May 31, 1993

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS

LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Mr. Lawrence MacAulay (Cardigan) moved:

That in the opinion of this House, the government should protect public safety and help fishermen by making all necessary repairs and performing all necessary maintenance to all small craft harbours facilities throughout Prince Edward Island.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to bring forward Motion No. 585 on behalf of the fishermen of Cardigan, Prince Edward Island and in fact on behalf of all the fishermen of Prince Edward Island.

I was born and reared in a small community on the north coast of Prince Edward Island. We made our living in farming and on the sea.

I have a basic understanding of the problems that fishermen go through. I am well aware that fishermen start at three or four o'clock in the morning. They head out to sea having no idea what kind of conditions they are going to face during the day or what it is going to be like coming back into the wharf in the evening.

It is very important that proper funding be put in place to put the small craft harbours in safe condition for the fishermen.

The fishing industry is very important to Prince Edward Island. In 1991 the landed value in my province totalled about $70 million. Over 7,400 people are employed in the industry with over 5,000 working in the harvesting sector.

The fishing industry has grown by over 500 per cent since 1975. Unfortunately however, the funding for repairs to small craft harbour facilities certainly has not grown by any percentage since that time.

The 5,000 people who work in the harvesting sector rely on the adequacy of the small craft harbour facilities throughout Prince Edward Island. They rely on the wharfs as a place to tie up and do their work. They rely on the breakwaters to provide shelter from the sea. They rely on the harbour channels for safe passage.

If things are not kept in their proper order, fishermen and their families start to worry. Sadly when it comes to small craft harbours there has been much more worry and concern than repairs to the harbours over the last number of years.

It is because of this worry that I have sought that work be done on small craft harbour facilities in my riding and all across Prince Edward Island. I have lost track of how many letters I have written to various ministers of fisheries since I was elected. I have stood in my place during Question Period and posed questions to the various ministers of fisheries which were put to me by fishermen who well understand the problems they face every day.

I have made many members' statements concerning different problems with the harbours across Prince Edward Island. I have presented many petitions in the House, which were put together by the fishermen who understand exactly the problems they face.

Unfortunately throughout all of this the government has really done little or nothing for the small craft harbours on Prince Edward Island. The purpose of my motion is quite clear:

That in the opinion of this House, the government should protect public safety and help fishermen by making all necessary repairs and performing all necessary maintenance to all small craft harbours facilities throughout Prince Edward Island.

May 31, 1993

Private Members' Business

As a member of Parliament this is the last tool I have in order to try to convince the minister of fisheries, the government and anybody else involved to come to their senses. The appropriate dollars must be put in place so that the small craft harbours are safe for fishermen to return to from their work so that their lives are not in jeopardy.

I would like to talk about two of the many wharfs in my riding. I know them quite well. The minister of fisheries should also know them quite well because I have written to him many times concerning them.

In March 1989, five months after I was elected, I wrote to the minister of fisheries, now the minister of Indian affairs, about the conditions at Savage Harbour. The wharf and breakwater were damaged and DFO had promised for years to do some of the work but nothing had been done.

One of the biggest problems at Savage Harbour is the breakwater, better known in that area as the black wall. In the late summer of 1988 I went out with a number of fishermen and was shown what the problem was with the breakwater.

I received a letter from the minister. Short-term repairs would cost about $75,000 and would secure the structure for at least two to four years. A more permanent solution would cost an estimated $700,000. Had the government listened to the fishermen, there would have been no $700,000 bill at all. If it had spent the $75,000 and listened to the fishermen, it would still have the black wall and the breakwater, and the wharf in Savage Harbour would be safe. Unfortunately however it would not listen to the fishermen or to me.

In March 1992 I wrote to the present minister of fisheries relaying the concerns of the fishermen that the entire structure might be destroyed. Fishermen were worried about their boats and their lives. In his response last November the minister stated: "My department is aware of the conditions at Savage Harbour. It is impossible at this time to find the funding to repair the breakwater". The $75,000 that was needed to repair this breakwater could not be found.

Six months later in response to two more letters from me the minister stated: "The estimated cost for the repairs at this location is $50,000 and funding is not

available at this time". This is concerning the wharf at Georgetown and $50,000 was not available.

In November 19901 sent my fourth letter in 12 months to the minister. I outlined some urgent repairs that fishermen wanted done at a cost of about $40,000.1 went on to tell the minister: "Neglecting the need for immediate repairs would most likely result in an increase of costs by several hundred thousand dollars". By not doing the needed repairs immediately, most likely the cost would escalate from a small figure to a very large one, as we see it did.

The minister responded a few months later, in March. This was after some winter damage, which shows exactly what can happen. The minister stated: "The funds required to complete this project which would be from $250,000 to $1 million are significant in a period of budgetary restraint and it is difficult to secure them".

It is difficult to secure them all right. The minister could not find $75,000 or $50,000. All of a sudden it goes from $250,000 to $1 million. The people in Georgetown must have a wharf. In the span of one year the government and small craft harbours lost about $1 million by not doing the job that was supposed to be done.

The fishermen find it difficult to understand and hear about budgetary restraint. When they see things like this happening, they cannot understand what path the government is on.

On numerous occasions the present Minister of Employment and Immigration made it clear he would not allocate the necessary money for small craft harbour facilities in my riding. Despite this, in 1990 he did manage to find over $8 million for wharf's in the riding of the member for St. John's West, the present Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Over 10 per cent of the entire small craft harbours' budget in that year was spent in one riding. Still the $50,000 needed to repair the wharf in Georgetown could not be found, but $8 million was found. The people in Georgetown are Canadian citizens too.

There are a lot of issues involved in small craft harbours. There are questions of safety. The environmental impact of these dilapidated wharfs must be looked at. As well, there is the issue of basic fairness and how dollars are spent across the country. Fishermen are just looking for basic fairness.

May 31, 1993

If a harbour channel is not dredged, a fisherman is in risk of running aground when returning from a day on the water with his boat loaded down. If a breakwater is in disrepair, rough seas make it more dangerous to come into port. If a wharf is not in good order, a boat can be damaged just trying to pull up and off-load.

A prime example would be in Fortune Cove over the last few years. The wharf on the east side started to fall to pieces. The faces were falling off into the water. This made it very dangerous for boats to pull up. Boats could be lost or damaged with a large financial loss to the fishermen.

Fishermen realize their profession is a dangerous one. Harbours were once considered to be a safe haven from the dangers of the seas. However some fishermen I know have a greater fear of their wharf and breakwater than they do of the sea. Over the past few years a couple of wharfs in my riding have been condemned by DFO as being unsafe for use. For example, Eastern Graphic indicates the wharf at Machon Point as being dangerous and unsafe for public use.

What are the fishermen supposed to do? Where are they supposed to tie up? Where are they supposed to do their work? There is not enough room at the wharfs as it is and they are told at Machon Point that they cannot use it. I do not know what fishermen are supposed to do.

Part of MacAulay's wharf was below the water line. I wrote to the minister indicating the problem on December 14, 1989: "A section of the wharf is sinking. It is completely submerged at high tide. There are two fuel tanks located on this section of the wharf and diesel fuel is leaking from them into the harbour".

I feel it will be only a matter of time before a life is lost because the government has not lived up to its duty and looked after small craft harbours.

Some wharfs in Prince Edward Island also pose a threat to the local environment. I know a couple of cases where fuel tanks on the wharfs have started to leak into the water. I warned the minister of fisheries about the fuel leaks at MacAulay's wharf. The reason there was a problem at MacAulay's wharf was because the funding, and the small amount it would have taken at the time,

Private Members' Business

was not forthcoming. As the problem escalates and the wharf starts to settle, of course there is greater damage.

If a boat were to sink because of poor harbour conditions, the loss of fuel would have an impact on the sea birds as well as polluting the nets and lobster traps, not to mention that we might lose the lives of some of our fishermen or women. People often do not take the time to consider these things. The possibility is real and so is the threat to the environment.

The response to all of my letters and petitions has been one constant theme. All the ministers of fisheries have stated that there is not enough money in the pot to fund every project needed and that the work necessary in my riding is not high enough on the priority list, or our fishermen's problems are not high enough on the priority list.

Let us look for a minute at how the government did decide to spend the money over the last number of years. In the fiscal years from 1987 to 1992 the Department of Fisheries and Oceans spent about $13.5 million on more than 70 wharfs in Prince Edward Island. In those same years the small craft harbours spent over $24 million on just over 40 wharfs in the riding of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Shame.

It has been suggested to me that reshuffling the dollars was sort of like robbing Peter to pay Paul. However if Peter is getting by far the most it is only fair that Paul gets a chance for a while. Our fishermen feel just like Paul. They are getting robbed continually.

How are fishermen from places like Fortune, Sturgeon or Wood Islands supposed to feel when they see the money pouring into the riding of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans while their wharfs and breakwaters deteriorate?

As well, it seems that the government can find lots of money before elections but not very much afterward. Before the 1988 election, the government managed to find $2.4 million for small craft harbours in my riding. By 1991 that figure had been reduced by 80 per cent. About the only hope we have in Cardigan and Prince Edward Island is if we had an election every year. We could spend lots of money if we had an election but slice it right after. That is not the way maintenance is done. Maintenance must be done every year.

May 31, 1993

Private Members' Business

Of course the Liberal members of Parliament from Atlantic Canada know the exact same thing happened with the money from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. For a government that is so preoccupied in dealing with the deficit, it is strange that it will not spend a bit of money on maintenance.

Thke the example I used earlier in Georgetown where a $50,000 repair job became about a $1 million reconstruction job in one year, and all the government had to do was listen to basic common sense.

It is very difficult to tell fishermen that we are trying to save dollars and are in a restraint program. My constituents tell me that $50,000 is needed but the government says it does not have it. A year later, after the wharf was damaged by ice, and when we knew that the ice and the wind over the winter would do the damage, the bill became $1 million. It makes very little sense.

Even if the government had borrowed the $50,000 it would have been further ahead. Now it will have to borrow or come up with a million dollars to fix it or Georgetown will not have a wharf.

If one owns a house and the roof leaks, one fixes the leak. One certainly does not wait until the House falls apart to do something about it. If so, one does not have a roof over one's head. That is the same situation with the wharfs in my riding and on Prince Edward Island. They would not fix the roof so the house fell in.

Despite all the economic reasons and reasons about fairness, the issue of small craft harbours has one basic concern: safety. Fishermen should feel safe when they come home for an evening. I feel that if the minister of fisheries was actually a fisherman or had a son or daughter who made his or her living from the sea he would better understand the worry in the hearts of the loved ones when they know that the harbours their husbands fish out of are not safe. No argument about priority lists and budget cutbacks could ever satisfy a grieving family if a loved one was lost.

If the government does not do something soon to improve the conditions of the small craft harbours on Prince Edward Island something tragic will happen. The government certainly will not be able to say it did not know anything about it.

I and other members from Prince Edward Island have stood in Question Period. We made statements. We have all written to ministers.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
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LIB

Joseph Blair (Joe) McGuire

Liberal

Mr. McGuire:

Wasted ink.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Mr. MacAulay:

As my hon. colleague indicated, it is wasted ink. However for the safety of the fishermen we have to tiy.

The fishermen in Savage Harbour showed me what needed to be done with the black wall or the breakwater. The dollars could not be found. The $40,000 to $75,000 could not be found. Now they are talking about a $1 million project. Where in the name of God is the government going to find a million if it could not find $50,000? Georgetown is one of the sad situations really when $40,000 or $50,000 would have done the job.

Because of budgetary restraints, and possibly some people believed in this until we found out where dollars were spent in other areas, and to save money the government would not spend $40,000. Now it has to spend $1 million.

Graham Pond is another area where there is a big plant and a lot of boats tie up. I am not sure what the repair figure is there but I would expect it would be close to $1 million too. Launching is in bad shape.

I realize my time has run out. What fishermen want is just some basic fairness. It is pretty hard to tell the fishermen in my riding there are no dollars to spend on their wharfs, and breakwaters when we find that in the riding of the minister of fisheries there was more money spent on one wharf in one year than there was in the last five years in Cardigan.

All the fishermen ask for is basic fairness. I hope we have convinced the government.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
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PC

Charles-Eugène Marin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles-Eugene Marin (Gaspe):

Mr. Speaker, I understand the concerns of the hon. member from Prince Edward Island, since I come from a coastal region where my entire riding is located along a peninsula. It is therefore with great pleasure that I rise to take part in this debate.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is responsible for 1,307 commercial fishing harbours and 800 or so recreational harbours. The department provides the facilities: everything from docks and winches for unloading to access roads and mooring buoys. The government is also responsible for keeping the harbours accessible

May 31, 1993

through dredging and other essential services. Depending on the operational requirements, these may include everything from parking lots to slipways, running water and electricity.

Some revenues are generated by fees charged for harbour services and for licenses. In some ports these revenues are significant. In some they are not. In others they are non-existent, but looked at nation-wide, and this is an important point to grasp, revenues have never come within shouting distance of paying the total bill for their maintenance and operation.

As other speakers have pointed out, there has never been enough money to do everything that needed to be done to keep all of them in first-class shape all of the time. This has been the case from the very beginning. It is very much the case now, when it is a priority for the federal government-and indeed for provincial governments-to cut deficits down to size. In this situation we have to make every dollar count. To do that we have to target spending precisely. We have to do what needs to be done most urgently.

Last but not least, we have to make sure that decisions about projects are based on a close and current understanding of actual needs. For this reason, in 1987, the government looked at a new option for management. Communities would be offered the opportunity to lease harbours from the federal government. Under this arrangement they would take over management and operation of the harbours. The work of management would be done by locally appointed bodies called harbour authorities.

I would like to explain what these bodies are. In terms of legal structure they are non-profit corporations. The directors are appointed by and represent the users of the harbours. Typically these include fishermen, processors and the communities themselves. The federal government leases the harbour facilities to these local bodies for a nominal fee. The harbour authority then takes over the day to day management, administration and operation of the facilities, but it is not asked to bite off more than it can chew. Responsibility for major repairs and other projects remain with the federal government.

Another characteristic of this approach is that the harbour authorities are authorized to charge and collect fees for services, for berthing, or for ice and water,

Private Members' Business

security or electricity. They are also allowed to develop new services. As I will demonstrate in a moment, many have done so in a very imaginative way. Most important, harbour authorities are allowed to retain the revenues they collect. There is a condition attached. They must use it on the harbour. There is a variation on this approach. In some cases, management responsibility has been transferred to harbour authorities not through leases but through management contracts.

The management approach can be tailored to the distinctive needs of the community involved. For example, many harbour authorities in the Pacific Region have been established as arms of local town councils or municipal councils. In Newfoundland and Quebec, on the other hand, harbour authorities are made up of users and other local people. The directors of the authority at Fortune Harbour include a fisherman, an engineer, a fish merchant and a town engineer. At Ste-Anne-des-Monts the authority is headed by the local chief of the Surete du Quebec.

I want to emphasize that this is a completely voluntary program. The community must want to take over these responsibilities. It must make the first move. The program is also selective. Once an application is received, the federal government enters into negotiations with the community concerned. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans looks at the record of the harbour, at the requirements for upkeep, and at the potential it has for becoming self-sufficient in the matter of day to day operations.

Today, after three years of operation, we can say that the harbour authorities approach works. One hundred and forty-nine of these local bodies are now in existence, operating a total of 205 harbours across Canada. There are 26 in Newfoundland, 33 in Quebec, five in Saskatchewan and 23 in British Columbia. There are 5 in Prince Edward Island.

We know from what we hear from fishermen that management is better at these harbours. It works because decisions about harbour needs and opportunities are being made by people who understand the situation better than anyone else. Problems that come up unexpectedly can be dealt with immediately. Others can be pre-empted because people on the spot can see them coming. New requirements for service can be met quickly. New opportunities for revenues can be exploited before they fade away.

May 31, 1993

Private Members' Business

Conflicts are now usually resolved locally without having to be bounced up to the political level. Fishermen and other users used to object strenously to paying fees for harbour use to the federal government where it was swallowed up into the anonymous vortex of the central revenue fund. There is much less resistance now when the money is seen to be going to a local body for obviously local uses.

Furthermore, local people are usually able to make better deals for their communities on the purchase of repairs and minor maintenance.

We have an excellent example of that from Prince Edward Island. A harbour authority was established in Georgetown about three years ago. The harbour is on the eastern shore of the island and it is an extremely important base for lobster and other fishermen. The Harbour Authority in that case operates in the management contract mode.

It became necessary to repair a section of the wharf at Georgetown. Previous to this arrangement, the job had been estimated at a certain figure. The Harbour Authority beat the bushes and came up with an estimate from a local contractor for a good solid job that met all specifications. It came in at one-quarter of the previous estimate.

Another advantage is access to funds. Previously, when the federal government had full and exclusive control of the harbours its only source of funding was itself. However harbour authorities can and do tap other sources: provincial, municipal and otherwise.

The approach also allows the community to develop new revenue-raising opportunities that might otherwise have been ignored.

Let me mention a few examples: the harbour authority at Petit Cap, New Brunswick now operates and rents for a fee, 50 or more bait houses. An ice-making machine is also a good source of additional income.

The harbour authorities have been a force for environmental improvement. A good example is the authority at Cheticamp Harbour, Nova Scotia. This local body organized a co-ordinated local drive to clean up this harbour, its shoreline and the wharfs. The harbour authority manager is quoted as saying that: "It means our wharves are clear. Fouled propellors and clogged cooling systems are becoming a thing of the past. Peer pressure is developing to keep it that way".

The largest fishing harbour in Canada is at Steveston, B.C. It is the base for 1,000 commercial vessels and pleasure craft. It too is being managed by a harbour authority. This body generates $1.2 million a year in revenues. Its activities have included development of a plan to respond to oil spills, fires and other emergencies.

This approach will not solve all the problems. Neither this system nor any other will give us the wherewithal to do, as my hon. friend suggests, all that should be done in every location. However along with an intelligent system of priorities it will help us to target the funds that are available to best effect. In this period that is a very important contribution.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
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LIB

Joseph Blair (Joe) McGuire

Liberal

Mr. Joe McGuire (Egmont):

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to rise in support of Motion No. 585, sponsored by my colleague from Cardigan.

First, I would like to mention the question I raised in the House last Tuesday concerning the groundfish package ior Atlantic Canada and the misleading answer that the Minister of Employment and Immigration gave. The groundlish quotas for Atlantic Canada were cut last December and five months later the government still does not know how it is going to compensate the fishermen for the 70 per cent reduction in the quota.

I asked the minister last Tliesday if he would do as the minister did in Newfoundland. As a result of the fact that the unemployment insurance for the fishermen ran out on May 15 I asked the minister if the government would do what it did in Newfoundland and provide assistance now that could be claimed back when the package is finally ready. The Minister of Employment and Immigration jumped up from his seat and immediately said: "Yes, indeed, we will move now. As a matter of fact, fishermen and plant workers can go to the CEC office tomorrow and make their applications".

May 31, 1993

That is not true at all. The fishermen have gone to employment and immigration offices and have not found applications for anything there, let alone advance assistance to tide them over until the package can come into play.

I called on the minister to clarify his answer but he has made no effort to do so, either privately or publicly, since he gave the incorrect response. It is only fair that the fishermen in Atlantic Canada know there is really no advance assistance coming to their aid.

I would now like to address my remarks to Motion No. 585 and go over what has happened in my riding with the budget for this year. The small craft harbours program for Canada has a $72 million budget. I will now read the list of the 10 wharfs in my riding of Egmont and what each is receiving from this $72 million budget: Alberton wharf is receiving nothing; Miminegash, where a little work was done last year and where a real mess was left, is receiving nothing; Howards Cove, where the south wall is caving in and a major reconstruction project must be done, is receiving nothing; Egmont Bay, which last year was promised a reconstructed slipway, is receiving nothing; Hardys Channel, where last year boats could hardly make it out of the harbour mouth because of the sand, will have dredging funds provided, and even though it is a year late we are very thankful that these funds did come through for that harbour; Seacow Pond harbour is receiving no funds this year; Skinner's Pond harbour is receiving no funds this year; Fishing Cove, or Cape Egmont, is receiving no funds this year; and West Point is receiving no funds this year.

We now come to the wharf where during the past provincial election there was a great hue and cry about what the government was going to do there. The local papers were full of all the things the federal government was going to do if only the people in the first district of Prince county would vote Conservative. It was going to spend in excess of $3 million in a plan that would be phased with approximately $1 million a year being spent until the wharf was basically fit to work from.

These are some of the things that were said during that time. The wharfinger said: "What we really need is two wharfs. The understructure of the wharf is out"

Private Members' Business

according to Mr. McRae "and the steel underneath is rusted out because it is so old. The wharf has been in this condition for the past 10 years. The wharf has gone beyond repair". The manager of the Tignish Fisheries Co-op is quoted as saying: "It is not safe for big boats to come into the harbour. Many boats hit the bottom because of sand and planking in the harbour". The harbour manager is quoted as saying: "Someone is going to be killed at the wharf".

Small craft harbours personnel were rushing up to Tignish and drawing up plans of what they were going to do and an announcement was going to be made before the provincial election was over. The senator in the area and staff from the Department of Public Works came up and made the commitment that the completion of repairs was anticipated to take several years. The senator promised that the government would not hold back until all this work was done.

We found out what it did. Instead of the more than $3 million project that was going to be announced, the government announced a fund of $305,000. When we take the consulting engineering fees off that amount, the money spent on the actual work done will be a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

The provincial minister from the area says: "Obviously we are being penalized because of our political colours. The last thing we need in the next couple of weeks is to hear that we are going to get more band-aid solutions". He feels that they should not settle for a wharf repair project of a couple of hundred thousand dollars. That is exactly what we got; a wharf repair project of a couple of hundred thousand dollars which will affect a very small area and not even the area that is condemned. The area on the south block that is condemned will not receive one penny this year and probably nothing in the years to come if the spending habits of this government are followed.

Over the past nine years we received practically nothing. We had minimum maintenance on a couple of our wharfs but basically the $72 million a year on average that was spent over the past nine years was spent in other ridings, in particular in ridings that supported the government.

May 31, 1993

Private Members' Business

I would like to know where the $3 million that was promised went. There was great concern over our fishermen's safety. At all the meetings held in this particular harbour there was great concern expressed and much tear-jerking and crying over the safety of the fishermen going in and out of the wharf.

Yet when the election was over that concern evaporated. Given the results of the election the fishermen themselves did not believe what the Conservative candidates, the Conservative senators and the small craft harbours personnel were saying in this case.

In June of last year the minister of fisheries stated in the House that in excess of $2 million would be required for this particular harbour. Actually it is a double wharf, Judes Point and Tignish Shore, but they have the same entrance. Given that $72 million and the condition of this wharf, where is this plan that was drawn up by the federal bureaucrats which was supposed to be implemented this year and continued over the next couple of years?

When will small craft harbours go back and clean up the mess it left in Miminegash? If one went down there and took a photograph of the conditions that were left after the block washed out a couple of years ago, one would see that the condition of that wharf is a disgrace.

P.E.I.'s fishermen have been discriminated against for the past nine years, even when they had two Tory members from P.E.I. representing them in the federal government. They were represented by the former Minister of the Environment from the riding of Hillsborough and another member from Cardigan at the time. Both of these gentlemen have been removed from the political scene but we hear they are anxious to try their luck again. I would say they would need a lot of luck to remove the two sitting members from that area of P.E.I.

Even when they had representation from P.E.I. in the cabinet they still could not get a penny for the fishermen in Prince Edward Island. This is where they stand on the priority list as far as Prince Edward Island is concerned. They stand at the very bottom.

I think it is time to put party politics aside and do what is necessary for the fishermen of Prince Edward Island and support the present infrastructure. I do not think we can afford to sit back any longer and let the wharfs return to nature, as some of them are. Sometimes it is

even hard to recognize that there is a wharf in a harbour in some areas of Prince Edward Island.

This work needs to be done now and I encourage the minister and the government to set money aside to address this very serious problem.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
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PC

Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for International Trade):

Mr. Speaker, the House has just had the most extraordinary confession by my hon. friend from Egmont. He has just told this House and the people of Canada that Prince Edward Island's fishermen have had ineffective representation in this place for the last few years.

I say to the member: Wait until after the next election. If the incumbents cannot provide effective representation perhaps the people of Prince Edward Island will find somebody who can provide them with effective representation.

I would like to think, at the risk of seeming to be less than humble, that the people of South Shore on the other hand have not had ineffective representation. When I reflect over the last four and a half years I am really quite delighted with the work that has been done by small craft harbours with respect to what is going on in the South Shore.

My hon. friend from Cardigan was talking about expenditures in the riding of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He was being a little bit mischievous when he did that because when he used that figure of 10 per cent he was talking about 10 per cent of expenditures on projects in excess of $250,000.

My hon. friend knows perfectly well that the vast majority of expenditures is on projects that are under that amount. My hon. friend also knows that the building of a wharf is an expensive proposition. A major wharf project is $1 million, $1.5 million or $2 million. Naturally the people of the community might have to work for several years to get support for a particular project.

I know, for example, the fishermen of Port Medway in Queen's county were in need of a wharf for many years. I am delighted they were able to get that wharf. It was a $2 million project and it took several years to get the wharf. It was the same for the people of Milltown. I might say I fought for it. It was one of the first projects I was successful in getting for my constituency. It was a project of over $1 million. We have to work to get such stuff.

May 31. 1993

A project such as the one in the riding of St. John's West naturally distorts the figures in that particular year. My hon. friend really ought to look at the figures to see a fairly balanced and fair representation.

We do not come here just to sit and listen to debates in the House of Commons. We come up here to represent our constituencies. That means going over and pestering them at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans sometimes to see that the priorities are the priorities we are here to reflect. I am really delighted we have had a fair bit of success in South Shore.

As I was listening to my hon. friends I tried to scribble down a list of projects that I know happened in the South Shore: Fox Point, Mill Cove, Little Tmcook, Big Tan-cook, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, Hunts Point, Ingomar, West Head, Clam Point, Bear Point, Shag Harbour, Newellton, and there are more. Those are the only ones I can remember off the top of my head. That is representation.

I would be glad to spend some time with my hon. colleagues advising them on how to dialogue with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and how to dialogue with the small craft harbour people both in the region and in Ottawa to see that they effectively represent their fishermen.

I give fair warning here and now to anybody who is interested, whether it be those in the small craft harbour branch or whether it be my hon. friends opposite, that I am not finished yet. There are a number of harbours in the South Shore that still have needs.

For three years I have told the people of Stony Island on Cape Sable Island that the number one Shelburne county priority is to get them the new wharf they need. I am going to continue to pester until I get that wharf for them. Similarly East Port Laberge is veiy badly in need of some port work. Some dredging needs to be done in Sandy Point and some dredging needs to be done at Chester Basin. I intend to raise my voice, whether it be in this place, over the phone to DFO or wherever, to see that the needs of those fishermen are attended to because that quite frankly is why they sent me here. That is my job. My job is to be the South Shore's representa-

Private Members' Business

tive in Ottawa, not the other way around. That is the way I see my job and I intend to continue to do my job that way.

I must say I want to thank my hon. friend from Cardigan for bringing the topic of small craft harbours before the House today. It is a topic that is perhaps not well known to a lot of Canadians. It is obviously something that impacts us in coastal Atlantic Canada to a tremendous degree. I do not think people often realize just how expensive these wharfs are.

We cannot just take a little dock and tie up a multi-tonne fishing vessel to it. When we have ferocious seas from time to time in Atlantic Canada, obviously we need to have break walls constructed and the wharfs have to be constructed in such a way that they will last for many years. It is complex and it is expensive.

This infrastructure is absolutely and unequivocally essential to the cariying on of the fishing industry. A wharf to a fishermen is like a highway to a trucker or an airport to a pilot. We cannot move grain out of the west without rail lines. All these bits of infrastructure are critically important. We have literally hundreds and hundreds of fishing ports in Atlantic Canada.

I must admit I am perhaps playing mischief with my friends opposite, but the reality is that there is never enough money to go around. My friend should not play mischief with the budgetary matters before us.

One day I sat down with a small craft harbour person in South Shore. He and I figured on a piece of paper that we could spend $40 million to do all the work that needed to be done in the South Shore constituency alone. Yet government finances being what they are, there is only $70 million available for the small craft harbour budget.

The topic my hon. friend put before us today has to do with safety and repairs. That is a number one priority. Each year officials do their best with the budgets made available. They would be the first ones to tell us they could probably use a budget five to ten times the budget made available to them. First is emergency repairs and doing the work that has to be done. Then the money for maintenance is taken off.

May 31, 1993

Private Members' Business

Much has been made of a couple of examples. Again there has been some mischief made with the examples used. Different things happen from time to time so we cannot say the same problem has been extended as certainly was implied by my hon. friend.

By the time the maintenance money is taken out and by the time the money for emergency repairs is taken out, frequently there is not a lot of money left. That is a practical problem we have in government. I will not go into it as I could very readily. I would be glad, if I were given another hour, to go over the debt problem of this country which is the legacy of the government of my hon. friends opposite. I will not do that.

I want to mention Prince Edward Island in particular. My hon. friend asks: "Where did the $3 million go?" I will tell him where it went. There were 195 small craft harbours projects in Prince Edward Island in 1992-93 in 59 locations. Over $3 million was spent in Prince Edward Island. That is not a bad sum on a per capita basis if we look at spending in Prince Edward Island. As we sit here today there is work going on at Graham Pond, North Lake, Milligans Shore, Seacow Pond, Skinner Pond and Northam.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Permalink
LIB

David Kilgour

Liberal

Mr. Kilgour:

There must be an election coming, Peter.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Permalink
PC

Peter L. McCreath (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCreath:

I am glad my hon. friend from Edmonton talks about it. There was an article a few days ago in The Hill Times by Mr. Warren. It showed that like a lot of people he does not really have knowledge of small craft harbours. He was making reference to the fact that a couple of projects have been announced in the South Shore and to me personally the implication was that these things were only happening because there was an election coming.

II Mr. Warren and others like him would do a bit of research they would know there have been small craft harbour projects every year. My hon. friend opposite suggests there is no expanding except during an election. He should have been around after the 1988 election. He would have found out that it was shortly after the election we had the extension put on at Bear Point. We had a whole new wharf done at Newellton. We had work done at West Head wharf.

It was not pre-election boondoggle spending as he implied. It was having aggressive representation in Parliament and recognizing that the needs of our fishermen are a priority and their safety and the ability of the industry to perform are absolutely essential.

I thank my hon. friends opposite for bringing this topic forward. Perhaps they should go back to the drawing-board and work just a bit harder. Then maybe they would represent their constituencies as effectively as some of my colleagues on this side have been able to do.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
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NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Port Moody-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of comments. What Canadians are seeing is a perfect example of what I think is a fairly corrupt political system. The small craft harbour system seems to be expensive as the hon. member just said. It works this way: We give them the government contract and they give us the votes.

It is an old form of political patronage which should not exist in this country. As a matter of fact I believe even further, after hearing this debate, that we need to reform our political system. We have a 19th century system where the people on the east coast have too many seats in Parliament and the people in the west have too few. We should have representation by population. Therefore we would have more members from western Canada, the new growing areas of Canada that have real problems, and would get rid of the silly patronage system of small craft harbours.

The maritime provinces should unite into one province. Then the federal government should give them power over things like small craft harbours. We could take the whole matter out of the House and could get rid of a patronage system. Or they could have the patronage in their own backyard and not use the money of my constituents to do it.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Permalink
LIB

George Albert Proud

Liberal

Mr. George Proud (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to participate in this debate for a couple of minutes. I was interested in listening to my friend from South Shore speaking on the topic of small craft harbour repairs. He went on to say that in his area all the harbours seem to be in pretty good shape. It is kind of ironic because in that part of the country apparently they have wharfs and no fish. In our part of the country we have one of the last unspoiled fisheries in Canada and there is not enough wharf repair and dredging. I commend my colleague from Cardigan on his motion. It brings to the attention of Parliament the many problems we are having on Prince Edward Island.

May 31, 1993

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Permalink
PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

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.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS
Sub-subtopic:   MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS
Permalink

GOVERNMENT ORDERS

ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT

LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Mr. Maurizio Bevilacqua (York North) moved:

That this House regrets the continued inability of the government to address the tragedy of unemployment, especially among the young and particularly with regard to education and job training and retraining, and call for the immediate initiation of a national apprenticeship program and a national youth service program as major steps toward resolving this situation.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a very sad fact that hundreds of thousands of young Canadians have seen their futures put on hold by the current recession.

Many people in their twenties still have not had their first real jobs. Others have been forced to suspend their post-secondary education because they can no longer afford the tuition. At the high school level 100,000 young Canadians are losing hope and dropping out every year.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that 45 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 29 expect their standard of living to decline over the next 20 years. This discouraging view of the future may be based on an awareness of a grim reality.

Between 1980 and 1990 the incomes of workers younger than 25 shrank by 20 per cent. The recession has hit them the hardest. The youth unemployment rate has increased faster than any other group. It is obvious that many young Canadians are in a very difficult situation. They are in grave need of assistance.

The government seeks to deny this but Liberals realize that something must be done for young people. We have presented this opposition day motion because unlike the government we believe that Canada's youth needs help.

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The federal government could be and should be doing more to help them.

I entered politics at a very young age. One of the reasons I became involved so early was that I felt young Canadians lacked a strong voice in government. I felt the concerns of young people were being ignored. As a member of Parliament I have devoted a great deal of my time to defending the interest of Canada's youth. I have done so in large measure because I do not believe we must accept the conventional wisdom which states this generation of young Canadians is doomed to a life of diminished opportunities.

I sincerely believe we are standing on the threshold of what could be a new golden age. Advances in computers, medicine, science, communications, environmental technologies and many other fields are occurring at a breath-taking pace.

There are potentially limitless and unimaginable opportunities in India and the nations of southeast Asia as their economies continue to expand. In eastern Europe and Latin America there is a demand for Canadian expertise in communications, primary resource technology and infrastructure construction. No, the future need not be as bleak as some would paint it. However the potential opportunities I have just described will only materialize after a great deal of hard work on the part of Canada's young people and support from their governments.

Young people today face many daunting challenges, not the least of which are the many questions young Canadians have about their own futures. Wherever I meet with young people, whether in my riding of York North or in some distant corner of Canada, I meet people who are worried about getting good jobs after they graduate from school. Who can blame them when

421,000 young Canadians are unemployed? Many of their friends cannot find work after they graduate from university and the government has cut the budget of its summer employment program from $149.3 million in 1985 to $88 million in 1993.

I know the government thinks we are exaggerating the seriousness of this problem. The Minister of State for Youth said in the House on March 18 when speaking

May 31, 1993

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about the situation of young Canadians: "I do not think it is an ideal situation but it is certainly not desperate". We disagree and so do the hundreds of thousands of young Canadians who are unemployed, who have dropped out of high school or who cannot afford a post-secondary education.

The government turns a deaf ear to these concerns. Confronted with the needs of young people, the standard Conservative responses are either "we are doing enough" or "we cannot do anything else".

We Liberals reject both statements. The government is not doing enough. The government could do a lot more if it really cared about youth issues. We Liberals reject the status quo that is keeping young people down. We want to effect positive change.

In the speech I mentioned earlier, the minister for youth concluded that his government is "doing what has to be done to help young people of this country prepare for the challenges of a constantly changing world". I find that hard to believe. Despite the government's constant claim that we Liberals are exaggerating the severity of the problem, I have never heard young people or youth serving organizations contradict us. I have sat down with small groups of young people from every region of this country. I have visited grade schools and high schools in my riding and throughout Canada. Last week I addressed over 2,000 high school students at Roy Thomson Hall. The feelings we Liberals have are always confirmed.

In all my meetings in York North and elsewhere, in all the public meetings the Liberal youth committee carried out across Canada, no one has ever come to me and said that things are going well for young Canadians or that the government is doing a fine job.

The minister congratulated himself because employment and immigration spent $211 million in 1992-93 on programs specifically aimed at young people. It seems strange that he is satisfied with that, given the fact that there are still 100,000 high school students who drop out every year. Students are dropping out at a time when 28 per cent of those between 16 and 24 are functionally illiterate and 44 per cent fail to meet the requirements for functional numeracy. It is strange that the minister feels he is doing enough when we consider that Canada has a youth unemployment rate of 17.8 per cent when the rate for the over-all population is 11.4 per cent. Look at the youth unemployment across Canada: 38.4 per cent in Newfoundland, 23.7 per cent in Nova Scotia,

21.2 per cent in Quebec, 17.5 per cent in Ontario, 16.6 per cent in Manitoba and 17.9 per cent in Alberta. Among returning students 17.9 per cent were unemployed last summer compared to 14.5 per cent in 1991 and 10.6 per cent in 1990.

During the first 12 months of the recession, youth bore 60 per cent of the decline in employment. This unemployment comes at a time when post-secondaiy education is being placed out of reach for an increasing number of students. Since 1986 the Conservative government has cut $9 billion in transfer payments to provinces which should have gone toward education. Because of this and other budget cuts, tuition fees have increased by 58 per cent over the past five years. This year's increase was 8.5 per cent, more than four times the rate of inflation.

Young Canadians are further disadvantaged by the government's narrow-minded approach to training which pits different groups of Canadians against each other. By slowly transferring its responsibility for training to the UI system, the government is setting up a system where only those who have worked qualify for training.

Many young people leaving school have trouble finding first jobs and therefore cannot get into training programs in order to upgrade their skills. Training programs geared toward non-UI eligible clients such as youth, the disabled or women trying to re-enter the labour force are constantly being cut back. Young Canadians find themselves in a depressing catch-22. They cannot get jobs unless they have the skills and they cannot get the skills unless they have jobs.

The Liberals are proposing a better way. Through public hearings the Liberal Senate and House of Commons committee learned that the common thread that runs through many of the problems associated with young people is a loss of hope brought on by a lack of opportunities. In response to the concerns of the people we met, the committee came up with several recommendations to help equip young people with the tools they need to succeed.

Our recommendations include: a commitment to eradicating illiteracy and innumeracy; reviewing the financing of post-secondary education to protect its accessibility; increasing the public awareness of co-operative educa-

May 31, 1993

tion; the creation of a national apprenticeship training program; the establishment of a Canadian environmental youth force; the introduction of tax-based incentives to encourage on the job training and the development of a national system for matching jobs to the available work force.

We are committed to an education system that recognizes the importance of preparing our children for school and provides them with a school system of the highest calibre. Upon their graduation we are committed to ensuring that they have access to post-secondary education and apprenticeship training. Canada needs a work force that is second to none in skills and flexibility. We need a highly skilled work force that can adapt easily to changes and technological applications in organizational structures.

We need to bring Canada's apprenticeship training system up to the level of our competitors in the industrialized world. For example, Germany has established a very successful training system that produces more skilled workers than Canada does at a lower cost because young people in Germany have the option of going into training programs at an early age. The drop-out rate in that country is less than 10 per cent while in Canada it is 30 per cent.

The number of apprentices in Germany represents 7.1 per cent of the work force. In Canada, the number is 1.1 per cent. In Germany, the average age of an apprentice is 17, whereas in Canada it is 26. The German system is more efficient. The average length of an apprenticeship in Germany is two to three years, while in Canada it is four to five years. In Germany, the cost is only $51,000 over 3.5 years for an apprenticeship and the apprentice earns $25,000 over that time. In Canada an apprenticeship costs $170,000 over five years and wages are $120,000 over the same period.

If we are going to be able to compete against Germany and the rest of the developed world, we need to reform our apprenticeship training system. That is why a Liberal government would be committed to working together with the provinces, business, labour and other partners to establish a national apprenticeship program. This would help keep young people in school and help ease the transition from school to work. A Liberal government would also put in place tax-based incentives to

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encourage on the job training in order to equip Canadian workers and industry to secure their future to training and retraining.

Another way that a Liberal government would help young people is through the establishment of a Canadian youth service designed to allow young Canadians to gain skills and develop useful work habits. Through this program young people would work on environmental protection or clean-up projects, or they would help respond to the social needs of their particular communities. We would pursue this initiative because Liberals realize that governments must be active participants in society. Liberals realize that people economics must come before balance sheet economics.

Of course the Conservatives scoff at this idea in their obsession with fighting inflation at the expense of everything else. An economist once wrote that the ultimate aim of economic activity is to increase people's happiness, not satisfy arbitrary accounting equations and I agree. Liberals believe in putting human consideration before all others. Besides being more humane that approach is the best guarantee of ongoing prosperity.

As our leader has said: "The comprehensive investment strategy in the Canadian people is the key that will unlock the door to a prosperous future for Canada". A prosperous Canada will not be possible without a highly skilled work force. That highly skilled work force necessitates the investment in education and training that we are advocating today. The government wonders how it will pay for these programs when it can barely afford the $211 million it now spends on special youth programs.

A government is judged by the priorities it sets for itself. Two hundred and eleven million dollars seems like a large amount of money in isolation but it is small compared to the $5.8 billion the government is spending on a fleet of helicopters designed to hunt Soviet nuclear submarines. A mere 1 per cent of the total projected costs of the cold war helicopter program would provide an additional $15 million for youth programs. The government refuses to even consider that option. It has made its choice. At a time when 1.6 million Canadians are unemployed, record numbers of businesses are going bankrupt and the federal debt is mushrooming and the Conservatives are spending our money on helicopters instead of people in need.

May 31, 1993

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That is not surprising. Canadians have lost hope in this government which has bitterly forsaken them in its last dying days. Mercifully in a few months Canada will have a new government that respects Canadians, understands the link between social, environmental and economic policy and is willing to do what must be done to ensure that young Canadians once again look toward the future with hope and self-confidence.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Permalink
PC

Pauline Browes (Minister of State (Employment and Immigration))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pauline Browes (Minister of State (Employment and Immigration)):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to respond to some of the things my hon. colleague has spoken about today. Youth and youth employment, hope and opportunities for young people in Canada are of prime importance to the prosperity and future of our country. I think it is important to set the record straight on a couple of issues that my colleague has talked about.

I would like to remind the hon. member that the amount of money that has been put toward youth employment has been increased by $5 million. Some 400 youth employment centres have opened in the last few weeks across Canada to help young people. Last summer

179,000 young people got jobs through their youth employment centres.

The hon. member talks about what the Liberal Party might do if, God forbid, it would ever get in power again. Under the last Liberal administration youth unemployment increased by 5.3 per cent to an all-time high of 18.2 per cent. That is an outrageous record.

The Liberal program on youth talks about eradicating illiteracy. I would like to mention to the hon. member that some $296 million over five years has been put forth on this issue. This government invested $739 million in 1991-1992 to provide 377,000 young people with training and employment assistance including basic skills training.

Some $6 billion of taxpayers' money goes to the provinces for post-secondary education. We have allocated $24.6 million in new funding over the five-year period in co-op programs across Canada. The apprenticeship program has been excellent. We have been able to build the sectorial partnerships leading to more innovative programs.

The hon. member talked about the environmental youth force. It is another area where I think he should really have known what has been going in the last few years. Forty million dollars from environmental citizenship has been put forth to provide funds for youth in environment projects. I think the hon. member has been sleeping for the last couple of years and does not know what has been going on.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Permalink
LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Mr. Bevilacqua:

Mr. Speaker if anybody has been sleeping in this place it has been members of the government.

I have been travelling throughout Canada in the past year listening to what young people have to say. There is a common theme to what they have to say about the Conservative government policy and I am sure the hon. member shares my view because we have over 400,000 young people unemployed.

The government boasts a great deal about its co-operative education program. In 1989 it was committed to quadrupling expenditures on co-operative education but it has not met that target, even though the hon. member knows co-operative education is a very effective way of giving young people the skills they require.

On behalf of young people I take a great deal of offence to the arrogance this government has demonstrated in the past nine years with regard to youth issues. It speaks a great deal about the stay-in-school initiative yet it cannot provide members of Parliament with an assessment of the program. Is it having a positive impact and has the high school drop-out rate dropped as a result of that program?

This summer we are going to see young people out on the streets. We are seeing the manifestations of the anger and frustration of young people everywhere throughout Canada, including the past weekend. We have seen young people on Yonge Street in Toronto whose frustration levels are very high.

I find it quite remarkable to see that members on the opposite side can always hide behind helicopters and deficit reduction schemes-which they have been total failures at reducing-and forget about the human element of governing.

It is apparent to me that this government has run out of ideas. It has no political will to bring about positive change and restore hope to young people. We have only

May 31, 1993

seen cuts in key areas of education and in summer employment opportunities. We have seen no progress in key areas that would provide young people with the skills required.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John McDermid (Minister of State (Finance and Privatization)):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest this morning to my hon. friend. I think he will admit that the stay-in-school program that the federal government has embarked upon has been fairly successful.

If we take a look at some of the statistics that are coming out today, rather than the 30 per cent drop-out rate that everybody has been using, including myself, over the last period of time, Statistics Canada has said our drop-out rate is down to about 18 per cent.

My hon. colleague from Scarborough, the Minister of State for Employment and Immigration has told me the drop-out rate is 8 per cent in Scarborough. It is getting much better and I am pleased to see that.

One of the reasons may be economic. If young people are not able to find jobs then they are not enticed out of school at an earlier date. I think that may be important. One young man in my community who I know very well was enticed out of school for a job that paid him about $20 an hour. He thought it was far better to get into that than to stay in school. Now that is not as readily available.

I understand the Liberals are proposing a national apprenticeship program as part of their youth platform. I wonder if they have received the co-operation of provinces on that. Second, which apprenticeships are they referring to, because as everyone knows there are many types of apprenticeships? Third, what is this going to cost the national treasury? Have they costed this type of thing out to ensure they are not duplicating federally what the provinces are doing? Could he expand a little bit on the apprenticeship program?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
Permalink
LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Mr. Bevilacqua:

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the sincerity of the minister's question.

Before 1 answer his question I want to bring to his attention the cost of inaction. A recent study by the Conference Board of Canada suggests that Canadian society will lose $4 billion over the working lives of the

137,000 students who dropped out of school in 1989.

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There comes a point in the history of a country when governments must realize that essentially they have to move away from balance sheet economics to people economics, to give the skills to young people that will make them competitive with the students and young people of other countries who will be competing for the same global marketplace.

Our apprenticeship program should be modelled a great deal on the German model which has been extremely effective. Second, apprenticeship should not be relegated just to traditional occupations. For example when people think of apprenticeship they often think about plumbers and carpenters.

Modern day industries and industries of the future, such as environmental technologists, have to create apprenticeship programs. We will have to expand the number of areas sectorally for apprentices so that more people, more businesses and more co-operation takes place within Canada. In this way more young people can participate in programs and we will continue to have a supply of skilled labour that can meet the challenging times ahead.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-YOUTH EMPLOYMENT
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May 31, 1993