February 18, 1993

OFFICIAL REPORT

THIRD SESSION-THIRTY-FOURTH PARLIAMENT


42 Elizabeth II


VOLUME XIII, 1993 COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1993 TO THE TWENTY-THIRD DAY OF MARCH, 1993 INDEX ISSUED IN A SEPARATE VOLUME


Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons by the Queen's Printer for Canada Available from Canadian Communication Group- Publishing, Supply and Services Canada, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0S9.



Thursday, February 18, 1993



Prayers


ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS

PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to six petitions.

[Editor's Note: See today's Votes and Proceedings.]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS
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65TH REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE


PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

Madam Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the chairman of the Standing Committee on House Management, today I have the honour to present the 65th report of the Standing Committee on House Management regarding the question of privilege referred to the committee on December 4, 1992.

[Editor's Note: See today's Votes and Proceedings.]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS
Sub-subtopic:   HOUSE MANAGEMENT
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QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER

PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons):

Madam Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

Shall all questions stand?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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GOVERNMENT ORDERS

GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES RESTRAINT ACT, 1993 NO. 2 MEASURE TO ENACT

PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance) moved

that Bill C-113, an act to provide for government expenditure restraint, be now read the second time and referred to a legislative committee in the Human Resources envelope. He said: Madam Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to lead off the debate on second reading of Bill C-113, an act to provide for government expenditure restraint.

A new bill was required because parliamentary practice would not permit us to make the clarifications which we desire to the former bill, Bill C-105.

Bill C-113 seeks to implement a number of expenditure restraint measures which I announced in the economic and fiscal statement tabled in the House last December and supersedes Bill C-105 through the clarification of provisions in respect essentially of changes to the Unemployment Insurance Act.

These measures are essential in our work to contain the deficit and to maintain an environment that supports economic growth and increased employment. These are the goals, very specifically of this government, jobs and growth.

These are the goals and objectives that underlie the philosophy of this government. These are the goals of the policies and programs that we have brought forward to the House of Commons for the Canadian people that underlie the basic thrust of our government's initiative.

February 18, 1993

Government Orders

Before I describe these measures, I want to note some very encouraging signs that are appearing that give us clear hope for a durable and sustained recovery.

Just this morning we were given by Statistics Canada the latest Canada merchandise trade figures for 1992 and, as my hon. Liberal colleague across the way just indicated, they are very impressive figures indeed.

Exports have reached a record high annual level of $157.5 billion. This was an 11 per cent increase over 1991 and the largest year over year increase since 1984.

Our exports to the United States reached a record high level of $122.3 billion, $14.7 billion more than in 1991, and about $20 billion more than in 1988, the year prior to the free trade agreement.

Canada's merchandise trade balance with the United States reached $17.7 billion, the highest since 1985 and $3.9 billion higher than 1988.

That clearly means that the policies we have been following are indeed working. The policies of restructuring, the policies of enhanced productivity, the policies of the GST which have made Canadian exporters, particularly manufacturers, more competitive, the policies of tax reform, the policies of expenditure restraint, the budgetary measures, the measures that we took in terms of improving the capital cost allowance for the manufacturing and processing sector, all of these things are starting to take hold.

What is more is that on February 16 we had the latest monthly survey of manufacturing statistics. Elere again is some good news for my hon. friend from across the way. Shipments experienced a strong recovery in the second half of 1992, increasing at an annual rate of 17.2 per cent since July. This really means that some of the things that we incorporated in the budget of February 1992 are starting to take hold. The fundamental philosophy of this government is indeed working, preparing Canadians to take advantage of a globalized economy and to take advantage of the competitiveness out there and meeting that competitiveness.

It should come as no surprise to my friends across the way that employment too has improved. Employment has risen in eight of the last nine months with full-time employment up 35,000 in January, bringing the cumulative gain since August to 161,000. That is clear progress.

I know my hon. friends across the way do not like good news. They are the preachers and they are the advocates of gloom and doom. There is some good news. It is not a tribute to them, but it is a tribute to the Canadian people, to small business and to the entrepreneurs. They are taking advantage of the kinds of policies that they know are needed in order to improve their competitiveness and to compete in a global economy.

The government's efforts to bring down inflation have too borne fruit. The inflation rate for 1992 was 1.5 per cent, the lowest in 30 years. That has an impact upon prices. It has an impact upon unit cost. It has an impact upon interest rates, all in a very positive way. As a result, interest rates have come down significantly. Today's 6.75 per cent prime rate is 300 basis points lower than its November peak.

As I indicated, labour productivity has grown strongly at 2.6 per cent for the first three quarters of 1992.

With housing starts, and again responding to a number of the initiatives that we took with respect to the housing industry, the fact is that housing is now made more affordable thanks to low inflation, thanks to low interest rates and thanks to some initiatives that the government took in the February budget such as the RRSP proposal. Yes, it is something that my friends across the way did agree with.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES RESTRAINT ACT, 1993 NO. 2 MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Peter Andrew Stewart Milliken

Liberal

Mr. Milliken:

We suggested it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES RESTRAINT ACT, 1993 NO. 2 MEASURE TO ENACT
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February 18, 1993