Personal Data

New Democratic Party
Kootenay West--Revelstoke (British Columbia)
Birth Date
May 9, 1939
executive secretary, financial secretary, woodworker

Parliamentary Career

February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
  Kootenay West (British Columbia)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Kootenay West--Revelstoke (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 162)

June 9, 1993

Mr. Lyle Kristiansen (Kootenay West-Revelstoke):

Mr. Speaker, I thank you and the House for the extended few minutes required to present the remaining petitions.

I am pleased to rise, pursuant to Standing Order 36, to present a petition signed by some 35 citizens from the communities of Fruitvale, Montrose, Quesnel, Trail, Rossland and Castlegar, all within the constituency of Kootenay West-Revelstoke.

The petitioners point out that in their opinion, the North American free trade agreement if implemented would result in further restrictions being placed on the ability of Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments now and in the future to assist Canadian industry, conserve Canadian natural resources for Canadian benefit and advance needed social programs.

The petitioners therefore call upon the House to reconsider and reject the proposed North American free trade agreement and to recommend to the government that it use the termination clause to end the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

Subtopic:   PETITIONS
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June 1, 1993

Mr. Lyle Kristiansen (Kootenay West-Revelstoke):

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with Motion No. 1. It reads:

That Bill C-62 be amended in clause 2 by striking out lines 7 to 9

at page 2 and substituting the following therefor:

"(b) the capture, storage, organization, modification, retrieval, or

other processing of intelligence or"

It was submitted by my colleague the member for Okanagan-Shuswap. It is an amendment to the interpretation section of the bill. It broadly defines exempt transmission apparatus, which is what we are dealing with in the bill before us and in this amendment. This is one of those sections that was amended in committee by government proposal at that time and introduced in the middle of the whole hodgepodge of other amendments and suggestions the government was making after the long gestation period it took to put this bill together. That has caused some difficulty.

In the current bill before us exempt transmission apparatus is defined as:

any apparatus whose functions are limited to one or more of the


(a) the switching of telecommunications,

(b) the input, capture, storage, organization, modification,

retrieval, output or other processing of intelligence -

-and that is the section we are currently trying to amend. The definition continues:

(c) control of the speed, code, protocol, content, format, routing or

similar aspects of the transmission of intelligence;

Intelligence is defined as:

signs, signals, writing, images, sounds or intelligence of any nature.

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In dealing with the amendment of my colleague, the member for Okanagan-Shuswap, by deleting the references to input and output the CRTC is still provided the authority to regulate the installation and maintenance of inside wiring and wiring located on the premises of a user.

Currently the CRTC, as was mentioned by my colleague, has before it a BC Telephone Company application on exactly the matter that we are dealing with. This amendment would, in our view at least, allow the CRTC to decide whether it wants to continue to regulate inside wiring.

My colleague went on at some length to explain in more detail than I care to do some of the broader implications of what is before us and our own suggestion on it. I would just like to point out to the House and to the minister, who took umbrage a few moments ago in stating that after all the consideration that has gone into this surely it is too late to start considering other amendments at this point, that for a government that brought in so many amendments and so many changes during the time the committee was trying to come to grips with this in clause by clause study is a bit like someone in a glass house throwing stones.

The committee had a difficult time trying to come to grips with exactly what it was dealing with when the ground rules were changing every day.

In this section particularly it was attempting to introduce amendments at the very time that the government was introducing changes on the spur of the moment to what we were trying to amend. It was a very difficult process.

I hope it can be sorted out in votes to come by the adoption or acceptance of some of the review proposals submitted by the Official Opposition or the New Democratic Party, so that we will at least in a reasonably short time down the road have an opportunity to take a second look at what is obviously very important and necessary legislation, at least in the broad context, to the future of one of our most important domestic and export industries.

It may seem like a minor change. However we think it is important in order to provide the necessary flexibility so that in the future the consumers of our communications system will be able to rely on an industry that is

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fully conversant with our needs and adapts quickly to all the changes that are taking place.

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June 1, 1993

Mr. Kristiansen:

It was 51 amendments. It introduced 51 amendments during the committee's clause by clause consideration. That left many members of that committee on both sides wondering just where they were attempting to make sense out of this vital legislation.

That caused an inevitable mix-up in committee. We hope we have something good because there is a lot of good in it. It is something that has been long awaited and is very necessary. We would certainly like to see the appropriate legislation move ahead, but we may end up in a very short period of time, particularly because of the rapidly changing technology, with a bill that is unsuitable just one or two years down the road.

The importance this has to Canada is hard, as I said earlier, to overestimate. This industry has the capacity to change the demographics of the country. Something that was not possible many years ago and in fact many months ago was for people by the thousands to choose where they will live in this country. They may want to live in a rural setting in small towns in the interior of British Columbia or in the middle of the prairies or in the centre of a major metropolitan area and still be gainfully employed in a major industry. It is not just the communications industry but many other service industries across Canada.

One of the problems that we have had just in the past few years is that the mind-set of some industries still has not caught up with what technology has made available. Rather than using the opportunity of the revolution in communications to allow their work forces to decentralize and live where they wish and have a more socially productive lifestyle both for themselves and for the community at large, they have used the technology and the investment in the technology to centralize people and to discharge employees whether they were in Nelson, in Kelowna, in Cranbrook or in hundreds of other communities across the country.

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June 1, 1993

Mr. Kristiansen:

If it was necessary to do that for any hard, economic reason or for technological reasons then we could understand it. Etowever, it has been the height of irresponsibility at a time when we could have used this technology to increase the freedom of our people and to further centralize operations and centralize control over people. It concerns not only their work lives but their family lives and their community lives as well with a great deal of disruption, both social and economic, to the fabric of many of our communities and many thousands of families.

I see that it is one o'clock and perhaps we should recess for lunch.

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June 1, 1993

Mr. Lyle Kristiansen (Kootenay West-Revelstoke):

Mr. Speaker, that is Kootenay West-Revelstoke, but we forgive you again.

I had been engaging in a few remarks on Motion No. 2 before us which is:

That Bill C-62 be amended by adding immediately after line 36 at

page 3 the following new Clause:

"Review of an Operation of Act

4. Five years after the coming into force of this Act, and at the end of every five year period thereafter, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act including the effect of those provisions shall be undertaken by such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by the House for that purpose".

I had been commenting just before the luncheon recess on a number of the problems surrounding the earlier consideration of this bill and the various amendments before us on which the Speaker has just ruled.

The problem we had in committee and the problem we see now is that the government introduced 51 amendments during clause-by-clause consideration in committee. It placed all committee members in a state of some confusion in trying to sort out just where they were in the process and what they were dealing with.

Normally members operating on a committee during the period of clause-by-clause study have some idea of what they are dealing with. But in this case the government used a very odd procedure, particularly on a bill that is so complex.

The bill deals with an industry wherein the volume of the rapidly changing technology affects it greatly. It makes the whole matter so complex that we really wonder where we will be a couple of years down the road in terms of whether or not this legislation as envisaged and put together will do the job expected of it.

This industry not only is one of the largest domestic service industries, it is also one which is so absolutely

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crucial to our international trade, both in terms of the hardware and the export of technology and expertise we have been engaged in. I am sure in the future it will consume even more attention of those in industry and government.

The motion before us asks for a review after five years. We feel that in the special circumstances which have developed during consideration of this bill that is perhaps too long a period, especially initially, to determine whether what we have done in this place and in committee will stand the test of even that relatively short period of time.

In order to give ourselves, the government and the industry and all interested parties in the country an opportunity, I would like to move a subamendment to Motion No. 2. I move:

That Motion No. 2 be amended by replacing the word "five" with

the word "two".

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