Mr. Thomas Siddon (Burnaby-Richmond-Delta):
Mr. Speaker, I count it a great privilege to address this House today, sparsely populated as it is. I had hoped the minister would be here to hear my remarks because I have some things to say to him. It gives me great pleasure to be here together with the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Clark) and with my highly respected colleague from Hamilton-Wentworth (Mr. Scott), and to speak in support of the motion before the House.
This motion of non-confidence cites a failure by government members opposite, a failure to implement a competitive air
transportation policy which recognizes the legitimate and rightful aspirations of our private sector airlines. Indeed, this motion indicts the government for its repeated refusal to pay more than lip service to the common-sense principle that private sector airlines be allowed far greater freedom to compete with Air Canada. To be more specific, we believe that privately financed airlines should be entitled to a much greater share of the air transportation business in Canada, and that future growth must be directed almost entirely toward these privately-owned industries.
Today I will discuss the long and frustrating struggle of CP Air, formerly known as Canadian Pacific Airlines, which, as members know, is Canada's only privately-owned international flag carrier. In spite of its outstanding record of service to Canadians for more than 36 years, CP Air is restricted today to only one third the service volume of its major competitor, the government-owned Air Canada.
These unfair and inequitable policies of discrimination against private airlines such as CP Air must be laid squarely at the feet of the present Minister of Transport (Mr. Lang) and his predecessor, Mr. Marchand. These ministers have, since 1973, demonstrated a remarkable dexterity. On the one hand, the ministers have repeatedly announced new initiatives which created the appearance of favouring CP Air's case for greater access to air routes.
On the other hand, and in each case, these same Ministers of Transport have reversed their earlier public commitments by giving approval to CTC recommendations and policies which were highly favourable to Air Canada and generally detrimental to the future of CP Air. The record bears close examination on this score and I intend to return to this point later to cite specific instances.
Mr. Speaker, as this occasion might be deemed my "maiden speech" in this House-I do not feel much like a maiden at the moment, but I will not go into the technical details of that-I beg your indulgence to allow me to digress for a few moments. It is certainly a great honour and a great obligation to be elected to this House as the representative of more than many thousands of people in the British Columbia riding of Burna-by-Richmond-Delta. I look forward to a healthy and productive fellowship with all members of this House and intend to conduct myself with diligence, decency and dignity in the prosecution of my duties here.
However, it would be remiss of me if I did not underscore the nature of my mandate for the next few months. I have been elected to bring the strong feelings of my constituents to bear on the deliberations of this government during its final days in office. I have been elected to help reveal the ineptitude, the inefficiency, and the callousness exhibited by the present administration during its ten years of dominance over this House.
The people of my riding have spoken, as did many other Canadians in at least ten ridings across this nation on October 16. Canadians are demanding a return to integrity and efficiency in the management of Canada's economy and of our human and natural resources. Canadians are fed up with this
November 8, 1978
rudderless, bankrupt government. They are fed up with a persistent erosion of individual rights and freedoms by an increasingly authoritarian, centralist power. They are fed up with socialistic over-regulation of the private sector, excessive taxation, and irrelevant, wasteful spending from the public purse, a purse which is now empty save for some staggering IOUs. They are frightened by a growing tendency for a guilty government to cover its tail in secrecy, by a breakdown in parliamentary traditions, and by a dwindling lack of optimism in the future of this country. My constituents are frustrated with a government run by back-room empire-building bureaucrats who have had their job security guaranteed by decades of Liberal dominance in Ottawa, a dominance which attaches very little importance to the problems and aspirations of western Canadians.
The people of Canada spoke out on October 16. They are calling for new leadership from a new national government. They want leadership which reflects the hopes and dreams of all Canadians, not just a narrow few. They want relief from the burden of excessive taxation, over regulation and regimentation which has so stifled the independent spirit of Canadians these past ten years under the leadership of the present Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). They want an elimination of waste, bureaucratic red tape and palatial extravagance as practised by the present government. Make no mistake about it; there is only one political philosophy which recognizes that productivity and prosperity can only be achieved by hard-working individuals, freed of the heavy hand of government. There is only one national leader today who can build a team to implement that philosophy, indeed who has built a team to implement that philosophy.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: BUSINESS OF SUPPLY