Friday, December 6, 1991
The House met at 10 a.m.
Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows): Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Alice Evans, Nellie Tesarski, Peter Tesarski and others requesting the provincial government to withdraw provincial funding for The Pines project.
TABLING OF REPORTS
Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table, pursuant to The Regulations Act, a copy of each regulation filed with the Registrar of Regulations since the regulations were tabled in this House in March of last year.
Hon. Clayton Manness
(Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, I would
like to table the Second and the Third Quarterly Reports of the
Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship): Mr. Speaker, the month of December has traditionally been a time of hope and peace, a time marked by special events and traditions like the unveiling of the cultural tree, which members participated in a few moments ago. To our horror and sadness, the month of December has also become a time of remembrance for Canadian women who have been victims of violence.
years ago on this day, 14 young women were murdered and 13 others injured at
the Ecole polytechnique in
It is with great anger and even greater sadness that we contemplate the terrifying reality of violence against women that was exemplified that night by the actions of one man.
Today, December 6, 1991, is a national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. It is on this day that all people, regardless of sex, race, religion and creed, must remember not only the victims of the violence of December 6, 1989, but all women who have been victims of violence and abuse.
evening, a candlelight memorial will be held at 7 p.m. on the grounds of the
the same time we remember, we must also, individually and collectively, take
action. We must move to change attitudes
and values. Unfortunately, unhealthy and
destructive attitudes and values cannot be eliminated through government
intervention alone. I ask all members of
the House and all of the people of
recently had the honour of meeting and speaking with the women of the Moose
As a group, these women said, we will no longer tolerate or suffer abuse, and they have made the first moves toward healing themselves and their community through the traditional healing circle.
These courageous women have gone yet a step further and have reached out to other people in their region to encourage and promote the philosophy of healing people and communities.
women of northern
We too, as members of this House and representatives of the people, must work together in the same spirit of solidarity and understanding to support and promote healthy and positive values and attitudes toward not only women, but all people of all races, religions, creeds and cultures. We cannot and we must not tolerate hatred, racism, violence or abuse.
and to our horror, in December of 1991 women in
No words can possibly express the intensity of emotion that the naming of these women invokes in me or, I suspect, in any member of this House.
So, Mr. Speaker, I invite the members to rise and join me in a minute of silence and remembrance for the women who have been and for those women who are victims of violence and abuse.
(A moment of silence was observed)
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I would like to remind our guests in the gallery that you are not to participate in any manner in the proceedings of the Assembly, even though this is a very emotional issue. I appreciate what you are trying to do, but it is entirely out of order.
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of
the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise to say a
few words on behalf of our caucus dealing with the December 6 anniversary of
the tragic massacre in
The white ribbons that we are all wearing in this Chamber symbolize our desire to speak out against the epidemic of violence against women in our society, be that violence against our partners, our spouses, our sisters, our daughters, our mothers or other fellow citizens in our province.
For too long, we have been silent. We have been silent about harassment; we have been silent about sexual abuse; we have been silent with the innuendoes that go on in our society; we have been silent as a society about battering, and, yes, to a great degree, we have been silent about violence against women in our society.
Each day, Mr. Speaker, women suffer in our society, in our country, in our province, unspeakable acts and are victims of unspeakable acts in our society. The sad truth is, as all members of this Chamber know, most of these unspeakable acts are committed by men against women‑‑most by men against women. It is mostly by men who know the victim in our society. So men, I think, from all walks of life have to join with women to deal with this real crisis and epidemic in our society.
It is men from all walks of life that are involved. It is a person at the plant gate; it is a person at the farm gate; it is a person in the executive suites. It is from all walks in life. Domestic violence takes place, and it takes place in our society at all levels, and the challenge is real. One in four women will be battered in their lifetime in our Canadian society and in Manitoba‑‑one in four.
I think today, we should all commit ourselves again that we will no longer be silent on harassment. We will not be silent on abuse; we will not be silent on sexual assaults. We will not be silent, and we will do something about violence toward women in our society.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to end my comments, and very similar to the words expressed today in the gallery from a quote from Judy Rebick, the president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women: It has been unusual for women and men to speak out together on men's violence against women, but if men make a commitment to change, then it is possible for us to be allies in ending this epidemic. Together we can break down the two solitudes: The end of men's violence; the end of men's control over women in society, and the redefinition of power will be an act of liberation for us all. Thank you very, very much.
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): There is an epidemic of violence in our society and that violence is primarily directed toward women. Talk, no matter how eloquent the words, is not going to change anything. It is not words that is going to affect the way in which society deals with violence toward women, it is going to be changes in the way society functions. The way in which society functions is reflective of the laws, of the regulations and the people who govern and administrate our province and our country.
We know, for example, that one of the major attributes of an individual who abuses a woman is that that individual, in turn, has been subjected to abuse and, yet, we have no genuine counselling, no genuine help, for those who when they were children found themselves in an abusive situation and are able to redirect their lives in a new way. Until we are prepared to put the dollars into that kind of counselling, there will not be an effective change in the direction of our society, and all the words in this Chamber and other Chambers across this land will not make any difference.
We have to change the way we think. We have to educate our children in the school systems throughout this land that violence is not an acceptable way to behave, that walking down a corridor and slamming another boy or girl into a locker is a violent act. If we do not change those things, Mr. Speaker, and if we do not dedicate ourselves today to changing those things, then the tragedy is that violence will continue.
So let us put the words aside today, and let us replace the words with action.
* * *
Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Mr. Speaker, I also have a statement for the House.
join my colleagues in the House today in remembering the women engineering
students brutally murdered in
must not, cannot forget the tragedy of that fateful day in
The war against women must stop. We must stand together and demand that enough is enough.
Domestic Violence Review, conducted by Dorothy Pedlar, examined the
administration of justice in
We have already set up a working group of officials from various government departments to begin the work. These departments include Justice, Family Services, Education and Training, Health, and the Status of Women.
A constant theme of the Pedlar report is that, while the response of the justice system to domestic violence is critical, the community must also play a significant role. Government and community must work together to break the cycle of violence.
The report recommended the establishment of an implementation committee comprising government and community representatives.
Community input is key. Our best direction is from those who are at the front line in battling domestic violence, people who deal with abused women and those who abuse them, on a daily basis.
Today I am announcing the establishment and the composition of the Domestic Violence Community Advisory Committee. I believe we have assembled an excellent group of people, who will assist us with their skills and expertise.
The members of the committee are Dorothy Pedlar, who will be the Chairperson; Evelyn Ballantyne, Resource Co‑ordinator for the Opasquiak Women's Resource Centre in The Pas; Beth Domine, Acting Director of Osborne House; Marilyn Gault, Chairperson of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women; Dr. Theresa George, President of the Immigrant Women's Association of Manitoba; Winnie Giesbrecht, President of the Indigenous Women's Collective; Waltraud Grieger, President of the Manitoba Association of Women's Shelters; Darlene Hall, Director of Ikwe‑Widdjitiwin Aboriginal Women's Shelter; Pam Jackson, Co‑ordinator of Evolve Counselling Services; Candace Minch, Director of the Domestic Violence Review; Chriss Tetlock, Executive Director of the North End Women's Centre.
I would like to express the appreciation of the government and of all Manitobans to these outstanding individuals for their willingness to help us confront domestic violence head on. Thank you.
Ms. Becky Barrett (
I also commend the government for realizing the need for co‑ordination. Far too often in the past, one hand has not known what the other hand is doing. It is vitally important if any positive work is going to come out of this working group that there be a co‑ordinated body within government. I believe that this working group within government at least now looks to be an excellent beginning.
are many gaps in services for women and children and men in the
We congratulate the government on this first step. We will be watching very carefully what actually happens out of the working group in the government and the working group of the women in this province that have been identified. We have seen far too often in the past where good intentions and a good beginning have not carried through.
This vital important issue, we will be carefully monitoring. We will look forward to working with this group and the government in this regard, and also urging the government to provide the necessary resources for the recommendations that this working group will come up with to enable the work to be carried on and not just to be another report. Without actual resources, human and financial, to implement what these women will come up with, these women will have done their work in vain. Thank you.
Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James): Mr. Speaker, I too want to commence comments by congratulating the minister on establishing this committee to oversee what we all hope will be the full implementation of the recommendations of the Pedlar report. I look forward to a similar effort on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. I am sure the minister will in time want to be consistent and that, as well, I believe would be a report that would profit from this type of initiative. This is a good initiative.
Mr. Speaker, it does, however, I believe, lack one essential element, and that is the representation of men. As we have heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) so eloquently quote the head of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, this is a joint problem. This is a societal problem. I believe that the committee will be hampered and the minister will in time want to reconsider having only women on this committee.
Mr. Speaker, the women who are on the committee are indeed worthy of being on that committee, and I too join with the minister in thanking them for their willingness to come forward. My only suggestion is that it misses the point that has been made so eloquently by representatives here in this Chamber and nationally today, that this is a problem that we all, whatever our gender, must confront.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Introduction of Guests
Mr. Speaker: Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the attention of honourable members to the loge on my left, where we have with us this morning Mr. Rod Murphy, the MP for Churchill.
On behalf of all honourable members, I welcome you here this morning.
also have with us this morning, seated in the public gallery, from the
On behalf of all honourable members, I welcome you here this morning.
ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the First Minister.
Since the last Speech from the Throne we had a number of predictions from the government dealing with our economy. The government predicted that we would have a 7.8 percent unemployment rate. Of course, we have not achieved that goal, and every month since the budget has been presented in this Chamber, there are thousands more unemployed than had been predicted by the government in their economic strategy.
Speaker, we had a number of comments and boasts made by the government in the
last Speech from the Throne about the economic record of the government and
where they were proceeding in terms of the livelihood of Manitobans. One of them particularly was that MacLeod
Stedman would be symbolic of the Tory economic strategy in the
to that statement, I asked the Premier a question. The Premier responded to me and said, there
will be 120 new jobs in the MacLeod Stedman operation in
would ask the Premier: How many new jobs
are there today at MacLeod Stedman on the basis of the announcement the Premier
made to the public of
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question from the Leader of the Opposition, with its lengthy preamble. I will attempt to address some of the issues in the preamble that he has put on the table. ‑(interjection)‑ If the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) is given the permission by his Leader to ask the question later, I will be happy to answer it.
Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition talks about the future outlook for the province. We are very happy to note that the Conference Board, in its projections as of October of this year, have indicated that Manitoba is looking forward to a 4 percent growth in its gross domestic product for 1992, which will rank it above the national average and fourth best in the country.
Despite the fact that our unemployment rate is unacceptably high, it remains the second lowest in the country, as the figures released today by Statistics Canada, and it remains considerably lower than it was when the NDP were in stewardship in this province during the last recession. It reached 11 percent under the NDP. It has dropped during this past month alone from 9.4 percent to 8.7 percent, and it is second best in the country, considerably better than under the stewardship of the NDP in the last recession.
addition to that, Mr. Speaker, there are other positive signs. I will say to the Leader of the Opposition
with respect to MacLeod Stedman, yes, we were happy that MacLeod Stedman did consolidate
its employment by moving jobs from
We hope that MacLeod Stedman, like other businesses, will be able to make their way through the recession so that in fact they can have the 120 additional jobs here that they were projecting prior to the recession.
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, I asked the Premier the question: How many people were working there? Did we have the 120 jobs?
the Premier explain why he would use a company like MacLeod Stedman as the
symbol of the Conservative economic strategy when a year ago there were 117
jobs in the warehouse? There are today 25.
There are no new jobs in the office building, Mr. Speaker. The headquarters and the money that has been
given out have resulted in fewer jobs in the
I would ask the Premier: What type of accounting is the Premier doing with the company that his government and he announced in a photo opportunity a year ago? What kind of accounting is he doing for the money that the taxpayers are giving to show results for jobs, not results that go down, but results that go up as he promised in the Hansard on March 8, 1991, in this very same Chamber?
An Honourable Member: Pretty accurate symbols.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, regrettably‑‑
An Honourable Member: Good symbol.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Filmon: ‑‑the Leader of the Opposition
persists in misrepresenting what was said.
They were not used as symbols of Conservative economic policy. They were used as an example of a firm that
was moving operations out of
fact of the matter is, if he wants to talk about NDP economic strategy, we can
talk about the 260,000 jobs that have been lost in
The fact of the matter is that the repayable loan that was given to MacLeod Stedman is one that is backed up by property security. We hope that the Leader of the Opposition will encourage MacLeod Stedman to keep their operations going and to keep opportunities happening in this province rather than attempt to take glee over the fact that they, like everyone else in this province who is in the retail sector and supply sector for the retail trade, are having economic difficulties.
Mr. Speaker, we will continue to work with every single business in this province to encourage and support their efforts to create improvements in our economy, because we think that is in the best interests of all Manitobans.
Head Office Location
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Again, to the Premier and, of course, he is the one who used the word "symbolic" in last year's Speech from the Throne, and it is his words, the Premier of Manitoba's words, 120 jobs, in Hansard last year in this Chamber. I thought the Premier would want to be accountable for his own words in this House.
would like the Premier to explain, what is the situation with the head office
now that we have an offer to purchase by Cotter and Co., a company out of
will this mean for the job situation in
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, I would have thought that the Leader of the Opposition would be happy that investors have seen fit to support MacLeod Stedman and to invest new capital to maintain its operations.
head office of MacLeod Stedman has been in
Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition may want to preach gloom and doom and may
want to practise gloom and doom. We prefer
to work positively with businesses by finding investors who are willing to put
Ms. Becky Barrett (
Can the Minister responsible for the Status of Women tell us what specific recommendation she has made to her cabinet colleagues, in particular the cabinet colleagues who are now in the working group just announced this morning, to strengthen her government's programs to help victims of domestic violence?
Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister responsible for the Status of Women): Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for that question, because domestic violence is an issue that is very high on everyone's mind, all Manitobans and all Canadians today.
I believe that question was probably written and thought through before the announcement made by the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), who just announced a working group and a commitment by this government to work with the people of Manitoba in order to ‑(interjection)‑ Well, I hear the word "action" across the way, and I think this is a very positive initiative and a very positive action by our government and by our Minister of Justice.
In the response to the ministerial statement made by the Minister of Justice, the critic from the NDP party did indicate congratulations to our government for finally getting a comprehensive intergovernmental working group together and a group from the community that is going to work co‑operatively with our government.
So, Mr. Speaker, we are making changes and we are, as a government, extremely concerned about dealing with the violence issue in this province.
Ms. Becky Barrett (
Can the Minister responsible for the Status of Women tell the House that she has urged her cabinet colleagues to begin the immediate implementation of the Pedlar commission report, a recommendation on income which talks about increasing the maximum allowable stay in shelters, telephone services as a basic need‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been put.
Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): The honourable member speaks as if Manitobans only just discovered that domestic violence is a problem in this province.
This government has recognized this right back to the days of Gerrie Hammond and the Women's Initiative, Mr. Speaker, right back to the days of the new and larger Osborne House, right back to the days of increased funds for crisis lines, right back to the days of the Abuse is a Crime campaign, right back to the days of the beginning of the family violence court in Manitoba, right back to the days since the new government came to office that judicial education has become a priority with the judiciary in Manitoba, right back to the days of a 47 percent increase for shelter funding in Manitoba, right back to the days of increased per diems and appealing sentences and attracting projects and the charging policy. All of those things have been going on since this government took office. That just did not happen today.
Ms. Barrett: Mr. Speaker, can the Minister responsible for the Status of Women tell this House that she has urged her cabinet colleagues to implement the specific Pedlar recommendation that states that mandatory programs on domestic violence must be initiated in public schools? Has she urged her cabinet colleagues to begin immediate implementation of that very basic important recommendation and not wait for another working group to make the same recommendation?
Mr. McCrae: Mr. Speaker, announced today was a Domestic Violence Review committee. A large part of that committee on the government working group side, composed incidentally of a number of prominent men including the Deputy Attorney General for the Province of Manitoba and the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Prosecutions and the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Corrections and police officials as well, who happen to be men, all of the recommendations have been looked at by the government. Forty‑six of the 76 recommendations put forward by Ms. Pedlar have been accepted by this government. The others are being worked on in conjunction with the Domestic Violence Review committee that I have announced today. The honourable member can expect to see significant progress in this respect.
Health Care System
Reform Information Release
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health loves a particular word. Whenever a member of the opposition produces another document from the Department of Health, he of course indicates that we are fearmongering. Well, the only person in this province who is frightening Manitobans to death about the future of medicare in this province is the Minister of Health.
the Minister of Health tell this House today why he is providing information to
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, my honourable friend from the second opposition party wants information. I have given information consistently through the media on the issue of the Urban Hospital Council, which is, I presume, the basis and the subject of her question today. Information that I have shared publicly through the media is the information which is available.
When the Urban Hospital Council has presented me with recommendations, I have committed again through the media that this government will take those recommendations from the Urban Hospital Council when received, deal with them seriously and make announcements appropriate to the recommendations, all of which will be done in a more open and consultative manner than ever before in the history of this province and replicated nowhere else in the Dominion of Canada with such openness and such participation around health care reform.
Regrettably, my honourable friend from the second opposition party does not understand the process, and ought to, Mr. Speaker.
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): Mr. Speaker, perhaps the associate deputy minister and the minister and the deputy minister do not read what they sign, but we do read what they sign. What they signed says, to date we have received final reports from the following groups, and implementation plans are underway.
the minister today tell us in his own words what implementation plans are
underway, since he is prepared to tell the
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, we have an implementation plan called the Urban Hospital Council, the creation of which was about eight or nine months ago. The topics of discussion have been shared publicly in this Chamber last session.
That creation of the Urban Hospital Council is what other provincial administrations are envious of Manitoba in having the opportunity to have your senior managers of the health care system participate in solutions involving the entire health care system, not individually taking bits and pieces of the pie as respective in individual facilities. We have co‑operation around issues.
When provinces ask us, how do you do it, we are proud of the Urban Hospital Council, the co‑operation that is emanating from it around very complex issues.
Mr. Speaker, my honourable friends in the opposition laugh at co‑operation in the health care system involving the senior management of the health care system. I suspect that that is not a laughing matter, that Manitobans would not agree with their downplaying of such significant co‑operation.
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): Mr. Speaker, can the Premier (Mr. Filmon) explain why the Department of Health is telling Saskatchewan that to date we have received the final report and implementation plans are underway for marketing health care to U.S.A. residents, when on November 19 the Premier said on CJOB, no, we are not? How does he resolve this obvious conflict?
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, on the issues that the Urban Hospital Council is dealing with, the Urban Hospital Council has received final reports from the working groups. Those reports are distributed, and they have been the ones that have been "leaked" and hence fearmongered by my honourable friend from the opposition.
Those reports from the working groups have come to the Urban Hospital Council, have been distributed, comments are coming back, and the Urban Hospital Council from thence, when they are satisfied with the depth and completeness of the consultation process, will make recommendations to government. It is at that stage of the game that, as I have indicated on a number of occasions to Manitobans through the media, government will make announcements appropriate to the recommendations we received.
Aboriginal Justice Inquiry
Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The
Pas): Mr. Speaker, as an aboriginal person and as a
Northerner and as a citizen of
What I would like to ask the Minister of Justice is: Although the throne speech mentioned nearly a dozen pieces of legislation proposed in the coming session and only one pertaining to the Child Advocates office from the AJI, why has this Minister of Justice not announced a single initiative or legislation beyond this point? Is it because the minister still thinks the‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been put.
Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Frankly, I do not think the honourable member's partisan approach to this matter is going to be helpful. I hope his attitude improves significantly, Mr. Speaker, as we continue to work very hard with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, with the Indigenous Women's Collective, with the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, with the Manitoba Metis Federation and with the federal government towards implementation of, I expect, a number of important recommendations contained among the 293 that are in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry report.
The honourable member, clearly, and the honourable Leader of the second opposition party, who made some relatively irresponsible statements recently about the work the government is doing with respect to the justice inquiry, cannot obviously have been listening when we made it known, Mr. Speaker, that there is a working group ‑(interjection)‑ having a little trouble hearing myself think, let alone‑‑
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Lathlin: Mr. Speaker, we have not exactly been able to hear anything, because the minister has said absolutely nothing.
Why is this government not following the lead of the City of Winnipeg and the RCMP, who are now both working with the aboriginal organizations and who are now by the way starting to produce results?
Mr. McCrae: Mr. Speaker, indeed, I am very pleased with the initiative taken by the RCMP and Winnipeg Police to work on responses to these reports.
know, it is interesting the honourable member raises the matter in the way he
does. We as a government are waiting for
the responses from the RCMP, from the
As I was trying to say a minute ago, before the honourable member got into comments on my answer prior to making known what his question was going to be, as I said, we have a number of government departments working together in a working group. As I have said, also, nothing in my department is occupying more time and attention than the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry report.
We have a minister's committee, a cabinet committee on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry composed of five ministers, which is overseeing the work of the working group and consulting with the groups that I referred to a few minutes ago. We are into our first round of discussions with those groups. You know, I just have trouble in understanding the honourable member. His comments do not reflect the feeling of the Indigenous Women's Collective, for example, who feel that the process that we are embarked upon is consultative and will result in positive results.
Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my last question to the First Minister.
I wanted to ask him whether he is aware of his colleague's decision to close the‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. In his preamble, the honourable member is making mention of the fact that his third question or supplementary question was being directed to another minister, in this case, the honourable First Minister.
I would like to remind the honourable member that a supplementary question is actually given to you to get a clarification of the initial question, in the first supplementary question in this case. A supplementary question, although there may be no debate on an answer, further questions as may be necessary for the elicitation of the answers that have been given within due limits, may be addressed to the minister.
extent to which supplementary questions may be asked is at the discretion of
Mr. Lathlin: Mr. Speaker, my last question again is to the Minister of Justice.
Why has this Minister of Justice not even announced that The Interpretation Act be amended to require that all legislation that has to be interpreted be interpreted in a manner that does not derogate or adversely affect the rights of aboriginal people as a start for an example in this work to implement the AJI?
Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): We have made a very energetic and significant start on the government's response to the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry report. I guess if this session lasts for 293 days, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member will have 293 questions to ask, because that is how many recommendations we are working through.
The judges themselves told us that it would be, in their first recommendation I believe, that six months would be sufficient time within which to respond to this report.
I remind the honourable member and tell the honourable member that he is not going to have to wait for six months for some government responses to that report. We are not going to agree with that recommendation, because we think in some cases six months is too long and we can make responses sooner. The honourable member will hopefully be patient and consult as I am with aboriginal organizations including, for example, the Indigenous Women's Collective and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs so that he can perhaps frame his questions a little better in the House.
Health Care System
Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
We have, Mr. Speaker, on October 2, a letter signed by the associate deputy minister of his department, Mr. Frank DeCock, indicating that he and his department have received 16 reports and implementation plans are underway.
We have a November 5 letter signed by the Deputy Minister of Health, Frank Maynard, indicating this government is advancing recommendations to close psychiatric beds and emergency services at Misericordia. Manitobans deserve and have the right to know what this government is up to.
want to ask the minister: Could he start
by telling us whether or not this government is implementing the recommendations
to sell health care services to American citizens and to close some very
important services like emergency services at the
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, a very short, precise, and I hope abundantly clear answer to my honourable friend to her specific question is no. The reason it is no is that, as I have indicated in a number of interviews with the media, that the Urban Hospital Council has not presented recommendations on any of the numerous issues that they are currently reviewing. They have, as Urban Hospital Council, received a number of reports from the specific working groups around the issues which they have forwarded to the affected hospitals and member hospitals of the Urban Hospital Council for feedback in a consultative process.
The answer is no because we have not received any recommendation from the Urban Hospital Council for action. When we receive those recommendations from Urban Hospital Council, it is the intention of government to deal with them very, very quickly.
Ms. Wasylycia-Leis: It is clear the minister does not know what is going on in his own department.
Minister of Health's Awareness
Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, the ministry of Health and the senior staff and all members of the ministry of Health are working very, very diligently to meet the challenges of protecting quality access to health care for Manitobans.
It is a task which is formidable. It is a task which is being met in the Province of Manitoba with the co‑operation throughout the entire staff of the ministry, from its most senior levels down, a co‑operative task with the senior management and leaders in the health care industry in the province of Manitoba in a more open and consultative manner than in any other province in Canada, bar none.
process of dealing with the challenges of protecting, preserving and enhancing
health care is taken seriously by all of those people that my honourable friend
will no doubt in the next ensuing months and weeks malign, but I am not part of
that, because we are opening the process of reform to Manitobans so that they
can have an opportunity to participate in very serious decision making. That is the process that is ongoing. It is the best in
Urban Hospital Council
Ms. Judy Wasylycia‑Leis
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, I will again repeat for my honourable friend so that maybe she has a little clearer understanding, there have been reports on specific issues from the working groups struck by the Urban Hospital Council. Those reports have either been rejected as in some cases and some issues because they are unworkable and rejected not by government but by the Urban Hospital Council.
The ones that are believed to have benefit and potential have been advanced to the member facilities for their discussion, their insight and their feedback. Then the Urban Hospital Council, having received that level of consultation from the member facilities, their boards and administration and staff will synthesize a recommendation to present to government. When that process is done, I will be glad to provide that report to my honourable friend.
Health Care System
Mr. Gulzar Cheema (The Maples): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.
minister has said, these recommendations are not part of the government. If he would take at least two seconds to read
the letter signed by his ADM, it says very clearly that these plans are
underway. Let us not blame the
bureaucrats. The people of
Can the minister tell us that out of this report a very disturbing line is coming out, which services are going to be deinsured during this session?
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, I do not know quite how to answer my honourable friend and his question without running the risk, Sir, of breaking the rules, which I do not want to do, and repeating the answer that I have given several times already this morning.
will be pleased to receive any advice my honourable friend in the second opposition
and my critic has on how we deal with the very formidable challenges facing the
health care system in this province. I
would be pleased to receive his advice as to whether we should emulate the
policies of Liberal governments, for instance in
Mr. Cheema: Mr. Speaker, we will give the minister
advice. He should first discuss with the
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for The Maples, with his supplementary question.
Mr. Gulzar Cheema (The Maples): Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us which hospital is going to be scaling down and going to have the emergency hours cut? Can he at least be honest on one aspect?
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
* * *
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I would ask the honourable member for The Maples to withdraw that remark. As the honourable member for The Maples is quite aware, we in this Chamber are all honourable members and the reference that the honourable member is making to the minister to be honest is actually saying that he is dishonest.
I would ask the honourable member for The Maples to withdraw that remark.
Mr. Cheema: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw.
Mr. Speaker: I thank the honourable member for The Maples. Rephrase your question, please.
* * *
Mr. Cheema: We are asking about the public purse, Mr. Speaker. We are talking about our taxpayers' money.
I want him to answer at least one thing. Can he tell us which hospital is going to be completely shut down, which is clearly outlined in this report? Can he tell us?
Hon. Donald Orchard
(Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, no, I cannot
tell him that, because no hospital is going to be completely shut down. That is a proposal that is circulating in
Mr. Gulzar Cheema (The Maples): Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Health tell this House what services are going to be capped, because this government clearly says that the services will be capped in the specialty areas?
Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Mr. Speaker, for the edification of my honourable friend, that is one of the issues considered by the Urban Hospital Council. When they received a working group report, they rejected that issue, and there is no further pursuit and investigation along that issue that was before the Urban Hospital Council.
Government Nursery Closure
Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, I wanted to direct my question to the First Minister.
question that I wanted to ask him was whether he is aware of his colleague's
decision to close the greenhouse operation in
Could he please tell the House whether he is aware of that decision?
Hon. Harry Enns (Minister of Natural Resources): Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member is very much aware that the full production capacity of our nurseries, particularly the Clearwater one in The Pas, is very much dependent on the successful operations of the Repap reforestry project, that, as we all know, we expect it will take some time to go through the necessary environmental processes.
encourage the honourable member's support for that process, partly because of
economic conditions relating to the forestry industry, but certainly the
requirements of seeding productions have been set back somewhat. The summer production that is currently
Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the same minister, on one hand, people were laid off in The Pas and the operation moved to Hadashville.
What is this government prepared to do for northern people by way of getting into federal‑provincial negotiations to perhaps reinstate programs like the Northern Development Agreement, the ACCESS program, a training program, and programs that were doing quite well for northern people in the past?
Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs): Mr. Speaker, I will try and be brief. It is unfortunate that the member would not acknowledge the fact that this government, unlike the government previously, provided for the northern communities programs such as the northern nursing program in his own community, that we have embarked upon a major initiative under the Departments of Northern Affairs, and Culture and Citizenship, that we in fact introduced a program for youth development, a major program employing many young people in the North, co‑ordinating activities as it relates to recreation.
I think our record stands clear, and we are prepared to stand behind it, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, I guess my final question will be directed again to the Minister of Northern Affairs.
All I want to ask him is: In light of Repap, with all the layoffs that are happening, in light of all the government cutbacks that have‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Question. Order, please. The honourable member for The Pas, kindly put your question, please.
Mr. Lathlin: In light of now, to be fair to people who have just been thrown out of work, what is the Minister of Northern Affairs prepared to do now for the people of The Pas and surrounding area in terms of keeping people employed?
Hon. James Downey
(Minister of Northern Affairs): Mr.
Speaker, as the member is well aware, this government has to proceed through
proper environmental processes, whether it is talking about Repap, whether it
is talking about Conawapa and Bipole III.
We are on a major initiative working with the federal government as it
relates to an environmental cleanup in the community of Flin Flon. Discussions are taking place‑‑major,
major activities that are going to take place in northern
As well, if we had had the support of one of his colleagues, the member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper), probably it would have had the North Central Hydro agreement signed by this time, employing many northern Natives, but it was their call, the northern communities call, not to continue major initiatives as it relates to the Grand Rapids forebay settlement, which we have concluded, which was totally neglected by the previous administration.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Time for Oral Questions has expired.
Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): May I have leave for a nonpolitical statement?
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable member have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? Leave? It is agreed.
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge that the week of December 1 to 7 is the Canada Safety Council's 36th National Safe Driving Week. This year's theme is Weatherwise‑‑Be Prepared.
Driving is an activity that most Canadians take for granted without thinking about the responsibility they take on when they get behind the wheel of their automobile. An automobile can be a dangerous instrument if drivers do not pay attention to their activities and respect the rules of the road, the power of their vehicle and the impact that the weather has on driving conditions.
Nearly 30,000 Canadians will suffer pain from injuries in a motor vehicle collision this month, and too many citizens will be killed on our streets and highways.
Wearing seat belts and ensuring that your motor vehicle is in good condition are two easy steps for drivers to follow to make driving safer. Understanding the impact of weather on driving conditions and ensuring that vehicles have proper tires and something as simple as an adequate supply of windshield washer fluid in your vehicle when the temperature approaches the melting point are all steps drivers can take.
would encourage all
I would like to thank the Canada Safety Council and the Insurance Bureau of Canada and all groups who are working to make the streets and highways of our nation safe for everyone. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
* * *
Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan): Mr. Speaker, I am rising in order to make a nonpolitical statement.
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable member for Kildonan have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? Agreed? Agreed.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Speaker, I rise on the first opportunity presented
to me. I am sure all members of the
House will join me in commending the people of
commend the federal government for its very speedy recognition of the state of
would just like to indicate that as someone of Ukrainian background whose
parents, whose father emigrated from that region‑‑and there are
many members in this Chamber who are of similar circumstances‑‑I am
overwhelmed by the occurrence of that particular event, a dream of centuries,
something that occurred briefly throughout the century in various periods of
time, but I believe now will endure for a great deal of time. It is something that many Ukrainians and
people of that background all across the world probably do not think they would
see in their own lifetime. I certainly
did not in terms of my understanding of
just want to add that I think that the history of the future is bright for the
* * *
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I could have leave for a nonpolitical statement.
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable the First Minister have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?
Mr. Speaker: Agreed? Agreed and so ordered.
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, in joining with the member for
Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak), I certainly on behalf of my colleagues on this side of
the House want to express, as the throne speech did, our joy in the
announcement of the referendum results for the independence of the
this year, as a matter of fact in the month of September, I had the very great
opportunity along with my colleagues, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) and
the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson), to visit Kiev and
to spend some time in a very emotional odyssey of attempting to make some
connection, or at least trace the roots of both my parents. As it turned out, I did not realize till I had
the opportunity to be in Ukraine that my parents, although one was known as
being of Polish origin and having been born and raised in Romania, the other of
course my mother having been born of Ukrainian parents here in Manitoba, that
their home villages were probably just about a hundred kilometres apart. That present area of
hope to have the opportunity to visit those at sometime in the future, but the
overwhelming impression I got in being there was the tremendous sense of
commitment to independence that the people had.
The people who we visited with, who we met, who we saw on the streets of
found that attitude to be entirely different from the attitude that we found,
for instance, in
We certainly look forward, Mr. Speaker, to perhaps entering into an economic co‑operation agreement with Ukraine and also to many more opportunities for Manitobans of Ukrainian descent to be able to once more rejoin in a variety of ways with their forebearers, with their fellow countrymen, with people of the same background and culture, in attempting to create future economic opportunities, both here in Manitoba and in Ukraine.
I also think that it is very appropriate that as we embark on what I think will be a series of celebrations for the independence of Ukraine and the involvement of Manitobans in that move to solidify their independence in their new government that we have today a Ukrainian choir who entertained us from Springfield who are in the gallery, young Canadians of Ukrainian origin in their native family costume, native cultural costume, who helped us in christening the multicultural tree today in the Legislature foyer, and I welcome them along with their parents and their teachers and thank them for the opportunity that they have given us to recognize our Ukrainian roots.
Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
* * *
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): Mr. Speaker, may I have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable member have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? Leave. It is agreed.
Mrs. Carstairs: Mr. Speaker, very briefly, I want to join
with members of the House in celebrating the independence of
I want to conclude by saying is what a difference an article makes, and I am
not referring to an article in a newspaper.
I am referring to the article "the." When I grew up studying Russian history,
everybody referred to the
want to wish all those who have never believed that this was truly possible, a
great moment of joy as they celebrate the independence of
* * *
Mr. James Carr (Crescentwood): Mr. Speaker, may I please have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable member have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? Leave. It is agreed.
Mr. Carr: Mr. Speaker, as members of the House know, we are now in the midst of the celebration of Hanukkah. The celebration of Hanukkah is a time when Jewish families all over the world celebrate the rekindling of light which symbolizes our belief in God and the victory of righteousness over tyranny.
What it means to us beyond the celebration of religion in our belief in one God is that families get together. They get together to sing, to dance, to eat traditional foods and to be together and to remind ourselves of the importance of our heritage and our faith.
As a Canadian and as a legislator, for me to be able to rise in this Chamber and to share those thoughts with my colleagues from all sides of the House is a celebration of Canadian freedom and the celebration to be different and to be yourself, a reason that my grandparents all came to this country in 1905 and 1906, to be able to be who they were in the spirit of freedom.
I say on behalf of my colleagues, and I am sure all members of the Legislature,
to all of our Jewish friends across
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
* * *
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable member for Burrows have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? Leave. It is agreed.
Mr. Doug Martindale
(Burrows): Mr. Speaker, on behalf
of the NDP caucus, I am pleased to join in recognizing Hanukkah, the Feast of
Lights, also known as the Feast of Dedication, which is being celebrated by the
Jewish community in
May the light of Jewish faith continue to burn brightly, and may all of us rededicate ourselves to the preservation and promotion of rights and liberties so that the Jewish faith can continue and flourish for many more centuries.
* * *
Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable First Minister have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? Leave. It is agreed.
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to echo all of
the thoughts that have been very appropriately expressed by the member for
Crescentwood (Mr. Carr) and the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale) and to all
of our Jewish friends in
MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
Ms. Becky Barrett (
Mr. Speaker: Before determining whether the motion meets
the requirements of our Rule 27, the honourable member for
Ms. Barrett: Mr. Speaker, it is with a great deal of shame, fear and concern that I rise to address the House today on this issue. It is truly a unique and tragically symbolic day that the first full day of the House coming into session is also the day that marks‑‑I will not say celebrates, but that marks‑‑a watershed event in our Canadian history.
have an opportunity today of all days to send out an important and a unique
message to the people of
The Winnipeg Service Providers have called on the government of Manitoba, and by that I mean all 57 legislators, all three political parties, to set aside a portion of today's discussion to reflect on, discuss, dialogue, speak together, and hopefully come up with some suggestions as to how to deal with this important issue.
seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that no one expects in this House nor do I believe
anybody expects in the
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say I do not think there is anything that could be more in the public interest today than talking, I hope in a reasoned way and within the highest traditions of the parliamentary system and this Assembly which we sometimes do not meet, but I would hope today we would be able to do, about the ways to end this dreadful problem, this problem that reaches into every home in Manitoba. It reaches into every department in this government that touches directly or indirectly every man, woman and child in this province.
So I believe that today of all days is the day to have this emergency debate. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Second Opposition House Leader): Mr. Speaker, I stand today to support this matter of urgent public debate because I feel that it is in fact very important that the public interest demands that the discussion do take place immediately.
Mr. Speaker, I say that with some reservations in the sense that earlier this week I did have a discussion with the government House leader in regard as an alternative to having the MUPI debate. Unfortunately with the MUPI debate we are not allowed to have the type of dialogue that we as a caucus feel is necessary in order to address so many of the issues that are out there regarding domestic violence.
The suggestion was in fact that what we do is have a standing committee in one of the committee rooms where the ministers responsible will be able to sit down, MLAs who are interested would be able to ask questions, put forward their arguments and debates, and in fact the ministers themselves would have an opportunity to say what in fact they are doing. We believe, Mr. Speaker, that that would have been more productive than having a matter of urgent public debate here this afternoon.
that, Mr. Speaker, we do support this and I hope it is not too late because I
am sure that all members in this Chamber would give the unanimous consent,
because it would be required to allow a standing committee so that in fact we
can have that. We have had reports, both
provincial and from the Social Planning Council in
Mr. Speaker, we all agree with those comments. I would suggest to the minister, and to the government House leader (Mr. Manness) in particular, that they do give some serious consideration in the next 10 minutes to allowing some type of dialogue more than just hearing arguments or hearing the debates and the concerns addressed in what would be 10 very short and brief minutes.
I believe that in fact what is necessary is for us to generate the discussion, and we can do that by starting it off. To that end, I would argue that the urgency of this particular debate do proceed because it is indeed in the best interests of all Manitobans.
Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader): Mr. Speaker, although the strict interpretation of our rules would not allow for a debate of this nature, today, given the significance of the debate, there appears to be, from what I hear, all‑party agreement to waive the rules and debate this very relevant issue.
Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader): I will not say anything more than that, but given the time, I would ask whether or not in your wisdom this debate should begin, whether or not there would be a willingness to waive the 12:30 adjournment time so that not only can we have full debate on the matter, but also that Day One of the throne speech day can in fact take place, and the mover and the seconder of that motion can also be heard today.
Mr. Steve Ashton (Opposition House Leader): On that matter of House Business, I just would like to indicate that our caucus is fully supportive and appreciates the sentiments of all parties allowing the emergency debate. We would support waiving the Rules to allow for the throne speech debate to continue after that fact and would ask that we not see the clock until such time as the normal process of having mover and seconder speak to the throne speech proceeds.
We certainly have no difficulties with what is being proposed.
Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, we, too, have no opposition to that. We would actually encourage and allow whatever leave is necessary in order to accommodate the one day, our first day.
Mr. Speaker: I would like to thank all honourable members
for their advice as to whether the motion proposed by the honourable member for
I did receive the notice required under our subrule 27(1).
According to our Rule 27 and Beauchesne's Citations 389 and 390, the two conditions required for a matter of urgent public importance to proceed are: a) the subject matter must be so pressing that the ordinary opportunities for debate will not allow it to be brought on early enough; and b) it must be shown that the public interest will suffer if the matter is not given immediate attention.
The business for the next several days before this House is the debate of the motion for an address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. In my opinion, the scope of that debate is broad enough to allow for the issue of domestic violence to be addressed.
While I am aware that members view the matter to be a pressing one, I am ruling that it does not meet the criteria set out by our rules and practices; that is, there are other opportunities for the matter to be debated. However, despite the procedural shortcomings which I have pointed out to the House, I note that there appears to be a desire of members to debate this matter today.
Beauchesne Citation 387 as well as past rulings of Manitoba Speakers take this into account. I will then put the question to the House: Shall the debate proceed?
Some Honourable Members: Agreed.
Mr. Speaker: Agreed. Prior to allowing the debate to proceed, there seems to be consent by members that the Chair does not see the clock until such time as the mover and the seconder of the throne speech have spoken, correct? That is correct. There is unanimous consent? Agreed.
the honourable member for
* * *
Ms. Barrett: I would like to thank all the members of the Legislature for agreeing to participate in this emergency debate on an issue of vital importance to Manitobans, domestic violence.
Domestic violence is not a partisan political issue. Women and children who are abused and killed are from every political view, believe in every religion, come from every cultural and socioeconomic status and from every part of the province in the country.
I would like to begin by quoting from the white ribbon campaign that has been undertaken, and I quote: If it were between countries, we would call it a war. If it were a disease, we would call it an epidemic. If it were an oil spill, we would call it a disaster, but it is happening to women, and it is just an everyday affair. It is violence against women. It is rape at home and on dates. It is the beating or the blow that one out of four Canadian women receive in their lifetime. It is sexual harassment at work and sexual abuse of the young. It is murder.
are some statistics that give us some idea of the scope and depth of this
problem. At least 1 million women in
women in rural and reserve communities are forced to return to abusive
relationships because there are no shelters such as
I would like briefly to tell you a story about one family, a woman, her husband, her children, and about our response as a society to their troubles. Sue grew up in an abusive family. She witnessed regular verbal and sometimes physical abuse directed by her father against her mother. She became a shy, quiet, withdrawn girl with no close friends.
In Grade 12, Sue met Bud, who was the first boy and almost the first person in her life who paid attention to her and appeared to care for her but also came from a violent home. His father who physically and emotionally abused both Bud and his mother left home when Bud was 12. Sue married him before graduating because, "He loves me, he wants just to be with me, and me just to be with him all the time."
(Mrs. Louise Dacquay, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair)
Bud first hit Sue when he was four months pregnant with her first child. That was only the beginning. He would not let her go anywhere, take a job, drive a car, make any friends or have any money of her own. This was Bud's love.
Ten years and three children later, the abuse had escalated to verbal, physical and sexual assaults, apparently at random. Sue and her children were virtual prisoners. The children, two boys and a girl, were also verbally and physically assaulted by their father. The boys were becoming verbally and physically violent especially towards their mother while the daughter was following in her mother's footsteps silent and withdrawn.
Finally, Sue had enough. She had one friend who when Bud was out drinking one night took Sue and the kids to a local safe house in their small rural community, because the shelter 20 miles away was full. Sue stayed in the safe house for two days, but when she still could not get into the shelter decided to return home, because she was afraid Bud would find out where she was and that the repercussions on her and her children would be worse than if she returned home voluntarily.
months later after escalated abuse, Sue and the children finally got to the
shelter. She stayed for the allowed 10
days, but because there were no job opportunities in the area and because she
was afraid Bud would find her, she and the children went to
Sue has no high school degree and no job skills. She was unable to find work and was forced onto social assistance. She tried to get into a job training program, but they were full. She applied for education upgrading, but those programs had long waiting lists so she remained on social assistance. She had no friends, no supports, no one to talk to and even no telephone, because telephones are not considered a necessity on social assistance.
did not go very well for the kids either.
Their behaviour problems became worse.
Their isolation was almost as complete as Sue's. The school realized they had problems, but because
they actually had not had a family crisis at least in
Bud had not given up looking for Sue and the kids. He finally tracked them to
Finally, Sue was able to convince social assistance that she needed a phone for safety. Sue had a block from Call Management on her telephone. However, her son called his father once without initiating the blocking procedure and Bud got the phone number. He was then able to trace her location and continue to harass her and the kids until his trial. After the trial Bud was given probation and told to seek counselling. That was almost one year ago.
is still on social assistance. The kids
are still acting out, although their behaviour is getting to the point where
Child and Family Services may be able to see them as a crisis situation and
step in. Bud has still not been to his
first session at Evolve and continues to harass Sue and the kids. This story is still unfolding. It is also not an uncommon story in
Sue and Bud both came from violent households. Their children came from violent households and unless we actually do more than study, monitor and decry this situation, it will continue.
is not that we do not know what to do for Sue, Bud and their children. There are good, solid, workable
recommendations found in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, the Pedlar report and the
We as legislators have an enormous amount of power and authority to make these changes. We also have the responsibility to ourselves, our communities and our children to begin now. Some changes are taking place, particularly in the justice system. However, these reports and the expertise of the service providers throughout the province are telling us that this problem is systemic. As the Aboriginal Women's Unity Coalition has stated, quote, violence includes abuse and assault, sexual exploitation, pornography, spousal assault, institutionalization of children, racism and sexism.
This is the systemic nature of this problem. Because it is systemic, all elements of our society are part of the problem, and all elements of our society need to be part of the solution. There are excellent guides for us to follow. We need education and training. We need for people who help children and families as well as the children and families themselves. We need economic programs to help women get off welfare. We need more support for our crisis programs, for our shelters, our second stage housing, our transition programs.
We need no support for the Call Management system without major safeguards being built in. We need more support for the current programs and schools in the community which provide services to victims and abusers. We have the knowledge and expertise in our province. We have innovative programs and services and recommendations for future actions. We do not need more studies, we do not need new programs. We need adequate support for existing programs, so they can provide services to men, women and children when they need them and for as long as they need.
and Bud are fictional, but the elements of their story are all too real for
thousands of women, children and men. We
as individuals and as members of this Legislature must begin the long hard
journey, take the difficult steps necessary to truly make
Hon. Gary Filmon
(Premier): Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to begin by
thanking the member for
It is more than ironic that as the Minister responsible for the Status of Women (Mrs. Mitchelson) said in her statement earlier this morning, the month of December has traditionally been seen as a time of hope and peace, a time of friends, family and special times.
years ago today when 14 women were murdered and 13 others injured at the Ecole
Deputy Speaker, today we will talk about the things that have been done, as the
Madam Deputy Speaker, our society will not tolerate violence towards women. Our government is attempting to take a tough stand on it, and we will hold violent offenders fully accountable for their actions. The Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) has said so. The Minister of Justice has imposed sanctions to ensure that that happens. Canadians must join the national campaign to end this violence. We must ensure that women can feel safe once again in their homes and on our streets.
solutions to the complex problems underlying violence towards women is
certainly not going to be easy, but it is of utmost importance that we all
become part of finding those answers.
Our government is committed to working with the people of
I also want to take this opportunity to invite all members of the Legislature to participate with us as part of the solution. As has been said earlier, it is not a partisan issue. Violence against women is a problem larger than any philosophical differences that our political parties may have. Ending the violence will take a serious commitment from all of us. Because this is not only a time to remember those who have been the victims of violence, it should also be a time to resolve to do everything possible to eradicate it.
all have a great deal of work ahead of us and that work has already begun in
some respect in communities and in government.
I believe that our government has a good record on the issue of violence
against women, but it is not enough.
Our most recent initiative was just announced this morning by the Minister of Justice, the establishment of the advisory committee from the community, people who are recognized as having a contribution to make towards a solution, to deal with the issues brought forth in the Pedlar review of domestic violence. I believe that this committee will do a great deal to help our government determine the priorities for response to that Pedlar report.
The creation of that committee is one of the 75 recommendations in the Domestic Violence Review. It becomes one of the 45 recommendations that are currently underway or in process of being implemented right now.
These measures include directing police to lay charges in all cases of partner abuse where evidence exists; mandatory prosecution of all partner abuse offences where evidence exists; pressing for bail conditions on all domestic violence offenders unless exceptional circumstances exist; mandatory education programs for domestic violence offenders at all corrections and probation facilities; prosecution of any domestic violence offender who fails to attend, participate in or complete the mandatory education program; initiatives to allow women quicker access to restraining orders; tighter enforcement of gun control laws; development of standard policies throughout the justice system to ensure domestic violence is dealt with as a priority and in a consistent manner; education and training of the entire justice system on the social dynamics of domestic violence; an expansion of the Family Violence Court outside the city of Winnipeg.
have had great interest from other jurisdictions in
These are the latest in a growing number of initiatives that we have been bringing forth in the last few years aimed at stopping violence against women.
In the Department of Education and Training a number of modules have been developed for students that discuss stress management and conflict resolution. Le Bureau de L'Education Francaise is currently developing a program for a study from K to 12, a discussion of conflict resolution.
In early 1990, a media campaign that we are all aware of was undertaken to raise the awareness of violence issues and make women aware of available services.
Counselling for offenders is available on site through Correctional Services and through the community group Evolve. While the ability of services for offenders does not meet the need, and we will be the first to acknowledge that, the government is aware of needs in the area and will provide funding as quickly as it possibly can.
There are currently 10 shelters receiving provincial funding. We have stabilized the funding and increased per diem rates to them.
In the past year, funding has been extended to six agencies for second stage housing. The Department of Housing has recognized the need to make social housing units available to victims of domestic violence in its special priority placement policy.
Having said all of that, Madam Deputy Speaker, all I can say is that there is much more to be done, and it is important that we continue to do as we have done by virtue of this debate, treat it as a nonpartisan issue, treat it as an issue in which everyone has something to contribute. Everyone in society has something to contribute to the resolution of this problem, to the eradication of the effects of violence in our society particularly, and violence as it affects women.
I certainly, on behalf of the government, want to say that we are committed to eradicate that violence and to seek solutions from whomever they may be presented and in whatever way they may be able to help us in this resolution of the problem.
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs
(Leader of the Second Opposition): I would like
to participate in this debate and to specifically focus on one aspect of the
Pedlar report. In Section Q, Ms. Pedlar specifically
addresses an educational response. Her
first recommendation is with regard to a school curriculum. She states, and I quote, it is recommended
that educational institutions in
She then proceeds to go on and recommend several programs. One of those programs which she recommends is a program that was introduced last year by the Canadian Teachers Federation called Thumbs Down, a program that I introduced by way of resolution in the last session of this House and which unfortunately the Minister of Education (Mr. Derkach) said was not needed. I hope that he has now changed his mind on the basis of the Pedlar report or that his colleagues will help him change his mind, because if we do not address this issue at the educational level beginning with our elementary school children, then I am afraid we are not going to change the very attitudes which are essential to change if we are going to make any significant progress in this area.
I have been disturbed recently at the number of teachers who have reported to me the incidence of violence in their classrooms, physical violence, verbal violence, mental abuse. I think that is just again a reflection of the society in which we live which says that use of violent words and violent actions is somehow a tolerated form of behaviour. We have to change that. The only way we are going to change it, I believe, is through educational programming and by supports for those who despite the programming have suffered abuse.
In terms of the experience which a child has today, one very interesting statistic was brought to my attention not too long ago. They were comparing the kind of television programs that you and I saw with the kinds of television programs that children today see. They said that in the first year of Dragnet apparently in the entire year there were only three murders, an entire year of programming. Now a child watches an equivalent cop and robber program on television, and they may see six or seven murders in a single episode and a number of other violent acts. That is the reality of what our children experience.
Some children are able to in fact evaluate it as make believe. Other children, unfortunately, are not. They think that is a standard mode of behaviour. I have to say that from my earliest teaching experience in 1963 to my last year in a classroom in 1984 I saw increasing violence, not directed towards the teacher in that case, but certainly directed from children to other children. What had become acceptable was a pushing and a shoving and a bullying and a targeting that I had not seen in my earliest years of teaching. I found a certain attitude on the children that they followed what they watched on a television program and would try that hip swing, or another means of violent act directed towards a fellow student.
Children act out what they see. That is why we see such strong correlations between children who have been abused and adults who grow up to abuse. It is not an accident. If they have experienced it in their home, they tend to believe that is an acceptable form of behaviour. The only way we can change that if we cannot change the home situation is to teach them in their other socializing environment, i.e., the school, that that is an unacceptable method of resolving disputes.
There are many very fine recommendations in the Pedlar report, and I know the government is working on some. We would like them to know we want them to work on more, but this is one in particular that I am taking a particular special interest in, and that is that I think we have to change attitudes. I think there is only one way we can do that and that is to begin in our schools. I ask each of you gathered here today to take that message very clearly to the Minister of Education (Mr. Derkach), that without those change of attitudes in our classrooms, tragically I do not think there will be societal changes as well.
Mrs. Rosemary Vodrey (
The issues of domestic violence apply to all of us, but domestic violence is a very intensely emotional issue. It sometimes causes people to turn away. We sometimes distance ourselves from this issue, and we say that it does not apply to us, but it does, and it is important to me for several reasons. The first reason is that I am a woman.
do not want to, and I do not like to, feel horror or terror or helplessness or
loss, anger or pain, but I do. I felt
those feelings two years ago on this day.
On this day two years ago, I was a student in law school, and there was
a tragedy in another school across
On that day, my classmates asked about the legal issues. We recognized what happened was criminal, but on that day we also talked about the human issues and the psychological issues. People asked me, because I had practised for 14 years as a family counsellor and a school psychologist, why did it happen? My business was to understand motivation. My business had been to explain behaviour, and I could not explain it. I did not know why.
The issue is also important to me because for 14 years I did work with children and families, and I sat with women, men and children, who in the time that we were together, revealed their abuse and also were in a period of healing from abuse.
During that 14 years, I also hosted a radio program. The program was called the Personal Help Line. That show was on in the afternoon at two o'clock, and the time was very specific. The time was one when women were often at home alone, when those people who sometimes frightened them or abused them were often not in the home with them. They could pick up the phone and for five minutes or a little longer break the isolation that they felt and reach out and talk to someone about the fears that they had and have an opportunity to maybe realize that their situations were bad. Some of the women who I spoke to on that radio program did not even know that they were in an abusive situation.
Deputy Speaker, today we know that abuse occurs within families. My colleague the Minister of Justice (Mr.
McCrae) recently reported a survey that showed Manitobans have a much growing
awareness of the issues of family violence and government can provide some
assistance and our government has accepted its seriousness. We have established under the Minister of
The Minister of Justice also established the Pedlar review which was recently reported. We have stated as a result of that, that abuse will be acted upon as a criminal offence. The Minister of Justice also announced today an advisory committee made up of Manitobans to review implementations and recommendations, but government can only assist communities to go so far.
Violence is a community issue. It belongs to each of us as Manitobans. It requires a change of our attitudes on the part of us as individuals and also on the part of communities. We must continue to develop our awareness of the problem. We must accept the seriousness of the problem, and we must begin to promote positive values and positive behaviours. We cannot as my colleague the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson) said, tolerate racism or violence anymore.
In closing, I leave you with two serious thoughts and challenges, the first is communication. We must let men and women know that we hear them and we believe them. Secondly, that we will no longer tolerate violence in our community. This applies to us.
Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan): Madam Deputy Speaker, I stand here today not just as a member of this Legislature but as a man, a father of two sons and a married person. Will any of us in this Chamber ever forget that fateful and tragic event of two years ago? Will any of us not forget the fact that we were frozen in time when we first heard the horrible events that occurred on that day?
death is too much. One death is a
nightmare. Twelve in
We always can learn and I was shocked to hear the comments of our Leader when he said one in four women will be abused. Even I did not believe, and I had done reading in this area, that it was that extensive and I consider myself relatively well‑informed on the issue.
As tragic as all of this is, it is only the tip of an iceberg. Deaths are just one horrible calculation of the tragedy. There are questions of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual inequality, poverty and pay inequity. The list goes on and on and on. How do we break the pattern? How do we stop the epidemic?
I too want to quote briefly from the white ribbon campaign document because I think it is very relevant: Men's violence against women is not aberrant behaviour. Men have created cultures where men use violence against other men, where we wreak havoc, where we wreak violence on the natural habitat, where we see violence as the best means to solve differences between nations, where every boy is forced to learn to fight or to be branded a sissy and where men have forms of power and privilege that women do not enjoy.
How do I ensure, Madam Deputy Speaker, that I do not have to attend or none of us in this Chamber have to attend another vigil out front of this building? How can I ensure that my sons grow up in a society where women do not have to feel fearful about walking alone at any time of the day? How can I ensure that when my sons, if they attend post‑secondary education, do not have to attend institutions where they have to have men escort women across campuses in order to be safe at night? How do we eradicate this scourge?
I am a legislator. I am supposed to be a lawmaker and I feel helpless. I agree with many of the words that were spoken earlier that what is required is action. I would like to deal with some of the action that has been undertaken and some of the action that I think frankly is lacking.
We believed and we called for on this side of the House and all members called for action in the judicial area. I was very pleased to hear many of the recommendations of the Pedlar report, and I am very pleased to see that the government has acted on many of them.
I do have one criticism that I would like to make just at this time on that. I think that many of the recommendations of the Pedlar report could have been instituted much, much sooner; however, we welcome the recommendations of the report and we welcome action by the government. We also welcome the establishment of a committee, but I again remind all members of this House that action, that the talk and the establishment of committees, is never a substitute for real meaningful action.
I would like to remind members of this House that we all have a duty to lobby at the federal level, to lobby our federal counterparts, to make changes to criminal law and to the Criminal Code to ensure that we have swift and prompt action in criminal matters dealing with violence.
It is too simple, Madam Deputy Speaker, to actually throw all of the solutions into the judicial area and to throw all of the solutions into the criminal area. Where are the resources which deal with children and people that can prevent a child from growing up to be an adult that would commit that kind of event? That is I think where we fundamentally have failed. How do we break that pattern? It is not just a question of being partisan or a particular government here or another. All governments in all societies in the western world have failed to deal with breaking that pattern.
Why do we have to lock up people? Surely a humane, decent society would have prevented the problem from occurring in the first instance. I am sorry to say that we have to lock up people, but surely, surely we could prevent it in the first instance. That means dealing with people; that means dealing with families. It means counselling; it means resources; it means intervention; it means a comprehensive approach. It also means we have to deal with matters like television violence, sports violence and the attitudes of men, frankly and generally, in terms of their cultural and sociological upbringing.
Some have even suggested that attitudes in the way that things occur in this Chamber reflect a kind of attitude like that, Madam Deputy Speaker. There must be change and there must be change in the attitudes particularly of men. I guess I again want to quote from this statement of white ribbon, the same statement I made earlier, because I think it is relevant: Men's violence against women is an aberrant behaviour. Men have created cultures where men use violence against other men, where we wreak violence on the natural habitat, where we see violence as the best means to solve differences between nations, where every boy is forced to learn to fight or to be branded a sissy, and where men have forms of power and privilege that women do not enjoy.
is important to talk about solutions, Madam Deputy Speaker. I want to comment about the city of
I commend the report and I commend most of the recommendations. I find it horribly tragic that in order to prevent violence against any members of our society we have to do things like build bus shelters that can be accessible to all so that the violence that is going to be perpetrated there can be seen, and we have to put telephone booths so you can advise as violence is being perpetrated at that time.
I find it tragic that we have to do those kind of solutions, but in the short term, Madam Deputy Speaker, we have no choice in order to prevent violence. It would be better if we did not have to deal with those solutions because the solutions were dealt with in the first instance through a caring, humane interventionist approach to problems of this kind at a very early stage.
I want to end on a hopeful note. It is something that probably has occurred to many members in this Chamber, and that was‑‑I got a telephone call from a constituent after one of the particular events. That constituent was a man, and he said to me we have got to do something. He said to me, me and the guys got together at work and we were saying we want you as our legislator and all of the people in the Chamber to do something about men's violence against women. I took that as a very, very hopeful sign.
I thought if that is happening then all of the debate and all of this effort has been worth it.
We in this Legislature have a special role. We must scrutinize every piece of legislation, every regulation and every action that we do to ensure that we are not becoming or contributing to part of the problem. We should look at every regulation and every action we do in here with this question of violence in mind at all times. I will give an example. When we are dealing with corporations or when we are dealing with government departments, we should be dealing with pay equity and matters of that kind to ensure that we provide equity so that there is less powerlessness amongst a particular group in our society, Madam Deputy Speaker.
We must deal with these issues, and we must deal with them in everything that we do in this Chamber. That is how, I think, in a very concrete fashion, we in this Chamber can do something today to begin the process. It is not too much to ask all of us to be vigilant this entire session and every continuing session of all of these issues and to raise them over and over again, not just one day but every day that we sit in this Chamber‑‑and in matters of poverty. Matters of poverty are clearly a factor in violence, and we must be vigilant of that every single day in this Chamber.
Finally, Madam Deputy Speaker, men must be part of the solution. I am very pleased to see that men are participating in the campaign. We have much, much further to go, and I only hope that my sons can grow up in a society where we do not have to deal with an issue like this. Thank you.
Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James): Madam Deputy Speaker, I have listened to many of the comments coming from both sides of this Chamber with great interest. I must say that I have found many of the comments enlightening and enriching, and I want to associate myself with those, in particular my colleague the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak), who most recently spoke, as well as the member from the government side who spoke immediately prior to him.
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
I am not sure exactly what I may have to add to those comments, but one thing that I did want to suggest at this point in order to wrap up comments from our party is that we should never forget‑‑and it has been spoken of, but I want to reiterate it‑‑that all violence is not only unlawful unless it is for the specific purpose of self‑defence. It is not only unlawful, it is in our tradition. I would suggest something we all agree with, it is an immoral act, and one which we must all strive to guard ourselves against resorting to.
Each one of us, I am sure on a regular basis, and every member of society comes across situations on a regular basis in which we become frustrated, we become angry. Every member of society faces those circumstances. Often on an interpersonal basis, they are the most vicious, and they create the highest amount of passion. Anyone who has had any experience dealing with domestic law knows that. There is nothing‑‑money‑‑nothing makes people resort to violence and extreme action and irrationality quicker than human relationships and human relations.
Mr. Speaker, we have an obligation as individuals‑‑it is true we have an obligation as a society, and we do in particular as legislators, but as individuals every Manitoban has an obligation to recommit themselves on a daily basis to that fundamental essential tenet of our legal system, and I would suggest our moral fabric as a society, and that is that we cannot tolerate resorting to violence ever in any circumstance save but one, self‑defence. If you must use physical force to defend yourself, that is the only opportunity any of us ever have, the only cause which will be sanctionable to resort to violence.
I think that has to be stated, because each member of this society‑‑we can do what we hope to do as legislators to put the appropriate people in jail, put them away. We can hope to do what we can to educate people but, fundamentally, when the crisis comes, each member of society has to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Violence is not a part of the types of responses that we sanction or we can ever sanction. If we do, if we turn a blind eye to it or if we tolerate it in any fashion, we will have lost the basis, the moral basis, for really the entire legal system, which is there to prevent conflict resulting in physical violence.
Mr. Speaker, we fail on a daily basis in the court system. That is patently clear. We do not act as the appropriate resolution mechanism for violence between people, for disputes between people. The bail conditions fail. People are let out under our system who should not be let out. People do feel more frustrated after an experience in court rather than less frustrated. Those are some of the recommendations which speak most to me out of the Pedlar report.
I appreciate the minister's commitment to full implementation of this report, because I think that as someone who practises in that area, as the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) does, we are legislators, but as the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) is as well, we are intimately involved in the legal system, whose goal it is, whose job it is, to deal with conflict. We have a job to do which is not being done particularly well at this time. Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged by the minister's spoken commitments to implement all of the many valuable recommendations in the Pedlar report dealing with how our court systems work.
noted that there were some criticisms from members of the bar on some of those
recommendations. I want to talk about a couple. Firstly, there was a criticism of the
was very interesting to me that judges of the
The other point I wanted to touch on was one which was raised by some of those who have spoken about the Pedlar report. It is also one which I have highlighted today, and that is the absolute necessity to include all members of society, male or female. Mr. Speaker, I think I am going to rely again on the words of the national president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women when she speaks so hopefully of the breaking down of barriers between men and women and the really hopeful desire of men to come forward and deal with this problem. I note the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) also raised that issue and put in a personal note about men who had called him wanting to do something.
To in any way send the message that the door is closed to men to be full participants in the process of healing and of changing is a mistake. I appreciate the minister's comments that men are involved in other capacities behind the scenes. The committee announced today, I believe, should not be taken away from. I am not saying members should be deleted. I think all of them deserve to be on that committee, and I thank them for offering, but it should be added to.
We need to add men to that committee so that men can feel not only responsible for many of these acts, but full participants in the solution. Mr. Speaker, I put that forward as a positive suggestion for the minister. I do appreciate his coming forward with this committee. I ask him to address that concern seriously, one which I would submit is implicit in the Pedlar report, that this has to be a joint effort.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank again members of this House for allowing this debate, which is particularly important to me, to all members of our party. We look forward to the very real changes which the minister is promising down the road flowing from this report. Thank you.
Mr. Speaker: Apparently no other members wish to speak to this matter. Therefore, in accordance with Rule 27, the House will now proceed to Orders of the Day.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE
Mr. Speaker: Consideration of the speech of His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor.
Mr. Jack Reimer (Niakwa): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer), that an humble address be presented to His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor as follows:
We, Her Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, in session assembled, humbly thank Your Honour for the gracious speech which Your Honour has been pleased to present us at the opening of the present session.
Mr. Reimer: I begin my remarks today by saying how good it is to be back here in the Chamber. I look forward to another session of your wisdom and judgment as you preside over this House. We know you will continue to demonstrate wisdom and patience in this Chamber as your role, the Speaker.
would also like to acknowledge my friend and colleague the honourable member
Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the Premier for giving me the opportunity to move the throne speech and put these few thoughtful remarks on the record.
Speaker, we all know that they are tough times here in
this recession has had some positive side effects. I believe the recession helped many of us
appreciate what we have a little bit more, our quality of life, our home and
our family. Yes, times are tough right now, but there is a light at the end of
the tunnel and, no, it is not the train coming.
The economy is only now starting to recover and good things are going to
some reason, quite likely basic human nature, we seem to insist on dwelling on
the negative. We have all heard the expression
that bad news sell papers.
Unfortunately, there is good news in
a politician, I recognize that government has a very real and important role in
helping the economy. We need to ensure that
our fiscal house is in order. We need to
work at creating an economic climate that promotes growth. Government must not act to obstruct growth,
but to promote it. In order to make a stronger
I would like to take a few minutes to put some of the good news on the record. Manitobans are innovators and that innovation translates into investment. This summer, Universal Robotics Corporation developed a tool for Manitoba Hydro using telechiric technology. A smart tool as it is called, it is used to grind out and repair holes in the large turbine blades at the Hydro generating stations. Telechirics amplify human manual power rather than replacing it with a robotic tool. The tool is rented out to the customers. This innovative firm of eight staff anticipate sales in excess of $400,000 this year.
Composite Structures Inc. recently gained certification to allow to repair and
remanufacture helicopters for the helicopter division of Multinational
Aerospectic S.A. based in
Affairs and Roy Legumex Inc., a pea processing and marketing company in St.
Jean Baptiste, hosted a peas‑and‑pulse buyers mission from five
part of the mission, delegates visited Woodstone Foods Limited in the
constituency of the honourable member for
I am mentioning
accomplishment in the aerospace sector of the economy is the $10 million United
States Air Force contract that Standard Aero Limited won this fall. Standard outbid five major
example of investment is Standard Knitting which invested $1.l25 million in new
equipment to produce lightweight knitwear.
It is expected that this
Also ID Engineering, a consulting engineering group which is in competition with worldwide firms, won the consultation project for an Antartic extension for the airport there which resulted in over $30 million in the economy. I know this represents only a portion of the investment and growth news on Manitoba‑based companies, but it is indeed good news, and I believe it bears repeating from time to time. It seems we have a very long memory for bad news, but a short memory for good news. So you see we have a lot of successful businesses here in Manitoba, businesses that are growing, businesses that are creating jobs and paying taxes, the taxes that Manitoba businesses and their employees pay, allowing us to provide human services for Manitobans, services that include health, education and family services, the priority services that Manitobans need.
As you will recall in our last budget, each of these priority services were protected and preserved. There is, however, a balance to be maintained. We must provide the services Manitobans need while at the same time protecting our children and the future generations from the burden of excess and unfair taxation. We must do that by keeping an even, watchful and mindful eye on our deficit for it is a fact that a deficit is simply delayed taxes.
this time of decreased revenues, we have chosen to reduce our government spending
while at the same time preserving and protecting our vital services. By providing these vital services and
watching our own spending, we can keep taxes down. By keeping our taxes down,
as it may seem, not all provinces are following our example. A few, but not all. Our neighbours to the east for example. The government of
The Ontario NDP government has claimed that the $6.7 billion increase in their deficit will save 70,000 jobs. Now, if you do simple mathematics, that relates to just over $95,000 for each and every job saved. We have to ask the question, is it being done?
I would just point out and like to read from one of the publications. I believe it is called the New Democrat publications and this is Premier Bob Rae denouncing the value of free enterprise when he says capitalism's ability to deliver the goods economically has been muchly exaggerated. As a political system it fails miserably.
the Ontario New Democrats with their $9.7 billion deficit: I think it is important for people to
understand that this year we had a choice to make, to fight the deficit or
fight the recession. We are proud to be
fighting the recession. The New
have to say are they winning? Well, up
to‑‑I believe it was an article written in May of 1991, 260,000
jobs have been lost in Ontario‑‑260,000 jobs lost in
will also point out that in
have to say, well, why would we want to compare
An Honourable Member: What is his name?
Mr. Reimer: Well, his name is Mr. Doer. What he says, and I quote from Hansard, I like Bob Rae. Do not get me wrong. I think Bob Rae is doing a great job.
will go on. If you want to debate the
is not really surprising because we must look at what the NDP record for
taxation is in
In 1987, personal income taxes went up again. The payroll tax on jobs went up. They increased corporate income tax. They jacked up the retail sales tax a second time, and they brought in the land transfer tax, and they brought in the corporate capital tax surcharge. It is no wonder that the Leader of the Opposition thinks the NDP are doing such a great job. They have the NDP philosophy on taxation down just pat.
also hear from the NDP that they are concerned about jobs. Like all parties, we are concerned about jobs
also, but we have to look at some of the priorities on which way they feel is responsible
job creation. We look at the Conawapa
situation here in
Well, I could quote here for you if you would like a quotation here again. NDP Leader Doer was definite on the positive aspect of the deal. He stated, the idea is good for the province, and said the contract will create major jobs. This was back in December of 1989.
must look also at, I believe there was the NDP convention here in
Funny you should mention the member for Rupertsland, because Mr. Elijah Harper, at the same time, on the same date in fact, came out with a statement. This was also a quote from the Free Press. Aboriginal people in the North want the training opportunities and the improved standard of living a development will bring to our communities. We have been told to wait long enough. We can wait until hell freezes over. The time for action is now. The decision should not be made by people down in the south. Same convention, same members. Where is it going, this way or that way?
Elijah Harper and Rod Murphy stated, we must realize that the Conawapa project
has the great potential to improve substandard living conditions that
Southerners will never accept‑‑Elijah Harper and Rod Murphy. It just keeps going on, and yet the NDP
Leader Doer estimated that Conawapa will produce 30,000 to 35,000 person years
of employment in
you look in the
would just like to point out to the members some of the contributions made by
the unions to the NDP party. There is
the contribution to the NDP party of CUPE of $21,000; there is the contribution
to the NDP party for the
Who is in whose pockets here? They also do get contributions from out of province. I believe their bosses from out west, the United Steelworkers of America, $25,000. That is the type of union, that is how this party is driven, the party that is supposed to represent the people, the party that is supposed to represent the ordinary person. The big bosses of the union, that is what is driving that party. It stays there and it will stay there with that party, because the unions are driving it. The party of the people is not there.
We look back on the leadership review that was done there with the leadership of the member for Concordia becoming the Leader, and it was a very small majority, a very thin majority. Twenty‑one votes is all that member won the leadership for him‑‑21 votes. When you look at the 20 members there, when we look at the caucus there, we have 20 members, but there must be a 21st member there who is controlling that caucus.
Who would be that 21st caucus member over there? Would it be the union member who is sitting on that caucus? Would it be the environmentalist who is sitting on that caucus? Would it be the member who speaks for the North, or the one from the South? With donations of such great magnitude, you can see that the 21st member of that caucus is the person who is driving that party, but at the same time, that Leader of that party only won by 21 votes.
would think that the member for
I believe it is a secret vote, but we may not know how she voted, but we do have indications, flashes of light coming from the other side of the floor when we see that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) was very concerned about the prairie farmers.
feel that I should comment on his great concern, because if you recall, one of
the tragedies that has happened in
I would like to go back to the farmers' rally on October 9, because at the same time as the farmers' rally was going on, there was a grain handlers' strike, a grain handlers' strike that was costing the farmers here in Manitoba over $36 million a week. We had the Leader of the NDP party, the Honourable Audrey McLaughlin standing in front of these steps here saying that she was concerned about the farmers, she would go to bat for the farmers and she felt that the farmers had a legitimate cause. Like I say, that was on October 9. The very next day in the House of Commons on October 10 at five o'clock, the Speaker asked for the vote to send the grain handlers back to work. What was the vote? Who voted nay? Right there voted nay. Blaikie voted nay. The NDP voted nay to send back the farmers. Her Leader, the day before, stood on these front steps and said that she would help the farmers. The very next day, less than 24 hours later, they are voting no‑‑
An Honourable Member: They voted for the union bosses.
Mr. Reimer: Voting for the union bosses. That was their concern for the farmers. That was their concern. Also, on October 1, who voted against sending them back to work? The NDP, Blaikie and Murphy. There we are. This is the type of dedication and commitment we see from the NDP. Hypocrisy by name is NDP. It just hangs there and hangs there. The hypocrites.
Mr. Speaker, we have across the way the NDP with all their hypocrisy, the Leader that is truly the epitome of being a hypocrite, but I must say that over there we keep learning about their newfound directions. The one thing that comes across day after day is that we have the Chicken Little syndrome over there. The Chicken Littles, you know, they run around with doom and gloom. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. They do have a leader. They have a rooster that likes to crow every morning in the sun. They have it both ways. ‑(interjection)‑ That is right. Work around with the gloom.
Speaker, in 1990, we made a commitment to Manitobans. We made a commitment to make
are now ready to move ahead. We realize
that higher taxes and spiralling deficits are the enemy of economic growth and high‑quality
Mr. Edward Helwer (Gimli): Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise this afternoon to speak as the seconder of the throne speech. I want to thank the Premier (Mr. Filmon) for giving me the opportunity to be the seconder of the throne speech. I also want to congratulate my colleague the member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer) on his excellent speech. He did an excellent job.
want to commence my remarks by saying it is good to be back in the House with
all my colleagues and good to see you back in the Chair, Mr. Speaker, as well
as the Deputy Speaker, the member for
I also want to say welcome back to Dennis Gray, the Sergeant‑at‑Arms and his deputy, Roy MacGillivray, the deliveries clerk, the gallery attendants and, of course, the message attendants, Denise and Kara‑Lynn.
A special welcome today to our new pages: Nicole Robertson of Stonewall, from my constituency, John O'Neill, James Brennan, Geoffrey MacDonnell, Ian Grant and David Andrews. I know you will enjoy your time here, and I am sure it will enhance your education.
Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes that the economy is a priority concern for all Manitobans. In fact, during the last budget we identified the need for careful spending in the face of a recession. As a government, we set our priorities early and kept our own fiscal house in order. Little did anyone know that this recession would be one of the worst to face this country in its 124th year history.
these trying and challenging economic times, there are positive things
I am proud of this government's Grow Bond initiative. By guaranteeing the initial investment in Grow Bond corporations, we have ensured that all Manitobans know it is a safe investment.
Recently, it was announced that the Grow Bonds investments would also be eligible for investments by the RRSPs, RIFs and deferred profit‑sharing plans. Grow Bonds allow Manitobans to invest in their own future. Economic growth at the local level can best be achieved through locally driven initiatives.
Initiatives eligible for Grow Bonds investment include manufacturing, processing, tourism, export service industries, environmental industries and commercial water and gas developments.
By helping viable businesses in these fields establish in the community, jobs are created, good jobs for local people. As the businesses grow and prosper, they and their employees pay taxes. These taxes go to provide the vital human services Manitobans want to maintain our high quality of life.
allow as many Manitobans as possible to invest in Grow Bonds, they are made
available in denominations of as little as $100. I am very pleased to see other initiatives
within this Speech from the Throne that impact specifically on rural
I am very pleased to see the right‑to‑farm legislation that will enable farmers to plan productive investments with greater certainty. The Community Choices Program will encourage municipalities to work with each other to make decisions about local economic priorities and direction.
By encouraging feeder association formations, we are assisting in agricultural diversification, value‑added activities within our agricultural economy.
farmers are facing pressures that they have no control over. International trade practices are attempting
to force farmers and provincial governments to compete with the treasuries of
the EEC and the
have taken a lead role in the past in stating our position at the GATT talks in
Recently farmers demonstrated what they can accomplish by working together. The impressive turnout at this Legislature this past summer helped to focus the attention of the entire country on the plight of the family farm.
More and more, Canadians are realizing that farmers are not receiving a fair return for their efforts. They are also realizing that the reason for the lack of return lies in the artificially low prices that they are receiving in the world market.
Farmers I know will be pleased by the launching of a comprehensive review of the Manitoba Crop Insurance. I am confident that this review will address the concerns of producers.
Any initiatives that provide more effective interaction between government and the people they serve is a good move. I welcome the reorganization of the Rural Development Department to facilitate a more effective partnership.
As a member representing a constituency with several very active recycling initiatives that I will discuss more in detail later, I welcome our efforts to promote more effective regional waste collection, recycling and handling.
Our government has worked hard to promote recycling and waste reduction. This new program will give even more Manitobans the opportunity to become more involved in their environmental future.
government‑wide initiatives that will have a very positive impact on
I look forward to the reorganization of the Manitoba Research Council into the Manitoba Economic Innovation and Technology Council.
am sure that this group's new mandate will serve to benefit Manitobans'
economic recovery. As well as
encouraging and promoting home‑grown investment, it is important that
With new business growth and development and with the growth of existing businesses comes the need for infrastructure and improvements, upgrading.
My constituency of Gimli recently benefited from a recently announced project under the partnership agreement on municipal water.
I know more rural communities will benefit from this agreement in the future. In addition, the rural economic development initiative will continue to upgrade communities' infrastructure to promote and encourage future economic development.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the communities within my constituency benefited recently from a sewer and water upgrading announcement, the multimillion dollar agreement that will see the Teulon system upgraded. This agreement will ensure that Teulon will be able to continue to grow for the future. The upgrading will allow us to attract more industry. While allowing existing operations the opportunity to expand, it will also help keep the environment cleaner for downstream communities.
am proud of the economic development and growth that has been happening within
my constituency. This past summer saw
the opening of our new Gimli country resort hotel. The addition of this fine facility further
enhances the vast tourist potential of our area and of the province. The new hotel is the showpiece of an $11‑million
harbourfront revitalization. The
attractiveness of Gimli coupled with the prospect of major competence and a short
As we know, one business venture will often result in spin‑off ventures or complementary businesses forming, and our new hotel has already seen such an effect. A new store, the Bayside Boutique, recently opened its doors within the country resort hotel.
Gimli constituency has also benefited from the Manitoba Community Places
Program. Most recently funding was
granted to allow the Association for
Another grant will assist the Teulon Rockwood Arena with renovations to the arena. In addition to providing funding for community projects, these grants will create a number of jobs in these communities.
this year, grants assisted with renovations to the Don Harvard co‑operative
community club, helped the Kinsmen Club of Gimli perform playground
I mentioned the environment and how proud I am about the projects underway in
my constituency. In the town of
In Teulon, the environmental awareness project consisted of the construction of recycling bins and a community cleanup event.
Teens against drug and alcohol abuse organized this program. The Teulon and area Advocates for Active Living run a program called Feathered Friends, which involves preserving bird habitat and encouraging safe personal, family and community environmental practices. The local Beavers, Cubs, Brownies and Girl Guide clubs helped to participate in this program.
In Gimli, eight to 10 disabled youths from Cornerstone Enterprises construct compost bins and blue boxes for the cottage community in our area.
Both Gimli's elementary and high school have environmental councils which involve youths participating in the captive rearing of four peregrine falcons which were released once they had fledged.
Education is an important issue in Gimli as it is in all parts of the province. The constituents of Gimli recently participated in the province‑wide discussion on education. When the panels travelled to our constituency, there was a very large turnout of constituents concerned with the curriculum review.
have been recent additions to the schools within our constituency. The
Our government has demonstrated its continued commitment to mobility disadvantaged Manitobans and the Gimli constituency by providing grants for handi‑van service to Teulon, Gimli and Stonewall.
Stonewall will also see a new 15‑bed hospital in the near future. I look forward to participating in the sod turning with our Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) this spring. Stonewall's personal care home will soon see a 20‑bed addition and renovations to the existing facility.
am very proud of the health care facilities in the Gimli constituency and in
of my constituents often travel to and from
Another vital communication link is our telephone service. Recently the Manitoba Telephone System installed individual line service in our constituency. This allows us to gain more privacy, enhanced access, Call Waiting, answering machine and fax capabilities and the addition of many of the other services that were not previously available. The new individual line service also has many business advantages.
Community Calling program is another aspect of the Manitoba Telephone System
Service for the Future program. The Community
Calling program introduced wider calling areas.
Gimli residents can now benefit from calling Fraserwood, Teulon,
Before I close, I would like to acknowledge some very special people within my constituency. Recently one of my constituents received recognition as a recipient of one of the crime prevention awards. Judy McKinnon, an employee of Family Services in Gimli, organized the See Red, Say No campaign. This drug awareness campaign for the Interlake involved about 100 volunteers in 14 communities. The volunteers included the RCMP, high school students, local pharmacists and the general public. The project took place during drug awareness week. Students were encouraged to put the red ribbons on trees in their communities and send the "no" message.
also wrote a feature article for the
would like to salute our volunteer firefighters also for their dedication and
devotion to our communities. In the
Gimli constituency, there are seven volunteer fire departments. In 1990, there were some 131 active members
of these volunteer fire departments. The
departments are located in Gimli,
Time and time again, Manitobans have risen above adversity to not only survive but prosper. There are those on the other side, of course, of the House who seem to relish the opportunity to tell Manitobans how bad it is, that things are only going to get a lot worse. I reject that kind of thinking and that kind of talk. We must help Manitobans to help themselves.
Our people know that they are the masters of their own destiny. We as the government have and will continue to implement programs to foster and to motivate growth and prosperity, but Manitobans know it is they who will ultimately create the solutions.
As a government, we have set out our plans to promote and encourage economic development and recovery. By working together with government, Manitobans will create economic development within their own communities. It does not take more government to find solutions. It takes smarter government, working with the natural creativity and innovation that Manitobans already possess.
am confident that by working together, we will build a stronger
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): I move, seconded by the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie), that the debate now be adjourned.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker: The hour being after 12:30, this House is now adjourned and stands adjourned until l:30 p.m., Monday.