Steve BUTLAND

BUTLAND, Steve, B.A., M.Ed.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 26, 1941
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Butland
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=9215f31c-20f9-48ea-b0c0-7ecd25041e42&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
school principal, teacher

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
NDP
  Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 76)


June 15, 1993

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Mr. Speaker, this is the third or fourth time I have had an opportunity to speak to this bill. I do not want to upset my friends from the maritimes, in particular P.E.I.

I agree with my friend from Saanich

Gulf Islands that indeed the debate did get quite vitriolic. Generally, very reasonable people have said what I think are some very unreasonable things. After my original speech and some of the amendments, I am not very amused with comments concerning rhetoric coming from the NDP. The citizens of P.E.I. and the rest of Atlantic Canada are not very happy with the criticism that has been levelled. In no way did we want to criticize the people of Atlantic Canada or Prince Edward Island. We still maintain that 30 per cent of the people in P.E.I. are likely opposed to this link.

If we were in the shoes of the members from P.E.I., we would be saying the same thing. This is job creation at its greatest. It would be a real test. I was thinking of an appropriate analogy. If somebody said that they were going to build a skydome as they have in Toronto in Sault Ste. Marie, would you support it? If somebody is going to build it for you I would probably be jumping up and down and saying, absolutely. Whether or not it is best to spend private developers' money and taxpayers' money is another thing. The hon. member for Halifax sort of intimated where there is unemployment, we should build bridges.

People talk about the municipal infrastructure program. We are talking about sewers that are collapsing across this country and built bridges that are collapsing. We are dumping raw sewage into the waterways of the country. To equate this to the national infrastucture program I do not think is really acceptable.

They are continually saying: "You people do not have a member elected in Atlantic Canada, in P.E.I. nor do you ever hope to have one". Well, we hope to have one. To say that we do not have a right to comment or to question the project is inappropriate.

Government Orders

You do not have to be a native to appreciate native issues. You do not have to be a Jewish person to understand anti-Semitism. You do not have to be black to understand discrimination. To understand and appreciate some of the pitfalls of a fixed link, I humbly suggest you do not have to live in Atlantic Canada. I want to put that in perspective. I appreciate that perhaps this is not terribly substantial but I want to say that we put forward amendments that we thought were substantial and some that I thought were quite reasonable and might be acceptable to the government side. They were not.

This legislation that has been brought forward, as my friend for Annapolis Valley-Hants suggested to me when I was looking for the rights words, is nothing more than to enable the private developer to bring forth the deal with all of its details. It is nothing more than an enabling piece of legislation. It is wide open. It is very open-ended. To submit some of those concerns before the Canadian people is not wrong. This is a megaproject.

I have not yet decided if I am against megaprojects or not. To deny the fact that it is not a megaproject is ill-founded.

I want to talk for a minute about bridges, the length of bridges and the hazards. I am told that this is a nine-mile long bridge. I live fairly close to a bridge. We have an international bridge from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. It is a very short span. Fifty miles away is the Mackinaw Bridge, one of the world's finest bridges. It is five miles long. There is no guarantee that you can cross that bridge in bad weather. The wind can be so severe that they close the bridge. To say you can get back and forth every time is not the truth. This proposed link is longer and I suspect the ice flow is much greater.

To proffer some of these concerns is surely not inappropriate. I would ask that members at least give us that.

If the people of P.E.I. were given funds for community or job development, I wonder if this would be their first choice, their second choice or their tenth choice. I am not convinced about that.

I always go back to the very beginnings of this. Who brought it forward? It was a developer who said: "How about if we build a bridge for you? What would you think of that?" I know there is a whole chronology and history of events. I do not know it all that well but I do know there was an expression of interest, not by the people but

June 15, 1993

Government Orders

by the developer. It is not the appropriate title but it is sort of a turnkey approach. "We will build you this thing and in 35 years we will turn it over to you".

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT
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June 15, 1993

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Mr. Speaker, just when you think everything has been said I thought of one more thing. However, the member for Egmont will still get the last word which is only appropriate.

I have a very brief comment. I think it was John Donne who said that no man is an island. I have to make that politically correct and say that no person is an island. However, it has just dawned on me: When is no island an island? When a bridge is built, it is no longer an island.

June 15, 1993

Government Orders

The member equated the international bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to this particular link. He knows that is totally erroneous. My neighbouring colleague from Algoma asked how the member for Sault Ste. Marie could be against this link when he wants a little link in his own constituency rebuilt. It is a lock. It is a $12 million to $13 million project. He asked how it was possible to vote against this link and at the same time look for funds from the government to repair that lock. Both analogies are absolutely erroneous and I know the member will agree with me when he stands.

Various polls have been taken. We probably have to accept the fact that the plebiscite or whatever it was called several years ago was 65-35. I understand that another poll has been taken and it is still predominantly in favour. I wonder whether the members from P.E.I. have asked the young people because they have most at stake in this.

I just came across a letter written by liana Kunclius, president of Students for Environmental Action in Bluefield High School. She is talking about the analysis being rushed. "We feel that for Public Works Canada to continue this megaproject without the suggested and crucial environmental studies is irresponsible". This comes from a young person and I am just wondering in all sincerity, what is the feeling of the young people of P.E.I. about this project?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT
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June 15, 1993

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works. It is the issue of the Sault Ste. Marie canal and its lock. It was once an international navigational link but has not been operational for six years.

I appreciate the minister's involvement to this point in his ongoing discussions to rehabilitate the lock, including a visit to the site. But this Parliament's time is running out and the project remains in limbo.

Can the minister give any indication whether the project is any closer to completion?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS
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June 14, 1993

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, I have a supplementary question.

I am glad the minister paid particular attention to this appeal. He is likely aware there are 4,358 cases waiting to be heard across Canada at the umpire level. Earlier this year the minister stated: "The vast majority of cases are being dealt with expeditiously and within a reasonable length of time".

June 14, 1993

Oral Questions

We had a labour dispute at Algoma Steel in 1990 and the appeal may be heard in October 1993. How can the minister possibly defend a backlog of three years and 4,358 cases?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
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June 14, 1993

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie) moved:

Motion No. 12

That Bill C-110 be amended by deleting clause 4.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT
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