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

Personal Data

New Democratic Party
Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 26, 1941
school principal, teacher

Parliamentary Career

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

Most Recent Speeches (Page 72 of 76)

June 1, 1989

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Mr. Speaker, in this past month the House has witnessed not only leaks in the Budget but also leaks in the Government's judgment and credibility. With the statement yesterday by the Hon. Member for Annapolis Valley-Hants (Mr. Nowlan) that the RCMP erred in charging television reporter Doug Small, we are witnessing leaks in the Government's solidarity as well.

Oral Questions

However, the Member from Annapolis Valley is not the only one with a distaste for press harassment, for disagreement exists within the Prime Minister's Cabinet as well. In 1983, the present Minister of National Health and Welfare made the following remarks in defence of freedom of the press after the RCMP charged The Toronto Sun under the Official Secrets Act:

The Government has made an attack on the basic freedoms of Canadians-In no area is that more conspicuous than in the case of freedom of the press in Canada-Lip service is paid to the right of freedom of speech. Lip service is paid to the right to a free press. Indeed, the two are inseparable. In many ways what this Government has done is to attack one of the most basic liberties of Canadians, one of the most essential rights any Canadian must have if our democracy is to survive and flourish.

In view of these remarks I call on the Government to clarify its position concerning freedom of the press in Canada.

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June 1, 1989

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Mr. Speaker, I rise hopefully to soften the hardened hearts of the Government. I am pleased to table a petition pursuant to Standing Order 36 on behalf of some great Canadians of Ontario. They, too, are protesting the proposed changes in the Unemployment Insurance Act which may, indeed, adversely affect one million Canadians.

Subtopic:   PETITIONS
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May 25, 1989

Mr. Butland:

I am not as familiar with my hon. friend's area, as probably he is not as familiar with Sault Ste. Marie. I hope there is a federal building erected in Plantagenet and Casselman, just as I hope a federal building is erected in Sault Ste. Marie. What a boon that would be to any community.

I believe it should be an initiative of the Government and the NCC. Perhaps we should extend the NCC boundaries 500 miles northwest so that Sault Ste. Marie will benefit as well.

I applaud the initiative of the Member and the municipal officials. We support the concept and would like to share in that kind of initiative. But we must ask whether it is realistic. While we endorse it, we do not know if it is realistic, and I think we have already seen some indication of the Government's opinion. Under the circumstances, the Hon. Member will be hard pressed. We endorse the initiative. God speed.

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May 25, 1989

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Madam Speaker, first I want to salute my colleague. It is a laudable idea and I applaud him for his initiative. If I were in his constituency, I would probably do the very same thing and would be remiss and perhaps criticized if I did not.

Much work has gone into this Bill, and various municipalities are involved. I know full well the frustrations of a municipal politician, having spent 10 years in that particular line of work. I know that they are behind the project.

The benefits are obvious. Ottawa and area is a beautiful place to visit. It is a showcase for Canada. It is a pleasure to be here. In fact, it is the second most favourable city I would like to be in, second only to Sault Ste. Marie.

Canadians must be proud to visit their capital and the NCC has done very much to make this more than a liveable city and area, with an exemplary life-style. Other Canadian cities may in fact be jealous of the moneys spent, but their nationalism shines through and they say it is probably money well spent.

Having said this, I must add some criticism, not of the project or the concept or the initiative, but to some of the changes in direction and philosophy of the NCC. I have read the NCC corporate plan and have some grave concerns about the terminology used and some of its probable consequence.

National Capital Act

As I read through the corporate plan I see phrases like market approach, market driven, revenue generation ventures, user fees, contracting out. This sounds very much like another agenda that we have become used to in this recent Thirty-fourth Parliament. I have great fears that the two agendas will come together, and I do not believe that is something we want to endorse, because the endorsation of that particular corporate plan would be an endorsation of the Government's plan.

We have concerns about the apparent change and the less than subtle approach of the NCC to doing business.

The NCC should definitely be at arm's length from the Government, and we have grave concerns that that arm is being amputated at bit at a time, if there is such a possibility.

One has to wonder about the timing of this initiative, however laudable, when there is a reduction in funding of $5 million. We are not yet sure how that will be addressed. As recently as yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Pigott could not say how the $5 million reduction would be addressed.

The request is for an expansion of territory only to be coincident with a reduction in funding. My hon. colleague suggests that this will cost nothing. I accept that it will probably cost nothing now, but certainly one has to be realistic and suggest that it will cost something in the distant future.

This concept of expansion yet reduction is tantamount to spending $27,000 on a shrub inventory, $48,000 on a poll to find out what Canadians think of the NCC, and spending $1.6 million on studies at at time when the Government says we must cut back. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) has said that the shrub inventory expenditure is stupid spending, but we all know it is business as usual. The inventory went ahead.

We all know that studies beget studies, to parahrase what was in the corporate plan. Studies are often put on the shelf where they gather dust. If they are not acted on with some immediacy, a new study will eventually be required when it is necessary to rationalize spending five years later. We cannot tighten our belts, pull in, and let out our trousers at the same time. Something will give. I

will not pursue that analogy, but one can see the consequences of trying to do this.

We support the concept of decentralization. Our Party supports that principle strongly. I hope a federal building is erected in Plantagenet, Casselman and Prescott-

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May 25, 1989

Mr. Steve Butland (Sault Ste. Marie):

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform the House of a constituent of mine, Mr. Ken Casola, who suffered a most serious injury while in training for Canada's national boxing team in 1982.

One can anticipate a black eye in boxing but not a blind eye. The Canadian Amateur Boxing Association did not cany liability insurance for participants and offered Mr. Casola $5,000 compensation for his loss of sight. His decision to pursue a suit against the CABA drew an unacceptable reaction. If he were successful in his suit, then the CABA would declare bankruptcy and he would receive no compensation.

Surely, this is an unacceptable response and practice from a nationally funded sports organization. Action has now been taken, most belatedly. As of April 1, 1989, boxers are now covered by liability insurance.

This is a positive step but, unfortunately, it leaves a bitter, frustrated young man with no recourse. The Government must assure that all funded national sports associations have adequate liability insurance for all Canadian athletes.

Ken Casola has won a war for boxers but he has lost a great personal battle.

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