June 1, 1993 (34th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Lyle Stuart Kristiansen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Kristiansen:

It was 51 amendments. It introduced 51 amendments during the committee's clause by clause consideration. That left many members of that committee on both sides wondering just where they were attempting to make sense out of this vital legislation.
That caused an inevitable mix-up in committee. We hope we have something good because there is a lot of good in it. It is something that has been long awaited and is very necessary. We would certainly like to see the appropriate legislation move ahead, but we may end up in a very short period of time, particularly because of the rapidly changing technology, with a bill that is unsuitable just one or two years down the road.
The importance this has to Canada is hard, as I said earlier, to overestimate. This industry has the capacity to change the demographics of the country. Something that was not possible many years ago and in fact many months ago was for people by the thousands to choose where they will live in this country. They may want to live in a rural setting in small towns in the interior of British Columbia or in the middle of the prairies or in the centre of a major metropolitan area and still be gainfully employed in a major industry. It is not just the communications industry but many other service industries across Canada.
One of the problems that we have had just in the past few years is that the mind-set of some industries still has not caught up with what technology has made available. Rather than using the opportunity of the revolution in communications to allow their work forces to decentralize and live where they wish and have a more socially productive lifestyle both for themselves and for the community at large, they have used the technology and the investment in the technology to centralize people and to discharge employees whether they were in Nelson, in Kelowna, in Cranbrook or in hundreds of other communities across the country.

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