Brian Vincent TOBIN

TOBIN, The Hon. Brian Vincent, P.C., O.C.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Bonavista--Trinity--Conception (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Birth Date
October 21, 1954
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Tobin
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0d54c9e9-98f9-4519-be89-560b46bd9ddd&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
executive assistant, journalist, news reporter/announcer

Parliamentary Career

February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Humber--Port au Port--St. Barbe (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (October 1, 1981 - February 29, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Humber--Port au Port--St. Barbe (Newfoundland and Labrador)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Liberal Party Caucus Chair (March 1, 1989 - January 1, 1990)
October 25, 1993 - January 25, 1996
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (November 4, 1993 - January 8, 1996)
November 27, 2000 - January 25, 2002
LIB
  Bonavista--Trinity--Conception (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Minister of Industry (October 17, 2000 - January 14, 2002)
  • Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec (October 17, 2000 - January 14, 2002)
  • Minister of Western Economic Diversification (October 17, 2000 - January 14, 2002)
  • Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (October 17, 2000 - January 14, 2002)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 674 of 675)


June 12, 1980

Mr. Tobin:

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The hon. member opposite suggested that I was misrepresenting the position of the NDP during the Quebec referendum. I would make it very clear to him, as it is clear to everybody else, that they did not have a position, so how could I misrepresent it?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1980-81 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY
Full View Permalink

June 12, 1980

Mr. Tobin:

I think it is worth pointing out, at this historic time in our history when the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) and the premiers are seeking to renew the national commitment to confederation and the national commitment to Canada, which collectively is much greater than its individual parts, that at 25 years of age I am the only Newfoundland member of Parliament who was born a Canadian. I am proud of that. 1 am proud to be a Canadian, but my sense of loyalty and pride in Canada is no greater than that felt by all those people in Newfoundland who became Canadians by way of a democratic vote in 1949. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador look forward to repatriation of the constitution quickly. They look to our first ministers to recommit themselves to confederation. Any Newfoundlander who would suggest otherwise is a spokesman divorced from his people; let there be no question of that.

While we in Newfoundland and Labrador were certainly the last to join this great confederation of people, we will be among the first to stand up and voice our support for Canada should we be given that opportunity. We are proud to be recognized for our unique music, tradition and history. Also we are proud to be recognized as just over a half million of Canada's best Canadians.

In the year 1949, the year Newfoundland joined confederation, five years before I was born, a great Canadian addressed this House of Commons. His words of warning then are more relevant this day than ever before. I should like to quote from Hansard of February 15, 1949, which reads as follows:

In the country today, and I am not referring to anything that has been said in this debate, there is I suggest a tendency, a very dangerous tendency in my view, to stir up the feeling that the provinces and the dominion are somehow and in some way hostile to each other; that the people of Canada as represented in this Parliament are in some way different from the people of Canada as represented in the provincial parliaments; that there is, for instance, some inevitable conflict between my duty and loyalty as a resident of this province and my duty and loyalty as a Canadian. I suggest that there is great danger to national development in that trend and in that sort of talk.

Those words of wisdom were spoken by the Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson on February 15, 1949, and 1 think they are very relevant today. Mr. Pearson went on to quote Mr. Drew, the leader of the opposition in 1941, who said:

The time has come to start thinking as Canadians. Those who deliberately seek to arouse province against province, race against race are disloyal to Canada-

I want to say a few words about Bill C-30, but first I hope Mr. Speaker will permit me to talk for just a moment about that part of Canada that is Humber-Port au Port-St. Barbe. It stretches from Cape Norman on the Strait of Belle Isle in northern Newfoundland, all the way down the west coast to Cape St. George, St. Georges Bay. It is a rural, rugged and beautiful coastline along which some 85,000 people earn their living and make their homes. It is that part of Newfoundland which those of us who live there refer to as God's country.

Borrowing Authority Act

To the north in my riding, one will find Gros Morne National Park, a mountainous land of almost untouched and unspoiled beauty. I would recommend that you, Mr. Speaker, and all hon. members present visit that national park and meet the people who live in the communities within the boundaries of that park. I see the minister for parks shaking his head.

Farther north, hon. members will find the many fishing communities of the great northern peninsula and the Fierce, independent, hard-working people who make their living from the sea. They are proud Newfoundlanders and proud Canadians, as are the people of the Port au Port Peninsula. There too, one will find a thriving and growing fishing industry. It is also there that one would delight in finding the only French-speaking communities in all of Newfoundland.

Should you visit my riding, Mr. Speaker, no doubt you will want to visit the beautiful Bay of Islands area and meet and talk with my many friends there. From the Bay of Islands, one will find that he is just minutes away from the city of Corner Brook, the western capital of Newfoundland. Corner Brook is located at the mouth of the Humber River where the west coast city began in the 1920s and has grown ever since. Bowater's paper mill in Corner Brook is one of the largest in the world, and Bowater Newfoundland Limited, as a result, is the largest single private employer in Newfoundland. It is in Corner Brook where the importance of Newfoundland's forestry resource can be fully appreciated. Indeed, there is no doubt that our fishing and forestry resources are the backbone of the economy of, not only Humber-Port au Port-St. Barbe, but all of Newfoundland.

Also in my riding, Mr. Speaker, you will find the two airport towns of Deer Lake and Stephenville. Both of these towns look forward to continuing to service the air travelling public in the northern and southern extremes of my riding. Deer Lake and Stephenville are small towns, but they have a great deal in common, as they are a people determined to go forward, seeking to maintain stability and a sound economic base for future growth.

There are many more communities I would like to talk about; however, time does not permit. I am proud of the district and of the people I represent in this House. I have great confidence in the future of Humber-Port au Port-St. Barbe and, more importantly, the people of Humber-Port au Port-St. Barbe have great confidence in themselves. I shall work to secure assistance from the Government of Canada, as much as is reasonable, and we are a reasonable people. I will seek to secure assistance that will ensure the people of my riding are given every opportunity to grow and prosper.

It is time for me to turn my thoughts and remarks to the business at hand, Bill C-30. I would like to voice my support for the approval of the $12 billion supplementary borrowing authority. But first let me take just a moment to comment on some remarks made by the hon. member for St. John's West (Mr. Crosbie), who has taken the liberty of referring to the Prime Minister as "the Count Dracula of the Canadian economic system". I think that one could better equate the efforts

June 12, 1980

Borrowing Authority Act

of the Prime Minister and, indeed, the efforts of all members on this side of the House with those of that distinguished organization, the Canadian Red Cross. Since our election in February, this government has been providing the transfusion so badly needed by the Canadian economy and the Canadian people after their near fatal accident with the Tory government.

As part of the transfusion process I talked about, the government requires the authority to borrow $12 billion to meet the projected financial requirements for 1980-81 as outlined by the Minister of Finance (Mr. MacEachen) on April 21 and to allow us some margin for contingencies. I think that members opposite must realize that it would indeed be foolish for a government not to have such authority, as it has had in the past, to have the ability to deal with an emergency should one arise. I feel confident in saying that this government has the wisdom and good sense to spend this money only when and where it is needed.

I would like, Mr. Speaker, to point out to the hon. members in this House, especially those who were here during the last Parliament, that the estimates for the 1980-81 expenditures are based on the figures produced by none other than the hon. member for St. John's West. This government recognizes that now is the time for action and it has wasted no time in tabling the estimates so that all members of this House might examine and approve them. In this regard, the government also recognizes the necessity of passing this bill as quickly as possible in order that we may proceed to other important matters.

This government has not delayed in implementing programs which are desperately needed. Operating on a shoe string budget, a situation left to us by the previous government, the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mr. Axworthy) has succeeded in introducing a new series of measures to provide relief to those Canadians facing unemployment. Ridings similar to my own all across Canada have unemployment figures the same as the figure in my riding of over 15 per cent, and they would welcome this announcement. This winter my riding can, for example, look forward to receiving funding under the new Canada employment program for community development projects, a program designed to aid people living in areas of high unemployment. In the coming year, this program alone will provide employment for 15,500 Canadians.

In addition to some of the short-term measures, the Minister of Employment and Immigration has already begun work on long-term employment strategies for the coming decade. Indeed, I am proud to be participating in the formulation of these long-range plans as a member of the parliamentary task force on critical skills for the eighties. I would like to mention that, after only a couple of sessions, I for one welcome the serious, no-nonsense, non-partisan attitude of all seven members of this committee who collectively represent the three parties in this House.

Continuing with the matter of federal expenditures, I would like to stress that the economic development of the west coast of Newfoundland, indeed of all Newfoundland, for the moment is dependent on the support it receives from the

federal government. And it is through the expenditure of these federal funds that regional disparity can be countered. However, we in Newfoundland and Labrador look forward to the day very soon when we are economically self-sufficient. We look forward to the day when we have the capital at our disposal to develop the great fishery and forestry and other resources in our province to their maximum potential. This will come about through the development of oil resources off the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador.

We in Newfoundland and Labrador view this resource potential as a means to strengthen the economic and social fabric of our province. As Canadians who for so many years have benefited from the tax dollars of other provinces, we look forward with pride to sharing the benefits of any offshore development with all Canadians. There is no doubt about that and I say again that any Newfoundland spokesman who would suggest otherwise is a spokesman divorced from his people.

The Prime Minister of Canada assured the people of Newfoundland and Labrador during the election campaign that it is this party's position that Newfoundland will reap the maximum benefits from offshore development, and for that reason and others the people of my province responded by sending five Liberals out of a possible seven members to this House of Commons. A fair and just share of the offshore resource is what the people of my province expect, and I am confident that that is what this government will deliver.

That is an honest statement of our intentions. It is very much unlike the vague and misleading promises of the Conservative party, such as those delivered by the member for St. John's West and other Tory candidates who promised to deliver to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador complete ownership and control immediately after being re-elected. It would be as simple as that and we would have no problems at all. Of course, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador were not fooled. They wondered why, if things were so simple, the Tories did not deliver the goods before the last election. The reason is obvious; they could not deliver the goods. Once again they were talking through their hats. Is it any wonder that the hon. member for St. John's West-and I wish he were here- is one of the shortest lived finance ministers in the history of Canada? It is no wonder at all.

I want to quote from an exchange of letters between the former prime minister and the Premier of Newfoundland. I will do so because I want to point out that we had the former premier, the premier, the hon. member for St. John's West, the hon. member for St. John's East (Mr. McGrath) and all the Tory candidates telling us in February to vote for the Tory party in Newfoundland and we would get our offshore oil. It was to be as simple as that-a straightforward deal between the boys in Ottawa and the boys in Newfoundland.

I should like to quote from the letter dated September 14, 1979, when the then prime minister, now the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Clark), wrote to Premier Peckford of Newfoundland as follows:

June 12, 1980

-these arrangements will certainly involve important regulatory, legislative and, indeed, constitutional changes before everything is in place.

They did not say anything about the constitution during the election campaign, Mr. Speaker. We did. We were honest enough to state it but the Tories did not. Further on in the letter we find that the little club that is going to straighten this matter up is getting bigger. The letter goes on to say:

-I am sending a copy of this letter to all the premiers because all are interested in the matter to some degree and will, in due time, have to deal with it in constitutional discussions.

That is what we were honest enough to say all along, Mr. Speaker, and 1 welcome the opportunity to put it on the record of this House. That is the farce that the Conservative party tried to perpetrate on the people of Newfoundland during the last election campaign. I think it is shameful, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1980-81 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY
Full View Permalink

June 12, 1980

Mr. Tobin:

1 suggest the Leader of the New Democratic Party could well take a lesson from the Leader of the Opposition, and indeed should take daily lessons from the Leader of the Government, the right hon. Prime Minister.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1980-81 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY
Full View Permalink

June 12, 1980

Mr. Tobin:

I should like to direct my remarks for a moment to the perennial third party in the House of Commons, the New Democratic Party. 1 see that only one member is present, which is not surprising. The elected members of that party participated in what was beyond a shadow of a doubt the greatest political hypocrisy of our time. Those are strong words, Mr. Speaker, but let me tell you why I use them. I am not surprised that the New Democratic Party is upset about the limitation imposed on this debate. Indeed, I would not be surprised if they could find a way to disagree with the Lord himself if he sat on this side of the House. This is the party that refused, again and again as a party, to take a position during the referendum campaign.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1980-81 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY
Full View Permalink

June 12, 1980

Mr. Tobin:

I also hope all my colleagues in this House will bear with me if at times I stray ever so slightly from the topic at hand.

First of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank my constituents of Humber-Port au Port-St. Barbe who have bestowed on me the great privilege of representing them in the nation's capital. I consider it a great honour and a very sober responsibility to ensure that the needs of Humber-Port au Port-St. Barbe are heard loud and clear in this most distinguished chamber.

June 12, 1980

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1980-81 SUPPLEMENTARY BORROWING AUTHORITY
Full View Permalink