April 23, 1993

PC

Jean-Marc Robitaille (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robitaille:

Madam Speaker, I think the House has always had some leeway with regard to arguments behind our government policies in every debate which takes place in the House. I have been here since the beginning of the week to debate this bill and I have listened to speeches from my colleague's friends as well as from other hon. members which were far from relevant to this debate. As far as I am concerned I think I have kept my remarks well within the scope of the debate on Bill C-93.

What I am trying to explain is the filibustering the liberal opposition has been doing on Bill C-93. What I am trying to show here is that every bill like Bill C-93 has systematically been opposed to by the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party.

What I was trying to say before I was interrupted by my colleague was that it was not surprising to see constant opposition against bills which are aimed at reducing spending while, in 12 years, the Liberal government kept increasing expenditures at the rate of 14 per cent. I was referring to an example which is really rather interesting. In 1974-75, Mr. Jean Chretien stated on page 7138 of Hansard of July 2, 1975 the following: "We have decided that restraint is necessary. In order to exercise restraint we had to cut back on planned expenditures". That year, expenditures went up by 28 per cent.

Systematic opposition by the Liberals to Bill C-93 is part of a tradition that has lasted for more than 25 years, and I can understand that.

In conclusion, I want to state once more the importance, for the Canadian people, that governments do everything that is needed and take fair measures to reduce government spending, streamline administrative costs and increase the efficiency of services for the Canadian people.

As I said, a recent survey in Terrebonne clearly indicated that this is the way we should go. Throughout this country, Canadians who work 40 hours a week or more and strive to make ends meet tell us that the tax burden is unbearable. They are fed up with taxes and they are sick and tired because we do not make appropriate decisions to streamline our costs and expenses and save money whenever it is possible.

We should never forget that public funds do not come from another planet, or from the opposition members' pockets but from all Canadian taxpayers. I think there is a constant lack of good faith on the part of the opposition. If only the opposition had supported the government in its spending cuts, even once, if the Liberal and NDP opposition had only once made suggestions about spending cuts. Instead, for nine years now-you have been here all that time, Madam Speaker, you know what has been going on-all we have seen in this place is filibustering without any consideration for the Canadian taxpayers' ability to pay.

Bill C-93 is in keeping with the approach set out in the 1992 budget where we announced that 40 organizations would be eliminated as the services delivered by these organizations are already provided by the private sector and that others would be consolidated. Tliis Bill C-93 responds to the 1992 budget. It will rationalize the delivery of several services to Canadians, contribute to more efficient government and reduce the burden of government on Canadians. That is something that we all want in this House and that all Canadians want as well.

Therefore, I urge all members of this House, on either side, to pass this bill so that it can be sent quickly to the other place and that we can finally achieve these savings.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION (GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS) ACT, 1992 MEASURE TO ENACT
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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:

There will not be any questions or comments during third reading. Before we continue I would like to direct this comment to the hon. member for Regina-Qu'Appelle.

Our Clerk has looked at Hansard from the committees. We have come to the conclusion that there might be divergences of opinion and there might be points for debate, but on the point brought to my attention this morning by the hon. member there is no question of privilege.

[Translation\

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION (GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS) ACT, 1992 MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Ron J. Duhamel

Liberal

Mr. Ronald J. Duhamel (Saint-Boniface):

Madam Speaker, like my colleagues, I recognize that you are a very fair person. You will no doubt note that our friend opposite has delivered a political speech which was not bad but he failed to provide rational arguments in support of the bill before us today.

April 23, 1993

For one thing, he mentioned that the Liberals opposed the bills his government introduced in this House. Liberals always oppose bills that do not take the people into consideration.

This is the kind of bill that the Tories have introduced. They talk about cutting expenses. They are very concerned and talk about it often. It is very easy to cut expenses on the backs of others. That is what this government has done. The hon. member referred to misleading attacks. It is the government which is being misleading and I can prove it. He quoted a letter from Paule Leduc, a very honest letter where she says it might be possible to save a few dollars in the not too distant future.

He did not admit that particular saving could have been achieved if the government had simply asked these organizations to reach a particular precise budgetary target. It is not as a result of what the government is doing. It is because these organizations will be forced to reach targets, and my hon. colleagues know that full well.

They know full well that this will go down in the annals of history and the annals of government as the silliest, the flimsiest, the most superficial bill that has probably ever come forward. It has been a botched job right from the very beginning. The government is trying to put some glitz to it, a bit of shine. There is no glitz; there is no shine. It is a deceptive and destructive bill. It is one that will haunt this government.

Let me make one point very clear. No one in government is opposed to streamlining if it is going to save money, if it is going to bring about increased efficiency and effectiveness. However there are no savings here. There is no increased effectiveness or efficiency. There are no studies to show it. When we questioned the witnesses from Treasury Board and the Privy Council, and I shall share the quotes shortly, they had nothing, no studies. They admitted they had nothing. They were honest men and women, and I appreciate their honesty. They might have chosen to do something else but they chose to tell the truth and by telling the truth they have exposed this government's project.

Government Orders

Just so that people are very aware of what is happening here, let us look at what is going on. The government has decided to streamline, initially it said to save money. Then when it was found out that was not true in reality, what did it do? It started to go for increased effectiveness and efficiency. When that did not come forth then it tried to pretend that we in the opposition were being unfair.

Let us remember that what the government is doing is in fact trying to kill organizations that in some cases were already dead. It is removing organizations that have been dormant for years. Worst of all, dynamic and vibrant organizations were taken out completely because the Economic Council of Canada could not stand the heat. The government could not take that kind of criticism. One of the worst decisions it made was the merger of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada with the Canada Council.

Let us remember this bill is wide ranging. It talks about the Agricultural Products Board. It talks about the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. It talks about the Canada Council for the arts and for research, the social sciences and humanities. It talks about the independent review commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Intellectual Property Tribunal. It also addresses the Canadian Commercial Corporation and Emergency Preparedness Canada. It talks about the International Trade and Procurement Tribunal, the Petroleum Monitoring Agency and the Veterans' Land Administration Act. It is a wide-ranging bill. The government has failed, absolutely and totally failed to make its case.

Because of its vastness and because it is complex the government has tried to suggest to Canadians that there were savings, that this was a good move and that this would be more effective. We know it is not true. We know what this bill is all about. It is about killing those agencies that are dead, removing and killing those that are dormant, and sapping the strength out of those that are vital and dynamic because they were a threat to government.

This bill is about trying to reach the Reform Party agenda. They are kissing cousins and I shall have more to say about that.

April 23, 1993

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION (GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS) ACT, 1992 MEASURE TO ENACT
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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:

The hon. member will be able to pursue his remarks after Question Period and Routine Proceedings.

The House will now proceed to members' statements pursuant to Standing Order 31.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION (GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS) ACT, 1992 MEASURE TO ENACT
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STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31

LIB

Gilbert Parent

Liberal

Mr. Gilbert Parent (Welland -St. Catharines-Tho-rold):

Madam Speaker, I rise to outline again the difficult economic circumstances in my riding due to the adverse effects of the free trade agreement, cross-border shopping and, most significant, the huge lay-offs in major industries such as GM.

My constituents are very disillusioned with the empty promises of this government and are looking for help at this time in connection with a local project known as the Peter Street bridge in Thorold. The Peter Street bridge is a vital link in Thorold and is now under threat of closing due to extensive repairs which are required to ensure its safe use by not only my constituents but the thousands of tourists who use it every year.

I urge the government, mainly the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority which has jurisdiction over the bridge, to extend its financial assistance to my riding and fully support the initiatives of the mayor and members of the city council of Thorold in their attempt to provide their city not only with a viable link but especially-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Sub-subtopic:   THOROLD, ONTARIO
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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:

The hon. member's time has expired.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Sub-subtopic:   THOROLD, ONTARIO
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NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

PC

Barry D. Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Barry Moore (Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle):

Madam Speaker, National Volunteer Week, this year from April 18 to April 23, is a special opportunity for us to pay tribute and give recognition to all those individuals who volunteer their services in their local community.

Today I would like to join these communities in paying a special tribute to the contribution made by volunteers to community life.

To our volunteers I want to say thank you for your dedication and commitment. What you have accomplished deserves the respect and admiration of us all.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate a young lady from my riding, Annie Galipeau, a resident of Messines, who won an award in the Dramatic Arts category at the YTV Gala held last night at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Congratulations, Annie, and good luck.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
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CLAM FISHERY

PC

William D. (Bill) Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland -Colchester):

Madam Speaker, clam fishermen on the Bay of Fundy shore near Five Islands are very concerned about the clam resources and want the establishment of a season to ensure a sustainable and viable fishery. The fisheries committee of the West Colchester Development Association has recommended that a season from approximately May 15 to October 31 be established in order to prevent overdigging and allow for the replenishment of clam stocks.

This committee is made up of residents in the area who are involved in the clam fishery and are very knowledgeable about the resource and the conditions. I support this committee in its efforts to protect the resource and will be urging the minister and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to accept this sensible recommendation at a meeting in the area to be arranged in the very near future.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CLAM FISHERY
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YTV AWARDS

LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Windsor West):

Madam Speaker, yesterday evening hundreds of thousands of Canadians were impressed and entertained as they watched the live broadcast on the YTV network of the fourth annual YTV achievement awards. These awards to young people 19 years of age and under demonstrate the talent, creativity, innovation, community service and courage of young Canadians. The winners exemplify the best of our country and convey a much needed message of optimism and hope for the future.

April 23, 1993

I would like to congratulate all the winners, but in particular I want to congratulate Tamia Washington of Windsor, Ontario who received the national vocal award. To Tamia and all the winners I say on behalf of all Canadians and myself: Congratulations, we are very proud of you. Felicitations et bonne chance a tous.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   YTV AWARDS
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PC

Douglas Fee

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Doug Fee (Red Deer):

Madam Speaker, any time that I have risen in this House the words I have spoken have been my own. However, pursuant to an agreement that some of us entered into yesterday the following words were suggested to me by an outstanding group of young people who are employed by this House.

Last night in the spirit of friendliness and healthy competition members from both sides of the House joined together to face the pages in an invigorating game of the great Canadian sport of hockey. While it was a delightful experience for everyone, the pages once again proved their worth by tearing apart the MP squad as though we were a group of amateur bowlers. Their complete domination of the game left us cold and left the ice melting. These fine young people should be thanked, not only for the enjoyable evening but also for not rubbing it in our faces.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   YTV AWARDS
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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA

NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie (N.D.P. Deputy House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg Transcona):

Madam Speaker, Winnipeg residents are anxious to hear confirmation of the federal government's support of a third core area initiative. Both the provincial and city governments have already indicated their desire to participate in the third phase of this very successful program.

The two preceding core area initiatives have greatly benefited the larger community of Winnipeg by enhancing social and community services downtown and by encouraging job creation, work experience and training as well as the growth of small business. However there

remains the need for new programs and development in the city.

Government cutbacks, high unemployment and the recession have had a devastating effect on the economy of Winnipeg. The demands on service organizations have increased dramatically while funding continues to shrink.

The people of Winnipeg are eager to haul themselves out of this recession but they need a commitment and some encouragement from the Conservative government, and they need it immediately.

Repeated efforts to get an answer from the minister responsible have so far proved unsuccessful. I call on that minister to answer and answer positively, and to invest in the future of Winnipeg and not allow it to continue to deteriorate safe in the knowledge that the Conservatives will not be around after the next election.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

PC

Donald Alex Blenkarn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Don Blenkarn (Mississauga South):

Madam Speaker, when 976 service was first proposed the Bell Telephone Company opposed its introduction but the CRTC forced it to carry 976 service and at the same time created a situation in which anyone who objected to 976 service would have to pay a $4 a month service charge to have the service blocked.

Now postcards with gorgeous pictures of escorts encourage people to phone a 976 number. All sorts of people are facing a big surprise when their telephone bill carries a $10 or $15 charge for a sex service call.

It is clearly time for the CRTC to eliminate 976 service from the services offered. This service is not needed and it is clearly being abused.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TELECOMMUNICATIONS
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LIB

Joseph Blair (Joe) McGuire

Liberal

Mr. Joe McGuire (Egmont):

Madam Speaker, the fishing season is almost upon us and most of the wharfs in my riding of Egmont, P.E.I., are still in such a state of disrepair that the safety of the fishermen using them is in jeopardy.

April 23, 1993

I and fishermen's associations have brought this situation to the attention of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on many occasions. The only responses so far have been a few band-aids supplied here and there, leaving us now with wharfs that have deteriorated to the point where it will cost millions to restore them to safe operational conditions.

I ask the minister to get personally involved. We now have a situation in which defeated provincial candidates, a Public Works employee and an unelected member from the other place are making announcements to the media on the minister's behalf, and we do not know if those announcements are true or not.

Fishermen need to know who is in charge and what is going on. They want to know what is going on in other Egmont harbours that need repairs.

While spending large amounts of money after eight years of neglect may seem like a cynical vote buying gesture, I would advise the minister to set that concern aside and do the repair work so that the fishermen in P.E.I. can work from harbours that are functional and safe.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   TELECOMMUNICATIONS
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FUR TRADE

April 23, 1993