Wednesday, May 13, 1992


The House met at 1:30 p.m.








Mr. Edward Helwer (Gimli):  Mr. Speaker, I would like to present  the petition of the Seven Oaks General Hospital, praying for the  passing of an act to amend The Seven Oaks General Hospital  Incorporation Act.

Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr.  Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Mrs. Sharron A. Reed,  Mrs. Lorraine Crivea, Mrs. Laurie Hurta and others urging this  government to consider establishing an Office of the Children's  Advocate, independent of cabinet and reporting directly to the  Assembly.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the  petition of Berthe Valcourt, Theresa Brodeur, Joe Robidoux and  others requesting that the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba urge  the provincial government to reconsider its decision and return  the Manitoba Heritage Federation's granting authority.

Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present  the petition of Kim Lowry, Fred Shore, Lucy Shore and others  requesting the government show its strong commitment to dealing  with child abuse by considering restoring the Fight Back Against  Child Abuse campaign.

Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the  petition of Jane Reid, Sharon Hops, Kim Russell and others  requesting the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) call upon the  Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to prevent the  release of individuals where there is substantial likelihood of  further family violence.




Mr. Speaker:  I have reviewed the petition of the honourable  Leader of the Second Opposition (Mrs. Carstairs).  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 residents of the province of  Manitoba humbly sheweth that:

        WHEREAS the Province of Manitoba announced that it would  establish an Office of the Children's Advocate in its most recent  throne speech and allocated funds for this Office in its March  '92 budget; and

        WHEREAS the Kimelman Report (1983), the Aboriginal Justice  Inquiry (1991) and the Suche Report (1992) recommended that the  province establish such an office reporting directly to the  Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, in a manner similar to that of  the Office of the Ombudsman; and

        WHEREAS pursuant to the Child and Family Services Act  Standards, the agency worker is to be the advocate for a child in  care; and

        WHEREAS there is a major concern that child welfare workers,  due to their vested interest as employees within the service  system, cannot perform an independent advocacy role; and

        WHEREAS pure advocacy will only be obtained through an  independent and external agency; and

        WHEREAS the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer)  has unsatisfactorily dealt with complaints lodged against child  welfare agencies; and now

        THEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislative  Assembly of Manitoba strongly urge the provincial government to  consider establishing an Office of the Children's Advocate which  will be independent of cabinet and report directly to the  Legislative Assembly of Manitoba.

* * *

        I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for  Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux), and it does not comply with the  privileges and the practices of the House and does not comply  with the rules.  I must therefore rule the honourable member's  petition out of order.

 * (1335)

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, I would ask for a  clarification as to why the petition is being ruled out of  order‑‑[interjection] Yes, I am.

Mr. Speaker:  The honourable member's petition is ruled out of  order with the set authorities of Beauchesne and the practices in  the following respect:  Beauchesne's Citation 1021 states that  petitions ". . . must be free from erasures or interlineations."

Mr. Lamoureux:  Mr. Speaker, I would ask where it has been  changed.

Mr. Speaker:  For clarification purposes, the honourable member's  petition, where it was the sponsor's signature, I can see where  it has been whited out and the honourable member's signature has  been put over top.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Yes, Mr. Speaker, I do not want to challenge the  ruling, but I am afraid that if the ruling is sustained, I would  ask to rise on a matter of privilege.  In fact, I did not put on  the whiteout.  I was requested to come up to the office where it  was whited out, and then I signed over it.  It had nothing to do  with myself as a member.  It was whited out since I submitted it  for presentation on the Order Paper, if that is the whiteout that  I believe the Speaker is referring to.

Mr. Speaker:  That is exactly what I am referring to.  The  honourable member's petition has been changed.  There has been an  erasure, and the honourable member has signed over top.  Therefore, I rule the honourable member's petition out of order.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Mr. Speaker, I believe that the residents who had  signed that petition signed it in good faith, that the whiteout  was not something that I myself have done and would submit to  you, as the Speaker, who can make a ruling on it, and suggest  that you take it under advisement, that these individuals are not  given the opportunity to express to the Minister of Culture,  Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson) their disappointment  in what she did by taking away the funding authority from the  Heritage Federation‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.


Point of Order


Mr. Steve Ashton (Opposition House Leader):  Mr. Speaker, my  understanding is that you have made a ruling, and I would suggest  perhaps that the Liberal House Leader, if he has difficulty with  the ruling, should challenge it as is his right, but certainly we  trust, Sir, in your ruling.  You have seen the document.  If it  is not in order, you have no choice but to say that it is out of  order, and we would suggest that if the Liberal House Leader has  difficulty with that, he perhaps challenge your ruling.  We, by  the way, will be supporting it.

Hon. Darren Praznik (Acting Government House Leader):  Yes, Mr.  Speaker, on the same point of order, obviously the final  arbitrator of decisions as to the appropriateness of the document  rests with the Speaker.  The member has the right to challenge  that ruling.  We would support that ruling, but if in fact, as  the member indicated, there was inappropriate advice being given  from staff, then that should be a matter taken up with by staff.  The appropriateness of the document for this House should not be  confused with the advice that may have been given by staff.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  I would like to thank all  honourable members for their advice on this matter.  I have,  according to Beauchesne's Citation 1021, ruled this petition out  of order.




Mr. Jack Reimer (Chairperson of Standing Committee on Private  Bills):  I beg to present the First Report of the Standing  Committee on Private Bills.

Mr. Clerk (William Remnant):  Your Standing Committee on Private  Bills presents the following as their First Report.

        Your committee met on Tuesday, May 12, 1992, at 10 a.m., in  Room 255 of the Legislative Building, to consider bills referred.

        Your committee has considered:

        Bill 39 ‑ The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital  Incorporation Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi constituant en  corporation "The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital"

        and has agreed to report the same without amendment.

        All of which is respectfully submitted.

Mr. Reimer:  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable  member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer), that the report of the committee  be received.

Motion agreed to.




Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation):  Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the 1992‑1993 Supplementary  Estimates for the Department of Highways and Transportation.

        I would also, at the same time, like to table the Highway  Construction Programs for the year 1992‑93.

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister responsible for and charged with  the administration of The Civil Service Superannuation Act):  Mr.  Speaker, I would like to table the 1991 Annual Report of the  Manitoba Civil Service Superannuation Board.

* (1340)




Bill 91‑The Liquor Control Amendment Act (2)


Hon. Linda McIntosh (Minister charged with the administration of  The Liquor Control Act):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the  Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey), that Bill 91, The Liquor  Control Amendment Act (2); Loi no 2 modifiant la Loi sur la  reglementation des alcools, be introduced and that the same be  now received and read a first time.

 Motion agreed to.





U.S. Tourist Statistics


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, last week  we discovered that the gross domestic product for Manitoba was in  last place in all of Canada.  One of the major industries in our  gross domestic product, a billion‑dollar industry, is tourism.  Last year tourism for American tourists was below 33 years of  tourism performance in this province, back to 1958 in terms of  performance on tourism for American tourists.  The government,  the Premier and the Minister of Tourism (Mr. Stefanson) have  stated that they have a, quote:  new strategy in place so they  can turn around this situation of American tourism for the 1992  year.

        I would like to ask the government whether their strategy is  working on tourism.  Can they tell us what the results are for  American tourists in 1992?

Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism):  Mr. Speaker, as I have outlined previously in the House, late in  1991, we did undertake some extensive research in terms of the  markets that Manitoba primarily goes into, being northwestern  Ontario, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota in terms of the  kind of campaign that we should put in place for 1992.  That did  form a significant part of the campaign, the kinds of ads that, I  believe, hopefully some of the honourable members have seen  recently through various media outlets.

        It is the kind of focus of the campaign that we have.  We are  getting co‑operation from the various media outlets in terms of  that campaign.  We are continuing with the Manitoba card, the  discount card, because that is an important aspect of the  campaign in terms of value for service, value for products, and  that will be a part of the initiatives in 1992.

        Obviously, at this stage, it is early May, the main focus of  our campaign market is May through till October.  In terms of  providing specific numbers, I can certainly undertake to provide  the honourable member with the numbers to date, but obviously the  major part of our tourism season is starting very shortly, Mr.  Speaker.

Mr. Doer:  We do have the results for the first two months of  1992.  Saskatchewan has an increase of American tourism of 20  percent; B.C.'s increase is 10.5 percent; Canada's increase is  9.8 percent.  Alberta has had a 2 percent decline, and Manitoba,  again, on top of the worst numbers since 1958, has had a 6.4  percent decline on top of the decline that took place last year  right back to 1958.

        In light of the fact, Mr. Speaker, that 38 percent of  Manitoba Tourism revenue comes from American tourists, why,  again, is this province failing in the bottom‑line results of  their so‑called tourism strategy?

Mr. Stefanson:  Firstly, Mr. Speaker, I have to correct the  honourable member that less than 10 percent of Manitoba's tourism  industry comes from the United States.  Approximately 65 to 70  percent of our tourism industry comes right here from Manitoba.  When you do the comparison in terms of retaining the 90 percent  market, the 90 percent of Manitoba's tourism market made up by  Manitobans, people from northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan and  the rest of Canada, we are faring amongst the best in all of  Canada.

        On the 10 percent part of our market that the honourable  member refers to, I have already suggested he has taken his  statistics from January and February; I have already indicated  our major focus of that particular season is starting right now.  If he looks at the numbers, they are very insignificant for many  provinces during January and February.  The U.S. visitors come to  Manitoba starting primarily at this time of the year.  We have  addressed that through the kind of campaign, but in terms of  maintaining our base, we have done better than most provinces in  Canada.

* (1345)


Promotion Campaign


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, last year  you had a 14 percent decline in American tourists, the worst in  Canada‑‑last place, No. 10.  If that is a good base, I do not  know what the minister is looking at, and no wonder we have no  strategy.  This year, again, we have a decline of 6.4 percent.  Members opposite preach to other western provinces about how  terrible they are, and yet their results are lower and more  negative than the other provinces.

        Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that in terms of tourism  revenue, it represents 38 percent.  We are not talking about  people who just go across the border in Ontario and go right  through to Saskatchewan; we are talking about American tourists  that produce 38 percent of the revenue.

        I would like to ask the minister:  Why was his department the  last in to the United States, the midwestern United States, in  terms of tourism advertising, tourism strategy‑‑why were there  ads in the Manitoba newspapers for Minnesota long before there  were ads for Manitoba down in the United States?  Why is this  government failing this year on top of tremendous failures last  year in this very important industry?

Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism):  Mr. Speaker, tourism expenditures in Manitoba have grown from  $868 million in 1988 to over a million dollars in 1990.  I  reiterate, for the benefit of the Leader of the Opposition, that  90 percent of that billion‑dollar industry is made up primarily  of Canadians.  We are doing better than most provinces in  retaining that.  He points to the 10 percent of our market, where  we have already addressed that issue in this House in terms of  the kind of campaign.

        His question about the timing of our campaign, the  information that we receive from our research and from our  administration, Mr. Speaker, is that now is the time to be in  there because the kind of traffic that we attract from North  Dakota and Minnesota, they are making decisions now in terms of  where they are going to be going, where that automobile traffic  trade goes.  So we are in the market at the right time, and as I  have indicated, we will see how our statistics fare over the  course of this summer in terms of our campaign.


Aboriginal Centre

Government Commitment


Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Mr. Speaker, my question is  to the Minister responsible for Native Affairs.

        Aboriginal people are becoming increasingly frustrated with  the contrast between the rhetoric of this government and the  actual support towards projects like the proposed aboriginal  centre at the old CPR station.  We have just seen cuts to the  ACCESS programs and refusal to fund the Abinochi program.

        As members are aware, the government has made commitments to  support this centre for a long time now and has repeatedly stated  so each time my colleagues and I have raised this issue over the  past two years.  Despite these promises, this government has yet  to make a financial commitment, and in fact the flip‑flop of the  Minister of Northern Affairs may kill the entire project.

        Why has this minister reversed his previously stated  commitment to the project?

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for Native Affairs):  Mr.  Speaker, I do not know what kind of a political game the member  for Point Douglas is trying to play with the people that he  purports to be supportive.  It is merely political posturing on  behalf of the member for Point Douglas.

        I can assure him that there has been a commitment made‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.


Point of Order


Mr. Hickes:  On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, when I stand up  and ask questions, it is on behalf of aboriginal people as myself  and also for the constituents of Point Douglas.

Mr. Speaker:  And the point.

Mr. Hickes:  It is not playing games with‑‑

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

* * *

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, as I was indicating before the member  got up on his nonpoint of order, the point is that there has been  a commitment made to the urban native association to provide for  a centre, and that commitment will be lived up to.

Mr. Hickes:  Mr. Speaker, the commitment that the minister states  is there.  They have until the end of the month to put their  dollars in place.  They have the commitment and the dollars from  the federal government and from the City of Winnipeg, but no  commitment from this government.

        Will he at least meet with the organization to ensure that  the funding will be there by the end of this month before they  have to abandon the whole project?

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, again I am not going to accept the  preamble of the member as to any particular time frames.

        I know that the department have been working with the  organization involved.  We will continue to work, and the  commitment from the government will be lived up to.

* (1350)

Mr. Hickes:  Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary question is to  the same minister.

        As the Deputy Premier of the province, have you no influence  within your own cabinet colleagues to start standing up for the  aboriginal people of Manitoba?  That is long overdue.  We are  losing project after project, and the aboriginal people are  losing respect for this government.  Will you stand up for the  aboriginal people‑‑

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

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, without abusing Question Period, I  could start by saying where this government, first of all,  started to support the native aboriginal women by supporting the  indigenous women, something that their organization, their  government never did‑‑the north central hydro, $117 million to  give hydroelectric power to some nine communities on the north  side of east Winnipeg, a $10‑million advance on Northern Flood to  the five Northern Flood Committees and the Split Lake Cree  settlement, that is being voted on by that community by the 1st  of June, plus a nurses support program in the community which the  member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin) represents.

        I do not want to abuse Question Period, or I could continue  on with many more.


Poverty Rate

Manitoba Statistics


Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Mr. Speaker, one measure of how well  we are doing as a province is what proportion of our population  is living below the poverty line.  When this government came to  power, we were sixth in this country.  That is, there were five  other provinces who had a larger proportion of their population  living below the poverty line.

        The most recent stats from Statistics Canada tell us that we  are first, that we have the highest proportion of our population  living below the poverty line of any province in this country.

        Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Finance tell us the reasons  for this very shameful performance?

Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  Mr. Speaker, without  accepting any of the preamble and the tone with which it is  brought forward by the would‑be federal member, let me say I have  noticed quite a change in attitude from the member opposite, who  at one time accepted the fact that government could not quick  fix‑‑any government‑‑could not quick fix anything.  What we have  now, of course, is the reality of the member for Osborne wishing  to engage in selective numbers.

        As the Premier (Mr. Filmon) said on answering several  questions along this vein, certainly incomes, household incomes  in the province of Manitoba have not increased at the national  average.  There are reasons for that, not the least of which is  the industrial level of wages in this province has been below the  national average.  Of course, that is part of the restructuring  that is taking place within industry within our province as our  firms attempt to become more competitive vis‑a‑vis jurisdictions  to the south, Mr. Speaker, and I say that is good. [interjection]

        Well, competitive factors are very good.  If there are going  to be jobs tomorrow, there has to be a competitive base on which  they are built.  Obviously wages are an element of that.

        So my answer to the member is that obviously one of the  components of the household incomes being below the national  average is the fact the industrial wage has been lower in  Manitoba as compared to the national average.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Speaker, is the Minister of Finance telling us  that it is by his choice that we have become the single province  in Canada with the highest proportion of our population living  below the poverty line?

Mr. Manness:  No, Mr. Speaker, it is not by my choice; it is by  choice of the marketplace.  It is the will of the businesses to  restructure themselves so they can be competitive in a North  American complex.  That is the guarantee that there will be jobs  in place tomorrow.

        Furthermore, I had an opportunity today at lunch time to be  with the Investment Dealers of Canada, and they acknowledge that  Manitoba firms have been restructuring in a significant fashion  through the late '80s.  They further acknowledge that in 1992 and  '93 and '94 this province will be fully well positioned to take  its rightful place in the economy of North America, and the jobs,  therefore, will be guaranteed.

        I would think the member for Osborne would rise and  acknowledge that fact and say that is the proper course to follow.

* (1355)


Economic Growth

Provincial Comparisons


Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Mr. Speaker, four years of failure and  another forecast of success.  Every one of his forecasts to date  has been wrong.

        Can the minister explain to us why it is that the market,  which he so loves, is operating so much to the disadvantage of  Manitobans when in other provinces it seems to be creating  advantages for them?

Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  Mr. Speaker, I think  the member knows the answer to that question, too.

        This government, over five budgets, moved much more quickly  onto the path of trying to hold back public sector spending,  where other provinces, of course, have seen fit to increase  spending in the public sector at levels of 6, 8 and 10 percent  across Canada, all of it based on borrowed money, all of it based  on higher taxes to come.

        This province is taking a different course, and obviously the  impact then in terms of '91, the impact in terms of some of the  numbers brought forward by the member for Osborne has us at  slower growth and income than other provinces, but our rewards  will come in 1992, '93 and '94, Mr. Speaker, not by my words, but  by groups such as the Investment Dealers Association of Canada,  who, I believe, are doing a press conference at four o'clock this  afternoon in which they will show that this province in '92, '93  and '94 will be amongst the leaders in Canada.


Grand Rapids Generating Station

Environmental Concerns


Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas):  I would like to direct my questions  to the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings), Mr. Speaker.

        Two months ago, when one of the Grand Rapids hydro station  turbines broke or malfunctioned and exploded and flooded, I asked  the Minister of Environment then what action he was taking to  ensure that the fishermen and people who use wells in the area  would be protected from oil and other pollution.  The minster, of  course, at that time assured the House that everything was under  control and there was nothing to worry about.  Well, Mr. Speaker,  last week in fact Manitoba Hydro was forced to open a spillway  after all four turbines went down.

        My question is:  How much flooding in fact occurred last week  in the Grand Rapids area?

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for The Manitoba Hydro  Act):  Mr. Speaker, I can take the specifics as notice, but  because of the fact that they could not run the water through the  power units to generate electricity, what they had to do was  allow a backup of water.  To prevent any further backing up of  water, they spilled water.  As to how many acres were impacted, I  can get that information for him.


Grand Rapids Generating Station

Environmental Concerns


Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas):  I was in The Pas last weekend, and  I got several calls from people from Grand Rapids, and I am still  getting them today, being concerned about the debris that has  gone over the spillway into the river and into Lake Winnipeg,  causing a hardship for the fishermen.

        Can the minister tell us then what damage has occurred,  because he is saying that he has been monitoring the incident at  Grand Rapids?  How much damage occurred to the pickerel and other  fish in the Saskatchewan River and in the Lake Winnipeg area, a  livelihood, of course, that is so important to the people of  Grand Rapids?  Secondly, can the minister also explain why local  people are not being hired to do the cleanup?

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member's question  has been put.

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment):  First of all, I  will respond in relationship to the oil that occurred as part of  the spill.  A great deal of that was boomed and contained and  removed from the water so that any damage from that was  minimized.  As to long‑term impacts, I would be unable to give  any‑‑I do not have any‑‑information that has been assembled in  terms of whether there are projected impacts in the long term,  but the actions that were taken were made in the light of  containing any damage so that there would not be any lasting  effect.

        Secondly, the fact that any oil that might have escaped, that  process is biodegradable, and impact should be minimal.  The  second part, however, and concerns me perhaps more than the first  part of the question, is that one of the first jobs that our  people were to undertake was to liaise with the downstream  residents and make sure that they were kept abreast of any  occurrences.  If there has been something that has occurred since  the accident that has not been keeping them up to date, I will  undertake to make sure that is done.

* (1400)

Mr. Lathlin:  Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of Environment meet  with the residents of Grand Rapids?  Will he also order an  extensive study of the area to ensure that those residents in  Grand Rapids who depend upon the wells will know that water is  safe to drink, and also the fishermen who depend on fishing will  have some idea as to what their future holds for them?

Mr. Cummings:  Mr. Speaker, I certainly will undertake to make  sure that information is provided and, if any known problems from  that occurrence are made, that the information is made available  readily and in appropriate form to the upstream residents.

        I have not at this point received any information that would  cause alarm.  However, as I said, at the time of the accident,  the first job of the environment officer‑‑or the second job of  the environment officer, after seeing the good job that Hydro was  doing, was to make sure that he talked to the residents and make  sure they were aware of any information.

        I will undertake to make sure that is continuing.  If there  is some breakdown in communications, I will be willing to  communicate further with the member.


North American Free Trade Agreement

Impact on Garment Industry


Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  Mr. Speaker, we have heard this  morning the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) talk glibly about  why there is an increase in poverty in Manitoba and explain it  away as a result of the low wages paid in certain sectors.

        My question is to the minister responsible for the  government's position on the North American free trade agreement.

        We have asked, on many occasions, for a sector‑by‑sector  analysis of how a potential North American free trade agreement  is going to affect the province.  In The Globe and Mail, on May  12, one of the representatives of the Canadian apparel federation  indicated that some 30,000 Canadian jobs have already been lost  because of the Free Trade Agreement.  He says, and I quote:  It  is time to tell the Canadian government that they are destroying  the roots of the Canadian apparel industry.  He says that in  reference to the free trade negotiations that are going on  between the United States and Mexico and our country.

        Will the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism now  acknowledge that his policy of appeasement with respect to these  negotiations is a failure?  Will he now formally ask the federal  government to abandon the North American free trade agreement in  interest of jobs in Manitoba?

Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism):  Mr. Speaker, again, without accepting any of the preamble of the  honourable member, as I have indicated in this House on several  occasions, we have put forth the position of our government and  Manitobans.  We have put forth the position on many occasions at  Trade ministers' meetings and in writing to Mr. Wilson.

        In terms of the sectoral review, again, I have outlined, for  the benefit of honourable members, the process we went through  last year in terms of not only compiling data but actually  meeting with Manitobans who are the ones who are going to have to  face any potential North American free trade agreement.

        The very specific question that the honourable member asks in  terms of the textile and clothing, clearly, that is an issue that  is part of negotiations between the three governments.  I am sure  he has read the comments of the federal minister, Mr. Wilson.  We  have expressed our concern on that particular issue on many  occasions, at meetings and in writing on several occasions, to  Mr. Wilson in terms of supporting the Fashion Institute and the  apparel industries here in Manitoba, in terms of addressing  issues such as the reduction on the tariffs of imported fabrics,  in terms of the whole issue of rules of origin and in terms of  the access to the American markets and the potential Mexican  market, Mr. Speaker.

        Certainly, I would suggest to the honourable member, if he  talks to anybody in the fashion industry and the apparel industry  in Manitoba, they will concur that the position the Manitoba  government has taken in that sector is in agreement with their  position.

Mr. Storie:  Mr. Speaker, the Manitoba branch of the Canadian  Manufacturers Association faxed me a shipments‑by‑industry in  Manitoba:  In 1991, the apparel industry lost almost 7 percent of  its market in the United States.

        Mr. Speaker, I want the Minister of Industry and Trade to  come clean with the people of Manitoba, to table any studies he  has on the impact of the North American free trade agreement on  the garment industry in Winnipeg.  I am calling the minister's  bluff.  I want to see what kind of studies he has, what kind of  information he has.

Mr. Stefanson:  Mr. Speaker, I think back to a similar question  from the honourable member when there was confusion over reports  and data that had been compiled.  When I answered the previous  question from the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie), I did  indicate that back in 1991, as a result of our own analysis, as a  result of meetings, there was a report prepared on a  sector‑by‑sector basis.

        I did undertake that some information is provided in  confidence, and we are going through that report to be sure that  we do not jeopardize any of the information provided us in  confidence.  Once that has been completed, I am certainly  prepared to entertain tabling that report, not only for the  benefit of members in this House, but for all Manitobans.

        But that report, Mr. Speaker, was in large part compiled  through negotiations and discussions with Manitobans.  That  formed the basis of our position, and that is why we do not  support a North American free trade agreement unless those six  fundamental conditions that I have outlined on many occasions are  met.




Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of  Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson) get his head out of  the sand?  These conditions are never going to be met.  The  federal government has no intention of it.  Will he now tell the  people of Manitoba that the government of Manitoba will ask the  federal government to withdraw from these negotiations as  industry by industry joins in the fight against these trade  negotiations?

Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism):  The unfortunate part of this discussion is that I do not think  that the honourable member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) has gone  out and talked to any Manitobans.  He sits there with a  particular ideological bent, and that forms the basis of his  position and his comments, Mr. Speaker.

        We have gone out and consulted with Manitobans, and we have  said we do not support a North American free trade agreement  unless six fundamental conditions are met, and we have outlined  those.  We have also done the analysis of the sector‑by‑sector  basis, and we are concerned in various sectors.  We are concerned  in the agricultural sector, we are concerned in the textile, and  we have outlined those concerns on many occasions to the federal  government in terms of our position as a government and  protecting the interest of Manitoba.

        But in the final analysis, Mr. Speaker, I think, as they know  all too well, the decision is one of the federal government.  We  will put forward our position; we will put forward the position  of Manitobans, and we are doing that.  I would suggest, when he  talks about getting his head out of the sand, he should talk to  some of his counterparts in other provinces who are taking very  little action on this issue, showing very little initiative, and  no leadership.


Family Life Education

Compulsory Curriculum


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr.  Speaker, it is clear to anyone, in all of the studies that are  being performed, that young people who do not graduate from high  school are going to have little or no opportunity for jobs in a  more industrialized world.

        One of the reasons why young women drop out of school is  because of teenage pregnancy.  While we have seen a drop in  teenage pregnancy across this country of 17 percent, we have seen  no significant change in the rate of teenage pregnancy in the  rate of Manitoba.  Almost all the authorities who speak on this  matter say it is because of lack of information available to  young people.

        Will the Minister of Education tell this House today, why in  1992 we still cannot make family life education compulsory in the  province of Manitoba?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr.  Speaker, the issue of teenage pregnancy and how it interferes  with young people completing their education is a serious concern  to this government and to the people of Manitoba.  We do have a  family life education program.  It is presently optional, and it  is taught through Grades 5, 7 and 9.  It does teach within that  particular program, also, issues relating to assertiveness that  might be very important for young women.  The program, as the  member says, is optional at this time, and it, I think, has made  a very good start in this area and in this province.

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Mrs. Carstairs:  Mr. Speaker, I was not criticizing the program.  The program, as it is written, is valid.  The problem is not all  young people are exposed to it, and not all young people are  exposed to it because this Minister of Education and the previous  Minister of Education and the previous Minister of Education,  which was under the NDP, will not make it a compulsory program.

        Why are we refusing to ensure that all young people in Grades  5, 7 and 9, have the information they need to make responsible  decisions in the province of Manitoba?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to note that  the issues relating to teenage pregnancy are not only covered in  relation to that one particular program.  We also have a very  significant health curriculum within this province, and we have  now also a program of family studies within this province.  The  family studies program allows young people to learn a great deal  in relation to not only personal skills of assertiveness, but  also skills in relation to other responsibilities as adults.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Well, Mr. Speaker, we can write all the  curriculums in the world.  We can write wonderful curriculums,  but if the youngsters are not exposed to the curriculum, they  will not learn anything.

        Will this minister exercise some courage and ensure by  regulation, just as she has ensured that English is compulsory  and math is compulsory and science is compulsory and geography is  compulsory, that family life education is compulsory in the  province of Manitoba?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member knows that within  the province of Manitoba, many families wish to take  responsibility in this area themselves.  It is those families  that have made the decisions, as well, whether or not their young  people will become involved in an optional program.

        My information is that in fact most divisions offer this,  that young people need not, by a decision of their family, take  part in the program.  That is why I think it is important for the  honourable member to also understand that we rely on families to  provide information, as well as within the school system.  I have  explained, we also have the family studies program and the health  curriculum program to assist young people.


Education System

Dropout Rate


Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Mr. Speaker, my question is to the  Minister of Education.

        We have yet another report from the Conference Board of  Canada talking about our high dropout rate and the costs to  society.  The Conference Board states that as an investment  vehicle, education has the highest rate of return than almost any  alternative investment opportunity.  I know the minister will  state she has put in place a new bureaucracy, a new department of  10 people, to deal with the dropout rate.  What is the  government's plan and what is the government's strategy to deal  with the high dropout rate in Manitoba, particularly amongst  women?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  First  of all, I am very proud that this government has put in place a  new program, a new branch, the Student Support branch.  That  Student Support branch function is to liaise with school  divisions across this province and to look at the particular  issues relating to those school divisions and to assist them with  funding to keep young people in school.  That is not the only  thing that we are doing as a government.

        In addition, I will raise for the honourable member the issue  of partnership, where schools within this province are also  looking towards increased vocational education through the unit  funding opportunity available in our education finance model and  to co‑operative education so that young people in this province  have the opportunity to experience the work force and understand  the meaning of their education.

Mr. Chomiak:  My supplementary to the same minister following up  on my original question:  Why has this government invested in new  money less than one‑third of 1 percent of the total education  budget to deal with the dropout rate, if it is such a priority of  this government?

Mrs. Vodrey:  First of all, I am very pleased we were able to put  new money into our Student Support branch which, as I said, not  only through a good portion of the funds allocated, allows for  programs which were already in place within divisions.  Those  programs will continue.  We have also allowed additional money  for the implementation of new programs, which divisions  themselves will determine what is most important for their  areas.  In addition, through our education finance model, as I  have already referenced for the member, we have, by way of  example, and I will tell him again, allowed for unit credit  funding in the vocational training area, which allows students,  who previously would not have had the opportunity to take a  vocational course, to take that course and have an opportunity to  see what a work force placement might be like in that area.

Mr. Chomiak:  Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary to the same  minister:  Will the minister outline what programs are in place  to deal with women and teenage pregnancies which are cited in  last week's report, that I am not sure the minister has read yet,  as one of the major reasons for women dropping out?  What can the  minister indicate is being done today for these people to keep  them in school?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am very happy to speak about six schools, by way  of example, that have a program which allows young women who have  babies to bring their babies into the school system, for those  young women within the school system to learn issues relating to  family life and child care and also to continue with their  education, to not have to drop out, something that the other  party, when they were in government, did not do.


Deer Lodge Hospital

Bed Closures


Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (St. Johns):  In 1990, the Minister of  Health promises the immediate opening of 90 long‑term beds at  Deer Lodge Centre.  That promise was repeated in 1991.  We asked  about this in last year's Estimates and learned that only a few  of those beds had been filled.  I am wondering if the minister,  today, could give us a report about the status of those beds and  tell us how many beds have been opened.

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Speaker, I will  make every effort to have that information for my honourable  friend at Estimates tomorrow.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  Mr. Speaker, you should know that the  minister has not given us any information about beds‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  Question, please.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  Why, Mr. Speaker, are 40 of those 90 beds  still open after three years of promises while patients line up  in hospital hallways at expensive institutions when they could be  placed in centres like Deer Lodge Centre, if this government  would only keep its promise?

Mr. Orchard:  Mr. Speaker, I really take offence to my honourable  friend's statement, which was not accurate, that I have not given  her answers to her questions.  The problem my honourable friend  suffers from is that I have not given her the answers she wanted  so she could write her little press releases and scatter  incorrect information across the length and breadth of the  province.

        I am not going to participate in the narrow, political games  of a New Democrat in Manitoba.  Mr. Speaker, I have provided my  honourable friend information.  I have provided my honourable  friend with the information that in Manitoba we are asking her to  support a budget, along with New Democrats, which spends $102  million more.  I have also asked her if she would rather have a  Saskatchewan‑type budget where there is $53 million less year  over year.

        Those are the kinds of pieces of information I have provided  my honourable friend.


Point of Order


 Mr. Steve Ashton (Opposition House Leader):  Mr. Speaker,  Beauchesne is very clear in terms of answers to questions, that  they should be brief and relate to the matter raised.  We also  have a number of other requirements, and that includes that they  not be debated.

        I would ask you, on those grounds and also the fact that the  minister should be answering questions‑‑that is his role in  Question Period and in Estimates, something which he has not  done‑‑could you ask him, please, to finally come to order and  deal with some of these very serious questions that are being  raised.

Mr. Speaker:  On the point of order raised, I cannot force the  honourable ministers to answer their questions, but I can ask the  ministers to keep their answers brief, to the point and to not  provoke debate.


Health Care System Reform

Bed Closures


Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (St. Johns):  Mr. Speaker, I must  apologize, I made a mistake.  It has been four years since Deer  Lodge Centre beds have been filled‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  The question, please.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  I would like to ask the Minister of Health:  Can he assure us that, when he announces his health care reform  plan sooner than expected, Mr. Speaker, he will not be simply  cutting beds at some facilities and transferring those beds to  fulfill unmet election promises?

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Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Speaker, what I  will commit to my honourable friend is that the changes, the  restructuring, the reform of the health care system in Manitoba  will be based on a reasoned, balanced, well‑thought‑out  researched plan.

        I am looking forward to the opportunity, and hopefully my  honourable friend is, too, where finally the New Democrats are  going to have to indicate what they believe in, in health care,  instead of dancing on a head of a pin, being on both sides of  almost every issue that has ever been brought before us in this  House and in health care Estimates for some 60 hours.  Finally, I  hope the New Democrats will take a position, Sir, and tell  Manitobans what they believe in, in terms of health care service  delivery.



Government Action


Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  For over a year now, we have been  trying unsuccessfully to stop this government from using  decentralization as an excuse to practise patronage.  We have the  Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach) moving Housing jobs  from Swan River to Roblin, and now again the rumours are that the  minister of‑‑[interjection]

        Now we have the fact that the Minister of Labour is  canvassing his colleagues to move Highways jobs from Selkirk to  Beausejour.

        My question to the Deputy Premier is:  Why has the Deputy  Premier not told his cabinet to stop playing games with Civil  Service positions in rural Manitoba?

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for Decentralization):  Mr. Speaker, unlike the member for Selkirk, we do not deal with  rumours.  What we do is govern responsibly.  The decentralization  program in Manitoba is probably one of the most successful  programs in this province as far as the supports for some of our  rural communities.

Mr. Dewar:  Mr. Speaker, will the Deputy Premier order a freeze  on such moves as the Highways jobs from Selkirk to Beausejour  while his economic development council studies the impacts of  such moves?

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, again the member is bringing no fact to  this House, as far I am concerned, and I am not prepared to  respond to a rumour.  If he has a specific question, a specific  knowledge of something taking place, then I would invite him to  bring it to this House.

Mr. Speaker:  Time for Oral Questions has expired.




Hon. James Downey (Minister of Energy and Mines):  Mr. Speaker, I  wonder if I may have leave to make a nonpolitical statement. [Agreed]

        This is the first opportunity that I have had, as Minister of  Energy and Mines, to on behalf of the mining community and the  people of Manitoba, express our sympathy to those people in Nova  Scotia who have lost family members and pray for those members  who are not found that speedy recovery is in fact carried out.

        I know the mining community is a very strong and cohesive  family throughout the country.  The mining industry plays an  extremely important role for Manitobans, and I know that everyone  is extremely concerned as Canadians.  As I say, we pray for a  speedy success to the recovery of those remaining individuals.

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

        On behalf of the Liberal Party, I would like to join the  Minister of Energy and Mines to express our condolences to the  families of the 11 men who have lost their lives and to extend  our hopes and our prayers for the 15 who still remain in the mine  as of today.

        Mr. Speaker, in 1958, I was a first‑year student at Dalhousie  University during the Springhill mine disaster.  I then went to  the mine and worked, essentially providing sandwiches and hot  coffee to the victims as they came up, but also to the many  families and the members of the community who gathered each and  every day throughout that terrible ordeal.

        For those of you who have never experienced going into a coal  mine, it is a very strange experience.  I think it is a strange  experience to work underground in any case in any mine, but  particularly so in a coal mine.  A coal mine is always fraught  with perils.

        One looks back into one's 19th Century history and realizes  that they used to take canaries down, and as long as the canaries  sang, they knew that there was air for the miners to breathe.  Well, conditions have not changed a great deal.

        We will learn more and more as to the exact conditions and  why this particular disaster occurred, but any group of  individuals who go into a coal mine know that they are always in  danger of an explosion from methane gas.  That is part and parcel  of their work.  That is part of what binds the communities  together.  As I watch the people night after night on The  National gathering in the same way that they have gathered in  previous times, whether it was the colliery in Glace Bay in 1976  or Springhill in 1958, there is that same type of community  spirit.

        Last night, listening to CBC radio, I heard an event that I  think epitomizes the lifestyle.  They were talking about the  concern the families had for the rescuers and for the media and  for the police, all of whom were gathering around.  They said,  that they had brought out coffee and sandwiches in the good china.

        Now, when we think of delivering services like that, we  generally tend to use styrofoam cups and that type of thing, but  no, the people of Plymouth, Nova Scotia, came to help those who  were helping them, bringing out the good china.  That is fairly  typical of the hospitality of a mining community.  So certainly,  I say a prayer for them every night, and I encourage every member  in this Chamber to do the same.


Committee Change


Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  I move, seconded by the member  for St. James (Mr. Edwards), that the composition of the Standing  Committee on Law Amendments be amended as follows:  St. Boniface  (Mr. Gaudry) for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs). [Agreed]




Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Mr. Speaker,  would you call second readings of Bills 82, 85 and then Bills 72,  10, 20, 21, 15?




Bill 82‑The Farm Practices Protection and Consequential Amendments Act


Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  I move, seconded by  the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns), that Bill 82, The  Farm Practices Protection and Consequential Amendments Act (Loi  sur la protection des pratiques agricoles et apportant des  modifications correlatives a d'autres lois), be now read a second  time and be referred to a committee of this House.

Motion presented.

Mr. Findlay:  It gives me great pleasure at this time to rise to  put some comments on the record on second reading of The Farm  Practices Protection and Consequential Amendments Act.

        Mr. Speaker, over the last three or four years there has been  considerable discussion in the farm community about getting on  with putting this sort of a bill in place in the Legislature in  the province of Manitoba.  Considerable discussion and  consultation has gone on into the principles and the type of  information we can put in an act that gives farmers a level of  protection they want, but at the same time does not violate other  acts of this Legislature that give protection to citizens at  large.

        Mr. Speaker, farmers have become the minority in many rural  municipalities in Manitoba and have increasingly come into  conflict with their neighbours regarding disturbances from farm  practices.  Complaints have arisen from odour, noise, dust, smoke  and other disturbances.  Nuisance suits in court have occurred in  Manitoba and other parts of Canada.  Sometimes the practices  complained about have been less than acceptable and needed to be  changed or ceased; other times, a farmer is carrying on his  operations in a normal acceptable manner and is unable to avoid  generating some level of disturbance to his neighbours.

        The main issue centres around what is normal and allowed or  expected for the circumstances and the area in question.  Manitoba has had The Nuisance Act in place since 1976.  This act  protects all businesses from nuisance suit due to odour alone.  It provides no mechanism for resolution of dispute if one arises  on the basis of odour.

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        Six other provinces in Canada, namely British Columbia,  Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Quebec and Nova Scotia have  enacted since 1986 farm practices legislation that cover, at a  minimum, odour, noise and dust.  Some cover all potential  nuisances.  Ontario's legislation established a farm practice  protection board that has the power to rule on normal farm  practices.  Practices deemed to be normal are protected from  nuisance suit.

        A preliminary farm practices discussion paper, in other words  a white paper, was circulated early in 1990.  It was broadly  circulated in Manitoba to urban and rural municipalities, to  farmers, to farm organizations.  Comments and recommendations  were received from farm, municipal organizations, municipalities  and other organizations and individuals who showed an interest.

        A further discussion paper on co‑ordination of planning,  environment and farm practices legislation, and a discussion  paper on content of the proposed bill were recirculated in  February of 1992.  Response was supportive for the introduction  of a farm practices legislation which I am doing today.  Respondents stressed the need to develop guidelines for the act,  as well as for planning and environmental purposes.

        Agriculture is an important multibillion dollar industry in  Manitoba and farmers require protection and assurances that they  will be fairly treated.

        Bill 82, The Farm Practices Protection and Consequential  Amendments Act, will provide protection from unwarranted nuisance  suits to farmers who are carrying on normal farm practices.  The  act will provide for establishment of a Farm Practices Protection  Board to whom complainants will be directed before nuisance suits  can be proceeded with in court.

        The board may refuse to consider an application if it is  trivial or frivolous.  If an application is accepted by the  board, the board will investigate the matter in an attempt to  mediate the dispute to the mutual satisfaction of all parties  involved.  If mediation is not successful, the board may hold a  hearing to allow both parties to express their case.

        Aided by some basic guidelines, the board will have authority  to determine what constitutes normal farm practices.  The board  may make a ruling endorsing a practice, or it may make orders to  change a practice to reduce or eliminate the disturbance.

        Board decisions may be appealed by all parties to the court  on a point of law.  To be afforded protection under the act,  operations must be legally established and legally operating in  an area in which they are located.  Operations may not contravene  other legislation, regulations, land use laws or by‑laws.

        The Farm Practices Protection Act will not limit the  procedures and authorities of the planning process to change land  use in an area.  However, pre‑existing, nonconforming uses that  are determined to be operating normally will be protected.  The  existing Nuisance Act will be changed, with a consequential  amendment, to exclude agricultural operations.  However, it will  be left in place to protect other businesses from nuisance suit  due to odour.

        This proposed legislation is one more effort to support land  use in rural Manitoba and ensure continued viability of  Manitoba's agriculture industry.  With those few comments, Mr.  Speaker, I would like to recommend to the House, Bill 82, The  Farm Practices Protection and Consequential Amendments Act, and I  look forward to comments from other members of the House as this  bill proceeds through second reading and eventually to passage.  Thank you very much.

Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  I move, seconded by the member  for Burrows (Mr. Martindale), that debate on this bill be  adjourned.

Motion agreed to.


Bill 85‑The Labour Relations Amendment Act


Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Mr. Speaker, I would  like to move, seconded by the honourable Minister of Agriculture  (Mr. Findlay), that Bill 85, The Labour Relations Amendment Act;  Loi modifiant la Loi sur les relations du travail, be now read a  second time and be referred to a committee of this House.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Praznik:  Mr. Speaker, today I rise to speak on The Labour  Relations Amendment Act, and I would like to start off before I  get into the major part of my remarks by just referencing the  news coverage of this particular legislation that was in  yesterday's media.  I must admit that as a Minister of Labour in  this province, the coverage that I saw reminds me very much, as I  indicated to my colleague the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton)  the other day in our exchange in Question Period, of that scene  from Casablanca where the hero, Rick, has shot the infamous  gestapo officer, and the French police officer upon the arrival  of his police, who had witnessed the whole event, said major  so‑and‑so has been shot, round up the usual suspects.

        Mr. Speaker, the commentary that was made by members of the  opposition to the media yesterday, and some in the Federation of  Labour, remind me of that particular scene, because it seems  every time this government does anything in the labour relations  field, the same arguments are brought out, the same commentaries  are made, even though they lack substance and often are very far  from the reality of the amendments that are being brought in.

        Why I raise that is because I think all of us in the Labour  Management Review Committee, whether I as minister, people  involved with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, Canadian  Federation of Labour, others, people involved on the business  side, there are many people in this province who believe very  strongly, including myself, that we have to be working towards  bringing about a better understanding of each side's position and  the difficulties they face and building bridges between all  players in order to work together, work out our problems together.

        Mr. Speaker, I do not want to point fingers because on all  sides of the labour‑management community there are those who  prefer to use the old rhetoric, those who prefer not to  understand the difficulties of the other side, and there are  those who continue to mix very heavily the issues that we have to  face with the partisan politics of the province.  Everyone, of  course, is free to do that, and, you know, the members on this  side of the House do that from time to time.  There are those in  the business community who do it in support of our government  from time to time, and there are certainly some in the labour  movement who do that in support of the New Democrats.

        The great sadness, I think, for the province is we can be  fighting those rhetorical battles on and on, and, of course,  using the rhetoric to raise issue with our supporters, our  respective constituencies, and take them forward against another,  but we all ultimately will be finding ourselves falling over the  precipice as our province does not come to grips with the very  real problems of adjustment that we have to face.  Mr. Speaker, I  am not saying for any moment that means that labour or management  has a position or interests that are illegitimate or wrong or  should not be considered.  What I am saying simply is that the  bridges have to be built, and that rhetoric, political rhetoric  to support a political party, whether it be business supporting  the Conservatives on our side or federations of labour supporting  the New Democrats on the other, really that time for that  rhetoric has passed.  It is dangerous to the province, and, as  Labour minister, I certainly wanted to use that opportunity to  make that statement.

        Mr. Speaker, The Labour Relations Act as all members in this  House I am sure are aware is a very important piece of  legislation.  It is intended to provide the means by which  employees can freely decide whether or not they wish a union or  employees' organization to represent them.  That is a fundamental  principle that myself and my party believe in, the right of  people to be represented collectively in the workplace and to  bargain collectively.

        Mr. Speaker, the process of choosing a representative body,  whether or not the employees wish to have a representative body  and if so which one, has been done and always is done, and will  continue to be done by satisfying the Manitoba Labour Board of  the majority of the employees' desire for such representation.  Once a union is certified by the board, it can then bargain on  behalf of the employees in the unit to arrive at an agreement  with the employer as to wages, benefits, working conditions and  obligations that they will have.

        The amendments contained in this bill will provide for, I  think, greater clarity and certainty in the application of The  Labour Relations Act, Mr. Speaker.  They are in no way intended  to, nor do they in reality, gut this act as some in the  Federation of Labour have implied.  I have heard from a  significant number of persons, both employees and employers, that  some procedures in the act were not sufficiently clear and may  have not always demonstrated the true wishes of employees of a  firm.  I would remind all honourable members that the mechanisms  of which we are speaking are not only applicable to employees  choosing whether or not they would like to be represented by a  union, but also where those employees maybe wish to be  represented by another union than the one they are currently  represented by.  So there are rules that are applicable in both  those situations, and as members opposite are surely aware, there  are situations where that happens.  It is important for those  rules to be clear and to be fair to all parties involved.

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        I wish to emphasize, Mr. Speaker, before I introduce the  amendments, that I have consulted widely with experts on labour  relations matters from both organized labour and from the general  management community.  I have also asked for reviews to be  undertaken to determine how many other jurisdictions in Canada  have handled these problems and how they have handled them.

        For the most part, the amendments will bring Manitoba's  legislation more in line with other provinces in the federal  jurisdiction.  Not to say, Mr. Speaker, that we have been far out  of line, but I think they just nicely bring us in line with the  rest of the country.  I also believe it is critical that  legislation in the labour relations area be balanced and even,  whether that is the employees' choosing to be represented by a  union or not, for them to have that opportunity, to fairly make  that decision, because the majority of those employees will  govern the operation for the entire group; but also to determine  which group will be their bargaining agent.  I stress that point.

        It is to ensure that there is a level playing field for all  of the parties in making those decisions.  Legislation is well  served when it allows to the fullest degree possible labour and  management to work out solutions to the problems they have and to  solve them together.  Such legislation should reflect reasonable  standards of conduct and structures of rules and procedures which  labour and management can operate effectively with a minimum  degree of interference.

        Mr. Speaker, going beyond this basic responsibility is a  disservice to the ability of the labour relations community to  solve problems on their own.

        As I have mentioned, it is my view that, as much as possible,  government has the responsibility of allowing labour and  management to work out solutions to their problems themselves.  Results achieved this way have a higher degree of legitimacy and  a far higher degree of acceptance by the parties involved.

        Mr. Speaker, one comment that I make is I have noticed a  trend that has taken place over the last two decades since I  became Minister of Labour, of those in the labour‑management  community to look for third parties to settle the issues between  them.  Whether that be an option of arbitration versus collective  bargaining, Mr. Speaker, unless both parties mutually agree to  that kind of means of settling the dispute, the ability for one  party to opt to a third‑party settlement mechanism, I think in  the long run, has done a disservice to collective bargaining and  to the relationship between employers and employees in the  province.

        With respect to these amendments, I would like to speak for a  moment about the consultation process that has taken place.  I  think it is important to note that we have in Manitoba a very  good consultation process that has been in place since a former  Premier, the Honourable Duff Roblin, his government established  it in 1965, Mr. Speaker.  That is the Labour Management Review  Committee which is composed of an equal number of representatives  from both the labour and the management communities.  It is  chaired, as members of this House may remember, by Mr. Wally  Fox‑Decent.  It has been a committee that I do say to you during  the 1980s, during the administration of the Pawley government,  Mr. Speaker, was not all that well used and became, I would  suggest, somewhat of a bit of‑‑just a committee that was there to  say we had gone to them.

        Since we came to power and since I have had responsibility  for this portfolio, we have used that committee on numerous  occasions to seek their advice and their opinion, and to provide  a good overview of the effects of legislative proposals.  We have  not always had unanimous agreement.  We have made that committee  work.  We have given it a mandate to work, and we certainly rely  on the advice that committee offers us.

        Mr. Speaker, the proposed changes deal with all aspects of  the act ranging from certification procedures, powers of  arbitrators and unfair labour practices.  I should point out that  when we began this process of consultation, we had, going back  last summer, a series of proposals for change that were put to us  by a number of management groups.  We referred those changes to  the Labour Management Review Committee, and I, by way of letter  to the chair of that committee, asked that all players be asked  for their proposals for change.

        In fact, the labour caucus, the Manitoba Federation of  Labour, provided a series of proposals for change that went to  that committee.  So the broad community was canvassed for  proposals to be discussed.  There were some 40 proposed changes  that went to that committee, most of them coming from the  representative bodies on that committee.  The steering committee,  I believe, narrowed down their proposals for discussion to some  29.

        Of those, there were 12 issues, and I just want to underline  this fact.  There were 12 issues, Mr. Speaker, on which a  consensus of that committee was reached.  Some of those  agreements involved changes for legislation which are  incorporated in this bill.  Other recommendations were for no  change to existing legislation.  Those were respected or were  nonlegislative in character.  The committee provided this advice,  along with the last position of the labour and management  caucuses on unresolved issues in March of this year.

        On behalf of the Legislature of Manitoba, I would like to  sincerely thank the members of the LMRC for their hard work and  dedication in providing the government with a comprehensive  report on the issues.  It is clear that both sides dealt with the  issues in an up‑front manner and attempted to try and find common  ground wherever possible.  Wherever we did have consensus, Mr.  Speaker, that was most useful to me, and I have certainly tried  to incorporate that into this legislation.

        Mr. Speaker, I would just ask members to compare that for a  moment to the great battle between the labour and management  committees that are going on in our neighbour to the east in the  province of Ontario where they do not have that same mechanism  for members to sit down and, in the privacy of that type of  forum, have a very thorough discussion about labour‑management  issues and legislation.

        Mr. Speaker, with respect to the amendments, the amendments  to The Labour Relations Act contained in this bill are intended  to address various problems and concerns that have been  identified by the labour relations community.  Four of the  proposed amendments to The Labour Relations Act were unanimously  approved by the Labour Management Review Committee.  Five other  amendments‑‑and I would have members opposite take note‑‑are  areas where the LMRC was unable to reach a consensus agreement.  However, in these cases, I did receive advice and comments from  the labour and management representatives on the committee and  took that into account when we as a government made our  recommendations outlined in the bill.

        When the Labour Management Review Committee was unable to  reach consensus agreement on a particular item, the amendment is  the result of a further review of the final positions of the  parties and an assessment of factors, such as comparable  legislation in other jurisdictions, administrative experience  with existing provisions of the act, and comments raised by  labour and management representatives on the committee.

        For the most part, the nine amendments contained in Bill 85  are centred in three main areas.  The first is with respect to  first agreement provisions.  The second relates to the  certification process.  The third involves employer interference  with unions during certification process.

        The amendments are designed to improve the operation of the  current act.  They uphold and endorse the right of employees to  join a union and bargain collectively.  Their main purpose is to  provide greater certainty in the certification process, eliminate  some misuse of first contract provisions, clarify the provisions  respecting communications of employers with employees during  certification and provide for some general housekeeping of the  act.

        With respect, Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the House  through each of those three or four general areas.  With respect  to first agreement provisions, changes are being recommended or  proposed that will be made to the first agreement provisions  which will reinforce the important principle of labour and  management using all available means to settle on their own terms  and conditions the collective agreement before applying to the  Labour Board for a third‑party settlement.  The existing  requirement in the act states that a conciliation officer has to  be appointed before an application for first agreement  legislation can be made.  Clearly, the intent of such a provision  is that the parties make use of all available means to settle on  their own prior to asking for formal Labour Board intervention.

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        This amendment will, as a precondition to applying to the  board for the settlement of a first contract, now give the  conciliation officer the responsibility of reporting to the  Manitoba Labour Board on the efforts made by the parties to  conclude a first agreement.  This would ensure that the parties  have truly reached an impasse before first contract provisions in  the act are made available.

        I think it is important to underline, what happened in the  past in many cases is a conciliation officer would be requested,  would be then appointed, and before they even had an opportunity  to do any work, a request would be made for the Labour Board to  write the first contract.  I think that made a mockery to some  degree of the system.  Why appoint a conciliation officer if you  are not going to give them an opportunity to conciliate?

        What this amendment does, Mr. Speaker, is give the  conciliation officer an opportunity to try and reach a consensus  to the parties.  If there is a legitimate impasse, it cannot be  done, then the conciliation officer will make a recommendation  and the Labour Board will then be able to write the first  contract or the remaining provisions as the current legislation  provides.

        A related amendment which was agreed to by both parties in  the Labour Management Review Committee provides the parties with  an opportunity to mutually agree on their own arbitrator, where  they are going for first contract to be written by the Labour  Board.  The reasoning for this amendment is that in certain  situations a mutually agreed upon arbitrator, aware of the  industry, would provide a more appropriate settlement than the  Labour Board who may not have the expertise as to the unique  features of that industry.  Again, that can only be operative if  both parties agree to use the arbitrator.  If one does not, then  it will go to the Labour Board.  I am sure members opposite would  find this a very reasonable amendment.

        Mr. Speaker, the second area has to do with the certification  process where a number of other proposals for amendment have been  made which, I would argue very strongly, provide greater  certainty in determining the wishes of employees in situations  where there may be some question as to whether or not the  majority of employees wish to be represented by a union or by a  particular union in a case where one union is raiding another.

        Currently, certification procedures require that where over  55 percent of the proposed members of the bargaining unit sign a  card joining a union that automatic certification takes place.  In the area between 45 and 50 percent of the proposed members  signing a card, an automatic vote is ordered by the Labour Board.

        Mr. Speaker, I would ask honourable members just to go back  to first principles for a moment.  The first principle is to  determine the will of the majority of the members of the  bargaining unit, whether or not they want to be represented by a  union or employees' association, or whether it is this union or  employees' association or another.  Again, the principle‑‑the  majority, 50 percent plus one.  We have available to us through  this act a variety of means of testing the will of the majority,  because the underlying issue or the underlying factor in the  process is the Labour Board's decision as to whether or not the  majority of the proposed bargaining unit has expressed its will  to be represented by a union or a particular union.

        Mr. Speaker, the Labour Board has available to it a number of  mechanisms in which to determine the true wishes of the  employees.  The first means, of course, is by signing a  membership card.  Up until 1985 in this province, you had to pay  for that card.  That was removed in 1985; we are certainly not  proposing that that be brought back.  In fact, that was one of  the recommendations of the LMRC, that that $1 or $2 fee which is  charged in most other provinces was really not applicable.  So  the Labour Board has the cards.

        They also have available to it the right to order a vote, a  secret ballot vote.  Currently, where between 45 and 55 percent  of the bargaining unit members sign cards, a vote is  automatically ordered.  If the Labour Board feels that there is  some issue as to whether or not the cards were validly signed, et  cetera, and it is significant, they can also order a vote, and  have done so in some cases.  What we had, and I would not say it  was a huge or major problem, but it was one that was raised, in  cases where they were just outside the 55 percent who had signed  cards, or just below the 45 percent, the threshold for getting a  vote, there are always some questions, particularly in smaller  bargaining units which are by far where the greater number of  applications for certification are now coming.  In those  particular cases, the issues of peer pressure, of influence by  either someone working on behalf of the union or an employer,  come into play.

        What we are suggesting‑‑and I know that when we went through  this process, I was deluged by anecdotes from both sides about  cases where, was the will of the employees being expressed one  way or another.  We thought it best to just slightly expand the  range in which an automatic vote would happen.

        Mr. Speaker, we lowered it to 40 percent, so now you need  only sign up 40 percent of the members to get an automatic vote,  which currently is 45, and that is in cases where the argument is  made that intimidation of employees prevented people from signing  a card.  We have expanded it to 65.  In terms of applications for  certification, well over four‑fifths‑‑and it ranges from year to  year‑‑but well over four‑fifths of our applications for  certification come in above the 65 percent mark.  We are talking  about a limited number of applications for certification which  will likely now have a vote.

        People in the labour community, when they spoke to me, said  the bargaining units which they have the greatest likelihood of  being decertified are those that they bring in with a very small  number over the 50 percent to certify.  That is what they tell  me, Mr. Speaker, that it is in the bargaining units where you  have 60 percent, 58 percent, sign cards‑‑and you cannot get more  than that‑‑that those are the most likely units, particularly if  they are smaller units‑‑10, 20 employees‑‑that will decertify.  Our own information from the Labour Board and people working  there tends to confirm that.

        So what we thought would be the best approach was just to  expand that margin slightly where we would have an automatic  secret ballot free vote.  A commitment I make to members of this  House on behalf of the Labour Board is that vote will be a speedy  vote.  We have been trying to make it faster and faster all the  time.  Mr. Speaker, with a speedy vote‑‑our target is within 72  hours of having a vote; I do not think we have quite achieved  that yet‑‑and combined with the proposals that were joined for a  ban on electioneering in the work place, in the polling place on  the election day, we are talking about a very small period of  time between an application for certification and a vote.  Last  year, for example, it would have meant five additional votes in  the province.

        What it eliminates is the accusation and the argument often  made by an employer that my employees did not really want the  union and they were forced into it.  Quite frankly, I think this  will clearly eliminate, particularly those cases where it is a  small number, where you have 58 percent, 60 percent, 63 percent,  who have signed cards.  In a very small bargaining unit, we are  talking about a few people.  This gives people a chance to  express their will in a secret ballot in the ballot box as we are  elected to this Legislature.

        Mr. Speaker, when I read the commentary from the president of  the Federation of Labour yesterday with reference to minority  government and elections and all of those kinds of things, I  would remind her that it takes, what?‑‑200 electors to sign our  nomination papers to get us on the ballot, but we are all sent  here by a secret ballot vote.  For the life of me, I cannot fully  understand how you could make a huge argument that this is  disastrous legislation, giving people the opportunity to make a  decision, not just whether they want a union or not, but whether  it be this union or another in the case of a raid, in the privacy  of a polling station, particularly if it is a quick vote and no  campaign, no opportunity or limited opportunity for outside  influence.  There is no substitute for the secrecy of a ballot  box.

        Mr. Speaker, I must tell you as well that I accepted from  LMRC, the argument made by labour representatives that where a  significant number of people sign cards, that that is a  sufficient enough representation of the will of the majority of  that bargaining unit to certify.  The management position was to  have a secret ballot vote in all cases.  We did not accept that.  We did not accept that position, because we accepted the argument  that was made by labour that where you have 70 percent plus, 65  percent plus of people signed cards, that that truly is  representative of the majority.

        I ask members opposite to go back to first principles, which  is to determine the will of the majority.  We have two methods  available:  the signing of cards and the secret ballot vote.  All  we have done is expanded slightly the secret ballot vote area to  eliminate those cases‑‑and I say this to members opposite‑‑the  majority of which are probably employers who say, our people did  not know what they were doing; they would have changed their  minds; they were coerced into it.

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        If you look at provinces that use a secret ballot vote, Mr.  Speaker, in every case it has not changed their rate of  certification.  It may make a difference in one case this way,  and in another case another way, but it has not changed the rate  of certification.  It was not the intention of this legislation  to change the rate of certification despite the propaganda and  rhetoric that goes on.  The purpose was to give some certainty.

        Mr. Speaker, I think quite frankly this will eliminate to  some degree those certification situations where an employer is  not accepting of the fact that the majority, albeit maybe a small  majority, wanted to be unionized, now makes the claim there was  undue influence, there was pressure, et cetera, and will not  bargain.  This particular move in those kinds of cases where you  have a secret ballot that clearly will say‑‑I think those people,  if they have signed the cards legitimately and want a union will  vote that way in the ballot box.  What will be clear is that the  majority of the people did want that bargaining unit.

        Mr. Speaker, I do not think the reality, I do not think the  experience in other provinces in any way matches the kind of  rhetoric and the kind of accusations that have been made by  members opposite to the media or by some at the Federation of  Labour.  I do not think in any way it affects or relates to the  reality of this amendment.

        The third area that these amendments deal with are in the  area of employer interference with unions during the  certification process.  Members opposite may not be entirely  aware that under our current legislation, there is a provision in  the act, 6(2), which we are proposing to repeal, that deems  certain phrases‑‑particularly that a person does not like unions  or a particular union, or that the relationship between the  employee and the employer may change, or practices may change if  the organization is unionized‑‑deems these statements to be an  unfair labour practice.

        I think all members of this House, in the age of the Charter  of Rights and Freedoms, cannot accept a provision that deems a  statement to be an unfair labour practice or put any other legal  prohibition on it without having that statement tested on the  facts of the context in which it was said, how it was said.  Theoretically, under our law today, if an employee during a  certification drive asked an employer if the relationships in the  workplace would change, and the employer said, well I would not  be able to deal directly with you on your salary anymore, said  nothing but that, that could be under our law an unfair labour  practice.

        I think that is repugnant and abhorrent in the day and age of  the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that our legislation would  deem phrases to be unfair.  At Labour Management Review, even the  labour caucus in the discussions said, well, we can see that  problem with 6(2).  We are prepared to go along with its repeal  if 6(1) is augmented to ensure that, really what we are trying to  get at is there is not coercion, undue influence, threats or  interference in the certification process by the employer.  I  accept that.

        They at the committee sort of agreed that was how we would  approach it, and they worked hard to come up with a common  wording that both sides could recommend to the government.  They  were unable to do it, Mr. Speaker, so they left that  responsibility to me as minister.  What we are proposing is to  repeal 6(2) and, on the advice of our legal draftspeople, make  6(1), which is the general prohibition in interference, subject  to, I believe it is, Section 32 of the act which is the freedom  of speech section which already exists in the act, that said  notwithstanding anything in this act, people are free, have a  freedom of speech, although they cannot use coercion,  intimidation, undue influence, threats or interfere in the  formation or selection of a trade union makes 6(1) subject to  that general prohibition.

        Mr. Speaker, one other change that we made, and I suspect  this will be somewhat controversial and I can understand the  rhetoric and the argument that will flow around that, is to add  to a general list of what is not an unfair labour practice, the  ability of an employer to make a statement of fact or opinion  reasonably held about the business.  I underline, "about the  business."

        Mr. Speaker, I know that raises:  oh, now we are going to  have everything happening.  But I would tell honourable members  opposite, this provision has precedent in British Columbia.  These words come out of the British Columbia labour relations  act.  Why I raise that is not because of an example of B.C., but  the fact it has been tested at the British Columbia labour  relations board.

        There is plenty of precedent that ensures that is really a  very narrow opening.  It is the case, and members opposite may  smirk, but I have had these come to my office, where an employee  during a certification drive asks an employer some questions  about the finances of the business.  The employer is not able to  answer that.  Now, members opposite laugh, but this is the same  party, the New Democratic Party, that supported the Charter of  Rights and Freedoms.  Are they saying opposite to us that it is  only good for one group in our society?

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

        I know they will raise a great fuss about this, and I know  there are some employers in Manitoba who will look upon that as a  right to say anything they want, and they will end up at the  Labour Board and those questions will be decided by the Labour  Board.  What I say today to the employers of Manitoba is this is  a very narrow door.  It is a door of some fairness, but a very  restricted one, because, again, it is subject to the general  provision that you cannot use coercion, intimidation, threats,  undue influence or interfere in the selection or formation of  trade unions.

        In virtually every other province today that ability exists,  and it is a very, very narrow ability‑‑very, very narrow ability.  [interjection] Members are talking opposite, but people have a  right, people ask from time to time for that information.  It is  a very narrow door.  If members opposite are saying that door  should not exist, I accept that as a fair argument, but I do not  think it stands the test of fairness compared to the Charter of  Rights and Freedoms, which our current legislation denies with  Section 6(2), the deeming provision.

        If at Labour Management Review, both sides had come up with  an acceptable wording, that would be in our act today as opposed  to what we worked through in the department.  Both sides agreed  to try and do that and recognize the unfairness of 6(2).

        Time will tell on this one because I think the decisions of  the Labour Board will probably reflect what I am saying in the  House today rather than, I am sure, the comments that will be  made by members at another occasion.

        With respect to other amendments in this act, the first  amendment contained in Bill 85 is the repeal of a subsection of  the act which states that an employee is not exercising  management functions by reason of supervision of employees.  This  change was unanimously approved by the Labour Management Review  Committee, since the provision is only one of the criteria that  the Labour Board already takes into consideration and was  therefore considered not necessary.

        Another amendment, which again received the unanimous support  of the Labour Management Review Committee, was the repeal of a  section of the legislation which states that if the parties  wished they could negotiate a provision requiring the employer to  act reasonably, fairly and in good faith.  This provision was  considered redundant by both labour and management in that it  only states what the parties under the collective agreement area  are already permitted to do.

        Mr. Acting Speaker, the final amendment contained in Bill 85  is the repeal of‑‑I should say, the second last amendment in Bill  85 is the repeal of a subsection which provides the Labour Board  with the authority to appoint a part‑time vice‑chairman to act as  an arbitrator.  The amendment is designed to ensure that all  individuals on the list of arbitrators maintained by the Labour  Board receive the endorsement of the Labour Management Review  Committee, which is the current practice, mutual agreement being  and should be the only criterion for the selection of arbitrators.

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        I remind members opposite that this is the rotating list of  arbitrators that we maintain at the Labour Board to be called  upon when disputes arise.  I underline, the practice is mutual  agreeability on both sides, both caucuses.  The only exception to  that is the ability of both vice‑chairs of the Labour Board to be  appointed, whether or not they are mutually agreeable to both  sides.  We wish to eliminate that to ensure that mutual  agreeability is the only criterion.

        The other amendment that I wish to refer to, Mr. Acting  Speaker, that is in the act is the provisions requiring a union,  during a certification drive, to make prospective members aware  of initiation fees and in a reasonable way what the regular dues  would be.  Mr. Acting Speaker, we had some discussions when this  particular matter came forward as a government proposal, and we  looked at that as we were drafting the act.  I had the  opportunity to put that to some people in the labour movement.  I  asked them what their current practice is.  They told me that is  their current practice.  So, in essence‑‑and I would find it hard  to believe if members opposite, in discussing this point, were to  tell me that this provision was so terrible.  One could only  assume then that unions do not do this. [interjection]

        The member asked, why put this in?  I think it is important  we have a lot of things in this act that are regular practice  that it confirms.  I am sure those involved with the labour  movement‑‑and I do not point fingers at any particular union, but  in the year and a half I have been involved and had discussions  with people who are involved in it, I think very professional  unions, like United Food and Commercial Workers, like the  Steelworkers, like most of the unions associated with the  Manitoba Federation of Labour, they have said to me on occasion  that there are other unions out there, there might even be an  employees' association organizing, who are not necessarily  up‑front all the time on what fees would be charged.  They have  raised that on occasion.

        All this simply does is ensure‑‑and they may be a very, very  small group‑‑that they have to come forward with this  legislation.  Again, how they present it, how they provide it, is  for them decide.  It is just one of the requirements, and there  are others that they have to go through currently in seeking and  soliciting memberships for certification.

        But I would be very interested to see if members opposite  oppose that, because I cannot see, for the life of me, since this  is something that I am told by labour is already a common  practice, except in the case of a few particular unions, from  time to time, who may sidestep that issue with prospective  employees, which this would now correct, a very small issue, how  one could take issue with that, unless you are telling this House  and the members of the public that it is not common practice.  I  have to believe that it is.  So this should not be, in my  opinion, a very contentious issue.

        In summary, Mr. Acting Speaker, as this debate progresses I  am sure you are going to hear lots of comments.  I would remind  honourable members opposite that this bill does not bring in  right to work.  It does not gut The Labour Relations Act.  It  does not destroy the rights of people to join unions or bargain  collectively.  It makes a few, I would think, very minor  changes.  I think, despite the rhetoric of the debate,  particularly on the employers interference issue, that history in  time, decisions of the Labour Board, will prove this Minister of  Labour right on the issue rather than members opposite.

        Thank you, Mr. Acting Speaker, for the time and indulgence of  the House.

Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  I move, seconded by the member  for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak), that debate on this bill be adjourned.

Motion agreed to.




Bill 72‑The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  On the proposed motion of  the honourable Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), Bill 72 (The Law  Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act; Loi sur la reforme du  droit (modifications diverses)), standing in the name of the  honourable member for Kildonan who has eight minutes remaining.

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I rise on my  occasion this afternoon in order to address my remarks to Bill 72  which I had occasion to comment on last Friday during this House  proceedings.  I will wrap up my comments this afternoon, because  I am certain that other members of the House are anxious to also  participate in the debate respecting the omnibus piece of  legislation that had been brought forward by the Minister of  Justice, The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act.  What I  will do this afternoon is use the time to summarize briefly and  wrap up and conclude my comments with respect to this legislation.

        As I indicated earlier, this is a bill that deals with a  bundle of amendments and a bundle of recommendations made by the  Law Reform Commission to this Legislature, in the most part for a  number of changes to tidy up and to better co‑ordinate a number  of statutes in the province of Manitoba, most notably The Bulk  Sales Act, The Law of Property Act, and some specific amendments  dealing with the mercantile law as it exists in the province of  Manitoba.

        It also deals with some longstanding former judicial  interpretations of particular rules, most notably, the Rule in  Shelley's Case as it applies to wills, and it abolishes that  particular aspect of the law.

        So, in sum total, we are certainly not in opposition to the  amendments that are proposed by the Minister of Justice reflected  in The Law Reform Act.  As I indicated in my comments on Friday,  certainly this is one case where it is not necessarily always  easy to have a spreadsheet, and it may not be necessary, but we  certainly would look for spreadsheets and other pieces of  legislation of this kind dealing with largely technical matters  brought forward by the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae).

        The only real difficulty and real suggestion that we have  with respect to this bill as brought forward by the Minister of  Justice deals with the changes to The Liquor Control Act.  I  attempted on Friday to outline to the House that our concerns  were not‑‑while we recognized the matter was brought forward on  the basis of a recommendation to tidy up the law, to perhaps  bring in statute law in conjunction with judicial interpretation,  most notably in this case rulings of the Supreme Court of Canada;  nonetheless, we on this side of the House made the point and we  will continue to make the point, and we will continue to do that  in committee stage, that perhaps for, at the very least, and  there are reasons more than just symbolic reasons, but for the  very least, for symbolic reasons that we consider leaving in the  liability provisions as it relates to sections of The Liquor  Control Act.

        Because we have done so much, Mr. Acting Speaker, in this  province to try to alert Manitobans and individuals to the danger  and the horrible consequences of overconsumption of alcohol, most  notably as it relates to operating a motor vehicle.

        While the vast majority of individuals who deal with The  Liquor Control Act are quite responsible and deal with the matter  quite responsibly; nonetheless, those involved in the industry  are quite familiar with the act.  They have to be familiar with  the act as a matter of course in terms of the day‑to‑day dealings  and the day‑to‑day operations of their business.  Consequently,  this particular provision in the act serves again of  notification, and serves to provide some form of notice and  symbolic meaning and draws to their attention and draws the  attention of all individuals who deal with alcohol and the  dispensing of alcohol and the providing of alcohol the serious  consequences that could arise from serving someone beyond their  capacity and certainly beyond their needs.

        So it is our contention on this side of the House that the  minister perhaps should consider not removing this section and  this provision from The Liquor Control Act.  There are ample  examples, if the minister or anyone wants to argue that it is  redundant and not necessary.  I suggest‑‑and I will go on the  record that there are ample and numerous, and I am certain one  could not comprehend even in one afternoon of reading the entire  statutes of the province of Manitoba, instances where there are  redundancies in terms of statute law vis‑a‑vis judicial precedent.

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        It is our contention that this provision should be maintained  and should still exist in The Liquor Control Act, if for no  reason than to provide the symbolic recognition that there is a  liability that flows from the providing of excessive liquor to an  individual who is in no condition to do otherwise.

        Now it has been suggested that perhaps the penalty clause is  insufficient and, as a consequence, there is no reason for this  liability section to apply.  Mr. Acting Speaker, I think that  argument holds no value if you follow the logic and the line of  our reasoning that the symbolic purpose of having a section and  subsection, I again quote, it says "liability for death."

        Mr. Acting Speaker, the symbolic nature of it will provide at  least some recognition to the very serious consequences that  could flow in instances of noncompliance.  I have noted that my  time is at an end for speaking on this particular amendment, and  I simply close by indicating that other members on this side of  the House are looking forward to the opportunity of dealing with  this particular amendment.

        I hope the minister will duly note our comments with respect  to these amendments and, most particularly, with respect to the  removal from The Liquor Control Act of this section dealing with  liability for death.

Mr. Conrad Santos (Broadway):  We are talking about Bill 72 which  is The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act.  There are at  least three parts of this dealing with different subject matter.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

        The first part deals with the bulk sales law and its  definition of what constitutes a sale in bulk and what is a stock  and the importation of these definitions into The Workers  Compensation Act, the same wording, the same definition of terms.

        The second portion deals with the law of property in defining  the liability of a tenant whether it is a tenant for life or a  tenant at will for any kind of waste to the premises, there being  two kinds identified.  One is voluntary waste or permissive waste  and what they call equitable waste.  Under the existing rule,  apparently only a tenant for life is liable for malicious  damage.  A tenant for a fixed term is liable for permissive waste  but not a tenant for life.  There is no justifiable distinction  why one kind of a tenant is liable and the other kind is not.

        If there is any rule which adds legitimacy to the law, it is  what we know as the standard of generality of the law.  The law  should be so general in nature that it should provide a stable  framework so that cases of a like nature will be treated alike,  because if there are distinctions that cannot be justified and  cases of the same kind are not treated in the same way, then the  law will be subverting its own authority, its own legitimacy.

        It is only when justice is built into the internal system of  the law that the law achieves its efficacy in ensuring that it is  being complied with by people whose behaviour are being guided by  the rules of law.  Unless we treat similar cases alike, there  will be an injustice, some kind of unfairness, because the same  situation will be governed by different rules.  As we sometimes  hear in our society, there is one law for the rich and another  law for the poor.  Such a kind of legal system will lead to some  injustice in the application of the law.

        In order that any society can have a stable framework for the  conduct of the behaviour of people, the law should be consistent  in itself and it should not make any artificial distinctions,  other than those that can be justified, because it is a  requirement of the internal morality of the law that the law  shall be generalized so that cases of similar nature will receive  the same kind of treatment.  In our society, in our system, we  cannot afford to have different kinds of rules that apply to the  same cases in a different manner, unless, of course, there is a  crucial distinction that can have its own justification.

        Not only must the law be general in nature, in the sense that  it treats like cases equally, but all the laws that should be in  existence and all those that are coming into existence must be  publicized and should follow specified procedure.  That is the  reason why, in this Legislature, we have such procedural laws  that the bills should undergo in different kinds of stages, for  their development, for their adoption.  First Reading, Second  Reading, Third Reading, all these requirements are not there  simply to delay the matter, but they are there for the very  procedural legality of our legislation and our rules.

        Sometimes the rules are changed without sufficient  notification of the citizens who are affected.  This is not good  for the purpose of enforcing such statutes and such legislation.  In the olden days, when Caligula was the emperor of Rome, he was  very meticulous in the observance of the rules of procedure.

        It is required, for example, by Roman law, that the law be  publicized to the citizens who are affected.  What Caligula did  was to try to circumvent this procedural requirement.  He would  publicize the law but he would print them in such small print  that nobody could hardly understand the law, and then he would  post them high in the public places, very high in terms of  proximity to people, that they could hardly read what the law  said.  When the law is not well‑publicized, of course, it will  not be well‑known by the citizens who are affected by the  legislation and it will not be conducive to faithful performance  of those laws.

        Rules of procedures have to be followed.  Laws must be  publicized, especially to those people who are particularly  affected, affected in the sense of their personal freedom or in  the sense of their property rights.

        In this particular legislation, there is a new right being  granted to a person having reversionary interest in leased  premises.  It entitles him now to bring an action in court, an  action in rem, a real cause of action, in order to obtain damages  whenever there is any kind of waste being permitted by the tenant  for life or the tenant for a term, or whenever such waste of  property by the tenant has been done by the tenant in a malicious  sense.

        There are two main, overall standards by which legislation is  tested and the justice of the law and the statutes are tested.  There is, first, the standard of intention or intent.  People are  judged on what they do depending on their intention.  A person  may, by force of circumstances beyond his control, have caused  some harm to another human being, but because there is no intent  to cause such harm, then such a person will receive mercy in the  courts of law.

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        On the other hand, even if you have not actually done the  behavioural act that is prohibited, if you are motivated by a  malicious intent, by a desire and intention to cause harm to a  fellow human being, you can be committing a crime.  That is why  we even have crimes like attempted crimes, like attempted murder  or attempted killings.  There may have been no danger yet, but  because the intention is there, a person can be guilty of a  criminal offence.

        The other standard by which legislation is generally guided  is what we call the standard of fault.  This is technically known  as negligence.  When you have a duty to do something and you fail  to perform that duty and some harm has happened to another  person, then the person may be liable criminally or civilly.  The  action here is not based on intention, because there is no such  intention.  It is based on neglect.  It is based on inability to  act when there is a duty to act.  Such two bases of our  legislation are perfectly observed by the courts of law in the  interpretation of rules and in the enforcement of statutes.

(Mr. Neil Gaudry, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

        Detailed aspects of Bill 72 relates to The Mercantile Law  Amendment Act.  It is granting the creditor the right to revoke  any agreement where the debtor has not begun the performance of  the agreement; or, if the debtor has already started performing  under the contract, the performance was discontinued and it would  be unreasonable to impose upon the creditor the pressure of  giving the debtor more time in order to remedy and complete the  performance of the contract.

        Generally, these amendments will also make partial  performance enough to extinguish any existing obligation under  certain circumstances.  The circumstance is when there is an  expressed acceptance by the creditor that the obligation has been  performed, even if the performance is incomplete, and also when  there is a performance that is pursuant to a pre‑existing  agreement between the parties regardless of whether or not there  is any new consideration.  Obviously, the consideration here in  the eyes of the law will be the performance itself, something  that is done.  Even if it is partial, it is pursuant to an  agreement, a pre‑existing one.  In such a case then, under The  Mercantile Law Amendment Act the obligation will be extinguished.

An Honourable Member:  Are you going section by section, Conrad?

Mr. Santos:  I am just trying to understand what this legislation  is saying because we sometimes pass legislation in this House  without understanding the implication and the consequences of  those rules.

        Another requirement in the legislative process, in order to  make the rules that we pass in this House achieve what we call  the internal legitimacy and validity of the law, is the  requirement of legality.  The law must require something which is  capable of being performed, which is possible of human  performance, because if the law will require something which is  impossible in performance of human capacity, then the law by  definition will not be observed.

        Now, in imposing the liability on the part of a tavern keeper  not to serve alcoholic beverages to someone who is already drunk  simply reinforces the obligation of a human being to take care of  another human being as his brother.  Even if the person has  already lost, obviously, his sense of equanimity and propriety  and demands that he be served, it is the obligation of the tavern  keeper to stop serving a person alcoholic beverages when the  person is obviously drunk.  To do so would be a culpable kind of  action on the part of the merchant because he might be adding  more revenue to his sales, but he might be endangering not only  the life of this particular client but also the life of other  citizens.

        For example, if the drunk individual after coming out of the  tavern should drive a car in an inebriated state, and is engaged  in the running of an automobile, he could kill someone.  Whose  fault is it?  Is it the fault of the person who is already  deprived of his right senses, who is already inebriated and  drunk, or is it the fault of the one who serves him liquor  obviously when he was already drunk?  Where do you trace the  liability?  In a situation like this, the law is very difficult  to interpret, and obviously a fine of $1,500 will not be enough  to put the remedy when a life has been lost.

        There is no intent there to kill, because the person is  obviously drunk; he has no intention.  The one who served him had  no intention either, because he is serving the liquor in order to  make a sale, but whose liability is it?  That is a difficult  case.  The rules of law have to be very clear in fixing the  liability for the individual, whether it is a civil or criminal  liability.

        Therefore, another criterion or standard for the internal  morality of legislation is what we call clarity of legislation.  The law should be clear as to what it prohibits and what it  allows.  Every behaviour must be specified with particularity so  that there will be no doubt, no question about what the law is  saying.

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

        Unless the laws are clear, it grants some kind of discretion  to people who are to enforce the law, and discretion gives them a  sense of personal power, not only in the sense of making an  interpretation of what the law really means, but also in the  sense of giving some absolution to some people, some particular  person, on other considerations, which destroys the internal  legitimacy and efficacy of the law.

        The law must be very clear about what it prohibits, what it  allows.  That is one of the requirements for a good type of  legislation.  If it is too broad and too general and subject to  many interpretations, then the law will be applied in different  ways, by different judges, by different enforcement officers who  interpret the legislation in a different manner.

        If a legislation or a statute can be interpreted in a hundred  or 10 different ways and enforced in 10 different ways, the same  law may be applied differently to different people who commit the  same kind of offence.  There will be no uniformity of application  of the law, and the criterion of generality and legality will be  violated and breached, and there will be some kind of injustice  that has to be rectified later on by some kind of remedial  legislation.

        Therefore, it is imperative and important that the law be  very specific and be very clear as to what it is saying, and  where liability is being imposed and the correct rationalization  for the imposition of liability to the person, either because of  his intention or because of his neglect or fault.

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        Moreover, we make too many laws and bits and pieces of  legislation amendments here and there without really tracing how  these amendments affect the entire system of legislation, the  entire system of statutes that we have in the province.  It is  essential that all these changes in the law should be consistent  with one another.  In other words, the system has to be  consistent and noncontradictory.  It might be a situation where  we passed a law a year ago, we amend it the current year, and we  neglect to see the implication of this in terms of the  interpretation of the provisions of the law, and the laws are  contradictory.

        If the laws contradict one another, which one do we follow?  How do you know the right one?  It simply gives some power to  those who are to enforce the law.  They will be very selective in  the application of which provision they will enforce.  When the  enforcers of the law, whether it is the police department or  other government officials or other public servants, have the  discretion to apply or not to apply any portion of the law which  by themselves are contradictory, then it gives them some kind of  political power or power over citizens.

        Laws are designed so that there will be a rule of law that  will govern not only the behaviour of the citizen but also the  behaviour of the enforcers of the law.  That is what we mean by  being governed by the law, by the rule of law.  The rule of law  means that the rule is governing not merely the subject citizens,  the law is also governing the enforcing officers.  Even the  judges who interpret the law should be subject to the same system  of law.  Unless that is done there will be some people who become  above the law, and when some officials of government become above  the law then there will be no justice.  Our liberty will be  endangered, and freedom of choice of citizens will be constricted  unnecessarily, and there will be a limitation of what we enjoy as  the liberties of the people.

        The system of law, in order to achieve internal consistency,  must be studied in a diligent manner in terms of changes, in  terms of effects, in terms of consequences.  Too often we have to  resort to remedial legislation because of the unintended effect  of some previous enactment that has been in operation, and yet  the intention is to apply the law similarly to all citizens alike.

        If the law commands something which is impossible of human  performance, that affects the attitude of the citizen towards  laws and towards rules, because if the law will command any  citizen to do the impossible, what is humanly impossible,  certainly he cannot perform it.  If he becomes subjected and  exposed to liability by reason of the fact that he cannot humanly  perform what the law demands of him, certainly there is an  inherent injustice in that.  The very fact that he is a human  being and cannot be expected to perform what the law demands of  him, is that a valid system of law?  Law has to be fair.  Law has  to be just.  Otherwise we will be asking the impossible.

        Moreover we are too fond of amending legislation every year.  The laws are designed to provide a stable framework of rules, of  behaviour of all the people, of all the citizens.  The law has to  be stable enough and should be farsighted enough so as to provide  for things that we cannot foresee, nor at the present time can we  ever predict.  Therefore, it is essential that the laws should  follow all these internal criteria so as to have legitimacy and  effectiveness and authority by itself as a system.  It should be  constant through time, in other words.  Laws should not be  subject to changes too often, because if the laws are changing  all the time, when the laws are changing too many times, then the  citizens are confused and they do not know what the existing  rules are.

        Therefore, it is essential that we follow all this in  standards.  It should be constant through time.  The laws should  be fair.  The laws should be publicized.  The laws should be  just.  Unless there is this constancy through time, the stability  of the law will be prejudiced.

        When the laws are not stable because they have been changing  too often, then the citizens will no longer be obliged to comply  or obey those laws.  And when the citizens have lost that  habitual attitude of obedience to the demands of the sovereign  government, the sovereign state, then we endanger the very  stability of our society and our social system.

        Another requirement that we should be very careful about is  the congruence in what the law says and the official action of  people in the enforcement of the statute or the law.  When the  law says one thing and those who interpret the law interpret it  in another way, then there can be some kind of confusion, and the  legitimacy of the law will be adversely affected.  There is no  congruence between what the law demands, what the law provides,  what the law proscribes, and what the official says when there is  misinterpretation of the very language of the statute or the very  language of the law.

        The law must be accessible to everybody.  It should be  publicized well so that everybody will know ahead of time under  what rules they will be governed, under what rules they will be  engaging in certain types of activities.  People, of course, make  contracts and make other commitments and incur obligations on the  basis of existing rules.  It is on the basis of the existing  rules that they bind themselves to certain types of  responsibility, certain types of duties, certain types of  obligation.

        Now, if the existing rules are changed too often, then there  will be no stability even among all these interactions among  individuals.  Even commercial transactions will be endangered.  When the law is relatively inaccessible to the people and they do  not know what the law says because the law had never been  publicized or never been really, truly explained or debated in  assemblies like this, then there will be no congruence in what  the law says and what the enforcers interpret as the requirements  of the law.

        Sometimes the intent of the legislation is also frustrated by  some kind of exchanges of values between a citizen, let us say,  and a policeman or any other enforcer of the law, like a public  servant.  Whenever there is bribery, they may purposely close  their eyes to certain types of violations.  They may not do  anything when there is an obvious infraction of the law.  They  may look the other way.  On the other hand, if the person whom  they dislike is the one that is involved, then they will have the  option of enforcing the law and throwing the book at them to the  utmost if they can.  In that sense there is disproportionate  enforcement of the law.

        Also, some people may have certain attitudes towards certain  groups of citizens.  Prejudice, discrimination may be a factor  here.  Because of certain attitudes that they hold in their  psyche, in their minds, in their hearts, they may go after  certain groups with the fullest rigour of the law, and yet look  the other way when it involves other groups.  In this sense,  there is injustice even if the law is the same because the  enforcement will not be of the same degree of intensity.  I  sometimes have complaints from new citizens, from minority  groups, how, for example, traffic officers deal with them when  there have been minor violations.  When they can ignore it with  respect to other citizens, they throw the book at them.  That is  not good for our system.  It is important that the same attitude  be adopted by the law‑enforcing officer regardless of who the  violators are.

        Indifference.  Indifference is another cause, another factor  that does affect the legitimacy and moral internal validity of  the legal system.  If people are indifferent and they do not  care, even if they have seen or witnessed some kind of violation  or infraction, they just do not care because it does not affect  their personal rights.  It does not affect their personal  property.  Then there will be flagrant and widespread breaches of  the law that are never rectified, never corrected; and, when that  happens, the fabric of society will disintegrate and the people  will simply refuse to continue to obey the law.  It is a fact of  psychological and political significance that the citizens by  nature have this habit of obedience to the law if they are clear  about what the law says.

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        In Bill 72 the legislation is changing many different acts in  the same statute.  This is again not a good practice.  Why can we  not have separate legislation for separate rules that they  change, and a kind of omnibus legislation simply to provide the  opportunity to make some changes that are not well known?  Even  if these are supposed to be publicized in the official  publications of the government, they look at this act in topic  and they see that it is dealing with law reform, and yet inside  they are dealing with mercantile law, inside they are dealing  with bulk sale act, inside they are dealing with bulk sale law.  So there is no consistency here.  It is just like a repetition of  the historical incident that I talked about, about Emperor  Caligula trying to obey the rules of law and at the same time  evade its intention.

        Sometimes we have to look at our own practices.  We amend the  legislation the way it is.  If it is dealing with a certain  subject matter, we name it and categorize it under that subject  matter.

        In such a case, then there will be a clear guide to the  citizens about the behaviour that they have to have in order to  comply with the law.  As a general rule, it is easier to comply  with the law than to violate the law, because in violating the  law you run against the grain of behaviour, against the grain of  human behaviour, against the grain of human attitude.

        It is just like the law of nature.  The more you go along  with the forces of nature, the easier it is for you; but as soon  as you conduct yourself in such a manner that it goes against the  laws of nature, then you find it very difficult and very  stressful.

        This is a kind of Oriental wisdom that we have to  understand.  You go with the wind.  Where the wind blows, you go  along; because if you walk against the typhoon, it is very  difficult and it is stressful.  So you walk with the flow.

        This means that people should be obedient to the law.  When  the law says something, they should do what the law provides.  If  you blow against the wind, then you spit in your own face.  But  the wind should be a legitimate wind.  It should not be an  artificial one.

        Another requirement of the law is that it should not be  directed against particular individuals, because if the law is  directed against particular individuals, it loses one of its  basic criteria, which is the generality of rules.  The rules are  designed in order to govern conduct in general, a framework for  behaviour.  If it is directed against a particular person, the  law becomes, what they call in Latin, ad hominem.  That is a  defect in the legislation, if it is directed against a particular  person.  It is not a law anymore.  It becomes an act of penalty.

        When a person is penalized, for example, for a behaviour that  was innocent when done, then there is some injustice in there,  because people conduct their business and perform their  obligations and their activities under the existing rules at the  time.  If those rules are changed, then we are trying to govern  people by what they did yesterday, not what they do under the  existing legislation.

        In fact, this is prohibited by most constitutions, like the  Constitution of the United States.  When a person penalizes an  individual either financially or personally by depriving him of  freedom through no fault of his own, then it becomes a bill of  attainder, and a bill of attainder is one of those defects of  legislation that violates the internal morality of legislation.

        How many minutes do I have, Mr. Acting Speaker?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Five.

Mr. Santos:  These rules of law that we are trying to promulgate  in different ways in this legislation are designed in order to  make our society a better system, so that people will do as they  are expected to do.  Duties and obligations are laid down, they  are clearly specified in the legislation, and people who are  clear about what the law says will obviously obey those laws, not  because there are penalties, but because it is easier for them to  obey than to disobey.  There is a useful habit of obedience and  compliance on the part of citizens in democratic societies, and  that is the reason why our democratic system survives, because of  this habitual obedience of the citizen to what the law provides.

        When the laws are designed in such a manner that they comply  with the standards and criterion of internal legality and  internal morality, then the very laws themselves achieve some  kind of legitimacy and authority among the citizens.  There is no  need to penalize; there is no need to impose harsh consequences,  because the laws themselves will have the necessary legitimacy  and authority by themselves.  This is what is known as the  internal morality of the law.  That can happen when our legal  systems are fair, when our legal systems are just, when our legal  systems are applicable to similar circumstances alike, when they  do not violate all this internal criterion and standards for  legitimacy of legislation.

        Let me summarize, Mr. Acting Speaker.  These are the  requirements that I would specify, the requirements for the  internal legitimacy, the internal validity, the internal  authority of the legal system.  Every portion, every aspect,  every part of legislation must be fully publicized, because it is  a well known fact that ignorance of the law excuses no one from  compliance therewith.  Those are the maxims of our legal system,  of our judiciary.  Ignorantia legis neminem excusat; ignorance of  the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.

        If that is the case, then it is the duty of legislators to  make the law well‑known and publicly available and accessible,  but how can we make the laws publicly accessible if they are  categorized under the wrong title, when they are omnibus  legislation, containing many different varieties of conducts that  are prohibited and when you look at them in published statutes  they do not fall under the correct title?  How can that be fair  to the citizen?  Yet the citizen will have to be judged according  to this maxim that ignorance of the law excuses no one from  compliance.  It is not their fault to be ignorant.  It is the  fault of the legislator because they did not publicize the  legislation.

An Honourable Member:  I have the same trouble with my filing  system, Conrad, because people do not file things under the  proper letter, you know.

Mr. Santos:  Right.  The second requirement is that the law must  be clear.  There must be specific language that prescribes the  specific behaviour that is encouraged, because the law is the way  of society by which our behaviour has to be regulated and guided  accordingly.  Any kind of legislation that is unclear, that is  ambiguous, that means more than one thing, will lead to the loss  of legitimacy and efficacy in the law.  It will simply give some  more arbitrary power to some enforcer of the legislation, to some  interpreter of the law, whether they are civil servants or  whether they are judges, and the vaguer the law is, the wider the  latitude of discretion and the greater is the personal  arbitrariness that could happen under an existing legislation.

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        Again, it should be noncontradictory, it should not demand  the impossible, it should be constant through time, it should be  general, and it should be congruent with what the law provides.  Thank you.

Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I rise to  speak on Bill 72, The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendment) Act,  and I would like to put some comments on the record prior to this  act being moved to committee.

        Generally speaking, I think people who are not involved in  the legal system, particularly as lawyers and judges and those  who work with laws on a regular basis, and I might suggest that  includes the vast majority of legislators as well who are by and  large not lawyers by profession and training; for most of us the  concept of law appears in many instances to be static, unchanging  and carved in stone, if you will.  As I think about it, the  genesis of that phrase "carved in stone" may very well be from  the Ten Commandments coming down from the mount by Moses, which  were carved on stone tablets.  But I digress, Mr. Acting Speaker.

        It is a fact that most people think of the law as unchanging,  as immutable as having been here for a long time unless and until  two things happen.  One is that they personally come in contact  with or are part of the legal system either as a defendant or an  accused in the justice system, or as someone who is a participant  as a member of a jury or in some other role.  Then people become  aware of the fact that laws are far from static and immutable.  They are, I might suggest, very much the opposite.  They are open  to interpretation, they are open to a range of behaviour and of  example on the part of those who participate in the legal system.

        The second time that people become aware of the fact that  laws are living things rather than just carved in stone, happens  when they are involved in the changing of those laws.

        For most people in the province of Manitoba, the changes that  are addressed in Bill 72, The Law Reform (Miscellaneous  Amendments) Act, will have very little, if any, impact.  For most  people, they will not even be aware that these changes are being  suggested or, should they pass, will come into effect.

        However, there are people who, in relating to Bill 72, will  be impacted more or less seriously, and I will get in to that in  a moment.  There are other occasions when laws are changed or  suggested to be changed that do have a major public impact or a  major impact on at least one or more portions of our society.  There are cases where we have, in the House, deliberated very  long and hard and with a great deal of energy on bills.  One  change to an act that comes to my mind in the last session was  Bill 70 when we discussed, at great extent in this House, the  changes that bill would have for the working people of Manitoba.  We brought out some very important distinctions that were made  depending on the perspective that the individual members were  coming from.

        Another amendment to an act that had, at its inception, a  great deal of fire and light and heavy discussion, and that,  since the changes to it, has had a major impact on lives of many  Manitobans, was the amendments to the human rights act that came  into effect in July of 1987.  I recall the final debate on that  bill which took place overnight, and the changes to it were only  finally voted on, I believe, around five o'clock in the morning.  I was in the public gallery at that time and was very interested  in the debate and the discussion and the dialogue that occurred  in the final discussions on third reading on that major bill.

        I am not for a moment suggesting, Mr. Acting Speaker, that  the bill that is before us today is going to have the kind of  impact on Manitobans as a whole that either of those other two  bills I spoke about earlier will have, nor am I suggesting that  the debate that we will engage in on second reading in this  House, in committee and on third reading, will have anything like  the general interest that some legislation has.  However, it is  important to discuss these bills as they come before the House.  It is important to make sure that we understand the content of  the bills to the best of our knowledge and bring out any possible  concerns that we might have.

        Mr. Acting Speaker, as I stated earlier, laws are not  immutable and unchangeable, nor should they be.  In a democratic  society, the rule of law by its definition must mean flexibility,  the willingness to make changes to update, to amend where  necessary in order for the society to be reflected in its loss.  If you do not do that, Mr. Acting Speaker, you run the risk, as  my colleague from Broadway has so eloquently stated, of being  held captive by the law, being subservient to the law rather than  having the law act as a servant and an assistant to the fair and  equitable running of our society, which is something that we on  all sides of the House are looking for as an ultimate goal of our  actions in this Legislature.

        So it is only fitting that, on occasion, we must take a look  at the laws that we are currently operating under, make  amendments, update them to more closely reflect the current  reality and to make sure that the laws that we are operating  under are consistent and noncontradictory, as the member for  Broadway (Mr. Santos) has stated.

        We can do this in a number of ways.  We can take a single  law, a single statute, and either completely get rid of it and  institute a new statute in its place; or we can amend the statute  in the areas and the sections that are no longer applicable in  the eyes of the government and need amending and updating; or in  some cases we can put in place a brand new law.

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        This government is in the process of doing just that in  another instance, Mr. Acting Speaker, that we expect to see  before the House in the next session, which is The Vulnerable  Persons Act, which will actually combine several things.  It  will, in and of itself, be a brand new piece of legislation and a  new act, but it will also have a major impact on current  legislation.  So we on this side of the House are looking forward  with a great deal of interest to that new legislation coming  before us.

        Mr. Acting Speaker, I might say at this point in time we  anticipate, and I know the government does as well, when it is  drafted and comes before us for deliberations, that this piece of  legislation will have a major impact on the lives of many  Manitobans.  It will go in the‑‑it will be a statute in the  stature of Bill 70, the labour legislation, human rights  legislation and this kind of legislation.

        As I have stated before, Mr. Acting Speaker, we do not  anticipate Bill 72, The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments)  Act, to be in that category at all, but there are small but  significant changes that are being recommended in this omnibus  bill.

        Again, as our Justice critic, the member for Kildonan (Mr.  Chomiak), stated in his discussion of this bill, we are normally  not in favour of omnibus bills, with heavy emphasis on the word  "normally."  The reason for that is because you need to be able  to look at changes to legislation in the context of the entire  piece of legislation and to be able to look at the impact that it  will have on the entire piece of legislation.

        In most instances, we feel it is more effective and fairer to  bring in amendments to legislation singly, one at a time, so that  you can look at it, you can see whether the government is  attempting to make minor changes just to bring things into modern  perspective or to bring this particular piece of legislation into  line with other legislation, or if they are on the other hand  attempting to take a single specific request on the part of a  single group of people and expand on that single request, single  change that could be made, and broadly bring in an act that has  the potential for much broader effects than was originally  intended.

        While in principle we suggest that bills come in singly and  individually, in this particular case, we are agreeing that these  changes by and large are not of the enormity nor do they have the  impact that would require us or suggest to us that they should  have been brought before the Legislature individually, with one  exception, Mr. Acting Speaker, which I will address later in my  remarks.

        Another suggestion that was made by the member for Kildonan  (Mr. Chomiak) in his remarks that I would like to echo today,  because I feel very much that it would have a positive impact on  the calibre and the quality of the discussion and the debate that  takes place in this House, particularly with bills of this nature  which reflect changes to a number of acts, is that there be  attached to the bill or that the minister provide in some form a  spreadsheet which clearly and simply outlines the changes that  are being reflected in the bill. [interjection]

        The Minister for Urban Affairs (Mr. Ernst) has stated that he  did that with his bill, and yes he did.  The Minister of Family  Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) in several of his statements and  changes has also outlined and listed the specific positions that  the government is taking, and it does make the job of the  opposition easier in the sense that we do know more clearly what  is being suggested by the government, and for that we are  grateful.

        We do not always and usually do not agree with all of the  recommendations or the legislation that is being put forward, but  it does assist us in doing our job as legislators.  We would just  like to put on record the fact that for people in the House who  are not lawyers, who are not well aware of the specifics of the  legislation that is being introduced here, it would be of  assistance, particularly in bills such as this that have an  impact on a number of statutes.

        Again, Mr. Acting Speaker, these changes are generally, we  understand, in response to the Law Reform Commission's  recommendations and again I would like to echo my colleague, the  member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak), when he states that we  appreciate the work that the Law Reform Commission has undertaken  in this regard and in many other regards and would like to state  that groups and commissions such as the Law Reform Commission are  necessary in our society, particularly today when we are dealing  with very complicated, technical and legal concepts that have  wide‑ranging potential impacts on all of our lives.

        It is very helpful to us, Mr. Acting Speaker, to have  available an arm's length, independent, expert group such as the  Law Reform Commission which is able to take a look at a whole  range of laws in a whole area of our legal system and make  recommendations to enable us as legislators and as the government  and opposition, to more effectively do the work that we are  elected and charged with doing, and that is providing the best  possible government and opposition we are able to do.

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        So, while the federal government has made some, what we  consider very negative changes by getting rid of some of these  arm's length groups and organizations, ostensibly for  cost‑cutting measures, but perhaps with other less laudable  reasons behind them, we strongly urge the government of Manitoba  to retain these groups such as the Law Reform Commission which  provide a very important service to us as legislators, as  government, as opposition, in our work in attempting to cut  through the thicket of some of the legislation that we are having  to deal with.  It is difficult at times to know what should be  done in cases of looking at statutes and legislation.  So this  independent body such as the Law Reform Commission provides an  excellent resource there.

        The member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) has put on record, as  has the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) in his opening remarks,  some of the changes that are being recommended under Bill 72.  Frankly, I am not going to speak directly to some of these  sections.  I would, however, like to talk a bit about several of  them, in particular, the section that deals with the repeal of  the Rule in Shelley's Case, Mr. Acting Speaker, which deals  with‑‑according to my reading of the comments by the minister and  others, it is a piece of legislation or a part of the English  common law that was brought into the Manitoba context as part of  the entire package in 1870 when Manitoba became a province, and  is a piece of law that has no relevance to the current Manitoba  context in the late 20th Century.

        The Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) stated in his opening  remarks that this piece should be repealed as it is poorly  understood and lays traps for unwary drafters of wills.  Mr.  Acting Speaker, as the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) stated  in his remarks, this is part of the legislation that we  definitely are supporting, particularly because it appears that  it will simplify the situation for Manitobans.

        It not only cleans up the act in light of changes in  legislation and changes in our way of life and recognizes the  fact that this part of English common law is not applicable  today, but it also will enable individual Manitobans to more  easily access the legal system, more easily access a major part  of what is potentially a very important and controversial segment  of our daily life, and that is the disposal of our earthly  possessions, if you will, and it will enable us to sign and make  wills in a more simplified fashion.

        As the member for Kildonan has stated, we in Manitoba are one  of the jurisdictions that allows for holograph wills, which is a  very positive part of our legislation.  It allows anybody, even,  and most particularly we are concerned about, individuals who may  not have access to either the legal system for reasons of income  or geography or social background.  They can make holograph wills  that allow them to legally tell the people who will follow them  after their death what their wishes are.

        Mr. Acting Speaker, this is an area I think, too, that  generally we need to pay more attention to, and that is the whole  area of making lives simpler for Manitobans.  In the case of the  legal system, that is always an uphill battle, because the legal  system, while it changes and moves and is not at all static, is  also a very dense, complicated and, many times, unintelligible  system that has evolved over the years.

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

        As the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) has stated, it is  oftentimes impenetrable. [interjection] The member for Wolseley  can state it; the member for Wellington does not quite know how  to put the word "impenetrable," state it clearly.

        It is important that all Manitobans have access to the legal  system, that all Manitobans are able to take advantage of the law  where it affects them.  In the case of being able to have a  holograph will or a living will or other innovations that have  been recommended and, in many cases, not implemented but  certainly recommended, we are all in favour of those changes and  would recommend to the government that they seriously look at  that whole area of increased access of average, everyday,  ordinary individual Manitobans to the legal system.

        The legal system over the centuries has grown up and has  grown not always in ways that make it accessible or easily  understood by individuals, particularly in our current society  where we are not nearly as homogenous a society as we were even  30 or 40 or 50 years ago.  Manitoba and Canada are every day  becoming more and more a multicultural society.  We have  residents in our communities, in our province, in our country who  come from every country in the world, who come from every  conceivable judicial system, whose sense and understanding of  their rights under law are not necessarily the same.  Our laws,  which have, by and large, evolved from the English common law,  need to reflect as much as possible the current lives and needs  and desires, if you will, of Manitobans and Canadians today.

        So, as this section that allows for simplification in the  area of will‑making is a positive step forward, we are also  concerned that the rest of the legal thicket be looked at with  the late 20th Century eye, that it be looked at for  accessibility, for understandability, and for fairness in dealing  with the systems and the situations that Manitobans, in  particular, find themselves in today.  No one in this House would  deny that we live in an enormously complex society and that, in  some cases, the legal system only assists in creating more  complexity instead of, as we feel it should, to make our lives  simpler and easier.  I think, Mr. Acting Speaker, moves are being  made in that direction, and some of these changes that are  reflected in Bill 72 are a step in the right direction.

        The final section that I would like to speak on is the one  area that we on this side of the House have some trouble with in  dealing with Bill 72.  That is the section that deals with the  repeal of The Liquor Control Act, the section that states that  where any person drinks liquor to excess, comes to his death by  suicide or drowning, et cetera, the person who furnished or gave  the liquor to that person, or on whose premises the liquor was  obtained, that person is liable to an action for a wrongful act.  As a personal wrong, the action may be brought under The Fatal  Accidents Act, and the amount recovered as damages shall not be  less than $100 or more than $1,500.

        Mr. Acting Speaker, the minister in his opening remarks  stated that the main reason the minister is suggesting the repeal  of this section is that in 1974 a Supreme Court judgment made  this section obsolete, when it clearly established innkeepers'  liability without the need for any legislation.  That same  Supreme Court ruling imposed no arbitrary limit on damages.  The  minister goes on to state that the government has been given  advice that states that repeal will have no effect on criminal  liability.

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        Mr. Acting Speaker, while not taking exception with anything  that the minister has stated in his discussion of this section of  Bill 72, we on this side of the House are concerned with this  particular part of the bill and would hope that the minister pays  particular attention to our concerns and perhaps before coming to  committee will have been able to act on our concerns.

        We are not in disagreement with the Supreme Court judgment.  In the instance of the damages, we feel that the damages, as are  currently listed in the legislation, are very low and will not  act in any way, shape or form as a deterrent.  We are  comfortable, as far as it goes, that the Supreme Court has said,  you do not have to have a particular limit on damages, so that  there could be cases where judgments could be rendered that would  be in excess of the amount that is currently stated.

        It is also legally clear that the Supreme Court judgment has  superseded the section of the bill that is being suggested for  repeal.  We have no concerns or quarrels with the legality of the  Supreme Court decision.  The concern we have, Mr. Acting Speaker,  is the concern that goes back to one of the bases of our legal  system, of our judicial system, of our laws, which is not only  should they be responsive to and reflective of the current  situation in society that we live in as much as possible, but  they must also be understood and accessible to the people who are  affected by this legislation.

        I think the point that my honourable colleague from Kildonan  made was a telling point when he said that while innkeepers are  very well aware of the provisions in The Liquor Control Act, as  they must be in order to operate legally, they are not always, or  even in the majority of the cases, going to be aware of the  Supreme Court decision of 1974.  That is a decision that is steps  removed from the day‑to‑day working of their duties.

        So, Mr. Acting Speaker, we are suggesting that this section,  this part of Bill 72, should be looked at again and not simply  repealed as the legislation currently states, but that it be  upgraded, updated to reflect the Supreme Court decision, but that  it also remain in The Liquor Control Act so that innkeepers and  those who are affected by The Liquor Control Act will have the  responsibility and the ability to have readily available and  readily accessible to them, the understanding of their duties and  responsibilities in this very important section of The Liquor  Control Act.

        What we are suggesting is that we do need to update this  portion of The Liquor Control Act because it does not reflect  current reality.  It does not reflect the current legal judgment  that has been brought down by the Supreme Court of Canada.  So we  are in complete agreement with the minister in that regard.

        Where we are having a hopefully minor disagreement, and a  disagreement that can perhaps in committee be resolved to our  satisfaction and to the satisfaction of the government, is that  the section of The Liquor Control Act that is referred to in this  act not be repealed, but be amended to reflect the current  situation.

        So, Mr. Acting Speaker, with those words I would conclude my  remarks.  We are prepared at this time to pass Bill 72 through to  committee and, hopefully, we will be able to resolve the minor  difference that we have with the government on this bill.

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

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  The question before the  House is second reading of Bill 72.  Is it the pleasure of the  House to adopt the motion? [Agreed]


Bill 10‑The Manitoba Hydro Amendment Act


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  On the proposed motion of  the honourable Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), Bill  10, (The Manitoba Hydro Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur  l'Hydro‑Manitoba), standing in the name of the honourable member  for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman).

        Shall the bill remain standing? [Agreed]

Mr. Ben Sveinson (La Verendrye):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I am  pleased to rise today to place my remarks on the record regarding  Bill 10, The Manitoba Hydro Amendment Act.  These amendments will  give Manitoba Hydro the flexibility it needs‑‑

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


Point of Order


Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Government House Leader):  Mr. Acting  Speaker, I am acting as government House leader for the moment.  If I could just inquire as to whether the bill will remain  standing in the name of the member for Dauphin or if that has  been waived?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Laurendeau):  Yes, it was agreed to.

Mr. Ernst:  Okay.  Thank you.

* * *

Mr. Sveinson:  These amendments will give Manitoba Hydro the  flexibility it needs to get the best deal possible on available  lending rates.  By increasing the Crown corporations' temporary  borrowing authority from $150 million to $500 million, Manitoba  Hydro will have more flexibility to deal with the financing of  its annual capital requirements.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

        While this bill is fairly short, it has the potential to have  a tremendous impact on the development of our province's northern  resources and surrounding issues.  Now, seeing that most  opposition members have indeed spoken in this area, not just on  the lending authority, but in fact they spoke on the Conawapa  project, I would like to say a few words in regard to their  remarks.

        On that note, Mr. Speaker, I must state that I agree with the  member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) on a few points, when he said  that people today are more concerned about the state of the  environment and the effect of development of our northern  resources on the people and the ecosystem of the North than ever  before.

        It is very unfortunate that the previous administration did  not think it appropriate to examine the effect of the Limestone  development on the people and the environment of the North.  In  fact, Mr. Speaker, the NDP government of the day did not even see  fit to examine the effect that the development would have on the  environment.

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        I must agree with the member for Elmwood that in future  developments, there is a need to balance economic development  with the sustaining of the natural environment.  That is why we  as a government support sustainable development and its  underlying principles that development can occur in a manner that  is not only economically viable, but also protects and enhances  the environment.  That is why the Conawapa project was referred  to the Public Utilities Board, so that Manitoba Hydro could  demonstrate the need and justification for this project in a  public forum.

        Mr. Speaker, I was overjoyed to hear that the member for  Elmwood supports the need for this Hydro development and that he  also acknowledges that the power from this development will be  needed, as he does in Hansard on page 3068 on May 6 of this  year.  It gives me a great sense of pleasure to see a member for  the opposition occasionally thinking with his head rather than  blindly following a philosophy that is outdated and incorrect.

        Mr. Speaker, I was not surprised to see the member for St.  James (Mr. Edwards) stand up and carefully explain how the  Liberal Party has no one position on this issue, but rather  talked about the legacy of the failure of the NDP in the  development of the North.  That is fine, if he wants to take the  time to point out the obvious to the rest of the House, but I was  more interested in his opinion, that is if he has decided on  which opinion he will espouse today.

        In the time that the member for St. James spoke, he took the  Hansard and he went through it quite pickily, if you will, pulled  out a few sentences out of phrases that the member for Point  Douglas (Mr. Hickes) had made.  I would like to just touch on a  few of those points.

        You see, Mr. Speaker, I believe that the member for Point  Douglas, for the most part, is quite sincere in the things that  he speaks on and says.  Whether or not they are all totally right  is another thing, but I believe he is very sincere in what he  says.  So I was not too happy when I heard the member for St.  James taking out pieces of what the member for Point Douglas had  said and indeed almost changing what the member for Point Douglas  had said.

        I would just like to touch on a couple of those points.  The  member for Point Douglas had supposedly said in a previous  Hansard:  "I, for one, am not against building Conawapa, and I do  not think anybody on this side of the House is against  Conawapa."  Now, he read that right out of Hansard, so I can only  say it would seem to be true.

        Then the member for St. James also goes on to say‑‑and he is  going to read more, and he says again what the member for Point  Douglas was saying.  "He says, whatever the cost we do not need  to worry about Manitobans' needs, we will do hydro development .  . . ."

        Then he goes on further to say‑‑well, yes, he says he is  going to read more.  "I will be pleased to go through some of the  choice highlights of the rest of his comments."  Choice  highlights.  In other words, he is not going to read it all out  because then in fact people would know.  He says that he will  read choice highlights.

        He goes on to say‑‑and this is making it clearer now, if I  can just point out here.  He has said he is not against Conawapa,  and that is fine.  Then he goes on to say, and this is the member  for Point Douglas:  I will be pleased to go through some of the  choice highlights . . . .  "He indicates on the issue of  environmental assessment, do Conawapa, just do it right.  He says  that again, do it right.  Well, what does 'right' mean to the  member for Point Douglas.  He says, we need to do an  environmental assessment."

        Now, Mr. Speaker, it is clear that in fact the member for  Point Douglas was not against Conawapa, and indeed he was in fact  in favour of an environmental assessment.  But that was not what  the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards) was pulling out of this.  No, no.  He goes on to say more.

An Honourable Member:  Who is that who goes on?

Mr. Sveinson:  The member for St. James, he is saying it on  behalf, literally, of the member for Point Douglas:  So you are  in favour of it now.  "I have always been from Day One, I have  never been against it."

        Then the member for St. James goes on further in saying this  and explaining now some of his own words, as an extension of what  the member for Point Douglas has said.  He says now:  I have  always been from Day One, I have never been against it.  But then  he adds:  "There is a carte blanche in effect from the member for  Point Douglas to build, whatever the cost."

        Just a minute.  What he is saying here is adding stuff that  is not true.  I mean, I have pointed it all out here.  It is  clear that the member for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes) had in fact  said that he was for Conawapa with an environmental assessment,  but the member for St. James, trying to adjust the words to suit  his benefit was‑‑now, I will go on more.  We have got more here.

        He says that one of the other disadvantages of building these  dams‑‑now this is the member for St. James speaking‑‑is that it  creates employment and training opportunity for northerners.  Well, for goodness sake, is the member for St. James against  employment?  You see what I am saying here?  Everybody can twist  words.  That is what I just did here.  I did it.  I simply asked  a question because the implications were there.

        What I am trying to say here is that when we get up to speak,  let us say it the way it is.  If the members for the NDP‑‑and it  has been shown in a past that in fact they did not look after the  environmental problems while they were building dams‑‑but for  goodness sake, let us lay it on the record straight out.  Let us  not beat around the bush or try to twist words.

        I have got more here.  Now, the member for St. James is  pointing out the legal opinion that the Liberals brought to this  Assembly.  The member for St. James is speaking now here:  "We  came to the House and said, look, here is an opportunity.  You  have a legal opinion saying the deal is binding.  Here is a legal  opinion saying maybe."

        I emphasize that "maybe."  Maybe it is not so binding.  [interjection] I will get it all out there for the member for  Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux).

        "I am not here to say which one of those would necessarily  win the day in a court of law."  In other words, they have got a  very iffy legal opinion here.  He says more:  It was the only  leverage they had to try and salvage the opportunity and the  potential of that deal, and they are squandering that.  Why?  I  believe out of straight political optimism.

        For goodness' sake, if we were doing that and trying to score  some political points, would you think that we would in fact have  done it in that way without‑‑[interjection] "It was the only  leverage they had to try and salvage the opportunity and the  potential of that deal, and they are squandering that.  Why?  I  believe out of straight political opportunism."  Pardon me.  Well, if it was a bad deal and if we were not doing an  environmental assessment, then I could see the member for St.  James (Mr. Edwards) saying that, but for goodness' sake, how  would we score any political points on a bad deal?

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        He goes on to say more. [interjection] Pardon?  No.  The  point I am trying to make here is really quite straightforward.  The member for St. James chose to get up here and criticize and  take out of context what other members were saying.  In fact,  what he laid on the record was an opinion that the Liberals would  in fact sit on the fence, not give an opinion, but say, we want  the best for Manitobans.  They can fall either way then.  If you  are sitting on the fence, you could fall either way by saying, we  want the best for Manitobans, and it does not matter what  happens‑‑and fall they will.

        Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to following  through on the environmental review process.  We have initiated  the most comprehensive environmental review ever conducted for a  hydro project in this province.  For the first time, intervener  funding will be provided to allow a thorough public examination  of Manitoba Hydro's environmental assessment of the proposal by  both levels of government.

        We are confident that this review will demonstrate that this  project is environmentally sound and help us develop this  resource in the most appropriate way.

        Our government has always been committed to breaking down the  barriers between the provinces and co‑operating with our  neighbours in order to increase trade and commerce.  [interjection] That is right.  The Minister of Natural Resources  (Mr. Enns) says that our friends to the east need that power, and  that is exactly true.  They do.  If we have it to sell to them,  it will benefit our province and our people and our children in  the future.

        Mr. Speaker, this agreement between Manitoba Hydro and  Ontario to sell Ontario the power that it needs and develop a new  power source in Manitoba in an environmentally sound way is of  mutual benefit and provides an example of breaking down the  barriers between provinces.  Governments today must reach across  the borders to work together hand in hand.

        I wish the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) would listen  closely because this is meant for our opposition parties here.

        The governments today must reach across borders to work  together hand in hand‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Who said that?

Mr. Sveinson:  The member for La Verendrye.

        ‑‑in order to compete and prosper in the global economy of  today.

        Mr. Speaker, I would urge all members of the House to support  this bill.

Mr. Speaker:  As previously agreed, this matter will remain  standing in the name of the honourable member for Dauphin (Mr.  Plohman).

        Is it the will of the House to call it five o'clock?

An Honourable Member:  It is five o'clock.

Mr. Speaker:  Five o'clock, that is agreed.






Mr. Speaker:  On the motion of the honourable member for St.  Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), standing in the name of the  honourable Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

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

Mr. Gregory Dewar (Selkirk):  Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat pleased  to add my comments on this matter before us.  I think it was the  member for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes) who mentioned earlier that  we should not be dealing with this matter.  This matter should  have been proclaimed and should have been law long ago.

        Of course, the matter before us is an order for address for  papers referring to Bill 91, or more commonly called the  anti‑sniff legislation, legislation that was supported by all  political parties, legislation that was brought in in an attempt  to solve the serious problem of solvent abuse in our society.

         The legislation was unanimously passed by this Legislature  over two years ago, and it was legislation that was promised by  the Conservative government of the day to receive Royal Assent at  the earliest possible opportunity.  Now, of course, here we are  in May of 1992 and the legislation is still not proclaimed.  I  would like to speak briefly about the chronology of Bill 91.

        In December of 1988 first reading was given to the bill  introduced by the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), and  February 6, 1990, in a response to a question from the member for  St. James (Mr. Edwards) the Justice minister at the time states:  "As I said, I have been working with the Honourable Member for  St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), who had the foresight to bring  this matter forward."  This is very apparent that he was giving  his approval to the bill.

        On March 1, in his speech on second reading the Justice  minister stated:  " . . . we have to have legislation like this.  . . . in a matter like this there is all kinds of room for  agreement amongst right thinking and caring Manitobans, which I  trust that all Members of this House are."  Again, approval given  to this particular piece of legislation by the Justice minister.  On March 15, the bill received third and final reading.

        In December of 1990, in answering to a question, the Minister  of Health (Mr. Orchard) responded in the affirmative, when he was  asked if he will proclaim the antisniff bill.  In Estimates on  that same day, the Minister of Health stated:  "We anticipate the  proclamation in January, and a committee is putting those varied  touches to the process of proclamation."

        He stated that the bill would be proclaimed by the government  between the 2nd and the 31st of January.  Well, January of 1991  came and went:  still no proclamation.  The staff for the  Minister of Health indicated in February that further study was  required.  No date for proclamation has been set.

        Of course, again this year, in March of this year, the  Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) refused to table a legal opinion  on enforcement.  So, again, as I mention now, in May of 1992, a  full two years after the bill was introduced into this Chamber, a  full two years since it has been passed, approved unanimously by  all political parties, it sits on some shelf somewhere,  unfortunately, gathering dust.

        The legislation has not been proclaimed law, so it is not  doing its intended purpose, which is, of course, to help children  and young people throughout this province escape the terrible  tragedy that is solvent abuse.  No area of this province can  escape the harmful effects of solvent abuse, the inner city, the  suburbs, rural and northern Manitoba.

        This law could be in effect now.  This law could be at work  saving young lives in this province.  Instead the Minister of  Health refuses to act on a bill, a bill that I mentioned, and  will continue to mention, was unanimously passed by all members.  It received unanimous approval by all political parties.  By his  inaction, the Minister of Health is faced with the prospect of  young people in this province who will have their lives ruined  and, unfortunately, ended from sniffing and abusing substances.

        The member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis) worked hard at  getting this bill passed.  She consulted with the Legislative  Counsel.  She participated in debates in this Chamber and in  committee, and she got the legislation passed.  She must be  commended for her efforts, for her action, to protect the lives  of young people in our province.

        In fact, again, this legislation was so important, was deemed  so important that it transcended political lines.  All political  parties supported it.  I know from being a member in this Chamber  how difficult it is to get a private member's bill passed.  Why  did this government debate the bill, why did they support it, if  they are, in the end, failing to proclaim, failing to allow it to  fulfill its purpose, which, of course, is to save young lives in  this province?

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        Mr. Speaker, before I was elected into this Chamber, I worked  at the Selkirk Friendship Centre in Selkirk as a community  resource worker.  I had worked with young people who had drug  abuse problems.  I know how solvents and drugs were ruining their  lives.

        Of course, there were many reasons why they turned to drugs,  to chemicals.  Some were family problems they were having, acute  poverty, but one of the reasons they mentioned was availability.  They sniffed glue or they drank to excess, sniffed gasoline,  because they were very easy to get.  All you had to do was walk  into just about any store and these mind‑altering and these  mind‑destroying substances were easily available.  They were too  easy to get, and consequently they were too easy to abuse.  This  legislation, Bill 91, was an attempt to solve this problem.

        We are talking again about the lives of young people in our  community, children who are destroying their minds permanently,  receiving permanent physical damage and permanent mental damage  from an excess of drug abuse.  We are talking about protecting  the health of the citizens of this province.

        Why does the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) not act?  We  have been waiting for two years for this minister to proclaim  this legislation, and if he does not, then why does not the  Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey) take the lead and get  involved?

        I believe it is her job as the Minister of Education to  assure the education of our young people, young people who cannot  learn if their minds are destroyed by solvents or substance  abuse.  Teachers and abuse counsellors in the province, they know  the importance of this legislation.  They spoke in favour of the  legislation.  We are hoping that maybe the Minister of Education  will act, will lead in this where the Minister of Health is  failing.

        I remember she recently, before she was a minister, chaired  the government's War on Drugs, and this committee, I believe,  toured the province and looked into the problems of drug abuse  throughout the province, and we are still waiting for its  findings.  We are still waiting for its words, its insights, into  these very serious problems.

        What would the citizens of Manitoba say to this committee  about drug abuse?  Well, I am certain that they would say that  drug abuse is a serious problem in this province, a very serious  problem in our society, particularly amongst our young people.  We have here in front of us Bill 91, an attempt to deal with this  problem, but the Minister of Health fails to act.  So he has to  bear responsibilities for his inaction, destroyed and ruined  Manitoban lives.

        Young lives are going to be destroyed by solvent abuse and  this minister does nothing.  It is shameful.  Members on this  side of the House, all my colleagues have been calling upon the  minister to proclaim this legislation, to let the legislation get  on with its job, but the minister fails to act.  He does nothing,  and he will not tell us why he is failing to act, why he will not  proclaim this legislation so it could get on with its job.

        He is the Minister of Health.  It is his job to look after  the medical well‑being of the citizens of the province.  Well,  here is his chance.  We are offering him a chance to fulfill his  mandate as the Minister of Health in this province, proclaim this  legislation, so it can get to work saving Manitoban lives.

        If the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education (Mrs.  Vodrey) will not act, well, maybe the Minister of Family Services  (Mr. Gilleshammer) should do something, instead of going around  closing training plants, instead of going around and closing  human resource opportunity centres in this province.  Here is  something he can do, a chance for him to redeem himself, to get  involved and to push the Minister of Health to act.  He has  responsibility for the social costs of damaged lives in this  province that substance abuse leaves behind in its hideous wake.  Here is a chance for him to redeem himself, to do something  positive for Manitoba's young people.  Instead of letting this  bill gather dust, maybe he will do something.  Well, we are  hoping.

        A few months ago, I joined the member for Point Douglas (Mr.  Hickes) and I think the member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis)  and the Point Douglas Residents' Committee in a protest picket in  front of a retailer in the Point Douglas area.  The owners of the  store, of course, locked and boarded the doors and the windows of  the store while the picket was on.  They failed to talk to any of  the protesters, and they failed to talk to the media, and of  course, while we were protesting they stopped selling their  substances, but unfortunately, as soon as the protest ended  within a few days they were at it again.

        We had another protest after that, and the same pattern  happened.  They stopped selling for a short time and once the  cameras were gone, once the protesters were gone, unfortunately  they started again, but they had no reason to stop.  They were  not breaking any laws.

        This bill, of course, attempts to deal with retailers such as  that, irresponsible retailers, and if it offends some retailer or  manufacturer, then so be it.  It is our job here as legislators  to protect lives in this province.  As opposition, we are calling  upon the minister to act.  We want this legislation proclaimed so  it can get on with its job.  We want the substances either  removed or their access limited.  We want, Mr. Speaker, this bill  proclaimed so it can start saving lives in Manitoba.

        So I urge the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) and I urge the  government of the day to proclaim this legislation so that we  have no more human tragedies as a result of excess solvent  abuse.  Thank you.

Mr. Speaker:  As previously agreed, this matter will remain  standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Labour (Mr.  Praznik).




Res. 21‑Open Skies


Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the  member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk),

        WHEREAS the Canadian federal government is pursuing a policy  of Open Skies with the government of the United States; and

        WHEREAS the items being discussed include the inequities of  the current bilateral air agreements which cause Canadian  airlines to receive less than 50 percent of the inter‑country  passenger revenue; and

        WHEREAS free trade in the skies, by way of cabotage, will  allow foreign based airlines to access our domestic Canadian flag  carrier air routes, thereby driving our flag carrier to either  merge nationally, internationally or fail; and

        WHEREAS most knowledgeable airline industry experts have  concluded the Open Skies discussions will spell the end of our  two remaining large Canadian airlines, which combined are smaller  than the seventh largest United States carrier; and

        WHEREAS there are literally thousands of direct airline  industry jobs, as well as several thousands of support service  jobs, many of which are located in Manitoba, which will be placed  at severe risk; and

        WHEREAS Manitoba has already lost hundreds of jobs through  deregulation and will lose hundreds more if the Open Skies  agreement goes forward.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislative Assembly of  Manitoba immediately convey, in writing, to the Canadian federal  government, its strong objections to foreign airline cabotage of  Canadian domestic routes, in any form, and to retain Canadian  headquartered airlines; and

        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Assembly urge the federal  Minister of Transport to hold public hearings in Manitoba  regarding the proposed agreement.

Motion presented.

* (1710)

Mr. Reid:  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to add my comments to this  resolution, because I think it is important for us in the  province of Manitoba and for all of those people that we  represent in this province, what it means to them, the impact  that these Open Skies negotiations that are currently ongoing are  going to have on the employment opportunities for the people in  Manitoba, not just in the larger communities of Brandon, Thompson  or Winnipeg, but in the remote areas of our province as well, the  isolated areas that rely so heavily on air transportation.  To a  large degree that is their only form of transportation in and out  of their communities.

        There was a study, of course, that had been done by a special  committee on the Canadian‑United States air transport services, a  committee that had travelled across the country hearing from  different presenters.  I had the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to  make representation on behalf of our party on the concerns we had  on what Open Skies would mean to us in this province.  I know the  minister for the government also had made a presentation to that,  but I believe in order for the members of this House to  understand where the air services agreement had started from, I  believe I should give some history, some background on what has  taken place with bilateral agreements between Canada and the  United States in the past.

        In 1944, most nations, including Canada and the United  States, had signed a convention on international civil aviation  and, of course, that was the beginning of air services agreements  between different countries of the world.  Canada and United  States were signatories to that agreement.  After that, in 1946  the United States and the United Kingdom signed an air services  agreement themselves between those two particular countries.  This was one of the first bilateral aviation agreements in the  world.  Of course, bilateral aviation agreements are agreements  between two countries which are commercial documents on air  services covering aspects such as routes, fares, frequencies,  capacity and ground services.

        The first Canadian‑U.S. commercial air agreement was signed  in 1949 and provided for an exchange of air routes between cities  near the borders of the two countries.  In 1966, because there  seemed to be a need to amend that particular 1949 agreement, a  new bilateral agreement was signed between Canada and the United  States expanding scheduled air service, including air cargo  services and powers to operate regional and local air services  without prior negotiations.  Those were the items that were  discussed at that time.

        The two basic principles of a bilateral air services  agreement between Canada and the United States include the  equality of opportunities for the carriers of both countries,  both Canada and the United States, as well as the equality of  economic benefits for both countries.  Those are the two guiding  principles of the bilateral agreement, air services agreement,  between the two countries.

        In 1974, the 1966 agreement was amended to include  point‑to‑point routes available to the United States and Canadian  air carriers subject to approval, as well as nonscheduled charter  services and preclearance facilities at certain airports in both  countries.

        Of course, we see in our own facility here in the city of  Winnipeg, there are preclearance facilities for those that are  headed south of the border, as I am sure the member for Rossmere  (Mr. Neufeld) can attest to, having utilized those facilities  from time to time.  Preclearance southbound facilities have been  established at Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and  Vancouver.

        No northbound facilities have yet been set up at U.S.  airports, even though this was part of the agreement that was  required as part of the overall 1974 package.  Northbound  preclearance at U.S. airports was required, or failure to  undertake this preclearance would be reasonable cause to  terminate the air transport agreement.

        It is my understanding that the U.S. has complied and that  they do have the preclearance facilities, as I indicated in the  city of Winnipeg and at the other Canadian routes out of the  country, and yet Canada has not complied.  We do not have those  facilities to come back into our own country or to allow the  tourism people that want to come and see Canada to have that  preclearance.

        In 1984, two more air service agreements were signed between  Canada and the U.S.  One established a more competitive and  permissive regime to encourage regional, local and commuter  transborder service, while the other was to encourage more  transborder traffic at underutilized airports in Canada.

        In the original experiment that was undertaken, it was set up  between Mirabel and San Jose, California.  Of course, Mirabel  airport is in Montreal.  That particular experiment failed, and  Mirabel is no longer part of that.  It is my understanding that  Vancouver and San Jose are the two experimental cities that are  part of that ongoing experiment.

        One would think that a large airport facility servicing such  a large community as Vancouver might not need to have an  experiment since the original intent was to go to an  underutilized airport.  One would think it might be more  appropriate to go to other communities, maybe like a Thompson or  a Brandon, to provide that type of service, but it was chosen  that Vancouver and San Jose would be the two cities to be part of  the experiment.

        The deregulation of the Canadian and U.S. air industry in the  1980s and the Free Trade Agreement caused increased interest on  the part of both governments to reopen negotiations in the  bilateral agreement.  A special parliamentary committee was  formed in the fall of 1990, and that is the document I referred  to in my opening comments on the report of the special committee;  it was the results of that parliamentary committee.  Then the  committee, as I indicated, did travel across Canada talking to  many Canadians about their concerns, and I know there were many  presenters here in this province when the committee held its  hearings.

        At the Winnipeg hearings, the committees heard from local  carriers, labour and other presenters.  All expressed concern for  the future of service and jobs in Manitoba if a fully open  agreement was signed between between Canada and the U.S.  Concern  was expressed that full cabotage and freedom rights would cause  the failure of Canada's remaining flag carriers, Canadian  Airlines International and Air Canada.

        The ongoing negotiations that are presently ongoing, Mr.  Speaker, include three objectives, and that is to improve and  expand the transborder air service between the two countries and  to redress the current imbalance in the revenues that we see‑‑and  it is my understanding that there are some $500 million in  revenue imbalance between the two countries.  In other words, the  U.S. industry is the benefactor of this current agreement.  Also,  the third objective of the current negotiations is to ensure the  viability of the two national carriers and the domestic system  and industry that we have in this province and this country.

        I raised questions a few weeks back, Mr. Speaker, with the  minister of transport when I mentioned in my comments, in my  preamble, that there were 75 jobs at risk in the Canadian  Airlines industry in this province in the reservation system  alone.  This was information that had been brought to me by  employees of that particular plant, and they were based on the  comments that had been made by a senior vice‑president of the  Canadian Airlines.  The minister of transport shakes his head and  says, that is not accurate.  Yet these 75 employees had the  opportunity to sit there and listen to the comments of the  vice‑president, and I am sure if the minister was to go out and  talk to those 75 employees he would get the same message that I  got and that these jobs are at risk and that there is no future  for the reservation systems in Winnipeg for the Canadian  Airlines' employees.

        If Canadian Airlines International sells 25 percent to U.S.  Air, CAI will most likely buy into the U.S. SABRE reservation  system.  That is where I see, Mr. Speaker, the airline industry  heading, that we will see our jobs leave this province and move  south of the border.  I raise that concern with the minister for  those 75‑plus jobs as a concern, because we do not need to lose  more transportation jobs.  We are having a hard enough time  holding on to what we have here, and yet I do not seem to see any  concrete actions being taken to preserve those jobs.

        It is funny that the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey) talks about  lowering the diesel fuel tax and then at the same time, Mr.  Speaker, almost in the same breath we hear from industry  representatives from the railway announcing major layoffs at the  plant in my own community‑‑major layoffs.  What does this  government do?  What kinds of job guarantees did they get for the  reduction in the fuel tax?  They paid back to the company but  they got no job guarantees in return.  What kind of an exchange  is that?  C.P. Rail still continues to divert traffic around the  province of Manitoba.  What kind of job guarantees did they get  when they got a reduction in their tax?

        You have no job guarantees.  You gave them a tax rebate.  The  direction may be to reduce the taxes for those corporations to  give them the opportunity, but you have to get something in  exchange, a quid pro quo for what you are doing.  You do not just  give back something that you have been receiving in revenue all  along, and get no jobs in return for that tax break that you are  giving to those companies.

        You do not understand the way it works.  You do not  understand exactly what they are.  They are doormats.  We are  going to see a continual erosion of the job opportunities and  transportation in this province unless you start taking concrete  steps to improve the opportunities.  If you are just going to  give them tax breaks and get nothing in return for it you are  going to be losers in the long run and the short term.

* (1720)

        The current agreement, Mr. Speaker, getting back to the Open  Skies agreement, provides for 83 city pairs in the bilateral  agreement:  26 of those are exclusive for Canadian carriers, 39  are exclusive for U.S. carriers, and the other 28 are designated  for both countries' use.  In 1990, there were 13 million  passenger trips, generating $2.3 billion in revenue.  Of that,  U.S. carriers handled 60 percent‑‑they got the bulk‑‑earning them  $500 million more per year than the Canadian carriers.

        There is an obvious need to redress the imbalance between the  revenue opportunities for the carriers of the two countries, but  it is also important that we recognize that we should not give  away the fort.  We should not give up on the opportunities and  the jobs that we have in this province because we want to redress  a $500‑million imbalance.

        We have to protect, and that is why I come forward with this  resolution today, trying to protect the job opportunities that we  have in this province.  Because, Mr. Speaker, if we allow foreign  carriers, U.S.‑based carriers, to come into our country, to pick  up our domestic air traffic, our travellers, in this province or  this country, and move them to other destinations, our Canadian  carriers here will suffer and with that will suffer the job  opportunities for Canadians and Manitobans.

        That is why we come forward with this resolution calling upon  the federal government to exclude cabotage as part of the ongoing  negotiations.

        I note, in an article that was published in The Financial  Post, that it had been stated that Canada has dropped its  cabotage demands from the current negotiations.  Yet, in the same  breath, in the same article, it says here, from Mr. Harris,  Canada's special negotiator at that time, that Canada has not  entirely abandoned cabotage from the negotiations.  It says,  however, while that will not form part of this new air treaty  agreement, the U.S. appears agreeable to Canada's request for a  mechanism to discuss the subject at some future date.

        So Canada has not ruled out the issue of cabotage, and I  believe that will cost us job opportunities in this province.

        There has been much discussion indicating that Canadian  Airlines and Air Canada will have to merge to be able to survive,  to be able to compete, in the global economic picture.  Now, that  may come into being.  But if it does, then we may be placed in a  position where we have to re‑regulate the airline industry  because we will then have a monopoly situation.  I know the  members opposite talk so often and openly about competition being  the key to keeping prices down, but if you have a monopoly  situation, then you are not going to have that competition.  Then  you will have to re‑regulate the industry.

        Also, with the new agreement, Mr. Speaker, I believe it would  be important to ensure that Canada receives its fair and just  entitlements of the new agreement.  It would be wise to build in  a sunset clause to the new agreement, so that we can review and  renew after a fixed period of time.

        There are going to be some difficulties in the ongoing  negotiations, Mr. Speaker, because I know a lot of the airport  gates are controlled by the large U.S. airlines, so it is going  to be with interest that we watch the ongoing negotiations and  what role Canadian airlines will play in that process.

        Hopefully, we will be able to preserve the jobs that we have  in the airline industry in this province, over 3,000 jobs in this  province, something we do not want to risk losing.

        I hope that this Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr.  Driedger) conveys those comments to the federal minister so that  we can take the steps to preserve and protect those jobs.  Thank  you.

Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation):  Mr. Speaker, I want to put some comments on the record regarding  the Open Skies resolution that the member has brought forward,  and I want to indicate that there is no Open Skies agreement at  this stage of the game.

        I want to give him a bit of a scenario in terms of what has  happened since October 3, 1990, when Canada and the United States  announced that they would be entering into air bilateral  negotiations which were intended to liberalize air services  between the two countries.

        On November 30, I appeared before the federal government's  special committee on Canada‑United States air transportation  services, and at that time expressed concern for employment; air  services within Manitoba; local, regional and national services;  transporter services; safeguards for Canadian air carriers.  I  advised the committee that prior to developing a submission that  we would do a consultation process.

        That consultation process took place.  We met with basically  all the carriers that affected Manitoba including Air Canada and  Canadian Air, and we also had staff contact most of the  communities in the North to get some reaction from them.  Then on  December 19, 1990, I personally presented Manitoba's  comprehensive submission on Open Skies to the Honourable D.  Lewis, Minister of Transport, in his office in Ottawa.

        Our submission basically dealt with employment, with  continued provision and expansion of services to all parts of  Manitoba as well as those services linking Manitoba with all  regions of Canada, the expansion of transporter air services,  installation of safeguards and the levelling of the playing field  to ensure the continued viability of Canadian air carriers,  ensuring that Canadian carriers would have equal access to U.S.  gates, slots, services and facilities, rectification of the route  and balances which currently favour to the U.S., because the last  agreement that was struck between Canada and the United States  was not a good deal for Canada, Mr. Speaker.

        We also dealt with the issue of preclearance, phasing in of  an open regime to allow Canadian carriers time to get on an even  footing with the American carriers, reassessing the cost‑recovery  program on Canadian airports, removal of the tax burden imposed  by the federal withholding taxes on territorial lease financing,  reduction of the federal aviation fuel taxes, removal of cabotage  as an issue in these negotiations and providing for increased  provincial participation in the negotiations through an improved  federal‑provincial consultation process.

        These were the highlights of the submission that we presented  to the minister at that time.  I want to indicate also further,  we requested that we should have a role to play in the  negotiations to some degree, and agreement was reached that we  would have at least one of the negotiation meetings take place in  the western part of Manitoba.

        Based on that, we did have a meeting that took place in  Regina.  On September 9, 1991, I met with the then new minister,  Honourable Jake Corbeil, Minister of Transport, to reconfirm  Manitoba's position relative to the Canada‑U.S. air bilateral  negotiations.  On November 12, Mr. Speaker, I wrote to the  minister once again to reaffirm our requirement for the  introduction of safeguards on phasing to ensure the viability of  Canadian air carriers in requesting a federal government  commitment to specific initiatives in this regard.

        The federal minister has made some announcements in response  to Manitoba's request, announcing the introduction of a two‑year  loss offset program offering a partial rebate of federal excise  tax on aviation fuel, as well as an extension to domestically  used leased aircraft of the exemption from withholding taxes that  currently applies to leases for international use.

        The member, Mr. Speaker, raised the issue of cabotage, and I  want to indicate that in the fourth round of negotiations in  Denver, December 16, 17 and 18, it was decided to put the issue  of cabotage aside for some other time.

        For those who maybe do not have an understanding of what  cabotage means, basically cabotage means that American carriers,  the giant carriers, could fly to a place like Toronto and take  passengers from Toronto and fly them to Vancouver.  Our concern  has always been that because of the advantages in fuel that they  have, other advantages that they have, that they would skim the  cream off the crop, so to speak, and disadvantage our Canadian  carriers.

* (1730)

        I want to also at this time bring forward some other  concerns, the member alluded to some of them.  Our national  carriers at the present time are having great difficulty.  Both  Canadian and Air Canada had major losses last year.  I met just  last week with the vice‑president from Air Canada in my office,  and he indicated that in the first quarter of this year their  losses were another $164 million.  Canadian is also continuing to  lose money.

        Obviously, this cannot go on.  They either have to  rationalize their operations.  I want to indicate I have some  concern, and I would support in my view the fact that we should  have the two carriers combine, because Air Canada has indicated  to me that, for example, both Air Canada and Canadian fly out of  Toronto to Europe on the same day, both with half loads.  It does  not make sense, and that is why you have these kinds of losses.  So I think an amalgamation in terms of the two national carriers  to put them on a competitive basis, on the global aspect of it,  because we are gradually losing both of them.

        I think Air Canada at one stage of the game was the 10th  biggest carrier in the world.  They have dropped to 20th, and  Canadian has dropped to the 26th largest carrier in the global  picture.  There are continual amalgamations taking place where  the bigger carriers are basically gobbling up some of the smaller  ones.  You have a two‑tier system.  You have the first system  which is the megacarriers, and then you have the second tier  system.  If our two major air carriers, Canadian and Air Canada,  would combine, they would just barely make it into that second  category.  When I looked at the figures that were presented to me  by Air Canada, I would want to have good reasons to know why the  two of them should not be amalgamated.

        We have to realize that if they do that, in order to be  efficient, there would be job losses and pain, but they have  indicated that once initial job losses had occurred that they  would then recover again with the job losses within five years to  bring it back up virtually to the level that they were at now,  hoping that they would be competitive in the world market.  So  these are things that are happening right now, and I have to  indicate some concern.

        I am hoping to meet with Canadian Airlines people very  shortly, because they are in the process of signing a deal with  American Airlines on a 25 percent ownership ratio.  Some of the  concerns that the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid) brought forward  certainly are very valid, because I would expect that a major  carrier of that nature ultimately would start servicing from out  of the States where the costs are lower, repair costs are lower,  wage costs are lower, but ultimately they would be playing a  bigger role and many of our jobs for maintenance, et cetera,  would be going down to the South.  So I have major concerns about  that happening.

        I intend to put forward some correspondence to the federal  minister indicating that I think open public hearings should be  held to address this.  You have the National Transportation  Agency that basically has to consider the application, and if  they do it behind closed doors I think you would be jeopardizing,  you know, the decision.  I think open hearings should be held.  The negotiations, I think, were in the process for a while  between Canadian and Air Canada and seemingly did not make the  kind of progress that I would have liked to see them make.

        But I think in terms of economic jobs that are involved, the  economic impact on Canada as a whole, that maybe we cannot afford  two national carriers.  If we look at what has happened in the  global situation, many of the other countries have gone to one  national carrier.  So I throw that out as my view on the fact  that I think we have to encourage the possibility of maybe having  one viable air carrier in Canada instead of having two that  ultimately will lose more money, will take and cut back on jobs.  Ultimately it is going to have a worse economic impact on us  jobwise and otherwise than if we had them amalgamate.

        Of course, concerns for jobs are always there, but how long  can companies like Air Canada or Canadian lose the kind of  millions of dollars that they are losing?  Ultimately it will  break the system and we might end up with none.

        So I just want to indicate some of the concerns that I am  dealing with at the present time.  I did not have too much  problem with the resolution that the member brought forward.  However, I would like to move an amendment, and I think it is in  keeping using basically some of the stuff there.  I did not like  some of the references made by the member in his resolution,  though I think this is an issue that‑‑most of my transportation  issues, by and large, are not political in terms of party  politics whether it is Churchill or whether it is C.N. or whether  it is the air carriers.

        I think we have to all as elected representatives try and see  what is most economical and most beneficial to us as Manitobans.  I have stressed this, and I think we have to stress it much  stronger, the fact that Manitoba with our location is a hub for  transportation.  I think possibly that we have not been able to  capitalize it to the extent that maybe we should have, whether it  is in the trucking industry, whether it is the rail industry, or  whether it is the air industry.

        I remember the debate that took place here in terms of trying  to protect the airport at Winnipeg.  I think we are very unique  in the fact that we have the airport right in the city, so to  speak, compared to even Edmonton where you drive half an hour  before you get to the city.  So there are a lot of advantages  that we have here and I think we should be able to capitalize on  that in terms of, you know, air freight as well as passenger  freight.  I think this could be a connector route to the European  countries, to Russia, et cetera.

        We are competing against megagiants in the industry, and that  is why I encourage, put forward the positions that made it very  possessive in terms of the position that we put forward for  Manitobans and Canadians in terms of the air bilateral agreements.

        The one thing I just wanted to indicate, that the federal  government was responsive, that I have a representative from my  department, Rolly Savoie, who is very capable in the air  industry, who attends all these meetings, not as a negotiator,  but they get briefed beforehand and get debriefed right after  these meetings, so we have current, updated information all the  time, and we appreciate it.

        We realize that, as much as one would maybe like to have  representatives on the negotiating team, that if you have‑‑the  complexity of having every province represented plus the federal  government plus the other people, it gets to be a very complex  thing.  So we feel that they have responded to our concerns in  terms of having somebody participate at the level that we do.  At  least, we are currently advised of any changes that take place.  The fact that cabotage has been removed, that was one of our  major concerns and, of course, making sure that our carriers can  be competitive.

        The whole idea of going into‑‑when I talked with the  Honourable Minister Lewis at one of my first meetings about Open  Skies, I was comforted by the fact that he said, we will not go  into an agreement unless there are going to be benefits for  Canada this time around, because the last negotiations were  terrible.  We came out of it very badly.

        It is very hard if you get into the air carrier industry.  When you look at the hub‑and‑spoke type of system that the  Americans have, it is virtually impossible for our carriers even  to access any of those, because they control all the gates.  I  know that some of you who maybe have flown down, you find out  that you cannot unload at a ramp, you have to unload on the  tarmac and walk.  These are all part of the problems.  We are  competing against the giants in the industry, so I think we have  to be very cognizant when the federal government is negotiating  with the Americans.

        Mr. Speaker, I want to propose an amendment.  Basically, I  want to indicate:

        WHEREAS the Canadian federal government is pursuing a policy  of Open Skies with the government of the United States; and

        WHEREAS inequities of the current bilateral air agreement  with the United States cause Canadian airlines to receive less  than 50 percent of the transborder passenger revenue; and

        WHEREAS free trade in the skies without appropriate  safeguards for Canadian air carriers and without phasing‑in  provisions would not allow Canadian air carriers to compete with  their United States counterparts on a level playing field and  thereby jeopardize the Canadian air carriers' ability to remain  viable; and

        WHEREAS there are literally thousands of direct airline  industry jobs, as well as several thousands of support service  jobs, many of which are located in Manitoba.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislative Assembly of  Manitoba support the position put forward by the Minister of  Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) to the federal  government in which he strongly objected to an Open Skies  agreement without adequate safeguards for Canadian air carriers  and without appropriate phasing‑in provisions.

An Honourable Member:  You need a seconder.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  On the amendment as proposed by the  honourable Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr.  Driedger), as much as the House is aware of what the honourable  minister is attempting to do, I wonder if there would be leave of  the House to allow insertion of the words:

        "THAT the resolution be amended by deleting all the words  after the first "WHEREAS" and substituting the following:"

        As has been proposed by the honourable Minister of Highways  and Transportation.

        Is there leave of the House? [Agreed]

* (1740)

        Therefore, it has been moved by the honourable Minister of  Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger), seconded by the  honourable Minister of Northern and Native Affairs (Mr. Downey):

        WHEREAS the Canadian federal government is pursuing a policy  of Open Skies with the government of the United States; and

        WHEREAS inequities of the current bilateral air agreement  with the United States cause Canadian airlines to receive less  than 50 percent of the transborder passenger revenue; and

        WHEREAS free trade in the skies without appropriate  safeguards for Canadian air carriers and without phasing‑in  provisions would not allow Canadian air carriers to compete with  their United States counterparts on a level playing field and  thereby jeopardize the Canadian air carriers' ability to remain  viable; and

        WHEREAS there are literally thousands of direct airline  industry jobs, as well as several thousands of support service  jobs, many of which are located in Manitoba.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislative Assembly of  Manitoba support the position put forward by the Minister of  Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) to the federal  government in which he strongly objected to an Open Skies  agreement without adequate safeguards for Canadian air carriers  and without appropriate phasing‑in provisions.

        The honourable minister's amendment is in order.

Mr. Reid:  Mr. Speaker, I have some concerns about the  amendment.  It seems to be somewhat self‑serving in the content  of the final THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED.  I am sure this would have  been more acceptable as an amendment, a friendly amendment, if  the minister had included in there some of the other major groups  in our province that had made representation to the parliamentary  subcommittee that had been travelling across the country.  Of  course, the minister did not see fit to do that.

        He also talks in his amendment to my original Resolution 21,  where it says here, "there are literally thousands of direct  airline industry jobs, as well as several thousands of support  service jobs, many of which are located in Manitoba."  That is  true, but he never once mentions that these jobs could be at risk  if we allow cabotage to go through, and/or freedom rights as well.

        It is unfortunate that the minister chose to do this, because  I thought that the intent of the original resolution, Mr.  Speaker, was what one could consider to be nonpolitical in  nature, in the sense that we were attempting by way of the  original resolution to protect the jobs in the province of  Manitoba.  Yet the minister in his wisdom has chosen to make this  into a political event and to take lightly the risk that is going  to be placed upon the jobs for many Manitobans.  He does not seem  to take this issue very seriously at all, and I suppose that time  will tell as to how many further jobs are going to be lost in the  airline industry of this province.

        We know that the Canadian airline industry receives less than  the 50 percent of the transport of passenger revenue.  I made  that clear in the comments, and there was some $500 million in  imbalance that takes place and needs to be redressed.  That is  something that I made clear in my comments, that we needed to  have some negotiations to redress the imbalances that were in  place or the inequities that were in place.  I believe that the  only way you can accomplish that is to sit down at the  negotiation table and to talk about these issues with the  American government and to lend some support for the position  that the Canadian airlines industry finds itself in, because they  are in a desperate revenue shortage. [interjection]

        I am sure the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld), with some  patience, will understand in a few minutes my concerns and the  position that we are going to have over this amendment that the  Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) has  proposed.

        There are many, many people who are concerned, not just  myself or the groups that have made presentations to the  subcommittee, because all of them, from my understanding and my  attendance at those hearings, were opposed to the issue of  cabotage.  That is why we came forward with this particular  resolution, because we knew the impact that it was going to have  on us, of our travel opportunities and our job opportunities in  this province.  At no time did we indicate that this was going to  be a political resolution.  It is very clear that it is not.

        The government has said time after time that they could never  support a resolution that was political in nature, and yet when  we come forward with a resolution that is nonpolitical in nature,  they insist on amending a nonpolitical resolution.

        Our intent is clear by the original resolution that we want  to protect job opportunities for Manitobans, and yet this  government and this Minister of Highways and Transportation wants  to turn this into a political circus, self‑serving to his own  ends.  We do not think that is a right action to take.

        I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, looking at the wording that is  in this amendment that this minister has brought forward, that I  personally cannot support this amendment for its self‑serving  nature as we see all too often why amendments coming out of the  government ranks‑‑[interjection] It does cause debate.  The  minister is correct.  It does cause debate.

        But when I submitted this resolution for consideration, it  was so that it was nonpolitical in nature and my intent was to  protect the job opportunities of this province and the  transportation opportunities in this province.  That is why I  indicate that they have turned it into a political circus by this  amendment the minister has brought forward.

        I do not think that is the proper way to treat the job  opportunities or the people of the province of Manitoba.  I think  he is showing a complete disregard for these job opportunities  and for the people themselves who are employed in this particular  industry.

        I am embarrassed by the position that you have taken in  regard to these jobs or these people and the lack of support that  you are showing for them.  Therefore, with that, Mr. Speaker, I  will conclude my remarks.

        I am sure that the people who are employed in this industry  will have their chance to be a judge on what this government has  done or lack of effort that this government has shown in regards  to their particular jobs and the positions that they have in  these companies, and the travel opportunities for Manitobans.

        Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

* (1750)

Mrs. Shirley Render (St. Vital):  I really had not intended to  speak, but I just wanted to correct a statement that the member  for Selkirk (Mr. Dewar) had made.  The member for Transcona (Mr.  Reid) has a good grasp of the situation, but I think I would like  to give just a very small history lesson to the member for  Selkirk.

        I think, if my hearing was not incorrect, I heard him say,  first there was Air Canada and then there was C.P.  Well, as a  matter of fact, first there was a company called Western Canada  Airways which was started right here in Winnipeg, Manitoba which  was formed in 1926 to open up the North.  That company was so  successful that it was later developed into a company by James A.  Richardson called Canadian Airways Limited which was to be the  trans‑Canada company of this country, and it was the major  airways company throughout the 1930s until Air Canada, which was  called Trans‑Canada Airlines, was formed in 1937.  Just for the  information of the members opposite, Canadian Airways Limited was  the basis for what then became Canadian Pacific Airlines, which  was formed in 1942.

        So really, I just want to say that this province has an  extremely proud history, a very proud aviation heritage.  This  province had the first major airways company in Canada.  It also  has a very dynamic aircraft and, of course, now aerospace  industry.  MacDonald Brothers, which was one of the major  aircraft industries during World War II, which is now Bristol  Aerospace, Standard Aero.  I could go on and on.  If you just  walk yourself right around the airport there are a myriad of  companies around there.  But really I will just finish, because I  can see that my time is running out, by saying that I do support  the minister's resolution.  I think some of the main concerns  that the member opposite mentioned, I think the Minister of  Transportation (Mr. Driedger) has addressed those, such as  employment and the continued provision and expansion of services  to all parts of the province, of course making sure that there  are safeguards installed.

        One other thing that I am not too sure whether anybody did  mention, I heard the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid) mention  cabotage‑‑well, maybe the minister did define what the word  "cabotage" was.  Just for those members who do not know what that  meaning is, cabotage means that you allow a carrier from a  foreign country to come into your country and pick up passengers  from one city to another, which, of course‑‑

An Honourable Member:  No, they always call that sabotage.

Mrs. Render:  Ah, sabotage, the member for La Verendrye (Mr.  Sveinson) says.  Well, actually the right word is cabotage, and I  agree with the member opposite that that is something that this  province and indeed likely this country do not want on the  negotiating table right now.  As I said, the member across the  way has a very good grasp, but I do want to finish by saying that  I support the minister's resolution.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, I was somewhat  humoured when the member for St. Vital (Mrs. Render) stood up and  started to talk about the history of Air Canada and Canadian  Airlines and so forth, and where we started off back in the  mid‑'20s with the Western Canada Airway and so forth.  Like the  member for St. Vital, I too feel very proud of the way in which  the skies have been filled with what I would argue is with a lot  of Canadian ingenuity, a lot of Canadian input, that in fact we  have to not only feel good about what happened years ago, but we  also have to ensure that we have that Canadian content in the  years ahead.  This is what the resolution itself is dealing with,  that it is imperative as provincial legislatures that we send  messages to Ottawa where decisions are being made, some good,  some bad‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  When this matter is again before  the House, the honourable member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) will  have 13 minutes remaining.

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