John H. BRYDEN

BRYDEN, John H., B.A. (Hons.), M.Ph.

Personal Data

Party
Conservative
Constituency
Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot (Ontario)
Birth Date
July 15, 1943
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_H._Bryden
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=8963aa36-d74b-4f04-9759-3c59232d6c2f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
editor, reporter, writer

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Hamilton--Wentworth (Ontario)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Wentworth--Burlington (Ontario)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot (Ontario)
February 17, 2004 - May 23, 2004
IND
  Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot (Ontario)
February 25, 2004 - May 23, 2004
CPC
  Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 213 of 214)


February 3, 1994

Mr. John Bryden (Hamilton-Wentworth)

Mr. Speaker, we have heard many fine suggestions from all sides of the House during this debate and I would like, if I may, to approach the matter from a slightly different angle.

We have been told many times and it has been expressed in many different ways that now is the hour of revision. We must examine the old ways and find new ones if we are to live within our means and still provide for the needy in society. We can never abandon those who need help. We must reduce our spending while preserving those social programs that have made Canada the envy of the world.

I do not believe we have to slash and burn. I believe we can retain the essentials right across the board if we define a new understanding between government and many of the special interest organizations that receive public funds. If those who can

take less were to do so there would be more for government to give where the need is greatest.

I have the opportunity to examine the published public accounts between 1991 and 1993. I have been singularly impressed by the way in which previous governments have financially supported all manner of worthy organizations, especially those specifically constituted to promoting specific causes such as organizations to preserve French outside Quebec, organizations to preserve English in Quebec, to further labour education, to raise the profile of women, to argue the dangers of smoking, to advance the cause of day care, to preserve minority cultures. The list is long for the worthy causes are many.

The difficulty is that most of these organizations rely on the federal government for funding, $50,000 here, $20,000 there, $30,000 here, $40,000 there. The money spent viewed across many ministries runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Let me give some examples. Understand that in doing so, I do not mean to disparage the organizations mentioned. All have valid messages. All have enormous commitment. All have hundreds, thousands, even millions of supporters.

Last year the Canadian Labour Congress received $4 million to further labour education. Other labour union groups received an additional $3 million for the same purpose. Meanwhile, to be entirely fair, the national headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce received $1.6 million. In every instance it is a lot of money. The point is the CLC, the other unions and the Chamber of Commerce have large paying memberships which believe in what these organizations stand for. It cannot but strike one as odd that the taxpayer is also supporting them.

The National Action Committee for the Status of Women also has incredible support, millions of supporters. It receives $300,000 in federal money with another $700,000 going to regional and provincial affiliates. This too is a lot of money. By way of contrast, the Girl Guides of Canada received $15,000, one of the lowest awards of hundreds.

Another example is the Smoking and Health Action Foundation, one of the most prominent anti-smoking lobbies in Canada, received $415,000 in federal and provincial grants. It received nothing from members. It did, however, pay $400,821 in salary and benefits to its eight full-time staff members. It is a generous employer.

My question is if an organization has broad grass roots support why does it not rely on that support financially? Why does it not appeal to the people who share its ideals to give a dime or a dollar?

The girl guides sell cookies, churches pass plates, political parties have fund raising barbecues and dinners. It would be a scandal for sure if the hon. members of the Bloc required federal money to finance their agenda of separatism. Are they any less idealistic, less motivated than the many other advocacy and special interest organizations that now receive public money?

There are hundreds of organizations, large and small, taking from the taxpayer when they could be, possibly they should be, raising all the money they need by themselves. My challenge to these organizations is turn your back on government funding. Prove to Canadians that your issues are so strong, so vital that like-minded people will get behind all your programs and they will spare that dime, they will spare that dollar.

The reality of today is government's cannot afford to finance organizations that should be able to finance themselves. We must spend on those individuals who are most in need, those who do not fall into some convenient catch word, those who are without strong voices and yet who are crying for help, the poor or the young, the tens of thousands under the age of 25 who are without jobs and with no prospects. We need to save money to save them.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Social Security System
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January 28, 1994

Mr. John Bryden (Hamilton-Wentworth)

Mr. Speaker, I have good news for the House. The Conference Board of Canada has released its index of business confidence which as members know is regarded as a leading indicator of economic activity.

The index shows a jump of 10 per cent to a level of 150.8 for the final quarter of 1993, bringing the index to its highest level since the first quarter of 1989.

My question is directed to the acting Minister of Finance. Can Canadians consider this most welcome news as a harbinger of the end of the recession?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Economy
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January 27, 1994

Mr. John Bryden (Hamilton-Wentworth)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add a few comments to this debate being someone who comes from southern Ontario, very much an anglophone region.

Ultimately, my question is: Is it a matter of language or is it a matter of other things that we might have in common? I would like to very briefly tell an anecdote for the benefit of the hon. members of the Bloc.

Some 15 years ago I was a journalist at a newspaper in southern Ontario when an event occurred in Quebec that some of the Bloc Quebecois members will remember. It was called the Saint-Jean-Vianney landslide that occurred in the region of Lac-Saint-Jean.

I, as the only reporter at my newspaper with only my school French, and very poor French I have to say, was sent to that area on the anniversary of the landslide to do a story on a year's aftermath. I had a great deal of difficulty, with my poor school French, to communicate with the people in the area because the accent was very different than the accent I had been taught in school.

However, I have to say that the people were very nice. They took me to their local club, an Odd Fellows hall, in which I must say I felt very much at home. I was able to communicate with the people through a person I had met in the club from northern Ontario. He was able to translate my bad French into the Quebeçois French-and possibly my very bad English as well-which was very useful for me.

What was so striking about this event was that even with the language problem I felt very much at home when I sat in this little Odd Fellows hall. We then went across to the beverage room, as we would say in English Canada in those days. I suppose Le bar is what they say in the Lac-Saint-Jean region.

As a journalist in those days, I very much favoured drinking Scotch. Journalists in those days drank scotch in order to show that they really were newspapermen. At the bar I asked if I could have a scotch. I was told that they did not have scotch, only rye, but I still felt very much at home. We really share a Canadian thing in that.

What I finally found out during my investigation of the landslide was that when the catastrophe occurred the majority of the people in Saint-Jean-Vianney were watching hockey. I felt very much at home.

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

Mr. John Bryden (Hamilton-Wentworth)

Mr. Speaker, I quite enjoyed the hon member's remarks. They help me indeed in understanding a lot of things. I must say also though that I am one of those new Liberal MPs the hon. member mentioned in his remarks. There are some things I do not quite understand and I hope the hon. member can clarify them for me.

I have heard consistently through the day from other hon. members of the Reform Party that the Reform Party appears to be universally against higher taxes. Indeed the proposal, as the hon. member has said, is to lower taxes. Juxtaposed against this consistent theme is the idea that MPs should take a 10 per cent salary cut. I am quite interested by this juxtaposition.

My question therefore for the hon. member is when we put these two things together, am I to understand that the hon. member and the party of which he is a member would support a 10 per cent tax surcharge on all those earning $60,000 or more?

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

Mr. John Bryden (Hamilton-Wentworth)

Mr. Speaker, I quite enjoyed the remarks of the hon. member for Fraser Valley East and I found them very edifying.

I come from a riding that is mainly suburban-urban so I cannot claim to have the expertise on GATT and agriculture that he obviously does have. However, I do have to say that some of his remarks do not parallel the kind of reading I am doing on this issue. In my mind, he seems to confuse ice cream and yogurt with other dairy products.

My understanding is that in the GATT round at Geneva what was at stake was a question of either sacrificing all the GATT or preserving marketing boards and in fact what subsequently occurred is that a deal was struck at GATT which is still to be ratified basically putting a tariff regime on most poultry and dairy products.

What has happened here is that ice cream and yogurt failed at the GATT panel some years ago. Now the Americans have come forward and questioned the tariff regime that we would like to see on ice cream and yogurt. That is what is at question here. Perhaps the hon. member knows something that I do not on this issue. As I understand it also from everything that I have read GATT takes precedence over NAFTA in every category involving this tariffication of dairy and poultry products, with the exception of ice cream and yogurt.

Given all these things, is the hon. member suggesting that the Reform Party's approach to agriculture policy over the last two months would be one where he would sacrifice, would do without the GATT agreement in favour of preserving marketing boards? That was the kind of choice we had. Is that what the member for Fraser Valley East would recommend?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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