May 14, 1993

LIB

Jack Iyerak Anawak

Liberal

Mr. Jack Iyerak Anawak (Nunatsiaq):

[Editor's note: Member spoke in Inuktitut.]

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to give a northern point of view to this motion that was put forward by my colleague from York West.

I just want to point out some things we have difficulty with in terms of trying to get loans, money and funding from various financial agencies in the north. We have two banks in the eastern Arctic, one in Rankin Inlet and one in Iqaluit. There are 33 other communities which do not have any banks or road systems. The only way to get there is by airplane. So we have a hard time getting

money. If we want to borrow $2,000 we have to pay something like $500 for air fare.

We have to be very ingenious about it because we have not been able to create credit unions. This government will not allow the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Program to fund credit unions because the banks will not allow deposit-taking corporations to be formed other than their own. So we have had to be ingenious.

I would just like to point out one success story. There is an organization called Kakivak in Iqaluit which goes out to all the communities and gets them together to form committees that lend out money based on the knowledge of the person rather than their credit rating through the banks. The communities are small so they know whether that person is able to pay a loan off or not. According to their good credit rating or the knowledge of that person they will lend that person anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to buy a snowmobile or hunting equipment.

So, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to say a few words. I wanted to press home the point that organizations like Kakivak in the north are what is needed if the government is not going to allow programs like the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy to recognize the real need for credit unions in the north. This was again emphasized by a friend of mine from Cambridge Bay, Bill Lyall, when he was addressing the Arctic Co-ops Limited in Winnipeg a couple of weeks ago at their annual general meeting.

I would suggest that in following the thrust of the motion put forward by my colleague from York West, there is a need to create growth among the small business community in the north. That thrust can be through the creation of credit unions, but in the absence of credit unions, through organizations like Kakivak.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-THE ECONOMY
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PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

It being four o'clock p.m., it is my duty to inform the House that pursuant to Standing Order 81(17), proceedings on the motion have expired.

Pursuant to Standing Order 30(7), the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business, as listed on today's Order Paper.

May 14, 1993

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-THE ECONOMY
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PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

THE ECONOMY

LIB

Beryl Gaffney

Liberal

Mrs. Beryl Gaffney (Nepean) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should consider

the advisability of establishing programs to assist in improving the

economy of the national capital region.

She said: Mr. Speaker, the national capital region is a model to the rest of the country, showing Canadians how two languages and many cultures can live and work together and prosper in a caring, financially sound community that respects the environment. There is a shared sense of purpose in our community and a broadly-held integrated vision of social and economic objectives.

Ours is a region long recognized as the high-tech capital of Canada. As a world leader in industries of the mind, our knowledge in intensive industries are globally competitive and export oriented. Our region is home to numerous national and international businesses, professional associations and government agencies. It is recognized as an international business centre, travel centre and renowned as a tourist attraction.

The quality of life in our community leads people to choose Nepean and the other cities which make up the national capital region over other communities as a place to live, work and invest.

As you may recall, Mr. Speaker, shortly after the 1988 election a Conservative member of Parliament, who later went on to lead the charge to pass the GST, declared that the national capital region would pay a price for voting Liberal in the 1988 election. Many individuals and businesses in Nepean with whom I have met over the past five years believe that the federal government has indeed abandoned the national capital region.

I believe it is necessary to stand in the House today to specifically address the economy of the national capital region, and for this reason I am very pleased to speak to my motion which states:

Private Members' Business

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should consider

the advisability of establishing programs to assist in improving the

economy of the national capital region.

During my frequent visits to Nepean businesses, the issue of research and development is almost always brought up and unique ideas are often put forward to enhance research and development. One such firm is a company specializing in advanced product research and engineering laboratories. The president wrote to me recently to offer his views on the matter of government involvement in R and D. I will read directly from his letter.

It states: "As a matter of principle, the government should not sponsor any activity which would decrease competitiveness in business. Government programs should be aimed at supporting activities that lie within the accepted and proven mission of the supported entity. For example, government regulatory bodies or universities should not attempt to act as product research or testing labs. Programs introduced by government should clearly differentiate in their support between strategic and current infrastructure. The lack of such differentiation often leads to decrease rather than increase of competitive position of Canadian infrastructure".

He went on to give examples of government labs directly competing with the private sector laboratories. I will not go into those right now.

Sustainable development must be an integral part of Canada's economic and industrial strategies. Environmentally friendly practices promote efficiency, productivity and long-term competitiveness. A Liberal government would reserve 25 per cent of all new R and D spending for environmental technologies.

In many regions of Canada we have seen that where there is a spirit of enterprise, dynamic local government, educational institutions and thoughtful provincial planning, economic potential and vitality follows, especially when it comes to small scale, locally based initiatives. A Liberal government would seek to form partnerships with all these players, not just count on megaprojects to build viable long-term regional economies.

I heard a number of complaints from Nepean businesses about the growing trend by the federal government to compete directly with the private sector while maintaining an unfair advantage. One example of this is

May 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

the Canadian Communications Group, CCG. The printing department within the Department of Supply and Services is now bidding on outside contracts.

CCG can almost always be the lowest bidder as it does not have the overhead costs, that is, the capital costs as those in private industry. Apparently CCG is also bidding on government contracts and then contracting out and charging the department that placed the order a commission fee. This is not only dishonest, it is also quite clearly a case of government competing with private industry.

Another example is the Department of Public Works which has a group of landscape artists that compete for projects with the private sector. This government group bids on tenders before the private sector is even asked to quote within the government services. It bids on the basis of recovery of wages only. This does not include the cost for space, equipment, benefits, profit or taxes, perpetuating themselves by saying that they provide services cheaper than the private sector. Of course it can provide services cheaper than the private sector when it does not add in all the overhead costs because it does not have any overhead costs.

This government has to stop this practice of competing for projects and outright stealing from the private sector.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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LIB

Mac Harb

Liberal

Mr. Harb:

Borrowing.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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LIB

Beryl Gaffney

Liberal

Mrs. Gaffney:

Is borrowing a better word?

One of the biggest omissions in the national capital region is first and foremost the need to establish vital air traffic links between Ottawa and the key U.S. and European business destinations. Of all the major cities in Canada, Ottawa has the poorest flight connections with U.S. destinations.

Applications have been submitted to the federal government, including a recent bid by U.S. Air to establish a direct air route between Ottawa and Pittsburgh but there has been no action by this federal government.

As the Ottawa Business News recently pointed out, the business community of the national capital region has been asking: "When is the federal government going to relieve this community of the disadvantage it has compared to other Canadian cities?"

According to Mr. Len Potechin, chairman of Regional Realty and head of the National Capital Coalition for Better Air Service, Ottawa was the only city specifically excluded from the original Canada-U.S. air treaty in 1974.

"You've got to understand that in 1974, Ottawa was a government

town," he said. "Ottawa is now a flourishing business community.

We're saying since 1974, Ottawa's been given nothing. There isn't a

single Canadian airline that flies us non-stop to the United States.

It's not acceptable to the capital of this country.

The cost saving to businesses in the region would be significant. One medium sized firm in Ottawa estimates that it spends $200,000 a year on extra travel costs over and above lost time and productivity due to poor travel connections to their largest markets south of the border.

The Leper, Cambridge, Campbell report suggests a loss of income without direct flights to communities across North America to be $10.3 billion annually. In the national capital region that figure is in the vicinity of $400 million to $500 million annually lost to the region. Obviously an air link is vital. It would open up lucrative new markets and would allow our community's economy to fly high.

Also of grave importance to the economy of this region is the need to eliminate the existing interprovincial trade barriers. The goal of the RMOC is to eliminate the existing barriers under municipal control in the national capital region by 1994 and to support federal and provincial government initiatives to remove all barriers by 1995.1 would like to use the example of the owner of a large equipment company in the Ottawa area.

He has a major capital investment in each piece of equipment. He is not allowed by Quebec law to work on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Yet the Quebec equipment companies are able to bid in Ontario in direct competition with his firm. I say either open up the boundaries on both sides of the river or let us close them once and for all. There has to be fair competition in this region.

Residents of Nepean and others in the national capital region have also expressed a concern about the future of the green belt. In the 1960s the federal government had the foresight to protect environmentally sensitive land in the nation's capital with the establishment of the green belt lands. The green belt was established to control urban sprawl, provide beauty to the nation's capital,

May 14, 1993

assist municipalities in local improvements, such as the cycling paths, the Stoney Swamp, the Pinhey Forest and the Log Farm. They have all added to the enhancement and beauty of the nation's capital.

Unfortunately it appears that this government has begun to move away from that premise. The majority in this region do not want the green belt chipped away for residential and commercial development. The federal government must pass legislation, perhaps something similar to the National Parks Act to ensure that the green belt is protected.

Our road network in the nation's capital is deplorable. A perfect example of this is the immediate need to construct and complete highway 416, the planned four-lane highway between Ottawa and highway 401. Expanding companies in the NCR such as the high-tech industries and commercial markets are faced with insurmountable transit problems when dealing with markets beyond the region. The federal government has a responsibility, in spite of what it says, together with the province of Ontario and the RMOC to ensure this road is completed forthwith.

The Liberal Party is advocating the establishment of a number of programs at the national level which come to the aid of the citizens in this region as well as all regions in Canada. The focus would be shifted from shrinking the economy to growing the economy. This would create jobs and industries with a future. The small and medium sized business sector which creates most new jobs in Canada is a key to rebuilding the Canadian economy.

There needs to be a stronger commitment to fiscal responsibility, to unwavering discipline and expenditure control, to holding off on new programs that do not contribute directly to economic growth and job creation, to reducing the deficit and to reducing Canada's debt as a percentage of the GDP.

Rather than an obsession with zero inflation, a new government should take a balanced approach to inflation and growth with inflation targets more in line with the U.S. inflation rate. Given a tight fiscal policy it would be possible to have a monetary policy that would provide the stability required for lower short-term real interest

Private Members' Business

rates. Renegotiation of the federal-provincial fiscal arrangements to achieve maximum predictability should be a major priority.

In tax policy a Liberal government would replace the GST in a way that generates equivalent revenues, is fairer to consumers, easier to administer for small business and promotes federal-provincial co-operation. In the first session of a new Parliament the Commons finance committee would be mandated to consult Canadians and provincial governments on all the options to the current GST and to report within 12 months.

As several Nepean business leaders have told me and as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has pointed out, most of the GST debate dealt with the macro-economic aspects of the tax and its impact on Canadian consumers, whereas very little was said about the costs of collecting the GST. However more than 1.8 million Canadian businesses and institutions now act as tax collectors for the federal government and many businesses are suffering hardship because of the onerous GST compliance requirements.

Trade policy has a special significance for the achievement of Canada's economic and social goals. Canada's exports account for about 40 per cent of the total output of the private sector. Indeed, one in five Canadian jobs are directly dependent on exports. Of perhaps even greater significance is that every $1 billion of new export translates into 15,000 Canadians jobs. Consequently Canada faces two prime challenges regarding international trade.

First, Canadian firms must be more internationally competitive if they are to take advantage of existing and new export markets.

Second, Canada must have secure and enhanced access to world markets if we are to increase our exports and thereby our economic growth. The major challenge today is that we must earn our way in what is rapidly becoming an interdependent and highly competitive global economy. However over the last decade some disturbing signs of Canadian competitive weaknesses have emerged. In particular, growth in our manufacturing productivity and technology performance, two acid

May 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

tests of competitiveness, have been poor relative to our major international competitors.

There can be little doubt that Canada's ability to compete in a changing world economy is being eroded not the least by the amount of national debt Canadians are financing.

In the new transnational economy it is the information and knowledged-based industries for which this region is known that are providing the foundation for industrial renewal and growth. Canada cannot hide from these changes.

As the Leader of the Opposition has stated: "In today's world, protectionism is not right nor left wing it is simply passe". Globalism is not right wing or left wing, it is a fact of life. Failure to adjust will result in economic stagnation and few jobs for Canadians. It can mean the unravelling of Canada's social system from health care to accessible education. What Canada needs is a policy mix that on the one hand acknowledges economic change and on the other hand will help Canadians adapt to this age of transformation.

This involves recognizing the linkages between free markets and governments. We have lived through an era dominated by a simple, even simplistic paradigm. The notion that a policy of rolling back the state and tearing down the walls will unaided ensure growth and prosperity overlooks the way in which the government defines, for good or ill, the context within which economies develop.

Education, research and environmental policies are the new building blocks of economic growth. Regulatory and tax regimes determine the way that private and public investment is channelled. Political structures determine what makes economic decisions, which interests will affect these decisions and what will be the outcome of political conflict.

stakeholders in the Canadian economy to meet global competition. It means that government must help to build the foundations upon which the winners of the future will naturally flourish.

Without secure access to export markets even competitive exports can be restrained. Therefore Canada's central objective in its trade policy must be to secure and increase access to world markets. A multilateral approach to trade liberalization has traditionally been the corner-stone of Canada's trade policy, and this longstanding approach has served Canada's interests well.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade has provided smaller nations such as Canada with the opportunities to improve our access to world markets through negotiated reductions in tariff and non-tariff barriers. A successful Uruguay round of GATT is essential to the health of the global economy and maintenance of the international system.

With regard to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, we are disappointed that the long apparent flaws in the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement have not been corrected. We should seek improvements in both this arrangement and the NAFTA in areas including: subsidies and anti-dumping codes, a more effective dispute settling mechanism, labour and environmental standards and energy. We must also place a high priority on expanding trade with the world's most economically dynamic region, the Pacific basin.

To maintain high-paying jobs in the global economy Canada will need a work force second to none in skills and flexibility. In Canada, business spends less than half what American companies spend on worker training and less than one-fifth what Japanese companies spend. In co-operation with the provinces, business and labour a Liberal government would establish a national apprenticeship program and tax-based on the job training incentives. A Liberal government would also create a Canada youth service.

This does not mean that governments should attempt Small and medium sized business creates more jobs to choose the industrial winners and losers. It does mean than any other sector of the economy. It is time to that governments can play a part in helping sectors challenge Canada's major banks to give small business a adjust to market signals. It means that government can break and to develop concrete measures to help them encourage economic partnerships among business, la- get the financing they need. The Small Businesses Loans bour and the different levels of government and other Act needs to be reformed even further than it has been.

May 14, 1993

I have outlined a number of measures that the Conservative government could take at the local level, and I could have outlined many more if time had permitted.

Canadians recognize that we have to have a sound basis of fiscal management and we need to have control of government expenditures. At the same time, if government revenues are weak, as they most certainly are these days, then we have a weak economy.

My party is committed to operating in a framework of fiscal responsibility. For 25 years I have been committed to looking after the interests of my constituents in the city of Nepean and the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. In a recent speech the distinguished economist, Judith Maxwell, said: "A society that stops building for tomorrow gets stale and deteriorates". I think we can all recognize that the current government has stopped building for tomorrow.

I believe it is time that we elect a Liberal government that will build for tomorrow.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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?

Mr. Brian@

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify for my colleague the extensive and ongoing support which this government is providing for the national capital region.

I would emphasize that in order to ensure Canada's long-term prosperity we must focus on the international competitiveness of our industry. The extensive consultations undertaken through this government's prosperity initiative and the action plan produced by the initiative's arm's length steering group reinforced a number of key requirements to ensuring this country's long-term prosperity.

These included the need for better use of technology in Canadian businesses and the need for aggressive pursuit of export market opportunities.

Industry, Science and Technology Canada provides a broad range of services and targeted financial support encouraging international competitiveness and excellence in industry, science and technology.

The national capital region has felt the benefit of this thrust with support of local businesses, associations and

Private Members' Business

councils through research and development programs such as the strategic technologies program, the microelectronics and systems development program, and forest products R and D and innovation program.

In addition, support has been provided to local enterprises within the NCR for diagnostic services related to the application of new technologies including the advanced manufacturing technology assistance program, or AMTAP, and the automotive components initiative.

Businesses involved in the defence industries in the national capital region have also benefited from support provided under the defence industries productivity program, or DIPP, and over the past five years over $110 million in assistance under these ISTC programs alone has been provided in the NCR toward estimated project costs of more than $260 million.

Two other important ISTC initiatives aimed at enhancing Canada's industrial competitiveness are the technology outreach program and the networks of centres of excellence. ISTC has launched a number of technology centres through its technology outreach program which promote the acquisition, development and diffusion of technology and management skills to Canadian businesses.

These centres are available to help Canadian businesses, including those in the national capital region. TOP-funded centres located in the national capital region include the Canadian Institute of Biotechnology, formed by the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada to provide technological information and develop networks for marketing biotechnologies; and the Mining Industry Technology Council of Canada, created by the Canadian mining industry to foster and co-ordinate shared R and D and encourage networking between individuals and organizations.

The networks of centres of excellence program has seen the establishment of 15 NCEs, each of which is a nation-wide network pursuing leading edge research in an area of strategic importance to Canada.

Both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa are members of several NCEs. These centres may also play an important role in enhancing the competitiveness of businesses resident in the national capital region.

May 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

Like these aforementioned centres, ISTC has also fostered a series of joint industry-government initiatives to improve the international competitiveness of specific industry sectors, especially in terms of economic opportunities and benefits and the application of technologies and innovations. ISTC has initiated sector campaigns in automotive components, manufactured wood products, environmental industries, medical devices, fashion apparel, advanced manufacturing technology and national forest products.

The national capital region serves as home to some of the national councils, associations and federations that are major players in these joint initiatives. More important, businesses within the national capital region can and do play significant roles in driving these campaigns and working together with their fellow industry members to strengthen their respective industry sectors.

The region has also felt the benefit of ISTC initiatives to increase understanding of the importance of science and technology to Canada's international competitiveness and economic prosperity. The initiatives undertaken by ISTC's Science and Technology Public Awareness Campaign Secretariat, as well as the many activities funded under Science Culture Canada, focus on meeting the future demand of Canadian businesses for highly skilled scientists and engineers.

In addition to these activities NCR students, like other Canadians, can benefit from the ongoing Canada Scholarships Program which supports students in the pursuit of post-secondary studies in the natural sciences, engineering, technology and related disciplines.

In addition to ISTC's programming, the department's efforts in fostering international competitiveness are complemented by those of External Affairs and International Trade Canada. These departments offer programs and services available to businesses both within and outside the national capital region, such as the Program for Export Market Development, export seminars, workshops and counselling through the International Trade Centre.

EAITC maintains a network of trade commissioners in Canadian embassies, consulates and high commissions outside Canada as well as Canada-based trade commissioners. This network provides businesses throughout Canada including those within the national capital region with export market intelligence, export education and information that is vital to entering and competing successfully in foreign markets.

ISTC also operates a business service centre in Ottawa to provide businesses in the national capital region with first-level counselling, publications, sector profiles and access to a reference and video library as well as to computer data bases like Business Opportunities Sourcing System and Discovery.

Through the business service centre, businesses in the national capital region are able to obtain business and market information of key importance to their future planning and decision-making and locate contacts in both ISTC and other government departments and agencies for specific programs and services. They are able to make use of data bases that will provide them with a wealth of information with respect to other businesses and available technologies.

The National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program, or IRAP as it is known, is another program available to national capital region businesses. IRAP provides technological advice and financial assistance in support of increased industrial competitiveness and is delivered to NCR businesses through IRAP's local office in Ottawa.

The Federal Business Development Bank, or FBDB, in addition to its regular lending and business management programs and services, offers training and counselling programs such as community business and self-employment initiatives. These programs are individually adapted to the community's training and counselling needs. These FBDB services are available to the National Capital Region from FBDB's Eastern Ontario District Office in Ottawa.

Other federal departments and agencies also play an important role in supporting the needs of the national capital region. Employment and Immigration Canada has in place a wide range of training and adjustment programs and services designed to ease the impact of lay-offs and provide training for alternative opportunities.

May 14, 1993

As my colleague, the Minister of Finance stated in his government's economic and fiscal statement of last December, Canada has more generous tax incentives for R and D than any other G-7 country. National capital region businesses investing in research and development have these incentives for growth and prosperity available to them as well.

In the December economic statement the Minister of Finance also announced a small business employment and investment package, the components of which will benefit small businesses throughout Canada including the national capital region.

I would like to summarize for my colleague whose interest focuses on the economic well-being of the national capital region that the Government of Canada continues to invest in policies that make our economy work better throughout Canada. Under these initiatives the economy of the national capital region has benefited and will continue to benefit.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Jean-Robert Gauthier (Ottawa-Vanier):

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure and, I must say, great pride that I rise to speak to this Motion No. 757, to support and comment on this proposal of my friend and colleague from Nepean. The hon. member has worked very hard for her riding, as we know, and she is known in the National Capital Region as one of the hardest-working members of this House. She has earned her stripes and I am sure that, in the coming elections, she will have the confidence not only of those who voted for her before, who will no doubt support her again, but also of all those who did not vote for her last time. She will certainly increase her majority and perhaps even get the largest majority of all members from the National Capital Region.

This motion allows us to highlight the national capital region in a particular way. Outside Ottawa and the national capital region people have the idea that this is a fat cat area but the recession has had a severe impact on Ottawa and the national capital region. It has taken a severe toll.

Private Members' Business

Listening to the government member who just spoke, one would think that everything was rosy and nice. Just like many other Canadians, the 650,000 people living in Ottawa and Hull have had to put up with a very serious and severe recession. Let me provide a few statistics which illustrate the difficulties the national capital region has experienced.

In 1992 there were 10,800 fewer jobs in Ottawa-Carle-ton compared to 1988. At the same time the working age population had grown by 33,000. In other words, there were 33,000 more people in the work force but we lost 10,800 jobs. One does not have to be a mathematician of any great ability to understand the serious problem for our youth and people trying to make a career in Ottawa and trying to find an appropriate and good job.

Our unemployment rate is about 7.6 per cent. That means we still have families having to cope with difficult economic times. The percentage of the local population receiving unemployment or welfare benefits has almost doubled to 13.9 per cent from the 7.1 per cent it was in 1988, some four years ago. One in seven Ottawa-Carle-ton residents receive some form of social assistance. That is almost 90,000 people in this area.

Welfare cases grew 44 per cent in 1991, another 25 per cent in 1992 and there are projections this year that it will go up another 12 per cent in 1993. These are not fat cat statistics. These are people who are having a hard time coping.

The average monthly social assistance case-load for 1993 is projected to grow to 12 per cent. The number is projected to be 34,000 compared to 30,500 last year. There is an increase in case-load in those applying for social assistance.

In 1988, 12,881 people were on welfare. In four years the number of people on welfare in Ottawa-Carleton has almost tripled. These people have felt the impact of this recession. These figures show how the Toiy made-in-Canada recession has hit Ottawa and the national capital region very hard. We know there is no special place in the Tory hearts-if they have any-for the residents of the national capital region.

There is less for the recipients of social assistance. The Tories are cutting transfers to the provinces. Where does the load fall? It falls on the local economies which have to support more and more social assistance programs. It is becoming a severe burden on the local economies.

May 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

In fact the Tories are generally gleeful when it comes to capital bashing. I do not have to quote or state what the Prime Minister called or said about public servants. We all know it is public record today. He says he does not believe a public servant has worked a day in his life. That is not my quote. It is his. He said when he came into power: "I am going to give them a pair of running shoes and a pink slip". That is his quote also.

We have food banks in the community of Ottawa. In my riding I have two in which demand rose 22 per cent in 1992 from 1991. It is estimated that 20,000 people use regional food banks. Twenty thousand Canadians living in this community use food banks. Throughout this region, it is sad to say, children live in poverty.

Lay-offs continue in the Ottawa area. Most economists predict that unemployment will remain high for at least another year. However in its most recent budget the government took no action to relieve the critical problem of unemployment.

The evidence is clear. An Angus Reid poll reported in the media May 5, 1993 indicated that unemployment remains a top concern of Canadians. Forty-four per cent picked unemployment as the most pressing issue. On the state of the economy it was 37 per cent.

Canadians are letting their priorities be known, but the government is callously ignoring them. Beyond encouraging Canadians to vote the Tories out of office after almost nine years of failed economic policies, there are some specific actions that can be taken to bolster this local economy, to help the national capital region regain its confidence and its status of a good region to live in.

Of particular importance for the national capital region is the elimination of interprovincial trade barriers. We have heard a great deal of talk about trade barriers for years, particularly at the regional and federal levels. There must now be action from the provinces and it would appear particularly important to us for Quebec to come to an agreement to eliminate trade barriers between Quebec and Ontario which affect many aspects of doing business in this community. These barriers create

extra costs that make it difficult for business to operate profitably, competitively and efficiently.

The perennial question is why we are unable to reduce these barriers within our own country when we have eliminated many between Canada and the United States. I urge the responsible authorities to take action on this matter in the very near future. It is important to our local economy. It is important to Canadians.

Another issue which my friend from Nepean touched upon was airline service out of or to the Ottawa area and the road service. If we are to produce goods, if we are to produce high tech goods, we must have routes, we must have transportation access to the United States and to the markets. We must have the link with the 401. Highway 416 must be finished. We must have a link by air. We must have from the American airlines an agreement to service this area so that our producers have some way of getting their products to market.

This allows me to talk about the medium-sized businesses and the small businesses. Indeed small business is the engine of the growth of our country and in my riding of Ottawa-Vanier it is the main employer. It is not the federal government. Only 12 to 13 per cent work for the federal government. The rest all work in service industries and are in small and medium-sized businesses.

This government has taken very few steps to help these businesses compete. Entrepreneurs are still wondering what the Tories were thinking when they introduced the GST just as the recession that they created was gathering steam. It seems to me, after looking at the whole GST mess, it would be almost impossible to design a tax that is more costly and more inefficient than the GST.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses says that the cost of compliance for small business was $4.6 billion in 1992.1 made a speech earlier this week on the whole aspect of the GST, what it brings in, what it costs to administer and how much we have left at the end. The GST is the most inefficient, ineffective tax that anybody could even think about. The Liberal caucus and my friends on this side of the House have said that we will scrap the GST. We will replace it with something that is the result of a consultation process with Canadians, a process which will include provinces, which will

May 14, 1993

give us feedback, replace the tax with a tax that is fair, that is just and is equitable.

I am sorry my time is up, but I would like to continue on that.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

I am sorry it is too.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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LIB

Mac Harb

Liberal

Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak in support of the motion proposed by my colleague from Nepean. I hope at the end of the hour this House will see the wisdom of endorsing this motion, even though it is a non-votable item.

As my colleagues from Ottawa-Vanier and from Nepean have clearly stated, this region is not really getting its fair shake when it comes to the federal government and the provincial government. For whatever reason we seem to be always the city that everybody loves to hate. In reality, everybody loves to hate politicians and the different levels of government. People do not seem to differentiate between Parliament Hill and the city of Ottawa. Canadians have to realize there are two cities of Ottawa.

There is the city of Ottawa which my colleagues have been talking about with all of the difficulties that every region in this land is faced with, all of the challenges and also all of the potentials. The member on the government side talked quite a bit about high-tech industries and some of the initiatives the government is putting forward. I suggest that governments, provincial as well as federal and to a large extent municipal are running behind industry, not ahead of it.

Industry is leading the way, in particular the high-tech industries, but not because of the good things that governments have been doing. If you speak to people in many of those industries, they will tell you that if only the government would leave them alone, they would strive and be able to succeed and do extremely well. The high-tech industries and private sector corporations whether small, medium or large in size, are all burdened with the same thing, a lot of bureaucracy, red tape, taxes, the different files they have to fill up and a lot of different forms.

Private Members' Business

A tremendous amount of red tape exists out there that is stopping or making make it difficult for small, medium and large sized business to strive in this country. There is a lack of co-ordination as we have too many conflicting policies at different levels.

My colleague was talking about the different challenges and spoke about the different things that the federal government could do. I can mention some of them as well. First, the federal government can stop harassing the Public Service. I believe and my colleagues on this side join with me in saying we have one of the finest Public Services anywhere in the world. Stop harassing them. Leave them alone and let them do their work.

We have two very fine national institutions in Ottawa, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, as well as very fine community colleges. Stop cutting funds to education. Let these institutions train the future workers and leaders of this country.

Since this government came into office over $100 million has been taken away from the National Research Council. This is not acceptable. We have to reinstate funding to the National Research Council.

We talk about free trade with Mexico and with the United States. Why do we not talk about free trade within Canada itseif?

This government must also do something about the problem of cross-border shopping. It takes one hour to go to the United States from this city in order to fill up your gas tank and buy your cigarettes and come back. This has to be stopped somehow and we have to create more incentives for people to shop locally.

Other issues which my colleague did not have a chance to allude to is the question of infrastructure. Infrastructure is an excellent opportunity for this city as it will create annually about 6,400 jobs.

The return on the investment will be horrendous. This government can do something about it.

There is the matter of trying to create a link between this city and the outside world, for instance a direct link between Ottawa and Pittsburgh and Chicago in the United States and other cities around the world. As my colleagues have indicated, one of the most distinguished business leaders in the city, Len Potechin, chairman of

May 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

Regional Realty and the head of the National Capital Coalition for Better Air Service, has clearly stated that if the government approved this at no cost to anybody but with a tremendous benefit to the national capital region, it would help revitalize the economy here.

The net benefit would be at least $400 million to $500 million annually if the government would only move along with this particular initiative.

With regard to connections between Ottawa and other cities, my colleague mentioned highway 416, an excellent point. The federal government can show some wisdom by entering into some kind of a partnership with the provincial government to try and speed up this project.

The federal government through the ministry of the environment, and I know we have a fairly dynamic Minister of the Environment, could inject some funds in order clean up the Ottawa River and the Rideau River to try to ensure those two fantastic rivers remain accessible to people for recreational purposes.

Federal government policies with regard to immigration are severely damaging the local economy. Take, for example, second language training. As it is right now, any school board or teacher you speak to in the national capital will tell you that there are not enough resources for teachers in order to teach children of immigrants.

Not only are the children suffering as a result of that but also the adults who move to our city. They may initially have lived in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver and then moved to the national capital region. School boards in this region face a tremendous challenge trying to provide services to adults and children. It is really difficult. The federal government should set a standard with regard to second language training in order to help them and ease the pain of school boards.

The lists goes on. There are about 50 other ways in which the government could help the national capital region. In order to allow my colleague for Carleton- Gloucester to inject his wisdom into the debate, I will stop right here.

[!Translation\

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Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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LIB

Eugène Bellemare

Liberal

Mr. Eugene Bellemare (Carleton -Gloucester):

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity, since I will probably be the last member to speak today.

It is a pleasure to speak to the motion presented by the hon. member for Nepean, which says that the government should consider the advisability of establishing programs to assist in improving the economy of the national capital region. The hon. member is to be commended for her motion, and I may add that I appreciate her intelligence and that I had the pleasure of representing the municipality of Gloucester, when she represented the municipality of Nepean, in the government of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. With the hon. member for Ottawa Centre, we sat as members of the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Municipality. We are always in touch, and we have always worked together on economic issues in the national capital region. We are familiar with the problems of social services and education, and we believe there is room for improvement.

Earlier, the government member for Elk Island, in Alberta, referred to dozens of very interesting activities in the National Capital Region. I appreciate his interest in what is going on in our capital, but I must say I am very concerned about his government's attitude to the national capital. I have never heard a government member refer with pride to our nation's capital.

When we think of Washington, London, Tokyo or Paris, we see, hear and know that the national governments promote their capital. But in Canada since 1984, the national government of our country has taken diabolical pleasure in persistently attacking our capital. We must always improve our capital. Our capital must always be among the best and the most beautiful in the world. I and my colleagues from Nepean, Ottawa Centre and Ottawa-Vanier care about it.

The government must deal with the issues of interprovincial barriers preventing tradespeople from obtaining a competency card so that they can go and work on the Quebec side. We welcome tradespeople from Quebec to work in our community. Unfortunately, Quebec has a regulation requiring cards that prevents non-Quebecers from working in Hull, Gatineau or Aylmer, in our region. That is abominable and the government must make sure that the flow of workers goes both ways. The government must deal with airline service and the highway system in order to improve them. The government must stop cutting services and always dumping on public servants and frightening them.

May 14, 1993

In my riding, 52 per cent of the workers are employed by the federal, provincial, regional or municipal government or by educational institutions. This means that the rest work for small and medium-sized businesses. These companies must be encouraged by giving them better access to financing so that they can create jobs.

I congratulate Carleton-Gloucester, the Board of Trade, the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce, the French-language Chamber of Commerce of business people in the region, the Cumberland Chamber of Commerce. These are people who want to promote small business, who cooperate, who want to do things and get things moving so that people can work. Let us stop making cuts and rather work hard in the national capital to develop job creation programs.

More and more people are unemployed and on welfare. These people are not pleased with their fate and, even worse, cannot pay taxes. They too would like to do their share to pay for social services, but how can they pay or help to pay their taxes when they do not even have a job? Other people who are employed often do not feel that they are secure with federal programs. We are lucky here, a bilingual capital, a very high level of education, a wonderful quality of life compared to Washington, for example, where people feel unsafe a few blocks from the Capitol. Here the attitude and atmosphere is friendly; this is a place where one can raise a family and have a very wide choice in education. Young people must be given hope. Do young people in the national capital today have hope of finding employment in the region?

I ask what the government is doing to improve the region's economic programs. Our national capital will

Private Members' Business

not be developed by breaking off parts of agencies or organizations and transferring them to Flin Flon or Saskatchewan or Alberta or anywhere else in Canada. We must promote our national capital. We need to think globally. As I just said, we need to think of the great capitals of the world and ensure that ours becomes one of the three or four greatest capitals in the world.

The NCC, the National Capital Commission, should be a "facilitator" in the national capital region. It should help with development. Contractors, for example, home builders often have difficulty obtaining cooperation from the NCC. I salute the construction industry and small business people like Guertin or Legault and companies like Coscan, Minto or Urbandale. I hope that the federal government will be involved in tourism, which is not a big expense but which can bring in a lot of revenue.

Finally, to conclude, I make a plea for the youth of the national capital. I ask the Government of Canada to improve the programs so as to give our young people hope.

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Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

There being no further speakers, the time provided for the consideration of Private Members' Business has now expired. Pursuant to Standing Order 96(1), the order is dropped from the Order Paper.

It being five o'clock p.m. this House stands adjourned until Tuesday, May 25, 1993 at ten o'clock a.m. pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
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The House adjourned at 4.58 p.m.



Tuesday, May 25, 1993


May 14, 1993