May 14, 1993 (34th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Kenneth David Atkinson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Atkinson:

Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend and he is correct. This recession has been harder on Ontario than previous ones and harder on a community such as mine that depends very much on the automobile industry.
As I mentioned in my speech, the provincial government has realized that what we say in opposition and what happens when we get in government are two entirely different things. There are a few things that concern me and certainly we have to work together to try to solve this matter.
The provincial government has been putting money into job training. It is having difficulty in getting that off the ground. I hope that we can do that through co-operation. The equity capital, the equity financing, certainly the provincial government could help out in that manner.
The one thing that concerns me is the labour legislation that has been passed and the effect it may have. I know, being on the transport committee, of one particular area, which is the creation of short line railroads which seem to do well when they are created.
There are two examples currently in Canada where businesses have taken over from CN or CP these short line railroads. They seem to be able to run them very well with the same wages by the way or maybe even better than what the individuals received from the large railroads. However, they are flexible. A person who does maintenance on the track can also be driving the train the next day or whatever. They are very flexible in how they do their work.
The Ontario legislation allows successor rights for the unions. This is one of the big things because the unions do not allow the flexibility that is needed by these short line railroads. This is going to be an impediment to forming these short line railroads and it is something I do not think the provincial government looked at in putting that legislation into effect.
It is just one example where you have to look ahead, see what is going to happen to these small businesses and think before you put in these particular measures.

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