Alexander Bell PATTERSON

PATTERSON, Alexander Bell

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
SC
  Fraser Valley (British Columbia)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
SC
  Fraser Valley (British Columbia)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
SC
  Fraser Valley (British Columbia)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
SC
  Fraser Valley (British Columbia)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
SC
  Fraser Valley (British Columbia)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Fraser Valley East (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 236)


May 24, 1984

Mr. Patterson:

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the statement of the Minister. She was saying that we should not be allocating blame. Of course, we all know that the blame rests primarily with the present Government because it failed to recognize the trend which brought us to the point we are today with a drastic unemployment problem among the young as well as older people.

In a question this morning I made reference to a report made by the Fraser Valley College. It set up a task force to investigate the very serious problem there. Dr. Barry Moore, the President of the College, found the report devastating. The second recommendation of the committee was for the establishment of a student placement and job search office at the college in co-operation with the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission.

To what extent are our Manpower offices authorized to respond to community initiatives such as this in their efforts to meet the challenge of youth unemployment?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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May 24, 1984

Mr. Patterson:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Hon. Member for Eglinton-Lawrence (Mr. de Corneille), but first I will refer to an article which appeared in my local newspaper. I received it just today. It indicates that the job situation in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia is devastating. This report was the result of the work of a task force established by the Fraser Valley College. In part the article reads:

College principal Dr. Barry Moore said "I found the report just devastating."

Supply

Also it pointed out that somewhere between 9,000 and

15,000 youths between the ages of 15 and 24 years are unemployed in the Fraser Valley region. According to the article, Dr. Moore stated:

It's just further indication of a major kind of new era we're going into, where 20 to 25 per cent of the people are not able to find jobs.

That's the prospect. I think we're facing a major, major shift in our society.

The Hon. Member referred to several programs which were put in place by the Government. What percentage of the amounts requested under the provisions of the various programs has actually been allocated to date?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF SUPPLY
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May 22, 1984

Mr. Alex Patterson (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, we are reminded on the first page of Bill C-24 that this is an Act to amend the Financial Administration Act in relation to Crown corporations and to amend other Acts in consequence thereof.

I should like to begin by saying that the arrogance of this Government in dealing with national business is boundless. In applying closure to the debate on Bill C-24 it continues to exhibit, even in its death throes, a complete absence of any appreciation for the rights of Canadians to understand fully the purpose of legislation through the ordinary process of unhampered discussion in the House. At a time when the Government's credibility is practically zero, it seems strange that its Members continue to maintain the attitude, "Well, the Government knows best". This stance has been the Government's hallmark throughout past years.

I believe there is a place for Crown corporations in Canada. This is particularly true when the private sector is either unable or unwilling to co-operate in the implementation of programs to fulfil legitimate government policy. Under such circumstances it is preferable that government enter the field as a competitor rather than in a monopoly position. It appears that the present Government has completely lost the capacity to inspire Canadians to invest in worthwhile investments that would move the nation forward confidently and voluntarily. It pushes forward in a bull-headed and brutal fashion to force through programs which are often misguided and harmful to the economy. Then of course it can draw upon the taxpayers' purse to meet its financial obligations. In my view the role of Government is to administer the affairs of the country in accordance with the will of the people. This is not the course that is being followed by the present Government.

As I think back to the time when I first heard about the details of the measure before us, it appeared that the Government was responding to the demand for some fundamental changes to the way in which it was dealing with the issue of Crown corporations. A closer appraisal of the proposed amendments in Bill C-24, however, showed that the changes at best were illusory. Over the past several years, successive Auditors General have severely reprimanded the Government for neglecting its responsibility by allowing Crown corporations free rein in the conduct of their business, to the extent that they now constitute a sub-government. As I have stated, any seeming improvement through the provisions of Bill C-24 is only a mirage.

Much has been said about the proliferation of Crown corporations. As I listened to the broadcast when the Bill was first introduced and the proposed amendments were outlined, I heard reference that in the future the creation of Crown corporations would require parliamentary approval by means of a special Act. At that time I said to my wife, who was listening to the program as well, that it appeared the Government was finally listening to the criticisms of the Opposition in the House and was now prepared to make some significant changes. However, I was wrong. It appears that parliamentary approval applies only to parent corporations, not to subsidiar-

May 22, 1984

Financial Administration Act

ies. It has been through these subsidiaries that the greatest proliferation has taken place. Therefore, it seems to me that the Government has side-stepped the opportunity and the responsibility to call a halt to the multiplicity of organizations that are set up, many of which compete against private industry in various sectors of the economy.

There is a fear that Bill C-24 could be interpreted to indicate that Ministers of the Crown may not be bound by its prohibition on the creation of parent corporations. As has been pointed out, Section 16 of the Interpretation Act indicates that no statute binds the Crown unless the statute specifically states that it is applicable to the Crown. It seems there is no clause in this Bill which expressly does this.

There are a great many serious weaknesses in the Bill before us. These have been pointed out in very clear terms. For instance, under the terms of Bill C-24, the so-called board of directors would be little more than an advisory agency, while the Cabinet would direct the affairs of the corporation by, as indicated by the Hon. Member for Calgary South (Mr. Thomson) in his address on the Bill, appointing the auditor, approving by-laws and even making by-laws for the board, setting dividend policy and directing the board on the conduct of the corporation's business and affairs.

On different occasions my Leader has set out a very clear statement of policy in regard to Crown corporations. I regret there is not time to place them all on the record today. However, they have been propounded, explained and stated in various parts of the country. The basic principles as outlined by my Leader would do much to improve the situation as far as Crown corporations are concerned. They would bring to the people a sense of confidence, knowing that under these policies and under these principles Crown corporations, which have been a law unto themselves and have drawn so heavily upon the purses of the people, will finally be responsible and accountable, not just to the Government but to the House of Commons.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT
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May 18, 1984

Mr. Alex Patterson (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, the continuing derailments, and accidents on our roads, streets, highways and railways are a constant reminder of the dangers inherent in the transportation of dangerous substances. To underscore the concern shared by local governments, I call attention to a resolution presented by the Chilliwack, British Columbia, District Council to the Lower Mainland Municipal Association. That resolution reads as follows:

* Whereas the national railways are undertaking major track upgrading programs;

And whereas existing mainlines often pass through urban areas with consequent risks associated with hazardous material transport, contributing to traffic problems at level crossings, and creating dust and noise nuisances;

And whereas rail corridors in rural areas can diminish the above problems and reduce infrastructure costs borne by local governments;

Therefore be it resolved that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities request the Government of Canada to provide incentives to encourage the national railways or other rail carriers to bypass urban areas where feasible, in conjunction with twin tracking and other upgrading programs, and where not feasible, for the railways to provide a greater share of the funding for grade separation.

In order that the objectives of this resolution as it affects the residents of the District of Chilliwack and other areas may be

realized,, I urge that the Minister of Transport (Mr. Axworthy) and the Minister of State for Social Development accede to a request to meet with representatives of the District of Chilliwack to hear their representations and render all possible assistance in resolving this problem.

Topic:   RAILWAYS
Subtopic:   TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES-DANGER TO URBAN AREAS
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May 11, 1984

Mr. Patterson:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the Hon. Member for the very careful and thoughtful presentation which he made today. With respect to the idea of mandatory mediation, there have been suggestions that there ought to be some consideration given to the feasibility of premarital counselling. Has the Hon. Member given any consideration to this in the discussions and research in which he has engaged?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   DIVORCE ACT
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