Michael Morris CASSIDY

CASSIDY, Michael Morris, B.A., M.B.A.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Ottawa Centre (Ontario)
Birth Date
May 10, 1937
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Cassidy
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=73691101-5b1e-44e8-ae9c-efa230280b14&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
journalist, professor (assistant) - journalism

Parliamentary Career

September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
NDP
  Ottawa Centre (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 442)


September 26, 1988

Mr. Cassidy:

Nothing, according to this Bill. Nothing at all.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA CHILD CARE ACT
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September 26, 1988

Mr. Cassidy:

Apparently the Liberals agree with that-and by using the clauses respecting services in the trade deal to restrain them from any limitations by a federal Government or by the provinces. I know of some commercial services which are provided by small operators, let us say, a husband and wife who provide day care. There is a hands on delivery of service. Those kinds of services can, in certain cases, work well. However, some of those services, even where there is a hands on delivery and they are commercial, can work extremely badly.

I have been quite close to the case of a day care facility in the City of Nepean in the Ottawa area where members of the staff were paid from $9,000 to $12,000 per annum, but they were forced in certain cases to work longer hours than were being recorded on their pay sheets. In other words, their wages were being driven down by tricks like that. The operator used to come in and scream at her staff, and there was no qualified director despite provincial regulations that that be the case. The turnover was enormous. Often the requirements in terms of the minimum number of staff required to meet minimum ratios were not being met because workers were walking out in anger. People were not being paid. The workers finally got so

Canada Child Care Act

angry that they chose to have a union but then the operator refused to bargain in good faith in order to establish a contract.

I could go on with this particular case. This is one of the problems which will emerge with the Government's unregulated proposals that do not set out national objectives, do not ensure quality day care, and will effectively leave things in the hands of provinces without really knowing exactly what is going to come out of it. In his own speech-

Madam Speaker, in his speech on the subject, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) stated that the Government wanted to introduce a child-care system that would be available, affordable, high quality and accessible. Unfortunately, the four objectives stated by the Prime Minister have not been met by Bill C-144.

As far as affordability is concerned, Madam Speaker, the Government will reduce instead of increase the growth of daycare spaces in Canada over the next seven years.

Affordability-if only it were affordable! Madam Speaker, in Sweden, under a Social Democratic government which has been in power for fifty years, a family with an income of about $25,000 earned by the head of the family and perhaps a joint income of $40,000 or $45,000 in Canadian dollars, pays about $200 a month for day-care services for each child. This is affordable, and this is a national service that exists across the country. People accept that. The situation is the same in France and in many other industrialized countries in Europe.

From time to time, people in Canada say we must compete with the Europeans. I agree. But I wonder why, in European countries, day-care is available for everyone, at a limited and affordable cost, while here many parents have to pay for informal services. They either have no access at all to day-care or they have to pay $800 a month, I believe, the service.

They used to say in England that if you were a member of the upper classes, as soon as your child was conceived, you had to enrol it in one of the famous public schools such as Eton or Harrow, to be sure the child would be able to go to that school once he was seven years old.

Madam Speaker, it seems we now have the same situation for day-care. When a child is conceived or even if you are only considering the possibility, if you want day-care for an infant under the age of two in Ottawa, you should consider registering it with a day-care centre because there is such a shortage of spaces.

We on this side of the House, Madam Speaker, believe that the Governement has proposed a poor way of spending taxpayers'money on children. Some people I meet on my door-to-door campaign have told me: I can't afford day-care! My answer was: You know that a lot of what the Government is saying is aimed at giving people in the middle or upper-middle class a minor tax reduction because instead of ensuring a good

September 26, 1988

Canada Child Care Act

supply of day-care services, in terms of spaces, the Government is wasting a large proportion of this money just to ensure that seven years from now, only 25 per cent of the spaces required for children whose parents work outside the home will be available.

Madam Speaker, I conclude by pointing out that nearly a million children in Canada live in poverty. We have a problem of poverty in Canada. This problem is in no way solved by Bill C-144 on child care. All who are closely interested in our children's needs, in our families' needs, oppose this Bill from the Conservative Government. So I say to the Conservative Government: Withdraw your Bill. You presented it too late for it to pass before the elections. Propose something really worthwhile for all Canadian families.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA CHILD CARE ACT
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September 26, 1988

Mr. Mike Cassidy (Ottawa Centre):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works and concerns his conduct as a Minister of the Crown upon receipt of the letter from Mr. Hyland about August 5, which is some seven weeks ago.

Can the Minister indicate . . . The questions do not concern the conduct of the RCMP, but of the Minister before the RCMP investigation was launched. The RCMP received the letter from the Minister.

How long did the Minister take to decide to give the letter to the RCMP after he received it? Did the Minister turn over the letter right away, because of the very serious allegations made by Mr. Hyland, or did he delay for some time, perhaps until this week? If there were delays, why?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MOISIE AFFAIR-MINISTER'S POSITION
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September 26, 1988

Mr. Mike Cassidy (Ottawa Centre):

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Hon. Member for entertaining the House with his comments and suggest that when he leaves this House, as he may well do after the election, he apply for a job at Skit Row row on Elgin Street in my constituency.

I would like to remind you that the history of this country over the last 50 years is that the New Democratic Party and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation were the Parties consistently at the cutting edge in the fight for social reforms. Whether adequate pensions, medicare, or hospital insurance, it

Canada Child Care Act

was the CCF that carried the fight. It was an NDP Government in Saskatchewan that brought in hospital insurance and medicare. The Conservative Party, backed by its allies and friends in the business sector, has consistently been on the opposite side, carping, complaining, bitching, and trying to find every way possible to oppose these social progress measures. I could go back to the 19th century-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA CHILD CARE ACT
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September 26, 1988

Mr. Cassidy:

Madam Speaker, the Hon. Member's comments are well taken. I am puzzled. As I said earlier in my speech, if the Government wanted to ensure that there was adequate time to consider this matter, of course it could have brought its legislative project forward six months or a year ago. Instead, it was so tied up with the trade deal that it did not do so. Therefore it has boxed itself in. I suspect that this initiative will not be put into law and proclaimed because the House is likely to be prorogued for the election by the end of this week. If that is the case, the blame and responsibility are solely on the Government.

I appreciate what the Hon. Member says. I do want to say though, perhaps more in sorrow than in anger, that I noted with some concern that the official Liberal policy, although not mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Turner) today, is that the Liberal Party stands for expanding day care as the deficit is reduced. That suggests that its commitment to child care is a little less strong than he perhaps tried to suggest in the speech today.

The Liberals have supported funding for commercial child care, and I heard the Leader of the Opposition say today that there would be a child care foundation set up which would mean, effectively, that the ability of the Government of Canada to determine national objectives for child care would to some extent be either delegated or mitigated, or perhaps weakened, by such a foundation.

I believe that in the forthcoming election we will be talking about the record, not only of the Conservatives on major issues like day care but also about the record of the Liberals. Many people whom I meet on the doorstep these days are telling me that they do not like what the Conservatives are doing but that they still cannot forget what the Liberals failed to do when they were in office.

Bear in mind, Madam Speaker, that while child care funding did come out through the Canada Assistance Program, as the number of working women increased and the number of families in which day care was a necessity increased because there was only one income earner, one parent, in the family, there was no initiative to meet that from the Liberals. There was no national child care strategy proposed. In fact, if

Canada Child Care Act

anything, the Liberals were trying to cut back in a number of these areas through such means as the Established Programs Financing Act, which of course took away funding from the Canada Assistance Plan at the provincial level.

I remark on that because, while the Hon. Member's comments on what the Tories did were well taken, I would not want people to fail totally to remember some of the problems in this area which existed under the previous Liberal Government.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA CHILD CARE ACT
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