Margaret Anne MITCHELL

MITCHELL, Margaret Anne, B.A., M.S.W.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Vancouver East (British Columbia)
Birth Date
July 17, 1925
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mitchell_(Canadian_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c561ac11-18ab-4c6c-8b7b-86b2e5484dfd&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, community-development worker, social worker

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • Deputy Whip of the N.D.P. (January 1, 1989 - January 21, 1990)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 424)


March 26, 1993

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

My final petition, Madam Speaker, is a lengthy one so I will just refer to certain sections of it, if my colleagues will allow me to do so.

It is from a great number of Vancouver residents, particularly residents of the Chinese community. It concerns the very unjust and racist law that established the Chinese head tax and was followed by the exclusion act under which people had to pay $100 to come to Canada because they were Chinese. This had a tremendous impact, and to this day has an impact, on the Chinese community.

March 26, 1993

The petitioners call upon the Canadian government to support an all-party resolution that would acknowledge this injustice, including redress for the payers of the head tax and the community.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PETITIONS
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March 26, 1993

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Madam Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

On Wednesday two peacekeepers were wounded in Bosnia and yesterday a second Canadian peacekeeper was killed. I would like to express on behalf of all members our deep sympathy to the family of Master Corporal John Temapolski.

I would like to ask the minister if she can explain the circumstances of Corporal Ternapolski's death.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PEACEKEEPING
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March 26, 1993

Ms. Mitchell:

Mr. Speaker, it has had a devastating effect, as the member suggests. For example, I have met with a number of people who were in the fish processing industry and these plants have closed down entirely. Incidentally, they were not even given adequate unemployment insurance coverage. Many of them are immigrant women raising families on their own. Some are native women, and that is probably one of the worst effects.

Look at the garment industry. We know that if the industries are to survive at all and compete with the American and Mexican industries, they are going to have to force largely women into doing things at home in the cottage industries.

Some people think this is folksy and lovely, but it is a terrible situation because it is not controllable. It is not unionized and women who are looking after kids are going to be trying to do work on machines and so on in their homes at very low wages.

We know the impact it has had on the whole aspect of unionization. There is a move to do anything possible to undermine decent union wages and to force down wages by whatever means possible. There are many, many impacts.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1993-94 MEASURE TO ENACT
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March 26, 1993

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult today to talk about this bill without talking about the national tragedy that we are faced with in Canada as we are being pressured into passing a North American free trade agreement. I would like to concentrate my remarks on that.

This Conservative government is bound and determined to sell Canadian interests to the U.S. and Mexico under the North American free trade agreement or NAFTA. Five years of the Canadian-U.S. deal, the FTA, has resulted in the loss of some 500,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing. We know that company after company in Canada has gone broke or has moved to the United States.

In my riding of Vancouver East, for example, fish processing plants have been forced to close and some have moved south with hundreds of jobs being lost. This is a whole field of jobs, particularly for immigrant women.

Textile workers have been laid off or forced into exploitive home work and many, many small businesses have closed. Many have been affected by cross-border shopping.

However we look at it, five years of the FTA and now a NAFTA agreement on top of it will be devastating to Canada and to our sovereignty. Many young Canadians have given up hope because of the lack of job prospects.

Canadians already are hurting from continuing high unemployment, government cuts to our social programs and a battered economy. Much of this is really related to our locking ourselves into a continental agreement with

Government Orders

the United States. Many more Canadians will suffer if this government passes the NAFTA.

Canadians do not want NAFTA because it is bad for Canadians and bad for Canada. NAFTA is much more than a trade deal. This is what I hope Canadians and viewers will understand. It is a continental economic agreement, an economic constitution that gives economic control not to governments but to transnational corporations whose sole interest is profits. It emasculates our national government which will have no say or control over Canada's destiny.

It is a triumvirate kind of agreement where Canada will provide unprocessed resources, Mexico will provide cheap labour and transnationals based mostly in the United States will make the products and get the trade benefits.

Our brain power will go south. Small businesses will not be able to compete. NAFTA threatens Canadian jobs and businesses in our auto industry, in textiles, agriculture, transportation, banking, insurance and data processing.

The Government of British Columbia is strongly opposed to NAFTA because it will erode the provincial government's ability to manage provincial resources and to control foreign investment in our economy in B.C. B.C. will be hurt in five very critical areas.

First of all, NAFTA will not stop the U.S. from setting up unfair trade barriers. We see how damaging this has been to the B.C. economy in relation to softwood lumber tariffs. It will prohibit Canadian incentives that are needed for processing our raw materials, our raw logs and our raw fish and to have value-added products for trading. This will be very difficult in our economy.

Second, this deal will not ensure that workers' rights and the environmental standards are protected. There will be tremendous pressure to undermine unions by lowering the working standards and wages for Canadian workers. Higher profits will be had in Mexico because of its poverty levels, its abysmal health and safety standards and lax environmental enforcement.

Government Orders

We heard at a rally recently in Vancouver that Mexican workers earn $5 a day if they are lucky, are working in very polluted environments and their situation will be worse with NAFTA. Mexican workers also oppose this.

Third, this unfair deal will hurt B.C.'s processed vegetable producers and apparel industry. The Canadian Apparel Manufacturers Institute says that as many as 30,000 Canadian jobs in the apparel industry are at risk if NAFTA is signed.

Fourth, NAFTA offers absolutely no guarantee that B.C. will not be forced to export water to the United States. Earlier today we heard the minister refuting this, but I can tell you at the hearings which I attended in Vancouver, experts there had studied the documents very carefully and pointed out that water is not exempt. It can be considered as a good and therefore become a transcontinental resource.

Fifth, the Canadian government offers no assistance to help Canadian workers adjust. This has been promised to American workers. We know this was promised under the FTA. I certainly know many people in British Columbia who are unable to get any adjustment programs.

This Conservative government is setting Canadians up for a future where our health care and social programs are in jeopardy. Bill C-91 was a part of this NAFTA deal. It was part of this nefarious plan and, of course, this was the drug patent bill which gave a monopoly to multinational pharmaceutical companies and has a tremendous impact on the cost of drugs and the whole medicare system in Canada.

Tories have argued that this was necessary. It was necessary in their view. It was something that they had already promised to Mr. Bush.

NAFTA basically wipes out the sovereign right of the Canadian Parliament to allow generic drug companies to provide cheaper copies of brand name drugs to consumers.

Canadians have suffered more than enough under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Enough is enough. NAFTA must be rejected in favour of world-wide fair trade and I will ask my colleague to expand on some of these points in his remarks.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BORROWING AUTHORITY ACT, 1993-94 MEASURE TO ENACT
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March 26, 1993

Ms. Margaret Mitchell (Vancouver East):

Madam Speaker, a supplementary to the same minister.

The UN commission to investigate war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia cannot operate with "absolute peanuts", according to Canadian Commissioner Commander William Fenrick.

What efforts is Canada making and what is the minister doing to assure that this commission has adequate funds to do its important job?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PEACEKEEPING
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