January 20, 1994

REF

John Williams

Reform

Mr. Williams

Madam Speaker, in response to the question of the hon. member for Kamloops, I mentioned in my speech that we have a feeble economy. Taxes are too high. This is why we find today that businesses are struggling to pay the taxes to keep the government afloat. Even then the government still needs another $40 billion or more to pay its bills.

If we are going to look for a vibrant and strong economy we must look forward to the day when investment overtakes spending by the government. We must also look forward to the day when taxes start to come down and affordability of taxes comes within the realm of everybody to pay their fair share.

We always agree with the need for equality but I think the focus of the government has to be toward a balanced budget. It can collect the taxes due in order to do so but we must look forward to the day when we see taxes coming down and a greater willingness by Canadian people to participate in paying for the government of this country.

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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BQ

André Caron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. André Caron (Jonquière)

Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to the hon. member's words. I was surprised to hear his stand on social programs, because I understood him to say that social programs destroyed the initiative of Canadians and should therefore be eliminated.

This particular position is disappointing to me because what I heard from the voters of Jonquière during the election campaign was that Canada and Quebec have always been concerned about the weakest and the most disadvantaged. My constituents said clearly to me that they do not believe people who get rich by profiting from private enterprise will be generous enough to take care of the disadvantaged, the sick and the poor.

I have a question for the hon. member and I hope he will have the time to respond. I will be brief. Does he know of many cases where people who became wealthy through their work or their business were successful in setting up programs or providing health care and social services, or services to the unemployed and the disadvantaged on a scale equal to what we now have in Canada?

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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REF

John Williams

Reform

Mr. Williams

Madam Speaker, in response to the hon. member's question, I think we have to recognize that this country was born and developed out of initiative. We very much recognize our social obligations to Canadians who are old, those who are sick and those in unfortunate circumstances who are unable to look after themselves. Recognizing its responsibilities in these areas shows the maturity of any society. I would be the last to suggest that we shun that responsibility.

We also have a responsibility to those who are prepared to lead the country in its economic growth. We have to give recognition to them that prosperity comes from that direction. As I said, we do not want the government to destroy the opportunities and initiatives of people to develop the country and continue to provide the growth and the jobs we so badly need.

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LIB

John Maloney

Liberal

Mr. John Maloney (Erie)

Madam Speaker, my first words in this House must be those of appreciation for the privilege and honour of representing the riding of Erie. I would like to thank its voters for their trust and confidence without which I would not be here. I am aware of my responsibility to my constituents and indeed to all citizens of this country and I hope I will be equal to this task. I will not forget where I came from or who put me there. I will advance their position from the highest government in the land. I cannot deliver perfection but I can deliver accessibility, honesty and integrity.

On a personal note I would also like to thank my wife, Sherrie, and my children, Megan, Patrick, Alanna, Andrew and Sarah, for allowing me this privilege. I will endeavour to keep their personal sacrifices as minimal as possible.

I wish to congratulate you, Madam Speaker, on your appointment to this esteemed office of which you are most worthy.

I would further like to take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. member for Welland-St. Catharines-Thorold on his election as Speaker to this 35th Parliament, a position of honour and responsibility unequalled in this House. I have enjoyed his sage advice over the years and regret the non-partisan aspect of his office now denies me the privilege of his counsel.

I further wish to congratulate the mover of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, the hon. member for Bruce-Grey, and the seconder, the hon. member for Madawaska-Victoria, on their addresses.

It is indeed a great honour for me to be in this Parliament, especially under such an honourable leader as the Prime Minister. It is a pleasure for me in my maiden address to introduce the riding of Erie to my fellow members of Parliament.

Having been born and raised in Erie it seemed only fitting that on finishing my formal education I would return to Erie. For many years I served on a great number of local committees and boards. This exposure to local issues and people made my decision to enter federal politics a little easier. I believe that Erie deserves the best representation possible in Ottawa and I hope I am worthy of that responsibility.

As some may gather from the name, Erie riding follows the north shore of Lake Erie, one of the fine Great Lakes. It extends from the border town of Fort Erie in the east to the western boundary of the regional municipality of Niagara. It is a rural-urban riding encompassing the city of Port Colborne, the southern portion of the city of Welland, as well as the towns of Fort Erie, Pelham, West Lincoln, and the township of Wainfleet.

This is only geography and does no justice to describing the heart of this riding. Erie riding was blessed with many Canadian riches. Our history, agricultural climate, economic potential and traditions in my humble opinion are unparalleled in any other part of Canada.

Many historical battles of the War of 1812 were fought on Erie soil. Erie also saw the likes of William Lyon Mackenzie during the Upper Canada rebellion of 1837 and the Fenian raids of the 1860s.

The early settlers of Erie were joined by the United Empire Loyalists, a group of people dedicated to what would later become the Dominion of Canada. Over the years our riding was further blessed with healthy immigration from all European countries and most recently from the Pacific Rim. There has also been lateral migration from other areas of Canada: from the west, from the maritimes and from la belle province de Québec , all attracted by the lushness and opportunity that Erie offered. The riding indeed reflects the multicultural heritage that makes our country so strong. I hope I may embody some of their independent, industrious and enthusiastic spirit as I work for my constituents and dedicate myself to community and country.

On the very eastern boundary of Erie riding is the Niagara River which divides Canada from our neighbour, the United States. Our proximity to the American border offers us opportunities for trade and industrial development that will help enhance and diversify our economy well into the 21st century.

Apart from the historical significance, development potential and beauty of the riding, the moderate climate and fertile soil have made Erie famous for its fresh produce, bountiful orchards and vineyards. The Niagara region is one of the best grape growing regions in the world and forms the basis of Canada's wine industry. Poultry and dairy farming represent a solid mainstay in Erie's economy as well as that of our nation.

The climate and charm of Erie attracts a great number of tourists who come to enjoy the water and beaches of Lake Erie, to browse through our heritage museums and historic sites, to marvel at the ships plying the Welland Canal, an integral part of the St. Lawrence seaway system, or just to enjoy the pleasant surroundings and chat with our friendly residents.

Due to the rural nature of my riding many Erie residents embrace a traditional way of life. This lifestyle is rooted in their heritage and must be preserved. This preservation is a goal of mine during my first term in office. I support the maintenance of

rail and postal services to these people. I am happy to be a member of a party that also encourages the rural way of life.

I would be remiss if I did not commend the Canadian public for taking the opportunity of electing a majority Liberal government. They knew that the Liberal Party was a party with a plan, as we heard in His Excellency's throne speech. It is obvious it is the priority of this government to put unemployed Canadians back to work, to give them back their pride in employment. Erie riding is struggling with an unemployment figure of approximately 15 per cent of the work force, an unacceptable level.

The throne speech outlines several initiatives that are fundamental to this new Parliament, a new Parliament I may add that is in a position to make a real difference to Canadians. These major proposals impact on every community regardless of a member's political affiliation and follow the themes of integrity, economy and society.

Integrity in government is an issue that must be dealt with before we begin debating our significant reforms. The conduct and ethics of Parliament will determine how such debates are carried out. We will achieve little unless members are permitted the courtesy to voice their concerns.

In his address to this House on Monday the Speaker stated:

Yet perhaps never in our history have we enjoyed a less favourable opinion on the part of. . .Canadians.

Before anything meaningful can be done in this House we have a duty as representatives to earn the confidence and trust of our fellow Canadians as we conduct our business.

Our government, as promised, is committed to integrity and honesty. We have proposed cuts to members' services and allowances, reduced political staff, the elimination of perks and the reform of MPs' pension plans. The recommendation of the appointment of an ethics counsellor, legislation to bring lobbying out in the open and reform measures to give members of Parliament and House of Commons a greater role in Parliament are very refreshing and very necessary changes.

As a newly elected member of Parliament I am quickly learning how complex many constituents' requests are, but I would suggest that when circumstances are beyond our control we deal forthrightly with the constituents in question.

We are all individuals representing distinct ridings. Therefore it is unlikely that we will agree with every proposal and perspective in this House. Nevertheless we must respect other views and accept the outcome as decided by the greatest number of members.

On Tuesday this government announced its plans to create a more active economy. This goal is desired by all Canadians.

As I mentioned before, the Erie riding embraces the creation of jobs through such programs as the renewal and expansion of infrastructure. I am pleased to say I have already corresponded with Erie riding mayors regarding the steps already taken by this government to initiate renewal at the local level.

I applaud this government for its swift action on launching and obtaining agreements on the infrastructure program.

Another change announced yesterday was the replacement of the goods and services tax or the GST as it is commonly known. It is one of the most reprehensible taxes ever imposed and Canadians have demanded its discontinuation. We cannot impose upon Canadians something that is so vehemently objected to when we have been chosen by them to communicate and reflect their views. This is an arrogance the government does not need.

The youth of our country are our greatest asset. However, as the father of five children I am well aware of the growing despondency of our youth with respect to their futures. I welcome the creation of a youth service corps and a national apprenticeship program which will give more direction and employment to our children and youth.

I was also particularly pleased to see so many initiatives designed to strengthen the fabric of this nation which will continue to make our fine Canadian society the envy of the world.

The environmental assessment act will be well received by all Canadians and the benefits of this act will be appreciated for generations. Representing a riding that is affected by the Great Lakes I hope to see measures within that act to continue to clean up our waters and to prevent further pollution.

In the short period of time I have held this office I have heard from my own constituents as well as many others across the country who are deeply concerned about crime, justice and personal safety.

This government announced its intention on Tuesday to foster safer communities for all Canadians, especially for women and children. I do not believe that any Canadian, male or female, should be apprehensive about his or her safety. However, I know that this fear exists and is real for many. I am pleased to be part of a team that believes the problems of criminal justice and the penal system are deserving of attention and action.

In the area of aboriginal affairs I welcome the announcement that the implementation of inherent aboriginal self-government

will begin. Erie riding has a substantial urban aboriginal population and I look forward to learning how self-government will impact on this community.

As I sit in this Chamber among my colleagues I realize that despite political affiliation we also have the same goals of doing the best job possible for the constituency. Many great members have come and gone before us with similar ambitions. I salute all of those who have come to this place to represent Canadians. As we all know, it is not an easy task.

A great man once stood in this House and in his maiden address said: "I suggest that the time has come for action. We have a tremendous opportunity-the people of Canada look to us; the people of Canada trust in us; the people of Canada are counting on us; in heaven's name, let us not fail them". That man, a predecessor to the free spirits who now sit in this House, was Mr. Tommy Douglas. Mr. Douglas had a vision of a new Canada. I hope that within ourselves each of us also has a vision.

It is fitting to begin this Parliament at the start of a new year for this is the time when resolutions are made. In a recent letter received from Rural Dignity of Canada there was a quote from a 4-H publication. It reads: "May the thoughts in our heads blend with the compassion in our hearts, to guide our hands as they safeguard the health of those things we care most for: our loved ones, our communities and our world, throughout the coming year".

I encourage members to keep these thoughts in mind and in action in the months and years to come as we work for Canadians everywhere, as we work for a strong and united Canada. And when at some unknown future time we leave this Chamber for the final time we can proudly hold our heads high and each of us will be able to say: "I made a difference".

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski-Témiscouata)

Madam Speaker, I am happy to see that some of our friends opposite do care about what is going on in their ridings and are committed to standing up for their constituents.

They can join us in so doing, as we are here to look after the interests of Quebecers. Welcome, sir. Join the club.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell the hon. member that our regions as well are faced with major problems, which we certainly intend to bring up over and over again. In my riding for example, the previous government shut down the CBC station which provided a vital link within the community. So, I will take every opportunity to remind this House of what a vicious deed this was, as regions can no longer make themselves heard from government because of the lack of communication. I will make this point every time I rise in this House until the CBC and the new government get the message that regions must be given the means to communicate again, first among themselves, and then with the rest of the country, from coast to coast.

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BQ

Bernard Deshaies

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernard Deshaies (Abitibi)

Madam Speaker, dear colleagues, I am pleasantly surprised to see the strong interest shown by the hon. member for his riding, since I represent the constituency of Abitibi, which may not be as beautiful as the hon. member's riding, but which, for me, is nevertheless the nicest one.

The people in the riding of Abitibi, possibly the largest one in Canada after the Northwest Territories, managed from the very beginning, early in the twentieth century, to clear the land and develop agriculture. It is through their daily efforts that these people were able to develop this region which is not as old as that of the hon. member, but of which I am very proud.

I am also pleasantly surprised to see that some members of this House have large families. I personally have seven children. Therefore, I believe that the future of our children must be the top priority for Canada as well as for Quebec.

I want to emphasize the problems which I experienced during the election campaign in my riding of Abitibi, where regional development is so important. I am not referring to problems linked to facing an opponent but, rather, to the difficulty of meeting people and listening to their concerns, which have to do with finding work, for example in the case of workers who have to rely on social assistance and who, at fifty years of age, are losing hope of finding a new job.

I am honoured to rise for the first time in the House and I want to take this opportunity to discuss the problems which exist in my riding and to ask you, the government members, the Liberal government, to listen to people in all those ridings who expect you to succeed in your endeavours. It is a fact that we, on this side of the House, will take a close look at your legislation. If you table good bills we will certainly support them, and the Reform Party members have also said they will: if it is good legislation, we will not purposely criticize it. On the contrary, we will support it.

But you can be sure that people in my riding, who elected me to represent them in this House, want Canada to do better, regardless of the decision they will have to make in the next few years.

I want to tell the hon. member for Erie that goods and services in this country are traded between provinces. In our family business we would routinely, as wholesalers, buy products from your region, whether it was fruits or vegetables. We have to learn to accept each other's choices.

Yesterday, I listened to the speech made by the hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, who is the dean in this House and who spoke about communication. I hope that throughout this session both sides of the House will communicate more and more and learn to better understand each other's interests.

I conclude by stating my keen interest in the role of this House, and in the future I intend to give even more substance to my questions.

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LIB

Rose-Marie Ur

Liberal

Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton-Middlesex)

Madam Speaker, I wish to congratulate the hon. member for Erie on his maiden speech. I too am proud to say that I have been elected to represent one of the nicest areas in southwestern Ontario, the riding of Lambton-Middlesex. It has a huge agriculture base.

I agree with the contents of his maiden speech. I stress that we all work together to maintain a strong support for agriculture and small business in Canada to ensure growth for Canada and Canadians. I congratulate the hon. member.

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BQ

Paul Crête

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Paul Crête (Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup)

Madam Speaker, I am honoured to have this opportunity to reply to the speech from the throne. The constituents of Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, the men and women living in the regional municipalities of Kamouraska, Rivière-du-Loup and Basques ridings as well as the municipality of Pohénégamook, gave me the mandate to express to the federal government the will of the population of Quebec which wants fundamental changes in the relationship between Quebecers and the rest of Canada.

Since 1980, I have chosen to live in Eastern Quebec, more specifically in La Pocatière. Everywhere I went, I noticed that the needs of rural Quebecers are not quite understood. Government members do not seem to recognize the urgency here, since no regional development strategy is mentioned in the throne speech.

On behalf of the neglected rural and urban populations, I would like to say how disappointed I am about this omission.

Given the insensitivity of the government to our specific development concerns, whether it is in Rivière-du-Loup, Amos, or Lotbinière, we have lost all hope of seeing the government respond quickly to the situation. Hence the need for Quebecers to get back all necessary political and financial powers to make sure measures are being taken right away.

Even if it is not included in the Constitution, regional economic development is a jurisdiction on which the federal government has impinged without taking into account the will of the Quebec government to take full responsibility in this area.

For over 30 years, Quebec regions have been used as laboratories for tests which only proved that the present federal system does not work.

At first, the federal government opted for economic centralization, as shown in the Higgins-Raynauld-Martin Report. This devastating approach was reinforced by the creation of the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion, whose decision-making process focused on sectoral concerns, instead of regional characteristics.

In 1987, even the Standing Committee on Regional Industrial Expansion of this House of Commons recognized the fact that the federal programs did not meet the needs of the people, because the criteria being used were not suited to the needs of the regions. Because of a lack of participation from the regions, the money was given to useless projects, instead of some local and worthwhile initiatives. Take for example the magnificent $7 million drill hall which was built in my riding. Fascinating, but if the people in the area had had a word in the matter, I can assure you they would have found other much more interesting projects to subsidize with that $7 million.

The federal government made some adjustments by developing a new strategy based on framework agreements. That does not work either, as shown by the unemployment rates. Regions can and must do more to supply domestic and foreign markets with raw materials. To create jobs, we must develop processing industries and make use of local resources. The government's role in putting GATT in place will also be judged by what happens here. Its defence of GATT was not very convincing, I must say. The government accentuates regional dependence.

The federal government might as well admit that its actions in the area of regional development are inappropriate. The economic base is crumbling, the social fabric is falling apart, the exodus from rural areas continues, with young people among the first to leave.

The number of municipalities whose population is shrinking has increased at an alarming rate in the past 25 years, so that today, their numbers exceed the number of communities where the population is growing. Nevertheless, the people in the regions are doing something about it. A first step was taken by the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec and 25 groups that signed the déclaration des États généraux du monde rural at their meeting in 1991.

Perhaps I may recall some of the main highlights of this declaration: rights of the individual; the community's control over its future; promoting and respecting regional and local values; co-operation between local and regional partners; diversification of the regional economic base; protecting and regen-

erating resources; fine tuning lines of political authority; and promoting alternative measures for sustainable development. The Bloc agrees with these principles and supports this consensus.

Regional development means more than just building roads. Quebecers know that that is not enough. Progress depends on the active participation and creativity of local resources. The government should provide financial support as needed. In this respect, research and development are the way of the future for the regions. Remote locations are no longer an obstacle to attracting high-tech companies.

Haphazard action by the federal government has created bizarre situations, as in the case of its policy of closing rural post offices, which meant that communities were deprived of essential services, while at the same time community futures committees were being set up to provide local communities with the appropriate development tools. When we consider that 83 per cent of the employees in these post offices are women, an excuse for speeches on employment equity, this is a clear case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

The Federal Office of Regional Development fails to take the comprehensive view of local development. What it does is often more like window dressing. Boosting regional economies means knowing how to use local human resources. Forestry workers who lost their jobs to a machine should be able to go back with dignity and help develop that same forest for the benefit of future generations. When companies increase productivity, the proceeds should be used to create jobs.

Actually, the inefficiency of manpower training programs is most apparent in the regions, where it is harder to get a training program for a group of workers than to relocate them. I had this experience myself on an adjustment committee, when 20 employees from Bombardier had been laid off and it took at least two major political manoeuvres to get these people a training program for welding, although the Bombardier plant, well-known internationally, was only a few kilometres from the training location.

What is there in the Throne Speech that will make life easier for a young entrepreneur from Saint-Hubert or Rivière-du-Loup who wants to launch a new product? Who can help him? The Business Development Centre, the Community Futures Committee, the Youth Enterprise Centre, the Corporation de développement économique , the tourism corporation, the Federal Office of Regional Development, the Industrial Development Corporation, plus two members' offices. The development agencies mean well, but it is a real nightmare for our young entrepreneur to find his way through this administrative labyrinth. Often, after knocking in vain on all these doors, our young entrepreneur has to go back to dreaming about his future. Meanwhile, and this is even worse, agencies in the region compete with each other in a way that is unproductive.

Regional development must also be based on comprehensive projects like the high-speed train in the Quebec-Windsor corridor-that cannot be overemphasized. This project would create jobs in greater Montreal, at the Bombardier plant in La Pocatière and for our Canadian neighbours. This project would have a major impact. It would use the potential of our young people who are skilled in high-tech fields and would develop an expertise which could be exported throughout the world. It would also be a major contribution to the conversion of military industry.

Geographical isolation is trivial compared to isolation from the main decision-making centres. The future of regional development in Quebec depends on respecting Quebec's jurisdiction in that field and recognizing the regions' right to control their own development, as the Bélanger-Campeau Commission said.

Federal intervention in regional development is very costly. Overlapping jurisdictions require such an expenditure of energy that not enough is left to deal with the real problems. By creating intermediate structures, too much time is spent administering the programs in order to co-ordinate decision making among various agencies. Meanwhile, money does not go to the community; it stays in the bureaucratic system.

The share of income collected directly by government through taxes should diminish as local authorities obtain access to revenue sources from these same citizens. The infrastructure program is an eloquent example. What a fine effort the governments seem to be making without putting too much money into development!

But do you not think that ideally, the municipalities themselves should have the ability to collect taxes and raise the funds needed for their development, without asking themselves whether the federal Parliament in Ottawa must be involved in the decision about a garage or a roadway in the Rivière-du-Loup region?

I think it would be much better to decentralize the budgets and available funds significantly so that our local elected officials can decide on these matters.

In the present federal system, a way to do this would be to give Quebec the tax points for the federal investment in this area, over $200 million, and to recognize Quebec's exclusive jurisdiction in this field.

We are in a paradoxical situation, where the federal government which has the right to raise taxes never developed the proper tools to meet the regions' needs in support of their development.

We gather from the 1993 election campaign that people yearn for a way to the future, where only one government will decide

and will have all the power to tax and to eliminate duplication, overlap and inconsistencies among departments. People want to call on the values that already exist in their communities.

This way of the future is Quebec sovereignty, a unique opportunity for a massive transfer to the regions of the $28 billion in taxes which Quebecers pay to Ottawa. We will vote against the subamendment moved by the member for Calgary Southwest because it is out of the question to give the government a blank cheque for deciding on cuts without first setting up a committee to thoroughly study the proposed cuts.

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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Vancouver Quadra)

Madam Speaker, may I first of all congratulate you on your appointment to this distinguished office and through you the Speaker who we elected several days ago.

It is a significant fact that in a changing Parliament and in a changing Canada we are in the process of changing the House constitution, the rules. It indicates the basic fact of common law from which the law of Parliament is passed, that it is not a frozen cake of doctrine that gelled once and for all in some bygone age, but a continuing process of creative adjustment of old rules to new social circumstances.

We have seen changes that were not expected. The House has elected a Speaker for the second time, but in this particular election there were extensive meetings between candidates and the political parties: the Bloc Quebecois, the Reform Party and as a special suggestion of the Prime Minister, with the Liberal Party. Perhaps no votes were changed, but I think there was a profound educational process.

We are all better informed of the options of choice for the future development of parliamentary rules and procedures available to us. In the process of give and take there is a cumulative advance in our thinking because parliamentary constitutional law, as I said before, is not fixed in time. It is not graven on stone tablets. It evolves and it must evolve.

The precedents we received in the 19th century must be balanced against precedents from other ages, the 17th and 18th centuries, for example. In some ways these are much more dynamic and creative in terms of the evolution of English parliamentary constitutionalism. They also affected the American constitution.

What comes out of this is that this House will continue to build on parliamentary procedures, will continue to create new rules incrementally on the old. One looks forward to the co-operation of opposition parties in building a new and strengthened role for backbenchers and for committees. It is good to have the full co-operation promised by the Prime Minister and the House leader not merely in the election campaign but since so that we represent law in the making.

That is a signal event for us because of course the speech from the throne has two main thesis in it. One is the concept of change that we live in a period of transition, in a sense a world revolution of our times, of which the collapse of the Soviet empire and the fall of the Berlin wall were merely symbolic indications. Large changes are occurring and they affect Canada as much as anybody else. Our institutions must respond to those changes.

The speech from the throne picked up the thesis advanced in the Livre rouge of the Liberal Party that change must come, that it is inherent in our society. It should not be resisted. One should guide and direct it constructively.

The second main theme in the speech from the throne is also the notion that one cannot isolate social problems. The social scientists speak of the polycentricity of problems and problem solving. It simply means that individual problems are not islands to themselves. One cannot separate social problems from economic problems nor can one today separate internal problems from larger problems of foreign policy.

We live in a global village and what happens in far-flung areas of the world impacts upon Canada and upon our development. It is in that perspective that I approach my intervention in this debate.

I represent the constituency of Vancouver Quadra which has had the honour of having as its members a Prime Minister, my predecessor John Turner, but also a very distinguished Conservative foreign minister, Howard Green who lived to a very ripe old age after his retirement from Parliament. He is remembered for reinforcing a principle developed first by Prime Minister Pearson and Paul Martin Senior, the notion that Canada's commitment in foreign policy includes a concern for people outside Canada and a concern for human rights. Howard Green, if you will remember, took the initiative as foreign minister within the Commonwealth to raise the issue of race relations with a member of the Commonwealth, South Africa, and to say that a policy of openness and open society is and should be a precondition to membership in the Commonwealth.

And so I continue in that tradition. I must say one of the striking things in my constituency is that it mirrors the changes in process occurring in Canada as a whole. We have suddenly become a global community by the very happy fact of immigration and the integration of our new communities into Canadian society.

My constituency encompasses Greek Canadians. It also has Polish Canadians. Some came as war veterans after World War II. Some came to escape the dying days of an inefficient, incompetent communist regime. The boat people came 10 or 15 years ago and now have their children at college. There is a success story for you because they came with nothing. Our Indo-Canadian community and the Sikh community have con-

tributed so much to our cultural richness. Our Chinese Canadian communities have come from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and are united in maintaining a new plural Canadian tradition.

This in some way signals the growth and change occurring in British Columbia which was once traditionally preoccupied with forestry and industries with natural resources. They are still there. They are at the basis of our richness and the new dynamic and I would say, forward looking policies of management, a part of their present development.

However, it may have escaped the notice of people in other parts of Canada that we lead in scientific development, particularly in the area of the relationship of science, scientific research, advanced technology and industrial application which the Japanese perfected but which we are doing now.

The TRIUMF/KAON project is a monument to the new dynamism in British Columbia education and science and research. It groups together the great physicists of Canada and the world. It has attached to it as ancillary projects, geneticists like the Nobel laureate, Michael Smith. It has built a massive export industry which converts a company like Ebco of Richmond that once was a minor tool manufacturer into a multimillion dollar export industry for Canada with new jobs and new wealth contributing to the national well being.

Therefore British Columbia represents at once this meeting of the new communities in a larger community of communities. By the way that term, sometimes attributed to Canadian political figures, is that of Martin Buber. He was speaking from his viewpoint as a central European scholar who later went to Israel and saw the need for communities to work together. The new pluralism means every community is enriched in the process.

There is no longer, if there ever was, a problem of languages in British Columbia. It is the objective of parents whose children have mastered the cours d'immersion in the French language to move over to a third language. I think that may be the Canadian dream reflecting the new Canada and reflecting the new orientation to which British Columbia has contributed so much. The centre of gravity in the world community is moving from Europe to the Pacific and the Pacific rim and we are there.

Therefore we will be speaking out in caucus and in Parliament on the necessary recognition of the new role of British Columbia. We sometimes feel that bureaucrats and maybe even political leaders in central or eastern Canada are insensitive to these dramatic changes in the balance of power in Canada.

The important thing to remember here is that we have a view of federalism which corresponds to the view I expressed of the common law. Federalism did not gel once and for all in 1867 in a series of static relationships between institutions or a glorifying of old processes simply because they were there.

We accept Mr. Justice Holmes' view that it is revolting to have no better justification for a rule than that it was laid down in the time of Henry II. Henry II has been dead for so many centuries. Therefore we believe in the continual updating of federal institutions.

Federalism, as Prime Minister Trudeau said, is pragmatism. It is a process of constant readjustment of old institutions and rules to meet new problems. And so we have faith in federalism and the fact that our distinctness as part of the larger Canadian society can be reflected and translated into institutional and other changes within the Canadian Constitution and by a process of evolutionary growth that does not necessarily require formal changes to the constitution. The dynamic of constitutional growth in an existing society is that it comes through incremental change and adjustment in response to contemporary problems.

In this period of change in which we all live I have spoken of the movement of the world community, the shift in the centre of gravity from Europe to the Pacific rim. It is a fact of life. It means there will have to be new emphasis on trade and co-operation with Pacific rim countries.

However it also reflects one of the great dilemmas of the world community in a period of transition. We sometimes have the coexistence of the old with the new. It is sometimes a painful coexistence, even a collision.

We expect that the 21st century will see the ideal of a viable world government. It is not with us now. Therefore, one of the realities is the commitment that Canadians have made in foreign policy from the golden period of St. Laurent, Pearson and Paul Martin, Sr. to the United Nations has to be balanced against the recognition of the regionalism that exists within the world community as a whole.

It is good that the GATT discussions led to the suggestion for a world trade organization, but this is not for the first time. It was one of the hopes of the founding fathers of the United Nations in 1946 that there would be a world trade organization. It was the failure, in some ways the unexpected failure, of this project that led to the not very satisfactory compromise of GATT. But like many not satisfactory compromises it performed a necessary function and deserves credit for those measures that have existed since 1946 to prevent an autarchic system of international trade.

I come back to the basic point that to put all one's faith in a world trade organization and in GATT is not a sufficient remedy for the economic problems of our time. I have no doubt, in

historical terms, that the government has been right to put its faith in NAFTA.

The regional organizations, the trends of history, the movement of the European Community through the ideal of the single act into, in many respects, a closed regional community compels us to look for external markets wherever we can find them. I compliment both the red book, the livre rouge, and the government for the commitment to NAFTA. To be sure, there were international problems to consider, a thicket of problems that perhaps could have been considered more fully in the last several years. However, they are not insuperable. Treaties once made are not graven in stone. There are processes under international law for changing them to new circumstances.

I had occasion as a private citizen in another capacity to examine the issue of freshwater export in bulk, whether it was to be covered by NAFTA or not. My conclusion was clearly it was not covered by NAFTA but I appreciate the concerns of those Canadian citizens who thought it was.

On this particular point it seems to me that the solution adopted by the Canadian government, the exchange of statements, is adequate in international law to achieve that point of making assurance doubly sure on the water issue. Further possibilities for change exist on a similar basis. If we worry about what the United States would say, I would simply say that the United States government more than anyone perfected these methods of change in treaties, creative change after the treaty has been signed, sealed and delivered.

We move to this situation of a coexistence of mondialist, one world tendencies through the new world trade organization, through the development of GATT and through our creative membership in new regional organizations like NAFTA.

We should all commend the initiative taken by the trade minister to put out feelers to Chile, to new countries for membership in NAFTA to expand our trade opportunities. However we should also look carefully at associate membership for our Pacific rim trading partners, or trading partners to be.

One of the great advantages of the new Canada, the new pluralistic Canada, is that we have an enormous natural resource in our citizens who have come here from other countries. They have the language and know the customs in terms of trade and commercial relationships and these things should be used to the fullest. I expect in the expansion of the trade initiatives this will be acted upon by the government to the fullest.

In the general area of foreign policy the problems of living in an era of transition are obvious enough as they are in other areas. We would have to recognize that western foreign policy as a whole, after the period of creative growth, post war with the Marshall plan and those brilliant imaginative conceptions of a new world order have been somewhat lacking in imagination and forward looking thinking in recent years.

It is noticeable that there were no strategic plans in place to take account of the collapse of the Soviet empire and even Europe. There was a real failure to anticipate that collapse, yet it had been amply warned by all of the specialists.

There was also a failure to anticipate in the absence of a plan for state succession the would-be renaissance of national conflicts, of ethnic conflict of the sort which existed in southeast Europe before 1914 and was reflected in the two Balkan wars and in World War I.

One of our problems for Canadian foreign policy is that the golden era when we did lead the free world in new ideas, the golden era of the 1950s and 1960s, the St. Laurent-Pearson-Martin era, cannot be replicated any more. We were there because the colonization had not yet occurred. However, we anticipated it and we led the way to its peaceful application and peaceful development.

Our economic position was stronger in relative terms in the world community than it is now. Of course we could say this even more for the United States which is also in a more imaginative period of thinking in foreign policy than in recent years.

Some of the problems with which a new government and new Parliament is beset reflect from a failure to recognize the contradictions and to act on them in timely fashion. That is one of the challenges for a new government and a new Parliament.

In relation to peacekeeping which Canada invented-it was Mr. Pearson's achievement and he was a Nobel laureate on account of that-we have to recognize today too many disparate tasks in too many disparate areas. In some senses in the defence forces there is too much preoccupation with military hardware and not enough attention to the new and highly political role that peacekeeping involves today. I think there was a second failure to recognize the distinction between peacekeeping which we, Mr. Pearson and Canada, devised and peacemaking which involves the overt use of armed force.

These are some of the issues that we face now: the tragedy of Somalia, the tragedy of Bosnia-Hercegovina. These are problems that could have been anticipated and not really met-

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The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

I am sorry, your time has expired.

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BQ

Yves Rocheleau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Yves Rocheleau (Trois-Rivières)

Madam Speaker, on behalf of all my colleagues, I would like to commend the hon. member for Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup for his excellent speech on regional economic development.

Having worked for the Quebec government in the area of regional economic development for 25 years myself, I fully agree with him on three points. The first point he made concerning regional development, or non-development rather, was the laisser-faire policy we have in this country at this time.

The second point that I endorse at once is that Quebec should get this jurisdiction back along with all the related tax considerations as soon as possible, so that there can a be a semblance of economic planning in that new country to be.

The third point I obviously endorse and the last one he made is that the people of Quebec should make as soon as possible the only rational choice open to them in terms of comprehensive and global development, and that is the road of sovereignty, national sovereignty for Quebec as soon as possible.

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The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

For the hon. member's information, usually, as a rule, questions and comments must deal with what the previous speaker has said, not another speaker who had the floor before the hon. member. Any other question or comment?

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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Beauport-Montmorency-Orléans)

Madam Speaker, as this is the first time I rise in this House, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Beauport-Montmorency-Orléans for electing me on October 25, last year, to represent them in this place.

My question or comment for my hon. colleague from Vancouver Quadra is this: I want to tell him that I really appreciated his speech and that I would have liked him to stress the importance of rail transportation for regional development. My hon. colleague from Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, who is very devoted to regionalism, strongly emphasized the fact that the regions were getting poorer and poorer and I believe that his province and region are among those which owe their development to a railway stretching A mari usque ad mare, d'un océan à l'autre , from coast to coast.

In their speeches, the Prime Minister and the hon. Minister for External Affairs have indicated how committed they are to this country. It reminded me of a slogan I heard as a fourteen year old during the Centennial campaign in 1967, which said: "Canada Stand Together, Understand Together". At any rate, I hope that the hon. member for Vancouver Quadra will ensure that rail transportation is maintained in the years to come.

I also support the comment the hon. member for Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup made about the need for a high-speed train for the Quebec-Windsor corridor.

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LIB

Bob Speller

Liberal

Mr. Speller

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am somewhat surprised. We have now had two members of the Bloc up asking questions of my colleague and he has not yet been able to respond to them. I am wondering what rule you have been using to cut off the response to my colleague?

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The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

I thank the hon. member. The hon. member for Vancouver Quadra was not on his feet. I assumed he did not wish to make a comment and therefore I went on to debate.

Would the hon. member like to make a comment? We have five minutes left. You must rise so I can recognize you.

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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. McWhinney

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his remarks. I am very much aware of the flexibility of the Canadian federal system as I myself am a regionalist. I know we can make some important changes to our Canadian system.

I would not want to speculate on the initiatives being developed by our hon. colleague, but I know that there will be good opportunities for the growth of regionalism in Canada in the near future.

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REF

Jim Silye

Reform

Mr. Jim Silye (Calgary Centre)

Madam Speaker, I wish to join the previous members in congratulating you and the hon. member for Welland-St. Catharines-Thorold for his election to Speaker of the House.

In the words of the Hon. J. J. Greene, a former Liberal minister from my home town of Arnprior, Ontario: "I am sure that you will fill with distinction the office that has in the past been occupied by so many distinguished men and women".

I also congratulate the mover and the seconder of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I wish both of them success in their careers in public service and here in the House.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the constituents of Calgary Centre for electing me as their member and representative of this 35th Parliament. It is truly an honour and a privilege to represent such a diverse group of people from a city that is so rich in western character and traditions.

My constituents come from all walks of life and the majority are highly motivated and educated people who no longer believe in the concept of executive federalism. They are tired of secret policy formulations and abusive use of government patronage,

perks and pensions at a time when they are asked to pay more and more in taxes.

My constituents want fiscal and social reforms and more direct control over politicians and they want them sooner than later. As their member of Parliament I plan to listen to them and more importantly be held accountable to them during the time I am here, not just at election time.

We have changed the faces of over 200 members in this House but if we only change the faces and not the system we will have accomplished nothing.

Superficial or cosmetic attempts to correct the injustices in fiscal and political accountability will no longer be tolerated by voters of this great country.

Time is of the essence in this Parliament. The time has come to satisfy the majority interests in this country and not just that of the special interest groups and elite Canadians. Today I will be analysing the government's legislative program from the perspective of fiscal responsibility and tax reform.

As the national debt continues to increase, we know it threatens the future economic health of our nation.

Continued deficit spending will force future generations of Canadians, our children and grandchildren, to accept responsibility for this debt. It is a handicap that will be reflected in our ability to compete globally and to grow and prosper domestically. The average Canadian taxpayer cannot be asked to pay more in taxes in any form.

In the speech from the throne there is no mention of deficit or debt or how the GST will be replaced. This is a concern. The Prime Minister has stated that the current system of taxation does not work.

The need for tax reform is obvious. First, it is too complicated. Most cannot fill out their own forms. They need to hire professional assistance. Second, it is inequitable. The progressive system with its many tax loopholes favours the rich. Third, there is no real effective mechanism to prevent open ended spending on ineffective and unnecessary programs. Fourth, our high rates of taxation and the GST have contributed greatly to the underground economy of $60 billion to $80 billion which is not taxed. We must introduce measures to eliminate the need for taxpayers to avoid paying taxes. As witnessed yesterday by the Auditor General's report there is over $900 million in GST unremitted. Fifth, it is unfair to finance current programs at the expense of future generations who have no vote in the political process.

Our children and grandchildren may never forgive us if we do not acknowledge that it is their money that we are spending and committing.

As members know, our chartered banks are reluctant to lend money these days because of the economic uncertainty. Why not give some direction and leadership and commit this 35th Parliament to solutions which send the right signals to the investment community, the lenders and the taxpayers? Increased taxation and a reliance on infrastructure spending alone will not significantly reduce the deficit or encourage an economic recovery.

The federal government could demonstrate fiscal responsibility and restraint however by considering the following alternative to the taxation system which would help us solve some of our problems. It is essential to broaden the tax base in order to lower the average rate of taxation with a new system that treats all individuals and corporations equally. This will surely appeal to the common sense of all Canadians.

I would propose a simple, flat tax on income or, as my leader likes to call it, a "proportional tax" with a generous, fully indexed exemption for lower income wage earners.

Mr. Speaker, you may have already heard of this idea under the name of the single tax as it was called by the hon. member for Broadview-Greenwood. His book, entitled simply The Single Tax , gives a lucid and compelling exposition of how this approach could be applied to Canada. Regrettably the proposal has found no favour in his own party whose leaders unfortunately are in love with the complex and manipulative character of the old system. I challenge and encourage them to reconsider.

In conclusion, we should commit ourselves to balancing the budget, target funding to the truly needy and limit expenditures to $153 billion in the 1994-95 fiscal year. These changes would have tremendous advantages. First, they would stimulate higher tax revenue for the government. Second, they would remove the incentives for the underground economy. Third, they would stimulate more economic growth and create jobs which after all is the number one priority of the Prime Minister's red book.

I would like to close by changing somewhat the slogan of the late Senator Stan Waters from "Keep on marching" to "Let us start marching".

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LIB

Jack Iyerak Anawak

Liberal

Mr. Jack Iyerak Anawak (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member just talked about having constituents from all walks of life and how changing just the faces will not work if we just change the faces and not the intent of the government.

The hon. member is well aware, because he looks this way, of the very different faces that are on the government side, whether it is my colleague or others. I think that members should be aware that changing the faces or the colours of the faces has

very much changed the dynamics of how the government will be operating in the years to come.

The member said: "all walks of life". I just want to ask the member whether he has any groups of aboriginal people in his riding and where his party stands on the issue of the inherent right of self-government because in the throne speech mention was made of the recognition of the inherent right of self-government for aboriginal people.

I just want to ask the hon. member this. I realize he may not be the person dealing with aboriginal issues but he may well know the policy of his own party.

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Jim Silye

Reform

Mr. Silye

Mr. Speaker, in response to the hon. member and going back to only changing the faces and not the system, I perhaps may not have explained myself very well. If all we do is change the faces and not the way we do business in this House, not the way we look at how we spend money, not the way we look at how we evaluate programs and not the way we decide what is in the best interests of Canadians then we will have accomplished nothing. Whether we have aboriginals, Hungarians or different colours, it does not matter. We must have systemic change in this House. That is what is important.

Canadian voters wanted change and expressed it by sending so many new people to this House. They have changed the people so it just follows logically that we have to change the system.

In response to the second part of his question with respect to aboriginal rights, my party and I are very much in favour of working with aboriginals towards self-government and for the fulfilment of their dreams.

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BQ

Pauline Picard

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Pauline Picard (Drummond)

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member noting that the government must balance the budget. However, the approach taken will be the critical factor. We are confident that the hon. member and his party, the Reform Party, will agree that spending must not be reduced at the expense of the least fortunate. A parliamentary committee should be convened to review each separate budgetary expenditure.

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January 20, 1994