Raymond John SKELLY

SKELLY, Raymond John, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
North Island--Powell River (British Columbia)
Birth Date
July 1, 1941
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Skelly
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0662e97c-31c7-492e-ba34-622d26c31084&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
teacher

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
NDP
  Comox--Powell River (British Columbia)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
NDP
  Comox--Powell River (British Columbia)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
NDP
  Comox--Powell River (British Columbia)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
NDP
  North Island--Powell River (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 354)


May 25, 1993

Mr. Skelly (North Island -Powell River):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I pointed out, the position of the Conservative Party on the trade agreement is also crystal clear as is indicated in the response to the amendments today. The Conservative Party is the author of these two sell-out agreements. They clearly state that they will implement them if they are re-elected in the next

federal election. The North American free trade agreement and the Conservative position is absolutely clear.

The third position is the position of the Liberal Party which we have considered at length on the amendments tonight in this House and on many other occasions while it is being debated across the country. The position of the Liberal Party in trade agreements is the same position as the Conservative Party with a few exceptions.

First, in the House of Commons the Liberals will vote against these amendments and the bill to implement the North American trade agreement because the bill is flawed. The Liberals know that the Conservative Party will use its majority government to pass the amendments we are considering right now and to pass the trade bill in total.

During the next federal election when the people of Canada ask Liberal candidates where they stand on the North American free trade agreement, the Liberals will say: "We voted against NAFTA in the House of Commons, but the Conservative government used its majority to pass it."

The question to ask these Liberals candidates is if they form the government after the next election, will they ratify the North American trade agreement. If a Liberal government does not ratify the NAFTA agreement after the next election-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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May 25, 1993

Mr. Skelly (North Island -Powell River):

We are going to be here all hours, Mr. Speaker, and I am sure that you will be able to follow the train of this on the motions at hand. If you have any other concerns or problems, I would be more than pleased to explain them to you. The position of the Conservative Party on these trade agreements is crystal clear and unequivocal.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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May 25, 1993

Mr. Raymond Skelly (North Island -Powell River):

Mr. Speaker, I am not particularly pleased to have an opportunity to once again debate in this House the North American trade agreement. I would rather that the people of Canada make the final decision on this odious and destructive trade agreement. The impact on Canada of the North American free trade agreement and the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement will be totally destructive to Canada's economy and to Canadian sovereignty. The people of Canada must make the final decision about these trade agreements in a federal election. The people must be allowed in the next federal election to make the decision on implementation and/or abrogation of these Tory trade agreements.

In the next federal election the people of Canada have three clear choices in relation to the trade agreement. The people of Canada have a choice between the position of the New Democratic Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. The New Democratic Party believes that the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement and the North American free trade agreement will as I say destroy Canada's economy and destroy Canadian sovereignty. These trade agreements will irreversibly integrate Canada into a U.S. dominated North American economic union but Canada with these trade agreements will have the same status as Puerto Rico.

The New Democratic Party believes that the trade agreements are so flawed and so destructive to Canada's interests that they cannot be salvaged, they cannot be renegotiated and they must be scrapped. A New Democratic Party government would abrogate the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement and would not implement a North American free trade agreement. This is the position that the New Democratic Party will lay before the people of Canada in the next federal election. The position of the New Democratic Party is clear and unequivocal.

May 25, 1993

Government Orders

The second position before the Canadian people for the next federal election concerning the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement and the North America free trade agreement is the position of the Conservative Party.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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May 25, 1993

Mr. Skelly (North Island -Powell River):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. The Liberals have indicated that they will try and renegotiate some of the provisions of the North American free trade agreement and that the Americans

May 25, 1993

will refuse to renegotiate the agreement and basically tell the Liberals to take it or leave it.

The people of Canada must make the final decision on these so-called free trade agreements. The choices before the people in the next election are clear. If the people wish to reject the North American free trade agreement and if people wish to abrogate it, they must vote for the New Democratic Party. But if people wish to implement the North American free trade agreement, they can vote for either the Liberals or the Conservatives because basically both of them support this agreement.

In the next federal election, the Liberal Party will not promise to abrogate the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement and the Liberal Party will promise to ratify and to implement the North American free trade agreement. The Conservative Party will ratify and implement the North American free trade agreement but the New Democratic Party in the next federal election is committed to the rejection of this North American trade agreement and to the abrogation of the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement. I look forward to debating this issue in the federal election and allowing the people to decide this issue.

There is one other point on the Liberal Party position. The Liberal Party position on this particular trade agreement and of course on the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement is one that they have reached with the utmost difficulty. That is trying to span both sides of the issue at the same time. Of course the reason for that is the transnational corporations which support this proposition which are being sought by the Liberal Party to bankroll their next election campaign. The transnationals support the trade agreement, therefore the Liberals will not oppose it.

On the other side of the coin, the Liberals know that it is going to be a very destructive election campaign for them if they do not in fact oppose the agreement. Here we find them in the House trying to span both sides of the issues and of course they are going to be exposed in the next federal election.

Again the final conclusion on this item is that the people of Canada in the next federal election must be the ones to make the decision not the the House of Commons. We have exercised enough debate on this issue. It is time that we moved this issue forward into the

Government Orders

next federal election and allowed the three clear choices to be put before the people of Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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March 23, 1993

Mr. Raymond Skelly (North Island-Powell River):

Mr. Speaker, one of the main issues in this matter before us is the question of whether somebody who is forced out of unemployment insurance will have a fair hearing.

March 23, 1993

Government Orders

The question has to be judged by a number of activities before these quasi-judicial appeal procedures that go on within the federal government. The issue has been largely addressing one aspect of this bill, and it is far broader than the single issue of fairness. The previous speaker talked about the individual who is harassed on the job, quits, and does not qualify for unemployment insurance and then goes through an appeal process. Will that person who quits justifiably and goes before that appeal board be reinstated or provided with unemployment insurance?

The issue is whether people can obtain a fair hearing. The opposition says that on the balance of probabilities they will not because it is rigged. The government on the other side, and it is the same thing with the minister, day after day stands up and says that they will and the process is fair so let it continue.

I would just like to read into the record the report of the standing committee for regulatory scrutiny. The ninth report of that committee on May 5, 1988 discussed the process of fair procedure before the committee. It talked about these appeal boards, including the unemployment insurance appeal board. The report said: "For the reasons which follow, your committee has concluded that these regulations lack the necessary procedural safeguards to ensure that the appeal process is consistent with basic requirements for fairness and equity".

Further along in the report it said: "The committee has, on numerous occasions, requested the Public Service Commission to remedy this situation by adopting additional regulations so as to better define the rights and duties of parties taken to appeal under legislation and under government appeal boards". The committee was co-chaired by two people, one from the other place and one from here.

The question is whether people could obtain a fair hearing before a committee. I would like to just read another item into the record. It involves a case heard before the Supreme Court of Canada, court file No. 20882 in which Leila LeCorps-Tremblay was trying to deal with the appeal board of the Public Service Commission. It uses examples in this document, in the reasons for the leave to appeal. It states that:

The Federal Court of Appeal erred in failing to find that the applicant had denied to her a right to a fair trial in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice before an impartial tribunal as

a result of the Public Service Commission Appeal Board's decisions

to:

(i) proceed in the unavoidable absence of the applicant from the hearing and overrule unjustifiably the expert advice on which her absence was based;

(ii) interfere with or permit the interference with the applicant's ability to communicate with and instruct her counsel and advisors;

(iii) decline motions to grant an adjournment so that the applicant could adequately examine her personnel file in the department and could receive, study and confer about copies of documents necessary for reasonable disclosure of the accusations against her and disclosure of the evidence on which such accusation was based;

(iv) instruct the applicant not to make any written record of the appeal board proceedings.

The notice of leave to appeal goes on to criticize the appeal board for:

(i) expunging from the record documentary evidence submitted by the applicant and refusing to accept documents properly introduced into the record and to assign exhibit numbers to them;

(ii) failing to conduct the proceedings in an official language comprehensible to counsel for the applicant after receiving prior written notice from the applicant of her choice of language, without reasonable cause or justification;

(iii) unreasonably denying the applicant recesses and adjournments without apparent cause or justification;

(iv) repeatedly interrupting the applicant in her testimony and submissions;

(v) refusing the applicant permission to tape record the proceedings;

(vi) permitting the respondent department access to an electronic recording of the proceedings while denying the applicant such rights;

(vii) refusing to exclude witnesses in order to ensure the independence of testimony;

(viii) refusing to grant the applicant's requests for scheduling of witnesses while granting similar scheduling requests to the respondent department.

It goes on and on.

The interesting thing about this is the response by the Department of Justice to this listing of reasons for leave to appeal. It never addressed any of these procedural abnormalities or denials of fair treatment. Unfortunately we have a situation in which these appeal boards do not have a fair and due process.

The argument in this House, which has gone on and on and on, about Bill C-113 is that by the time these people go to appeal where errors have been made or problems have happened, such as the case of harassment or quitting with just cause, they are in a situation in which the government has argued there will be a fair process in front of the appeal boards.

March 23, 1993

Government Orders

This is an argument that with government appointees on that appeal board it will wind up not giving due process. It is a serious example in which natural justice is compromised in the allegations here, and it is never answered.

At this stage of the game all that can happen is the hope that in the other place there will be substantial hearings on this bill and that closure today will be rectified. It is unfortunate that the elected representatives of Canadians again face closure in this House, that they are unable to examine in careful detail this odious piece of legislation, particularly when even a committee of this House has recommended improvements in the regulations for due process before these committees, which have been continuously denied.

Our only hope lies with the place next door. It is ironic that we as members of the House of Commons wind up appealing to the other place, as odious as it is, to hold decent and fair hearings on this matter.

Hopefully, when it calls those hearings and looks in detail at the committee report, rather than just rubber stamping it, the committee will call witnesses before it such as Leila LeCorps-Tremblay, Nancy Jennings, Rachel LaBelle, Michael Cassidy, Jack Miller, and Val Bourgeois. The last person is an individual who went before a House of Commons committee. At the end of his testimony the Tories decided at that committee that freedom of speech does not apply and expunged his entire testimony from the record and then let another individual put virtually the same testimony on the record.

Hopefully, in the other place when its committee's hearings are held freedom of speech will be available and Val Bourgeois will be able to speak freely. Lauren Hopkins is another witness it may want to hear.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURES RESTRAINT ACT, 1993 NO. 2 MEASURE TO ENACT
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