December 16, 1988 (34th Parliament, 1st Session)


Dawn Black

New Democratic Party

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, at the outset, as a new Member in this House, I want to make it clear to Members on the other side, after some of the comments made by the previous speaker, that I am proud to be a New Democrat. I am proud of the Party I represent. I am proud to be here in this House representing the men and women of New Westminster-Burnaby, British Columbia as a Democrat. I am also very proud to follow in the tradition of other great New Democrats like Stuart Leggatt, who represented my riding, and Pauline Jewett, who was here in this House before me.
Extension of Sittings
As a new Member for New Westminster-Burnaby, I share with new Members on both sides of this House a responsibility to the men and women who have elected me. The men and women from my constituency have entrusted in me their confidence to represent their interests here in this Parliament of Canada. It has been a difficult week for all of us, more difficult perhaps for some of us who have managed to have accidents. Perhaps it has been most difficult for the 126 new Members who have had to contend with a number of new experiences as they come here to Ottawa. It has been difficult to find office staff and to get set up, to get installed in our office. It has also been difficult to try to learn the rules of this House. So it is with a sense of sadness that I watch the Government opposite attempt to change those rules that we are all trying to learn right now.
1 listened to the Members on the Government side tell us that the debate on the trade deal has already taken place. However, I would remind Government Members that this is a new Parliament. There are new Members here who have not had an opportunity to debate this major economic change, or economic disaster, for Canada.
During the election campaign, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) promised Canadians that social programs would not be threatened under this deal. He promised Canadians that there would be no threat to the protection of our environment. He promised that regional development programs were not threatened. But a majority of Canadians are still very concerned. There are amendments that could be introduced to this deal which may ease the deep concerns felt by a majority of Canadians. We have an obligation in this Parliament to address these and other concerns that Canadians have with the trade deal.
Canadian women have a right to know what impact the trade deal will have on them. Many of their questions are still unanswered.
I was elected by the men and women of New Westminster-Burnaby, to represent their interests here. My constituents, in contrast to what the Member opposite said, are overwhelmingly opposed to this deal, as are the majority of the people of British Columbia.

December 16, 1988
Extension of Sittings
Yesterday, the Minister responsible asked why the Opposition is stalling the passing of the trade deal. As I said earlier, during the election campaign the Conservatives made commitments to the people of Canada. They made commitments on social programs. They made commitments on environmental protection and on regional development programs. These commitments must now be enshrined in the Elouse through this deal.
Democracy does take time. We must take the time to debate this legislation fully and to know that we have brought forward the concerns of our constituents and the concerns of Canadians.

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