Ian DEANS

DEANS, Ian

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)
Birth Date
August 16, 1937
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Deans
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a4b9c466-c43b-4a3e-b69f-c1bc1878fe3c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
consultant, draftsman, fire fighter

Parliamentary Career

February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
NDP
  Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (October 7, 1981 - September 3, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
NDP
  Hamilton Mountain (Ontario)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (September 4, 1984 - September 5, 1986)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 949 of 951)


April 21, 1980

Mr. Ian Deans (Hamilton Mountain):

Madam Speaker, 1 rise, under the provisions of Standing Order 43, on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity.

This weekend, further cutbacks in employment in the auto industry were announced. It is now generally agreed that the industry is in need of major overhaul and that the auto pact is not providing adequate protection for the Canadian industry and Canadian workers. I, therefore, move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles):

That a parliamentary committee be struck for the purpose of reviewing the state of the auto industry, the auto pact and the government's responses, and that this committee meet immediately with industry, union and government representatives for the purpose of making recommendations to the government on an appropriate course of action which it should follow in dealing with the

future of the industry in Canada and the terms and conditions which Canada should require be included in the auto trade pact.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   INDUSTRY
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April 18, 1980

Mr. Ian Deans (Hamilton Mountain):

Madam Speaker, I rise, under the provisions of Standing Order 43, on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity.

As a result of the massive lay-offs in the auto industry which have resulted from the inability of the Canadian government to enforce the "fair share" provisions of the existing auto pact, with subsequent economic hardship to Canadians, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles):

That this House instruct the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce, to proceed forthwith to Washington for the purpose of renegotiating the auto trade pact in order to ensure that the Canadian industry receives a proper share of all manufacturing in the auto industry based on the Canadian percentage of total sales in the North American market.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   INDUSTRY
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April 17, 1980

Mr. Ian Deans (Hamilton Mountain):

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly a pleasure to be here. I have looked forward to this day for some time, as you can appreciate, having watched the workings of the federal Parliament for a long number of years.

1 first want to congratulate Madam Speaker on the assumption of her new role, and to say that if the last two or three days are any indication of the way in which she will handle the business of the House, she is to be commended for the way she has picked up and assumed that role.

I also want to congratulate all members who are either returned or have been elected for the first time. 1 know as a first-time member how exciting it is to get elected to Parliament, and how important the role is that we all have to play. I want to say to the constitutents who trooped out to the polls on election day and voted in vast numbers to send me here that I hope I will provide them whith the kind of satisfaction and

April 17, 1980

The Address-Mr. Deans

leadership they anticipated and that, in the final analysis, they will find what I have done here on their behalf will be to their liking and they might even consider sending me back, which is unusual for the constituency that I represent.

1 do not intend to dwell at great length on the constituency, although I want to point out a couple of things that are important in terms of what my constituents feel about both government and Parliament. To begin with, I sent out a little questionnaire not long after the election. 1 asked them to explain to me what they felt were the important matters that should be dealt with by this government and what they expected of me in terms of what I should be saying.

It came through loud and clear that the primary concern of the majority of people, all of whom are very hardworking and have spent a great deal of time trying to build their place in the Hamilton community, is the impact of interest rates, not only in terms of mortgages, although that would be one of the primary concerns, but also in terms of the purchasing power that they are losing day by day to the ever-increasing mortgage interest rate and the ever-increasing consumer rate that they are going to have to pay and, indeed, are now paying.

They are also expressing a concern about the impact of that on jobs as they are unable to find the necessary consumer dollars to buy the goods that they normally would purchase. They know, as I know, as any member here knows, that the impact of that on the people who are working and producing those consumer products that would normally be purchased, is a very great impact indeed. Over the course of the next short while, because of the reduction in purchasing power that the higher and higher interest rates are bringing about, there will undoubtedly be a reduction in the manufacturing sector. That reduction will mean fewer people working. As one person said to me, as fewer people work, those of us who can find jobs will be required to pay even more in order to maintain the structures that we have set up.

It seems to me, and to a lot of people like me in this country, that it is vital that this Parliament address itself immediately to the problem of high interest rates. The cost of purchasing in terms of what must be paid in interest alone has gone all out of proportion. I expect to hear better from the Minister of Finance (Mr. MacEachen) than his statements which, frankly, made no sense in the last two days when he spoke about the small number of people who may be assisted by a mortgage interest program. He spoke about the others who will simply have to bear the burden and find a way to pay it. I know my constituents do not agree with that, and 1 want to make it clear to the Minister of Finance on their behalf that I do not agree with it either.

The high cost of living, which is a subject rarely addressed, exacts its toll on pensioners, on low and middle income families attempting to find their own way. It is time Parliament set aside a block of time to deal with the components which make up the ever-increasing cost of living. It is time members set aside time to speak to each other and to the government about

what specific actions might reasonably be taken to control the ever increasing cost of living because, unless we do, we shall find that the industrial base of the country is being undermined-less and less of the money people earn will be available for the purchase of the things we produce across the country, and if we cannot buy what we produce because we have to tie up so much of the money which is available simply to provide the essentials, then obviously the effect will once again be a reduction in manufacturing and employment.

We must ever be cautious that we do not allow the cost of the essential part of life-housing, food, medical care, education-to reach such outrageous proportions in terms of capacity to earn that people having nothing left to spend on other and more enjoyable but, nevertheless, in our society from an economic point of view, equally important areas in which money ought to be spent.

I want to say a brief word about the problems in Quebec. I do not understand them well, I must confess, and I say to my colleagues from Quebec, not being from Quebec, that it is difficult to be truly understanding of what is happening in that province. I would have liked, tonight, to say a word or two in French, but I say to you, quite truthfully, Mr. Speaker, that had I done that I would not have understood it and, perhaps, neither would you. But I have enrolled in a French class and some day before this Parliament is over 1 swear I will stand here and do it, believe me.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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April 17, 1980

Mr. Deans:

Mr. Speaker, when we rose for supper at six o'clock, I mentioned that I intended to spend some time speaking about the conditions which currently exist within the auto industry, and I want to do that now.

The House will recall that on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I raised with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Gray) the problems which seem to be revolving around the contract which was signed between the federal government and the Ford Motor Company in the year 1978. That contract afforded to Ford the opportunity to gain access to some $68 million in return for the building of a plant in Windsor. I asked the minister if he would produce for the House the relevant sections of the contract which afforded us the opportunity to insist that the Ford Motor Company should continue and maintain the levels of employment that it currently had in 1978 and beyond, during the time that this new plant was being built. Today the minister tabled the documents in the House, and it is no wonder we are being ripped off.

I read both the contract and the letter of agreement over the signature, in both cases, of the then minister, Mr. Horner- long departed, thank heavens! In any event, the contracts do not provide any protection for the workers in the province of Ontario, and it is no wonder that the minister did not want us to see the contracts. In fact, not only is there no provision for the workers in the province of Ontario, but also nowhere in the contract does it say that the minister could not have told us that. It does say, of course, that, and I quote:

Subject to the federal laws of Canada, the minister will maintain normal commercial security and privacy in respect to the project and will not disclose any information relating to the scope and cost of work encompassed by the project to any person or government outside Canadian federal and provincial government departments, agencies and Crown corporations without the. .. written consent of the company.

One does not have to be a corporate lawyer in order to understand that that did not preclude the minister from telling us that there was no provision for the protection of the workers in the plants of the Ford Motor Company.

To draw in that he had to wait for approval from Ford was a red herring. Of course, what the minister did not bring to our attention was the fact that not only is there no protection for

April 17, 1980

The Address-Mr. Deans

the workers in Ontario and Canada but also, in fact, when it was signed the contract said the following:

It is understood and agreed that nothing contained in this paragraph-

This is the paragraph dealing with protection.

-shall in any way ... limit... any right-

Of the company.

-to arrange its business affairs in any manner it shall see fit.

That is exactly what has been done. The company has arranged its business affairs in the province of Ontario in the manner it has seen fit, and the end result of what the company saw fit is that at this point in time, together with its other companion companies, we see 20,000 employees, generally employed in the auto industry or related industries, out of work.

These employees are not all in Windsor. One might have expected that the minister would understand the problem, given that he comes from Windsor, given that he claims to be championing the workers of Windsor, given that he says that it is nice to hear the NDP finally speaking about the problems of auto workers and given that the minister claims to be expert in the matter of the auto industry, the trade pact and related matters. It is strange to me that he does not understand the terms of this contract.

What was given away? Not only the $40 million federal dollars but also the additional $28 million given by the province of Ontario.

Let me tell the Elouse what is happening across this province, because I think it is important to know. Not only is unemployment happening in Windsor, where there are major lay-offs. We all know of the Budd Manufacturing Company which has laid off upwards of 1,900 people in Windsor. In Brampton, American Motors has laid off some 700 people. In Brampton, Gabriel Company has laid off 20 more people. In Brampton, the Canadian Ferrow Company has laid off another 108 people. In Stratford, Sealed Power has laid off 180 people.

In Ottawa, Beach Foundry just recently announced the lay-off of 240 people. In Windsor, Chrysler laid off an entire shift in April of 1980, 1,200 people, and Chrysler intends this summer to lay off yet another 2,100 people. In Windsor, Ford in its casting operation laid off 840 people. In Oakville, Ford laid off an entire shift of 1,400.

When we take a look around the province even further, we find that in subsidiary operations in a place like Otter Lake, which is near Parry Sound, the Rockwell Corporation, well known to most, has just announced that it is likely to shpt down permanently. It used to employ 200. One hundred have already been laid off, and the only other major industry in the area, CIL, has indicated that it too may well be comtemplat-ing closing. Of course, when they are closing the operation in Otter Lake, they are maintaining their operation in Mississippi. That is what we would expect, of course, from a corporation which does business in the atmosphere created by a

government like the one we have had for the last far too many years.

When we look in summary at what has happened in the auto industry, for heaven's sake let us not get the impression that the auto industry can sit in splendid isolation and be viewed as only one industry, because there is nowhere in this country that is not affected in one way or another and will not be affected in one way or another by the massive lay-offs which are taking place in this major industry. As I said the other day, two out of every ten people working in the province of Ontario work in the auto industry or in a related industry. We have 20,000 unemployed now, 10,000 of them in Windsor. Do hon. members know that 35 per cent of all Ford workers there are laid off and 40 per cent of all Chrysler workers there are laid off?

When we look around the country, or this part of the country, we see that in Kitchener, St. Catharines and Ajax between 40 per cent and 80 per cent of all the people who were employed in the auto industry are now laid off either permanently or temporarily. The minister cannot claim that this is new and that all of a sudden this was dumped into his lap- poor soul!-because this has been clearly and evidently coming for a long period of time.

I will not burden or bore the House with all of the detail, but I can say that there was news story after news story through last year, with headlines such as "Parts firms stung by slowdown". More than 1,000 were laid off. "1,175 face lay-off after Ford move". "Auto lay-offs kill Windsor's short-lived boom". It goes on. "Auto parts industry fears major lay-offs". Then it points out the places where those lay-offs will take place.

These were all stories from last year, and the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce, the ministry and the ministers, whoever they may have been, surely must have been able to see the handwriting on the wall. But what do we get from the minister? Well, he is going to have some meetings. I want to tell the House that those meetings are not nearly good enough for the unemployed workers in this country, in this province, and in Windsor in particular. Another series of meetings between the minister and some inconsequential people will not resolve the problems of the auto industry.

I do not know if the House realizes just how many people are involved in this and what happens to their families. I do not think the minister understands-and he should understand-that the entire infrastructure in social services in place in his own community is in jeopardy. Of course the reason is evident. It is because most of the agencies which provide the social services require donations through United Appeal or through governments, and governments are cutting back. Of course the United Appeal cannot raise the money it could raise before because there are fewer people working to contribute. So, at the very time when they need the money, at the very time when the need is greatest, when more people stand in line looking for help-most for the first time-they cannot get the help because the agencies do not have the money to provide it

April 17, 1980

and the government does not produce any of the funds necessary to make up the shortfall.

It will not end here. Today I was speaking to one of the major tire manufacturers in Canada. I was told by one of its senior officials that we can expect not only the Whitby layoffs, the closure announced less than a week ago, with a dramatic impact on the town, but we can anticipate that there will be lay-offs all across the country where tire manufacturers are located. For example, we can expect that there will be lay-offs in Joliette. Of course there will be lay-offs in Hamilton, which I represent. What does the government do? Here is a tire industry faced with the problems the auto industry is facing, and the government turns around and gives something like $40 million to Michelin in Nova Scotia to go ahead and build a new plant. What possible use can that be when there is an idle capacity all across the industry, when the industry is presently laying off? Why would they give $40 million or $50 million to build a plant where no plant is needed? Why would they further jeopardize the work and the livelihood of the people presently involved in the industry by handing out money at a time when money can do nothing but harm?

It has not been announced yet, but we will see, as we will in all other related industries, major cutbacks in the rubber industry. Those major cutbacks will touch every one of us here in one way or another. Whether the House believes it or not, the auto industry is crucial to the well-being of this country. The minister should be prepared to establish once and for all the role the auto industry in Canada can and will play, a role which must be established in one way or another, albeit with agreements, separate and apart nevertheless from the United States industry. We cannot afford to have an industry that in its own right could well be profitable, if given an opportunity, dragged down by management which really does not much care about the Canadian component or about the families of the people in Windsor, Oakville, St. Catharines, Kitchener, Parry Sound, Hamilton or any other place across this country, and makes its decisions in isolation from what is in the best interests economically and socially for Canada.

How can we possibly develop an industrial strategy which does not encompass the auto industry? How can we possibly look forward to the creation of new jobs? I am not only referring to producing jobs for the people who are presently looking for work, but how can we look forward to the creation of new jobs, unless we are prepared to sit down with that industry and insist that it establishes reasonable levels of manufacturing based on Canadian sales, and stop being simply assemblers of automobiles and start being manufacturers of component parts in every single community across this country?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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April 17, 1980

Mr. Deans:

Nevertheless, let me tell hon. members something that I do understand, or at least, I think I do. I have watched Parliament work for many years, as you know, and I do not understand why it is that the people of Quebec feel their grievances have not been adequately presented to Parliament. I do not understand this, given that the proportion of the total membership of the House of Commons which is assigned to the province of Quebec is significant, and I do not understand it in terms of the fact that the Liberal party from which most of the Quebec members come has formed the government for a significant period of time and that, during this period, the members who represent Quebec have surely made representations to the government, to their colleagues in the cabinet, about the problems of the province, and surely they have been listened to. Now, either the cabinet has not paid attention to its own members or the members have not made the arguments well. I am not going to judge which is the case. But there is something terribly wrong when a province feels so alienated, giving the strong representation that it has.

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that it is important the people of Quebec should understand that the rest of us in Canada would very much like to find a resolution to the constitutional problems which seem to bedevil the relationship not only between the province of Quebec and the rest of Canada but also between other parts of Canada and the federal system. I think it is fair to say there is no member in this House who is not prepared to devote whatever time is necessary to find solutions to these constitutional problems, to hammer out the

April 17, 1980

sharing arrangements which must be made, and to take part in the effort which must be undertaken to create in Canada a society to which everyone feels they belong. I believe this can happen. I believe it can happen because I know the federal system has worked. I think my leader put it very well when he suggested that even within the federal system which Mr. Levesque dislikes, the province of Quebec has done remarkably well.

The government of Quebec and the Government of Canada have been able to provide for the people of Quebec in proportion to what they have been able to provide for the people of the rest of Canada and they made every effort, I hope, to accommodate the legitimate requests put forward by representatives from Quebec to the cabinet.

I want this evening to speak about another and, I believe, equally important matter, but before I do so let me say that in Canada there are major problems. People are very concerned about government. I do not think they are concerned because government is doing too much; 1 think they are concerned because they do not know what government is doing. They wonder, as I wonder, how it can be that a country so rich can have so many problems. They wonder how can it be that a country with such energy potential not only in crude oil but in all forms of energy can be faced with an energy crisis? How can it be that a country with natural resources in abundance, natural resources which have been used by every other country in the world to build their economies, has not used its resources to develop the manufacturing sector and the secondary sector which are so obviously necessary here, and which have to be in place when, as is inevitable, the resources become depleted or are no longer required in the manufacturing sector? How can it be that a country with human resources like our own, an educational system second to none, should be faced with these massive and, for some, maybe, even insurmountable problems?

It is because of mismanagement on the part of the government. It is because government has not, first of all, set out, on behalf of Canadians, goals which are attainable using the resources both human and natural which are available to us to build society and an infrastructure for that society which would sustain it through these difficult times. It is because governments have tended to use a band-aid approach, have tended like brush fire fighters, to meet the tiny though important problems as they rise without looking at the much larger problems of planning the economy so that it will be able to withstand the infiltration and pressures which are the inevitable result of our being a branch plant of a much larger economy.

This is what we are seeing in the auto industry and it is about the auto industry that I want to speak shortly, because the auto industry is crucial not only to Ontario but to all of Canada. Within the auto industry there lies the opportunity to expand the manufacturing sector; within the auto industry lies the opportunity to source products all across the country; within the auto industry lies the opportunity to utilize better the natural resources of the province.

The Address-Mr. Deans

When we come back at eight o'clock, Mr. Speaker, if you will permit me, I should like to spend 15 minutes talking about just that subject. With your permission I will now call it six o'clock.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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