Tuesday, May 19, 1992


The House met at 8 p.m.



(Concurrent Sections)




Mr. Deputy Chairperson (Marcel Laurendeau):  Order, please.  When  the committee meeting in Room 255 last sat, we were considering  item 4.(a) Salaries $362,900.  Shall the item pass?

Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  I have a couple of questions on  this section.  This department deals with the Department of  Environment with the environmental impact assessments.  Can the  minister let us know which areas or what particular environmental  impact assessments the department is working on right now?

Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development):  The  Provincial Planning branch assists in such things as site  selection for a variety of companies that may, in fact, be  interested in locating in the province or in some of the  communities in rural Manitoba or in the province as a whole, and  some of the types of ones that we are dealing with is the BFI  site selection for waste disposal.  Still others that are being  worked on are such things as the Churchill Rocket Range, for  example.  It would be one that the branch might be working on as  well.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is the department doing any work on the  environmental assessment in cutting in the parks and the impact  that is going to have on rural communities?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, no, there is no work being  done by this department on the impact studies of those.  That is  something that is completely in the purview of the Department of  Environment.

Ms. Wowchuk:  It says in here, natural resources related  conflicts and land use policy, and that was why I was asking  about the land use of the parks cutting.  Also, you have  mentioned that they are dealing with large companies that might  be establishing in the rural communities.  Has this department  been involved at all with the proposed environmental impact  assessment on the Repap operation?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, because the branch itself  provides assistance and information for the establishment of  companies or acts as an advisory, if you like, to the Department  of Environment where matters relate to this department, we have a  membership on the technical advisory committee.  Basically, as a  member on that committee, we would be involved in terms of  providing advice from the planning perspective.

* (2005)

Ms. Wowchuk:  Has the person who has been involved with the  environmental assessment‑‑can you advise us whether any work has  been done as far as the environmental assessment of the Repap  operation?  Is that happening?

Mr. Derkach:  There is nothing specific or there is no one  particular initiative that I can relate to except to say that the  work of the committee is ongoing, and they are addressing the  issues as they relate to Repap.  We have membership on that  advisory committee, but there is not anything that I can point to  as being a specific initiative that has been undertaken.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Going on to another area, it says the branch will  continue to assist the department in Rural Development  initiatives.

       One of the issues is rural gasification, and I believe that  means bringing natural gas out to rural communities.  The  previous minister indicated that he was in support and would like  to see natural gas brought out to other areas of the province.  Can the minister tell us what his position is on this and what  studies are being done as far as bringing natural gas to more  communities in rural Manitoba?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we are certainly in favour  of rural gasification to communities where there is a need for  it.  Of course, in rural Manitoba that would benefit every  community.  However, having said that, we have to be cognizant of  the fact that gasification to any community is a very expensive  undertaking.  It cannot be done overnight, because you have to do  a lot of work in terms of doing evaluation of the impacts that  this will have on those communities, surrounding communities, et  cetera.

       We have done some work in terms of rural gasification as a  department, but we are certainly not at a point where we can make  any formal announcements of any kind at this time.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Could the minister tell us which areas of the  province are being studied or whether any money is being put into  studies at the present time, areas that have been identified as  areas that could use or he would like to see natural gas going  into?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there is not any one  specific community or communities that are being sort of isolated  or being picked as the areas that might be ones where natural gas  would be extended to.  The branch or the department is working  with Centra Gas, because they are the people who would be the  proponents or the installers of natural gas to communities.

       We are looking at an overall plan.  We are looking at some of  the needs that have been expressed.  We will be working with  those communities to see whether or not it is even feasible to  extend natural gas to them.  Of course, Centra will not extend  gas to a particular area unless there is some reasonable return  on their investments, so that is always a consideration.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Can the minister tell us which communities are  being looked at right now as possible communities to have‑‑the  ones that they are working along with Centra Gas to have them  gasified?

* (2010)

Mr. Derkach:  As I indicated, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there is no  specific community or communities that are being looked at.  I  think what we are looking at as a department with Centra Gas is  how we can address this in a general way, and in doing that one  will have to look down the road at which communities can probably  benefit from natural gas most, which ones can support the  installation of natural gas by the industries that they may have  within their communities.  Thirdly, which communities are perhaps  ones that natural gas can be extended to in a natural sense where  there may be a pipeline existing already or one that is pointed  in that direction and can be extended fairly quickly and without  a great amount of difficulty.  So it is more of an overall  approach than it is‑‑and we are in the very preliminary stages of  that.  I would have to say that tremendous amounts of work still  need to be done in a general sense before we can start becoming  specific about specific communities.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I hope that the minister will pursue this matter  because if he is serious about economic growth in rural Manitoba  and having industry come to rural Manitoba, this is one of the  key elements.  There is not an industry that is going to look at  a smaller community unless they have an alternate source of fuel,  and I think it is very important for all of those communities  that are looking at development and looking at ways to diversify.

       The minister said that they were working along with Centra  Gas on this.  I want to ask the minister:  Is government putting  any money into these studies or are the studies being funded by  Centra Gas or what are the government's contributions to these  rural development initiatives?  In particular again I talk about,  as an example, out of all of the ones that are listed here,  gasification.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I might say that the work  is presently being done internally.  So there is not any specific  amount of money that has been allocated to a study that is going  to be done jointly by communities and Centra Gas.  The work that  is being done is of a preliminary nature, and it is being done  internally by staff within the department as it exists now.  I  might add that it is a high priority, but, you know, we have just  been there for three months or so, or four months, and it is not  something that we can give a great deal of response to at this  time.

       There are other energy issues as well that are sort of  interrelated especially when you start talking about economic  development in rural Manitoba.  Those are such things as  three‑phased power to the rural communities, to the farm sites as  well, along with natural gas.  It is a fairly complex area  because there is quite a demand for natural gas in all of our  small communities.  As the member knows, we are a long way from  servicing a majority of the province with natural gas.

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I would  like to raise the full matter of Provincial Land Use Policies.  It says, lead the development, evaluation, adjustment, and  implementation of Provincial Land Use Policies.  Can the minister  explain the process?

Mr. Derkach:  I am sorry, can I ask that the member rephrase his  question again?

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in regard to the  implementation of Provincial Land Use Policies, can the minister  explain the process?

Mr. Derkach:  There is a fairly elaborate process that is  undertaken by the department with regard to how we implement the  provincial land use policies.  First of all, the branch has  responsibility for implementing this, but they do not do it  without a great deal of consultation with a variety of groups.

       When a particular land use policy or plan is embarked on, a  number of steps have to be undertaken before it gets to  completion.  First, the department will do its own preliminary  analysis and recommendations and that sort of thing.  Then that  will be sent out to a variety of organizations.  I might say  these include local government districts, professional  associations, environmental resource groups, and other  institutions such as the Institute of Urban Studies perhaps, the  Manitoba Historical Society, the Heritage Federation, the  chambers of commerce, the Archaeological Society, just a host of  other interest groups with regard to provincial land use.  Then,  of course, it will come into our interdepartmental planning group  who will do an assessment of it.  Following that, it will go to  the PLUC committee of cabinet who will make a recommendation to  cabinet for approval.

* (2015)

Mr. Gaudry:  When do you expect to come up with a  recommendation?  I know there was some concern when Bill 45 was  presented here, and the people of Manitoba had the opportunity to  respond and they expressed concerns with the amendments.

Mr. Derkach:  I am told that the public consultation will be  completed by the end of June, and then it will come in for acting  on the responses, if you like, from the public.  So we are  talking about sometime in the fall of this year for  implementation.

Mr. Gaudry:  There will certainly be public hearings for the  public at a later date.

Mr. Derkach:  The process that I describe that it is in now until  the end of June is the public consultation process, if you like.  After that the process is complete, then it is adopted as part of  regulation.

Mr. Gaudry:  You say there is a public input at this stage till  June 30?

Mr. Derkach:  That is correct.

        Mr. Gaudry:  Therefore, if anyone wants to make representation or  recommendations to the cabinet, what is the process for them to  do it at this stage?

Mr. Derkach:  It is through the public consultation process.

Mr. Gaudry:  Will there be advertisement of where they can make  their presentation or what process is involved?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the stakeholders are the  groups that have been advised with regard to making comment.  Comments may be sent directly to the branch from anyone, not just  the stakeholder groups.  Indeed, if the public at large want to  make representation they can send their comments directly to the  branch.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I have one more question in this section and that  is dealing with the round tables and the community vision  statements.  What is the next step when a community puts their  vision together and sends it in?  What is the next step that  happens?  I am hoping that there is some follow‑up to work along  with the communities once they have put these plans in place.  If  there is, who deals with them, and can we have any idea of the  progress?  Have some of them gone on to the next step?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it depends on the  initiative, I guess, but all of the round table plans, if you  like, or statements are sent to our department.  We do not  approve them or reject them.  Instead, we simply would share them  with those departments that may be impacted by that.

       In terms of a community setting its vision, if you like, for  the future and the types of initiatives that they may want to  undertake, which is quite separate from their vision statement,  they could then, based on their vision statement and on the  initiatives they may want to undertake, they could apply if it  fits the model for either Grow Bonds funding for a project or, in  fact, for REDI funding, for assisting them in ensuring that the  particular type of enterprise is attracted to the community.

* (2020)

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is there staff allocated, or who works along with  these people once the vision has been put into place?  There was  a particular community that called and said, you know, we have  put this proposal in, but now what?  Is there going to be any  follow‑up work from government to help us?  Are there any  resources put in place that will help a community put their plan  into place?

       I mean, it is one thing to say, well, there are Grow Bonds  here for you and there is the REDI fund for you, but they need  expertise as well.  That is what I am looking for.

Mr. Derkach:  A good point, because it is important for  communities once they have established a vision statement or the  direction that they wish to go in, they have identified their  strengths, it is important for them to be able to somehow access  some expertise as to the second stage.

       We have Regional Development offices scattered throughout the  province, and we are now retraining, if you like, or we are going  to be going into the retraining of some of the staff at those  offices to ensure that they do not just perform the planning  function, but indeed they become Economic Development officers  who can assist communities once they have gone through the  establishment of a vision statement and a strategic plan, if you  like, for their communities.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is the funding put in place to help these Regional  Development officers?  Has the funding been made?  The Regional  Development Corporations, is the funding consistent with what it  was?  Is there funding in place to help these officers get the  training that they need to support the communities?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the Regional Development  Corporations are different from our Community Development  offices.  The Regional Development Corporations are their own  entities, if you like, but the Community Development offices are  our own offices, our regional offices.  Yes, we staff those  offices with an average of four or five people.

       They have an area that they are responsible for.  With the  communities in that area, they would work towards establishing  such things as setting priorities for the communities, future  directions, assisting them with access to programs that might be  available either from our own department or perhaps from I, T and  T, working in joint partnership with the community to be able to  access even federal programs or information to federal programs.  So the Community Development offices play a very, very important  role in terms of delivery of the programs that we have put in  place.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Just one more question on the round table groups.  There was funding put in place for round table groups to get  started.  I want to know, has the amount stayed the same as it  was initially started out with, or has there been a change in the  formula for funding a round table group?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the funding levels have not  changed.  The funding levels have remained.  We have, as I  indicated, 26 different communities who have accessed the  community round tables money, the community Choices program.  In  terms of the decrease in funding, there has not been any  decrease, it has remained intact.

Ms. Wowchuk:  The reason I was asking, the amount of money that  was set when the round tables were first set, it was completely  funded by government.  Are the towns now expected to match the  funds, or how are the funds put in place for a round table?

Mr. Derkach:  The round tables have always been on a matching  basis, and that is still the way it is.  We will give a specific  amount of money as a grant, but the community will have to  contribute its portion or its share of the funding.

Mr. Gaudry:  It is in regard to the round tables.  How are the  communities selected, or is it by application?

* (2025)

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, every community that wishes  to set up a Community Choices program applies to the department.  To my knowledge, we have tried to accommodate each and every  community that has applied and meets the criteria and can then  come in with its own funding to match what government gives.  From there we start working with them to get their membership and  then start working with our community economic development  offices to set their vision and their goals in place.

Mr. Gaudry:  What are the basic criteria for the community to get  the round table grant?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, when a community applies  for a Community Choices program grant, what we do is staff from  the department will work with that community to, first of all,  identify what it is that they really want to do in terms of a  round table.  If in fact their round table is one which is geared  towards economic development for the area, and where that  community wants to better itself in an economic sense, there are  some criteria that are set down with regard to what they have to  establish in terms of membership, in terms of the goals and  visions.

       That is why we want to see a copy of their vision statement  as a department, to ensure that the money that we are investing  in them is not just wasted but indeed that there is something  productive out of it.  We work with them to develop, first of  all, some of their goals and objectives and a schedule as to how  quickly they want to move towards that and so forth.  It is all  sent out to them, I might say.  There is a pamphlet‑‑I do not  know if this is it‑‑yes.

       There is a document that is put out by the department on the  Community Choices program.  It is quite straightforward and can  be followed through quite easily by community members who can  look at what they should do to establish a round table.  Usually  a community will ask for these.  They will go through these, and  then they will begin their work from there with one of our  development offices.

Mr. Gaudry:  What is the administrative cost of that program?

Mr. Derkach:  In total, we have allocated $85,000 for this  function.  We have one staff person who has been assigned  responsibility for the Community Choices program, and in terms of  staff and other associated costs we have budgeted $85,000.

Mr. Gaudry:  I do not know if this falls under this section here,  but in regard to Headingley.  It has seceded from the city of  Winnipeg, and it could very well happen with the municipality of  St. Germain.  What is the outcome if St. Germain were to secede?

* (2030)

Mr. Derkach:  Although this is covered in a different section, as  you know that is something that is handled by, not the Department  of Rural Development but the Department of Urban Affairs, until  we reach a point when that community gets its status, if you  like, as an independent community.  In the case of Headingley, as  an example, the entire process was handled by the Department of  Urban Affairs until the regulations were passed and the  legislation was passed, and it was as of last week, I believe,  that Headingley came under our jurisdiction.

       So up until the time that it becomes an entity of its own,  this department does not have responsibility for those matters.  That is something that is covered under Urban Affairs.

Mr. Gaudry:  The Minister of Rural Development would not get  involved in regard to the assessment and things like that prior  to this happening if, let us say, St. Germain were to secede from  the city of Winnipeg?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, that is correct.  As a matter of fact, with  the case of Headingley, we could not even do enumeration, an  assessment, until the boundaries were established, until the  regulations were passed.  At that point in time, we could start  the enumeration and the assessment process.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 4.(a) Salaries $362,900‑‑pass; (b)  Other Expenditures $32,200‑‑pass.

       Resolution 117:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her  Majesty a sum not exceeding $395,100 for Rural Development,  Provincial Planning, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of  March, 1993‑‑pass.

       Item 5. Local Government Services Division (a) Executive  Administration:  (1) Salaries $66,600.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this is the section then  where we would be having a new assistant deputy minister hired,  responsible for municipal affairs.  I want to ask the minister,  when do you expect that there will be a new deputy minister put  into place?  When you talk about restructuring of the department,  what changes do you see happening in this department in the next  six months?

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

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, this is the new  branch, if you like, or the new arm of the department.  I see a  tremendous opportunity for this arm of the department, because it  is this arm that will work with the communities throughout  Manitoba to assist them and provide the tools for the  revitalization, if you like, or whatever other term you want to  use, in terms of attempting to encourage and motivate our  communities to grow.

       This, again, is a very new branch of the department;  therefore, I imagine that many of the things are still up in the  air in terms of what this branch will look like in the end.  With  the new deputy minister and new assistant deputies who will be  coming on stream, certainly some of the things will probably  change in terms of being proactive.  We want to ensure that this  branch is proactive in its view of rural Manitoba, that we do not  just simply go out there and act as liaison, but we are out there  actively promoting growth and economic development and activity.  It is going to be the arm of the department that, I think, is  probably going to try and break down some barriers as they have  existed before in terms of economic development in rural Manitoba.

       We will be working with the municipal people.  We will be  working with‑‑maybe I am talking about the wrong one.  I am  sorry.  I am talking about the economic development arm.  We are  on the municipal one.  Let me retract all of what I said and  leave it for the other one.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Finish it up and we will go on to something else.

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, that is the Rural Economic Development arm.

       On the other one, the Local Government Services Division is  probably more synonymous with the old Municipal Affairs branch  where we work with the municipal organizations and municipalities  to assist them with such things as assessment.  We provide  services for financial advice, we provide some research for the  municipalities, and we act as sort of the executive  administration arm for the LGDs as well.  So that is sort of the  function that arm would perform.

       Now, in terms of when the ADMs are coming on stream, now that  we have a new deputy minister we can move with the next step,  because I think it is only fair and very important that the new  deputy minister would have some input into the selection of  ADMs.  Certainly, we expect that he will have a fairly  influential position in that regard, and that is why we waited to  fill those positions until we had a full‑time deputy minister in  place.

       So there, I have gone through both.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Since the minister has opened all that up, maybe we  can just ask questions all over the place in this section.  The  reason I said that is I want to look then on the line of  Assessment, if that is okay, or do you want to pass?  I have no  further questions on the executive‑‑(b) Assessment rather than  Executive Administration.  I am just asking for clarification.  If you just want to pass‑‑

Mr. Gaudry:  You do not pass Administration just like that.  I  want to ask questions, too.

       Now, Salaries, you have an increase to $66,000 from $40,000.  Could I have an explanation?

Mr. Derkach:  That is a reclassification of the position because,  as you know, this is a position that is going to be an executive  position and, therefore, it required a reclassification.  That is  why you see the figure go from $40,000 to $66,000.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Rose):  Item 5. Local  Government Services Division (a) Executive Administration:  (1)  Salaries $66,600‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $24,000‑‑pass.

       Item 5.(b) Assessment.

Ms. Wowchuk:  We all know this section is a very important  section, the section that deals with the reassessment that has  been delayed causing some concern in the community, and I would  like to ask some questions on that.  First of all, I would like  to know who is the head person on this department?

Mr. Derkach:  The deputy minister.

Ms. Wowchuk:  No, the person responsible for Assessment, who is  that?

Mr. Derkach:  I guess I should introduce the staff at this point  who have just joined us.  We have Mr. Ken Graham, who is now the  Deputy Director, acting, of course, and we have Marie Elliot who  has joined us, who is director of Research and Systems.

Ms. Wowchuk:  You had said that Mr. Graham is the acting director  of Assessment?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Can you tell me why this position has stayed as an  acting position?  That position has not been filled permanently  since Mr. Brown left, is that accurate?  Why then‑‑it is a very  important position, and I do not doubt Mr. Graham's ability at  it, but I question why it would stay as an acting position rather  than being filled as a permanent position?

* (2040)

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, you raise a good  point, but I have to remind you that the department has been  under a period of restructuring, and until we have a permanent  deputy minister and until we have our ADMs, we will leave that  position as an acting one.  At that point in time the people who  are the executive people of the department will have some input  into, perhaps, the restructuring and the promotion or the  selection of people for those positions.  So it is for that  reason that we have left it on an acting basis.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I appreciate that answer, but it did cause some  concern that it would be left in that mode for such a length of  time.

       I want to get on then to the reassessment, and I want to ask  the minister why he has found it necessary to bring in Bill 20,  which will delay the reassessment by another year.  When I was on  council and Bill 79 was coming in, we were told that everything  was going to be so modern in this department.  Everything was  going to be so computerized that all they had to do was press a  button and we could go ahead with reassessment.

       That is the way it was sold to us.  Then, if the equipment is  all in place and it is so easy to do, why has the minister found  it necessary to delay reassessment for another year rather than  proceed as was the commitment from this government?  When Bill 79  was being debated, there was a commitment from this government  that never again would the assessment be delayed more than three  years.

       Now that we are moving to four years, it appears to be the  thin edge of the wedge, so to speak, a move by government that  they can do whatever they want just to back up assessment.  What  kind of a commitment do we have then that this is not going to  happen again?

       I raise these concerns because they are very serious  concerns, when you put something into legislation that is giving  a guarantee that it is going to happen every three years and then  having it backed up for no real known reason.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, let me say that we  have consulted with the interest groups fairly extensively with  regard to the reasons for Bill 20.  I would have to say that in  meeting with the various stakeholders, most of the people that I  have had anything to do with have been supportive of the move to  delay the reassessment for one year.

       I guess we explained the rationale for moving to delay  reassessment for one year.  The reasons for that were, first of  all, and not in that order but‑‑

An Honourable Member:  The most important is the first one.

Mr. Derkach:  Not necessarily, but indeed, the Education funding  formula, which was introduced last year, is a fairly complex  formula.  Let it not be trivialized, I guess, because if you look  at the impact it has on municipalities and on school boards and  on individual taxpayers, it is something that does not just go  away overnight.

       It is something that has to be understood fairly well by  municipalities, by school boards, and, indeed, by those who pay  the bills.  If you would place on top of that, reassessment, it  would not only create some confusion in the minds of the  taxpayers, but it would probably be more difficult then for  school boards and municipalities to try and sort out and explain  to their taxpayers what, in essence, all of this is about.

       We have talked to municipalities about that, and we have  asked the questions whether or not we are viewing it incorrectly  or whether, in fact, they view it in that way.  I can tell you  that both UMM and MAUM and other organizations, other stakeholder  groups, basically agree with us, that it would create some  confusion in the minds‑‑not in the minds, but simply for  taxpayers and for some of the school boards and municipalities to  deal with.

       Now, that is one reason.  Secondly, as you know, we  introduced the whole portioning strategy, which is having an  impact as well.  Now if you were to try and sort out Ed funding  formula, reassessment portioning, someone would have to do a lot  of explaining not only to the people who are running the  municipalities but I think to a lot of taxpayers.

       We looked at whether or not reassessment would have a  negative impact on the property taxpayers, and by and large, it  does not in a general sense, because as long as portioning is  used to control taxes for each property class, delaying the  reassessment is basically a nonissue.  Now if you take a look at  the fact that the farm class‑‑we have talked about farming a lot  and about the fact that farmers are going to be impacted fairly  negatively because of the fact that farmers pay only 27 percent  of their assessment, and that is based on the 1985 values.  That  means that there is not a real impact on the bottom line, if you  like, because in fact if values in 1990 will drop, then it means  that someone is going to have to pick up that extra cost.  That  is just the way it is.

       There is a certain amount of money that municipalities  require to do their business, and so the portions were introduced  to sort of apportion that burden as equitably as possible.  We  have talked to municipalities about this.  We have talked to the  various stakeholder groups, and they basically agree with us.  There are some individuals who may not agree with us, but  basically the people that we have talked to as stakeholder groups  agree with the fact that neutralizes the impact.  The last thing  that it does is it allows our department to produce better  quality assessments in the end, and I guess we have to go back  and look at how often reassessments were done before the  introduction of The Assessment Act.

       We have come a long way in the last four years in the entire  issue of assessment, and although we would probably like to  correct everything overnight, some of those things are just  impossible to correct overnight and they take time to work  through the system.  Therefore, we are moving towards having a  two‑year spread, if you like.  That is our goal, and we will move  to that in 1994 when the new assessment takes effect.  Now that  will be done in 1993, as I understand it, to become effective in  1994.  So we are in 1992 already.  Basically you really cannot  expect us to do much more than to do our homework next year for  the impact to be known in 1994.  If we try to do it before then,  that puts a lot of pressure onto a department that is already  doing a lot of work in terms of trying to sort of streamline the  assessment process.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, the minister has  made a lot of statements, and you know he wants us to believe  that this is just a very complex process and we need a lot of  time to understand it.  I do not know what is happening to  educate the public.  If it is so complicated, what is the  government doing to make the process less complicated, to make  the taxpayer understand what is going on?  He talks about that  the change in assessment is not really going to affect anyone  because it is dealt with by apportioning and that will look after  it, but in reality if there is somebody's property which is  assessed way out of value in comparison to other properties, even  with portioning, he or she will pay an unfair portion of taxes in  comparison to the other ones if their property is overassessed.  So I do not think that you can say that, well, it is all okay  because apportioning looks after it.

       He also said that this allows the government to produce a  better quality assessment, and I do not understand why you need  that extra year for that better quality assessment, if, as I said  earlier, equipment is in place and‑‑I do not understand.  I guess  I just do not see the rationale behind delaying it.

        * (2050)

       On the portioning section of it now, you have said that there  is a shift.  The farm is now 27 percent, but there was an  adjustment made in the portioning.  I want to ask the minister,  when there was a reduction in that portioning just this last  year, the residential went down a certain percent and farmers  went down a certain percent, but in reality the farming portion  went down less than the residential.  As a result, farmers are  picking up a larger portion of taxes.

       If you could tell us, how much did portioning decrease on  farm property versus business property and some of the other  categories?  Other categories had a larger reduction, but farming  in proportion had a smaller reduction.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, because of the  adjustments in the residential classifications, there has been,  of course, a shifting, if you like, of the pickup of that by  other groups.  However, in the end the farm group decreased by  1.5 percent.  Now, there has been some discussion, and I know in  the questions in Question Period there has been the suggestion  that indeed the farm class picked up a larger portion, but that  is not the case.  As a matter of fact, their portion dropped by a  percentage point.  It did not go up.  On the building part of it,  the residences, that is one aspect of it; but on the total farm  package, if you like, it went down by 1.5 percent.

       Just by example, and maybe this may illustrate it best, in a  general sense in the last four years, I guess, if you go back  that far, we first of all took off the education portion, the ESL  portion on farmland, on the raw farmland, and yes, there was  taxation of farm residences.  In fact, if you look at the overall  tax share of farm property as a whole‑‑that means farm homes,  farmland and outbuildings‑‑it has fallen from 12.5 percent in  1989 to 11.5 percent in 1992.  This includes the impact of taxing  all farm residences and outbuildings and, more recently, the  portioning adjustments.  So, taking all of those things into  consideration, there still has been a decrease in the overall  farm class of 1 percent.

       The member may say that is not enough.  Perhaps it is not,  but that money has to come from somewhere.  The question, I  guess, may be put:  Who should it come from?  We have done a  tremendous amount.  If you compare what this government has done  to the farm classes compared to what they were paying before  1988, indeed the taxes in an overall sense have dropped.  I know  from my personal experience, and I have buildings and farmland,  my share of taxes, or my tax bill, has reduced.

       Where there is intensive farm building use, that may not be  the case, but where you have a fairly large land base and a small  yard or small outbuildings in your yard, whether they are grain  storage, shops or whatever, in a general sense taxpayers are  probably paying less now than they did four years ago, and that  is pretty significant given what has been happening to costs.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, can we just go back  to that portioning, please?  You were talking about the  adjustment, and what I was asking was, when the adjustment was  made to portioning, certain sections, classifications, had a  reduction in their portioning and farm had a reduction, but I am  looking for the‑‑which classification got the largest reduction  as compared to farmland? [interjection! There was change within  the last year.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, the largest decrease  was to Res. 2 and they went from 73.2 percent to 68 percent.  Res. 1 went from 48.6 to 47 percent and Res. 3 went from 32.7 to  33 percent.  As the member knows, the Residential 2, which has  been a big issue, was being portioned at 73 percent.  This  compared to a Res. 1 at 48 percent, so there needed to be some  [interjection! Oh, farm, what did it go‑‑

Ms. Wowchuk:  What is the farm one?

Mr. Derkach:  It is still 27 percent.  The farm went from 27.1  down to 27 percent.

Ms. Wowchuk:  That is what I am trying to get at, Mr. Acting  Deputy Chairperson, is the fact that Residential 2 had a drop  in‑‑what is it, 5 percent, whereas farm residences had a drop of  0.1 percent, so in reality there is a shift on the amount of  taxes back onto farm buildings.

Mr. Derkach:  The member may be arguing that they went down the  least, but let us look at the figures.  We are talking about Res.  1 at 47 percent, Res. 2 at 68 percent, Res. 3 at 33 percent and  farm at 27 percent, so there is already a break there.  Besides  that, it was not the differences were picked up by such things  that run in municipalities as railways and pipelines, so there  was some shifting to them as well.

       It was not as though there was a shift to farms at all; there  were other properties that picked up some of this as well, to try  and get some equity in the system, because there is such a big  gap between the Res. 2 and the Res. 3.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Just on that and the other section of educational  tax on farm land, we had a system brought in that was going to  reduce education tax that farmers were going to pay, but now we  see a shift in the portioning that sees farmers having a larger  base to pick up, but they are also having to pick up special levy  education tax on the farmland.  In reality, instead of farmers  paying less educational tax, they are now picking up a larger  portion of education tax.

Mr. Derkach:  I would have to say that this government has lived  by its commitment.  We said when we came into power that we would  reduce the education portion of tax on raw farmland.  I think  that came to us at a cost of something like $22 million, if I am  not mistaken.  Now, that is $22 million that came from general  revenue to make up what we were compensating farmland for.

       Secondly, if you look at what the farm portion is now as  compared to 1989, it is an additional percentage point lower,  which is the difference between 12.5 and 11.5 percent.

       In terms of the special levy, that is something that has to  be left to the responsibility of local municipal and local  government organizations.  You cannot simply say that it is  government's fault that the municipality increases its budget  and, therefore, puts more special levy on, or a school board  increases its budget.  I mean, those things are done by locally  elected officials.  You have a school board that is locally  elected, you have a municipal council that is locally elected,  and they are the people who set the special levies.  It is not  the province.

* (2100)

       Now, you cannot expect the province to, first of all, take  off $22 million of responsibility from farmland, decrease the  share from 12.5 to 11.5 percent and then somehow wave a magic  wand and expect municipalities to freeze their special levies.

       I mean, that really has to be their responsibility.  If I  tried or if any government tried to interfere with school boards  in terms of their special levies and in municipalities, I can  tell you that we would be criticized very severely by all of  those organizations.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is there a way that this can be dealt with?  This  may be a hypothetical question, but I want to ask the minister.  We have a commitment that education tax would stay on buildings  rather than on land but, when it comes down to the special levy  of schools, it goes on land and on the buildings, and the  government says, well, that is not our responsibility, it is the  local authority's responsibility.

       How can this be dealt with?  Is it necessary to change the  taxation form that separates the buildings?  Is it necessary that  government pass legislation that special levy only go on  buildings, not on land?  Has the government looked at this?

       How can we deal with this more fairly?  Because land should  not be taxed for education.  We had that commitment from all  members when Bill 79 was being passed, but now we have people  saying, oh, well, it is not my responsibility, it is the local  authority.

       How can this be dealt with, that taxes for education will be  more fair?

Mr. Derkach:  I would just like to give you an illustration of  what the reality is.  I understand that taxes are not easy to pay  for anybody.  Whether it is special levy or ESL, it is still a  tax that is paid to support our institutions.  I notice that the  critic for Education is with us, and I am sure that if he  suspected that we would be somehow moving to take some portion of  support that goes to schools now off somebody like farmers, then  he would be asking the question, who is going to make the  difference up?

       If you look at what is being paid at the present time, and  this is total education taxes that are paid by various classes,  you can see that Residential 1, as an example, the total amount  of taxes, the special levy collected is $120 million.  From farm,  it is about $22.7 million.

       If you look at commercial, the special levy there is $66  million.  If you combine that with the ESL, you find that  Residential 1, as an example, pays $207 million; farm pays $22.7  million because they do not pay any ESL; and the commercial, or  the other, pays $156 million.  That is a fairly substantive  difference in what is being paid by the farm and by the others  and the residential.

       So when the member asks how we can reduce the special levy, I  do not know that we can, because that is something that is really  up to the school boards and the municipalities to do.  I do not  know where else they are going to get their tax dollars if they  do not get it from property classes, because that is how we have  traditionally supported education.

       We would have to redo the entire system of paying for  education if we were to try and take it off farmland.  Somebody  has to pay the bill and, up until this time, I think it has been  viewed by not just this government, by all governments, that  property taxation is the fairest and the best way‑‑maybe not the  best way‑‑but it seems to be the fairest way in this province to  support education costs.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I think the minister misunderstood me.  I was not  trying to say that the farmers should not pay their fair share of  taxes for education.  None of us as farmers expect to get  education for free.  What I am getting at is, is there a way that  taxes for education can go onto farm buildings rather than  farmland?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I would have to say  that if you compare the amount of farmland that we have in the  province to the amount of farm buildings that we have in the  province, there is far more farmland than there are farm  buildings in this province.  Therefore, you would have to have a  fairly significant shift from farmland onto the farm buildings,  and the taxes that you would pay on those farm buildings would be  so high that indeed some of the ones that are intensive farmers,  that have, whether it is poultry barns or hog operations or  intensive cattle operations, livestock operations, just simply  would not be able to exist and to pay their tax bills.

       I am not trying to set up an argument with the member here.  I am just simply pointing out that is the dilemma that is faced,  and I think that all governments have faced.  Down the road there  may be a need to look at how we can possibly divide up that pie,  but certainly we are not at that point at this time.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Considering the length of time that we have for  these Estimates, I think we had better leave that argument for  another time and perhaps a discussion that we might be able to  work something out that would be something that can be a  resolution to this in the future.

       I want to just touch on Bill 20 again, and that is the  concern that farmers have with the amendments that are being made  to Bill 20, that they will no longer have the right to appeal  their assessment.  I know the minister has said time and time  again, and he said it in his opening remarks, that farmers do  have the right to appeal, but there is a feeling in the  community‑‑in fact, there was a court case that indicated that  farmers did not have the right to appeal.

       If farmers do not have the right to appeal, why is the  minister introducing this part of the legislation?  Is he  introducing it to take away the right of appeal from farmers in  extreme circumstances, or is there a right to appeal under  unusual circumstances?  I think that is a very important issue  that is facing farmers right now, because if a homeowner has the  right to appeal their property, I do not understand why farmers  should not have a right as well if there are extenuating  circumstances that have caused a decrease in their property value.

       I am not talking about general circumstances, cost prices  that lower everybody's value, but things such as rail line  abandonment or plant closures that affect the value of farmland,  those kinds of things.  I think we have to have the protection in  place for farmers to appeal.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I guess in all of  this, we have to look at an element of fairness.  When you do  that, you have to ensure that how one group or one individual or  one property is treated, another property is going to be treated  as fairly.

       When we introduced Bill 20, we made it very clear that we  were not going to be taking any rights away from those who had  those specific rights of appeal before.  Bill 20 does not affect  that.  As a farmer, if you were allowed to appeal because of some  external force near your property, whether it was a chemical  spill or somebody putting up something that was affecting your  property negatively in terms of its value, and it changed the  value of your property, then you had the right to appeal that  based on the 1985 values.  That has not been taken away.

       What cannot be done is that because market forces have  changed in the farm community, you cannot appeal based on that,  and that is exactly what Bill 20 prohibits a farmer from doing,  because then there would not be any sense to having a  reassessment year.  Basically, you would be reassessing  constantly as the appeals came up.  We have to protect that; that  is the integrity of the bill, if you like, or assessment.

* (2110)

       All we are doing with Bill 20 is delaying the reassessment  for one year.  That is the most substantive change, and the rest  of it stays as it was.  So there is nothing taken away from a  farmer to appeal the assessment of his land if there has been  something happen to it physically or something has happened in a  neighbouring property that has impacted on the value of his  property.

       We have made that very clear.  We have talked to  municipalities about it; we have talked to UMM, MAUM, Keystone  Agricultural Producers.  At first they were somewhat concerned  that it, yes, in fact, it could, but I think they are satisfied  now that Bill 20 does not impact on them in that way.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Rose):  To remind honourable  members, before we proceed, that the purpose of Estimates is not  to discuss bills that are under consideration.  We appreciate the  exchange of information and would appreciate it if the  questioning could be confined to the line in front of us.

Mr. Gaudry:  In regard to the reassessment, the question was  asked, how have you informed the public out there in regard to  the reassessment?

Mr. Derkach:  Good point.  We have had several meetings,  workshops, if you like, with client groups in terms of what the  meaning of reassessment is and what the delay of assessment is  going to be.  We have met with the major organizations at MAUM  and UMM and Keystone.  We have met at regional levels as well.  We have also met, or tried to meet, with individuals who perhaps  express an objection to Bill 20 or to reassessment, so we have  tried to make ourselves as available as we possibly could.

       We have also written letters to the newspapers.  There was a  letter from me, a letter to the editor, explaining reassessment  to ensure that people who might have some questions would be able  to contact us, and we have also sent letters out to all the  municipalities to ensure that they too, if they do not understand  something about reassessment, would be given every opportunity to  contact us and we would make staff available to go over the  impacts of reassessment.

Mr. Gaudry:  For example, in Hanover municipality, in and around  the Steinbach area, there were farmers where their taxes have  increased up to 200 percent.  What is the explanation for such an  increase on a quarter section?

Mr. Derkach:  I think the member asks a legitimate question in  terms of clarification, but I would have to say that  reassessment, as we understand it, and the staff have done the  research on it, had no impact‑‑or not a major impact on the  increase in taxation in that municipality.  In fact, the results  of the increases could be traced back to several things, such as  budget increases and also‑‑I think if you go back as far as  1990‑‑there was a fairly major municipal increase in taxation in  the Hanover municipality.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Rose):  Item 5. Local  Government Services Division (b) Assessment:  (1) Salaries  $5,195,900‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $644,800‑‑pass.

       Item 5.(c) Municipal Advisory and Financial Services:  (1)  Salaries $1,074,700.

Ms. Wowchuk:  If it is all right with the minister, can we ask  questions on that whole section of Municipal Advisory and then  pass it all, or do you want to start with Salaries?  I want to  ask questions on policing costs. [interjection! In the section,  okay.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, if we follow the  lines in order, we will come to policing costs back in item  5.(c)(6).

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Rose):  Municipal Advisory and  Financial Services:  5.(c)(1) Salaries.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I guess I am one up ahead.  Not Salaries, let  Salaries go.  Sorry.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Rose):  Item 5.(c)(1) Salaries  $1,074,700‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $340,100.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is this the section that would cover off the  conferences and the MAUM and those kinds of things?  I am looking  at the conference that is coming up this week in Brandon, the  conference on Friday.  Is this the section that it would be  covered under?  Not in this section?

Mr. Derkach:  No, that section was covered previously.  The  Manitoba Community Newspaper Association conference on Friday was  cosponsored by the Department of Rural Development, but we have  covered that section in the MAUM section.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I will come back under Salaries and ask you a few  questions on that one.

       I want to ask some questions on this section relating to  local government districts.  I had asked the minister previously  and he had made brief comment earlier on his responsibility as it  relates to LGDs versus municipalities, and the reason I asked the  question is that municipalities make their own decisions on how  they pay their staff, the amount they pay their staff, but when  it comes to an LGD, the rates are set at provincial rates.

       I was always led to believe that LGDs were just an extended  arm of government and that the minister had more authority to  deal with LGDs than he does with municipalities.  Is that  accurate information and are the LGDs less independent than  municipalities?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, there are several  differences between LGDs and municipalities.  First of all, with  LGDs, the minister approves the by‑laws, which is not the case  for municipalities; secondly, with the LGDs, the minister also  has to approve the funding expenditures for all LGDs, where that  is not the case for municipalities.

       Also, with regard to what we term resident administrators,  who perform the similar functions of a secretary treasurer in an  R.M., the minister also has the responsibility to appoint that  individual who is the representative of the Department of Rural  Development.

Ms. Wowchuk:  If there are major expenditures being made by an  LGD, does the LGD have the ability to spend that money without  ministerial approval the same as a municipality or does the LGD  have to come to the minister for approval?  For example, if they  were spending money out of reserves, would they have to get  approval?  Is a plan then put in place by government to replace  that money into reserves?

* (2120)

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, it is true that  before an LGD can access funds from a reserve, they have to have  the approval of the minister, and it is usually through a  delegation‑of‑authority process that it has been done in the past  but, yes, it is true that they have to seek approval from the  minister for that.

       Now, I should also mention, that is true, that with  municipalities, they also need a written approval from the  minister to expend monies out of their reserve as well.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Does the same apply to municipalities and LGDs for  replacing their money back into reserve?  Is it by law that they  have to put that money back into reserves?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, there is a directive that is set forth by the  minister where the regulations regarding replacement of reserves  applies equally to municipalities and LGDs.

Ms. Wowchuk:  What time frame do they look at in putting that  money back?  If they are spending, say, $100,000, how do you  figure out how many years they have to pay that money back, to  recollect that?  I am trying to look at the amount of taxes that  would have to be collected to pay it back.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, what we do as a  department is try to undertake an assessment, if you like, of the  particular jurisdiction and then work out the details of how that  reserve will be replaced with that jurisdiction.  Now, for some,  it may be that it does not take as long a period of time as it  does for others, but that is basically something that is worked  out between staff of the department and the local LGD.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Just on to another section on Other Expenditures.  It says in here, this section includes increased funds of  $126,000 to cover the cost of the Headingley initiative.  What  was the Headingley initiative?  Is that the study the minister  had said earlier that there was no money spent from this  department on the Headingley separation at this point?  What is  this money for?

Mr. Derkach:  Once the R.M. of Headingley is set up, there are  going to be certain expenditures that have to be incurred in  order to get them incorporated and properly set up.  They are  such things as:  election expenditures, something the department  is doing right now in terms of revising the election lists and  the enumeration, if you like; the office space, of course, there  is a cost to that for the council chambers; there is purchase of  office equipment, council indemnities and remuneration; all of  those kinds of things such as fees for joining organizations and  legal fees, office expenditures such as maintenance and  utilities, insurance, et cetera.  All of those costs have been  tabulated for Headingley and the best estimate we have is that it  will cost us $126,000.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is it anticipated that will be recovered money, or  is that money that the department will put up to have a new  municipality established?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I think the intent  of this is that we will be able to recover a large portion of it,  but again, this is not something that we do every day.  Therefore, it is going to take some negotiation and discussion  with the new council once they are elected.  It is our intention  to recoup as much of that money as we possibly can.

Ms. Wowchuk:  If I could go back one step to the issue if LGDs.  The minister has had a very sensitive issue raised with him, and  I have raised it with him with regard to LGDs, and that in  particular is the LGD of Mountain and the vote they had to move  their office.

       I know the minister has had several letters asking him to  deal with this matter, and we all believe in the democratic  process, so it is a difficult situation.  I want to ask the  minister, how is he responding to the many people who have  written to him on this issue?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I have not had a  great number of letters that have been written individually to  me.  If I were facetious, I would say I will wait for the advice  of the local MLA, but I will not say that.

       It is a sensitive issue.  The LGD of Mountain held a  referendum, if you like, on it, and it was decided through that  process that there were more people who wanted the office located  in Birch River, I believe it is.  As you indicated, you believe  in the democratic process, and it is something that we strongly  believe in.

       How they got into the situation of a vote on it, I am not  sure because that happened before I was the minister or during  the transition period.  I guess the discussions were going on and  then they had their vote, but it is not something that was  brought to my attention that they were going in that direction.  I do not know what I, as a minister, could do about it if the  will of the people of that LGD is to go in a certain direction.  It is the people of that LGD who, in essence, are going to have  to live with that kind of decision.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I guess from this transpires other plans of people  within the LGD, and I want to ask the minister a hypothetical  question that could apply to any municipality.  If a  municipality, if people within a municipality, were not happy  with a decision and decided that they wanted to go it on their  own, so to speak, then who makes that decision on redrawing  boundaries.  What is the process?

Mr. Derkach:  This once again becomes a fairly sensitive issue,  but it is one that would be dealt with straight up.  I would say  that if the appeal is made to me as minister, I would refer the  matter to the quasi‑judicial board that is set up, and that is  the municipal board, who would then study the matter and make the  decision on whether or not to allow such a thing to happen, but I  might say this is once again something that does not happen very  often.  I am hoping it does not happen in this case, and I will  be looking at working closely with the member for Swan River to  ensure that we handle this in the most appropriate and the most  logical way we can.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I guess it is very difficult.  It is my community,  and it is an LGD that I served on for many years and one that I  enjoyed working with.  I would hate to see it separate or broken  up but, because things have gotten to the point where they have,  where they were allowed to take something like this to a vote,  and I do not know whether there was any way that it could have  been prevented, I look forward, as the minister has said, to  working with the minister on trying to resolve this situation and  coming up with the best possible solution that will work for the  people of that area, but it is not an issue that is going to go  away easily.

       There are some very hard feelings about what has happened.  I  am not sure how we deal with it, but I think that the minister  should be aware of what is happening.  There are possibilities of  people approaching the minister on this matter of how then do the  people on the south end of the constituency get the best service.

Mr. Derkach:  Just a comment, Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson.  I  can appreciate the sensitivity of the issue.  Indeed it is not  one that I think is going to go away overnight, I agree, but  indeed we have to allow the will of the people in the community  to prevail.  If we keep that as sort of the main principle, I  think the process will unveil as it should.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Rose):  Item 5.(c) Municipal  Advisory and Financial Services:  (2) Other Expenditures  $340,100‑‑pass.

       Item 5.(c)(3) Grants to Municipalities in Lieu of Taxes  $34,166,200.

Mr. Gaudry:  There is an increase there.  Are the grants to the  municipalities details available to the members?

* (2130)

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

Mr. Derkach:  The member asked for a fairly complicated and  detailed‑‑well, not a complicated, but a very detailed list, and  I think there is something in the neighbourhood of 7,000 or 8,000  properties that the department gives grants in lieu of taxes on.  I am not sure that the member really wants that.

Mr. Gaudry:  Is it public information?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this has never been asked  for in a public sense, but it is a fairly complex way of dealing  with it, because it is all done on a voucher system.  So one  would have to pull the vouchers, if you like, and then try to  compile a list and make it available in that form.  But we have  never been asked as a department to make that kind of listing  public.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, is it all right to ask a  question on taxation of leased land in this section?  Is this the  section where we can deal with taxation? [interjection! Yes, this  is grants in lieu of taxes, but this particular line has no  grants on it.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Go ahead.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I would like to ask a question on taxation on Crown  lands.  There is an issue that has surfaced many times between  municipalities and LGDs with regard to land being leased for  residential, not agricultural land.  They live on this land; they  do not pay agricultural tax, but the municipalities do not have  the ability to enforce the collection of this tax on Crown land.  The people who live on this Crown land have the services provided  by the community, by local authorities, but local governments do  not have the ability to collect this tax.  I know that it is an  issue that has been raised to me; it is an issue that I have  tried to raise through a private member's bill, but I cannot deal  with it because it is dealing with money.  Municipalities cannot  collect the taxes.  How can this issue be dealt with?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this is a difficult issue  because of the fact that Crown land is not something that is  owned by the individual who lives on it or squats on it or  whatever.  There are, I guess, in the province some squatters on  Crown land; therefore, it makes it very difficult to try and  collect taxes on property that the individual does not own.  It  is a dilemma‑‑agreed, but one that has not been resolved at this  point in time.

       I do not really know how we would even begin the move to try  and resolve the issue, because there are so many different  configurations:  there is farmland, Crown land, leases; Northern  Affairs has numerous ones.  It is not a simple task of trying to  simply tax Crown land, because Crown land is owned by the  province.  The individual who operates it or who uses it probably  in some way, shape or form may pay some lease on it, but it is  not a tax.

Ms. Wowchuk:  This is to do with Crown land residential tax  arrears.  They have residences on Crown land; they are on a tax  roll, but there is no way that municipalities can collect it.  They do not have any teeth in the legislation, so to speak.  Has  the minister ever looked at this?  Is there a way that the  legislation can be amended to give some power to the  municipalities?  I know that this has been raised at MAUM  conventions; there have been resolutions passed on it.  It is an  issue for many municipalities.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this has been looked at, I  think, not just in the time I have been there, but for many, many  months or years, if you like.  It is a very detailed and complex  issue, because it not only involves this department but involves  departments like Natural Resources, Crown lands.  Therefore,  different jurisdictions would have to be responsible for  collecting these taxes.  How you impose a tax on that and how you  collect it is certainly a dilemma.  I can truthfully say that, in  the short time I have been in the department, we have not treated  this as one of the priority items to this point in time.  Indeed,  it is one that may need some attention in the future.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 5.(c)(3) Grants to Municipalities  in Lieu of Taxes $34,166,200.

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, I asked the minister also, what was the  increase of roughly $1 million?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, that represents an increase  of about 3 percent, which is the general increase on anticipated  vouchers and that sort of thing.

       As the member knows, that new building that sits just down  the street here, the new Remand Centre, is going to be one that  is going to impact on this particular line, because there will be  a grant in lieu of taxes for that facility, and the amount there  will be something in the neighbourhood of $650,000.  It is items  of that nature, new acquisition of buildings and that sort of  thing that will drive the cost by that amount.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  A formal vote has been requested in the  Chamber, so at this time I would ask the committee if we could  recess and then come back after the vote.  The committee is  recessed until after the vote.

* * *

The committee took recess at 9:38 p.m.

After Recess

The committee resumed at 10:05 p.m.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  Before recessing, the  committee was dealing with 5.(c) Municipal Advisory and Financial  Services:  (3) Grants to Municipalities in Lieu of Taxes  $34,166,200‑‑(pass).

Mr. Gaudry:  I will pass on that.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  5.(c)(4) Transit Grants $1,306,100.

Mr. Gaudry:  Can I have a detailed account of what consisted of  Transit Grants and where they go?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there are three communities  in Manitoba who receive grants for bus operations or transit.  They are Brandon, Flin Flon and Thompson.

       Additionally, there is a mobility‑disadvantaged grant that is  allocated.  That goes to various communities around the  province.  They use those grants for such things as the handivan  in various communities.  I guess last year we had a total of 42  communities who received grants under this system.

       The maximum grant that can be received under this is  $20,000.  It was implemented by my colleague.

Mr. Gaudry:  The increase of roughly $60,000 would be a general  increase also?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, it is.  It is a 2 percent increase and it is  just a general increase.

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, you said mobility grant for  communities other than Thompson, Flin Flon and Brandon.  Could  you explain what the mobility grant is?

Mr. Derkach:  That is the grant which is the  mobility‑disadvantaged grant for people who are mobility  disadvantaged, if I can use that term.  The start‑up grants, to a  maximum of $6,000, are given out and then there is an operating  grant which is given out to an equivalent of about 37.5 percent I  believe it is, of the operating expenditures to a maximum of  $20,000 annually.  As I indicated, there were 42 communities last  year that received that support.

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it goes direct to the  community and not into a municipality, as such, where there would  be more than one community involved.

Mr. Derkach:  It goes through a municipality.  All grants are  made through municipalities, but in some cases it is not the  municipality that operates the Handi‑Transit program.  It could  be an organization within that municipality.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  The hour being after ten o'clock, what  is the will of the committee?

An Honourable Member:  Continue.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  The honourable member for Swan River  then will carry on.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I want to get back to ask a couple of questions on  the handivan transportation service.  I understand that this is a  service provided to the communities very largely by volunteers, a  lot of volunteer boards that keep these services in the  community, and that there has been each year a conference held  for the volunteer boards, but this year that conference has not  been held.

       I want to ask the minister if that conference has been  scheduled, if it has not been scheduled, why is that being  eliminated?  I understand in talking to the volunteers, that this  was a good place for them to gather.  It was an important  function for them to share their experiences in running the  handivans and they were quite disappointed that the conference  was not on.  I want clarification.  Has it been on or is it not  on?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there will be a conference  this fall.  It is an annual conference.  We have an advisory body  that is made up of people who have an interest in  mobility‑disadvantaged persons, and indeed, they are the ones who  co‑ordinate, if you like, the conference along with staff from  our department.

       I have met with Mr. Enns, who represents one of the groups  that sits on the advisory committee, and I have also met on a  couple of occasions with Mr. Murphy, who is the chair of that  committee.

* (2210)

       I have to say that I was very impressed with the attitude of  these people towards trying to do things for themselves.  They  are indeed people who are very proactive, in a sense, in  providing services for people who are mobility disadvantaged.  As  I understand it, they are trying to shift some of the thrust of  their conference to involve more people who are mobility  disadvantaged, and I understand that is being worked on now.  That conference will go on this fall.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I am pleased to hear that conference is going on,  because as I say, there were people who were concerned that it  was not.

       What would have caused the confusion, I want to ask the  minister.  Was the conference normally held in the spring and has  been changed to the fall?  Is that where the people got the  impression that this was a service that was being cancelled to  them?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is true that the  conference was usually held in the spring, but it was always the  same format, I believe.  The chair of the advisory committee  thought that by perhaps changing the emphasis a little bit on the  conference and also the participation, not to exclude anybody,  but to include more perhaps, that they would prefer to have that  conference in the fall.

       What caused the confusion, I cannot say.  Anything I would  say would be speculation, so I do not know the answer to that at  all.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Perhaps it might be a good idea then to contact  some of the organizations, the handivan people, who are  traditionally attending these conferences and let them know that  the conference is going to be on in the fall.  There has been  some concern that the service was not going to be provided.

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, that is possibly good advice.  If there is  some confusion there, we will make sure that people in the  various interest or stakeholder groups will get that message.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 5.(c)(4) Transit Grants  $1,306,100‑‑pass; (5) Centennial Grants $14,800‑‑pass.

       5.(c)(6) Police Services Grants $1,400,000.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we have had discussion on  policing grants before, and the minister knows that we are  disappointed that a decision has not been made to proceed with  the recommendations that were made by a study group on changing.  Municipalities and towns were concerned because they were setting  their budgets and they expected that they were going to get a  change after the budgets were set.

       The minister has indicated that there is going to be another  committee struck I believe to deal with this policing issue, and  I guess I want to just ask the minister:  When can we expect that  this issue will be finally resolved and we will have a decision  made?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this has already been  addressed.  As the member knows, in January I was handed a report  that was done by a former RCMP Commissioner, I believe, or  Director of Law Enforcement, Mr. Hill, in conjunction with  members from UMM and MAUM.  Were there any other stakeholder  groups represented?  No, there were not.

       The recommendations were not one, there were several in the  report.  To try and make some sense out of it, we decided that we  should probably strike a group of representatives from the two  associations, MAUM and UMM, plus the Department of Justice and  ourselves who would work together as a team to make  recommendations to us about the approach that should be taken on  a long‑term basis.

       That working group is being set up now by staff from my  department.  I think Mr. Roger Dennis is one of the key people in  that in setting it up and is certainly working very proactively  in setting up this committee.  They will then make some  recommendations to us as to what would be an equitable way of  paying for policing costs in both rural and urban municipalities  outside the city of Winnipeg.

       That report is due at the end of August.  At that time I am  hopeful that there will be some solid recommendations so that we  can simply implement them as they are recommended to us but,  again, that is not a guarantee, because there is still a lot of  work to be done in that regard.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, again on policing costs, I  want to refer to a newspaper article that was in today's paper I  believe.  I do not have the article with me, but it is related to  volunteer policing in the community and calling for volunteers  who will serve as what appears to be the old‑fashioned town  constable that used to be in place.

       Is that something that people who are doing this study are  looking at, or is that a recommendation that is going to be  made?  Is the Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach) in  support of an idea where you would have volunteers handling a  very important issue such as policing?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, that has not been brought  to my attention specifically.  Neither has that recommendation at  this point in time.  I am told that this could be an initiative  of the RCMP, certainly not of Rural Development or of any body  that I am familiar with.  We will be watching it with interest I  guess, but it is not something that I would move on without doing  a great deal of study and thought and consultation on.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it gives me some  satisfaction to know that is not something that this minister is  looking at.  As I say, I feel that policing is just as important  in the rural area, and in fact sometimes a much more necessary  service than in some of the urban centres, and I do not believe  that we should be looking at volunteers to handle those kinds of  things for us.

       I look forward to the report and the recommendations that  this committee comes up with and hope that we can resolve the  whole policing‑cost issue that has been facing us for some time  now.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I might say I am looking  forward to the support of the two opposition critics with regard  to resolving this matter once and for all.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 5.(c)(6) Police Services Grants  $1,400,000‑‑pass.

       Item 5.(c)(7) Municipal Support Grants $946,300.

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, could the minister give us  the reason for the substantial decrease from last year?  Offloading to the municipalities?

Mr. Derkach:  I guess I go back to my old Education days to  answer this one.  When the Ed finance formula was implemented,  there were 13 municipalities that had impacts of greater than 10  percent, I believe was the threshold.  There was a decision made  at that point in time that there would be a phase‑in to allow  those municipalities to ease a burden if you like in those  municipalities.  There were 13 municipalities, I believe, that  were receiving this grant.  That grant has now expired and for  that reason we see the support grants decreasing by that amount.

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, if at that moment this money  was required, what has happened since then?  Was this for special  programs in Education?

* (2220)

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the money was put aside as  phase‑in money.  In the first year we would phase in something  like 50 percent of their costs; in the second year we would phase  in something less, 25 percent, and then it would be phased out  completely and municipalities would pick up the cost.  It would  give them basically three years to adjust their costs.

Mr. Gaudry:  So eventually we will see that there will be no more  support grants for these municipalities.

Mr. Derkach:  It is just that phase‑in portion that was set aside  that is going to be phased out.  The other Municipal Support  Grants will remain.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 5.(c)(7) Municipal Support Grants  $946,300‑‑pass.

       Item 5.(d) Research and Systems:  (1) Salaries $856,200‑‑pass.

       Item 5.(d)(2) Other Expenditures $1,978,200.

Mr. Gaudry:  The last item, 5.(d), Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there  is a substantial decrease in Other Expenditures and not as much  in the Salaries.  Could you explain the decrease in Other  Expenditures?

Mr. Derkach:  As the member knows, over the period of four years,  I believe it was, or three years, there was an associated cost  with the implementation of a new computer system in Rural  Development.  That system has now completely been installed.  I  think it was initiated by my former colleague to begin with.  It  is now complete, and so that expenditure no longer shows up in  the line.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I just want to ask briefly on the new agreement  that has been signed with the Brandon‑‑

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  Could I ask the  honourable member to bring her mike forward.

Ms. Wowchuk:  The notes here say there has been a decrease in  grants to Brandon Rural Development Institute.  Can the minister  tell us what has changed, where the funding is now going to come  from for Brandon institute or what has happened there?

Mr. Derkach:  There is no reduction in the grants paid to the  Rural Development Institute.  It is just an accounting procedure,  I suppose, that has been put in place in terms of the fiscal  year, which means that the line does not show the full amount.  In essence, it is a commitment of the same amount of money that  was committed to in the beginning, in the first three‑year  agreement.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Just a brief question on the Brandon  institute‑‑that comes under a later line in the budget, does it,  or is this a point where I can ask a question?

Mr. Derkach:  Was there a question?

Ms. Wowchuk:  Yes, I have a question, but I am wondering whether  it is okay to ask it at this time.

       What is the total budget for the Brandon institute?

Mr. Derkach:  The grant to the RDI from the provincial government  is $l00,000 per year.  It is a three‑year agreement.  They in  turn receive money from private donations and other institutions  for about the same amount on an annual basis.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I want to ask the minister if he feels the  investment of $l00,000 is a worthwhile investment into research.  What is the benefit of the Rural Development Institute or the  work that they do for the Department of Rural Development?  What  do they do for rural Manitobans that helps us enhance life or  improve the quality of life, improve the quality or the  opportunity for development?  What are the benefits to the rural  community for this investment?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I think this Rural  Development Institute that was set up three years ago now has  proved that it is a very successful institution for rural  Manitoba.

       Several projects have been worked on, and I cannot list them  at the present time, but there are some significant studies for  towns that were done.  I think there was one done for Neepawa.  There was another one done for the Village of Rossburn, if I am  not mistaken, or one that was worked on in conjunction with the  Village of Rossburn.

       What they do is assist rural communities to look at  themselves to see where their strengths are.  They will set up  models for business opportunities in communities.  Also, they  look at not just the economic issues, but they will look at the  social issues as well, the educational issues that may be  prevalent in a community that need to be looked at.

       A lot of research goes into trying to find ways of  revitalizing the rural economy in communities outside of the city.

Ms. Wowchuk:  If the money comes from Rural Development to fund  the Rural Development Institute, does the institute do work or  research for other departments, or do they answer to the  Department of Rural Development?

       I guess I want to know, do they look at things like child  care in the rural area or quality of life or income level?  Who  are they responsible to?  Is everything channelled through Rural  Development?  Who is responsible?

Mr. Derkach:  They do not answer to the Department of Rural  Development except through an annual report, I believe, that is  going to come to us from them.

       We have restructured the agreement this year.  Under the  stewardship of one of our staff, Marie Elliott, and in working  with the Brandon Rural Development Institute, we were able to  tighten up the agreement somewhat whereby it can give us some  feedback on an annual basis.

       The Rural Development Institute does not answer to us.  It  does work for not only our department, but for other departments  and communities.  It is a matter of us giving them the grant and  then looking at what kind of productive work they do for us.  We  do the analysis, we do the assessment, and then we go from there.

Ms. Wowchuk:  It sounds to me like some of the work they do could  tie in with round tables and those kinds of studies.

(Mr. Jack Penner, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)

       Do they do any work or are they directed by the department to  work along with the visions for communities after they are  presented to government?  Are there any services that they  provide in that area?

Mr. Derkach:  The Rural Development Institute, through its  research activities, puts together data, statistics that can be  used by communities when they establish their round tables.  So  in that sense, the institute itself does a fairly high level in  technical research on a variety of fronts, whether they are  health care, social issues, economic issues.

       In rural Manitoba, you could talk about water trends,  agricultural issues and municipal sewer and water.  They can do  all of the research for these communities, put the data together,  and then allow communities to access that data when they make  some decisions about the direction that they want to expand and  grow in.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Penner):  Item 5.(d)(2) Other  Expenditures $1,978,200‑‑pass.

       Resolution 118:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her  Majesty a sum not exceeding $48,013,900 for Rural Development,  Local Government Services Division, for the fiscal year ending  the 31st day of March, 1993‑‑pass.

       Item 6. Rural Economic Development Division (a) Executive  Administration:  (1) Salaries $96,300‑‑pass; (2) Other  Expenditures‑‑

Mr. Gaudry:  Slow down, slow down, lots of time.

       There is an increase in salaries‑‑and no increase in  staff‑‑by some $24,000.  Can I‑‑

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, this is the section  that I went on at length by error before, so it is the same  answer.  The increase in salary here is the reclassification of  the ADM position.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Penner):  Item 6.(a)(2) Other  Expenditures $24,000‑‑pass.

       6.(b) Infrastructure:  (1) Salaries $1,218,900‑‑pass; (2)  Other Expenditures $290,900‑‑

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Mr. Edward Connery (Portage la Prairie):  Is this the area of  Infrastructure where the assistance to southern Manitoba to do  their water study‑‑is this where the money came from for that?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, that money is  allocated in the Expenditures Related to Capital, but if the  member wants to ask some questions with regard to that, he may.

Mr. Connery:  It was through this particular department that the  money was allocated for the study for the Pembina Valley task  force?

Mr. Derkach:  The Department of Rural Development extended such  services as staffing and administrative services, but there was  no particular lump sum of money given from this department for  the Pembina Valley study.

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

Mr. Connery:  Can the minister tell us the value of that  assistance that was given?

Mr. Derkach:  Although I may be corrected, it appears that it  would have been around that $50,000 mark in terms of what  services were provided.

Mr. Connery:  Is that over and above‑‑and I am trying to remember  the figure.  Was it $500,000 that was given?  What was the figure  that was given?  Natural Resources come into this also.  Was  there any cash grants, or just technical services staff and so  forth that were given to the Pembina Valley project from your  department?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, from this department there  were only the technical services that were provided to the  Pembina Valley group.  There was no cash given from this  department.  What was given from Natural Resources, I am afraid I  could not tell you.

Mr. Connery:  In assisting communities, and I do not have any  difficulty with that‑‑do not get me wrong‑‑but in giving that  sort of technical assistance, do you determine beforehand whether  or not there is a supply of water available to make use of those  services once they are engineered?

Mr. Derkach:  I am advised, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, yes, that  determination is made beforehand.

Mr. Connery:  Who made the determination?

Mr. Derkach:  With all the fireworks going on outside, Mr. Deputy  Chairperson, it was hard to concentrate.

       To answer the question of my colleague, the Natural Resources  staff.  The engineers and staff, I guess, of the Department of  Natural Resources would have made that evaluation and assured  that there was an adequate supply of water available.

Mr. Connery:  The project is now being submitted to an  environmental study to have the Clean Environment Commission  determine whether or not there is adequate water in the  Assiniboine River to do that diversion.

       Of course, there is a lot of speculation from people along  the Assiniboine River that there is not enough water to do it at  this time.  When even the pumps to divert water into the Mill  Creek, La Salle and Elm River were shutting off on low flows, and  even PFRA were scrambling in the bottom of the Assiniboine trying  to build up little dikes to force water to those particular  pumping stations, we had some difficulty.

       As you know, coming from the Roblin‑Russell area, the  Shellmouth is where the water is going to be held; yet, the  Shellmouth was built as a flood protection unit, and so it  creates some problems.  My concern is going to that extent, did  we put the cart before the horse in this particular case, or is  it normal to do the infrastructure and then to look for the  source to assure a source of water for it?

       A lot of money was spent.  I guess what I would have thought  maybe we would have determined the source and if there was  adequate source available, then to have done the engineering  studies and spent the money at that time.  If the Clean  Environment Commission determines there is not adequate water,  then either they have to abandon the project and the costs that  have been put into it, or they have to look for another source of  water.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I guess I am being asked  some questions that I do not have the answers to because they are  not part of this department.  The water studies in terms of the  availability or source of water was done by a different  department so there is no way that I could determine whether or  not the cart was put before the horse, to put it in my  colleague's words.  I guess those questions could best be put to  the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) because there is no  way that I would have that information.

Mr. Connery:  Will Rural Development be part of the funding of  the project if it gets a green light?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am told that if in fact  the Clean Environment Commission were to approve that, then we  would as a department be responsible for a third of the cost of  the project.

Mr. Connery:  When you are talking a third, you are talking a  third province, a third federal and a third municipal, is that  the breakdown?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Connery:  So I guess we are a year too soon because the  project has not been approved.  You would have to have approval  of that money in a subsequent year through the Estimates process  before money could be expended, or could it be done through  cabinet and through Treasury Board?

Mr. Derkach:  No, it would be done through the normal process and  would have to be accommodated for in a given year.

Mr. Connery:  Has there been a commitment to the Pembina Valley  Water Task Force to indeed go through with the project?

Mr. Derkach:  No, there has not.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I just want to ask about another project and that  is the Mafeking water project.  I want to ask the minister what  the status of that is.  I know work has been done and I believe  the well was dug.  At what point will it be that people of that  community will have the long‑awaited water in their homes?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I guess I am happy to  report that the pipeline is in.  They will be doing the  connections and working toward completion of the project.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I am happy to hear that as well.  I am pleased to  hear that project is near completion.  This was a long‑awaited  water supply and I am glad that it has come to fruition.

* (2240)

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 6.(b)(2) Other Expenditures  $290,900‑‑pass.

       Item 6.(c) Economic Development Services:  (1) Salaries  $704,900‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $64,000.

Mr. Gaudry:  Is this where we ask questions on the Rural  Development Bond Program?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the questions for the Grow  Bonds Program are probably more appropriately asked under Section  8.(a).

Ms. Wowchuk:  This is the section where we deal with Regional  Development Corporations, am I correct?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, it is.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Last year we saw a cut in support for Regional  Development Corporations.  We hear this government and this  minister making commitments that we want to see growth in the  rural community.  Earlier on he talked about the Regional  Development Corporations playing a role in the results of the  round tables and working along with communities.  What has  happened to the funding for the Regional Development  Corporation?  Has it stayed at the level that it was?  Has there  been an increase?  Is there still the commitment to have Regional  Development Corporations work with the communities as was the  commitment by previous governments?

Mr. Derkach:  I will not go so far to say, as was the case with  previous governments, because I believe it was my colleague who  was able to establish that funding to the Regional Development  Corporations would be increased to the level of a 75/25 percent  split, whereas it was at a 70/30 percent split.  Indeed, the  sharing has been more in favour of the various organizations or  development corporations.

       In essence, there has been a victory for Rural Development in  that sense.  Also, a new development corporation has been added,  which is the Westman Economic Development Association, and again  there was some $93,000 of grant money allocated for them.  There  was an increase this year.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I am glad to see that the increase is there and  that we are going to have the support.  As the previous minister  just indicated, he did cut the funding and then did bring it  back.  He redeemed himself by putting the services back for the  rural communities.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I have to be very thankful  to my colleague who was in charge of this department before for  seeing fit to argue very strongly for an increase in this area  and also to maintain a fairer split for the Regional Development  Corporations.  Whereas it was at 70/30, it is now at 75/25  percent.  I guess I would have to say that the Regional  Development Corporations were very, very happy with the grants  this year.

Mr. Connery:  What was the previous, when you go back to previous  one, two, three years in the total grants to the RDCs in absolute  dollars?

Mr. Derkach:  In 1990‑91 $647,300; in 1991‑92 $503,200; and in  1992‑93 $596,200.

Mr. Connery:  Unless I missed a figure, did I see a decrease or  was there an increase each year?  Reread those figures going back.

Mr. Derkach:  No, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in 1990‑91 the grant  total was $647,000.  It was reduced in 1991‑92 to $503,200, and  increased in 1992‑93 to $596,200.

Mr. Connery:  So we are still behind in the total funding even  though we have had some increase in costs.  What about the new  RDC that has come on stream?  Is there additional funding for it,  or will that be taken out of the pot that the other RDCs were  sharing?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there was $93,000 of new  money put in for that RDC.  Again, this department was not immune  to some of the realities that had to be faced by other  departments between the 1991 and 1992 year, and we saw a  decrease.  This year we are able to maintain and also add the new  RDC to it, so slowly we are starting to go the positive way, and  I am hopeful that we can continue in the future.

Mr. Connery:  But there is less money and an extra RDC to be  funded out of that money which means that some of the existing  RDCs would have to be cut back in essence from the year before?

Mr. Derkach:  No, there are no RDCs that will be cut back one  penny from what they had before.  Mind you, that has to be sorted  out with their budgets and that is done on an individual basis,  but the $93,000 was new money that was added to it.

Mr. Connery:  Does that go to the new RDC?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, it does.

Mr. Connery:  So the other RDCs really yet then are receiving  less money than they did three years ago in actual terms?

Mr. Derkach:  They are getting less money than they did three  years ago, it is true.

Mr. Connery:  It seems to me it was four years ago that we  promised to put large additional amounts of money into the RDCs  and to create business offices in those RDCs.  Has that thought  been cast aside, or are we still looking at fulfilling that  commitment?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I have not been in the  department all that long, but I can tell you one of the  initiatives that I can see being undertaken in the department is  a review of our delivery mechanisms in rural Manitoba.  Because  right now we do not only have RDCs out there, we have our  Community Choices, our round tables, we have economic development  boards; we have Community Futures.  All of these groups are  trying to do many of the similar things and some of the  responsibilities overlap.

       I think that RDCs, particularly in the Pembina Valley, the  Central Plains area, have done a marvelous job in terms of the  support that they have given the communities and the work that  they have done in attracting businesses to the communities and to  the province.  I see those as very healthy, very strong bodies.  We should not be trying to reinvent the wheel in other areas; we  simply should be learning from those who have had some success.

       Certainly we intend to do that as a department to capture the  successes of others and learn from their experiments, if you  like, or some of their mistakes, and not duplicate them and  perhaps form closer links with them whereby we as a department  are not duplicating some of the things that they have already  done.  That is all in the future, and, indeed, I intend to be  working fairly close with all the RDCs, more particularly with  those that have had some success.  Again, the two that I had  mentioned are certainly examples of very successful RDCs.

Mr. Connery:  I do not recall if I got a clear answer on the  business offices in the RDCs that was committed.  I think it was  three or four years ago and it was in the throne speech or budget  speech three years ago to increase the funding to the RDCs and to  incorporate business offices into them.  Is that being  permanently discarded?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I am not familiar with that  aspect and that is something that I will look into, but there is  no commitment at this point from this budget year to do that.

       Once we have done the review of the delivery mechanisms, that  may in fact be a very strong recommendation.  In doing this  review, we will certainly be consulting with them to establish  how we can better address some of the needs of our rural  communities.

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Mr. Connery:  It is my understanding that some of the criteria in  the funding formula has been changed.  Can the minister explain  the different criteria and‑‑oh, yes, there is a change in the  criteria.

Mr. Derkach:  Could I ask for clarification?  Is the member  talking about a change in the approach, a change in the funding  formula criteria, or a change in how we allocate the money?

Mr. Connery:  It is to do with who would be putting money in as  far as the 75/25 goes, and who would be part of that funding.  I  think now it is just the R.M.s that are part of that funding, and  it is going to make it virtually impossible for some of them to  get the maximum government assistance and also the new one that  was created.  I think they have said openly already that they  cannot meet the criteria that is set down in the funding formula.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the intent of that change  was to ensure that we are not supporting 75 percent of a picture  where the other 25 percent is made up of other government‑source  funding.

       It is for that reason that there was a change made with  regard to allowing the monetary contributions of associate  memberships, if you like.  Now that is still in a discussion  stage with the RDCs, and staff are working with RDCs in  attempting to resolve it.

Mr. Connery:  There is the funding to the individual RDCs and  then there is the funding to the overall association of RDCs, and  it was under that particular funding where the managers got their  pension plans and so forth.  It is my understanding that was cut  back and that there is no pension plan now for the managers of  the RDCs.  Am I correct in that assessment?

Mr. Derkach:  The funding grant to the associations was curtailed  two years ago, a year ago, last budget, and indeed there was  funding used for building up a pension fund out of that which my  understanding is‑‑and I was not part of it‑‑that is not what the  association fund was set up for and so there are still  discussions going on.

       As a matter of fact, I met with Mr. Meyer in Winkler, I  believe it was, and I have received a letter from him now  explaining what their function was.  But for this year, there is  no budgeted amount for that grant that was given to the  association.  It is something that we are going to have to sit  down and talk to the association about and see whether we can  resolve the matter.

Mr. Connery:  Is it the department's thoughts to use Rural  Development officers in various communities in place of RDCs?  We  have Rural Economic Development officers in communities where  there are also RDCs.  What are the thoughts of the minister and  the department on the ability of individual Rural Development  officers to be as effective as the RDCs who encompass the various  communities and, yes, there are a lot of elected people on it.  There also are business people on, which bring the community  thrust into it and bring the community involvement, where when  you have an individual from the RDC department being in a  community such as Portage or Brandon or Dauphin, Swan River, in  the past, when I, T and T has attempted to have development  officers in a community, it did not work.  It was not the  community involvement, even though they were good people.  I know  we had one in Portage, and the individual was an excellent  person, but eventually I, T and T pulled that person back into  Winnipeg.

       I guess the concern that I have is:  Are these people going  to be able to do the function, and should we be duplicating the  function?  Also, are these officers who we have in the  communities economic development officers, or are they community  planning officers as you have, and I think her name is Jane  Pickering, in Portage‑‑is that the correct name?‑‑who is a  planning officer, not an economic development officer.  Now we  see some thrust to have her become somewhat involved in the  economic side.

       People who have grown up in their vocation as being planners  do not immediately become economic development officers.  It  creates a problem.  I have been very involved with it in that  sense in the Portage community and so know of some of the  difficulties that that does present.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I guess there are some  development corporations.  I do not know if they are all that  way, but there are some that are quite sensitive about their role  in the community, and they feel it is their territory and their  domain.

       Our attitude is that the development of communities has to  come from within and that it is a partnership approach that has  to be used in the development of a community.  Our economic  development officers who are in our Community Development  offices, some of them, yes, of course, they are planners; they  are existing staff who were in the department before.  They have  undertaken new responsibilities, and we intend to spend some  money and spend some time training them in the economic  development field.  It is not an impossibility.

       There is no school, per se, and there is no diploma program.  There is no degree program, I suppose, that I can recall that is  specifically geared to graduate an expert development officer.  There are a variety of schools where they have business  management programs and that sort of thing.

       So we are going to ensure that these people can access  programs that will assist them to make the transition from their  work that they did before to a new role.  The department has an  important stake in all of this.  We have the tools, if you like,  to be able to have those opportunities accessed.  We have our  Grow Bonds office; we have our Community Development offices; we  have a REDI program.

       These community development officers who are scattered around  the province‑‑there are nine of them‑‑are going to be very active  in talking to the communities, working with municipalities,  working with the RDCs, working with a variety of interest groups,  working with private entrepreneurs, to assist them in, first of  all, knowing what our programs are about, knowing how they can  best utilize them and knowing where our strengths are in our  various communities.

       I indicated earlier that we are going to do a review of the  delivery mechanisms that we have in the province so that we do  not duplicate, in communities, services that may be performed by  others.  But that review will be a fairly broad one, and it will  include such things as RDCs in our Community Development offices  and other delivery mechanisms that might be present from levels  of government in a community.

Mr. Connery:  Well, I hear what the minister is saying, and if we  have people, we try to train them.  The training of a person into  an economic development officer from a planning position does not  happen by taking a six‑week, two‑month or six‑month course in  economic development.  It takes several years to develop a very  key economic development person; as probably in being a planning  person, it takes equally, so that it is very difficult just to  interchange them back and forth.

       As you know, I have been rather concerned with our rural  economic development, our development in all Manitoba, job  creation and business development in all of Manitoba, but in  rural Manitoba, I have been extremely concerned that our thrust  has kind of wandered. I have pressed very hard for our Rural  Economic Development Initiatives, and they really have not been  strong ones.

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       I heard the member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk) ask:  Is  there really an infusion of real government money into rural  economic development, or is most of it coming out of the VLTs and  that sort of thing?  I see what is happening in rural Manitoba.  I see the decline of the numbers of people in rural Manitoba, and  that is scary.  If rural Manitoba continues to dwindle and  Winnipeg continues to grow‑‑as the minister, I think, knows, we  are the only province with one city with over 60 percent of the  population.  This has not been healthy for Manitoba.  It is the  only province that is in that position, and other provinces seem  to have been able to develop several centres within their  provinces which have made those provinces much healthier  communities.

       I cannot be critical of this minister because he has just  taken over the portfolio, so I am looking forward to try to  impress upon the minister or to get some ideas as to the thrust  that they are going.  If we do not make some very rapid  improvements in job creation in rural Manitoba by indeed being a  government initiative to encourage businesses to locate outside  of the city of Winnipeg, then we are going to have a province  with 80 percent of the people in the city of Winnipeg.  How will  we be able to keep people in rural Manitoba?  As the population  declines, the school system declines, the hospital system  declines, all of the services that are required by people then go  downhill.

       If we do not attack this very vigorously and have some real  direct money put into it, then rural Manitoba will continue to  decline.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I guess much of what the  member says may be true, and it has not been something that has  evolved overnight.  It is something that has taken place over the  last 20 years.  You cannot put a stop to something that has been  there for a long time.

       We have implemented several initiatives that I think are  extremely positive and have been done fairly quickly.  I can just  name a few.

       First of all, if you look at what we did with Grow Bonds,  indeed, that is an opportunity for communities to have a tool to  use to invest in themselves.

       If you look at the REDI program that was just announced very  recently, you have a vehicle there to access a variety of things;  first of all, to assist communities with infrastructure problems  if that is a problem for an industry locating, for a community to  be able to hire for small business a fairly inexpensive  consultant, who is doing good work, to do a feasibility study and  then also to access some dollars to help get it off the ground.  You also have the youth business program, the Partners with Youth  program.

       All of these have just recently come to the fore and have  been announced recently.  We know that there are going to be some  that may be more successful than others, but this is all an  attempt to provide rural Manitobans with the tools to use to be  able to, first of all, create jobs, secondly, to attract  entrepreneurs into their communities.

       If I could use the member's own community as an example, in  the short time that I have been involved both in Education and in  Rural Development, I can point to the community of Portage la  Prairie as being a significant beneficiary of this government's  thrust.  The member is a part of that and is a very important  part of that, to try and ensure that a rural community thrives,  grows and prospers.

       We continue to do that, and the suggestions that the member  provides are excellent ones, because he identifies the fact that  we have to be very careful about having one‑city mentality in a  province of a million people, where other centres keep dying and  the one big centre keeps growing.  That is a caution that I think  he delivers very forcefully but very importantly.  Much of what  he says, yes, is true.

       As he knows, I have not been in the portfolio for that great  a length of time.  I have been happy to announce the REDI  program.  There will be other initiatives that we hope to attach  to the REDI program, and I know staff who are responsible are  going to be working.  I am not going to sit here and indicate in  any way that we have the perfect solutions for everything, but  indeed I am prepared to work as hard as I can with members of the  opposition, with my own colleagues, to ensure that we can provide  the tools for communities to grow, to prosper and to become  revitalized.  I would just like to conclude by thanking the  member for some of his comments.

Mr. Connery:  I guess I asked too many questions in my earlier  preamble.  I asked the question, how much of actual government  general revenue money is going into rural Manitoba vis‑a‑vis the  money collected out of the VLTs, which is rural money going back  into rural Manitoba?  We see other initiatives which‑‑and in some  rural Manitoba, I see some also, but it would seem to me that  rural Manitoba is funding on its own a large part of the economic  development where maybe some extra money should be coming out of  general revenues to be going into rural Manitoba.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there is a lot of money  that goes into rural Manitoba from this department or from  government.  I think the budget line is something like $70  million for the department now.  Of the Lotteries money, there is  something like $2.4 million that is going back into rural  Manitoba that is actually generated from the VLTs.  We have made  a commitment that 100 percent of our net revenues will be  returned back to the rural communities through a variety of  programs.

       Yes‑‑I cannot give you the exact breakdown of how much dollar  value goes into rural Manitoba that is generated from other than  rural Manitobans.  I do not know if those figures are available,  but certainly I can try to get them for you.  I guess government  approaches‑‑and as the member knows its whole budgeting process  through historical trends and also through where our emphasis and  where our needs are, we have identified that our needs are in  rural Manitoba.

       It is for that reason that we put in programs like the VLTs.  They help in two ways:  one, they help to generate some activity  in our sagging hotel industry, or used‑to‑be‑sagging hotel  industry; and secondly, they provide us some revenue to be able  to give back to rural Manitobans for worthy initiatives.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  At this time, could I ask the honourable  members to refrain from moving into the Grow Bonds Program, which  is under 8. Lotteries Funded Programs, and remain within the line  that we are discussing at this time.

       I understand the two are interconnected, but if we could  relate more to the Economic Development Services, it might aid us  when we get further on into it.  The Grow Bonds will fall under  another category.

       We are still dealing with Economic Development Services:  (2)  Other Expenditures $64,000.

Mr. Connery:  Hansard will show that I never mentioned the Grow  Bonds, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.  Nevertheless, it is pretty hard,  when we are talking about Economic Development, to separate them  out because we are in an all‑encompassing spot.

       I am not critical of the VLTs, but we have to acknowledge  that it has helped the hotel industry which was sagging and is a  major part of communities.  We also have to acknowledge that the  dollars taken out from the VLTs are dollars that rural people are  not going to spend in grocery stores or on hardware items, and so  while we have moved it around, we also have taken away from some  of the other economic sides of rural Manitoba.  There are only so  many dollars.  You recycle those dollars and if they take them  away from here, they are not going spent over there.

       I think we want to be clear that there is the need for new  money into rural Manitoba.

       The minister mentioned the REDI program.  As the minister  knows, I am not overly thrilled with the REDI program as has been  presented, although he assures me that other initiatives will  likely come forward.  Is the REDI program now available to the  public?  Are all aspects, all the regulations and detail, is it  out to the public?  Has anybody taken up on it?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the Partners with Youth  program is up and running.  The other four programs are in the  final stages of being approved.  In terms of the applications, we  indicated to the communities that the applications would be done  in May, and the manager of the REDI program is working to that  end.

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Mr. Connery:  The Partners with Youth one, I think, Mr. Deputy  Chairperson‑‑no, I am not opposed to it.  I think the  Infrastructure assistance program is one that could be very  helpful to business in assistance in getting started, because the  cost of getting sewer and water and especially three‑phase power  can be a major stumbling block to a small business getting  established.

       But I do not see the REDI program, as has been presented to  us, creating that many jobs and initiating that many new  businesses or expansions of new businesses.  Does the department  have any forecasts of jobs that they expect to be created, and  what development or what capital, not on the department side, but  capital from individuals going out and developing in the way of  processing or manufacturing?  Did they do any projections on  these when they developed the REDI program?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is very difficult to  predict exactly what the total number of jobs is that would be  created.  The programs are not designed in that fashion.  They  are designed for communities to apply for, whether it is  infrastructure development‑‑we have $2.4 million set aside which  will be matched by another $2.4 million.  That is $5 million of  activity in a province for the creation of jobs.  That is what  the REDI program is basically all about.

       Whether you put into the infrastructure, or whether it is a  feasibility study program, or whether it is an MBA program, or  whether it is the General Support program, they all, in one way  or another, will create some jobs.  How many jobs are you going  to create for the $2.4 million?  I really cannot tell you that.  We have not done that projection per se.

       The member is somewhat critical of the program.  That is  fine.  I mean, we have not even got the applications out yet, so  it is a pretty early analysis of the program.  I am hopeful that  we can prove the member wrong and that it will be a very  successful program which we are looking at.

       It is not a program that I designed or any single individual  around this table designed.  It was done in consultation with the  stakeholders being the municipalities, the economic development  community or units around the province.  I know those who were  not directly involved in it have stood to the side and have  pouted a little in terms of their criticism of it.  I am not  referring to the member here; I am talking about those outside of  this building.  That is true, and I guess you will have that  always, but I am hopeful that communities will really look at it  in a positive sense.

       I have indicated this very clearly to the RDCs and to the  municipalities, that when we develop new programs, I intend to  consult with them to ensure that there is going to be some input  from them as to the kinds of programs they may want to have.

       As the member knows, I have already accepted a suggestion  from my colleague and also from the RDC, and if that in fact is  something that we feel is going to benefit the province, I do not  have any qualms about going full steam ahead with something like  that.

Mr. Connery:  To the minister, I have discussed with him the  tourism program, the one aspect where they have for upgrading  tourism facilities where they use a grant program.  It is a  third.  I think it is a maximum of‑‑is it $20,000 or $30,000?‑‑in  the tourism side, where if somebody expands, you get a grant of  so much money up to a third.

       The old program that J. Frank Johnston had back in Sterling  Lyon's days was one.  I do not remember the name of it; maybe  some department people would, but that was also a grant program  of $30,000‑50 percent.  But it generated immediate jobs; it  generated immediate expansion or new facilities.  It was a lever;  it was a carrot.  It is an enticement for people to do something  now because the grant is in place, and there is no guarantee how  long the program will last, so people will take advantage of it.

       I have talked with the minister on it.  Has there been any  further looking at something along that line, because rural  Manitoba needs jobs today?  The unemployment level in some rural  communities is pretty disturbing, pretty tough on the merchants  and everybody involved.  We need to be working along that line to  generate jobs now, not something that is going to help us  generate jobs in two or three years, where some of the programs  might be feasibility studies, et cetera.  I think we need to have  something that is going to generate jobs today.  Has the minister  given any other thought to some of these things that maybe we can  develop programs for job creation?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, as the funds become  available, certainly, that is a possibility, but right at the  present time, we have set our budget for the year.  There is some  $2.4 million available for the REDI program.  That is certainly a  job creation program, and it is immediate, as well.  That money  is there.  It can be accessed immediately.  It can put people to  work immediately.

       The youth development program is also there, the Partners  with Youth program.  That is creation of jobs immediately.

       I want to see how communities are going to take up these  programs before we set forth a whole series of other programs.  I  want to be able to do some analysis of how the programs that we  have out there are working.

       We are putting in a lot of money into a variety of mechanisms  in rural Manitoba, whether it is through the RDCs, through the  Grow Bond program, the guarantees are not insignificant.  We just  announced one today.  There is the REDI program.  So I think  there are a lot of initiatives that have been made available;  there are a lot of tools that have been made available.

       Now we need to examine what the response of the communities  is to these programs before we go in and lay another series of  programs before them.  I do not have the money to do it now  anyway because the budgets have been set for this year, but I am  not negative about looking at those programs, and I have  indicated to the member that I will.

Mr. Connery:  One last question before passing on to the other  critics.  You mentioned other‑‑

An Honourable Member:  To "the" critic.

Mr. Connery:  Okay, I am critical where it should be critical,  and praise where it should be praised and‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Positive.

Mr. Connery:  Positive, that is right.

       There was mention that different groups were consulted with  on the REDI program.  What groups were consulted with in the  development of the REDI program?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I do not have the list of  groups that were worked with in developing this program, but the  staff that were involved in the development of this, and of  course that was done prior to my coming into the department, I  sort of came in at the tail end or the tidying‑up end.  I had the  pleasure of announcing it, but I cannot tell you specifically.

       I do know from talking with the people involved that there  were a variety of organizations and individuals who were  consulted.  As a matter of fact, this was done on a confidential  basis, but I do know that there was consultation.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  I would like to remind the members that  we are dealing with 6.(c)(2) Other Expenditures $64,000.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I thought we were dealing with (d) Community  Development.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Not yet.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Not yet.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Shall we pass this other line so we can  get on?  Item 6.(c)(2) Other Expenditures $64,000‑‑

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, we have lots of time‑‑more, tomorrow morning.

       In Grants, in the amount of $596,000, you say, Expected  Results:  Strategic community plans will implement projects which  generate local employment and income.  How many projects were  implemented?

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Order, please.  Before we get on to the  Grants, the $596,000, I am just going to pass the other line:  6.(c)(2) Other Expenditures $64,000‑‑pass.

       Now we will move on to (3) Grants $596,200.  The honourable  member for St. Boniface has asked his question.

Mr. Derkach:  Can I ask him to repeat his question?

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in the amount of Grants  of $596,200, Expected Results in your document here says,  strategic community plants will implement projects which generate  local employment and income.  Can the minister tell us how many  projects were generated and how many jobs were created?

Mr. Derkach:  We get an annual report from each of the  development corporations on an annual basis.  In that report,  they lay out the successes and the activities that they have been  involved in over the year.

       I can tell you that there are some that are more successful  than others in terms of attracting economic development into  their areas and creating jobs in their areas.  I would have to  say that I have met with each one of these now, and I can tell  you that every one of them is working extremely hard.  Both the  volunteers and their hired people, whom they have in their  development corporations, are working extremely hard.

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       In some areas it is very difficult, and I refer to something  like the Norman Regional Development Corporation.  It is not only  located in Thompson, but it is located in areas throughout the  North.  There is difficulty there because we know what the  economic climate is in the North.  It is mixed.  In a city like  Thompson, it is booming.  In other communities, it is not.  Yet  it is the same development corporation that tries to struggle and  deal with some of these economic issues.

       In some communities, the successes are not as good as they  are in others, but I can tell you, by and large, in the last  year, there has been a greater amount of success I think than was  previous.  The two that I referred to before, the Pembina Valley  and the Central Plains Development Corporations, have been in  place for a long time, and their experience has taught them how  to conduct their affairs.  I think they are quite a successful  corporation in both cases.

(Mr. Jack Penner, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Penner):  Item 6.(c)(3) Grants  $596,200‑‑shall the item pass?

Mr. Connery:  No, one more question.  We are still talking about  Economic Development, and if we go past this one, then you are  into Community Development.  This is the Economic Development  sector.

       When we talked, and you were involved with prior, I think,  different members, waterproofing southern Manitoba.  As an  Economic Development strategy, having sufficient water for all of  Manitoba is very crucial.  So when we look at areas of the  Pembina Valley that are looking for not only municipal,  industrial, residential water, they are looking for irrigation  water, does your department interact with other government  departments to take a look at the economic development strategy?  Do you get involved with Natural Resources and whatever with  those areas?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, we do.

Mr. Connery:  What is the analysis then of the discussions and  interaction with other departments as far as putting into place a  water strategy for Manitoba?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, the water strategy  for our province is not the responsibility of one or another  particular department.  It is the responsibility of government as  a whole.  It is for us as departments to interact, to share and  to work with communities to bring forward the best possible  strategy that we possibly can.

       We also work hand in hand with the sustainable development  unit to ensure that whatever development that we are going to do,  whether it is in the south part of the province, the west part of  the province or the east side of the province, that it is going  to have the best interests of the people in those areas in mind,  and that whatever we do is not going to impact negatively on  other areas.  Sometimes that is easier said than done, but I  think there is a willingness and a genuine effort by all  departments to ensure that this attitude is first and foremost.

Mr. Connery:  Then what is the position of, I guess, this  minister and this department as far as progressing with those  moves?  So be it if we need to put in dams to ensure that there  is adequate water.  As you know, there is the debate between  Pembina Valley and the Assiniboine River users, but if we look at  the economic spinoffs and benefit to Manitoba, including the city  of Winnipeg, is the department really analyzing the importance of  water for Manitoba in those communities that are short of water,  and what economic thrusts would develop in those communities by  having sufficient water?

Mr. Derkach:  Again, I have to go back to the water strategy  under the sustainable development thrust that has been undertaken  by government, and I would have to indicate that we would work  actively towards ensuring that communities have the optimum  access to water, provided that it does not impede the use of  water by other users where it is upstream.

       There are priorities given to the use of water, as the member  knows, and any strategy that we put in place is going to have to  keep in mind the preference of water users down the line.

Mr. Connery:  The member for Emerson (Mr. Penner) was very  involved in developing a water strategy for southern Manitoba.  Has that water strategy been implemented, or is it in the process  of being implemented for the benefit of Manitoba?

Mr. Derkach:  I would have to say, Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson,  that the water strategy that was developed by my colleague is  certainly one that has been considered actively by the  Sustainable Development Unit and by the department and other  departments.

       There was a tremendous amount of work that went into that.  I  think it has been used as the basis, if you like, for  establishing what our attitude is towards the use of water and  the development of water in the future, but I cannot tell you  specifically which elements of it have been plucked out and have  been incorporated at this time.

Mr. Connery:  I have a comment rather than a question.  I think  it was an excellent paper, a lot of work put into it.  I thought  it was a realistic position that we would have on water strategy.

       I would hope that the minister, with his other cabinet  colleagues, would work to put in progress now some of that  strategy that was developed.  If it sits on the shelf, as good as  it may be, it is not doing anything for Manitoba unless we put it  to use.  I would hate to see a valuable document of that nature  not being put to use.

Mr. Derkach:  I can assure the member that this document is going  to be one that is considered, as other documents will be,  regardless of what thrust is put in place.  I would acknowledge  that there was a lot of work, and it was a very valuable piece of  information that was developed.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Penner):  Item 6.(c) Economic  Development Services:  (3) Grants $596,200‑‑pass.

       Item 6.(d) Community Development:  (1) Salaries $2,314,200.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I just have one question that I want to ask on this  section, and that is with the Downtown Revitalization.  I just  want to add that I agree with many of the things that the member  for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Connery) has just said, that we do  need jobs in our rural communities and we have to have  revitalization of our communities.

       We have a program here that provides funding to enhance the  downtown of large urban communities such as Brandon and  Thompson.  I want to ask the minister, are there any  considerations being given to smaller communities that also have  to have revitalization and development, because those are the  communities that are suffering the most.

       The member across, I believe, mentioned the Main Street  Manitoba Program which was in place earlier on.  Is there  anything being done to revitalize smaller communities?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, as the member may  know, there was a program that was in place called the Main  Street Manitoba Program under the former government, as I  recall.  Many of the smaller communities were able to access  funds under that program to revitalize their business sections.

       The communities that were left out were Thompson, Brandon and  Selkirk, I do believe, so I know that the department has been  working with these communities to ensure that they would receive  fair treatment because they were ones that had been left out.

       Once that is completed, I think we can probably then do a  re‑evaluation of which communities may still be left out and may  require some assistance in that regard, but we are not at that  juncture at this time.

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Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, since we are in Community Development, the  minister, this afternoon, said:  Enhancing a rural community  through projects like the ones I have outlined here today is an  important part of our commitment to rural Manitobans.

       Decentralization is another example of this commitment.  Can  the minister give us the status of decentralization of government  departments at this time?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, we have a section on  decentralization later on in the Estimates process, but I can  just touch on it briefly, if you would like, today.

       As I indicated, we have decentralized over 500 positions.  We  have 134 positions, I believe, left to go

Mr. Gaudry:  How many?

Mr. Derkach:  130 or 140 positions left to go; 90‑some projects,  I think, have been completed or are in the process of being  completed.

       I can tell you that we have had virtually no negative  feedback on the Decentralization program to speak of at this  point in time.  Most of the employees who were decentralized or  whose positions were decentralized were accommodated to the  satisfaction of the MGEA.  They seem to be pleased at the way  that it was handled, in a professional way.

       Of those who decentralized, I have talked to some of them who  are happy with the communities that they have decentralized to,  happy with their new roles.  Comments from the field where the  services are being provided are that the turnaround time on some  of the responses is even better than it was before, but that  would be expected from those who may be high on decentralization,  so we take those comments cautiously.

       I would have to say, so far in our province, the  Decentralization initiative has gone well.  It is amazing what it  has done for some of the communities that we have decentralized  to because there seems to be a new vitality in those areas, and  people are again upbeat about their community.  They have taken  on a bit of a pride about their community.  I wish that we could  do more, but I think that we have to look at other ways that we  can help other communities as well, because we cannot  decentralize all of government.  Indeed, in other communities,  where perhaps we have not been able to decentralize because they  have been, for one reason or another‑‑we have to find other  things that we can help them with to revitalize their economy.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Penner):  Item 6.(d)(1)  Community Development:  Salaries $2,314,200‑‑pass; (2) Other  Expenditures $297,000‑‑

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, there is a  decrease in Other Expenditures.  What is the item?  Poor  management, did you say?

Mr. Derkach:  Some of it has been budgetary decreases.  Some of  it has been transfers to other branches, including $16,000 to the  division's Executive Administration branch and $64,000 to the  Economic Development Services branch, and $85,000 to the Grow  Bonds Program.

       So there have been some transfers because, as you know, some  of the staff who went to the Grow Bonds office, for example, had  worked in‑‑because of the restructuring of the department, there  was some shifting of staff to other areas.

Mr. Gaudry:  You are saying because of moving of staff, but there  is no indication of transfer of staff in your Salaries, just in  your Other Expenditures.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, it is not transfer  of staff that we are referring to here; we are talking about the  transfer of Other Expenditures to these areas.

Mr. Gaudry:  Can the honourable minister give me an example of  the transfer of expenditures to the other department?

Mr. Derkach:  It is operating expenditures, whether it is for  telephones or for paper, travel, whatever it might be.

The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. Penner):  Item 6.(d)(2) Other  Expenditures $297,000‑‑pass.

       Resolution 119:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her  Majesty a sum not exceeding $5,606,400 for Rural Development for  the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993‑‑pass.

       Item 7. Expenditures Related to Capital (a) Capital Grants:  (1) Transit Bus Purchases $149,400‑‑pass; (2) Water Development  $475,000‑‑pass; (3) Sewer and Water $3,000,000‑‑pass; (4)  Canada‑Manitoba Partnership Agreement on Municipal Water  Infrastructure $4,051,200‑‑pass; (5) Drought Proofing $1,314,800.

(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, Drought Proofing, an  increase, an addition.  Yes, why an increase in a year that we do  not see any forecast for drought?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, that is an increase in the  budget.  Again, many of these projects are cost‑shared with PFRA,  the federal government and with communities.  There has been an  indication from PFRA that we could be accessing greater sums in  this area; therefore, the budget has been increased accordingly.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 7.(a)(5) Drought Proofing  $1,314,800‑‑pass; (6) Conservation Districts $1,953,100‑‑pass;  (7) Downtown Revitalization $533,000.

Mr. Gaudry:  There is an increase of $133,000, and I want an  explanation.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the $133,000 is the amount  that is going to be spent in Thompson for their downtown  revitalization, and I was happy to sign that agreement with  Thompson about a month ago.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 7.(a)(7) Downtown Revitalization  $533,000‑‑pass.

       Resolution 120:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her  Majesty a sum not exceeding $11,476,500 for Rural Development,  Expenditures Related to Capital for the fiscal year ending the  31st day of March, 1993.

Mr. Gaudry:  Before we pass that, I have one question here.  The  Municipality of Rosedale passed a resolution here, a motion, and  they wanted‑‑it said, now therefore the council requests that the  Minister of Rural Development review the pertinent provincial act  and, if necessary, propose an amendment to the appropriate act to  provide for a group of municipalities to form a regional waste  management authority.

       Maybe I should have asked the question previously, but can  the minister indicate if he has done anything with this request  from the Rosedale municipality?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, that particular issue  requires a legislative change.  We are contemplating changes to  legislation, not in this particular fiscal year because we are  too far down this session, but indeed in the next fiscal year to  try and accommodate some of these needs.  Whether that will be  ready or not will have to be seen later on, but certainly we are  not approaching it in a negative sense.

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Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Shall the resolution pass?  The  resolution is accordingly passed.

       Item 8. Lotteries Funded Programs (a) Grow Bonds Program:  (1) Salaries $323,700.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we have heard a lot of  things about the rural development Grow Bonds and everything that  they are going to do for rural Manitoba.  I have to say that I  believe that we need much more than Grow Bonds for rural  Manitoba, and we cannot count on money to come from only the  rural people.

       I have said this earlier, that there has to be supports in  place to help these communities.  I believe that the government  has to be prepared to also invest money in the communities and  perhaps even consider some sort of matching of money.

       If they are definitely committed to rural Manitoba, then I do  not think that all the money should have to be raised in the  rural community.  All the money that helps Winnipeg is not only  raised in Winnipeg.  Government invests and I think that the  government should be prepared to invest in the rural community if  they are seriously committed, particularly in light of the fact  of the number of people whom we are losing in our rural  communities and the lack of jobs for our young people to come  back to.

       I want to ask the minister a few questions on the Grow  Bonds.  Has his government or his department ever considered the  possibility of enhancing the Grow Bonds Program by matching funds  or putting additional money into the communities when they get a  project started?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, first of all, let me say  that the Grow Bonds Program has direct government involvement and  participation.  When the Grow Bonds are sold to the community,  there has to be a guarantee put up by government.

       Now I think the member probably read in the Saskatchewan  experience where the new government there said that they are  backing out of their commitment in terms of the guarantee, that  in fact they will not honour some of the guarantees now when a  firm goes bankrupt, and that is a real possibility from time to  time.  They do it for their own reasons, and I am not going to  get into that.

       What I would like to say is that if a firm should fall for  some reason, financial situation, the economy, whatever, the  people of Manitoba who have invested their money into those Grow  Bonds will be protected in our administration and in the  guidelines that we have set down.  We have indicated that we will  guarantee and will pay our guarantee up front to the people who  have invested their money in a particular initiative.  In that  sense, it is direct participation.  We have to have that money  set aside.

       It is like buying HydroBonds, I guess.  Anybody who invests  their money into an initiative is going to have his or her  principal guaranteed by the government.  In addition, they can  earn the dividends that might be paid by a company.

       Now if you say, well, we should go further and match this  money, then you are double protecting.  Then it does not become a  business anymore; it becomes kind of a subsidized initiative by  government.  We as a province do not have that ability to do that.

       I guess, when we talk about Grow Bonds, we talk about  creation of jobs.  The announcement that we made today‑‑I was  supposed to be there to announce it tonight at six o'clock, but  we decided to do Estimates, which was okay, too‑‑the Teulon  project, they are going to raise $800,000, which is going to be  guaranteed by government, and it is going to create 50 new jobs  in the area.  That is certainly the way that we would like to go  because it shows that communities are willing to invest in  themselves.  I think the money is there; it is just a matter of  finding the projects to go along with money.  Many communities  have said they have raised their money; they are ready to go; now  they need a project.

       I think that is our next thrust, is to be able to help  communities identify successful projects.  I know the Swan River  Community, for example, have talked to me about coming over  there.  They know they can raise the money, but they said, what  can we do?  What has Swan River got that we can really go after  and bring some jobs in?

       Of course, we look in an area which is rich in our forest  resources, and we have to capitalize on the resources and the  strengths that our communities have.  I have indicated to the  Swan River community that I will go up there, and let us start  talking about what it is we can do.  Certainly I do not have the  ideas, but the member representing that area may have some as  well.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I want to go back to a  couple of points.  First of all, to the Swan River group, that is  exactly what I have been talking about.  It is not enough to have  investments from the community; there has to be involvement from  government and the supports there to show the leadership when a  community can raise the money.

       The minister mentioned the Saskatchewan projects and it is my  understanding that on those projects that was the kind of  agreement that the previous government had signed, that the  government was not bound to pay back that money for five years.  I want to ask the minister then, what kind of agreements do we  have here in Manitoba?  Will the government guarantee the money  if a project fails immediately, or have they signed weak  agreements like the previous Saskatchewan government did that did  not guarantee that the money would be paid back until after five  years?

Mr. Derkach:  This could end up being a lively debate because the  agreements that were signed in Saskatchewan said that the  government may wait up to five years to pay back the guarantee.

       My understanding is that the present government has decided  not only to live up to that agreement, but to surpass it and say,  we may not pay back your guarantee at all.  In Manitoba, we are  saying that we will pay back your guarantee not after five years,  we will pay back the guarantee if the company folds or if it goes  bankrupt.  So there will be an action, if you like, to ensure  that those investors' money will be protected so that other  projects will not be in jeopardy because of a bad one in the  barrel.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I am very pleased that this government saw in its  wisdom to sign stronger agreements than the previous government  in Saskatchewan did because that money should be protected.  I  still think that the government should be committed enough to  look perhaps at matching some money, or additional money, or  looking at other ways to put money into communities as well,  because all of the money cannot come from the local people.  In  particular, I look at what are we going to do for economic  development or are Rural Development Bonds going to be allowed in  communities that do not have money?  We need economic development  in some communities with very high unemployment, but where there  is no money.

       Also, what about aboriginal communities and reserve  communities, are they able to apply for development bond  corporations as well?

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Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, if I could address the  first part of the question, in fact, the government does  participate in other ways as well.  Not only is the Grow Bond  program available to community, but then if the community  requires, as an example, some money to put an infrastructure for  that business, to attract that business, to help them across that  barrier, we have the REDI program that they can access.

       We can do an MBA feasibility study, a consulting program, and  then there is, of course, the general support which probably  would not qualify in most businesses.  But we have indicated that  we will contribute up to 40 percent, we will guarantee up to 40  percent, so that means that there has to be some participation  not only through the community but, indeed, from the individual  or individuals who are going to be investing in that project.  There is a blend, if you like, of participation in it.

       With regard to the aboriginal question, if it is a community  that if aboriginal people want to invest in a project as  individuals through a Grow Bond initiative, I guess they are  welcome to do that.  I do not know of any experience where we  have, in a strictly aboriginal community, a desire to go with a  Grow Bond initiative, at least that has not come forward at this  time.  Reserves, of course, would not be eligible because they  are under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Is the minister saying then that reserve  communities could not invest their money into a Grow Bond  corporation.  There would be no guarantees if they invested.

Mr. Derkach:  They could invest, sure.

Ms. Wowchuk:  They could use that money for development on a  reserve for a project and would the money be guaranteed by the  government?

Mr. Derkach:  Let me lay out the scenario.  Let us say that there  is a company that wants to locate in Swan River.  I will use Swan  River because it is a good town.  Let us say that the native  communities or individuals want to participate in this company by  purchasing bonds, they can do that.

       If, on the other hand, the native community wanted to build a  business on the reserve and then access Grow Bonds, that is a  horse of a different colour because, as I said, reserves are  under the jurisdiction of the federal government.  I do not  believe that it is possible for us to take any collateral or any  kind of action with regard to a failing business on a reserve.  So there are some limitations in that regard.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I am not quite sure what the difference is.  Money  is money, and if they are wanting economic growth and if this  government is committed to economic growth in Manitoba, if there  were people on reserves who wanted to invest, I do not know what  the difference would be.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is a jurisdictional  problem.  It is two different levels of government who are  operating with their own mandates, and that is really what the  difficulty is.

Mr. Gaudry:  Can the minister advise‑‑I know he has announced  tonight that Teulon is one that has been successful in raising  monies for Grow Bonds‑‑what other town has done the same so far?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, Morden has sold their issue  of Grow Bonds.  They raised more than their minimum.  Their  minimum was set at 110,000; I believe they raised 127,000.  So  they are well on their way.  Teulon just went into a formal  selling of bonds today.  Those are the only two communities that  are at this stage.  There are three or four other communities  that are nearing that stage.

       I have to say that it is an elaborate process to get to that  stage because, first of all, you identify the business.  Then  there has to be a series of investigations in terms of business  plan feasibility studies and that sort of thing.  Then it goes  through a series of approvals.  The staff from the department do  it.  They work with I, T and T to do some analysis, then it goes  before the Economic Development Board of Cabinet, and the final  review committee process is done by the review committee and then  the approval is given.

Mr. Gaudry:  As I understand, Morden and Teulon have identified  projects and will go forward with their initiative.  But the  other three that you say are nearing, have they identified  projects where they can invest these funds?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, that is true.

Mr. Gaudry:  Can the minister tell us the cost for advertising  these Grow Bonds since it has been put in?

Mr. Derkach:  As close as I can get it, $230,000.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 8.(a)(1) Salaries $323,700‑‑pass;  (2) Other Expenditures.

Mr. Gaudry:  There is an increase in Salaries.  Was that an  increase in staff or just regular increases?

Mr. Derkach:  On the Grow Bonds?

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes.

Mr. Derkach:  In the managerial?

Mr. Gaudry:  I am just looking, 323 are in general.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, as you know, we had four  professional/technical staff who are part of the office who were  working in the department before.  These were salaries that were  expended in other areas.  Then we had an addition of two  administrative support staff to the branch and then the  management staff as well.

       I should have introduced the manager of the Grow Bonds  office.  It is Mr. Elwin Chase and he is working out of the  Altona office.  He is really drumming up business for us.  We  have already sold two issues.  He has a former banking background  so certainly he is not going to let anything get by him.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 8.(a)(2) Other Expenditures  $572,100‑‑pass.

       Item 8.(b) Rural Economic Development Initiatives:  (1)  Salaries $55,000‑‑pass.

Ms. Wowchuk:  I just want to ask a couple of questions on Rural  Economic Development Initiatives.  I know that it is getting  late, and we will have time when we get into concurrence to talk  about this in more detail.  I want to ask the minister, on the  money that is raised on the video lottery terminals, what  percentage of the take‑in money actually goes for prizes, what  percentage goes to the Hotel Association, and what percentage of  it goes‑‑[interjection!  I hear someone saying that goes to  Lotteries.

       Would the minister prefer that I leave that for Lotteries, or  is that a question he can address?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I could not tell you what  the breakdown of those amounts is because that is something that  is under Lotteries.  All we get is the money to spend.  This  year, I have to say, although the early projections were  something at $5.3 million‑‑I believe that was the initial  announcement‑‑one has to understand that there was a certain  amount of capital requirement there for paying for the  installation of the machines and the machines themselves.

       We estimated $2.4 million that could be used for programs,  but we have also indicated that if in fact our projections are  low and if we can find other programs that might be of benefit,  we would certainly be prepared to consider the addition of other  programs, sometimes through the year, if not, then at least next  year.

Ms. Wowchuk:  The minister had also indicated in his announcement  that an office was going to be open in some community in rural  Manitoba.  Has a decision been made on that yet, where this  office is going to be?

Mr. Derkach:  No, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.

       If I could just stop for a second here, because the manager  of the REDI program has joined us, and it is Bryan Gray.  Bryan  is originally from the Neepawa area, I believe; he has lived here  in Winnipeg for a number of years, but has a rural background.

       Yes, in fact, we have indicated from the beginning that we  would like to locate this office in rural Manitoba, but we are in  the initial stages of REDI, and there is a requirement of a lot  of back and forth, so at the present time, on a temporary basis,  the office is located at 800 Portage.  Once the program has been  established, we will then be trying to identify a community for  locating this office in.

Ms. Wowchuk:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, there are probably a lot  more questions that we could ask on this program, but as the  minister has indicated, it is a new program.  It is just getting  started.  So I am prepared to leave those questions and raise  them at a later time, as the program gets more established.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 8.(b)(2) Other Expenditures  $880,000‑‑pass; (3) Partners with Youth $500,000‑‑

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, to the minister:  With the  amount that has been allowed, $500,000, have there been any  results so far in applications from youth or organizations or  industry in requesting grants in regard to this program?

* (0000)

Mr. Derkach:  Once again this program, although we have  identified the money from Rural Development, is administered  through the Family Services department.  I believe they did  discuss this matter then.

       From talking to communities, there seems to be a high level  of interest in this program.  One of the difficulties that has  been experienced, again somewhat because of timing, is that  communities were not prepared for it, and it has taken them a  little while to get off the ground and running.

       The application deadline is the end of this month, but there  is some flexibility in that.  From some of the communities I have  talked to, it appears that they will be applying for this  particular program.  What municipalities and some of the  organizations are trying to do is keep their young people in  their communities over the summer months, and some of those who  may be unemployed in the area, they are trying to keep them in  their communities.

       I know of one community where two young fellows‑‑one  graduated with an MBA just recently, and another one graduated  from a diploma program‑‑have combined forces and are going to do  a landscaping project.  The business is going to be looking at  this program for them, because they are both young individuals.

Mr. Gaudry:  Did they have to invest some of their own monies  before they were allowed to get a grant from the government?

Mr. Derkach:  Yes, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.  It is a 50‑50 program  or a cost‑sharing program between the sponsoring organization and  the government.

Mr. Gaudry:  What would happen if, let us say, a group of young  unemployed have no monies, but they go to the bank and get a  loan, what would happen then?  Would the government still sponsor  the grant to these individuals?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Deputy Chairperson, that is not part of the  criteria because they have to be sponsored through either a  municipality, or an organization can come to the municipality,  such as a recreation association or somebody of that nature, who  may indicate that they have a project that they want to do, and  they will apply through the municipality.

       So we are using our local governments to help us in making  sure that the projects are legitimate and that there is no  unnecessary abuse of the program.

Mr. Gaudry:  But you mention, Mr. Minister, those two who started  the landscaping company, whom were they sponsored by?

Mr. Derkach:  The company is willing to go to the municipality,  and because it is an enhancement of a property and some public  property that is attached, they will be going through the  municipality to ask for sponsorship of this program.

Mr. Gaudry:  Let us say the city wanted to take advantage of this  program here and wanted to use students or the unemployed to work  on cleaning boulevards, for example, could that be done?

Mr. Derkach:  It can be done, but not with these monies.  The  money allocated here is for rural Manitoba.

       Now, Family Services, and I think Culture, Heritage and  Citizenship, have a general component that can be applied by  anybody, but the $500,000 has to be spent in rural Manitoba.

Mr. Deputy Chairperson:  Item 8. Lotteries Funded Programs (b)(3)  Partners with Youth $500,000‑‑pass; 8.(b)(4) Capital ‑  Infrastructure Development $1,000,000‑pass.

       Resolution 121:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her  Majesty a sum not exceeding $3,330,800 for Rural Development,  Lotteries Funded Programs, for the fiscal year ended the 31st day  of March, 1993‑‑pass.

       The last item to be considered for the Estimates for the  Department of Rural Development is item (a) Minister's Salary.  At this point, we would request that the minister's staff leave  the table for the consideration of this item.

       Item 1.  Administration and Finance:  (a) Minister's Salary  $20,600‑‑pass.

       Resolution 114:  RESOLVED that there be granted to Her  Majesty a sum not exceeding $1,271,900 for Rural Development,  Administration and Finance, for the fiscal year ending the 31st  day of March, 1993‑‑pass.

       At this time, we would like to thank the staff of the  Department of Rural Development.  We appreciated their company  this evening.

       This concludes the consideration of the Estimates for the  Department of Rural Development.  The next department to be  considered is Agriculture.

       The time being after twelve o'clock, committee rise.




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

Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  Madam Chairperson, I  am going to continue my‑‑

Madam Chairperson:  One moment, please.

       Would the minister's staff please enter the Chamber.

Mr. Manness:  Madam Chairperson, it is a pleasure to rise again  and speak on this very important motion.

       Between six and eight o'clock tonight, I reflected as to why  it was that the opposition took such great delight in bringing  forward this motion, and I realize now what the problem is over  in the opposition benches.  Here is an opposition that has been  in place now basically for a little over two years in this  particular Legislature, and here is a situation where they have  not accomplished an awful lot.  I honestly believe that there is  dissension in the opposition benches.  I believe that there is  some factions within the group.

       Of course, we get great laughter from one of the newer  members, the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale).  Of course, I  would like to share with you my views.

       There are three or four different groups.  Some would like to  move faster than others.  Some want to play hard politics.  Others would like to try and attempt to work a little bit with  the government for the betterment of society and the public.  We  have some others, of course, who feel a little bit badly that  they come to the House every day questioning the government and  asking for more money.  Yet we have some others, of course,  recognizing that money does not come falling out of the sky.  We  also realize that the public today is becoming very wary of  politicians who do nothing more than promise and say they have  the quick fix.

       Madam Chairperson, what we have here is an opposition that is  dispirited because there are problems within.  This is the NDP.  I would not lay this at the feet of the Liberals, although I  would have to say they had a low period here two or three months  ago, and now that the member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock) has found  this new esprit de corps, this new fire and whatever the new  challenge is, whether it is federal or whatever, he certainly is  contributing much more to the Liberal cause and, obviously, they  are a party again, but not the NDP.

       The NDP has problems as sure as I am standing here, and they  are internal problems.  I will tell you, Madam Chairperson, I  know what I speak.  I have been in politics a long time, as long  as the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman), and I know that when you  come to a day like this and you are looking for something to  rally around, you are looking for something to pull everybody  together.  When you are reaching for everything, on the pretext  and on the pretense of a vote of the nature of a motion which we  are debating right now and a precursor to that vote, a point of  order overturning the Chairperson's ruling, and you get a great  joy out of that; that says how desperate things are within the  ranks of the NDP.  Because, of course, you need whatever it is  you can to hold onto when you are down.

       It is no different than a hockey team that is losing by four  or five goals, and they win the third period or something because  they do not have any goals scored against them, and they take  some great moral victory to the next game.  That is what has  happened here today, the NDP trying to take some moral victory to  the next day, when they know the problems are going to be just as  great internally.

       I say, Madam Chairperson, that there is not strong leadership  in the NDP Party.  There are different views.  There is not  unity, and of course when they match that up against the unity of  the government, when everybody is pulling together, when  everybody is pulling together in the same direction; of course,  they feel wanting.  They feel and, as I use the word again, they  are very dispirited.

       Madam Chairperson, I think it had to be put on the record.  I  think it is obvious to all.  I will begin to say so publicly now  when reporters come to me and say, what does this mean?‑‑you have  lost a vote, what does it mean?  I will say, well, in a motion  that is so unsubstantive as the one that came forward, it means  nothing.

       Of course, government has to be aware, because I will never  forget‑‑as a matter of fact, I was sitting in the same chair as  the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) when there was a budget vote  in February 1988.  I can remember sitting looking at the members  in this first bench when the murmurs went up, when the government  got up to rise on the budget.  Of course, this bank voted, this  bank stood up as a group, and then the third bank went to stand  up, but there was one person who did not stand.  I can remember  the look of horror.  You know, what I found odd was nobody in  this row looked back.  Nobody would look back.  They did not need  to because they just looked at us.

       We take some learning experience out of today's events, Madam  Chairperson.  I can tell you what the Manitoba public should take  out of today is the fact that the opposition is a divided party,  it is divided amongst itself.  There are problems over there, and  they are manifest on a daily basis.  So when they can win a small  moral victory like they did today, aided and abetted of course  with the Liberals who will fall for anything and do anything on  every opportunity to try and do whatever it is they can to  embarrass the government, even though they have‑‑I must say they  have done very well with respect to the health reform issue.  Again, I cannot give them enough credit on that issue.

       But what is obvious, Madam Chairperson, is that the NDP  particularly have really taken a severe beating on this health  reform issue.  What is very obvious is that they have ridden the  wrong horse, that they believed that health care would continue  to be their licence and their ticket to returning into  government‑‑

An Honourable Member:  That horse is still running.  Do not worry.

Mr. Manness:  Of course, it is.  That one will continue to run.

       But I will tell you, what people are getting sick of is  individuals playing politics on the health issue.  They are  getting sick of it.  I will tell you right now, they want a  government, and they do not care what the political stripe is of  that government right today, they want them to deliver‑‑not the  goods‑‑they want reform, because they want a system to exist in  the next five or 10 years.  They want unity from all the  political parties to work to solve this problem together, and  that is the difficult‑‑and it is the cutbacks, because it is the  rhetoric of cutbacks that the NDP are having difficulty with  because they are falling out of favour with the public.  The  public knows there is not enough money to keep afloat the system  we have now.

       All the NDP can do, in their questions put forward in  Question Period, is ask for more money.  I do not care if it is  Dutch elm disease.  I do not care if it is Health.  It is always  more money.  The public is saying there is no more money; we do  not have any more money to give.

       You know what I find strange is the NDP said:  Go to the  corporations, go to big business; they have the money.  Yet the  NDP governments in the land have all decreased the taxation rates  on big business.  Why?  Because big business today is not making  any money.  There are no profits.  There is no where to turn.

       Oh, the banks are making money, yes, the banks‑‑and sure, let  us hit the banks.  But do you know who the banks are?  It is the  service charge in my bank to my farm loan that went up $10 a  month.  That is who the banks are.

An Honourable Member:  They will get it back from you, right?

Mr. Manness:  Well, that is right.  They will get it back from  you too.

        An Honourable Member:  So they can keep making a big profit.

Mr. Manness:  Well, I am telling you, go after the big banks, but  let us be honest enough to recognize where the banks get their  money.  They get it from you and me.

An Honourable Member:  Let us go on bended knee.

* (2010)

Mr. Manness:  No, nobody will go on bended‑‑we have a 3 percent  tax on capital of banks, of financial institutions in this  country, in this province.

       The point I make, Madam Chairperson, is that the members  opposite are losing touch with reality of the public.  The public  today is asking for opposition parties and government to come up  with solutions where there are no increased taxes, looking for  where they can hold the line on spending, where they can do  anything they can to try and create a competitive environment for  business which creates jobs.

       The members opposite accuse us of being supporters of the  trickle‑down theory.  We are not supporters of the trickle‑down  theory.  The question is, what are the alternatives?  If we did  not have the debt we did today, I would be putting another couple  of hundred million into capital spending, because I have no  trouble with countercyclical spending.  I have no trouble with  it, but when you are broke, you are broke.

       Yet, what government in Canada, which of the 10 governments,  which government in Canada today maintained capital spending?  The government of Manitoba.  Not one other province maintained  capital spending, because we believe in how important it is to  try and maintain the public infrastructure and keeping people  employed.

       Yet, what about the members?  What is important to them?  Well, they have struck out on Health today, and the member says  it is a long horse race.  He is right.  It is a long horse race,  but they have struck out on Health.  They do not have one  solution on the economy.  So what do they do, particularly when  they have division within their ranks?  Well, they come to the  House and try and win a vote 24 to 25.

       Of course, all the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) has to do  is smile and call over the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux) and  the member for Inkster, he will suck for anything.  He will bite  for anything. [interjection! No, it did not hurt at all.  It was  the best thing that happened to us. [interjection! No, well, we  will always have good caucus meetings, because we are a united  caucus.  That is why we have good caucus meetings.  They are  always united.

       Madam Chairperson, I have to step down now.  There are other  members I know from our side who want to debate this very, very  important motion before us.  I think it is important to say that  the public today is expecting more.  They are expecting more of  us than to come to this House and play procedural games.  They  know the economy is in difficulty.  They know that health reform  is needed.  They know educational reform is needed.  We know it  is needed. [interjection! No, no.  The members opposite, they are  not reformed.  They want to maintain the status quo.  The arch  conservatives, the arch small "c" conservatives in this House are  not to the right of the Speaker.  They are to the left of the  Speaker, because they want the status quo maintained.  They do  not want those community colleges to change one iota.  They want  them to stay the same way they were 30 years ago.  They do not  want change.

       So I say, Madam Chairperson, the public today is calling for  more and the procedural games that the members, of course, take  great satisfaction from‑‑because it leads to some unity in their  caucus.  I am saying to the members opposite, take some  satisfaction in your small victory today, because they will be  few and far between.

       Thank you.

Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Urban Affairs):  Madam Chairperson,  most times in the House, it is a pleasure to rise and speak on a  particular issue, but I take no pleasure today in rising to speak  on this particular issue.  I take no pleasure, because of the  antics of the members of the opposition this afternoon.

An Honourable Member:  In winning a vote.

Mr. Ernst:  That is right, they won a vote.  When you saw them  over there jumping up and down like kindergarten children‑‑I am  sure half of them had to go and change their underwear after,  they were so excited about winning a vote 25 to 24.  They were so  excited, holding each other, shaking hands, the two Leaders of  the opposition parties embracing each other because of the great  victory that they had won this afternoon.  But what was the  victory that they won?  Well, the committee this afternoon  determined that the Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey) would no  longer‑‑even if she was‑‑would no longer be able to read from a  prepared text.

       There was the great victory that the members opposite now  will carry into the Crescentwood by‑election.  They are going to  go there and say, yes, we won a victory against the government.  We defeated the government on the basis that the Minister of  Education will not be able to read from a prepared text.  For  that reason, we think you should vote for us.

       Well, today in Question Period I saw the self‑same House  leader of the opposition party pick up his pad and read a  question, read a question in Question Period today.  He had the  gall to stand up here earlier this afternoon and suggest somehow  that this vote about reading from a prepared text or not, that  this vote somehow showed that we had no confidence in the  Minister of Education.

       Balderdash.  What will happen to my honourable friend the  member for Broadway (Mr. Santos)?  I mean, will the House now  save money on coasters?  Will he now no longer be able to prepare  his speeches on those intricate little pieces of paper?  Will he  now not be able to refer to those notes because of the decision,  the great victory that was won by members opposite today?  The  great victory, that great Pyrrhic victory I might add that  members opposite today, somehow‑‑[interjection! Pyrrhic victory.

       We have also the member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) who steals  his wife's recipe cards in order to write his speeches on.  He  raids her kitchen two or three times a week in order to grab  these cards to write out his speeches.  Now he will no longer be  able to speak using those notes.

       I can see it happening that if members are going to be so  picayune, so petty in their activities in this House, that every  time a member refers to a piece of paper on that side of the  House somebody is going to pop up and say, point of order, Mr.  Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, they are referring to a prepared text.

       I mean, good heavens, the member for Burrows (Mr. Martindale)  would not have a question in Estimates all of last year if he did  not refer to a prepared text.  Whether he has a short attention  span or not, I do not know, Madam Chairperson.  But the fact of  the matter is he would not have had a question in all of  Estimates last year in the Department of Housing if he did not  have his notes.

       I am sure every member dealing with issues respecting  Estimates refers to notes.  I do not think there are very many  human brains in this world that can remember the myriad of  information and details that are required when you are dealing  particularly with Estimates.  Some members opposite have trouble  with Question Period, but I am talking about Estimates now, where  there are detailed volumes of information both asked and given in  the Estimates process.

       Now, Madam Chairperson, I do not mind for a minute that the  member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) introduced a motion.  That is  legitimate.  It is her right as a member of this House to  introduce a motion, no matter how ill‑founded it is.  The fact of  the matter is, she is quite entitled to introduce that.  But this  business of being petty, picayune‑‑small‑mindedness of the  members opposite, and that includes both opposition parties,  dealing with the question of whether somebody was referring to a  note or not referring to a note‑‑my goodness.

       You have to ask yourselves, and when you go home tonight I  think you should ask your spouse as well, why were you elected to  this Legislature?  Was that the reason?  Were you elected to the  Legislature to come in here this afternoon and have a vote, waste  the taxpayers' money and all of our time on a question of a vote  on whether somebody should read from a note or not?  Shame on  you.  Shame on all of you.

       So, enjoy‑‑as my colleague, the Minister of Finance (Mr.  Manness) has indicated‑‑enjoy your little victory.  Go home and  rub your hands, but remember when you come back here tomorrow, I  think you should be coming back here to think about why you are  here, about what the issues are, and deal with those issues.  You  have done very little in terms of dealing with the issues.

       Madam Chairperson, the whole question of college governance,  the purpose of the resolution by the member for Wolseley‑‑and I  think she is way off‑base quite frankly, because she does not  understand, I do not think, in the context‑‑in fact I do not  think anybody over there understands.  The world is changing.  The world has changed.  It will continue to change.  The dramatic  changes that have taken place in the economy of this world,  particularly in the last five years, are mind boggling when you  consider the context of the last 50 years.

       The kind of issues that are necessary today, the kind of  education, the kind of training that is required for people to  work in today's high‑tech technology and today's industry, Madam  Chairperson, is something that I do not think members opposite  even understand.  They have no idea.  They are in old‑think, as  we referred here earlier.  They simply do not understand that the  world has changed.

       My colleague the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has  indicated that earlier today.  He said, they do not want anything  to change.  They do not want the world to change.  They do not  want anything to change because they are steeped‑‑I do not think  they give a darn about education.  They could not give two whits  about education.

* (2020)

       What they do want to perpetuate is the system.  They want to  perpetuate the system.  They want to make sure all those people  are still employed there and all of those programs are still  there and all of the money that is necessary to run them is  thrown at it, because they want to perpetuate the system.  They  want to see all of those programs, hundreds of programs over the  years perpetuated not because they are interested in educating  anybody in those programs‑‑no‑‑because if they thought about it  for a minute, there is not much point in spending the taxpayers'  money to educate somebody for which, when they are finished, they  cannot find a job.  The industry is gone; it has changed; there  is no need for those people anymore.

       So, Madam Chairperson, they do not understand the changing  economy.  They do not understand that the college governance  system requires flexibility.  They do not understand that the  industry, that people, that the workers need the kind of  flexibility that college governance can give to the community  colleges in this province.

       They do not understand that they have to work hand in hand  with industry in order to determine the kind of jobs that are  required by that industry, not now, because now is not good  enough.  It has to be five years from now when those people  graduate.  That is when we have to find out what industry needs  at that time, so when those individuals graduate they will have a  job to go to.  That is the kind of flexibility that community  colleges need.

       Currently, as an arm of government, they are fairly hidebound  in terms of the red tape that happens around government, but if  you give them an opportunity to have a flexible system, one where  they can go out and challenge industry, go out and work with  industry in order to determine the kinds of jobs that are  required five years from now, so those people have an opportunity  to be employed when they graduate.

       My honourable friends across the way I do not think  understand that at all.  They talk about no strategy, no  planning, no direction of the government's educational policy.  Well, I am going to refer to a book, a printed text.  I may refer  to this from time to time.  I would like to quote, reading from a  prepared text:  "Building A Solid Foundation For Our Future, A  Strategic Plan" by the Department of Education, something, quite  frankly, that no Department of Education had ever done before.

       It was this government that brought forward a strategic  plan.  It was this government that brought it to the forefront  and said we must have some direction for the future,  notwithstanding previous governments never having brought this  forward.  Certainly, the NDP, who are intellectually bankrupt,  have never been able to bring forward very much.  What they  brought forward is a huge debt that we have been paying for and  will be paying for many, many years to come.

       At least our Ministers of Education have brought forward a  strategic‑planning document that takes‑‑and I, if you like, could  refer to one or two passages from this document, but given the  ruling of this afternoon, I will not do that, because I would not  want to be in conflict with the decision of the committee,  notwithstanding the fact that my honourable friends across the  way will have great difficulty in Question Period tomorrow and  hereafter, I am sure, not being able to read from any prepared  text dealing with their particular questions.  Given their short  attention spans, that might be a significant problem for them

       But they are here, Madam, they‑‑now referring to the members  in the New Democratic Party‑‑are here to perpetuate a system that  has been in effect for a long, long time.  They simply want to  make sure that all of those people who were employed in the  system continue to be employed in the system doing the same old  thing, whether it is needed or not, whether industry has changed,  whether the world has changed or not.  They could care less,  because they want to perpetuate the system.

       They do not want flexibility.  They do not want to have new  opportunities.  They do not want to have change take place that  might affect someone.  Well, let us remember for a minute why the  education system is there.  The education system is not there to  serve the needs of the givers of education.  It is there to serve  the needs of the student.  The education system is there for  students to learn, to become prepared to deal with the problems  and work experiences they have in their lives to come.  It is not  there to perpetuate the professors or instructors or other  workers at our higher education institutions.  It is not there to  serve their needs and to suit them, although, as a student there,  I am sure that most would agree it seems to work that way.

       But nonetheless, Madam Chairperson, it is there to serve the  needs of the students, our students, citizens of Manitoba, young  people, who will eventually run this province, who will  eventually be the movers and shakers in industry, who will be the  workers in the work force and who will, I dare say, be members of  the Legislature in the years to come.  It is there to serve them,  not the bureaucrats, not the professors, not the other workers  associated with the system, but the students.  Let us not for one  minute forget that, because it is the students for which the  education system is there.

       Madam Chairperson, my honourable friend from Wolseley (Ms.  Friesen), from whom, from time to time, we have discussions about  a variety of issues, I think is all wrong in terms of her motion  of condemnation of the government, because we have done a number  of new things.

       We have implemented dozens of new programs, brought the  college system up to date.  I sit in Treasury Board.  I have for  the past four years‑‑five years, I guess, four years‑‑since we  have been in government.  I have been through five budget  procedures of the Department of Education.  We very closely  looked at that system to determine what it was that the college  system needed, what resources we had available, and how best to  meet the needs of the student again, the student who is foremost  in the system.

       Now, Madam Chairperson, through those five budgets, we have  looked very, very closely at the Department of Education,  particularly the college system, and we said, college governance  is something that we need to do.  We need to make it more  flexible.  We need to give it the opportunity to deal with the  business community, to be able to determine what kind of  educational programs are necessary, so that when those people  graduate, they have jobs.

       I could see my honourable friend screaming last year when  certain courses were removed, courses for which there were no  jobs, there was no demand, and there had not been for some time.  But they, the members of the New Democratic Party‑‑God forbid, we  should not be able to change a course, not one, because somebody  might be affected.

Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  That is okay, Jim.  You made your  point.  We do not believe it anymore.

Mr. Ernst:  Madam Chairperson, the member for Dauphin, garbling  from his chair, refers they do not believe it anymore.  Well,  that is how dense they are over there.  Unfortunately, they do  not understand very much about what goes on in the world, because  they would not stand up asking inane questions like they do every  day if they did.

       They would not stand up here every day in Question Period and  suggest for a minute that the money the government does not have,  does not want to borrow, because they borrowed too much when they  were in government, we should start throwing money, shovelling it  out.  The Liberals back up the Brinks truck was a suggestion  sometime ago.  So they do not understand what is going on.

       They do not understand that colleges have to get into the  '90s.  Maybe, Madam Chairperson, at some point in the not too  distant future, it is not just the colleges that are going to  have to get into the '90s, it will be the other institutes of  higher learning in this province that are going to have to get  into the '90s.

* (2030)

       They are going to have to give up things like tenure of  professors, for instance, as something that I do not think quite  frankly serves the interest of anyone, save the professor.  I am  not even sure that it serves their interest, because I do not  think, quite frankly, that even when their interests come along,  that they are productive, they truly give everything that they  have to the carrying out of their profession if they have that  comfortable pew to fall back on.

       I think sometimes that spirit of competition, that little  extra push, that needed incentive should be there in order to  make sure that those academicians give their all, give everything  that they can to their students because their students deserve  it.  Their students deserve much better, I think, overall.  I do  not want to blanket any group of particular professors, Madam  Chairperson, because that is not my point.

       I think that the question of that incentive will serve  everyone.  It will serve the professor; it will serve the  student; it will serve the system much, much better, I think, in  the overall.

       So I regret that the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen)  brought forward such a motion today.  I think it is  mean‑spirited, quite frankly.  I think it misses the point of  what the Minister of Education and our government are trying to  do with our college governing system and with the community  colleges as a whole.  People have to begin to understand, and I  think the public have learned‑‑I do not know why the members of  the opposition have not‑‑that we have limited resources.

       There is only so much money to spend, and we cannot continue  with the days of the '80s where we simply went to the bank and  borrowed some more.  It is no longer good enough to go to Zurich  and Tokyo and London to borrow the kind of money that is  necessary to carry on the kind of programmings my honourable  friends would like to see.  It is not on.  The taxpayers cannot  afford it; the taxpayers do not want it.  Every day I hear, both  privately in calls to my office and publicly in calls to a wide  variety of public media outlets, that the people are suffering  tax exhaustion.  They cannot continue anymore.  They cannot.

       During the 1990 election, I went through my neighbourhood,  which is a middle‑class neighbourhood, and people there were  telling me, we started off and we bought our house with my  husband working and the wife raising the children.  That was no  longer enough in terms of income in order to meet that  middle‑class type of lifestyle that they have had, so the wife  went to work in order to provide additional money to let them  continue with their lifestyle.

       With the taxation loads that is being applied by all levels  of government, it is found, Madam Chairperson, that two incomes  are not enough to maintain that same lifestyle that those people  have enjoyed.  I feel very sad that it occurred, that both now  were working extended hours and so on to try and meet that.  Do  you know who suffers?  Ultimately, it is the family that suffers.

       So I would hope that the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen)  would reconsider her question and perhaps consider withdrawing  it, because I think that it is wrong and ignores simply the kind  of efforts that this government has given towards the educational  system and community colleges in particular.  Thank you.

Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation):  Madam Chairperson, normally, you know, I enjoy these kinds of  debates from time to time, have over the years, and felt  compelled to put some remarks on the record here today in defence  of the Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey), because I think there  were two innocent people that were involved today with what  happened in this House.  One was the Minister of Education, the  other was the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) who made the  motion.

       Madam Chairperson, I want to reflect a little bit on what  happened here in the House, and I will take a little different  angle on what happened here today, because by and large within  five minutes after Question Period opened I saw the Leader of the  Opposition (Mr. Doer) signal to the member for Flin Flon (Mr.  Storie) and the plot was on in terms of orchestrating the vote  somewhere along the line, and that is very obvious.  I mean, it  was set from Day One.  I turned around to my Acting House Leader  and said, there is a fix in because‑‑and I will tell you  something, I accept that.  I accept that because I want to‑‑

       Madam Chairperson, it is unfortunate.  The Minister of  Education (Mrs. Vodrey) basically is the most innocent, and I  want to reflect on her ability in a little while.  But I want to  say that the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) was the one that  got snookered because they said, we have to orchestrate a vote  somewhere along the line.  It is hard to do that in Question  Period, so we will do it this way.  It was obvious.  I turned to  my Acting House Leader and said, the fix is in.  Let us get  ourselves prepared, and do you know why? [interjection! Just a  minute.  I am not even upset with that because I was caucus Whip  for over four years.  I have orchestrated many a vote, and I  helped orchestrate the vote that brought down the government of  the day in '88.

       Madam Chairperson, it is unfortunate that people like the new  Minister of Education or the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen)  got caught in this game.  I have been through this many times.  I  want to give a little bit of a history lesson for the new members  in this building, because when we sat in opposition we  orchestrated votes and we taught actually the now opposition all  the tricks in the book really.  I regret now that we did that  because it is coming back to haunt us, but we used to do that.  We knew that ministers were tied up.

       At that time the Minister of Health, Mr. Desjardins, had his  office downtown somewhere along the line, and we had that  bell‑ringing affair on the French language issue where we now  rang the bells for 15 minutes.  I will tell you something, just  to be‑‑well we played our politics as the opposition has done  today.  So I am not critical of that, but we orchestrated votes  at about quarter to five when we knew that the Minister of Health  and a few other ministers had snuck off, and we knew what was  happening.  So we would orchestrate a vote as you did today, as  the member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) did today by challenging the  Speaker's ruling because he wanted a vote.  I mean, it is so  obvious.  I have no argument with that because we did that at the  same time.

       My argument is that two innocent people got snookered today,  one especially.  The member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) was told  by the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie), listen, we think their  number game is down, and I want to tell you, yes, our numbers  were down.  Our numbers were down, because I also have to say  that we still have members on our side and ministers on our side  that make a living from farming, because for them there is a life  after politics and they have to do some of those things.  It  happens to be at this time of year when a late spring  necessitates the need to get out there and get your seeding at  least organized.  For that reason we were down in numbers, and  that is fair game.  You played the right cards.

       But the fact that the member for Wolseley had to orchestrate  that kind of a motion based on a new Minister of Education (Mrs.  Vodrey) who, in my opinion, has been questioned extensively in  the House, had very qualified answers all the time, and she has  brought forward qualified answers.  She knows her subject well.  As a new minister, she wants to make sure the process‑‑for a new  minister it is not unusual to do what she has been doing.  It has  not been unusual at all, but she knows her subject and members  know that she knows her subject.

       So to orchestrate this on somebody like a new minister, as we  have here, who has the ability to handle it, spoke very firmly  without any notes, and made her point very clear again after we  had gone into this thing‑‑so I am saying when we have done that,  we have usually targeted sort of the seasoned politicians.  Remember the member for St. James, Al Mackling, on the MTS  thing?  We came at him very hard, and that was fair politics.  I  just raise this to the new members in the House here, that this  game is not always fair, because what happened today was not  fair, not to the people involved, because, by and large, this was  political orchestration that took place.

       I will tell you something.  Yes, we accept that when we get  elected that we will be part of it, but there are enough of the  senior people around here that should know the process without  having this happen.  I think it is‑‑I regard it as an insult to  the Minister of Education, the kind of motion that was put  forward, because I know that this individual is a very sincere  individual doing a very capable job, and if we want to play  games, let us do it with the member for‑‑where are you  from?‑‑Elmwood (Mr. Maloway).  I apologize, because I call him  always by his first name, so the constituency maybe escapes me.  Let us do it with some of those guys, but certainly‑‑I mean, do  it with the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) as you have tried,  and you lost the battle with the Minister of Health.  Almost 11  minutes short of 60 hours with the Minister of Health, and you  lost the battle.

* (2040)

       Then you have a new minister, and then you are going to  target that minister and see whether you can break her.  Well, I  will tell you something, this minister will not break.  This  minister is going to show you exactly what it is all about, and  you degrade yourselves and you insult the intelligence of that  minister by putting that kind of a motion forward.  I am  disappointed for that reason, not that you played the kind of  game you did because of lack of numbers.  Use any other motion.  But five minutes after Question Period started you orchestrated  this thing.

       I say, hey, why did you not pick a different‑‑challenge us on  the fact that the ministers were not there.  We used to do that.  We would say, if you do not have your ministers there, we will  move a motion of nonconfidence, whatever the case may be.  You  cannot do that, we know that.  But a Mickey Mouse motion of this  nature is not actually standing anybody well in this House.  If  you want to bring the government down, vote on the minister's  salary.  Well, you will not bring the government down with that,  but if you are not happy with the minister, do the normal thing,  move a motion to cut the wages.  That is your prerogative.  It  has been done many times.  I remember the member for Dauphin (Mr.  Plohman) when we voted his salary down to a ton of asphalt  because he had his Estimates cut all the time.  So there are ways  of doing it, but I think we should be a little cautious in terms  of, you know, in spite of the political back and forth that we  have, that is acceptable to me.  But to try and be insulting is  something that bothers me, and that is what this was.  This was  an insult because there was nothing to be gained by it.

       I would like to think that all of us as politicians here  should have a certain respect for one another in the general  terms of debate.  We can disagree‑‑I have done that for 15  years‑‑but let us not get down to the dirty stuff which is what I  regarded this.  I regarded this as a very low blow because I am  prepared to debate with you any issue anytime.  But I respect  every one of you who has been elected in opposition as I respect  my colleagues here.

       To go to these kinds of tactics is what bothers me.  If we  come to that in politics in this House, we have a problem.  We  will have our differences from time to time, yelling sessions,  where we will be upset and lose our cool from time to time.  This  was a calculated move, and I reprimand the opposition for it, and  I reprimand the Liberals for supporting it.  If you do not agree  with what the minister does, take your course of action and bring  it forward, but do not do it in this kind of way.  So I just  raise that.

       I like being an MLA here.  I like being a member of this  Legislature, I respect all of you, I expect the same concern  back.  Thank you.

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment):  Madam Chairperson,  it is not with great gusto that I arise at a time like this to  speak.  I am, frankly, disappointed in the opposition that they  would squander valuable Estimates time which is really the time  that the opposition has to ask some piercing questions to try and  determine if, in fact, the department is doing what they should  be doing in deference to planning and properly leading the  educational programs in this province.

       But I have to admit, once I get up, and I start to think  about the fact that this department under this minister is  leading into a lot of areas of change.  They have enough guts, if  you will, to go ahead with some of the change that this  department is looking at, then to have the opposition stand up  and put forward a featherweight motion such as we had this  afternoon, I think that requires that a few words of response be  put on the record because, frankly, it is very easy to stand up  and criticize.

       It is very easy to stand up and say, spend more.  We do not  even hear very often the opposition saying spend differently.  But they have managed to contain some of their rhetoric in the  last number of days when going through the Department of  Education finances but do not seem, from what I have heard of the  discussion, to have grasped the idea that there are some  fundamental changes that need to be made in education and the  educational programs in this province.

       I see the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) nodding.  Well,  maybe we are starting to get through to at least one of the  members over there.  Because it is time that we started to have  the debate in this province not about whether or not you are  spending X number of dollars to support individual students,  because we have seen the figures that have come out recently.

       Spending in this country or in this province, if you wish to  be specific, is not necessarily equal to the achievement that we  are attaining from our students, nor is it necessarily equal to  the training that they have as they go forward to look into the  job markets and to attain good‑paying and sound jobs.  That is  what this debate really should be about, is talking about  redirecting the training and the colleges in this province, so  that the students who go there have an opportunity to enroll in  programs that industry wants that there is a demand for.

       If anybody on that side is so naive as to say that there  should not be change or to think that continuing the same list of  programs that have been in place for years in this province, if  that is their answer to better training, simply for the reason of  saying that there are X number of students being trained, then  they are further out of step than even I think they are, because  that is the challenge that this minister is beginning to address  very directly.

       As a result, we are going to see some very positive actions  in this province when it comes to the type of training that the  students will have available to them, because it will be more  tailored to the type of jobs market that is out there in the  workplace today.

       I have not yet heard, and I have not heard all of the  discussion, but I do not think anyone has heard very many  intelligent suggestions from the other side about what some of  that direction might be.  It is very easy to be in opposition and  criticize, and I spent a period of time there myself, but if we  are going to really look at what the Department of Education is  doing, then let us spend this valuable time that the opposition  is putting into Education Estimates talking about those issues.

       I think that it really is a red herring for the members to  start talking about the fact that the minister is checking with  staff on certain of her answers, because there are members still  sitting in the opposition benches that took far longer in their  Estimates process than what this minister is taking. I sat  through those Estimates, and I can tell you it was like watching  paint dry.

Mr. Plohman:  That is what this is.

Mr. Cummings:  Well, the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman), the  old expert bridge builder, says that this is somewhat like  watching paint dry.  I can tell you that this is strong paint,  because the changes that are going to be made in the name of  education in this province are a lot more significant than anyone  in the opposition seems to be prepared to even talk about.

       That is the disappointing part about this debate, the fact  that we are spending‑‑[interjection! It is the opposition's  time.  We are spending three or four hours of their time when  they could be asking some intelligent, piercing questions, and  what are we doing?  We are debating whether or not the minister  wrote down some notes and spoke from those notes when she was  answering the questions, an asinine basis upon which to have a  vote.  The only thing that they wanted to have a vote for was to  make sure they got something on the record.  I see the member for  Dauphin has come to life.


Point of Order


Mr. Plohman:  On a point of order, it seems that the Minister of  Environment is not aware of the issue before us on the floor, and  I wonder if the minister could read the motion again, because he  seems to think it deals with reading of notes, as opposed to what  the actual issue is.  If the Chairperson could read the motion, I  am sure the minister would be able to make more relevant comments.

Madam Chairperson:  The member for Dauphin indeed does have a  point of order.  The debate is relevant to the motion and the  motion before the committee is, and if it is the will of the  committee, I will read the motion.

       I move that the committee condemn the government for its lack  of planning and support for community colleges, its failure to  respond to the needs of the thousands of unemployed in Manitoba  and to the immediate needs of the hundreds of students waiting  for training in this province.

* * *

* (2050)

Mr. Cummings:  When I talk about wasting time in the Legislature,  as we have been doing for the last couple of hours, there were  two motions, one which has been voted upon and one which we are  still debating.  Of course, the first one was, as I indicated,  regarding whether or not notes should be read in this Chamber.

       If the member wants to talk about some of the more critical  issues, then he should perhaps take aside the Education critic  for his party and have a little chat with him, because in the  1991 Estimates process, he spent a lot of time there talking  about the fact that we just accidentally came in at the same  level of funding for Education as Ontario.  I would hope that the  member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) or none of the members over  there would be advocating that we go to the type of  hack‑and‑slash that Ontario has done to their Education budget  this year.

       I think what we have seen are responsible actions on the part  of this government which says that there not only needs to be  importance put to Education, but importance on how that budgeting  is carried forward.  One of the criticisms that the members of  the opposition like to raise in relationship to our community  colleges is that there is the changing in the programming.  They  seem to think that whether or not there is a program in place is  almost irrelevant from whether or not there is demand for some of  those trained personnel who may come from those programs.

An Honourable Member:  You find that in the private sector.

Mr. Cummings:  The member for Dauphin likes to coach me.  I take  it that he is opposed to any kind of hiring of services from the  private industry.  I think I heard the Minister of Education  (Mrs. Vodrey) reading back to him not very long ago a statement  made by one of his previous colleagues about the value of  providing an educational program through private sector and  taking advantage of those programs that could well be provided  very efficiently through the private sector and come out with as  equally high a standard of training, or I suppose you could even  go on to make comparisons that there are those who would argue  that it could even be better.

       When I look around this Chamber, Madam Chairperson, and with  due reference to the minister's staff and the staff that are  waiting on the sidelines to get on with the Estimates process, I  would hate to put a figure on the amount of money that we are  tying up getting into this debate rather than asking the kinds of  questions that I know the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) would  like to get on with.  I know that she would want to ask some  detailed questions about the prioritizing of the expenditures,  some detailed questions about the type of training that there is  a market demand for out there.

       I am sure that those are the kinds of questions the member  for Wolseley would be far happier asking than listening to  members on this side tell her why she and her colleagues are not  making the best use of their time in this Legislature.

       I would suggest that one of the unsaid problems the  opposition has this evening is that when their Health Estimates  began to fall on hard times last week, when the critic for Health  all of a sudden ran out of steam, they decided that perhaps they  could make a little sideshow in Education and spend a little time  in here.

       Maybe Don Campbell would choose to write an article.  I  wonder what kind of an article he will write?  Will he talk about  what a joke it is that the opposition wants to spend this much of  their time when they could be pinning the government to the wall  on its issues?  Is that the kind of article you think maybe is  going to happen?  Is that what you are looking for?  Did you give  him a draft before you came in to call the vote?  I think that  may be what happened.  That just goes to show the type of  criticism that the public is going to be heaping on the  opposition by the time this little event is over with.

       Madam Chairperson, the Department of Education has been  dealing with a number of issues going back to the curriculum  review and with the financing of some of the infrastructure of  the universities, funding that was left very sadly by the present  members of the opposition.  When they had an opportunity to make  some decisions that would have meant something to education in  this province, they chose not to.  In the days of 15, 16 percent  growth in the economy of this province, where were they?  Not one  of them stood up and said, today is the day that we should have  eight or 10 percent growth in funding to Education to make sure  that we have something in place for the generations of the future.

       No, they squandered that opportunity and left it to this  government to make sure that we have to make due with less  dollars, but we have to make sure that we put them in the right  place in order to achieve the type of accomplishments that our  students are going to demand from us.

An Honourable Member:  No, one of them did get up in 1988.

Mr. Cummings:  What did he ask?  There was one member in 1988 who  understood the folly of their plans.  It was a rather significant  day in 1988, I might admit, as well.

       The members of the opposition seem to take some glee in the  fact that we now have‑‑I think I am about the fifth member  getting up to speak on this side of the House.  The fact is, no  matter where that member is to whom we refer to so fondly from  the spring of '88, no matter where he is today, he probably did  the people of this province a significant service, because the  trail of ineptitude that was left from that '86 to '88 government  is still haunting the people of this province, not to mention the  previous four years. [interjection! Well, that was the day that  Jim Downey did the hurdles.

       Madam Chairperson, it is obvious that if we were to spend as  much time in asking piercing questions in this Estimates process  instead of playing with the political heartstrings of the people  of this province, we could accomplish some meaningful dialogue in  this House.

       The critic of Environment sees some humour in that.  The fact  is, the time that is spent here not asking those piercing  questions is time that is not going to be available to ask me  questions in Environment, to ask questions of the Minister of  Agriculture (Mr. Findlay), which I am sure the member for Dauphin  (Mr. Plohman) wants to get into agriculture.  That farmer from  St. Vital has a lot of questions that I am sure he wants to ask  the Minister of Agriculture.

       So why does the opposition not want to get into that kind of  a discussion?  Because they are afraid to get into that  discussion.  They want to create a political whirlwind here to  try and avoid having to ask some real questions on some of the  departments that they, unfortunately, do not have enough  knowledge about to get into some detailed questioning.

       Unfortunately, some of my colleagues are sitting back here,  including myself, saying, well, if they are going to continue to  eat up the Estimates clock, blow their time on this type of a  discussion, then perhaps it will be less time they will spend  asking us those questions, and I think that this Minister of  Education (Mrs. Vodrey), considering the answers that she gave to  you around five o'clock this afternoon, some of you over there  may well wish that she would go back to using notes when she is  speaking, rather than tell you what she really thinks is going on  with the type of opposition that we are getting from the  membership across there.

       In fact, I suggest that maybe there are a few copies of this  Hansard that we are compiling this evening that I might want to  circulate to the school divisions in my constituency.  Maybe I  will send a couple over into Dauphin, maybe send a couple out to  the north end of Winnipeg because some of the discussion that is  being put on the record here, I think, will be really useful to  the electorate when they start to look at what kind of government  they think they are getting, between the combination of this  government and the opposition, and this is a colossal waste of  the taxpayers' dollars.

       We should be putting the time to good use asking some decent  questions about what is going on in the Department of Education,  rather than, of course, as the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman)  does not want to do, ask the Minister of Education some questions.

       Madam Chairperson, I think I will wrap up my comments at this  point, and I will encourage the members of the opposition to do a  little homework tonight.  We might be here a little late.  Maybe  we will go to twelve or one o'clock, something like that.  But  after that I hope that they will open up the books in the  morning, do a little homework, so that they can ask this minister  some intelligent questions.

Hon. Harry Enns (Minister of Natural Resources):  I am delighted  to join this debate.  I happen to be one of those people who  enjoys the House.  I spend quite a bit of time in the House.  I  recommend it to some of my colleagues.  We will be in government  for a long time, you can depend on that.

       I try to refrain from reaching back into how things were in  the past, but forgive me.  I certainly do not want to offend your  senior people here, a fine deputy minister and his staff and some  of the other staff that you have in the public gallery, but what  we are doing here this afternoon and this evening, to some  extent, reminds me of the day when staff was not permitted in the  Chamber.

       My first set of Estimates that I brought to this Chamber was  under those circumstances.  Like everything else, everything has  its benefits and its drawbacks.  Certainly with the availability  of staff, the minister is called upon, is expected, to have the  minutest detail to any question that honourable members opposite  ask, and that is fair game, I suppose, if that is how opposition  members wish to spend their time in asking and inquiring about  the affairs of any department of government.  But it certainly  loses something in terms of how we conduct ourselves generally on  the issue before us.

* (2100)

       With the virtual exclusion of all other members, it becomes a  one‑on‑one situation of the departmental critic of the opposition  and the minister involved and the other members sit on, sometimes  quietly in support of the minister, waiting, I suppose, for a  moment like this where we can come to a more lively participation  in the Estimates process.

       What have I learned in the last little while from the  honourable members opposite?  Particularly my friends‑‑and I do  like to refer to them as my socialist friends.  People do not say  that often.  You know, we refer to them as New Democrats.  First  of all, the word "new" is totally nonapplicable anymore.

       What we see opposite, and I am really surprised at the  reactionary, conservative position that we have heard from the  New Democrats in such a consistent way.  I mean, my  understanding‑‑limited as it is, farm boy that I am from the  woodlands‑‑the word "reactionary" is applied to a group of people  who resist all change, who wish to just stay in the rut that is  there before them.

       Madam Chairperson, they resist with a passion any change, for  instance, that is put before them, whether it comes from the  Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) on the question of psychiatric  nursing and so forth.  These are not changes that have just come  up‑‑I am glad the critic for Health has joined us‑‑but these have  been changes that have been advocated for years by people  directly involved in that case within the mental health  community.  Finally, we have a Minister of Health, we have a  government of health that is prepared to do something, and what  do we have from our friends the New Democrats, who ought to be  the party of new ideas, who ought to be the party of innovation,  who ought to be the party of leadership?  They resist.

       This government, the former Minister of Education carrying on  by the policies of the current Minister of Education (Mrs.  Vodrey), brings in new governance to the community colleges, the  issue which we were at in terms of the place of our Estimates.  A  different approach, an understanding, and not one that just was  dreamt up within the bowels of our own caucus or the ministry of  Education, because there was an understanding, there was concern  that it was not just a question of dollar allocation.  It was a  question of meeting community needs.  It was a question of  readdressing the kind of way that we want to equip our young  people.  It was a plea from the outside world that said, we need  to be in on the decision making at the community college level.

       This government, under the previous minister and this  minister, is doing it and what do we get from honourable members  opposite?  Resistance, resist in change, reactionary change.

       I find it ironic, quite frankly, but I have to say so.  The  habit of just automatically increasing taxes has become so  ingrained in all too much of our governments, then when we have a  Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) and we have a government that  for five successive budgets does not add increase to the tax  burden of the people of Manitoba, that is considered to be an  innovative and new approach.

       What do the honourable members opposite do?  They resist that  change too.  They call out for increased taxation measures  virtually every day that they get up on their feet and speak to  us in this Chamber.

       Madam Chairperson, one does not always have to actively  participate, but for those who take the time and spend time in  the Chamber, there is always something to be learned.  As I sit  at my desk and listen to the positions being put forward, in this  instance in the ministry of Education, on other occasions the  ministry of Health, the ministry of Family Services.

       My goodness, what kind of nonsense did we hear from members  opposite when, within the whole administration of Family  Services, fundamental change was required and fundamental change  took place?‑‑quite frankly, one that I think that is generally  applauded by the general public.  What was the reaction from  honourable members opposite?  Again, resistance to change.

       They felt comfortable in that reactionary, conservative mode  that they have built for themselves.  Then, with some irony, they  like to refer to themselves as the New Democrats, the party of  new ideas, the party of new initiatives.  I know that my critic  understands what I am talking about.  That is why she has moved  into a chair other than her own so that she will not be tempted  to respond to me, because I suspect that she has some new ideas,  new ways of doing things that she would like to put on the record  and advocate on the part of those of us in government.

       Well, Madam Chairperson, for a brief period this afternoon  and this evening‑‑I regret the circumstances, because I believe  that our collective time could have been put to better disposal.  I believe the collective time of the minister's staff could have  been put to better disposal, although, and I am sure they will  agree, it is always time well‑spent to be, so to speak, within  the bosom of us politicians as we argue back and forth.

       I would not really want to suggest that that is wasted time,  but I am sure, on the other hand, phone calls could have been  made, policy initiatives could have gotten underway, and the  likes of that.  But, no, here we are, because we have an  opposition which fundamentally is arguing against change and, in  this case, change that cries out for the making.

       I am not going to, and I do not, present myself as a person  steeped in the education policies of the department or of this  government, but I read, like other people read.  I listen to  reports that come out that pass judgment or comment on our  system.  More importantly, I meet and talk to youngsters,  teenagers, who are currently in the system, all too many of them  finding it difficult.

       It is a difficult situation for the department, for any  Department of Education, to adjust to the rapidity of change that  is occurring in our society today.  To suggest that, to  criticize, particularly to use the kind of language that the  honourable member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) uses in this motion  that is before us, that speaks of lack of time and consideration,  lack of planning on the part of this ministry.  I would accept as  legitimate if they thought that the planning and the thought and  the consideration that we had gone into was wrong or was going in  the wrong direction, but do not accuse this ministry, do not  accuse this government of not taking the time to plan, not taking  the time to think, because the fundamental changes and moves that  have been taking place within community colleges did not happen  overnight, did not just begin with this minister.  They took two,  three years to formulate it, and they are being carried out now.  So the language contained in the motion before us is offensive.

* (2110)

       What is it that you precisely think is being done in an  unplanned and unprepared way?  Now members opposite cannot  truthfully answer that question.  Madam Chairperson, I want to  say one thing.  It was just a refreshing demonstration of this  Minister of Education's (Mrs. Vodrey) commitment and talent when  she, after the dust had settled and she decided to wade back into  the debate, did precisely that, which I think behooves the cause  of education well.  I think that honourable members will hear a  great deal more of her in the style that she delivered just prior  to the supper hour adjournment.

       Well, Madam Chairperson, we can carry on this discussion at  some greater length, and we no doubt will.  I know that there are  other colleagues who wish to take this opportunity to express  themselves of their concerns about the manner and way in which  the oppositions have conducted themselves in this instance.  I  can assure you of one thing.  Many of us who normally would not  have gotten into the recorded journals of the debates of the  Department of Education now found an opportunity to do so and are  thankful for it.  Honourable members will have to wonder at the  conclusion of this day just how much they have gained.

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Madam Chairperson,  members opposite call for the question.  I am somewhat  surprised.  They always make comments about the importance of  parliamentary debate and the importance of the opportunity for  members to speak to matters before this House.

       I am not going to get into the debate as to what happened in  this Assembly this afternoon.  Obviously members opposite chose a  day today when we had one of our members ill.  The member for  Minnedosa (Mr. Gilleshammer) was unable to be here and other  members had responsibilities on their farms, and that is all  within the realms of the activities of this Legislature.  I  acknowledge that.

       I think my colleague the Minister of Highways and  Transportation (Mr. Driedger) spoke at some length about the  tradition when this party was in opposition on that side of the  House and some of the things that it did to force votes, and all  of that is fair game in the debates and the proceedings of this  House, Madam Chairperson, and I am not going to comment on it any  further than I have already done.

       Madam Chairperson, what I would like to do today or this  evening in this debate is speak a little bit about the resolution  moved by the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen), because I know  there is always a tendency, when members come into this House, to  view the world in which we live as if it began only on the day in  which a government came to power.  If there is one thing that I  have learned, and I admit when I first became involved in  politics I was somewhat guilty of that role or that viewpoint  from time to time, but one thing I have come to appreciate in my  four years as a member of this Assembly and year and a half in  the cabinet, is the long‑term effects of decisions that are made.

       Madam Chairperson, what is so evident as we look at our  economy today as it goes through a tremendous period of  restructuring, I have spoken in this House before and I am of the  view, and I make this prediction that as we turn the century in a  few short years, in eight short years, we will look back upon  this decade of the '90s as an economic revolution that will have  rivaled the industrial revolution of a century and a half or so  ago or two centuries ago.  There is no doubt that our economy,  our society is going through a tremendous restructuring  revolution, some may call it crisis, whatever terminology you  want to apply, but change, change is the essence of what we are  undergoing.

       I have made the argument in this House before many  times‑‑because I think education is a very important part of  that‑‑that over the last 20 years we as a society have avoided  pressures for change, restructuring, reform by buying our way  around them, by buying our way over them.  The accumulated effect  of not dealing with those changes has added up and compounded the  crisis, the challenge, the restructuring that we are now having  to face today.

       In the area of education, I think, as our minister has  discussed from time to time, and her predecessor the member for  Roblin‑Russell now Minister for Rural Development (Mr. Derkach),  the tremendous challenges that face that department are  gigantic.  I do not think any of us deny that.  They are there  because for decades now we have really failed as a society, as a  Legislature, as government, not this government, but governments  of this province to come to grips with those issues.

       Madam Chairperson, a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to  meet with a number of small business men, business people from  our capital city who were employers of small firms, 20, 30  employees.  In one particular case the gentleman was telling me  where they were getting into some specialized training.  What the  individual discovered was that a couple of the employees that  have been long‑service employees to this firm were unable to  properly read.

       They were long‑service employees.  These people were in their  early thirties, around my age, they had most of their education  in a period when New Democrats were in power in this province.  I  am not blaming members opposite for that fact, but that is true;  most of our education came during periods when New Democrats were  in power.  Here were individuals who worked for this firm five,  six, seven years who were able to hide their inability to  properly read and write.  This revelation came forward.  Some  work was being done and this problem was identified, and these  individuals said to me that more and more people who come forward  to apply for jobs are unable to have those basic skills they need  to do the jobs.

       So there is no doubt we know there is a problem, but it is  not a problem that arose overnight.  Those individuals who are in  our work force today, who have been there for a number of years,  who do not have the basic skills and training that they need to  do their job, even if it is skills of literacy, did not receive  their formal education while this government was in power.  They  received it over the last two, three decades, and one has to  ask:  Why were these things not caught?  Why did the system not  deal with these issues?  There were people who had graduated from  high school.  Why were they not found?  Why did they graduate  from high school?

       Those are questions with which all those people associated  with education over the last 20, 30 years have to answer.  The  answers are not easy.  Reality is difficult and it is there.

       The member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) condemns this minister  and this government for lack of support to community colleges.  Madam Chairperson, as minister responsible for the Civil Service,  I have had some involvement with this issue, as the restructuring  of our community colleges has taken place, and what I have heard  is not so much a concern about restructuring and getting those  colleges focused on the market, but I have heard concern by  people who had their own world in those community colleges as  instructors and now felt very threatened, and that is a natural  feeling.  It is there.

       But community colleges were never built for instructors.  They were never built for administrators.  They were not built  for Ministers of Education.  They were built for students.  When  you talk to students, as I do, from my constituency who go to  those colleges, what comes back over and over again is outdated  curriculum.  Outdated curriculum, Madam Chairperson, where the  skills that were being taught, the information that was being  taught were out of date for what was required by the job market.

       I recall‑‑which is not too far in my past, my experience in  our universities, and I am a graduate of two universities in this  province, the University of Winnipeg and the University of  Manitoba‑‑back in the 1980‑81‑82 period‑‑[interjection!  Well,  the members of my own caucus joke with me.  I can tell you my  sitting MLA did not send me congratulations.  That is why I did  not vote for Howard Pawley.

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       I remember my days in those universities.  I had the  opportunity to sit on the senate at the University of Winnipeg.  What amazed me at that particular time was the waste,  inefficiency, the unresponsiveness, particularly in the case of  the University of Manitoba, a very large institution.

       I say this to the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen), what  shocked me the most when I became a member of cabinet and when we  went through the Estimates building process was the lack of  accountability to the taxpayers of our universities, where they  did not have to come forward and justify where they expended  their money, they just said, write us a check. [interjection! The  member for Wolseley agrees.  I am glad to hear that, because I  think that is important that that become part of the public  debate.

       I say to the member for Wolseley, one of the most  disappointing moments in the last year that I have had is when we  have had to go out on the steps of the Legislature and meet a  small group of angry students.  I know some from my riding who  were told by their professors to be there, how important it was.  What percentage of the cost of education is represented by  salaries and benefits?  Some 85 percent, and the students were  there.

       These are supposed to be the cream of our province, our  brightest and best, and in a world where many go hungry they were  throwing eggs.  In fact, they did not even care who they threw  eggs at.  If I remember correctly, the Leader of the Opposition  (Mr. Doer) was the greatest victim of the eggs.  These people did  not know who were their friends, enemies, whatever.  All they  knew was they were going to come here‑‑our best and brightest,  supposedly, in a world where many go hungry in our own city‑‑and  throw eggs.

       What have they learned?  What kind of signal?  We remember  the earlier demonstration of the students at the university, not  all, a small group, when some poor individual who parked his car  over on Broadway, put money in the meter, who has probably paid  his taxes without fail for all his working years, to pay for the  education.  What do we see in the picture on the front page of  the Winnipeg Free Press the next day but one of these people  jumping up and down on the car.  Not a government car, not a car  for someone who is a member of the Legislature, but some poor  member of the public.

       Now, I come back to my disappointment with our university  system, which I know the minister and I got an opportunity to  speak about on many occasions, the disappointment because of the  vested interests in such a large institution, and that is only  natural.  I do not say that in a vindictive way.  I do not say  that in a way that is meant to be attacking people there.  I  simply say that the nature of a large institution is to protect  itself and maintain the status quo.

       Some of my colleagues may not fully appreciate this remark,  but I will tell you there is no institution that is more small  "c" conservative than some of these large ones that are so afraid  to change and get on with the realities of the world.  So here we  are in government expending $1 billion this year on education.  That is approximately $1,000 for every man, woman and child in  this province on education.

       In the private school system, we as a society have put more  and more on to that system every year, where we have expectations  of them filling in for being parents, for counsellors, for  dealing with social problems that 10, 15, 20 years ago they never  had to deal with.  We put all of that on the system, yet we have  powers of control.  There are changes being forced into the  system by the realities of the times, to find ways of doing  things more efficiently.  But here we are with our universities,  our post‑secondary education, with very little means to control  those expenditures.

       I want to share with the members opposite a problem I have in  my own department, and I am sure we are going to get into this in  Apprenticeship and Training, but it ties in to this resolution  and the issue of training.  I have a very small part of training  in this province that I am responsible for in the Department of  Labour, and that is the Apprentice and Training Branch.  Do you  know that over the '80s under a host of New Democratic  administrations‑‑I am not trying to be overly partisan but I  think it has to be on the record‑‑that branch ran down and ran  down and ran down to the point where some 40 trades advisory  committees were never meeting to develop curriculum.  We come  back to our community college problem, curriculum.  They were not  meeting.

       New director.  The director took on the chair of each of  those committees, some 40‑plus committees, and met, got those  committees up again, working again to develop curriculum.  We  still are not doing enough.  We still have to put that in place,  but what is amazing, and I say this to members opposite‑‑I am not  holding the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) responsible.  She  was not a member of this Assembly, but I am just trying to point  out that this is an ongoing problem that has been there, and  there is not perfection in any party.  But in the '80s those  committees wound down to the point where they were doing  absolutely nothing in curriculum development in one of the most  important areas of education and that is our skilled trades, the  people who run our machines, the people who do our electrical  work, the people who have the skills that we are always talking  about.  We in Manitoba let those committees wind down to being  totally ineffective.

       It took a great effort to get them going and we still are  behind, we still have a long way to go, but we started with very  little.  Some of the members opposite who were in the Legislature  at that time, the current member for Broadway (Mr. Santos), the  member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), I have to ask them, where was  the pressure on the Minister of Education in that day to look  after that particular issue?

       Madam Chairperson, there is no doubt that there are a host of  problems in education, problems, challenges, whatever you want to  call them.  The fact we do know is we spend one big pile of money  on education.  We spend one big pile of money on post‑secondary  education, and the people who pay that money‑‑it is not our money  here; it is not your money.  It is the money of the people of  this province who get up every day and go to work and do a job  and pay their taxes, and we are only the trustees of that money.  They are saying to us, why, when you take so much out of our  pockets, why are we getting students out of our system who cannot  read and write?  Why are trades advisory committees not meeting  and developing curriculum?  Why are our community colleges not  functioning the way they should be?  That is not a question  today.  That is a question that has been developing all through  the late '70s and '80s.  Why?

       I am sure if the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) would have  a private chat with some of her colleagues and friends who were  Ministers of Education in the New Democratic years, that they  would express to her, privately, many of the frustrations that  our colleague, Mr. Derkach, the member for Roblin‑Russell, and  Mrs. Vodrey experienced in getting into these institutions and  forcing the changes that they should be doing on their own.

       Because you know something?  We, as politicians, I believe,  often get hoodwinked from time to time, because we are not the  experts.  We just happen to be representatives of the people,  elected by the people.  We get hoodwinked from time to time by  the so‑called experts in the departments in these big  institutions, whether it be a community college or a university.  They tell us all the wonderful things they are doing, and they  make it sound wonderful.  We come in here, and an opposition  member will get up and make a statement, and we defend.  We carry  on debates for which we are set up by the self‑interest groups in  the system.

       Madam Chairperson, we all have to rise above that.  Members  opposite may disagree with some of the specifics of reform that  the former Minister of Education began, some of the things that  the current minister as she gets her hands on the department and  builds her own knowledge‑base and experience‑base as a new  minister does.  They may agree with specifics.  But one thing is  certain:  reform is taking place.

       Reform is never easy, because you change the status quo.  You  threaten those who have been comfortable under the status quo.  There are many in the system who welcome that change.  There are  many in the system who work with the government in making that  change.  Those are not the people that the opposition hears from  unless they seek them out.  They hear from those who feel  threatened.  They hear from those who may have a specific  beef‑‑some legitimate‑‑in a specific area of change, because no  change comes without some grief and without mistakes.

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       I think all my colleagues would be the first to admit, we do  make mistakes from time to time.  Our officials make mistakes  from time to time.  Part of the responsibility in allowing people  to do their job in departments is to allow them to make those  mistakes as long as they are not malicious.  But the move of  reform has to go forward and is going forward.

       The member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) speaks in her  resolution about thousands of unemployed in Manitoba waiting for  retraining.  Well, over the last 20 years, where has our province  been?  Where has it been?

       Madam Chairperson, I recall going to the high school in  Selkirk which was a so‑called trades post‑secondary school.  I  remember many of my friends, in the machine shop area and the  power mechanics area, all being told that this is great.  They go  into this because they cannot do academic work, discouraged from  taking Math 300 but feeling really good because they would get  their diploma in a so‑called trades area.

       What happens?  They get their diploma.  They are 18.  They  get a good job at the local garage or in some shop, et cetera.  They are making good money for an 18 year old.  Now, they are 22  or 23, and they say, well, now I am going to be a tradesperson, I  have got this diploma.

       They go into the system, and what do they find out?  They  have to start again, because the Department of Education‑‑and I  am talking about programs that go back through the '70s and '80s,  programs started by New Democratic governments, programs that  were in place, some going back to the Roblin years.  But again,  so‑called experts in the department developing programs and no  coalescing of those skills and curriculum, so that poor student,  now 22, 23, maybe with family responsibilities, wants to become a  fully qualified tradesperson, has to start at zero.

       We are now trying to correct that, but why is it left to us  20 years after the fact?  Where was the member for Broadway (Mr.  Santos)?  Where was the member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway)?  Deep  in thought in their books, their travel brochures, deep in  thought but not on the issues that are important to working  people of our province.  So now we are left with those problems  to correct, and, although not perfect and nothing is perfect, we  move forward on them.  Yes, there are thousands of Manitobans who  need opportunities to retrain.  We have to ensure, as the  Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey) is trying to do, that our  community college system is responsive to the marketplace.  People want training, but they want training for skills that they  can then sell in the marketplace that will mean jobs for them and  their families.  They do not want to go into training just for  the sake of filling classrooms so that professors or instructors  can earn their living.

       You know, my own experience in the apprenticeship and  training side, we have lots of work to do in that branch, and our  branch, we have empowered them with the authority to make some of  those changes.  They are now with the Department of Education  working towards that integration where we can have training for  life.  The challenge today is to see our institutions‑‑community  colleges are on track, and there is no doubt there are going to  be difficulties and those are going to be raised in the House,  but the general direction is the right one.

       The challenge is going to come in our so‑called independent  universities.  They have to become accountable, and they are  accountable to the trustees of the taxpayers who fund them, and  they are accountable to the students they teach.  As I said  before, I recall my days not so long ago in our universities in  the places where I have seen, time and time again, where money  was wasted, where money could have been spent on better things.

       I ask as well, in very tough and difficult times, I ask our  university faculties, I ask our staff at universities, to bear  part of the burden.  We as members of the Legislature unanimously  voted last year to freeze our own salaries as trustees.  Did that  occur in universities?  I know there are some who argue that  administration was not really getting into where the waste was,  and would not do it until that happened.  Then they should  continue to pursue that with their administration, because we,  ultimately as the trustees of that public money, and the  students, who are the products of those universities, demand that  they reassess what they are doing.  I know that it is a difficult  task, but I know that this Minister of Education, as her  predecessor did, will continue to work hard and diligently to  ensure that education in Manitoba meets the goals that the people  in this province have set for it.

       Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for the opportunity to  participate in this debate.  Question?

Madam Chairperson:  Is the committee ready for the question?  The  question before the committee is the motion by the honourable  member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen).  All those in favour of the  motion, please say yea.

Some Honourable Members:  Yea.

Madam Chairperson:  All those opposed, please say nay.

Some Honourable Members:  Nay.

Madam Chairperson:  In my opinion, the Nays have it.

Mr. Steve Ashton (Opposition House Leader):  I would ask for a  recorded vote.

Madam Chairperson:  A recorded vote has been requested.  Call in  the members.

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Madam Chairperson:  Order, please.  In the section of the  Committee of Supply meeting in the Chamber to consider the  Estimates of the Department of Education, the honourable member  for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) moved the following motion:

       I move that the committee condemn the government for its lack  of planning and support for community colleges, its failure to  respond to the needs of the thousands of unemployed in Manitoba  and to the immediate needs of the hundreds of students waiting  for training in this province.

       This motion was defeated on a voice vote.  A recorded vote  was requested by the honourable member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton).

       The question before the committee is the motion of the  honourable member for Wolseley.

        A COUNTED VOTE was taken, the result being as follows:  Yeas 24,  Nays 26.

Madam Chairperson:  I therefore declare that the motion is  defeated.

       Committee of Supply to continue.  This section of the  Committee of Supply is dealing with the Estimates for the  Department of Education and Training.  Would the minister's staff  please enter the Chamber.

       We are on page 43, line 5.(b)(1) Salaries $904,100.

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Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Madam Chairperson, I have some  further questions to ask on the vocational schools under this  section, when the minister's staff are ready.

       Madam Chairperson, there is quite a long list of private  vocational schools registered in Manitoba as of March 1992 for  which the department is responsible for administering The Private  Vocational Schools Act.

       I wanted to ask the minister particularly about the methods  of inspection, evaluation and curriculum evaluation in these  private vocational schools.  I wonder if she could perhaps begin  by outlining for me the department's responsibility in those  areas?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Madam  Chairperson, I believe we discussed this in Estimates probably  one or two sittings ago, where we discussed the curriculum review  process where schools are required to submit a course outline for  review by the vocational schools program review committee and  that recommends approval to the minister or the designate who  approves the course.

       Just so that the member is aware of who comprises that  committee, it is comprised of Manitoba government employees,  owners or operators of the private vocational school registered  under the act and persons engaged in the activity and with  expertise in the area submitted for review, and by way of  example, that of a licensed hairdresser.

       The monitoring process is one in which we have also spoken  of.  Schools are monitored by the private vocational schools  administration through, first of all, the screening of the  registration of applicants, the annual onsite visits to all  schools excluding the correspondence schools and the annual  survey of all students enrolled in the preceding year as a  follow‑up.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister expand on the screening of the  schools?  I am particularly interested in the certification of  teachers.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the teacher is required to sign  a declaration form to ensure instructor qualifications comply  with the minimum regulation and that is to be signed by a  commissioner for oaths.

Ms. Friesen:  I am not clear on what the minister means by to  comply‑‑in fact, I cannot quite remember how she phrased it.  There is a declaration by the teacher that is signed by a  commissioner for oaths.  What comprises that declaration, for  example, in a floral art college?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The qualifications, and the phrase that I used was  that qualifications comply with the minimum of the regulation,  and that obviously varies according to the practice of the  particular vocational institution and the content of what they  are teaching, so it does depend upon the course, but we will be  happy, at the next sitting, to table the form for the honourable  member.

Ms. Friesen:  Thank you, I would be interested in seeing the  form, but what I am looking for is the industry‑wide standards  that I know the minister is concerned about in Workforce 2000.  I  know she is concerned about it in community colleges.  This  department is also responsible for the private vocational  schools.  For example, what kind of industry‑wide standards is  the minister looking for in trucking, for example?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Again, it does vary by way of occupation.  We do  look for what the formal training of the instructor is, what  formal training they have obtained and also the number of years  of related experience of that individual teacher.  However, I am  informed that by tabling the regulation, this may clarify what  the member is looking for.

Ms. Friesen:  I was not aware the minister was going to table the  regulation.  I thought she was tabling the blank form that they  were required to‑‑so which is it?

Mrs. Vodrey:  We will be happy to do both, both table the form  and table the regulation.

Ms. Friesen:  Are there regulations for each of the industries  represented in the vocational schools, or is there one regulation  which can apply to everything from floral art to business schools  to driving schools to electrolysis, for example?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, there are two parts to the  registration.  First of all, there is the registration of the  instructor and then there is the registration of the school.  The  registration of the school is then reviewed by the Curriculum  Review Committee which I have spoken of in an earlier answer.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, my question is related to the  registration of the teachers.  What I am looking for is what kind  of standards has the ministry established in this area?  She  spoke at one level of a duly signed declaration.  She also spoke  of years of practice.  I am wondering how each of these is  established in writing by the minister.  Does it differ from  sector to sector?  What other standards are there?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, again, to repeat the answer, the  regulations set a minimum requirement and then within the  individual occupations we do look, as I said, at the formal  training and at the years of related experience.  So it may,  again I remind the member, be somewhat easier to understand when  I have tabled the two documents which I have promised to do.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, the reason I am pursuing this  line of questioning is that one of the policies of this  government in terms of post‑secondary education has been to take  from the community colleges and put into private institutions a  considerable amount of what the government believes to be the  low‑level entry programs.  Some of these programs are also  supported by student aid.  Some of them are supported by  Workforce 2000 money.  I know, and certainly this last fall, that  these private vocational schools experienced quite an upsurge in  enrollment as the result of government policies.

       So what I am looking for is the criteria that the government  has for the training and educational conditions of these  schools.  We certainly may disagree with the route that the  government has taken in privatizing parts of education, but  equally so and beyond that, we must have concerns for the level  of education which students are receiving in these institutions.  So, for example, there are a number of trucking companies  here‑‑Reimer trucking company, Merv Orr trucking company, a  number of which I believe also receive funds from Workforce 2000.

       Could the minister in that particular case, tell me what are  the educational qualifications she requires of the teachers in  that industry?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, following up on the example of  the trucking industry and the trucking sector, Workforce 2000  provides funding to the Manitoba trucking and co‑ordinating  committee.  It does not provide money to private vocational  schools.  The funds are not used to fund individual schools.

       In terms of the policy, we do provide private vocational  schools as an alternate delivery.  The designation for financial  assistance to attend those private vocational schools does fall  under a separate appropriation, 16‑5(g).

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, my question has been very  specific for the last three questions.  What is the level of  education and training required for the teachers in these  schools?  I have tried to reach it in a general perspective.  I  have tried to reach it in specific issues.

       I assume that under the trucking question that the minister  would have a wide range of experience, because she is involved  with the trucking industry in Workforce 2000 and through the  student bursaries.  So I have chosen areas specifically where the  department would have a wide range of experience.

       My specific question is, and I repeat:  What is the level of  training required, the minimum level of training required for the  teachers in the trucking industry?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, well, I have explained the  answer in at least the last three or four answers that I have  given to the honourable member, but let me try again.

       It does require, in the area of trucking, formal training as  a truck driver, licensing under the motor vehicle act, years of  experience.  Instructors are then selected by industry across the  various industries.

Ms. Friesen:  The minister, for the first time, has spoken of  licensing and formal training as a truck driver.  The years of  experience:  How many years of experience are required as a  minimum by this department as part of their consideration of the  recognition of these schools.  Is it one year; is it three years;  is it five years?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, again this particular series of details is  best asked under the appropriation where the details will be  readily available.  However, I am informed that the years of  experience are generally two or more.

Ms. Friesen:  As I understand it then, from this department's  perspective, any truck driver with two years experience who is  selected by the truck driving association may be a teacher in any  one of these schools.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, I think the honourable member omitted from  her list of details "and is licensed," so I would add that so  that it is not forgotten.  The answer, I am informed, is yes, if  that individual is seen suitable by the industry.  I am also  informed that if that individual were to be teaching in the  public institutions that the answer would be the same.

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Ms. Friesen:  The minister then has no concerns about people  without teacher training, without experience in training, without  perhaps even a workshop in training, teaching in these schools.  Are there programs in place, for example, to begin the training  of these people?

Mrs. Vodrey:  At the community colleges, we do ask that  instructors complete a certificate in adult education.  They have  approximately five to seven years in which to obtain and finish  that certification.  That certification is also available within  the private vocational schools, and it is available to the public.

       However, at the moment we are talking about the requirements  which are indicated in legislation, and I will remind the member  that this is legislation passed by the former NDP government.

Ms. Friesen:  It is a policy of this government to transfer an  increasing amount of training to the private vocational schools.  Under those conditions, I am concerned to ask the minister about  the changes that the minister is planning or considering for  those private vocational schools.  For example, she has talked  about the training that is required of community college  instructors.  That is available also to the vocational schools.

       Is there any policy on the part of the government to  encourage vocational school teachers to take part in that kind of  program?  Are there any incentives being considered?  Are there  any long‑term goals being held out for those teachers?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I would ask the member what policy of transferring  she is referring to?  Because there is not a policy of this  government to transfer from the public institutions to the  private institutions.

       Last year, the college programming was restructured.  Some  programs were reduced.  At that time it was referenced that those  programs were available in other public institutions or also in  private institutions.

       On the matter of the certificate in Adult Education, or even,  as the member discussed, potentially a workshop in the teaching  of adults, I would say that that certainly is a matter which does  warrant further consideration on the part of this government.  I  am certainly willing to talk about that with the program  committee.

Ms. Friesen:  The policy that the minister does not seem aware of  is the one that is specified in the list that her previous  minister tabled, looking at the reductions in community college  programs in '91‑92 which lists a long series of institutions for  some courses which are in the private sector, for example  clerical bookkeeping, secretary certificate.  All of the  alternative ones that are listed for those are, in fact, in the  private sector.  Some of the others list both, that is true.  Some list Red River, some list the secondary schools, but there  are a number of them, at least seven or eight, in fact, where  they are only in the private sector.

       I think the conclusions one would draw from that are, in some  areas, the government is intending to transfer areas of  instruction to private schools, and I am inquiring about what  kind of protection those students have who are moving to those  kinds of private institutions.  One obvious concern is the area  of trained teachers.

       Another area of concern, of course, is the nature of the  inspections that occur on an annual basis.  I wonder if the  minister could tell us about those.  What are the criteria that  those inspectors look at on an annual basis?  Is it, for example,  the size of classes?  Is it the physical condition of classrooms?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, in the first part of the  member's question or statement, the courses which she spoke of  within the private vocational programs, those were already in  existence.  They were already available to people seeking that  training in Manitoba.  So that was not a transference in any way.

       In the area of inspectors, the inspection does consist of  those areas which the member has already mentioned.  It does  include those.  It also includes speaking with administration,  with instructors and with students.  It also involves a survey of  students, whether those students complete the program or not, and  that intensity of a survey, that scope of a survey is one done  within the private vocational schools, and that scope is not yet  in place for the community colleges.

       In addition, Madam Chairperson, there is also a complaints  resolution mechanism, which I think is very important.  If the  member is leading to referencing a specific case in which she  knows of a concern, then I will refer her to the complaints  resolution mechanism.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, I am sorry but I do not follow  the minister's original argument that there is no intention on  the part of this government to transfer some post‑secondary  education to the private sector.  The specific piece of paper  which her ministry tabled two years ago said that there was a  certain level of demand in some courses and then lists, on the  right hand side of the page, private delivery‑alternate  programs.  In several of those the only alternate programs and  other deliveries, which are indicated, are private colleges‑‑yes,  those which existed before and those which, in the fall of this  year, experienced an increase in enrollment as a result of the  absence of availability of those programs at the community  colleges.

       So I wonder if the minister can explain her position that  this government has no intention of transferring post‑secondary  education to some private institutions.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am informed that the  enrollment among the three community colleges is in the range of  40,000 students, and that last year, with the restructuring and  the pointing out of the availability of some courses available in  the private vocational schools, it affected approximately 100  students.  So that percentage, that 100 students of 40,000  students, I hardly can believe the member is suggesting that is  in fact a major policy decision to transfer or to move completely  into the private vocational schools area.

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Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, I was not suggesting at this  stage that it was a major policy transfer.  I was suggesting that  it was part of the policy of this government in relation to  post‑secondary education.  It seems to me that she is  acknowledging that, that that is indeed part of the transfer and  the restructuring in post‑secondary education, that some of what  was formerly done by public institutions will now be done by  private institutions.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, again, I remind the member that  funds within the province of Manitoba‑‑we can look at an  education system and one in which Manitobans can afford.  In  looking at some of the programs that Manitobans can afford, we  have looked at skills training.  We have looked at future  employability of some of the programs offered.  We have  restructured as we have spoken about for the past several hours  and some of the lower‑skilled occupations, for instance, a manual  bookkeeper, these were available within the private vocational  schools, also within the secondary schools, and so the community  colleges.  We have focused on an area, as I said, of  high‑marketability, future employment.

       If the member is in any way suggesting that the availability  of these programs in places other than the community colleges  suggests that the community colleges have then lost their  significance and their importance, I will then remind her of the  debate that has taken place over the past few hours today and the  movement toward college governance, the introduction of new  programs, which is intended to assist the colleges in becoming  more responsive to their communities and in enhancing their  situation within the province of Manitoba to encourage students  to consider the occupations and the training which are offered at  the community colleges.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, the issue from this side of the  House has not been the new courses which have been added at the  community colleges.  I do not know why the minister has not been  able to understand that.  The issue is the overall capacity and  direction of public education in the province.

       What I have been asking about is the courses which have been  cut and the reasons for the cutting of those particular courses.  I am asking now about the shift to private education which  appears to me to have begun under this government.  The issue  there at this stage is the level of education, the creation of  trained teachers, the creation of industry‑wide standards that I  think students‑‑who in many cases are having no alternative but  the private sector‑‑these students ought to be able to have some  assurance of a reasonable level of education in terms of physical  criteria, educational criteria and certification and  transportability of the kind of qualifications which they are  receiving.  It would seem to me that a government which was  moving‑‑and I would have thought from their own ideological  perspective would have been very proud to have claimed that they  were moving to a private sector‑‑at least should have been moving  to some kind of programs in this area.  That is where I am  directing the minister's attention to.

       I am glad to hear that she is looking at the possibility even  of some short‑term training for teachers in this area.  I think  it needs to go beyond that.  I think we need to look at  certification in those areas where students are not taking  specific‑‑technician courses, for example, where there already  exists external certification.  I think the minister should be  looking at that.  I think there are certain areas of physical  criteria, of space and of safety and security that ought also to  be addressed.  I particularly want to get back to that question,  is what is on the evaluation form that these annual inspections  do in the private schools?  So I do not think we had really  answered that.  There is an annual inspection.  What is the  criteria for that inspection?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, I will remind the honourable member that the  legislation for the private vocational schools did originate with  the NDP government, and that the registration and security are  all monitored, as I have described to her.  I have, as I have  said, acknowledged that I will look into the teacher training  required for the teaching adults in the vocational schools.  I  would also argue that approximately 100 students of approximately  40,000 students is not necessarily a trend, and then in answer to  the issue of evaluation, yes, the member is right in the issues  which she has projected.

       We do look at the issues of class size, the issue of  equipment and its acceptability.  We also look at the  appropriateness of the facility, and then, as I have said  previously as well, we do have discussion with students, with  administrators, with teachers, and we do have a monitoring  process of complaints.

Ms. Friesen:  One final issue that I want to look at in  vocational questions is the transferability, the comparability of  certification, and I wonder what plans the minister has for this  for the vocational schools of Manitoba.  There are a number of  these areas, trucking would be one of them, for example, where  those students who complete a course do not necessarily have a  certificate which will be recognized by other employers either  within the province or outside the province.

       I am sure that this is a concern for any government which is  dealing with business and labour, who are attempting to find  their way through a new free trade environment.  So I wonder what  plans, what considerations, what policy‑‑because we are looking  at that in this section of the department‑‑this minister has  given.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, well, the member raises the  issue of portability, and I would like to tell her that that is  an issue of concern, certainly an issue that is one that, I  think, is important for this department to be aware of and to  look into, because we do recognize that families and individuals  do need a certain amount of mobility, as the member has  discussed, within the province and across the country and  wherever those individuals might like to move.

       We recognize that the issue of mobility and this portability  of certificates and diplomas is important in both the public and  the private institutions.  Within the colleges we do have the  formal transference only in areas where they are externally  accredited programs, at the moment, and that we are looking at a  review for our two‑year diploma programs in terms of their  recognition and portability.

       Within the private vocational programs, the larger schools  have voluntarily taken part in a national accreditation process  which does look at issues relating to standards.  Again, I would  stress that this has been voluntary on their part but should be  of assistance to students as they may wish to move to other parts  of the province or the country.

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Ms. Friesen:  I wanted to follow up that national accreditation  then.  The minister says that these are in the larger schools, so  that would be ones like Herzing, Robertson, Success/Angus.

       I am wondering about the ones‑‑and again I go back to  trucking because there are number of examples of this across the  province.  What kind of certification is there for those people  who go through these trucking schools, what level of  comparability is there, for example, in the length of courses or  the purpose of courses?  Because here we have one industry for  which Manitoba wants to make a strategic bid.  It seems to me  that is one area where the minister might want to focus and where  there are not the external certificates and external  qualifications that can be easily had access to by these groups.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, it seems that the member is particularly  interested in the issue of control and regulation, and I suppose  that there are times when that is very helpful, and I suppose  there are times that may make it also very difficult for some  students, but in the case of the trucking industry, which the  member has referenced, what is required is a 1A licence under The  Highway Traffic Act.

Ms. Friesen:  Well, perhaps we will have the opportunity to come  at that in a different way then under the Workforce 2000 area.  The minister talks about control.  I think what I, from my own  perspective, am trying to get at is the issue of accountability,  the issue of government responsibility for post‑secondary  education and particularly the evaluation and accreditation and  certification of private vocational schools.  I do not think I  see this particularly as an issue of control but as an issue of  accountability, which many members of her government in fact  spoke to today.  Can the minister give us an indication, over the  last two or three years, of the changes in the vocational school  enrollment?  She did table a list saying that for 1991 the  enrollments were 4,461.  Could the minister give us an indication  of how those numbers have been changing, say over a two‑ or  three‑year period?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, we will certainly look to get those numbers  for the honourable member the next time that we are sitting  together, but I will tell her that I have been informed that the  enrollments last year were in fact lower in the private  vocational schools.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister indicate‑‑she talked about the  changeover in the enrollments from college education to private  education, and she indicated that in her view it was a relatively  small amount, but she was talking there about actual student  bodies I think.  I think that is perhaps not always the best way  of looking at enrollment in post‑secondary education.  I wonder  if the minister could give us an idea of the change from public  to private institutions in terms of training days.  Perhaps I  should ask first of all, do you keep those kind of statistics?  Is that feasible to even ask that question?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that we do keep the training days in  the public institutions.  We do not have the training days for  the private institutions, so that kind of comparison may be quite  difficult for us to discuss at this point.

Ms. Friesen:  I look forward to the minister tabling the  enrollment patterns of the private vocational institutions that  she said she would table in the near future, but I think that we  should also recognize that the figures may not be comparable to  the community college enrollments, as well.  That is something  that we could look at, at that stage.

       I have some other questions in this area, Madam Chairperson,  dealing with international education and perhaps with governance,  but I believe my colleague in the Liberal Party wants to ask some  questions on vocational education.

Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  I am just looking at the private  vocational schools list that I have in front of me here.  I heard  some of the discussion about transport and professional driving  schools.  I see there are a number of them here.  Is C C Manitoba  Driving School one of the heavy truck driving schools?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, it is.

Mr. Alcock:  I could go about this two ways.  One is, I could ask  on each one or perhaps you could identify, I see, C C, Kleysen's,  Merv Orr, Reimer, Right Choice‑‑have I identified all of the  heavy truck driving schools?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes.

Mr. Alcock:  Well, perhaps starting with C C Manitoba, could the  minister tell us the fee that is paid for training at these  schools?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, those details are ones that  we are certainly willing to look into.  We are certainly willing  to table them, provided that we are not in any violation of  confidentiality in giving out that particular information through  this process.

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Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, I am sorry if I misunderstand the  minister.  Is she saying that the Legislature might not be in a  position to know how much the public is spending to send people  to schools that the public is funding?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I do not believe the honourable  member asked that particular question.  He asked a question about  fees.

Mr. Alcock:  I believe I asked the minister‑‑I started with what  is listed here on the list the minister tabled as the C C  Manitoba Driving School, and I believe I asked the minister how  much was being paid, the fee that was being paid to send people  to that school.  Let me enlarge upon that.  Let me be very  precise about that.  When an individual is sent to this school,  supported by the province‑‑if they are being supported by the  province‑‑what fee is the province paying?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I believe the honourable member  has misunderstood in his question, so I would like to try and  clarify it for him precisely.

       We do not fund, for individuals, the schools which are  designated under the Canada Student Loans Program.  Then students  are eligible for tuition assistance, and they are assessed based  on their needs, and in terms of the student assistance program it  falls under the appropriation 16‑5(g).

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, I believe, however, that both  provision of assistance to eligible students under the Manitoba  Student Financial Assistance Program in compliance with The  Private Schools Vocational Act and administration of The Private  Schools Vocational Act and systems development all fall under the  description of the Objectives, Activity Identification and  Expected Results of Item 16‑5(b) Program Analysis, Coordination  and Support.

       So is the minister saying that under 16‑5(b) Program  Analysis, Coordination and Support that they are not assuming any  responsibility for The Private Vocational Schools Act?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, again in that question the  member has asked a slightly different question in that past  question, which I believe was obviously read into the record but  not stated that it was read into the record.  Let me try and  clarify for the member again.  The province does not give money  directly to the private vocational schools.  The Canada student  loans where the students are able to apply for the Canada Student  Loans Program and also some eligible bursaries, that funding is  then given to the student.

       The Administration Act, which the member has referenced, does  not provide funding to the private vocational schools but is  funding expended in doing the activities which I have most  recently described just a couple of moments ago to the member for  Wolseley.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, the establishment of the loan  support rate is comprised of a number of components, one of which  is the fees and supplies in attending the particular  organization.  For example, the one item that is increased in the  student assistance that is available to students has been that  portion that is directly attributable to the increasing in  tuition fees at the universities.  So, presumably, in order to  make that adjustment one needs to know what those fees are.

       Are you saying that student loans are approved for students  going to the vocational schools and/or bursaries without any  understanding of what the fees are in those facilities?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, well, the answer is no.  The  member's question, his first question, and I hope that he will  check Hansard if there is any doubt in terms of what he had said,  he did ask for the tuition cost of, and he used by way of  example, C C Manitoba Driving School.  My answer to him was, is  that, yes, I will provide that tuition information, that fee  information, provided it is not in violation of any rules and  that we will certainly check into it, and if it is possible to  provide it, we will provide it for him.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, perhaps, I could ask this  question.  Would a student be eligible for a Canada student loan  if they were attending the C C Manitoba Driving School?

Mrs. Vodrey:  We would need to check if that particular school,  by way of the member's example, is a designated institution under  the Canada Student Loans Program.  As I have said, when we look  at those specifics, Appropriation XVI 5.(g) is the one that we  need to look at.

Mr. Alcock:  As it says in the expected results for this XVI 5(b)  Program Analysis, Coordination and Support, compliance with The  Private Vocational Schools Act‑‑Perhaps the minister could answer  this question.  Which ones of the 37 schools that are listed on  the document that the minister tabled, accepting enrollments for  4,461 students, are registered with the Canada Student Loans  Program?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The answer this time is the same as the answer the  last time.  I am certainly willing to check those designations  for the member, but those designations are best discussed under  the Student Aid Appropriation, XVI 5.(g).

Mr. Alcock:  Given that this particular unit, the Program  Analysis, Coordination and Support branch, XVI 5(b) is charged to  ensure compliance with The Private Vocational Schools Act, why is  it that the unit does not know which schools are registered with  the Canada Student Loans Program?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  I think it would be important to point out to the  member that registration under The Private Vocational Schools Act  is different than a designation or a designation under the Canada  Student Loans Program.  I am informed there are literally  hundreds of institutions which are designated under the Canada  Student Loans Program, and of these 37 programs which the member  has referenced, I have explained to him that we will be happy to  look at that when we come to the issue of designation as opposed  to registration.  But I also have made the offer, as well, to  table a clean list of which of the schools have been designated  as approved institutions for Canada student loans and the  Manitoba government bursaries.

Mr. Alcock:  I thank the minister for offering to table that  list.  Could I also ask her to include on that list‑‑I mean, if  we referenced the list of the 37 that I have in front of me  here‑‑perhaps, we could include which ones have been designated  under the Canada Student Loans Program which ones are eligible  for bursary support, if there is any difference between those and  those that are designated for Canada student loan, and what  portion of the support that they are eligible for would be  comprised of the fee charged at the various schools that are  designated?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, again, I am informed in those  schools which are eligible for Canada student loan assistance and  bursary which, by the way, when they are eligible for one they  would also be eligible, if circumstances require, to be eligible  for the other, and they would be eligible for the whole or a  portion of the fee up to the maximum allowed depending also on  the number of weeks of training.

       I do have in front of me, and I am prepared to read into the  record, a list of the private institutions which have been  approved for Canada student loan and Manitoba government  bursaries, but I will also provide for the member the additional  information which he has asked for.

       In terms of the private institutions, I would like to list  for the record‑‑Advanced School of Hairstyling, the Brandon  Flying Club, Cambrian Business College, Classic Hairstyling  Academy, Custom Helicopters Ltd., Dauphin Air Services, European  School of Esthetics, Golden Eagle Flying Academy, Harv's Air  Service Ltd., Herzing institute, Maple Leaf Aviation Ltd.,  Mid‑Ocean Recording Studio, Morden College, National Institute of  Broadcasting, Patel Vocational Preparation Schools Ltd., Pollock  Beauty School, Professional Musicians College, Reimer Express  Driver Training institute, Robertson Career College, Scientific  Marvel School of Hairdressing & Esthetics, Success Angus Business  College, National Training Institute, Winnipeg Aviation Co. Ltd.  and the Winnipeg Flying Club.

Mr. Alcock:  Can the minister explain what is the difference  between, for example, in this case, a school that provides  training for heavy truck operators‑‑Reimer Express driving was  one that was indicated as having been approved‑‑and the other  driving schools that apparently, as they were not read out, one  assumes are not approved?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed, first of all, in order to be  eligible, that schools must apply to be eligible, and then, when  they have made that application, there is a review of the  curriculum.  It is also dependent upon the length of the program  and other detailed criteria which we will be pleased to discuss  when we get to that appropriation.

Mr. Alcock:  Could the minister then tell me what the department  means when she says in the Supplementary Estimates under this  particular division:  Compliance with The Private Vocational  Schools Act.  What does the "compliance" comprise?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, the "compliance" is the compliance which I  spent a great amount of time discussing with the member for  Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) most recently and in this same evening.

       Let me, for the member's assistance, tell him again that the  compliance is through a registration process, through a process  of security where schools are required to post a security to  provide tuition refunds in the event of a school closure, also  the process of curriculum review, also a monitoring process and  also a mechanism for complaint resolution.

Mr. Alcock:  Then, if I understand the minister correctly, to  take the next step, which is to become designated as a school at  which a student may receive a Canada Assistance loan and Manitoba  bursary support to attend the school in question, has to apply,  go through some further examination on curriculum and some  further review before they receive that designation.

       Have any of the other driver training schools made that  application?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The member does continue to ask information which  falls under the student assistance appropriation line, but we  will be pleased to get that information for him and provide it to  him.

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Mr. Alcock:  I notice also that when the minister was reading off  the list of organizations, she mentioned the Brandon Flying Club  and I think there was the Dauphin and the Winnipeg, and a series  of flying schools.  Are these not registered under The Private  Vocational Schools Act?

Mrs. Vodrey:  A practice common across Canada, flying schools by  precedent are registered by the Department of Transport, and  because of that particular registration and approval process,  then we do not register them under private vocational schools.

Mr. Alcock:  I note that when the minister was talking about what  compliance with The Private Vocational Schools Act meant, there  was mention of the establishment of a bond, some provision for  fee repayment, presumably in the event that the school did not  continue and the like.  Are these same consumer protections  available to students attending the flying schools?

Mrs. Vodrey:  As these flying clubs are not required to be  registered under The Private Vocational Schools Act, then they  are not, as required under that act, required to post a security.

       We are not sure at this moment exactly what surety is  required by Transport Canada.  However, I do understand the issue  the member is raising, and we are presently looking into this  issue; staff is meeting with the Department of Transport to look  at this matter.  We are looking at the advantages and the  disadvantages required across Canada, and I can say to him that  it is a matter under consideration.

Mr. Alcock:  Are the flying schools the only schools that fall  outside of the reach, if you like, of The Private Vocational  Schools Act?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The answer is yes, because of the strict federal  regulations governing those flying clubs.

Mr. Alcock:  Can the minister tell me what ICS Canadian Ltd. does?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, yes, it stands for International  Correspondence School.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, the same question relative to  Working Women Inc.

Mrs. Vodrey:  The title is Women Working Inc.  It is a program, I  am informed, operated by women to train women in the  nontraditional occupations, specifically trades, and by way of  example, carpentry.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, and Foundations Learning Centre.

Mrs. Vodrey:  We are going to check on the details of exactly the  function that that vocational school performs, and we will bring  them back to the member.

Mr. Alcock:  Perhaps I could draw the minister's attention now to  the Industrial and Occupational Employment Projects Manitoba 1990  to the year 2000, which was tabled by the minister on the 12th of  May.  I note that this is drawn from the labour force survey.  I  note that in the opening statements on it, when we are looking at  the outlook to 2000 that the minister's report is projecting a  rate of growth significantly less than that which took place  during the '80s, that is in the period from 1990 to the year 2000  growth at less, about eight‑tenths of 1 percent a year.  Can the  minister explain why they are projecting such a low rate of  growth?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I just wondered if the member  could clarify for us if he is talking about labour force growth,  or what is the growth that he is referring to specifically?

Mr. Alcock:  Yes, I would be pleased to clarify that.  It is in  the paper that is titled Industrial and Occupational Employment  Projects Manitoba 1990 to the year 2000, the first page of which  is a very brief description of the Canada labour force survey and  then how it is added to and the occupational projection system  that is used to, I suspect‑‑and I am not familiar with that  particular model but I am familiar with a related one.

       I assume it takes some specific Manitoba data and embellishes  that provided by Statistics Canada and gives a fuller picture of  what is happening in Manitoba.  Then, when we look at the first  page, which is now the third page of the document, it says  employment in Manitoba is expected to grow from 505,000 in 1990  to 547,000 in the year 2000, an increase of 8.3 percent.  This  growth is less than the growth of the 1980s.

       Presumably in the '80s, they mean the decade from 1980 to  1989 and now they are talking about 1990 to the year 2000.

       The minister's report is projecting a slower rate of growth  in employment in this decade, which seems to be at odds with the  projections of the Finance minister (Mr. Manness).  I was just  wondering if she could clarify the statements that are made in  this item.

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Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that this is an extrapolation that is  taken from a static model.  Within that static model it  references a current industrial structure, it also references  current demographics.  It predicts a slower labour force growth  in the '90s.  The model then projects slower employment.  But  because this is a static model, it does then point to the efforts  that Manitobans must make to encourage our growth beyond what we  saw in the '80s.  We do not want to remain the same; therefore it  is consistent with the Minister of Finance's goals in terms of  our restructuring and not to remain static and to then encourage  growth within Manitoba's economy and therefore encourage  employment.

Mr. Alcock:  I am just wondering if the minister could clarify  what she means by static?  Is it that if nothing were to occur in  Manitoba that the rate of growth would then be the 8.3 percent  projected, so that it is some sort of linear projection, or is  this the department and the model's best guesstimate given the  conditions at the time the forecast was created?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, this forecast is based on the  current economic structure and also anticipated changes in  demographics.  If the conditions continue to exist exactly as  they were at the time of the forecast, then this is the  projection.  The Minister of Finance then wants to alter the  conditions, and he wants to provide for economic structural  changes in order to then increase the employment of Manitobans.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, I note that the date on the cover  of this document is Fall 1991.  Now, would that have been the  time when this data was fed into this model?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, I am informed that those figures  probably took in the range of six months to one year to be  gathered and that they are based upon the structure of the  economy, not the state of the economy, that they are based upon  the job distribution by industrial sector and not on revenue  projections, and they are not an economic forecast.

Mr. Alcock:  It is a rather curious statement that employment  statistics are not an economic forecast.  I agree that this is  not a complete economic forecast; however, they seem to be rather  closely tied and employment is a major indicator of economic  health.

       Now, I am interested in the fact that this projection which  would have been conducted, if I understood the minister right,  around the end of the third year that this government has been in  office indicates a rate of growth in employment, a projected rate  of growth of less than‑‑well, it is 8.3 tenths of 1 percent on an  annual basis if it is averaged.  In the fundamental  goods‑producing industries, and that includes manufacturing, a  rate of growth of only 7.3 percent over the 10 years, a yearly  average of just over seven‑tenths of 1 percent.

       Is any of this information shared with the Department of  Finance?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  I believe that this information is provided to my  colleagues, particularly those in specific departments, and I  will remind the member again that it is a projection based on the  structure of employment at the time.  It does not take into  account the additional efforts by government which are currently  underway, the restructuring that the Minister of Finance (Mr.  Manness) is currently doing.  Of course, that minister also makes  projections based on the economy.  I would remind the member that  we do have additional efforts as a government currently in place,  the Economic Development Board of Cabinet and within education,  we are working on the labour force development strategy.  These  are some additional efforts underway.

Mr. Alcock:  It strikes me that in one sense any projection of  any sort is static in the way that the minister means it.  We try  to build dynamic models, but they are only known for their  failures.  It also strikes me that after four years of work at  restructuring the economy on the part of this government that  they have succeeded in reducing employment in the province, not  increasing it.  So from that perspective, this projection could  be a very optimistic one at the 8.3 percent and not necessarily a  pessimistic one.

       I would though like to try to understand the situation with  manufacturing in particular here.  I note here on‑‑now we move to  page 5, when they talk about the fastest growing industries from  1990 to the year 2000, that aircraft and parts is the lowest of  the list of industries that are listed here.  It has the lowest  rate of growth, and yet I believe it is one of the priority areas  for this government.  Can the minister just help me understand  the apparent inconsistency?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, I will say again to the member that this is a  projection if nothing changed.  According to what the member is  eading now, if nothing changed then the aircraft, parts and  maintenance would have been predicted to have a lower rate of  growth.  We have recognized in Manitoba that there is a very  strong potential for growth.  We recognize that through training  programs and through economic development there certainly is a  potential here and through that development of the potential,  then we can certainly compete better across Canada and also  internationally.

Mr. Alcock:  Then, if I understand the minister correctly, she is  saying that this projection does not reflect the three years of  work by the government that would have taken place by the time  this projection was made?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, the document does not  necessarily reflect all the groundwork that was done in a number  of areas in terms of the potential economic development which we  are looking forward to.  The statistics were based on the current  environment at the time, and as I have said to the member, they  do not necessarily reflect other initiatives that are underway.

       It is a document, again, that was a potential forecast if the  conditions did not change.  I think that it is important to say,  if conditions did not change, and that what the Minister of  Finance (Mr. Manness) has been discussing is a structural change  for economic development within this province.

       There are a number of activities which are currently ongoing  which are part of the nonstatic part of a document like this.

Mr. Alcock:  Well, that is interesting.  What are the nonstatic  parts of a document like this?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, well, the nonstatic parts of  this particular document are, in fact, the demographic changes  then, the movement in and out of Manitoba, the numbers of youth  to be employed, the number of people retiring.  Those would be  the nonstatic parts, the demographics that are somewhat more  difficult to predict.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, yes, and population growth is  certainly referenced in the introduction to this document, and is  credited with having a large impact on the slower employment  growth.

       So if I understand the minister correctly then, what she is  saying is that after three years of this government's policies,  if you take a snapshot and you relate that snapshot to population  projections which are considerably lower than the national  projections, this is the outcome, which is a rate of growth  considerably less than that of the previous decade.

       For the minister's benefit, rather than just going once more  around the particular bush because anticipating her reminding me  that I am not taking into account the projections or wishes of  the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) as opposed to the reality  of the performance of the government for those three years and  the fourth‑‑perhaps I can just forestall that by asking the  minister, is it not possible then in such a projection as we have  seen in the first four years that this government has been in  power that their restructuring has meant, in fact, increased  unemployment and the increased impoverishment of people and the  forcing of more people out of the labour force?  Therefore, this  projection of 8.3 percent could be very optimistic, and we could  see considerable movement to reduce that projection?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  I would like to stress that the issues of  employment and training are important, I believe, to all of us,  and they are certainly very important to the members of this  government and to the Department of Education.  So I believe that  the member's comments have had a single focus.

       He has had a history of taking a single point, and he has  tried to use that single point to develop a whole scenario.  This  has certainly been the practice of that member, a very partisan  kind of argument built, not necessarily in the interests of  Manitobans by individuals who are sent to this House to really  look at the issues of employment and training and the issues of  concern, of poverty, which the honourable member has mentioned.

       So I would like to say to the honourable member that this  government has in fact done a great deal to show its commitment  to the employment and to the training of Manitobans.  We are  concerned, as we have discussed.  In the last sheet that the  member has referenced I have explained to him that that  particular sheet is a static graph.

       Within this government we are certainly taking a number of  steps to encourage and to increase our economic development and  to also encourage and to increase employment within this  province.  The Department of Education itself is working very  hard on the training issues so that there will be a trained work  force, trained in the areas in which we believe that the economic  development will be surfacing within this province.

       Again I take him back to the discussions of today when we  looked at the movement towards college governance, the training  programs that we have in place within this province and how we  are wanting to look at high market ability training, high  employment training.  We are certainly looking through these  initiatives to assist the people of Manitoba with a long‑term  strategy for their well‑being and for the well‑being of all  Manitobans.

       I have read into the record a number of the additional  courses which have been offered at the community colleges and  certainly they can be referenced.  I would like to add to that,  programs in adult literacy which we have to assist Manitobans who  wish to then develop their literacy skills in a program that is  learner‑centred so that they can begin to develop literacy skills  either for the workplace or for their own intrinsic satisfaction.

       We have been working very hard to develop this nucleus of  adult literacy practitioners and the honourable member for  Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) referenced the importance of the training  of adults being different and recognized as being different from  the teaching and the training of children.  We have recognized  that particularly in the literacy area.

       We also have, as I know we will be discussing further, a  number of special skills training areas.  We have discussed them  many times in this House.  To assist Manitobans, we have looked  at, in particular, special skills training in the area of new  careers where we have had training for daycare providers,  transport drivers, guides, retail managers and we have also, as  has been discussed within this House, Workforce 2000.

       Workforce 2000 within the past year has certainly shown  itself to be extremely valuable both to the employees and to the  employers of Manitoba as they wish to bring their industries and  their businesses into the twentieth century so that Manitobans  will not lose employment.  This does have, as I have said before,  with a commitment to education a two‑part value, an economic  value and also an intrinsic value to those people who are  employed within those industries which have been able to take  advantage of Workforce 2000.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Chairperson, I am afraid I must make a couple  of comments in response to the minister, who indicated that I was  picking up on a single indicator of a problem.  I have gone  through 15, the 15 indicators that are tracked by Stats Canada on  a monthly basis, and we are down seriously on 11 of them.  We  have 50,000 fewer people in this province than we would have if  we had met '88 levels.  We have over a billion dollars less  economic activity proportional to our size in this province.  Unemployment is down in real terms.  Full‑time jobs are down by  almost 20,000 over the life of this government.

       Capital investment, we just went through that today, we are  off some $370 million.  If we had just held the same proportion  of private sector capital investment that we had in 1988 we would  have nearly $370 million more.  Average hourly wage, average  weekly wages are down.  Retail sales activity is off by almost  $400 million.  These are all proportional trends.  By every  objective test this government has been a failure.  The policy  structure that this minister is so proud of and the one that she  speaks of with such passion has not proven successful on a single  front‑‑not one.  I would remind the minister that the Minister of  Finance (Mr. Manness) has yet to disprove a single statement that  has been made in this House on those numbers‑‑not one.

       Now, I note that we are getting close to the hour of  adjournment, and the member for Wolseley (Ms. Friesen) would like  to ask a couple more questions.  I think that it would be useful  perhaps in the light of a new day to come back to the industrial  employment, but I will yield the mike to the member for Wolseley  so she can get a few questions in on international agreements.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, just in response again to the honourable  member.  He has raised issues and again he can debate those  issues with several members on this side of the House, and I know  he has attempted to engage at least four of us in that process.  My response to him is that I am very pleased to be able to talk  about what the Department of Education is doing in the area of  training to make sure that we have in preparation, and to assist  in the area of economic development and growth, a trained work  force.

       I have spoken with some passion about the efforts of this  government because I also believe that there are by extension of  the efforts of this government, the efforts of a significant  number of Manitobans who are working very hard in the field,  assisting and training and teaching people who are also, in the  area of education, committed to the skills.  I also believe that  there are employees working presently who are also committed to  the retraining possibilities that are available to them through  Workforce 2000.  So the member is right, I do have a number of  very strong ideas about the strength of our programs in terms of  the training and what the Department of Education and those  people who work within the department and who work within the  colleges and also who work within private industry and the people  who are receiving that training have.

Ms. Friesen:  I wanted to raise under this same section, 16‑5(b),  the issue of education and training relationships with other  countries.  I wonder if the minister could start by discussing  the activities of the department in this area in negotiating new  agreements and administering or co‑ordinating continuing  international educational agreements.

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Madam Chairperson, well, in 1991‑92 the  Intergovernmental Affairs and International Education Directorate  was responsible for a number of activities, and the first one,  the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, ACCC, through the  Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA, entered into an  agreement with Red River Community College to deliver a four‑year  linkage initiative beginning in 1991‑92 under the Canada China  College Linkage Program, CCCLP.

       CIDA's financial contribution to this project is $300,000 and  calls for the provision of technical assistance by Manitoba to  the Shenyang Electric Power Institute and training of SEPI staff  in Manitoba in areas of management and electrical, electronic,  power technology, curriculum development, and teaching  methodologies and the provision of capital equipment, such as  computer hardware, accessory software as well as the learning  materials to SEPI.  I believe I did discuss that specific  initiative at an earlier date with the member when we spoke of  the agreement with the Shenyang Electric Power Institute several  sessions ago.

       In addition, ACCC through CIDA entered into an agreement with  Red River Community College under the Program Development Fund,  or PDF, valued at $54,550 to undertake the following initiatives  with Dar es Salaam Technical College, or DSTC, and in that area  to provide funding for a DSTC staff member to pursue graduate  studies at the University of Manitoba.  The funding will cover  tuition fees and living allowance, textbooks and materials.  Also  to ship up to 25 used computers scheduled for replacement at Red  River Community College to DSTC, the cost of the shipment and  accessories will be covered by the project funding, and also the  provision of technical assistance by Manitoba to DSTC in the  areas of college management, staff development and program  evaluation.

       The second annual report on the Manitoba‑Minnesota Agreement  is currently being prepared by Minnesota in collaboration with  Manitoba for release in 1992, and I have some of the details of  the agreement if the member would like to know in more detail.

       In addition, I would also, as time is short, like to  reference another program, Vision '91.  Manitoba won the right to  host the 1991 ACCC conference in Winnipeg.  That took place  between May 25 and 30 in 1991.

       In addition to that, the directorate planned and co‑ordinated  Manitoba missions for four senior education delegations, two from  China, then India and Zimbabwe; and hosted and participated in  meetings with senior officials representing ACCC and CBIE,  External Affairs and International Trade, CIDA and the Secretary  of State on matters of international education, the UNESCO and  immigrant credentials, foreign students, international marketing,  Canada/Manitoba immigration agreement and in collaboration with  ACCC hosted a workshop on international education at Assiniboine  Community College in Brandon in 1991.  That was attended by  Manitoba and Saskatchewan college and institute staff.

       In the area of immigrant credentials, the director of IAIE  was a member of the working group on the recognition of immigrant  credentials and experience.  That committee produced a report  listing several recommendations and policy strategies on  developing mechanisms for accreditation of foreign credentials in  Manitoba.

       In terms of future initiatives, we are looking at exploring  the possibility of a major, bilateral initiative between Manitoba  and Tanzania with funding from the Canadian International  Development Agency or CIDA and exploring the possibility of  establishing a linkage project between KCC and a college in  Tanzania or China and also the development of a Manitoba policy  on international education.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, I thank the minister for that  introduction.  I am interested, first of all, in receiving a copy  of that report on immigration credentials if that is possible.  Is that a publicly available report?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, that is public information, and it would be  available through my colleague the honourable Minister of  Culture, Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson).

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister explain that relationship then?  I am just not sure.  This is done under this department, but the  report was submitted to the Minister of Culture, Heritage and  Citizenship?  Why was that?

Mrs. Vodrey:   We are discussing the department and their role in  international education and immigrant credentials fall within  that.  The Department of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship now  has that responsibility.  My point was to let the member know  that we are connected to this by representation on that  committee, but the report was tabled to the Minister of Culture,  Heritage and Citizenship.

       Madam Chairperson, I also see time is running short.  I do  have an item which I did say that I would table today.  It is the  administrative and policy manuals, Department of Education and  Training.  This was requested by the honourable member for  Osborne (Mr. Alcock), and I believe this is the listing that he  had requested.

Ms. Friesen:  A number of international agreements that the  minister indicated which are under specific community colleges, I  am wondering what is going to happen to these programs, or at  least the direction and development of these programs, when the  colleges have moved to governance.

       Does the minister anticipate that the negotiation,  administration and responsibility for these international  programs will rest with the individual college boards or will  they still be the responsibility of this department?

Mrs. Vodrey:  The administration of the specific programs would  rest with the board of the colleges.  However, the department  role would be to develop a strategy and to co‑ordinate the  activities among the institutions.  By way of example, the  Manitoba‑Minnesota agreement; the universities are autonomous,  the government signed the agreement but the universities do carry  out the day‑to‑day work of that particular agreement.

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Ms. Friesen:  Similarly, this is one of the questions I was going  to ask.  There are obviously‑‑each of the universities has a  number of international agreements as well.  I am wondering again  from the perspective of a section of the department which looks  at overall policy and planning, what is the connection, for  example, between the programs in China that are run by the  community colleges and those which are run by the universities?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that there really is not a  connection, that the colleges have tended to focus on the  technical and the vocational side.  The universities have  focussed more on the research and the academic.

Ms. Friesen:  From the perspective of developing Manitoba's  economic potential and the long‑range relationships of this  province overseas, does the minister see any benefit in this  department co‑ordinating the overseas programs in Education?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Well, this is a topic which I would like to see  discussed under the area of the university review.  So at this  time, I think, it would be important that the member recognize  that I do see some area for exploring here, but I would like to  leave it to the university review, under their mandate and scope,  to examine it specifically.

Ms. Friesen:  Then do I understand that the university review is  going to look at some elements of co‑ordination with community  college policy?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I do not want to at this point talk specifically  about the mandate of the university review and its scope, but I  would say that it does stand to reason that would be an important  area which I believe might be considered within the university  review and its relationship to the community colleges.

Ms. Friesen:  Madam Chairperson, I think the minister should know  that would be welcomed on this side of the House.  We believe  that a university's review is not necessarily the best way of  looking at post‑secondary education.  We believe it is important  to look at the range of all the post‑secondary areas that the  province is involved in.

       I have one more question, I think, before I am prepared to  leave this for the evening.  One further area, looking at the  international programs.  I can see a number of them obviously  dealing with China, Dar es Salaam, with Tanzania, Zimbabwe,  India, et cetera, that are of obvious benefit and usefulness to  the overseas areas.

       It is less clear from the minister's responses at this stage,  and I just wanted to explore it a little further, what the  particular benefits are to the institutions in Manitoba?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Within these international agreements, first of  all, it is Manitoba's contribution to overseas development.  It  also does bring revenue into the province.  There also is benefit  to the instructors involved because they, I believe, grow by  association with ideas of teachers in other parts of the world.  They also grow by their teaching experience within that  environment.

Mr. Friesen:  Could the minister be a bit more specific on the  revenue that comes into the province as a result of these  agreements?

Mrs. Vodrey:  I am informed that it is very common for the  colleges to charge for the service and the program plus 15  percent in the colleges.  I understand also that the universities  will charge approximately 30 percent.

Ms. Friesen:  Could the minister give us an indication of what  the annual revenue is from the existing agreements?  I should  also specifically ask:  Does the revenue go to each individual  college or does it come into general revenue at this stage?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Presently, the revenue does flow into the general  revenue, but colleges then are able to receive approval to make  expenditures against that revenue.  When we move to college  governance, the revenue will then remain with the colleges.  In  terms of the detail of that revenue received, we are certainly  prepared to look for that information, prepare that information  and table it for the member.

Ms. Friesen:  Is it possible, at the same time as you table that  information‑‑I do not necessarily want it this evening‑‑also to  have a cost column in there too?  Can we look at the cost‑benefit  relationship of these programs?

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Mrs. Vodrey:  Yes, we will include a column relating to the cost,  and the cost benefit then would be available to be noted.

Ms. Friesen:  I have a number of other questions in this area  relating to the Manitoba‑Minnesota agreement, which we have not  dealt with, and also dealing with some of the national  agreements, particularly looking at the potential for national  standards and national accreditation in post‑secondary  education.  But I am quite prepared for the committee to rise now  if that is the general wish of the House.

Madam Chairperson:  What is the will of the committee?  Committee  rise?

       Committee rise.  Call in the Speaker.




Madam Deputy Speaker:  The hour being past 10 p.m., this House is  adjourned and stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow  (Wednesday).