Thursday, December 5, 1991


The House met at 1:30 p.m.


      At 1:30 p.m., all members and guests standing, the Sergeant-at-Arms, carrying the Mace shoulder high and followed by the Speaker and the Clerks of the Legislative Assembly, entered the Chamber and proceeded along the west side.  The Speaker took post on the east side of the Chamber and the Clerks took post on the west side of the Chamber and the Sergeant‑at‑Arms returned along the east side of the Chamber to the main entrance where he stood and awaited the arrival of His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor.

      The Premier, members of the Executive Council, military and civil aides, and officers comprising the officer escort, met in the Lieutenant‑Governor's reception room.

      The Premier, members of the Executive Council, military and civil aides and officer escort accompanied His Honour from the reception room to the Chamber in the following order:

      The civil aide on the right;

      the military aide on the left;

      the officer escort;

      the members of the Executive Council;

      the Premier; and then

      the Lieutenant‑Governor.

      At the main entrance, the military and civil aides, the officer escort, members of the Executive Council and the Premier halted and turned inward to allow the Lieutenant‑Governor to advance to the head of the officer escort, where His Honour was met by the Mace.

Deputy Sergeant‑at‑Arms (Mr. Roy MacGillivray):  His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor.

      The Lieutenant‑Governor then, preceded by the Mace carried shoulder high, and followed on his left by the military aide and on his right by the civil aide, proceeded along the west side of the Chamber to the throne.  The Premier proceeded along the east side and stood on the floor on the east side of the Chamber.  The members of the Executive Council took their places.

      The military aide took up his position on the right of the throne and the civil aide took up his position on the west side of the Chamber.

      The officer escort was positioned to the left of the throne.

      The Lieutenant‑Governor seated himself on the throne; the Mace made obeisance and retired to the east side of the Chamber.

      The civil aide advanced from the position he had taken on the west side of the Chamber and, after the usual obeisance on each step, handed the Lieutenant‑Governor the Speech from the Throne.

      The civil aide then retired, step by step, and took up his position on the west side of the Chamber.

      (The Lieutenant‑Governor seated the House.)




Hon. George Johnson (Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Manitoba): Mr. Speaker and members of the Manitoba Legislature.

      I welcome you to the Third Session of the Thirty‑fifth Legislature of the Province of Manitoba.

      Je vous souhaite la bienvenue a la troisieme session de la trente‑cinquieme legislature de la province du Manitoba.

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      May I express the wish that your goals and aspirations and the needs of the people you represent will be met through your service as Members of this Legislature.

      Manitobans have a tradition of working together in good times and in bad.  Our undeniable spirit and determination have helped us endure the most difficult circumstances encountered in our past.  They are the solid foundation on which we have built our lives and our province, and they are the keystone to a bright and secure future.

      My ministers believe that the unique Manitoba ability to work together will be the driving force in getting our economy growing and in building a stronger Manitoba.

      Manitobans have demonstrated the strength of their collective resolve repeatedly throughout our province's history.  Whether the challenge is national economic recession or international strife, Manitobans have come together to help each other cope with difficult circumstances and persevere.

      The past year has provided no shortage of difficult circumstances for all Manitobans.  We are all well aware of the severe impact of one of the worst national recessions in Canadian history and the way it has touched the lives of many Manitobans.

      My government shares the concern and frustration felt across our province, and my ministers will continue to help shoulder the burden with Manitobans, as we work together to build a strong economy.

      Despite these trying economic times, Manitobans still managed to record several outstanding community achievements over the past year.

      Only two weeks ago, we witnessed the tremendous Grey Cup Festival '91 success, which set a high standard of efficiency, friendliness and community spirit that will be long remembered and not easily matched by other hosts.  Manitobans' dedication of time, energy and spirit has been recognized across Canada as a major factor in staging "the best Grey Cup ever held."

      This summer another group of energetic and determined volunteers from Brandon and Western Manitoba hosted a World Junior Baseball Championship which won international praise as "the best ever."

      This spring the world came to Winnipeg for the World Curling Championships.  Thanks to the hundreds of Manitobans who volunteered to organize, host and operate the event, the world is still referring to the Winnipeg Championships, again, as "the best ever."

      The citizens of our great province have demonstrated to Canada and the world that whatever the challenge, Manitoba can do it best.

      Seldom has that spirit been more prominent than in the recent rallies concerning the agriculture crisis.  Farmers from every corner of the province came together to draw attention to their plight in a reasonable, responsible and determined way.  Their success is a testament to their ability to work together for the common good.  My government supports their efforts and is committed to work with them to return stability to the family farm.

      Fifty years ago, Manitobans had also been called upon to put aside their differences and answer a grave and daunting challenge.  On December 7, 1941, a fateful air attack on Pearl Harbour led our neighbors and allies, the United States of America, to join us in the Second World War.  One day later, on December 8, 1941, the Winnipeg Grenadiers, garrisoned in the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, were also attacked.  That colony was a long way from Canada, but the pain and suffering endured by the hundreds of Canadians were very real.

      A few weeks ago I had the privilege of joining with this province's first Minister in unveiling a plaque commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Winnipeg Grenadiers' departure from Winnipeg to defend Hong Kong.  Christmas Day will mark the 50th Anniversary of the fall of Hong Kong and the passage of a half century of suffering for the survivors.

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      Those of us in this Chamber and particularly younger generations of Canadians owe much to the valiant deeds of these and the thousands of other Canadians who served so that we may continue to enjoy democratic freedoms.

      Let us not forget their contributions nor the rights and privileges we enjoy in a democratic and united Canada.

      Given that vital foundation, Manitobans have worked together to meet past challenges and build a society which enjoys a quality of life among the best in the world.

Meeting the Economic Challenge


      The challenges we face today, as a province and as a nation, may not be as fundamental and ominous as world war.  Nonetheless, finding solutions to the economic and constitutional questions now confronting us will provide a stern test of the strength of our spirit and determination.

      Canada is experiencing one of its most serious recessions since the 1930's.  While the economy has started to show some signs of growth recently, my ministers believe it will be some months yet before Canada regains the level of economic activity achieved prior to the recession.  My government will continue to spend carefully and manage wisely to ensure that Manitobans have the vital health, education and family services on which they have come to rely.

      While the United States, United Kingdom and Australia have also experienced recession in the past year, our national recession was aggravated by fighting inflation with high interest rates, and the resulting rise in the exchange rate of our dollar.

      Interest rates have fallen substantially over the past year and a half, but so have rates in the United States.  With higher interest rates and a high dollar, Canadian firms face serious competitive pressures compared to U.S. firms.  With a high Canadian dollar, full recovery from the recession will require pronounced improvements in productivity.

      For well over a year, my government has been calling for a First Ministers' Conference on the economy to develop a co‑ordinated approach to a national problem.  It is important, as well, to deal directly with such issues as federal offloading which has such a negative effect on provincial budgets and economies.  Earlier this week, three Premiers, including the First Minister of this province, once again urged the Prime Minister to convene such a conference as soon as possible.

      For over three years my government has worked hard to build a solid foundation for economic development and growth.  My ministers' efforts to control government spending and create a positive climate for investment have been very important in preparing Manitoba to take full advantage of the national economic recovery.

      My government will continue to protect tax payers by freezing personal income taxes for a fourth consecutive year.

      My ministers recognize that government has a significant role to play in fostering the economic growth Manitobans want and need. However, my ministers know that government alone cannot create an economic recovery.

      The only true generators of wealth in our economy are Manitobans themselves.  My government believes that using Manitobans' own ideas for local, regional and provincial growth is the best way to build a strong economy.  Manitobans have proven that they are capable of competing successfully in the national and international marketplaces.  My ministers are confident that by working together Manitobans can turn the tremendous potential of our province into real opportunities and real jobs.


Creative New Approaches to Economic Growth


      My government has identified Manitoba's competitive ability as a key to economic recovery and growth.  As the competition for both national and international markets has become more intense, my ministers have realized that the traditional government departmental approach to economic development is insufficient to meet the challenges.  Greater co‑ordination of provincial departments and resources is a necessity, and a stronger partnership with the private sector must be developed.

      To this end, a new Economic Development Board of Cabinet has been created with a mandate to co‑ordinate government wide efforts aimed at economic growth, within the framework of sustainable development.

      The Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism will also be restructured to increase the emphasis on strategic initiatives.  Under this new structure, the department will become more project‑oriented in its approach, working with individual firms and groups of companies to create development opportunities.

      In addition, my ministers will bring forward legislation to restructure the Manitoba Research Council into the Manitoba Economic Innovation and Technology Council.  This new body will link and draw upon the resources of government, business, labour and the research community to help guide Manitoba toward economic leadership and technological innovation.

      As part of this overall approach, my government has already brought forward several new programs designed to put Manitobans to work at building a strong and competitive economy.

      The Crocus Investment Fund has been established to assist workers in taking an ownership role in the business that employs them.  The Vision Capital Fund provides financing for Manitobans with good ideas that can be turned into jobs.  The Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program is assisting companies wanting to invest in Manitoba.  The Mineral Exploration Incentive Program is having a positive effect in sparking exploration and mining activity in our province.

      Nowhere is the need for economic development and growth greater than in rural Manitoba.  Throughout the province, towns and villages are fighting to retain their most valuable resource, their young people.  My ministers are confident that rural Manitobans will employ their strong sense of community to keep their home towns alive through job creation, industrial development and economic diversification.

      The hardship faced by Manitoba's farmers in recent years has been unparalleled in severity.  Only through hard work and grim determination have many been able to survive.  My government has supported Manitoba's farm families in their struggle to keep their way of life viable.  My ministers admire their courage and applaud their resourcefulness.

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      My government believes in the people and communities of rural Manitoba.  My ministers also recognize the economic realities that are facing rural communities and remain firmly committed to working with Manitobans to create and capture opportunities for growth and prosperity.

      My government has recently introduced several initiatives that focus on Manitoba's ability to work together to support a common cause.

      The Rural Development Grow Bond Program provides the means for rural communities to participate directly in strengthening their local economies and in creating jobs for their young people.

      Grow Bonds can act as a catalyst for local development and diversification, bringing together local people with money to invest in community‑based industries such as manufacturing, processing, tourism, commercial water and gas distribution, exporting and the provision of goods or services for the protection of the environment.

      This program allows rural Manitobans to invest in themselves creating jobs and opportunities right in their own home towns.

      My government will proceed with the Rural Economic Development Initiative program for communities that must upgrade their local infrastructure to better serve economic development. The program will be funded by revenues generated by the Video Lottery Terminals Initiative announced this summer.

      My government is also assisting several Manitoba communities with major sewer and water infrastructure improvements developed through the Partnership Agreement on Municipal Water Infrastructure.  My ministers believe this upgrading will enhance the ability of communities to promote economic development as well as ensure local waste disposal systems meet environmental standards.

      My ministers believe that the Community Choices program is another integral part of rural economic recovery.  This program encourages neighbouring municipalities to work together in making decisions about local economic priorities and directions.

      In addition, my ministers advise me that the Department of Rural Development is being reorganized to work more effectively with rural Manitobans as they strive to get their local economies growing.

      In the final analysis, rural economic recovery will be as strong as rural Manitobans can make it.  They will plan their own local economic development strategy, upgrade their infrastructure, raise their own pool of investment capital and get their local economy growing.  My ministers are confident that the future of rural Manitoba is in good, strong, hard working hands.

      However, more than courage, determination and hard work are needed to cope with an international subsidy war, crowded and highly competitive world markets and rapidly advancing food technology.  My government will work with Manitoba's agriculture community to develop the creative approaches required to meet the challenges of the future.

      Further diversification of agriculture and value‑added activities will be facilitated through such measures as feeder associations and rural development bonds.  These approaches will assist producers in being less vulnerable to international market trends.

      Right to Farm Legislation will be introduced during the current session of the Legislature to enable farmers to plan production investments with greater certainty and to facilitate further diversification within our province.

      The Manitoba Department of Agriculture through an extensive consultative process involving farmers, producer groups, agri‑business, and researchers reviewed the long‑term opportunities and challenges facing the agriculture and food industry.

      As a result of this consultative process the department will work with Manitoba farmers to shift past emphasis on commodity production towards a more diversified, value‑added and market oriented industry.

      As well, my government has launched a comprehensive review of the Manitoba Crop Insurance system to ensure that government support best meets the needs of producers.

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      Improving our own system of agricultural practices and procedures is important if Manitoba farmers are to continue to benefit from their traditionally strong competitive position in the marketplace.

      However, much broader solutions are urgently required to deal with the relentless attack on Manitoban and Canadian farmers by countries presently engaged in an international subsidy war.

      For my government, the single most important objective in the current round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations is winning a cease‑fire in the subsidy war between the United States and the European Community.

      Manitoba's farmers must be provided with an international trading regime which allows them to once again sell their grains and oilseeds at reasonable world prices.

      My government has taken Manitoba's message directly to Geneva in an effort to support the Canadian position in these negotiations and will continue to make every effort towards encouraging a positive outcome.  At the same time, my ministers are cognizant of the threat to supply management systems and have made their concerns known, forcefully, to federal negotiators.

      As well, my government will continue to ensure that we take maximum advantage of trade opportunities for all Manitoba products.

      Economic Co‑operation Agreements recently reaffirmed with the State of Kansas and initiated with the Russian Republic confirm our commitment to enhancing our partnerships and international trading relations and opening new opportunities.  In response to the recent trade mission lead by the First Minister, my government is negotiating an economic co‑operation agreement with Ukrainian authorities which will open even more markets for Manitoba goods and services.

      My government shares the joy of Manitobans of Ukrainian descent at the recent Declaration of Independence by Ukraine.  Many Manitobans have strong ties to Ukraine, and my government welcomes Canada's swift recognition of the new Ukrainian nation.

      The significant contributions made by Ukrainian Manitobans to the building of our province and to our way of life are typical of the multicultural strength of our province.  To ensure Manitoba continues to benefit from the diverse abilities and cultures of the multicultural community, my government will introduce Manitoba's first Multicultural Act.

      My government has also commenced negotiations with the Government of Canada on a Federal‑Provincial Immigration Agreement.  The thousands of Manitobans with roots in other countries provide us with a significant natural advantage in pursuing economic opportunities and investment abroad.

      My ministers will continue to concentrate their efforts on products, strategic markets and businesses that capitalize on Manitoba's strengths and provide our producers and manufacturers with a lasting international competitive advantage.

      Strategic business and industrial development opportunities have been identified in the aerospace, environment, health and information technology sectors.

      A new economic development strategy to capture opportunities in the telecommunications and information technology industry will be launched.

      A series of joint government‑industry sponsored initiatives to foster investment and job creation through communication technology will form a major part of this strategy.  Emphasis will be placed on the development of technologies and services to support economic growth in rural Manitoba.

      My ministers will continue to seek opportunities to build upon the growing base of health industries in our province.

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      My government will introduce an Industrial Recruitment Initiative to stimulate expansion of Manitoba industry and to attract new business to our province.

      My ministers also remain committed to economic development based on innovations in science and technology.

      During the next several months, the Canadian Space Agency will complete a Long Term Space Plan which will provide direction to Canada's Space Program over the next two decades.  My government will work with the Government of Canada to ensure that Manitoba's unique capabilities to provide support to this program will result in important and exciting opportunities for economic growth and development.

      The reactivation and expansion of the Churchill Research Range is a provincial priority, and my government will continue to work toward the operation of this facility as a commercial enterprise.  My ministers will also pursue other opportunities to establish additional space related high technology support facilities in the province.

      Traditionally, Manitoba's development strength has resided in resource‑based industries.  My government has embarked on reform of the legislation governing resource management and use.

      My government is acting to ensure that the proposed Conawapa/Bipole 3 projects are subjected to the most comprehensive environmental review ever undertaken for northern hydro projects.

      For the first time, funding will be provided to better enable interested parties to participate in the environmental review process.

      My government will proceed with development of legislation to provide the Energy department with a mandate to develop energy policies and conservation programs for Manitoba.  The proposed Act will embody the principles of sustainable development and reflect public input from energy strategy workshops held throughout the province earlier this year.

      During this session a new Oil and Gas Act will be laid before the House to encourage, promote and facilitate the exploration and development of Manitoba's petroleum resources.  This will be companion legislation to The Mines and Minerals Act passed during the last session, and will also embody the principles of sustainable development to ensure petroleum development fully incorporates environmental concerns and protection.

      My government is also committed to assisting Northerners in determining the best way to take advantage of the North's tremendous potential for economic development.

      My ministers have brought together individuals with a broad range of northern experience and expertise to serve on the Northern Economic Development Commission.  Through the commission, northern residents will be able to provide important advice on the development of policies, projects and programs in, and for, the North.

      Tourism is an important component of the northern economy. My government recognizes tourism as an industry sector with vast potential.  My ministers will bring forward legislation to ensure that the development of resource‑based tourism is carried out in harmony with the environment.

      My government will continue aggressive Tourism Marketing programs in concert with industry partners and corporate sponsors, to improve our position in the marketplace.

      My ministers will continue to work in partnership with tourism industry operators on a number of initiatives including an agreement with the other western provinces and the territories to develop occupational standards for the tourism industry.

      My ministers also expect to announce a new Canada‑Manitoba Tourism Agreement which will stimulate the development and promotion of new tourism products with international market appeal.

      Similarly, my government is continuing to negotiate a new agreement with Canada and the City of Winnipeg to meet the special needs and circumstances of our urban citizens.  Important new urban revitalization and renewal initiatives will be undertaken through this new agreement.  My ministers are committed to continuing the special training programs for urban core residents that have proven successful in past agreements.

      Highly trained and well qualified Manitobans are the underpinning of a competitive and growing economy.  My government has commenced efforts to ensure that our most valuable resource, our people remain productive.

      The WORKFORCE 2000 Program is in its first year of implementation and, in the new partnership, private sector businesses throughout Manitoba are receiving new and expanded education and training supports.

      A new Canada/Manitoba Labour Force Development Agreement will soon be finalized and a provincial labour market strategy developed to ensure Manitobans are equipped with the skills they need to compete and prosper.

      The importance of an effective and responsive educational system to the long term economic and personal well‑being of Manitobans has been fully recognized by my government.

      Many improvements have been made in Manitoba's educational system.  The process of educational renewal began in earnest this spring with the release of a new five‑year plan.  The plan outlines major initiatives in elementary and high school education, advanced training and skills development, and university education.  This renewal process continues and will be reinforced through actions during this legislative session.

      My government will give continued attention to elementary and high school education.  Vital areas to be addressed include multicultural, vocational and gifted education, sustainable development and violence in the school and home.

      The emphasis on educational standards throughout Manitoba will continue.  The first full year of implementing a provincial examination begins with an exam in Grade 12 Mathematics.

      By the end of this year, a new funding model for schools will be in place.  It will provide for more equitable funding, better control of funding levels and greater accountability.

      As announced, my government is committed to proceeding with a review of school division boundaries and a review of university education.

      Nous avons recu le rapport du Groupe de travail sur la gestion des ecoles franco‑manitobaines, groupe qui a ete cree a la suite d'une decision de la Cour supreme du Canada.  Nous l'etudions actuellement afin de determiner la facon de respecter la decision de la Cour.

      Mon gouvernement poursuivra la mise en oeuvre de la Politique en matiere de services en langue francaise, politique qui a ete presentee aux membres de cette Assemblee et qui a ete approuvee par tous les partis.


he report by the Task Force on Governance of Francophone Schools that was necessitated by a Supreme Court of Canada ruling has been received.  The report is being reviewed to determine how to comply with the court ruling.

y government will continue to implement the French Language Services Policy that was presented before Members of this House and endorsed by all parties.


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      My government will intensify its efforts to work with Aboriginal communities to improve education and training for their young people. These initiatives will include a policy on Aboriginal languages, increased accessibility to programs and enhanced participation of Aboriginal communities.

      Aboriginal input will be sought through the newly established Advisory Council on Native Education.


Social Services and Community Protection


      My ministers share Manitobans' desire to make our province a place of harmony, security and promise for all our residents.  Manitobans' capacity for caring for those less fortunate and sharing the benefits of our society seems to be without limit.  My government is committed to supporting and protecting the vital services Manitobans depend upon.

      My ministers are committed to maintaining and enhancing vital social programs for Manitobans who are in need or at risk.

      Tomorrow marks the second anniversary of the killing of 14 women at the Polytechnical Institute in Montreal.  This brutal attack stands as a stark reminder that all Canadians must remain vigilant in the drive to end violence against women.

      My government is marking this occasion by wearing white ribbons as part of the national campaign to end violence against women.

      My government has taken a strong stand against domestic violence. My ministers have acted on the recommendations put forward by the Domestic Violence Review report to give Manitobans a more responsive justice and social support system, sensitive to the needs of domestic violence victims.

      This year marks the first anniversary of Manitoba's Domestic Violence Court. The success of this innovative approach has drawn national acclaim and attention.  My government is presently discussing extension of the services of the Family Violence Court to regions outside the City of Winnipeg.

      My government will also continue to give priority to the shelter needs of women and children at risk.

      The protection of Manitoba's vulnerable and disadvantaged citizens is a very important obligation that is best carried out by a partnership involving government and care givers.  My government remains dedicated to making the best possible use of its financial resources to provide an effective social safety net.

      Amendments to The Social Allowances Act and The Municipal Act will be introduced this session to regulate municipal social assistance rates and policies.  These regulations, which are based on consultations with municipal governments, will result in more equitable benefits and treatment across the province.

      My government will introduce legislation to protect and reinforce the rights of adult Manitobans living with a mental disability.  This legislation, which will replace Part II of The Mental Health Act, will respond to recommendations from a review committee appointed this past June to examine protection and support services for mentally disabled Manitobans.

      Initiatives will also be announced in response to recommendations from the working group on community living.  The working group was established to examine ways to improve the quality of life and independence of Manitobans living in the community with a disability.

      Legislation will be introduced this session to establish an Office of the Children's Advocate.  The Children's Advocate will ensure that children in the care of Manitoba's Child and Family Services system are protected and well treated and that their rights, interests and preferences are respected when decisions affecting them are made.

      The Department of Family Services is proceeding with several important initiatives to improve the management of child and family services cases, including the implementation of an automated information system and adoption of a high‑risk indicator to help workers priorize cases.

      Consultations are planned regarding ways to improve the provision of child welfare services to aboriginal Manitobans on reserve and in urban centres, taking into account recommendations from the Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.

      My ministers are also looking forward to receiving recommendations regarding policies and procedures for reporting child abuse from the independent review of residential care facilities.

      Manitobans have an outstanding record of working together to care for each other.  My ministers believe that strong sense of community is a valuable resource in the delivery of health care services in Manitoba.

      My government will place a stronger emphasis on community based care by moving to provide a greater proportion of available funding to a wide range of appropriate services within the community.  My government will promote the integration of a variety of health services, including prevention, treatment and support. As a result, my ministers advise me that Manitobans will have more opportunities to choose lower cost but equally effective health care in the communities where they live and work.

      My government has identified five areas for priority action: cancer, cardiovascular disease, child health, mental health and substance abuse.  The health professionals who work in these areas will be asked to come together in a partnership to establish a provincial plan that will see delivery of these services through a better balance among prevention, treatment and support services.

      My ministers advise me that the Manitoba health system will initiate quality improvement by introducing the concept of Total Quality Management into the health care system.

      This concept encourages service providers to work together with consumers to identify and to bring about significant and affordable improvements to services.  My ministers are convinced this approach can have a major impact on improving the health status of Manitobans.

      My government will introduce the Manitoba Health Status Improvement Fund to provide incentives to Manitoba health care institutions which demonstrate improved quality and efficient services.

      A healthy environment is essential to the well being of all Manitobans.  My government will take action to ensure that economic development activities do not leave a legacy of pollution and environmental degradation that jeopardizes public health and safety.

      My ministers will lay before the House legislation designed to hold polluters financially and legally accountable for their actions.

      My government will soon finalize discussions with the Government of Canada to meet provincial and national objectives under the Acid Rain Abatement Program.  The modernization of the smelter at Flin Flon and significantly reduced emissions will result.

      My government believes all Manitobans are becoming more personally involved in activities that benefit our environment.  This is true particularly of our young people.  My government will continue to work with Manitobans to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the amount of solid waste generated by the year 2000.

      A program promoting more responsible and effective regional waste collection, recycling and handling will be introduced during this session.

      Unfortunately not all Manitobans share this respect for our resources and our wildlife.  My government will take strong action to combat the slaughter of Manitoba wildlife by poachers through establishment of a special investigative and emergency response anti‑poaching unit.

      My ministers advise me that they will continue to take decisive measures to make Manitoba's roadways safe from impaired and suspended drivers.  Legislation, already acknowledged as being among the toughest in North America, has been further strengthened to discourage repeat offenders.

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A Stronger Canada


      My government believes that long term national economic growth will be threatened without national unity.

      I am advised that members of this Chamber serving on the all‑party Legislative Task Force recently submitted their report to the First Minister.  Once again they have demonstrated the unique Manitoba ability to work together to produce a document that establishes the foundation for the constitutional positions of the Manitoba government.  Congratulations to the Members of that Task Force and its Chairperson for capably serving our province.

      The Task Force has recommended and my ministers have accepted a positive program for constitutional reform that will help to unite our country.  At a time when many are questioning whether Canada will survive, the Task Force heard a clear message from Manitobans.

      In the words of the Task Force report: "In presentation after presentation, a strong commitment to a united Canada was clearly voiced along with a belief that with openness, honesty and reason a constitutional bargain can be struck which will strengthen the federation and harmonize social relations."

      My ministers share this belief.  My government will work diligently to ensure that the Constitution protects the rights of all Canadians, reflects their values and is a source of pride, not division.

      For this to occur, the Manitoba Task Force and my ministers propose to Canadians that this round of constitutional reform be truly a Canada round.  This is only fitting as we approach the 125th Anniversary of Confederation.

      We must not only address the longstanding issue of Quebec's unique place in the federation, but we must also reform the institutions of government, so that the regions will have an effective voice in national decision‑making.  Manitobans do not seek, and will not accept, a dismantling of the federal government.  Manitobans seek a strong central government that is genuinely responsive, and fair to all regions of the country.


Aboriginal Self-Government


      In August, the commissioners for the inquiry into the administration of justice and aboriginal peoples delivered their long‑awaited report to the government and to the people of Manitoba. This study challenges all Manitobans to a fundamental rethinking of relations between the agencies of government and aboriginal Manitobans.

      My ministers are committed to working with aboriginal Manitobans to develop a positive agenda for change.  My government intends to address not only the concerns expressed in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, but also the whole range of aboriginal issues that arise from the policies of the past.

      My ministers believe that the rightful place of aboriginal Canadians as the original people of our land should be reflected in the Constitution.  My ministers propose that the inherent right to self‑government within the Canadian constitutional framework be recognized, and that a process be entrenched in the Constitution that would work towards practical implementation of aboriginal self‑government.

      The evolution of issues pertaining to Aboriginal rights, self‑government and related issues, concerning land and resource use, will continue to have a major impact on the development of provincial policies.

      Fulfilling outstanding obligations in such areas as Treaty Land Entitlement and the Northern Flood Agreement are high priorities for my government.  The co‑operative development of ways and means for addressing these obligations will be an important step towards the realization of Aboriginal self‑government in Manitoba.  My government has already embarked on a process of providing compensation to Indian bands previously affected by projects but not adequately compensated.

       Specifically, my government addressed the omissions of twenty years by providing compensation to local residents for disruption caused by creation of the Grand Rapids forebay.


Toward a Stronger Manitoba


      The challenges confronting the members of this Assembly in the year ahead promise to be no less significant than those of the past year.  Fostering economic growth, protecting Manitoba's vital health, education and social services, and joining with other Canadians to reform our Constitution will require the best efforts of each member of this House in concert with all Manitobans.

      My government will stand with Manitobans to meet the challenges that lie ahead.  My ministers are confident that, by working together, we can build a stronger province, create economic growth in our communities and provide a better way of life for our children.

      My government believes that by keeping taxes down and deficits under control we have begun to lay the foundation for a strong economy that is capable of supporting the many important human services Manitobans rely upon.

      My government has worked side by side with Manitobans to accomplish these goals and believes that this tradition of working together will be the driving force in building a stronger Manitoba.

      My ministers will lay before this Legislature a wide ranging array of legislation for debate and approval.

      Estimates for the requirements for the public services of the province for the next fiscal year and the public accounts for the last fiscal year will be placed before you for your consideration.

      Je vous laisse maintenant aux nombreuses taches que vous allez etre appeles a accomplir fidelement.  Que la divine Providence vous eclaire au cours des deliberations necessaires a l'execution de ces taches.

      I leave you now to the faithful performance of your many duties and trust that in meeting them you will have the guidance of Divine Providence in all your deliberations.

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      The civil aide advanced and, after obeisance, received the speech from the Lieutenant‑Governor and retired to the west side of the Chamber.

      The Mace then made obeisance before the Lieutenant‑Governor and preceded him along the east side of the Chamber to the main entrance, accompanied by the Premier, the aides and the officer escort.  All members and guests stood.

(God Save the Queen was sung)

      The Speaker proceeded to the Chair after His Honour retired from the House.

      The Premier proceeded to his seat in the Chamber.

      The Sergeant-at-Arms proceeded to the Speaker who was standing before the Chair.  The Mace made obeisance and returned to the table.

Mr. Speaker:  O Eternal and Almighty God from Whom all power and wisdom come, we are assembled here before Thee to frame such laws as may tend to the welfare and prosperity of our province.  Grant, O Merciful God, we pray Thee, that we may desire only that which is in accordance with Thy Will; that we may seek it with wisdom, know it with certainty and accomplish it perfectly for the Glory and Honour of Thy name and for the welfare of all our people.  Amen.

      Please be seated.  I would just like to take this opportunity to welcome all the members back to the Third Session of the Thirty‑fifth Legislature.

      On behalf of all honourable members, I would like to welcome all our invited guests here present this afternoon.

* (1420)



Bill 1‑An Act respecting the Administration of Oaths of Office


Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  I move, seconded by the honourable Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Downey), that leave be given to introduce Bill 1, An Act respecting the Administration of Oaths of Office; Loi sur la prestation des serments d'entree en fonction; and that the same be now received and read a first time.

Motion agreed to.


House Business


Mr. Speaker:  I wish to inform the House that in order to prevent mistakes, I have received a copy of the Address of His Honour, which was read.

      I am pleased to introduce to the House the six young people who have been selected to serve as pages at this session, and they are, beginning at my right:  David Andrews, from Kelvin High School; James Brennan, from St. Maurice High School; Nicole Robertson, from Stonewall Collegiate; John O'Neill, from Warren Collegiate; Ian Grant, from Nelson McIntrye Collegiate; and Geoffrey MacDonnell, from St. Paul's High School.

Mr. Filmon:  I move, seconded by the honourable Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings), that the Votes and Proceedings of the House be printed, having first been perused by the Speaker, and that the Speaker do appoint the printing thereof, and that no person but such as the Speaker shall appoint do presume to print the same.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Filmon:  I move, seconded by the honourable Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), that the speech of His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor be taken into consideration tomorrow.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Filmon:  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson), that the House do now adjourn.

Mr. Speaker:  Before putting the question to the House, may I inform all present that a receiving line composed of Their Honours the Lieutenant‑Governor and Mrs. Johnson, the Premier and Mrs. Filmon, and the Speaker and Mrs. Rocan will form shortly in Room 200 at the north end of the building and that refreshments will be served in Room 254 at the south end of the building in five minutes time.

       Motion agreed to and the House adjourned and stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday).