Personal Data

New Democratic Party
New Westminster--Coquitlam (British Columbia)
Birth Date
April 1, 1943
executive assistant

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  New Westminster--Burnaby (British Columbia)
  • N.D.P. Deputy Caucus Chair (January 1, 1990 - January 1, 1991)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
  New Westminster--Coquitlam (British Columbia)
October 14, 2008 - April 13, 2009
  New Westminster--Coquitlam (British Columbia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 154 of 158)

June 21, 1989

Ms. Black:

Yes, I will. It is difficult for me to observe the Minister's new found commitment to retraining. It does, I suppose, make good headlines and give a capsule of hope to some unemployed Canadians, but let's look beyond the headlines and the catch phrases and look into the reality of these retraining proposals.

Canada does need a strong commitment to retraining. We need to remove women from the pink ghetto jobs. We need to give young people the opportunity to learn a skill, and we should offer hope to those who want to pursue non-traditional occupations. We must prepare ourselves for the changes that are brought about by technological change. Canada must make a commitment to a viable and productive retraining program.

Instead, what has the Government pieced together? It has made a commitment to retraining which is based on a suspect system of funding. It has decided to force the jobless to pay for those who want to upgrade. The Minister will shift $800 million from the UI fund in order to fund retraining. This money should not be coming from the jobless. This is a group which faces many battles already; they have few savings and sometimes have low

June 21, 1989

Unemployment Insurance Act

literacy skills, and we are telling them to fund those who wish to upgrade.

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June 9, 1989

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, in committee yesterday, when I questioned the Minister responsible for the status of women, she said that REAL women, according to anecdotal evidence she had, had misused public funds.

This was in relation to an REAL conference funded by the Government in which the credibility of every female Supreme Court Justice was apparently attacked, simply because they were women; and serious misinformation about child care, about women in the military, and about lesbians and gay men was disseminated.

Since that conference, I have received copies of letters from the Secretary of State (Mr. Weiner) justifying the funding of the conference, stating that the funding was in every way consistent with the Government's equality criteria.

The Secretary of State refuses to acknowledge that working for equality does not mean telling people that children in child care will become partial psychopaths.

I hope he will at least listen to his own status of women Minister-

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June 1, 1989

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, on May 15, the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mrs. McDougall) responded to my questions on the impact of the announced cut-backs by National Sea Products in Nova Scotia and the consequences of the new landing regulations for fish in British Columbia. She stated, "I do not accept the suggestion that this Government has destroyed those jobs". According to a document prepared by the Department of Fisheries as a backgrounder to the new landing regulations in British Columbia: "The relocation of the export restrictions could result in the export of large quantities of unprocessed fish. This will affect the raw material supply for processors. It is not possible to determine the time lapse for the employment and income impacts to be realized."

This Government has embarked on this policy and the long-term negative impacts have not been assessed. The Department of Fisheries study states that large quantities of Canada's unprocessed fish will be exported. That means fish processing jobs will also be exported. In Atlantic Canada, the recent quota reductions have placed in jeopardy some 6,500 processing jobs in Newfoundland and 2,500 in the Province of Nova Scotia.

An announcement has already been made by the largest fish processing company in Atlantic Canada that their facility in Lockeport, Nova Scotia will close permanently on October 1. This will mean the loss of 200 jobs. This will have a devastating impact on that community. The processing plant is the principal industry for the town and for the surrounding area. Indeed, in Atlantic Canada some 1,300 communities are directly dependent on the fishery. According to statements made as recently as today, the Government is predicting a bleak future for the Atlantic fishery. The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Clark), and the Minister for International Trade (Mr. Crosbie), have indicated that Atlantic communities may require massive assistance, similar to the $1 billion provided to western farmers in the form of drought relief.

June 1, 1989

Adjournment Debate

In my Province of British Columbia, the future of the fishing industry looks disastrous. This is a direct consequence of actions taken by the Tory Government. In the B.C. processing industry there are up to 8,000 people employed during the peak season; 70 per cent of those employees are women, many visible minority women. The average annual wage is $21,400.

The new landing regulations of the Government have stripped the B.C. industry of the right to process our own Canadian fish prior to export. The new regulations of the Government will deny those workers and their families a secure future. We should have a right to our own Canadian resources. We should have a right to our own Canadian jobs.

According to the Minister, the solution for those women who will lose their jobs is to accept the fact that the jobs will be gone. At no time did she deny that jobs would be lost. Instead, she told the House that her Department would be working with the affected communities through the industrial adjustment service and would use other programs to assist those communities.

The Minister also indicated that unemployment insurance would provide the necessary fail-back for those forced out of work. The Minister did not accept the fact that her changes to the Unemployment Insurance Program will have a negative impact on those workers because: "The current UI Program remains in effect".

The Government's cut-backs to unemployment insurance will take effect next year. According to the Minister for International Trade, and the Secretary of State for External Affairs, the collapse of the Atlantic fishery will also likely occur next year. Those workers who once required 10 weeks to qualify for UI, will require up to 16 weeks to qualify next year.

The jobs being lost on both coasts are high paying union jobs. On the East Coast those jobs average more than $10 per hour. In B.C., the average is approximately $14 per hour. They are unionized jobs with safe working conditions and decent benefits.

The Government seems to be offering those workers, the majority of whom are women, two options: get out of the industry entirely, or accept jobs that will offer them and their families far less.

The House royal commission on employment and unemployment stated that the future directions for the less developed regions of our country lay not in the imposed plans from outside the region, but rather on the strength which is found within those communities. The report also stated that people who live in the smaller communities will require a revolution in the education of their citizens. The federal Government has cut back on funding for post-secondary education. The report stated that they will need to be linked into the development schemes geared to the regions, but funding for regional economical development will be cut severely in the next year, and they will require the security of an income security system which meets their needs. However, the federal Government is committed to withdrawing totally from the Unemployment Insurance Program.

The Minister referred to training as a salvation for those women and their families who will lose their livelihoods as a result of a crippled fishery. She claimed that the training programs will provide a more stable future for women which will end their reliance on cyclical jobs. The National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women, and the Association for Community-Based Training and Education for Women, have all been highly critical of the Canadian Jobs Strategy Program which is so often referred to by the Minister as the answer to the question of training.

The type of jobs which have received funding from the program are low-paying, dead-end jobs which the Government describes as marketable skills. According to the Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women, almost 12,000 fewer women are being educated for new work under the Canadian Jobs Strategy. The Minister argues not for a secure industry in which women represent 70 per cent of the workforce, but for a system which women will recognize is designed to remove them from their jobs.

In conclusion, the Minister said on May 15 that the programs in place are adequate. Yet the very next day the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Mr. Siddon) said, as reported at page 1794 of Hansard:

June 1, 1989

-the Government and several Ministers are working on a comprehensive initiative to deal with the genuine human hardships that will occur in the coming months if we do not address this question as a high priority.

The women of Canada deserve better.

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May 26, 1989

Ms. Dawn Black (New Westminster-Burnaby):

Mr. Speaker, the Government's family violence initiatives amount to only $10 per battered woman per year. This is not enough to educate society on the seriousness of wife assault.

Recently, a man was sentenced to 90 days, his sentence to be served on weekends, for beating his wife with a baseball bat. She spent one month in a coma.

Sometimes judges may think they are preserving the family unit by handing down lenient sentences, but the family unit is already destroyed by violence. There are not enough programs for men who batter.

Sometimes judges may think lenient sentences are appropriate because the batterer is the breadwinner, but it is dangerous for women and children to be financially dependent on a batterer. Some 40 per cent of all homicides in this country involve domestic violence. Women need economic equality, not dependence on abusers.

The Government has shown itself incompetent in dealing with the problems of family abuse. How many women must lie unconscious or die before we see government action?

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May 24, 1989

For each year since 1984, did any (a) individuals (b) corporations claim tax deductions for advertising expenses and, if so, (i) what numbers (ii) what is the total net revenue cost to the government?

Subtopic:   PETITIONS
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