Elsie Eleanore WAYNE

WAYNE, Elsie Eleanore, LL.D, D.P.A., D.Litt.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative
Constituency
Saint John (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
April 20, 1932
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsie_Wayne
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=554694de-7721-4bb6-a474-47d7047a21b1&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businesswoman, community activist

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
PC
  Saint John (New Brunswick)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
PC
  Saint John (New Brunswick)
  • Progressive Conservative Party Caucus Chair (June 18, 1997 - April 1, 1998)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
PC
  Saint John (New Brunswick)
February 2, 2004 - May 23, 2004
CPC
  Saint John (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 200 of 201)


January 27, 1994

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John)

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the hon. member for Lisgar-Marquette if he and his party, the Reform Party, have reviewed the throne speech to see how much of it was ongoing items and initiatives that had been recommended or adopted by the previous government?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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January 27, 1994

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John)

Mr. speaker, the hon. member just mentioned in her speech that the Liberal government is worried about our people, it wants to do what is right for our people and it wants to have programs that are going to help our people. I would just ask the hon. member one question.

The RRSP homebuyers plan has helped more than 200,000 Canadians buy a home. These are people who could never buy a home before. This has helped to create many jobs not only on the construction sites but in areas like forestry, home furnishings and appliances. I know that we understand that spinoff effect. It has been done with no cost to the treasury.

Here is my question to you, dear. I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, it is my question to the member. Will the hon. member commit that she will try to get her government to extend this plan beyond its March 1 expiry date?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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January 26, 1994

Mrs. Wayne

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased that the government has afforded me this opportunity to speak. I believe this is the freedom that we have been looking for.

We are here to represent all our people and this has given me that opportunity. I am hoping that we will all work collectively together for what is best for Canada.

In this case, I will reiterate that I feel it is most important that these cruise missile testings take place. In my opinion and in the opinion of my party, if this happens it will be a deterrent because one never knows what the former Soviet Union is going to do.

I was asked by the German government to go to Germany to look at unification. I had an opportunity to be on both sides of the Berlin wall. It is like night and day. On one side the people are living in harmony, but if one crosses over, even today, those soldiers are still living in those homes. When one sees it and feels it, I say to every member in this House, make sure to vote for keeping the cruise missile testing continuing in Canada because it must be a deterrent. Things are not what they appear to be.

We all thought that when the Berlin wall came down everything was all right. That has not happened yet. There is a lot of need there and there is a lot of need for us to be ready.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Cruise Missile Testing
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January 26, 1994

Mrs. Wayne

Mr. Speaker, I trust that we are not talking about war but that we are talking about peace.

I believe Canada needs to stay on top of all high technology. It needs to work with its partners across the border to make sure that peace remains.

As I stated in my comments, we need to enter into agreements and treaties in order to ensure there are no more wars. I believe the free trade agreement entered into by this government will encourage high technology and jobs. I am very pleased that the government signed the agreement about 18 days after the election. I guess it thought the one we negotiated was pretty good. I really appreciated that. It is wonderful. We will now have jobs for our people.

I do not believe that by working with our partners across the border we will lose jobs. I believe we will create jobs for our people.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Cruise Missile Testing
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January 26, 1994

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John)

I would like to thank my colleague from Burnaby-Kingsway for sharing his time with me. This is supposed to be my maiden speech and I am certainly pleased, Mr. Speaker, that you have recognized Wayne's World over here in the corner.

Given the military history of my riding of Saint John, New Brunswick, and our long association with the sea and with shipbuilding, we may have a somewhat different perspective on military matters than many central Canadians. I say that because we are building the frigates for Canadians right in my shipyard. The shipyard in Lévis, Quebec, to which one of my colleagues in the Bloc referred today, is winding down his program. My shipyard is winding down our program. I will have 3,500 people out of work, probably by the end of this year or by May 1995. I hope the Department of Transport and the Department of National Defence will be taking a look at the most modern shipyard we have in Canada when they are giving out the next contracts.

The Liberal government and the minister of the day, the hon. Roméo LeBlanc who is a senator today, gave us our first set of frigates and the next government continued on. We do have what is considered to be the most modern shipyard in Canada sitting in Saint John, New Brunswick. We should continue to build on that. I say to my friends across the way in the Liberal government that they should take advantage of what they have done in the past by putting that shipyard in place.

Certainly we in Saint John have never become caught up in the fuss regarding this cruise missile business as others have done. I smile to myself as I listen to everyone talking about nuclear missiles and nuclear power because we have the most efficient nuclear power plant in the world. I just came back from Romania. The government sent me during this past year. We are building nuclear units in Cernavoda, Romania, because we have the most efficient nuclear power plant in the world in Saint John.

I have interest groups that pop up and think we are building nuclear weapons because of our nuclear power plant. Every time we use the word nuclear everyone becomes frightened. Sometimes it seems to me that Canadians do not really know how lucky we are in many areas, to be sure, but certainly in the area of defence policy.

I hope that the government goes ahead with its planned review of defence policy and that the review will both collect the opinions of Canadians and act as an opportunity to inform Canadians in this area. Few of us of today's generation have ever had to go to war or have even been within the range of one. That is a blessing, but sometimes one wonders if that inexperience

has given some of our fellow Canadians a rosy view of what it takes to make and preserve peace.

I do not know if I subscribe to the view that the best defence is a good offence, but I subscribe to the view that the best defence is important if war is to be deterred. It is in that context that I put the testing of the cruise missile delivery system. It is reasonable to be prudent until one can be certain that all risks have disappeared.

There are those who believe that the best path to disarmament is for everyone to lay down their arms, or at least stop developing weapons technology, and that one way for that to happen is for Canada and her defence partners in NATO and NORAD to set an example.

I respect them for the sincerity of their belief but I do not share it. I am from the school that believes disarmament in which one can have real confidence requires binding treaties between all countries, a reliable and open verification system, and some collective method for dealing with violations of agreements.

Let us not kid ourselves. Would Canada be at any real risk if we had no army, no navy, no air force? The truth is that we are not far from being at that point right now. Or, even if we opted out of NATO or NORAD, would Canada be at risk? Almost certainly not. That may be God's greatest gift to Canada.

We are members of mutual defence agreements like NATO and NORAD for other reasons than our own defence. There are historical connections, commercial markets, countries where many of us came from, and even the knowledge that doing defence collectively is not only cheaper but to get everyone inside the agreements is best way to forestall war completely.

The world has made great progress towards disarmament in the last 10 years aided immeasurably by the changes that have happened in Europe, particularly the former U.S.S.R. But as long as there are armies and weapons, maintaining the peace will require the capacity to defend oneself and one's partners if necessary and that means keeping up with technological developments.

I make no pretence to be an expert on weapons systems or on the cruise, but even a little reading shows very quickly that a great deal of misinformation has been put about regarding these tests over the years.

For example, many of the opponents have argued that the cruise is only designed for the delivery of nuclear bombs-I heard that here all this afternoon and again this evening-and that to agree to test it is to be in favour of expanding nuclear weapons.

It turns out that the missiles used against Hussein in the gulf war were cruise missiles delivering regular bombs with amazing accuracy as I remember.

I noticed that one member of this House has gone so far as to say that these tests should not be allowed because they would contribute to instability in Russia; that the conservatives there would claim the tests prove the west intends to threaten Russia.

That seems just a little far-fetched to me. In fact, it may be that I should be a little bit worried about why someone would want to make that statement and that case. I completely agree that a democratic Russia peacefully integrated into Europe is in all our interests but it is hard to imagine that testing unarmed cruise missiles could have any impact on what is admittedly far from a stable situation in Russia.

In fact, I cannot find much evidence that supports the notion that the issue is a nuclear one any longer. The real issue as far as I can tell is that the technology may be too simple and therefore readily developable for conventional use.

The excellent reports prepared by the Library of Parliament say this, for example:

As the understandable pre-occupation with Superpower nuclear cruise missiles has diminished over the past several years, more attention has been paid to shorter-range and much simpler cruise weapons. While not comparable to the long-range systems of the United States and Russia, shorter-range (mainly anti-ship) systems are currently in service in a number of countries and even more countries have programs for which cruise missiles could be developed. According to reports, some U.S. officials feel cruise missiles will become an important proliferation threat in the future, and research continues to improve the capability to track them. In April 1992, MIT physicist Kosta Tsipis argued in The New York Times that while tremendous attention has been paid to the proliferation of ballistic missile technology, accurate cruise missiles could pose a much greater threat in the future. According to Tsipis, basic technology in the form of commercial jet engines, gyroscopes and autopilots is now widely available to anyone who wants it. In his words, "Any country that can manufacture simple aircraft can construct a cruise missile that can carry a ton of cargo at least 300 miles and land no more than 30 feet from its target.

One of the reasons for continued testing is the tests include testing anti-cruise systems; the capacity of radar and planes to find, follow and intercept missiles once launched. Given Professor Tsipis' arguments, that information alone may be the best reason for carrying on the tests.

I suppose it is imaginable that the full scale review of defence policy that the government has said is coming could conclude that we should take back our defence exclusively to ourselves, that we should leave NATO and/or NORAD, but I doubt it very much.

In any event, it does seem to me and to my party, which may only be two, that one would announce a policy review and then make changes in the implementation of existing policy prior to actually conducting that review. Is that not the whole point of

reviewing policy, too find out what both experts and ordinary Canadians think should be done before making any changes?

In fact, that is what the then Liberal critic for external affairs, the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre, said the government should have done before renewing the agreement on testing in February of this year. He did not say the government should hold a one-day debate in the House. He said that if his government was elected it would hold full hearings across the country. That is presumably what the defence committee is going to do, or I trust that is what they are going to do. The Liberal's red book made a big issue out of their commitment to "the democratization of foreign policy".

We take the government at its word on this question, that this debate will be part of the broad, sincere dialogue with Canadians that they were promised during the election. Surely the Liberal government should honour their entire commitment and not make substantive changes in defence policy before those hearings have been held. That, in addition to the wisdom of being prepared for the worst while negotiating for better, suggests to us that these tests should not now be stopped.

In that regard, I note that the Ottawa Citizen reported on Saturday, January 22 that the cabinet has already made the decision to allow the tests despite its objection to the test when it was in opposition. For that I am pleased, but while we would agree with the decision, if the report is true it does not bode well for the government's stated commitment to the democratization of the process.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Cruise Missile Testing
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