June 4, 1993

UNEMPLOYMENT

LIB

Mark Joseph Assad

Liberal

Mr. Mark Assad (Gatineau-La Lievre):

Madam Speaker, the effects of unemployment are becoming increasingly widespread from year to year. The higher unemployment rate experienced by regions like Chicou-timi-Jonquiere, which at 16 per cent has the highest rate in Quebec, followed by Trois-Rivieres, Montreal and Sherbrooke, confirms the failure of the policies of the Conservative government that will not recognize the destructive impact of the free trade agreement it negotiated.

Although media reports mentioned a recovery in the manufacturing sector, we see that in Quebec, unemployment continues to rise in this sector. The lack of programs to help industries through the transition during the past four years is a sign of the weakness of this government. The negative impact of free trade, combined with a lack of training in technological skills and the increased tax burden on the middle class, have not only further weakened the Canadian economy but also led to the creation of an underground economy, unfortunately.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT
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CHILDREN

PC

Dave Worthy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Dave Worthy (Cariboo-Chilcotin):

Madam Speaker, people who I represent have always expressed concern for law and order issues. However recently there has been a dramatic increase in their communica-

Oral Questions

tions to me in regard to two issues that are now before us in this House. One issue of course is child pornography. The other issue relates to child abuse. I have been overwhelmed by their support for these pieces of legislation.

To date I have heard from over 1,000 people living in my riding, from the communities of Williams Lake, Quesnel, 100 Mile House, Alexis Creek. The list of communities goes on. This legislation is seen by them as a commitment to the children of Canada. The people I represent want to see this commitment embedded in the Criminal Code.

They have asked me to express to all members in the House the importance of ensuring that these issues receive our careful attention. Therefore, when we rise for the summer it will be with the knowledge that Canadian children will be better protected.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CHILDREN
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

EMPLOYMENT

LIB

Sheila Maureen Copps

Liberal

Ms. Sheila Copps (Hamilton East):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Acting Prime Minister.

This government has one week left and all we are hearing from the leadership candidates is what a great economic job it has done. What a joke.

At the time of the last election there were one million Canadians looking for work. Today there are 1.6 million Canadians who do not have jobs. Since the last election the unemployment rate has shot up by 60 per cent.

There are 41,000 jobless in Hamilton and more to come, thanks to this government's ridiculous trade policies. There are 45,000 jobless in Calgary. Almost

500,000 people in Toronto are looking for work.

How can the government say it is on the right economic track when so many more people are hurting today?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, I want to draw to the hon. member's attention the good economic news that is coming out daily.

June 4, 1993

Oral Questions

For example, sales are up dramatically for our domestic auto makers. Just yesterday General Motors announced a third shift and that 650 more workers are to be hired. The figures for Chrysler, the company that builds its cars in Brampton, Ontario, rose 16.1 per cent. The figures for trucks are up 15.3 per cent and for cars, 17 per cent. These domestic auto makers are doing extremely well.

Capacity utilization is up strongly in our manufacturing area. Statistics Canada attributes that to our strong exports.

For the hon. member to stand up and blame the woes on the free trade agreement or other things is totally wrong.

What is happening is that the economy is recovering from a very serious recession and the recovery is very slow. However the signs are now there. Canada is going to come out of this recession much stronger than all the other OECD countries. This was just expressed this week by the OECD. It is the strongest growth not only in economic terms but in employment terms as well.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Sheila Maureen Copps

Liberal

Ms. Sheila Copps (Hamilton East):

Madam Speaker, I am surprised the minister can afford to brag about a 60 per cent increase in unemployment since the last election. We are talking about 1,600,000 Canadians who are out of work. In Montreal, 80,000 jobs were lost just since the last election. In Toronto, 150,000 more jobs were lost. How can the minister say he is doing a good job when the government knows that the employment figures and statistics tell an entirely different story?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, the hon. member failed to mention that since our government was elected, 1.3 million more people are working today than there were back in 1984. That was a slight oversight, I am sure, by my hon. friend.

I think the hon. member fails to recognize or refer to the fact that we have come through a very serious recessionary period in that period of time. The hon. member knows because when her party was the Government of Canada it experienced the same problem, that in recessionary periods there is the problem of high unemployment. That happens.

What we have been able to accomplish is to get interest rates and inflation down and to get Canada positioned to take advantage of the growth we are going to experience both this year and next. Jobs will follow with that growth.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Sheila Maureen Copps

Liberal

Ms. Sheila Copps (Hamilton East):

Madam Speaker, I was in the House four years ago when the Minister of Finance announced he was going to bring about a recession in Canada. I was also here when both Tory leadership candidates fully supported the policies of that same minister.

He was talking about jobs, so I will ask him why, in one month, we lost 78 full-time jobs? Part-time jobs at a fast food outlet are fine, but when will we have a policy for creating full-time jobs that will pay Canadians a decent wage?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, I could go through the list of companies that in the last few weeks have talked about increasing employment. That includes General Motors to which I just referred with 650 additional jobs in Oshawa. Other firms are making those announcements.

I might also say that the help wanted index-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB
PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

The hon. member is not listening to the answer. She is yapping away there as she usually does. She delivers her best speech from the seat of her pants-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

The hon. member for York North.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Mr. Maurizio Bevilacqua (York North):

Madam Speaker, according to Statistics Canada the unemployment rate is stuck at 11.4 per cent. That is unchanged from last month and is higher than the month before.

The Minister of Finance must agree that unemployment in this country is a serious problem. He must also agree that it is draining the energy from our economy, hurting consumer confidence and hampering the recovery.

June 4, 1993

Canadians want opportunities. Canadians want to get back to work. Why does the government continue with trickle down economics, the hands off, do nothing approach when there are millions of Canadians looking for opportunities. They are eager to put the Canadian economy back on its feet.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that unemployment is unacceptably high. It is unacceptably high in other countries as well. The OECD ministers of finance and international trade discussed that this week at the OECD meeting. There is no disagreement on that.

The Liberal Party's idea of boosting employment is to take money and throw it at part-time, make-work projects. That is that party's policy. It has a policy where it wants the federal, provincial and municipal governments to borrow this money and throw it at part-time work to provide 10,000 or 15,000 jobs. That is not the answer to the problems we are experiencing.

People want full-time, meaningful jobs. The importance of that is to get the basics in place, which we have. We are coming out of a serious recession. Jobs will follow. The projections are that Canada will lead in employment and economic growth over the next two years. That is very important.

I have no argument with my hon. friend that unemployment is a very serious problem. However there are different ways of tackling it.

The hon. member wants this government and the people of Canada to borrow more and to throw it at make-work projects. That is their idea of stimulating the economy. It did not work in the 1980s and it will not work today.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Mr. Maurizio Bevilacqua (York North):

Madam Speaker, what this member and this party want is that the government exercise its role, a caring role, to put the unemployed back to work. We want the government to give an opportunity to young people to finish their schooling.

The hon. minister speaks about building a strong economy based on full-time jobs. Our economy lost

78,000 full-time jobs. They were replaced by 77,000 part-time jobs.

Oral Questions

Is the minister's vision of Canada one of a jobless recovery and a part-time economy?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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PC

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

Progressive Conservative

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

Madam Speaker, no it is not.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT
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AGRICULTURE

June 4, 1993