Lyle Stuart KRISTIANSEN

KRISTIANSEN, Lyle Stuart

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Kootenay West--Revelstoke (British Columbia)
Birth Date
May 9, 1939
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyle_Kristiansen
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=af33a6b7-5da5-4227-86d8-769d389dc929&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
executive secretary, financial secretary, woodworker

Parliamentary Career

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

Most Recent Speeches (Page 161 of 162)


May 6, 1980

Mr. Lyle S. Kristiansen (Kootenay West):

Madam Speaker, my question is addressed to the Minister of State for Science and Technology and Minister of the Environment. It is in relation to the Kootenay Lake water quality study, long being conducted by the inland waters directorate of his department.

In view of the importance of this long-delayed report to both the fishery and tourist industry in and around Kootenay Lake, which is already facing closure, and having regard to the effects which the report's findings may have on international negotiations regarding possible Columbia River treaty mitigations, current Kootenay River flows at Libby Dam, and B.C. Hydro's plans for the Kootenay River diversion, would the minister kindly inform the House as to the current status of

May 6, 1980

this report and when we can expect the official report to finally see the light of day?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Full View Permalink

May 6, 1980

Mr. Kristiansen:

Madam Speaker, it is certainly reassuring, after more than a year, to hear that. In view of the fact that the release of this important report was originally scheduled for the spring of 1979-later, assurances were given by officers of the department, in committee, that it would be available for publication on July 1 of last year-and having regard to widespread suspicions that the report is being altered or tampered with to suit the designs of either B.C. Hydro or the B.C. government, will the minister undertake to launch an immediate investigation in order to ascertain the real reasons for this unconscionable delay and to determine whether the report has, in fact, been altered to suit the needs of B.C. Hydro's latest plan of attack on the interests of the people of Kootenay West and Kootenay East-Revelstoke?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Full View Permalink

April 29, 1980

Mr. Kristiansen:

It certainly seems to be. It is not because they have not had advice.

A Canadian Press story which appeared in the Nelson Daily News on March 6 reported in part as follows:

The government could create 100,000 additional jobs through a reduction in interest rates and some fiscal stimulus, says the Canadian Institute for Economic Policy in a study released Wednesday.

Fiscal stimulus refers to tax cuts or incentives, or both.

It goes on to suggest that the government should be taking deliberate action to lower interest rates. This is in line with what the New Democratic Party has been trying to get across for some time. It would turn the whole thing around.

The International Woodworkers of America met with the previous government but 1 do not think they have yet had a

Employment Tax Credit Act

chance to meet with the present government. They presented a rather comprehensive brief to the former prime minister which discussed the impact of current interest rates on the wood products industry in British Columbia. It is a rather detailed brief of some 25 pages and accompanying statistics. It offered a well presented and documented argument and attempted to persuade the government of the day to reverse its disastrous policy on interest rates. I suggest it should be required reading for members of this government. They have heard the arguments and the facts.

Some of the top economists as well as influential groups and economic bodies in the country have suggested that the government turn its policies around. Instead of that, what we get is a renewal of the employment tax credit program. Thousands of people are being thrown out of well-paid jobs-people with mortgages, people with families, with bills to pay, with credit cards-yet incentives are still being given to finance companies, credit card companies and others so that they can advertise and increase the demand for credit. We have been suck-ered by an industry which our public policy tends to assist in this endeavour. The present policies will throw thousands of people out of work and a continuation of the tax credit program will only offer some of them temporary jobs at or near the minimum wage. That is not good enough, Mr. Speaker.

People who have been used to earning $10, $11 or $12 an hour are not fussy about accepting a short term job and losing their right to unemployment insurance benefits in order to take it. If they do not, then, of course, our Conservative friends and perhaps a couple of hon. members opposite are going to accuse them of being welfare bums who do not want to work!

Who should have to work at those rates, Mr. Speaker, in a country that has the potential and, hopefully, the ability to get its act together and produce wealth per capita such as no other country in the world can dream of? To ask our people to live below the poverty level is worse than ridiculous; it is almost criminal.

My colleague, the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Deans) borrowed a phrase from me the other day. Indeed, I invited him to use it and he did to open his address. I should like to close with the same quotation. As the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain thought it suitable to open the subject, I, too, can think of no better phrase with which to close. Perhaps even some of my Conservative friends would listen to John Foster Dulles, who said that "the measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year".

We not only have the same problem we had last year, Mr. Speaker, we have a worse one. We seem bound and determined, as a matter of deliberate public policy, to further complicate it and make it worse. We go off in both directions, Mr. Speaker. We appear to have a schizophrenic government.

Perhaps I should wonder if the words of Frank Scott in his poem about Mackenzie King are not somewhat appropriate. He wrote that "We had no shape because he would not allow

April 29, 1980

Employment Tax Credit Act

us to take sides, and no sides because he would not allow us to take shape".

Do we have a jellyfish? Maybe, Mr. Speaker, but we do not need a jellyfish. We need a government that takes some hard, tough decisions and begins to move this country in a direction where people who want to work can work, where people who want homes can have homes, good jobs with good rates of pay. It can be done if the government will listen to some of the advice offered, not only by the opposition but by many of their own so-called experts.

1 plead with the government to listen; I plead with the government to act. I plead with them to get their act on track and try to be just a little more consistent in the pursuit of their economic policy.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT TAX CREDIT ACT
Full View Permalink

April 29, 1980

Mr. Lyle S. Kristiansen (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, in rising to debate the principle of the bill now before us, Bill C-19, one is struck by what I would call the somewhat schizophrenic behaviour of the government. On the one hand, the government doles out money to business to subsidize the private sector to create jobs in the short run, as exemplified by this bill, and on the other hand, sometimes in co-operation with other governments, they hand out millions to business, again to subsidize the private sector to destroy jobs in the longer run. Obviously this bill is an example of the former, and the example to which I want to refer in just a few moments is a rather glaring illustration of the latter.

The attitude of the government would seem to be summed up rather well in the words of a rather well known actor, Peter Ustinov, when he said, "I find myself of two minds on the subject-one more or less in disagreement with the other." That appears to be the attitude of the government.

As I said, this program seems to fall into the first category-handing out money or doling out money to some of the private sector in order to create jobs in the short run. Are they temporary jobs? How temporary are they? Do we really know, as yet, how many jobs have been created by this wage subsidy program, most of which will be at the minimum wage or very close to it, I would suspect? Perhaps we could hear something more from the government as to what level of income they expect people to live on who hold the jobs which are, in large part, created by this program. Is the purpose of this bill to open up to new applicants or new businesses the addition of more employees in the creation of more production, or is it to extend the current jobs already created in that sector?

In any case, I should like to now comment on the opposite end of the pole. A story appeared in the Toronto The Globe and Mail on April 21 entitled: "$140 million grants to mills will cost 600 to 800 lost jobs". The federal government will put up one-third and the provincial government of Ontario in this case will put up two-thirds under the Department of Regional Economic Expansion program, which is the program we are dealing with here. The Department of Regional Economic "Contraction" would perhaps be a better term, especially if this is to indicate the kind of path on which that department is embarked. The almost $50 million, which is the federal government's contribution to this particular program, is not, to our way of thinking, in line with the recent statement of the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) that the policy of the government is to "help those who need help the most". If that is the case, I think we have come upon a rather startling definition of those who are "in need" in our society.

1 should like to mention some of the companies. The article which appeared in The Globe and Mail reads as follows;

April 29, 1980

Employment Tax Credit Act

Among the companies given grants so far, Great Lakes Forest Products Ltd. could lose 200 jobs at its mill in Dryden. An additional 240 will be lost at an Abitibi-Price Inc. mill at Iroquois Falls.

Mr. More, who is the pulp and paper consultant to the Ontario department of industry and tourism, according to the article also said the following:

-another 280 jobs will be iost at Ontario Paper Co. Ltd. in Thorold; about 100 at Spruce Falls Power and Paper Co. Ltd. of Kapuskasing; and 20 at Domtar Inc. in Red Rock.

If this is the government's new definition of those "in need" in our society, then it perhaps strikes some of us in our corner of the House as strange that that is where the public welfare bill of this government is going. It is quite in line with the kind of corporate welfare which has been passed out for many, many years by this government, the former Liberal government and the "blue blip" that appeared somewhere in the middle.

Apparently these are corporations which the government thinks are in need of this assistance. We are paying almost $50 million out of the federal treasury to eliminate between 600 and 800 jobs. I wonder what the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Gray) would think about some of the companies. Some of them are multinationals, some of them are 100 per cent subsidiaries of American corporations, and others have interlocking directorships which are somewhat more obtuse in nature.

Is E. B. Eddy Forest Products Ltd., a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd., a firm that is really "in need"? What about Spruce Falls Power and Paper Co. Ltd.? The company is 100 per cent United States owned. What about the Ontario Paper Co. Ltd.? That company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chicago Tribune Co. All of these companies have regular profits in the tens and in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Why do they need subsidies from the public purse-out of the pockets of working taxpayers-in order to do what they ought to be doing if they are interested in running efficient and proper businesses? It is rather beyond the wildest extent of my imagination. I do not know how we can legitimize that as being a proper charge on the public purse.

Meanwhile hundreds of smaller independent companies in the forest industry in particular are in severe danger of going belly-up due to some of the other policies of this government. While Bill C-19 may be all right in itself, it does nothing to put a dent in the kind of unemployment the other policies of this government are creating. Under some circumstances maybe there could be a proper case for the kind of social assistance that is being offered to these corporations.

Again I should like to refer to Mr. More, the pulp and paper consultant to the Ontario department of industry and tourism, the provincial partner in this giveaway, and what he said about these companies' attitude. He said the following:

-the industry endangered its position in the world market in past years by not having the business sense to expand and consolidate.

Also he said:

As a result, the government now has to guide it with multi-million dollar incentives.

Mr. More's words describing their attitude in past years are rather colourful, but I should like to quote his remarks as they appeared in The Globe and Mail. I am sure The Globe and Mail would not print anything which should be censored. It reads as follows:

They take the attitude: "When things are good, we'll go like a son of a bitch and make good profits, and when they're bad we'll tough it out."

Those are the words of an official of the Conservative government of Ontario describing the attitude of the compag-nies to which this government is giving $50 million because they did not do their jobs.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT TAX CREDIT ACT
Full View Permalink

April 29, 1980

Mr. Kristiansen:

Apparently many Canadians thought they were better. There are a number of other statistics which one could quote. I do not wish to get into them, but there are a few lessons to be learned.

I would like to go back to the joint program of the Department of Regional Economic "Contraction". All of the companies to which they gave assistance-approximately $50 million in federal dollars and $100 million in Ontario dollars, all of which were taxpayers' dollars-were large, integrated companies, and many of them were owned by multinationals. Almost all of them were companies with integrated operations, not only in lumber, but in shake and shingle, plywood and-most important for our current purposes-in the pulp and paper industry which is doing rather well at the present time.

The pulp and paper industry is the only sector of the forest industry that is showing strength at this point in our history. Why does that assistance go to the sector which should be strong? Simply to reward them for their lack of initiative in not keeping their plants up to date in the past when they were earning good money? They were doing their job badly, but they are one of the few industries that have really made it on the differential between the Canadian dollar and the U.S. dollar. It has been cream for the pulp and paper industry, and it is still doing rather well. They are the people whom this government and the Prime Minister believe need assistance most. At least, that is to whom the government is giving assistance.

I said earlier that 1 wanted to comment for a few moments on the actions of other governments. One might classify the new program for assistance to the house building industry, $160 million, in the United States as peanuts, but at least it is a start. In the context of the United States $160 million does not go very far. Nor would $16 million in a Canadian context go very far, but at least it would be a beginning.

I do not often have very much of a favourable nature to say of the present government of British Columbia, but a few months ago it became involved in a program, whatever its difficulties, in which, by using approximately $7 million, it generated $200 million in terms of mortgage loan assistance to people for new housing starts. That is perhaps one of the few and only reasons why British Columbia housing starts in the first period of this year had a slightly better performance than the rest of the country.

April 29, 1980

I am not suggesting that the federal government make a duplicate copy of the B.C. program, nor am I suggesting that it make a carbon copy of the United States program; but I am pleading with it to do something besides giving away up to S50 million to large, integrated companies that are not in difficulty for the purpose of eliminating hundreds of jobs, in this case throughout northwestern Ontario.

The Globe and Mail of today had an article in its business section headed "Bond prices spurt higher as large U.S. banks reduce prime rate to 18.5 per cent". The article is on page B3. Again, what it says is rather shocking and is an indication, I suppose, of this government's real policy at a time when it should be doing something to create demands in housing, for our forest products, lumber and plywood, to a meaningful extent within Canada through a new approach to interest rates.

The article reads in part:

The U.S. authorities' stance contrasts sharply with that of the Bank of Canada, which has re-established a painfully tight grip on the Canadian banking system and is resisting the downward move in Canadian short-term rates.

The Canadian central banks' aim is to restore-

What they call-

-a more normal spread between Canadian and U.S. interest rates as the year progresses, according to economist Michael Manford of Merrill Lynch Royal Securities Limited of Toronto.

The article goes on to quote Mr. Manford:

In all likelihood this will be accomplished by slowing the decline in Canadian prime rates until U.S. rates fall below them, he wrote in the firm's Capital Markets Letter. Thus the Canadian prime rate is likely to average 14 to 14.5 per cent by year-end, compared with 13 per cent in the United States.

At the moment we have the advantage and can try to keep our industry going a little better than theirs. Their unemployment statistics are absolutely astronomical. Why in heaven's name is the government and the Bank of Canada bent on following a policy that will drive us further and further into national bankruptcy and put tens of thousands more of our people out of work?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   EMPLOYMENT TAX CREDIT ACT
Full View Permalink