Tuesday, May 12, 1992


The House met at 1:30 p.m.


Mr. Clerk (William Remnant):  It is my duty to inform the House of the unavoidable absence of Mr. Speaker.  Therefore, in accordance with the statutes, I would ask the Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Dacquay) to take the Chair.








Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I beg to present the petition of W. June Hunter, Kelly O'Reilly, Laurie Januska and others urging the government to consider establishing an office of the Children's Advocate, independent of cabinet, and reporting directly to this Assembly.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Ernest McCallum‑Carberry, Audrey J. Harburn, Peggy K. Hood and others requesting the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba strongly urge the provincial government to reconsider its decision and return the Manitoba Heritage Federation's granting authority.




Madam Deputy Speaker (Louise Dacquay):  I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Selkirk (Mr. Dewar), and it conforms with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules.  Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?

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

      WHEREAS the Human Resources Opportunity Office has operated in Selkirk for over 21 years providing training for the unemployed and people re‑entering the labour force; and

      WHEREAS during the past 10 years alone over 1,000 trainees have gone through the program gaining valuable skills and training; and

      WHEREAS upwards of 80 percent of the training centre's recent graduates have found employment; and

      WHEREAS without consultation the program was cut in the 1992 provincial budget forcing the centre to close; and

      WHEREAS there is a growing need for this program in Selkirk and the program has the support of the town of Selkirk, the Selkirk local of the Manitoba Metis Federation as well as many other local organizations and individuals.

      WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the Province of Manitoba may be pleased to request the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) to consider a one‑year moratorium on the program.

* * *

      I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper), and it complies with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules.  Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?

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

      THAT the 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

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      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.

* * *

      I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett), and it conforms with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules.  Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?

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

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

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

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

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

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




Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (Deputy Chairperson of Committees):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the Committee of Supply has adopted certain resolutions and directs me to report the same and asks leave to sit again.

      I move, seconded by the honourable member for Turtle Mountain (Mr. Rose), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.




Bill 88‑The Homesteads, Marital Property Amendment and Consequential Amendments Act


Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), I move, seconded by the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings), that Bill 88, The Homesteads, Marital Property Amendment and Consequential Amendments Act (Loi sur la propriete familiale, modifiant la Loi sur les biens matrimoniaux et apportant des modifications correlatives a d'autres lois), be introduced and that the same be now received and read a first time.

      His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor, having been advised of the contents of this bill, recommends it to the House.  I would like to table his message also, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Motion agreed to.


Bill 89‑The Family Maintenance Amendment Act


Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  Madam Deputy Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), I move, seconded by the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings), that Bill 89, The Family Maintenance Amendment Act (Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'obligation alimentaire), be introduced and that the same be now received and read a first time.

Motion agreed to.

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Introduction of Guests


Madam Deputy Speaker:  Prior to Oral Questions, I would like to draw the attention of all honourable members to the Speaker's Gallery, where we have in attendance this afternoon Senator Elsie Bear from the Metis Senate; Claire Riddle, vice‑president of the Winnipeg region; Denise Thomas, vice‑president of the southeast region; Ernie Blais, board member for the Winnipeg region; Ed Simard, board member for the Winnipeg region; Bernice Potoski, board member for the Interlake region; and Allison Dewar, executive member of the Metis Women of Manitoba.

      Also with us this afternoon seated in the public gallery, we have 25 journalist students visiting from the Red River Community College, and these students are under the direction of Mr. Donald Benham.

      Also with us this afternoon in the public gallery, we have with us 20 English language students from Sisler High School under the direction of Mrs. Carol Grier.  This school is located in the constituency of the honourable member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux).

      On behalf of all honourable members, I welcome each and every one of you this afternoon.




Western Premiers' Conference

Regional Development Program


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Yes, Madam Deputy Speaker, my question is to the Premier.

      Last week, the Premier stated in answers to questions that the statistics provided to the government indicated that Manitoba was among all other provinces in Canada in suffering a loss in the labour force.  In every single province in this country, there was a loss in the labour force.

      Unfortunately, the Premier again was wrong.  Manitoba, first of all, was second to last in terms of decline in labour force‑‑five times the national average of people dropping out of the labour force.  Some 14,000 people have quit looking for work among the 17,000 less jobs we have in this province, both of which rank up in the unfortunate part of Canada.

      On the other side, Madam Deputy Speaker, provinces like British Columbia and Alberta have shown a positive change in employment and in enrollment in the labour force.  The Premier is attending a Western Premiers' meeting tomorrow and on the agenda, surely, will be the economy.  The economy of western Canada has generally suffered dramatically over the last 12 months, but more importantly, we see Alberta and B.C. maintaining a positive economic performance.  We see Saskatchewan with a slight decline and Manitoba with a large decline in terms of employment and economic opportunities.

      I would like to ask the Premier whether he is going to bring any co‑ordinated economic strategy to the table at the Western Premiers' meeting.  Will he be calling on a job creation program and a regional development program to get people in western Canada working again, particularly in Manitoba and Saskatchewan where the numbers are so dismal and the challenges are so great?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  I can tell you that I am not going to be advocating, like many of my colleagues in the west, that we raise taxes.  I am certainly not going to be advocating like my New Democratic colleagues in Saskatchewan who raised new taxes, over $300 million in their recent budget last week, of which almost all of those taxes impact directly on individuals.  They have an increase in their sales tax from 7 percent to 8 percent.

      We have an increase, in fact, a new tax‑‑3 cents a litre on farm fuel‑‑a stake in the heart of farm producers in western Canada who are already suffering from low prices, who are already suffering from difficult circumstances because of international grain trade wars, a stake in the heart‑‑3 cents a litre‑‑which is going to cost thousands of dollars per producer for use of farm fuel.

      I am certainly not going to advocate that they raise personal income taxes as well, as has been done by way of surtax in the province of Saskatchewan.  I am not going to advocate that we raise taxes like the New Democrats did in British Columbia, raising taxes to individuals, huge increase in personal income tax load‑‑[interjection]

      I know New Democrats opposite, who, when they were in government themselves here, raised taxes 138 percent in six and a half years, 138 percent increase in the tax load on individual Manitobans by way of their personal income taxes, who raised the sales tax here by 2 percent.  I am not going to advocate that, Madam Deputy Speaker.  I am going to suggest that by keeping the deficit down, by keeping‑‑[interjection]

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I will speak more about how the New Democrats have raised the deficit in British Columbia, Saskatchewan as well and Ontario‑‑a $10‑billion deficit in the province of Ontario.  Those are not the answers.  We are going to keep taxes down so that we keep the money in the hands of the people of this province.  That is what we will be doing.

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Mr. Doer:  Madam Deputy Speaker, the Premier should remember the audited statement that showed that there was $5 million extra a month coming in when this Premier was sworn in, compared to now where we are running a $530‑million deficit, and you have no plan.  You are ending up the same way as Grant Devine and the absolute disaster in Saskatchewan, and you are trying to fool the people.  We are heading right up to the $900 million level of Grant Devine in Saskatchewan, Madam Deputy Speaker, and all the flimflammery in the world does not fool the Provincial Auditor in his financial statements.

      My question to the Premier is‑‑I ask the government whether they have any concern about the fact that they are in last place in GDP growth in 1991.  Are they concerned that their labour force dropout is now five times the national average?  Are they concerned about the fact that they have lost 17,000 jobs in 12 months?  Do they have any ideas and any strategies that they are going to put forward at the Western Premiers' meeting, because we have a situation now where British Columbia is booming and people are moving to that province?  Alberta is just maintaining itself in a very slight positive way, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba are declining in terms of employment and declining in terms of labour force.  Does the Premier have any strategy, co‑ordinated strategy, a western Canadian strategy that he is taking forward? Can he tell us what he is going to do, not what he is not going to do in the province of Manitoba?

Mr. Filmon:  Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the only administration in the country that can say that in five straight budgets we have not had to raise any of the major taxes in this province‑‑no increase in personal income taxes, no increase in corporate income taxes, in fact, a reduction in personal income taxes, no increase in the sales tax.  In fact, we took two‑thirds of the people who had been paying the payroll tax off the payroll tax.  In that same period of time, in five budgets, our deficit was running half, on average, the level that it was in the six budgets of the Howard Pawley New Democrats.

      We will go there with a record that is unmatched anywhere in this country.  In addition to that, Madam Deputy Speaker, we will go there with a forecast from all of the major economic forecasters saying that in 1992, 1993 and 1994, this province will have a growth rate that will be amongst the highest in the country, certainly in the top four.  That is the news that we will be taking to that Western Premiers' Conference, because we go forth with confidence knowing that all of the major economic forecasters say 1992, 1993, 1994, we are projected to increase at a better rate than most of the provinces in this country.

Mr. Doer:  Madam Deputy Speaker, the Premier is whistling past the graveyard, and it is very serious.  Our GDP was last place last year.  Western Canada is developing a tale of two regions. It is developing a tale of two regions where we see B.C. booming, Alberta maintaining itself, Saskatchewan declining‑‑and it is not all because of agriculture‑‑and Manitoba going down more than any other province.

      Now, surely the people of those four western provinces need some co‑operative ideas of how we can work together.  The federal government has abandoned western Canada.  I know the Premier still supports the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister has abandoned western Canada.  Now, surely the four western Premiers can look at the fact that we have competition on investment.  We have Cargill putting out the Simplot plant in Brandon.  We have Cargill dealing with our meat packing plants.  Surely the western Premiers could look at the assets of western Canada and develop a positive agenda for job creation and regional economic development.

      Would the Premier put together a positive agenda to get Manitobans working again and get western Canadians working together again?

Mr. Filmon:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I cannot believe the Leader of the Opposition's inability to even read the information that is available to him.  That is precisely what this province put on the table last year at the Western Premiers' Conference, an agenda to ensure that we would not fight each other amongst the western provinces with each other's tax dollars.

      It was an agreement that was drafted by this Province of Manitoba for co‑operating with all of the western provinces to eliminate these kinds of programs that see provinces arguing and fighting against each other with tax dollars to attract investment, and we precisely name them.  I will get him the press clippings.  I know he does not read research papers, but at least he could read the press clippings that say that we specifically referred to the Cargill plant in Alberta, that we specifically referred to the Cargill plant at Belle Plain in Saskatchewan.  We specifically referred to these various ways in which we have been fighting each other amongst the provinces.  We called for co‑operation for elimination of these programs, of putting in tax incentives to fight for the same corporations, and in fact we led the way.  We have had positive editorials all the way across the country saying what we did‑‑

An Honourable Member:  No positive economic results.

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Mr. Filmon:  We know about the economic results of the NDP government when they raised their taxes 138 percent in just six years and they forced businesses out with a payroll tax, increased the sales tax and drove this province into destruction.  We know, and we have been working very hard to overcome that.  Madam Deputy Speaker, we do not need any advice from New Democratic governments who are destroying provinces right across this country.


Crow Benefit

Payment Plan


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the $1 million transportation talks report, which was paid for by the federal government and endorsed by this government, was recently released at $24,000 per page, and it told us nothing that we already did not know.

      Following this, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) immediately made a controversial and divisive proposal at the Agriculture ministers' meeting in Edmonton last week that would see the historic Crow benefit being paid differently in different provinces.

      I want to ask the Minister of Transportation:  Does he agree with his colleague's position, with his divisive proposal that he made?  Why did he not ensure that this proposal was made first in this Legislature prior to making it public?

Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation): Madam Deputy Speaker, first of all, I want to indicate that our Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) has been a leader in terms of looking after the benefits for the farmers across western Canada.  If you want to compare Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the benefits they are getting there, and what has happened‑‑with the NDP government‑‑to the farmers by raising farm fuel taxes to 3 cents a litre at a time when they are in a deep depression and low prices, I make no apologies for the approach of the Minister of Agriculture.

      It was not a proposal.  They are negotiating in terms of the method of payment, various views out there, and it is not something that is cast in stone at this stage of the game.  They offered up a suggestion for something to be looked at.


Crow Benefit

Payment Plan


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  I want to ask the Minister of Agriculture:  Since this $24,000 fiasco that was tabled by the federal government report, endorsed by this minister, makes no mention of a 50‑50 split in the opinion of Manitoba farmers with regard to the payment of the historic Crow benefit, where did this minister get those figures?  Will he table the information that he based those statements on?

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  Madam Deputy Speaker, this government and myself, as minister, believe in the democratic process.

      A set of people went around the province of Manitoba and across western Canada and they got input from people.  The consultant said that the position in Manitoba was split.  They reported to the press and they reported to us that the split was about 50‑50‑‑[interjection]

      Madam Deputy Speaker, if the member would read, he would see the word "split" in there very, very well laid out.  The split, as they reported to us as ministers‑‑and he can ask his colleagues from Saskatchewan what the consultant said.  He said it was about a 50‑50 split, too close to call.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, we believe in ultimate democracy.  I believe the producers have the right to choose, and that represents the true establishment of a democratic process.  We are looking at the feasibility of that approach, which we have put on the table as a real democratic process of allowing producers to choose, so that both sides‑‑when there are two opposite sides‑‑have an opportunity to have their belief in how this should be done, met in the process.


Western Premiers' Conference

Crow Benefit


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the minister knows that this‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.

Mr. Plohman:  I ask the First Minister (Mr. Filmon):  Will he ensure that he does not put forward this same ill‑conceived and divisive proposal at the Premiers' meeting when he meets with the western Premiers tomorrow?  Will he ensure that this is not promoted by this minister and this province, this divisive proposal which will destroy‑‑

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

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  Madam Deputy Speaker, we have just had a consultation process where some 13,000 producers have come forward and expressed their opinion; some 1,300 in the province of Manitoba expressed their opinion, Madam Deputy Speaker.  They are split on what they want to see done, and I believe in being able to allow all producers to have what they want done with this method of payment process‑‑

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Mr. Plohman:  They want to destroy it.  We know your agenda.  It is very clear.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Does the honourable member for Dauphin wish a response to his question?

Mr. Findlay:  I would like to remind the member that there were five proposals on the table.  One proposal was phase‑out, no compensation.  That has been removed from the process.  Our attempt is to maximize the benefit to western Canadian producers.  The GATT process can and will have an impact when that resolution comes forward.  We are trying to be sure that the maximum support to western Canadian producers for transporting of grain can be kept in place and in the fashion that satisfies the vast majority of producers of the province of Manitoba.

      I am very disappointed that this member does not believe in farmers having the ability to make their own decision of what is good for them.


Child and Family Services



Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Madam Deputy Speaker, on March 10, 1992, the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) gave, I think what could be said, an impassioned speech‑‑I did not agree with it, but it was certainly full of passion from his perspective‑‑in which he believed that it was necessary to warn all native leaders in the province to act more responsibly.

      He went on to say, the allegations are just astounding, and I cannot believe something like this could happen in the '90s.  If it is true, then it has to be stopped because it shows a clear lack of accountability.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, last Friday, in a court room in Brandon, it was announced that an internal Family Services department review, which took place in July of 1988 or was requested in July of 1988, had to avoid an open political confrontation with native leaders.  It went on to say, any external review might be viewed as political interference into the operation of an Indian Child and Family Services agency and purported that this had to be avoided because it was going to be a federal election year and possibly also a provincial election year.

      Can the First Minister explain how the Department of Family Services was acting in an accountable way to a child in this province in need of care?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I saw that report in the newspaper, and I could not believe that somebody would allege that something would be an election year after the election had already taken place that year.  It seemed rather preposterous to me that in July, just two months after the election, somebody would be making that statement.  The statement is obviously totally in error.  It is an unnamed person who presumably worked in the department who made that statement, and I can only consider it to be a mischievous kind of comment to be put in that report.

      This government will not tolerate any kind of politics being played with issues as serious as child or spousal or any type of family abuse.


Children's Advocate

Reporting Process


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  I am delighted to hear the First Minister say he would not brook any political interference whatsoever.

      Will he now ask his Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) to bring in an amendment to the Child Advocate bill so that the Child Advocate reports to this Chamber and not to a minister who is a politically appointed individual?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, as the minister has said before, we are following the practice that has been established in other jurisdictions where the Child Advocate does report in fact to the minister.  In fact, in Alberta where it was tried the other way, it was changed because of the fact that it was not felt to be an appropriate manner of reporting it.


Department of Family Services

Internal Review


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Madam Deputy Speaker, we have had a number of reports dating back to 1983 and Judge Kimelman's Report recommending an independent Child Advocate.  I tried to access this very report by freedom of information.  I was refused access to this report.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, would the First Minister now be prepared to table this internal review to this House so we can judge for ourselves the political interference of the Department of Family Services?

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Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  The matter is before the courts, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Mrs. Carstairs:  The courts can have it, but the legislators cannot.

Mr. Filmon:  Well, the courts do not play politics with issues as serious as this, Madam Deputy Speaker.





Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the fifth session this government has been in office, and it is the fifth session in a row that this government has brought in a bill targeting labour and working people.  While this government is leaving in first contract legislation in the bill, it is now saying that if 64.9 percent of the employees say yes to a union, their voice does not count, and there has to be a compulsory vote.

      My question to the Minister of Labour is very simple.  If 42 percent was enough in the last election to elect this government, why is the government now saying that close to 65 percent is not enough for workers to say democratically yes to a union?

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Madam Deputy Speaker, it amazes me how the member for Thompson could say that a secret ballot vote is not a democratic way of expressing opinions of those employees.

Mr. Ashton:  Madam Deputy Speaker, if the minister cannot reconcile that inconsistency, can I ask the minister how he can justify‑‑[interjection]  I am talking about the inconsistency of a government‑‑

Some Honourable Members:  Oh, oh.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.

Mr. Ashton:  If members opposite would have listened, I asked the government how it could reconcile its 42 percent of the vote with legislation that says 64.99 percent of workers‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Question.


Labour Laws

Worker Protection


Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  Yes, Madam Deputy Speaker.  How could the minister justify further changes to the act that watered down the protection of workers against the interference of employers during a certification drive?  How can the minister justify watering that down?

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the question from the honourable member for Thompson, I must admit, surprises me, because in the certification process it only requires 50 percent plus one of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit to certify an employee.  He should know that. The requirement for under 65 percent is whether or not the means of testing the will of those employees is by the signing of cards or by secret ballot vote.

      If one was to get into discussions with the Labour Management Review Committee, as I have done, one realizes very quickly in our system of certification there are a variety of means of testing the will of those employees.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the certification proposals in this legislation, I think, are very fair and balanced within the context of the country.  There are a number of provinces that require 100 in every case, an automatic certification vote. There are some that require people to purchase cards and have a certification vote.  Ours are very fair.


Labour Movement

Government Participation


Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  My final supplementary to the Premier (Mr. Filmon), Madam Deputy Speaker, is:  When will this government recognize that at a time when we are in very serious economic difficulties, when we are dead last, that the way to proceed is to develop co‑operation with working people and the labour movement, not to once again bring in another anti‑labour, anti‑working‑people bill that we have seen four sessions previously‑‑

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

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Madam Deputy Speaker, if the member were to approach the work that was done on this particular legislation and give it a fair hearing, I think he would agree.  He may not agree, but I think in reality this is a very fair set of amendments, a very well‑balanced set of amendments.

      His comments remind me of the scene from Casablanca when the German officer had been shot and the French officer says, round up the usual suspects.  The member across the way is rounding up the usual NDP arguments on labour.  I do not think they are valid in this case.

Assiniboine River Diversion

Report Status


Ms. Marianne Cerilli (Radisson):  Yesterday, I raised the issue of concerns about the Assiniboine‑South Hespeler Area Study, which was initiated under the Lyon government and proposes massive water diversion from the Assiniboine River for irrigation of the south‑central area of Manitoba.

      Can the Minister of Natural Resources clarify for the House, what is the status of this report that his department has had for more than four years?

Hon. Harry Enns (Minister of Natural Resources):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House that report was revised and updated by the Pawley administration and presented to the honourable member for Dauphin in the year 1987‑‑

Some Honourable Members:  Oh, oh.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.


Point of Order


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  Point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, I have recently seen the report.  It indicates that in March of 1988, during the election campaign, this was allegedly presented‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member for Dauphin does not have a point of order.

* * *

Mr. Enns:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I do not have the report with me, but I believe that there was an actual letter of transmittal to the then Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Mr. Plohman, that updated the report that the honourable member refers to.

Ms. Cerilli:  Madam Deputy Speaker, to clarify, clearly in the report the date of that was after the '88 election.

      My question for the minister, however, is:  What is the status of that report in front of this government now?

Mr. Enns:  Madam Deputy Speaker, both the federal government, through their agency the PFRA, and the various departments and various provincial governments have, I would suspect, certainly since the mid‑'50s, studied that region with respect to water sourcing and providing adequate water to that whole South Hespeler region which soil scientists tell us is among the best, second only to a small portion of southern Ontario, for diversified vegetable production and so forth.

      So there have been a number of reports studied, written and produced, and that is the status of the report that she refers to.  It is on file.  It is there as resource material.  I am sure that different agricultural groups have availed themselves of that information.  There has been no official response to that report by this government, by my Department of Natural Resources.

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Ms. Cerilli:  To the same minister:  Why is the amount of water to be diverted from the Assiniboine that is outlined in this Hespeler report the same as the amount proposed to be withdrawn from the Assiniboine by the Pembina Valley Water Co‑operative, even though the initial report was to be for irrigation?

Mr. Enns:  Madam Deputy Speaker, again, the 15 municipalities several years ago approached both the federal government and the provincial government‑‑my colleague the member for Emerson (Mr. Penner) was then the minister responsible‑‑requesting assistance in resolving their immediate, chronic, water‑shortage problems as they applied to domestic and municipal requirements.  They were provided with some funding from both federal and provincial governments.  They certainly had availed themselves of resource material such as the reports that the honourable member refers to, and it surprises me not at all that some of the figures would, in fact, be complementary to the request that is before us:  namely, the provision of additional waters for domestic and residential purposes.


Rafferty-Alameda Dam Project



Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Madam Deputy Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment.

      For four years, we have been expressing concerns about the impact of the Rafferty‑Alameda projects in the province of Saskatchewan.  Belatedly, this government started to agree with this but, alas, in words and not in deeds.  The project is now almost complete and our and environmentalists' concerns are being proven correct.  The fact is that the reservoir behind Rafferty is dry and Alameda is holding no water because of structural problems.  For two consecutive years Saskatchewan has failed to meet the apportionment requirements for the state of North Dakota, and more water is evaporating behind Rafferty than is being caught in the dam.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, my question for the minister is:  Will the minister now seek a renegotiation of the international agreement and finally protect Manitobans' water supply, given that the agreement does not come into force until the dams are complete and the province of Saskatchewan is presently considering whether or not to complete them?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment):  I am a little surprised that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) is now not going to support his colleagues in Saskatchewan and where they are headed with the Rafferty‑Alameda projects.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the member raises the same concerns that this government has been raising all along in accordance with the apportionment and how it needs to be dealt with so that Manitoba receives the required apportionments of water but not receiving them all within two weeks at the start of the season and have the Souris dry for the rest of the year.

      A number of the issues that are raised as part of the proposed agreement between Manitoba, Saskatchewan and in apportionment in the flows to North Dakota are raised in the response that the federal government brings to the Rafferty‑Alameda report from the findings of the committee.  We are continuing to force the federal government, the Saskatchewan government and the North Dakota government to work with us to make sure that those correct apportionments are applied.


Minister's Involvement


Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the fact is that on July 27, 1988, the Minister of Environment for this government indicated that the impact of the dams on the Alameda and the Rafferty will have significant good implications for Manitoba.  We will have water on a more continuous basis.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, will this minister take a stand today and get involved in these negotiations so that we are a part of the process because it now appears clear and obvious to anyone that North Dakota's apportionment will not even be met, let alone anything left for the province of Manitoba?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment):  Well, Madam Deputy Speaker, unfortunately one of the problems that Saskatchewan has had for a number of years is a drought, and that undoubtedly will have some impact on the volumes.  The apportionment of water that this province is entitled to, the basis, is established through the Memorandum of Understanding.  It will be reinforced by the response that the federal government is making in terms of requiring additional responsibility on the part of the Saskatchewan authorities for the management of any structures upstream from us.  We will make sure that this province receives its correct apportionment in regard to those structures.

Mr. Edwards:  Madam Deputy Speaker, it is just too little too late.  The fact is that the former Minister of Environment‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Question, please.

Mr. Edwards:  My final question for the Minister of Environment: Will the Minister of Environment immediately speak to his Saskatchewan counterpart to stop the pumping of saline ground water into the boundary reservoir to meet North Dakota's apportionment needs, which was supposed to be prohibited under this international agreement, because it causes severe environmental deterioration of the quality of the water?  Will he take a stand now to stop that?

Mr. Cummings:  Madam Deputy Speaker, we will not support any actions that will lead to the deterioration of that water; and, yes, we will be investigating his allegations.


Western Premiers' Conference



Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  Madam Deputy Speaker, my question is to the Premier.

      While it is known that Churchill has a $20‑ to $25‑per‑ton advantage for farmers in catchment areas in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, shipping two million tons through the port would save millions of dollars.  As all members are aware, the federal government is currently studying the bayline in the port of Churchill.  The Minister of Transportation (Mr. Driedger), himself, has expressed his concerns over the unnecessary and threatening study.  Has the Premier put the use of the port of Churchill on the agenda for the upcoming Western Premiers' Conference?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the agenda for that conference is set primarily by the host province in consultation with other provinces.  That matter has, to my knowledge, come up in previous conferences, and we have certainly made our views known and urged the support‑‑in fact, from 1988 onward, I requested each of the prairie provinces to give support to the port of Churchill, and I will certainly continue to do that at every available opportunity with my colleagues.


Port of Churchill

Grain Shipments


Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  I thank the Premier for that answer.

      Since the Russian officials have notified the Premier that they have the capacity to pick up additional grain from Churchill, has he had any success in ensuring that the port of Churchill will get its shipment it badly needs, rather than seeing the port closed early and the grain shipped to Russia through Baie‑Comeau as occurred last year?

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Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, in my recent visit to Ottawa, I met with the charge d'affaires of the Russian Embassy to enlist their support in ensuring that additional grain be shipped through the port of Churchill this year.  I also met with the Minister responsible for the Wheat Board for Grains and Oilseeds, the Honourable Charlie Mayer and impressed upon him our desire to have more grain shipped through Churchill this year.  I shared with him correspondence that I had received from officials in Russia that I know has been communicated to the member for Churchill.  In addition to that, I have written directly to the chief commissioner of the Canadian Wheat Board, and some meetings have taken place between the Minister of Transportation and senior officials of the Wheat Board to further press them to ship additional wheat to ensure the viability of the port of Churchill this year.




Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  Considering the cost advantages of the farmers and the port of Churchill to the Manitoba economy, has the Premier instructed his Economic Board of Cabinet to launch a major public initiative to promote the use of the port?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Madam Deputy Speaker, as I have said publicly, we are not satisfied as the previous administration was to try and just utilize the port of Churchill for the shipment of grain.

      This administration has worked on a number of fronts:  One, improving the opportunity for tourism use of Churchill and the railway line to Churchill; secondly, working with the federal government towards a potential establishment of a national park at Churchill; thirdly, undertaking and meeting with many companies and interested officials about the reactivation of the rocket range at Churchill.

      Finally, of course, working with the Russian federation, and putting directly into the agreement that we signed with the Russian federation, the expanded use of the port of Churchill and additional exchange of possible alternative economic activities, if that would benefit Churchill.

      So we have been working on four or five different fronts, rather than just the one narrow focus that the previous administration had.


Foreign Domestic Workers' Program

Minister's Correspondence


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

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the federal Conservatives have made a decision on the foreign domestics program that will have a severe impact on domestics who are coming to Canada.  A number of weeks ago, I had asked the minister to get across our message in regard to the need to reinstate the foreign domestics program as it was.  Unfortunately, that was not seen fit by her federal counterpart.

      I would ask the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, if she would table any correspondence that indicates that her government in fact did support our position for the retainment of the foreign domestics program.

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism):  I have indicated on occasion after occasion when asked that question in the House, that our government supports domestic workers coming from all different countries to our province, and to our country, because we value the contribution that they do make to the work force of our province.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I have communicated.  I have met with the domestic workers associations and have indicated to them that we do not agree with or condone anything that might happen that might discriminate against any domestic workers who come from any country.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Time for Question Period has expired.




Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  I wonder, Madam Deputy Speaker, if I might have leave for a nonpolitical statement? [Agreed]

      I am pleased today to have this opportunity to invite all members of the House to join with me in celebrating Manitoba's 122nd birthday.

      The Province of Manitoba was created on May 12, 1870, when Royal Assent was given to The Manitoba Act.  The actual proclamation was made on July 15 of the same year.  The passage of that act was Canada's recognition of the vast potential the western prairies could offer a young country.  It was the moment Manitoba became a partner in the building of one of the largest and greatest nations in the world.

      On our centennial in 1970, this Legislature recognized the importance of this date in our history and designated May 12 as Manitoba Day in perpetuity.  Manitoba Day is a time to reflect on who we are, where we have come from, and what we have achieved. Manitoba Day is also a time to examine our present and anticipate he future.

      Across this great province, Manitobans will be recognizing this significant day in many ways.  Earlier today on the Legislative Building grounds, we recognized the contribution of the RCMP to the development and history of Manitoba.

      A citizenship court took place in Room 200 of this Legislative Building this morning.  It welcomed 36 new Canadians to life in Manitoba as Canadians.  This evening, the Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson) will host the Prix Awards.  These awards recognize the leadership of individuals and groups who have enriched the lives of all Manitobans by their contributions in the areas of culture, heritage, recreation and multiculturalism.

      Today, it is especially important that we recognize Manitobans, for it is our combined strength, determination and hard work that has given us our greatest successes, our greatest achievements.  The strength and incredible talent and ability of Manitobans have been felt in virtually every field and facet of life in our Manitoba communities and around the world.

      It is this ability that has contributed to the success of Canada itself, and indeed despite the many difficult decisions Canadians face, Canada is still one of the most favoured nations in the world.  We are indeed one of the most fortunate peoples in the world.

      We, in Manitoba, have often played a leading role in our country's largest challenges.  For instance, it was Manitobans who put aside political differences and worked side by side to create the Manitoba Constitutional Task Force.  The Manitoba task force has been used as a model for constitutional action across Canada.  It began here in Manitoba.  It is Manitobans who are calling on all Canadians to recognize this is not a time of ultimatums with our neighbours.  It is a time for working together, a time for nation building.

      From the time of Manitoba's original population, our aboriginals, we have always achieved through partnership, hard work and vision.  Similarly the Metis, who are with us here today, have contributed to Manitoba.  That indisputable fact has been recognized across Canada.  In fact, in the House of Commons on March 10, 1992, a unanimous motion stated that, and I quote:

       This House recognize the unique and historic role of Louis Riel as a founder of Manitoba and his contribution to the development of Confederation.  We, in Manitoba, are proud of the Metis contribution to our province and acknowledge the role of Louis Riel.

      As well, it is my pleasure to announce that I will be bringing forward a resolution to this Assembly which will recognize the significant role of the Metis people in the development of our province and the historic role of Louis Riel as a founder of Manitoba.  I will look forward to the support of all members of this House.

      So it has been, throughout our history, each of our many peoples have contributed, each has added to our wealth of human potential and achievement, our multicultural diversity. Manitobans living, working and achieving together, side by side, has always been an intrinsic part of our identity.  We are many cultures and heritages with a wide variety of languages and customs, but we are all proud to be Manitobans.

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      We have come to recognize this tremendous cultural diversity, our multicultural mosaic, as a source of that pride.  It is indeed an integral and cherished element of Manitoba's historical legacy.  It is also the source from which we will continue to build a strong Manitoba, a Manitoba rich in new potential and achievement, a Manitoba that will help to build a renewed Canada.

      In the months ahead, the strength of our commitment will be tested.  We will have some difficult choices to make, but if we make the right choices together, I believe our country will be immeasurably stronger.  Renewed confidence from a renewed union could also add much to the momentum for economic recovery.

      It is a prospect that I would very much like to see in Canada's 125th year.  Canadians deserve it, and we owe it to ourselves and to our children to make certain it happens.  I know that the ability and strength of Manitobans will lead the way in Manitoba, in Canada and in the world.  Thank you.

Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  I would like leave for a nonpolitical statement. [Agreed]

      I too want to rise on the occasion of our birthday, our Manitoba Day, 122 years since the establishment of Manitoba as a province, in 1870, on May 12.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, this is a very important day.  I am pleased that we began in 1970 to celebrate the heritage and history and the people of our great province of Manitoba.  It is a great holiday for all of us in terms of remembering and commemorating the tremendous contributions that have been made by numbers of peoples in our great province of Manitoba.

      The Premier (Mr. Filmon) mentioned the Manitoba task force. I think, more than anything else in the Manitoba task force deliberations, we heard the voice of the people and the vision of Manitobans from all walks of life and all regions of our province coming forward with a strong vision of our heritage and a strong vision of our province in a strong and united Canada.

      There are some very important messages that we should remember today in this very important period of time in our country.  Manitobans from all walks of life and in every region of this province believe that we are Canadians first, and that Canada and a pledge to our country is the overriding priority of people living, working and raising families in our province.

      They wanted a national country, a strong Canadian government with the ability to redistribute wealth to other regions of the country, and the ability to maintain opportunities for all peoples in our country.  Just like our traditions in the '30s, '40s, '50s and later on, people in Manitoba want to maintain a strong Canadian government on behalf of all Manitobans as their No. 1 priority at this very important juncture in our constitutional deliberations.

      Manitobans also wanted characteristics of our country that truly reflected the development and heritage of our province. They wanted the aboriginal peoples to be described as the original characteristic of our country.  Then they wanted to describe the characteristics of the French and English, and, of course, the multicultural dynamics that go through our history and through our heritage were also to be described in the characteristics of Canada.  That, of course, was a unique contribution from Manitobans in the Meech Lake deliberations and again in the deliberations that are taking place in our country today.

      I would remind all of us that too was a very major priority of Manitobans in describing our total characteristics.  That leads us, of course, to the Metis people and the tremendous contributions of the Metis people in establishing and settling our province.  Louis Riel did set up the first provisional government in this province on May 12 in 1870.

      It is important to remember today that we often did not pay tribute and remember the real contributions of Riel to this province.

      I was raised in Manitoba with the school here.  I remember taking history in Grade 5, I think in Grade 8, and again in Grade 11 where I was taught a different history than I know today, about the contributions of Louis Riel.  I suggest many members of this Legislature that took history in Manitoba were taught a different version, to the version we know today, of the contributions of the Metis people in establishing the province of Manitoba.

      I think it is very important we not only work together to pass the resolution, and we commit ourselves to passing the resolution that the Premier (Mr. Filmon) will be forwarding in the Chamber today, but we also work diligently to correct and revise the history which I understand has taken place.  But we must be vigilant to show the true history in our province when we teach history to our children and to our students.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the whole issue of Riel's contributions and his provisional government's contributions, perhaps we should also, besides passing resolutions in this Chamber, recognize the contributions of the Riel provisional government with some kind of symbolic display in the halls of this Legislature of the first provisional government in Manitoba.

      We have lots of celebrations of our Manitoba heritage.  But I believe that also the Riel heritage and the Riel contributions should be displayed in a prominent place in this Manitoba Legislature.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, we, indeed, will support the resolution of the Premier (Mr. Filmon).  We will work to celebrate all the heritages, all the great heritages, of our province.  We will work in a co‑operative way with the government on the priorities that Manitobans established in their presentations to us as we proceed in this very, very crucial period of time in our country.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to conclude with the words stated in Parliament in 1870 in piloting through The Manitoba Act.  George Etienne Cartier stated, and I would repeat today in the House:  May the new province of Manitoba always speak to the northwest the language of reason, truth and justice.

      In commemorating the great contributions of Riel and the heritage of our province and our 122 years of history, we pledge ourselves, again, to reason, truth and justice, the hallmark of Manitoba.  Thank you very much.

Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Could I have leave for a nonpolitical statement? [Agreed]

      Madam Deputy Speaker, well, today is a birthday, 122 years since Manitoba became a province.  When we speak of birthdays of the country, we tend to think of Fathers of Confederation.  I remember last year when Joey Smallwood died in Newfoundland, and they said the last living Father of Confederation has died.

      But somehow or other, when we speak of Manitoba, all too infrequently do we speak of Louis Riel as a Father of Confederation, and yet that is exactly what he was.  If it had not been for Louis Riel and his group of trusty and stalwart Metis, Manitoba would not have been a province in 1870.  As it was, the history textbooks always refer to it as the "postage stamp province" because in 1870, that is all it was, just a little postage stamp in the overall part that we know of today as Manitoba, that continued, of course, to be the Northwest Territories.

      What of Louis Riel's ancestors in the province of Manitoba?  Have they been given the justice and the equality of opportunity

of those who came later, sometimes much later?  I would suggest  to you that they have not.  We are, in our negotiations right

now, in the process of the Constitution, trying to right some of  those wrongs with respect not only to the aboriginal people but

to the Metis people.  I was pleased that the meetings and the  deliberations yesterday in Vancouver seem to have led to some

recognition of the rights of, and therefore our responsibilities  to, the Metis people.

      Today I went to a citizenship court ceremony, as did the  Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey), and the Minister of Culture,

Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson) who sponsored the event here in the Legislative Assembly.  I think, Judge McDonald

said that they represented 22 countries.  Well, that is Manitoba.  

      The fact that you can have a citizenship ceremony and you can  ask to take their Oaths of Allegiance to Canada and they stand

there‑‑and there were some who obviously had come from the  Orient, there were some who had come from Africa, there were some

who had come from Europe, there were some who had come from South  America, there was even one who had come from the United States,  to settle in this land where we have agreed among all of us that

we shall live in justice and harmony with one another.

      But we must recall on each and every birthday that some of us  are more equal than others.  Some of us have the right to stand

in this Chamber and to speak freely.  Others, particularly those  who are newer immigrants, still do not feel they have that

freedom.  They do, but they do not always believe they do.  It  sometimes takes a generation before they have the confidence of

knowing that, yes, they can speak freely in our nation without persecution.

      There are those who have lived in this land the longest who  are persecuted only because of the colour of their hair, the

shape of their eyes, their skin tone.  Until we can celebrate a  birthday in which none of that occurs, in which each and every

Manitoban has equality of opportunity, then we must commit  ourselves on each and every birthday to make sure that the next

birthday, it is a little bit better, until the time comes when  each one of us feels a true equality with our brothers and  sisters.

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Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  Could I have leave for a  nonpolitical statement? [Agreed]

      Madame la vice‑presidente, permettez‑moi de faire mon discours en francais encore une fois, puisque Louis Riel lui‑meme

  etait un grand defenseur de la langue francaise et la culture francaise lors de 1870.

      Il me fait plaisir aujourd'hui d'adresser la parole a cette  auguste assemblee afin de celebrer et perpetuer le souvenir de

  notre riche patrimoine.  Cette journee du 12 mai 1992 marque la  Fete du Manitoba et le 122e anniversaire de notre belle province  du Manitoba.

      Tout le monde reconnait le role unique et historique que  Louis Riel a eu dans la creation du Manitoba et le developpement  de la confederation canadienne.

      Sous le leadership de Louis Riel, le gouvernement provisoire  des Territoires du Nord‑Ouest adopta en 1869 une liste de droits protegeant tous les gens etablis et vivant dans les Territoires  du Nord‑Ouest.  La liste des droits adoptee par le gouvernement

  provisoire fut acceptee et adoptee par le Parlement canadien.  Le  12 mai 1870, le Parlement canadien passa l'Acte du Manitoba et

  c'est en consequence directe de l'adoption de la liste des droits.

      Le 15 juillet 1870, le Manitoba fut la premiere province  creee dans l'Ouest canadien et le Manitoba fut la cinquieme  province a se joindre a la confederation canadienne.

      Le transfert des Territoires du Nord‑Ouest au Canada et la  creation de la province du Manitoba furent le resultat direct de  l'adoption de la liste des droits du gouvernement provisoire de  Louis Riel pour les peuples des Territoires du Nord‑Ouest par le

  Parlement canadien.

      Le nom Manitoba fut soumis par Louis Riel; ce nom est  d'expression autochtone et signifie "l'Esprit qui parle." Eh bien oui, l'esprit de Louis Riel nous parle en ce jour du  Manitoba et c'est pour ces maintes raisons qu'il est plus que  dans l'ordre et justifie, que la province du Manitoba reconnaisse officiellement Louis David Riel comme le fondateur de la province  du Manitoba.

       Ceci, Madame la vice‑presidente, est un souhait personnel qui  m'est tres cher et que j'aimerais voir se realiser sous peu.  Merci.


Madam Deputy Speaker, allow me once again to make my speech  in French, since Louis Riel himself was a great defender of the  French language and French culture around the time of 1870.

It gives me pleasure today to address this august Assembly in  order to celebrate and perpetuate the memory of our rich  heritage.  This day, May 12, 1992, marks Manitoba Day and the  122nd birthday of our beautiful province, Manitoba.

Everyone recognizes the unique and historic role that Louis Riel had in the creation of Manitoba and the development of theCanadian Confederation.

Under Louis Riel's leadership, the provisional government of  the Northwest Territories adopted, in 1869, a list of rights  protecting all persons settled and living in the Northwest  Territories.  The list of rights adopted by the provisional  government was accepted and adopted by the Canadian Parliament on  May 12, 1870.  The Canadian Parliament passed The Manitoba Act  and this was a direct consequence of the adoption of the list of  rights.

On July 15, 1870, Manitoba was the first province created in  the Canadian West, and Manitoba was the fifth province to join  the Canadian Confederation.  The transfer of the Northwest  Territories to Canada and the creation of the Province of  Manitoba were the direct result of the adoption of the list of  rights of Louis Riel's provisional government for the peoples of  the Northwest Territories by the Canadian Parliament.

The name, Manitoba, was put forward by Louis Riel.  This name  is an aboriginal expression meaning "the Spirit who speaks." Well, indeed the spirit of Louis Riel does speak to us on  this Manitoba Day, and it is for these many reasons that it is  more than in order and justified that the province of Manitoba  officially recognize Louis David Riel as the founder of the  Province of Manitoba.

This, Madam Deputy Speaker, is a personal wish which is very  dear to me and which I would like to see realized before long.  Thank you.

Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland):  May I have leave to make a  nonpolitical statement? [Agreed]

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I am pleased also to say a few words on  this special occasion in which we are celebrating the birthday of Manitoba.  But I would like to point out on this day that we are  recognizing, as part of the nation‑building process that took  place many years ago, the contribution that Louis Riel made to  this province.

We must not forget the original people, the First Nations of  this country, because oftentimes, we talk about the Fathers of Confederation who met in Charlottetown and other people like Joey  Smallwood.  The recognition that we have always wanted as  aboriginal people is the recognition for the contributions that

we have made in this country.

      As a matter of fact, why can we not consider even our  forefathers, our forefathers who signed the treaties with the  governments, with the settler people who came to this country,   why can they not be considered and recognized as nation  builders?  It was these people who signed the treaties that made  room for newcomers to this country.

It was based on a vision of equality, a vision of  coexistence, a vision of co‑operation and respect.  Our  forefathers signed these treaties so that other people could come  to this country.  Why can they not be recognized also for their  contributions, even recognized maybe as part of the Fathers of Confederation, not necessarily in the sense of the structures  that were incorporated and accepted at the meeting in  Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island?

      But that recognition has been denied for centuries, the kind  of contributions that our ancestors have made to this country.  I  would like to point that out.  It seems that somehow the  development of this country, the development of civilization,  only started 500 years ago.  But we have been here for thousands  and thousands of years.  As aboriginal people, we deserve that  recognition.

Indeed, one of the reasons why the Canadian Constitution failed was because of that lack of recognition.  As my Leader  (Mr. Doer) quoted Georges Etienne Cartier, he quoted him saying,  he made the new province of Manitoba, how we speak to the  Northwest, the language of reason, truth and justice, that this country was not necessarily built upon good will, that it was  based upon exploitation, racism and assimilation degradation.  That is the reason why this country failed; it is because of  that; it was not based upon good will.

It was the aboriginal people, the First Nations in this  country, who extended the hand to the rest of the world so that  other people would enjoy the resources and benefits of this rich  land that we have today.  We have not been recognized for the  tremendous contributions the aboriginal people have made.  Indeed, the Canadian Constitution only recognizes the French and  the English in this country.  It does not tell the truth.  The  Constitution does not tell the truth about this country, and it  has to be rectified.  That is the reason that I keep saying that  based upon these principles, the foundation of this country will  not stand, because, as a matter of fact, the foundation was built  upon sand.  It must be based upon truth and reality, the true  foundations of this country.

      Today, I recognize the contributions of many other people,  including Louis Riel and many other leaders who have provided the development of Manitoba.  Indeed, we are recognizing that today.  But I thought today that I would make that point that because of the constitutional discussions that we are having today across  the country that the truth should be spoken and the recognition  of the aboriginal people should be contained in the Canadian  Constitution, the supreme law of this land.  Thank you, Madam  Deputy Speaker.

* * *

Mr. Gerry McAlpine (Sturgeon Creek):  May I have leave for a nonpolitical statement? [Agreed]

      Madam Deputy Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise  today and to congratulate a young gentleman in my riding on his  receipt of a national award in striving for excellence.

      Patrice Dupuis won one of the regional awards from the Youth  Science Foundation.  The foundation honours students who promote  science through art.  One national and five regional awards are  distributed annually, selected from the hundreds of submissions  across the country.  Patrice's submission was a technical  illustration of the damage incurred in the lungs as a result of  smoking.  Produced by computer and by hand, the illustration  sends a clear message as to the effects of smoking on the lungs  and the benefits of not smoking.

      Patrice Dupuis' receipt of this award is a first for Manitoba  and represents a tremendous accomplishment.  Patrice is currently  enrolled in the co‑op program at the Sturgeon Creek Regional  Secondary School, working with Sunwest Graphics of Winnipeg.  After the completion of the program in June, Patrice has an  excellent opportunity of being hired full time by Sunwest  Graphics due to his experience with the company under the co‑op  program.

      Mr. Gordon Grist, an advertising art teacher at the Sturgeon  Creek Regional Secondary School, submitted Patrice Dupuis' work  and those of other students for judging by the foundation.

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      Madam Deputy Speaker, I would ask that all members of the  Legislative Assembly join with me in congratulating Patrice  Dupuis on the receipt of this award and wish him luck in this  future endeavours.  Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

* * *

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Does the honourable member for Selkirk have leave to make a nonpolitical statement? [Agreed]

Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I would just  like to add my comments to those made by the Premier (Mr.Filmon), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) and the Leader  of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs) and others, and the memberfor St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry), on this very special day for  Manitoba.  As a Metis member of this Legislature, again, I would just like to add my comments to those of the other members.

      My ancestors arrived in this province in the early 1800s, of  the last century, and they married native women.  I am a proud  product of that unique blend of those two wonderful and distinct  cultures.  As was stated before, Louis Riel, of course, was the

  founder of Manitoba, and I believe and others believe that he  also the father of Confederation.  I would like to pay a  contribution to those of the Metis Federation and the Metis  movement in this province, who are with us today in the gallery,  who worked hard to get Riel recognized in Canada by the Canadian  government and now by the provincial government.  Let us hope  that it does not take 122 years in the future before they get  their rightful place in this country.  Thank you very much.


Committee Change


Mr. Edward Helwer (Gimli):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I move,  seconded by the member for Sturgeon Creek (Mr. McAlpine), that

  the composition of the Standing Committee on Law Amendments be  amended as follows:  the member for Pembina (Mr. Orchard) for the  member for River East (Mrs. Mitchelson). [Agreed]




Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger), that Madam Deputy Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty.

       Motion agreed to, and the House resolved itself into a committee of Supply to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty with the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) in the Chair for the Department of Health; and the honourable member for Seine River (Mrs. Dacquay) in the Chair for the Department of Education and Training.



(Concurrent Sections)




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Mr. Deputy Chairperson (Marcel Laurendeau):  Order, please.  Will the Committee of Supply please come to order.

      This afternoon this section of the Committee of Supply, meeting in Room 255, will resume consideration of the Estimates of the Department of Health.  When the committee last sat it had been considering item 1.(a) Minister's Salary on page 82 of the Estimates book.  Shall the item pass?

Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  I have been watching very carefully the events, not only of the review of the Estimates of the Department of Health over several hours now, although I certainly have not been in attendance for all of them, very few of them as a matter of fact, but from a distance I have been watching, and I have been listening very carefully to questions put by members of the opposition, particularly members of the NDP, over the course of many Question Periods now, particularly the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis) and at times by her Leader.

      I guess, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, some would say that health is politics and politics is health, and yet, I think, the intentions of all people in the Chamber are such that they want to see maintained the health care system we have now in Canada.

      I honestly do not believe that there is not one person who sits in that House whose intentions are other than wanting to see maintained the system that we have.  Of course, we present our views in different ways.  Some do it by way of resolution; some do it with passion with respect to their questions and their answers; some do it by bringing specific examples to the House and to the Legislature as to individuals who are either receiving or not receiving care in a fashion in keeping with what we would expect.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I, for one, in no way want to denigrate anybody's viewpoint with respect to health and the manner in which they hold it in high value, and indeed the principles that surround our system of medicare within in our country.

      I am somewhat disturbed by activities, particularly of the NDP, over the course of the last several weeks.  I want to tell you why.  I can remember when I was in opposition, and I would listen carefully to our Health critics at the time, and I started when I came in, in 1981.  The Health critic for our party at the time was Bud Sherman.

      I can remember sitting across from him in our bay of offices.  Those of you who knew Bud Sherman, those of you who did not know him, at least, would know that he put an awful lot of time and effort into preparing his comments, hand‑written, always hand‑written.  Of course, he took great fancy‑‑I do not know if it was because of his journalistic background‑‑he took great care in preparing his text and the way he worded himself in preparation for statements or criticisms, mostly constructive by the way, on health care.

      I can remember, of course, when he and Larry Desjardins used to debate health care for hours upon hours.  Those of us, of course, expecting more exciting debate, either at that time headed by the present Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) or other individuals in the House, when we would listen to what we called the Bud and Larry show, it became extremely boring, but what you did if you forced yourself to sit in on that discussion you would see a high level of debate about where health care was going. The concerns at that time were not an awful lot different, as I recall.  They were not an awful lot different than you hear some of the concerns being presented today.

      I can also remember when the present Minister of Health, the member for Pembina, was also then given the responsibility of being the Health critic when we were in opposition, I believe, for three years, four years, '84 to '88, '85 to '88.  Also, when he was on a fast learning curve with respect to health care issues, again, using maybe some of the same elements and criticisms used by the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis), because, of course, you always, when you are sitting on the side of opposition, have incredible opportunity to be in a win‑win situation.

      Nevertheless I can still remember the former Minister of Health, Mr. Desjardins, pleading with the opposition of the day‑‑which we were, of course, we were the opposition of the day‑‑to try and look at health from a very balanced position, trying to take into account the incredible potential growth.

      I would say, although at times there were outbreaks and the Minister of Health and the former NDP government, of course, would lash out‑‑not so many times at the present minister, but certainly at those of us who would tend to come into that forum‑‑and who, on the pretext of being concerned about health, but playing politics, would lash out in a moment of fury or anger, of course, would tell us that if we did not try to bring some reason to where health care was going, that ultimately we would lose it.

      Then we went into government, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, after the '88 election.  I can also recall probably the first close opportunity that I had in becoming daily associated with‑‑well, I should not say daily‑‑becoming very closely associated with the broader political context of health care funding.  Now, it happened on a daily basis, of course, at Treasury Board.

      More importantly than that, one of the first national conferences or meetings of ministers that I attended was in concert with the present Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard), when we went to a meeting in Moncton, New Brunswick.  I believe that was in early 1989, February '89.  It was a joint meeting of Ministers of Health and Finance, because there was a growing call.  I do not know where the initiative came from that particular meeting.  I think it came out of Health.  It came out of Health ministers in Saskatoon, realizing that if this whole agenda of health care was not taken out of what I would consider a relatively narrow area of concern, that meaning the Ministers of Health, and if it was not shared with other powers around Executive Council tables, then indeed it might very well flounder.

      Now, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I can tell you, it is one of the great learning experiences that I had.  I do not know whether members opposite who had been part of their Executive Council or not or had been part of the caucus had realized it.  I hope that our members of our caucus realize it, and no doubt they have over a period of time.  Anybody who has been on Executive Council as a minister would know that you soon realized that Health is the largest department going, the largest call on taxation dollars, and in many respects by far the most sensitive, emotional area that we have in government‑‑health care.

      When it comes to Executive Council, Treasury Board and cabinet and how it is dealt with, that in some respects even in spite of all of the importance that it has within the public mind set, within the important considerations of the day, that within decision‑making areas it does not maybe warrant‑‑I will not say the attention, because the attention is great‑‑but the analytical background that other departments do.

      You may say, well, why is that?  Is that the fault of the present minister?  I am here to say absolutely not.  The member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis) knows of what I speak.  Is it the fault of the Premier (Mr. Filmon)?  It certainly is not.  Why is it that it happens to be that way?  Well, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, sitting back and analyzing it like I have for a period of time, I think it tends to be the way it is because of the major delegations that have taken place over a period of time.

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      Massive amounts of money have been delegated.  Policy decisions in some respects have been delegated, and through it all, through this process that has evolved over a period of time, in spite of the best efforts I know of our Minister of Health, and I dare say his predecessor, members of Executive Council at times do not have the analytical background with which to make joint decisions with respect to health care.

      Here it was a case‑‑well, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) says it talks about filibustering, but this is crucial. This is an extremely crucial decision as to where health care is going.  The member can call it filibustering all he wants, and that is fine, because it is your right to call it anything you want, but the reality is 50‑some hours have been spent on Health.  I believe other members of the Executive Council have, and certainly the Minister of Finance has, I think, some important statements to make for the record, because we are all in this together.  I think it is unfair for the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) to leave the impression, at least with some, that he has to carry this responsibility by himself.  Anyway, I digressed for a second.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, what happened is that Ministers of Health from across Canada realized that they had to share this lack of knowledge that some of their colleagues had in government with, indeed, a growing or broader cross‑section of Executive Council, so they reached out to Ministers of Finance.

      In February 1989, in attendance with the Minister of Health, I was in Moncton, New Brunswick.  I will never forget the meeting, because it was the first occasion in which I had an opportunity to meet Premier McKenna.  He told us, bringing in the greetings, how important it was at that time that we take this meeting very seriously.

      What I quickly realized once we got into that meeting was that some of us‑‑and maybe it was because we came as new ministers, the Minister of Health and myself‑‑came there with sort of an apolitical bent, to use the word.  We were not alone, because we were also there with a relatively new government from New Brunswick.  Finance Minister Maher and their Minister of Health, I cannot recall his name presently‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Frenette.

Mr. Manness:  Frenette, that is right, from a Liberal administration.

      We were actually singing from the same hymn book.  That was, look it, let us set aside all the politics on this issue; it is too important.  Let us set aside all of the politics. [interjection] Well, of course, when we are under attack, we all do what we have to do.  We all have to do what we have to do.

      At this meeting, at least there was a willingness from two political parties, two political governments representing two political parties, to say:  Okay, let us see what we can do on the positive side.  What is it we can do as 10 governments to try and hold back the costs associated with driving health care expenditures?  What can we do within reform?  Most of the discussion was led by the Ministers of Health, and the Ministers of Finance were trying to come to grips as to what we could do in support.

      It became painstakingly obvious about two hours into the meeting that the older governments of all political stripes, all three political stripes, their sole purpose in attendance at that meeting was to hit the federal government for more money.  Simply to ask for more.  That was the solution by the vast majority of people there.  Again, of all political stripes, the solution, just get more money from the federal government.  Sorry [interjection] No, the member says there was not a provincial NDP administration, but there was Socred, there was territorial representation.  The request was, well, this is an easy solution.  I mean, we have been doing it now for 15 years; let us go after asking the federal government for more.

      Now I am going to say something for the record which is going to criticized.  I, as the Minister of Finance, from this new fledgling government in minority said:  Hold it.  That is fine, but let us‑‑surely there must be something more than that.  If the federal government is going to take us seriously, they are going to‑‑I mean, understanding human nature, you are going to want to at least appear to come in in a positive way.

      I could not believe the looks of consternation that occurred in that room.  How dare anybody suggest for a moment that maybe we could come together and try and find solutions amongst ourselves.  Anyway, some of the tone of the letter was changed as a result of certain pleading and some of the communiques; the emphasis of the communique was changed.  That was my first introduction to the dynamics, political dynamism around health care reform.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, since that point in time, I made it as one of my major thrusts into every Ministers of Finance's meeting that I have attended to not only address the question on equalization, because equalization is a critically important issue to Manitoba.

      I found it interesting today, coming from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer), when he asked the question as to what our Premier (Mr. Filmon) was doing with respect to a unified western voice towards economic development.  I found that question strange because where we have said‑‑when we have gone to meetings of First Ministers and western Ministers of Finance, and we have called about breaking down borders to opportunities of trade, and we have talked about what we could do on an integrated basis to try and reduce costs and overlap and duplication whether it is in education, whether it is training, anything we could do to try and reduce costs, throughout it all, we always asked the question, are Alberta and British Columbia prepared to talk about equalization, bearing in mind that Saskatchewan and Manitoba given the circumstances today would not be in a position to provide the same level of services that these other provinces, these "have" provinces do?

      Would they always be prepared to talk about equalization flowing through a strong, central government in Ottawa so that we, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and other provinces, would have an opportunity to provide in the area of health care and post‑secondary education the services that people wanted? Always, we are given the assurances from Socred governments in B.C. and a Progressive Conservative government in Alberta that they would maintain and want to see enshrined even more strongly, fully equalized tax points.

      I only say that, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, because in the last three years when I have been in all of these Ministers of Finance meetings that not only have we supported equalization, because that was the No. 1 issue on the agenda, but the second issue, believe it or not, was health.  Not specifically health, but cost‑driving systems in all other areas of government.  When you talk about the cost‑drivers, you are obviously talking about health.

      So much so that after many years we finally got the federal government to acknowledge that they would buy into co‑ordinating a study on the cost‑drivers in all areas of government.  Because, quite honestly, we know that if we did not come to grips with what was happening in not only health but in other areas, if we did not remove overlap and duplication, ultimately the health care system we have today would no longer exist.

      So, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I feel it is important to point this out to you, to let members of the opposition particularly know that the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) does not stand alone on this issue, that the Minister of Health has the support certainly of the Minister of Finance and other members of the Executive Council and, indeed, all members of the government caucus.

      Because there is no more time.  This issue cannot be pushed off any longer.  To make my point, members opposite, if they want to be fair and look at the budgets in all of the other provinces, if they want to see the increased resources provided to health care regardless of who is in government, they will know fully well that restraint‑‑and I do not care whether you want to use the buzzwords of 10 years ago, whether they are acute, protracted, you can use any adjectives you want to describe it‑‑it is here.

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      So much so that when one‑‑I finally had the Estimates break‑out for Saskatchewan today.  I am not going to engage in a debate as to the horror story that the government there found with respect to the finances, because I think that would be fruitless.  But when a government in Saskatchewan takes out of the base $53 million, print over print, an NDP government, when I would say their No. 1 priority is no different than ours, no different than the NDP in Manitoba or the Liberals would they be in power.  Health, when you strip out $50 million‑plus, strip out out of the base, it tells you the seriousness of the situation.

      The members opposite can try and couch it in the terms that this government of Manitoba is purely trying to address it as a bottom‑line issue, that really all we are concerned about is the bottom line.  I can tell you, and if you want to read the editorials who said that ultimately philosophy, ideology has nothing to do with it, bottom lines ultimately are driven, they are imposed upon you.

      So here we are in Manitoba.  The members of the opposition have been calling for our reform package.  First of all, they chastise the minister for not doing it quickly enough; then in other cases when he has made announcements in the past, they have chastised him for not consulting them.  I have to be very careful when I say opposition, because there has been a difference in the viewpoints of opposition.  I have to be very careful.  I do not want to, certainly, get the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) into trouble.  He is trying to play, in my view, smart politics.

An Honourable Member:  He is doing a good job, too.

Mr. Manness:  Yes, he is, and he is going to get his credit, and his credit is coming, and it does not need to come from me, because coming from me is no tribute.  It is more important as to his constituents, not only his constituents who vote for him but obviously the people in the health care fraternity, who obviously he is close to.

      There is an obvious difference between political parties, because you have the Liberals, quite frankly, who I know the NDP are going to try and damage because of their view, and this is not siding with government now, and I never ever want to say that to the member for The Maples.  He is not trying to side with government.  What he cares about is the maintenance of the health care system, and we understand that.  We know that there are going to be days coming, and they may be around the corner, very quickly, where he will disagree violently with ultimately what is released, and certainly with the government and the Premier (Mr. Filmon), let alone the Minister of Health, and that is fair.

      But today is not the day to run against the government‑‑I do not care what government it is‑‑purely on Health, because the reality is, governments are not going to be able to deliver the system that is in place today.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, when the Minister of Finance from Saskatchewan says, and I quote:  I think the imperative right now is for Saskatchewan to send a signal to the international money markets that it is going to bring this deficit under control, said Dennis Kendel, Registrar of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons in Saskatoon.

      Some would say that oil and water do not mix, and they do not, but I am here to tell you money and health care mix.  They mix like any soluble in water, because you cannot have one without the other, so when they talk about reform in Saskatchewan, some change has already begun.  Mr. Tchorzewski said two hospitals in Prince Albert have agreed to unite under a single administrative board.  Similar moves in other centres. Saskatchewan has 134 hospitals, are expected to follow, including a reassessment of the way health care is provided to people in rural areas.  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, that is not an issue today, but the reality is I do not imagine there are an awful lot of politics to the NDP government in Saskatchewan having to resort to a move, whether it is voluntary within the city of Prince Albert or whether it has been pushed along a little bit by the government, I do not know.

      I am here to tell you that the pressure that we are putting on the Minister of Health, those of us in Treasury Board, is extreme, and he is going to be asked to review all elements of reform that take place elsewhere, and he is going to be asked to share with members of Treasury Board and Executive Council what is happening elsewhere, and to that end I am telling you that there is another meeting of Ministers of Health and Finance planned in June.  Ministers of Finance everywhere will be pushing their Ministers of Health to be involved in that process of sharing and to finding ways of removing overlap and duplication. Reform, however defined, will be the leading issue of the day in every province.

      However, what we have going for us in this province is we have a Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) who is reform minded and who also understands not only the system‑‑which he understands so well‑‑but understands exactly what will happen if we do not come to grips with this question.  That is why this Minister of Health is on the Economic Development Board of cabinet, because he fully understands how the two come together.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I do not have too many more remarks to make, and I know the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) is overjoyed to hear that statement, but the reality is these remarks had to be put onto the record, because I think it is crucial.  Well, there is no better time than Estimates.  This is the Minister's Salary.  This is opening free‑ranging philosophical debate.  It is the best time going for this type of discussion.

      So I say in closing that there is not a Minister of Finance across Canada‑‑as a matter of fact, I am almost tempted to ask the Premier to come in here, to enter this room and share with members of the House some of the commentary that occurred at the last First Ministers' Conference by First Ministers coming from the provinces and the territories.  He probably would not do so in fairness to the system which says that we treat things in confidence.

      I am here to tell you that there was not one political party, a spokesman which did not call out how we had to work together, how we had to try and set aside the politics with respect to this issue so we can maintain medicare.

      Furthermore, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, let me say this, that I have been critical of the federal government in the past.  Some have accused me of not going after Manitoba's share of the national wealth with the same enthusiasm maybe as others, but I still believe that the Canadian government when they go for tax money they go to Canadians for tax money and those Canadians are Manitobans.  We get 4 percent, we have 4 percent of the population.

      Beyond that, I guess I am highly critical of the federal government in one respect, in this whole area of reform in the area of health care.  I think they have just too simply, so simply walked away and said to the provinces, look, under the Constitution it is your power, you deal with it, you take the lead.  I say, if you are a federal government, you have a responsibility to share the leadership if indeed this is an important program to you.  I have said that over and over again to Ministers of Finance.

      My time is up, maybe I will have an opportunity to come back a little later on.  Thank you.

Mr. Gulzar Cheema (The Maples):  I want to take this opportunity as we were discussing in the late hours of last night.  We have gone through some of the issues the Minister of Finance has raised.  I wanted to go back on some of the issues which are very important from a realistic point of view from our caucus.  I want to tell the individuals who are going to read this Hansard that if anybody thinks that we are not smart, we are not intelligent, we are not caring, they are fooling themselves.

      I think the problem is that people are feeling insecure because they think and they believe‑‑and it is true‑‑that the health care reform is going to be successful.  That is the fear in the political mind of certain individuals and certain interested groups because they are going to lose their power. The power struggle is going to end when the reform is going to come.  I think that is the issue here.  It is not what Mr. Orchard is going to do, or Mr. Filmon is going to do, or Mrs. Carstairs is going to do, or Mr. Doer is going to do.  The question is the politicians are going to lose the power struggle in this issue.

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      This is disappearing at a rate faster than we know today. Even while we are discussing this issue, every province is doing it already, and some are afraid and some are simply watching. Some are more timid, they are going to run away from the responsibility.  Running away from the responsibility, not on the basis of their harming generations to come, they are simply being dishonest to themselves‑‑wake up in the morning and they go and just one day is gone and the next day is gone.

      The issue as I have persistently said for four years, it is not what this Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) is going to do that is going to benefit you today, it is going to benefit the next government and possibly in 10 years time.  He is cleaning the mess of somebody else which was left uncleaned five or ten years ago, whether it was a Tory government, or a Liberal government, or an NDP government.

      The issue is that when the Canada Health Act was brought in in 1966 it was one of the most beautiful things in the whole world, but they failed to recognize what was going to happen in the future.  It took them‑‑how many?‑‑18 years to again reaffirm it because they were afraid, but they simply reaffirmed the principles but without realizing what was happening and left the system open‑ended with no control attached, and left the hopes to the people that everything is going to be just fine and will continue to be.  That is not true.

      If anyone would read the Hansard between 1980 and '90, the question I have asked the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) more than any Health critic has ever done and probably will‑‑but then we realized the issues.  Everyone knows it.  The Minister of Health knows the problem.  We know the problem.  We have to come to an agreement in terms of how to reform the system.  The system can only be reformed if there is a political will, and the political will only comes from individuals who are credible, who have experience and who have courage and conviction.  That is why we said that we are not going to vote on these silly things‑‑traditionally political things which have no real meaning to the taxpayer on the street.  They want to see the reform, and they want to look at the whole picture.

      We do not want to say that everything is just rotten, which it is not.  We may not agree with the minister in many areas, but we want to have a good look at the system before we will say, yes, or no, or maybe.  That is why none of our caucus members on the health care issue has come here and spoken in that way, because we have made the decision.  It is a risky decision, but conscious and very, very smart for the taxpayers, and people will appreciate it.  I do not care how the mailing is going to go into my riding or the member for Inkster's (Mr. Lamoureux) riding or somewhere else, because there are many individuals who will throw that mailing out once they know what is happening in this House.

      That is why we had a vote yesterday, and that vote was not reported because the media knows what is happening here.  I mean, they know it, how the reform is taking place.  Just to frame individuals and say that more than 68 percent of Manitobans who voted for the two political parties, they are wrong?  If you want to have a look at it from that point of view, between us and the NDP there is a difference of 2,100 votes, and that does not make them any more credible than all of us.  The issue here is that all of us have to work together to have a good look at the system.

      That is why when we said that no special interest group, whether it is the physicians or nurses or somebody else, should have a final say.  We have a basis to say that because it has happened.  It is very good for the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).  He will be very popular.  He will tell them, you solve your problem and I will watch from the side.  I will be referee. That is a very easy way, and four years are going to be gone and he could have easily done that.  He does not have to go through this.  I am sure there are not many ministers who are knocking at Mr. Filmon's door who want to be a Health minister‑‑they are not.  The question here is simply whether the government is serious.  All the signs we have seen so far are positive in terms of seriousness.

      Whether the outcome is going to be achieved in a positive way remains to be seen and public opinion will judge that, but not 56 of us.  Some of them have no knowledge of the health care system.  It takes years and years of experience and knowledge and learning and everything.  Even sitting here more than 280 hours we are not even close to what we should know, but we are learning.  But if you are not learning from what you do not know then you are a pretty dishonest person.

      That is why I think people in this province are not calling radio stations and complaining about us.  They are not, so there is something that is being done which is right.  We are not receiving calls; we are receiving more positive ideas.  People are telling us how they would do it.  That is why I dare to challenge any member in this House to put those comments on the record.

      That is why we have brought Bill 51 to give an opportunity to all of us to give our views as to how we see our health care system.  So far, unfortunately, the NDP has not even once, I stand to be corrected, have not spoken on that bill even.  That shows the seriousness of the matter.  I mean, the political structure is there, all the phenomena is set up, the communication is there to hurt us, but they are not hurting us individually, they are hurting themselves.

      I want the member for St. Johns to realize, because she has a good chance to be Minister of Health and if she wants to do good for Manitoba, then she should learn and I think the time is to look at the package and then make your judgment call based on the facts and scientific evidence, not based on the political colours.

      I will be very interested to see whenever the package comes how each and every party is going to react.  I think then the real debate is going to start because this year when we started the Health Services Commission I asked the Minister of Health, I said, what do you want me to debate in this one?  These numbers are not real.  If these are real, then you do not have reform and if you have reform then why are you debating this?  Why do we not come back in two to three weeks' time and debate the whole thing?

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      Unfortunately, we did not have the package in front of us. Once we have the package then we will see how each and every caucus member, even the government members may have difficulty with some of the issues but I think it is worth talking and discussing, bringing the issues out.

      Can you tell me that the Premier of Newfoundland is not smart?  Can you tell me the Premier of New Brunswick is not intelligent?  Can you tell me that Bob Rae, the saviour of the socialist party, is not smart?  Can you tell me Mr. Filmon is not smart?  Can you tell me Mr. Roy Romanow is not smart?  Very credible individuals who are giving their time, but they see the truth and I think truth is that the system has to change, whether we like it or not.

      I think that is why it is so important, somebody can say that we are wasting time, this is not wastage of time, this is making each and every one realize how serious the problem is.  I mean, governments can fall on Autopac rates within 12 or 13 percent. The NDP government fell on that issue, but we will be raising health care for 178 percent over eight or 10 years.  Everyone thinks it is free.  It is not free.  You and me and everyone is paying it.

      It was one of the easiest things in politics to do it, say that we care.  I mean, who does not care?  Anybody who comes to this House, they all care.  They may have their political affiliation, but deep down they want to work and why would they work against what the majority of individuals are wanting?  Who wants to take any stand in this House and say they do not want care for themselves?  All of us would like to have the best possible health care, but that can be achieved and if somebody would say that within the money we have, we cannot manage the system, so either we are lying or the other countries who are doing better than us within the same framework are lying, or they are not doing the right things, or they have a direct pipeline to some other genius.  They do not; they are people like us.  They have the same policies, same framework, but they are spending less money.  Because they had control, they knew what they were doing.

      So there is something that has gone wrong.  Talk to each and every person, they will give you good ideas.  They will tell you how we can improve the system, but the system will only improve if there is courage, and bold steps are being taken.  Bold steps means not looking after one bed, two beds, here and there.  We have talked about the bed situation.  The bed is the power symbol of a given profession.  If a bed is there, the saying is, it will be occupied.

      That is not coming from somebody who is interested in making votes.  It is coming from the health economists.  It is coming from physicians who are practising and they are credible individuals.  It is coming from the conference which happened last night at Deer Lodge Centre.  It came from that group, very, very intelligent people who are hardworking from all particular backgrounds.

      So, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I would repeat again that it is very important.  The system has to succeed.  Our interest is then that the minister should succeed for the sake of health care.  If he fails, we will all fail.  That is the way I look at the whole system.  We are giving a lot of time, a lot of hours.  I am working 102 hours per week.  I have to maintain another part of my life.

      But still, I think this is very important.  I do not think we will ever get this opportunity again in terms of making a contribution.  Individuals will say, as they said last night, single MLAs or a third party cannot make a difference.  I think we can.  A single MLA, two, three MLAs, people who know what they want to do, and a third party, can make a lot of difference.

      I just want, again, to jolt the conscience of those who do not want to listen.  Please, be in touch with the real people not with the interested groups.  Only then we can achieve health care.

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I think the debate this afternoon is already most informative.

      I want to follow up, and I want to say this without any intonation or anything, I just want to state this as a statement of fact.  The member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) has a professional discipline which, to put it very bluntly, he has a larger income‑earning opportunity than any other person around this table, and is here because he cares about the health care system.  That is why I have listened carefully and attentively whenever he has made comments, because he does not have to be here.

      I cannot say that for myself and for many other individuals, who, from time to time, offer observation, because this may be as worthy a place as they can find for the time being.  But that is not the case with the member for The Maples, and he understands the system from the inside, from practising within it.  That opportunity to practise his professional training is being curtailed by being here, making suggestions, to make sure that the system is there to offer the services that people need.  That kind of approach to health care changes is gaining respect.

      I simply say that because I know, I saw in the Souris paper, where my honourable friends the New Democrats, again cranking up the paper mills out of their caucus room, have been putting out the press releases saying, well, once again, the Liberal Party has joined with the Conservative Party on health care issues and there was a chance to defeat the government on health care issues, attempting to discredit the positive discussions and suggestions that have been offered by the Liberal Party in this Estimates process.

      What I find to be offensive about that approach is I have pleaded with the member for St. Johns on behalf of the New Democrats to simply give us an indication of what they do believe in.  We can find out at any moment of debate what they do not believe in, but we do not know what they believe in.  They allege to believe in health care reform, that they want to support the process, that they want to contribute towards it, but we have had absolutely no observation as to what they believe a reformed health care system can be, and how we can get there.

(Mr. Bob Rose, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)

      When we posed the question quite simply to the New Democrats, well, give me a hint.  Tell me which province, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, emulates the kind of policy that you think are more appropriate than ours?  The silence is deadly.

      So I posed the next question, which province, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, more closely emulates the funding policy that a New Democrat in Manitoba would feel appropriate?  The silence is double deadly in that case.

      We have not had any idea of where New Democrats stand except that they want to achieve government.  To do what, we do not know.  Because we note governments have changed and elected New Democrats.  You can read the pre‑election rhetoric from Bob Rae, and you will find a significantly changed Bob Rae when he is in government.  Because the cold, hard reality of facing decision making, as government does not afford the luxury of being on all sides of all issues.  You have to make decisions.

      Consistency in approach is something that will win us all favour with the electorate, because we are not fooling with people.  The people of this province understand the real challenges that are there.  They know that there are no quick fixes to very serious and fundamental problems with government.

      They are sick and tired of pure, political posturing.  They want to have some integrity brought around the debate.  They want some honesty from their elected officials, and they want us to deal with issues and try to resolve them.  That is what they are really looking for.

* (1610)

      The taxpayers of this country and the voters of Manitoba are just a lot more intelligent than the demeaning press releases that, from time to time, emanate out of political parties trying to paint a picture which is inaccurate, for narrowed, political purposes.  I recognize we are in a political forum.  But Manitobans and Canadians want this political forum to start making decisions for the betterment of our respective provinces in this nation of Canada.

      I will be there, trying to make those kinds of decisions.  I will also be there listening to advice and criticism where we have, maybe, proposed an inappropriate course of action.  I am willing to listen to a better way.  That again, I have to say, we have received that kind of support from the second opposition party, and we have made changes from time to time when it has been pointed out that what we were going to do needed to be changed.

      That is the essence of this process of Estimates debate in this Legislature.  I look forward, as quickly as we have the opportunity, to discuss the action plan that we have in the vision for the future of health care reform in Manitoba.  I look forward to the kind of discussion we can have to see whether all elected officials in this Legislature can rise above the fast political advantage and start dealing with a very serious issue in a very constructive way.  That is going to be the true test of elected life in this session of this Legislature.

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (St. Johns):  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, first let me indicate that this is a most unusual finish to our Estimates:  The government speaking out and filibustering the Estimates for the Department of Health.

      I think that although the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) would like to pretend that is not the case and suggest that this a philosophical discussion, it is clearly much more than that. There are some very interesting dynamics at play in this room this afternoon.

      I am not sure whether to feel flattered, whether to be outraged, or whether to be deeply saddened.  There are reasons to feel any one of those three characteristics.  I certainly have reason to feel flattered, having seen over the last couple of days the big guns being sent in to defend the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) and his reputation.  We sat here, we are sitting here now, hearing from the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) about the great integrity, the intelligence, the major contribution of this minister to the province of Manitoba.

      We heard last evening from the Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) who wanted to tell us just how warm and fuzzy and cuddly the Minister of Health is, and what a pussy cat he is in contrast to the appearance he presents here in Estimates.

      How many more?  How many more speakers, members of the cabinet need to come forward while we are still in Health Estimates and defend the Minister of Health or to deal with the great threat that I pose to this government, that I as an individual appear to pose, that the Minister of Finance suggested is the case.  I wish he could stay to hear these remarks because in fact the Minister of Finance imputed a lot of motives, questioned my integrity, made all kinds of insinuations about my role as an MLA.  That is why I do not know whether I should feel outraged, personally outraged, at the kind of attack that the government and the Minister of Finance‑‑I do not need to mention the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard), I have been under that kind of attack for almost 60 hours‑‑and now joined by the Liberals, the other Conservative Party in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly.

      Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) came in at the end of our Estimates process, after the end of almost 60 hours of debate, without knowing what has transpired in this room.  He does not know the kind of attack that I and others in the New Democratic Party have been under by the Minister of Health.  He does not know the kind of abuse that has been heaped upon me.  I have made no secret of describing to others outside of this room and this building the kind of macho game that is played out in these hallways, the kind of verbal abuse that has to be tolerated.

      I have made no secret about telling people that I have left many a session of Estimates feeling like a battered women.  I make no exaggeration here.  The kind of insults and personal attacks that the minister has been so willing to dish out have been nonstop for almost 60 hours.

      So if the Minister of Finance wants to question anyone's motives and anyone's integrity, he should start looking in his own caucus room, around his own cabinet table.

      Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I have come to this Estimates process with the intention of asking questions and getting information about our health care system.  I do not believe I have wavered from that intention and that goal.  I have not come here to try to personally attack the minister, to go after the intentions of the Liberal health critic.  I have come here to ask questions and I have asked questions, hundreds and hundreds of questions for which I have received almost no answers.

      I have brought before me so that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) can witness what I have gone through and what others have gone through apart of our Estimates discussion, which if he cares to glance through, he will notice that for every short question that is asked taking up an inch or two of space, we have columns of response by the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) as he uses up the 30 minutes allocated to him to avoid the issues and questions posed by the opposition, by the New Democratic Party.

      Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, we have done nothing but ask questions.  That brings me to the third feeling I have this afternoon of being deeply saddened because in fact, by implication, the Minister of Finance of all people is suggesting censorship in these hallways, in the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, in the committee dealing with the Estimates of the Department of Health.

      Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, he has suggested that throughout this process I and other members of the New Democratic Party have done a disservice, have done a disservice to this process, this specific one we are in, the Estimates process, and to the broader legislative process that we are a part of on a day‑to‑day basis as elected members.

      He has suggested that, by doing all this, by asking questions, there is something wrong.  We are less honest than we should be.  He has suggested that we should not be doing all this.  That is nothing more than a form of censorship.

      He wants it both ways.  The Minister of Finance suggests that we should be putting our position on record.  The Minister of Health keeps saying that.  But then he suggests at the same time that by asking questions we have done something wrong.

      Now, which way does the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health want to have it?  Which way does this Conservative cabinet want to have it?  What is it?  What do you want out of this process, except, as far as I can see, you want passivity. You want no questions of any kind of significance as you sort through these very difficult issues.  You want something that has never been afforded any government anywhere in our democratic process at any time in the history of Manitoba; you want the opposition not to ask questions.

      You want them not to be there, raising concerns they hear in their constituencies and in health facilities and community health centres and nonprofit organizations and health care professionals right around the province of Manitoba.

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

      You want us not to be bringing forward those concerns and voicing their questions.  By so suggesting that here this afternoon, each and every one of those are advocating that position, which includes all members, obviously, of the Conservative government‑‑now, it would appear, all members of the Liberal Party‑‑and are suggesting that we should not be doing the first role and carrying out the first responsibility that we have as elected members of the Legislative Assembly.  That is to speak up for our constituents, to represent those who do not have voice in this Chamber, to speak up for the powerless, the most vulnerable, the weak members of our society.  That is our first obligation.  That was why we were elected.  That is what we are here for.

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      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, for the last, almost 60 hours, that is what I have been doing.  That is what other members of my caucus have been doing.  We have been raising the questions that constituents have been asking.  We have been voicing concerns brought to our attention by those who work in the field or who use the health care system.  That is legitimate.  There is nothing lacking in terms of integrity when one does that.  That is honest and decent.  I make no apologies for our approach.

      If this government has been threatened by our persistent questions, and if the Liberals in this Chamber do not want to ask those tough questions, then let that be the case for those two political parties.  But we are not going to abdicate our responsibility, stop doing that which our constituents expect us to do.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I have mentioned the last 60 hours; I have mentioned the kind of verbal abuse that the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) has been wont to dish out to me personally, other members of my caucus as well.  I have mentioned the lengthy answers.  I have mentioned his wont to turn every one of our questions around and point the questions to members of the opposition.

      All of those scenarios point to misuse of the Estimates process, if one could point anywhere to misuse of the Estimates process and the democratic procedures we have in place in this Chamber.  So, if anyone wants to point fingers at why we have been here for 60 hours, and what has happened, and why feelings are high, are tense, why emotions are high, then let us look first at what has caused this to be stretched out, this Estimates process to be stretched out for almost 60 hours.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I have only been in politics for six years.  I do not make claims to have been a member of this Legislative Assembly for the length of time of the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) or the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), but I have been here long enough to have seen how this Chamber works from both angles, from being in government and being in opposition.  I may not have been here for all the years of Bud Sherman and Larry Desjardins, but I have been in government for two years when the Minister of Health was then the critic for Health.  I see, and I recall and I remember something quite different from what the Minister of Finance described to us today, the Minister of Finance's suggestion that it was the spirit of co‑operative, consultative approach to health care led by the Minister of Health, then the critic for Health for the Conservative Party.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, as colleagues around this table know, there has been no one more political around the health care issue than the now Minister of Health.  He has mastered the games that are played, the strategies and tactics that are so common in this Chamber.  He has turned this process into one big game.  So I do not know on what basis the Minister of Health comes here today and suggests something quite different, or on what basis he suggests that circumstances have changed so drastically that we should all, now that they are in government and the heat is on, stop playing the normal, accepted, honest, well‑meaning role of opposition and opposition critic. [interjection]

      My colleague the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale) mentions the focus that the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Health and others have suggested should be the case for this set of Estimates and for the whole political discussion or legislative discussion on health care, and that has been this term "nonpolitical."  Suddenly in the last few months, as the heat has been cranked up and the issues have been fast and furious in the media, in the eye of the public, more and more attention is placed on this whole area.  Suddenly it must be miraculously converted into a nonpolitical issue‑‑[interjection]

      Of course, it is a phony issue.  As the member for Burrows says, that is a phony issue.  The Minister of Health is political.  He is political when he discusses behind closed doors and in secret his health care plans.  The minister is political when he makes decisions around the cabinet table about what level of funding that goes to hospitals.  The minister is political with each and every decision he makes.  I am political.  That is part of my job.  The member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) is political.  We all have concerns to raise, questions to ask and we all of course seek areas where we can work together, and compromise and co‑operate and consult.

Mr. Cheema:  So do that.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  The member for The Maples says, so why not do that?  Well, let me tell you, one does that when one starts with a base of information.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, you will know for 60 hours almost we have been trying to get that base level of information so that we can then begin to analyze the overall plan, the vision, the direction that this government is taking health care in.

      The member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) wants to co‑operate, wants to join with members of the Conservative government without that base of information.  I have not, in asking all of these questions, taken positions and put on record a clear direction for our party, because we do not know, we do not have the information.  The Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) has been very diligent and very persistent about refusing to give even the most basic information, the most preliminary details of this whole budgeting exercise when it comes to health care.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is impossible to do what the minister, the other Minister of Health, the associate Minister of Health, the other Conservative Minister of Health is suggesting, to co‑operate and join in, join hands, align with the Conservative government without having the information, without knowing the direction of this government, without knowing the plans of this minister.

      All we are asking for, all we have done over the last 60 hours, all that we will continue to do is to ask those questions, so that we can begin to understand and help facilitate at a time of very critical issues around health care in our society today.

      Over and over again in this debate I have heard people say, no one has a monopoly on compassion.  I have heard the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) point specifically to the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) and suggest that only he cares for the maintenance of health care.  I have heard the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) today suggest and imply that by our questions, by our persistence over the last 60 hours and more, members of the New Democratic Party do not care about health care and about the quality of our health care system.

* (1630)

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the only reason we are here today, why we have been here for 60 hours, why we have been asking questions long before we started Estimates on March 11, or whatever date it was, is because we care.  It is that compassion and that concern and that caring about our health care system that is the driving force behind our questions, not the kind of games that others have hinted at.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  I am trying to hear the honourable member's statement.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  Thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.  So if the Minister of Health and the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) and others around this table, who have felt it so necessary to come and defend the Minister of Health today and yesterday and at other times, believe that no one has a monopoly on compassion and concern, then try and understand that our questions, our concerns, the issues that we raise on a persistent consistent basis are driven by a concern to maintain a quality health care system.  They emerge out of deeply held feelings about our medicare system.  They are driven by determination to keep in place that universally accessible, comprehensive, portable health care system.

      I am not here to engage in any kind of one‑up‑personship.  I am not trying to end up, after a set of Estimates, and say, I asked more questions than the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema).  I do not care who asked more questions.  I am here‑‑

An Honourable Member:   . . . because you are trying to play pure politics.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the Minister of Health keeps interrupting and suggesting that putting out press releases expressing concern about particular programs and developments and issues in our health care system is playing politics.  Then I do not know where the minister is coming from.

      All I can say is that we raise the issues out of concern and a belief, No. 1, that we have a job to do to speak up for constituents, No. 2, that we have a responsibility to preserve our medicare system, and No. 3, that we have a right, as members of this Legislative Assembly, to exercise our rights and freedoms.  That means to ask questions, to voice concerns, to demand answers.  If there is something wrong with any one of those three objectives, then I guess I am in the wrong place, then I guess maybe this place has become more of a game than a place of reasoned decision‑making.

      But, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am not about to give up on this place because of the games that are played.  I am going to stay, to work, to change this place so that it is possible to come forward and ask questions without being accused of taking positions, so that it is possible to express emotion and compassion without being dismissed as hysterical, so that it is possible to speak up in defense of something without being accused of not being open to change.

      I do not need to put on record the New Democratic Party's long‑held position and feelings and statements about health care reform.  It is a joke for the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) and the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) to suggest today and every day, as they have over the past 60 hours, that they have not heard the New Democratic Party say they are in support of health care reform.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the Minister of Health can go back and check the record beyond last night.  He can go right back to the very first day of Estimates.  He can even go beyond that to statements made outside of this Legislature that date back many years ago.  It is absolutely false for the minister to suggest that he heard the NDP call for health care reform for the first time last night, because when he became minister in 1988, he inherited and benefited from a very lengthy, thoughtful process around health care reform.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there is no secret in the province of Manitoba, and particularly in our health care community, about the work that Wilson Parasiuk was involved in.  If the Minister of Health and the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) want to question the process that was begun and the documents that are in place, then that is fine.  I do not need to defend the record and the statements made.  The members all know‑‑

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  Let us see if we can have a little bit of decorum here so the honourable member can finish.  She has only got two minutes left, or three minutes.

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Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  All members in this committee room know that there are clear, unequivocal, strong public pronouncements by the New Democratic Party in Manitoba for health care reform spelled out in considerable detail and made with determination and conviction.  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, for the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) to continue as he has done for 60 hours and heckle from his seat, and make statements that impute motive, and suggest that members are not honest in this Chamber is contrary to the rules of this Chamber.  I am not going to suggest that he withdraw them now because of the time that has already gone by today, but I think if we can agree on anything today let us agree on trying to deal with each other with respect and with honesty and with decency.

      We may have different views.  We may have different approaches.  We may have different priorities, but we are all here with the conviction and the determination to do what is best.  I have not questioned the minister's personal integrity around his involvement in health care decision making in health care reform.  I have not questioned the member for The Maples' (Mr. Cheema) personal integrity and goals and objectives in this whole process.  I believe that each one of us comes to this table with conviction and determination to do what is best, and, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I want the record to show, since it is I who has been under attack by all the big guns in the Conservative cabinet and others in the Legislature, I want all to know that I too come to this process with personal conviction and integrity and honesty, and I come with deep roots in a party and a movement that has fought long and hard for the creation of medicare and will fight long and hard for the reform of our health care system in order to achieve the goal of the preservation of medicare.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, first of all just to start off on the comments that have been put on the record by the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis).  She comes to the table as the critic for the New Democratic Party, and a lot of the things over the 60 hours that she has put onto the record I would suggest to you are not what is in fact in the best interest of the people of this province.  Her first obligation as a legislator is to come to this particular Estimates table and to represent the constituents in a responsible and truthful manner whenever she is given the opportunity to put forward questions.  She has also been given the responsibility as the New Democratic critic for health care to also come to this table and express the policy of the New Democratic Party.

      I am very concerned with the direction of the health care in the province of Manitoba.  Like her, I care.  I want to see 20, 25 years from now a universal health care system that is based on the fundamental principles about health care which the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) has proposed in the form of Bill 51.  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is not only the New Democratic Party that believes in a universal health care, and they feel somewhat obligated to take whatever stand they can in order to achieve political points.  The member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis) time after time tried to emphasize that her line of questioning, her motions that have been brought forward to this committee is all out of compassion, all out of love for our health care in the province of Manitoba.

      I do not believe that for a second, Mr. Deputy Chairperson. I do not believe that the sincerity of the New Democratic Party in the province of Manitoba is in the best interests of the health care in this province, if in fact that was a sincere attempt or a sincere belief of the New Democratic Party that we have a universal health care, that we all work together towards achieving a universal health care, that we would see more of a co‑operation, more of a responsible approach to trying to overcome some of the problems that we have in our health care. Rather, what I see is a political party that is completely at odds with doing what is necessary in order to secure a future for a universal health care.

      I see the New Democratic Party in Manitoba say one thing when they are in government, another thing when they are in opposition.  I would like to think that in Manitoba you have four major political parties when it comes to dealing with health care.  You have the Conservative Party, you have the Liberal Party, you have the NDP party in opposition, and the NDP party in government.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I sincerely believe that because I listen to a motion where the member, and I supported the motion in charging user fees for northern transportation allowance of $50, but there were user fees that the NDP had.  I would argue that a user fee for a senior to be able to require or gain access to medication is just as much a user fee as charging $50 for someone to be able to come to the city of Winnipeg to get treatment.

      I would suggest to you, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the Saskatchewan budget that was just introduced last week, that had a user fee for individuals to get their eyes examined, is much worse than what the member for St. Johns is proposing.  We have the member for St. Johns stand up time after time to criticize the government that they are closing down health care beds.  They have got to realize that they were the first administration across Canada to close down health care beds, while at the same time they will justify their criticism of closing down health care beds.

      Well, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we believe that it is necessary that we have to do what is a responsible thing to do to ensure that we have the health care system for tomorrow.  If that means that 25 health care beds should be closed down in a particular health institution, creating enough monies to have 50 personal care home beds so that you can take out 50 individuals out of our hospitals that could be in health care beds that would create an additional 25 health care beds, well then what is wrong with doing that?

      But, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the New Democratic Party is not willing to come to that realization, and the reason why they do not want to acknowledge that is because they do not believe that that is going to get the headlines that they believe are necessary in order to convince the public that they are the front runners in protecting our health care systems.  As the member for The Maples says, that is nothing but rubbish, a bunch of garbage, that the New Democratic Party has no more sincerity in the preservation of our health care system than any other political party in Manitoba, at least of the top three political parties‑‑well the fourth one, the NDP in government is the third one I am referring to.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in fact they are doing quite the opposite as an opposition party.  They are preventing legitimate health care reform because whatever might come out, whatever document they might be able to achieve instead of trying to come to grips on whether or not it is in best interests of the health care in the province of Manitoba is irrelevant.  Their interest is to try to get that one headline that is going to see them being portrayed or painted as the saviour of health care when, in fact, it is the complete opposite.

      In fact, that is the NDP party, the NDP party in opposition that is going to destroy the health care system.  All you need to do, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, is look across Canada and see what the NDP are doing in Ontario, what they are doing in Saskatchewan, what they are doing in B.C.  To the member of St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), I am not defending the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).  What I want the Minister of Health to do, as the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) has tried to say, is to bring forward the plan, so that we can criticize the health care policy as a whole, and give direction and give legitimate contributions as to where we believe, as an opposition party, as a responsible opposition party, where the government should be going on health care reform.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I heard from the Minister of Health, in questions and answers from the member for St. Johns, regarding hospital deficits, and the New Democratic government put in a policy, a government policy, that allowed no hospitals to have deficits.  But, once they get into the opposition, whether that policy was good or bad, whether that policy was in the best interests of the public of Manitoba or not, they have changed their position.

      The minister, and I would say fairly, asked the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis) to put on the record what the New Democratic Party out of government office is, what their position is.  Have they changed?  Have they had a flip‑flop?  But they would not respond to it.  They would not respond to what I believe is part of an argument that is needed.  If you have an opposition party on health care, something that all three political parties at one point or another have argued needs to be depoliticized to a certain extent in order to ensure that we have universal health care.  In order for that to happen, we need to have at this table legitimate debate.  That means that all three political parties that sit here have to be honest, they have to be forthright, they have to be willing to sacrifice‑‑

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An Honourable Member:  And nonpolitical.

Mr. Lamoureux:  ‑‑some, and to the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale), and nonpolitical.  Unfortunately his Health critic has not been nonpolitical, and that is the problem.  If the Health critic for the NDP party, or if the NDP party was in fact apolitical, the New Democratic Party would be doing a much better service to the citizens of this province.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the New Democratic Party‑‑

An Honourable Member:  It is a coalition.

Mr. Lamoureux:  I believe‑‑and to the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) no, it is not a coalition.

An Honourable Member:  Oh, yes, it is.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Is it a coalition on the Meech Lake?  Is it a coalition on the Constitution?  Day after day we see the Leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Doer), because he does not understand the Constitution, saying, I want it to be apolitical, because he does not have a basic understanding of the Constitution.  That is the truth of the matter.

      But now when it comes to let us be apolitical about health care, well, no, we like to think we understand this issue, which is not the case; they do not understand the issue, but they like to think they understand health care.  They want it to be apolitical if the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis) and the New Democratic Party can still score their political points.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I will suggest to you that the interests of my constituents would be best served if the New Democratic Party would grab some principles and start arguing for legitimate health care reform.  There is nothing wrong with criticizing the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).  I do not want to leave the impression that the Minister of Health has done everything 100 percent in the way in which I would encourage the critic from The Maples, but I would suggest to you that in fact all of the residents of Manitoba would be the winner if we agreed in principle that what is needed is open debate that would not be taken advantage of.

      Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we see that type of open debate in committees such as LAMC, such as committees that are established to talk about pensions, about politicians and their salaries, and so forth.  We see the apolitical debate there, and things are brought forward in a very open fashion.  Yet points are still scored.  Points are still scored whether we want to have an apolitical debate whatever it might be.

      I find that there is a double standard, that the New Democratic Party feels that health care is their issue, and for that reason they have to oppose for the sake of opposing, whether it is good or bad, and that they will not lose the support. Well, I will suggest to you that the New Democratic Party will somehow now go out to my constituents in a letter, in direct mail, and will say that I supported health care bed cuts.  How can they justify it?

      Well, we will let them do it, because, as the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh) says, they do not worry about justifying their actions, because, ultimately, all they want to do is achieve government, achieve government at whatever cost.

      The member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis), in her speech, said, we do not want to be political; there is nothing that we have done in the Estimates to be political.  I read from the Souris Valley Echo‑‑and this is from the member who says, I want to be apolitical‑‑where the headline is:  Liberals support Orchard's silence on hospital budgets.  NDP Health Critic Judy Wasylycia‑Leis expressed disappointment with Liberal caucus's support of the Health minister's refusal to release details of the hospital budget.

      Well, stick to the facts.  Stick to the facts.  The member for St. Johns did not even understand what it is that she has been telling the media.  She did not even understand.  Not only that, she was not even truthful to the media.  Why did she not tell the media‑‑

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  I would like to remind the honourable member to refrain from reflecting on the honesty or the integrity of another member.  I would ask that he retract that statement.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I will retract that‑‑

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Thank you.

Mr. Lamoureux:  ‑‑and I will ask the NDP to be truthful.  I will ask the NDP party to be truthful, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.

      I suggest to you, had they understood exactly what happened‑‑because I do not think they did.  What the member wanted to do was to move, to avoid going line by line, realizing that all the other issues of health care are not important, we just want to debate the hospitals.  That is what the member for St. Johns wanted to do.  She wanted to go straight to the debating of hospitals.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  Could I ask the members of the committee please to try and keep a little bit of decorum? I have allowed a little bit of leniency here and there, but at this time, I would like to hear the honourable member for Inkster's statements.

Mr. Lamoureux:  I know that the truth has been hurting with the New Democratic Party.

An Honourable Member:  That was the April 16 vote.

Mr. Lamoureux:  It was the April 16 vote.  That is good.  She might have gotten the date right, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, but she got everything else wrong on it.  The Liberal Party did not oppose debating the hospital budgets.  Had we passed the lines, we would have eventually gotten to the hospitals.  But unlike the New Democratic Party, we feel that the whole health care budget needs to be debated, needs to be questioned, needs to be addressed, unlike the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis).

      I will tell you, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is because the member for St. Johns does not have a real understanding of the whole health care budget.  She is focussed directly on the hospitals because it applies to that quote‑unquote basic NDP principle of health care, hospital beds.  If you can say hospital beds are being closed, we are going to get votes.  That is the theory when they go in before caucus:  Hey, guess what, I can say they are going to be closing down hospital care beds.

      That is where debate ends.  Great stuff.  Go to the media, tell them that, and get that headline.  You will be doing us a service. [interjection]

      To the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman):  I do care.  That is the reason why I am criticizing and emphasizing all of my time on the New Democratic Party, because only if they would come to the realization, as the Liberal Party has‑‑the one that I like to classify as the responsible opposition‑‑if they would come to the same realization, that they will be doing Manitoba a service by being up‑front, that they might put the NDP party second, behind the New Democratic Party, the party with no darn principles, whatever you want to call it.

      But they would be doing much better service to the public of the province of Manitoba if they brought forward legitimate debate and allowed a process to go through.

      To the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman), unfortunately I have been listening and that is the reason why I have drawn the conclusions that I have.  Had the member for Dauphin been here for part of the debate he too might be talking to the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia-Leis), and if he was doing what was in the best interest of the constituents that put him here I would suggest to him that he might want to bring this matter up in caucus.  Because this is something that should be caucused, that the health care of the province of Manitoba and the need to have universal health care is in the best interest of Manitobans. That is what should be given the first priority, not the New Democratic Party.  That the health care of the province of Manitoba is for the province of Manitoba not for the NDP party, that it is not the New Democratic Party that owns the issue of health care reform, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.  It is not the New Democratic Party that cares.

      I can recall standing up on resolutions and where I spoke about the universality the NDP said, well, we are the ones that brought universal health care in; it was in Saskatchewan.  Well, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, if we want to get technical it was the Liberals in 1919 in a policy resolution they had for universal health care.  Now, I do not know‑‑the NDP were not even around at that time.  Let us go back to the NDP in Saskatchewan.  The NDP in Saskatchewan were going to implement user fees, and the only reason why they did not implement the user fees is because of Audrey McLaughlin.  They realized that any core support that they would get would be lost.  They realized that.

      You know how much good Bob has done for the country of Canada?  Could you imagine what would have happened had Roy Romanow done what he really wanted to do, and let there be no question about it, when I met with the Leader of the New Democratic Party in Manitoba at a function, I said to him, do not worry; he will not bring it in.  Audrey McLaughlin and the NDP will not allow it.  So, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I say to the member‑‑

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Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  The time is now five o'clock, and time for private members' hour.

ommittee rise.




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

Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (Deputy Chairperson of Committees):  Madam Chairperson, last evening in the section of Supply meeting in Room 255 a motion was moved by the honourable member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis) that line 1.(a) Minister's Salary be reduced to $50.  The motion was debated and was defeated on a voice vote.  A formal vote was then requested.

      As the hour was after 10 p.m., in accordance with Rule 65.(9)(b), the formal vote on the matter was accordingly deferred until the next sitting of the Committee of Supply in the Chamber.

Madam Chairperson:  Order, please.  A formal vote has been requested.  Call in the members.

* * *

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Madam Chairperson:  Order, please.  Will the committee please come to order.

      The question before the committee is the motion moved by the honourable member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis) on May 11, 1992, in the section of Supply considering the Estimates of the Department of Health, Room 255, that line 1.(a) Minister's Salary be reduced to $50.

       A COUNTED VOTE was taken, the result being as follows:  Yeas 17, Nays 30.

Madam Chairperson:  The motion is accordingly lost.

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Madam Chairperson, I was paired with the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) for the vote, but had I had an opportunity, I certainly would have voted in favour of the motion.

Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Madam Chairperson, I also was paired with the Minister of Energy and Mines (Mr. Downey), and had I voted, I would have voted with the opposition.

* * *

Madam Chairperson:  Order, please.  We will resume consideration of the Estimates.

      This section of the Committee of Supply is dealing with the Estimates for the Department of Education and Training.  We are on item 5, page 42, Post‑Secondary, Adult and Continuing Education and Training.  Would the minister's staff please enter the Chamber?

      5.(a) Executive Administration:  (1) Salaries.

Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Madam Chairperson, I wonder if the minister has had time now to find out what the status is of the address for papers, and can tell me whether or not it is her intention to comply with it?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Madam Chairperson, well, I am informed that the address for papers was accepted as an address, and the meaning of that acceptance is that then there would be a forwarding of policy available.  I understand that the member was assured last year that if there was policy available that he would receive it.

      The answer today remains the same as the answer yesterday. There is not a specific written policy at this time on deaf education specifically and none has been requested specifically from that group when I have met with them since the time that I have been minister.

      As I informed the member last evening, the policies that are available through the Department of Education and Training, that being the strategic plan, it outlines broadly the goals and the objectives of this department in dealing with the issues of education.  I also reference the Guidelines for Special Education in Manitoba for him, and I also outlined program availability information last evening.

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      So at this point, I believe the member has the information that is available on deaf education, but if he has any further questions, I am prepared to listen.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, the minister, when she spoke last night, referenced a series of policy manuals that govern the operations of the Department of Education over and above the General Manual of Administration.

      The Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) has in the past agreed to make, and subsequently did make, copies of all departmental administrative manuals available to the library so that there would be reserved in the library here a copy of such manuals that would be regularly updated as policy within the department changed.  Is this minister prepared to make a similar commitment?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, I am certainly willing to provide those copies to the library.  I am also prepared to table today the Guidelines for Special Education in Manitoba for the member's use, because perhaps he is not familiar with it yet.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, perhaps the minister could tell me by what date we can expect those manuals to be registered in the library?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As soon as possible, Madam Chairperson.

Mr. Alcock:  Could we try to put some boundaries on that?  Would that be within the next week?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, we will have them there within the next three weeks.

Mr. Alcock:  Can the minister list for me what manuals those will be?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I read into the record last evening the list of documents which I believe would be helpful for the member, but I am prepared to table at the next sitting those documents which we will then place into the library.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, could the minister just clarify for me, is she talking about all manuals in the department from K to 12 through post‑secondary or just post‑secondary?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I will be pleased to table the manuals that also cover the administration of the K to 12 section.  As I said last evening, manuals such as the General Manual of Administration, our strategic plan, the Special Education guidelines in Manitoba, which I have tabled for the member today, the document answering the challenge, the FRAME manual and we will make sure that it is complete.

Madam Chairperson:  Item 5.(a)(1).

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, I appreciate the minister agreeing to doing that.  I trust the people who wish that information will also be satisfied with that response.

      I would like to move on now.  The question of governance was discussed at some length yesterday afternoon‑‑this is governance re the colleges.  I would like the minister to tell me whether or not there has been discussion as they have looked at establishing the boards and changing the governance of the colleges, of the liability of board members, and the responsibility of board members such as there has been within the Department of Family Services.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the process to college governance has been a very orderly one, and the first phase has been completed.  We are now into the second phase progressing to governance.  In that phase, we will be looking in detail at all matters relating to the human resource development, the financial side, and also the legalities of all matters in community college governance.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, the question before us right now though is whether or not the same policy that was applied to the boards of the Child and Family Services agencies will be applied to the boards that are going to take over the governance of the colleges.

      Specifically, will individual board members be personally liable for deficits of the colleges?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the details are not referenced in The Colleges Act, and therefore, to look at this matter we have an interdepartmental conversion team and that is looking at all of the details.

      On that interdepartmental conversion team, we have a member from the ministry of Justice who is assisting us with the legalities.  We will be looking at all aspects, and certainly this is one area that we will be looking at in the process.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, could the minister clarify that for me?  The government made a specific policy statement relative to the boards of nongovernment agencies.  Is the minister now telling us that this department is not bound by that policy statement?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am certainly not saying that I am not going to follow it.  I am saying that at the moment it is under consideration and under the process of development.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, does under consideration mean that this committee can reject it?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the committee is an advisory body.  The committee is mandated to look at all issues.  The document will then be brought to the minister and then to government.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, then are we from that to assume that government policy will be applied equally?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am assuring the member that government policy will be applied appropriately.

Mr. Alcock:  Then perhaps the minister can tell us what advice this advisory committee has been given relative to the government's position on the liability of board members?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, as I replied earlier, the matter is now under active consideration and development.

* (1530)

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, it was the government's position that board members are liable for the debts of the organizations they are responsible for.  Is that this minister's position?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the implementation committee is looking at a very large number of issues in this process.  They are looking at the issue of human resourcing, the issues of financing, auditing, procurement, property management and among issues, liability issues.  The committee will continue to do its work.  I have assured the member that it is in process.  It is premature for me to talk about individual aspects because I have not yet received the information from the advisory committee. Certainly when I do, then it will be considered by me and also by my colleagues.

Mr. Alcock:  Is there a written terms of reference for this advisory committee?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes.

Mr. Alcock:  Would the minister be prepared to table that, please?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I would like to take the opportunity to acquaint the member with the terms of reference of the interdepartmental Conversion Team.  This team serves as an interdepartmental advisory and consultative body for the duration of the transition process.

      The role of the interdepartmental conversion team is to: first of all, monitor the implementation of the transition plan and ensure that the policy objectives of the government with respect to college governance initiative are achieved; to receive regular reports from each of the departments represented on the conversion team, as well as from the technical advisory groups or committees established by the conversion team on their progress in implementing the transition plan; and to report to the Minister of Education and Training through the chair as required.

      The Department of Education and Training would continue to be responsible for the implementation of the college governance initiative as well as the day‑to‑day co‑ordination of the project with other government departments.

      Other departments will incorporate transition tasks into their own operational plans as required.

      Membership on the transition team from Education and Training:  Deputy Minister John Carlyle; Paul Goyan, the assistant deputy minister of PACET; Peter Dubienski, the executive director of PACS, and secretary; and Rick Dedi, the co‑ordinator of the college governance initiative.

      The college presidents also sit on this interdepartmental advisory committee:  Brenda Cooke representing Assiniboine Community College, Pat Ferguson representing Keewatin Community College, and Dr. Tony Knowles representing Red River Community College.

      The Civil Service Commission is also represented, Paul Hart being the commissioner.  Government Services represented by Hugh Eliasson, the deputy minister.  Finance is represented by Eric Rosenhek, the provincial comptroller.  Justice is represented by Ron Perozzo, the assistant deputy minister.

      The MGEA is represented.  Grant Rogers is the staff representative.  There are also employee representatives:  Arnold Boldt, from Keewatin Community College; Donna Finkleman from Red River Community College, and Bob Rodgers from Assiniboine Community College.  Then there are community representatives: Don Penny from Brandon, Herb Middlestead from Winnipeg, and Gail Morberg from Thompson.

Madam Chairperson:  Item 5.(a)(1).

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, is the minister telling me that is the terms of reference for this committee, those are the instructions that were given to this committee?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, those are the terms of reference.

Mr. Alcock:  So that there is no specific guidance in those terms of reference other than they are to receive reports and bring that forward to the minister, there is no definition of areas that they are specifically to look at, that the committee has a completely open mandate?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, I will remind the member that this group is a representation of a very broad base of people working towards the transition for the community colleges in their transition to governance.

      They do need the opportunity to do their work.  They are considering a broad number of issues.  They do report directly to the Minister of Education, and at that time they seek further directions.  It is the chair that does that reporting.

      For the member's information, I do have to table for him the interdepartmental conversion team terms of reference.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, can the minister comment on the proposed system for board appointments?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the Board of Governors, it is intended, will consist of 10 to 12 members.  Those members will be appointed by Lieutenant‑Governor‑in‑Council for terms of up to three years.  The boards will be comprised of both external and internal elected governors.  We are intending on eight to 10 external members for a three‑year term, a student member for a one‑year term, and an employee member for a two‑year term. External board members will be selected to achieve the equitable representation of the educational and the community interests in the region in which the particular college provide service. Board members will be eligible to serve no more than two consecutive terms.  The college president will serve as a nonvoting ex officio board member.

      This information is in The Colleges Act which was passed into legislation in July 1991.

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Mr. Alcock:  The appointment of the student member is on the recommendation of the student council?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, my staff and I will check into The Colleges Act to review the details of that appointment for the member, and we will come back to him with the information.

Mr. Alcock:  We can defer discussion of that until we come to the line on the colleges.

      Moving on to a slightly different topic with post‑secondary education and training, the federal government some time ago, underwent a study of some of the labour force adjustments that were going to be necessary as a result of differing trade patterns and the like.  The study was called, I believe, Adjusting to Win.

      I am wondering what impact that has had on programming here in the province of Manitoba.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the report that the member refers to did come out several years ago.  The federal labour force strategy is in response to this report.  The report recommends that we pay particular attention to increased training for the unemployed worker, including the older worker whom we discussed yesterday, that the colleges then train these workers through the market‑driven programs which I discussed yesterday.

      I also would like to remind the member that the Department of Labour has a separate Labour Adjustment Unit to deal with closures and downsizing.

Mr. Alcock:  Could the minister describe for us the co‑ordination or the interaction that takes place between the two departments relative to labour adjustment?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As I discussed yesterday, we are very close to signing a new Canada‑Manitoba Labour Force Agreement and within this agreement there is particular reference to labour force adjustment, and the linkages are directly to the Department of Labour through their Labour Adjustment Program, and also to the Employment, Immigration Canada industrial adjustment service. These work together to establish an adjustment committee with employer and worker representation on the committee.  We, in Education, have no direct involvement, and our response is a training response to the adjustment strategies.

Mr. Alcock:  So if I understand the minister correctly, then this process is led by the federal ministry working with the Department of Labour who then determine whether or not there is a training component and apply to this department for some assistance in bringing that about?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, essentially, that is correct.

Mr. Alcock:  Does the ministry of Labour have any responsibility for funding any programs within this department?

Mrs. Vodrey:  No, Labour does not fund programs offered through Education, but they do come to Education to access the programs available.  In addition, they do purchase some training through the market‑driven training initiatives.

Mr. Alcock:  With reference to the budget year that we are currently in, and then with reference to the budget year we are currently discussing, can the minister tell us how much training has been requested by the Department of Labour as part of the Labour Adjustment Strategy?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  The honourable member might like to request these details through my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) through his Estimates process.  However, we would be prepared to do a search of who has purchased training programs, and we will be prepared to return with that information at a later date of which of those spots had been purchased by Labour.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, yes, what I am particularly interested in getting some information on is the quantity, that is the number of placements, and the gross cost of those placements that have been specifically requested as a result of labour adjustment.  If it is the Department of Labour that is leading this, then presumably they are coming to the conclusion of some form of labour adjustment is required and making, if I understood the minister correctly, a specific request to the department for some type of training and response.

      So that is all I am looking for is how many requests, how many placements does that represent?  How much money in each of the current and proposed budget year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, again I would remind the member that this really is a question for my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik).  We can comment on what occurred last year.  It would be very difficult for us to comment on what will occur this year since those positions are purchased as a result of adjustments that will occur within this current year.

Mr. Alcock:  Perhaps, Madam Chairperson, the minister could explain to me why that is a question for the Minister of Labour when her department is supplying the training?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, it is a question for my colleague the Minister of Labour because the Minister of Labour does purchase the positions from us.  We have no way of knowing what purchases they may like to make.  They will simply come forward and present their need.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, so the Department of Labour does fund Education programs then?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, no, they do not fund, they come forward and they buy the service.  The funding of the instructors and the capital relating to that and the equipment are funded through the Department of Education.

Mr. Alcock:  So precisely what are they buying?  Perhaps I could clarify that.  When the minister says they buy the service, what does she mean by buy?  If the money is provided through the budget in the Department of Education, is there a transfer of funds that takes place?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, this is an internal transfer of funds, and when the member has the opportunity to view the General Manual of Administration, he can then check those definitions and check the process.

Mr. Alcock:  Well, I am quite aware of internal transfers of funds, but I would ask, given there is an internal transfer of funds, then presumably the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik) does have some budget from which he funds education programs in this minister's department.  But, presumably also, there is some estimating of the size of that internal transfer of funds from year to year.

Mrs. Vodrey:  The member is wrong.  It is a case‑by‑case planning.  There is not an estimation.

Mr. Alcock:  But then when we see a figure in the Estimates here that says Recoverable from Other Appropriations, then I am assuming that we are not including the Department of Labour in that.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am informed that recoverable is different from an internal transfer and that recoverable is what can be set in advance, whereas the internal transfer that we have been discussing regarding the Department of Labour is, as I have said, done on a case‑by‑case basis.

Mr. Alcock:  So when it says in the Estimates, Recoverable from Other Appropriations, what other appropriations would it be recoverable from?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, I am informed again, and I will inform the member again, that when a line in the budget says Less: Recoverable, it is a known amount.  It is predictable.

      I give him by way of example the core area which is recoverable from the Department of Urban Affairs.  The internal transfer is not a known or not a quantifiable amount and is not included in the Recoverable.

Mr. Alcock:  Well, Madam Chairperson, I am not going to expect the minister of the department to have this information available right at this moment, but to flag it for them, because I will be asking many more detailed questions when we come to those lines.

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      I note that against all three colleges there are two recoverables.  They are Recoverable from Canada and Recoverable from Other Appropriations.  So I am going to be asking the specific question:  What are the details of those Recoverable from Other Appropriations?  Knowing, as the minister has indicated, that it is not the Department of Labour, I would be interested in knowing what departments they are from.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, we will be prepared to answer those at the time.

Madam Chairperson:  Item 5.(a)(1) Salaries‑‑

Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Madam Chairperson, I wanted to just have one follow‑up question on some information the minister provided yesterday.  I asked about the cuts in courses at Red River Community College two years ago.  The minister replied that the cuts were because there was no employability from those courses and that her predecessor had tabled a document indicating the link between the two or establishing the relationship between the two.

      We have not been able to identify the document she is talking about, so I wonder if the minister could either give me the title of the document, or could she provide another copy?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, the document, I am informed, was in fact tabled.  A title that the member might look for the document under is Impact Reductions 1991‑92.

Madam Chairperson:  Item 5.(a)(1) Salaries $193,400‑‑pass; (a)(2) Other Expenditures $163,200‑‑pass; (b) Program Analysis, Co‑ordination and Support:  (1) Salaries.

Mr. Alcock:  Could the minister start by just giving us a quick overview of what this particular unit does?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the branch activities include program analysis and, just to give the member some information, provide, first of all, administration and financial analysis. They provide administrative and financial support services to the division, including the co‑ordination of the annual Estimates process and expenditure and revenue cash flow preparation and analysis, the preparation of specialized financial statements and reports, the preparation and review of Cabinet, Treasury Board and preclearance submissions, information systems reports and other general administrative services.

      Now, secondly, they administer the federal‑provincial training agreements; thirdly, develop key performance indicators; fourthly, administer the interprovincial training agreements and administer the distribution of grants to the private, post‑secondary institutions.

      In addition, under Education policy planning and program review, they co‑ordinate major policy development strategies and activities.  They provide leadership in the development of programs which ensure greater equity and educational and training opportunities.  They manage the design of new program initiatives.  They develop the overall program review framework. They co‑ordinate divisional, strategic, and operational planning.  They co‑ordinate post‑secondary co‑operative education opportunities.

      Under labour market policy and planning, they develop policy options.  They conduct research and analysis.  They develop provincial labour market strategy and they disseminate labour market information.

      Under the intergovernmental affairs and international education heading, they provide the negotiation, the implementation and monitoring of federal‑provincial agreements. They manage the division's international education activities and under the private vocational schools administration, they administer The Private Vocational Schools Act.  Under college affairs they co‑ordinate the overall implementation of the college governance initiative.  They co‑ordinate the activities of the interdepartmental Conversion Team whom I have just spoken of.

Mr. Alcock:  Busy division.  The minister just referenced research and analysis.  Can she gives us some examples of research that were conducted in the last fiscal year?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, the department has provided the monthly labour market information bulletin, provided quarterly review of labour force indicators, provided an annual publication of high demand and skill shortage occupations, provided an annual inventory of provincial labour market programs and services, provided the career tabloid, and also provided the recent LPN survey, and also the provincial labour market strategy.

Mr. Alcock:  Is the minister prepared to table those various items she has mentioned?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, we are prepared to table all but the labour market strategy which is still in development.  I have some of those pieces of information here today.

      I am prepared to table the Industrial and Occupational Employment Projects Manitoba 1990 to the year 2000; the Manitoba Labour Market Information Bulletin February 1992; the High Demand Occupations in Manitoba September 1991.  I am also prepared to table the Inventory of Labour Market Programs and Services in Manitoba 1991‑92, and we will see that the member receives the other information discussed.

Mr. Alcock:  As I recall there was a report on LMPS circulated to members, and if that is the same report then we can forgo the tabling of that.

      The provincial labour market strategy, can the minister tell us what the components of that are?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am quite prepared to talk about these issues.  I did, I will remind the member, speak about them in great length the last time that we were together.

      It does not lend itself to a specific structure which I can read out to the member, but I can certainly tell him again the issues which will be considered, which are:  labour market supply and demand, employment opportunities and growth, the role of community colleges, the role and issues relating to apprenticeship, and equity in Education and Training.  We have spoken about women and immigrant groups and native people.  We also have spoken about the older worker.

Mr. Alcock:  Is this labour market strategy a new piece of work for this division, or is this something that is an ongoing piece of business for this group?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, as I said last evening, this is a brand‑new strategy.  It was one that was begun and started from scratch.

      Madam Chairperson, I would also like to answer an earlier question by the member in terms of the proposed composition of the board of the community colleges.  He asked a specific question regarding student membership, and I would just like to refer him to The Colleges Act, Section 9(1) in which it is referenced:  the board shall consist of not less than 10 and not more than 12 members appointed by the Lieutenant‑Governor‑in‑Council of whom (a) one shall be a student of the college selected by the students' association.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, I will come back to the labour market strategy question in a minute.  Let us just deal with this question on governance then.

      I am sure the minister is aware of where I am going with this.  Does this represent a change in policy relative to the appointment by student bodies to the boards of various educational institutions?  Here, of course, I am specifically referencing the ongoing controversy with the University of Manitoba.  Does this mean that we are likely to see, in the near future, a change that will allow a similar process to take place at the university?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am aware of the issue that the member has raised.  I have also met with the student presidents of all of the universities.  As the member is aware, I will be announcing, in the near future, a university review, and the process of that university review will look at many issues relating to the university.  Obviously, the issue of governance would be among them.

      So the member will see that there will certainly be attention paid to that issue in the near future.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, yes, we will talk in some detail about the university review.  It does appear to be becoming a catchall for any concerns that have to do with the universities. But perhaps then, the minister could make a commitment that between now and the time that we have results of the review, the minister, while she is minister, will act in accordance with the policy that has been established for the colleges and not interfere with the selection of student reps, as was the practice prior to her becoming minister.

      I note that she has not followed the previous practice at this point.  She has not had opportunity to, but when it comes time to appoint student representation to the boards of the universities, will she do as she is now bound to do by The Colleges Act and appoint representatives chosen by the student body?

(Mr. Gerry McAlpine, Acting Chairperson, in the Chair)

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I certainly respect the issue that the member has raised.  However, one is a matter relating to the colleges and college governance, and the other is a matter relating to the universities.

      I have told him that I am aware of the issue and that I have had discussion with the students' association.  At this point, I have also assured him that we will be looking at the matter in detail through the university review.

Mr. Alcock:  Perhaps the minister, though I appreciate the response that she has given me, did not understand the question completely.

      What I am asking her is, between now and the time that we have the recommendations from the universities review, there will come opportunities to appoint student representation to the boards of the universities.  Will this minister make an undertaking to act in accordance with the policy that has been established by The Colleges Act, and as has been requested by the student presidents, to appoint students selected by the student representatives rather than by, shall we say, more partisan, less student‑oriented roots, as has been the case in the past?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, again I will say to the member perhaps he did not understand my answer.  I am fully aware of the issue; in fact, I took the time to meet with the student representatives, which I will mention that my honourable friend did not meet with the student representatives when he introduced a bill in this House.  The students were very surprised that bill had been introduced, and there was not any consultation with the students at that time.

      The process since I have been minister that I have followed very carefully is to make sure that I have communication with the representative groups.  I have met with the student presidents. I will continue to meet with the student presidents.  I am aware of their concern, and through the process of our communication, we will continue to look at this issue carefully.  The issue relating to the colleges is one which is in legislation; the issue relating to the universities is not.

      I have already explained to the member that there will be a university review.  In the process of the university review, many things will be looked at, and I would certainly expect that this will be one.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, it is true that the change within The Colleges Act that is in legislation is a result of an amendment that was proposed by the opposition and accepted by the previous minister, and I think he is to be congratulated for doing so.

      The appointment to the universities are now the responsibility of the minister, so it is within the purview of the minister to make a commitment to follow the policy which has been established for the colleges, if she should choose to do so.  That is all I am asking her for.  Is she prepared to make such a commitment?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I have explained my commitment to the member, and I could try and explain it again to him if he would find that helpful.  My commitment is certainly one to communication and to looking at the process, but I would also remind him that we will have a process.  We look forward to the process of the university review also being in place, and so I will be acting accordingly.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, if I can reference the minister to page 92 in this book against Program Analysis, Co‑ordination and Support, subappropriation Number 16‑5(b), Expected Results:  "Provision of assistance to eligible students under the Manitoba Student Financial Assistance programs."  Any expected result of this particular branch?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, yes, I am informed that there is a misprint on that page, and that bullet should read, provision of direction to the Student Financial Assistance branch.

Mr. Alcock:  So the Student Financial Assistance branch reports to the Program Analysis, Co‑ordination and Support branch?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Alcock:  When they talk about an expected result, which is compliance with The Private Vocational Schools Act?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes.

Mr. Alcock:  Can the minister define the schools covered under The Private Vocational Schools Act or name the schools?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I am happy to read some of the names, and I will also table the whole list for the honourable member's interest:  the Advanced School of Hairstyling, the C C Manitoba Driving School, Cambrian Business College, Canadian School of Floral Art, Classic Hairstyling Academy, European School of Esthetics, Fine‑Art Bartending School, Foundations Learning Centre, H & R Block Canada, Herzing Career College, Karen School of Floral Design, Morden College, National Training Institute, Patal Vocational Preparation Schools, Pollock School of Beauty, Reimer Express Driver Training, and there is a total list here which I am prepared to table for the member.

Mr. Alcock:  When we talk about compliance with the act, who does the screening?  When a student applies to one of these colleges, one of these private vocational schools, and is accepted and then applies for Manitoba student financial assistance, is there any screening carried out as to the eligibility of that student for those particular programs by the department, or is it all done by the school?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I am advised first of all that there is a designation process of private vocational schools for student financial assistance, but I think the member is also asking some additional parts to his question around private vocational schools.  I would like to refer him to the act, The Private Vocational Schools Act, and the Manitoba regulations that follow, which say that we provide consumer protection and ensure quality training to students.

      There is a registration process.  There is a process of security where schools are required to post a security to provide tuition refunds in the event of the school closure.  There is a curriculum review by the private vocational schools program review committee.  There is also a monitoring process, a complaint resolution process.  Those are the issues which are covered within the act.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I do have a specific question that comes out of that.  Perhaps it is best illustrated by referencing the case that it arises from.  Although I do not want to name the individual, I simply wish to describe the circumstances, and I will provide the name to the department at the conclusion of this.

      It would appear that it is possible to apply to one of these schools, be accepted, apply to the department for a considerable sum of money in order to pay the fees and costs of going there to take the program, and at the end of the program‑‑this is in a vocational school not a GED or upgrading school‑‑be adjudged to be unable to function in the language which one had to be able to function in, in order to take the course.

      I am just wondering what kind of monitoring takes place when people apply for financial assistance to go into these schools.

      The minister did reference consumer protection, and yet the students involved, or the student involved in this particular case, seems to feel that there was very little protection.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, while in the process of monitoring, the schools are monitored by a private vocational schools administration through the screening of registration applications, annual onsite visits to all schools, excluding the correspondence schools, and an annual survey of all students enrolled in the preceding year.

Mr. Alcock:  If a student had then a complaint of the nature that I have outlined, where would they direct such a complaint?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As I described to the member, there is a complaint resolution process.  The private vocational schools administration assists both students and the private vocational school operators with the resolution of a complaint if the charge is determined to be a contravention of the act and the regulation.

      Just for the member's information regarding his specific case which he brings forward, I would like to give him the name of Monica Oepkes and I have a phone number for the member: 945‑8502, and I hope that will be a help to his client.

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Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I thank the minister for that information.  I do not want to discuss specific cases in any detail here.  I will refer to Ms. Oepkes.

      Another expected result of this division is the establishment of mutually beneficial education and training relationships with other countries.  Would that also include the determination as to whether or not educational programs offered in other provinces or other countries which were not offered here were of such a quality and nature that Manitobans accessing those programs would be considered eligible for financial support?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I think that question may be best placed under the appropriation for the Student Financial Assistance Branch and the appropriation line is 16‑5(g).

Mr. Alcock:  I will raise it then.  Can the minister then describe to me what is meant by establishment of mutually beneficial education and training relationships with other countries?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, first of all, we do enter into agreements with other countries at the college level.  Those agreements are to provide instruction or advice or setup assistance generally.  The funding comes through CIDA.  By way of example, I would like to reference the Chen‑Yang Power Corporation of China, which is a vocational college.  We have an agreement to provide some technical instructors with that particular college.

Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, I may be covering some of the same ground, but I will try and ask some different questions.  I am interested in the research and analysis on existing and emerging labour market issues.

      It seems to me, and I may be mistaken, but it seems to me the department is scrambling to get its labour force strategy together.  This should have been out six months ago.  It still is not here.  We are still waiting for it, and now we expect it in the fall.

      Be that as it may, I am looking at the future and would like to know what the research plan is for this department for the next year.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, to the first part of the member's question, I must say I reject it and beg to differ.  We have developed, during the process of developing, a labour market strategy which as I have described began from scratch and comes from scratch into full implementation.  I think it is very important for Manitobans to believe that this strategy will be a thorough strategy.  Therefore, the department has been working very hard on it, and I look forward to being able to discuss it more fully.

      To the second part of the member's question, we have in place a mid‑range plan.  Some of the research for the mid‑range plan, and some of the work relating to the mid‑range plan is in the area of an adult basic education strategy.  That strategy goes across departments because it also involves the K to 12 side of the department as well as the post‑secondary and training side. We also have a plan looking at aboriginal education and training.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister expand upon the aboriginal training plan?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, well, within the aboriginal education and training issues, we are looking at ways to increase both the participation and the success of aboriginal students, and as we look at that strategy, we are looking to the discussions which we are holding on an ongoing basis with also the Manitoba Metis Federation.  When decisions are reached regarding that I will be happy to share them with the member.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister indicate what other aboriginal organizations are involved in this?  You mentioned Manitoba Metis Federation.  You only mentioned one aboriginal organization, I am curious as to why you particularly singled that one out.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, yes, the MMF was by way of example, but I would like to add to that some other examples: the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Yellowquill College, Swampy Cree Tribal Council, various friendship centres, the Aboriginal Women's Collective and the Manitoba Association of Native Languages.

Ms. Friesen:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, is this particular research looking at the educational needs within that community, or is it looking at the distribution of federal monies?  What is the level of research?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, the focus is on the needs of learners in the aboriginal community.  It is not a focus on the distribution of federal money.

Ms. Friesen:  Is there a connection between this and a program that the federal government has called Pathways?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Pathways is the federal government's strategy under Employment and Immigration Canada and it is not specifically related to the research that we are doing.

Ms. Friesen:  Presumably the federal government, in the creation of that program, has also conducted research.  Where is the research in Manitoba going beyond those federal programs?

Mrs. Vodrey:  In terms of the federal government, we do have communication with federal officials who attempt to access research which would be helpful to us, but our research at this point is to assist us in setting department policy and also in planning provincially.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister indicate how many people are involved in this research?  Is this staff research or is this contract research?  When do we expect to see the report?  Is the report for public discussion?

      I am sorry, are the staff having trouble hearing me?  I notice you are all pulling faces.  I would prefer to know that it was because you could not hear me.  Is there some problem with my microphone, do you think?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Acting Chairperson, yes, we are having some difficulty hearing.  The staff do not have earphones and it is very difficult.  Your voice comes through the microphone, but it does not come into the room very well.

Ms. Friesen:  I will repeat the question then.

      What I am interested in is how many people are involved in this research.  Is it contract research or is it staff research? When is the expected date of conclusion?  Will the conclusion be a document for public discussion?

(Madam Chairperson in the Chair)

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the information is an ongoing information gathering for decisions at the departmental level. There are two and a half staff members for research for the whole division including research for aboriginal issues.  The information is used, as I said, to develop the provincial policy.  It is basically an internal document.  Then what would be seen as the effect of the research‑‑by way of example, some of the information would be used in our labour market strategy. Other information has been used for the development of Workforce 2000 and also for the aerospace training initiative.

Ms. Friesen:  I would like to pursue the issue of two‑point‑something people for research in this section of the department, particularly one that has to deal with the Universities Grants Commission which also has almost no research capacity anymore and which is sending the colleges off into governance, again, in my view, with very little research and very little opportunity for continuing research.

      Could the minister tell me whether there has been contract research in the past?  Does she expect contract research in the future?  Are there other sources of research that the department has access to on a regular basis that would provide the necessary basis for the development of policy for universities and for colleges?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I think there is an important distinction to be made here that the research done within this department is research that is used as a means to an end in terms of formulating policy.  We do have, as was discussed earlier, a Planning and Research branch, and that Planning and Research branch is what then services the whole department.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister tell us how much of the policy and research done in that section of the department relates to colleges and universities?

* (1650)

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the policy and research branch, which was an appropriation that I will remind the member that we have passed already, does also research in the area of post‑secondary issues and also responds to research issues brought forward through the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.  It also does analysis and recommendations on reports such as the Smith report, the Economic Council of Canada report, the teachers supply and demand report, the report, most recently discussed, A Lot to Learn.

      But the research done within the department is research to assist us in developing and in achieving a policy end.  Now with respect to the university review, the University Review will likely do its own research as the transition to college governance implementation team also then did its research through the process of the implementation team.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, I think one of the points that I want to make is that the minister is responsible for setting policy for universities and colleges.  Yes, the universities are, by governance, arms length, but the policy direction must come from, it seems to me, the government, and that is what I am concerned about is a Universities Grants Commission which no longer does any research.

      What you are telling me is that there is no research going on in the department about university affairs other than a response to the Smith report.  Similarly for colleges, it seems to me that there is an insistence, a policy direction by this government that we move to market‑driven issues.

      Well, one of the areas that is not market driven is research.  There are some things which only the community or the government can do.  It seems to me that research, and particularly research for the development of long range policy, is one of the things that has to be done by government.  So I am concerned about what seems to me to be a limited commitment to policy research for colleges and universities.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am aware that the member is particularly concerned and has expressed her concern around the role of formal research, and I have tried to point out where some of that formal research would take place, through the Policy and Research Branch, and also to describe to her the kind of research that takes place within the branch that we are discussing at the moment.

      When we last spoke of this, I spoke to the member about the fact that, yes, there is a need for formal data that does flow from research; however, the information that comes into the Department of Education and Training also comes from a number of other sources.  The information that we receive is a synthesis of many sources.  I hesitate to use the word informal, but I use the word informal to contrast it to very specifically formal research, and both types of research have been very important to the department.

      Then, I would also add that information flows into the department through the political process, through the elected members and through those people that the elected members meet with, and that research within this department is very relevant to the creation of public policy.  In terms of what has been the result of this research of all types, I would like to reference the restructuring of the existing system.  I would like to draw the member's attention to the movement on the community college governance, and that there is a great deal of policy development and change which has occurred and is in the process of occurring through several types of information that flow into the department.

Ms. Friesen:  There is a difference between information and research.  Research is essentially the questions which are being asked.  It seems to me that in this section of the department you are asking questions about the place and development of adult basic education, and you are looking at aboriginal training. Those are particular questions related to current social and economic conditions in Manitoba and the role of education there.

      Now what I am asking is, is there anywhere in the department that is formulating questions about the long‑term size, position of community colleges, such as was recommended to you in the Mauro report, and are there any kind of research questions being asked about the role and purpose of universities in Manitoba?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, the role of the universities that the member references, we expect to have that covered through the process of the university review.  The size and the role of the community colleges, as I spoke about yesterday, part of that will be referenced through the labour market strategy and part has been dealt with by the committee that has been looking at the role and function of the community colleges.

* (1700)

      At this point, to the member, I can say that I understand the point she is making.  I am attempting to provide some additional information, but at this point I believe she has made the point to us that she would like to.

Ms. Friesen:  I would like to ask some questions about The Private Vocational Schools Act.  Does the Chair want to continue with those questions now?

Madam Chairperson:  The hour being 5 p.m. and time for private members' hour, committee rise.

      Call in the Speaker.




Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The hour being 5 p.m., time for Private Members' Business.


Committee Report


Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (Deputy Chairperson of Committees):  Madam Deputy Speaker, the Committee of Supply has considered certain resolutions and directs me to report progress and asks leave to sit again.  I move, seconded by the honourable member for St. Vital (Mrs. Render), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.






Bill 52‑The Pas Health Complex Incorporation Amendment Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin), Bill 52 (The Pas Health Complex Incorporation Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi constituant en corporation "The Pas Health Complex"), standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Urban Affairs (Mr. Ernst).

      Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]




Bill 16‑The Health Care Directives Act


Madam Deputy 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).

      Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 18‑The Franchises Act


       Madam Deputy 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 Sturgeon Creek (Mr. McAlpine).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 25‑The University of Manitoba Amendment Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on the second reading of Bill 25 (The University of Manitoba Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'Universite du Manitoba), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock), standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 27‑The Business Practices Amendment Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), Bill 27 (The Business Practices Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les pratiques commerciales), standing in the name of the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 31‑The Municipal Amendment Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on the second reading of Bill 31 (The Municipal Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les municipalites), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry), standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 36‑The Health Care Records Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 36 (The Health Care Records Act; Loi sur les dossiers medicaux), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 50‑The Beverage Container Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 50 (The Beverage Container Act; Loi sur les contenants de boisson), on the proposed motion of the honourable Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs), standing in the name of the honourable member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 51‑The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 51 (The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'assurance‑maladie), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), standing in the name of the honourable for St. Norbert.

Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (St. Norbert):  Madam Deputy Speaker, it gives me a great pleasure to rise today and speak to the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema).  I have had a lot of opportunity over the past 59.5 hours to hear a little bit of this and a little bit of that about the health care within our province.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the honourable critic for the second opposition party, the member for The Maples, has a very clear understanding of where the health care system in this province should be going.  I see that he looks at the whole situation of how health care should be managed within a whole system.  After hearing the debates throughout the past 59.5 hours, I can see that we will be moving towards a new and more positive approach towards health care not only in this province but in this country.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the health care system, I guess I would like to sort of put it along the same lines as the business I was in, and that was the automotive business.  Let us take customer A who has a vehicle, and customer A decides he is going to service this vehicle on a regular maintenance schedule.  Well, on an average if he takes his $20,000 car which is brand new this year, in 1980, and moves on to 1985, over that five‑year period he would have spent approximately, on the average, $600 per year on repairs on a regular maintenance schedule.  The same person now, we are going to call him No. B, buys a car but does not do a regular maintenance.  He is the type of person who only goes in and repairs it when necessary.  B, when he goes in, over the five‑year average will run a $700 bill.

      Then, Madam Deputy Speaker, we have C, and C is a very important one.  C is the customer or the person who never brought the vehicle in.  The vehicle only goes in under extreme circumstances.  Well, that vehicle breaks down, and it costs lots of dollars, lots of dollars.  There is no average.

      Now we have a true cost.  The true cost over that five years is probably going to be a total picture of more than the average of the others.  The others are now averaging $600.  This one will average $1,200 per year.  One of the reasons is the maintenance schedule.  It is pay me now or pay me later.  We have to learn, within the health system, to start maintaining ourselves.  We cannot rely on governments to maintain how we are in a healthy community.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, we keep hearing "deficits."  We keep hearing there are bed cuts.  We keep hearing all the negatives. What is it that we have to do within a system, a system at large that people understand that there has to be change in?  There has to be change or we will lose it.  I do believe it is important that we retain one of the social systems that is more important to this nation.

      I sent out a questionnaire to my community.  The No. 1 issue that came back was health care.  The second, which was related, was the economy.  Now, why would we say health care and the economy are related?  Madam Deputy Speaker, it is very simple. Without the economic spin‑offs of this province and this country, we will have no health care.

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Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Would those honourable members engaging in private conversation please do so either in the loges or outside the Chamber.  Some members are experiencing great difficulty in hearing the honourable member for St. Norbert.

Mr. Laurendeau:  Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.

      There is just so much on the issue of health care that we have to visit.  It is not a simple issue.  We realize that after the 60 hours we have spent listening to debate in Health Estimates.  I mean, a lot of it was very positive.  The aspects that I caught from the Liberal caucus so far in that 60 hours‑‑and I would say that they have probably put about 59 hours of that in very positive nature, but all I got out of the negative side was about five minutes of negativism.

      I really did not understand the rest of it because all they tied it to was beds.  Well, all the NDP can tie their initiatives on health care to is beds, they have got a problem, because the health care system is not beds, Madam Deputy Speaker.  The health care system is the maintenance, the maintenance of our health‑‑the maintenance and not beds.  Beds do not maintain us. That is where we go if we need the maintenance restructuring. That is where we know to go if we have to have it.  There are other means and other processes that we have to look at.

      We have to look at the community services, Madam Deputy Speaker, that are available to us today, or the system that we have today will no longer be there for the generations to come. Who is going to pay for it?  Who is going to pay for it?  The taxes will pay for it.  But with the deficits that we have built up in not only this province but throughout the country‑‑and I am not going to blame any specific government, because all governments in the past were to blame.

      You can blame NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Social Credit and all the rest of them.  They are all to blame for the deficit and debt positions that we are in today, but it is because they did not realize what the economy would do over a longer period of time.  Today we realize it.

      It is a world-wide recession, and we realize that it is not going to bounce back tomorrow.  We realize that the pockets of the taxpayers of this country, Madam Deputy Speaker, are only so deep and you cannot dig any deeper.  They are empty.  They do not even have the loonies left.  It has gotten to a point where we cannot afford to go out, never mind we are having trouble putting food on the table in some cases. [interjection]

      Yes, the health care system is important, Madam Deputy Speaker.

      The principles that the honourable member is bringing forward of public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility, when we speak to those issues I understand where the member is coming from.  Those are the issues that we want to protect within the system.  The only concern I have with bringing forward this‑‑and I do have a problem with the legality in bringing it into legislation.  I have spoken to the member about it, and maybe it will be explained to me in the future how it will fit in the overall package, on a provincial level rather than a federal level, bringing it upon us.  I do not understand the total ramifications.

      What would happen if it is brought in on only a provincial level within our province or three provinces and the other seven do not fall into the system?  Does that mean we will have different access in the other provinces?  Who will pick up the extra costs?  So there is a cost implication that does sort of get in my way, even though I do truly and strongly believe, Madam Deputy Speaker, in exactly what the member is bringing forward.

      I believe that we have to look at the overall cost.  What is the cost of putting this into legislation?  Does this mean that there is going to be accessibility to tattoos being removed across this country?  As of today we do not have to pay for it in this province, but with this type of legislation the possibility might be there, because the federal position might be that would be an insurable service.  Will that fall under the accessibility and the universality system of what the member is bringing forward?  That is part of what I have a concern with.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the system itself has to be looked at. The system of health care has to be revisited.  I believe when governments of the past, whatever stripes they were, looked at the picture, it was always, well, let us just put more money in, and every year that was what it was, let us go in for another 10 percent.  Even on the questionnaire that I sent out to my constituents, I have to admit, constituents, a good part of them were saying put on a user fee.  It is not very often that I disagree with my constituents, but on a user fee I do.  I do not believe the user‑fee concept is the answer, because all they will be doing with that user fee is putting in more money.  They will not be correcting the inequities within the system today.  We have to attack this from the roots.  Without attacking this at the roots, we will not get to the problem.

      I believe that we have a Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) in this province today who will stand up and be heard throughout this country and who will be looked up to, not only throughout this country but throughout North America, for the types of plans that he envisions for the health care system of this country. This minister knows the direction that the health care system has to go in the future.

      This minister knows the health care system.  This minister answers the questions, but the opposition do not listen.  As they always do, they ask questions but they seem to close their ears. They are good at knocking at the door, they are real good at knocking, but we are used to not listening because all we ever get is the negativism.

      They do not know how to find the positive issues.  They do not know how to bring forward constructive criticism.  They do not know how to attack something and bring forward what their true job in this House is, and that is to critique.  To them it is criticize.  You know, it is criticize.  Where do they stand, Madam Deputy Speaker?  They do not know where they stand.

      I have heard the honourable member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) come forward with absolutely nothing but rhetoric.  Rhetoric, Madam Deputy Speaker, that is all we hear.  I have only been here since 1990.  I am not blaming the honourable member for Dauphin for the mistakes that he made when he was in government.  It was not his fault.  No matter how many bridges he built to nowhere, it was not his fault, because he did not know what the structure of the economy would be today.  So just because he wanted to build bridges halfway, it was not his fault, but I think they should have realized that eventually you have to have a road to both ends.

      It is the same as the health care of today.  You have to have the roads that lead to it.  I only wish that the honourable members from the other side of this House could understand what health care really is all about.  They turn around and they criticize the budgets brought forward for the hospitals, and yet it is their process that is being followed today.  It is their process that said we would not run deficits in hospitals, yet they are saying, just fund, fund, fund.

      Well, fund, fund, fund no longer exists.  You cannot spend your way out of it.  You have to do what is right.  You have to bring forward a course of action that will possibly make some waves.  Maybe the opposition will put forward some vision in the future for health care, but I really do not think so because in the short period of time, over two years, that I have been here I have not seen one positive action being brought forward by those members, not one.  I do not believe that is what their job is in this House.

An Honourable Member:  What about the antisniff bill?

* (1720)

Mr. Laurendeau:  Madam Deputy Speaker, the honourable member speaks from her chair.  The honourable member comes forward and speaks about bills that were brought in two years ago.  That is how much she knows about this House.  It is two years old already.  Do not tell me we just brought it in.

      I have been speaking about what they have done in this session, because this is the session that I feel we are responsible for today, not 10 sessions ago, not 12 sessions ago. We have to live with their debt, but we do not have to live with their rhetoric.  I only hope that they learn to criticize and criticize effectively.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, thank you very much.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Is the House ready for the question?

Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Urban Affairs):  I move, seconded by the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings), that debate be adjourned.

Motion agreed to.


Bill 54‑The Consumer Protection Amendment Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 54 (The Consumer Protection Amendment Act; Loi sur la protection du consommateur), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), standing in the name of the honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed]


Bill 56‑The Public Health Amendment Act (2)


Madam Deputy Speaker:  On the proposed motion of Bill 56 (The Public Health Amendment Act (2); Loi no 2 modifiant la Loi sur la sante publique), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis).

Hon. Darren Praznik (Deputy Government House Leader):  Yes, Madam Deputy Speaker, I would move, seconded by the honourable Minister of Housing (Mr. Ernst), that debate on this matter be adjourned and it may remain standing in my name if that is an issue on the open standing.

Motion agreed to.


Bill 66‑The Child and Family Services Amendment Act (2)


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 66 (The Child and Family Services Amendment Act (2); Loi no 2 modifiant la Loi sur les services a l'enfant et a la famille), on the proposed motion of the honourable Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs), standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer). Stand?  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing?

Hon. Darren Praznik (Deputy Government House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I think if you were to canvass the House after you had completed the "leave" on that bill, you would find there may be agreement to call it six o'clock.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Is there leave to permit Bill 66 to remain standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Family Services? [Agreed]

      Is it the will of the House to call it six o'clock?  Agreed and so ordered.

      This House is adjourned and stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).