John Williston (Bud) BIRD

BIRD, John Williston (Bud), O.C.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Fredericton (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
March 22, 1932

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Fredericton (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 58)

June 14, 1993

Mr. J. W. Bud Bird (Fredericton-York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, I want to continue with a question I directed some time ago to the minister responsible for employment and immigration with respect to the Job

June 14, 1993

Adjournment Debate

Start program which exists in the town of Oromocto, New Brunswick in my constituency.

This is a unique approach to job training in the sense that it creates an employment scenario and actually hires disadvantaged youth under the age of 24 who have been on welfare for more than one year or have been without work for more than one year. It puts them in a disciplined job environment where they are literally hired as employees.

This program had its origin in 1984 in the United Nations year of Youth which Canada had adopted. The town of Oromocto at that time took the initiative, patterned on programs which existed at the time in Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax, to design this unique Job Start program that contained the best of those existing programs and added some additional features. They have had a remarkable record over the years to the extent that of all the student employees, as they are called, who have graduated from that program in the past five years, 74 per cent remain employed.

That is a statistic and an accountability record that is missing in so many of the job training and employment programs that exist in Canada. This factor of accountability does not seem to be a tracking that occurs with these other programs so it is hard perhaps to measure the value that is achieved in comparison. It is one of the features that demonstrates the cost effectiveness of this program where the CEIC contribution is used to maintain training staff, to pay the student employees on a minimum wage basis over a 24-week period and to subject them to all of the disciplines of employment, including punctuality and dress codes. They receive driver's licence training, CPR training and first-aid training. Many of them are advanced to the completion of their high school education requirements. At the end of the 24-week period they graduate from the employment scenario and are placed in the work place where they have this remarkable record of 74 per cent employment.

One of the criticisms has been that because they are employed at the minimum wage and deductions are made for unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation, there is a potential that these training programs will result in students who are also on unemployment eligibility after they finish the training program. This has to be a risk that is accepted for the

value of the job discipline scenario. The statistical record of the success of the program demonstrates that the risk is really very low. The 74 per cent employment factor over such a period of five years is a rationalization of the risk of the cost of the program and the manner in which it is applied.

My question and my recommendation to CEIC is you have supported the Job Start program and the Job Start design in Oromocto, New Brunswick, this one community, for several years now. Each year there are two classes or job training programs of 24 weeks duration, each involving an average of 22 students. The success rate has been remarkable. Why is this program not taken and expanded elsewhere in Canada and made a permanent component of the Canadian Jobs Strategy program design or a unique option in the very comprehensive training structure which we have at work in Canada at this time?

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June 7, 1993

Mr. J. W. Bud Bird (Fredericton-York-Sunbury):

Madam Speaker, it has been revealed that almost 40 per cent of Canada's national highway system is currently below minimum standards and almost 25 per cent of the bridges on that system are in major need of repair.

The total estimated cost to put all of Canada's national highway system in good shape is more than $14 billion. To its credit the government has made a small start through the strategic capital investment initiative, through which about $500 million will be spent over the next five years. However our highway system desperately needs more than that. It is rapidly becoming a national emergency.

I urge the federal-provincial ministers of finance and transportation to target the highway system as the first priority in their new approach to collaborative planning and budgeting. Major infrastructure investments must not be deferred indefinitely. Perhaps highway construction offers the best potential of all to stimulate economic growth and employment and to reduce government costs for unemployment and welfare.

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June 2, 1993

Mr. J. W. Bud Bird (Fredericton-York-Sunbury):

Madam Speaker, arising from the presentation a few moments ago of the report by the Standing Committee on Communications and Culture with respect to television violence I would like to present the following resolution:

Whereas this House received a petition on November 18, 1992 from Ms. Virginie Lariviere of St-Polycare, Quebec, containing 1.3 million signatures expressing serious concerns about violence on television in Canada and calling for government action to address the moderation of such violence; and

Whereas such petition was referred to the Standing Committee on Communications and Culture for study and report which has been tabled in this House today;

That this House, as one important measure to contribute to the over-all reduction of violence in Canadian society, calls on all Canadians to exercise their utmost influence in all reasonable ways to control and diminish the portrayal of violence on Canadian television screens; and

That this House call for initiatives to be taken jointly by the federal and provincial governments and the industry to develop a universal film, video, and television program classification system for Canada.

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June 2, 1993

Mr. J. W. Bud Bird (Fredericton-York-Sunbury):

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Communications and Culture in relation to violence on television.

This report arises from two orders of reference from the House, one in November as a result of a petition presented to this House by Virginie Lariviere of Quebec containing more than 1.3 million signatures expressing concerns about violence on television in Canada, and another on February 12, 1992 arising from a motion by the hon. member for Regina-Wascana calling for a review of media portrayal of violence in Canada, especially with respect to women and children, and seeking better ways to protect innocent Canadians while not unduly restricting freedom of expression.

In response to these two orders of reference our committee has made a series of recommendations. They call for voluntary regulation and control of television portrayal of violence by the broadcasting industry and individual Canadians, measures to empower Canadians with a wider selection of education information about media literacy with new technology to control television sets and channels, and a new national classification system for television programming and video films. All of this will help Canadians with a better quality of choice for television programs on behalf of themselves and their children.

Routine Proceedings

I would particularly like to pay tribute to the hon. member for Outremont for his work in chairing the subcommittee that drafted this report.

[Editor's Note: See today's Votes and Proceedings.]

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June 2, 1993

Mr. J. W. Bud Bird (Fredericton-York-Sunbury):

Madam Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National Health and Welfare or his parliamentary secretary.

The provincial government in New Brunswick has recently introduced a new provision with respect to medicare services when citizens are outside of Canada for more than 90 days. After that time, medicare payments will not be applicable for services obtained outside the country. Citizens have been advised to take


out private health insurance coverage for such contingencies.

As well, the New Brunswick government has reminded residents that medicare coverage could lapse for citizens who are outside the province or the country for more than 182 days.

My question is whether or not the principle of modification of medicare coverage touching on absence from the province as I have just expressed is consistent with extra billing and user fees as have been previously found inconsistent with the Canada Health Act? Are these provisions with respect to temporary absence legitimate under the health act?

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