when they come to see me, we shake hands and say "Progressively yours". Because we always want more. As you know, Mr. Speaker, when I came to this country as an immigrant, my family had nothing. We have never known fear. We had to get rid of fear. When we first got here, we were given the worst jobs possible, jobs nobody else wanted to do. People often claimed that we were stealing jobs from Canadians.

They were wrong, they did not understand then that we had come here to build Canada along with them, and today, I am proud of the community I represent, and I take pride in saying: "Not only have we helped build this country, but we even own part of it, and proudly so". I say come to Montreal, come to Quebec City, and you will find that we lose no time in parades, marching away to the call of union leaders and for organized workers. We were in the ditch when we first arrived but we worked hard and succeeded, and today, we feel content.

Being a Canadian is a privilege, so my colleagues and fellow citizens tell me. It is truly a privilege, indeed, to be a Canadian. They were insulted to see people being admitted into Canada without having to wait in line as we had to do, for immigration admission. Today, we now are thankful to Canada for accepting us and giving us a break. I know I am speaking in the name of all Canadians of Italian background and other ethnic groups. Our message is now: "We want a little more. We are not afraid, we like it, we know what pleasure is all about and we request a little more. Give us free trade and we will go to our large customers, our friends next door, and enter the biggest market in the world".

December 16, 1988

Mr. Speaker, I wish to call your attention to Italy, my home country. Before becoming part of the Common Market, Italy was called la pecora che zoppica, in other words, the lame sheep. However, since joining the Common Market, it ranks fourth only behind Japan, the United States and West Germany; it is now the fourth best producing country in the world, after West Germany, Japan and the US. This is not bad, as you know. It is like being second to Wayne Gretzky; you are a pretty good hockey player when you are second only to Wayne Gretzky. And you are not only good, you are the best. Or second to Mario Lemieux who, incidentally, played in Laval, in my riding. He is a product of my riding. My colleague for Prescott-Russell. . .

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LIB
PC

Vincent Della Noce (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Della Noce:

... for Glengarry-Prescott-

Russell (Mr. Boudria) will know that Michael Bossy and Mario Lemieux are both from Laval, more precisely from Saint-Vincent-de-Paul-Duvernay, in the Province of Quebec.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to end my remarks by telling my constituents ...

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LIB
PC

Vincent Della Noce (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Della Noce:

I know that my colleague from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell will miss me, but it doesn't matter because his friend will be back soon and we will be able to discuss this further. It is serious business; we have to get out of here with free trade because that is why my constituents elected me with a 61 per cent majority. It is more than ...

Let the people decide. The people have already decided. They want it and they want it badly.

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NDP

Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, at the outset, as a new Member in this House, I want to make it clear to Members on the other side, after some of the comments made by the previous speaker, that I am proud to be a New Democrat. I am proud of the Party I represent. I am proud to be here in this House representing the men and women of New Westminster-Burnaby, British Columbia as a Democrat. I am also very proud to follow in the tradition of other great New Democrats like Stuart Leggatt, who represented my riding, and Pauline Jewett, who was here in this House before me.

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As a new Member for New Westminster-Burnaby, I share with new Members on both sides of this House a responsibility to the men and women who have elected me. The men and women from my constituency have entrusted in me their confidence to represent their interests here in this Parliament of Canada. It has been a difficult week for all of us, more difficult perhaps for some of us who have managed to have accidents. Perhaps it has been most difficult for the 126 new Members who have had to contend with a number of new experiences as they come here to Ottawa. It has been difficult to find office staff and to get set up, to get installed in our office. It has also been difficult to try to learn the rules of this House. So it is with a sense of sadness that I watch the Government opposite attempt to change those rules that we are all trying to learn right now.

1 listened to the Members on the Government side tell us that the debate on the trade deal has already taken place. However, I would remind Government Members that this is a new Parliament. There are new Members here who have not had an opportunity to debate this major economic change, or economic disaster, for Canada.

During the election campaign, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) promised Canadians that social programs would not be threatened under this deal. He promised Canadians that there would be no threat to the protection of our environment. He promised that regional development programs were not threatened. But a majority of Canadians are still very concerned. There are amendments that could be introduced to this deal which may ease the deep concerns felt by a majority of Canadians. We have an obligation in this Parliament to address these and other concerns that Canadians have with the trade deal.

Canadian women have a right to know what impact the trade deal will have on them. Many of their questions are still unanswered.

I was elected by the men and women of New Westminster-Burnaby, to represent their interests here. My constituents, in contrast to what the Member opposite said, are overwhelmingly opposed to this deal, as are the majority of the people of British Columbia.

December 16, 1988

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Yesterday, the Minister responsible asked why the Opposition is stalling the passing of the trade deal. As I said earlier, during the election campaign the Conservatives made commitments to the people of Canada. They made commitments on social programs. They made commitments on environmental protection and on regional development programs. These commitments must now be enshrined in the Elouse through this deal.

Democracy does take time. We must take the time to debate this legislation fully and to know that we have brought forward the concerns of our constituents and the concerns of Canadians.

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PC

Gregory Francis Thompson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Greg Thompson (Carleton-Charlotte):

Mr. Speaker, I will ask your indulgence for a degree of latitude as it is my first speech in this magnificent House. I want to thank the people of Carleton-Charlotte for allowing me to take this seat in the House. I am very grateful for their support.

Also, I want to thank the gentleman who preceded me, Fred McCain. He is a man who spent 36 years in elected office, 12 of them here in Ottawa representing the people of Carleton-Charlotte. I know that Members who are in the House today and were here in the last Parliament have a high degree of respect for Mr. McCain and the job he did, not only for his constituents but for the people of Canada. Let me point out to the people of Carleton-Charlotte that that is exactly what I want to do as a Member of Parliament in this House.

The geography of Carleton-Charlotte is unique. It is one of the most diverse ridings in all of Canada. Carleton-Charlotte is situated in southwestern New Brunswick and takes in three Fundy islands in the Bay of Fundy, Campobello, Grand Manan and Deer Island. There are many fishing communities within the riding of Carleton-Charlotte. As we walk through the riding we can go through some of the most famous farm area in our country, which is of course, in Carleton County where the potato belt is perceived as the biggest and best in the country.

Also in our riding is a very high number of forestry workers. They are very hard workers. I believe they deserve the very best from the Government of Canada, and that is what we are debating at the moment. I sincerely believe that the Free Trade Agreement will benefit our riding more than any other riding in Canada.

It is for that reason that the Premier of my province, Premier Frank McKenna, who happens to be on the other side of the political fence, is very supportive of the Free Trade Agreement. He has gone on record in the last number of years as being supportive of that agreement.

He supports that agreement for one very simple reason. It will help the people of New Brunswick. I realize this made it difficult for a number of Liberal candidates in New Brunswick during the past election, but I respect Mr. McKenna in standing up for what he believes and transcending the political barriers, which I think all honourable people in politics have to do from time to time.

When one analyses the arguments we have heard today and in the past number of days, one must ask whether they have really changed significantly from the arguments used in the last Parliament. I believe the arguments have not changed, but are the same and are based on the same shallowness as they were in the last Parliament.

Let us examine what Members of the last Parliament did in relation to the Free Trade Agreement and the hours spent on that agreement. There were 8 days, or 35 hours devoted to debate on supply motions. The External Affairs Committee spent 24 days or 120 hours in debate. It spent four days, a total of 18.5 hours, on Government motions. At second reading there were five days of debate, for a total of 28.5 hours. These debates were on essentially the same agreement.

A total of 16 days, or 87 hours, were spent in legislative committee. At the report stage a total of five days, or 27 hours, were spent in debate.

There was a total of two days or 15.5 hours of debate at third reading. In total there were 64 days of debate, or 331.5 hours on essentially the same Bill. Have the arguments changed since last summer? No, they have not. They are the same arguments and the same scare tactics that we heard on the campaign trail. The campaign is over. The opposition Parties should realize that it is over.

I want to point out to the House some of the statements that were made by the Leaders of the Opposition Parties in relation to this Free Trade Agreement. Let us begin with the Right Hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Turner) who said: "The Government's trade deal with the United States is an issue to be decided by Canadians in Canada, debated by Canadians in Canada". It was.

The Leader of the Opposition said: "I have not requested the Senate to reject the deal". He said: "I have asked the Senate to allow the people of Canada to reject the deal". The people of Canada did not reject the deal. They voted for it, as evidenced in the Government today.

December 16, 1988

The Leader of the Opposition is also on the record on July 21, as saying: "I am ready to stand by the judgment of the people". He said: "Why not let the people decide?" He went on further to say: "Every Canadian is affected by this deal and they have the right to decide. Why does the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada not let the people of Canada decide?" They did decide.

The Globe and Mail quoted the Leader of the Opposition on August 6, 1988, as saying: "Should Canadians decide they want this trade agreement I will accept their direction and ensure speedy passage by the Senate".

It is interesting to note what the Leader of the Opposition said immediately after the election, on November 23, as reported in the Ottawa Citizen. "Liberal Leader John Turner said Tuesday his Party will not block free trade legislation, that people have decided they want the deal. They want the deal, he said. The people are always right, Mr. Turner told a few hundred subdued supporters outside Vancouver." Again, on the 23rd, he said "We let the people decide and the people have decided. As for free trade, Mr. Turner confirmed, as he has said often during the past few weeks and in his speech Monday evening, that he would respect the verdict of the electorate."

"The people have made a declaration, we will therefore let things follow their course," he said on November 23. They have not added anything to this debate nor will they add anything to this debate.

Let us take a look at some of the statements made by Members of the NDP and their Leader. On August 10, 1988, the Leader of the New Democratic Party said: "Go to the people now". The NDP Leader stated on August 31, 1988, again: "Take the trade issue to the voters".

I guess the statement that really means the most and the one that really points out the lack of sincerity on the part of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Broadbent) was the statement made on November 23 by the Leader of the New Democratic Party. He said he has conceded that the anti-free trade forces have been decisively defeated, the Canadian people have taken a decision and the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) certainly has the right to continue with the passage of free trade.

Nothing has changed. The argument is the same and the arguments being used by the Opposition are the

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same. It is almost like we are going through another election campaign right here in the House.

I support the Free Trade Agreement because it is good for Canada. I support it because it is good for New Brunswick. I support it because it is good for my riding of Carleton-Charlotte. Let us get on with the running of the country. Let us get together as Parliamentarians should and hasten the passage of this Bill.

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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Les Benjamin (Regina-Lumsden):

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to take part in this debate, and I must say with certain feeling that since 1968, this is about the sixth time this has happened. Four of the previous times, it happened under Liberal governments.

I sat day after day listening to my colleagues in the Conservative Party condemning the Liberals for doing what the Conservatives are doing now. That only proves something that my Party has been saying for many years. There is no difference. The only difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives, as Tommy Douglas used to say, is that one is in and one is out. Otherwise we cannot tell the difference.

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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

I know, I hope you can.

I want first to congratulate the Speaker and all of those who are helping him fulfil the onerous task of being in the chair. I know you will continue to do a good job as you have done in the past and that you will treat us with whatever we deserve. I want also to welcome and to congratulate the new Members from all Parties.

I listened to every speech of new Member today, either in the House or in my office over television. The new Members from all three Parties, even the ones I thought were 100 per cent wrong, made excellent speeches. Other Members who have been here for a while and should know better spoke, but they were still wrong. I want to say that I am impressed with what new Members who made their maiden speeches today had to say and how they said it, whether or not I agreed with them.

I want to particularly compliment my hon. friend from Kootenay West-Revelstoke (Mr. Kristiansen) who uttered a key word about the mandate, not only of a Government but of a Parliament and the individual members of it. Each one of us individually has a mandate. I want to talk about the mandate that I have and the mandate that my colleagues and members of other Parties have as well.

December 16, 1988

Extension of Sittings

The first thing I want to mention is that all of this was totally unnecessary. No matter how the Government House Leader (Mr. Lewis) handles the Government's business, the Government has the elected right to decide on the order of business. There is no dispute about that. No matter what happens, though, all of us, either individually or collectively, have the right to speak on the mandate under which we are here.

My mandate from my constituents is to get the Government to agree to changes in the legislation that will put into Canadian law, not U.S. law, provisions to protect the people of my constituency and dozens of others in Canada from the bad results of the free trade deal that I and many others think are inevitable. My mandate was to express the views of an obvious majority of my constituents, even the views of those I did not agree with.

I want to say to my hon. friend from Duvernay (Mr. Della Noce) that I listened to his speech and I thought he made an excellent speech. 1 actually enjoyed it, I really did. 1 want to remind my hon. friend, since we are discussing a motion about amending the rules, that before he was born, a countryman of his suspended all the rules of the Parliament in Italy. The Hon. Member should talk to the older members of his family about when that happened. All the rules of a democratic parliament under a monarchy in Italy in the 1920s, before the Hon. Member for Duvernay (Mr. Della Noce) was born, were suspended. I hope he will keep that in mind because no political Party, the Government, the Official Opposition or mine have the right or even a mandate to play fast and loose with the rules of Parliament upon which we have all agreed. I would not hold still even if it were my Party doing this. I promise you that, Mr. Speaker. When you play fast and loose with the rules that have been unanimously agreed upon, you are on a slippery slope to a one-party state and a one-party government. I kid you not. I say that in order to ask my colleagues from all Parties to keep that in mind.

I said at the outset that I have been here on a number of previous occasions since the fall of 1968. I have listened for hours while great Members of the Conservative Party have spoken and have voted against what the Liberals were doing. I had to sit and watch the same spectacle last summer, at what is being done now is even worse. The Liberals are condemning the Conservatives for what the Liberals did before. What a spectacle. I

will not use the words "hypocrisy" because none of us are perfect. None of us are pure.

I can remember when the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Crosbie) came here in a by-election in 1976. I can remember hearing the Tories rail against the then government of the day, a Liberal Government. They said how terrible it was when closure was brought in. My goodness. In the first place I think my hon. friends, and many of them are friends in this House-

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PC
NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

He is a friend too, especially when I argue with him. When I think of my hon. friends in the Government I would like to suggest to them that they did not, I repeat, did not need to suspend the rules or bring in closure. Some of the fault is on the two opposition Parties as well. But none of this needed to happen. Why, Madam Speaker? I will tell you why. It is because there ain't no deadline.

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PC

Benno Friesen (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Immigration)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Friesen:

You would not let us table the Bill.

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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

The hon. gentleman says that we would not let them table the Bill. We could maybe stop the Tories from doing that for a day, if we are lucky. The Member knows that. I have been here longer than my hon. friend. The whole thing was totally unnecessary because the Government could have just said, "Fine. Take all the time you want", or it could have said "you have to the middle or the end of January". So what. There has already, as I understand it, been an exchange of letters between the U.S. administration and the Government of Canada. If the implementation date is not January 1, but January 31, or February 28 or whatever, so what.

The Government might have been smart to let us run out of gas. The trouble is we found out that the government Members are the ones who have the gas and have the gall to suspend the rules. I exert a word of caution. This is dangerous ground on which we are treading.

I want to return to the whole matter of a mandate which my colleague, the Hon. Member for Kootenay West-Revelstoke (Mr. Kristiansen) mentioned. The mandate that I as an individual Member have and my nine other colleagues from Saskatchewan have is not to be totally ignored whether on the majority side or the minority side. We all have to consider why each of us is here. We must not disregard those who are here for different reasons than I am. I have the greatest respect for the mandate of Members on the Government side. I expect nothing more than the same regard and respect for my mandate.

December 16, 1988

Let us not get into the numbers game, and let us not be on the slippery slope of suspending the rules of a democratic parliament. It is not needed. It is not necessary. The Government can get its Bill whether it is next week, a month from now or two months from now. The Government still gets its Bill. Why bother? Why create all this unnecessary, unneeded activity about suspending the rules? If we do not have rules that remain in place, we can suspend rules by unanimous consent. We can make changes. We can do anything we want by unanimous consent. In the years I have been here we have done that many, many times.

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LIB

December 16, 1988