New Democratic Party
I want to suggest two or three small steps- maybe the government could consider them after they get this innocuous, ridiculous, outrageous piece of legislation through. Maybe they could take a look at reducing interest rates as recommended not only by us but by Walter Gordon, among others, who has said that if ever there was a time to move to the reduction of interest rates in the interest of the national economy, this was the time.
Not only should there be a lower interest rate policy, but we should also stabilize rates for a period in order that people could feel reasonably secure about their investments, reasonably secure about their futures, and reasonably secure about their ability to repay what they borrow. That would be the first policy 1 would like to see followed. I think then perhaps we could sit down and look at the auto industry, because it is upon the auto industry that much of Ontario turns, and we have to recognize that unless we take advantage of the situation which is now before us, and unless we are prepared to develop a parts manufacturing sector in Ontario and in the rest of Canada, then we will be forever at the mercy of the United States auto industry. That is plain to anyone.
I am sure there is not a member in this House who would not agree that there is not going to be a return to the good old days when everybody traded in his car every second year, and the auto industry flourished on the basis of that. People are going to keep their cars longer, buy new tires, and maybe even put in new motors. They are going to put in new parts, and unless we are manufacturing those tires, those motors and those parts, then we are going to be left out. Maybe the government could come into the House and spare just a couple of minutes more than the question period to chat about how we together could solve that very vexing and difficult problem.
Perhaps with our interest rate policy we could encourage the building industry to start again building homes for people of average means. The spin-off in the home building industry is phenomenal; 3.6 jobs are created in related industries to every job created building a house. Can hon. members imagine the number of jobs we could create in Canada in related industries if we could get on with the job of building homes for people at prices they could afford, and with mortgages they could afford to pay?
Maybe we could even take some strides to alter dramatically the resource exploitation policies of the past. Perhaps we could insist on further processing in Canada-a novel thought! That probably has never been considered. Maybe we could even
April 24, 1980
Employment Tax Credit Act
consider that since the resources are ours it would be helpful for two or three people if we were to take the resources and do something with them here, instead of sending them out of the country. Can hon. members imagine the spin-off? Can they imagine the benefit?
Then, of course, maybe we could consider our energy policy. Maybe we could take a look at energy as a resource, a catalyst or a tool for the development of this country. Maybe we could sit down and find a way to use it best to stabilize the economy, to build secondary manufacturing, and to develop the kinds of job opportunities which would make this kind of legislation, as I said before, unnecessary.
Then, of course, if someone brought in a piece of rubbish like this, we would know that it was really only intended to deal with such a small and isolated sector of society that we could make it worth while. We could fund it properly. We would not be putting people into low paying and menial jobs but, rather, into jobs that would satisfy them and give them a chance to earn a decent living. That is when this kind of legislation would be useful. It is useless today.
If the government would address itself to these kinds of things, then maybe the people of Canada would feel a little more secure and a little happier about the fact that we are all sitting here-we are not all sitting here, but those of us who are are sitting here. Maybe the minister would even take it upon himself to drop by and listen. He might enjoy it. If he did not enjoy it, he might learn. If he did not learn, he might at least appear to be interested. This might be a worth-while thing to consider.
In any event, the problems of this country are not going to be solved easily, and they are not going to be solved at all unless the process is begun here. This is where it has to start, and if it does not start here it will not start at all.
We put our faith in General Motors, thank you very much. We thought Chrysler, being the big, seventh largest corporation, was wonderful. We wondered how Ford could go wrong. Henry told us it was here to stay. Let us face it, the corporations have shown that they are not able to do this alone, and neither should they be expected to. This is the time for co-operative effort, and there are places in the world where co-operative effort is the order of the day and where industry and government work together.
There are places in the world where labour is consulted, where there is a sense of national purpose, where people really believe that their country means something, and where people are prepared to put out a little more because they know their contribution is both recognized and appreciated. We would not be dealing with this legislation if we could instil that kind of sense in this government.
Subtopic: EMPLOYMENT TAX CREDIT ACT