Tuesday, March 24, 1992


The House met at 1:30 p.m.








Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Jim Heber, Heidi Eigenkind, Colleen Ridley 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):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Cindy Garneau, Kirsten Johnson, Kathryn MacKenzie and others requesting the government to show its strong commitment to dealing with child abuse and consider restoring the Fight Back Against Child Abuse campaign.

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Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Kay Kott, Hans Adamchuk, Nellie Adamchuk and others requesting the Minister of Housing (Mr. Ernst) consider reinstating local housing authorities with volunteer boards.




Mr. Speaker:  I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member.  It complies with the privileges and the practices of the House and complies with the rules (by leave).  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 Aboriginal Justice Inquiry was launched in April of 1988 to conduct an examination of the relationship between the justice system and aboriginal people; and

       The AJI delivered its report in August of 1991 and concluded that the justice system has been a massive failure for aboriginal people; and

       The AJI report endorsed the inherent right of aboriginal self‑government and the right of aboriginal communities to establish an aboriginal justice system; and

       The Canadian Bar Association, The Law Reform Commission of Canada, among many others, also recommend both aboriginal self‑government and a separate and parallel justice system; and

       On January 28, 1992, five months after releasing the report, the provincial government announced it was not prepared to proceed with the majority of the recommendations; and

       Despite the All‑Party Task Force Report which endorsed aboriginal self‑government, the provincial government now rejects a separate and parallel justice system, an Aboriginal Justice Commission and many other key recommendations which are solely within provincial jurisdiction.

       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 aboriginal self‑government by considering reversing its position on the AJI by supporting the recommendations within its jurisdiction and implementing a separate and parallel justice system. (Mr. Harper)




Mrs. Louise Dacquay (Chairperson of Committees):  Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply has adopted a certain resolution, directs me to report the same and asks leave to sit again.

       I move, seconded by the honourable member for La Verendrye (Mr. Sveinson), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.


Introduction of Guests


Mr. Speaker:  Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the attention of honourable members to the gallery, where we have with us this afternoon from the Crestview School twenty‑five Grade 5 students.  They are under the direction of Lorraine Prokopchuk. This school is located in the constituency of the honourable Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh).

       Also this afternoon, from the Grant Park High School, we have thirty‑one Grade 9 students.  They are under the direction of Mr. Ed Lenzmann.  This school is located in the constituency of Crescentwood.

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

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North American Free Trade Agreement

Government Position


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Acting Premier in the Chamber.

       We have been asking questions for the last couple of weeks dealing with the proposed free trade agreement with Canada, United States and Mexico.  Mr. Speaker, the government is in possession of a draft free trade agreement with Mexico.  It has acknowledged that in the Premier's (Mr. Filmon) Estimates last evening.  Today, that draft agreement has been released publicly by a consumer advocate, United States' Ralph Nader.

       Unfortunately, the draft agreement reinforces all our worst fears that this free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico is going to go down to the lowest common denominator, rather than raising everybody up to the highest common denominator.  What would we expect with Brian Mulroney and Michael Wilson in charge of our negotiations?  Issues like the environment, labour, supply management, the family farm, generic drugs, telecommunications, transportation, investment, provincial jurisdiction, issues we have raised in this House before, are all in jeopardy in terms of jobs and opportunities in Manitoba under this draft agreement.

       My question, therefore, is to the Acting Premier.  When is the silence on behalf of this government going to end?  When are they going to speak up on behalf of Manitobans to oppose this draft agreement which they have?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Acting Premier):  Mr. Speaker, the member incorrectly refers to silence for conditions that this government has attached, and the importance that we have attached, to these negotiations.

       The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson) laid down quite clearly terms and conditions that he was prepared to stand by in relationship to this agreement.

       I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, at the Environment ministers' meeting that I recently attended, we met with representation from the Mexican authorities to review what they are doing in the area of environment, and we have some considerable concerns that we were raising in that area.

       I think the member should be well aware that we are watching these proceedings very carefully and have a well‑established position.




Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, the minister should have concerns because environmental groups in the United States, environmental groups in Canada, are all saying clearly there appears to be no specific protection provided in critical areas of environment, health and safety standards and worker rights, all of which are conditions under which this government allegedly is now taking a position on free trade with Mexico.

       The draft document also says, Mr. Speaker, that the deadline for implementation, as proposed by Canada, will be January 1, 1993.  We already have the clock ticking on the constitutional proposal; we are in the middle of a recession; and now the federal government wants a January 1, 1993, deadline.

       Will this government not only oppose the draft agreement with Mexico, but will it also call on the federal government not to sign the document until a federal election is called in this country?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Acting Premier):  Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition talks with great bravado, but he does not put a whole lot of substance behind what he is saying.

       Mr. Speaker, we have indicated very strongly what our conditions are.  I can assure you that one of the conditions, of which he is referring whereby there is not an abrogation of responsibility in environmental matters, will not be something that we will ignore, and we will stand strongly by that.


North American Free Trade Agreement

Supply Management


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, this document does not breach one condition of Manitoba.  It does not breach two conditions of Manitoba.  It does not breach three.  It breaches all six conditions the province has established.  Now they have the 400‑page document.  They have had it for a week, and they are not saying anything.  They are silent.  They are silent on this very important issue.

       Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Acting Premier:  What is the position of the provincial government in terms of the proposals on supply management?  Are they not the same type of proposals now in the GATT agreement that the government is allegedly opposing, is now being proposed by the Trade minister for Canada as part of the supply management system?  In other words, a tariffication of supply management in North America which is an absolute contradiction of the alleged position of the Prime Minister and the alleged position of the Trade Minister Michael Wilson.

Hon. James Downey (Deputy Premier):  Mr. Speaker, the government of Manitoba under the leadership of our Premier have taken a balanced position as it relates to the whole GATT negotiations and the whole supply management issue.  To protect our supply management situation is a priority as it is to advance the cause of the grain producers of western Canada, some 150,000.

       As it relates to free trade, Mr. Speaker, if the conditions that have been put forward by this government are not met, then we will not be supporting the free trade agreement with Mexico.


Child Daycare

Government Policy


Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  When the Minister of Family Services announced the changes to the daycare funding act regulations last April, he said the structuring represents the government's long‑term vision of daycare.

       Will the minister now confirm that his government's long‑term vision of daycare actually means middle‑income parents being forced to remove children from centres, centres being forced to lay off trained staff, centres without wait lists for years now having vacancies and centres losing an average of $10,000 a year?

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Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, I am reminded, in listening to the member for Wellington talk, about an article I read recently when the headline says, words without deeds, the NDP's policy paper on child care.

       I could tell you that since we formed government, we have almost doubled our support for child care.  When we formed government, there were some $26 million in the budget for child care; now there is almost $50 million dedicated to that area.

       This government worked very closely with the daycare community to come up with recommendations which were forwarded to government in the decision‑making process.  We have a fundamental difference in our approach to daycare.  Our approach is that those subsidy dollars should go to people who have a small income, who have difficulty accessing daycare, instead of the universal grants which were subsidy to everyone.

Ms. Barrett:  Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a letter from St. Joseph's daycare centre informing their parents that the centre will be closing June 30, and ask the minister to explain to the parents, the children, and the Sisters of Providence, who have been providing a daycare service since 1956, his government's commitment to affordable, accessible, quality child care.  How do you balance that?

Mr. Gilleshammer:  Mr. Speaker, our support for daycare has been a very solid one, backed up with the financial resources.  In this budget, we have increased our funding for daycares by over 6 percent.  Daycares have never seen this level of funding before.

       Individuals who want to access daycare have choices to make. Some are choosing a home‑based daycare where the enrollment is up.  There are more spaces at this time in the home‑based daycare than there has ever been before.

       There are a number of reasons why the waiting lists no longer are as long as they once were, or that they are not there at all with some daycares.  That is because of the economy, and it is because of the fact that people are accessing other forms of licensed daycare.

Ms. Barrett:  Mr. Speaker, there is no more choice in this daycare system.


Fee Schedule


Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Mr. Speaker, will the minister, in light of this centre's closing and the threat to other centres due largely to middle‑income Manitoba families no longer being able to afford to send their children to licensed daycare centres, now commit his government to roll back the restructuring fee system that he instituted last April so that Manitoba families can once again afford the quality, accessible‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, the critic for the NDP says there are no choices.  I would point out to her that there are family daycare spaces available.  There are centre spaces, and there are also private daycare, independent daycares.  There are choices and people are in a position to make those choices.  The subsidy will travel with the child, and the parent will make that decision as to what level and what type of daycare that they wish to access.


Bristol Aerospace Ltd.

Waste Rocket Fuel Burning


Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings).  Bristol Aerospace has applied some time ago for an environmental licence to burn waste rocket fuel at its testing site up near Stony Mountain, which the minister is very much aware of as I am sure.  However, their environmental assessment application does not list hydrogen cyanide or phosgene, which are both deadly chemicals, as potential by‑products of the burn even though Bristol officials have now admitted publicly that they believe there may be a small amount of phosgene emitted in the burn.

       Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is:  Will he tell members of the House whether or not it is government policy to allow industries such as Bristol to determine what is a significant enough level to report, because obviously even though they felt it was going to be emitted, they did not feel it was enough to report?

       Why were they not forced to report even a small amount of phosgene that is even by their admission going to be emitted in this burn?

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Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment):  Mr. Speaker, the member makes a number of assumptions which are incorrect.  Number one, he assumes that the environment officials of the Department of Environment would simply accept the information without questioning whether there might be additional or subsequent information that should flow.  Certainly, he also makes the assumption that the Province of Manitoba will be allowing burning at the Bristol site.

       I have said a number of times that this is a very difficult situation and one where I could not preclude the possibility of burning.  We have seen a number of developments in the last couple of weeks that indicate that if any burning is going to take place, it will be at a much reduced volume, and certainly we will want to make sure that we have as much information as possible before we allow that type of action to proceed.

Mr. Edwards:  Mr. Speaker, for the same minister:  Given the minister's comments then, will he ensure that a full testing of Bristol's waste product will be conducted by his officials so that members of the Legislature and indeed the residents can be assured that all by‑products are known and the quantity that will be released is known before any licence is granted?  Will he assure members that will be done?

Mr. Cummings:  Mr. Speaker, one of the problems that the regulators face in dealing with this type of a situation is to determine as best possible at what temperature and what rapidity this burn might take place.  That will influence directly what may be released as a result of that burn or what could potentially be harmful from that.  Certainly, we will be making sure that we are satisfied that the nature of any materials that are being released is not such that it will be harmful to the residents of the surrounding area or to the environment.


Waste Rocket Fuel Disposal


Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Mr. Speaker, finally for the same minister.  As the minister knows, Bristol intends to continue its testing on this site and will be continuing to create, therefore, waste product.

       My question for the minister then is:  Is his department working with Bristol today, because waste fuel is continuing to be created today, to establish a disposal plan for the rocket fuel which is viable in the long run and will serve as a substitute for this open‑field burning which obviously, by anyone's estimation, even Bristol's, has side effects for the surrounding community?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment):  Mr. Speaker, I think the member knows full well that we have now reached the situation where rather than 100 percent of the material that is being collected as waste being burned, there probably will be something closer to 20 percent or less.  Certainly, I believe even that amount can and should be eliminated at some future point.

       Whether or not we can guarantee that there will not be some burns at this point to remove that remaining product, and this could well be somewhat unstable, certainly it is our intention to make sure that the material that is on site there today is safely eliminated, if you will, in terms of recycling and reduction.  In fact, the amount of material that is going to be produced that will have to be eliminated through burning or by other means is relatively small.  We will be making very sure that we can satisfy the members of this House and the public as to conditions.


Urban Native Strategy

Government Commitment


Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Mr. Speaker, in 1988, the throne speech promised an urban native adjustment strategy.  In 1989, the throne speech promised that the government would be a willing and supportive partner to the aboriginal community.  In 1989, the government spent $400,000 developing proposals for an urban native aboriginal strategy.  They also eventually proposed a two‑page draft strategy of a trilevel proposal.

       Since then, Mr. Speaker, it has disappeared.  It has sunk without a trace.  In spite of repeated questions in this House, there has been no mention in the last three throne speeches of any urban native issues.

       My question for the Minister of Native Affairs is:  Is this government committed to an urban aboriginal strategy, and if so, will it table its strategy?

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Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for Native Affairs):  Mr. Speaker, the answer to the question is yes, we are committed to an Urban Native Strategy.

       There are many components, Mr. Speaker, to dealing with the question of fairness to the aboriginal community as it relates to those who are living in the city of Winnipeg.  There are many programs and many activities that have been carried out by this government and I will cite one example.  That, of course, is the first support ever to the indigenous women of this province by this government.  Long‑term neglect by the New Democratic Party could not even so much as do that, and I can list off a few others as the member questions.

Ms. Friesen:  What immediate economic plans does the minister have today for the more than 40,000 aboriginal people in Winnipeg, which is a population the size of Brandon, whose condition has deteriorated since 1988 and 58 percent of whose children today live in poverty?

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the member was prior to 1988, why she would just pick the year 1988, saying it had deteriorated from that particular time, unless it is for her own particular partisan reason and her not being prepared to criticize the former New Democratic government which was in place.

       Let me again cite another example which got very little play, because it was a fairly positive piece of news for northeast and north central Manitoba when the Province of Manitoba, along with Hydro and the federal government, signed a $117‑million agreement to change Third World hydro conditions so those people would have opportunities in their home communities.

Ms. Friesen:  In 1988, when this government took office‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Ms. Friesen:  Will this minister make a commitment today to develop an urban aboriginal strategy which will address the very stark facts that aboriginal Manitobans are twice as likely as other Manitobans to have less than Grade 9, three times as likely as other Manitobans not to have graduated from high school, and that the aboriginal people of the inner city of Winnipeg face a very bleak future?

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, the member points out the Northern Development Agreement of which she is so proud.  There were some good parts to the Northern Development Agreement, but when we arrived in office in 1988, we still saw 80 percent to 90 percent unemployment living in our northern and isolated communities and in the native community‑‑80 percent to 90 percent, Mr. Speaker, after spending $200 million.  That is why we implemented a program like the northeast or north central hydro program that would provide training opportunities, that would provide job opportunities and give them a decent lifestyle with the supply of hydroelectric power so they do not have to come to the city of Winnipeg looking for opportunities.


Aboriginal Centre



Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Native Affairs, and this is a direct urban question, not a northern Manitoba question.

       More than two years ago, this government promised that they would develop an urban aboriginal strategy.  When I asked the Minister responsible for Native Affairs about this issue a few days ago, it was clear that he had taken no action on that commitment.  Instead, the government has refused to provide funds for the renovation and development of the CP station as an aboriginal centre, a plan which would provide a wide range of services for aboriginal people living in Winnipeg.

       Will the minister commit today to matching funding which has already been put in place by the City of Winnipeg and the federal government for the development of the CP station in Winnipeg?

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for Native Affairs):  Mr. Speaker, we have committed to providing funds and support for the purchase of the CP station.  There has been a committee working with the Northern and Native Affairs department with the City of Winnipeg and with the federal government.  So we are committed to the development of that centre, and as the committee recommends and makes decisions, they will be brought forward to cabinet for funding decisions.  Until those numbers are put in place and we have the final picture from the other two parties to the agreement, we are not going to proceed until it has all come together in one package.

Mr. Hickes:  This government has known about plans for restoring the CP station as an aboriginal centre for at least two years and had a business plan since November of 1990.

       Will the minister tell this House why he and his government continue to stall in committing funds for the development of the centre when other levels of government have already put their money in place?  Is it because the government has no intention of funding the centre and living up to their commitments to the aboriginal people of this province‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The question has been put.

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Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, our commitment is clear.  We are committed to the development of an aboriginal centre and participation by the Province of Manitoba.  It is not just as simple as the member would want it to leave for the public to believe.  There is a proper process which has to be gone through working with the other partners to make sure that the proper agreement is in fact put in place.  The province has shown in writing their commitment to this project.


Abinochi Preschool Program



Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Mr. Speaker, since the minister will not provide any commitment for the aboriginal centre, will he at least go to his cabinet colleagues to ask them to provide the minimum funding necessary for the preservation and development of the aboriginal Heritage Language Program, like the Abinochi preschool program, so that the aboriginal people of Manitoba can have some confidence in this government?

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for Native Affairs):  Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that this government is genuinely interested and concerned about the native community, particularly the people who have come to the city of Winnipeg and have the difficulties that many of them have.

       We continue our support programs, Mr. Speaker, through the Manitoba Friendship Centres that are not only in the city of Winnipeg but throughout the province.  We are prepared and are committed on the urban native centre of which the member refers. I have said we are sympathetic to the Abinochi language program for preschoolers.  However, there is not enough money for all the demands that come forward.  There is not enough money.

       Again, I want to point out, it is our responsibility to look after the general population and not just specific programs that do not fall within any specific government programs that are traditionally there.


Red River Community College

Nursing Curriculum


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education has received a letter from a number of students at Red River Community College representing, the letter says, all first‑year nursing students.  They are complaining to the minister with respect to problems in their curriculum, particularly with regard to testing, which in two different tests led to an 81 percent failure rate on one examination and a 77 percent failure rate on another examination.

       Can the Minister of Education tell the House what steps she has put into place to ensure that there is quality programming in nursing at Red River Community College?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr. Speaker, I am concerned, as this government is concerned, about the quality of programming in each and every program that is offered.  We also understand that the quality of program is also subject to the standards by that professional organization. However, I will be paying a great deal of attention to the letters from the students at Red River Community College, and I will look into the matter through the college.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Mr. Speaker, we are getting very close to the end of the first year of training for these young people, young people who must be assured that they have the quality to meet not only the professional standards but the standards set by Red River Community College.

       Can the minister tell us today what specific steps she has taken to ensure that these young people are going to be able to accomplish, at the end of first year nursing, what they require to accomplish by the end of May of this year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, each and every student does have access to an appeal process if they are concerned about a quality or about a passing level in any program.  I have already told the honourable member the steps which I have undertaken to look at the appeal process, but I raise again the issue of standards is also an issue relating to the professional teaching group.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Mr. Speaker, in reality the appeal process in place at Red River Community College does not allow the students to appear at the same time as the staff and faculty, thereby denying them access to rather valuable information about their concerns.

       More specifically, I want to know from the minister, what criteria she is putting in place today to examine the curriculum which is presently failing excessive numbers of students.  What criteria is she putting into place?  What evaluation has she put into place to ensure that our young people are not exposed to unrealistic or, in their own words, examinations based on materials which they were not even taught?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, my answer remains the same.  This is an issue which we are concerned about because we are concerned about all the programs offered through our community colleges, but there is also the other matter of standards within the professional teaching.  However, I will certainly make a point of looking at this particular issue through Red River Community College.


CKND Television

Unfair Labour Practices


Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour.

       There has been a new development in the more than six‑month‑old labour dispute with CKND, with the company introducing a matter at the bargaining table, which is one of the most odious provisions that I have ever seen even proposed.  I would like to table that, Mr. Speaker.  I would like to table a copy, if I could.

       The Minister of Labour has been made aware that the company is attempting to muzzle not only the members of CKND from being involved in boycotts, talking to public officials about not being interviewed by replacement workers, about a whole series of provisions that are absolutely unprecedented and in many ways violate the freedom of speech of those employees, the Charter of Rights provisions.

       I understand the Minister of Labour has been approached on this matter.  I would like to ask the Minister of Labour, what action will he take as Minister of Labour to ensure that this kind of odious provision does not end up in any way being discussed as part of any contract here in Manitoba?

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Mr. Speaker, the member for Thompson has raised a very good point in this House. As the member is well aware, this particular strike is in the area of federal jurisdiction and not in my jurisdiction as the provincial Minister of Labour.

       The particular position which I understand that was raised at the bargaining table‑‑a copy of it was provided to me yesterday‑‑and I think the particular point that the member is interested in is our provisions that make the contract dependent upon the actions of third parties.  I have certainly asked my staff, for my benefit, to tell me whether or not that would be an unfair labour practice.  That recourse is available to the union that is striking.

       I think all of us in this House appreciate, in negotiations, the need to maintain some fairness at the bargaining table and that unfair labour practices are not something this government or any government should encourage in the bargaining process.

Mr. Ashton:  Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister looking into this and recognize it is federal jurisdiction.

       I ask the minister:  Will he, in reviewing this, consider stating categorically that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable in the province of Manitoba, this vicious attack on the freedom of speech of workers in Manitoba?

Mr. Praznik:  In the particular document that was presented to me, and again I am not privy to the negotiations going on at the table, there are various elements of it that are part of regular negotiations.  Anything that would be an unfair labour practice at the bargaining table, in the collective bargaining process, is something that this government and, I think, all members of this House would not be supportive of.  It is so dependent, as the member and as members opposite would agree, in the collective bargaining process for parties to act fairly and in good faith in trying to negotiate a collective agreement.


Government Advertising Policy


Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  Will the minister, in keeping with the spirit of what he has said in terms of acting in fairness, now recommend to the Premier and to his cabinet colleagues that the government of Manitoba withdraw its advertising from CKND and stop taking sides in supporting this kind of vicious attack on the rights of working people in Manitoba?

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in the House it has always been the position of this government, and I believe it should be of governments, to remain neutral in labour disputes.  The issue that one raises with respect to an unfair labour practice is something that I am currently reviewing.


Manitoba Legislative Assembly

Cross-Cultural Training


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship.

       She quite often talks about racism and combatting racism.  On numerous occasions, I have asked the minister what action she has taken regarding the MIC, the report on combatting racism.  Given the remarks from one of the former cabinet ministers of this government, I would make reference to a specific recommendation that came out of the MIC report, and that was that the government of Manitoba provide a one‑day cross‑cultural sensitization workshop to all members of the Legislature.

       Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is:  When does the minister expect to announce when that day will occur in Manitoba?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  We embarked on a process with the Manitoba Federation of Labour some two years ago or so to develop modules that might be utilized in the workplace, throughout government, and in the community for antiracism initiatives.  Those modules were presented not long ago, and as a response to those modules being developed, we are going to implement within the department of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship‑‑and I announced it last week‑‑a pilot project whereby we are going to use one of the modules to deal within the Civil Service on a pilot basis.  We will evaluate that pilot, and it will be able to be used very broadly as a result of the evaluation of the project.

Mr. Lamoureux:  The minister has had this report now for a year and a half, and the question is‑‑[interjection] Yes, she has had the report for a year and a half.  It was dated October of 1990.

       Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is:  When is she going to take the initiative, when she talks about combatting racism, and offer to every MLA in this Legislature an opportunity to sit down and have a cultural awareness day at the Legislature?  When is she going to make that commitment?

Mrs. Mitchelson:  Well, Mr. Speaker, as a result of asking MIC for the recommendations and the receipt of their report, we have been working intergovernmentally to try to address some of the initiatives.  I have made several announcements over the last period of time that are very positive in respect to an antiracism co‑ordinator who will be working within the department within the Citizenship division of my department.  We have a module, which we are going to pilot within government, that will be able to be used on a very broad basis throughout the community and in the Legislature if that might be the desire.

       Things are happening.  We are moving in the right direction. We have implemented an Immigrant Credentials and Labour Market Branch within the division of Citizenship in my department.  We are moving on many areas that the community wants to see this government take action on.


Antiracism Co-ordinator

Hiring Process


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, this minister has announced the creation of an antiracism co‑ordinator.  Given the past history of how this minister has politicized multiculturalism in the province of Manitoba, I would ask the minister how does she intend to fill that particular position? Will she make a commitment to an open competition, or to go through the Civil Service, and not take the liberty‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The question has been put.

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the very person who was seconded over to the Federation of Labour to work on antiracism modules, one Nadja Bailey, will be the person who will be filling that position on a permanent basis.

       She is a long‑time civil servant, who really has the ability and has proven her ability to work with the community, and she will be working internally in government performing those duties.


Manitoba Telephone System

Long-Distance Competition


Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Manitoba Telephone System.  The president of Unitel is in Winnipeg today to thank the minister, to pat him on the back for supporting Unitel's application before the CRTC.  An application if approved will mean the beginning of the Americanization of our telephone system.

       Will the minister stand up for Manitoba and tell Unitel that Manitoba does not support long‑distance competition with MTS since it would force local rates to rise, it would cost MTS $100 million to compete, and up to 2,000 Manitoba jobs would be lost?

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Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister responsible for the administration of The Manitoba Telephone Act):  Mr. Speaker, the member is wrong in pretty well everything he says in terms of his gloom and doom. The consumers of Manitoba and the consumers of Canada want to see a greater level of competition in many of the services supplied to them.

       The Unitel application he is talking about does not apply to Manitoba.  The application does not have Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Alberta in it.  I want to remind the member that he is opposing what the consumers of Canada have said they want.  We have made decisions with the Manitoba Telephone System that nets about $20 million to $30 million positive each year.

       When they were in government they were losing $20 million a year, $28 million a year.  They left $27 million in the sands of Saudi Arabia.  That is the way they managed the corporation.

Mr. Dewar:  My supplementary question to the same minister, Mr. Speaker:  Why is this minister representing big business users at the expense of rural and northern Manitobans who will see their rates rise to subsidize the less than 10 percent of telephone subscribers in this province?

Mr. Findlay:  Mr. Speaker, that is rather a funny question for that member to ask given the record of this government, where last year telephone rates in the province increased 1.5 percent and the Saskatchewan example is to increase by 30 percent this year.  We have the lowest rates in Canada with the exception of Alberta.  Saskatchewan is away above us, so I would put our record on the table any day against the record of his administration, his colleagues in Saskatchewan.


Directory Contract


Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary question for the same minister:  Will the minister tell the House today whether the MTS telephone directory contract will go to Manitoban workers, or will he be cross‑border shopping with the rest of his colleagues and shipping jobs to the United States?

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister responsible for the administration of The Manitoba Telephone Act):  Mr. Speaker, the objective of the Manitoba Telephone System is to supply the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost to its subscribers.  I just said we are very proud of keeping the cost down to the corporation.  That means, whenever any contract is put out, they will look at the lowest bidder, and that is to reflect the principle of keeping the cost to the corporation down.  That is the principle the corporation will use continuously and extensively.


Mining Communities

Equity Insurance


Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  Mr. Speaker, my question is to the minister responsible for Energy and Mines.

       Since 1988, two mining communities have closed in the province of Manitoba, and as we speak today, the work force in the community of Snow Lake is being reduced by approximately one‑third.  Some months ago, I wrote to the former Minister of Energy and Mines and asked the province to consider to support the concept of equity insurance for homeowners and small businesses in single‑industry towns in the province of Manitoba. The then minister said that he thought that was the responsibility solely of the employees and the employers.

       My question to the Minister of Energy and Mines is:  Given that the concept has been joined now by communities and groups in northern Manitoba, will the government undertake to do the actuarial studies that will be necessary to develop such an insurance program?

Hon. James Downey (Minister of Energy and Mines):  Mr. Speaker, unlike the negative approach of the member for Flin Flon, I can tell you that we take the other approach that we believe that there are still opportunities in the mining sector in Manitoba. That is why we have introduced the $12.5‑million incentive package, which I, by the way, was in Flin Flon this morning explaining to some 40 or 50 people of his constituency, telling them about the program.  There was tremendous interest.  As well, the new mine tax holiday which was introduced by our Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness)‑‑we are taking a positive approach to finding new reserves and new deposits which will create jobs and give new life to those mining towns in the North.

Mr. Speaker:  The time for Oral Questions has expired.




Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development):  Mr. Speaker, I was wondering if I might have leave of the House to make a ministerial statement.

Mr. Speaker:  Does the honourable minister have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?

An Honourable Member:  Ministerial.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  Is there leave of the House to revert to Ministerial Statements and Tabling of Reports under Routine Proceedings?  Is there leave?  Yes, there is leave.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the Legislature the signing of an agreement with the City of Thompson for the revitalization of its downtown.  This agreement which was signed today will provide funding in the amount of $665,000 over the next five years toward improvements to the city's main commercial area.

       This agreement is the second such agreement that I have had the pleasure to enter into over the last month.  The first agreement was with the City of Brandon which provided for improvements to the streetscape, as well as parking in the downtown area and development of urban parks.

       The agreement we signed today is to be cost‑shared with the City of Thompson and is part of a joint initiative which will see up to $1.3 million to be shared equally by the city and the province.

       This plan for revitalization prepared by the city in conjunction with the downtown business community and Inco provides for improvements to be made to the physical appearance of both the streetscape and businesses, as well as improving the vehicle and pedestrian traffic and also provides for improvements to off‑street parking.

       As stated in the Thompson Downtown Revitalization Plan, this is a very important initiative.  The Thompson downtown revitalization initiative is but a first step in implementing our economic development strategy.  Downtown revitalization will create a positive image for our city centre.  This important agreement will provide a tangible basis upon which our community can build to achieve our objectives.  We as a province are pleased to be a partner in implementing this development strategy with the City of Thompson.

       Preparation of this plan for revitalization commenced a number of years ago, and implementation is expected to be completed by 1996.

Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that all the lobbying efforts the City of Thompson and many others who had to lobby this government, including myself, over the fact they made a promise‑‑[interjection] When one has to write to the Premier (Mr. Filmon) as I did and the City Council of Thompson, demanding that this government live up to the commitment it made to the people of Thompson, when we had to drag them kicking and screaming as we always do in the North when they do anything for the North, that is a victory for the North.

       I hope while they are sitting here congratulating themselves on being dragged kicking and screaming into living up to a commitment they made, which they had denied until the City Council took them on directly on that, I would hope that they would go further when they talk about the development of northern Manitoba, that they would also review some of their other policies, the kind of cutbacks we have seen in terms of the Civil Service in northern Manitoba, the kind of cutbacks we have seen in terms of education, the complete elimination of job creation that we have seen in terms of programs in northern Manitoba.  I hope that while they are sitting here today, Mr. Speaker, congratulating themselves on their effort that the city of Thompson is finally being revitalized, they would also make a commitment to some real development, not cutbacks in northern Manitoba and other areas.

       Yes, we are pleased, but this government has to go a long way towards rebuilding the North from the kind of damage they have brought in the last four years since they have been in government to the development prospects of northern Manitoba.

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Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, we are delighted with this announcement by the Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach).  We would have been even more delighted if in fact it had been produced a year ago, because that is when the original commitment was made, and that is when we began to ask questions in the Estimates of the former Minister of Rural Development and we could not get a commitment at that particular time from the government to the City of Thompson.  So we are glad that they finally did make the commitment that they had promised.

       We believe that this will bode well for the community of Thompson in its upgrading of its city, along with its corporate citizen Inco.  We look forward to seeing the evolution of an enhanced Thompson community for the future, particularly as we all hope that mining activity picks up and continues to thrive in that northern community.


Point of Order


Mr. Jack Penner (Emerson):  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I was listening very carefully to what the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) was saying in his response to the announcement.  I think the honourable member needs to correct, for the edification of the House, the statement that he made.  He said, he lobbied very hard on behalf of the city of Thompson.  The lobby, Mr. Speaker‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member does not have a point of order.  It is clearly a dispute over the facts.


Nonpolitical Statement


Mrs. Shirley Render (St. Vital):  Mr. Speaker, may I have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?

Mr. Speaker:  Does the honourable member for St. Vital have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?  Leave?

Some Honourable Members:  Leave.

Mr. Speaker:  It is agreed.

Mrs. Render:  Mr. Speaker, once again I am really very pleased to rise in the legislative Chamber to tell you of the happenings at Glenlawn Collegiate.

       Just yesterday I told you that the Glenlawn Lions varsity girls basketball team won the provincial championship.  They made the front page of Saturday's Sports Section.

       In today's paper, Glenlawn Collegiate is mentioned three times.  In the Free Press Weekly, the athlete of the week is Lise Anne Gaudreau, a Grade 12 student at Glenlawn who plays guard with the Glenlawn Lions.

       Also in today's newspaper is reference to the Glenlawn Collegiate bands.  They have been invited to participate in Festival Canada to be held in Banff next month.  Why have they been invited?  Well, because they are good and because at the Optimist Festival, they, the 240 students playing in six different categories, brought home five gold medals and one silver medal.  In addition to winning five trophy awards, the Glenlawn students were also awarded the Chairman's Award.  This award is presented to a school program that exhibits outstanding musicianship, discipline, attentiveness, deportment and co‑operation.

       Now, the third reference in the newspaper today was made with reference to the Partnership in Education Program that was recently initiated between Glenlawn, Victoria General Hospital and the Royal Bank and featured this time was a Grade 11 Glenlawn student by the name of Tomina Dagdick.

       I must just tell you that also just a bare week ago, Donna Marion, a teacher at Glenlawn, one of the people who worked hard to ensure the partnership agreement happened, was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press.  She is the national president of the Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women and recently participated in a workshop which will form part of the basis of a federal government report this summer.

       So, once again, Mr. Speaker, the staff and the students have shown their excellence, and congratulations once more to Glenlawn.




Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Government House Leader):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a committee to consider the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty.

Motion agreed to, and the House resolved itself into a committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty with the honourable member for Seine River (Mrs. Dacquay) in the Chair.






Madam Chairperson (Louise Dacquay):  Will the Committee of Supply please come to order.

       We have before us, for our consideration, a resolution respecting the Interim Supply bill.  The resolution reads as follows:

       RESOLVED that a sum not exceeding $1,517,517,750, being 30 percent of the total amount to be voted as set out in the Main Estimates, be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993.

       Does the Acting Minister of Finance have opening comments?

       Is the committee ready for the question?

Some Honourable Members:  Question.

Madam Chairperson:  Question.  Shall the resolution be passed?

Some Honourable Members:  Pass.

Madam Chairperson:  The resolution is accordingly passed.

       Committee rise.

       Call in the Speaker.




Committee Report


Mrs. Louise Dacquay (Chairperson of Committees):  Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply has adopted a certain resolution, directs me to report the same and asks leave to sit again.

       I move, seconded by the honourable member for Emerson (Mr. Penner), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Government House Leader):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Ducharme), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair, and that the House resolve itself in a committee to consider of Ways and Means for raising of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty.

Motion agreed to, and the House resolved itself into a committee to consider of Ways and Means for raising of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty with the honourable member for Seine River (Mrs. Dacquay) in the Chair.

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Madam Chairperson (Louise Dacquay):  Will the Committee of Ways and Means please come to order.

       We have before us, for our consideration, a resolution respecting the Interim Supply bill.  The resolution reads as follows:

       RESOLVED that towards making good the Supply granted to Her Majesty on account of certain expenditures of the Public Service for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993, the sum of $1,517,517,750, being 30 percent of the total amount to be voted as set out in the Main Estimates for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993, laid before the House at the present session of the Legislature, be granted out of the Consolidated Fund.

       Is the committee ready for the question?  Shall the resolution pass?

Some Honourable Members:  Pass.

Madam Chairperson:  The resolution is accordingly passed.

       Committee rise.

       Call in the Speaker.




Committee Report


Mrs. Louise Dacquay (Chairperson of Committees):  The Committee of Ways and Means has adopted a certain resolution, directs me to report the same and asks leave to sit again.

       I move, seconded by the honourable member for La Verendrye (Mr. Sveinson), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.




Bill 67‑The Interim Appropriation Act, 1992


Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Minister of Finance):  I move, seconded by the Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach), that leave be given to introduce Bill 67, The Interim Appropriation Act, 1992 (Loi de 1992 portant affectation anticipee de credits), and that the same be now received, read a first time and be ordered for second reading immediately.

Motion agreed to.




Bill 67‑The Interim Appropriation Act, 1992


Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Minister of Finance):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay), that Bill 67, The Interim Appropriation Act, 1992 (Loi de 1992 portant affectation anticipee de credits), be now read a second time and be referred to a committee of this House.

       Mr. Speaker, I am afraid I neglected to seek leave of the House in order to introduce the bill for reading a second time, and I would seek that leave now.

Mr. Speaker:  Does the honourable Acting Minister of Finance have leave?

An Honourable Member:  Leave.

Mr. Speaker:  Yes, he does.

Motion presented.

Mr. Ernst:  Mr. Speaker, Bill 67, The Interim Appropriation Act, 1992, is required to provide interim spending, commitment and borrowing authority for the 1992‑93 fiscal year pending approval of The Appropriation Act, 1992.  The amount of spending authority requested is $1,517,517,750, being 30 percent of the total sums voted excluding statutory items as set forth in the main Estimates of expenditure.  This amount is estimated to last until approximately the end of July 1992.

       The amount of future commitment authority included in this Interim Supply bill is $120 million, being 30 percent of the total amount of $400 million which will be included in The Appropriation Act, 1992.  The authority for future years' commitments provides for the commitment of expenditures to ensure completion of projects or fulfilling of contracts initiated prior to or during the fiscal year ending March 31, 1993.

       Expenditures for these commitments may not be made in the fiscal year ending March 31, 1993, unless additional authority is provided.  A clause has been included to provide the government with authority to make payments against accrued liabilities totalling $196.5 million and will be recorded in the accounts of the province as at March 31, 1992.

       As in prior years, a borrowing authority clause has been included in the Interim Supply Bill 67 for 1992‑93.  Bill 67 will provide the government with borrowing authority of $300 million.

       Mr. Speaker, Bill 67 is required to provide interim spending, commitment and borrowing authority effective April 1, 1992, to ensure the continued operation of government.  I would like to request co‑operation of the opposition in passing Bill 67 through all stages of consideration, debate and approval without undue delay.  When Bill 67 reaches the committee stage, I can provide members with a section‑by‑section explanation of the bill.

       Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Mr. Speaker, I am glad to be able to speak to this bill, because I do have a number of concerns, in fact, some very serious concerns about the funding priorities of this government.  In particular, I think one that we have been raising in the House for a number of months now is the absence of an aboriginal urban strategy.  I raised it in the House today.  I have some very serious concerns about the lack of attention, the lack of interest, the disregard for the increasing poverty of 40,000 aboriginal people in the centre of Winnipeg.  It seems to me that you do not have to walk very far outside this building to see the conditions and to understand the conditions of poverty that so many people are living in and many of them aboriginal people.

       I think that very first economic condition of most of our urban population is something which should concern the government.  I would like at a later opportunity this afternoon to ask them some questions on that.

       As I suggested in the House today, Mr. Speaker, this is a government which in 1988 in fact did show some initiatives about an urban aboriginal strategy.  It even had some mention of urban aboriginal strategies in 1989, but by 1991, in throne speech after throne speech, there is no mention of any attention to any of the urban conditions facing aboriginal people in the city of Winnipeg or indeed anywhere else in the province.  There are certainly conditions which need to be faced in Brandon and Selkirk as well as in some, indeed, of the northern urban communities.

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       The second area of concern I have, Mr. Speaker, is the lack of funding that this government is prepared to offer to the Abinochi preschool program in Winnipeg at Children of the Earth school.  I had the opportunity to visit this program this week and to talk with the people who have been working in that program for nearly six years now, and to read the material that they have on the 200 children who have been through that program, and to look at the funding request that they have had for $20,000 to complete this school year for the 30 children who are enrolled in that program today.  They have been turned down, Mr. Speaker, turned down, I believe not for the first time, by this government.  It drew my attention yet again to the lack of any kind of urban aboriginal strategy that this government has engaged upon.

       If they had a strategy, if they had a program, if they had met with aboriginal leaders over the last two years, as they had set out to do in 1988, perhaps there would have been program funding for this particular program, perhaps there would have been some recognition by this government of the role of education, of the role of Native languages, of the role of elders and the grandmothers in creating a new generation of aboriginal people.

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

       I do not think the government would necessarily have come to this recognition by itself.  In fact, I have very little hope of any kind of change by this particular government, but perhaps they would have listened to the elders, perhaps they would have listened to the grandmothers, perhaps they would have listened to the Native leaders whom they might have met had they developed that partnership that they promised in 1988 and 1989, but they developed no partnership; there is merely rhetoric.

       As my colleague the member for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes) suggested yesterday very well, and in a very impressive speech I think, the absence of trust that is there now between aboriginal people and this government, and the growing sense of distrust that you will find right across the province, not just in Winnipeg, but elsewhere‑‑in the North, and in western Manitoba‑‑the absence of trust between aboriginal people and this government.  It is a well‑deserved lack of trust, because since 1988 we have seen nothing but broken promises.

       In the United States, Mr. Acting Speaker, they talk about the Cherokee trail of tears.  What we are beginning to see in this province and by this government is a trail of broken promises as far as aboriginal people in the city of Winnipeg are concerned. A promise in 1988, that they would have a partnership with aboriginal people; a promise in 1989, that they would have a trilevel agreement; a promise in throne speech after throne speech that they would develop a strategy for urban aboriginal people, and so far nothing.  Simply sunk without a trace, the promises and commitments of this government are not there.

       Clearly what is happening is that the trust is not there either, between aboriginal people and this particular government.

       I think the issue goes far beyond the Abinochi preschool.  It goes beyond even the CP Station.  It does go to the whole heart of the issue, as my colleague from Point Douglas pointed out yesterday.  It is a question of trust and commitment and promises that were made by this government and which have been broken year after year after year.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, since the government has not taken the opportunity to meet with the elders or with the grandmothers, since it has not developed that partnership with aboriginal people that it promised, it has not had the opportunity to educate itself to learn about the reasons for the Abinochi preschool program, to learn about the larger role that it has played and can continue to play in the aboriginal community of Winnipeg.

       It seems to have fallen through a number of cracks in terms of funding.  The Education minister (Mrs. Vodrey) says, well, it is not education.  The Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson) says, it is not a heritage language.  The Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) says it is not a daycare, and nowhere is there one minister, the Minister of Native Affairs (Mr. Downey), who should be saying that this is a program of deep significance to aboriginal people, which somehow, somewhere, in all the priorities of this government should be funded.

       A government which can fund $2 million to St. John's‑Ravenscourt, a government which can increase the funding of private schools by 9 percent or 11 percent cannot find $20,000 this year and $130,000 next year for the only Ojibway language program at the Kindergarten level in all of Canada, a program which sets out to do a number of things.

       I want to go back a little to look at the reasons for this program.  It is not just a language program.  It is not, in any way, a daycare program.  It is not a program that does indeed fall under one particular rubric, but it is a program which sets out to be a part of the healing process of aboriginal people that is being experienced and fought for across the country.

       Members opposite, if I listen to the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld), perhaps really do not understand what this healing process is about.  They do not understand the experience that aboriginal people have faced in this country.  Indeed, when I listened to the member for Rossmere last week, I was moved in fact to send across the House to him‑‑and I will table it in the House today‑‑a copy of the pass that was used by aboriginal people across the Prairies between 1885 and 1940, a pass which had to be carried at all times.

       No one else in Canada received that kind of treatment.  No one else had to answer to an Indian agent when they wanted to go and see their children in school, when they wanted to go and visit a family on another reserve.  No one had to answer to anyone else in writing whether they had to carry a gun and how many days they were working for farmers in other parts of the country.

       The restriction of movement, however, was only one part of the destruction of an aboriginal society that Canada engaged in between 1850 and 1950.  It is that century of destruction that the Abinochi preschool and that the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and that the Assembly of First Nations, whether in Manitoba or at the national level, is attempting to address.  It is attempting to deal with the destruction that took place over a hundred years and to create, in the case of the Abinochi preschool, a new generation which has self‑confidence, which has pride, which knows its own language in ways that many members of this Legislature know their own language as well as the English language or French language.

       So it is a much broader program, and I wish the government had taken the opportunity to meet with the elders to create that partnership that it needed to deal with the issue of the Abinochi preschool.

       The pass laws, in many ways, Mr. Acting Speaker, are only one part of the destruction that took place.  Far more destructive to generation after generation of aboriginal people was the program of the boarding schools.  Now, members of this House may think that the boarding schools were in fact simply a means of educating in the European fashion children who were scattered across a large area of the country simply in disparate regions, but that would only be a very small part of the story, Mr. Acting Speaker.

       The purpose of the boarding school was to separate the parent from the child, to separate the child from what the Canadian government believed was‑‑and I put this in quotes‑‑"savagery." The purpose was to create, as the Canadian government said at the time, "an Indian who was white in all but colour," and again that phrase is in quotes.  It was to transform on behalf of the Canadian people many nations of aboriginal people across the country and to transform them first of all by breaking that tie with the family.

       The past laws were used to prevent parents, aunts and grandparents visiting the children, prevent them bringing food to the children, in fact, food that was considered "savage" in nature.  The children were kept in those boarding schools immersed, as the saying went at the time, in the white culture until it had taken hold.  It was to create a different kind of people.  No one else in this House, I think, has experienced that kind of transformation, that kind of forced transformation of family.

       On top of that there were other kinds of transformations which were anticipated, and perhaps the most important of these was the transformation in religion, in faith, in the very basis of individual, family and cultural perspective, because at the same time in that period from 1880 to 1950, when the children were taken to the boarding schools, at that same time the government chose through the Indian Act to abolish, to make criminal the practice of aboriginal religion, whether it was the Sun Dance or the Midewiwin or the potlatch in British Columbia.

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       Indeed, across the Prairies and in British Columbia as late as the 1920s and 1930s, aboriginal people were going to jail for practising their religion.  They are losing their children to the boarding schools, and they are going to boarding schools where the English language or the French language is imposed very deliberately as the language of "civilization."  The whole purpose of the boarding school was, in fact, to eliminate, as the Europeans believed at the time, the language of savagery, by which they meant Ojibway, Cree, Dene and Dakota and the many hundreds of aboriginal languages across this country.

       When you lose your language, Mr. Acting Speaker‑‑and there are people in this House who have experienced that, who have lost their language‑‑you lose your ability to think in particular ways.  We all know that if you have only a Grade 3 vocabulary you can only think in the concepts of a Grade 3.  The expansion of vocabulary means the expansion of ideas.  The loss of that Anishinaabe vocabulary, the loss of that Dakota vocabulary, the loss of the languages of the North Pacific Coast has meant‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Who should pay for this?

Ms. Friesen:  Who destroyed them?  What do you mean who should pay for it?  Who destroyed them?

An Honourable Member:  Who should pay for having everybody retain their own language?  I speak German and I can retain my own language.

Ms. Friesen:  Nobody destroyed your German language, but what happened in Canada was a systematic destruction of aboriginal languages‑‑[interjection]

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Order, please.  The honourable member for Wolseley has the floor, and I would appreciate it we could have some decorum.

Ms. Friesen:  I was diverted by the Minister of Transportation (Mr. Driedger) who was asking who should pay for this, and he was drawing comparisons to the experience, I assume, of Mennonites in Manitoba who were prevented from speaking their language.  I must admit I was angry in the beginning and I apologize for that.  Yes indeed, Mennonite people did lose their language in a certain period in Manitoba.

       But I will maintain that there is a difference.  The Mennonite people in Manitoba were not separated from their parents.  There was not the same attempt to destroy the relationship between family, between child and parent.  One of the reasons, in fact, that Mennonites have remained so strong in Manitoba is because they have remained strong in their families.

       I think the minister understands that as well as I do, that the children were not removed from the home.  The children were not taken to an environment that was entirely foreign.  In some ways it was, I agree, and particularly during the years of the First World War and indeed the Second World War, there was no doubt that Mennonite people and German‑speaking people generally did suffer in Manitoba, but there is a difference and it is that difference of family support which was so crucial to them in maintaining their language but was not permitted and, in fact, was entirely altered in the case of aboriginal people.

       So, when we look at the Abinochi preschool program, Mr. Acting Speaker, and we see the involvement of the grandmothers and the involvement of the elders, that is important.  It is important in the healing, in the reconstruction, the very basic reconstruction of a society, because what is happening here is that for this generation of aboriginal people, the family supports that Mennonites had for their education, the role of grandmothers, the preservation of the honouring of grandparents that was there for Mennonite people will be there for aboriginal people, and it was not there in the past.

       The children were taught through the loss of their language, through the prevention of their religion, through the mockery and the disdain for their culture that their grandmothers were not important.  That is a significant difference.

       That is why the Abinochi program and its involvement of the whole community is so important.  It is unique.  It is a unique program which through its development of curricula, and indeed there has been support from this government through education for the development of curricula.  It is a curriculum which, in fact, can be marketed, which can be used in areas where Anishinabe is spoken.  Anishinabe, in fact, is spoken quite widely through the Great Lakes region, through parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in western Ontario, northwestern Ontario, as well as, of course, right into southern Saskatchewan.

       It is one of the largely spoken languages.  It is one of those that does have, as the federal government has said, a likelihood of survival.  It is not a language which is only spoken by a small group, but one which has a great likelihood of survival if it receives the support of the broader community.  I would like to recommend to the government, in fact, that they do have the support of the broader community in this, in what is a small‑scale program, but which I believe will have much larger‑scale impacts.

       Again, Mr. Acting Speaker, I want to draw to the government's attention not just the prohibition of movement in the past laws, not just the dislocation of family, the deprivation of language which took place in those boarding schools and the loss of religion, but I also want to draw the government's attention, too, to the fact that throughout this period aboriginal people, unlike Mennonites, unlike other immigrants, were being systematically, by treaty, dispossessed of their land.

       At the same time as they were being dispossessed of their land they were also being offered a series of what the government believed were "civilizing programs":  the replacement of aboriginal religion by Christianity through the boarding schools, through the teachers, at a place apart from the family, a set of values which were quite different from those of many aboriginal families, not all, because indeed there is an aboriginal Christian tradition which certainly comes from at least the early part of the 19th Century, but for the majority of aboriginal people in the Canadian plains it was the replacement, without consent, of faith, of language, of education, of respect within the family.

       It came at a time, as I said, of economic displacement, of loss of land.  It was not only the loss of land, Mr. Acting Speaker, but it was an economic program which aimed to create on the Canadian plains an aboriginal population of only a limited economic opportunity.  It was a program which was in place from the 1880s again until the 1940s.  So when we look at those grandmothers and those teachers and those elders who are involved in the Abinochi preschool program, that indeed is their experience.  Their experience has been the boarding school. Their experience has been displacement.  Their experience has been the economic marginalization and limitation of opportunities in a way that has not been systematically applied to any other group of people in this province as represented in this House or elsewhere.

       The economic program that was offered to aboriginal people in this period was farming, agriculture‑‑the Bible and the plow was the way in which it was portrayed by many of those well‑meaning missionaries and others who sought to alter aboriginal people, to make them, again I quote, "white in all but colour."

       The agricultural program of the Canadian government bears all the hallmarks of perhaps the best, most well‑meaning of paternalism, to offer to aboriginal people an alternative to the hunt, which had been decimated for a variety of reasons in the 1870s and 1880s and to offer them the tools to a new economic way of life.

* (1500)

       But that is only half the story, Mr. Acting Speaker.  Let me read to you some of the words of the Department of Indian Affairs in the 1890s:  The goal of the department's agricultural policy‑‑and I think for every member in this House who represents aboriginal people, and many of us do, that this should be‑‑

An Honourable Member:  All of us do.

Ms. Friesen:  As all of us do.  The department's goal in agriculture was, and I am quoting, Mr. Acting Speaker:  to restrict the area cultivated by each Indian to within such limits as will enable him to carry on his operations by the application of his own personal labour, and the employment of such simple implements as he would likely to be able to command if entirely thrown upon his own resources, rather than to encourage farming on a scale to necessitate the employment of expensive labour‑saving machinery.

       The purpose of the aboriginal economic program was in fact to create, as the department called it, peasant farmers, not commercial farmers, not people who were intended to compete, as before this they had been doing with European farmers particularly in the area south of Portage, but to limit, to take away the machinery which they had bought, and the Oak River Dakota indeed had bought much of that machinery, to take away their opportunity to sell that grain on the open market and to put in place a series of permits to limit the amount of grain that aboriginal people could produce and sell.

       It was done to create not commercial farmers, not people who could compete with European farmers, but people who indeed were limited in their economic opportunities.

       That was the economic context, Mr. Acting Speaker, until the late '40s and early '50s when aboriginal people begin, largely as a result of the work of the returned soldiers, the returned veterans of '45, to take a much more direct approach and a direct control of their own affairs.

       Beginning in 1945, they did indeed begin to create the movement which would lead to the Abinochi preschool program, to create a program where they would begin to control their own communities, that would lead to economic development, that would begin to expand economic opportunities through education, through secondary education, through post‑secondary education for aboriginal people.

       Manitoba has been at the forefront of that, in creating the leadership that has led to many changes across Canada, whether it is the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, whether it is its forerunner, the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood and the program that it produced in the early '60s called Wahbung, Our Tomorrows, or whether it is in the work that my colleague the member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper) has been doing in the last two years to expand the knowledge and the understanding of aboriginal communities to non‑Native people across Canada.

       We have produced in Manitoba over 500 aboriginal teachers. For a small province, that has been an enormous contribution, I think, to the changes which are going on in aboriginal communities.

       We have the opportunity here, through those teachers, through the leadership that is established here, through the concentration of urban aboriginal people in the city of Winnipeg to make a difference, to begin to create a different kind of aboriginal population where the children begin with a respect and a knowledge of their own selves, that their parents and their family are involved and control their education, that their language is restored to them from the beginning, because many of the parents cannot transmit that language, cannot transmit the concepts, the ideas and the culture that are inherent in every person's language.

       That is why, Mr. Acting Speaker, I so deeply regret that this government has not seen fit to meet with those elders, that it has not devoted itself to the welfare of those children or of aboriginal people in the city of Winnipeg, because there is here and has been for the children who have been through that school the opportunity for a different kind of society.  It seems to me that a government which cannot find the money for Abinochi preschool program and yet can find money to fund at very increased levels, vastly increased levels, the private schools of this city and this province has got its priorities entirely wrong.


Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I am pleased to participate in this debate, because under 10 of the aboriginal justice initiative, one of the recommendations that was highly recommended was retaining one's language and one's culture.

       I was very surprised to hear the comment thrown across the floor from the Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger).  Either he understands what the aboriginal people have gone through or he understands very little of what the aboriginal people have gone through, because the comment was, we lost our language too because we could not speak our language in the schools.  That is true.

       One thing that the minister did not add is that when they completed a school day, they went home to their family.  If their family spoke a specific language, that was carried on after school hours.  You attended school for a shorter number of hours during the day than you did spending your time at home.  The aboriginal people lived in those schools, residential schools, 24 hours a day, 10 months out of the year.  When you do not have the opportunity to practise your language or even speak, if you are punished to speak your language, how can you retain that language?

       If the Minister of Highways has lost his language, then he should understand what we as aboriginal people are saying.  He should have a better understanding than what nonaboriginal people would have if they had never had a first language other than English.

       Just for an example, Mr. Acting Speaker, if we took today, and all of a sudden we were invaded or if that free trade with Mexico came to be and we had millions of Mexicans move into Manitoba, and because of their numbers took over the City Council and were elected to the Legislative Assembly, and when they got enough power to start changing our laws and our acts, said, now there will be no more English spoken in Manitoba; we will only speak Mexican, how would the people in this Chamber feel?  I am sure there would be some resentment, some anger and some very, very frustrated‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Spanish.

Mr. Hickes:  Well, Spanish; they speak Spanish.  Would the people in this Chamber stand up and take that?  I do not think so, Mr. Acting Speaker.  I do not understand how the nonaboriginal people cannot support aboriginal causes and aboriginal wishes.

       When I was asking the Minister for Native Affairs (Mr. Downey) about funding the Abinochi preschool language program, they are talking about $130,000.  Do you know how much private schools get?  They get $20 million.  The answer was, where do we get the money?

       If you go back in history, take a small share of that out of St. John's‑Ravenscourt.  Do you know why St. John's‑Ravenscourt was set up to begin with?  It was set up by the Catholic ministers to train aboriginal people to become the priest to spread‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Not St. John's‑Ravenscourt.

Mr. Hickes:  St. John's was.  I am not saying Ravenscourt‑‑St. John's School.  It was set up to train aboriginal people to go out in amongst the aboriginal communities and to switch the aboriginal beliefs, the culture and the spirituality to the Catholic way of life.  That is what has happened.  The aboriginal people have lost a whole generation.  There is a whole generation of aboriginal people who are out there today who do not have their own language and do not understand their own culture.  It is a whole generation lost.

       When you have parents and grandparents who set up a language program such as Abinochi to try and get back the language and the culture for their own people, that should be applauded and supported; not say, where do we get the money from?  If you look at where it could fit into government programs or government support, you could identify it easily with the Culture Heritage program.  Is that not what your language and culture is all about?  That is what I always thought.

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       At one time we used to have deals just taken with a handshake and people honoured those.  They honoured those deals with a handshake.  Today, what is happening to our world?  We are so mistrustful of one another, of individuals, and everything has to be done in writing or it is not a done deal or we have not committed because I have no piece of paper that said that we will do this, we will do that.  A lot of the aboriginal people still believe in peoples' words.  When they attend a meeting and someone says, I will support this, or I will try my best to do this, a lot of the aboriginal people see that as a commitment and support to what their wishes are.  So that way a lot of the negotiations with aboriginal people are misunderstood like this program here.

       I have received a copy of a letter that was written to the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), and right in that letter they say, at that time you committed your government to fund our programs, and it is even underlined.  It says, you committed your government.  So that was the belief of the people.

An Honourable Member:  Mr. Acting Speaker, are you going to table it?

Mr. Hickes:  If you want me to, I will be glad to table it.


Point of Order


Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I would ask the member to table the letter that he is referring to.

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

* * *

Mr. Hickes:  If he does not have a copy of it, I am very surprised.  It says right in that letter‑‑seeing I am going to use the letter, I might as well use it properly now that they met with the Minister of‑‑[interjection]

       Well, I was only going to use a few quotes, but now I will go into more detail.  This is from the organization, the parent and family organization.  It is a parent's council of the Abinochi preschool program.  When I saw this, and thinking back of what has transpired over the years, I was very, very surprised because even in this letter that I will table there is a strong, strong recommendation from the minister's own staff.  I will table the whole package.

       It says:  It is recommended that long‑term funding for this program be channeled through the Department of Northern Affairs. It is recommended that a five‑year funding agreement available on a renewable basis be negotiated, implemented to honour the long‑term commitment of the Manitoba government to Abinochi.

       That is a government worker that is working on behalf‑‑and part of an organization that the minister put together, an organization that‑‑it says four months.  Three of our representatives met with the provincial directors of Native Affairs, Native education, child care services, cultural resources.  So the government had staff people working on it.

       When you put staff people working on something and they come back with a positive recommendation and nothing has happened and nobody listens to those recommendations, why send them out in the first place?  Why not just say no at the start and save everybody a lot of trouble?  There is nothing in here that says the government should not fund it, because there are a whole bunch of reasons why and where the government could be funding this.  I mentioned the heritage and culture department and even if you looked at the whole Department of Health.

       When you have individuals that have been abused and hurt and everything else because of losing their languages and their culture, and now this program is trying to get some of that back, I would think that could be perceived as holistic healing for families and individuals of aboriginal ancestry.  So if you are looking for places to find funding within the government, you have those choices, also Urban Affairs.

       These are urban aboriginal individuals.  That could fall under Urban Affairs.  Family Services, most definitely it could fall under Family Services, because when you have people, and there are so many examples out there, that have been hurting and have gone into abusive situations through‑‑whether it is alcohol or drugs or trying to escape from God knows what, because you do not know who you are.  Even the elders tell you that.  The first piece to get back your life, to identify your culture and your spirituality, is your language.  Your language is the key.

       Even in this letter, it even states in here, where it says: our elders tell us that our language holds the key to our future.  The elders are telling you that.  Have you even taken time to meet with the elders?  Go to the Abinochi school.  Talk to those two grandmothers who are teaching those language programs, and ask them where those children are at today.  Those children will be in a much, much healthier position than a lot of aboriginal people who have lost their language and their culture through that whole generation because of the residential school systems that individuals were forced into.

       When I was living in Churchill, they brought the Inuit children up to Churchill for education.  They were there.  It was like a residential school.  Because some of them were our families from various communities in the North, every time we went out there to visit with them‑‑they had lounges‑‑and we could not speak our own language to them.  There were counsellors there to make sure that never took place.  None of it took place.

       There was no such thing as traditional foods.  Where the Inuit people are dependent on caribou, seal, and whale meat and fish, they had what you have now, like pork, beef and everything else.  A lot of them, when they went back and grew up, they were not used to eating traditional foods, so a lot of them had not had the reason even to become hunters.

       That is the kind of stuff that aboriginal people are faced with, and I find it very hard to stand here and try to convince this government that as simple a thing as finding $130,000 to fund something will eventually offset a lot of dollar costs, or which could offset a lot of dollar costs, through our health system, our penal system and our court systems, and on and on. If you do not know who you are, how can you be positive about yourself?  It is very, very hard.

       That is why I have to urge the government to look seriously at finding that, at least immediately finding that interim funding of $21,000‑‑it is not a whole lot of an amount when you spend millions and millions of dollars‑‑so that the aboriginal people do not lose that program.  They have been getting calls from all over Canada, the United States.  The Department of Education funded the curriculum development for that program, which they are getting calls to please send us a copy of.  So there is a lot interest out there.

       I think with that I will close.  I would just like to ask this government seriously, seriously to look at it and get the other members on side, talk to the elders, get other members and colleagues on side, and try and find out some way of funding this program, so that the aboriginal people can benefit from this.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Order, please.  The honourable member was going to table that report?

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I am very pleased to‑‑

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


Point of Order


 Mr. Downey:  I do not mind the member speaking, but I was going to respond to the new subject matter which we are dealing with. I will wait, Mr. Acting Speaker.

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

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* * *

Mr. Maloway:  Mr. Acting Speaker, I am very pleased today to rise to speak to Bill 67, the Interim Supply bill, and I wanted to put some comments on the record, and particularly observations about the life and the longevity of governments.  It seems to me, Mr. Acting Speaker, that governments defeat themselves.  It is very rare that governments get defeated by oppositions.  As a matter of fact, it is usually the other way around.  The governments defeat themselves.

       This government was no different than any others.  It came in full of hope and youth and vigour and hair and good health and now, Mr. Acting Speaker, over a period of some four years now they have had to come to grips, slowly but surely, with reality. It has been a rude awakening, I believe, for them.  We can see the stages in the life of this government pass us by.  In fact, they have gone through the youth stage.  They are well into middle age, and some would argue that they are approaching old age at this point.  You can see that very clearly by watching them every day in this House.

       You know, even comparing their performance to a year ago, we all on this side can see how they are starting to deteriorate, how they are starting to run out of options, because once again, a new government, a newer type government has a lot of options, but as time progresses they use those options up.  I can cite you cases where groups approach governments, and the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) knows what I am talking about here, groups come to new governments expecting certain promises to be fulfilled, certain things to be done on their behalf.  They are prepared to be patient, they will accept a deferral or a partial rejection, and then they will come back at a later point expecting that their concerns will be dealt with.

       The Minister of Natural Resources knows full well that after the second or third time of rejection or deferral, that in fact the government loses the support of those particular groups.  We are now beginning to see and appreciate how far this government has gone down that road, when we have members and representatives of a certain organization, and I will not mention the name of the organization here, who were very supportive of this government in the last election, who went out and pumped a tremendous amount of money into the coffers of the party that elected this government, and now, what we are finding is, those members of that organization are now approaching us.  You can sit back and watch this happen.  We would have never expected to hear from this particular organization because it would be considered to be one in the Conservative support group.

       It happened to our former government.  The member for Lakeside (Mr. Enns) has been around in this House 25 years, and he has seen governments come and go.  He was the Minister of Highways, I believe, in 1966, so he has gone through, he has survived.  He is a survivor.

       He survived a lot of different governments in this House and no doubt he will survive more to come, and he knows of which I speak.  When groups that traditionally support the government in power today start coming to the NDP because the government will not listen to them anymore, and they do not think they are getting what was promised, then they should know that they are over the hill and they are on that slippery slope down.

       The new members over there will not appreciate this but the older ones certainly will, that, in fact, their end may come a lot sooner than they think.  Perhaps that too is why the government brought in, to a certain extent, the budget that it did.  I mean, the government is mid term.  Now is the time for the government to do the nasty things that governments such as that would do mid term.  We see that their spending did not, in fact, increase.  That tells me that there are some shaky components over there.  It tells me there are some squeaky wheels.  It tells me also that government has some members that it has to worry a bit about.

       I think it is also concerned with the Crescentwood by‑election because the government had to present itself in as good a position as it could with a by‑election coming up, with potentially the member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Connery) dropping away, the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld) and who knows what other squeaky wheels there are over there that require grease.

       Who knows how many squeaky wheels there are over there, potential members who may be looking at the federal scene‑‑although Heaven knows why they would consider the Conservatives as a federal option right now.  Certainly there are their cousins in the Reform Party that they may associate with for a federal attempt.

       So, in trying to come up with the rationale for the thinking behind their budget and so on, I can only conclude that there is a short‑term political necessity for them to look at and perhaps to hold back on cuts that probably would be more to their liking had they had more numbers in this House.

       One might also come to the conclusion that perhaps they think that the recession is over or it is getting to an end, and in fact if they spend into the end of a recession they can claim credit for solving the recession.  I do not know that they would want to take a big chance on that because the recession may in fact get worse rather than get better over the next few months.

       I believe that people are getting very disappointed in this government.  I think it is a logical extension of the media age. I think perhaps 25 years ago people elected their members, such as the member for Lakeside (Mr. Enns), and were happy that he disappeared and left for Winnipeg and did not come back for another four years.  I am not making the assumption that he never went back to see his members.  What I am saying is, in those days, without the television communications we have right now, one could simply elect a member of Parliament or a member to the Legislature and put them on the train and not see them for four years and not expect to see them, because MLAs did not have the services, they did not have the air capacities that we have now. In today's environment, people expect more, I believe, from their MLAs.

       They expect more immediate solutions to problems.  Today they elect MLAs and M.P.s.  They expect to see them weekly if not monthly.  They expect to hear from them constantly, and when they do not hear from them, when they do not see them, and when they do not get immediate solutions to their problems, they tend to seek the quick solution and try to get rid of them at the next election.

       That is why I believe we see fewer and fewer‑‑

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


Point of Order


Mr. Jack Penner (Emerson):  I raise with you that we are debating Interim Supply and, yet, when I listen to the honourable member go on about elections or whatever he can think of or comes ramming through his mind which does not make any sense at all and does not pertain to the Interim Supply debate that we are entering into, I am wondering whether you could call him to order and ask him to put pertinent comments on record.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  The honourable member for Emerson does not have a point of order.

* * *

Mr. Maloway:  I think the member who just stood in his place shows full well why he was thrown out of the cabinet last year and why the Premier (Mr. Filmon) showed no confidence in him.

       I mean, the member has been here long enough and should know that the Deputy Chairperson allows a wide‑ranging latitude on all bills in this House, but particularly on bills such as Interim Supply where, in fact, almost any type of speech is in order.  In fact, my speech has been particularly about this government and its lack of direction and in fact the argument that it is heading inevitably toward destruction.

       I wanted to make some comments about the member for Rossmere's (Mr. Neufeld) speech the other day.  There are a number of things in his speech that I did not agree with, such as his position on pay equity and affirmative action.  There was at least one issue that I did agree with him on.

       That was his observation that business should stand on its own two feet and should not be coming cap in hand to the government for grants.  He was particularly concerned about the Winnipeg Jets deal, and that deal concerns me as well.

       After all, this government is supposedly built on the rugged individual and free enterprise and strong business and so on, and even if Conservative governments believe in helping disadvantaged people in our society, surely business should not put itself out and suggest that it is part of disadvantaged groups.  I mean, after all, if we are going to help disadvantaged people in our society, where is the money going to come from, to be handing out money to businesses?

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       It seems to mean that the bigger the business‑‑currently we have a problem with Olympia and York, and that has just surfaced.  I guess many of us could have expected that this would happen because of the development in London, England.  It was huge expenditure of money for them.

       The commercial real estate has not been a particularly good field to be in.  Perhaps it is surprising that they have lasted as long as they have.  Here we see a typical government, Conservative, but also other government, governmental approach to the problem; that is, when the business has got enormous amounts of debts to the bank, the bank has the problem.

       If it was a small business, it would be shut up, and it would be gone.  But here you have Olympia and York with a tremendous amount of debt.  The problem is so big that Olympia and York can go to the government, and it does not have to phone the minister and make an appointment.  As a matter of fact, the Olympia and York bigwigs will snap their fingers, and they will have the minister, in fact, maybe even the Prime Minister of this country in front of them in a matter of hours.  That is how powerful these guys are.

       The businesses rant and rave about being self‑sufficient, being on their own, and yet they are the first people to go cap in hand for government grants.  So, when we met with the Chamber of Commerce last year, I was very heartened to hear the Chamber of Commerce finally say, you know, we have internally resolved now that business should stand on their two feet.  We should not be asking the government for handouts.

(Madam Deputy Speaker in the Chair)

       That is what they said, right?  Of course, right on its heels came the argument, well, what are we going to do about the Winnipeg Jets?  That was a problem for them at the time.  They said, well, you know, the Jets present themselves as a different sort of problem.  We may have to make an exception there.  We will try to keep our house in order, and we will try to be consistent even with the Jets if possible, but with the Jets we may have to make the exception.

       The member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld) outlined it in his speech last week when he said exactly that, that the Chamber of Commerce should live up to what it says it wants to do in the last year, and give up begging the government for money.  It should not be coming to the government cap in hand.

       We have a huge drain on resources in this country because businesses do exactly that.  The Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) knows full well stories over the years of how provinces have been taken advantage of by companies that go cap in hand from provincial capital to provincial capital, and play one off against the other.

       This government should know that it too will probably be the loser in the Piper deal because I am told Saskatchewan seems to have the inside track on that.  They will get it because they are offering maybe more than this government is prepared to offer. This is the kind of situation that we have to come to grips with in the province.

       I guess a problem we have when we have 10 provinces, we have these jurisdictions competing essentially against one another. Now, we have into the fray the American states in the same situation.

       Which reminds me of another observation I have:  I recently turned on the TV, and I run into one of these rugged individualists on TV decrying Canadian taxes and how he had to move to Florida, because he said that the Canadian environment‑‑I think the River Heights environment for business was so tough on this guy that he had to move to Florida.  He was really upset that after his first week in Florida his lines of credit were not in place.  You know, the banks had not given him all the money he needed.  He was very happy with the low wages that he was anticipating the people were going to work for down there.  You know, he presented such a sympathetic case for the Florida situation, with the low wages and the low taxes.

       Then the next week I got the business digest and guess who was being sued?  His moving company was suing him.  He did not even pay the bloody moving company who moved him to Florida.  His house on Park Boulevard is in foreclosure, and God knows how many other businesses and people have been sucked dry and left high and dry from this guy, who now comes forward as this rugged individual who could not make it here, who lost everything here and is now carpetbagging and begging for grants in Florida.  This is the type of individual that you people kowtow to over there, and I wish you would listen to the Chamber of Commerce, listen to the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld), and boot these guys out when they come cap‑in‑hand looking for more grants.

       The Winnipeg Jets are simply one of the latest examples of that situation.  I mean, people are getting fed up and sick of the situation involving the Jets, whereby they want private ownership, but they want the public to pay the bills.  I defy anybody over there to tell me that is not so; I mean, that is certainly so.  So the member for Rossmere, while he may not have all of his ducks in order on a number of issues in my opinion, certainly in that one, had observations.  As a constituent of mine and certainly a constituent who never complains, I am very, very happy to have him as a constituent.

       He certainly could present problems for this government, and I do think that they, approaching two and a half years in government right now, are certainly worried.  As a matter of fact, the problems are starting to pile up on their plate.  The Minister of Highways (Mr. Driedger) laughs nervously from another seat, and I mean, he ought to know.  I mean, here is a guy who was going to bring in safety legislation for used cars in this province and took it to cabinet twice last year and got blown right out of the room.  To give him credit, he went back a third time this year and got blown out of the room again.  Now they are planning to have one of their backbenchers introduce the bill, because they do not have the guts to do it themselves.

       I mean, there is the confidence that this government has in the minister and in the groups that they promised this thing to. I mean, after all, they promised the car dealers association, because they literally funded their campaigns, they promised the car dealers they they were going to do this for them.  They were going to turn the public of Manitoba over to the car dealers, and now the car dealers are all upset because this government has lost its nerve.

       The Minister of Highways (Mr. Driedger) has gone to cabinet twice and he has been thrown out.  So now they have turned it over to the member for Fort Garry (Mrs. Vodrey) or the Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Dacquay) to bring it in as a private member's bill.  This is a majority government that is supposed to be making decisions for the people of the province, and it does not have the guts to do it.  That is another indication that the government does not know where it is going and has no guts.


Point of Order


Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Madam Deputy Speaker, could I ask a clarification‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Are you standing on a point of order?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  The honourable member for Fort Garry on a point of order.

Mrs. Vodrey:  I believe that it was alluded that I had introduced a bill, and I am not sure that the member had, in fact, the correct naming of the member.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  The honourable member for Fort Garry does not have a point of order, but I would suggest the honourable member for Elmwood indeed try to keep his facts straight.

Mr. Maloway:  Madam Deputy Speaker‑‑[interjection]


Point of Order


Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Government House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, on a point of order, the member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), in his zeal for debate, has from time to time this afternoon used words that, well, not necessarily unparliamentary, are somewhat offensive to some members of the House, and I would ask you to encourage him to make the best use of the Queen's English as opposed to that which he has been using up to this point.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  I have been reminded by the Clerk that, indeed, a former Speaker did rule that that terminology was indeed unparliamentary, and I would caution the member for Elmwood to choose his words carefully.

Mr. Maloway:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I must say at this point that the member who was to bring in that private member's bill regarding the used cars was the member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).  I apologize, it was not the member for Fort Garry (Mrs. Vodrey).

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       Mr. Maloway:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I think, before I conclude, I would like to make a comment about the deficit and how the Conservatives are so pious about their position on the deficit. I mean, I cannot go a day without reading the paper and hearing some Tory somewhere decrying the deficit.  One would think that when Conservatives come in, they would do something about the deficit.

       In fact, their record has been absolutely atrocious.  Any Conservative government across the country, federally or provincially, has come into office and left office with a deficit much, much higher than when it came in.  So to be so pious about the deficit and then see the results the Conservative governments produce is almost unbelievable.

       I mean, this government has been racking up deficits of nearly a half billion dollars a year on top of the existing deficit.  So we are at nearly $10 billion of total deficit in this province right now, and they are adding to it every year.

       Somehow they are trying to masquerade themselves as being fiscally responsible, deficit‑fighting people who are holding your taxes down.  I mean, they are contributing to this deficit every bit as much as the previous government did or any other government in the country, and do not ever‑‑you know, I pity anyone who believes and falls for the arguments that these people make on the deficits.

       Madam Deputy Speaker, I know that the member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper) has a barn burner of a speech planned, and I do want to give him time to proceed with his speech.  Thank you.

Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  I have a few words for this bill.

An Honourable Member:  How many is a few words, Elijah?

Mr. Harper:  A few words.  Just listen to a few words.

       First of all, I would like to indicate that this government, as I mentioned before, has carried some of the things that we had proposed when we were in government.  Certainly, within Winnipeg, I know there have been discussions, questions raised in respect to the urban development strategy.  We want to ask some questions of the minister in terms of how that has been proceeding.  I know there have been speeches made in regard to the aboriginal people in this country, in Manitoba, and the city of Winnipeg in respect to the conditions that aboriginal people do live in.

       As a matter of fact, I have a copy of the urban strategy that was done by this government in looking at the urban issues for aboriginal people.  As a matter of fact, I might say that this whole issue was handled differently from what we proposed and as we had proposed when we were in government.  There are many things that were identified in the government's urban strategy and the workshops that they did.

       In their recommendations, We have a couple of documents, one called the Workshop for the Development of an Indian and Metis Urban Strategy for Manitoba, and another one, a little document called Developing an Indian and Metis Urban Strategy for Manitoba‑‑two documents.

       It outlines some of the conditions that the aboriginal people do live in and some of the statements that were made to the government.  Some of the final statements, I might say, are just referring to the documents, that over 60 percent of Native people in the labour force are unemployed.  Another statement is that almost two‑thirds of all new jobs in the next 15 years are expected to require at least two years education beyond Grade 12.

       Another one says, 80 percent of Native students fail to achieve even Grade 12 and make up only 1 percent of the university population.  Another one is the Native population in the core area of Winnipeg increased by 70 percent between 1981 and 1986.  This was based on federal government statistics released by the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg and the workshops that were done and the statements made by the people to the government.  The time was for the government to start acting on many of these issues.

       I have a copy of a statement, as a matter of fact, a news release by the Minister of Native Affairs (Mr. Downey), dated December 8, 1988.  There are some statements that he has made to develop a long‑range Urban Native Strategy, and it says here: The provincial government will work with a variety of Native organizations to develop a long‑range urban strategy for Manitoba, Northern and Native Affairs Minister Jim Downey has announced.  The aim of the strategy is to develop a comprehensive policy on urban Native issues and to ensure existing programming and service arrangements are meeting the identified needs and priorities of the people they are intended to serve.

       This was done through a consulting firm.  It was called Resource Initiatives Limited, of course, a close association with the present government, and one of the people who was belonging to that firm was a member of the Conservative Party who ran against me.  They awarded the contract, I might say, without the tendering process, to the individuals who were involved.  I believe that the initial expenditure of $105,100 was approved for this process to develop this Urban Native Strategy.

       There were a number of recommendations made to this government, to the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey). One of the recommendations was that the Minister of Northern and Native Affairs establish an Indian‑Metis Urban Strategy Development Board.  That was one of the recommendations that was made to this government.

       The second recommendation was that persons be appointed to the board representing the following:  the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Manitoba Metis Federation, Indigenous Women's Collective, Government of Canada, urban municipal government, government of Manitoba and aboriginal business.

       The third recommendation was that consideration be given to designating an aboriginal business representative as a chairperson of the Indian and Metis Urban Strategy Development Board.

       A fourth recommendation was made that the terms for the Indian‑Metis urban strategy be as follows:  To provide leadership and guidance in respect to implementing a process involving all the representatives with the Metis organizations, the aboriginal organizations, the government of Manitoba, the Government of Canada, the urban governments, private sector in respect to preparing Indian and Metis urban strategy or plan.

       Under that fourth heading, the second recommendation was to establish six working groups with appropriate Indian‑Metis organizations, governments and the private sector.  They were to be established with culture and leadership, family and service education training, economic development and employment, housing, sports and recreation and health, each working group to serve in a capacity or act between the working group and the board.  Each working group should be assigned to the following terms or to the ones likely affected.

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       To assemble an inventory of services presently provided to Indian and Metis people in urban centres, an inventory should embrace and name the delivery, the objective, the targets, an amount of funding staffing positions and those held by Indian‑Metis persons.  There were many other recommendations that were made to the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey).

       A fifth recommendation was that the Minister of Northern Affairs establish a technical support group.  The sixth recommendation, that the minister establish the possibility of staffing a technical support group on the basis of secondment from governments.

       There were other ones.  A seventh recommendation, existing committee of ministers would like the Indian‑Metis urban strategy be retained and a committee meet on a periodic basis with the Indian‑Metis urban strategy development board.  I think there are in total about twelve recommendations that were made to the Minister of Northern Affairs.

       There were a number of recommendations made to the Minister of Northern Affairs that need to be responded to by the government, by the minister himself, to the aboriginal people, to members of the House in here.

       I have another news release dated the same date, December 8, as the previous one‑‑December 8, 1988.  In the news release tabled in the House here today, it says here:  Role of Native Affairs Secretariat is reviewed.  Native initiative council is key to study recommendations.

       This was released by the minister, by the government, dated December 8, 1988, and it states here:  Northern and Native Affairs Minister, Jim Downey, tabled the review of the role and the mandate of the Native Affairs Secretariat.

       This was four years ago, and the key suggestion which will be considered is the establishment of a Native initiatives council which will assume many of the duties and responsibilities of the existing Native Affairs Secretariat.

       I would like to ask the minister whether these things have happened and what is the plan of this government or the strategy as to where the government is going.  It outlines as to what the government intends to do.  One is to transfer existing staff positions and funding associated with Native Affairs Secretariat to the Native initiatives council, and the other one is changing the name of the existing Aboriginal Development Fund to Native Initiatives Fund and assigning responsibility for administration of this fund to the board of directors of the Native initiatives council.

       The third recommendation that the minister announced was defining the role of the Native initiatives council as research planning and monitoring policies and programs which will address Native issues.  The fourth one is directing the Native initiatives council to develop a working‑group approach involving staff of Native groups and associations with the provincial government.

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

       I believe this is the sixth one‑‑or fifth‑‑directing the Native initiatives council to develop a communication link with the federal government regarding Native issues of concern.  The next recommendation is maintaining the appointment of ministerial response for Native affairs with the minister reporting directly to cabinet.  The final one is establishing an annual conference to discuss the issues and concerns of Native people involving the provincial cabinet and members of the Native groups and associations.  These are recommendations.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, these are the initiatives that the government, that the Minister of Native Affairs announced in 1988, on December 8.  None of these initiatives, none of these announcements that have been made by the government have been done at all, and they are written here.  As a matter of fact, when I look at the budget that was tabled in terms of the Estimates for Native Affairs and Northern Affairs this year and compare it to the announcements for the year ending in 1989, the total budget of Northern Affairs, which includes operating expenditures and expenditures relating to capital, the budget was $31,822,400.  That was the budget in 1989 by Northern Affairs, and today's budget, when I look at it, it is for the year ending in 1993, is $20,383,500.  A total shortfall or cut within those four years in the amount of $11,438,900, that is over $11 million, almost a third of a cut was made to the Northern Affairs budget, initial budget.  I compare that to 1989.

       The Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) has totally, I guess, lost the confidence, in a sense, of northern people and Native people.  There has been no budget increase since 1989. There has actually been a reduction by over $11 million to the department.

       I believe that is due to the fact that many programs that were cost‑shared with the federal government and, of course, many programs that enhanced the opportunities for the North have been lost with this government or the leadership that this present minister is providing to this issue.

       There are many issues that I would like to raise, but the minister needs to respond to some of the questions that we will be questioning him on.  Certainly the whole issue on urban strategy is one that we look forward to.  Although he made the announcement in 1988, there has been virtually no progress, no results as to those initiatives at all.  We have a copy of the news release, and none of those items that he announced were done at all.

       When you look at the Northern Affairs budget, over $11 million has been cut from 1989 compared to this year's budget.

       I will be awaiting the response of the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) on some of these issues.

       Thank you, Mr. Acting Speaker.

Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  I want to take just a few minutes to put a few thoughts on the record.  I know many members of the House want to get on to asking specific questions of specific ministers, and we will be as expeditious as possible.

       I would be very remiss, Mr. Acting Speaker, if I did not observe that what we are engaged in now, even though some members may not be paying attention as they should, is very basic to parliamentary democracy.  The very essence of parliamentary democracy is the representatives of the people coming together and approving or disapproving expenditures by the government or by Her Majesty's ministers.

       The taxpayers, the electors of Manitoba expect all of us to be here to deliberate carefully on all of these items and, goodness knows, we are talking about a lot of money, Mr. Acting Speaker.  We are talking about billions of dollars.

       Nevertheless, the government, which may not like to have us here debate some of these things and ask some embarrassing questions, nevertheless has to tolerate us, because we are here historically to approve the spending of money by the Crown.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, this government has chastised us, the Conservative Party in Manitoba has chastised us; the Conservative Party of Manitoba is chastising the New Democratic Party ad infinitum for big‑time spending and for deficits and so on.  Yet, by their own standards, they have failed and are failing because we have had five budgets, and we had five years of deficits.

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       Although I should point out that if they had used the monies left by the former NDP government along with transfers from the federal government, we may not have been looking at a deficit in the first year of their mandate.  We would have had a surplus, $55‑million surplus.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, thanks to the good administration of the previous government, there were these additional monies left to this government.  But what we have had is five years of deficit along with a Fiscal Stabilization Fund.  In British Columbia they call it the budget stabilization fund, otherwise known as the BS fund.  The BS fund, well named in British Columbia.

       I think this is a take‑off from the budget stabilization fund in British Columbia.  The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has played around with it year after year, trying to make a bad scene better.  The fact is, we have a very serious deficit position with this government, and if it was not for the Fiscal Stabilization Fund, we would be looking at a deficit of well over $500 million.

       On account of these continuous deficits, by the standards that this government has set up, I say they are failing because the debt per capita in Manitoba is higher than it has ever been in the history of this province.  Under this government all we have had is increasing debt year after year after year.

       In spite of their protestations, in spite of their criticisms, in spite of their use of envelope No. 1, to criticize the government that was in place over four years ago, in spite of five budgets, here we have accumulating debt in the Province of Manitoba.  So, by their own standards, they are failing.

       They criticize taxes.  They criticize the 2 percent flat income tax; they criticize the payroll tax.  I remember all these speeches made by the now Premier (Mr. Filmon) and the now Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) about how terrible the payroll tax is, and how the Conservative Party of Manitoba was committed to eliminating the payroll tax.

       It was going to go; it was going to go.  The payroll tax was going to vanish.  Well, the budget itself reveals that the payroll tax is not disappearing, that the payroll tax is expanding.  The payroll tax is bringing in more revenues year by year.  So I say, this government talks out of two sides of its mouth.  On the one side it criticizes the former government for taxes; then the next breath it brags about how much more money they are spending than we spent, and criticizing us for not spending enough money.

       You cannot have it both ways‑‑

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Order, please.  Could I ask the honourable members to please carry on their conversations either in the hall or the loge?  The honourable member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans) has the floor.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  Mr. Acting Speaker, I appreciate your assistance in this respect.  I just want to put a few comments on the record, and obviously I have some members across the way very exercised about what I have said.  What I have said is based on information submitted to us in the budget document and in the Estimates that are before this House at this time.

       The facts remain, Mr. Acting Speaker, that the payroll tax is what is estimated to be $191.8 million this year, far higher than it was last year.  As I say, it is there, and it is growing, so how can the people of Manitoba really believe the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) and this Conservative government which says that it does not like the payroll tax, and yet maintains it?

       Mr. Acting Speaker, I would say my other concern is with regard to the economy and the failure of this government to tackle the very devastating economic recession that we are now facing.  Nineteen ninety‑one was a terrible year for Manitoba's economy.  I have reviewed some of the basic economic indicators on the economic performance of the province, and not only have we declined compared to other years, but we have been declining compared to other provinces in this country so that in 1991, we were in a weaker position relative to the other provinces than we were in 1990.  That is something that all of us should pause about and give due consideration to.  Why is Manitoba's economy weakening relative to the other provinces in this country?

       The Minister of Finance in his budget has projected a 2.4 percent real economic growth for this year, and yet we have information now for the first month of January showing that we are down by 2 percent in retail sales from where we were January of 1991.  So in this first month, we show a declining retail sales sector compared to the same month of the previous year.  I would remind honourable members that the real economic growth that the minister is talking about, he is talking about the expansion in the gross domestic product.

       The gross domestic product is made up of over 60 percent of consumption spending, that is, retail sales.  The consumer spending comprised 60 percent of the GDP.  If we do not see expansion in consumer spending, then how are we possibly going to get this 2.4 percent growth?  How are we going to have any positive growth in this province in 1992?  We certainly are not getting off to a good start.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, for my money we simply have too many people unemployed.  The last figures we have are 52,000 Manitobans out of work, and other signs of stagnation. Manufacturing employment is far worse today than it was a couple of years ago.  Manufacturing shipments:  We have the unenviable record in 1991 of being 10 out of 10 in terms of output of the manufacturing sector.  So what is happening to Manitoba's manufacturing sector?

       Well, Mr. Acting Speaker, obviously we are undergoing some very fundamental kind of economic adjustment, some structural adjustment which is not good, some structural adjustment which has seen Manitoba's economy shrinking in the national picture. What I regret is that we have no strategy, no plan, no plan for economic growth.

An Honourable Member:  That simply is not true, Len.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  Well, I would like to‑‑

An Honourable Member:  We know what course we are on and we are sticking with it.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  Well, maybe the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) believes he is on a course.  I must admit that really the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has said he has a policy and the policy‑‑well, five budgets with deficits; five budgets with deficits, a higher debt than ever before.

       But, Mr. Acting Speaker, the minister does and the government does have a policy, and that is to attempt to keep taxes down in order to stimulate economic growth.  We have had five budgets and, okay, we have not increased taxes, but where is the economic growth?  It is not there.  The point is, it may be it is a strategy, but it is a failing strategy.

       It is a wrong‑headed strategy.  It is shades of Reaganomics, shades of the trickle‑down theory that just does not work.  It does not work.  My goodness, if we have that fallacy here, plus a policy, courtesy of Mr. Mazankowski, the CEO of the Canadian government, no wonder the economy is going down the tube‑‑Manitoba, but the Canadian economy along with it.  So the government is not addressing the real challenges facing this province.

       You know what?  I just happened to notice the Legislative Library gets a lot of good books and so on, a lot of government documents, and here‑‑I saw it on the listing, so I thought I would get a copy of it‑‑A Consultation Paper on a Strategic Economic Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador.  It just came out; well, it came out the latter part of last year, 1991.

       But here, the little province of Newfoundland‑‑goodness knows, it has a lot of economic problems and a great number of challenges‑‑is attempting to develop a strategic economic plan. They have some vision as to where they want to go.  They have some objectives.  They have some goals that they want to achieve and they are stating them here.

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       In fact, I am reminded of back in the Roblin and Weir era, where there was one Mr. Sidney Spivak, former Minister of Industry, and he at least‑‑we may not have agreed with the detail, we may not have agreed with all of his objectives‑‑but at least he tried.  Remember the targets for economic development, the TED report?  At least that was an attempt.  You may have disagreed with some of the components, but at any rate, Mr. Acting Speaker, the fact is, that at that time‑‑and then subsequent to that there were the guidelines for the '70s, and another attempt to at least to give us some sense of direction.

       But now, Mr. Acting Speaker, we have absolutely no plan, no vision, no goals for this province and we are simply drifting along.  We are drifting into a state of stagnation.  The members opposite can joke but it is a tragedy.

       The tragedy is the unemployment.  Young people in particular cannot find work.  Young people in this province in particular are having a very difficult time in finding work.  According to the labour force survey last month, we had 16,000 people under the age of 25 unemployed.

       Therefore, I have said before and I will say it again, I regret that there are no major initiatives for training and job creation by this government.  I know they criticize job and training programs, although I do note they have the CareerStart Program, although it is only half of what it was two years ago. Two years ago, when unemployment was not as serious, it was at $7 million level.  Now we have a much more serious situation, and it is cut in half to $3.5 million.

Some Honourable Members:  Oh, oh.

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

Mr. Leonard Evans:  The fact is our strategy is to get rid of this government as quickly as we can so that we can bring forward positive policies.  I remind members that we had a very successful Manitoba Jobs Fund, and Manitoba's unemployment rate in the early '80s and our economic growth, our investment, our manufacturing output all compared very favourably with what was going on across the country because we tackled the question of economic growth.

       Do you know what, Mr. Acting Speaker?  I have lots of company when I say that the No. 1 priority has to be tackling the recession because I note that people such as Mr. Matthew Barrett, the chairman of the Bank of Montreal is now calling on the federal government to start fighting the recession.  He says, and I am quoting:  Helping Canadians without work makes good business sense.

       In other words, let us help the unemployed.  Let us do something to create jobs.  Let us do something to stimulate the economy.  He made this statement to the company's shareholders. He recommended that Ottawa create a $3‑billion, multiyear program to spur job creation and launch a significant training and retraining program for the unemployed.  This is one of the more senior business leaders in this country making a categorical statement.  Let us look at the current situation.

An Honourable Member:  Even the bankers are becoming socialists.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  Absolutely, and not only that, in this particular article that I have been reading on this subject, I see that there are many, many Canadian business leaders making similar statements, even the chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.  Although he said he was speaking for himself, nevertheless here is the chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce saying:  We should start stimulating the economy because it is simply not wise, it is simply folly to allow the economy to be underutilized and to have all of these people unemployed.

       I say we have to begin to look at the No. 1 problem and start dealing with it, but this budget and these spending Estimates that we have before us do not deal with these issues.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, we have had disastrous economic policies come down the tube from Ottawa, Conservative, right‑wing economic policies that have been a disaster for our economy.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Order, please.  If I could have the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) and the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) go to the loge and have their conversation, it would make it much easier and much better on the decorum in here.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  Thank you, Mr. Acting Speaker.  I would be pleased to listen to the Minister of Health and others speak if they want to with due course when it is their turn, if they wish.

       Let me conclude by saying that we are all living under this cloud of right‑wing economic philosophy coming out of Ottawa, whether it be out of Mr. Mulroney, Mr. Wilson or now Mr. Mazankowski.  Free trade has been a disaster for industry in this province, and we have a long list of manufacturers who have left, who have folded up, who have gone to the United States or just gone out of business because of free trade.

       We have a very serious situation happening to our transportation industries because of deregulation.  I might add, deregulation certainly hurts smaller centres in this country, and I am thinking of air service.  We do not have any air service to Brandon, and we can thank deregulation as one of the major reasons for no air service to the city of Brandon.

       We have the GST.  The GST is hanging over consumers of this country and this province.  It is just insidious.  A 7 percent GST is just intolerable.  The consumers of Manitoba are rebelling, and this is probably one of the most important reasons why our retail sales are as weak as they are.  What bothers me, Mr. Acting Speaker, is the lack of representation that we have in the federal cabinet.  As I see it, the Conservative caucus from Alberta has far more power, far more muscle than the members from Manitoba, and it was described to me the other day that the present Minister of Finance, Mr. Mazankowski, is like the CEO of the federal government, the chief executive officer.

       By golly, there are more and more things going to Alberta than you can imagine, and regrettably a lot of these are leaving Manitoba and going to Alberta.  The classic example is what is happening to the Canadian National Railway.  Bit by bit, piece by piece, jobs are trickling out of Manitoba to Edmonton, to Alberta, and goodness knows, if they would have their way they would transfer all the military activity there as well.  Kapyong Barracks is a very good example in that respect.  So we have many, many barriers to economic growth in this province, and one set of which are the economic policies of the federal government.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, there is lot more to be said and we will be saying it, but I know the members want to get on to asking specific questions on members' departments and what they are or are not doing with the taxpayers' money, so I will not carry on much longer.  I just want to say‑‑and we will get into this in the Minister of Health's (Mr. Orchard) Estimates‑‑that the people of Brandon never had it so good as they had it under the New Democratic Party.

       They got, over the years, everything from the First Street bridge to the original Keystone Centre, to the expansion of the university, to the expansion of the hospital, to all the senior citizens' homes that are now existing.  A long list of projects, Mr. Acting Speaker, a great deal of development‑‑


Point of Order


Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I wonder if my honourable friend would permit a question.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  The honourable minister does not have a point of order.

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Mr. Leonard Evans:  No, I have had enough interruptions from this minister for the last half hour.

       The people of Brandon did very well under the NDP.  There was a lot of significant growth.  There were more jobs.  You know that we never had layoffs in the health care system as we have now.  Never before have there been these massive layoffs.  There were some seasonal closures, but, Mr. Acting Speaker, never before have they seen the cuts that are occurring now.  Never before have they seen the hospital shrink as it is right before their eyes.  Never before have the people been so exercised about a Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard), and what he is doing to this major health institution in that great city.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, there are other things we could talk about, and I did not want to get into them.  Decentralization is one; we all want to see decentralization.  I am a supporter of decentralization, but I regret that what is happening is piecemeal, is shot gun, is scattered.  I know in the city of Brandon, if I could get some of the numbers I think I could show that we have lost more jobs than we are gaining through decentralization.  I think it is not that difficult to tally.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, I really did not want to get on into detailed discussions.  I wanted to make the two major statements:  one, about the budget overall not achieving the objectives set by this government, that is, not achieving any debt reduction, not achieving any reduction in taxes; on the other hand, the failure of this budget, the failure of the spending by this government to address the problems of recession, to address the problems of unemployment, obviously and certainly the foremost problems facing this province and this country today.

       With those few remarks, Mr. Acting Speaker, I will conclude and hopefully we will get on to some specific questions of the Estimates.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Acting Speaker, in one sense it is a pleasure to be able to speak on Bill 67.  Let me tell you why it is a good thing to be able to speak on Bill 67.

       It would be a conflict for me to say I am going to get my pay cheque, so I am not going to say that it is to get my pay cheque, but rather so that the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) will get his pay cheque.

       There is one positive thing that comes out of Bill 67.  That is in a sense that Manitoba and the minister do deserve some credit in terms of bringing before this Chamber, as early as they have, a budget that can be debated, Mr. Acting Speaker, and I give them credit for doing that.

       Having said one of the nicest things I am going to say about this particular budget, Mr. Acting Speaker, I want to move on to what I believe this government is doing in terms of the cooking of the books, the continuation of how the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) is able to manipulate things much in the same way that he had manipulated or attempted to manipulate the Fiscal Stabilization Fund in order to try to present to Manitobans a false picture or a flawed picture.

       I want to go into some of the remarks from the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard), the Premier (Mr. Filmon), the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), when they talk about money that has been allocated on one hand, and when it comes to spending that money that in fact it is not being spent.

       When the opposition takes the opportunity to point that out, the government, in particular those three ministers, are quite eager to stand on their feet and criticize the opposition parties that all we want to do is in fact spend, spend, spend, that we do not understand, that you cannot exceed the line that is being allocated.

Mr. Orchard:  We know your game.

Mr. Lamoureux:  The Minister of Health says he knows our game. Well, we know this government's game, and it is a game of deception.  What I wanted to point out is some of the things that I believe that this government has done in order to try to paint a better picture on some of the things that they have done.  I wanted to look specifically at a few areas.

       It is really based upon a question that I, in fact, had asked last week in regard to government priorities and government spending.  I started off with the Executive Council.  You know, I find it interesting that the government, in particular the Premier's Office, and I look back to the previous budget of this government, you look on the Executive Council, on the line of Management and Administration, in particular in the Intergovernmental Relations, in terms of how much money was allocated, and in the previous budget prior to this one, you will find that under Management and Administration you had salaries of $1.581 million, Mr. Acting Speaker.

       What we find, when it comes into the actual the following year, is that it was up considerably at $1.594 million of actual spending.  What you have to do is you have to put it in the proper context of what was actually going on at the time.

(Mr. Ben Sveinson, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

       The Premier (Mr. Filmon) was telling all of the civil servants of this province that because of budgetary constraints that the government had to invoke zero percent to all of the civil servants.  In an attempt to try to justify zero percent to all civil servants in the province of Manitoba, that year the government had proposed a cut from the actual, on that particular line, the government or the Premier (Mr. Filmon) had proposed a cut from $1.6 million to $1.5 million.  The reason why they did that was to try to demonstrate that the Premier's Office itself is having a cut, that they are doing what they are preaching. They are telling the civil servants that it is a zero percent, and that in the Premier's Office it is a cut.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, you find that the amount of money that was allocated was exceeded considerably in the actual spending. On the one hand, they tried to justify to the civil servants that we are doing an honourable thing here by taking a cut and that is part of the reason why you have to bite the bullet and take a freeze.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, then we take a look at the Department of Labour, another area in which I had asked some questions in regard to last week.  That was in regards to why it is that the support staff to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) was being increased by 6.7 percent, while at the same time we had the Labour Adjustment Program being increased for every worker in the province of Manitoba, a third of a cent.  That was the increase towards labour adjustment.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, what you have to keep in mind, again putting it into context regarding labour adjustment, is the situation that we are currently in.  We are adjusting to a free trade deal; we are in the middle of a recession; Manitoba's economy, contrary to what the Premier (Mr. Filmon) and the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) are saying, has not been rebounding in the way in which you would believe if you listened to the Premier and the Minister of Finance.

       In fact, in today's world, you no longer can rely on having a job for 25 or 30 years.  It is a given that for most Manitobans, they will be changing their profession four or five times in a lifetime.  Mr. Acting Speaker, what that means is that we have to rely on programs such as the Labour Adjustment all that much more.  To give it a third of a cent increase, while at the same time increasing the minister's support staff by 6.7 percent, just cannot be justified.  You cannot justify that type of an increase.

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       Mr. Acting Speaker, if we take a look at the previous budget, again on that particular line, you will find that it was supposed to be 383, but we see once again something very different when it comes to the actual, being at 394.  The 6.7 percent increase is, of course, based on the actual, as compared to the proposed from the previous years, which one would expect.  But what it does demonstrate is that the executive support staff has increased considerably higher than other areas of the department which should have been receiving the increases, Mr. Acting Speaker.

       Because if we take a look at the actual amount that was spent, which was an increase from 383 to 394, and we compare it to the labour programs, where it was $15.149 million that was actually allocated in the previous budget, and spent was $14.812 million, what we have seen is a cutback to the programs that helped the worker in the province of Manitoba.

       I think that the government, in this particular case, the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik), is not being forthright with presenting what the budgets really are.  I look in terms of the Department of Health, and the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema)‑‑several members from this Chamber‑‑have raised the question about how the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) likes to say, this is the type of increase that we are giving to the Department of Health, and how can the opposition parties oppose the increase?

       Then he criticizes at the same time the opposition when we say, well, you allocated out that money, and how come you are not spending the money?  Mr. Acting Speaker, we find that when you look at last year's budget, and you look at it in terms of the personal care home line‑‑this is something that we have raised on several occasions‑‑where $238,928,000 was allocated out to that particular line, what we actually had was a decrease from the $238.9 million to $238.6 million.  In the hospitals we had an estimate or a projection of $915,926,000 which was actually $892,463,000 that was spent.  So the Minister of Health seems to take a pattern in which he projects much higher than what is actually spent.

       Whereas, on the other hand, when it comes to ministerial expenditures or ministerial support staff, the government tends to underestimate the allocation and, in fact, has to go back and add additional monies.  Well, what the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) and, in particular, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) and the Premier (Mr. Filmon) are not saying is that the government does have the capability to reallocate monies out to specific lines.

       So if, in fact, $915 million was projected for last year's budget, the government has the capability to increase that particular line if it so chooses.  But rather, Mr. Acting Speaker, what the government chooses to do is to select a figure that will give the impression that the health care budget is receiving a tremendous percentage increase over the previous budget, while consistently underspending the health care budget and then taking the argument that in fact they cannot spend right up to the limit, that you cannot plan on spending the last dollar.

       Well, Mr. Acting Speaker, no one is arguing that.  In fact, you can plan on doing that.  I think that the government is being very inconsistent with their projections when it comes to programs that they feel the public is very sensitive to.  So if they are going to err, they want to be very selective on how they err.  On those programs that are sensitive, they overestimate what they believe is going to be spent.  For those areas in which they believe that there would be some negative reaction in regard to ministerial support services, again they will underestimate and add the dollars in the future to it.

       During the Budget Debate, a number of the ministers stood up and criticized the opposition parties for not coming up with alternatives or ideas. ‑[interjection] The Deputy Premier says right.  Well, there was one exception‑‑the Premier.  The Premier did make reference to my Leader's and my colleague from Osborne's (Mr. Alcock) speech and content and in fact took liberty to quote my colleague for Osborne.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, I think that if the ministers who spoke and criticized the opposition parties for not giving positive contributions to the Budget Debate, that I would remind them to look and to read what in fact members of the Liberal Party had suggested.  You will find that each and every member suggested things which this government could do that would have a major impact on the economy in the province of Manitoba.

       The one issue that I did want to bring up was, of course, the provincial sales tax issue, Mr. Acting Speaker.  We believe that the government has an opportunity and believe that they are not too late.  The government has an opportunity in which they can reduce the provincial sales tax from 7 percent to 4 percent for a period of three months in hopes that would allow Manitobans to go to the shopping stores and start buying, to try to get the economy going.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, it would not be the first time that this was done.  In fact, we got the idea from a former Conservative Premier, that being Sterling Lyon.  We would suggest that this government and many of the ministers who are here now or a number of the ministers who are here now will recall what Mr. Lyon did at that time when he did in fact reduce the provincial sales tax and saw the benefit in how it contributed to increasing economic activity in the province of Manitoba.

       We would encourage the government, rather than to take general statements by saying that the opposition parties do not contribute in a positive fashion, to really read some of those speeches that some of, at least, my colleagues have given.  I will suggest to them that they will find a number of very positive suggestions that would go a long way in helping and assisting in the economy in the province of Manitoba.

       Mr. Acting Speaker, one of the interesting comments that I heard during the Budget Debate was that which came from the member for, I believe it was, Burrows (Mr. Martindale) in regard to small business.  The member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) was sitting in his chair, and he talked about small business.  I told the member for Flin Flon, that because we could not talk inside the Chamber here about it, I would bring it up when I got the opportunity.  This is an opportunity to bring it up, because unlike the New Democratic Party, the Liberal Party believes in the small business.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

       Mr. Speaker, it is important that members of this Chamber realize what position the NDP party is when it comes to small business, because the member for Flin Flon told me that in fact small businesses were not affected from the payroll tax.  That is what he‑‑

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An Honourable Member:   . . . said two‑thirds of them.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Two‑thirds of small businesses, in fact, never paid the payroll tax.  The member for Burrows commented in the fashion that the NDP only supported the small business, made reference that the NDP party supports small business.  Well, what I find a bit tough, or where I really disagree with the member for Flin Flon and the member for Burrows is in the definition of a small business.

       When you have a deductible of $100,000 on a payroll tax, it does not take very much to exceed that.  The New Democrats oppose every business that is not a small business.  That is what the member for Burrows said from his seat, and the member for Flin Flon supported him.  The member for Burrows said that he does not support big corporations, that they have no place‑‑

An Honourable Member:  He said that they do not need tax breaks.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Well, the member for Flin Flon can read it.  The New Democratic Party does not support big corporations, they support small business.

       The member for Flin Flon, from his seat, because I was somewhat critical of the member for Burrows' comments, said that is right, we support small businesses, we do not support big business‑‑[interjection] Well, that is what the member for Flin Flon said from his seat.

       Mr. Speaker, the definition of small businesses, as I would interpret from the New Democratic Party, is anyone that exceeds a $100,000 salary.  How many businesses are out there, Mr. Speaker, that receive a $100,000 payroll? [interjection]

       Well, the members for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) and Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) should feel somewhat uncomfortable, because I think what they are doing is, they are neglecting a large and a significant portion of the business community.  They would do a lot better‑‑the member for Flin Flon says that we get all of our financial support from the big guys, from the big corporations.

       Mr. Speaker, I will compare my election return if the member for Flin Flon will bring his.  I will table mine and he can table his and see who contributed to his campaign as compared to who contributed to my campaign.  We will see who owns who.  I can assure you that there is no interest group that owns the Liberal Party, unlike the New Democratic Party.  I will have the opportunity to go into length on that issue.

       Mr. Speaker, I cannot resist this one.  The member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) and the NDP are saying, what about Izzy Asper?  Izzy Asper contributed $125,000 to the Liberal Party, both federal and provincial, over the last 10 years.

       Let me ask the NDP, how many dollars did the union movement contribute to your party?  Let me tell you‑‑over a million dollars over the last 10 years‑‑over a million dollars.  Mr. Speaker, that does not include the volunteers or the individuals that are sent over to NDP campaigns.  Do not get into a debate when it comes to ethics on campaigns because you are going to lose.  You will lose because you do not have any ethics.  If any members of the NDP caucus had any integrity at all when it comes to financing campaigns, why do they not say who is contributing to each campaign.  They do not.  Only three members of your current caucus had the courage:  Mr. Doer, who received $5,000 from unions; the member for Selkirk (Mr. Dewar), who received union contributions from Edmonton; and there was another member, I believe the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie), that is right. The member for Flin Flon was the third person, but no one else.

       I looked, and the member for Transcona, Rossmere, Point Douglas, I believe the member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper) did, I believe he did make reference, but I do not believe that the member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) or Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) or Burroughs (Mr. Martindale) or Thompson (Mr. Ashton) did mention it, and I asked the question why.  So, do not try to talk to me about ethics and who buys who and who is in the pocket of whom, because the bottom line is that the New Democratic Party has no respect for the business people in this province as has been pointed out from the member for Burroughs and, from his seat, the member for Flin Flon.

       I digress, Mr. Speaker, but I can ensure that this will not be the last time because I anxiously do await another opportunity to debate the whole issue of labour and labour relations, both under the former New Democratic government and their abysmal failure and the current government who has failed.‑‑[interjection]  The Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) and I do agree on that point in the sense that there is a lot of hypocrisy in the sense that there were some members who did watch CKND, which, I am sure, would upset.  What I found most interesting, and I do not want to digress too much on it, was in regard to the strike from the NDP staff.  It was curious to see that no NDP MLA went and walked the line for that particular strike. [interjection] It is not true.  I would be interested in knowing which MLA. [interjection] Is that right? [interjection] Who?

       I do not want to put an untruth on the record.  If a member did, I will retract that statement, but one would have hoped that they would have given the same support for the workers who are working for their party as they did for other strikers.

       Mr. Speaker, I wanted to move on to some of issues that have come up in the budget through Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, and that is with respect to the Manitoba Heritage Federation.

       We were very disappointed in the fashion in which we found out that the Heritage Federation was treated.  While we were sitting inside listening to the debate, or not the debate, to the presentation of the budget, the president was informed or requested 24 hours previously to come down to speak in the minister's office.

       Because of the short notice of coming down to the minister's office, I believe it was just the president and the general manager who showed up at the office, and they were handed a letter in which they told that they were going to be losing their funding authority from this government.  That surprised me because once again what we are witnessing is that the government is taking away from the hundreds of volunteers who donate thousands of hours of time to ensure that the budgetary lines are in fact being spent in a nonpolitical fashion.

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       Mr. Speaker, we only need to look back at what was done with the Manitoba Intercultural Council and the funding authority taken away from there and given to a politically appointed body. The only positive thing thus far is that the current minister has not announced that there is going to be another politically appointed body.

       It will be very interesting, and we will wait and likely might have to wait either for the Estimates or possibly even as early as the Interim Supply where we can get the answers as to how she plans to be making the decisions on the funds for heritage preservation through the province of Manitoba.  I believe that she has done a disservice to an organization that did an excellent job.

       I have gone over an annual report which talks about some of the things that have been done.  I am inclined to name a few of the different organizations.  There is a large number of organizations that in fact receive some funding, and this is from the annual report from '91‑92.  These are monies that were allocated out through the Heritage Federation, and it varies.

       I look at the Fire Fighters Historical Society, the Association of Museum Educators, Manitoba Transit Heritage Association, Manitoba Glass Works historical site.  It is a very lengthy list of organizations and it varies in terms of the size of the grant, anywhere from $1,000 up to $14,000, $20,000, Mr. Speaker.  It is very sad to see that the government has chosen to take away that responsibility from this organization.

       I do not believe that the minister consulted in any fashion‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Yes, she has.

Mr. Lamoureux:  ‑‑with the groups that it was going to have an impact on.  I wait, and the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey) says that, yes, she has.  Well, I will wait and hear from the minister to find out who it is that she did consult, because she did not consult with the Heritage Federation at all.

       Mr. Speaker, a couple of years ago, the minister and the department entered into an agreement with the Manitoba Heritage Federation in which they came to an agreement in terms of the cost of administering the program, while at the same time confirming the need to have a nonpolitical organization such as the Heritage Federation handing out the grants.

       What has happened is that these individuals, as I say, within 24 hours were summoned to the office.  Upon coming to the office, they were told that they were losing their funds.  They were not given any indication as to why they were losing their funds.  It was then found out that at least part of the reason that was being used was because the administrative costs were too high, that they could not justify allowing the Heritage Federation Inc. to distribute the grant.

       Well, Mr. Speaker, if in fact that was the case, if that is the real reason, one has to ask the question why they never approached the federation and asked them to renegotiate an agreement that included the administrative costs that they had signed two years earlier, why they had never brought it up in any fashion, that at least the individuals that I was talking to were aware of.

       I can only speculate, as can members of the board, as to why it was done in that fashion, and I will speculate on that, Mr. Speaker.  I would say that the minister did not do us a favour by taking away the expertise that the individual volunteers brought to the distribution of those funds.  I guess if we move on in terms of why it was done and why I believe and why I will continue to believe this until the minister is able to not only assure me, but members of the Heritage Federation, is that it was not political enough, that because this organization gave out so many grants every year in the recognition for it‑‑for the money as being provincial government money was not there, that the government was wanting to have more credit for distributing those funds that they took it away from the organization.

       Mr. Speaker, that is what I currently believe, and I am hoping that the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson) will tell me and convince me otherwise, but I am afraid that the only way that she is going to have in convincing me that that is not in fact the case is that she is going to have to tell me why she took away the funding responsibility, and to say it is the administrative cost is not going to work.

       The reason why it is not going to work is primarily because of two reasons.  One, is there is an administrative cost even within our own department.  The second reason is, if that was the problem why did not the minister or her staff approach the Heritage Federation and the board and attempt to renegotiate a previously signed agreement or better yet give them some sort of an indication so they would have an opportunity in which they could say, well, this is what we can do to cut back on our administrative costs, but they were not given that opportunity even to offer that particular option to the government.

       So if that was the only reason, Mr. Speaker, I think that the minister has made a grave mistake, and that the only way that this matter can be resolved is to reinstate the funding back to the Manitoba heritage foundation, because the Heritage Federation brought with it expertise from all areas of heritage and heritage preservation throughout the province.  You know, they dealt with archaeology and architecture, archives, natural environment and conservation, genealogy, history, museology and so forth.  The membership in fact of that board was virtually 50‑50, rural versus urban, that in fact there is more to preserving heritage than just the city of Winnipeg.

       What has the government, and particularly the minister, done to rural Manitoba by centralizing it now into the city?  All we can really do now is wait for the minister to tell us:  How it is that she sees these decisions being made?  Who is going to be receiving how much money, Mr. Speaker, and who are the individuals who are going to be consulted?  What role does the Heritage Federation have to play now, or do they have a role?  We saw what they did to MIC where they say, well, yes, you have a role.  Now you are an advisory council.  Mr. Speaker, even in that role they presented a report on combatting racism in Manitoba back, as I mentioned earlier, in Question Period, in October of '91.  The minister is not even acknowledging that report by complying with one of the simplest recommendations, and that was just to provide a cross‑cultural educational day for all of the MLAs inside this Chamber.

       So, even though she had made the commitment to MIC that they would play a role as an advisory board, she has not made any commitment in terms of the Manitoba Heritage Federation and what role they play, but even if she comes out and she says that the role they are going to play is one of advisory like MIC, I have serious questions in terms of, will that in fact be the case?

       The biggest loser of all of this is those individuals, those future generations who are going to lose out on‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The hour being 5 p.m., when this matter is again before the House‑‑

Mr. Ernst:  Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you might canvass the House to see if there is a will to waive private members' hour today.

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Mr. Speaker:  Is it the will of the House to waive private members' hour?  Is it agreed?

Some Honourable Members:  No.

Mr. Speaker:  No?  Leave is denied.  Therefore, when this matter is again before the House, the honourable member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) will have two minutes remaining.

       The hour being 5 p.m., time for private members' hour.






Bill 39‑The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital Incorporation Amendment Act


Mr. Gerry McAlpine (Sturgeon Creek):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh), that Bill 39, The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital Incorporation Amendment Act (Loi modifiant la Loi constituant en corporation "The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital"), be now read a second time and be referred to a committee of this House.

Motion presented.

Mr. McAlpine:  I would just like to place a few comments on the record with respect to The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital Incorporation Amendment Act.

       The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital Incorporation Act is to be amended to reflect the amalgamation of the governing council of the Salvation Army Canada East with the governing council of the Salvation Army Canada West and forming the governing council of the Salvation Army in Canada and further to permit the Salvation Army Grace General Hospital to own and/or operate one or more elderly and infirmed persons' housing and accommodations as referred to in The Elderly and Infirm Persons' Housing Act, including a personal care home or homes, and to reflect the current organizational structures.

       Mr. Speaker, this bill is a nonpartisan and noncontroversial matter.  The Salvation Army is certainly an establishment in my constituency that is certainly serving all Manitobans.  Although the Grace General Hospital resides within my constituency of Sturgeon Creek, they do serve all Manitobans and are doing a marvelous job.  They were incorporated in 1904 and have celebrated some 25 or 26 years in their present location, moving from their original location on Arlington Street here in Winnipeg some 25 or 26 years ago.

       I would ask the support of all members on both sides of the House for a speedy moving of this bill through committee, and I will be pleased to comment further on the bill at the committee level.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  I am pleased to be able to speak on this particular bill.  If the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey) has any questions about the bill, he might want to talk to the member from his caucus who has introduced it.

       I would point out that there was a similar bill that was looked at in terms of introduction last year.  I know there was some concern expressed, I believe by the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards) at the time, about the fact that he had attempted to bring in a similar sort of bill and there had been some concern about its introduction.  There seemed to be, unfortunately, something of a dispute as to who would sponsor such a bill.

       I really would say, Mr. Speaker, that it is important, with bills such as this, to introduce an element of nonpartisanship in this House.  I find it rather unfortunate.  I really think that sometimes we worry too much about who sponsors a bill rather than the bill itself.

       I hope that in some way, shape or form, Mr. Speaker, we can reform private members' hour, perhaps go back to the way private members' hour has been in the past, when we do not have to worry about this particular thing.  I do not really think it matters if the member who just introduced this a minute ago introduced this, or if the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards) had introduced it. It really is a question of whether this bill is in the public interest.  Indeed, as we said last year, we are more than willing to look at this particular bill.  I would hope that this bill and, indeed, other bills, will come to a vote in this Chamber because I think that is important.

       I say that because it is interesting, Mr. Speaker, that in recent years, apart from a few exceptions, we tend to end up with debates taking place on private bills, and votes taking place on private bills rather than on public bills.  I think that is unfortunate because while they are different in character, the private bills deal with organizations, in this case, such as the Salvation Army‑‑or the member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin) has another bill on The Pas hospital complex.

       The fact of the matter is that many of the public bills have an even broader impact and potentially could have far more significant impact on the Province of Manitoba.  We will be referring of course in the course of debate to some of the particular bills that are on the Order Paper.  It is unfortunate that we have relegated private members' hour to strictly dealing with private bills, and in many cases simply debate public bills without going to a vote as we do indeed with resolutions, Mr. Speaker.

       I expressed my frustration and concern about the fact that we have had a huge number of private members' resolutions, very few of which ever go to a vote and are either passed or defeated, depending on the will of the House.  I can indicate to the member on this particular bill I would anticipate that once we have had a chance to review it at the second reading stage that if there are no difficulties we would see no difficulty in having it go to a vote, Mr. Speaker.  In fact I know we have reviewed it in the short term, and basically have not seen any particular difficulties with it.  I think it is important also that when we do debate bills, private bills, that we reflect on the organization that is involved, the facility that is involved in this particular case.

       I think we would be remiss if we did not point to the role of the Salvation Army in general and the Grace Hospital in particular within the community, and reflect on the fact that the introduction of this bill today, the fact that it is a bill that essentially would amend The Corporations Act of the Salvation Army Grace Hospital, is something we are doing because of its significant nature.  I basically believe, Mr. Speaker, that it is quite important that we reflect on their significant contribution to the community.

       I am one who has worked fairly closely with the Salvation Army in terms of their activities in my own community, and it is an organization I think that is unparalleled in terms of its commitment to people.  We tend to associate the Salvation Army with its role in terms of dealing with the homeless and the poor in terms of providing shelter and food to those in need, and indeed they do, certainly in my own community as well.  In fact very few people are aware, Mr. Speaker‑‑I know in my area‑‑that when the Salvation Army often provides food and shelter, they often have to do so at their own expense through the generous contributions of Salvation Army members and indeed of members of the community.

       Often people seem to assume that governments will take care of those concerns.  In fact, Mr. Speaker, there are many people who fall through the cracks, who are unable to find government assistance.  I can outline many cases where I have had people phone me personally where I have referred them to the Salvation Army.  In desperate situations there has been the assistance there available from the Salvation Army, and that is only in the community of Thompson.

       I know that the work that is done throughout the North is indeed only a small indication of what happens nationally with the Salvation Army, although I must say the Salvation Army in Thompson has a particularly strong community presence, and I know many of the people are active in the congregation and many of the strong volunteer efforts that they have put in, and I think that is important to note; also, to reflect, Mr. Speaker, on the difficulties we are dealing with in the province and in other areas as well in terms of the recession.

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       The fact is that we have to recognize the key role of organizations such as the Salvation Army.  A unique mixture of the gospel, the social gospel and social work and assistance for people that has a long tradition in this country and in Britain and many other countries throughout the world.

       I think it is particularly important also to note the contribution in terms of this particular hospital.  It is important to recognize the interesting diversity we have in the city of Winnipeg, and the fact that before the system of medicare was established, we had the health service of this city provided by many different institutions, many religious institutions in particular.

       We have seen hospitals become municipal hospitals, as well‑‑the municipal hospital being an obvious example of that.  I think that it is important to reflect because while it is important that the province play a significant role in the health care field, I do believe there is a need also for that mixture of volunteer effort and spirit that one sees, in particular, in hospitals such as the Grace Hospital, Mr. Speaker.

       I believe it is a partnership between the province, the government of Manitoba, and sponsoring institutions that is key in this particular field in providing the kind of service we need.  In fact, I would suggest at a time when we are talking about more community‑based medicine‑‑and I am a strong believer in that; I know our party is, particularly in terms of community clinics experienced in other provinces such as Saskatchewan‑‑that we also reflect on the fact that organizations such as the Salvation Army are, in their own way, not only part of the community but a community in and as of themselves.  If we can tap into their contacts in the community, their involvement in the community‑‑in this case, the particularly unique character of the Salvation Army‑‑we can, I think, really improve our health care system.

       I would say this, and I do not mean to politicize this discussion.  I know it is a private bill, and I am not going to say it in a political sense, and I know the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), the nonpartisan member of the House that he is on occasion, would not attempt to politicize this either.

       I am saying to the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard)‑‑and I will say this in a polite sense as well‑‑who is dealing with some great difficulties in the health care sector, budgetary pressures.  I will not reflect on whether they are provincially contributed to, but certainly there are budgetary pressures. There are changes ongoing in the health care system, but I would hope that Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) would work with our system of health care providers:  the nurses, the doctors, but also the hospitals themselves who each have a unique character, whether it be the Health Sciences Centre, a very large hospital, or the Grace Hospital or Misericordia, the municipal hospitals.

       Mr. Speaker, they each have a role to play; they have contacts.  The minister would do well to listen to the contacts, listen to the kind of advice and assistance he will receive if he works with the boards, the many volunteers associated, not just in the city of Winnipeg, indeed, in the city of Brandon as well.

Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  The Mercy home, the Dinsdale home, the Dinsdale nursing home, Bud Boyce, who was a Salvation Army member.

Mr. Ashton:  The Mercy home, the Dinsdale home, the Dinsdale nursing home, and in fact the member for Brandon East reflects on members of this House in previous years, Bud Boyce, who was a Salvation Army member.

       There is a certain zeal when you talk to someone who is a member of the congregation of any Salvation Army church.  They are people who have a zeal in terms of dealing with social problems that is unparalleled by anyone else.  I think we could learn a lot from their commitment and remind ourselves indeed, and in this House, of just how difficult a time people are faced with.

       It is very easy for members of the Legislature to drive in here, to sit here for several hours, to drive back to whatever area of the province they are from and not recognize what is happening in this province, and that is that people who have never before in their life ever thought they would find themselves in difficult situations are now doing so.

       In fact, Mr. Speaker, people who have had a fairly comfortable existence are now finding themselves in the welfare offices.  The welfare rolls are growing dramatically.  We are finding people who‑‑and in fact I know the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale) was reflecting the other day on visiting the city of Winnipeg welfare office.

       Indeed, it is people who have come from areas of the city that have traditionally been hard hit by the recession, but it is also many others as well, people who until now have lived in comfortable residential neighbourhoods, who had well‑paying jobs, who are now in desperate situations.

       What is happening is that those that are traditionally most vulnerable are in desperate shape in this city currently, but even people in River Heights and Tuxedo.  As the member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans) says, there are people in those communities now down at the welfare office, because they have no job, and they have run out of unemployment insurance, and they are running out of hope.

       When we are dealing with that type of situation, there is a role for government to play.  We have dealt with that in other debates and we will do so, but there is also a role to play in terms of the community itself.  I would hope that members of this Legislature would become involved in community action in dealing with the very real problems of poverty in this province.

       We are a small province by Canadian standards, a small jurisdiction by North American standards, but we have a tremendous tradition, particularly a tradition based in the north end of Winnipeg of social action, of people working, putting their beliefs, whether they be religious beliefs, or political beliefs, or a simple compassion for their neighbour into place by working, whether it be in terms of the growing number of soup kitchens, whether it be indeed in terms of the various missions. I know the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale) could outline much more in terms of the situation‑‑[interjection]

       Indeed, Mr. Speaker, we have historic base, and indeed of that combined commitment, the social gospel of J.S. Woodsworth, of Tommy Douglas, that we in the New Democratic Party are so aware of, but it is a kind of commitment that transcends political boundaries.  You will find people of all different political views within the Salvation Army, but they share one thing in common.  It is something we would do well to reflect on, and that is recognizing the reality of poverty, recognizing the reality of the need for community action, of social action, and that is something that should not go unnoticed when we discuss this particular bill.

       The key role the Salvation Army has played‑‑and I am very proud to be able to speak and to commend them for the involvement in this province, and hope that by in looking at this bill, as we indeed will over the next few weeks, that we will be able to work with them in some small way in this session of the Legislature toward their many fine efforts in our own community and our own province of Manitoba.

       Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, when I first read this bill, I had some mixed emotions in terms of what it is I should say about it.  The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) wants to know what my position is.  Well, I will make it very clear what the position is.

       We support Bill 39.  In fact, I would have liked to have seen Bill 39 passed in the previous session, and I want to comment because it is not that often‑‑I do not think anyway‑‑that I get somewhat sensitive and oversensitive in terms of something that takes place inside this Chamber.  But this is not the first time that this particular bill has been brought forward.  I was talking to the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards) and we had talked about Bill 39, and we just talked about it just the other day because it was distributed just the other day in the printed form.  I had gone through the printed form of the bill and compared it to the printed bill from the member for St. James last session, and there really is not too much of a difference.

       The member for St. James pointed out that the number of the bill is different and the name is different.  I could not see if there was, in fact, anything else that was different about the bill, Mr. Speaker.  Our position has not changed from the position we took on the member for St. James, and that was that the Salvation Army deserves speedy passage of this bill.  We encourage that this bill be passed here before six o'clock today, because we feel that the Salvation Army has been waiting long enough.  We would encourage the government to have the committee meet very soon.

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       It is not without the possibility, Mr. Speaker, that if by chance we do get a bit of a spring break, that we could have third reading and Royal Assent given to it by Thursday.  I know in discussions with‑‑

Some Honourable Members:  Right.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Well, they say right, and that is one of the primary reasons why I did not want to cancel private members' hour.  That is why I wanted to debate it.  In the discussions that I had with the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards)‑‑because, as I say, I had approached it with some mixed emotions because we all like to be able to contribute in the best way we can.  We all try to bring bills to this Chamber in hopes that they will be able to pass.

       The member for St. James and the comments that he gave me were that he wants this bill to pass.  It does not matter who introduces it.  We need to have this bill passed as soon as possible.  Mr. Speaker, to that end, we are not going to adjourn debate on this bill.  We do want the bill to pass.  I encourage all members of this Chamber to allow this bill to pass into committee.

       I wanted to make reference to something that did offend me greatly at the end of last session.  It had something in which I had somewhat lost, well, some might say, my temper, and it deals with the bill, Mr. Speaker.

       The reason why I somewhat lost my temper was, in fact, the manner in which the previous bill was being dealt with at the very end of the session.  The content of that bill is the very same as this bill, and as strongly as I feel now for a quick passage of this bill, I felt the very same for that previous bill, Mr. Speaker.  I felt frustrated, because the government was not allowing the opposition to be able to pass a bill.

       Mr. Speaker, having said that, I want to make a few comments in regard to the Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army contributes to every Manitoban.  One only needs to look at Christmastime, and you will see the Salvation Army throughout the city and rural Manitoba trying to raise additional monies for those who cannot have the luxuries of having presents and having food on the table.  That is a very visible thing that the Salvation Army does.

       There are many other things that all the public might not necessarily be aware of, Mr. Speaker.  I know in the riding, I was about to say that I used to represent, the area which I lost in the riding redistribution, in the Weston area there is a Salvation Army church that provides a daycare service for the residents in Weston.

       Mr. Speaker, there are many other things that the Salvation Army does that many of us are not aware of.  Of course, one of the greatest things that they do here in the province is they provide a health care service second to no other organization in the province.

       The Salvation Army has put in a phenomenal amount of resources, both financial resources and volunteer resources, into ensuring that the Grace Hospital is second to no other hospital in the province of Manitoba.  For that, my hat is off to the organization and for all the other things that the Salvation Army does.

       I know the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards) was wanting to speak to the bill and will likely speak to it during third reading, Mr. Speaker, so that, as I say, we can see this bill pass, and hopefully have the Royal Assent given to it on Thursday.  I know that is what the member for St. James would want, that is what in fact we would like to see at this side of the House.

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  I just want to make a few remarks on this bill, because I think there is a general willingness that this bill ought to be passed and has merit.  I hear from the House leader of the opposition that that may not be accomplished today, and that may or may not be.

       Mr. Speaker, the reason I am addressing the remarks to this bill is there appears to be some potential confusion around its introduction this session.

       Mr. Speaker, I just want to indicate that traditions, at least as long as I have been elected to this House, would have the sponsors of private members' bills generally representing the constituency from which the organization has its roots.  That has been almost a long‑standing tradition of the House so that MLAs for the area sponsor various bills.

       That is why, from time to time, for a given organization, if there has been a change in the MLA representing that particular organization, a private members' bill may come in sponsored by a member of the New Democratic Party in one session of the Legislature, and in the next one may be sponsored by an MLA who is a Progressive Conservative.  I know that happened last session.  So what is happening here is a continuation of that tradition.

       However, Mr. Speaker, the circumstances around the bill, even though it was not sponsored last year by the MLA for the area‑‑I just want to make sure that my honourable friends understand the process that that bill went through, Bill 39, I believe it was, last year.  It was sponsored by an opposition MLA and was presented to the House, I believe, on a Friday, and this House gave consideration to have the bill moved to private members' bill committee on the following Monday to receive consideration about potentially whether it could be passed.

(Mr. Ben Sveinson, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

       Mr. Acting Speaker, the sponsor of the bill did not present himself at committee to forward the bill, to justify it, to explain it, to the members of the private member committee. Consequently, the bill never advanced last session.

       Now, subsequent to that, the MLA for the area has been asked by Grace General Hospital to sponsor the bill.  That is why that legislation is now before the House, is introduced within very short time frame of receiving the request from Grace General Hospital to sponsor the bill.  I do not know at what stage of the game the sponsor of the bill last year from opposition was approached to bring the bill in.  I have no idea.  But I simply indicate that the House received the bill on a Friday, was prepared to deal with it on the following Monday, but the sponsor of the bill did not show up at the private members' bill committee to explain the bill.

       So, Mr. Acting Speaker, if anyone is trying to say that there is inappropriate process or inappropriate politics flowing from this bill for Grace General Hospital, I want the record to show clearly that this bill, last year, under Bill 39, was attempted to be dealt with in an apolitical fashion, regardless of the fact that the sponsor of the bill was not the MLA representing the region or the constituency where Grace General Hospital resides.

       We were prepared to give that bill consideration by moving it to the private members' bill for that very consideration, but the sponsor of the bill chose not to be there for whatever reason, Mr. Acting Speaker, so any allegation that it is inappropriately introduced this session is not accurate.  That is why I want all members of the Legislature to join in a cause of common purpose to pass this legislation, to give the Salvation Army through Grace General Hospital, for the Grace Salvation, the opportunity to have this legislation passed which is appropriate for the continuation of their service delivery at Grace Salvation Hospital in Winnipeg.

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(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

       Mr. Speaker, I wanted to make those remarks lest there be any attempt at confusing what happened to this legislation last session.  There was nothing inappropriate about the way it was handled.  It was tried to be handled expeditiously.  We received the bill on a Friday.  That is the first time that we saw the printed bill, and we moved into committee the following Monday. How could the committee possibly deal with it without the sponsoring MLA being at that committee?

       Well, as a consequence, the bill died on the Order Paper and now is being brought forward to the House by the MLA in whose constituency the hospital is located.  I know we will enjoy the full support of every member of this Legislative Assembly for passage.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk), that debate be adjourned.

Motion agreed to.




Bill 16‑The Health Care Directives Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), Bill 16, The Health Care Directives Act; Loi sur les directives en matiere de soins de sante, standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand.  Is there leave that this matter remain standing?  Leave.  Agreed.


Bill 18‑The Franchises Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), Bill 18, The Franchises Act; Loi sur les concessions, standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand.  Is there leave that this matter remain standing?  Leave.  It is agreed.


Bill 25‑The University of Manitoba Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock), Bill 25, The University of Manitoba Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'Universite du Manitoba, standing in the name of the honourable member for St. Vital (Mrs. Render).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand.  Is there leave that this matter remain standing?  Leave.  It is agreed.


Bill 27‑The Business Practices Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  Are we going ahead with Bill 27 (The Business Practices Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les pratiques commerciales), standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer)?

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand.  Is there leave?  Leave.  It is agreed.


Bill 31‑The Municipal Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  Bill 31, The Municipal Amendment Act (Loi modifiant la Loi sur les municipalites), standing in the name of the honourable member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer).

       Stand?  Is it agreed.  It is agreed.


Bill 50‑The Beverage Container Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Leader of the second opposition party (Mrs. Carstairs), Bill 50 (The Beverage Container Act; Loi sur les contenants de bloisson), standing in the name of the honourable member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand.  Is there leave that this matter remain standing?  Leave.  It is agreed.


Bill 51‑The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act


       Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), Bill 51 (The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'assurance‑maladie), standing in the name of the honourable member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer).

       Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? Leave?  It is agreed.




Bill 54‑The Consumer Protection Amendment Act


Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood):  I move, seconded by the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton), that Bill 54, The Consumer Protection Amendment Act (Loi sur la protection du consommateur), be now read a second time and be referred to a committee of this House.

Motion presented.

Mr. Maloway:  It gives me great pleasure to rise in the House to speak to Bill 54, which is essentially deposit legislation.  I want to spend the next few minutes explaining why the government should support and why in fact the minister should have introduced long before now a bill similar to this to do what deposit legislation should and would do to help consumers in this province.

       Mr. Speaker, over the years Manitobans have spent money, lost money, lost thousands of dollars as a matter of fact on different purchases that they have made.  In fact, there were 16 Manitobans who lost approximately $53,000 on sunrooms that they had ordered two or three years back that were never delivered by the firm. The essential problem here, fundamentally, is a case of whether businesses should be allowed to use consumers' deposits to fund their operations or whether, in fact, they should be required to hold these deposits in trust.

       We have, for better or for worse, laws across this province in the real estate industry requiring that real estate brokers hold deposits in trust.  Now there is a reason for that, because somewhere along the line many years ago there obviously were situations where real estate people absconded with some of the monies, and, as a result, government stepped in and brought in legislation that required deposits to be held in trust until the deal was finally consummated.

       Likewise, we have a similar case with lawyers.  Lawyers are required to keep monies in trust for those very reasons.  In Quebec we have a similar situation with travel agents where monies have to be held in trust until the service or the good is provided.

       In Ontario right now, under the travel act in that province, while trust accounting is not a mandated, required way of dealing with the industry, and, in fact, today in practice that is what is happening in Ontario with the travel industry in that the people who regulate the industry under the act there are going around and checking the books of the businesses and making certain that new businesses getting into the travel business have sufficient funds available and have lines of credit available, so that they do not have to rely on the customers' funds to fund their operation.

       Certainly, that is a necessary move, particularly when we are into a tough economy such as we are right now, because consumers are fed up with having to put money out to companies, finding companies go bankrupt before they get their service or good.  As a result, they demand that the government step in and protect the consumers in these instances.

       Mr. Speaker, the bill itself deals only with large deposits. It would be, in my opinion, quite problematic if we were to introduce a bill, or if the government were to introduce a bill requiring small deposits to be held in trust.  We do not want to see a situation where deposits of $25 or $50 be held in trust, because we feel then the business would have grounds to complain or the government would have grounds to complain and say that we were promoting a bureaucracy here and that small business would be undermined with paperwork and so on, having to keep track of small business.

       We have said, the deposits have to exceed $500.  What could be unreasonable about that?  I do not think that you can argue that deposits over $500 should not be held in a trust.  I do not think you can make the argument that it would be very onerous on the business.  I have checked with furniture retailers and other retailers, and they have all admitted that $500 is a good limit, that deposits over $500 could and should be held in trust.

       We have also required that the sellers of the goods be prohibited from taking deposits of more than 20 percent.  The reason for that is quite simple.  In the case of the sunrooms and in other cases, businesses will sometimes offer an incentive, an inducement to customers who are willing to pay the whole works up front.

       They will offer them maybe 10 or 20 percent off if a person will pay the whole thing up front.  What some of these businesses or people did was, they paid their entire $10,000 for their sunroom up front.  They got themselves what they thought was going to be a 10 percent reduction or 15 percent, whatever it happened to be.  They, in fact, are out all of that money.

       So we are saying that we should limit the deposits to 20 percent of the purchase price.  We feel that that would be reasonable, because it would limit the loss from the consumers. We also felt that this legislation was necessary, as I had indicated before, so that businesses would rely on credit from suppliers because, after all, if a business cannot get credit from a supplier of 30 days, then how strong could that business be?  So credit from suppliers is one way of businesses funding their operation.  Another is to simply secure a line of credit with the bank.  I mean, that is a logical way for people to get supplies.

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       Obviously if you have a business that cannot get credit from suppliers, cannot get loans from the bank and is relying on your money, you the consumer's money, to pay its bills then it is obviously on pretty shaky ground to start with.  We feel that that is another reason that we have to look at this area.

       Now I wanted to deal with the exclusions because, as with any bill, there are always exclusions that have to be built into it, because a bill cannot be dealing with every consumer transaction in the province.  We took the liberty in advance to build in some exceptions which we felt would probably come to the surface over time anyway.  One of the exceptions that we brought in was that we would not apply it to monuments, for obvious reasons.

       If a person is going to purchase a monument for their cemetery plot, and it gets engraved with your name on it, it is pretty unlikely that there will be any resale value in that monument if you decide you do not want it.  Obviously the monument dealers of Manitoba were interested in making certain that they were excluded from this requirement, and I think we can understand as legislators that that would be probably a good idea given the lack of potential resale, unless there was somebody with the same name as yourself who would be interested in buying this monument.

       Another area of concern that we had, and we built it right into the bill.  We could have simply brought in the bill and left out the exemptions and let the government or let the business themselves find out about it, but we thought we had better build them in right from the beginning and take care of as many potential problems and objections to the bill right up front.

       The second area was the area of custom‑‑custom clothing and custom shoes.  For obvious reasons, custom shoes and so on would be excluded as well because of the personal nature in the sizing and stuff like that.  We stopped short of putting any more exclusions in there, because we can see that the business lobbies will find their own way to argue that we should be excluding custom everything, and it is only a short hop, skip and a jump from there to having businesses who are not normally custom goods manufacturers argue that they in fact are.  They would find a way to define themselves in such a way so they would come under the exclusion of the act.  So we wanted to be reasonable in that we would allow for some obvious exclusions, but we did not want to make the exclusions so broad, in the beginning anyway, so as to allow the bill to be not effective.

       Having had some experience in the past few years with bringing in a goodly number of these bills and seeing a very poor record of having any of these things passed, I would like to use this opportunity to appeal directly to the minister and encourage her to put me out of a job before I even have to take the job and bring in these bills and pass them.  You know, I was the first person to say to the former Minister of Consumer Affairs when he brought in The Business Practices and essentially copied our bill, I applauded him for doing it.  Nobody was happier than me except for the fact that he gutted the bill, but other than that nobody was happier than me that he actually copied the bill and brought it into this House.

       I think that if this government would do this with the deposit legislation, with the lemon law, with all the other consumer bills that we have taken the time to draft and bring in here, I would be very happy, because I have no desire to be here after the future demise of this government reintroducing all these bills again.

       On the other side of the House‑‑

Mr. Harold Neufeld (Rossmere):  You would be too old.

Mr. Maloway:  ‑‑and the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld) says I may be too old, and you know, he may be right.  I may not run again.  I do not know.  What I am appealing to the minister in saying is that I would be very pleased to have this government‑‑I would not hold it against them at all to take some of these ideas, take these bills, reintroduce this bill for the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh) to show that she is going to do something this session, because she is not doing anything this session.  I mean, she is bringing in two tiny, little bills amending the business practices legislation in some minor, minor way, and this is the government's answer to consumer legislation in 1992.

       They feel that since they passed the business practices legislation last year, that is enough for the decade, folks.  We have done our duty.  Business practices legislation, I mean that was the end of it.  I guess they assumed that we would be happy with that and that that would be the end of it.

       We are saying, no, we are not going to go away.  We are going to keep coming back and reintroducing and introducing this legislation until they get so sick of it that they finally introduce it themselves.  That theory has not been working too well up to now, but I am always hopeful.  It has been six years now that I have been in this House, six years and a few days.  I know some might think that is a long time.  I personally think it has been a long time, but if it takes me another year or another two years, I will bring this bill back again.

       Sooner or later, sooner or later, there will be an I‑Team report here or an I‑Team report there which will impress upon the minister that this is something that was a good idea, something that is long overdue and something that, if she had had the foresight, the initiative, she would have brought it to her caucus and brought it in herself.

       The Minister of Highways (Mr. Driedger) is a good example of what happens to people over there who have initiative, because there is a guy there, that minister brought in legislation last year on used car safety and it was thrown out not once, but thrown out of caucus twice.

       So the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs has got it all figured out, that she should not take any initiative, that the idea is to not do anything and be a good little member and keep the Premier happy, right, and God forbid that she should introduce and take some initiative here and try to push the government a bit and bring in consumer legislation that is going to benefit consumers in this province, but she was not appointed to do that, she was appointed simply to keep things the way they are.

       There is an old adage about how things never change and how things should stay the way they are.  Well, that is her role in this government, to simply sit on things and not bring in any new initiatives.  It is our job here to keep reminding her of the fact that there are consumers out there who want some help, want some assistance, want her to address the problems that she is ignoring.  They want her to turn around and try to convince her cabinet and caucus colleagues of the merits of this legislation.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member's time has expired.

Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Yes, Mr. Speaker, I rise to support Bill 54, The Consumer Protection Amendment Act, as it refers to trust deposits.  I am very much in support of the concept and the ideas behind this bill.

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       I think, Mr. Speaker, that it is important for us to recognize that we are not or we should not be in a kind of system where caveat emptor is the order of the day.  In the past, it has been the order of the day that the buyer must beware.  All parties in this House and in other governments understand that there are situations and there are cases where the consumer must be protected, which is one reason why we have consumer protection legislation.  This bill, while one would think it is fairly narrow in scope, actually could have a very broadly based impact‑‑

Some Honourable Members:  Oh, oh.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Ms. Barrett:  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I did not think violence in the House was acceptable behaviour, even the suggestion of it.

       Yes, back to Bill 54.  Consumer protection is an important part of our deliberations and of the laws that we pass.  This trust bill will provide a great deal of protection for consumers of larger ticket items.

       As the member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) spoke in his introduction to the bill, this bill is not designed as a "nuisance bill."  It is not designed for smaller purchases to be covered by this bill.  It is designed for larger deposits, for larger ticket items, and the examples that the member brought forward of the 16 individuals who lost $53,000 on sunrooms, I think is a good example because those are larger items that individuals and families take into consideration.

       Again, we should be very careful to make sure that consumers are protected.  I would briefly like to talk about something.  I would hope that this government would consider strongly supporting this bill, because this government, or at least the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer), is very concerned about the whole area of vulnerable persons.

       This may be a bit of a reach, but it does appear to me that when the minister later in this session brings forward a very large bill dealing with vulnerable persons that there are people‑‑one of the elements of that bill, I understand, is the understanding that individuals have the right to make as much determination as they are capable of making about all elements of their lives, and a big part of that is the financial element.

       I could see where a person under the new act that the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) is bringing in could have a larger degree of control over his or her finances than is currently the way, and we are very supportive of that concept.  I also think that this particular piece of legislation would fit very nicely into that whole concept, that you could have and you already now have individuals who are, for one reason or another, in need of protection from unethical business practices, people who may not, for many reasons, be as aware as others are of the limitations and the requirements of good business practices and need to be protected through legislation like this.

       I think that the government should very seriously consider supporting this legislation because it would, if it were passed, fit very well with the government's own stated commitment to consumer protection and protection for vulnerable people in our society.  Again, it goes back to the idea that businesses have a responsibility to the people whom they are dealing with, and it seems to me, Mr. Speaker, only fair that a business not be allowed to take money that has been deposited as a sign of good faith by an individual, as a sign that this business will provide the service or the good that they contracted to do.

       It seems only fair, Mr. Speaker, that there be protection against, one would hope, the very small number of unscrupulous business persons in this province, so that those individuals can have a great deal of comfort in the knowledge that their money that they have put down in good faith as an act of part of the financial transaction, the consumer transaction, said:  We will do our part, we will put down a percentage of the cost of this good or service as a declaration of good faith that we will abide by our part of the contract.

       This is only the other side of that good faith declaration, that the business person says:  Yes, and we will accept this money in good faith and we will not use it for anything other than your deposit for the item or the service that you are purchasing.  It seems only logical and fair as the member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) has stated that a business should, if it is a legitimate business and functioning in an appropriate manner, be able to have credit from suppliers, should be able to access a line a credit from a banking institution, should not have to rely on the deposit that a consumer has paid for a good or a service to purchase supplies for that business.

       So while we as a society say the buyer should not beware, the buyer should be protected, this very simple piece of legislation only says, only extends that in a very fair manner to those business people and to protect‑‑not only to protect the consumer, but also to protect business people so that they do not feel that they can rely on those deposits rather than undertaking good business practices and establishing a line of credit with a banking institution or a line of credit with their suppliers.

       Again, there are examples in other jurisdictions and for other items where legislation such as this applies.

       It does not seem to me, Mr. Speaker, in any way detrimental to good business practice to demand that, for larger purchases, both the buyer and the supplier take responsibility for the money that is being given in good faith and should be held in trust and in good faith for the purposes of the transaction being concluded in good time.

       Mr. Speaker, I would also just like to end by saying that I agree with the member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) when he states that this legislation should not be too detailed in what is defined as custom, that we should protect the integrity of the process and we should protect the consumer.  Then after the bill has been in place for a period of time, there may very well be additional areas that are legitimately included under the exclusionary section of this bill.

       Mr. Speaker, I would just like to conclude by saying that I look forward very much to hearing the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh) explain to this side of the House and to the consumers of Manitoba why this bill is inappropriate and as offensive as it would appear to be from the suggestions and the criticism that is being shared by the minister to members on this side of the House.

       I would urge her to listen to the other members as they get up and support this bill and put her comments on record so that we know what the minister herself thinks about this piece of legislation.  It may very well be, Mr. Speaker‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  When this matter is again before the House, the honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) will have five minutes remaining.

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