Wednesday, March 18, 1992


The House met at 1:30 p.m.


Mr. Clerk (William Remnant):  I must inform the House of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker and would ask, in accordance with the statutes, that the Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Dacquay) take the Chair.








Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Laurene Myrnold, Kim Maksymyk, Caroline Rizkalla and others requesting the government show its strong commitment to dealing with child abuse by considering restoring the Fight Back Against Child Abuse campaign.

Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Allison Dewar, Laurie Sutherland, Katie Sutherland and others requesting the government show its strong commitment to dealing with child abuse by considering restoring the Fight Back Against Child Abuse campaign.

Ms. Marianne Cerilli (Radisson):  I beg to present the petition of Carole Cahill, Shannon Mason, Debra Delveaux and others requesting the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) call upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to prevent the release of individuals where there is substantial likelihood of further family violence.




Madam Deputy Speaker (Louise Dacquay):  I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member, and it complies 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?

       The petition of the undersigned citizens of the province of Manitoba humbly sheweth that:

       The bail review provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada currently set out that accused offenders, including those suspected of conjugal or family violence, be released unless it can be proven that the individual is a danger to society at large or it is likely that the accused person will not reappear in court; and

       The problem of conjugal and family violence is a matter of grave concern for all Canadians and requires a multifaceted approach to ensure that those at risk, particularly women and children, be protected from further harm.

       WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the province of Manitoba may be pleased to request that the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) call upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to permit the courts to prevent the release of individuals where it is shown that there is a substantial likelihood of further conjugal or family violence being perpetrated. (Mr. Dewar)

* * *

       I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member, and it complies 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?

       The petition of the undersigned citizens of the province of Manitoba humbly sheweth:

       THAT child abuse is a crime abhorred by all good citizens of our society, but nonetheless it exists in today's world; and

       It is the responsibility of the government to recognize and deal with this most vicious of crimes; and

       Programs like the Fight Back Against Child Abuse campaign raise public awareness and necessary funds to deal with crime; and

       The decision to terminate the Fight Back Against Child Abuse campaign will hamper the efforts of all good citizens to help abused children.

       WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the Province of Manitoba may be pleased to request that the government of Manitoba show a strong commitment to deal with Child Abuse by considering restoring the Fight Back Against Child Abuse campaign. (Ms. Barrett)

* * *

       I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member, and it complies 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?

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       The petition of the undersigned citizens of the province of Manitoba humbly sheweth that:

       The bail review provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada currently set out that accused offenders, including those suspected of conjugal or family violence, be released unless it can be proven that the individual is a danger to society at large or it is likely that the accused person will not reappear in court; and

       The problem of conjugal and family violence is a matter of grave concern for all Canadians and requires a multifaceted approach to ensure that those at risk, particularly women and children, be protected from further harm.

       WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the province of Manitoba may be pleased to request that the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) call upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to permit the courts to prevent the release of individuals where it is shown that there is a substantial likelihood of further conjugal or family violence being perpetrated. (Mr. Reid)

       I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member, and it complies 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?

       The petition of the undersigned citizens of the province of Manitoba humbly sheweth that:

       The bail review provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada currently set out that accused offenders, including those suspected of conjugal or family violence, be released unless it can be proven that the individual is a danger to society at large or it is likely that the accused person will not reappear in court; and

       The problem of conjugal and family violence is a matter of grave concern for all Canadians and requires a multifaceted approach to ensure that those at risk, particularly women and children, be protected from further harm.

       WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the province of Manitoba may be pleased to request that the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) call upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to permit the courts to prevent the release of individuals where it is shown that there is a substantial likelihood of further conjugal or family violence being perpetrated. (Mr. Chomiak)


Introduction of Guests


Madam Deputy Speaker:  Prior to Oral Questions, I would like to draw the attention of all members of the House to the public gallery, where we have with us this afternoon, from Victor Wyatt School, thirty Grade 4 students under the direction of Mr. Bell. This school is located in the constituency of the honourable member for Seine River (Mrs. Dacquay).

       Also with us this afternoon are eighty‑two Grade 9 students from the Sargent Park School, who are under the direction of Mr. Robert Forrester.

       On behalf of all honourable members, I welcome you this afternoon.




North American Free Trade Agreement

Government Position


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Madam Deputy Speaker, during the last provincial election‑‑and dare I mention the Leaders' debate?‑‑I asked the Premier (Mr. Filmon) of the province a very, very serious question about free trade with Mexico and asked the Premier whether he was opposed to the free trade position, what is your position?  The answer from the Premier at that time in the debate was, no, we are not going to support the free trade with Mexico.

       Since that time we have seen the unconditional "no" go to a conditional "maybe."  On countless times in this Chamber, we have been asking the government their position on not only the substance of the free trade agreement but the timing of the free trade agreement with Canada, United States and Mexico.  In fact, I asked the Premier this question in his Estimates last spring.

       I would ask the Premier in light of the fact that the Prime Minister is now stating that they are on a very fast track for free trade with United States and Mexico, and in light of the fact that the Prime Minister is even talking about dates as early as April of 1992, has the First Minister (Mr. Filmon) advised the federal government to put this on the slow track so that Canadians will have an idea of what is in the agreement, or has the Premier not phoned the Prime Minister to communicate our concern about the fast track that the Prime Minister is now taking with the President of the United States and the President of Mexico?

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Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, if I were the Leader of the Opposition, I would not want to mention the last televised debate either.

       I repeat, at the time, in 1990, nothing was known of the proposal or of any potential proposal for a free trade agreement as to whether or not there was anything that was supportable or not supportable.  Since then as information has come out, Manitoba has put its position clearly on the table and has written to the Honourable Michael Wilson indicating that we would not be able to support a free trade agreement unless six conditions were met.

       Those six conditions were as follows:  (1) Manitoba insists that the trilateral negotiations must not result in a renegotiation of the current Canada‑U.S. Free Trade Agreement; (2) Manitoba believes that Canada must seek assurances that under any free trade Agreement, labour standards in Mexico will improve in line with Mexican prosperity and will be adequately enforced; (3) Manitoba believes that negotiations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico must encompass broad coverage of issues with respect to environmental standards; (4) Manitoba calls upon the federal government to ensure that comprehensive and adequately funded adjustment measures be provided to ensure that Manitoba and Canada are equipped to capitalize on the opportunities provided by trade liberalization; (5) Manitoba stresses the need for policies at all levels of government which reinforce the efforts and needs of Manitoba businesses in adjusting to trade liberalization within a globalized world market; and (6) Manitoba urges the federal government to follow through on its commitment to involve provinces in developing the Canadian mandate and objectives and to implement full provincial participation throughout these negotiations.

       That is the clearest position that has been put forth by any provincial government in the country, and that is the position of the government of Manitoba.

Mr. Doer:  Madam Deputy Speaker, the Premier (Mr. Filmon) has given us no answer of whether he advised the Prime Minister to go on the fast track which is presently in existence now.  I guess we will just step aside like we have done before, and Mulroney will sign the free trade agreement, and then we will pull our six conditions out of the hat at the end of the day after it is all over.

       The Premier has stated that we have taken the strongest position of any other government in Canada.  I would point out that he made no statement to the Prime Minister directly at the last First Ministers' meeting dealing with the economy.  I would also point out to the Premier that the Premier of Saskatchewan has said directly to the Prime Minister, in front of all Canadians, as far as the North American free trade negotiations are going on, the so‑called Mexico round, Saskatchewan urges that they be shelved until the lasting impacts of the Canada‑U.S.A. Free Trade Agreement become more clear.

       I would ask the Premier of Manitoba:  Will he be taking a strong definitive position on the fast track that is now in existence at the economic First Ministers' meeting next week with the Prime Minister?

Mr. Filmon:  I will say to the Leader of the Opposition that he is jumping at media reports and doing things with respect to things that are put in various speculative reports.  I remind him that in response to these speculative reports, Trade Minister Michael Wilson has stated that, firstly, there is no deal yet and there will be no deal unless it is good for Canada.  Secondly, the final agreement could well be very different from the speculation that is currently in the media.  Finally, the reports that have been in the media have been based upon material that is both partial and out of date.

       I suggest to him that the best position for us to be in is to state unequivocally the conditions that must be fulfilled before such an agreement is acceptable to Manitoba and the people of Manitoba.  That is what we have done, and we have put it forward very clearly, not in political statements or knee‑jerk reactions, but in very well‑considered and well‑presented concerns that must be met in order to be acceptable to us.


North American Free Trade Agreement

Government Study Tabling Request


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  The Premier did have an unequivocal position in the last election campaign during the debate, Madam Deputy Speaker.  He now has a set of six conditions, but he cannot tell us whether he is in favour of a "fast track, slow track" or whether he has advised the Prime Minister on any track to follow.  He quotes Michael Wilson.  This is the same person who told Canadians that the GST would be revenue neutral.  Again, we see the Premier not taking a strong stand.

       They have the Georgetown draft.  The provinces have the Dallas draft on trade, and they cannot tell us yet whether they think the Prime Minister should go ahead and initial this agreement or not in terms of a quick pace and whether he will take any stand at next week's First Ministers' meeting, Madam Deputy Speaker.

       I have a further question to the Premier.  In 1988 in this Chamber, the Premier stated on August 5, 1988, that free trade with the United States based on their empirical study would create between 10,000 and 15,000 new net jobs in Manitoba.  Madam Deputy Speaker, I assume the Premier has again an empirical study on the free trade agreement with Mexico.  He has a very, very expensive Economic Secretariat that he has put in place to give Manitobans that kind of empirical material.

       Will the Premier today table the study that his secretariat has done on the winners, losers and job opportunities with a North American free trade agreement?

Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism): Madam Deputy Speaker, while we have drawn on the resources of some of the national studies that are being done on the Canada‑U.S.‑Mexico free trade, the best resource that we have are the people of Manitoba and the people doing business in Manitoba.

       In the development of our position on this particular issue, we met at length with all of the central organizations.  We met with labour unions.  We met with the academic members of our various universities and communities and helped utilize them in developing our policy, because they are the ones who have to deal with any change in a North American free trade agreement on a day‑to‑day basis in terms of doing business here in Manitoba.

       They have provided us with some of their concerns.  It was based on those reviews and consultations that helped us formulate the position that we did in fact take and to attach the six conditions that were put in place to any support for North American free trade.  We will continue to work with the private sector in terms of meeting the concerns of Manitobans.

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Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report

Northern Court Services


Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  My question is to the Minister of Justice.

       When government has virtually ignored recommendations of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry‑‑so far its major actions had been two photo‑opportunity press conferences featuring the Justice minister (Mr. McCrae) and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), hardly the sort of action that was promised when the report was handed down six months ago.

       My question is for the Minister of Justice.  Has he read the report yet and, if he has, does he reconcile the recommendations of the report with his plan to create a two‑tier justice system, where the service in northern communities is even worse than it is already?

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Madam Deputy Speaker, if I understand the honourable member correctly, he was referring to a newspaper article today, not naming some unnamed sources, and it relates to contract negotiation discussions which are underway.  I was contacted by the newspaper involved and declined to comment on the specifics of the issues that are the subject of collective bargaining.  The honourable member knows better than to suggest that this government has ignored the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry recommendations.  He knows also that we await with anticipation the participation of aboriginal leadership in discussions that will lead to implementation of real programs for real people in Manitoba.

Mr. Harper:  Madam Deputy Speaker, northerners expect a better system‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Question.


Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report

Northern Court Services


Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  My supplementary question is to the Minister of Northern Affairs.

       Has the Minister of Northern Affairs read the report?  Does he disagree with the report in terms of court services in northern communities?

Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the government has reviewed the report.  We have established a process by which positive changes can be made on behalf of the aboriginal people.  As soon as the aboriginal people identify themselves to work on those working groups, action will be taken.


Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report

Northern Court Services


Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  Will the Minister of Northern Affairs answer this question?  Aboriginal people are tired of being treated as second‑class citizens.  How can this government justify cuts when the northern justice system is creating‑‑and not only failing the people in the North?  Will the proposed cuts not result in more guilty pleas and more people needlessly serving time in prison?

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General):  I have no idea what the honourable member is talking about, Madam Deputy Speaker.  I do not see anything relating to cuts with respect to the delivery of justice services, the delivery of real services to real people.  In fact, if the honourable member engages in discussion with me when we get to the review of the Estimates of my department, I would be happy to discuss the many, many aspects of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry to which this government is committing itself to move forward with aboriginal people in the future.

       It would be nice, however, and we look forward to having the aboriginal leadership join us at the table so that we can together implement these things.  Perhaps the honourable member can use whatever influence he has with the aboriginal leadership in this province to encourage them to join us at the table.

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School Division

Boundary Review Cancellation


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Madam Deputy Speaker, we have been pointing out to this government since 1986 of a need to review school division boundaries, a review that has not been conducted effectively in this province for 40 years.  Finally in the 1990 campaign, we got a commitment from the Premier that, yes, along with the revision to The City of Winnipeg Act, we would get a review of school division boundaries.

       Can the Premier tell this House today why his government has deliberately backed down to their commitment to parents, children, trustees and the need for education in this province?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, as was, I think explained and outlined quite adequately yesterday by the Minister of Education and Training (Mrs. Vodrey), there are a number of issues that are actively under consideration and under action by the minister and her department, many of which have varying effects on the delivery of education services throughout the province of Manitoba that need to have the time to be able to take effect and to be able to be dealt with by the various school divisions involved.

       Yes, I will openly and freely admit that the promise the Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs) referred to was made during the election campaign.  I made that promise believing that there was a need for a review.  Subsequently, as a result of the fact that we are dealing now with the new Education funding formula; we are dealing now with new Francophone governance structure to be implemented over the next while; also with respect to the High School Review implementation‑‑all of those matters I have been persuaded by members of school boards in the educational community are matters that require adjustment, flexibility and response by the school community, the education community‑‑now is not the time to further impose yet another potential major change on them.  This is a matter that ought to be put on the back burner at the present time.

       I believe that the Minister of Education made the right decision and the right policy decision on this matter.  I am quite happy to accept it.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Madam Deputy Speaker, the reasons why the minister has given for why it is not the appropriate time was the review of The Public Schools Act, which has been going on now for a year, the Francophone schools governance issue, which has been going on now for two years, the implementation of the High School Review, which has been going on for three years, and the implementation of the new finance model which was proceeding prior to the last Speech from the Throne.

       Can the Minister of Education or perhaps the Premier‑‑because she was not in the cabinet at that time‑‑explain why they made a commitment to review those boundaries on December 5, 1991, when all of those things were at that point going on?

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Mr. Filmon:  Madam Deputy Speaker, as I said, those matters are underway.  Those matters all require a great deal of time, energy and commitment on the part of not only members of the staff of the Minister of Education and the department, but school divisions throughout the province.  Teachers, resource people, administrators, school board members are all involved and engaged in the implementation of all these many things.  They can only be spread so thin in terms of implementing these changes and after discussion‑‑and I invite the Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs), rather than do as she normally does, which is to impose from on high her judgment on the people in the education community, every other community, I suggest to her that she do a little consultation with those people and find out whether or not they wanted to have yet another potential major change imposed upon them at the same time as they are coping with all of these other changes.

       I am convinced from my consultations and discussions that they did not at the present time.  I invite her to once in a while get in touch with the people out there who have to do those things.

Mrs. Carstairs:  I will compare my list of educational stakeholders whom I have talked to, to his list any day, and I will come out far ahead.


School Division Boundary Review

Impact Francophone Governance


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Madam Deputy Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education.

       Since the review of school division boundaries will not take place, how does she believe that the issue of Francophone governance can be dealt with quickly and effectively in that it affects a number of school divisions?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Madam Deputy Speaker, in answering that question, I would like to say that the matters are in fact two separate matters.

       In consultation with the educational stakeholders, with school divisions and with parents who have let us know the pressure at the moment on the educational system, this government listened to them, and we said:  I believe you.

       The issue of Francophone governance, Madam Deputy Speaker, we are pleased to be moving ahead with in a very active way, and there will be an announcement soon regarding implementation.


Core Area Initiative



Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  My question is for the Minister of Urban Affairs.

       Last June the minister received federal proposals for a new Core Area Initiative.  He was, he said, hopeful, and he said the province and the federal government were this close.  Some weeks ago now, he received a revised proposal from the federal government.  It seems clear now that it is this government which is dragging its heels on the future of the core area.

       My question for the minister is:  Will he tell the House exactly what the obstacles are in his view?  Why is his government choosing to stand in the way of such significant programs?

Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Urban Affairs):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I can advise my honourable friend, as I have on a number of occasions, that we are in the process of negotiating with our two partners in this matter.

       The fact of the matter is, though, Madam Deputy Speaker, that while we are reasonably close, I think, to an agreement, we are not prepared to sign an agreement at any cost for the sake of signing an agreement.  We want to have the best possible agreement, and they will be the first ones to criticize if we signed an agreement that was not the best possible agreement.  We will continue to work toward that end.  I am hopeful that within a short period of time, we will have significant announcements to make.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister then tell the House, give us a time table, when is he prepared to make a decision, so that the remaining employees in the Core Area Initiative can stop packing their bags?  Will he in sum manage this transition in a responsible and appropriate way?

Mr. Ernst:  Madam Deputy Speaker, the management of the Core Area offices, as a matter of fact, has been managed in a most responsible way.  We are not carrying on with large employee groups that have nought to do, whose jobs have been completed. We are keeping a small staff there to ensure ongoing programs are looked after.

       We have taken the initiative with respect to the core area immigration training programs, that they will in fact be kept on as skeleton staff.  They will be kept on for the next two months in anticipation of a new agreement.  So, Madam Deputy Speaker, it is being well managed.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Deputy Speaker, could the minister then tell the House in light of the less than spectacular funding that we have seen for Core Area Initiative in the past, what level of funding is he proposing for the next Core Area?

Mr. Ernst:  Madam Deputy Speaker, almost $200 million of taxpayers' money has been spent in the core of Winnipeg over the last 10 years.  That is a spectacular amount of money.

       The fact of the matter is at the moment we are in negotiations with respect to a subsequent agreement.  That agreement, as I have said on a number of occasions, is under consideration at the moment.  As soon as we have finalized that, I will be pleased to advise the House.

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Human Resources

Opportunity Centre Closure


Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Madam Deputy Speaker, in the last budget, Selkirk was hit hard by this government when it announced the closure of the School of Psychiatric Nursing without any consultation.  Now we find in this budget Selkirk is the only community to lose its Human Resources Opportunity Centre; again, no consultation.

       My question is to the Minister of Family Services.  What criteria did this minister use besides an electoral map when he made the wrong decision to close this centre?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Madam Deputy Speaker, from time to time, we hear from opposition members the need to evaluate and look at training programs to assist people who are seeking employment.  We have some successful programs that I could tell you about in that area.

       The Single Parent Job Access Program is one I would speak of that has graduated a number of people into the work force.  We also have the Gateway program which assists young people in particular in retraining at a number of areas to get into the work force.

       Simply, besides adding programs‑‑and we have referred to the Partners with Youth program‑‑we also have to evaluate the programs that we have and look at ones that are not as successful as other ones and reprioritize some of our spending and some of our initiatives in that area.

       One of the decisions we have made in this budget is to look at the training plant in Selkirk.  We feel that we can offer that service through the HROCs in Winnipeg and Gimli and, at the same time, have those people serviced in those areas and also put in place some new programs that we will be announcing in the not too distant future.

Mr. Dewar:  Everything is going to Gimli, Madam Deputy Speaker.


Service Expansion


Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Will the minister keep the Selkirk centre open, in fact expand services there, so we have some more trained workers in this province and fewer unemployed?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Madam Deputy Speaker, again we hear opposition members asking for expanded services, expanded expenditures.  When we looked at the pretend‑budget that was brought down last Tuesday, it called for only 5 percent additional expenditures in Family Services, almost 4 percent short of what our budget has in it.

       That $20 million that they would not spend, I challenged the member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans) yesterday to let us know where they would not spend that money, whether they would take it out of training programs or whether they would take it out of daycare.  I am sure the member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) would not hear of that.  I suspect that there were a number of members concerned in putting that budget together, and we have far, far surpassed the calls for spending in Family Services.




Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Will this minister table in the House any studies which demonstrate that Gimli is more cost effective than Selkirk?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Madam Deputy Speaker, we have a number of effective programs, and I reference the Single Parent Job Access Program. [interjection] I see a former Minister of Education laughing at the thought that there are effective programs in training people.  I reference that program and the Gateway program.  We do have human resource centres in a number of areas of the province.  We are going to add new resources to job training, and we are reprioritizing some of the funding that we have in this area.


Manitoba Heritage Foundation

Granting Authority


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Madam Deputy Speaker, this government and in particular the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship do not support, apparently, volunteer organizations.  We need to look at this particular minister when she took away the funding capabilities of the MIC and gave them to a politically appointed board.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, while we were listening to the budget last week, the deputy minister met with the Heritage federation, and once again this government has chosen to take away from the volunteers the funding or the granting authority from the organization.

       My question to the minister is:  Can the minister tell this House why the granting authority has been taken away from the Heritage federation?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I will attempt to answer that question for the critic from the second opposition party and indicate that, in fact, the Heritage community will be served in a very reasonable and good way as a result of the changes that were made.

       There has been no reduction in the amount of funding to the Heritage community as a result of the decision.  In fact, there may be more dollars available, because the money that will be distributed will not go as much toward administrative costs but will go to the community organizations who need the money most.


Volunteer Board


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Madam Deputy Speaker, why did the minister not sit down with the federation and discuss the problems that she had with their operations and suggest options for them to reform instead of simply firing the volunteers?

       If she is using the administration costs, she entered into the agreement with the federation and knew full well what the administration costs were.  You cannot use that, Madam Deputy Speaker‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Does the member have a question?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I realize full well that there are many, many volunteers within the Heritage community and within all communities who dedicate and commit their time to serving their interests and their needs, so I do nothing but commend volunteers for their contribution.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I have on occasion met with the Heritage federation as I have met with the entire Heritage community.  We believe that the process that will be put in place to deliver funding to the Heritage community will indeed serve the community well and be administratively less costly.

Mr. Lamoureux:  The question quite simply to the minister is: Why does she not trust the volunteers in administering this program?  If the administration is the argument that she is basing the cutting out of this particular organization of the volunteers, why does she not just simply sit down with these volunteers and work out some sort of an agreement‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The question has been put.

Mrs. Mitchelson:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I know that the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) has been the critic for Culture, Heritage and Citizenship for several years now, and I believe this is the first time he has ever asked a question on Heritage in this House.  I do not think he spent much time on Heritage issues through the Estimates process either.  So I would encourage him, like I know the critic from the NDP party does, to meet on occasion with members of the Heritage community to attempt to understand the community and the needs of the community, and then maybe he can ask some really informed questions.


Vegetable Producing Industry

U.S. Inspections


Mr. Edward Connery (Portage la Prairie):  My question is to the Minister of Agriculture.  Manitoba is a leader in Canada in high‑quality vegetable production.  Distributors in the United States want our produce, but importers and exporters alike are harassed by the United States Food and Drug Administration by putting loads under detention while they do residue testing.

       This unfair trade practice ties up space in the wholesalers' coolers and ties up this fresh product.  They have never found a load unacceptable in their testing.

       Can the minister inform this Legislature what action he has taken as the federal government has taken none?

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  Madam Deputy Speaker, very clearly this is a very significant issue for the vegetable industry.  Clearly what the United States is doing is, in my mind, putting in place nontariff trade barriers.  The normal rate of inspection of vegetable loads going into the United States is 1 percent.

       We found evidence in the last couple of months that they are inspecting as many as 25 percent of the loads going into the Minneapolis market in particular.  It seems that the same trade harassment does not occur for going to the Texas market or Chicago.

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       I have sent a letter to the federal Minister of Trade back in August of last year.  My officials met with American officials in October of last year.  I have again‑‑because probably have to say the increased rate of inspections in the last two months‑‑sent another letter this month asking the federal minister to talk to his counterparts in the United States to be sure that we are not being harassed in this process, although I would say, in my opinion, we are being harassed in the process of the rate of inspections applied to Manitoba produce going to the Minneapolis market.


Federal Day

Haul Worker Program


Mr. Edward Connery (Portage la Prairie):  My question, Madam Deputy Speaker, is to the same minister.  The federal government is phasing out its assistance for the day haul of Manitoba workers.  The vegetable growers employ large numbers of workers from local reserves.  If this occurs, we will have inadequate workers and at the same time aboriginal people will be deprived of their employment.  Will the minister vigorously lobby the federal government to reinstate this program fully?

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  Madam Deputy Speaker, yes.


North American Free Trade Agreement

Impact Agricultural Industry


Mr. Edward Connery (Portage la Prairie):  My last question, Madam Deputy Speaker.  Free trade with Mexico could be a disaster for Manitoba and Canada.  Manitoba exports very little agricultural produce but imports of cheap‑labour‑produced vegetables could have a serious negative impact on Manitobans‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Does the honourable member have a supplementary question?

Mr. Connery:  ‑‑and especially aboriginal people.

       Will the minister forcefully put forth Manitoba's concerns in regard to a free trade agreement with Mexico?

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  Madam Deputy Speaker, with regard to the Mexico market, it is important for those who export canola, those who export breeding stock, particularly bulls, sometimes for swine.  About less than 1 percent of our export market exists in Mexico, and we import less than 1 percent of our agricultural commodities from Mexico.  It is a very small market.

       I will take the member's concerns forward to any of the discussions I am involved in.

       I would also like to remind members of this House that the United States market has grown very, very significantly for Manitoba agricultural exports.  In 1987, we were exporting 14 percent of Manitoba agricultural exports to the United States. It is now 32 percent.  It is the highest market for us in the whole world.  Second place at 12 percent is China.  Third place is the old U.S.S.R. at 12 percent.  The United States is the big market, and that is what we want to improve our position with in regard to the agreement we have in place.


Broadway House



Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Madam Deputy Speaker, last week the staff and residents of Broadway House, a provincially operated transition home for women with mental disabilities, were notified that this facility will be closed May 31, with a loss of seven jobs.

       Did the Minister of Family Services consult with community groups such as the Association for Community Living or the Residential Coalition of Service Providers before he closed Broadway House, or was it closed, as the staff of Broadway House was notified, to satisfy the Treasury Board requirements of decreased spending and decreased services?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the member references decreased spending and decreased services.  I would point out to her that this department has the highest increase in spending of any department across government, some 8.7 percent increase in our budget. [interjection]

       Well, the member wants to talk about social allowances.  We have brought in some very innovative changes, greater reforms than the previous NDP government ever brought in.  We created a new program for the disabled.  We brought up the liquid assets levels, initiatives that my friend in the NDP has brought forward frequently.  There have been a tremendous number of reforms brought forward.

       As far as working with the community to provide programming for mentally handicapped people, we have had a number of working groups.  We have some initiatives we are going to be bringing forward.  We have major legislation that we are bringing forward that I have shared with the critics of the other two parties.  We have some very innovative things that are happening in that area.


Employees' Status


Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Madam Deputy Speaker, what is the status of the seven staff at Broadway House, several of whom who have worked at that facility for over 10 years?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I am sure the member listened very carefully to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) when he discussed some of the positions that were being removed from government, and there is a process in place that is taking place at this time.

       I had the privilege of meeting with the Minister of Labour and members of the MGEA just yesterday to talk about those issues.  The honourable Minister of Highways (Mr. Driedger) was in attendance.  There seemed to be an understanding of the process and a feeling that the process was working and that some substantial changes had taken place which provided employment for people who occupied some of those positions.


Alternate Facilities


Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Madam Deputy Speaker, since the minister did not consult with community groups beforehand and since those seven people will be laid off, how can the minister assure the residents of Broadway House, the service providers in the community, that there actually will be adequate appropriate facilities for these women so they can live quality lives, or is it, as we know is the fact, that this facility was closed down and those people were‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The question has been put.

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I can assure the member and the House that the residents will be well taken care of in other facilities. Certainly the providing of services is uppermost in our minds in the department to be sure that appropriate services are provided for those people.


Co-operative Housing

Federal Program


Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows):  Madam Deputy Speaker, co‑operative housing provides affordable housing and a sense of community for 65,000 households in Canada.  In December 1991, the federal government made their Co‑op Housing Program a permanent program, yet in February in their budget they cut it completely in terms of funding.

       Can the Minister of Housing tell us if he has communicated with the federal Minister of Housing to protest this arbitrary decision which will mean fewer housing starts in Manitoba and fewer jobs in Manitoba?

Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Housing):  Yes, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Martindale:  I would hope that the minister would share his communication with me.


Constitutional Issues

Housing Responsibility


Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows):  Can the Minister of Housing tell us what the policy of the provincial government is regarding the federal government's constitutional proposal to devolve responsibility for housing exclusively to the provinces, a proposal which is opposed by the Canadian Home Builders' Association, the Co‑operative Housing Federation of Canada and the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association?

Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Housing):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the whole question of a strong central government, the fact that we need the dollars represented by a strong central government for programs such as this is one that our government has supported. We continue to support that.

       Certainly we do not want to see the federal government offload a program such as housing‑‑where they pay currently 75 percent approximately of the subsidy costs of those housing units‑‑onto the provinces at all, Madam Deputy Speaker.  We have seen all too often in the past where programs such as that, while with great promises in the beginning and appropriate dollar backup for that, seemed to dwindle over a period of time.  It is something that I do not think we want to support at all.

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Madam Deputy Speaker:  Time for Question Period has expired.


Nonpolitical Statement


Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  May I ask leave of the House to make a nonpolitical statement?

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Does the honourable member for Rupertsland have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?

Some Honourable Members:  Leave.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Leave.  Leave has been granted.

Mr. Harper:  Yesterday, South Africa took one small step towards granting the majority of its population the right to vote and the right to be treated as full citizens in their own country.  This marks a positive move not just for the citizens of South Africa, but for human rights elsewhere.  Aboriginal people, whether they live in Africa or other continents, are rightly celebrating this small step forward.  Canadians should not feel smug about this. The record of the country has not been much better.  We look forward to all South Africans being treated equally.






Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume adjourned debate on the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), standing in the name of the honourable member for Rossmere, who has 11 minutes remaining.

Mr. Harold Neufeld (Rossmere):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I am looking up in the gallery.  I am sure Barb Biggar is up there some place, and I am sure she is listening.

       I am also sorry that the president of the MGEA left before I had a chance to speak because, if time permits, I have a few suggestions for him.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I am one of the few people in here who can remember World War II.  I was 11 years old when the war started and 17 years old when it finished.  I can recall the way people co‑operated, the way that people worked together.  There was no differential between races.  There was no differential between sexes.  Everybody worked together.  Those who were too young to buy War Savings bonds bought War Savings Stamps.  Women knit socks. Everybody worked for a common goal.

       We have a common goal today.  We have a war.  It is not as great as the one that we had, but we have a war.  That is a deteriorating economy, and we should work together.  For some reason or other we pull apart and everyone goes their own way. Everybody pulls at a piece of the government.  Everybody wants more than their share.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, the lawyers are threatening to strike. Strike for what?  Because they cannot get enough money, up to $200,000, they take out of this economy per lawyer‑‑that is a maximum‑‑and they want to strike.  All I can say is, is that all it takes?  Let us give them less, and they may strike.

       Our justice system is suffering from the lawyers who go to the courts for retrials and appeals.  I believe in justice, but the legal system is no longer just.  What difference does it make how evidence is obtained to whether a person is guilty or not? What difference does it make whether or not he or she have had their rights read to whether he is guilty or not?  Guilt is not a matter of what the police officer has done to get the evidence or how he has been arrested‑‑[interjection] If you have had your house broken into, is he guilty or is he not guilty?

       I do believe that a little common sense in the justice system would go a long way.  I think that some of the decisions which are handed down qualify those who make the decisions for handicapped parking.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, let me talk a little bit about what I think some of the causes of the recession have been.  The excesses of the '80s is a big cause.  What were those excesses? Leverage buy‑outs was one of them.  Too many of them; too much money was lent with too little security and too many S & Ls went broke.  Too much money was spent on greed and not enough money was spent on research, not enough money was spent on modernizing equipment.  Those were some of the problems.  The Boeskys, the Milkens of the '80s are causing us a problem today.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I have another problem with the '80s. That was the era in which more and more industry came to government for grants.  Why did they ask for grants?  They asked for grants because they were creating jobs.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, they were creating jobs for their own enrichment.  They are not creating jobs for government and they should not come to government.  Government should be there to help them and create a climate, and I challenge the industry to go out and create jobs and to expand their businesses, not neccesarily with government help but with government help insofar as creating a climate is concerned.  I have no time for those who believe that government is the answer to every one of their problems, and that has been the case all too often.

       I can talk about the help that has been given to the Winnipeg Jets.  I very much oppose the help that is being given the Winnipeg Jets.  I was not at cabinet the day this was decided upon, but I find it obscene to give a grant not only to cover the losses but to give someone a profit on a phantom investment. That is what we have done, Madam Deputy Speaker.

       I do believe that industry has to take its share of the blame for what has happened to us in the '90s.  I think unions and labour have to take their share of the blame.  Industry should have, in many cases, denied the wage increases that were given. Labour should not have asked for those wage increases.  But, Madam Deputy Speaker, we have to look forward.  How do we get out of the dilemma we are in?  I suggest to you that we work together‑‑labour, industry and government.

       It is up to government to ensure that labour and industry work together co‑operatively.  It is up to government to bang heads together if they do not.  It is up to government to ensure that its residents are properly looked after.  It is up to government to make sure that the industry properly looks after their workers.  It is up to government to ensure that industry carries on in a manner that is going to make Manitoba more progressive, that is going to make Manitoba wealthy and that is going to make Manitoba a good place for us to live.

       Industry is not alone in that.  Labour has to take its share of the blame as well.  Labour has been greedy and industry has been greedy.  Let us stop the greed and let us look ahead.  Let us look ahead and see what we can do to make Manitoba a better place.  Do not ask government for help at every turn.  Do not say to government, you cannot layoff.  Do not say to government, you have to pay more.  Do not say to government you need more grants for this or that charity of your own particular choice.  There are too many self‑interest groups that are working for purposes which often seem only to enrich their own lives.

       I become upset when I see a headline like this, unmarried with taxes, unmarried couples will pay millions more.  Well, Madam Deputy Speaker, they have been getting away with it for years.  They want all the benefits given to those who are married, like health benefits, like pension benefits, but do not want to pay the same amount that married people pay.  That is the kind of reporting we get in our papers today, totally false.

       There was a time‑‑how much time have I got left?‑‑[interjection] Madam Deputy Speaker, while I was on vacation a month ago I was watching a talk show and on the talk show was a lieutenant‑commander of the U.S. Navy.  He was a man about in his late 30s.  He was black.  He was out preaching to the young people of the United States that they should get up and work and not ask for government help.

       He said that if you want an education, go work for your education.  Work hard and you will get a 3.8 and 4.0 grade point average, and you will get bursaries and you will get scholarships, and if you cannot get a 3.8 and 4.0 grade point average, go out to McDonald's and get a job, and you will get an education.  Do not expect someone else to do it for you.  A phone call came in and the individual spoke of African Americans, and the lieutenant‑commander cut her off right away and said, I am tired of all the names that I have been called in the past.  He says, I have been called a Negro, I have been called black, I have been called coloured, I have been an Afro‑American and an African American.  He said, I am none of those things, I am an American.  If we could say that in this country, if we could say that in this province‑‑I am a Canadian‑‑but we do not.

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       Madam Deputy Speaker, when I first went on the job market, I could not call myself a Canadian.  I insisted I was a Canadian and they would then ask, do you speak any other language, and I admitted I spoke German, and they would then either discard me or tell me to wait for a phone call.

       Now we have gone full circle.  Now we are again to the point where we are not Canadians.  We are some kind of Canadians, but not Canadians.

       I was told that I would have to work harder than anybody else because I was not Anglo‑Saxon, when I finally did get a job, and the person who told me that had just retired from the army as a major.  He came around from the back of his desk, and he shook my hand and he said, Harold, good luck.  That is the advice I give to those of you who think you are being discriminated against‑‑work harder.  I can tell you it works.  I became a chartered accountant because I worked hard.  I have been president of the Manitoba Institute of Chartered Accountants and past governor of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

       That is not bragging.  That is fact.  I got that because I listened to the major who told me, because you are German, you will have to work harder, and I respect that man to this day.  I give you that advice, and I hope you will follow it, and let us forget about the fact that we are different nationalities.  Let us forget about the fact that we are different colours or different sexes.

       Let us remember only that we are Canadians, and we have a common goal.  We have a common goal that Manitoba must improve. Manitoba must be best and let us stop jabbing at one another and let us work together.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank you.

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I welcome the opportunity of rising in this debate.  I cannot help but, at the onset, to reflect on some of the comments of the member for Rossmere that I have heard in these few moments this afternoon in the Chamber.  I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to listen to all of his comments from his previous comments yesterday, but they certainly are indicative of the rather independent spirit the member has exhibited as a member of that side of the government.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I would hope that he would take part of his message to his own caucus colleagues, because when he talks about grants to industries and grants to governments, members on that side of the House have instituted a process of providing grants on an unparalleled training, on an unparalleled scale to private companies to provide training on a private basis.  As they have done that, they have cut back the public components, the public education system, something that has been held dear and close to the hearts of all Manitobans.  As they cut back the public system, and something all Manitobans generally have held to be important, they have provided grants and initiatives to private industry to do private training.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, in a consultation paper prepared by the federal government, Learning Well, Living Well, the federal government says, and I quote:  A 1987 survey indicates that only one‑third of employers provide formal training for employees ranging from 27 percent of small firms to 92 percent of large companies.

       What is happening, Madam Deputy Speaker, is not only are we subsidizing the training for these firms, now we are resubsidizing, we are double subsidizing these private firms to provide the training that they have not provided.  That is one of the major spending initiatives of this government in terms of they have talked about initiatives for private training, and that is outright grants to private companies, something that this member says in theory that he is so opposed to.  They are providing those grants at the expense of the public education system.

       They are providing to private companies like Success/Angus, which members on that side are quite familiar with, that are doing very well, thank you, charging $5,000 for a course that has been cut from Red River that used to cost $500.  What does that do to the poor student or the single parent who seeks a job and who is looking for that retraining and who is working as hard as the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld) says?  What does that do to that student who has to pay $5,000 now as opposed to $500 last year?

       I ask the member for Rossmere to take that into consideration when he talks about grants and initiatives to companies and what government should be doing and what government should not be doing, Madam Deputy Speaker.  I would hope that he would take the same attitude with members of his own caucus as he takes in his discussions with members of our House in his Budget Debate.

       Overall, I have spent some time trying to put this budget into some kind of a perspective, Madam Deputy Speaker.  I have read past budgets, and I have looked at kind of the history of the approach of budgets.  I guess the best and most appropriate term or view that I could come up with to describe this government and this budget is "unleadership," that this budget and this government is a classic example of unleadership.  The budget can only be looked at in the context of the previous five budgets of this administration and, in particular, the budgets since the last election.

       At the onset I would like to indicate that I recognize that there is a worldwide recession, but this province, the province that I grew up in, the province that I have lived in, the province that I am raising my family in, Madam Deputy Speaker, used to be in the middle of the pack in terms of the Canadian context.  It used to be at the middle level, not below, not above, but generally in the middle of the pack.

       Now we have fallen far, far behind.  One of the reasons we have fallen far behind is because of policies initiated by this government.  Let me cite some statistical evidence to indicate why, to indicate my point, Madam Deputy Speaker.

       Firstly, in economic growth between 1990 to '91 we have fallen from fifth to tenth.  Dead last.  In employment growth, between 1990 to 1991, we have gone from fifth to eighth.  In population, net interprovincial migration, we have gone from seventh in 1990 to eighth.  In urban housing starts, we were at eighth‑‑nothing to be proud about‑‑in 1990, now we have dropped to ninth.

       In building permits we have gone from seventh to eighth.  In manufacturing shipments we were at sixth in 1990, and we have dropped to the Tory level, No. 10.  In investment, we were around the middle of the pack in 1990.  We have dropped to near‑Tory levels, eight out of 10.

       So, Madam Deputy Speaker, it is quite clear that the legacy of a federal Tory government, a worldwide recession and a provincial Tory government have resulted in Manitobans seriously feeling, far more than they had to, the effects of this very serious recession.

       I want to relate a few individual instances in my own constituency to try to outline for members opposite the effect of these policies and the effect of these initiatives, unleadership, this lack of leadership on the part of members opposite and what it has done in my own constituency.

       In the last month or two there have been two constituents I have dealt with who have in fact lost their homes‑‑foreclosure. One was a working mother who lost her job, lived in the house for eight years.  She lost her home‑‑foreclosure.

       Another was an individual who was on workers' compensation who was cut off, and he also lost his home.  The families were put out of the house and were forced to seek rental accommodations somewhere else as a result of foreclosures.

       I have seen individuals who should qualify for home care who have had it cut off.  I have an individual in my constituency who talks to me regularly who is a double amputee, and he cannot get home care despite the claims of the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) of the expanded home care budget.  What the Minister of Health fails to note, there is an expanded demand out there as demographics change.

       I walked up, several weeks ago, to the door of a home of a fellow who had lost his job that morning.  It was not last week, it was not two weeks ago.  Can you imagine the effect of walking to a door on a sunny morning, and the fellow coming to the door and almost being tearful and saying, oh, I have just lost my job.  Every single week, when I go door knocking, there is not a street in my constituency where I do not encounter individuals who are unemployed, who have lost their jobs.  These are individuals who have worked for a lifetime.

       In the old days, these are individuals‑‑let us by way of example, let me just for illustration‑‑these individuals, who, if the plant would have shut down at CN or the job would have cut back at CN, they would have gone to CP, something like that. Well, as our bases shut, Madam Deputy Speaker, they do not have these options, and as the effect of these policies in the worldwide recession has been felt, these options have been closed on them.

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       Madam Deputy Speaker, since the Finance minister (Mr. Manness) is present, I should point out about three weeks ago on the doorstep a woman who said to me:  Can you not tell the government, can they not see in front of their faces what is happening in this economy?  Can they not put two and two together?  Do they not know what is happening out here?

       So I pass it on to the government.  Do you not know what is happening out there?

An Honourable Member:  How many new jobs are created in your constituency by this budget?

Mr. Chomiak:  The member for Transcona (Mr. Reid) asked how many news jobs are created as a result of this budget.  I dare say, there have probably been jobs lost as a result of this budget in my constituency.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I have been on the doorstep and I have talked to hundreds, literally thousands of constituents.  One of the interesting trends that I have noticed is the number of adult children that are now being forced to stay at home.  As I indicated earlier, on every single street in my constituency there are unemployed.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, over and over again, I hear about the scourge of taxes and what effect that has had on individuals. You know, the one touchstone that this government always returns to and comes back to, the one complete and utter inaccuracy that the government often refers to is the question of taxation.  I want to quote from the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) in his 1991 budget, and I am quoting from the minister's address, page 7 where he says, quote, "We reject the dishonesty inherent in the federal approach to health and higher education financing‑‑repeated, unilateral reductions to transfers," et cetera.

       "We reject the dishonesty inherent."  Madam Deputy Speaker, we on this side of the House, we reject the dishonesty inherent in the provincial government offloading, the offloading of taxes, the inherent dishonesty, to use the words of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), in dealing with his federal counterparts. We reject that and this government has done that over and over again.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, the former Minister of Education advised on the record in this House last year that the education support level, the local property taxes for the education portion of property taxes in this province increased by 10 percent last year alone.  That is following, I suspect, nearly double‑digit increases the year before and nearly double‑digit increases the year before.  That is the offloading.  That is the dishonesty that this Finance minister (Mr. Manness) accused the federal government of doing.  The very same thing is happening at the local level.  I am only speaking, when I talked about the 10 percent rate, about the education portion, the special levy, which is the local level that is raised.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I cannot understand the near hypocrisy of this government and its failure to recognize what its policies are doing in terms of the offload and the movement of taxes from the provincial level to the local level.  If this government was true to its word, it would simply state that fact.  It would make it very clear instead of offloading and then ducking the responsibility, and then, when school boards and municipalities and divisions come back to the government, saying we are not responsible for it.  I will use the words again of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), this inherently dishonest approach.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, this lack of leadership, this careening back and forth, I have been trying to get a fix on this provincial government in the last five budgets.

       One of my approaches is to put it into a phase, into a chronology.  We have the '88 to '90 period, when we had a minority Tory government.  Now, at that point we had a government that was always in potential of dropping, and then we saw the sort of classic Manitoba mold of a government, a somewhat responsive, somewhat progressive government.

       There is no question that that government was far more responsive and far more progressive than what we have today, certainly.  So we have that first phase, and that was political expediency totally.  The members of the caucus that are far more idealistic on that side of the House were kept in check.

       Then we had the 1990 election, the man‑in‑the‑boat election, and we saw the real government.  We saw the emergence of the real Tory government, and that is when we saw, as reflected by the memo that was sent out by the Tory fundraisers to deal with the hidden agenda of the Tory party, that was a slash‑and‑cut Tory government.

       That was the one where the Minister of Finance was let loose, and the ideologues in the Conservative party were let loose to do the kinds of things that Tories love to do best, where they can emulate their federal cousins and their federal counterparts, and do what Tories do best.  I will at least give them credit for consistency.  The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has been consistent in that policy.

       Although his ascendancy was somewhat in wane between '88 to '90 because of the fact that he was held in check by a minority government, once 1990 came through, bango, that was it.  That was their chance to do it.  Now, what has occurred as a result of that is a sort of flip‑flop.  Now they are uncertain.

       The public out there has said, hey, wait a minute.  We do not like this Tory government.  We do not like this mean spirit.  We do not like this lack of any kind of government, the stand‑aside government, this lack‑of‑initiative government.  We do not like a lot of these cuts.  We do not like what we see.

       So we have seen this government go from a sort of a moderate approach, to slash‑and‑cut, to now unleadership; they have sort of backed off; they kind of do not know what to do.

       You know, there is something quite illustrative, and I just want to point this out, of the government's approach, and that is to deal with the High School Bursary Program.  When the High School Bursary Program was cut in the last budget, and we raised it on this side of the House, we raised it amidst guffaws and amidst groans and laughing from members on the opposite side of the House‑‑you know, this is our budget, this is our cut‑and‑slash budget.  They laughed when we raised these concerns.

(Mr. Marcel Laurendeau, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

       But you know what, when we filled up our caucus room with people who were suffering the effects of this High School Bursary cut, all of a sudden the laughter turned.  When we called press conferences, when the media was alerted, when the Minister of Education admitted that he had made a mistake, when the Minister of Education admitted he had not consulted with the Minister of Family Services in the cutback on the High School Bursary Program, all of a sudden the laughter turned to seriousness, and the government sat in their cabinet room, and they looked around the table, and they said, hey, where is Mike?  Where are our latest polls?  They looked around and they said, now what are we going to do?  They looked around and they saw that there was a reaction.  They had thought that they could get away with this cut.  They saw that they could get away with the slashing of the High School Bursary Program like they thought they could get away with the cut to English as a Second Language, but we did not let them do that.

       I should not take credit for it, we should not take credit for it.  It was the people of the province who were affected.  It was those students who came to us, it was they who managed, who forced this government to back down.  Nothing was more illustrative than the fact that we had a press conference at ten o'clock in the morning and at 11:30 that very same day, all of a sudden, the minister was reinstating a portion of the program.

       I am thankful that he listened, and actually I will give them credit for that, but that is illustrative of this careening government, careening from side to side or from place to place. While I am on it, let me talk about the school boundaries review introduced with great fanfare in two separate budgets.

       A strong commitment of the member for Roblin‑Russell (Mr. Derkach), the minister.  He used to chastise the former Minister of Education this side for not having the political will and the political courage to push it through, but by gosh he was going to push it through.

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       Mr. Acting Speaker, the government had the support of all three parties to do a review.  There was no question.  There were resolutions that came by in this House.  There was an amendment to The Public Schools Act last session that dealt with the boundaries review.

       There was no question that members were in agreement that some kind of review could take place, but what kind of review would take place?  That is what caused this government great difficulty for when it was leaked out, for when it became public that what this government intended to do would be to slash school boundaries in the city of Winnipeg without consultation, to postpone elections of all things, because they could not get their act together.

       When that came about, when the public heard that this government was going to undemocratically postpone elections, when the public heard that this government was going to slash boundaries and move them about without consultation, then the chickens came home to roost.  Then this government stepped back and said, oh, my gosh, have we got ourselves in a political‑‑now, had they proceeded under a proper agenda, perhaps the matter could have been dealt with, but it was already too late.  Already the communities out there were alarmed, already the public was up in arms.

       What was this government going to do?  Were they going to cut the size again and see salaries double?  Were they going to really save efficiencies?  What was this government doing?  When the government discovered that they had bungled this great initiative of the former Minister of Education, they backed off.

       Frankly, given the boundaries review that they were going to implement, I would rather see no boundaries review.  We made that quite clear.  Given what we knew that this government was going to do, when we saw that, we said no way we could support that kind of lack of direction, lack of consultation, lack of basic democratic values.  So I can only say that we have moved from one phase to another phase to another phase, and now we have a government that is sort of careening back and forth.

       The analogy I have is a car that is out of control, and everyone is jumping for the steering wheel.  For a while, it was the Premier (Mr. Filmon) who had his hand on the steering wheel from '88‑90.  There were a few people backing him up, and there was Mike in there, and they were just careening along.  The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) was reaching over, and they said, no wait, wait till 1990, wait till the election, then Clayton you can have control of the car.  You take care of the steering wheel, it is all yours.  Nineteen‑ninety came, Clayton jumped in there, and all of his Tory‑‑

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Order, please.

       I would like to remind the honourable member that all honourable members shall be nameless.

Mr. Chomiak:  I apologize.  The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) jumped in there, got control of that steering wheel, Mr. Acting Speaker, and he took off with that car.  He took off with that car so fast he left some of his Tory members behind scratching their heads saying, where is this car going?  Then we heard the response from the public, and now they are all trying to jump back in and take control of that car and trying to steer it. That is why it is kind of unleadership.  They are trying to get some control on that car.

       So we see this change in direction, this change in initiative and this flip‑flop on policy, some of which we agree with, frankly, because they should have done it in the first place, and some of it which we do not agree with, Mr. Acting Speaker.  That is why they sort of try and get the car back into the groove, back to those sort of '88‑90 grooves.  Members of this House know of what I am speaking, I am quite certain, because in fact the evidence is clear that is what is happening in terms of this government and this budget.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, the funding model, I want to talk about the funding model for a moment or two, because it has been something that we on this side of the House have spent considerable time on in discussing with members opposite and providing suggestions.  You know, the funding model is another example of this careening vehicle sort of floating all over the place.  For a while the former Minister of Education had his hand on that steering wheel, but it has been taken off and now it is sort of‑‑we do not know quite what the direction is.

       For four years the funding model was studied.  There was an advisory committee, and we supported that concept.  There was a long‑standing tradition in Manitoba to have a minister of advisory committees.  What was not a long‑standing tradition in Manitoba history was to keep the report of the advisory committee secret.  That is what this government did.  They kept the report of the advisory committee secret.

       The minister promised me in the House, promised us in the House on many occasions that report would be released so that the public could consult and deal with the funding model.  Mr. Acting Speaker, he promised me at Christmas 1990.  Then he promised me at Christmas 1991, and then he promised the summer of 1991.  He got the report June 4 and nothing happened.  I kept asking the minister.  I kept asking the minister not only in the House, but I asked the minister in the hallway, personally, when are you going to release the report?  He never did.  Then he came out with his funding announcement in October.  In fact, it was Halloween, and he came out with his funding announcement.  We had warned him of the dangers of that funding model and what would happen.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, the former minister said that we were only fearmongering, the usual response, and that the NDP was engaging in trick or treating.  You know what?  What did he do after that?  He changed the funding model to reflect some of our concerns.  Then what did he do after that?  He changed it again. Then what happened?  The Premier (Mr. Filmon) changed the minister.  Then what happened?  The new minister changed the model again.  The model is still being changed because that model has some serious problems, some serious flaws, and we warned them about that.

       We warned them, Mr. Acting Speaker, that if the model was imposed as it was it would result in massive job losses, and we are seeing that.  We are seeing in two divisions alone over 100 jobs lost.  We told them there would be program cuts.  In Transcona‑Springfield alone, as a result of the funding model‑‑and presumably Transcona‑Springfield was one of the "winners in the funding model"‑‑eight programs were cut.  We have seen programs cut, I dare say, probably in the hundreds across the province, and the inequity that is built on a foundation of inequity continues.

       The Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey) has told me time and time again in this House in the last couple of weeks that the funding model is working fine.  Yet yesterday at her announcement to extricate themselves from the school boundary review she said one of the reasons for doing it was because of the assessment of the funding model.  That strikes me as a tiny bit contradictory, Mr. Acting Speaker, because what they are doing is using the very excuse that the minister had said.  They are using an excuse of the funding model when the minister before frequently said in the House, everything was fine on the funding model.

       We will continue to press on the funding model.  We will continue to press on this government to deal with education equitably, and there will be much more said on that, I can assure members of this House, by members on this side of the House when we get to the Estimates of the Education department.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, I get the impression the last week that members on that side of the House, the Premier in particular, were offended by criticisms of the budget.  I cannot help but remark for several days before the budget was released, members on that side of the House were really quite confident, and I was expecting some kind of blockbuster budget that was somehow going to do more than stand aside.  I was as disappointed as I usually am with respect to the Tory budget, but I do not know where the basis for the false confidence of members opposite was in the days preceding the budget.

       I do not know why the Premier expected anything but criticism.  I do not know why members on that side of the House, the Premier in particular, are so offended when we dare to criticize this budget, because we owe it to the people of Manitoba.  We owe it to the 52,000 people who are unemployed that are looking for some kind of action from this government, and there is none.  I do not know what members on that side of the House expected or even desired from this government.

       Another interesting point, Mr. Acting Speaker, while I am on that point, was I guess I am surprised why members have not been more responsive to queries from the public.  Even last spring, members on that side of the House were confidentially going out door knocking around the city of Winnipeg.  In fact, they were in my own riding.  They have been on very many streets.  They either preceded me or followed me on very many streets.

       I guess I find it curious, because they have been on streets where the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) was laughed out of the home.  The people next door told me that they could hear that he was coming to their home, because there was the laughter and the anger from members in that house yelling.  That was a poll, I should indicate, that voted for members opposite.

       I do not know what members expected when at another door they went to an individual who had just been laid off by this government, in fact, by the Minister of Justice, the Attorney General, and what was the reaction, Mr. Acting Speaker?  What has been the response?  All of these reactions, where have they taken them?  Where have they deposited this response in their repertoire, as they sat around the cabinet table and tried to determine where they were going?  What effect has that door knocking had on them?  I am afraid it has not had very much.

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       They talk fondly about how much more money they are spending on education, and I looked back into the 1990 budget‑‑and I have many more statistics which I will be citing during the Estimates process, as I normally do‑‑and noted that the proportion of expenditures of Education in 1990 were 18.2 percent of the total provincial expenditures, and this year, two years later and after a considerable amount of inflation and the like, the total of the Education expenditures, a proportion of the total provincial budget, is up to 18.3 percent.  That is one percent of an increase over two years.

       For a government that supposedly made education a priority, I cannot understand that approach, and I do not think the public of Manitoba does either.  I do not think the public of Manitoba has any confidence any longer, if they ever did‑‑and they might have had at one time‑‑in this government, with respect to its approach to education and the future of education.  The era of unleadership, the era of floating around, careening back and forth, is upon us in education as well.

       I must turn to one of the areas that the government has flown up the flagpole in a couple of Throne Speech Debates, and we keep waiting for initiatives, and that is the area of training.  Every one in this House, every government and almost every individual in Canada has heard over and over again, ad nauseam, I would dare say, about the need for training in our country and in our province.  That is in fact one of the keys to the future.

       What I would like to do is just read in a couple of quotes, again from a Tory government publication.  Frankly, it does not lay out a framework, but it does have some useful statistics, and that is the consultation paper of Learning Well, Living Well produced by the Government of Canada.

       Just with respect to training, I want to cite a few of the quotes that bring facts to bear on this whole question of training because, frankly, I am tired of hearing governments and people say that we need more training.  My question to them is: In what, where and how?  I mean, let us get down to brass tacks. Let them not just talk rhetoric.

       With respect to this challenge, I want to quote:  Even while we confront jobless rates of nearly 8 percent‑‑if it were only that low‑‑the job vacancy rates of jobs that cannot be filled with the right qualifications is the highest in nearly 20 years. There are 600,000 job vacancies in an economy with almost one million unemployed.

       I have already quoted the fact that‑‑no, I have not quoted it:  Private industry spends only 0.3 percent of our gross domestic product on training.  The rough comparable figure in the United States is over twice that.  Australians invest three times more than that; the Japanese, over five times; and Germans, nearly eight times more.

       Let me quote also from this federal government document: Australia is encouraging greater private sector training through a tax on nontrainers.  France has a system of paid educational leave and is promoting greater enterprise.

       I will be tying this all together to the context of my comments, but the point, Mr. Acting Speaker, is that we publish paper after paper after paper; we have throne speech after throne speech after throne speech; we have government initiative or lack thereof, constantly talking about the need for training and setting up the job bank and the whole like, and we have no action.

       We have had no action from this government for several years.  I know for a fact that they have sat around the cabinet table again and said, hey, Mike, we have to get this put together, and Mike has gone off and he has the Department of Education working like crazy to produce what should have been produced two years ago, their job inventory and their matching of jobs and job programs.  Members opposite know that.  They know they are way behind their schedule.  They are way behind their itinerary.

An Honourable Member:  Who is this Mike guy?

Mr. Chomiak:  Mike Bessey.

       They sat around the table and they got Mike to do that and Mike is on their back and they are cranking out those statistics.  They are doing that, Mr. Acting Speaker, because they do not have an inventory, they do not have a basis upon which they are making these spending decisions, these allocations of millions of dollars to private companies, with no criteria, no evaluation, no overall plan tied into it.  That is the greatest‑‑it is probably the worst of all worlds.  They are probably better off doing nothing than doing something that is as ill‑founded on the basis of no empirical data.  That is what they are doing.

       We could accept an initiative that had at least some kind of empirical basis and some kind of direction.  They are not doing it.  They are way behind.  They are trying to put it together and we are anticipating, we are waiting for the massive, the great announcement sometime down the road.  What they have done is they have allocated millions of dollars.  They are running off money to these companies.  No one knows where they are going, how they are doing it, in fact who is doing it.

       We are still waiting for a concrete training policy, a training proposal from this government despite flowery words in the throne speech on several occasions.  Members opposite know that is the case.  That is what bothers me about the training initiatives or the lack of training initiatives of members on that side of the government because they have swallowed hook, line and sinker the rhetoric that we have heard around, but there has been no action and there is no plan and we are still awaiting it.

       The free trade agreement with Mexico that this government is sort of‑‑we are not quite certain what this government is doing other than the fact that the Premier (Mr. Filmon) has on one occasion said he is opposed to it and now he says he is sort of opposed to it with conditions, and what are those conditions.  It smacks of the debate on the GST.  In retrospect now, the members on that side of the House were opposed to the GST.  We barely heard their voices during the debate about that tax.  It is the same thing on the free trade debate with Mexico.

       American and Canadian companies are not interested in the Mexican market, Mr. Acting Speaker.  What they are interested in is cheap Mexican labour and its low wages.  Not only does it have low wages, but it has health and safety conditions called by the Wall Street Journal abysmal.  What the effect and what this government and what this overall philosophy of the support of the free trade agreement will do will be to‑‑yes, it will be to go towards a level playing field, but it will be the lower level playing field, to lower our conditions, to lower all of our standards down towards the Mexican level.  That is the fire that members on the opposite side of the House are playing with.  They did not know what they were playing with in the Mulroney Free Trade Agreement that we got burned and burned badly and now they are dabbling in it again.  They are just sort of attracted by that light, the brightness.  They are just running after it again and they are not taking a stand.

       The result is going to be that we are going to find ourselves locked into another agreement that is going to lower standards on this side of the border and is going to result in more difficulty for Canadians, not less.

       Members do not seem to realize that on the opposite side of the House.  We will raise it over and over again, although I think the member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Connery) is aware of some of the dangers and raised them today in Question Period.

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       I could go on, Mr. Acting Speaker, at great length about the lack of government initiatives on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.  You know, it is very curious.  During the Estimates process on Justice the last several years, every time we would ask the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), what about the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry?‑‑he would retort, just wait until the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry is launched and then you will see action.  Over and over again we heard that.  When that report comes down you will see action.  I believe he said to the member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin), when that report comes down you will be pleasantly surprised.  Still we see no action.

       We see no initiative on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.  In fact, we see retroactive steps.  We see backward steps by this government.  We see the minister talking about a million dollars in programs in his suitcase.  We do not know what it is and, like so many things in this government, it is all tied up in PR and it is all tied up in crisis management, crisis control, which is a large part of why that car is careening about and why we have a lack of unleadership by members on that side of the House.

       I have a number of initiatives I would like to propose in terms of alternatives.  I will wait and I will suggest most of those, because a lot of them are related to Education, during the Estimates process.  I will outline to members opposite some of our alternative views and some of our vision in terms of Education as promised, Mr. Acting Speaker.

       Thank you very much for the opportunity of addressing the Budget Debate.

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  Mr. Acting Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure for me to stand and speak on this government's fifth budget in a row that has looked to the people of Manitoba to give us advice on what they want to see their government do.

       I am sure that most members of the House as they have been out visiting with their constituents and listening to what their constituents have to say have clearly heard time and time again that people in Manitoba are fed up of paying taxes.  They are tired of being taxed to death.  I mean, we hear even more criticism of Winnipeg City Council right now and the kind of pressure they are under and the tax revolt that is going around in Winnipeg.

       We know that people, especially in tough economic times, do not want to see governments spending above their means year after year.  We all know even in our own household, Mr. Acting Speaker, that we cannot spend more year after year than what we earn, because as a result of that we build up a debt and a deficit and eventually lose everything.

       (Madam Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

       Madam Deputy Speaker, we as a government have made a firm commitment to Manitobans that we will attempt to keep taxes down and to keep more money in people's pockets so they can choose how to spend their money.  I think we have attempted over the last several budgets to deal in a very common‑sense way and act fiscally responsible yet maintain the services that are greatly needed on the social side of things for people that need human services.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I am pleased and proud to be a part of a government under the leadership of our Premier, Gary Filmon, and my colleague the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) who has brought in the fifth budget in a row that has not increased personal taxes.  There have been virtually no new taxes as a result of this budget.  I think the people of Manitoba, generally speaking, are happy, and I know that my constituents are presenting to me some very positive feedback on the kinds of initiatives this government has taken.

       I have listened to the opposition as they have sat in this House day after day since the budget was announced and have been very critical.  I just listened to some 40 minutes of the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) negatively spouting his comments about all of the wrong things this government is doing.  I did not hear in that 40 minutes one positive thing or one positive suggestion on how in fact he, if he were in government, was going to make a difference or make a change or make anything better.  I have listened for several days to opposition parties, both opposition parties, that have not‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Oh now, be nice.

Mrs. Mitchelson:  Well, Madam Deputy Speaker, we have not as yet heard, I do not think, from the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry), but I am sure, because I know that he does have some common sense and some understanding, and I know that he listens‑‑[interjection] Well, he must.  I am sure that he has listened to his constituents and that when he sees something that this government is doing that is a positive decision that he will support that.  I am looking forward with interest to hearing his comments and maybe even his approval of this budget when he speaks a little later today.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I feel it important in this budget this year to put several comments on the record about the different responsibilities that I have in my portfolio, no one area of responsibility any less important than another.  The newest, I suppose‑‑well, let me start with my responsibility as Minister responsible for the Status of Women and indicate how proud I am as a minister to follow in the footsteps of the former minister, Gerrie Hammond, who was the Minister responsible for the Status of Women before I took over.  I worried that I would not be able to fill those shoes, because I think that Gerrie Hammond left a record for this government and for the women in Manitoba, a record that we can all be very proud of.  She started, even before she became a minister, to travel throughout the province and listen to women and women's issues through the Women's Initiative back in 1988.  As a result of that Women's Initiative, I believe that we have accomplished much.

       As a result of her consultations, as a result of what the women of Manitoba told our government, we were able to respond in many positive ways.  We were able to look at the issue of family violence, and increase the number of wife abuse shelters in the province from three shelters to 11 shelters, and I think over a period of four years that is something that we can‑‑not that we want to be proud of anyone that promotes or condones family violence, but we do want to be able to provide the services to those women and to those children who so desperately need that kind of service at a very critical and unfortunate time in their lives.

       We also increased funding to crisis lines throughout the province.  We ran an Abuse is a Crime campaign, which was a very successful educational tool in informing all Manitobans of the issue of violence and how we as a province and a government would not tolerate that violence.  We have had great success with our family violence court, and the length of time that it takes to hear issues of concern on family violence.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, we have increased substantially funding to our wife abuse shelters, and I know that the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) will have some announcements to make shortly as a result of this year's budget that will be very positive, and in no small part as a result of some of the people that the Minister of Family Services has surrounded himself with.  One of these people, of course, is Marlene Bertrand, who is the former director of Osborne House, the largest shelter in the province of Manitoba.

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       Madam Deputy Speaker, as a result of the good people giving good advice to the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer), I have difficulty believing that the opposition could not be pleased with some of the announcements that will be made in the near future.  We as a government were the first government to provide Core funding to the Indigenous Women's Collective, a Native umbrella organization that speaks on behalf of many aboriginal women throughout the province, and we are proud of that.

       I have come to understand and respect the women in the aboriginal community greatly over the last number of months.  I have said in this House before, and I will repeat again, that, as I travelled up north and met with women in some of the northern and more remote communities, I listened and was appalled to hear their stories.  I heard, and I listened to, and I cried with those women who told me of the circumstances that they and their children were subjected to, and how they really felt that they needed support and help and guidance.  I was angry, Madam Deputy Speaker, at what I heard, and you know, I feel that at times I have led a very sheltered life in a very safe community and have not been exposed or have not heard the kinds of stories that I heard those days.  Madam Deputy Speaker, the problem is overwhelming, and I do know that the women are standing up today and they are saying that we are not going to tolerate this.

       On International Women's Day, we announced our aboriginal women's policy, Speaking to the Future, and had great support from the aboriginal women's community for that policy.

       As I attended other activities and functions that day, I went over to the Immigrant Women's Association.  I guess my feeling and my sense of accomplishment in dealing in partnership with the aboriginal women and coming forward with the policy that they are excited about and supportive of, I felt that I could not help but share that policy too with the immigrant women.

       I said that abuse crosses all cultures and all parts of our Manitoba society.  It is important that women from all backgrounds and all cultures work together in partnership, because together we have strength, Madam Deputy Speaker. Together we can try to overcome some of the problems that exist and in that way have a better life for all women in Manitoba.

       As I was speaking, there were nods, positive head nods around the room from women there who felt that this was an issue that crossed all of Manitoba society.  I know that a commitment is there from the women in our province to work together, to speak out and to try to deal in a positive way with some of the violent issues that are facing us today right here in Manitoba.

       So, Madam Deputy Speaker, I believe we have come a long way. I do know there is a lot more to do, and we have a commitment through the Women's Directorate, through the advisory council. We will continue to work forward and deal with issues that affect women and try to deal with them in a very positive way so that someday we may not have to have within government a Women's Directorate or an advisory council that deals specifically with issues, because I believe we are working toward a mind‑set within society that, you know, women's issues are not just women's issues, but they are society's issues and all of society.

       I know quite frankly I am in a minority, as are some of the other female colleagues in this House.  In the Legislature there are 11 of us out of 57 members.  I do know that we have five women members that sit around our caucus table, three around the cabinet table, and I will tell you that unless we had the full co‑operation of our male colleagues that sat around that table, we would not accomplish anything.  So I think there has to be, and I know there has to be that co‑operative working relationship.  I do know that all colleagues who sit around our caucus table have issues and concerns that affect women and children at heart.  We will make the right decisions for the right reasons, working in partnership, men and women, to accomplish these goals.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to move on now to some other areas of responsibility, responsibility that I have concerning many Manitobans in the culture, heritage, recreation, citizenship parts of the department, a very varied responsibility.  I know the former minister is in the House listening, and I think she will agree that it is an extremely busy portfolio.

       You seem like you are torn in many different directions with many different demands, not only on your time to make policy decisions and set direction, but also, if I might say, on the social side of things, because the activities and the invitations that I receive as minister‑‑and I know she did too‑‑tear you in many different directions, and you just cannot possibly be in all places at all times and accept every invitation.

       I do want to thank my colleagues who sit in the Legislature with me in government for their support, because I do know that many, many times many of them have come through and been able to attend activities and functions that I have not been able to be at because I could not be in two places at one time.  I want to thank them for their co‑operation and for their work on behalf of culture, heritage, recreation and citizenship in this province.

       Not only do we deal with those areas of programming, but we deal with the cultural institutions too that we support.  In tough economic times and when government has to set priorities, we look at health care.  We have made major commitments to health care, a 5.7 percent increase or $101 million this year in the budget.  We have increased Family Services by 8.7 percent and Education by 5.5 percent.  Madam Deputy Speaker, we know that Manitobans want those services, and we know that we have made them very high priority funding.  We have made decisions to put those departments high on our priority list as well as economic development.

       I am pleased to say that within the Department of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, that I think this year we have done well and that we recognize as a government that not all of the money that we can spend and can allocate can go to Health, Education and Family Services, but that there has to be a quality of life around the province, too, and that culture, that heritage, that immigration and that recreation do contribute in a very positive way to our quality of life.  We were able to maintain many of the programs and redirect and restructure things within the department, in fact, so that we will even be able to deliver service better to those communities that we represent.

       We do know too that our culture and the arts in our province can contribute in a very positive way to the economy, to tourism, as well as to the quality of life, but at times it is important to review what our priorities are, to redirect resources within departments, to change the emphasis and to revise existing programs and create new initiatives.  Needs change as people change and as communities change.  I think that we have been able to try to move and make changes where necessary based on the needs of the communities that we serve.

       The one area that I inherited last year was the Citizenship Division, it was moved over.  We took a bit of Immigrant ACCESS from the Department of Family Services.  We got Adult ESL and the Working Group on Immigrant Credentials from the Department of Education and brought them all under one umbrella within the Department of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship.

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       We have looked at the best ways that we could utilize the resources that came to us to structure a division that would meet the needs of new immigrants coming to Canada, and those immigrants who had only been here for a short period of time and needed the kind of services that we had to offer.

       As a result of the Working Group on Immigrant Credentials and the report that we received just a month or so ago, we have been able to restructure this division within our department I think in a very positive way to attempt to serve the community and the community needs.  I will not go into a lot of detail, because I think I made a fairly lengthy statement in the House the other day that dealt with the Credentials and Labour Market Branch within the division.

       We now have a policy branch that will be dealing very proactively with the immigration policy, the bilateral policy that we are looking at formulating with the federal government. We have an ESL adult language training and access branch within the division and also a Citizenship Branch that will deal with the granting programs that are available to help immigrants access the kinds of services they deserve, and they need to become productive members of Manitoba's society.

       I am looking forward with anticipation to the positive work that can be done as a result of the restructuring in this area. I suppose I always need to be looking at challenges in dealing with the communities that we attempt to effectively serve.

       One area that I would like to talk about also is the arts in Manitoba.  I think our commitment has been shown.  When we first came to government, when I first took over this responsibility, after 10 years of no formal arts policy, we undertook an Arts Policy Review.  We realized and recognized that times change, needs change, and it was time to take a look at and review arts and arts funding in the province, I guess, to best utilize the public resources and look at how the public and private sector could work together to ensure that we had the most vibrant community we could possibly offer to Manitobans.

       In response to that Arts Policy Review, there were several recommendations, some we were able to act on immediately and others that have taken a little longer.  One of the recommendations that was in that Arts Policy Review was to restructure within our branch the arts funding.  As a result of that, this year in the budget process we have been able to develop an Arts branch, which will no longer be a Cultural Resources branch, but it will be an Arts branch.

       We have worked together with the Manitoba Arts Council, with the Multicultural Grants Council, and with the department to try to streamline the process so that many of the organizations out there do not have to go to three different sources of funding.

       It means less bureaucratic red tape because when an organization has to apply to three different areas to get funding, they have to usually apply to three different programs that involve different detail and an awful lot of time commitment.

       We now have attempted to structure it so that either the Arts Council, the Multicultural Grants Council, or the Arts branch will be responsible for funding one organization totally.  That will in fact cut down on the volunteer time which will need to be spent by many organizations and many boards in trying to access government funding, and it will cut down on the bureaucracy that is needed within government and within those organizations to try to help communities and community organizations access the system.

       I believe we have come up with a structure that is going to be of benefit to the arts community as a result.

       Another area that we as a government have made a major commitment to in my department is in funding for capital within our arts institutions.  Before we took over as government, most of our cultural institutions are well over 20 years old now, had been built and then somewhat forgotten.  Total budget when I took over as minister for many, many years for capital upgrading of our facilities was some $200,000 per year.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, when you have got several buildings, like the museum, like the concert hall, like the art gallery, that are over 20 years old, $200,000 does not go a long way to make major improvements.  We have over the last few years attempted to upgrade those facilities to a quality that will serve the arts community that uses those facilities.

       I am pleased to say that we have another $4 million in the budget this year to do the badly needed work on the Museum of Man and Nature and the Concert Hall.

       We have also in this budget managed to find an increase in funding for our cultural industries in the film and sound production areas.  I am extremely pleased and proud, when under the former administration, we did have a cost‑shared federal‑provincial ERDA agreement on culture, and as that agreement ended, Madam Deputy Speaker, the federal government has pulled their funding out of cultural industries year by year.

       I know that our government has a major commitment, because we do know what the film industry and what the sound recording industry can do and have done for our province.  I am really pleased to see that in these difficult economic times we have been able to find some extra money to keep our cultural industries viable.

       If I can just talk about what cultural industries have done for Manitoba, last year alone $8 million was spent on independent film and sound production throughout the province.  It creates jobs and there is economic spinoff in many of our small communities as a result of the films that have been produced throughout our province.

       I know that my colleague the MLA for Turtle Mountain (Mr. Rose) would be interested, and I am sure he does know that there is a film crew presently working in his constituency near Souris.  The film will be a $3‑million television production of a Manitoba novelist Margaret Laurence's book, The Diviners.

       I am pleased and proud.  Here we have a film crew working in Manitoba, producing a movie in a local community in southwestern Manitoba based on a book by a Manitoba author.  So I think we have much to be proud of in our Manitoba community in the area of film, sound, writing, and the talent that works in our province as a result of the film industry being so successful.

* (1540)

       In this budget, too, we are also following up on some of the promises we have made to the multicultural community in the last year that will benefit our newcomers as well.  We, as a result of the multicultural policy, put in place a secretariat that would deal intergovernmentally with the issues that were brought forward from the community to government and to try to focus programs within different departments that would deal effectively with the multicultural community.  We are now in the process.

       Of course, we have recruited and hired two people to work in the outreach office, and we are in the process now of, having hired the staff, being able to put that outreach office‑‑it will be like a store‑front operation within the core area of the city of Winnipeg where people will be able to come to attempt to access the government services that they need.  So I am pleased that is underway and will be up and running in the very near future.

       The recreation community has not been overlooked in this budget either.  I think we all recognize and realize the benefit of recreation to our quality of life.  Last fall I announced the new recreation policy which outlined government's commitment and our recognition of the importance of recreation.  As a result of that policy announcement we were able to replace the recreation district program, which had been in place since 1972 and was not meeting the demands of the recreation community today.  We were able to announce a restructuring of that grant program to better serve the communities throughout the province of Manitoba.  Since I made that announcement last fall, I am pleased to say that the community throughout the province of Manitoba has received that policy well and is looking forward to the implementation and the changes in the recreation district program.

       We are also in the recreation area extending the research agreement that we entered into with the University of Manitoba three years ago.  It has been a very successful agreement, and we are going to continue that on for another two years to look at recreation trends and issues throughout the province.

       I am pleased to say, too, that we will be continuing with the Northern Recreation Directors Program, which was originally designed as a two‑year pilot project.  It is due to end in the fall of 1992.  I am really pleased to say that as a result of this program, this pilot project, I believe that we have been able to train some 22 or so recreation directors, trained from communities in the North to go back to communities in the North and provide the very needed services in those communities.  I am pleased to say that in conjunction with my colleague the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), that through his department this year we will be able to utilize and hire those recreation directors to deliver services and opportunities to their communities in the North.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, we also, through this budget, made some changes to the heritage funding and will be winding down the operations of the Manitoba Heritage Foundation which I spoke to earlier in Question Period today.  I think that the community will be well served, and I know that from talking to and from the feedback from the community that they are looking with anticipation to the new structure.

       I want to make it very clear today that the community will be consulted and will be a part of the process of the decision making.  I know the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) has some questions, and I will reiterate again, that unlike the critic from the NDP party who has a background and an understanding of the history of Historic Resources Branch within our department, the member for Inkster I do not believe has a clear understanding.  I know he does not because you could just tell by the tone and the lack of understanding in his questioning today. I know after Question Period he did tell me that he was going to take more of an interest in the heritage community.  I welcome that, because I believe it is important that all parties in this House have an understanding and a working relationship with the community.  I cannot say that about the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) because I know he has been actively involved in his community.  I have met with members of his community, and they have many good things to say about the member for St. Boniface and his understanding of the issues.

       I think I have covered all of the areas within my department that have been affected, and I think in a very positive way through this budget process this year, but I think I would be remiss if I did not talk about another area of responsibility, and that is lotteries.

       We have seen some major change over the last few years in the areas of lottery generation of revenue with the Crystal Casino, which is supporting special health care projects through its revenue, and with the new introduction of the video lottery terminals in rural Manitoba hotels.

       We, I think, have done something good with the introduction of video lottery terminals in rural Manitoba.  It has been a boost for the hotels, for the economy and, I think, for the increased sense of well being of many communities as a result. One of the good things about that program is that through the Department of Rural Development the minister will be using the money that is generated from the communities, and putting that money right back into the communities into rural economic development.

       Sometimes we tend to forget when we get criticism across the floor from the opposition about lotteries or how we are functioning or what we are doing is that lotteries do good things for many Manitobans, not only in the health care system now with our commitment of casino revenues going into the Health Services Development Fund, not only through the Video Lottery Terminal program which will put money right back into rural Manitoba communities, but into our cultural organizations through the Manitoba Arts Council, through the Manitoba Sports Federation, to the heritage community, to conservation projects through the Department of Natural Resources.  Those dollars that are generated in the community go back to the community in so very many ways.

       I am pleased to have had the opportunity to be a part of directing some of the money to health care, to rural development and to conservation in our province.

       I think on that note I will close and say I look forward to a continuation of debate on the budget and ultimately the passage of this budget, and on to the Estimates process where we can deal in detail and hear from the opposition the positive recommendations that they have and suggestions that they have to contribute to improving the health and the economy here in the province.

       We have taken many of the right steps.  We have moved in the right direction, and I know that the taxpayers and the people of Manitoba will benefit in a very positive way as a result of some of the decisions that we have made to date and the decisions that we will make in the future.

       I guess, ultimately, our end goal is to make Manitoba a better place in which to live, to get the economy rolling again, and to do the right things for the right reasons.  I would ask members of the opposition, instead of being quite as critical as they have been in the past, to take a look at some of the good things that are happening, applaud as business moves into Manitoba and as jobs are created and give us credit when some of those positive things start to happen.

       Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

* (1550)

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  Firstly, I would like to say, I will be speaking in both official languages today, of which I am very proud to be able.  I did not get a chance to put my comments on the throne speech, but first I would like to say, I was pleased to be back here and see the colleagues in the Legislature.  It was nice to see the Pages, and I wish them a good session.  They will enjoy being here and learn the process of what goes on in the Legislature.  Welcome to all of them. They are the future of Manitoba.

       Madame la vice‑presidente, c'est un honneur pour moi de me lever a mon tour, afin d'adresser quelques mots sur la planification du gouvernement telle qu'elle a ete presentee a cette assemblee deliberante, lors de la lecture du Discours du budget qui est le cinquieme a etre presente par ce present gouvernement.

       Il existe certaines bases fondamentales que l'on doit retrouver dans un plan budgetaire afin de nourrir la croissance economique et sociale d'une societe ou d'un peuple.

       Il va de soi que l'on peut dire que cet agenda politique et financier du gouvernement ne se distingue d'aucune innovation; n'annonce aucune mesure extraordinaire; ne donne aucun souffle d'espoir aux Manitobains et aux Manitobaines d'entrevoir une issue de secours afin de sortir des periples innombrables, et combien malheureux, de la recession economique dans laquelle nous vivons actuellement.

       Dans tout systeme parlementaire, comme celui dont nous avons le privilege d'en jouir des bienfaits au Canada et au Manitoba, le respect du devoir civique de chaque depute doit faire honneur a la confiance leguee par les electeurs et les electrices.  Et ce, peu importe que l'on soit parmi les rangs du gouvernement ou bien assis parmi le ou les partis politiques de l'opposition.

       Les allegeances ideologiques doivent servir de fil conducteur tout en permettant a la pensee de ne pas outrepasser la realite. La raison d'etre de notre Assemblee legislative, de contribuer a l'amelioration des conditions de vie des Manitobains et des Manitobaines, doit etre la source d'inspiration qui permette au gouvernement et a l'opposition de se completer l'un a l'autre.

       Je ne discuterai pas ici de maniere systematique les differences des deux bords parce que la chose est deja faite de facon habituelle.  Neanmoins, j'aimerais preciser qu'il est du role de l'opposition de montrer avec force et pertinence les insuffisances du gouvernement.

       Non seulement il est logique pour ma part de supporter l'allocution presentee recemment par le leader du Parti liberal sur le Discours du trone, mais c'est surtout avec fierte que je reconnais dans ce discours de reponse le serieux avec lequel le role legislatif de l'opposition est demontre.

       Madame la vice‑presidente, afin de conserver l'objectivite de mes pensees je dois neanmoins avouer un certain regret a propos du discours du leader de la seconde opposition.  Mon regret est que ce discours n'ait pas ete le Discours du trone.  Le premier ministre lui‑meme a reconnu non‑seulement le bien‑fonde de la plupart, sinon de toutes, les resolutions annoncees par le leader liberal, mais il a surtout pu savourer un logicisme constructif que l'on n'a pu entrevoir dans la degringolade de mots subjectifs du chef du Parti neo‑democrate.

       Il est regrettable de constater que le negativisme prend de plus en plus d'ampleur chez les NPD, ce qui est probablement a la source de leur etroitesse d'esprit demontree par une critique constante et vide de toute suggestion corrective.  Mais je ne voudrais pas m'eloigner plus longtemps du sujet principal de mes propos qui est le programme que le gouvernement pretend nous presenter. [interjection]

       I will come back.

       Madame la vice‑presidente, quand je dis "programme", je suis genereux, car il n'y a rien dans ce que le gouvernement nous presente qui n'a pas ete annonce ou suggere auparavant.

       Au risque de le repeter, les Manitobains et les Manitobaines savent deja trop bien que le dollar est trop haut, et que Brian Mulroney‑‑

An Honourable Member:  What?

Mr. Gaudry:  A Tory.

       ‑‑est trop preoccupe par son image personnelle qu'il n'a pas le temps de s'inquieter des interets de notre pays; encore moins des interets de notre province.

       Et en ce qui concerne son image, le pauvre est irrecuperable;  il n'a meme plus besoin d'aide.  Meme Picasso ne pourrait en redresser le portrait.

       En ce qui concerne des initiatives en matiere de croissance economique, on nous a annonce la restructuration du ministere de l'Industrie, du Commerce et du Tourisme qui, desormais, mettra l'accent sur des initiatives strategiques.  Si de par l'existence meme de ce ministere, il n'etait pas deja dans les objectifs du ministere de l'Industrie, du Commerce et du Tourisme de mettre l'accent sur des initiatives strategiques afin de stimuler la croissance economique de notre province, qu'est‑ce que ce ministere a donc fait pendant les trois dernieres annees?

       Madame la vice‑presidente, en matiere economique, l'action d'un gouvernement doit permettre d'aboutir a un certain nombre de resultats.  Je crois que le premier resultat economique fondamental, c'est de faire du Manitoba une veritable province prospere au sein d'un Canada industriel.  Le second, c'est d'assurer certaines mutations necessaires dans des domaines bien precis, comme, par exemple, dans les domaines agricole ou du commerce.  Mais, il faut egalement se soucier que ces mutations se fassent dans des conditions telles qu'elles ne creent pas de souffrance.

       C'est pourquoi j'attache pour ma part la plus grande importance a ce que l'action sociale du gouvernement soit tournee, par priorite, vers les plus defavorises et vers ceux et celles qui souffrent a l'heure actuelle de la transformation necessaire et indispensable de notre economie.

       Et puis il y a un troisieme aspect, que je crois tres important du point de vue economique, c'est de donner a l'economie manitobaine une dimension nationale et internationale.

       Bien entendu, cela veut dire d'abord le Canada ou l'echange commercial est bien trop souvent inexistant; ceci est du, entre autres choses, a un probleme d'ordre national, un probleme que j'appellerai le probleme Mulroney.

       Il n'est pas concevable, en matiere economique, de proner une politique d'echange commercial orientee singulierement vers un pays etranger, meme voisin, tout en ignorant les provinces avoisinantes et qui se trouvent etre les autres composantes constitutionnelles de notre nation.

       C'est, pour ma part, ce que je crois etre l'objectif fondamental, parce que je ne vois, pour une province de la dimension du Manitoba, que deux issues:  ou bien se refermer a nouveau sur elle‑meme, et vivoter, a l'abri des humeurs americaines de l'Accord du libre echange, et par consequent deperir, ou bien alors etre en mesure de participer pleinement au marche international, avec ses dimensions actuelles qui s'ouvrent deja, pour englober non seulement le monde occidental, mais aussi le monde de l'Est.

       Il va de soi que cela suppose une transformation des esprits, que cela suppose un effort d'investissement considerable, et que cela suppose des ententes interprovinciales et des creations d'entreprises de taille nationale dont il existe tres peu encore au Manitoba.

       Le Manitoba a trop longtemps vecu dans ce protectionnisme interprovincial qui a ete vehicule successivement par les Neo‑democrates et les Conservateurs.  C'est contre le protectionnisme qu'il faut agir, et c'est sur ce point que pour ma part, je ne cesserai de repeter que le gouvernement ne maintient pas le correctif social indispensable afin d'assurer un equilibre economique stable au Manitoba.

       En matiere de renouveau economique pour notre province il s'agit la d'une transformation enorme, et le gouvernement demontre une nouvelle fois qu'il craint de ne pas etre en mesure de prevoir et de prevenir les consequences sociales de cette transformation.

       En ce qui concerne le domaine social, il est de rigueur pour un gouvernement de se soucier de la vulnerabilite des enfants et des femmes.

       Je fus encourage quelque peu quand le gouvernement declara continuer d'accorder la priorite aux refuges pour femmes et enfants vulnerables.

       J'interpretais ces propos dans l'optique positive que la "maison Teresa" recevrait le financement adequat afin de repondre aux besoins de la collectivite.

       Quelle deception et surtout quelle meprise de ma part d'avoir ose croire que finalement le gouvernement repondrait aux besoins des femmes franco‑manitobaines necessiteuses d'un environnement propice a attenuer leurs peines et leur douleurs.

       Quand le gouvernement se dit pret a mettre davantage l'accent sur les soins en milieu communautaire et a s'efforcer de mettre une plus grande proportion des fonds disponibles a la portee des nombreux services competents au sein de la collectivite, je me dis que la circonstance de ces propos ne pouvait etre meilleure.

       En effet, Madame la vice‑presidente, le "Service de conseiller" a Saint‑Boniface vient tout juste de recevoir son certificat national d'agrement.  Ce certificat est la reconnaissance officielle de la qualite professionnelle des services qu'offre depuis deja bien longtemps cet organisme a la collectivite dans le domaine du "counselling".  Il est donc juste d'en deduire que dorenavant le "Service de conseiller" rencontrera les nombreux objectifs du gouvernement en matiere de services de prevention, de traitement et de soutien au sein de la collectivite.  D'ou la conclusion logique d'un appui financier de la part du gouvernement.

       Et j'ose encore esperer tres sincerement que malgre tout, le gouvernement trouvera les moyens appropries et necessaires afin de demontrer que ce meme gouvernement sait reagir de facon responsable face aux efforts de la collectivite.


Madam Deputy Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise in turn to say a few words about the government's planning as presented to this Assembly during the Budget Debate, which is the fifth to be introduced by this government.

There are certain fundamentals that have to be contained in a budgetary plan in order to nourish the economic and social growth of a society or a people.

It goes without saying that this government's political and financial agenda does not distinguish itself with any innovation.  It does not announce any extraordinary measures.  It does not give any gleam of hope to Manitobans of finding a safe way out of the numerous and so unfortunate ups and downs of the economic recession that we are currently experiencing.

In any parliamentary system, such as the one whose benefits we have the privilege of enjoying in Canada and Manitoba, respect for the civic duty of each member must give due honour to the confidence expressed by the electors, regardless of whether we sit on the government benches or with the party or parties of the opposition.

Ideological allegiances must serve as a common thread while all the same not allowing reflection to overstep the bounds of reality.  The raison d'etre of our Legislative Assembly, to contribute to improving the living conditions of Manitobans, must be the source of inspiration that enables the government and the opposition to complement each other.

I will not at this time be discussing systematically the differences on both sides because that is something that is already done on a regular basis.  Nonetheless, I would like to emphasize that it is the role of the opposition to point out forcefully and appropriately the deficiencies of the government.

It is not only logical for me to support the speech given recently by the Leader of the Liberal Party in response to the throne speech, but it is, above all, with pride that I recognize in that speech the seriousness with which the legislative role of the opposition is demonstrated.

Madame Deputy Speaker, in order to maintain the objectivity of my reflections, I must nonetheless confess to a certain regret regarding the speech given by the Leader of the second opposition party.  My regret is that this speech was not "the" throne speech.  The First Minister (Mr. Filmon) himself recognized not only the validity of most, if not all of the resolutions proposed by the Liberal Leader, but he, above all, was able to savour the constructive logic that we could not divine in the cascade of subjective words from the Leader of the New Democratic Party.

It is regrettable to observe the negativism that is steadily increasing among the NDP, which is likely the source of their narrow‑mindedness as demonstrated by a constant and empty criticism of any positive suggestion, but I would not wish to stray any longer from the principal topic of my remarks, which is the program that the government claims it is presenting to us. [interjection]


       I will come back.


       Madam Deputy Speaker, when I say "program," I am being generous because there is nothing in what the government is presenting to us that has not been announced or proposed previously.

       At the risk of being repetitive, Manitobans already know too well that the dollar is too high and that Brian Mulroney‑‑


An Honourable Member:  What?

Mr. Gaudry:  A Tory


       ‑‑is so preoccupied by his personal image that he has not the time to worry about the interests of our country and even less about the interests of our province.  Insofar as his image is concerned, the poor man is beyond redemption.  He can no longer even be helped.  Even Picasso could not fix his picture.

       Insofar as economic growth initiatives are concerned, we were informed of the restructuring of the Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, which from now on will focus on strategic initiatives.  If by virtue of the very existence of this department it was not already within the objectives of the Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism to focus on strategic initiatives aimed at stimulating the economic growth of our province, then what has this department been doing for the past three years?

       Madam Deputy Speaker, in the economic area, government action must make it possible to achieve a certain number of results.  I believe that the first fundamental economic result is to make Manitoba a truly prosperous province within an industrial Canada.  The second one is to secure certain necessary transformations in highly specific fields, such as the agriculture or trade fields, but we must also be careful that these transformations do not come about under conditions that create suffering.

       That is why I personally attach a great deal of importance to government social action that is directed as a priority to the most disadvantaged and to those who are now suffering as a result of the necessary and indispensable transformation of our economy.

       There is also a third aspect that I believe is very important from the economic point of view, and that is to give the Manitoba economy a national and international dimension.

       Of course, Madam Deputy Speaker, first of all that means a Canada where commercial trade is far too often nonexistent.  This is due among other things to a problem at the national level, which I will call the Mulroney problem.  It is inconceivable in economic matters to extol a trade policy directed exclusively at a foreign, albeit neighbouring, country while ignoring the adjacent provinces which are the other constitutional components of our nation.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, that personally is what I believe to be the fundamental objective, because I can only see two ways out for a province of Manitoba's size, either to turn inward once again and scrape by in the shadow of American whims under the Free Trade Agreement and consequently fade away, or else be in a position to participate fully in the international marketplace with its present dimensions that even now are opening up to encompass not only the western world, but also the eastern world.

       It goes without saying that this presupposes a transformation in thinking and presupposes a considerable investment effort and presupposes interprovincial agreements and the setting up of national scale businesses of which very few exist yet in Manitoba.  Manitoba has lived for too long with this interprovincial protectionism which was put forward successively by the New Democrats and Conservatives.  We must act against protectionism, and in respect to that issue, I personally will never stop reiterating that the government is not maintaining the indispensable social corrective to secure a stable economic balance in Manitoba.

       In the area of economic renewal for our province, this is an enormous transformation and the government is showing once again that it is fearful of not being able to foresee and prevent these social consequences of this transformation.  In regard to the social domain, it is essential for a government to address the vulnerability of women and children.

* (1600)

       I was somewhat encouraged when the government stated that it was going to continue to give priority to shelters for vulnerable women and children.  I interpreted these words in the positive expectation that Theresa House would receive adequate financing in order to meet the needs of the community.  What a disappointment and, above all, what a misunderstanding on my part to have dared believe that finally the government was going to meet the needs of Franco‑Manitoban women who were in need of an environment that was propitious to alleviating their sorrows and their hurt.

       When the government states that it is prepared to place greater emphasis on community care and put a greater proportion of available funds within the reach of the many competent services within the community, I feel that the timing of this declaration could not be better.  As a matter of fact, Madam Deputy Speaker, the Service de Conseiller in St. Boniface has just received its national certification, and this certification is an official recognition of the professional quality of the services that have already been offered for some time by this organization to the community in the counselling area.

       So it is appropriate to deduce that from now on the Service de Conseiller will meet the numerous objectives of the government in the area of prevention, treatment and support services within the community.  The logical conclusion of that would be financial support from the government.  So I hope, very sincerely, once again, that in spite of everything, the government will find the appropriate and necessary means to demonstrate that this same government knows how to react in a responsible way to community efforts.


       Madam Deputy Speaker, I also have to stress the critical need of confronting elder abuse.  Many seniors in Manitoba are victims of physical, financial and psychological abuse.  The majority of elder abuse is perpetrated by family members or friends of the victim, thereby making seniors reluctant to contact the police or to report their abusers to proper authorities.

       There is, at the present time, an urgent need to address the situation of the lack of shelters for abused elders.  Most of the time the facilities being used presently do not respond to the needs of the seniors faced with mobility, hearing and sight impairments.

       Moreover, we must not forget about the great number of our seniors faced with financial difficulties.  In order to eliminate the administrative delays for our seniors to get reimbursed, the introduction of a resolution to create a Pharmacare card based on a system that will require seniors to pay only their deductible would be more than appropriate.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, northern concerns have received a lot of lip service from a succession of provincial governments over the years‑‑note, please, I said previous governments‑‑but unfortunately these promises have rarely survived the transition to power.  Since I have worked in various northern regions myself in the past, I can empathize with the issues of concern to the northern communities.

       In addition, I will be making a few comments about the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, rural development bonds and hydroelectric development, issues, which in previous consultations, northerners have listed as priorities.

       The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry report, AJI, is, in my opinion, one of the most important documents any government has been presented with in a long time.  It indicates that the fundamental purpose of government, to protect its citizens and to provide a system of justice to provide order in society, is flawed, a fundamental flaw that must be addressed and it must be addressed now.

       The Liberal Party agrees with the report's statement that the justice system has failed Manitoba's aboriginal people on a massive scale.  It has been insensitive and inaccessible; it has arrested them and imprisoned them in grossly disproportionate numbers.

       Let it be noted however that justice for aboriginal people goes beyond the judicial system.  Self‑government and the settlement of land claims must be accomplished for the aboriginal communities to prosper as well as for those that surround them.

       The settlement of land claims will provide the economic base in the establishment of self‑government including an aboriginal justice system.  It will also provide the political base to manage the economic resources to make aboriginal communities self‑sufficient and prosperous.

       We in the Liberal Party are committed to a moratorium on the further disposition of Crown lands.  We support the amalgamation of the Provincial Court and the Court of Queen's Bench into the Manitoba trial court, making it possible to hold jury trials in the communities where an offence was committed.

       The Liberal Party in Manitoba has been calling for many years now for the creation of an office of child protection.  Given the recent centralization of the Child and Family Services bureaucracy, the creation of an office of the children's advocate as announced in the budget seems to be a good start.

       However, I am convinced that the children's advocate must report to the Legislative Assembly and not to the minister in order to fully respect the impartiality necessary to protect and defend the children's welfare.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, while the government is turning its back on the city of Winnipeg, its treatment of rural development is only marginally better.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, the Liberal Party will give the government some credit for its introduction of the rural bonds program in the last year.  We have no difficulty in complimenting the government when it adopts Liberal campaign promises, when the government adopts good policies.

       The member for La Verendrye (Mr. Sveinson) mentioned before, asked me to compliment him, and I did, but they were using our policies.  Unfortunately this is one of the few positive measures the government has taken and this budget does not build on this base.  Last year this government cut community development from which was to spring the solutions to economic diversification. This year the trend continues as community development receives a further 9.4 percent cut.

       The offloading of provincial responsibilities onto municipalities continues with a 1.9 percent cut to the local government services division with municipal support grants being cut by 57.4 percent.

An Honourable Member:  I think you are teaching Ben too much.  He did not realize that.

Mr. Gaudry:  I am just giving him statistics that have come out of the budget in case he could not read them.

       The Finance minister (Mr. Manness) apparently has no qualms about attacking the federal government for offloading while doing the very same thing to municipalities in Manitoba.  Unfortunately the municipalities are at the bottom of the tax food chain and they are then faced with the unpleasant task of cutting local infrastructure services and raising property taxes.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, when the government changed the name of this department from Municipal Affairs to Rural Development, it was to be a sign that government was prioritizing economic diversification, but, like too many other government moves, the name change was more flash than substance.  The department has not geared itself toward rural economic development and has functioned as the same old Department of Municipal Affairs with a different name.  Again, there has been no vision of what might be.

       This budget does provide some hope that the government will finally start listening to rural communities when it comes to economic development.  The lottery‑funded Rural Economic Development Initiative program announced will be something that I, the Rural Development critic, will follow closely.  It may prove useful, and we hope that this government will simply not turn it into a new patronage trough to curry votes.  If the government is committed to real economic development I will help with this program because I recognize the importance of rural diversification.

       As Liberals, we are eagerly looking forward to the details on this initiative and hope that we will not be disappointed as the rest of the budget paints a dark picture of the government's commitment to rural Manitoba.  Hydro development has too often been insensitive to the needs of the environment and the citizens of our northern communities.  The full impacts of flooding were never considered and never properly budgeted for.  It is a known fact that government and Manitoba Hydro have dramatically underbudgeted for flood compensation.

       Through all this, I am led to believe that the social and economic well‑being of northern communities was deemed less important than the energy needs of southern Manitobans by provincial governments over the last 30 years, 20 of the NDP.

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       It is time for a new approach from the government and from Manitoba Hydro, an approach that respects northern communities and the environment.  The first step in doing this would be to stop stonewalling on northern flood compensation.  The commitments made under the Northern Flood Agreement should be respected by all sides.  It also should include participation by other communities.

       Government's unwillingness to live up to these terms has resulted in both sides spending far too much on legal and consulting fees.  This compensation money was intended for northern economic development, not for the economic development of our legal and consulting communities.

       The second step would be for this government and for Manitoba Hydro to concentrate their efforts on energy conservation.  The government is being pushed reluctantly into conservation but it should be embracing it as a means to save tax dollars and to protect the environment.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, can I have the time left?  I should be able to speak for an hour and a half.  I did not get a chance to speak on the throne speech.  What is the time?

Madam Deputy Speaker:  The honourable member has expended 22 minutes of his allotted time.  He has 18 minutes left.

Mr. Gaudry:  Conservation gives Manitoba Hydro time before it needs to develop another power source.  I hope the minister is listening this time.  This time can be used to do proper environmental reviews and to bring northern communities into the decision making so that they are not simply left to cope with a decision that will devastate their communities.  Hydro development has for too long been based on the political goals of the party‑‑the NDP when they were in power‑‑and not on the energy and economic needs of Manitobans, particularly northern Manitobans.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, hydro development must be taken out of the political realm and put back into the economic and environmental realms where it belongs.  Decisions must be made on the basis of energy needs‑‑remember that‑‑and when it is going to be needed, environmental concerns and sound economics, not on the timing of the next election.  I truly believe that this kind of process will benefit all Manitobans whether they live in Winnipeg, Brandon, Norway House or Portage la Prairie.

       Above all, let us remind ourselves that northern and rural communities are an important and vital part of the environmental life and the economic development of our great province of Manitoba.  Madam Deputy Speaker, therefore, I have presented to this House a resolution dealing with distance education as all Manitobans should have access to education services whether they live in small remote communities or not.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, the cornerstone of rural development is agricultural development, and while there are major increases for GRIP and NISA, there is the same disturbing lack of vision in the agricultural budget as it focuses on tinkering in the short term to the detriment of long‑term development. [interjection] For insurance, for NISA and GRIP.

       The agricultural community has been suffering for more than a decade from the twin evils of drought and international trade wars.  While understandably the farm community has been forced to operate under crisis management conditions, the government abandoned its role of ensuring the long‑term economic development of agriculture in this province.

       First the NDP and then the Tories concentrated only on the present and failed to build an agenda for the future.

An Honourable Member:  The Liberals are next, you know.

Mr. Gaudry:  But they will build an agenda for the farmers.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I have to agree with my former colleague.  Mr. Evans complimented the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) the other day, said he was a good minister.  I have to put this on the record.

An Honourable Member:  Laurie thinks highly of you.

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, he does.  I told you I would compliment you today, and I intend to do that, but I will attack you also.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, agriculture is vital to the future prosperity of our province.  Yet, during these difficult past 10 years no government has paid any attention to where agriculture is going, indeed whether it will survive, and this budget continues this unfortunate trend.  Drought has been a problem, but the government's only response has been to pay more for support for crops that did not grow and to demand that the federal government provide relief.  The GRIP program was introduced last year and now we are pleased to see the government implementing NISA‑‑another compliment for you, Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay)‑‑even if it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do so.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

       These are important steps but they are only the beginning of what a responsible government should do‑‑I am not saying irresponsible yet but it might come later.  The introduction of these two programs add significantly to the Agriculture budget and with these income stabilization plans in place, we hope that the department starts addressing the long‑term challenges faced by the agricultural community.

       Mr. Speaker, if soil conditions are changing and rainfall is becoming less dependable, then the government should be looking at ways to adapt to the changing world.  It is not enough to complain about the problems and ask for drought relief payments. The government's response to soil degradation is to cut the budget of the Soils and Crops Branch.

       While many prominent scientists identify soil erosion and degradation as the biggest environmental crisis facing the globe today, this government cuts the funding to the Soils Branch.  The continued productivity of our soil is vital to long‑term sustainable agriculture yet this government cuts resources.  This is the lack of vision in agriculture that does not bode well for the future.

       Mr Speaker, sustainable development is not a concept that is separate and apart from the real world.  It is the future of resource‑driven industries and it is the future of agriculture as well.

       There are a number of things that this government could do or encourage to make the land and farms more productive, but the only solution they have chosen is to take water from farmers in one area and give it to farmers in another.  This is not a solution; it is only shifting the problem.

       The government trumpeted its land and water strategy and then promptly ignored it when the positive media reaction had been achieved.  Mr. Speaker, where has the follow‑up been?

       The budget contains no added resources for shelter‑belt programs.  Shelter belts provide protection for soil and wind erosion as well as provide habitat for local plant and animal species.  They hold moisture in the soil and reduce wind damage to valuable top soil.

       The government has also taken no steps to improve agricultural productivity by developing a sustainable policy on the farming of marginal lands.  All government programs are geared to putting every square inch of land into agricultural production whether the land is capable of sustaining profitable yields or not.  Marshes, bogs, woodlands and scrub lands have been cleared so more land can be farmed.  This causes problems in a number of ways.

       Environmentally, we have seen the destruction of valuable wildlife habitat which leads to the loss of animal and plant species from certain areas.  In order to make these marginal lands more productive, farmers must use more fertilizer and more chemicals which can have negative impacts on the remaining nonfarmland.  In addition, the extra chemical and fertilizer costs increase the farmers' cost and lead to tight profit margins given that the land is not overly productive in the first place.

       This leads to an increased cost to the government and to all farmers.  Government support programs do not differentiate between marginal farmland and productive farmland and therefore government dollars are going to support production on land that should not be farmed at all.  Mr. Speaker, this also means that there is less money available to farmers on productive land that are suffering from international trade wars and drought conditions.

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       Mr. Speaker, a sustainable agricultural policy must be developed, a policy that discourages farming on marginal land is needed, a policy that encourages farmers to take marginal land out of production and return it to natural habitat.  Sustainable agricultural policies like this have been successfully implemented all over the world but this budget fails to address the problem and this inaction will have long‑term negative implications for agricuture in the province.  Decisions such as these take courage and this government seems to be missing a lot of it.

       Agricultural research and development has once again been given the short shift in this budget and it is another example of the lack of vision in this budget.  The grant for agricultural research has been cut by $75,500 or 8.6 percent.

       While our agricultural competitors are improving their productivity through R & D by developing new crop strains and better soil management techniques, our farmers are falling behind because of a lack of commitment on the part of both the provincial and the federal governments.  The government cannot focus its vision beyond the end of its collective nose, Mr. Speaker, and as a result the long‑term challenges agriculture faces are being ignored.

       It is unfortunate that this government believes that investing in the long‑term viability of our agricultural system is not a priority.  It is obviously not listening to the people that elected it.

       Monsieur le president, avant d'aborder la question de la constitution du Canada, j'aimerais apporter quelques commentaires a propos des services en francais.

       Tout d'abord j'aimerais souligner le "coup de chapeau" du premier ministre.  Monsieur Filmon a en effet ete l'orateur invite a l'assemblee generale de la Societe franco‑manitobaine le 1er novembre dernier.  Cette date marquait la troisieme annee consecutive de la visite officielle du premier ministre.  Ceci demontre sensiblement l'existence d'une bonne communication entre Monsieur Filmon et la collectivite franco‑manitobaine.

       Ceci dit, j'espere que le premier ministre verra a accelerer l'etude du rapport Gallant sur la gestion des ecoles franco‑manitobaines.  Il me semble tres approprie que ce dossier soit finalise au plus vite en l'englobant dans la revision des limites des divisions scolaires, qui a ete annulee hier, de la province telle que stipulee dans le Discours du trone.

       Quant aux dispositions de la Partie III de la Loi sur la Ville de Winnipeg, celles‑ci semblent avoir ete oubliees, car elles ne sont mentionnees nulle part.

       Durant son allocution du 1er novembre 1991 lors de l'assemblee generale de la Societe franco‑manitobaine, le premier ministre a dit et je cite:  "Nous presenterons a l'Assemblee legislative un projet de loi pour rendre plus claires et plus rigoureuses les dispositions de la Partie III de la Loi sur la Ville de Winnipeg"

       J'espere que le premier ministre prendra le temps de m'expliquer ce qui est arrive a cette promesse.

       Dans le secteur juridique, il est tres deplorable de ne toujours pas avoir de presence francophone a la Cour d'appel du Manitoba ainsi que la presence a plein temps d'un juge francophone a Saint‑Boniface.

       Nous parlions d'initiatives innovatrices afin de stimuler l'economie.  Un centre permanent de traduction juridique a Saint‑Boniface qui desservirait l'Ouest canadien est probablement un tres bon projet pilote pour raviver l'essor economique de la collectivite.

       Monsieur le president, le dossier constitutionnel est probablement le sujet de discussion le plus epineux en ce moment.  Tout en etant convaincu de la possibilite de conserver l'unite nationale, je dois realiser neanmoins que les chances de reussite sont tres limitees tant que Brian Mulroney sera le chef du gouvernement federal.

       Loin de moi d'avoir la pretention d'essayer de resoudre les dimensions legales complexes de ce sujet.  Nous avons assez d'experts constitutionnels a l'echelle nationale, que nous pouvons leur faire confiance.

       Le leader du Parti liberal a deja annonce que les membres du caucus liberal decideront selon leur conscience et opinion personnelles au travers d'un vote libre, dans l'instance que le sujet soit presente devant cette chambre.

       Quand allons‑nous connaitre les intentions du gouvernement?

       Il est clair que le mot "distinct", quoique s'ecrivant de la meme facon en anglais ou en francais, recoit la meme definition dans les deux langues avec malgre tout une certaine difference.

       En anglais le mot "distinct" semble recevoir, en plus de sa definition de base, un degre qualitatif qui n'existe pas dans la langue francaise.

       Peut‑etre, pourrions‑nous songer a remplacer l'expression "societe distincte" par "Societe quebecoise" ou en anglais par "The Quebec society".

       En conclusion Monsieur le president, j'aimerais reconnaitre l'honnetete et la franchise du premier ministre a implanter les suggestions et les recommandations du Parti liberal.

       Je puis vous assurer, Monsieur le president, que mes collegues liberaux et moi‑meme, qui siegeons dans cette chambre, continuerons a proposer des resolutions fortes et pertinentes afin de contribuer au developpement economique, politique et social de notre province du Manitoba.


Mr. Speaker, before broaching the question of the Canadian Constitution I would like to make a few comments in regard to French language services.  Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the Premier's hat trick.  Mr. Filmon was, in fact, the guest speaker of the general assembly of the Societe franco‑manitobaine on November 1 of last year, and this date marked the third consecutive year of an official visit from the Premier, which clearly demonstrates the existence of good communication between Mr. Filmon and the Franco‑Manitoban community.

Having said that, I hope that the First Minister will see to accelerating the study of the Gallant report on the governance of Franco‑Manitoban schools.  It seems to me very appropriate that this issue should be finalized as quickly as possible by incorporating it into the province's review of school division boundaries, which was cancelled yesterday, as stipulated in the Speech from the Throne.  In regard to the provisions of Part III of The City of Winnipeg Act, these seem to have been forgotten, because they are not mentioned anywhere.

In his speech on November 1, 1991, at the general assembly of the Societe franco‑manitobaine the First Minister (Mr. Filmon) stated, and I quote:  "We will present to the Legislative Assembly a bill to render the provisions of Part III of The City of Winnipeg Act more clear and more rigorous."

I hope that the First Minister will take the time to explain to me what has become of this promise.

In the legal sector it is highly deplorable that we still do not have any Francophone presence at the Court of Appeal level in Manitoba or the presence of a full‑time Francophone judge in St. Boniface.

We were talking about innovative initiatives to stimulate the economy.  A permanent centre for legal translation in St. Boniface, which would serve the Canadian West, is probably a very good pilot project to help revive the economic situation of the community.

Mr. Speaker, the constitutional issue is probably the thorniest subject of discussion at this time.  Although I am convinced of the possibility of maintaining national unity I have to realize, nevertheless, that the chances for success are very limited as long as Brian Mulroney is the head of the federal government.

Far be it from me to be so pretentious as to attempt to resolve all the complex legal dimensions of this subject.  We have enough constitutional experts at the national level that we can put our trust in them.

The Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs) has already announced that the members of the Liberal caucus will decide according to their conscience and personal opinion through a free vote in the event that the subject is presented before this House.  Mr. Speaker, when are we going to learn the intentions of the government?

It is clear that the word "distinct," which is written the same in English and in French, has the same definition in both languages with, however, a certain difference.  In English, the word "distinct" seems to be given, in addition to its basic definition, a qualitative degree which does not exist in the French language.  We could perhaps consider replacing the expression "distinct society" by "Quebec society."

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the honesty and frankness of the First Minister in implementing the suggestions and recommendations of the Liberal Party.  I can assure you that my Liberal colleagues and myself who sit in this House will continue to propose strong and relevant resolutions in order to contribute to the economic, political and social development of our province of Manitoba.


       Mr. Speaker, before concluding‑‑as I said before, I did not have a chance to speak on the Speech from the Throne‑‑I would like to say that it is nice to have you back and well in the Chamber.

       Thank you very much.

       Mr. Jack Penner (Emerson):  Mr. Speaker, I want to echo what the honourable member for St. Boniface has said, that I welcome you back into the Chair.  It is good to see you back here, and I hope your health will be of such a nature that it will be able to sustain the maintenance of the Chair over the next session and for many years to come.

       Let me say, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to also congratulate our Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) for coming forth with a budget that I think was well‑finessed in a time of great difficulty for not only this province, but for all the rest of this country and I dare say most nations of this globe, that it was a budget that everybody should applaud in this Chamber.

       A $5.5 billion budget during times of economic downturns of the likes of which this province and this country has seldom ever seen before, and the maintenance of our most cherished programs and the increased spending in those most cherished programs should be congratulated.

       It is a credit to our Finance minister (Mr. Manness), the Premier (Mr. Filmon) of this province, the Executive Council, and Treasury Board, that they have been able to assure society in this province that the Department of Health and our health programs will not only be maintained, but that spending will in fact be increased in those departments to ensure that not only will our health care be of a nature that the opposition has raised concerns about continually, and have accused this government of wanting to cut back‑‑continually, the leader of darkness, the leader of gloom and doom in this Chamber has continually indicated that this government, our government will cut back in health care and Education and in Family Services.

       Well, this budget hopefully proved once and for all to the leader of gloom and doom, the leader of darkness, that we in fact are committed to maintaining our social programs such as Health and Education and Family Services, and also the maintenance of the programming in many of the other departments that I intend to touch on a bit later.

       What I want to see is the Premier of Saskatchewan when he finally dares to bring forth his budget.  I want to see from him spending increases in Health of 5.7 or better.  I challenge that Leader of the Opposition and all his colleagues to defend not only last year's Ontario's budget as they said they would be glad to do and debate what Ontario is doing, but they will now also have to defend what Saskatchewan will be doing and B.C.

       I dare say, I wonder whether all three of those provinces will come forward with a budget that is similar to what our Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has come forward with at this time.  I wonder if they will be able to increase their Health spending and their Education spending and, yes, increase their Family Services budgets by 8 percent, almost 9 percent, as we have done, $100‑million increase for Health, building new hospitals in many of our communities in Manitoba, building new health care facilities, which the former NDP government had totally, totally neglected, a brand new hospital in Vita, a facility that the community will for many, many years be able to be proud of.  Yet, did the previous administration pay any attention to the needs of those rural communities and the health care facilities in those communities?  No, they did not.  They ignored it.

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       Similarly, we are going to keep on‑‑and this budget clearly indicates our intention‑‑providing adequate services for many of our rural communities, as well as maintaining our programs in hospitals and health care in this city of Winnipeg, an 8.7 percent increase in spending at Family Services.

       Now, we have heard the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer), and the critic for Family Services in the NDP party, as well as the Liberal Party, continually condemn our ministers who have been doing, I say, an excellent job of ensuring that not only our daycare centres and our daycare programs will be enhanced and expanded, and that there will be more daycare positions established in this province because of our commitment to Family Services, that the Child Advocate's legislation that is being brought forward during this session will be implemented.

       What did the NDP do, the previous administration?  They did nothing.  They talked and they talked, and that is all they did; $52 million increase in Education, building new schools in small communities such as Letellier, providing adequate linguistic services in communities such as St. Jean, Ste. Anne, St. Malo, Letellier and St. Joseph, ensuring that these people will have the ability to provide their children with an education.

       What did the previous administration do?  They allowed our children to be housed in dilapidated facilities that were not only health hazards but were fire hazards, and what did they do? Nothing.

       I just heard the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) a few minutes ago be fairly critical of our economic renewal effort in this province.  Let us take a look at economic renewal and what is required.  What is required to stimulate the economy in this province?

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Reduce the provincial sales tax by 3 percent in three months.  That will cover it.

Mr. Penner:  The honourable member for Inkster says reduce the sales tax, reduce taxes.  Yet at every breath that I hear this honourable member say, when he gets up in this House and speaks to issues, he said, we need more money.  Now he says reduce taxes.

       How do you spend more with one hand and reduce taxes with the other?  There is a way.  The way is this.  You have to generate economic income to provide jobs and get people working.  Did the previous administration, the NDP administration, know what that was all about?  No, they did not, because what they in fact did was apply tax upon tax upon employment and more tax.

       When the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) is critical of our inaction in trying to stimulate the economy, lower taxes to create more jobs, to get people to spend more money, to build more industries, to provide jobs for our kids and incomes for a government that we can in fact maintain our services‑‑that is what we are about.  That is why we are spending $20 million in the Industrial Recruitment Initiative.

       Let me say to the Leader of the Opposition that we are going to spend, as a government, an awful lot of time ensuring that our province is competitive and will remain competitive, taxation‑wise and otherwise, that we are able to attract industries into this province from provinces such as Ontario, from provinces such as B.C. and, yes, even from our American friends, because only if and when we remain competitive will we be able to do that.  That is, as the honourable member for Inkster said, by lowering taxes, keeping our spending in line and providing the services and the infrastructure that industries require to establish in this province.

       I have heard the opposition be critical and say many things about industries leaving this province because of the Free Trade Agreement.  I find it very interesting that during the last three years, from 1987 to 1990, the agricultural exports out of this province have increased by some 20 percent, 20 percent exports to the United States.  Is it because of the Free Trade Agreement? Well, maybe it is.  Maybe it is because of the Free Trade Agreement.  Maybe people in the United States like the products we produce.  Maybe they like the higher quality wheat that we produce, the higher quality meat that we produce, the higher quality manufactured goods that we produce, furniture, buses and farm agricultural equipment.

       Virtually anything that we produce, we can be proud of because of the quality of the product that we put out in this province.

       Secondly, we need to encourage our manufacturing sector to expand their operations in this province, and the way we can do that is by providing some incentives.  Now how do you do it? Exactly as the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) said we should, and that is by lowering the amount of tax that industries have to pay.  That is how you do it, that is what this budget says we are going to do.

       We are going to provide a temporary 10 percent income tax credit for investment in new manufacturing and processing in Manitoba that we will introduce to accelerate existing investment plans and encourage new investment.  That is exactly what this budget says.  Now the nonconfidence motion that the Liberal opposition moved in this House says, we are not going to vote in favour of reduced taxes, incentives to increase manufacturing. We are not going to vote for that, they say.

       Well, that is their business.  I say to you, that if the opposition were serious about attracting and providing an economic climate in this province that is attractive to industry and the rest of society, they would, in fact, support this budget.

       Technology, should we increase our technological base in this province?  Yes, I think we should.  Are the opposition members prepared to vote for it?  No, they are not.

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       I say, the million dollars that we received from the sale of the Manitoba Data Services will, in fact, allow us to spend some money to foster and create industrial innovation and technology and commercialization.  Should we do that?  The honourable member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) says, I think I am going to vote against this. [interjection] Oh, he says he will vote against this.

       Should we enhance our export‑oriented service industries?  I think we should.  Will the opposition vote for it?  No, they will not because they do not believe in providing jobs in this province.  They do not believe in encouraging industries and industrial development in this province.  They will vote against it.

       Sales tax exemptions for the 1‑800 numbers will be implemented.  We will provide the payroll training tax credit which will be extended to include programs delivered in export‑oriented service industries, and we should.

       Let us look at Agriculture.  I heard the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) today criticize the Agriculture budget; yet, never in the history of this province has the Agriculture budget ever been increased to the percentages that we have this year‑‑a $23‑million increase.  Yes, a $23‑million increase, and they will vote against the increase in spending in Agriculture.  The opposition members will vote against supporting Agriculture to that degree‑‑[interjection]

       Yes, correct, some of the money that has been indicated in the Agriculture budget will be used to underpin the two programs which were established last year, programs that the farm community asked for.  Did they ask for it?  Did they receive it? Yes, they did; they asked and they received.  Are we going to continue the program?  If the farm community wants to maintain those programs, we will continue them, if they want to maintain them.

       Are there other things we should be doing in Agriculture? Yes, there are.  There are many things that we could be doing in Agriculture.  We need to provide more research money.  We need to provide marketing expertise.  We need to provide the technology to expand the special crop spaces in this province.  We need to expand the manufacturing and processing end of it.  We cannot only add to the raw products which are being produced, but we need to encourage even processing beyond the initial process.  We need to put out some finished products in this province, and we can use our primary renewable resource to do it‑‑agriculture.

       Mr. Speaker, we have some tremendous opportunities in this province.  We have a soil base that is second to none in all of Canada.  We have a climate base in the southern part of this province that will lend itself to producing crops the likes of which we have never seen before if we only allow ourselves the vision to expand that industry.

       If we accept the fact that over a three‑year period of time, we have been able to increase our exports by almost 20 percent, and if we accept the fact that that growth can in fact continue and be expanded under the free trade initiative that we embarked upon a number of years ago, and if we accept the fact that the North American continent trade pact can in fact be achieved and we allow ourselves to be innovative enough and provide the people of this province in rural Manitoba with the technology and the resources to do it, they are going to do it.

An Honourable Member:  That are a lot of ifs.

Mr. Penner:  That is right.  The honourable member from the NDP benches says, there are a lot of ifs here.  That is exactly right, there are a lot of ifs.

       The previous NDP administration never allowed themselves to be visionary.  They sat there in their self‑serving attitude and said, we will not allow ourselves to think beyond the parameters of our own vision.  We will not ask for support from the agricultural community.  What did they get?  That is exactly what they got, no support from the agricultural community, and what did they get?  That is exactly what they got, no support from the agricultural community.  We are going to work with‑‑and I said "if" before‑‑we are going to work with that community.  We are going to provide the technology, and we are going to provide the resources that are needed‑‑namely, No. 1, water.  I want to talk a little bit about water, because you give people half an opportunity to provide for themselves and they will.  They will go all the way.

       We put together two years ago a task force in the Red River Valley, a task force of people who had an interest in providing for themselves the ability to expand and progress.  That task force recommended to this government that we should put in place a network of water delivery systems.  I think we can do it, but we are going to need the support of the opposition.  Will they support us in it?  No, they will not, because they are going to vote against this budget.

       Will they vote for a $23‑million increase in the agriculture budget to allow us to take the first steps, to achieve the goals that we need to achieve?  No, they will not.  They have said that they are going to vote against this budget.  Are they going to support us in supplying the water that southern Manitoba wants and needs?  Are they going to support that?  No, they will not. They have said they will not.  They are going to vote against the increase in spending in water services and agriculture.

       Are they going to support the initiative that the task force in southern Manitoba has brought forward, the plan that they put forward?  Are they going to support it?  No, they will not.  Yet those are the very basics; that is the infrastructure that rural Manitoba needs in order to expand its base and bank upon an industrialization program and a processing development initiative that will provide the jobs for rural Manitoba.

       Can we provide the technology to do it?  Yes, we can.  Can this government provide the support that is needed out there to enhance rural Manitoba's ability to produce for themselves?  Yes, we can.  Can we supply, can we be competitive in the international marketplace?  There is no question about that.  Our farmers have the ability to produce a better quality product and more of it than virtually anybody else in the world.  Yet the opposition is opposed to trading with other people.  They want to close the borders, throw up walls, build more tariffs and box ourselves in and shut their eyes to the rest of the world.

       We need No. 1, the technology, the water in rural Manitoba to be able to provide that manufacturing base.  We need No. 2, a highways program, the likes of which this Minister of Highways (Mr. Driedger) has initiated and this government has supported, an increase this year into the capital budget up to $113 million.  Where were the NDP in their budgeting for capital?‑‑$72 million the last year they were in power.  This is a dramatic increase in our Highways budget.

       Highway 75, being the main artery to the lifeblood of this province, to the lifeblood of this city of Winnipeg, and yet the NDP sit there and laugh because we are four‑laning Highway 75. They should witness the traffic on Highway 75 every morning and every evening that I drive back and forth, and the heavy truck traffic that flows south out of this city and out of northern Manitoba.

       Mr. Speaker, I have heard so much criticism about the Repap industry that is established in The Pas, and yet every day of the week that I drive into this city, I meet lumber trucks heading which way?  They head south with a lumber product that we produce in this province and export where?  To our American friends who love to buy our lumber.  Yet the NDP said we should not depart of our free trade agreement.  Will they support the budget to enhance our economic activity across the line?  No, they will not.  Of course not.

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       Transportation is not only an important aspect of rural Manitoba.  Transportation and the transportation industry is an important employment component in this city of Winnipeg.  Many of the major trucking firms had their head offices located right in this city, and many of those trucking agencies depend on the products that we produce in this country for their livelihood. Yet when we look at the traffic coming south and north, heading both south and north down Highway 75 into this province, and out of the province down Highway No. 1, both ways; it is becoming evermore evident that the city of Winnipeg will become an increasingly important player in the transportation industry, whether it be trucking or rail transportation or air transportation.

       Many of the couriers are looking at Winnipeg to establish their head offices here.  The rail transportation industry is looking at expanding their activities in this province.  We recognize their will to expand their operations in this city by lowering the fuel tax.  What did the NDP do?  They increased fuel taxes to not only the railway companies but, as well, the airlines.  What are we doing?  We are lowering the tax on fuel so the courier industries and the railway industries can maintain their competitiveness and keep on moving goods through this province and providing jobs to all of Manitoba.

(Mr. Marcel Laurendeau, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

       What are the NDP going to do?  What are the Liberals going to do?  Are the Liberals going to support the reduction of fuel tax to the transportation industry?  No, they are going to vote against it.  Are the Liberals and the NDP going to support the increased activity in the mining industry?  Well, we said very clearly that we are going to provide a mining tax holiday that will be introduced to permit companies to recover their full investment in new mine priority in mining tax being applied. Will the member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper) support this.  Will the member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin) support this?  Will the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) support this?  How about the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton)?  This is a major industry in northern Manitoba, yet they said we will vote against this.  We do not want the industry, because we are not going to provide incentives to the industry.

       Similarly, the construction of a new power project, Conawapa, which will be a major, major employment initiative in northern Manitoba, and yet what do we hear from the opposition?  Simply that we will not support, we do not want to support.  Oh, they say, at this time, because, oh, yes, we would support it immediately if we were in government, I heard them say the other day.  That is what we would do, you bet, but not as long as the PCs are going to initiate these kinds of an issue.

       We are not going to be for it, but let me tell you, the people of northern Manitoba are watching this government very closely.  They are watching the economic activities that we are going to create in northern Manitoba.  Those people are going to decide who their representatives are going to be next time around, and those people will, I believe, put in place representatives who will in fact support the industrialization and the development, the modernization of northern Manitoba.

       We need to recognize what the previous NDP government has refused to do in this province.  They have refused to recognize the creation of wealth in rural northern Manitoba.

       Our communities have been left and neglected entirely by which government?  How many years was the NDP government in power?  What did they do in northern Manitoba?  Yet they have supported the NDP party virtually throughout their entire history.  What have the NDP done for them?  Nothing.

       We are going to demonstrate to northern Manitobans very clearly, whether they support us politically or not, that it is our intention to provide adequately for them and their communities by providing services to their communities, by providing jobs for their communities, and providing educational facilities, health facilities to their communities.

       Our Minister of Transportation (Mr. Driedger) has been to Ottawa time and time and time again arguing for the retention of the Port of Churchill and the rail lines to Churchill.  To do what?  To maintain the job opportunities that are needed in those communities, to ensure those communities very existence.

       What does the NDP do?  The NDP has simply given a tremendous amount of lip service to those communities, and yet those communities have seen no action.

       Let us look at the serious negotiations that have gone on in the Northern Flood Agreement.  Never in the history of this province have we seen as much advancement in negotiations of the settlement of the Northern Flood Agreement than we have during the last three years.  What did the NDP do?  They totally ignore it, the Native communities and the need to settle once and for all the Northern Flood Agreement.

       There are, Mr. Acting Speaker, two areas that I want to say a few things about before I sit down.  One of them is tourism and the tremendous potential that this province has in tourism.  I have heard time and time again some criticism being extended to our government, and maybe rightfully so, in the tourism area.  We do have a tremendous potential.  We have a tremendous human resource living just south of our border, and yet we do very little to attract those 250 million people into our province.  We have opportunities here, the likes of which very few provinces or very few countries have in the world to attract that tourism traffic into our province.

       It is time that we took the initiative and spent some dollars and expended some innovative time in attracting those tourists to this province.  We need to, first of all, make more people aware that Manitoba exists.  You do not need to travel very far south and ask people where Manitoba is; they do not know.  The Americans simply do not know.  The Americans have simply paid very little attention to what is north of the 49th parallel, very little attention.  They know very little about the pristine environment that we live in day to day.  I believe that we can sell that aspect to the tourism industry.

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       We just need to go to Chicago or Los Angeles or New York or any of the major centres and take an airplane and land in, say, Los Angeles virtually any day of the week and look at the smog that you have to land through.  That is a sales pitch that we need to start using.  I think if we sell our clean water, our clean country air, our clean environment in general, and use that as a tourism initiative.

       I have told this story many times before, but I had the opportunity to go to Australia a number of years ago.  While in Australia, I saw the presentation, which, by the way, had been done by a young Canadian who could not at that time under the NDP administration‑‑a young Manitoban, by the way, who had not been able to get a job, because he was involved in the film industry, but had been hired by Norway to do a film presentation on Norway.  It was done in Australia, and all the Norway people did was sell ice and snow and the beauty of ice and snow to a country that had never seen ice and snow.

       I think we have a similar opportunity to go into the southern United States, into countries such as Japan, Australia, South America, Africa and many other nations of the world that have virtually never experienced our cold winter climate.  We can build the tourism industry on our environment, be it winter, summer or any other season of the year.  We can attract people to our natural resources, to the great hunting that exists in this province.  When we talk about hunting, most of us see it as somebody point a gun, pull a trigger and shoot something.

       There are many ways of hunting.  I, by the way, hunt by camera.  I have shot many, many deer and I have shot many, many ducks, and you are never out of season when you do it.  I think we can attract that element of the tourism industry to Manitoba if we only become somewhat innovative, but we need to go out and sell it, each and every one of us.  Instead of sitting in this Chamber and talking about the gloom and doom that exists in this province, but only in the eyes of some, instead of doing that, we need to become more positive.

       We need to take a positive attitude.  We need to tell our own people that the recession is over.  We need to tell our people that the turnaround has come.  We need to tell our own people about the beauty, to open their eyes and look at the beauty around them and then to go tell their neighbours, our neighbours to the south, our neighbours to the west, and our neighbours to the east and the north to come to Manitoba to enjoy with us what very few people in the world have.

       That is the very environment that we live in every day, and we take so much for granted.  It takes only a little bit of effort.  It takes only a little bit of believing in ourselves and our own ability to compete in that marketplace, whether it is in tourism, whether it is in industry, or whether it is in the everyday commercial world.  If we take a positive approach, and if we believe in ourselves and our own ability, I believe that not only can we turn this economy around, we can make this a great, great place to live in.

       Others will want to live where we live.  Others will want to emulate what we do, and others will become followers and we will be the leaders.  But, Mr. Acting Speaker, it takes an attitudinal change, and that is the main ingredient that is required, not only in rural Manitoba but in all of Manitoba, in all of us, not only in the opposition but also in our own benches.  It is going to take an attitudinal change to become very positive about our ability to be very competitive in the world marketplace.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, that is why I think this Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) needs to again be congratulated for putting forward a budget that will maintain spending on one side and increase and enhance our services on the other side.  That is a very delicate juggling act, and our Premier (Mr. Filmon), our cabinet, our Treasury Board and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) should be given an accolade of support.

       The opposition members should stand in their places and applaud the Minister of Finance for this budget, and they should support the initiatives that we have begun.  They should start believing in themselves and believing in ourselves and believing in Manitoba, and then, Mr. Acting Speaker, we will become great in this nation I call Canada and I call home.

       Each and every one of us should proclaim that as being true Canadians and putting all our differences aside and ensuring that the future of this great nation will be maintained for ourselves and our families.

Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this Budget Debate, the fifth budget of this government.

       Since being elected in 1981, I have witnessed much progress. Unfortunately, many examples of backtracking on a number of issues has taken place related to aboriginal people.

       I just heard the member speak on many issues concerning this country and how this country can develop into a great nation.  As an aboriginal person and member of the First Nations in this country, I find that we are always fighting an uphill battle and trying to get the recognition of the aboriginal people in this country, a recognition of the accomplishments of the first people, a recognition of the developments that we have been part of in this country.  I know that I can go back into history in terms of how we have been left out as aboriginal people.

(Mr. Jack Reimer, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

       It is only within a short while, particularly the last two years, that the Canadian people have finally given the recognition.  At least there is some debate happening in this country.  It was the aboriginal people in this country that welcomed many of your ancestors.  The members who are sitting here were welcomed by my great‑grandfathers, met on the shores of maybe the St. Lawrence River or else on the Pacific coast and also the Hudson Bay.

       The aboriginal people played an important role in the development of this country.  They shared the land and resources that many of the Canadians enjoy in this country.  So do not tell me that we are giving you this.

       It is the aboriginal people that have given so much to this country. [interjection] I do not find it amusing‑‑whether he is directing it at me or not.  The aboriginal people finally have made a point in this history, but we will see whether there is a political will to recognize the aboriginal people, the first peoples in this country, and also to settle many of the outstanding issues today.

       You look at the developments in the North in respect to hydro development, in respect to the forestry development, in respect to the mining development.  All those resources come from the northern part of this country.  In all these years of development we see a flurry of economic activity in many of those centres, whether it be Flin Flon, Churchill, Gillam, Thompson.

       How many people are employed there?  How many people actually work there?  How many aboriginal people do work there, surrounded by those economic activities, our towns that have been built up as a result of the hydro development, as a result of the forestry products, as a result of the mining towns, the resources that are extracted, from those resources?

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       In those years, Mr. Acting Speaker, aboriginal people have been left out.  You would think that the people who would most benefit from those resources would be the aboriginal people themselves right from their surrounding communities. Unfortunately, today we have very few of the aboriginal people working in those centres, working in mining, working in hydro development, working in forestry developments.  The aboriginal people are pressured on governments to put on programs, create economic activities strictly designed to encourage aboriginal people and northern aboriginal people to work in those areas.

       As an aboriginal person coming from northern Manitoba, we have such vast resources that we should be, as I said time and time again, the most well‑off people in this country.  We have given so much to the land, to the resources.  We still have outstanding issues to deal with.  I encourage the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), the Native Affairs minister, to deal specifically with the treaty land entitlement.

       One of the reasons why we have not been able to settle that is because of the lack of co‑operation with the federal government.  I know that the Minister of Northern Affairs knows that when I was minister I passed an Order‑in‑Council to settle the treaty land entitlement.  Part of the problem was the federal government.  The Minister of Indian Affairs, whose responsibility is to settle the treaty land entitlement, was not prepared to deal with this issue, and it sat on his desk and died there.

       Also, I mentioned that when we were in government we initiated many things.  There is no imagination on the part of the government.  Many of the things that we initiated are a continuation of what we did.  There is absolutely no imagination from this government at all, none whatsoever.  If it was not for our government, many of the things would not have happened.

       You look at the urban development strategy.  You look at the hydro development.  You look at the treaty land entitlement, the justice inquiry, the Indian gaming commissions.  All those things were initiated by ourselves.  There is absolutely no imagination whatsoever.  I have not seen anything new at all from this government, none whatsoever.  They knew that the initiatives that we were working on could not be just shoved aside.  They were forced to deal with those issues.

       You look at the hydro, northeast hydro development.  We announced, as a matter of fact, in 1986 to build that hydro line.  As a matter of fact, a letter was written in 1986 in November to the Minister of Indian Affairs.  I remember the letter.  Also, the following year, there was also a subsequent letter written to the Minister of Indian Affairs to proceed with the northeast hydro line.  As a matter of fact, in the first throne speech of this government, they announced the northeast hydro line.  That was a number of years ago.  Those are the initiatives I am talking about which this government is beginning to implement today.

       I can tell you that when this project is finished, we will remind the constituents, my constituents, of that initiative in 1986 .  I will tell you, we will be the ones who will cut the ribbon.  I do not talk with forked tongue.  I know what I am talking about.

An Honourable Member:  You may cut the ribbon, but we are going to turn on the lights.

Mr. Harper:  All you do is turn off the lights.  That is all.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, there are many issues that we need to deal with and this particularly in the province of Manitoba.  I know that the Department of Northern Affairs has made some cuts in their department.  Of course, we will be debating that in the Estimates with the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) as to exactly where the cuts have been made.

       Of course, this government also has to start working with the aboriginal people.  I know there has been some criticism of the lack of co‑operation between aboriginal leaders, because there is an expectation on the part of the government to deal with issues like the justice system.  The justice system, of course, points out to us that it has failed the aboriginal people in the province of Manitoba.

       There are many reasons why it has failed the aboriginal people.  We represent say 10 percent, 12 percent, of the population in Manitoba, but yet, in the prisons, those institutions, we overrepresent the incarceration.  Of the people in those institutions, in some cases well over 50 percent are aboriginal people locked up.

       There are reasons why this is happening.  There are many aboriginal people who do not know their rights, who do not know the process.  Many times they do not know they have access to legal counsel, and there are many times they cannot afford the legal counsel.  There are many times the process is so inadequate that many of these people who provide those services do not have time to explain to people‑‑Crown attorneys, lawyers.

       Many times in our language there is difficulty in translating the legal language into an aboriginal language.  I will give you an example.  There is a guilty and not guilty.  If you ask an aboriginal, let us say if he broke a window, and it might be in a circumstance where it was accidental.  If you ask him if he was guilty, of course, the aboriginal would say that he was guilty of the incident.

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       There is no understanding of the process in terms of whether the thing was committed accidentally or not, and many reasons why a lot of times the aboriginal person would just plead guilty. Other times it might be just a tremendous sort of a shock to go through the procedure in terms of an intimidating circumstance in the chambers or in a court room, that some people would just not bother going through the process.  We have many aboriginal people as a result of misunderstanding, or being intimidated, or not completely advised of their rights, the reasons why many of the people end up in jails.

       One of the main recommendations that the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry made to the government, and suggested to the government, a strong recommendation, is that a parallel and a separate justice system be established for aboriginal people.  That recommendation has been made by the Canadian Bar Association before that.  They are the ones who work in the judicial system, and they are the ones who understand the legal process.  They are in a position to understand that there is a need for aboriginal people to establish a separate justice system.

       I find it incredible that this government is not prepared to establish that, although they have endorsed the inherent right to self‑government in a constitutional proposal for aboriginal people.  Part of that judicial system is the ability of the aboriginal people to administer and control their lives so they are able to determine their future.  It does not mean that we are more special than anyone else in Manitoba.  What it means is to be able to deal with those issues at the local level.

       We will be able to deal with some of those crimes that may be committed in a community, some of those break‑ins, all those things that are committed.  What happens today is that a lot of the charges towards individuals are dealt with in a foreign institution.  People who commit the crime do not feel they have committed a crime against the community or against the individual because they are taken away, isolated and locked up in Winnipeg. If the community is able to impose on a crime, impose some sort of a punishment against an individual in that community, the person would be able to directly relate to that, that he has done something wrong against the community or against the individual, because many people see the whole justice process as being totally alien.

       I think the community has also a responsibility because that person is from that community.  They have an obligation to that individual.  Once that person is taken away from the community, many of the community leaders do not know what is happening to that individual.  That is what we are trying to rectify.  I do not think it demeans the justice system, but rather the punishment that may be given by the people or by the courts in the reserve would have a better impact, a better result for the individual.

       All our lives as aboriginal people, if we look at the history, is to remove Indian people and subject them to a institution.  That has been going on for many years; I do not need to elaborate that in terms of the policies of the government.  I think everybody knows well of the policies of the government, the federal government, in terms of policies of genocide, policies of assimilation and integration, and in many of those communities, we see the results of those policies.

       You talk about the dignity of people, but after years of assault against our people, you know, telling aboriginal people in this country that they cannot practise their religion, their spirituality, they cannot speak their language, they cannot dance.  Those are things that the governments did many years ago, but today those things have an impact on us.

       The residential school system is a classic example of using the educational institutions to assimilate Indian people, to deny them their language and their culture, that we were not worthy, that we were not good enough.  That is why I say that as aboriginal people, we have been able to overcome that, and there are many problems today as a result of that.  We see that happening today.  In many of those communities that I talk about, we have unemployment well over 90 percent.

       There is no hope for many of our young people.  They do not seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that there is no reason to live, that there was no purpose in life.  It is tragic, it is shameful that we cannot give that kind of opportunity to our children.  The children are the future of this country, the future of our nations.  This is so tragic, to see many of our young people commit suicide, that they have no reason to live, but a reason to die, because it is doom and gloom.

       I think part of that process is to educate our young, that there are indeed things possible in this world, things possible in Manitoba, things possible in northern Manitoba, that they are able to live, able to be trained, able to be who they want to be.

       You know, I find it amazing or incredible that when people talk about the recession in this country, but the inflation is up, the cost of living has gone up, the dollar is going down and the price of goods are going up.

       In northern Manitoba prices are exaggerated.  I mean, the prices of goods are really high.  We live in a constant environment of depression, never mind just recession.  Why is the price of milk tremendously high?  Even gasoline is higher.  I think we were paying close to $5 a gallon in Red Sucker Lake, and that is really high.  Some of the basic needs of staple foods that are needed cost a lot of money.  People have begun to question some of the items, why they are so high.

       We find it amazing too that in the North, whether it be in Churchill or Gillam, you are able to buy a bottle of liquor at the same price as what you pay in Winnipeg.  The same price probably being subsidized by taxpayers, so that people can buy a bottle of alcohol at the same price as in Winnipeg, but you cannot buy milk for our children at the same price as what you pay in Winnipeg, let us say, in Red Sucker Lake.  There is a higher cost to pay in order to feed our children.

       I think we need to think about that, where we place our values and our priorities, because I often think that we can be a very wealthy country in terms of the distribution of wealth in this country.

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       Many people here enjoy a high standard of living in southern Canada which has become sort of, in a sense, an expected kind of standard of living.  Many of our people live in Third World conditions, and why is that happening?  Even many of the elders are thankful for anything that the government does, because they do not realize the kind of conditions, the standard of living that Canadians enjoy.

       I know when I was growing up I did not know how a world existed much beyond Red Sucker Lake, and the kind of things that were happening outside of Red Sucker Lake.  As aboriginal people, our philosophy has been one of sharing, one that extends the hand of welcome to everybody, so that everyone would benefit from the land and resources, but the governments have not reciprocated that to our aboriginal communities, and that is a philosophy that my grandparents taught me, our elders taught us for many generations.

       You know, you wonder where we are going today, what is happening in this country, whether we are going to break up? What is happening in the world and all over in terms of our wealth.

       Recently I went to speak to a group of young people, young children.  I was looking at some of the statistics that were presented to me.  One of the statistics that amazed me was that, in terms of the world's goods that are produced, 50 percent of the world's goods are consumed by only 5 percent of the population, that there is an imbalance of the distribution of wealth and the goods in this world.

       Also, in terms of on a per capita basis worldwide on health care, we spend, I think, $11 worldwide, $11 compared to $44 on military spending, four times greater spent than on health.  I am not talking about education figures, I am sure they are lower than that.

       You know, as mankind, as human beings, we have been able to achieve many things.  We have sent man on the moon, I mean a great accomplishment in this human race.  I wonder sometimes, like, we have starving children all over the world.  We cannot even feed those children.  That is why I say, not necessarily to this government in terms of where we are going as human beings, that there needs to be more of a co‑operation.

       I say those things because as an aboriginal person, those are the very things that we are concerned about in terms of sharing and caring and being able to live in this country, so that no one needs to go hungry, no one needs to be lining up for food banks.

       Many of the communities where I come from do not have food banks.  They are able to rely on many of the still‑traditional activities of hunting and fishing to supplement their income or food sources.  Those are some of the things that we need to resolve with the provincial governments in terms of treaty land entitlement and the treaties.

       I think when I mention those figures and also talked about the philosophy of sharing, that it is those qualities that have kept us going for generations and enabled us to survive the policies of the government.  What we are asking for is nothing more, nothing less, and that all we want to do is have the ability to maintain our language and culture, be able to protect it, that we are able to administer our own affairs, able to have our own governments, self‑governments for our own people.

An Honourable Member:  The problems will not go away, Elijah, the problems will not go away.

Mr. Harper:  The member says the problems would not go away, but I think we have a greater responsibility, a greater input.  I think we have been excluded for far too long to make a difference.

       As a member in this Legislature, I think we have been able to get the Legislative Assembly, the people of Manitoba and this country able to listen.  A lot of the things that are done by this government, cutbacks and everything, are actually creating not any hope for many of the northern people.

       Like I said, many initiatives that we did are a continuation of this government.  There are no new ideas.  I am very serious. He knows that.  He knows that many of the things that we did‑‑I mean we can hold debate till freezes over, who initiated these things, and I am just pointing out that there is lack of imagination on the part of this government and the things that they have done.

       As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why we were not able to sign the northeast hydro line was the lack of political will on the part of the federal government that they were not willing to deal with us.

       One of the things that happened in the last year or so, particularly last fall, is this government wanted to sign an agreement, but the community leaders did not want to sign it, because they were excluded, and they had to force them to deal with that issue until the communities were actually involved in that issue.

       There are many things that they want to go ahead and rush without the involvement of aboriginal people.  They did not deal with them seriously.  There were many issues that we dealt with. Like I said, I know this minister is embarrassed because he has no imagination whatsoever.  Time and time again will prove that.

       In terms of the treaty land entitlement, urban strategy, the Justice Inquiry, the northeast hydro line, the list is endless. We did many things.  Like I said, he had no imagination.

       In terms of the budget, Mr. Acting Speaker, I think we would want to go into details with that.  I know that the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) would want to question where his priorities lie on the cutbacks that he has made to his department and the transfer of programs from one department to another department to make it look like he has increased his departmental Estimates.

       We will do that in the budget Estimate process when we have discussions with him in the committee.  I just want to put those things on record and say that I have had the pleasure of speaking to this budget and we will get to the details in the committee process.

       Thank you, Mr. Acting Speaker.

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Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (St. Norbert):  Mr. Acting Speaker, it gives me pleasure today to rise and just put a few words‑‑


Point of Order


Mr. Gaudry:  Can we have some French from the member for St. Norbert, please?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Reimer):  The honourable member did not have a point of order.

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Mr. Laurendeau:  Merci, Monsieur le president par interim.  On va essayer de faire ca pour le membre de St‑Boniface (M. Gaudry) aujourd'hui si c'est possible.  Ca fait que, s'il me donne un couple de minutes, on va etre la.



Mr. Laurendeau:  Thank you, Mr. Acting Speaker.  We will attempt to do that for the benefit of the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) today.  So if he gives me a couple of minutes, we will get there.


       Mr. Acting Speaker, today it gives me great pleasure to rise and speak on the budget.  I am really more than happy to congratulate not only our Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), but our Treasury Board for bringing forth a budget that I have not heard any complaints from anyone except the prophets of doom and gloom on the other side of the House.  I cannot understand how anyone, anyone except the NDP, could knock us for a budget that has no increases in the personal income taxes, no increases in business taxes, no increases in sales tax, and a $101 million‑‑5.7 percent‑‑increase in Health.

       Here we are, 5.7 percent in Health and they are telling us‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Turn it over.

Mr. Laurendeau:  The honourable member from over there is trying to give me some information.  I am sure the information he is trying to give me is the information going back to 1984 about his Leader who was the minister of, I believe it was the‑‑what was it again?  I think, oh, yes, it was the minister of Crown corporations.  That was the year that they sort of fudged the books, some called it cooking the books, some called it just rearranging the books, but their government called it a $165 million deficit, Mr. Speaker.  That is what they called it.  The Auditor General of the time said, no, I cannot go out and lie. He said it in the paper, he said, I cannot say this.  It is a $428 million deficit.  How can I say that?

       How did the NDP, how did that minister at that time in 1984 cook the books?  He went and he stalled, he stalled and he lied, Mr. Speaker.  He turned around and he called $125 million, we will not bring that forward, that was MPIC.  Manitoba Hydro, we do not want to hear about your losses.  MTS, we do not want to hear about your losses, but that is what they hid.  They hid the truth.  They hid the truth.  That is what they did when they were in power.  They cooked the books.  I cannot believe it.

       I have a quote from the Finance minister, Vic Schroeder, his airy way of dismissing a just accounting opinion, the concerns of Provincial Auditor William Ziprick about his budget process.  I cannot believe it, Mr. Speaker, you know, the prophets of doom and gloom.  That is all we ever get from the other side of the House is doom and gloom, doom and gloom.

An Honourable Member:  Flip it over.

Mr. Laurendeau:  You want me to flip it over for you, George? The other side, George, is really interesting, and I believe the other side should be brought forward to you, George.  The honourable member, I mean, the honourable member, I forgot we cannot‑‑it is the honourable.

       Mr. Speaker, I think it is time we start looking at this province as a fruit.  That fruit off of that tree has to get its nourishment from somewhere.  The province is the trunk of that fruit‑bearing tree.  Where does that fruit‑bearing tree get its energy and all the rest?  It gets it from the root, but that root needs to be fed.  It needs to be nourished, and that is what this government is doing within this budget.  It is nourishing the roots to give the roots energy to produce the fruit that is necessary for this province.

       You know, Mr. Acting Speaker, we are putting $20 million towards initiatives in Manitoba, industrial recruitment initiatives. [interjection] I do believe he called me an‑‑I do believe he is stating something, and I would really like to hear it clear.  I am sure the honourable member is not trying to say that I am unhonourable.  I mean, if he wants to, he could put that on the record and I would be more than willing to listen to it.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, there is one thing that we have got to learn to do and that is get along in this province.  We have got to work as a team, and until the doom‑and‑gloom prophets of that side of the House come forward and start working with us to renew the investment in the province of Manitoba, there is going be problems.

       This province has got to work with labour and with management and with industry to form a union, and that is what this government is going to do.  That is what this government is accomplishing within this budget.  It was a hard job for our Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) to bring forward a budget, I believe, and I cannot believe how good a job he did.

       The things that are coming forward, $101 million for Health‑‑5.7 percent increase.  In social services, there is an 8.7 percent increase‑‑8.7 percent.  Yet the doom‑and‑gloom prophets from the other side with their budget, through their make‑believe policymakers in the Choices group, came forward. They wanted a 5 percent increase.

       Now here we turn around and give an 8.7.  Now where could they be coming from?  How could they state 8.7 versus 5 percent? You know, I cannot believe that this is the NDP people in there. What did the NDP government do in Ontario, 1 percent?  I am scared to see what they are going to do in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.  I challenge the other provinces, not only the provinces with NDP and Liberal and Conservative, all governments, to follow our Minister of Finance's (Mr. Manness) stand.

       I challenge those provinces to follow what this province is doing with a vision for the future.  That is what this province is doing, a vision for the future.  We are bringing forward initiatives that will aid the people of this province.  We are bringing forward initiatives that will be brought forward in Education, in Health, in social services, the three major departments within the province.  That is the main area that we are hitting, Mr. Acting Speaker.

       The Liberals speak from their seats, and that is all they ever do is speak from their seats because they are usually sitting on a fence, and they are too busy falling off it in either direction.  They can never decide where they are going to fall.


Point of Order


Mr. Gaudry:  All I want to put on record right now is I think what we have to do is educate the government.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Reimer):  The member for St. Boniface does not have a point of order.

* * *

Mr. Laurendeau:  I am glad the honourable member said that.  I am really happy that the honourable member for St. Boniface stood today and said that, because that is the first little bit of logic I have heard from the opposition side.  All they ever come up with is negative, negative, negative.  Not the member for St. Boniface though, he has had some positive comments, I must give him that.  The member for St. Boniface has been very constructive in some of his criticism.

       As a matter of fact, his criticism was very small.  I will be surprised if he votes against this budget.  I think he is going to have a hard time opposing this budget.  I think he is understanding, capable, and will understand that this budget is for the province of Manitoba and the people of Manitoba.  This member for St. Boniface wants to support this budget.  I can tell by his feeling.

* (1750)

       Il est sincere.  Le membre de St‑Boniface, il est sincere, Monsieur le president par interim.  Il comprend que pour les citoyens non seulement de St‑Boniface mais de la province du Manitoba, il va travailler pour la province du Manitoba a voir que nous sommes melanges ensemble si on peut ainsi dire.  Nous sommes une province de deux langues.  Je suis content d'etre un des Francophones de la province du Manitoba.  J'ai plaisir a travailler l'honorable depute de St‑Boniface a des occasions, ici a Winnipeg, a St‑Boniface, et nous allons travailler ensemble encore.


He is sincere.  The member for St. Boniface is sincere, Mr. Acting Speaker.  He understands that, for the citizens not only of St. Boniface but of the province of Manitoba, he is going to work for the province of Manitoba to see to it that we can all be mixed together, if one might put it that way.  We are a province with two languages.  I am happy to be one of the Francophones of the province of Manitoba.  It is a pleasure for me to work with the member for St. Boniface on various occasions here in Winnipeg and in St. Boniface, and we are going to continue to work together.


       Mr. Acting Speaker, in this province we have got one direction that we have to head in.  We have to move forward into the future.  We cannot have a negative doom‑and‑gloom look all the time.  Nobody can say governments will always be heading in the right direction.  They do make mistakes.  If you do not make mistakes, you have not tried.

       There are a number of directions that we will have to head off to in the future, and those directions, I believe, are a necessity after what we have lived through with the NDP government creating debts for us in the past, Mr. Acting Speaker.  The NDP debts were increased just immensely in the years past.  I would like to go into the figures, but I am not going to.  I do believe that we cannot live in the past.  I think we have to live for the future, and if I keep revisiting the past, it just makes me sick.  I think, for the benefit of our province, it is time we start living for the future and forget that the past ever happened.  Forget that we ever had an NDP government.  That would be the best because the nightmare is over, and we have a progressive government in power today that is going to see that this province is nourished in the future.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, take the apple, take away the core, and what have you got?  Nothing.  Take an apple with just the core, and what have you got?  You have got nothing.  To keep the core whole, you need that protection around it, and that is why some of the initiatives that we are bringing forward within this budget is to assist not only the city but the province as a whole.  The VLTs' profits going into ready and the rest of the programs coming forward will assist in the development of new initiatives in the communities surrounding the province.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, there are new programs coming forward that assist not only a small diverse group, but the whole province, mining initiatives that are coming forward that will assist the North.  It is time that the NDP learned that you cannot just listen to some certain special interest groups.  They have got to take the entire impact on the province as a whole.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, transportation is very important in our province.  Within this budget we have decreased the fuel tax for locomotives.  I think that was a very important step taken by our minister, seeing as the impact on the transportation of rail has been degressing over the past years.  We have put $103 million into the highways program this year.  When the NDP were in power, it had decreased to in the $60‑million range.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, this budget reaffirms Manitoba's commitment to the national highways program and has renewed its request for federal investment in the program.  We are working on Pembina Highway right now, trying to get it done.  The province committed in 1988 some funds to the city to see that project move ahead.  The city in its wisdom kept deleting it and deleting it. I hope the city, with their wisdom, will see that this is something that is important not only to the city of Winnipeg, but the province of Manitoba.  We need it for tourism, we need it for industry, and we need it for safety.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, the highways program not only benefits, again, the city of Winnipeg, but all of the province, because the arteries that lead into the city of Winnipeg are the veins that bring our economic benefits to us.  Without the people transporting themselves to our city to buy, our city would starve itself out.  When you get people bringing up initiatives to bring forth tollgates, well, I think if we start penalizing people for coming to the city of Winnipeg, then we will have a problem in the city of Winnipeg.

       I got a little upset on the weekend when I read advertisements by a union knocking our province for the funding that we gave to the city this year, Mr. Acting Speaker.  We increased it 4 percent.  I felt that was more than fair‑‑a more than fair increase for the City of Winnipeg.  On top of that, there was $12 million allocated for the construction of Pembina Highway which they do not seem to be taking into account.

An Honourable Member:  A million dollars a year, the next five years.

Mr. Laurendeau:  That is correct, there is the million dollars over the next five years.  I mean, how this union could say that we were neglecting the city of Winnipeg, I cannot understand it, except for that the leader of that union is more concerned with himself, I believe, and his existence, than he is in the existence of the city of Winnipeg.  If he was concerned for the city of Winnipeg, he might have talked to his people in the union and asked them to take maybe a little bit less this year in this tight time.  But no, they went for the big increase.  They went for the increase and council gave it to them.  So I mean it is their fault for giving it to them.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, we get knocked as a province from the city all the time.  I think it is time they look at their own selves and see how they are managing the dollars, because we as a government are learning to manage our dollars.  I think they, with their wisdom, have to learn to manage their dollars that are allocated to them.  It is nice to say, we need more, we need more, we need more, but eventually you have to say, enough is enough.  We cannot spend, spend, spend.

       The people have said they do not want tax increases.  The people have spoken out.  The people are coming out and saying in large numbers, we do not want any more tax increases of any kind.  They are explaining the services that they are willing to lose, not only at the city level, but at the provincial level.

       They are starting to ask for user fees within certain areas, but they want value for their money, Mr. Acting Speaker.  That is what this government is going to see that the people of this province get, and that is value for their money.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, I believe it is about time that this Legislature starts listening to the people.  This government is listening.

       The NDP come up with their doom‑and‑gloom tactics all the time and knock us for what we are doing but that is their job. They are the opposition, and the opposition's job is to doom and gloom, I guess.  That is not the way I took it, but that is what they do, so I take it is doom and gloom.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, to criticize is not doom and gloom.  If they were to be doing some constructive criticism, maybe then we would listen, but when all they do is knock, knock, knock, nobody is going to answer the door for them.  Nobody is going to answer the door, because we are tired of hearing the same rhetoric over and over and over again.  That is all we ever hear, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock.

       Why do they not try criticizing and using some positive techniques?  I am sure that they are capable of it.  I know the honourable members from the other side could go back and get their minds together and circle an issue and come forward with some positive reactions.

       I want to hear some negative from them on‑‑what is so negative about no increase in personal income taxes, Mr. Acting Speaker?  What is so negative about no increases in business taxes?  What is negative about no increase in sales tax?  Let us hear them knock that.

       Let us hear them speak out against what we are doing with a $101‑million increase in Health.  Let us hear them speak out against a $51‑million increase to Family Services.  Let us hear them speak out about a $10‑million reduction in the provincial education taxes for the homes, Mr. Acting Speaker.  No, they do not speak out against those issues, because they know that is what the people of this province want.  That is what this government is giving them.

       Thank you.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Reimer):  Order, please.

       When this matter is next before the House, the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) will have 20 minutes remaining.

       The hour being 6 p.m., this House is adjourned and stays adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday).