Monday, December 9, 1991
The House met at 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows): Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Mitch Podolak, Ava Kobrinsky, T. H. Sparling and others, requesting the provincial government to withdraw provincial funding for The Pines project.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Burrows, I have reviewed the petition and it conforms with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules. Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?
petition of the undersigned citizens of the
THAT to risk the jobs of the hundreds of people who are employed at the airport is not in the best interests of the community.
THAT "The Pines" project will inhibit riverbank access to the general public.
THAT the strip mall portion of "The Pines" project will give a foothold to commercial development which is incompatible with the residential nature of the neighbourhood.
WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that
the Legislature of the
AND as in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray.
Hon. James Downey (Minister of Rural Development): Mr. Speaker, I have a ministerial statement to make, and I have copies for the members of the opposition.
Mr. Speaker, as the minister responsible for Rural Development, I am pleased to share with members of the Legislature in the announcement of the formation of the first Manitoba Rural Development Bond Corporation, an announcement that I am sure will be the first of many.
July of this year, the government of
Rural Manitobans share a tradition of hard work, achievement and success, and with the spirit of working together, they will continue to grow.
We have always approached difficult situations with creativity and ingenuity. Rural Manitobans are known for their ability to survive and adapt, and we must change to survive.
economy has long been dependent on agriculture and related industries. Agriculture will always be at the heart of
However, we must diversify. The saying, "don't put all your eggs in
one basket," is more appropriate now than ever before, and so our
government set a challenge for the people of rural
This innovative program offers rural Manitobans the opportunity to invest in the future of their communities and this province and the chance to share in the economic growth of their communities through the generation of local business opportunities.
Having taken the first step and met the criteria of the act and regulations that allow for formation of a bond corporation, the Alco Rural Development Bond Corporation will now proceed through the normal review process of its proposal and business plan.
I am delighted that the town and people of Morden have lent their support to the formation of this corporation. I look forward to following the progress of this community‑based and locally driven investment vehicle.
Since October 21, 1991, the Grow Bond office has received 275 enquiries and sent out 260 information packages to individuals and businesses. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (
I hope that we will see other communities who can take advantage of these bonds, and I hope that the government will work along with communities, but the real question is the agriculture community. I hope that the government can show leadership in the agriculture community as well to help the farmers stay on the land so that they can afford to invest in these bonds.
Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): Oui, Monsieur le president, il me fait plaisir de repondre a cette annonce aujourd'hui, surtout au nom du rural. J'aimerais premierement feliciter le village de Morden d'avoir pris cette premiere initiative et de vouloir mettre en vigueur ce programme afin de developper le rural. L'on sait qu'ils ont des problemes et qu'on doit les supporter.
Mais, premierement j'aimerais feliciter le gouvernement d'avoir pris l'initiative "liberale" que Madame Carstairs, la cheffe liberale, avait mentionne auparavant, et qui avait ete ridiculisee peut‑etre par les Conservateurs a un moment. Mais je les felicite d'avoir pris cette initiative. Je le dis positivement car je ne suis pas une personne negative, alors je felicite le gouvernement de l'avoir fait. Puis on a toujours dit des le debut qu'on les supporterait et qu'on continuerait a les supporter. Mais la chose importante qui sera a voir dans les estimes, c'est qu'est‑ce que cela va apporter pour le rural, puis qu'est‑ce que cela coute au gouvernement pour la publicite? Il y aura la certainement des questions a demander lors des estimes.
Mais, en terminant j'aimerais feliciter encore le gouvernement et le village de Morden d'avoir pris cette initiative, le premier a le faire.
Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): Yes, Mr. Speaker, it
is my pleasure to respond to today's announcement, especially on behalf of
rural people. In the first place, I
would like to congratulate the town of
I would first like to congratulate the government for undertaking this "liberal" initiative that Mrs. Carstairs, the Liberal Leader, had proposed in the past and which had perhaps been ridiculed by the Conservatives at one time. Yet I do congratulate them for this initiative, and I say it positively because I am not a negative person, so I congratulate the government for having done it. We have always said from the start that we would support them and that we would continue to support them. The important thing is to see during Estimates what that will mean for the rural areas and what it is costing the government for advertising. There will certainly be some questions to ask about that during Estimates.
In conclusion, I would
like to congratulate the government and the Town of
Introduction of Guests
Mr. Speaker: Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the
attention of honourable members to the gallery where we have with us this
afternoon from the
Also this afternoon from the
On behalf of all honourable members, I welcome you here this afternoon.
ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the First Minister.
Last year in dealing with the government's
economic blueprint in the Budget Address the government stated clearly that we
are confident that this government's fiscal strategy will result in more jobs
and higher incomes for Manitobans. We
already know about the job situation in the
would ask the Premier, in light of his government's predictions on incomes, why
Hon. Gary Filmon
(Premier): Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition
obviously has not been following the farm economy at all. He was there at the farm rally a month and a
half ago, but he was not listening and he did not care. We understand that, because the Leader of the
Opposition obviously does not care about people who are outside the city of
Speaker, the fact of the matter is that
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, the member for Radisson (Ms.
Cerilli) prefers to have negative images of
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I would remind the honourable First Minister to deal with the matter raised.
Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, because the Premier did not deal
with the matter raised, I would also suggest that members opposite, while they
are clapping, look at the fact that
Speaker, can the Premier explain to the people of
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, in addition to the good news
about manufacturing employment being up in this province this year over last
year, one of the few provinces in the country in which that is happening‑‑in
fact, it is well above the national average‑‑Canada as a whole has
declined by 4.3 percent in manufacturing employment while we are up almost 2
percent in manufacturing employment during that period of time. That is good news. In addition to that, of course, the
Conference Board of
am sure that the member for Concordia (Mr. Doer) will be very interested in
knowing that today
Point of Order
Mr. Steve Ashton
(Opposition House Leader): Mr. Speaker, our
time in Question Period is indeed limited, and our rules are very clear that
answers must relate to the question that was raised. If the minister does not
want to answer the question of the Leader of the Opposition, that is his
option, but he should not get up and avoid the fact of the question which we
have asked, and that is: Why has labour
income dropped in
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. On the point of order raised, Beauchesne 410 (3), time is extremely scarce. Brevity both in questions and answers is of great importance.
* * *
Mr. Doer: Well, Mr. Speaker, as the member for Crescentwood
(Mr. Carr)‑‑and I do not want to be Joe Biden here and take
anybody's words. He just said, that is
the same answer that George Bush has given to the people of
asked the Premier a specific question.
Can he explain to the people of
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, wages are negotiated between management and labour. Wages are negotiated between the people who pay and the people who collect. The fact of the matter is that we are looking to create new opportunities, and we are looking for new investment. We are working very hard to do that, and we are having some modest degree of success.
I am sure that we will have more success so that the New Democrats can be very unhappy later in the session as more announcements are made, such as Apotex today, in which they have announced $20 million protecting some 60 jobs and creating another 100 jobs. Those are high‑tech jobs. Those are jobs of good calibre and good‑paying jobs. That is the good news that we are concentrating on so that we can give the Leader of the Opposition more grief and more unhappiness later in the session.
Mr. Daryl Reid
(Transcona): Mr. Speaker, recent
reports have indicated that CN may transfer thousands of jobs to
Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation): Mr. Speaker, first of all, I want to thank the member for asking that question. I think it raises the fact that transportation is very important to this province.
The NDP opposition party is basically funded by the unions and is given directions by the unions, and, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) gets his direction from the unions as well. The member for Transcona, I believe, has been a union steward for the last 10 years or something like that. It is this party, when they were in power, that let the meat packing industry totally get out of this province, losing virtually hundreds and hundreds of union jobs‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Point of Order
Mr. Steve Ashton (Opposition House Leader): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I would like to emphasize again and ask you to call the minister to order. Our rules are very clear that answers to questions should relate to the matter raised. Perhaps the minister did not have his earphone working at the time, but he was asked very specific questions about the transportation industry. We would like to hear an answer on the very specific question.
Mr. Speaker: On the point of order raised, I would like to remind the honourable minister of Beauchesne's 417. "Answers to questions should be as brief as possible, deal with the matter raised and should not provoke debate."
Mr. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I am proud of my relationship with the employees of CN.
Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona): Mr. Speaker, given that CN has significantly reduced its workload in its Transcona main shops for 1992, which in past years has been‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member for Transcona, kindly put your question now, please.
Mr. Reid: My question for the Premier (Mr. Filmon), Mr. Speaker, is: Has CN informed the Premier of its intention to lay off another 100‑plus Manitobans from their railway jobs early in the new year?
Hon. Albert Driedger
(Minister of Highways and Transportation): Mr. Speaker, in the last three weeks, I
have had the occasion to meet with the chairman of the CN board, who had the
occasion to meet with the federal Minister of Transport, Mr. Corbeil. I have raised the issues of the rumours that
have been coming out from time to time, and in many cases, we have been chasing
down these rumours and find that some of the information is not factual.
However, I want to indicate that I am very concerned about any job losses in
I have raised these issues with the federal minister as well as with CN, and Mr. Speaker, we will continue to do that.
Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona): My final supplementary is to the Premier.
Can the Premier ‑(interjection)‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member for Transcona has the floor.
Mr. Reid: Can the Premier explain to the House and to
all Manitobans why he has stood by on the sidelines on the issues of declining
railway employment in this province and the
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been put.
Hon. Gary Filmon
(Premier): Mr. Speaker, I might say that I have indeed
met with the chairman of the CN during the past six months, with senior
officers of the corporation throughout western
Mr. Speaker, there have been responses that have been made public by CN to counter the false allegations and rumours that have been fostered by the member for Transcona, and I think it is unfortunate that he is doing that. He may think that that is in his political interest, but it is not in the interests of the workers of CN.
Anishinaabe Child and Family Services
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): Mr. Speaker, where there is an economic downturn, the effect is those vulnerable Manitobans who find themselves out of work or suffering from low incomes. Those people find themselves at the doors of the Child and Family Services agencies of this province. Unfortunately, the Minister of Family Services tends to make his decisions himself and in secrecy.
Can the minister today tell this House why he acted unilaterally and without consultation by changing the funding to the Anishinaabe Family Services agency, and how does he expect them to operate with $114,000 less in their budget?
Hon. Harold Gilleshammer
(Minister of Family Services): Mr.
Speaker, we have a very complex and comprehensive system of Child and Family
Services agencies in the
three regions we have Child and Family Services agencies with a board, and of
course we have the development over the last decade and more of the Native
Child and Family Services agencies within the
of them is jurisdiction and the responsibility for Native children throughout
the province. When they are from a
specific reserve, we have agencies that are responsible for the reserve‑based
care of those children. When they are
off reserve and within the city of
I believe the member is referring to the funding that agencies receive from this government for the supervision of Native children when they are off reserve. We are certainly in consultation with those agencies on a number of issues and we are in consultation with the federal government as well for what we feel are the government's primary‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mrs. Carstairs: Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell the House today why a funding formula and a supervision fee was transferred into an administrative fee without any consultation with the agency and was received by the agency in letter form just days after they had met with officials of this department, who let them know nothing about this change.
Mr. Gilleshammer: We are meeting with the agencies on a regular basis to discuss a number of issues, and we will flow information on decision making to the agencies in a timely fashion. If the member is asking us to make information known to the agencies prior to the finalizing of the details, we are not in a position to do that. We are working with those agencies and with the federal government to provide the best possible service for the Native children who come into supervision, whether it be on the reserves or whether it be within the areas of provincial jurisdiction, and we will work with the agencies to see that they have sufficient funding to do the work that they are mandated to do.
Mrs. Carstairs: It is very difficult to do the work you are mandated to do when the minister changes the funding formula without any consultation.
Will the minister tell the House how this agency is to pay for psychological assessment, occupational therapy and legal services when they are no longer covered by the fees that he has now prepared to pay for?
Mr. Gilleshammer: Again, I would indicate to the member that the funding the Native Child and Family Services agencies gets is basically from the federal government, but the province also provides funding for those agencies where they deliver the services to Native children who live off reserve. We will continue to work with them through the Child and Family Services directorate and the directors of the Native agencies to provide the best possible care we can for those very vulnerable Manitobans.
Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
minister and the First Minister (Mr. Filmon) have often referenced the
government's involvement in opportunities in the province through the
Industrial Opportunities Program. One
such investment by the province was the $1.5 million loan to MacLeod
Stedman. On Friday in this House, the
First Minister indicated that
My question to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism is: How is that security posed, and is the province going to recoup the $1.5 million it paid for zero jobs?
Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism): Mr. Speaker, yes, the province has indicated it is secured on that particular loan by the real estate, MacLeod Stedman. I think, as the member for Flin Flon is aware, that negotiations are ongoing right now with the unsecured creditors of MacLeod Stedman, and certainly with the government, but we will continue to be sure that any loans that are advanced from this provincial government will be secured and will ultimately be repaid to the government.
Mr. Storie: Well, Mr. Speaker, I am sure their realtors will disagree.
My further question is to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Can the minister explain how the investment of some $8.7 million of federal and provincial taxpayers' money is going to be secured in the creation of 40 jobs at Apotex?
Mr. Stefanson: Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the honourable member for Flin Flon asks about Apotex, a $50‑million investment in our province that will occur over the next four years, not only creating upwards to 100 new high‑tech jobs here in our province, but also maintaining about 34 jobs currently in the industry. The security that we will be receiving on the $2‑million interest‑free loan, that is, interest free for 42 months and then is repaid over the next three years after that, will be first charge on the real estate being developed by that particular organization.
We will be well secured. The loan will be repaid, and it will create 134 jobs here in our province and all of the economic activity that goes from a $50‑million expenditure, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): Well, Mr. Speaker, the minister's largesse is appreciated. Can the minister explain, given his comments today, why in the Free Press, July 18, 1991, Apotex already announced the creation of these jobs? What motivated the province and the federal government to pour in an additional $8 million of taxpayers' money?
Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism): Mr. Speaker, I certainly find these questions unbelievable. Is the honourable member for Flin Flon suggesting for a minute that he does not want to see $50 million of economic activity and 134 jobs being created here in our province? The initial issue being addressed was the sale of the Rh Institute. That being addressed, Apotex then committed to develop a pilot production plant here in our province and a full‑scale production plan.
Certainly, this government knows well that
there are incidents where you provide some initial financial support to provide
some incentive for that business to locate in your province, but as has been
indicated, this is not a grant. It is a
loan. It is the same as the programs
that we offer under other situations.
That money will be repaid, and our return in terms of the direct tax
revenue to this government over the next five years is about $1.5 million,
whereas the cost is less than $500,000, a return of three to one, which is
excellent for the
Mr. John Plohman
(Dauphin): Mr. Speaker, the throne speech that the
government tabled here in this Legislature on Thursday provided no comfort for
farm families across
ask the minister, can he explain why he did not outline even one concrete plan
to assist those farm families in
Hon. Glen Findlay
(Minister of Agriculture): The member fails to
realize really what is going on with regard to the support this government is
putting in place for rural
Also, I want to remind the member that the number of applications coming to the Farm Debt Review Board is down over last year to about two‑thirds of what it was last year. So the degree of support we are putting in place is obviously having a desired effect.
Mr. Plohman: Can the minister explain, Mr. Speaker, why he
did not bring forward specific measures targeted to those farm families who are
in trouble, those 7,000
Mr. Findlay: Mr. Speaker, those measures are already in place. The member does not even bother to read the Estimates or the budget process. His government had two years which they could have put a dollar of support into that program and they did not put a single dollar. Since we have been in power, there are about $10 million of guarantees in place under The Family Farm Protection Act and about $2 million is added each year to that support program. It helps many, many farmers stay viable on the farm with that kind of support behind them.
I also would like to tell the member that only about 30 percent of that money is called upon, so the farmers are doing a good job of meeting their commitments under restructured financial situations.
Mr. Plohman: Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about all the great things he has done, and his programs are in shambles.
Can the minister explain why he neglected even to do something as obvious as having crop adjusters go out and do a complete inventory of crop carried over from the 1990 crop year before the 1991 harvest which is critical to the success of GRIP? Why did he not even have something as obvious as that done?
Mr. Findlay: Mr. Speaker, every year the crop insurance program sends out a questionnaire to farmers to indicate their inventory carryover, every year. It has been in place like that for many, many years. No, that person wants to go out and tell the farmers that they cannot fill out an inventory form on their own. I believe they can and they have.
would like to remind him that a crop insurance review is in place, ongoing,
Civil Service Commission
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (
Manitobans were infuriated to hear that the Minister of Education and Training (Mr. Derkach) intervened in the hiring of at least one individual into his department. The Civil Service Commission can only discipline civil servants. Yet it is quite clear that the minister played a role in the Department of Education violating its hiring agreement.
It is our role to ensure that the minister is held to account for what he has done. Will the First Minister (Mr. Filmon) make public the Minister of Education and Training's role on the matter by tabling the Civil Service Commission's investigation report?
Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister responsible for The Civil Service Act): Mr. Speaker, I am answering as the minister responsible for the Civil Service Commission.
the member for
They have, within their purview, the ability to delegate that specific authority to departments from time to time. In doing that delegation they have the responsibility of ensuring that it is carried out properly. If there are errors, discrepancies, difficulties in carrying out that authority, they have the responsibility to ensure that does not happen.
I would remind members of the House that delegated authority has been withdrawn from departments from time to time. It was withdrawn from the Department of Education in 1984 when the Honourable Maureen Hemphill was minister and Mr. Ron Duhamel was deputy minister.
Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, that does not answer the question.
My supplementary question is to the Premier. What is the Premier's position on the role ministers play in the hiring of civil servants, given that I have received a number of calls from people concerned with the minister's role in the hiring of others to the certification branch within the Department of Education, people who are friends, a relative and so forth? What is the government's role‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The question has been put.
Mr. Praznik: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member
That process has worked. It has worked not because of stories coming
from the media or questions from the opposition. It works because the Civil
Service Commission monitors hiring in the
Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, the minister has a responsibility. The Civil Service is not responsible‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member for
Mr. Lamoureux: The Premier has a choice, what will it be? Will he fire the Minister of Education and Training (Mr. Derkach)? Will he continue to allow ministers to intervene‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member for
Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is, what will it be? Will he immediately release the report from the Civil Service Commission on why the Department of Education was in violation of its hiring agreement and agree to investigate any new allegations that have been brought forward or fire the minister?
Mr. Praznik: Again to the member for
Employment Creation Strategy
Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East): Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance.
Speaker, we are suffering a tailor‑made recession, courtesy of
Conservative economic policies. We now
have 45,000 workers who are idle with equipment and materials rusting and
underutilized. We have a shrinking
labour force, about 6,000 this last year.
In the past year, about 12,000 jobs have disappeared, unemployment
insurance claims are increasing faster than in any other province, and welfare
cases are skyrocketing in
Is the Minister of Finance prepared to introduce any kind of program in this province to get Manitobans working again?
Hon. Clayton Manness
(Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, I thank
the member for the question. I would
like to draw note though to one of the preamble references in respect to
investment within our manufacturing sector.
It should be known that, within the
Speaker, let me go on further to say to the member opposite that certainly
through this period of recession, one of the greatest areas of concern certainly
falls into the area as to whether or not there is renewal, a generational
commitment by way of our existing manufacturers to our province and to the city
Mr. Leonard Evans: Mr. Speaker, will this minister acknowledge
Mr. Manness Mr. Speaker, I will not acknowledge that. What I will acknowledge is that, within the area of manufacturing employment, now we are above the lowest level in the last 20 years. It happened to occur in 1983 in the months of January, February and March, employment levels of 54,000, and we are above that today.
Speaker, let me also say that, in the context of
Mr. Leonard Evans
(Brandon East): Can the Minister of Finance explain why
Hon. Clayton Manness
(Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, I do not
accept any of the commentary of the member opposite. I can only go by the forecasts of those in
the financial circles, indeed, the Conference Board of Canada, who for 1992, as
they look forward and put
would not, at this point, want to run to the bank with that type of forecast in
all honesty, but nevertheless, when you take the independent forecasters' views
I would have to say that the member should be very happy about that type of information and support basically what the government has been trying to do in establishing a base for economic development for the rest of this decade.
Civil Service Commission
Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson): These are tough times for most Manitobans, with the high unemployment rates and the deep recession we are in, but apparently not so tough for some Tories.
I would like to ask the Premier, since there is clear evidence of political interference in the Civil Service hiring process, as evidenced by the actions that have been taken in regard to the Minister of Education (Mr. Derkach), I would like to ask the First Minister, how many positions did that minister interfere in in the hiring process?
Hon. Darren Praznik
(Minister responsible for The Civil Service Act): Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier to the
That is the responsibility of the independent Civil Service Commission to conduct those investigations. They do, and they overturned competitions. The system works.
Mr. Ashton: If the minister cannot or will not say how many positions, I will ask another question, and that is‑‑and I believe the First Minister should have a direct response in such matters.
Can the First Minister indicate what kinds of positions the minister interfered with? Specifically, did the hiring process which was clearly interfered in lead to any individuals who are not qualified being placed in positions due to the influence of the minister?
Mr. Praznik: Mr. Speaker, the conduct of those investigations is the responsibility of the Civil Service Commission as an independent body of the commission, and we support that. If the House is asking for involvement in that process, I do not think that is appropriate.
The report is a working document of that department, of the commission, but I would remind the member for Thompson that back in 1985 ‑(interjection)‑ I just want to remind the honourable member back in 1985, when the then minister of Highways and Transportation, when an executive assistant was hired into the Civil Service at that particular time, the then MGEA president called that blatant political hiring and called upon the Civil Service Commission to conduct that investigation. It shows the process is independent, it works, and the member's leader supported it then.
Civil Service Commission
Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson): My final question, Mr. Speaker, is to the Premier, and that is: Is it the policy of this government that the minister should interfere in the Civil Service hiring policy up until the point at which they get caught?
Will the First Minister take no action to ensure the integrity of the Civil Service?
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): No, Mr. Speaker.
Minister of Education
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Gary Filmon
(Premier): We are following exactly the same policy and
precedent that was established during previous administrations that has carried
on as long as the Civil Service Commission was invoked. That is why Ron Duhamel was able to run for
Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, just because that administration was wrong does not justify you being wrong.
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Civil Service Commission
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): It is not beyond the scope of the Civil Service Commission. The act lays out the responsibilities, the Civil Service Commission have taken on their responsibilities. I support what they have done, and they have taken the appropriate action.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for
Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, does the Premier support what the Minister of Education has done, and if that is the case, then every minister in his cabinet‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, the appropriate action has been taken and the Civil Service Commission's integrity has been maintained. That is the way the procedure was intended to work, that is the way the act provides for it.
Ms. Marianne Cerilli (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, it is apparent that the government is continuing its policy of patronage hiring and political control in the Civil Service and the Multicultural Secretariat is a prime example.
This government delayed a hiring in the secretariat in such a manner so that another Tory supporter could be hired, another David Langtry supporter who was the candidate in the previous election in Kildonan.
My question is for the Premier. Why was another Tory hired for this secretariat office which has already been tainted with patronage and political control?
An Honourable Member: Good question.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the member for Radisson is speaking of. I do know that in the course of all of the years that the New Democrats were in office they breached all sorts of procedures.
We have here an article from December 3, 1987, Winnipeg Free Press, that talks about the fact that the provincial Urban Affairs Department under the now Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) hired Ron Cavaluce to work in that department directly out of the position of executive director of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba.
We have information‑‑
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Filmon: We have information of the hiring of one David Chomiak who is now the member of the Legislature for Kildonan, again by the now Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) when he was in charge of the Crown corporation's council, without competition, a direct hiring decision made‑‑
Ms. Cerilli: Obviously reaching. I would like to explain to the Premier that the patronages made‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member for Radisson, kindly put your question, please.
Ms. Cerilli: Can the Premier explain how this hiring is consistent with the multicultural policy when it is happening at the same time when the Multicultural Resource Centre, the Department of Education, is being dismantled and more Tory supporters are being hired at the secretariat?
Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, I think that the member for Radisson should be apologizing, not attempting to explain how. Not only was Mr. Chomiak hired without competition, not only was Mr. Cavaluce hired without competition, but of course we had Phil Eyler, the NDP MLA for River East, was hired without competition into the government. We have Ron Bailey, the campaign manager for Bill Blaikie, the member of Parliament, hired directly into the Co‑operative Development department. We had Elaine Cowan, the former special assistant in Northern Affairs who was hired directly into the government offices. We had Terry Sargeant, the former NDP MP, hired directly into the government.
Point of Order
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable opposition House leader, on a point of order.
Mr. Steve Ashton (Opposition House Leader): Mr. Speaker, I have raised this before and I will ask you to remind members again that answers should relate directly to the matter raised. A specific question was asked about the Multicultural Secretariat. The First Minister (Mr. Filmon), who was strangely silent a few minutes ago, all of a sudden has found his tongue. Let us hear him answer questions by his own government's poor action on civil servants.
Mr. Speaker: On the point of order raised, Beauchesne's 417: Answers to questions should be as brief as possible and should deal with the matter raised.
The time for Oral Questions has expired.
Mr. Neil Gaudry (St.
Boniface): Monsieur le president, c'est avec plaisir et
enthousiasme que je demande aux membres de cette auguste assemblee de se
joindre a moi en felicitant les membres‑fondateurs et fondatrices de la
toute derniere‑nee des stations radiophoniques, soit la "Radio
Emmetant sur la longueur d'ondes 91,1 en modulation de frequence ou "FM 91,1" avec un rayonnement de 100 kilometres autour de Saint‑Boniface et provenant directement d'un des centres nerveux de la Francophonie manitobaine situe au Centre culturel franco‑manitobain, l'existence de CKXL est un coup de chapeau a la jeunesse.
Le premier jour de diffusion etait le 21 octobre dernier. Ce demarrage officiel est le couronnement merite de nombreux efforts benevoles et concretise une idee lancee en 1982.
Comme je le mentionnais plus tot, c'est a la jeunesse, par l'intermediaire du Conseil jeunesse provincial, que reviennent les eloges et les felicitations, car c'est le Conseil jeunesse provincial qui en 1982 lanca l'idee d'une radio communautaire qui repondrait aux besoins de la communaute franco‑manitobaine.
Monsieur le president, il serait trop long de meme essayer d'enumerer les possibilites et les richesses offertes par CKXL a la communaute franco‑manitobaine.
C'est pourquoi, Monsieur le president, j'invite chaque membre de cette chambre parlementaire a brancher son poste de radio sur la longueur d'onde FM 91,1 afin de savourer non seulement la richesse culturelle et la qualite professionnelle mais aussi la bonne humeur et la joie de vivre des emissions.
Monsieur le president, permettez‑moi de
conclure en souhaitant une tres longue vie a CKXL, la Radio communautaire du
Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure and enthusiasm that I ask members of this august assembly to join with me in congratulating the founding members of our very newest radio station, i.e. Radio communautaire du Manitoba, or Manitoba Community Radio, CKXL.
Broadcasting on the 91.1 FM band, with a radius of 100 kilometres around St. Boniface and coming direct from one of the nerve centres of the Manitoba Francophone community located at the Franco‑Manitoban Cultural Centre, the existence of CKXL constitutes a feather in the cap of our young people.
The first day of broadcast was October 21 of this year. This official start‑up is the crowning achievement of the many voluntary efforts directed at making an idea conceived in 1982 a reality.
As I mentioned just now, it is to these young people, via the Conseil jeunesse provincial, or Provincial Youth Council, that praise and congratulations are due. For it was the Conseil jeunesse provincial that in 1982 conceived of the idea of a community radio station that would address the needs of the Franco‑Manitoban community.
Mr. Speaker, it would take far too long to try to list the opportunities and resources offered by CKXL to the Franco‑Manitoban community. That is why I invite all members of the Legislative Assembly to tune their radios in to 91.1 FM so that they can not only catch the flavour of the cultural richness and professional quality of the programs, but also their humour and joie de vivre.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to
conclude by wishing a very long life to CKXL,
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the member
Mr. Speaker: Agreed? Agreed and so ordered.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer) for an address to His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor, in answer to his speech at the opening of the session, standing in the name of the honourable Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer).
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, it is an honour again to rise on the Speech from the Throne. This is about the third Speech from the Throne in the last 14 months, and at least the fifth Speech from the Throne that I have had to reply to in opposition since the election of the minority government in 1988, and the subsequent election in 1990, of the government of the day.
I would like to say again what an honour it is to reply to the Speech from the Throne and have a chance to participate in the debate. It is an honour, I think, in our democracy that we all cherish and we all respect, and I hope the debate will be on the high road on issues of substance, not be on the so‑called low road.
I would also like to welcome members back to the Chamber. All members are back here again in this session of the Legislature, and we would like to welcome you all back. We hope we will have a "productive session." Our views of what productive will be will obviously vary, but I wish everyone well.
I would also like to pay tribute again to you, Mr. Speaker, and welcome you back again this year.
We also want to say in a public way, Mr. Speaker, what we have said privately. Our caucus wants to express our condolences to you and your family on the passing of your mother. Some of us know from personal experience the pain and peace that represents to your family with the terrible disease, and we wish your family and your relatives very well in this very, very difficult time for you, Sir.
We are determined to work with you and with Manitobans on both the traditions of this Legislature and the challenges that we have from the public on the decorum in the Legislature.
From time to time, we will challenge you on your interpretation of the rules and the way in which they are interpreted in this House. I want to say at the outset that that will not represent any disrespect to you or the office, Sir, but really a disagreement about how we believe the thrusts and parry of parliamentary tradition should be conducted in this Chamber.
We believe that the debate that takes place in Question Period, in legislation, and in committees and other forums should encourage all of us to hold each other accountable on behalf of the people of the province. Our emphasis on decorum, Sir, will be on the issue of manners. We believe debate and holding each other accountable is a positive thing, something that Manitobans want and desire. I think the issue of manners and the way in which we treat each other is another matter, and we will of course work with you in that regard.
thought, Mr. Speaker that we started off in a very positive way. Friday, on the debate in this Chamber, I was
pleased that all members of the House supported the motion from the member for
was able to attend the candlelight vigil on the Friday night, Mr. Speaker. It was a very moving time for me, Sir, with
the number of people out there at that candlelight vigil in recognition of the
December 6 massacre at the
It was a very touching experience for those of us who were there. I was pleased with the positive nature of the debate, but I think all of us remain committed to dealing with the fact that one in four women will suffer abuse, physical or psychological abuse in their lifetime, that much of the abuse will be conducted by people they know, whether it is their father, their brother, their spouse, their friend, or members of their community, that the number of sexual assaults in Canada were double in 1990 than in 1984. We have considerable statistics that tell us that we have a real challenge and crisis in our society on our hands.
was moved by not only the comments made by our critic and the member for
To some degree, Mr. Speaker, this House and this Chamber does not suffer through some of the indignities that we see in the House of Commons, words that we have heard in the last session, the terrible words that have been used to describe other members of the Chamber, in Parliament, has been, I think, reflected on all of us in a parliamentary system. We will also work with our parliamentary parties to clean up the words‑‑I think the most recent example was "Sambo" that was used to describe another member of the Chamber, a member of the visible minority. Those kinds of words and that kind of language has no place in any legislative or parliamentary forum. All of us, I think, are committed to removing that kind of debate, which is not debate, those kinds of comments from the parliamentary language that we are privileged enough to have an opportunity to participate in.
think we should reflect, Mr. Speaker.
There is some criticism of politicians and political institutions in
While members opposite may somewhat from time
to time emulate American institutions and emulate American structures, Mr.
Speaker, and want to bring those institutions into
would point out that in Canadian federal elections and in Canadian federal
institutions, we have 80 percent turnouts at minimum in our institutions in
is unfortunate, Mr. Speaker, that we have only had three elections in
I am sure you would have wanted to have had a federal election so the federal Conservatives that the members opposite supported in 1988 in rallies, campaigns and door‑to‑door and the kind of economic agenda of the Conservative party with the Free Trade Agreement that is now proving to be unworkable because nobody is working in this country, Mr. Speaker‑‑I am sure the members opposite would have liked to have had the big one‑‑the big test in the sky for Canada with a federal election, but lo and behold, the federal prime minister did not have the courage to go to the people, did not have the courage to test democracy before he proceeded with another constitutional proposal. He did not have the courage to resign after the failure of his last constitutional proposal. He did not have the courage to resign on the basis of the failure of the Free Trade Agreement, and we were left with three provincial elections since the last time we sat.
we had results from three elections. In
Speaker, we would like to congratulate Premier McKenna. Then we had another
election in the
(Mr. Marcel Laurendeau, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)
had an election in British Columbia and the Social Credit omelette, the Liberal‑Conservative
omelette, and I did not think you could unscramble omelettes, but it became
unscrambled in the last provincial election in British Columbia, Mr. Acting
Speaker, and we saw the coalition, the corporate coalition, fall apart, and of
course, we saw the election of a New Democratic government under Mike Harcourt
in British Columbia. Unbiased as we are,
we were pleased with those election results in the
Some five days later ‑(interjection)‑
unbiased, I said. Some five days later,
another election in western
I would say, though, Mr. Acting Speaker, that does represent a fundamental change in western Canada, and it does represent a change in terms of the policies that the Premier (Mr. Filmon) participated in and his Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) participated in at the so‑called reality meeting or the reality session at Lloydminster some year and a half ago, the results of which trickled out into the Manitoba public arena days, weeks and newspaper articles at a time, because at that meeting, that new reality session ‑(interjection)‑ Well, the news release did not include the ‑(interjection)‑ I will show the Premier his pool light media release, and then I will show him the backroom dark strategy paper from Couvelier‑‑
An Honourable Member: The missing link rises again.
Mr. Doer: Yes, I will have to put some members of this
Chamber in the
Mr. Acting Speaker, it does represent a fundamental change in the positions that have been taken by the western Canadian premiers, the Conservative club up to now. It is not going to be a Conservative club any more. I think that is good for medicare. I think that is good for post‑secondary education. I think that is good for a more creative response in agriculture, and certainly it is good for a couple of provinces of western Canada that are worried, like the member for Portage (Mr. Connery) is worried, about the free trade agreement proposed with Mexico to join on with the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
Mr. Acting Speaker, we in opposition have opposed the Couvelier position, the position to take away EPF funding and just go to equalization. We think that the visibility and the vision that is contained within the equalization payments and the EPF payments should remain in Canada, something that we said throughout the discussion paper that we had that was signed by the Minister of Finance and supported by the Premier.
thought that the move that was in the Couvelier paper that was supported by the
western Premiers in 1990 and supported by this government in 1990 was the wrong
way to go. It was wrong for western
would also note, Mr. Acting Speaker, that the
think that it is important that we have a united front in western
other good news for
An Honourable Member: Ah, yes.
Mr. Doer: Ah, yes, that is right. Remember, we had this great study that was announced by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), Mr. Acting Speaker: The Chamber of Commerce had met with us, we had read comments from the provincial Conservative government that they were studying the matter of harmonization, and there were positive parts of the harmonization of the GST and negative parts of the harmonization of the GST. We knew they were going on with this in‑depth debit and credit study on the harmonization of the GST.
Then, lo and behold, the day that the
In dealing with the Speech from the Throne, one must start with the style of government. Mr. Acting Speaker, we get around to town hall meetings. We get around to going door to door in our ridings. We listen to people. The members opposite may not get as much chance to get out and listen to people now that they are ensconced in their secure offices, the cabinet offices. This is one of the weaknesses of being in government
You know, over a period of time, you spend a lot more time in this building than you want to and a lot more time on briefing books than you would like to. You sometimes‑‑and I say this for all of us‑‑over a period of time, start to lose touch. You lose touch with your constituents. You lose touch with the public. You lose touch with the kind of energy and the integrity that brought you to office.
If we can find a set of words to describe the feedback we receive about this government opposite, and I probably should not be giving them any unsolicited or free advice, but then, you could take it or leave it. If we receive any advice about the members opposite, led by the Premier, at doorsteps‑‑this starts even with Conservative doorsteps. Conservatives will tell us, you know, they were not that bad when they were in a minority government situation; they were not that bad a group when they were in minority, but I am a Conservative and I am starting to worry about their arrogance and their attitude as well, now. I do not like these people and I am a Conservative, they say to us. I do not like the way this government is going; it is starting to go the same arrogant and cynical way of the federal Conservative government, and the Premier (Mr. Filmon) himself is starting to act like Brian Mulroney, not like the person that they saw in those ads in a canoe. The kind of sensitivity‑‑
An Honourable Member: Can you not deal with policy?
Mr. Doer: We will get to policy; I am talking about style. I know the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey) does not want to talk about style. The person who gave us the comment that they did not vote right, I guess would not want to deal with those kinds of things, Mr. Acting Speaker, but we are talking about a style of government, and that is the feedback we are getting, that this government has changed. It is now an extreme ideological government that on substance and policy is following the same absolute free‑trade policy of Mulroney and George Bush and now the Filmon government with the member for Tuxedo, the Premier of this province (Mr. Filmon) is now following the same, same ideological and extreme kinds of governments and arrogant kinds of actions that Canadians have begun to know and despise in the rest of this country.
Acting Speaker, we therefore have to come to the boasts that have been made by
this government, in terms of what they said last year would happen to the
An Honourable Member: Who said that?
Mr. Doer: The Premier (Mr. Filmon).
An Honourable Member: He was just joking.
Mr. Doer: You know he had more comments on MacLeod
Stedman than any other economic development in the
I only have one advice for a worker or company owner, when the government is heading over to their operation with pool lights, and a media release with pool lights will be available for a press conference with the minister, the Premier (Mr. Filmon) and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson). I only have one bit of advice, you better be very careful, because if you have the Premier coming near your shop today, promising great things tomorrow, you are going to be unemployed on the next day, because we have seen the Premier and his Repap announcements. He had his pool lights up there in The Pas. He had media, kits will be available, he had his killer bees from down the hall ready to work the media over about this great economic expansion, Mr. Acting Speaker.
Then the next year we had MacLeod Stedman as
the symbol, the symbol of Conservative economic philosophy, and unfortunately‑‑it
is tragic and I hope it turns around. I
hope he is able to read these comments back to me because we do want those
people in those warehouses and those people in those stores to keep their jobs. Mr. Acting Speaker, we had 117 jobs in the
warehouse last time when the Premier made his announcement, and now we have 24.
We have no more in the stores, in fact less; we have no more in the head
office, in fact less, and the head office that was going to be in Winnipeg from
Toronto is now going to be in Chicago. With the takeover, potentially, of
Cotter‑‑although the Premier (Mr. Filmon) is shaking his head no‑‑Cotter
is going to move its head office from
Acting Speaker, four or five times the Premier started to answer his questions
with a recorded announcement‑‑just like he is doing again today
when he could not answer the question on why Manitoba was the only province
with no increase in labour salary‑‑the only province in Canada to
go down. Now if he thinks that increases
the purchasing power and is going to improve retail sales, is going to stop
bankruptcy, if he is proud of that‑‑we are certainly not‑‑but
should not be very proud of those figures.
They were clapping to the recorded announcements today just like they
clapped in unison to the recorded announcement on MacLeod Stedman. March 19:
I took part in the opening ceremonies for the new MacLeod head office. Jobs move from
Premier said again on April 5 and March 11:
Symbolic is MacLeod Stedman's decision to relocate. It is far too long since we gained a head
Premier boasted of the recovery: It will
Then, Mr. Acting Speaker, the Finance Minister (Mr. Manness) in his budget went to quote again MacLeod Stedman. Again, this is the big economic symbol of last session. He quoted a couple of other companies that we actually were involved in bringing to Manitoba‑‑the Western Glove was our core area job strategy. He said, again, the government said: The government's fiscal strategy will result in more jobs and higher incomes for Manitobans well into the future.
best comment is: The first thing the
guess he wonders why the cartoon that we saw on Saturday in one of the media
publications with the Premier with the whip with no horse is the kind of
economic image that people outside of this building perceive is happening in
government made some predictions.
Besides the symbol of MacLeod Stedman, the government made some
predictions. We were in a recession at
that time. They said, at that point in
time, last year when they presented their budget that they would have‑‑just
like they are making predictions again today in the House with all the reports
they have when they cannot answer the questions. They said we will have 7.8 percent
unemployment in the
Well, let us see how accurate the government is. Did they meet their target in April, the month they announced the 7.8 percent unemployment? No, it was 8.9 percent. Did they meet their target in May of 1991? No. Did the Premier (Mr. Filmon), the member for Tuxedo, meet his target in June of 1991? No. Well, it is zero for three at that point.
Let us go on to the next quarter. Did the member for Tuxedo meet his target in July of 1991? No, it was the highest July on record, 9.6 percent. Did the Premier meet his target again in August of 1991? No, did not meet it again then ‑(interjection)‑ It is a list of accounting, Mr. Acting Speaker.
Did the Premier meet the government's target in September of 1991, 9.3 percent unemployment? No, we did not meet it then.
Well, let us try October. Usually, people are starting to work then. You know, the students who could not get jobs because of all the CareerStart and other programs the government cut and the Native youth employment programs that the government cut, usually that gets a little better in October‑‑9.4 percent, a long way off of 7.8 percent, a long way off.
Well, then we get the first six months. Did the Premier meet his target in October‑‑9.4 percent again. Did the Premier meet his target in November of 1991, the last month, the month that the members opposite are clapping about when the Premier stands up with his answers‑‑8.7 percent.
He has not met his unemployment targets for eight straight months, Mr. Acting Speaker. For not one month have members opposite reached the target and goals that they publicly articulated to the province of Manitoba, not one month. You would need 5 percent unemployment rates in the next four or five months to reach your targets.
has been wrong and wrong again on the unemployment rates in this province. More importantly, Mr. Acting Speaker, for the
government to be concerned about‑‑and that is why I was surprised
that they were clapping so vigorously here today, this afternoon, on the
unemployment rate. There were 45,000
people that dropped out of the labour force in
That means, Mr. Acting Speaker, when the
Premier talks about how great thou art, he should know that the drop‑out
As I say, Mr. Acting Speaker, the members opposite should spend a lot more time out of this building. I hope they do so in the recess in January and February, because it is brutal out there. The statistics back and forth between all of us will not change what people are saying outside of this building, and that is workers, that is farmers, that is families.
I met with a number of accountants the other day, and they said they have never met more people who are just teetering, teetering on bankruptcy, never met more people who are teetering on bankruptcy. I met some lawyers the other day, not New Democratic lawyers, who were talking about the numbers of businesses and the number of files that they have that are this close to going down.
Those unemployment statistics on Friday, I was happy it was 8.7 rather than 9.4, but, Mr. Acting Speaker, when you look at 12,000 less people working today than a year ago and 6,000 have given up hope, I suggest whoever is doing the sort of spinning that goes in the member opposite's briefing book, look at those numbers, because those are the worst numbers, the people who drop out.
see a situation now where close to 51,000 people are on welfare in the
It is very serious, 38 percent increase in the UI claims in August, the highest in the country, the only province in fact to have that kind of increase in the province. The government is saying to us, we are going to stay the course. That is what they are saying in the Speech from the Throne. You would think, Mr. Acting Speaker, that somebody who was wrong eight months out of eight months and somebody who was wrong about increases in income for Manitobans and some government that was so wrong on retail sales and a government that was so wrong about the number of people who are dropping out of the labour force in Manitoba, you would think the government would, as the member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin) said, wake up and smell the coffee.
You would think they would have some corrections, some mid‑course corrections in their strategy, their economic strategy. You would think the kind of step‑aside strategy of the Conservative government would be dropped by a more balanced approach to the economy. You would think that would happen, because when any of us are dealing with economic factors and if the facts are not consistent with our own predictions, you have to make an adjustment, whether it is a business or whether it is an organization or a health care institution, a nonprofit organization, you have to make changes, but we see the same stubborn stand‑aside, step‑aside philosophy with the same devastating effect.
Oh, no, I should correct myself. The government did do something. It announced the cabinet committee, and then they did something else. They announced the cabinet committee again. Then they did something else. They announced the cabinet committee for a third time. That is what they did, three times, a cabinet committee. Three times, that was their big announcement over cold eggs with the Chamber of Commerce.
guess they had to announce a cabinet committee because last year that is what
they did, too. They announced a cabinet
committee with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr.
Stefanson). They announced a cabinet committee
to deal with
I wonder if anybody from that cabinet committee walked down the hall and met with the chairman of the board of CN. I wonder if anybody from that cabinet committee joined the minister of transportation, when the federal minister of transportation was in this building. The minister of transportation was by himself.
can go all over the world looking for economic development. The cabinet committee will go three weeks to
will complain when the Premier of this province will go for three weeks to
I respect the fact that the minister of transportation was meeting with those people. I respect that. The fact you were not joined by the so‑called economic council‑‑what is it?‑‑the economic committee of cabinet, or whatever it is, on some of the most important jobs in this province, what kind of hypocrisy, what kind of real resolve do we have over there?
They leave the minister of transportation out
alone. What could be more important than
fighting for jobs and the transportation centre for
An Honourable Member: They were researching old clippings.
Mr. Doer: Researching old clippings, perhaps. There is nothing wrong with that.
What are we going to tell the people at
CN? What do you recommend we tell the
people at CN when January 15 comes along? What do you think we would tell the
people of Churchill with the kind of stance the federal government, the federal
minister of transportation is taking on the
Our side respects the minister of transportation. We respected the fact that he told the truth on The Pines project. We respected that. I know it got him in trouble. I know he got taken to the woodshed by the Premier, but he made the right decision. I talked to some transportation experts last week, and they still respect the minister of transportation. They do not respect some other people across the way, Mr. Acting Speaker, in terms of the decision on The Pines.
Even last week, again, a transportation expert, who is not a New Democrat by any means, told me that it was a horrible decision, and they could not understand why the Premier (Mr. Filmon) allowed it to go ahead. The real question is, did that decision ever go to cabinet? The Premier has never told us whether that decision went to cabinet.
other member from west‑end
I want to say to the Premier (Mr. Filmon), and the member for Tuxedo, that we will hold you accountable for every change in job and employment status in the province of Manitoba, because the last time, in 1987, when there was a major dispute between the federal government and the provincial government on transportation jobs on CN and CP, the Premier was involved with the minister of transportation. Yes, he risked losing a fight. He risked losing a media battle against the federal government. He risked losing face.
risked having pool lights and all these other things saying, oh, you lost this
one, but if we are not sworn in to protect and fight for the jobs that are at
risk, what is the sense of even being in government? What is the sense of even having an economic
committee of cabinet when all they can do is travel around Europe and go to
So you think the government was going to look at their position. You know, Mr. Acting Speaker, what we said last week, where the government has surrendered in terms of the Speech from the Throne with their step‑aside philosophy, one only has to look at the transportation sector. The word transportation is not in the Speech from the Throne. Did the minister of transportation disagree with his cabinet colleagues when they were looking at the draft Speech from the Throne? Did he suggest that transportation be in the Speech from the Throne?
Did the Premier (Mr. Filmon) edit it out, or did they not want to put transportation in the Speech from the Throne because they knew they were in a tough fight on CN, they were in a tough fight at CP, they are losing all kinds of trucking jobs under their free trade philosophy and the Port of Churchill is in real trouble? They took the real tough way out. They ducked. They stepped aside. The Premier (Mr. Filmon) stepped aside. I do not know how a minister of transportation‑‑I guess it is another Pines situation. The minister of transportation said, put the word transportation in, and the media specialist said, no, we cannot do that because we are going to lose that, so we will duck. We just will not mention it.
are happy to see that the space program is mentioned, and we were
involved. I participated in‑‑I
was in Churchill personally with the member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper) and
the former member for Churchill in '89 when a number of scientists were there
with the satellite that was sent from Churchill, one of the best places for
purposes of technology. The satellite
was going up there to examine the ozone layer of the
Nine thousand jobs lost in construction last
year, one of the largest losses of jobs anywhere in
Look at the value of manufacturing shipments so far year to date in 1991‑‑9.7 percent drop in January of 1991, nine out of 10; 15 percent drop in February, 10 out of 10; March, 20 percent decline, 10 out of 10; April, 18 percent decline, 10 out of 10; May, 17.9 percent decline in manufacturing shipments, 10 out of 10; June, 10 out of 10 again; July, 16.5 percent decline, 10 out of 10; August, 16 percent decline, 10 out of 10; September, the last month, 14 percent decline in manufacturing shipments, 10 out of 10. So we have one month where we are 9 out of 10 and eight months where we are 10 out of 10 in manufacturing shipments.
Mr. Acting Speaker, private capital investment is down in 1991. We have not had a chance to analyze the numbers for my purposes well enough, because it has been down before, but it is down again in 1991.
Look at how this is reflecting on our economy, back again to the government's own statements on the economy. The revenue from sales tax in 1991 for the first two quarters of this year is down $13.8 million. This is not positive news; this is not news you would clap about when the Premier answers questions about how great thou art. This is not the kind of news that you say we are going to step aside with. This is the kind of news you get in and you say, hey, something is going real wrong here and we have to do something about it‑‑we have to do something about it.
Again the casualties are seen again
everywhere. We were in the community of
Beausejour, and there is a food bank now on the front streets of Beausejour,
and we met with the volunteers who were running that food bank, and there has
never been a food bank before in the community of Beausejour‑‑never. It may even be the first one in rural
is happening in
There are 12,000 cases of welfare in the city
Look at something else in terms of the economy‑‑labour
management relations. This government
has the worst record in the 1980s in labour management relations of any
government in this province in the last decade.
We have gone up to‑‑and the year is not even over yet‑‑close
to 150,000 days lost to strike and lockout in the
Mr. Acting Speaker, the economy of
Acting Speaker, I have gone to meetings with farmers across
went to meetings all across southwestern
You know, a lot of the farmers are saying at the meetings I went to the same things the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) said last spring. You know, I know the Premier when I asked him questions about GRIP and the deficiency payment usually deferred to his Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay). In fact, the question I asked about deficiency payment and the NISA program for the federal government he referred to the Minister of Agriculture at that point.
This government supported the federal government's GRIP program, Mr. Acting Speaker. It supported many of the measures the federal government introduced and the speed at which they introduced them. Even members opposite in the front bench who are farmers were quietly telling us they did not know what decision to make on enrolling or not enrolling into GRIP. Many farmers told us last spring, and we would go after this many days. Hansard is full of the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) asking a question to the Premier (Mr. Filmon), then the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) asking on behalf of the Premier, that‑‑again stepping aside from this issue‑‑the Minister of Agriculture was answering the questions about this was a program produced by producers and therefore they were satisfied with it.
Well, Mr. Acting Speaker, I heard the member
for Dauphin raise the inequities of the program, the calculations of the 15‑year
averaging, the calculations of the cost per acre, the discrepancies across the
farm gate and across the farm road. I
heard the member from
Well, unfortunately, after we left this House
we saw the announcement of the price of wheat, and since that time, in
September and October, the real payments are being made for producers and
farmers in agriculture under the GRIP program that is really troublesome to our
side of the House, the New Democrats.
Because unlike the members opposite and the Liberals initially, when
they supported it last March in
think we have been vindicated because when I talk to a farmer with an average
acreage of 1,000 acres of land that they have seeded, they told me after GRIP
payments have come in they have lost about $30 an acre and they are going to
lose about $30 after they pay for everything for their farm. Then, of course, we had all the rallies that
took place. It started in
Mr. Acting Speaker, we then had a situation where the federal government did announce $700 million that they could magically find with corporations to make up some of the shortfall for farmers. We still believe that shortfall will work out to a minimum of about $9 per seeded acre and farmers are still going to be left with about $21 per seeded acre behind with all the programs that have been announced, and that works out to about $21,000 per average farm family of 1,000 acres, I believe‑‑if I am wrong let me know. That is just the evidence I have had from listening to farmers in the winter of 1991‑92.
am not a person that understands all the intricacies of all the programs in
agriculture, but I do understand the discrepancies of a certain program between
farmers across the road from each other.
I understand what a 15‑year average works out to be as opposed to
a shorter period of time in terms of average.
I understand that the real cost of production has to be the underpinnings
of a long‑term agricultural support program in
you are talking about a farm protection act that is like the U.S.A. farm
protection act, which protects to some degree‑‑not as much as we
would prefer‑‑farmers against the international trade wars that are
taking place, we will look at that act with interest. We have seen absolutely no principles
contained within the farm protection act program this government plans on
introducing. We are very worried about
this situation with farmers in
were shocked that the Premier did not mention the GRIP program in the Speech
from the Throne. In
Mr. Acting Speaker, we have advice we have received from the farmers that there is more contained in the Saskatchewan Speech from the Throne, in terms of what they are saying should happen, rather than the Manitoba Speech from the Throne. I would ask this government and this Premier to get on board with farmers about revamping GRIP. Get on board with farmers.
The members opposite know GRIP is not working the way the federal government said it would work. They have heard from farmers. They are not saying anything different to us than they are saying to you. They are not saying anything different. It is not working. It must be totally revamped.
There is a disagreement about whether it should be scrapped and revamped or revamped. Suffice it to say, whether you scrap it or revamp it, all the fundamental principles that are contained within GRIP have to be changed. We have to do that quickly. We do not have a lot of time.
the government has said that the international trade wars are doing this and
they are doing that. There is even
starting to be some disagreement from agricultural economists about what relief
agricultural talks will provide for producers in western
An Honourable Member: He said‑‑
Mr. Doer: What did he say?
An Honourable Member: He said we will improve it.
Mr. Doer: We will improve it. Okay, we will revamp it.
would suggest the first place this government should start is with the window
that has been opened by their own Conservative colleague in southwest
Moving back to the European talks. The Premier usually answers agricultural
questions about the European talks and the European GATT negotiations. Mr. Acting Speaker, watch out for all the
intricacies going on at the GATT table, because the federal government says the
marketing boards‑‑and the Deputy Premier said in
I would like the government to answer the questions whether the transportation policies of Canada are on the table and whether the present means of transportation policy to the railways is on the table, whether the Crow benefit is on the table as a GATT‑able item, and whether on the one hand we will not get relief‑‑small relief‑‑at the GATT negotiations dealing with the subsidy issue for international markets and on the other hand the federal government, because they want to offload again onto the producer, onto the GATT negotiations, will make some of the transportation policies in Canada GATT‑able.
I wonder if the Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) is aware of that issue. I am sure he is worried about it. He is worried about it. I am glad to see that, because we are very worried about that. Maybe that is another reason why the Premier did not put transportation in the Speech from the Throne. Maybe it was an honest omission or maybe it was purposeful when you add up all the jobs of transportation and you add up the agricultural sector.
European talks are important and the government members opposite say that
marketing boards are not on the table.
They would know that better than we do.
I suspect that when the federal government has to make a move the
federal Conservative government will make a move in favour of the poultry
producers, the milk producers and the other producers in the
are very worried because the federal government is negotiating away the Crow
benefit as part of a GATT‑able solution, and that will result in a major
decline in the ability of producers in western
We would have agreed for a one‑ or two‑hour debate. The other day we just had a consensus with the House leaders to have the ordinary business be conducted and not lose debating time on the vote motions. We have agreed to those before as we did Friday. We have done that before in this House, but no, there is no crisis in agriculture, says the members opposite. When those farm rallies started, they were running like crazy to get in front of the parade and say: Oh, yes, we are opposed to GRIP the way it is drafted now, and we are worried about it too, Mr. Acting Speaker.
You were not listening last spring. You were not listening last spring to your own constituents about GRIP and the deficiency payment, and you were not listening when the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) and the member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk) were asking those questions, because the only thing that has changed since the last time we sat and those questions were posed in this House is it has got more serious and the concerns about those programs you were defending have got more acute, not less acute.
have unemployment in
I noted the Premier (Mr. Filmon) did not mention western Canada's economy, that Manitoba does not suffer through the booms and busts of the western Canadian economy because of our diversity, in this Speech from the Throne as he did last year, because he cannot, because Winnipeg has a higher unemployment rate than any other western Canadian city in the latest statistics that were released.
Now, when we talk about rural
Northern Manitoba has the highest unemployment
rate of any region in
jobs last summer could have done a lot for northern people. Natural Resources people have been laid off
When Portage was being devastated by news that all people supported and dealt with, the issue of the Portage base when the Portage base was being closed, the government and the Department of Highways cancelled a bypass or overpass to the base in Portage, because they said there is going to be no traffic down there any more, and quickly thereafter the government reversed their decision. I applauded the work from the member for Portage (Mr. Connery) and the Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) to reverse the decision in terms of the overpass to the Southport and south base because I thought the last thing that Portage needed, after they got a kick in the teeth from the federal government, was to get another kick in the teeth from the provincial government.
An Honourable Member: We never cancelled it, we revised it.
Mr. Doer: Well, one day I heard it was stopped, and the next day I heard it was on, and I applaud you for that.
Mr. Acting Speaker, what about The Pas? We have hundreds of people out of work in the woodlands, we have hundreds of people out of work in the sawmill, we have hundreds of people out of work in the plant, we have hundreds of people out of work in the woods, period, and the government lays off people in the Department of Natural Resources in the nursery department.
maybe the minister, the Deputy Premier was correct, they did not vote the right
way, because they acted one way in
The private sector has kicked the community of The Pas in the teeth. In last year's budget, the Premier and the cabinet kicked The Pas in the teeth again, and now they give them another kick in the teeth. If they are not down far enough, they give them another kick in the teeth.
What was their answer on Friday? No answer. No answer to the people of The Pas and the northern community.
would suggest to the government that they take a look at their policies on the
economy. The step‑aside approach
of the government is not working, because Manitobans are not working. The
approach of the government is not keeping
Acting Speaker, the government should look at their whole approach to the Free
Trade Agreement with the
An Honourable Member: We oppose it.
Mr. Doer: Well, no.
They want to take a proactive approach. The Liberals want to take a
proactive approach with the Free Trade Agreement with
Getting back to the provincial Liberal
Party. They are going to take a
proactive approach to the free trade agreements with
Acting Speaker, this is a corporate trade agenda just like the Free Trade
Agreement was with the United States that has been designed ‑(interjection)‑
Well, the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) can explain his position on Mexico
in Inkster soon enough, I hope. It will
go over real well with your constituents.
A proactive approach to the position and a stand with George Bush, a
proactive approach to Brian Mulroney‑‑I am shocked. The member for Crescentwood (Mr. Carr)‑‑I
thought the Axworthy group would keep away from this sort of move to the right
that is taking place in the Liberal Party.
I mean, when they said to Lloyd Axworthy the other day, eat your heart
out, Lloyd Axworthy, I thought it was okay in
We had the member for Crescentwood (Mr. Carr), the member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock) who are part of the sort of Axworthy forces, and I thought everything would be okay. I did not think you would let that get through caucus, but they did. It is the first resolution. We cannot wait to get at it. We will give leave to debate it for two nights. We want to get at this positive approach to Georgie Bush, positive approach to Brian Mulroney, positive approach to Michael Wilson. Boy, we sure like giving Michael Wilson a blank cheque to go in there and negotiate for us.
We believe in multilateral trade, Mr. Acting Speaker. We understand the trading environment under which all countries are under in the world. We dealt with trade before. We will deal with trade again, but trade does not mean you give away your energy, not mentioned in the resolution from the Liberal Party. Trade does not mean you give away your resources‑‑not mentioned in the resolution by the Liberal Party. Trade does not mean you give away your sovereignty‑‑not mentioned by the Liberals. It does not mean you give away the sovereignty and investment decisions. It does not mean you give away the issues of medicare and other issues.
Multilateral trade to us and a world trading
environment to us does not mean the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement which
gives away the decisions of Canadians to other groups. It does not mean to us that we are going to
extend that in a proactive way to
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
The government also stated that Manitobans must work together. They must work together to meet the past challenges and meet the future challenges. This government is working together with some Manitobans but only some Manitobans. It is not working together with all Manitobans. What it means "working together with Manitobans"‑‑it means a backroom cabinet committee having breakfast only with the Chamber of Commerce.
An Honourable Member: Over and over again.
Mr. Doer: Over and over again, you are right, time and time again, announce the committee. If that does not work, announce the committee again and announce the committee a third time. ‑(interjection)‑ Oh, you know we cannot get chuckles out of the First Minister because it is pretty serious.
Speaker, we have suggested a different way.
If the government is truly serious about the economy, why does not the
government bring together an economic summit of business, labour, government
and farmers? We had one in
We will recommend again to the government: If it is going to put into practice what the words were in the Speech from the Throne, they should have an economic summit with business, agriculture, labour and the government together, because then you get some real ideas and some real consensus going on in your economy.
Mr. Speaker, we have also suggested that the government have an all‑party committee on the economy. We have suggested that the government have an all‑party committee dealing with the economy. You know, Manitobans cannot answer the question of why we could work together on the Constitution in an all‑party way, and why the Premier says the economy is equally important to the Constitution. Then the Premier turns around and says no to having an all‑party committee on the economy. Now, some part of his logic is missing.
If the Constitution is worthy of doing in an all‑party way and if the economy is equally important for the people of Manitoba‑‑and we believe it is equally important‑‑as the Constitution, then why cannot the same forum be used to get input for Manitobans on the economy.
Mr. Speaker, we would suggest again that the government review its position on the all‑party task force dealing with the economy.
I think when we talk with Manitobans and listen to Manitobans, we work better. Then you would be practising what you are preaching, not what you are doing, in terms of only meeting with one group in our economy.
also want to move off the economy for a minute.
While it is a serious issue and I know the Premier‑‑we just
want to give him a little bit of reality, Mr. Speaker, just a little bit of
what is going on outside of this hall. I
want to say, in terms of the all party committee on the economy that we want to
start, too, in applauding the all party committee that worked on the
It was an excellent all party committee, Mr. Speaker. It was chaired by an excellent person for whom I have a lot of respect. I was pleased to see that he was able to win the award, the Public Service Award of Distinction again this summer. I was able to observe that ceremony and I think Manitobans have been well served by the all party legislative committee that worked on behalf of Manitobans, and I want to applaud all members from all parties on their work and their consensus report that provided the recommendations.
Speaker, the members of the committee and the people of
Manitobans stated very clearly they wanted the principle of inherent right of aboriginal peoples to self government entrenched in this round of the constitutional debate. That is a recommendation that this caucus and this party will support with the package that will be presented ultimately in this Chamber. We stand by that recommendation and we will be watching the final package to see whether that is included.
Mr. Speaker, this package also included positions on dissolving the patronage Senate. You will have absolutely no argument from the New Democrats on dissolving the patronage Senate. We have no members from the New Democratic Party that are part of the existing patronage Senate. I believe there are about 54 Conservatives and about 52 Liberals on that august body. You will have absolutely no problems from us in supporting dissolving the patronage Senate and the spectacle of patronage that we have seen in our country.
Mr. Speaker, we look forward to the changes in the second Chamber. We have met with a number of Manitobans, and this report reflects the opinion of Manitobans. We have certainly found the dissolving of the Senate a palatable recommendation, and we look forward to the kind of reforms of a second Chamber that ultimately will be articulated in the final report.
have already heard our position on American institutions. We would ask the member for
We certainly support the recommendation for a strong federal government, a strong federal government that has the ability to redistribute wealth from the less prosperous regions of Canada and a government that has the ability to redistribute wealth to the less fortunate individuals in our country, and we are pleased that the Tories have signed that document, because maybe now we can get real tax reform in this country so we can have a truly redistributed country rather than the existing status quo that we see in the federal government.
are also very pleased to see the
Mr. Speaker, we heard the Premier last year talk about in the Speech from the Throne that Manitobans will not tolerate a back‑room process of issues that are vital to Canadians, a back‑room process that was similar to the process in Meech Lake, where elites went in the back room and met and resolved issues of vital importance to Canadians. That was the Premier's statement last year in the Meech Lake Accord.
Mr. Speaker, we agree with that approach. We agree with that approach on the Constitution, but we cannot understand why the Premier then is taking the same approach on health care. Why is the Premier taking the same approach on health care of 45 committees‑‑or how many committees do they have now that we know of?
An Honourable Member: Forty‑four.
Mr. Doer: Forty‑four committees, I am sorry‑‑44
committees meeting in the back room with various stages of deliberation. Some
are part of implementation, some are not part of implementation, some are
recommended, some are going along and they are making cuts, some are not making
cuts. Why is the Premier stepping aside
in dealing with the health care system in this province, and why does he not
ask his Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) to account for himself and make all
those studies public and all the implementation plans public? Why does he not have those documents public
for the people of
Speaker, we want the government to make all those studies public and we want
the government to make their implementation plans public as well. We should not have to get those documents out
Speaker, the biggest issue facing Canadians in terms of their health care is
the Americanization of health care under the federal Conservative
government. Bill C‑20 is before
the Parliament of Canada, and it will represent the erosion of health care
Oh yes, it will fed‑bash in this House, and it will fed‑bash in a budget, and it will fed‑bash when we are cut back, but when it comes to being eyeball to eyeball with the federal government, the Minister of Health is staying the same way as the Premier did last year at the First Ministers' meeting when he applauded Brian Mulroney for the consultation dealing with cutbacks in health care and post‑secondary education.
Speaker, the only member that presented a brief to the House of Commons from
this Chamber was the critic of Health, the member for
Mr. Speaker, we believe that Conservatives opposite, along with their federal Conservative government, do not care about the Americanization of health care. They will feign indignation. They will have the damage‑control press conferences complete with the pool lights and all these other things.
When it comes to going eyeball to eyeball with
the Prime Minister, the Premier applauds him.
When it comes to going eyeball to eyeball with their federal
Conservative cousins, as the member for
Mr. Speaker, we want to talk about a few facts on medicare, because I think it is very important in this Chamber and this Speech from the Throne, which gives very little attention to the Americanization of medicare, to talk about that issue.
All Canadians have access to health care. Thirty‑seven million Americans do not have access to health care. All Canadians have access to health care in a full and complete way, and 35 million Americans are underinsured. When they need vital operations and vital services in health care, many of those families have to mortgage their house, sell their house to have an operation for their children.
the wealthiest country in the world we see a situation where the health care
standards are below the standards of
the wealthiest country in the world we have a situation where a child born in
Premier talks about making cardiopulmonary and heart disease a priority of their
When we look at cost effectiveness‑‑we
talked about fairness in terms of access.
We talked about the whole issue of health care standards for infants to
life expectancy. We also have to look at
the cost effectiveness of the
fact of the matter is that if
That is the true test that we are facing, and
yet the government opposite does not care about that. They do not send their Minister of Health
(Mr. Orchard) out to fight. They do not
care about those issues, Mr. Speaker.
They say we are fearmongering when we raise them in the House. When our critic, the critic for Health, the
It is rather ironic, Mr. Speaker, because at the same time that Canada, under the Conservatives in Ottawa and subtly under the Conservatives here in Manitoba, is losing the best health care system in the world, the Americans are finally starting to wake up and starting to realize that they need a health care system in the United States. The election of Wofford in Pennsylvania, who was 40 percent down to the Bush‑appointed candidate and who won on 10 percent victory just last month on the basis of medicare, is a hopeful sign, is a very hopeful sign. The fact that last week 60 members of Congress said clearly that they would now support the Canada medicare system is a good sign, a hopeful sign, Mr. Speaker.
the same time we have the capitulation of the Conservatives in
Mr. Speaker, we have already had some questions in this Chamber dealing with the education in this province. The ministerial leadership in education is nowhere to be seen. I have heard from trustees, from teachers, from students, from parent groups that this is the worst ministry of Education under the worst Minister of Education that they have ever experienced. We are hearing that from people from all walks of life and from all political stripes. The member for Tuxedo (Mr. Filmon) thinks it is funny. The Premier thinks it is funny. Of all the predictions from all the pundits and all the people across the way dealing with‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Point of Order
Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I know that the member for Concordia would not like to leave on the record a falsehood that implies that I think the matter of education is funny. I think that the matter of education is very, very serious. I think that his colleague from Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) is funny, and I said that.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable First Minister does not have a point of order. It is a dispute over the facts.
* * *
Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, I retract the comments to the Premier. About the member for Flin Flon's (Mr. Storie) comments, we do find that the member for Flin Flon is able to get under the thin skin of the member for Tuxedo, the Premier of the province, very easily. I do apologize to the Premier on that point.
Mr. Speaker, if the Premier wants to take a real stand on education, if he is really serious about what is going on about education in this province, he will fire the Minister of Education (Mr. Derkach) right now, today, and make a lot of people happy, a lot of Manitobans happy, everybody. ‑(interjection)‑ That is right. Everybody will be happy if the Premier does that.
Mr. Speaker, public education has never been in the state of chaos that it is today. The government goes ahead with their funding policies and their various policies. Last year, we had a 10 percent increase in taxes in the public education system. We had funding levels to the public education system way below the funding levels to the provincial government from the federal government.
The state of the public education system is in a state of chaos, and there is absolutely no stewardship from the Minister of Education (Mr. Derkach). There is no accounting with the Premier dealing with the education system in this province, because any Premier who can allow that Minister of Education to stay where he is does not care really about the education system and the students and the parents and the school divisions of this province.
Under this Premier, Mr. Speaker, the universities have gone from the second lowest tuition fee to about fifth or sixth. We are going to have another crippling year in our education system for access to education in the post‑secondary area.
universities are under severe strain.
The ability of all Manitobans to access the education system is eroding
year after year after year, on the 1950s education philosophy of the
Conservative government, the kind of Edsel education philosophy that we see
from members opposite. Mr. Speaker, that
follows on the issues of community colleges where people were cut from our
community colleges. People were cut from
our community colleges, in spite of the fact that we had a 90 percent success
ratio in the
We have many programs now that are not available, because this government does not believe in investing in a public education system where skills are imparted to students, skills that would stay with people for life. They would rather put the money into their corporate friends so that orientation programs that should be paid by the private sector would now be paid for by the public sector, and, therefore, skills will be less available to Manitobans as this government is offloading its education responsibilities in terms of orientation to the private sector.
Mr. Speaker, suffice to say that there are many issues that the government did not resolve in the Speech from the Throne. They did not take a position on the issue of governance. They did not take a position on some of the issues of funding. They did not take a position on some of the tougher issues. Again, they have stepped aside and ducked the important issues before this Chamber, and we will await to see whether we will have any real answers from the government on those issues.
Mr. Speaker, we will deal with the environment for a moment. The member for Ste. Rose (Mr. Cummings) wants to deal with some issues that are more relevant to him. Let us deal with the environment.
Mr. Speaker, we now have articles in the Washington Post condemning the Conservative environmental policy. When was the last time you saw an issue covered on the front page of the Washington Post‑‑I do not know whether it is the front page‑‑condemning the Premier's investment in our wetlands region with the Ducks Unlimited project going into the Oak Hammock Marsh?
Premier defends or steps aside while his Minister of Natural Resources (Mr.
Enns) blatantly ignores all environmental groups in the province, ignores all
environmental groups in the country. Now
he is ignoring all the international groups in the
I guess the Ducks Unlimited project is right up there with MacLeod Stedman as a symbol for this government. It symbolizes an environmental policy that is a bulldozer not a canoe, and it is not consistent with good, sound environmental stewardship in this province.
will be interesting to see whether the government changes its position on
Rafferty‑Alameda dam, because the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings),
after he got the environmental impact study, came out and said that he
supported the licensing of that project, that he supported the issuance of that
report. That report said there would be
serious damage to our downstream water quality.
It said we would have less water during a drought period. It said Manitobans do not even know the
impact of that water on the
would also note that the government has done nothing on the
Then we had the sorry state of the Domtar, Mr. Speaker. The government is running again like crazy to get in front of the parade after they had the Cherry Report in their hands for six months, a report that said there is creosote and carcinogens in the soil site left by Domtar. From the day the minister had that report in the‑‑
An Honourable Member: You knew that in 1978.
Mr. Doer: Well, we will talk about the Premier approving the zoning of the Genstar development in 1981, when he was the Minister of Environment, after a report was submitted to him showing there was damage and that we should not proceed. I wonder whose expert he used to change his position on Genstar. It will be interesting to see him table that document, what document he did use in 1981 to approve the Genstar site. If he wants to go back in history on Domtar, we are willing to go back in history on Domtar starting with the former Minister of Environment in 1981.
However, Mr. Speaker, the bottom line is this Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings) had the Cherry Report in the spring of this year. The member for Radisson (Ms. Cerilli) was asking very serious questions about that report. The member for Radisson was asking questions and asking the government to attend public hearings to let the public know what was going on on that site. I think the negligence shown by the Minister of Environment in not bringing to the attention of those citizens and those residents and the public in general the site and the dangers on that site while their kids were playing all last summer on that site is absolutely scandalous and tells us that the only thing this government does on the environment is when an issue becomes public, they run as fast as they can to get in front of the public relations parade, but when they have a document that should be made public, Mr. Speaker, they do not have the integrity to make that document public. That is a shame, an absolute shame.
Point of Order
Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment): Mr. Speaker, I hope the member does not want to leave on the record that that material was not available. It has always been available to the‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable minister does not have a point of order. It is a dispute over the facts.
* * *
Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, the member for
Mr. Speaker, we look forward to the positive announcement on the modernization of Flin Flon ‑(interjection)‑ Well, the member for Tuxedo, again when the former Minister of Environment raises this point, will be curious to see the document that allowed him to change his word from "no on Genstar" to "yes on Genstar". What gave him the green light?‑‑because the Cherry Report totally repudiates your decision, and it was your decision. Mr. Speaker, we will be looking for ‑(interjection)‑ Oh, the buck does not stop here, the buck does not stop at the Premier's desk. He is going to step aside on this one too just like he did on CN, just like he did on GRIP, just like he is doing on education, just like he is doing on health care and medicare. He is going to step aside, he is not going to take the accountability again.
We look forward to the modernization program in Flin Flon. When we had the acid rain agreement with the federal government, we thought the announcement was eminent in 1988.
An Honourable Member: Imminent.
Mr. Doer: You are right about that‑‑imminent‑‑and I hope you do not make one trip in your speech next Tuesday, but you are right. Mr. Speaker, we do not know why it has taken three years to announce it. We had some information that the government was going to announce it in July of 1988 after ‑(interjection)‑ Well, Mr. Speaker, I will have to dig out that old memo from Mike Bessey again. We will see if we can find it for the Premier.
Mr. Speaker, we look forward to that announcement; we think it is long overdue, consistent with the federal‑provincial agreement on acid rain, which we signed. We are still opposed to the government's policy on dealing with Repap and the chlorine bleach. We think the government is making a major mistake in that issue. We have agreed to disagree before.
Mr. Speaker, we think that the government's public relations campaign on the independent process on the environmental assessment on Conawapa is not the process that they are following, they are following the advice that John McCallum made to the government, cc'd to the Minister of Environment, to (a) have a quick environmental process; (b) to have that process completed by January of 1993; and (c) not to revisit the capital works projects that were dealt with in the Public Utilities Board decision. They do not want to revisit the capital works decisions, because the original submission to the PUB was based on a non‑target domestic use of the year 2000, not the year 2009.
I applaud the Minister of Energy for getting those numbers out about the year 2009, and I would suggest to the Minister of Energy we know that those numbers are not even firm; it may even be a lot later on in terms of what the domestic use is for the requirements of Conawapa, and I think that will be a strong issue in the next environmental assessment, and we believe the capital decisions that were part of that old decision should be reflected.
Speaker, in terms of Family Services, the child care policies in this
government again are consistent with the privatization and Americanization of
our child care system in
Speaker, the whole issue of domestic violence I dealt with in my opening
remarks. We look forward to the
recommendations, the full implementation of the recommendations that the
government has. We would note all the
preventative services that could go into play in the Department of Family
Services have not been announced by the provincial government, and we do await
the answers to the questions that the member for
Speaker, the government talked in their health care policy about a strong sense
of community, yet in Child and Family Services all the community volunteers and
all the community‑based programs were taken away overnight. What hypocrisy to have one policy on health
care and to have another policy on Child and Family Services in the city of
Mr. Speaker, we already know that there has been a decrease in volunteers in the area of Just Say No to Child Abuse. We already know there has been a decrease in the activity of the communities. I find it rather curious that the Conservatives would increase the bureaucracy and increase the power of cabinet and decrease the rights of citizens to deal with their own children. The preventative programs that we had introduced were working. They were not perfect, and the information system that the government is introducing could have been introduced and still have the active role of the community and the people in the province.
Mr. Speaker, the government has announced a child advocate. I welcome that announcement. The real interesting question is will the child advocate answer independently to the Legislature like the Ombudsman, like the Auditor, like Elections Manitoba; or will the child advocate answer to the minister who will account to the Legislature in terms of the child advocate? We would encourage the government to have that child advocate answer the same way as we created the Ombudsman's job years ago in the early 70s. We would ask that that person answer directly to the Legislature.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, in dealing with the substance of the Speech from the Throne, we have to talk about the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. My‑‑
An Honourable Member: We will give that at least five minutes.
Mr. Doer: If we spent five minutes on it, it may be a lot longer than this government has spent on announcing their strategy on that ‑(interjection)‑ Well, we will see the doozie that the Premier's five speech writers write for him next Tuesday. Maybe he should write an original word for a change, Mr. Speaker, like we members opposite attempt to do instead of his high‑priced‑‑
An Honourable Member: I would not be proud of your original word.
An Honourable Member: We have not seen any of yours so we would not know.
Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, the high‑road member from Tuxedo continues to bluster and blunder around this Chamber, sending out signals to Manitobans, you know, happy days are here again. He is whistling past the graveyard as Manitobans are going unemployed and the welfare lines are increasing. That is the sorry state of his record.
Mr. Speaker, the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry presents ‑(interjection)‑ Is the member for Tuxedo finished? Can we proceed with the debate? Is it the new high roads, great decorum with the member for Tuxedo in play now, or is this the low road member for Tuxedo that we have come to know?
The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry perhaps gives us some of the greatest illustrations of where the provincial government is at with decisions we are facing. When the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry was announced, the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) were at a press conference and said that they would take absolutely no position on both the principles and recommendations contained within the report even though they had the report for a number of days and even though they had an interdepartmental working group dealing with the report. The Minister of Justice said to the media and the public that he would not take a stand on any of the recommendations in the report because it was only the opinion of two people, two commissioners.
When he was asked the question about the chief of police in dealing with the document that said there was a cover‑up in the investigation dealing with the J. J. Harper shooting, the Minister of Justice said he would not take a position because it was only the opinion of two people. He would not take a position as the chief law enforcement officer in this province. He would lower his voice and‑‑
Ms. Becky Barrett (
In the midst of a crisis in our society that in many ways is deeper than the crisis faced by our society in the depression, in the social fabric of our country, in the political fabric of our country, in the economic fabric of our country, in our role as citizens in the city, in the rural areas, in the northern areas, our role as citizens in our province, our role as citizens in our country, our role as citizens in the world; we are at crossroads, at watersheds in all of those areas.
This government's Speech from the Throne does not reflect that at all. As a matter of fact, on page 1 of the almost 19 pages in the Speech from the Throne, their Speech from the Throne references three activities in the province of Manitoba over the last year that the government holds up‑‑the only three activities that the government is able to hold up that the Province of Manitoba has undertaken in the last year.
am not for a moment suggesting that hosting the Grey Cup, that hosting the
World Curling Championships, that hosting the baseball tournament were not
significant and well‑organized and positive events to have happened for
There are virtually no new initiatives in this
Speech from the Throne. It talks a lot
about co‑operation. Where was the
Premier (Mr. Filmon) when the all‑party delegation went to
Where was the Premier when the president of the CN came to visit? When the minister who has had little or no luck in dealing with the issue of jobs in the CN for years is faced with an enormous problem, where is his Premier there to help him? Nowhere to be found‑‑the spirit of co‑operation.
Another thing this Speech from the Throne is
very high on is that private investment will win the day. Private investment is certainly speaking its
mind in the
Capital is fleeing this province. It is not coming into the province. The government's Speech from the Throne talks
about the need to co‑operate and work together and that Manitobans can do
it. Well, we agree that Manitobans can
do it. They have proven in the past that
they can do it in partnership with government.
This government is doing nothing to give the assistance for the people
A healthy economy is based on a healthy, vibrant, working work force. There are 100,000 Manitobans, one‑tenth of our whole population, not just adult population, who are either unemployed or on social assistance. One‑tenth of our entire population from infants to the oldest people in this country, in this province, are not productive members of this society, largely due to the monetary and fiscal policies of the federal Conservatives ably or disably aided and abetted by their provincial government cousins.
As a matter of fact, the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) in his remarks talked about not having a deficit and being proud of the fact that they were going to come in under their deficit predictions so that future generations will not have to pay.
Well, future generations‑‑excuse me‑‑the current generation is already paying the cost. The Tories do not think about social costs, they only think about bottom line costs. What do you think the social and long‑term economic costs are of those 100,000 people who are not actively, productively part of this work force, part of a productive society.
wonder capital is leaving. No wonder
people do not want to come to
The deficit, as I said, has social as well as economic spin‑offs, but this government does not respond to that, does not see that is important.
Jobs‑‑the Speech from the Throne mentions jobs five times, the backbone of our economy, the thing that is going to make our economy function. There is no strategy; there is no recognition of this as an important facet of government's actions, of government's need.
Of course, the Department of Family Services increased their budget by 7 percent. Fully half of that increase was in social assistance payments and not because of a major increase to the rates, but just a recognition of failure, a recognition that the social assistance rolls in this province are unbelievable and unconscionable and a direct result of the policies of this government.
I certainly wish the Minister of Family Services would continue to listen to my remarks as I listened to his.
interesting statistic that I found out over the weekend is that the jobs that
are in Manitoba‑‑well, we all know the jobs that are in
The majority of the poor people in this province are working. They are not on social assistance. They are working. They are often single mothers with children. They are working. They are often families who need two, three and four jobs just to make ends meet, and this is not to buy a second VCR or to put chlorine in the family swimming pool; this is in order to meet the basic necessities of life. That is what this government has done with their job creation program which is nonexistent.
The government boasts that their deficit is going to be under control, the only province whose deficit is going to be under control. At whose expense, I would like to ask.
I think that those of us on this side know exactly at whose expense. It is certainly not at the expense of the upper‑income earners; it is certainly not at the expenses of those who can take comfort in the fact that the income tax has not been raised since 1987, those people who can afford to take advantage of the income tax loopholes as put forward first by the federal Liberals and followed by the federal Conservative governments.
The people on whose backs this deficit reduction is being maintained are the people of the education system‑‑the students, the teachers, the school divisions of this province‑‑the health care system, the expense of families‑‑families with children who need to access the programs of Child and Family Services agencies, families with children and young adults with mental disabilities, families and individuals with physical disabilities.
The minister talked about the services to community groups. The minister should read his correspondence and go back and listen to the people that have attempted to and have actually spoken with him, people who are attempting to provide community homes, community services for their children, many of whom are now adults, who are living with mental and physical disabilities and who cannot get money from this government to provide services for their children in their own families and in group homes, people that the minister has had many pieces of correspondence from and meetings with.
Let us talk about the cutbacks in the vocational rehabilitation program, the fact that there is no additional funding available. Why is there no additional funding available? Because the minister has decided that an x number of dollars will be available and once that is done, that is it. So, even though there are more people who are eligible and should be allowed to access these funds, more businesses that should be allowed to access these funds, the government has said, we do not have any more money, too bad.
What it means is that someone who is in hospital who has had an injury, who is now disabled, who is ready to go back to work, whose company, whose business under VRDP should be able to access dollars to be able to make that business accessible, who should be able to put in computer terminals to be able to help that person function in a job setting, can no longer access that money. So, instead of the government putting out a small amount of money under VRDP, what they are in effect doing is consigning that individual to the social assistance rolls. They are going to end up with a nonproductive citizen who is going to cost the government in money and in social costs far more than if they had put in some funds into the VRDP program.
In the words of one person who has used this system and is very concerned that it is no longer available until the end of March: You go home and you learn to be not productive, not a taxpaying citizen, not a worker. You go home and you learn to be disabled.
That is what this government is doing. It is perpetuating the cycle of poverty with its shortsighted, fiscally irresponsible actions.
the minister said, the government recently announced an increase in rates. This increase in rates is less by almost 2
percent than the inflation rate. That
means individuals on social assistance are continuing to lose ground, not gain
ground. According to the Winnipeg Free
Press on November 20: Welfare provides only 52 percent of what
In the cases of the disabled, even with the additional funding provided by this government, that figure is even lower.
There are also a couple of things that this
government does or does not do to social assistance recipients that make their
lives even more difficult. The
government has been asked by those groups and individuals that the minister
states I have not been in touch with, which is an inaccurate statement. I have spoken with many groups and
individuals in the poverty, the disabled and social assistance fields who have
said to me, one of the worst things that we have been asking this government to
do, to make a change in, is the amount of liquid assets that we can have. Currently, it is the lowest in the country. Four hundred dollars per individual is all that
a Manitoban can have in the bank at any one time, $2,500 in
I will, of course, let the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale) discuss this issue, which I know he wants to discuss. The whole idea of the lump sum payment being taken away from individuals on social assistance has in the last three or four weeks or a month been very much in the forefront of people's minds on social assistance. There are several issues to be dealt with here.
One is, and this was brought up by the member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans) in the Estimates process when discussing the change that was to take place in the tax law amendment statute. The question was asked, had the Manitoba Anti‑Poverty Organization and other such organizations been consulted? Had social assistance recipients been consulted by the government before making this change? The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) stated that to the best of his knowledge no consultation had taken place. No consultation took place between then and the time that the change was initiated. No consultation.
The other major concern of the people on social assistance when it came to their awareness, and certainly in that they were made aware of the change, the immediate change, not by anything that the government did. The government did not say: Hmm, this is a major change in how we are providing assistance to these people, a major change; we should let them know well ahead of time so that they can make arrangements. No, they did not do that. They probably would not have done anything if the individuals concerned had not found out about it and raised a very large ruckus with the government.
whole concept of empowerment here, which is one that appears to be foreign to
this government, is one of the major issues in this whole thing. Yes, there is a problem with tax
discounters. There is no question about
that, but people on social assistance are not the only ones who use tax
discounters, and not all social assistance recipients use them. What this government has done by not consulting,
by unilaterally making this change, is that they have taken away from
individuals who are on social assistance a right to make a choice that every
other taxpaying member of
They have said, in effect, that we do not trust you to make a decision as to how to use your money, so we are going to make that decision for you. How patronizing can you be? So it is an issue of consultation originally, it is an issue of not listening to the social assistance recipients in the last four weeks, and it is a clear case of discrimination, and I certainly hope someone takes it to court, because this class of social assistance recipients is being told that they do not have the same rights that other Manitobans have. That is the problem with a lump sum payment, and it is an indicator of this government's total lack of concern for the people it is supposed to be supporting.
Another area of many areas that the government is cutting back on is services to our new Canadians. The English as a Second Language programs have been decimated at the same time that $45,000 is now being put into The Bridging Cultures Program to do a great many things which are excellent in and of themselves, but $45,000 will not begin to make a dent in the job that needs to be done. In the meantime many new Canadians are not going to be able to access job‑training programs or jobs because they do not have the language skills to do it, another case of the shortsightedness of this government.
It is interesting that they are cutting services to new Canadians, to people for whom English is not their first language. They are paying lip service to the multicultural community, but in the Premier's own New Year's address which we got, or New Year's message, which we all received this last week, he states and I quote: I am sure the New Year will continue to offer Manitobans many new challenges and opportunities for growth. I am confident that our hard‑working, resourceful people, descendants of the hardy pioneers upon whose sturdy foundation we are continuing to build, will help to fashion this new era of growth and well‑being.
When I read that, I thought, is that not classic? They talk about multiculturalism; they talk about the need to provide programs for new Canadians and new Manitobans. They cut back the programs that could help these people access jobs and services in the community, and then the Premier (Mr. Filmon) has the gall in his New Year's speech to totally disregard the contribution that new Canadians have made since 100 years ago, it would appear, absolutely no speaking of new immigrants or refugees in this province, classic, classic.
The government has said again that there are no new personal income tax hikes. Of course, there are not. People in the upper income tax brackets, as I said before, can take advantage of the tax loopholes, but do not for a moment think, and do not for a moment think that Manitobans are not aware of this, that the Manitoba taxpayer and individual is not being taxed as a direct result of this government's actions and inactions. It is offloading, just like the provincial government complains about with the federal government. It is classic offloading, offloading onto the municipalities, offloading onto the school boards, offloading onto the backs of the weakest and most vulnerable.
Again, we are dealing with a government which does not care, which does not see the need to help those most vulnerable.
An Honourable Member: You know better, and you say it anyway. Right, Becky?
Ms. Barrett: No, I do not know better. I know this is exactly it. I know that‑‑again let us go back
to welfare statistics which are again an example of a case of a policy that is
not working. It is an admission of
failure. Last month the welfare stats
for the City of
the same time, while these social assistance and unemployment insurance and
economic disasters are befalling the lower parts of our income earners, and
again we must not forget the civil servants of this province who have been
forced to take a zero percent increase with Bill 70. Doctors in
Again, who does this government represent? Well, we know whom they do not represent. They do not represent the majority of working Manitobans. They do not represent Manitobans who are forced to collect unemployment insurance. They do not represent new Canadians. They do not represent those on social assistance. They do not represent students. They do not represent single parents. They do not represent children. They do not represent abused women and children. They do not represent the seniors in this province.
An Honourable Member: I wonder who elected . . . .
Ms. Barrett: One of my honourable colleagues asks he wonders who elected him. The question should be, who is going to vote for you next time? Not very many.
The government talks about the fact that it is protecting its citizens by not having a personal income tax hike and by its programs to reduce and maintain the deficit.
I would like to quote a paragraph from the Status of Women critic of the federal New Democratic Party when she says‑‑she says it far better than I could which is why I am quoting it‑‑the Conservative philosophy fundamentally seems to misunderstand what social assistance is all about. It is not to throw out scraps of money to people so that they can just scrape by, their self‑esteem disintegrating day by day. It is there to help people to get back on their feet and to become self‑sufficient. It is there to ensure that children do not go to school hungry, and that they have a real chance in life. It is there to train people so they have the skills and the education necessary to participate in the job market. These are investments for the future, and you cannot build a strong economy without it, something this government seems to not have understood.
cannot build a strong economy by leaving children without care, hungry, so that
they grow up on the fringes of society, chronically on social assistance or in
conflict with the law. This is not the way to reduce the deficit, but this is
the way Conservative governments throughout history and certainly in this
country are doing it on the backs of those who are least able to protect
themselves. It is shameful. The people of
provincial government talks about and takes great pride in its work on the
restructuring of the Child and Family Services system in the city of
The automated information system, the high‑risk indicators and the child advocate that the minister is speaking very highly of‑‑none of these are a negative thing. They are all very positive. Not a single one of these initiatives needed to have a recentralized Child and Family Services system in order to be implemented. As a matter of fact, the whole point of a computer system and information system is that you can be decentralized and still have centralized information. You do not need to restructure. So he is being dishonest with the community when he puts together the need to recentralize with the other things that he is talking about doing.
When the minister said it is a sad commentary on society that the family is breaking down, that is true. The family, as we have known it in the past‑‑the norm, as we have known it in the past, which was always honoured more in the breach than in the observance, is breaking down. The only reason the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) can give for that breakdown is that parenting skills are negligent, totally ignoring the economic factors that lead to poverty, that lead to the cycle of violence, that lead to the cycle of remaining on social assistance‑‑no concept about the broader, larger rationales and reasons for this system breakdown.
child care funding system is something else I would like to speak about in my
remarks. I have spoken at length with
the minister and with individuals in the child care community and daycares
throughout the province. The child care
What this government can take credit for is a very good first step at dismantling that model child care system as the minister would know if he had listened to the hundreds of child care centres in this province, both family daycare and daycare centres and families, many families, and child care workers who are finding that under this new system they have to lay off qualified staff. The waiting lists that many centres had are gone. There are vacancies in the centres now, and by changing the funding formula to represent more, the fee structure being with the parents and the children rather than an operating grant, the system is going to get worse rather than better.
This is the system that the Liberals
instituted in the
The minister might also listen to the fact that morale in the child care directorate has never been lower, has never been lower. So when he talks about children being the most vulnerable members of our society, again it is words not followed in any way, shape or form by actions.
I would like to just very briefly talk about the whole issue of domestic violence that we have discussed at great length, not probably enough, but at certain length in this House. I am glad to hear that there is going to be a new crisis shelter in the Parklands. It is certainly needed, and I welcome that. I also welcome the money that is being given to the shelter in Selkirk for renovating or buying a new building. I understand that it will not result in any more spaces or beds available but that it will be a far better system, and that is good news as well.
However, the funding formula issue, which the minister is also saying is about to be finally resolved, was within six months of resolution in 1988 when the previous government was defeated. That was almost four years ago. In that four years shelters have had to live with a funding formula that, from the very beginning, was seen by the previous government as inequitable, and they began working with the shelters to make changes to that system.
Almost four years later, the government is finally maybe going to do something with it. We still do not know. We do not know what the government is going to do with the funding formula for shelters. We do not know what the government is going to do with the new working group that has been established to deal with the recommendations out of the Pedlar report. I am hopeful that it is going to be very positive.
We do have some experience with this government's use of advisors and working groups. The working group on daycare is a case in point where the government effectively muzzled, through forcing the working group on day care to sign an oath on secrecy, 18 months, and then the government came up with not the recommendations that the working group had come up with but a complete misrepresentation of what that working group's recommendations had been for funding for child care.
There has been no action on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, to date no action on the Pedlar Commission recommendations that deal with economic security, long‑term training, additional support for shelters, telephones, very specific things that this minister could, on his own initiative, have made changes. Nothing has happened. We are very leery of this government's handling of working groups and advisory committees. I will not go into the situation in the Department of Health in this regard. Suffice it to say, we will be monitoring and asking questions very closely and holding the government accountable, as will the people who are on these working committees, to ensure that they actually use the recommendations of these working committees to effect real change and not just as another way of stalling, of not actually doing anything while being seen to be doing something.
In conclusion, I just think that this Speech from the Throne is another example of this government's ideological bent, its classic neoconservative philosophy, and its total disregard for the needs and aspirations and abilities of the majority of Manitobans. The resources, the human and social and economic resources, have been wasted and underutilized in this province over the last three and a half years. That is a major shame and a crime.
What this government has not done by its inactions and by its actions, in some cases, is unconscionable, and this government will be held accountable by the people of Manitoba ultimately, but this government will know that the opposition will hold it accountable daily in this House, in Estimates, in questions, as will groups in our community who are finally beginning to understand that a Tory government in a minority situation is not nearly the same animal as a Tory government in a majority situation. It is a far different animal and not nearly as warm and cuddly as it would appear to be or would like to be seen to be.
Speaker, I will just end by saying, the people of
Mrs. Rosemary Vodrey (
would like to start by welcoming back all members to this House, and then I
would like to welcome you back, Mr. Speaker.
I look forward to your fair and reasoned approach in this Chamber. I
also would like to welcome back my colleague the member for
Then I would like to welcome the pages, because we always appreciate their work and their contributions in this Chamber. I also believe this is a wonderful opportunity for young people, so I would like to welcome Nicole Robertson, John O'Neill, James Brennan, Geoffrey MacDonnell, Ian Grant and David Andrews.
Mr. Speaker, this has been a difficult year for Canadians and for Manitobans. We have suffered the effects of a national recession. Our first priority now for this government is economic growth. We as Manitobans have an outstanding record of working together and we now must use our individual and our collective energy to get our province growing.
the first phase of our term we worked hard to bring spending under
control. We as Manitobans had to
recognize our serious situation, and as a government we did recognize our
serious situation. We realized that
Manitobans could not pay increased personal income tax. We as a government worked hard to set a plan
to manage, to manage the economy and to keep spending under control. Now, Mr. Speaker, we are in the second
phase. We have recognized the problem,
and now we have to get
this throne speech of December 5, 1991, it explained my government's plan to
have prepared the way for phase two, and we have prepared it by keeping taxes
down, by controlling government spending and by fighting spiralling
deficits. These actions are the
important steps toward creating a positive climate for investment and for
this throne speech, my government intends to protect
Premier also announced the restructuring of the Manitoba Research Council into
the Manitoba Economic Innovation and Technology Council. This council will act as the new cabinet
committee's link to the private sector, but while our government's economic
initiatives are important to recovery, they can only be a part of our plan for
success. Manitobans must join in the
challenge of getting
Manitobans know best what their needs are. They know what will sell and what will not. They know how to use their local advantages to attract investment, capture economic development opportunities and to create jobs. Our government believes that no one will be as effective or work harder at getting the economy growing than Manitobans themselves. Our government will stand with Manitobans to meet these challenges, and we will work with them to help them find solutions.
Speaker, in Fort Garry I have knocked on doors in the community, I have held
coffee parties in the community, I have visited at events and community clubs
and schools, and I have found that the people of Manitoba have ideas to
share. They have ideas to put Manitobans
back to work, and those ideas are coming from communities like mine,
our plan to get
found this same enthusiasm as I toured
Speaker, this plan involves the positive thinking of Manitobans. We live in a wonderful province. My family and I chose
was at a tea yesterday afternoon. Sixty
women were there to welcome a woman and her family to
Another family said that they had considered
moving away. One of their children had a very serious accident and was hit by a
car. That family experienced the
support, the supportive network and the very wonderful services that we have to
also have a number of other advantages.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson) on Saturday
made some very significant points. He
said we have low‑cost housing. We
have clean air. We have low‑cost
rental space for businesses. We have low absenteeism in the workplace. We have low turnover in jobs, and we have
research at our universities. These
business advantages, plus the advantage of community, make
example of our positive attitude was our Grey Cup celebration. It was considered the best ever. I want to congratulate the volunteers and the
The reasons have come pouring out. People have said they have lived here all their lives and they like it. They like the family community, they think we have good housing, they like the weather, they like the clean air, they like the schools, they like our way of life.
Seniors, young people, families, businesses‑‑they say the same thing. These are the attitudes that we need to speak about; these are the ideas we need to put forward, and let us not be shy.
challenge anyone, and I ask you to challenge anyone who uses an image that is
contrived from a book or a TV show, an image that is put forward by somebody
who has never even been here. Let us
tell them what
attended the three farm rallies. I am an
urban MLA, but I was elected to serve in the Manitoba Legislature and to
consider the needs of all Manitobans and to know how the needs of some affect
others. I went to the
I said I spoke with men and women, and that is true. They told me that some of them simply cannot continue to make a living on the farm. They told me about their needs to work off the farm and the struggle that it is in their family. I heard how sadly the stress that the farming community is under is leading to a preoccupation and a worry and that preoccupation is leading to accidents, to family breakdown, and to health problems.
Speaker, the people of
Faculties of Agriculture and Human Ecology at the
Mr. Speaker, education and training also play a vital part in our ability to compete economically. Our government recognizes the importance of our educational system and in the spring released a new five‑year plan for educational renewal. It includes initiatives in elementary schools, high school, advanced training and skills development and university education. We also have a continued emphasis on standards with the implementation of our provincial examinations.
Post-secondary education is also very
important to our government and in my constituency. The
would like to make a point that the
would like to take a moment to tell you about a faculty member who I am
particularly proud of, and I would like to congratulate Dr. Beverley Zakaluk,
an Associate Professor of Education at the
Speaker, vital services such as education, health and family services need a
growing economy to generate the necessary resources to protect
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The hour being 6 p.m., in accordance with the
rules, I am leaving the Chair and will return at 8 p.m., at which time the
honourable member for