Brian L. GARDINER

GARDINER, Brian L., B.A.

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Prince George--Bulkley Valley (British Columbia)
Birth Date
August 18, 1955
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_L._Gardiner
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ed774e94-e674-4013-82e8-6584672e4e5f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
administrator, manager, publisher

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
NDP
  Prince George--Bulkley Valley (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 96)


June 2, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. I appreciated listening to the hon. member's comments. I have a question for him about the estimates for Forestry Canada, which I have in my hand. I served on the forestry committee with my colleague and I know he is concerned about the future of our forests in Canada.

The estimates outline some of the highlights of Forestry Canada for all different parts of the country including British Columbia and Quebec. The forest agreements have helped a considerable amount in my province and in the member's province. I would like to ask the member, knowing his concern about this particular issue, the concerns he might have about the government's

June 2, 1993

announcement that when these agreements expire they will not be renewed.

I know the member has some concerns about the resource communities that are dependent on forestry and mining. I wonder if he could give us some indication in what direction we might be going in this regard. I have a sense, maybe misplaced, that what we might be looking at in this Parliament before the next election is a change in the cabinet line-up and in particular the Minister of Forestry or maybe doing away with that department. I wonder if the member has any particular insights into that and also some of his concerns perhaps about the expiry and eventual doing away with the forest agreements.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MAIN ESTIMATES 1993-94-VOTE 1
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June 2, 1993

Mr. Gardiner:

When they expire.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MAIN ESTIMATES 1993-94-VOTE 1
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June 2, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to make a brief comment and ask a question of the member about a very important program that this government is now endangering.

I am referring to the Forest Resources Development Agreements with the provinces. The April 26 budget of the Minister of Finance said that this government is now shelving those agreements between the federal government and the provinces, which have done wonders in terms of reforestation, silvicultural work and research into forest concerns, and it is also doing so in the mining sector and in a number of other areas.

I have two brief comments with regard to the Forest Resources Development Agreements. My information on this does not come from any of the letters I have written. It comes from the government's estimates. The budget of the Minister of Finance talks about how it intends to do away with these agreements because they are generally in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Yet I would like to refer the member to the estimates for Forestry Canada for 1992-93. It says the very opposite on page 54, that most of these agreements have now been funded in areas of exclusive federal jurisdiction, in research, wood lots and other areas. It is particularly disappointing to the people in constituencies across the country and those resource dependent communities, over 300 of them are dependent on the forest industry alone, that the message from this government is that it does not care about forestry.

Does the member think that this decision by the government, which is in the estimates, is a prelude to eliminating the Department of Forestry?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MAIN ESTIMATES 1993-94-VOTE 1
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June 1, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and say a few brief words on Bill C-62 which is a major piece of communications legislation that has been brought before Parliament today. I would just like to say something with the greatest of respect to the minister from the government who introduced I do not know how many amendments to this legislation in committee. I was not in the committee. For the minister to suggest today that the amendments being brought forward by members of the opposition are frivolous really I think is begging a point.

I think that this minister is not one to normally take that approach in debate. I hope he will give serious consideration to our subamendment and if not the subamendment from my colleague in the New Democratic Party then certainly from the Official Opposition. I think it is important to give the discipline to any government-it does not matter what party-to ensure that the regular kind of review for legislation is guaran-

Govemment Orders

teed as important as that which is governing the telecommunications industry.

It is perhaps a cliche to talk about how the regulatory process has been slow to catch up to the changes in the telecommunications industry, but I think that is a point we all know. That industry has to be regulated. It is very difficult for any legislation to try to keep up to the changes.

I suggest that the amendment and the subamendment go some distance in applying discipline on the government or any government to ensure that those changes are made. When the minister suggests that his government is prepared to review legislation at any time, one just has to look at the promises made by the Minister of Finance about getting this government's books in order and the deficit under control. I might suggest that there is a reason to have an amendment to this legislation for some kind of review. It gives all Canadians, consumers and the industry that the minister talks about the time frame for knowing when formal legislative and regulatory changes will have to take place. This is opposed to sitting and waiting for Parliament just before an election when obviously the government wants to get some of its legislation passed.

I would ask the minister to give serious consideration to the subamendment and the amendment. They are both reasonable and something the government should consider supporting.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO ENACT
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June 1, 1993

Mr. Brian L. Gardiner (Prince George-Bulkley Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I will be veiy brief speaking on the motion before us.

For the record, I would like to compliment the member of our caucus from Mission-Coquitlam who has done an excellent job as our labour critic. As that definition implies, she has worked closely with all parties in the House, from time to time with the minister, with members of the trade union movement and with the government, particularly during disputes. The hon. member is a credit to this House for the work she has done helping the trade union movement and understanding what the duties and obligations of Parliament are as well. I think that is important to say at the start of my comments on Bill C-101, the act to amend the Canada Labour Code.

We have no dispute with some parts of the bill that the government is amending today. There have been consultations for some time now with the trade union movement and others in the public on changes to this legislation which we can support. However what has become an unfortunate trend with this government and maybe all governments is that often the good will is taken a good distance further than expected.

The particular amendment we have been discussing allows the minister when he or she deems it in the public interest to force a vote at anytime, perhaps during a dispute, on what has often been called the employer's last offer. This is an example of the government, having sought advice and having received some input, proposing some positive changes. Then it takes it a step further to

really lose a lot of the support and good will it might have had in trying to pass this legislation.

My concern focuses on a couple of points in this bill. I agree with one of the previous comments about how the public interest is defined, keeping in mind that often it is a very nebulous thing in the affairs of public life, the government, business and labour. It is often very difficult to pin down.

In this bill the government has virtually left that entirely at the discretion of the minister to determine what that public interest is. We could speculate on what a minister of the day might determine to be in the public interest in terms of imposing such a vote. I think it would be wise for this House to be able to consider a definition of the public interest so that we do have a sense of the framework for when the government might impose such a vote.

I am also thinking on this particular point that timeframes are very important in any management and labour dispute. Timeframes are important because often at the last minute a resolution can be reached and then some time may pass before resolution of a dispute is met.

It is without some indication from the minister and the government in the legislation as to just when a particular motion or effort by the minister can be used to impose a vote that needs to be clarified. It is not in this particular amendment which has been seen to be odious and that is a concern as well.

As a final point I have a concern about these final offers. We all know how many final offers there can be. There can be one in the morning, one in the afternoon and then maybe one late at night. Abetter clarification is needed in terms of what that final offer might be.

Assuming the government will be supporting this legislation and putting it through the House, I do not know necessarily how the government will determine when that final offer is. Must it be registered with the minister to determine officially whether that is the final offer? What about the timeframe I referred to earlier? The timeframe imposing the vote on a final offer may go stale by the time a particular vote is held on a contract proposal.

It is important to seek further clarification from the government. If it chooses not to and proceeds as is, that is unfortunate. As I mentioned earlier this government takes the good will too far and loses the opportunity to

June 1, 1993

gain the support it might have been able to get for this legislation.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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