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


Mac Harb


Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak on the motion of my colleague the hon. member for York West, particularly because it deals with small business.
Our region is no different than any other region in Canada. Small business does generate the vast majority of jobs. According to statistics 98.7 per cent of all enterprises in Canada from 1979 to 1989 create about 2.1 million jobs on an annual basis. Approximately 81 per cent of all jobs in Canada have been created by small business.
Where are all those jobs? Let us look at what is happening here. Small business in Canada creates 81 per cent of the jobs. Twelve per cent of these jobs are created in the construction industry; 16 per cent of these jobs are created in the retail industry and 27 per cent of these jobs are in business and personal services. An additional 15 per cent of jobs are created in the areas of real estate, insurance, finance and community services.
As you can see, these jobs are to a large extent consumer-driven. In other words, if a consumer does not go out and use his purchasing powers nothing will move.
There is an interesting article which was published in The Canadian Forum with the headline: "Bankrupt". In the article by Susan Bellan it states that from 1990 to 1992 Canadian companies faced an unprecedented series of crises. The writer indicates some of these crises include the collapse of Meech Lake, the gulf war, the free trade agreement, the introduction-believe it or not-the goods and services tax, the high dollar and high interest rate until 1991, record unemployment, crossborder shopping, three major public sector strikes in five weeks and the referendum. The result of all that was a complete collapse of consumer confidence.

May 14, 1993
Can the hon. member for Nepean tell me who was governing during those past three years?

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