June 16, 1993


Iain Francis Angus (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Iain Angus (Thunder Bay-Atikokan):

Mr. Speaker, I rise not to speak on the motion but to say a few words about the mover of the motion.

Today has been a day of tributes to many members. The member for Skeena will not be re-offering, as they say out east, but has chosen to move on with his life. I want to say a few words on behalf of my caucus and Canadians about Jim Fulton.

We have clearly heard in the last couple of minutes his passion for the environment. There is no question about his commitment to making this country and this planet a place that will survive. But he has also fought hard for justice for the aboriginal peoples. He has fought hard for Canada to keep it Canada. He has been involved for many, many years with the Canadian-U.S. parliamentary association. He has taken the issues into the United

June 16, 1993

Private Members' Business

States or brought American legislators into Canada to talk about the issues that affect us on both sides of the border. I can remember a number of times when he said 54:40 or fight in caucus. He had a passion for matters that affected us.

I want to say thanks to Jim Fulton on behalf of Canadians, on behalf of this House and on behalf of the NDP caucus. I also want to say thanks to Liz and the kids for loaning Jim to us for awhile. There are a few of us who recognize that there is a time to move on and get back into the family which Jim has done. He has made the decision that he wants to spend some time with his kids while they are still kids and while he can still know them.

Mr. Speaker, if I can say through you to Liz and the kids, we want him back after awhile. We want him to seek a new mandate four years from now or eight years from now because he has a lot of intelligence, a lot of knowledge and a lot of heart which is part of what makes this place work so well and part of what makes this country so great.

I am pleased to be able to say that Jim Fulton is a friend, although quite frankly as Whip of my caucus there were times when he has driven me not just to distraction but beyond it. In fact I am told that a previous Whip actually had to call Air Canada to prevent Jim Fulton from getting on a plane one day when he was supposed to be back here for a vote. I have never had to take those steps although I have grabbed him by the ear or the scruff of the neck to say: "Jimmy, what are you up to?" But he is a friend and we are all going to miss him and we all say thanks.


Larry Schneider

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Larry Schneider (Regina-Wascana):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak to this private member's motion, but before I do that I want to pay tribute in perhaps a different kind of way or maybe the same way, to the same member. With respect to the statement that was just made inviting him to come back I would just as soon invite him to stay home thank you very much because he was a very formidable opponent.

I distinctly recall one evening when we had the opportunity to debate one another. We then met in our lobby. I will not say in very much detail what was said but whatever was said caused us both to smile, to understand

one another, to acknowledge one another and to form a bit of bond at that particular time. I do share an appreciation for the contribution that the member for Skeena has made.

When the member from Skeena was talking about his two children it reminded me as well of my own family situation. I was the mayor of the capital city of Saskatchewan for nine years. I saw three children bom in my house but with the pressures of that particular elected job I was not able to grow with them in spite of the fact I was home practically every night.

In that way I can relate to not only his problem but to the problem of every member of Parliament who has children and people they are close to at home. They spend some pretty ridiculous hours that the public is not aware of. They may view this Chamber through the eye of television periodically and see some of the chairs busy. They want to know how come I was not in the House of Commons at a particular time. I have to take the time to explain to them all the committees that members sit on and how busy they are.

It certainly is a void in terms of the public understanding the efforts that members of Parliament go through. I want to again acknowledge the hon. member for Skeena. I want to say that I appreciate the love and affection his family has obviously given him so that he can be the formidable opponent that he is.

I have another task as well while I am on my feet. Unfortunately that is to speak to this private member's motion because I would like to speak about the contribution that members of Parliament make to this great place. I must speak to the motion to express some concerns.

As we have heard earlier the hon. member for Skeena has provided us with a private member's motion that calls upon the government to consider establishing the public right to sue government institutions for failure to protect the environment.

On its face I think that all members can share the underlying concern that is expressed in this motion. We can and do agree that the law has to be marshalled to support and enhance environmental protection not only in Canada but everywhere. We can and we do further agree that the law as it stands can be improved and should be supplemented where it is inadequate.

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Private Members' Business

Certainly where the environment is concerned governments have a leading role to play in a partnership with a corporate world and the public as a whole. What does this motion precisely propose? Although the exact wording is a little confusing I think it seeks legislation that would do two things. In the first place it would create some kind of positive obligation on the part of every unit of government, department, agency, branch or what have you to ensure that its decisions or actions do not produce harmful environmental effects.

Second, the motion would give standing to any member of the public to sue the responsible government body where any such governmental act, decision or omission had occurred resulting in a harmful environmental effect.

These are quite radical proposals which must be carefully looked at even if the ultimate goal they seek to achieve is unquestionably admirable. I suggest that there are major problems with this proposal. In the first place there was an absolutist ideology attached to the hon. member's motion that any activity or omission on the part of the Crown resulting in a failure to protect the environment would be actionable.

What exactly would that include? Would it include a decision by the Minister of Communications under the Radiocommunication Act to issue a technical certificate allowing a company to set up a television transmitter in a specific location where it would entail chopping down a few trees? What if those trees are on the company's own property? What if the trees were dead and needed to be cut down anyway? Are we heading off in the direction of turning a governmental failure to protect the environment into some kind of tort. If so what is the duty of care on the part of the Crown here and what standard of care is to be applied?

One thing I am afraid of is that if this motion is given effect it would take Crown liability way beyond what it is today and make virtually any decision of a government body vulnerable to a civil action.

Over the last 10 or 15 years the courts have struggled with just such a question pertaining to the exercise of public functions mostly at the municipal level.

In their wisdom the courts have distinguished between policy decisions on one hand and operational decisions on the other. The importance of this distinction lies in the fact that the courts have consistently refused to attach liability to the policy decisions. Among other things, government bodies are required to make choices as to public priorities, how the hierarchy of public policy interest is to be arrayed, how public money is to be spent or how scarce resources are to be allocated.

These questions are the essence of government. These are what we elect politicians to decide on. They are beyond the reach of the courts which is the way I believe it should be.

I mention this because I am fearful that in its fervour to enhance environmental protection the end result of this motion will be to paralyze governmental bodies in terms of performing their functions and fulfilling their mandates.

Speaking of mandates, I think that the hon. member simply does not realize that one effect of his motion will be to force environmental protection, whatever that means, to be written into the mandate of every functioning federal entity. Legally this will be necessary if environmental considerations are to become a valid and enforceable concern of the Minister of Communications or the CRTC or the Merchant Seamen Compensation Board or the Civil Aviation Tribunal and so on.

The motion further raises some constitutional concerns which I am afraid need to be addressed. Our Constitution Act does not assign environmental protection exclusively, either to the federal government in criminal law or banking or navigation and shipping for example, or to the provinces. Environmental protection is a shared responsibility between both levels of government. One obvious implication of this is the absolute necessity of extensive co-operation and consultation between the federal government and the provinces in this field.

I would therefore suggest that it would not be appropriate for either level of government to introduce radical changes in the law pertaining to the environment and environmental protection without prior discussion and consultation.

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Private Members' Business

I could exhaust all my time simply cataloguing what I see as serious legal problems posed by this motion. However as a general comment I would suggest that the absolutist view underlying this motion categorically rules out any legitimate competing value or interest which the government has to consider in all matters, including matters affecting the environment.

I am talking about such things as sustainable development, economic growth and competitiveness which are important aspects of public policy. These are matters that simply cannot be swept aside or ignored in the real world.

Environmental protection is a noble cause within the framework of the balancing of many different public policy goals. I am sure my hon. friend knows this but he appears to have momentarily forgotten this in putting his motion forward in its present form.

I should say that there are aspects of this motion that I like in principle. For example I am not in principle against empowering individuals with private rights that they can assert against the Crown and the courts. I do not think that the Crown should be given immunity that would shield it from civil liability in relation to conduct that is damaging to individuals. The hon. member surely knows that both common law and civil law already allow private resources against the party responsible for a spill or other environmental event producing actual injury or damage to property or other private interest.

This can include government bodies where they are actually responsible for a spill or other environmental tort. It is not in my view good legal policy to use private remedies to enforce public interests such as environmental protection which is exactly what this motion appears to propose.

At whose cost will these private remedies be asserted? Does the hon. member think that individuals are going to be willing to bear the costs of litigation in suing government bodies for torts before the courts if his motion is turned into law?

Is there an assumption that some kind of government program would fund court challenges? Although nothing is mentioned about this, I suspect that such a program is part of this deal. If we can sort out the implicit question of funding, what nature of lawsuit does the hon. member

have in mind in empowering individuals to sue the actions, damages and injunctions et cetera of government bodies?

Perhaps a better legal approach in this area lies in strengthening and where appropriate expanding the licensing and regulatory mechanisms for environmental protection which place a positive obligation on both the governments and the public. This is backed by enforceable legal recourse including penal sanctions.

To sum up, the motion while admirable and objective is flawed in design. Although all of us are desirous of creating a legal environment that puts environmental protection up there at the top it behooves us not to fall prey to solutions such as just simply suing the government which is what is being proposed here. They look good on paper and from a distance but when more closely examined they are not solutions at all.


Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson A. Riis (Kamloops):

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to rise to speak in favour of Motion No. 323 presented in the name of the hon. member for Skeena:

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

establishing the public right to sue government institutions for failure

to protect the environment.

In a sense this is a litmus test of whether or not the government believes in environmental protection. This is the test that my hon. friend from Skeena has put forward to see whether or not the government actually believes in ensuring that environmental issues are kept front and foremost in the years ahead.

I find it is interesting that my friends on the government side have said that they cannot support this motion. There is the government support of the James Bay project and all of the environmental holocaust that will result in that type of development. There was its support of Hibernia where oil wells are set out in the stream of icebergs floating south. There was the Oldman River dam project, the various diversion projects on the prairies, the diversion of the Nechako River and Kemano II.

If there has been a single individual who has stood up time and time again to represent the environment of Canada, it has been the hon. member for Skeena. The member and his colleagues have been relentless in their

June 16, 1993

support of ecological and environmental issues that have been presented to this House.

I say with some disappointment that time and time again this government has said that the environment is not a priority. I say that with a great deal of discouragement because the most recent example was with Kema-no II where a secret deal was cut behind closed doors between the previous provincial government and the federal government. It said that while the project called Kemano II was to divert up to 80 per cent of the flow of the Nechako River, one of the major tributaries of the Fraser River system, there would be no requirement for any environmental assessment of that project. This deal was secretly cut behind closed doors. Today we find out that this was done to divert 80 per cent of a major river's flow without any examination of what that meant in terms of environmental or ecological consequences.

I want to say that the hon. member for Skeena has demonstrated a profound dedication to the environment and its preservation for future generations. I remember very well back in June 1992 when the hon. member for Skeena brought forward a motion that would set aside 12 per cent of Canada for parkland development. As a result of his incredible ability as an individual to negotiate with the Minister of the Environment and the environmental critic of the Official Opposition we received unanimous consent for that motion to go forward.

This was, as indicated by a number of American writers and environmentalists, one of the biggest and largest real estate deals in Canadian history. It was to set aside 12 per cent of Canada's land surface for parks so future generations could enjoy that pristine environment. The people of Canada will be forever indebted to my hon. colleague from Skeena. As an individual he has an understanding of ecological and environmental issues second to no one.

I think that all members of the House would agree-I know my friends opposite as well as my friends in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition would agree-that if there is an individual who has demonstrated over the years not only a profound knowledge and understanding but an insight into ecological and environmental issues then it was the member for Skeena. Time and time again he captivated not only the House of Commons but the

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Parliament of Canada and indeed the people of Canada in terms of drawing their attention on critical environmental issues, whether it was acid rain or the ozone issue. I guess it culminated in the creation of the South Moresby Park.

There are all sorts of reasons why this miracle occurred, why a major ecological area of the west coast of Canada was set aside as a park. There are many players in this process. One of the critical players was my hon. colleague from Skeena who was able to stick-handle a very complicated and complex issue into reality. Future generations will be forever grateful to him.

The hon. member for Skeena has demonstrated a commitment to protect and conserve the pristine environments of our country and indeed has demonstrated a profound duty to stand up for not only this generation but for generations to come to ensure that people of the future in our country will have an opportunity to benefit from our pristine environment.

I enthusiastically support this motion. I think the passage of this motion would demonstrate that the government would say: "Yes, we are serious about environmental issues. Yes, we want to provide the public the right to sue government institutions if they fail to protect the environment". Who could vote against this? Who would want to say that conscientious citizens ought not to have the right to sue the government if it acts in ways and means against the environment or if it takes steps that will result in the denigration of our ecological systems?

I am assuming this is going to pass. In closing I want to say that the hon. member for Skeena who lives in a log structure on the Queen Charlotte Islands on the west coast of Canada has demonstrated through his entire lifetime a commitment to the environment and the ecology of the country. He has demonstrated a profound appreciation and understanding of these complex environmental issues that escape others. He has always had the support of his wife Liz and his children, Blair and Katie. He has always demonstrated that he is prepared to go to whatever degree is necessary to represent not only his constituents in the great riding of Skeena, but to represent all Canadians on some of the critical environmental issues confronting us.

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We all remember the many examples during the international conferences, particularly between Canada and the United States, where the member for Skeena led the discussions on critical environmental issues overlapping our borders with the United States, whether they be the 49th parallel or the border between Alaska and British Columbia and the rest of Canada.

We are going to miss Jim Fulton. Elowever, we are comforted in the knowledge that he is going to go forward and maintain his commitment to environmental issues. We wish him well in his endeavours to assist others, be they governments of whatever level, be they individuals, organizations and agencies in their pursuit of ensuring that future generations are able to benefit from the pristine environments that still exist within our great country.


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

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

There being no further members rising for debate, 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.

According to the order adopted earlier, we will resume the adjournment debate. The hon. member for Dartmouth has 12 minutes remaining.




The House resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Andre (p. 20927).


Ronald MacDonald


Mr. Ron MacDonald (Dartmouth):

Mr. Speaker, I was talking about this government's record over the last five years. It has been an abysmal record. It has been a record of absolute despair. It has been a record of misleading Canadians about the true intentions of the government's economic agenda.

Before we rose I was talking about the port of Halifax. This port is one of the probably two most efficient ports in all of North America. It has suffered under the regressive taxation, depreciation and rail policies of this government.

Continuously I have risen to my feet in this place and asked the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, or anybody opposite who cared, to please address the real concerns that have been raised by the people like those in the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission, the Atlantic Provinces Transportation Council, about the very policies that were driving Canadian-bound container traffic away from the port of Halifax and down to the ports of New York and Baltimore.

The tonnage, the container traffic, and the jobs were driven away because of those policies. I have been on my feet in this House 30 times, the most recent time being yesterday, asking for help for the port of Halifax. The Minister of Transport does not care at all about the important position of the port of Halifax and has absolutely refused in five years to respond to one of the requests that have been put forward, not by me because maybe I am a partisan, but by the people whose business it is to promote the port of Halifax and preserve the level of traffic that was there formerly.

The stevedores are not working. The people have lost their jobs at the grain terminal in Halifax because this government in another one of its brilliant moves, came in and cancelled the At and East program which subsidized the movement of grain through Atlantic Canadian ports. What about all the people who lost their jobs at that grain terminal when the government came in and indiscriminately cut that subsidy, but never touched the Crow rate, never touched any subsidization through western grain stabilization. Oh no, no. Every time there has been a cut by this government, it has disproportionately put the burden of that hardship on to Atlantic Canada. So the port has suffered under this administration.

I spoke a little earlier about the requirement for this country to grow and prosper and the redistribution of wealth. I talked about things like ACOA and economic regional development agreements which have been gutted, neutered by this government's policies over the last five years.

Another way that governments try to transfer money to equalize opportunity is by Established Program Financing. I have said over and over again here in this House and all across this country that what this government has done in its attempt to withdraw the historic

June 16, 1993

commitment to regional development is that it has jiggled the books, it has cooked the figures.

What it has done with transfers to provinces through Established Program Financing is change the formula. EPF is there to transfer funds for things like health care so that it does not matter if one is in Newfoundland or British Columbia or Alberta or Nova Scotia, one will have the same access to quality health care whether in a have or have not province. We believe as Canadians that they were some of the basic things, the glue that held this country together.

What has the government done by changing the formula by which it determined what amount of costs are shared? In 1992 alone in the province of Nova Scotia it has decreased the level of funding for hospitals by $111 million.

We have a program for post-secondary education that transfers funds to equalize opportunities so it does not matter where one lives in this great nation, the province will be able to afford quality post-secondary education. The Tories jiggle the formula.

Nova Scotia in 1992 received $46 million less. My God man, we are a province of only 900,000 people. We have a diminishing tax base. The bunch opposite have destroyed our fisheries. They have caused a recession to take place that has left the province of Nova Scotia with the highest levels of bankruptcies in its history.

In 1991, because of this government's economic policies, in the province of Nova Scotia we had one business or personal bankruptcy for every 305 men, women and children.

The government has laid waste to the promise of resource based industries in Atlantic Canada. Yet every time it is raised here, ministers get up and deny, deny, deny and tell everybody that things are going to be much better.

Unemployment, think about it. Five long years ago this government fooled the people. It got elected by saying it was going to address the real problem in this country. It was going to put people back to work. Tell that to the people who live in North Preston in my riding. Tell it to the people who live in Eastern Passage. Tell it to the

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people who live in Cape Breton and Newfoundland where unemployment rates are as high as 40 per cent.

Tell them how much better this government's policies have been. Tell them the country is better off at the end of this Parliament than when it began. They will say that the last five years of government in this Parliament have been five solid years of despair, extinguishing the hope of every Canadian that tomorrow will be a better day.

There are university students in my area whose fathers and mothers have never been laid off. Those parents now have no jobs. The little nest egg that was put away for a rainy day is gone. The students cannot go to university. Tuitions have gone through the roof because of federal government economic policies.

What does the government do? Does the government come in with programs to put Canadians back to work? Does the government address the underlying problems in the economy caused by its own policies? No. On at least three occasions the government has come in and attacked the unemployed, not unemployment. It has come in and said: "if you do not have a job, that is your problem, Jack. You must be trying to rip off the system".

The most recent changes that the government tried to pass were changes that would have seen the amount of benefit decreased and the length of time one could collect decreased in the middle of the worst recession we have ever had. However, the amount of weeks that one needs to qualify for unemployment insurance increased.

In short, what the government has done is it has made the poorest of the poor and the most disadvantaged in this country pay for the folly of its economic policies.

We have seen the national debt go through the roof. This bunch opposite just cannot count. The Tories down in my riding will probably have somebody run who will say: "Give us one more chance. We will do it right this time. We know how to control the debt". If anybody in my riding was off in projecting their household budgets as many times as these guys opposite were they would be on the bankruptcy rolls. That is what would happen.

The national debt is a disgrace. But what is even more disgraceful is that the government has absolutely refused after four and a half years of despair inflicted upon Canadians to go back to the people to give the people

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Routine Proceedings

the final right to have a say here. It has refused to call an election.

We have had some other issues as well. We have had the drug prices. We know the government's agenda is big business. It certainly is not the people in my riding. The government has come in and said: "Hey, we are going to get rid of compulsory licensing for drugs".

What does that mean to the average Canadian? It means that cheaper generic drugs will not be available to them. For the average senior citizen living in the province of Nova Scotia it means that the pharmacare program is less universally accessible because the costs have gone through the roof. But the government says: "Hey, this is good government".

We have talked about the fishery, not at length but we have talked a bit about the fishery. The Atlantic fishery is the reason this country was populated in the first place. The Europeans came in search of fish, in search of cod. For centuries now that cod stock has sustained not just the few people who live on the east coast of Canada, but it has sustained the nation.

After only a few short years this government has taken a resource that has been resilient, that has been a renewable resource and it has mismanaged it into a complete closure, a complete collapse. Tens of thousands of Atlantic Canadians no longer have pay cheques coming in. Their boats are tied up. They have no future because of this government.

We have had a government over the last few years that has brought this wonderful institution of Parliament into disrepute. The government opposite has constantly abused its majority in this Parliament. Closure or time allocation has been used 45 times which is probably more times than closure or time allocation has been used in the previous 100 years.

Each and every time an agenda item came forward in this place on which the government did not want real debate it took my right away to speak to it. More important, it took the away the right of Canadians to have their elected representatives speak on their behalf.

Then there is the big one which nobody will ever forgive or forget: its taxation policies. In the last number of years we have seen increased or new taxes 40 times,

billions of dollars coming in. None was more despised than the hated goods and services tax, which has caused a large segment of our industry to go underground.

In conclusion history may not judge this Parliament well. History will probably judge this Parliament to be a Parliament that broke the spirit of the Canadian public. However Canadians will have the final say and the Canadian people will be able to judge between the major parties in Canada and perhaps once again have some hope after the next general election in this country.


Walter Leland Rutherford (Lee) Clark (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lee Clark (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment):

Mr. Speaker, these will presumably be my last words to the House of Commons, on the assumption that we will not be returning prior to the next election.

I am one of those many members who have chosen not to run again. I must confess as I approach what will probably be the last moment of my parliamentary career that I do so with a great deal of nostalgia and considerable sadness.

I am very proud to be a member of the House of Commons. The last 10 years have not always been easy and sometimes they have been very difficult. They have been difficult because we as a government have chosen to tackle some very difficult issues and because of the considerable amount of cynicism which exists within the public toward politicians.

I must confess I very much regret the presence of the latter and hope that future Parliaments will be able to address that and reduce the amount of cynicism which exists. I fear the end result will be the discouragement of many people who should be seeking public office from doing so. Quite frankly, I worry about that.

I hold each of my colleagues in very high regard. I spent most of my life studying political history so I felt when I came to Parliament that I was reasonably well prepared for what I would find here.

One of my pleasant surprises was to discover that the average member of Parliament, almost invariably every member of Parliament, works much harder than I had anticipated, gives more to his or her country than I had anticipated and makes greater sacrifices than I had ever understood. I come away with nothing but respect for those who have served in this Parliament and in the past.

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I am sure I will hold those who serve in the future in equally high regard.

On this occasion it is appropriate that I thank the constituents of Brandon-Souris who elected me in 1983 in a by-election called upon the death of the Hon. Walter Dinsdale and subsequently re-elected me in 1984 and 1988. I thank them most sincerely for the honour they bestowed upon me and for the opportunity they gave me to sit in this Chamber and be a part of the government of this land.

I would also like to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity he gave me to serve as chairman of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and subsequently as parliamentary secretary to several ministers of agriculture and subsequently to ministers of the environment.

Those opportunities were particularly important because they gave me at least a glimpse of the inner workings of government. I leave with a better understanding of the complexities of decision making and the challenges that face those who hold the highest offices in this land.

I would like to thank the many people who have served us well during the course of the last 10 years. I think of those who have occupied your chair, Mr. Speaker, and I commend you and others for the patience you have exhibited on many occasions because we as a Parliament must surely have tested the patience of many Speakers.

In fact my own daughter was here in this House just a couple of days ago and she left shaking her head and saying that they were not allowed to behave like that in school. Mr. Speaker, I dare say that you and other Speakers have regarded us on many occasions as somewhat unruly school children, or worse.

I tried to remind her that this is a debating society and as it is a debating society we have a unique set of rules. Although I suspect we act excessively on occasion generally speaking we serve the nation well.

I would like to take this occasion to thank the table officers and others who serve the House of Commons because there are many. In all cases they have treated me as an individual member of Parliament with the greatest respect. They are too numerous to mention but I want to refer specifically to the security guards who we

greet as we enter and leave this Chamber on each and every occasion. In their humour and friendliness they personify what is good about Parliament and Canada. I fear all too often we take the contributions which they and others have made for granted.

I would like to make reference to and thank the pages who have served us during the course of the last 10 years. They are very distinguished young people. All of them are first-year students at Carleton University or the University of Ottawa and they combine a heavy workload here with their first-year studies. As someone who has spent most of my life teaching, I have a great deal of appreciation for the challenge which they have undertaken. They have served us well and I know from my conversations with them that they are also very successful students. Those who have chosen them have chosen well, and I thank them for that.

I would like to make reference to the Whip's office and the staff of the Whip's office who are responsible for having us here when we need to be here, and to the government House leader's office with whom I have had the opportunity to work over the years. I would like to make reference to the staff of the agriculture and environment departments because it was a pleasure to work with those many officials. I would particularly like to thank the ministers I had the opportunity to serve. Without exception they were genuine, committed and sincere Canadians who made me as a parliamentary secretary feel an integral part of their process. That was very important to someone whom I would call a backbencher.

To my colleagues who are seeking re-election, and there are some in the room tonight, I wish them well. I congratulate them on their willingness to continue to serve the nation because as a member who has served for 10 years I understand the sacrifice each of them will make. When I say that I include all members of the House, because I feel one of our deficiencies in this House is an excessive amount of partisanship. I know some of it is not real. Some of it is meant for television and I accept that, but I feel the less partisanship we have the better we are as a House and as parliamentarians.

I would like to make special mention of those who are retiring for a variety of reasons. Quite properly we have paid tribute to some of them in the House. Some of them

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Routine Proceedings

have served an extended period of time and some have served in particular capacities. If I remember correctly there are some 60 of us who are retiring. Although I cannot name them as individuals I would like to thank each of them and say that I genuinely believe that they have served their constituents and their nation well. I personally regret that we have not devised a more appropriate way to recognize their contributions because there is a little bit of a hollow feeling as one leaves.

Having said that I do not want to identify them by name, I do want to make one exception. I want to recognize my friend and namesake, the right hon. Joe Clark, who has been such an inspiration to me. It was partly because of his friendship and partly because of his example that I came to the House of Commons in the first place. Curiously, by happenstance we announced our decision to retire on the same day. For some unexplained and curious reason his decision got much more publicity than mine did. I want to say how much he has contributed to this nation. I wish he and all others who are not returning well as they enter into a more private life. Without exception each of those who are doing so have earned the right to that private life.

I would like to mention my own staff. I will not name them but certainly those who have worked with me these last 10 years have served me well. They are the ones who help our constituents the most. They work in our name but without them we could not do the job we do because we cannot be every place, as sometimes we are needed to be. Although very often our staff go unnamed they are the unsung heroes of the place.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to refer to my own family. I think probably those of us who are here would agree without any difference of opinion whatsoever that without the support of our families we would never have been here in the first place and, second, we could not have remained.

I know in the case of my wife, Barbara, she in a very real sense became a single parent as a result of my decision to go into politics. I thought at the time because my children were 18 and 13 that in a very real sense perhaps my role as a parent had ended and I need not

worry too much about that. I discovered having gone into politics that that was wrong. I feel in a very real sense that I neglected them, that they paid a certain price for my decision to be a parliamentarian. I apologize publicly to them for the times when I was not present when I wish I could have been present and for the role which I would have wished to have played, but I could not always play.

In a very real sense, I think Canadians are well served by those who serve here, irrespective of party. I only hope in the future that Canadians of all walks of life, of all ages, of both sexes, will be anxious to come to this place because it is a very worthy place to be.

Even though we as individuals may not achieve all of our ambitions because that is usually the way in which life operates, I think those of us who have an opportunity to be here will understand that this is a unique role, this is a unique place. It is a privilege to serve Canada. It is a privilege to be a member of Parliament. I am very grateful for the privileges which have been bestowed upon me.


Fred J. Mifflin


Mr. Fred J. Mifllin (Bonavista-THnity- Conception):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the hon. member for Brandon-Souris, who was my next door neighbour in the West Block, for a very, very nice presentation. I think he has said totally on a non-partisan basis what each and every one of us would like to have said. Now that he has said it, I guess we do not really need to say it.

I do appreciate his remarks about the friends that we make here, about the sacrifices that our families make and the personal sacrifices that one makes. Yes, it is a voluntary idea to be a member of Parliament and to represent one's constituents in this House of Commons. That does not make it any easier, the fact that we are here. We are all here because we want to be here. We are all here because despite our sacrifices, if you like, and you are included in that as well, Mr. Speaker, we believe we are doing a job for our constituents and for our country. There is no greater feeling of pride and usefulness, despite what the media may say about it and what other opinions may pertain. I am very pleased to be associated with the remarks of my hon. colleague who just spoke who is a very decent and honest person. It has been my pleasure to have been his next-door neighbour.

June 16, 1993

In the time that I have I am not going to do what I normally do which is essentially to go through the things that I have been concerned about and the things that have affected my riding, my province and Atlantic Canada. I have been as partisan as the rest, I suppose, in the presentations that I have made and during Question Period. I do not have a prepared speech. I thought that if I just stood up here in 15 minutes I would state what really went through my mind, the thoughts that I will remember most in this Parliament.

I have to start with my constituents. I recall my maiden speech. We all remember that rush period before Christmas when we all had to get up and give our speeches and sit down. It was a bit of a nerve-racking experience. I did not get a chance to describe my riding. I do not intend to do it in great detail tonight, but I want to remind the House that I represent the east coast of Newfoundland. When the election results come out, my riding is the first riding to be announced.

The name Bonavista-Trinity-Conception represents the three great bays of Canada on the east coast of Newfoundland, probably the largest fishing area for a riding. I do have the largest fishing riding in commercial fishing in Canada. There is the scenic beauty, the tourist potential, each of the 250 communities and every one of them on the seacoast. Anybody who has been to that part of Newfoundland would have to agree that it is really a beautiful spot. It is a wonderful part of the world.

To balance that, of course, we are going through tough economic times, but I have spoken enough about that in the House. I am sure that my constituents all know that their requirements and their needs and their difficulties have been made known to me in the last four and a half years, and indeed by my other colleagues, so I will not go through that in detail tonight. The record I think speaks for itself.

I will come back to my riding. I want to talk about the pride one has in serving in this House. I can state that while I did not really have political aspirations I used to look up at the Peace Tower in awe and with great pride as a Canadian about what took place here, without really knowing the detail of what took place. Now that I have been through the detail, I suppose, in committee work, visits, trips, partisan discussion, heated debate, ups and downs, joyful times, sad times, difficult times and never

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easy times, I have an entirely different perspective on the Peace Tower and what takes place in this place.

I am running again, as you know Mr. Speaker, and I hope to be back here again if my constituents agree. I suppose the most moving feeling one has after one term in this House is the tremendous ability and the depth of the individuals who represent their constituents, be it on the government side or the opposition side. I have yet to meet a member of Parliament from any party who has not done his or her best for their constituents. I have not always agreed and quite often not agreed with the philosophy of other members and their way of doing things, but as I have often said to my constituents, I will not criticize any organization for making operational mistakes or for making bad judgments. Occasionally if promises are made that cannot be kept then I will hold anybody to that aspect of either politics or life or anything of that nature.

It is very hard to single out individuals, but there are a couple of cases that I would like to mention which really have been an inspiration, if you like. On my own side, the hon. Leader of the Opposition has always been an inspiration to me. He has had some tough times and he has shown strength. I have great admiration for him and his family and the leadership that he has provided, particularly at this difficult time in the country and with the tough roads ahead.

Also the Whip and House leader, present and past, on my side of the House have had to work very hard to run in opposition. Being in opposition of course is a job that offers certain responsibilities and allows certain actions to take place that one would not experience in government. I have only experienced the opposition side and I say without any smart aleck statements that I am hoping in the next election I will have the opportunity to sit on the government side.

I have come in here some mornings feeling a bit like a hero for arriving early. One feels a bit smug arriving at seven o'clock, sometimes earlier. But I have arrived at seven o'clock in the morning. The hon. member who has just come into this House from Parry Sound-Muskoka whom I have come to know and have great admiration for is not that much older than I am but I think his years on me are somewhat noteworthy. I have arrived early in the morning to see his unmistakable car parked already obvious that he was here before me. I have gone home close to midnight, feeling that having punched in almost an 18-hour day I have been pretty hard done by and I

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feel pretty sorry for myself, only to find that that member's car is still there.

That is an inspiration for anybody. Then there are my mates. I mentioned the hon. member for Brandon-Souris and the hon. member for York-Simcoe who I believe is around here this evening and who is my other neighbour.

Both of them are on the government side but that does not prevent us from having a civilized chat about the world in general to compare our difficulties, our successes and failures as members of Parliament. That after all is really what makes life bearable in this place.

We get no sympathy from the outside. I am not saying that we take sympathy from each other. I think that is an aspect without which life would be almost unbearable in the job.

Concerning the same member I have to remember a highlight in this House when we had the Voyageur Canada exchange program. Young Canadians were allowed to exchange experiences with each other. Young members of my constituency from Newfoundland travelled to Newmarket and around Ontario. In some cases it was the first time that they had been away from home. They made new friends and witnessed new experiences. To me it was a great highlight.

It was also a great highlight to have participated along with other members in the Canada 125 unity tournament that took place. I am still in the process of getting a videotape of that for one of the gentlemen in my riding who organized it. I have not promised him that I will get one but I am almost certain I will in the next couple of weeks. It is almost there.

I have been here for a relatively short time. It has been four and one-half years. I have to remember that the Canadian Forces in that time has gone through tremendous turmoil as an organization and as an institution. The business of the cold war which was very much in vogue when we came to this place is now over. The business of defence planning is as tough on the government as it would be for the opposition. We are at a crossroads in history. We are out of the rut of the

standard planning, if I could call it that, where we know who the enemy is and what his capabilities are and can guess at his intentions.

We do not have a recognized enemy any more. We cannot look at their capabilities. We cannot figure out their intentions. There is no identified enemy right now. We are in that part of history where we are not quite in whatever is going to take the place of the cold war which is over. It is very much like at the end of World War II. It took about four to five years before the Iron Curtain came down and we got into some kind of a planning groove which kept us going for some 40 years.

I do not know when we are going to reach a point where we will be able to do that planning. It appears that peacekeeping is very much in vogue but it too has had its difficulties and this has caused, in the case of the Canadian forces, certain grief. It has caused the minister grief particularly at a busy time in her life when she was running for the leadership which she won. It was an unfortunate part.

This in no way, shape or form has detracted from the tremendous pride that all Canadians have in their servicemen and servicewomen. The standards that they maintain on the sea on land or in the air and anywhere in between, whether it is regular forces or reserves, is second to none. Their reputation is best judged by other countries. Ask any country. Certainly in NATO and in any part of the western world and indeed in some of the countries behind what used to be the Iron Curtain they will tell you that Canadian professional military people will stack up with any and are better than most if not all.

Nothing that has happened here in Question Period or in debate has meant to detract from the tremendous pride that we have in our men and women in uniform. I know that I speak for all sides of the House when I say that.

These are difficult times. We now have 4,500 Canadians, young men and women, deployed in 17 different parts of the world. When we first came to this House we had about 1,500 in about seven or eight places. I also want to mention some of the goals I had when I arrived here. I suppose my main goal was to serve my constituents to the best of my ability.

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There is one in particular that I believe was achievable. I have not actually achieved it but I think I have moved it along and other members in the House have helped me. It is the business of Canada taking control over that portion of our domain called the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

I think every member in the House has heard me speak on that. A highlight for me was when I was allowed to have a private member's motion that was debated in this House on three separate occasions, in February, March and in the dying days of this government on Monday morning. All sides of the House spoke on the subject. The motion was voted on. I could not have achieved more in the sense of getting it to that point after four and a half years. Regrettably the motion did not carry because there were not enough votes in support of it, but I feel honoured that I was able to represent almost 100,000 Newfoundlanders, my constituents, and raise their profile by raising this very motion which is germane, if not directly to every one of my constituents, certainly indirectly in the second or third case.

I will close by saying that yes there have been disappointments. Yes the economy is in rough shape and yes decisions have been made that I did not agree with. I have spoken in detail on that but I do not believe this is the night to be specific. I am sure other people on both sides of the House will be specific about that.

I simply want to say one more time what a great pleasure, what a feeling of pride it is to stand here in this House tonight and say that I represent close to 100,000 of my constituents and they are great constituents. How do I judge that? I have been in a lot of houses, like all members in the House, and I have been in houses where I knew the political philosophy was entirely different from mine, but I have yet to enter a house or knock on the door and been treated with anything but total civility and the hospitality for which Newfoundlanders and indeed my constituents have become known.

I want to say to them what a great pleasure it has been to serve them. They will be seeing as much of me this summer as they have in past summers. I will continue to look after their concerns, even though the House is not sitting, in the hope of coming back to renew their

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concerns on whatever side of the House that is going to be.

I am not giving a farewell speech, but I think it would be inappropriate for me to sit down without thanking members of my family who have made their sacrifices and particularly my wife Gwenneth who comes to Ottawa some weekends. In the wintertime I am off to the riding and in the summer it is sometimes reversed. I have great admiration for how she does this, like all wives and spouses, without a complaint. For the staff members who work for me and who put in a lot of long hours I could not ask for, nor could any member, more loyal, dedicated people who work in the best interests of my concerns and the concerns of the constituents.

I would like to thank all the staff of the House of Commons-we have all made great friends here-the office of the Speaker, you, Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Speaker to whom many accolades were paid today. Thanks particularly to the security guards who serve such a fantastic function and always have a smile for us even when we are so busy that we do not even really think about that aspect of life. I have always treasured the friendship of my colleagues and I hope that anything that has happened in the heat of debate will not be considered to be personal. As we dissolve this Parliament and go on to other things, whether it is back for another political session in the 35th Parliament or another session of the 34th Parliament, I would like to believe we can all leave here better for having served, better friends and with more friends for having served as well.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you. I thank all those who have helped me and in particular I thank my colleagues and constituents for allowing me this rare pleasure for any Canadian. I wish everybody the best of luck, goodwill and best wishes.


Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson A. Riis (Kamloops):

Mr. Speaker, I know there is a speech coming up as it ought to be from my hon. friend from Parry Sound-Muskoka so I want to make a short comment. I want to echo the comments of my hon. colleague who has just spoken and say how pleased we are in terms of how we have been served as members of Parliament by Speaker Fraser, Madam Champagne, and you, Mr. Speaker. We appreciate that

June 16, 1993

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your even-handed speakership has enabled this place to function as well as it has.

I say thank you to the Clerk of the House and all the Table officers who have worked so hard late into the night many times to facilitate the work of this House. Thank you to the staff at Journals and Table Research who have provided us with incredible back-up service to make this House of Commons function. Thank you to the pages, the security staff and especially the House leaders, my colleagues with whom I have worked for many years. Thank you to the Whips of the various political parties, my colleague from Thunder Bay-Ati-kokan and my colleague for Nanaimo-Cowichan as caucus chair. Again I want to acknowledge the fact that we have worked incredibly co-operatively over the months and years past. I do not think people appreciate the amount of co-operation and the give and take that occurs in this place to make this House of Commons work as effectively as it does.

I want to thank the House staff members for their support. They are very dedicated and talented individuals. I also want to thank the members' staff who work with us as members of Parliament to enable us to pursue our responsibilities and duties as called upon by our constituents.

I want to say a particular thank you to my family and friends. The members of my family have given up a great deal over the last 14 years and I appreciate their dedication and what they have given up to have their husband and father away for long periods of time.

I want to say thank you to my leader, the member for Yukon, and of course I say thank you to my Whip, my House leader's assistant and the deputy House leader, the hon. member for Winnipeg-'Transcona. Thank you to the people of Kamloops who for the last 13 years have given me their vote of confidence and enabled me to serve them in honour. It has been a privilege to serve the people of the great city of Kamloops and the surrounding region.

I also want to say to my friends and colleagues in the House of Commons that we have carried on passionate debates in this House. We have confronted one another with different points of view. I think what is fundamental to this House and the parliamentaiy process is that while we may differ in terms of what we believe is the appropriate course of action to take economically, socially, culturally or politically, we continue to respect one another for our different points of views.

Whether it is simply opposition parties debating with the government or opposition parties debating with opposition parties, I think the important thing to say to the people of Canada is that while we debate and argue strenuously and this is often a very combative environment, underneath it all is a respect and compassion that we share with one another.

It is with reluctance that I wish everyone well in the months ahead. As we enter into our various political campaigns we all have the respect of the people of Canada and the commitment that the collective will of our constituents is the right decision. I think it is fair to say that those who are returned to this place will be the correct people to be returned to this place as a reflection of the democratic principles to which we all so strongly adhere and believe.

Again I want to thank my colleagues for this experience and look forward to seeing the will of the people reflected in the next House of Commons.


Stan Darling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stan Darling (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to say a few words. I would like to thank most sincerely my colleague from Bonavista-Trinity-Conception.

I have had the privilege of sitting on the Standing Committee for National Defence and Veterans Affairs with the hon. member and certainly he has added greatly to it. He has had more experience than I as far as defence is concerned.

I do not know him too well but I have talked to him briefly. He said he enlisted as a young sailor some few years ago from a small fishing village in Newfoundland and retired as a Rear Admiral while still a young man and then entered the House of Commons. It was certainly great to be with him.

I have served 21 years as the member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka. I entered the House of Commons at an advanced age compared to most. I remember the people at the time saying that if I got elected at that age I would probably only last one term and be a sort of caretaker member of Parliament.

In fact I agreed with them and said that is probably what I would do. I have been carrying on as a caretaker member of Parliament for six elections, successfully I might say. At my tender age I have come to the conclusion that it is probably time for retirement before the voters retire me. They say it is a good idea to leave while people still want you. There have been a few that

June 16, 1993

have been asking me to run again. There are many younger ones who could run.

In fact even two or three elections ago there were a great many interested in the job and some of them would be asking after my health and would even come up and take my pulse just to check on it. But I have been able to carry on, putting in a good day's work as my hon. colleague mentioned.

However, there does come a time and this is of course going out over the air. I have told my riding association and gave them some months' notice to look around. I told them to find somebody but I want the riding to remain in the Progressive Conservative fold. That is the important part but I am quite sure a very satisfactory replacement will be found with a spirited nominating convention.

Of course I will look back with a great deal of regret at leaving. This has been a wonderful place. All members make friends. I guess people in the ridings wonder and they will say: "What are you doing fraternizing with the Liberals or the NDP? You are there to defeat them and do this and do that". I tell them it comes as a shock but there are a lot of very nice people on the opposition side. I guess I am one who has a great rapport with members of the other side. I enjoy talking to them, I enjoy being with them. I do not enjoy some of the things they say when they are standing at their seat but that is to be expected. I guess I am not too controversial a member of Parliament. I came here to look after the wants and needs of my constituents which are many.

Being members of the government over the last few years puts us on the hot seat all of the time. We are blamed for everything. We are told that Canada is the most terrible country in the world and the recession was dreamed up by the Prime Minister himself. Yet we as members of Parliament when we travel beyond our borders are looked at with awe and with the greatest respect. We are told we are from Canada, the most magnificent country in the world. I have said to more than one person: "I wish to hell you would come back to Canada and tell the Canadians that because they do not seem to believe it".

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I had the great privilege about a year ago to visit Rio de Janeiro at the UNCED conference, the great environmental conference attended I think by 180 countries and the heads of state from 20 of the greatest countries. Those people, when they saw the maple leaf, brightened up and wanted to talk to us and tell us just what they had heard about Canada.

I am certainly very unhappy that 1.5 million are unemployed. A good many in my riding, which is a rural riding, are unemployed. It is not a great industrial area, but it certainly is a beautiful place. People love to live in Parry Sound-Muskoka. There are probably higher paying jobs in other areas but they want to live where they were brought up. The economy there certainly is improving.

I happen to be in a tourist area and the tourist industry has been hard hit due to the recession. Of course last year was a disaster because along with the recession we also had terrible weather. Every weekend it was raining and cold so it was really a disaster.

I heard my colleagues this evening commenting on the economy, berating the government for the free trade agreement and the recently approved NAFTA. I wonder what they are thinking about. It is all very well to say that there are a great many jobs lost. The figure quoted here a couple times by the hon. member for Kamloops is that

400,000 manufacturing jobs were lost over a period of time. There was no mention of the many thousands of new jobs that have been created. There was no mention of the fact that there are more people working now. After all, there were all these students and young people coming into the work force over the last two or three years and nobody seems to consider that.

We are a country of 27 million people. Are we going to manufacture just for our own citizens and forget about trading? We are a trading nation and if we are going to trade then we certainly have to open our own borders and purchase goods from our neighbours.

If the free trade agreement is so terrible and has caused so many jobs to be lost how is it that Canada and the United States are the two greatest trading partners in the world?

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President Reagan was asked what the greatest trading partner of the United States was. I guess he is not the greatest economist and so he said: "I guess it is Japan". His neighbour, Canada, certainly beat Japan by a great deal. Our trade now is $200 billion a year in two-way trade, and Canada has a surplus. We are selling more than we are buying. Is that such a bad deal?

Jobs have been lost, and possibly that is true, but new jobs have also been created. Many industries have started up here. Many industries have enlarged their capacities because of the free trade agreement.

Why is it that several other countries are just drooling at the mouth at the idea of the Canada-U.S. trade agreement, hoping they can get the same deal? Israel is one country that has some trade breaks, but they are not nearly as good as Canada's.

These are the things that the Canadian people should be thinking about. The NAFTA, which is supposed to be a disaster according to the opposition and the media, will provide us with a market of about 300 million people. It will be the greatest market in the world. There is a lot of worry and criticism about Mexico's 85 million people, not taking into consideration at all that those people will be purchasing goods. At the present time Mexico and Canada have very insignificant two-way trade. It is $2.5 billion but the worst part is that of that $2.5 billion Canada only has $600 million, and most of those goods trade back and forth without any tariffs at all.

I am quite sure the NAFTA will prove to be successful. The Prime Minister has been berated for the things that he has done. He has had the guts to do things that other governments were afraid to tackle. With regard to the GST, the opposition and the public at large consider it to be a new tax but it is a replacement for the manufacturers' sales tax of 13.5 per cent. As an example, Canadian Tire, which is a huge chain across the country, now says that 90 per cent or more of the goods sold in its stores are cheaper than when the manufacturers' sales tax was in effect. That is the fact. However that does not seem to sink in.

The other thing is that the GST is broadly based. It could have been more broadly based but we did not want to include food. The GST at 7 per cent is berated by the public but they do not seem to have any criticism of the 8

per cent Ontario provincial sales tax. I am wondering if that is really fair. When one is in government one has to take the good with the bad.

All the time we hear our colleagues across the House talking about the free trade agreement and the NAFTA agreement, and the various items in it. They are scaring the Canadian people that water is going to be transported or diverted to the United States. That is absolutely incorrect. Water will be sold to the United States but it will be sold in bottles. It will be sold in bottles of mineral water, beer and wine. Surely no Canadian is going to say that that is the incorrect thing to do. We have to educate the public. I am telling the people in my riding, and we have lots of water there, water is not going to be diverted.

I want to pay tribute to all the people in my riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka who have supported me over the past 21 years. I have endeavoured to work on their behalf. Certainly I have not satisfied them all from the letters I get. A great many of them come in and say I am doing a good job, but they were not singing the praises of the Prime Minister.

Speaking of the Prime Minister, even though he is low in the polls, he is going to have a very important place in history because he has been able to have a government that would bring in these things that have not helped his popularity. But they are in the best interest of Canada and he has taken that stand. Certainly I say more power to him for that.

At this time I would like to pay a special tribute to my staff. The success of a member of Parliament and his or her continuing re-election depends on the staff. They are the ones who take the telephone calls and have to get all the information that is necessary. I have an outstanding staff.

I want to pay a special tribute to my constituency secretary in Burk's Falls, Mrs. Ina Trolove, who often works six and seven days a week. She is the most knowledgeable person one could ever lay eyes on. She can handle anything and she is about three months younger than I am. What do you think of that? Then of course I have an excellent staff in Ottawa, my chief secretary, Mary Culinin, Melanie Byck and an outstanding research assistant, Phillip McNeil.

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It has been a privilege to serve the great riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka. I came to this place at an age when a lot of people retire and I have been able to have a career of 21 years. It is the most exciting career I could possibly think of. I know all of us are proud of the fact that we are able to sit in the House of Commons despite the low repute we are held in by the people across the country. The message should be getting across that politics is an honourable profession. There should be more people looking into the possibility of serving their country.

As I look back on my career and my stay in the House and am asked what I have done, if anything, besides vote with the party, stand up and be here as often as I am told,

I think back over the last 13 years when I have been deeply involved in the question of acid rain and the environment. I worked hard on these and I feel that I have contributed something.

I know I was involved in it when it was the best kept secret in the United States and not too prominent here. But we kept going down and meeting with the members of the U.S. Congress. I remember one of the prominent members of the House of Representatives saying: "Mr. Darling, do not give us this talk about acid rain. You are coming down here trying to scare us and sell us your hydro power from Ontario and Quebec". This was a tough thing to overcome. It is one thing I can take some pride in.

I will certainly miss this House when the next Parliament sits, but I guess it is time to just relax and take it easy. I will be celebrating my 82nd birthday a month from today, July 16.

Once more, I want to thank all the people in my riding who supported me and tell them how much I have enjoyed representing the great riding of Parry Sound- Muskoka.


Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.


Shirley Maheu


Mrs. Shirley Maheu (Saint-Laurent-Cartierville):

Madam Speaker, once again, we are adjourning ahead of schedule, as if the House had finished all its business. What a fallacy. Again, the Conservative government is making it clear that Canadians do not count for much. Again, the government is forcing the House to adjourn before dealing with the major problems. Nothing has

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been done to create jobs. There have been no announcements about guaranteeing young people an adequate education. There is nothing on the horizon to improve the well-being of senior citizens. There are no programs to provide affordable housing for the far too many Canadians who need it.

Unfortunately, this is only the beginning of a long list. In other words, the Conservative government just because it worked so hard to elect a new leader thinks it is time to take a rest, and the best way to do this is to leave the problems of Canadians in limbo. Perhaps it actually intends to let the next Liberal government deal with these problems and clean up the mess. We will certainly have a lot of work to do, but we are not afraid of work. We are prepared to work long hours to improve the quality of life of all our fellow citizens.

Ever since the Conservatives came to power they have said that they would be encouraging high technology. I want to address one specific local issue that in my opinion characterized the way the Tories did business while in government.

For years the city of Saint-Laurent has been at the forefront of high technology and aerospace industrial development in Canada. In my riding of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville we have two airports, Dorval and Cartierville. Canadair and other aerospace industries are located just minutes away from downtown Montreal. Despite these characteristics the Conservatives decided to place the space agency in St. Hubert, away from the people that they need to do business with.

It is time for a change. It is time for the government to do business with the needs of the people in mind and set aside partisanship for the benefit of Canada. Canadians are tired of this government because of what it has done to the political process. The Tories have tried to make this institution, Parliament, irrelevant. They have taken the voice of the people away from the decision-making process and have placed it in the hands of lobbyists and bureaucrats. By the time a policy makes its way to the House of Commons, there is very little room for debate.

In the past five years that I have been in Parliament, I can no longer count the number of times that the Conservative government has used its majority to cut off debate on a whole series of issues. Canadians are cynical of this tired approach to government. They want openness. They want accountability and, most importantly,

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they want to know that their vote makes a difference and that their concerns will be addressed in Parliament.

Today's senior citizens worked to improve living conditions in this country. They are the people who contributed most to medicare. These are the Canadians who worked hard all their lives to provide a better future for their children and grandchildren. And what is the Conservative government doing in return? Am I expected to announce some fantastic project? Do not count on it.

The Conservatives said quite innocently that user fees for health care was a suggestion to be taken seriously, so seriously that their party leader wrote to The Toronto Star on April 30 of this year that if she became Prime Minister, she would allow the introduction of user fees. On June 25, she will be the Prime Minister. What can we expect? But that is not all.

The Conservative government also decided to reform old age pensions, which the Liberals put in place in 1952 to assure that all Canadians would have a pension to supplement their retirement income. What about the money today's senior citizens contributed over the years so that they would enjoy a secure old age? Well, the Conservatives decided they had other priorities.

They would rather spend $5.8 billion on helicopters instead of paying old age pensions. And then they wonder why they are not popular.

The Conservatives not only have abandoned Canada's seniors, they have dropped Canada's youth, our future, from the agenda as well. Canada's disappointing economic performance under Tory rule is one of the greatest obstacles facing young Canadians. Statistics predict that the unemployment rate in Canada will be at least 11.5 per cent over the next year, youth unemployment traditionally being at least 5 per cent higher than that of the general public.

For those whose education does not extend beyond high school, the prognosis is poor. As we approach the year 2000 the proportion of the work force requiring high skills will increase from 45 to 64 per cent. Two-thirds of

all new jobs created in this country between 1989 and the year 2000 will require at least 12 years of education and the remaining jobs will call for at least 16. Those numbers indicate with great clarity that this government has abandoned Canada's youth.

This government, which so easily forgets our seniors, has the same trouble with our youth. This group has the skills, the energy and the will to work. The Conservatives keep promising and talking about jobs, but that's all they do.

Where are their fantastic job creation programs? Where are the permanent jobs that will help young graduates at all levels earn a decent living? Where are the summer jobs to guarantee that students have the money to pay for their education? Where is the incentive for young people to get a diploma, which if the Liberals do not take office as soon as possible will be just a worthless piece of paper? Tories are all talk and no action.

We must save our human resources. All this potential may be lost forever and I want us to hold on to it. We Liberals are ready to lend a helping hand and work together with these young people so they will have a future, as we did.

Many young people feel either rejected or marginalized in society which creates additional problems of crime and drug and alcohol abuse. We have to focus on youth now more than ever before and finally end the politics of exclusion and encourage our youth to participate.

Creating a national apprenticeship program that would encourage our youth to stay in school and help their transition into the work force is a first step. It would also provide an alternative to attending college or university.

The establishment of a Canadian environmental youth force, a volunteer organization that would work on environment reclamation and educational programs would not only benefit our environment badly damaged by the policies of this government, but would also help in developing learning skills and good work habits. It would promote interest in science and awareness of environ-

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mental issues which is a great positive step we need to take.

It is time we elected a government that not only talks about our youth but does something about it. This government gets a passing grade when it comes to talking, but it fails miserably when it comes to action.

When it comes to fighting racism, for example, the Conservatives have learned all the right words but they still have failed to fight it effectively.

I cannot understand the inaction of this government, specifically the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister, with regard to the deliberate organized infiltration of the Armed Forces by neo-Nazi and racist organizations. Let me be perfectly blunt. As with other issues affecting race relations in this country, the government is simply burying its head in the sand.

This government which neglects seniors and discourages youth has abandoned the very young and their parents. I know very well that it can bring out figures and studies to show us the opposite, but where, for example, is the child care program that we have heard so much about for 10 years?

What about its proposals to change the statistical standards for determining the number of poor people in this country? Do the Conservatives really think that Canadians are so easily fooled? Do they think that Canadians do not see everyday reality? Does the Conservative government believe that forcing Statistics Canada to lower its figures will wipe away the facts? The economy has not yet turned up and jobs are still as hard to find, if not increasingly scarce.

Where are the programs, which the Conservative government seems to want to study to death, to get thousands of children out of unacceptable poverty?

It is intolerable that nearly a million children suffer physically and mentally from malnutrition in a G-7 country. It is unacceptable that in Canada, in our own backyard, children cannot get the food they need to be healthy. It is unacceptable that thousands of Canadian children go to school malnourished, often poorly dressed

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for the weather, unable to concentrate on an empty stomach.

In 1993, at the end of the Conservative government's term, the poor are at a dead end. After 10 years of unkept promises, Canadians no longer have confidence or hope. The Conservatives have brought this country to its knees, and it will be up to us Liberals to put it back on its feet.

Canada's children absolutely must be able to have a good start in life. Young people absolutely must be able to have a vision of the future and the means to achieve it. Adults must again be given job security and seniors must again have the security of an adequate pension.

We Liberals know how to listen to Canadians all across the country. We also know not to make promises that we could not keep.

It is high time to give back to all the people of this country what they need to really get out of their predicament: training and jobs. It is high time to say good bye to this Conservative government.


John Cole

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John E. Cole (York-Simcoe):

Madam Speaker, it certainly is a pleasure and a distinct honour to stand today to speak to this adjournment motion.

At the end of almost five years in government when I was elected and stood in this House to give my first speech-I was probably more nervous then than I am today-a lot of things have happened in that period of time.

From my initiation, which quite frankly, Madam Speaker, I still believe you were a part of but might not want to admit it today, to the present has been a very interesting and challenging time for me as a member of Parliament.

I look forward to the coming election. I hope the good people of York-Simcoe will have seen in me a person who has tried to serve them to the best of his particular abilities. I hope when they vote they will indicate that this particular member should come back to serve them in this the highest court in the land. It is a real privilege and honour to serve the people of York-Simcoe in the House of Commons of Canada.

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This really is a special place. We can think of all the things that happen here. We can talk about the legislative issues and the debates that take place across the floor of this House, the discussions over free trade, of whether it is good, bad or indifferent. We can think of some of the other things that have occurred.

We all know that this has probably been one of the busiest sessions the Parliament of Canada has ever had. We recognize that. The leader of the New Democratic Party put it best when she said that a lot of things could be said about this government but one thing that can be said is that it did make a lot of decisions. The New Democratic Party did not agree with a lot of those decisions and that is fair, but one thing I do not think this government will ever be accused of is not being afraid to make decisions.

Some of those decisions were certainly not the most popular ones. I believe standing here today that they were the right decisions. They were the right legislative decisions. They were the kinds of decisions that will make Canada a better place for my children and maybe even my grandchildren if I am blessed that way some day.

We can think of a lot of things that were very difficult. The world has changed in the course of this five years. We can think of the former Soviet Union. We can think of Germany and the wall coming down. We can think of the way we communicate with each other and our relationships with different countries.

Who would have thought five years ago that we would be entering into a trade agreement with Mexico? Who would have thought five or ten years ago that virtually every home in this country would have a computer, that we would be thinking of new ways to handle those methods of communication?

It certainly has been a very challenging time for me as the representative of the people from York-Simcoe. It certainly has been a wonderful experience.

Many times since I was elected back in November 1988 people have asked me to describe being a member of Parliament. Earlier today a House leader mentioned that we get beat upon. The media like to criticize us. All MPs are this, that and the other thing. We all know better from being in this place.

When people ask me what it is like to be a member of Parliament there are really two words to describe it. It is

exhilarating and exhausting. I say those two words because in first coming into this House of Commons we all feel a bit of fear and trepidation.

We see the traditions. We see what it means to be a member of Parliament. We see the importance of it and we believe in the very importance of this structure because this is the heart of our democracy. This is the heart of Canada. This is what Canada really means to all of us. We see that and we see the highs and lows associated with that. It is very exhilarating to feel a part of that process.

It is also very exhausting. I can say this because I have seen virtually every member of this House work late into the night, get up very early the next morning, attend committee meetings, morning, noon and night, and take part in debates, which sometimes run right around the clock in this particular House.

It is a very exhausting business. Not only do we have our responsibilities here but we also have responsibilities back in our constituencies. We look at those things and we think of our constituency. We think of the people who are there most of the time.

We think very often of our family and friends. We do not get to see them as often as we might have in the past. But we made that choice. We as members of Parliament made the choice to come to this place to be able to take part in it.

I know from speaking to virtually every member of this House that they are very proud to be here, to be able to represent their constituents. The decisions we have to make are very challenging. They are not easy ones. It is not an easy decision to have to face the consequences of saying: "Yes, my country will take part in a mission led by the UN into the gulf which could potentially lead to world-wide war". That is not an easy decision.

We have had to make many decisions over the course of the last five years. In fact one of the members when I was talking to him not too long ago said that he had seen more in the last five years than he had seen in the last 25 years. For those of us who are rookies and have come in and seen this it really has been a wonderful experience in that regard.

Probably the most important aspect of being a member of Parliament and certainly the most thrilling part for a

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lot of us when we came in 1988 was to meet the many people whom we had looked up to over the years for their experience, knowledge and expertise, people like yourself, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, we have not looked up to you for very long because you have not been around here as long as some of the others. However, we have certainly looked up to you with respect for the kind of knowledge and experience you have brought to this place and for what you have done for Canada because that is very important.

We have seen people who have received tributes today, like the Deputy Prime Minister, the House leader and members of the opposition who may not be returning to this place because of choices they have made after serving this country for so many years. Just to be able to meet with them, to talk with them, to sit on a committee with them and to call them by their first names has been one of the greatest thrills for me. I do not think one could ever measure that, but it is something I will cherish for all my life.

We also get to meet members from all parts of this country. I did not understand the difference in the difficulties faced in my part of Canada just north of Toronto, Ontario and the difficulties my colleague from Regina faces. There are differences in this country.

I had the privilege of visiting Iqaluit not too long ago. A three hour plane ride did not seem like too big a deal, but it was minus 70 when I arrived. It was nippy. I was able to speak with some of the people up there. I spoke with the member who does not happen to sit on this side of the House, but we spoke about some of the difficulties. That was in our country. We had virtually an 80 degree Celsius temperature change in this country.

We forget the expanse of this country, the changes and the differences and that is just going straight north. We go through five and a half time zones east to west. No wonder we have difficulties in communicating and working with one another. It is closer for the people on the east coast to go to England and Europe and there are fewer time zones than when they go to Vancouver, British Columbia.

When we think of what we have accomplished as a nation and as a country it is just so wonderful to feel that

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in our own little way we have been able to play a small part. To me it has been a wonderful thrill.

I was listening earlier to the member for Bonavista- Trinity-Conception. Last summer we had the privilege of twinning our ridings. One hundred and twenty young people from my riding went to the east coast of Newfoundland and 120 young people from the east coast of Newfoundland came to York-Simcoe.

It was a great learning experience for those young people and others accompanying them. It was culture shock. Both groups went through culture shock when they arrived. They did not understand the differences between our communities. But when they went home they had a better understanding of what it was like to live in another part of Canada three or four time zones away. That was a wonderful experience. I could not have been part of that if I had not been serving as a member of Parliament.

I think of members of the opposition with whom I have had the privilege of working, certainly in the Whip's office. To the Official Opposition Whip who has come in, it has been my pleasure to work with him and the Whip from the New Democratic Party.

I think of the Whips I have served under and have had the privilege of being assistant to on the government side. I certainly appreciate the knowledge and expertise they have brought to the job. I also appreciate the staff of the Whip's office. I know I give them a hard time once in a while but we know they are the ones who run the place. They certainly run a lot of the government members around. I do appreciate the work they have done and the work my own office staff does, whether on the Hill or in Newmarket and throughout the riding.

There is one thing that I have to comment on before I finish up tonight because it is probably one of the real disappointments that I have felt in this place. It is a twofold disappointment in that before November 21, 1988 those of us who were rookies came here because we were upstanding, upright citizens. We were dedicated and we did the right things. We were respected in our communities, and all the other things that went with it.

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Two days later we were one of those politicians from Ottawa. We seemed to lose that respect. The media seemed to take that away from us very quickly.

When I go home the people in my riding will say to me: "We understand it is not you, John. It is not you as our member. We are not suggesting that but we are still prepared to make the generalization". That hurts because I see how hard members on all sides of this House work and I see the dedication.

We have a different philosophy as to how we are going to make Canada better. We can all agree on that. However with the exception of a very few people in this place we are all here to make Canada a better place.

That leads me to the second major concern that I have. There are some people who are sitting in this House who do not want to make Canada a better place. They do not want to make Canada grow. They do not want to make Canada the best country in the world. They want to break this country up. They want to act as traitors to the country in this very place. I can see people who sit over there whose only goal, only stated ambition, is to destroy Canada and to do it from within.

For some reason, because we are a free and democratic society, we have forced ourselves into allowing these kinds of people to represent parts of this country in the House of Commons, the highest institution in the land. We have allowed them to take a seat and do anything and everything in their power to destroy Canada, such as disruptive tactics in the House, statements outside of the House and getting elected or potentially getting reelected on the basis that they are going to destroy this great country. In my opinion that should not happen now and should never be allowed to happen in the future. I hope the people they represent will think about that.

I did not want to get partisan tonight and I do not think this is a partisan issue. This is a Canadian issue. We are here to serve Canada and make Canada a better country.

I am proud to represent the people of York-Simcoe and to make sure that happens.

I have no respect for those people who come here and stand up in a grandiose way. They are so sanctimonious one would think it was the greatest thing in the world that they would stand there. Who are these members?

We know who those members are. They are members who were elected not on the basis of breaking up this country but on other bases. As a result of the fact that their nose got out of joint for whatever other reason they decided to sit in that back row and do everything in their power to destroy this great country.

Madam Speaker, if you had the power to remove them from this place and try them as traitors or whatever then I am sure you would do that because I know your love for this country is as great as my love for this country, even though we come from different parts of this country.

It has certainly been an honour for me to be here. In closing, I wish to thank all the members, the staff, the Clerk and the Speaker. Everyone has been great, particularly the pages. It has really been an honour and a great privilege. I particularly want to thank the people of York-Simcoe for allowing me to be here for almost five years. I hope I can serve them again for the next four or five years.


Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson A. Riis (Kamloops):

Madam Speaker, I want to say to my hon. friend that all of us endorse his words about those few members in here who represent the Bloc Quebecois and whose sole purpose is to break up the country. That is something that we abhor and that we feel is not right. I am sure all of us in our own collective way will do whatever we can to combat them.

While I am on my feet to make a comment I want to say to my hon. friend who represents the government that on behalf of the constituents of Kamloops and all the communities and rural areas surrounding Kamloops I would like to thank him and his colleagues for giving us the privilege of hosting the Canada Summer Games this summer.

I recognize that there were a number of constituencies that had applied for this honour, that a number of communities had sought to have the privilege of hosting the Canada Summer Games. We appreciate the opportunity to be able to be the showcase for Canada this summer. I hope that all of his colleagues join with the rest of us in the House of Commons and our families to visit Kamloops this summer and show our support for the young athletes during the Canada Summer Games.

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I want to take this opportunity to mention one point that my hon. friend raised earlier, and that is with regard to those men and women who served in the Korean war. Earlier we had a discussion that recognized those men and women who received medals recently for their service during the Korean war. I choose those words consciously. People have often referred to the Korean war as a Korean conflict. They have never acknowledged that it was a war and that men and women from Canada were there to protect freedom and democracy and to put their lives on the line. Therefore we ought to be thanking those men and women who served so gallantly during that war on behalf of Canada and for what our country stands for: democracy, freedom and peace.

In conclusion I simply want to thank those who serve in our Armed Forces, particularly those serving today in the peacekeeping areas of Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Cambodia and other trouble spots of the world. These young men and women are prepared to lay down their lives to represent Canada. It is up to us to ensure that they are able to carry out their functions properly, fully serviced with the best equipment and support systems available. It is also up to us to say that we acknowledge, recognize and show our appreciation to those who served and serve in our army, navy and air force as well as our reserves and our cadet corps.

I want to draw particular attention to those who serve in the Rocky Mountain Rangers, who have for many years now made an incredible contribution to Canada's Armed Forces, as well as to the submariners and the merchant mariners. As an auxiliary to those serving on the oceans of the world those people have demonstrated their commitment to Canada and what we stand for. We have to acknowledge that our Armed Forces are secondary to none in the world. It is interesting to note that whenever forces are called upon to serve in peacekeeping or peacemaking missions the first people to be called upon are those in the Canadian Armed Forces. For that we can all be truly proud.


Leonard Donald Hopkins


Mr. Len Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke):

Madam Speaker, when the hon. member for Kamloops got up to speak I thought the least he was going to do was

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offer to billet the hon. member for York Simcoe. He was waiting on that too during the games this summer.

I want to say first that this afternoon when the tributes were flowing out to Mr. Speaker in well-deserved fashion, you as our interim Chair were not mentioned at all. After I sat down I felt badly about that because I think that you have done a very good job in the chair, having been called upon rather suddenly, and I do want to pay that tribute to you this evening. I am sure others in the House will agree.

I want to start off tonight by talking about the Canadian Armed Forces. I have a major base in my riding. As a matter of fact I live in Petawawa township, just three miles from the base gate. Prior to coming to this House I was on the staff of General Panet High School on the base and got to know a lot of military families. I got to know how they lived and what their aspirations really were.

I always look upon our Canadian forces as being among the greatest forward-looking people that this country has. No institution and no organization in Canada has ever really carried the Canadian flag with pride to so many parts of the world as have the Canadian forces.

As we see the various incidents arise around the world today, we know that there are many many trouble spots. We are asking our Canadian forces to go in to all kinds of challenges, all kinds of difficult situations and many different cultures. It is very difficult sometimes to adjust to all of that. We Canadians who expect them to undertake these difficult tasks and challenges and to handle them with decorum and dignity under the United Nations banner must give them credit when they do an excellent job, when they build schools, when they build roads and bridges, when they teach local people how to grow food and practise the elements of agriculture.

There is no group that is willing in so many ways to help other people of the world to work toward success in their own country. As a result, sometimes incidents occur. As we send them into more difficult situations in the world there are going to be incidents that occur that require investigations and so on. But that is no excuse whatsoever to label our Canadian forces in general. I take great exception to some of the media coverage that has been given to them and particularly that which was

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given to the Canadian Airborne Regiment stationed in Petawawa.

These are families, too. They must live. When their spouses are under criticism in the media and in the country it is difficult on those families. We had incidents of very difficult situations for some of the children of those families in the schools. It is totally unfair for people to serve our nation and at the same time have to face this kind of situation at home. They are there to do a job and they will do the job.

Some people today say that the cold war is over, we do not need any of our forces, we can cut back on them and we can do with much less and so on. Look around the world. What do we see today? We see problems in every region of the world today and that is where we are asking our Canadian forces to go. If we are going to cut back on our military community today then what we are doing is putting ourself in a less prepared way to face the challenges faced by us in the world at large.

Where does it place us so far as our work with the United Nations is concerned? Canada is so well respected around the world. We must continue to work with the United Nations, with the other members of the United Nations and show the unity not only within Canada itself as many of us are very interested in doing these days and every day, but unity within the world community itself and peace.

If we allow these disturbances in various parts of the world to grow into major wars then we have not allowed ourselves the pleasure or accepted the responsibility of bringing peace to the world at large.

What happened in World War I? Let us do a little historical study here. World War I broke out because the rest of the countries in the free world were not prepared for what they had to face when World War I was declared. Canada lost more than 66,000 in that war.

What did we do after World War I? We did exactly the same thing. The same thinking is going on today. We downsized our forces, cut back on them, we did not need them anymore. The First World War was the war to end all wars.

It only took a quarter of a century to start off with World War II. Who did we count on? We counted again

on our younger generations in Canada and we enrolled 1.1 million in our forces in World War II. There were over 600,000 in World War I. In World War II we lost over 45,000 of those talented young people. That is not counting the wounded and those who are left with wounds for life and those who are left with nerve problems for life. They inherited horrendous situations from those two world wars.

Following World War II we did not have time to readjust before the Korean war came along. We were ready for that one and as a result we supported the United Nations strongly. The United Nations was able to win the Korean war, win the point of the UN of maintaining a boundary line that had been drawn under UN auspices. That line was defended. We lost another 516 young people in the Korean war, to say nothing of the wounded who lived on after.

The Department of Veterans Affairs over the years has been the department to look after veterans in this country. A lot of those people now are getting older. It behoves us in this Parliament to give them their just due and to give them the benefit of the doubt when they make claims for war injuries and problems that arose out of those wars.

All we have to do today is look at Yugoslavia to find out what a tremendous liability and problem it is to have people who cannot live together in peace.

We have to handle those situations and certainly countries are coming together to handle them but we must continue to support the United Nations and we must never give up on that international organization because to date it has done a far better job than any other international organization we have ever had in the world for that purpose.

As we ask our soldiers to go around the world to various points of duty and to handle very difficult situations let us think of those families too who are here at home and who need a little help at that time and certainly a great deal of support.

I cannot sit down tonight without talking about medicare. I was in the hospital for several days recently and I heard on the television set how we had to cut back on medicare in this country. It was getting too expensive and the bottom line had to be such and such a figure.

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If there is anything in this country that every member of Parliament in this House should be standing up and defending to the nth degree it is our medicare system. We meet people in hospital who would lose if they did not have the medicare system supporting them in this Canada of ours where we have a feeling for our fellow human beings. They would lose their homes, farms and businesses. There is no question about that. We know what the costs are today for operations and medical attention.

Our medical science in this country has done wonders over the years. One of the greatest speeches I will always remember was delivered by a member of this House. It was the hon. member for Crowfoot when he returned to this House last November after being away for five months receiving a heart transplant. I have sent his speech out to many people. I have given his speech to many doctors and nurses and hospital staff. It is an inspiration to them because how often do we say thank you to those people?

We have right here in the nation's capital one of the best heart institutes that we will find anywhere in the world. Who was the master-mind behind it? Yes, there were engineers. There were administration people solidly in support of it. There was a great community of interest throughout the Ottawa Valley and in the nation's capital for it. However the one who spearheaded it was Dr. Wilbert Keon.

I can well remember him coming up in the early 1980s to see me in my office in the West Block and he said: "Len, we must improve on our heart operation facilities in Ottawa for eastern Ontario, western Quebec and indeed for wherever people come from in looking for our assistance. We are putting patients out in the hall. We do not have the space and facilities for them".

I did go to work for him and worked very closely on a lobby to raise funds from the federal government to help improve on facilities at the heart institute. Little did I know that a few years later I would be one of the recipients of that excellent project.

I want to say this about Dr. Keon. He was bom in a very small community in Pontiac County at Sheenboro, Quebec. Here was a man who went on to greatness and became a surgeon of real renown. As I have said before, he could have gone off to California. He could have gone to Texas or Boston and he could have written his own financial ticket but he did not. He chose to stay home

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and do his work here in Canada on behalf of Canadians and we thank him for that.

There have been many more like him. He has set the example for many doctors at that institute, technicians, nurses and administrators who are really top-notch people. I want to pay tribute to them on the floor of this House tonight.

The National Defence Medical Centre provides a lot of services for our diplomatic corps around the world and for our Canadian Armed Forces who come home to that hospital wherever they are. They have their own hospital and they do not take up beds for civilians at other hospitals in the city of Ottawa or other areas indeed in the country.

Dr. Leach is the head of cardiology at at the National Defence Medical Centre. Dr. Leach's grandfather, Harry Leach, still lives in his own home in the village of Chalk River in my riding and he is 96 years old while his father is General Leach who is retired. Dr. Leach is leading up a fantastic number of doctors, nurses and staff at the National Defence Medical Centre who are a pride not only to our Canadian forces but indeed to this Canada of ours. I want to pay tribute to them tonight as a tremendously dedicated group at the National Defence Medical Centre.

While I was in that hospital for a number of days I met an 85-year old lady who had had a triple bypass heart operation at the age of 72. She was back for her second operation at the age of 85. With her bypasses she was out walking up and down the corridor. Medical science in this country has gone ahead by leaps and bounds over recent years.

There is another quality that these people have besides medical knowledge and expertise and that is their attitude toward the people whom they are trying to help. They have the most genuine and kind approach to people that one could possibly have. For many people that means encouragement and a great deal of support.

For those people who want to cut back on medicare in this country it is very easy for someone to stand out on a street comer and say that we have to cut back on these expenses because of our national debt and our deficit and so on. I wonder how their minds would change if they had to go into hospital and face the trauma of cancer operations and treatments and were told by their doctor that their situation was serious. I wonder if their attitude would change the day they walked out of that hospital after a final examination to be told that their

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treatment was a success. How can we possibly cut back on this kind of service that is so genuine and present as part of the Canadian over-all community?

He is not of my party but I must say that I felt sorry for a recent patient in the Civic Hospital who had been quite active in public life in this country. Dr. Keon was called upon to comment on whether or not that man had received special treatment because he was a Progressive Conservative. I think that is sick. It is sick because we all know or should know that when a heart transplant is available then the operation must be done. I felt sony for Dalton Camp going through that particular operation and having these questions asked out on the street or by the news media. This is not the way we treat our fellow Canadians. It does not matter what role they play in life, what political party they belong to, what religious order they belong to or anything else. They are all Canadians and deserve fair treatment.

I want to mention that the Canadian troops have now taken down the Canadian flag in Cyprus and the troops who have been serving over there in recent months are coming back home to CFB Petawawa. I am sure everyone joins with me in welcoming them back.

As we look forward to the summer and fall I want to pay tribute to those members today who stood up and said they were leaving politics. They have served well. The hon. member for Parry Sound-Muskoka has been my neighbour for 21 years. Both of us have such large ridings that we virtually live a couple of hundred miles apart but we have some very common interests.

Madam Speaker, we want to wish you a good summer. We want to wish the hon. John Fraser, Speaker of this House, a very successful summer as he recuperates in Vancouver. We hope the new Prime Minister will take the family farm interests of this country with her to the Tokyo summit and strive to win the agricultural GATT discussions with regard to supply management. We hope she will take that up with the other members of the economic summit and win that battle for Canada. We need supply management in this country if our family farms are going to survive.

Thank you, Madam Speaker. We wish a good summer to you, the pages and staff here in the House of Commons and the constables who are always so very, very obliging to all of us.


Robert (Bob) Speller


Mr. Bob Speller (Haldimand-Norfolk):

Madam Speaker, it is indeed a real pleasure for me to stand up on this adjournment debate before they shut off all the lights and turn off all the microphones for our summer recess.

I want to start, Madam Speaker, by taking this opportunity to thank my constituents. I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity over the past four and a half years to actually be here in this Chamber as a member of Parliament. To represent my country I think is one of the highest callings and I want to say to my constituents that I have appreciated that opportunity over the past four and a half years.

I also want to thank the staff and people here including people like the pages. I was talking to Steve Drover tonight, one of the pages, and he was telling me about the opportunities he is going to take this summer to do certain things. As I see the pages scurrying around here I want to take this opportunity to thank them because they do play an important role in this place, as you know.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank the different interns who come here. I have had an opportunity to obtain Michigan interns and law interns. They come from the United States and it has really given me an opportunity to get a better understanding of our American friends and share with them in dialogue some of the concerns we have here in Canada.

Finally, I want to pay tribute to my staff, because as with the staff of all members of Parliament they are really the people who give us our name. If it was not for my staff in the riding doing all the hard work it takes representing constituents in front of the bureaucrats in this country and explaining how government works when I am here in Ottawa, I know my job would be a lot more difficult and so I want to take this opportunity to thank them.

June 16, 1993

Some seven months ago the first addition to my family arrived. Christopher Speller has really brought joy to my life. Ele has really given me a better understanding of some of the concerns that young parents have in Canada today. I think the theme of my speech tonight will be to reflect on some of the views and concerns my constituents, especially those with young families have brought to me over the past four and a half years. They are some of the concerns that I feel have not been addressed by this government and so I want to relate them back to the fact that I do not feel we should be adjourning this House now.

I know everyone feels we should get out of here this evening but I do not believe that should be the case. I think there is a lot more work this Chamber should be doing now. I think there are a number of serious problems this country faces that we could be dealing with.

The hon. House leader of the Conservative Party noted all those fine pieces of legislation that have been passed through this House in the past little while but there are a number of concerns that Canadians have, not the least of which is a concern regarding this Chamber and how it works. People, especially those in some of the have not provinces who do not have an opportunity to get close to a member of Parliament or see how this Chamber works, feel that this Chamber does not represent them, that somehow democracy is not working in this country. That feeling is being expressed by people such as those in the Reform Party who feel that members of Parliament, especially backbench members of Parliament, should be freely able to represent their constituents and have free votes.

I have voted against my party on a few occasions and I am glad my hon. Whip is here and still talking to me. I have to say I agree that free votes are important. They are an important tool for members of Parliament to express the views of their constituents, but they are not the most important part of parliamentary reform. Over the past four and a half years over the hundreds and hundreds of votes that I have taken on behalf of my constituents I have felt on only three occasions that there was an issue of great importance to my constituents and I would have to vote against the wishes of my party.

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There are many more things this House could do and many changes it could make that would make this place a lot more democratic and responsive to the needs of Canadians. I am talking specifically about the idea of more scrutiny of government expenditures and also of an ability of this House in terms of the development of legislation to be able to actually have a say in how that bill is developed.

As we know right now legislation is developed in the back rooms of certain ministries here in Ottawa. Bureaucracies get together and trade off different views and ideas. All the trade-offs are done outside this Chamber somewhere in and around Ottawa in the offices.

A member of Parliament like myself who wishes to help my constituents in the development of bills and have some say in how these decisions are being made has no say whatsoever. Committees of this House have to be able to develop legislation and take it through in a non-partisan way.

A lot of Canadians do not understand just how a committee works. We in the opposition and the government actually work quite well together in scrutinizing legislation. Without having that ability in the developmental stages, maybe in terms of a white paper or a green paper to have more of a say in how the legislation is developed, we as backbench members of Parliament or any member of Parliament will not be able to freely and fairly represent some of the interests of our constituents.

There has to be greater discussion of local concerns. I have raised many issues across my riding. I can remember one instance where there was a terrible tire fire in my riding. Canadians will remember it. I wanted an emergency debate on that issue. Under the rules, the Speaker at that time was not allowed to change the order of the day in the House in order to allow me to bring that forward for debate.

There are many other instances I have noticed over the years. Because of the stringent rules, the order of the House is not able to be changed to allow emergency circumstances to be debated in this House. There needs to be more leeway on the part of the Speaker or some rules changed to allow these sorts of debates to take place without just the agreement of the heads of the parties.

June 16, 1993

Routine Proceedings

In terms of the one minute statements, I think there needs to be more than 15 minutes for one minute statements under Standing Order 31. There needs to be a better ability for members of Parliament to bring forward into the House certain concerns in their ridings. I do not know how it is in the other parties, but within our party we line up all the time just to get an issue on because unfortunately within the 15 minutes allotted, we on this side only get about four or five minutes.

As a result there needs to be more time spent within the day even if we have to tack it on at the end of the day to allow members of Parliament to have more than just a one minute say in those areas. With regard to reforming Question Period, there needs to be a lot more emphasis placed on the reform of Question Period.

I do not think that the government or this House have addressed these concerns at all. I do not believe that they have addressed the concerns of Canadians as to what this institution is all about and to how best to reform this institution to reflect their values and views of Canada.

Obviously across this country, and it is no different in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk, the main concern of Canadians today is jobs and the downturn of the economy. I do not think that this House or this government over the past few years have addressed the concerns of Canadians.

Canadians are scared. They are scared either because they do not have a job or because they cannot find a job. They are wondering where their next meal is going to come from or they are concerned for the job that they have. In fact they believe that the recession may not be over. Whether we are in government or not, they blame members of Parliament for not being able to solve this problem.

I have had a number of constituents come to me and say: "You have 296 people in there. Can you not put your minds together to actually come up with some solution to these tough times? Can you not all sit down and agree to some sort of agreement as to at least one single plan in order to move forward and give Canadians jobs and opportunities?"

Of course, I tell them that it is not that easy. We in opposition have a difficult time in terms of convincing a

majority government. Granted even putting some blame back on us does not sometimes seem to come forward with a lot of solutions either. I think a lot of times we are all to blame in this House.

Some of the stuff we talk about here does not seem to be directly related to what our constituents want us to talk about. But the main focus they want in this Chamber is to move toward putting Canadians back to work. I do not believe that we as a Parliament in this past session have been able to provide Canadians with any sort of ideas of how we can help solve this problem.

I would hope that after the upcoming election, once this Chamber is renewed and we have a number of new people maybe then the government of the day, which of course I hope will be on our side, will be able to come up with some of the solutions and ideas that Canadians are looking for.

In my area, along with employment and along with providing opportunities for Canadians in terms of education and in furthering their education to get employment, a lot of my constituents are concerned about the state of the agriculture industry.

In the past I have done a lot of talking about agriculture. I have always said that our farms are the most productive and adaptive in the world and that they provide high quality food. I think I will get agreement on all sides of the House that that is what they do.

Unfortunately we have seen over the past few years the decline of agriculture in Canada. We have seen at the international level major challenges and major attacks on agriculture. We have had our supply managed industries attacked. As my hon. colleague said earlier, there does not seem to be on the government side of this House any commitment to taking this fight right to the limit.

Unfortunately what we have seen is a government that has caved in at the GATT and has not been truly committed to keeping the supply managed industries. The agriculture minister in the past little while has made speeches and the different members of the government here made speeches which have not given any comfort that our supply managed commodities will continue.

June 16, 1993

What the government says is that some form of tariffication is a solution to our problems, that somehow under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, that will be allowable and our farmers will just do fine. Well that is not the case. I am really not sure if the government has come to any sort of understanding of the importance of the supply managed commodities in terms of its effects on the rural infrastructures.

I know we have a number of rural members here tonight and I want to say to them that in rural Canada times are getting tough. In rural Canada when a government closes down post offices, as in the hon. minister's riding, when it closes down opportunities, when it closes down certain programs that help fund rural agriculture it makes times difficult.

We have been doubly hurt in southwestern Ontario over the past few years because the government has not committed any special programs to southwestern Ontario. We have funding programs for northern Ontario, in some of the areas of Canada and some of the smaller provinces. In my area, which is in the southwest between major centres, we have difficulty in terms of creating employment opportunities for our people. Unfortunately the government has provided no programs to help give them opportunities for jobs.

As I said, agriculture is important in my area. I have fought many fights in this House regarding my tobacco farmers as I mentioned earlier in reference to my Whip. Over the past few years the government has not provided any sort of alternatives to these farmers. It has talked a lot about certain programs, but these programs have not been around the last two years. The REDUX program has not been available to these farmers to help them deal with some of their problems. The Alternate Enterprise Initiative program which is to help farmers move into other areas has not been available the last year.

Before I go I want to talk about trade. Canadians get a sense, right or wrong, and that is debatable on the other side, that the free trade deal has not benefited this country. I hear that from people throughout Canada and in fact people are coming forward and saying that. We are finding out we do not have access to the American market that was promised in the free trade deal.

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I feel that this government, instead of negotiating a NAFTA and adding another country into the pot, should first solve some of the problems of this deal. We have debated that over the past few years and it seems to me that the government once again is just moving ahead on this issue without first addressing some of the concerns and some of the problems that Canadians have had in terms of trade.

The biggest problem we have in generating jobs in our area is small businesses. Small businesses just do not have adequate financing. The Small Businesses Loans Act needs reform and adjustment.

This government has not addressed the concerns of small businesses in this country. In my area small businesses that want to create jobs and could create many jobs are being closed down by banks. I know hon. members are experiencing the same problems in then-areas where banks are really getting tough because of some of the difficult times.

The Federal Business Development Bank should be out there helping these companies. In my area in particular, the Federal Business Development Bank has been acting more like a bank than as it should. I know hon. members were here when that bank was set up. These business people do not have access to the capital they need to create jobs. Unfortunately without access to this capital there will not be the jobs available.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I want to particularly thank the Chair and yourself for the fine job you have done in this Chamber over the past few years. I know we have been on some delegations together and I saw you in action on the weekend at the Conservative convention. I think you did a great job there. I also want to take the opportunity to thank my leader and my Whip for their fine work in this House. I look forward to seeing my colleagues across the floor after the next election. I will save a seat right here for the hon. member and I am sure it will fit him well.


Alfonso Gagliano (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)


Mr. Alfonso Gagliano (Saint-Leonard):

Madam Speaker, I realize only a few minutes are left for comments, before we adjourn. I don't intend to spend a lot of time commenting on the remarks and statistics of the government House leader who presented the motion

June 16, 1993

Routine Proceedings

this afternoon or on looking at this government's record. I think time and history will take care of that.

In any case, soon an election will be called, during which these issues will be debated. This afternoon, all my colleagues made it clear where they stood.

Today, and especially this afternoon, members paid tribute to several colleagues. They referred to the classes of '68 and the class of '72, and I would like to congratulate all classes. A number of members announced they would not run in the next election. So, whatever their class or the year they arrived here in this House, I want to congratulate them and wish them good luck, health and happiness and a successful career in the field of their choice. I want to stress their dedication to this country and to Canadians. They were elected, they came here and they took part in the proceedings of this House.

In 1984 I had the honour and the privilege to be elected as a member of Parliament. In fact, Madam Speaker, you and I belong to the same class, since we both arrived in the 1984 election. But two and a half years ago, when my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, appointed me chief opposition Whip, I was able to find out more about this House and to appreciate it and the way it operates. Often, through the media and television, Canadians witness scenes or moments that are positively electrifying. That is because of the kind of political system we have on both sides of this House. But also what Canadians do not see and do not know is that in most cases this House operates with the unanimous agreement of the various parties.

As Whip, I had this honour and privilege to work with the three parties and even at times with some independent members so that this House could operate and really work toward the main objective we all have, that is to serve our fellow citizens as well as possible and to make this beautiful country, Canada, work. It is a modem country which everyone loves. People all over the world would pay fortunes and give all they have to come to live here and share in our happiness and prosperity.

I see here all these good pages who have served us during this time and I thank them for their work-I think

I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say that. Congratulations and hear, hear.


Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.


June 16, 1993