LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF
Tuesday, June 2, 1992
The House met at 1:30 p.m.
Kevin Lamoureux (
Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona): Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the petition of Sara Dyck, Ken Reynolds, Elizabeth A. Smith and others requesting the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) call upon the Parliament of Canada to amend the Criminal Code to prevent the release of individuals where there is substantial likelihood of further family violence.
Mr. Speaker: I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Emerson (Mr. Penner). It complies with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules. Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?
petition of the undersigned
your petitioner desires that The Winnipeg Bible College and Theological
Seminary Incorporation Act L.R.M., 1990 c. 217 be amended to change the name of
the Corporation to Providence College and Theological Seminary. The petitioner has changed its name from
your petitioner humbly prays that the Legislature of the
And is in duty bound your petitioner will ever pray.
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I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans), and it complies with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules. Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?
petition of the undersigned citizens of the
The administration of the hospital has been forced to take drastic measures including the elimination of the Palliative Care Unit and gynecological wards, along with the layoff of over 30 staff, mainly licensed practical nurses, to cope with a funding shortfall of over $1.3 million; and
your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the
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I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Rupertsland (Mr. Harper), and it complies with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules. Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?
petition of the undersigned citizens of the
THAT the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry was launched in April of 1988 to conduct an examination of the relationship between the justice system and aboriginal people; and
The AJI delivered its report in August of 1991 and concluded that the justice system has been a massive failure for aboriginal people; and
The AJI report endorsed the inherent right of aboriginal self‑government and the right of aboriginal communities to establish an aboriginal justice system; and
The Canadian Bar Association, The Law Reform Commission of Canada, among many others, also recommend both aboriginal self‑government and a separate and parallel justice system; and
On January 28, 1992, five months after releasing the report, the provincial government announced it was not prepared to proceed with the majority of the recommendations; and
Despite the All‑Party Task Force Report which endorsed aboriginal self‑government, the provincial government now rejects a separate and parallel justice system, an Aboriginal Justice Commission and many other key recommendations which are solely within provincial jurisdiction.
your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the
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I have reviewed the petition of the honourable member for Selkirk (Mr. Dewar), and it complies with the privileges and practices of the House and complies with the rules (by leave). Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?
petition of the undersigned citizens of the
WHEREAS the Human Resources Opportunity Office has operated in Selkirk for over 21 years providing training for the unemployed and people re‑entering the labour force; and
WHEREAS during the past 10 years alone over 1,000 trainees have gone through the program gaining valuable skills and training; and
WHEREAS upwards of 80 percent of the training centre's recent graduates have found employment; and
WHEREAS without consultation the program was cut in the 1992 provincial budget forcing the centre to close; and
there is a growing need for this program in Selkirk and the program has the
support of the town of
your petitioners humbly pray that the Legislature of the
PRESENTING REPORTS BY STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Mrs. Louise Dacquay (Chairperson of Committees): Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply has adopted certain resolutions, directs me to report the same and asks leave to sit again.
I move, seconded by the honourable member for La Verendrye (Mr. Sveinson), that the report of the committee be received.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Jack Reimer (Chairperson of Standing Committee on Private Bills): Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the Second Report on the Standing Committee on Private Bills.
Mr. Clerk (William Remnant): Your Standing Committee on Private Bills presents the following as their Second Report.
committee met on Monday, June 1, 1992, at 3 p.m., in Room 254 of the
Your committee has considered:
Bill 52, The Pas Health Complex Incorporation Amendment Act;Loi modifiant la Loi constituant en corporation "The PasHealth Complex"
Bill 90, The Seven Oaks General Hospital IncorporationAmendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi constituant encorporation le "Seven Oaks General Hospital"
and has agreed to report the same without amendment.
Your committee recommends that the fees paid with respect to;
Bill 39, The Salvation Army Grace General HospitalIncorporation Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi constituanten corporation "The Salvation Army Grace General Hospital"
which was considered on May 12, 1992, be refunded less the cost of printing.
Your committee also recommends that the fees paid with respect to the following private bill be refunded, less the cost of printing:
Bill 90, The Seven Oaks General Hospital IncorporationAmendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi constituant encorporation le "Seven Oaks General Hospital"
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Mr. Reimer: I move, seconded by the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau), that the report of the committee be received.
Motion agreed to.
TABLING OF REPORTS
Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), I would like to table the '92‑93 Departmental Expenditure Estimates for the Department of Justice Supplementary Information for Legislative Review.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
Bill 94‑The Statute Law Amendment (Taxation) Act, 1992
Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance): I move, seconded by the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings), that Bill 94, The Statute Law Amendment (Taxation) Act, 1992 (Loi de 1992 modifiant diverses dispositions legislatives en matiere de fiscalite), be introduced and that the same be now received and read a first time.
His Honour the Lieutenant‑Governor, having been advised of the contents of this bill, recommends it to the House, and I would like to table that message.
Motion agreed to.
Introduction of Guests
Mr. Speaker: Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the attention of honourable members to the loge to my right, where we have with us this afternoon the Honourable Dr. David Carter, the Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly.
On behalf of all honourable members, I would like to welcome you here this afternoon, Sir.
with us this afternoon we have, from the
Also this afternoon, from the Leaf Rapids Education Centre, we have thirty Grade 8 students, and they are under the direction of Suzanne Billing. This school is located in the constituency of the honourable member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie).
On behalf of all honourable members, I would like to welcome you here this afternoon.
ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Delegation of Powers
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Premier.
After the Beaudoin‑Dobbie report was made public on March 1, 1992, the Premier (Mr. Filmon) of this province stated unequivocally on national TV and in all of the media of this province that he was absolutely opposed to the delegation of powers in the federal government, and he went on further to describe the powers that were being changed to the provinces that would reduce the federal government to the status of a post office.
In light of the material contained within the rolling draft and the other material that is now in the public arena about the proposed constitutional amendments, can the Deputy Premier explain to the people of Manitoba how the province feels about the six proposed exclusive areas of jurisdiction to be moved over to the provinces in an exclusive way, Mr. Speaker, and how that fits with the task force report on the Constitution in calling for a strong national government with a maintenance of strong national programs for the people of Canada and the people of Manitoba?
Hon. James Downey (Deputy Premier): Mr. Speaker, I do not have to explain the process to the Leader of the Opposition.
There are a number of processes and proposals that are on the table as it relates to the whole constitutional package that has been discussed over the past many weeks by my colleague, the Attorney General (Mr. McCrae). Many statements have been made. There have been no final conclusions reached, and I would not expect to have to deal with those until there is a final conclusion reached to which this Assembly and the people of Manitoba will have the opportunity to make comment.
Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, the minister says wait until we see it, but I think it is our responsibility to raise some of the issues out of the public task force reports to ensure and to prevent material being contained within the final proposal that is inconsistent with the public hearings in Manitoba and inconsistent with the long‑term vision that Manitoba has always maintained in terms of a strong national government.
Speaker, the Premier (Mr. Filmon) went on to say that if larger provinces take
over many services now offered by the federal government,
In light of these statements from the Premier, in light of what is contained now in the rolling draft, and in light of the fact that Manitobans want a strong national government and do not want to see the massive delegation of powers to the provinces, what is the position that this government is taking at the ministers' meeting, and are they opposing this delegation of power as the Premier indicated when the Beaudoin‑Dobbie report was released publicly some two and‑a‑half months ago?
Mr. Downey: Mr. Speaker, I am not going to get into the accepting of or the commenting on specific details relating to a rolling draft that the member refers to.
are in a constitutional process which has been going on for a long time, Mr.
Speaker, and I can assure the member, I believe that the people of
I, Mr. Speaker, would hope, and I say this genuinely, that as the process develops over the next few weeks, that we can see a conclusion to these constitutional discussions. I think the nation is constitutionally fatigued, and I think we all should work to try to accomplish a successful conclusion to those negotiations.
Spending Power Provisions
Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, I find it rather ironic that the government is willing to comment on the various components of the package and not comment about their position on the most important issue in the constitutional proposal.
Manitobans in the Meech Lake process and more Manitobans in the all‑party
task force dealing with the Constitution raised the vision of a strong national
government with the ability to redistribute wealth and income across the
regions and across to individual Canadians.
Yes, we want a united
have a final question to the Deputy Premier, because the government is making
comments on parts of the paper and, obviously, today, will not make comments on
this part of the proposal. During the
I would ask the Deputy Premier: In light of the fact that they have stated publicly their position on certain areas of the Constitution, what is their position on the spending power provisions? We would like to know and adjust our position before we go into the ministers' meetings next week, rather than waiting and reacting after.
James Downey (Deputy Premier): Mr. Speaker, I believe
strongly, and I think the people of
Let me tell you, I think it is unfair to ask today for comments specifically dealing with certain parts of a process. We believe strongly and have confidence in the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) who has been carrying the provincial government's position forward, the task force's position forward, into a process which I believe will work.
Mr. Speaker, let us give it time to do that. We are having some 10 days of ministers not getting together for, call it whatever you like, a cooling‑off period or a time to reflect on what has in fact taken place. I think when they go back to the table after the officials have worked, we will then have the opportunity to see what is accomplishable and what is not.
Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): Mr. Speaker, while the Constitution is on the
minds of many Canadians, the issue of jobs and jobs for their brothers and
sisters and their families are on the minds of every Canadian. The communications industry is one of the
Today, we have learned of another 50 or more people being laid off in the communications industry. Television stations have laid off people. Throughout the industry, we are losing jobs.
Can the Acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism or the Deputy Premier perhaps tell this House how many jobs have been lost in this industry and when this government is going to change course so that Manitobans can have jobs in their own province?
Hon. Jim Ernst (Acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism): Mr. Speaker, I will take that question as notice on behalf of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson), and he will report back to the House.
Mr. Storie: Well, Mr. Speaker, the only good thing about that answer is it is not the normal rhetoric we get from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Question.
Employment Creation Statistics
Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the same
minister or perhaps, preferably, to the Deputy Premier. The largest temporary services organization
Speaker, when is this government going to change its economic course so that we
are creating jobs in
Hon. James Downey (Deputy Premier): The member fails to recognize that we have been in and have seen an international recession which has caused, Mr. Speaker, a lot of restructuring, a lot of rethinking. In fact, we had to make some tough decisions within the government process. Some close to 1,000 positions‑‑and I say positions‑‑had to be dealt with as it related to the cost imposed on the taxpayers to continue to carry the size of Civil Service that we had. But it is not all doom and gloom, as the member for Flin Flon should note. In his community alone, there is some $185 million being spent to upgrade the smelter, which is part of a restructuring because of an environmental licensing which will create some 485 jobs at peak in his community this fall.
I would appreciate at some point that he would come forward and acknowledge that work that is being done, where in fact it is of a positive nature.
Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Premier should know there has been a 17 percent decrease in employment in the mining industry in the last year.
Mr. Speaker, my final question to the Deputy Premier: When we learned today that the Convention Centre has a deficit of some $650,000 directly related to this government's failed tourism strategy, can the minister explain what the government is going to do to correct that strategy and to create opportunities for the people in tourism industry who are also losing their jobs?
James Downey (Deputy Premier): Mr. Speaker, the member
refers to a drop in the numbers of individuals who are working in the mining
industry. There is no secret that we
were in the worst taxing position. We
had the highest taxes imposed on those people who were trying to carry out a
mining activity in
Number two, Mr. Speaker, what we have done is, over the last five budgets, we have frozen the personal income taxes. In fact, we lowered the personal income tax and froze taxes on the business community, which allows them to carry out a more competitive business in this country.
Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Deputy Premier.
n his statement to the House yesterday, the
Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) acknowledged that the current talks have
become all too reminiscent of the entire
Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Deputy Premier if his government will now reflect on its position further and consider giving its support to our call for a referendum, which would give the people of this province the final straightforward say on a yes‑no proposition of the proposals when they are in final form.
We have a process, Mr. Speaker, which was embarked upon and agreed upon by this Legislative Assembly, to have a resolution of such a nature brought back, debated, and then referred to the public for a public hearing process at which everyone and anyone can proceed to bring their comments and their positions forward. In fact, I would say it is national leadership as it refers to the input of a constitutional change.
this point, that is a process that is in place.
I would be prepared to discuss further with my colleague who is in
charge of the discussions and the Premier (Mr. Filmon) as to any change in
that. But, Mr. Speaker, that is the
process which has been accepted by this Legislature and I think by the people
Carstairs: Mr. Speaker, we have a million people in the
Mr. Downey: Mr. Speaker, the member of the Liberal Party may not understand how decisions are made and as leader of her caucus may take an independent and individualistic role in the leadership of her party.
Mr. Speaker, this government does not operate in that manner. It operates on a consensus of government, and rules and policies have been established. To change that takes a considerable amount of time, effort, input and justification. I am sure that would be an appropriate question, when the Premier returns, to put to him as to whether or not he plans to direct and lead that kind of a process.
Carstairs: Unlike the Deputy Premier, I was at the last
Earlier this afternoon, the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), the Deputy Premier, indicated that people were constitutionally fatigued. Well, Mr. Speaker, I agree. They are constitutionally fatigued, and perhaps one of the reasons they are constitutionally fatigued is because they know that they are going to have no final say in what their Constitution says. The only way to ensure that they will get over their fatigue is to give them a role.
the Deputy Premier tell this House why the people of
Downey: Mr. Speaker, I do not believe for one minute
that this government plans to impose something on the people of
believe the process that has been carried out so far is one that has been
responsible, as it has been directed by this Premier (Mr. Filmon) and by our
Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae). There
is not a proposal at this point, Mr. Speaker, that has not been proposed or
tabled before this Assembly or the people of
Becky Barrett (
The Lindenview Residence, an agency run by the Salvation Army, provides programs for teenaged mothers and their babies, which helps strengthen their chance of success, to help strengthen the chance of those families who are among the most vulnerable in our province becoming strong and being successful.
Will the Minister of Family Services confirm today that he has decreased the per diem to Lindenview Residence by 50 percent and he has eliminated entirely the per diem to the babies who are in Lindenview Residence? There is no per diem‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Question has been put.
Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services): Mr. Speaker, we fund quite a number of external agencies. I am going to have to take the question as notice. I do not have that detail with me. I do not believe we talked about that in the Estimates process when we spent some time together, but I will get the details for the member and report back to the House.
Ms. Barrett: Mr. Speaker, we did discuss this in Estimates.
Is the Minister of Family Services aware that Lindenview Residence now has a $50,000 deficit and is forced, because of the cutbacks by the provincial government, to appeal to the Manitoba Milk Marketing Board and to private diaper services to provide free milk and diapers for the babies in Lindenview Residence?
Mr. Gilleshammer: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we fund hundreds and hundreds of agencies throughout the province. I will have to get the details on that particular agency for the member. I would say to the member, it is not unusual for many of the agencies in the province to access funding from a number of levels of government, whether it is municipal or federal or provincial.
afternoon, I was at the
Ms. Barrett: Mr. Speaker, given that the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey), in a recent answer this afternoon, said, and I quote, tough decisions need to be made within the government process, can the Minister of Family Services state that a cutback to per diems‑‑the elimination of per diems for babies at Lindenview Residence and the concomitant need to go out and ask for free milk and diapers is part of that tough decision that this government has made?
Mr. Gilleshammer: Mr. Speaker, without accepting the member's preamble, I have indicated that I would look at the situation and bring an answer back to the House.
Community Committee Role
Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Urban Affairs.
Residents in my community are quite concerned about the issues of video arcade and adult video proliferation. Why has this government consistently amended The City of Winnipeg Act so that community committees which contain councillors who represent local interests are excluded from input on decisions of this kind on video arcades, adult videos and other matters of this kind surrounding variances?
Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Urban Affairs): Mr. Speaker, in the session before this one, The City of Winnipeg Act was amended to have the first judgment made on a variance or conditional use to be made by an appointed board of the members of City Council. That is the only change that has been made. Currently, the appeal process from that is to the elected representatives at City Hall. This matter is entirely within the hands of the City Council.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary to the same minister.
The minister is aware that amendments before this Legislature will now ensure that there is no input whatsoever from community committees. Why is this government opposed to local representatives having input on matters of this kind?
Mr. Ernst: Mr. Speaker, there is no change having taken place in Bill 78 than has happened for the past 20 years since The City of Winnipeg Act was implemented. The same appeal process is in place under whatever name you wish to call it. It is a committee of the central council that hears the appeals. It was heard by the committee of environment when it was called that. It was heard by the variance and conditional use appeal committee when it was called that, and it will be heard by a standing committee of council following the passage of amendments under Bill 78‑‑no change in the past 20 years.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Speaker, my final supplementary to the same minister.
Will the minister not agree that at one time the initial applications were heard by community committees and this bill will prohibit forever any input by local community committees because of the wording of this legislation? It will not be allowed, and City Council has passed a resolution opposing that.
Ernst: Mr. Speaker, in the session of 1991, because
of amendments made to the act in 1991, the original application will be heard
by a board of adjustment. That was
supported by the City of
Conawapa Pamphlet Review
Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro.
This morning in committee, I questioned the minister about a propaganda piece that was put out by Manitoba Hydro with their April billings, the sole purpose of which was to propagate the Conawapa project. The title of the pamphlet was Conawapa and the Ontario Hydro Sale: A Good Deal for Manitobans. The minister said he would review the pamphlet in order to assist this review. I am going to table a copy of that pamphlet today.
This morning, the minister set down two criteria for the acceptability of Manitoba Hydro's use of its monopoly to propagate anything. He said: Firstly the information has to be for the purpose of telling Manitobans what they are doing; secondly, it has to be fact.
My question for the minister is: Given that this pamphlet meets neither of those criteria in its statement that the environmental impacts from the project are minimal, will the minister now acknowledge that statement of opinion by Manitoba Hydro succeeds on neither of those fronts, and that Manitoba Hydro should be advised of that?
James Downey (Minister responsible for The
On the whole point of whether or not Conawapa is a good deal for Manitoba, we believe that it has gone through the proper process, determining the financial side of it, Mr. Speaker, as being a very viable project, and something that has never happened before, there is a complete environmental review taking place of both the Conawapa dam structure itself and the Bipole III, which will carry the power south to Ontario.
Mr. Edwards: I remind the minister that this government gives Manitoba Hydro a monopoly.
On what basis does this minister defend a statement twice in this pamphlet, that the environmental impacts of Conawapa are minimal as fact‑‑purporting to be fact‑‑when the environmental impact review has not even begun? Why will he not give his words about‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member has put his question.
Mr. Downey: Mr. Speaker, unlike all previous activities carried out by Manitoba Hydro on northern development, we are going through a complete environmental review process for licensing of the work that is being proposed by Manitoba Hydro, something that has never happened before.
As it relates to the expression of what the Hydro management feel in the document which has been circulated, Mr. Speaker, I said I would refer to it. I would see if it is in fact in any way inappropriate and improper.
Mr. Edwards: Mr. Speaker, when the minister concludes, as he no doubt will when he reviews the pamphlet, that Manitoba Hydro has improperly set out to undercut the environmental review process, will he ensure that in the next monthly billing of Manitoba Hydro a similar piece from the environmental perspective be sent, giving the other opinion to set the record straight, that not all Manitobans are‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member has put his question.
Mr. Downey: What I have the biggest disappointment in is the Liberal Party in this Legislature, in this province, solidly opposed to a project that will provide some $700 million in bottom‑line profits to Manitoba Hydro, the creation of some 22,600 person years of jobs to build and develop the project, after it has gone through a complete and total review, both on the financial side and the environmental side, Mr. Speaker. I am extremely disappointed.
I am sure that the previous forerunners of this Liberal Party, who were responsible for rural electrification that drove this rural economy, that made Manitoba what it is today‑‑I think they should be extremely disappointed and would be extremely disappointed in the approach taken by this current Liberal Party.
Big Game/Waterfowl Damage
Rosann Wowchuk (
Can the minister give this House his assurance that the same adjustments will be made so that farmers' averages will not be dragged down because of wildlife, big game or waterfowl damage?
Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture): Mr. Speaker, we discussed this question in Estimates, and I assured the member that we were going to take that question forward to the national signatories committee for a ruling on it Canada‑wide as to how we can deal with those particular situations that are to the betterment of the producer. That process is underway.
Ms. Wowchuk: Mr. Speaker, the minister says it is before the signatories committee. Can he intervene on behalf of these farmers since he was able to intervene for lentils when there was a mistake by government, and there was too much coverage? Can he intervene for these farmers who have no consequence, no control over the damages?
Mr. Findlay: Mr. Speaker, in both the case of waterfowl and large animal damage, compensation is paid in the year that the damage occurs. That rule still applies, and the member is talking about the impact on long‑term yields that apply to the producer. All that I can assure the member is that I will ask the signatories committee for a ruling on it as we asked the signatories committee for a ruling on the lentil question.
Ms. Wowchuk: There are other people in crop insurance who are having problems and there are those who are not in crop insurance before GRIP came in. Will the minister give these people a chance to prove their case if they have records of their good crop rather than doubting that their records are accurate? These people have sound records and the minister is‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member has put her question.
Mr. Findlay: Mr. Speaker, with regard to that question, there is a province‑wide crop insurance review ongoing with 10 members appointed from all over the province. A member from her area is on that, and they will be reporting and making recommendations plus many, many questions that are being brought forward by the producers across this province in the numerous hearings held by the committee.
Federal Trade Tribunal
Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne): Mr. Speaker‑‑[interjection! Tempted as I am to ask why and sit down, I think I will preface it with a question.
Mr. Speaker, some time ago I brought before this House a case of three Manitoba cabinetmakers who have, as a result of an inequitable application of tax law federally, been denied some $500,000 in rebates. When I raised this question with the Premier (Mr. Filmon), he said the Department of Finance was looking into it and would act to assist these three cabinetmakers. I would like to ask the Minister of Finance: What action he has taken on their behalf?
Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the three cabinetmakers, or at least the person who is representing the group, we have engaged in some discussion with federal revenue individuals. We have also sent a strongly worded letter of request that the federal government reconsider its decision, and we are awaiting a reply from that letter.
Mr. Alcock: I am wondering if the Minister of Finance can table the letter he sent to the Minister of Revenue federally.
Mr. Manness: Mr. Speaker, I will look at the letter. On the surface, I have no problem with providing it, although I will have to look into the advisability of doing that, of tabling that one.
Mr. Alcock: I am wondering if the Minister of Finance can explain to us why it has taken some nearly four months to respond to this concern.
Mr. Manness: Mr. Speaker, as I have said to the representative of the cabinetmakers, there were certain allegations that had been made, and when allegations are made, one has to determine the substance behind them. We had to, obviously, look into the history of the case. We also had to apprise ourselves of a decision that supposedly had been made, a favourable decision, for cabinetmakers in other parts of the country. We had to look into all of that to determine whether or not we had a legitimate request to the federal government.
have done that, and that has taken some considerable time. I can assure the member that we are not going
to act unilaterally on our own, outside of the federal government, taking the
positive action that he and indeed the government of
Doug Martindale (Burrows): This government and their philosophy of
"prosperity is just right around the corner," is repeating the same
mistakes of the Liberal and Conservative governments during the Great
Depression that had no money for human need but found great sums of money to
fight a war. We now have a new food bank
in Ile des Chenes and Lorette, and in September there will be a food bank in
I would ask the Minister of Family Services: What is his government doing‑‑
Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please.
Mr. Martindale: Can the Minister of Family Services tell the House and the thousands of Manitobans who are forced to go to beg to food banks to survive what he is doing to make sure that they have an adequate amount of assistance so they are not forced to go to food banks?
Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services): We
have had a chance to talk about the many reform procedures that we have
embarked on in social allowances this past year, and I am pleased to review
them with the member. While other
provinces have not been able to increase social allowance benefits, we have
increased our benefits by 3.6 percent.
We created a new program this year for the disabled at a cost of some $8
million to the government of
We have also‑‑and I recall the member's hardy support for changing the tax credits to allow them to flow on a monthly basis. We have also increased the liquid assets exemptions to put us in line with what other provinces are doing. There has been a considerable amount of work done in the whole area of social allowances this year to provide more income for those unfortunate people who are on social allowances.
As well, we have passed through the system the GST rebate, and I remind the member that the federal government has recently come out with some new programs to revise the family allowance situation for families in Manitoba.
Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows): Mr. Speaker, there is one area where the government is not bringing in improvement but is actually bringing in something that is regressive, and that is Bill 70.
is this minister going ahead with Bill 70 when the City of
Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):
Well, the member chooses to misrepresent Bill 70 here in the
Legislature. The bill does two
things. It sets a standardized rate
across the province, and it provides equal access to the program for all of
would remind the member that the report brought to government by the SARC
committee was made up of Councillor Gilroy from the City of
member chooses to talk about rates in the city of
Martindale: Why is the Minister of Family Services going
against the advice of the SARC committee which recommended municipalities be
allowed to exceed the minimum provincial rates, instead refusing to cost‑share
anything above those new rates which are already inadequate? In the case of the city of
Why is this minister forcing the city to choose between punishing recipients or punishing property taxpayers?
Mr. Gilleshammer: Again, the member is misrepresenting Bill 70. The legislation that is proposed does not have to do with rates at all.
would remind the member that the City of
Steve Ashton (Thompson): Some two weeks ago, our Health critic raised
the concern in this House about the status of chemotherapy, mammography and the
specialists' clinic at the
Mr. Speaker, these are all valuable northern community services, and the hospital has indicated that unless it receives word soon from the provincial government it will have to cease the operation of those services within the next month and a half.
would like to ask the Minister of Northern Affairs whether he has discussed
this matter with the Health minister and whether he can now announce a
commitment on behalf of the provincial government to maintain those valuable
services right in northern
Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs): Mr. Speaker, unlike the previous administration, this Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard), whether it is the provision of dialysis machines in Thompson, the provision of specialists in Thompson from some less than a dozen to some 20 doctors in Thompson in our term of office, we are committed to providing services in the North.
As far as the direct question is concerned, I will take it as notice for the Minister of Health.
Mr. Ashton: Well, in fact, Mr. Speaker, will the government be doing what it did in the case of kidney dialysis where the Kidney Foundation provided a dialysis machine, and they provided the funding that helps provide the operating of it‑‑will they do the same now for chemotherapy and for the mammography unit, which was the result of fundraising efforts by the community of Thompson which raised more than $300,000 for that badly needed medical equipment in Thompson? Will they support the community of Thompson?
Downey: Mr. Speaker, we have demonstrated our support
for the city of
As far as the question specifically is concerned, I will take it as notice for the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).
Highway Construction Program
Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson): Finally, Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Northern Affairs also be relating concerns of many northerners to the Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger) about inadequacies in terms of highways construction, most particularly the horrendous situation with 391, where there are almost daily accidents on that highway, while the minister has budgeted highways construction budgets for virtually everywhere else in the province, except that particular area?
Will he intervene on behalf of northern Manitobans in that area?
Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs): Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member that this government, whether it is highways, whether it is hydro provision for our northern communities, whatever areas, has carried out with limited income, in fact revenues that have been flat, programs in a very responsible manner and will continue to do so.
Mr. Speaker: Time for Oral Questions has expired.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader): Mr. Speaker, before we move into Committee of Supply, I wonder whether or not you would determine whether there is a will to waive private members' hour.
Mr. Speaker: Is it the will of the House to waive private members' hour? No, leave is denied.
Mr. Manness: Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek unanimous consent of the House to waive the Estimates order. What I propose today, after consultations with the opposition House leaders, is that the Estimates of the Department of Justice and the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry be considered next in sequence after Education and before Urban Affairs.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave of the House to alter the sequence to bring Justice and the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry forward? [Agreed!
Mr. Manness: Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty.
Motion agreed to, and the House resolved itself into a committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty with the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) in the Chair for the Department of Northern Affairs, and for Seniors Directorate; and the honourable member for Seine River (Mrs. Dacquay) in the Chair for the Department of Justice.
COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY
Mr. Deputy Chairperson (Marcel Laurendeau): Order, please. Will the Committee of Supply please come to order. This afternoon this section of the Committee of Supply, meeting in Room 255, will resume consideration of the Estimates of Northern Affairs.
When the committee last sat, it had been considering item 4.(c) Aboriginal Development Programs on page 136 of the Estimates book. Shall the item pass‑‑pass. [interjection! That is Resolution 112.
Resolution 112: RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $1,956,600 for Northern Affairs, Native Affairs Secretariat, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993. Shall the resolution pass?
Mr. Elijah Harper (Rupertsland): Yes, I think we stopped here last night to further consider the Estimates in this regard and the Native Secretariat.
I wanted to ask some questions on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, because it is part of the Native Secretariat. I think those issues are being discussed today in the Chamber. I think it would probably be more appropriate to discuss those with the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae).
But I would ask the minister to consider the direction that we are heading in terms of aboriginal people getting the recognition of the inherent right to self‑government. As you know, the all‑party task force on the Constitution has recommended that the inherent right to self‑government be recognized in the Canadian Constitution. I would ask the Minister of Native Affairs to support that direction in terms of recognizing that aboriginal people do have the right to self‑government.
We have asked continually of the government to pursue that and also to establish a separate or parallel justice system for aboriginal people. I would ask the minister to support that direction. I would welcome his comments on that. I know that this process is going to take some time, but I think that is a goal that we are trying to achieve.
Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs): Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I will be brief.
Our government's position has been put forward through the task force report to the constitutional series of meetings that are taking place, that being the inherent right to self‑government for aboriginal people within the Canadian Constitution.
Number 2, our position has well been stated as it relates to a separate justice system, one which would take the support and move by the federal government to accomplish. At this point we have not got that agreement to, in fact, establish, and so it is not being proceeded with.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Shall the resolution pass? Pass.
Page 137, item 5. Expenditures Related to Capital (a) Northern Communities $2,379,600.
Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): Mr. Deputy Chairperson, one of your objectives is to provide funding for the departmental capital infrastructure program. Can the minister tell us what capital infrastructure programs are in place and what are the amounts for each program?
Mr. Downey: It has been the responsibility of Northern Affairs over the past number of years and the member for Rupertsland would be familiar with this. In our nonstatus communities, we have carried out the responsibility to upgrade, to continue to upgrade the water supply systems, the sewage systems where capable, fire system supports, generally infrastructure in the broad sense of the word, to generally improve the quality of living conditions in many of our communities.
We currently have approximately $95 million invested in our Northern Affairs communities. This further is an appropriation to continue to both upgrade and to complement that which is already out there.
Mr. Gaudry: You also say to transfer the responsibility of project delivery of infrastructure to the community. What communities have been passed on the responsibility of project delivery?
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, all communities have that capability, and we, quite frankly, encourage it.
Mr. Gaudry: I know that all communities have the capabilities, but what communities have been given the responsibility to look after the delivery of their own infrastructures?
Mr. Downey: They all have the ability to carry it out, and as far as those that have been given that, they have all been given it. It is a matter of some maybe not wanting to carry out the delivery themselves. So we start from a basis of 56 communities have the capabilities. How many have not participated in wanting to do that? I will get the number for the member.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson, to further complete that answer: Out of 94 projects that were delivered this year, 58 were delivered by the communities participating, or 62 percent.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Item 5.(a) Northern Communities.
Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I only had a couple of questions on Capital, and I was interested in getting information from the minister on capital projects. I know, I am sorry I was a little bit late for the meeting. I think he may have explained it already, and if he has, I apologize.
But I would still like to have the minister explain to the committee the budget allocation: how it is carried out; what is the criteria that is being used by the department when allocating capital funds to the communities; and also, what autonomy the local communities have in the administration of capital projects?
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the budget process is the department meets with the communities to determine the kinds of projects that they want to carry out. The level of service is based on population plus upgrading in a responsible way the level of service that each community has. We have different levels of service to different levels for different communities based on basically population.
We, as I said, meet with the communities on an annual basis to go over their requests and determine the availability of funds to, in a balanced way, bring the services up to certain standards.
Lathlin: Let us take
That is to say that when, for example, work is going to be tendered out, practically everything is done by the department, although I guess the community council, mayor and council have some sort of input into the decision making as to who is going to get the contract.
Perhaps I could ask the minister to explain to the committee how that process works‑‑the invitation of bids and how the contracts are decided, like who should get it, et cetera.
Mr. Downey: I could get a little political on this, but I normally do not with my colleague. I guess when he refers to Moose Lake, under the previous government very little had been carried out on behalf of the community of Moose Lake, and there was a tremendous need there. We have responded to that need, Mr. Deputy Chairperson. Again, I am pleased that we have.
Last year there was some $300,000 spent on sewer and water. The community was in discussion with the department as to the selection of the people to tender. Apparently the community wanted someone different, but at the end analysis the lowest tender was the one that was accepted, which we think is appropriate and proper.
year, again, remember the party and the government that are doing this, one
that he decides to sit in opposition to and by the way voted against when it
came to the budget, we are spending some $275,000 on a continuation on Phase II
of the upgrade for
Last year the council was not in agreement, because we accepted the lowest tender and they wanted someone else. This year we still accepted the lowest tender and it was in agreement with the community council. So, I do not mind admitting that there have been some differences. The point is, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, where would they have been if we had not been in government and proceeded with this project? Would they have still been sitting there without the supports as they sat for so many years under the New Democratic Party?
Mr. Lathlin: The minister can get political whenever he wants; nobody can stop him. All I am interested in doing in this committee is to get information and relay some of the concerns that were passed on to me by those constituents. So it is my responsibility to ask questions of the minister and, hopefully, get answers. If he wants to get political, I mean that is his prerogative.
Getting back to the capital process, the infrastructure that is being installed, I understand that is only the base infrastructure, meaning that only the main lines are installed and any links to individual homeowners are left up to the individual homeowners. But if there are any government buildings within a community, those are linked up to the main line. Is that right?
Mr. Downey: Yes.
Mr. Lathlin: Then why install a line in a community when individual homeowners are not able to link up to the main line? I mean, that was the question that they put to me. They said, you know, Oscar, this line is no good to us because we cannot afford to hook our homes to the main line. The only buildings that are hooked up to that line are those government buildings.
Mr. Downey: I guess if the member is advocating this, does he want me to stop Phase II and not proceed with the main line. Is that what he is recommending to this committee, that I not proceed with this project?
Mr. Lathlin: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, what I am asking is: Are there any plans to hook up individual houses to the main line? Why install a line there if nobody can afford to hook up to it other than those government buildings that are there?
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, what I want the member to say is that he supports the installation of this project. If he does, then I am prepared to proceed. Is he saying that he does not want us to do it?
Mr. Lathlin: I am asking the minister some questions and then he comes back with a question. I think the minister has a responsibility to answer the questions that I am asking instead of trying to be cheeky about it and turning around and asking me questions.
He knows darn well that I support whatever development that will enhance the aboriginal communities in the North or any community, whether they are aboriginal or nonaboriginal. He has seen me speak out when I was a chief. I spoke for my constituents when I was a chief. I negotiated with governments. He has seen me here in the Legislature for almost two years now, and I have never been shy to speak up for my constituents.
Of course, I will support whatever development that is being planned that will enhance the lives and the well‑being of those people who live in the North. I just do not appreciate the minister's cheeky attitude, you know, when I ask these questions. Maybe he should answer my questions now.
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I apologize. I certainly did not intend to be cheeky. I was trying to get information from the member. I am pleased that he does support it because development is important, and it is important to the long‑term living conditions of the community that he speaks.
We are working out with the CMHC as to how we might be able to support, in some way, the hookups of some of the houses, because I do not disagree with them. It would not make a lot of sense to put in the central line infrastructure and then have no one hook up to it. We are trying to work that out, but one has to be aware of the fact that there are additional dollars that have to be put in either through CMHC and/or from government. If you do it in one community, you have to be prepared to do it in others.
guess what I am telling the member is, I hope to be able to see an agreement
worked out so that the majority of people, particularly the elders and most
people whom we expect to live in those areas, have a lifestyle and a quality of
life that is acceptable. That, Mr.
Deputy Chairperson, again is why this government has spent some $575,000 in the
Lathlin: I think it was an opportune time for this
government to take advantage of the Department of Indian Affairs going into
as I said, the minister can get political all he wants whenever he wants to,
but I think if I were in his shoes at the time that the federal dollars were
My last question, I guess, to the minister is: When does he see or is planning at what stage in the future would we see the community of Moose Lake, after arrangements have been worked out with CMHC for those individual homeowners, to be hooked up to the main lines?
Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I can make no
commitment on that. I guess it is still
being worked on. Again, the member
refers to the federal monies flowing in.
We did take advantage of that opportunity to go to the Metis community
with the sewer and water, and that is what this is part of is a federal‑provincial
agreement with both the band and the community.
I will pass on the compliments to the Prime Minister that he is happy
with the federal Conservatives for their support of
Mr. Lathlin: That is all.
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, I see there is a decrease of $100,000 in the Community Access and Resource Roads. Could the minister tell us why?
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it was the deferral of a resource road for this year.
Mr. Gaudry: Which one?
Mr. Downey: The one that is not going to be built this year.
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is like his vacant position. He is going to skate around the issue again and not answer the question, like the member for The Pas says.
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, it is the one at Peonan Point.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Item 5.(a) Northern Communities $2,379,600‑‑pass.
5.(b) Community Access and Resource Roads $235,000‑‑pass.
Resolution 113: RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $2,614,600 for Northern Affairs, Expenditures Related to Capital, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993.
Mr. Gaudry: Just in closing, I would like to thank the minister and we are looking forward to the information that we have asked in the last few hours of Estimates that they will be provided within the next 24 hours. I would like to thank the staff for their co‑operation and appreciate what has been accomplished in these Estimates.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Is the resolution passed? The resolution is accordingly passed.
The last item to be considered for the Estimates of the Department of Northern Affairs is item 1.(a) Minister's Salary. At this point, we request that the minister's staff leave the table for the consideration of this item.
Item 1.(a) Minister's Salary $10,300‑‑pass.
Mr. Downey: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, just again, I want to acknowledge the work of the staff and the committee in the Estimates today. I put it on the record last night, but I will do it again. I want to thank the work and effort of Brenda Kustra who is leaving the Department of Northern Affairs to go to the Director General's job with Indian Affairs Canada, and we wish her well in her future endeavours. Thank you.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Resolution 109: RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $3,077,800 for Northern Affairs, Administration and Finance, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993‑‑pass.
This completes the Estimates of the Department of Northern Affairs. The next set of Estimates that will be considered by this section of the Committee of Supply are the Estimates for Seniors Directorate.
Shall we briefly recess to allow the minister and the critics the opportunity to prepare for the commencement of the next set of Estimates? Recess 10 minutes.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson (Marcel Laurendeau): We are now commencing consideration of the Estimates for the Seniors Directorate. Does the minister responsible have an opening statement?
Hon. Gerald Ducharme (Minister responsible for Seniors): Yes, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.
It is my pleasure at this time to discuss the activities of the Seniors Directorate over the past year and present a brief overview of their coming year.
has been my first complete year as minister responsible for Seniors, and I am
endeavouring, with the assistance of the Seniors Directorate, to continue
enhancing the quality of life for
Studies show us this growth will continue, and by the 21st Century seniors will comprise a majority of the population. The fact supports my belief that we must continue our efforts in exploring and addressing the existing issues and needs of senior citizens in our society and anticipating the changing needs and expectations in coming years.
the Seniors Directorate and its outreach offices in The Pas and in
Our Seniors Information Line, which commenced operation in September of '89, has seen a steady response from the public. It receives approximately, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, 150 calls a month from seniors in all parts of the province. The aim of our information line has been to minimize the number of calls that seniors are required to make to access information. This often necessitates staff making a number of calls to find the solutions. The difference is that the calls are made by staff rather than by seniors. During the past year, the directorate has investigated a wide range of issues at the request of these seniors, such as housing, health, transportation and finances.
In our efforts to identify and meet the needs of Manitoba's seniors, the directorate staff has been consulting with groups and organizations such as the CPR retired employees association, Canadian veterans association, Manitoba Society of Seniors, Age and Opportunity and the St. James Seniors group, to just name a few.
They have also been strengthening their contact within the multicultural community through working with organizations such as Ethos Multicultural Seniors Coalition of Manitoba, Hindu Seniors society, the Filipino seniors and the Franco‑Manitoban seniors. This effort has been carried out on a province‑wide basis, as evidenced by their meetings with rural groups such as Brandon Seniors for Seniors Co‑op, Interlake regional seniors council, Gimli seniors, Steinbach New Horizon seniors and the Flin Flon seniors.
The directorate is working with the native seniors groups such as Opasquiak Reserve seniors and the Ke Ki Nan seniors project as part of their effort to ensure that voices of all Manitoba's seniors are heard.
These are only examples of the various seniors organizations and groups that my staff and I have met with over this past year in our efforts to interact effectively with our seniors.
The directorate has been actively maintaining and expanding its contact within the government. As a member of various committees, it has been working with the Departments of Health, Housing, Consumer and Corporate Affairs, Justice, Family Services, Culture, Heritage and Citizenship and Education on special seniors‑orientated projects. For example, as a member of the steering committee with Health in the assessment of services to seniors, we have been working to ensure health care issues are being addressed adequately.
My staff has been working with the Multiculturalism Secretariat and Culture, Heritage and Citizenship on multicultural seniors issues. The directorate is chairing a committee comprised of representatives from seniors, community and government, which looks at transportation proposals.
The directorate meets with federal, provincial and territorial counterparts on a regular basis and has ongoing dialogue concerning new initiatives taking place in the provinces.
directorate has planned, organized and facilitated two conferences on elder
abuse in the past year. These
conferences were our response to requests received from seniors and service
providers for more education. The first
At this conference, the director began working on a crucial area of elderly abuse protocols. They will be working with seniors, service providers and government representatives over the coming year to develop protocols for use throughout the province.
Our major initiative over the past year was the production and promotion of an information package on financial elderly abuse. This package was produced by working in partnership with the federal government and with the Canadian Bankers' Association.
In these years of restraint, it is vital that we, as a government, work closely with other levels of government and with the corporate sector on mutual concerns.
am proud to say that this video, which was named Standing Up for Yourself, has
been very well received across
I must say that it was done in both Canadian languages. I know my member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) appreciates the "francais" and I did too. I think the actors and actresses who were involved in it were from, I know, an area quite dear to the St. Boniface member's heart, who did a very, very good job and ought to be commended on it.
This video package has indeed proven to be a valuable tool in assisting seniors in recognizing and preventing financial elder abuse. The four scenarios in the video present seniors in a positive take‑charge style which seniors can relate to. It reinforces the belief that seniors can indeed have control over their own lives.
This past year has been, in fact, an extremely busy one for the directorate and its staff. This list of activities is only the briefest listing of some of its highlights. With the budget being presented to this committee, the directorate will continue to build on these actions, as well as undertake some new initiatives.
The highly successful Seniors Information Line will continue its operation as one of the most direct vehicles for interaction with seniors and the general public. The directorate will continue to interact with other government departments in identification, exploration, and resolution of issues of concern to all our seniors.
A specific initiative being undertaken in this area concerns working with government departments and seniors to ensure emergency measures information is readily available to the seniors community. The forest fires several years ago indicated to us that more information and education for seniors in this area is needed. Seniors should have the security of knowing how to be prepared should the need arise.
In our attempt to reach all sectors of the seniors community, we will be producing and distributing two of the directorate's most successful publications, Questions to Ask Your Doctor and Pharmacist on Taking Medication; and our Manitoba Seniors Directorate Information Guide into the Cree and Saulteaux languages. These brochures, How to Recognize and Avoid Financial Abuse; and also What is Power of Attorney; and Home Repair and Door‑to‑Door Sales, will also be produced and distributed in the same two languages, as well as French and English languages.
The directorate will be working to establish co‑operative partnerships with the private sector in the development of informational materials and the provision of services specifically designed to meet senior needs.
We believe that with these partnerships, we can be more fiscally responsible and provide better services. This will include liaising with business, the corporate community, and professional groups to become familiar with services and products currently available to seniors, and to explore the possible development of new and innovative services for seniors. The directorate will begin to work with service providers, law enforcement agencies, and senior organizations to develop effective protocols concerning elderly abuse.
will also continue its efforts to distribute the educational and informational
video package on financial abuse of the elderly in order to increase public
awareness of this problem. The staff has
also been actively engaged in a partnership with community groups, in co‑ordinating
special seniors events in
It is a fact that as our population ages in the coming decades, seniors' issues and concerns will gain in importance and public awareness. The successful resolution of elderly abuse, housing, health, financial stability, transportation and other social issues impacting directly on our seniors will be essential to the future well‑being of our province, its economy and the quality of life we can offer.
I am confident, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the Seniors Directorate will succeed in meeting these challenges, and we will accomplish it through the strategies and policies developed in co‑operation between the seniors' community, the corporate sector and the government.
Seniors Directorate has been and will continue to work with our most important
partners, the seniors of
I thank you for the time, Mr. Deputy Chairperson.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: We thank the minister for those remarks. Does the critic from the official opposition party, the honourable member for Broadway, have an opening statement?
Mr. Conrad Santos (Broadway): I appreciate the honourable minister's opening statement, and in reply, I would like to say that everybody, including us here at this table, will sooner or later, if we live long enough, become senior citizens. We do not grow old simply by living, we grow old by losing interest in living. If we have enough interest in all the activities in life, maybe we could postpone that aging process, despite our physical appearance.
The seniors needs can be summarized in the needs of any human being. In my estimation, there are certain ranges of values, of human needs, value preferences and in my order of priority the highest value of needs will be the need for the quality of life. That is the highest‑‑life itself, not only in terms of its duration, because you can have a long life but full of pain and misery, but in its quality as well.
The quality of life of a person‑‑we have five fingers, and I will use my five fingers to identify the aspects of a good quality of life for anyone, including senior citizens. One of my, what do you call this finger, the thumb‑‑to me that is the spiritual needs of any human being. If your heart is pure, your mind is clean, you have good virtues, that is the best foundation of any kind of life. It is the inner righteousness of the inner being in us that we should guard against, so we should stick to what is true and abide by faithfulness in all our relationships.
The index finger to me stands for physiological health needs, because all through life we have need for health and this means taking care of our body and mind. The physiological needs of human beings implies that only the negative aspects, protecting us from certain vicissitudes of life‑‑in the case of senior citizens, this will include protection, for example, from all kinds of abuses, physical; physiological; financial; protection of over‑medication, sometimes indulged in by some of our medical practitioners; protection against ignorance about how to live our retirement life in terms of advance planning for such an eventuality. On the positive side, it means some knowledge about diets, nutrients and requirements for our physical body, that we should not only know what to eat but we should be selective in those things that we should eat. In addition, the physical body will also need rest, exercise, sleep and leisure activities.
The next finger to me stands for the mental aspect of our life, the intellectual capabilities that need to be challenged all the time. Even senior citizens‑‑they may be aging physically, but their mind may stay alert if they know how. There are many challenging opportunities that they could engage, like enrolling in some evening classes, educational opportunities in schools, and they should be engaged in some sport activities if their physical body will permit it, and also in some leisure and recreational activities.
Then there is the emotional safety needs of a human being. He must be under the close protection of the network of family relationships around him. This means that he must be in familiar surroundings where he or she can feel safe at home and live life to the fullest, that he may live life more abundantly.
Another finger will be the social needs of the human being. The social aspects of a human being have two faces: how we regard ourselves, our inner estimation of our own self. This is what they call self‑esteem, self‑respect, how you regard yourself. There are people who have no respect for themselves because of certain adverse experiences in their childhood. That is our own self‑estimation, our self‑esteem.
The other aspect is how other people regard us because in other societies, some seniors, some elderly people are respected members of society. They are the ones who assume positions of leadership in their communities, in their government, in their structure. On the other hand, in some societies they feel they are surpluses; they are not needed; they are not welcome. It is a stigma to be old and to be helpless as if they were useless in life. This is the worst that could happen if we have such an attitude towards our elders.
Finally, the last finger is the financial adequacy. This means that you must have adequate income sources. If you have worked through your life, you must have some private pension income. If you have not, there is the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security, and of course our financial supplement provided by the provincial government, the 55 Plus program benefit to those who have no other source of income.
Aside from these spiritual and physiological needs there is also what we call safety needs of people. They must have the proper environmental setting in which they live. The living condition of their own home, the living arrangements must be a very familiar setting to them, and the most familiar setting that any senior can have is the home for the children, the home they had reared and taken care of, where the children had grown up. That family home to them is part of themselves. In the absence of the ability, financially or physically, to take care of that home, there must be assistance from the government so that they could, as long as they can endure, as long as they can withstand, stay in their own home.
This is only possible by government‑provided, adequate home care assistance programs. There must be support coming from the government in that they will provide information. For example, if I am an old senior citizen and I am staying in my little shack, I need some yard work to be done, I can call someone and pay someone and he will do the yard work. He will shovel the snow and I can pay him. Then I can stay in my home. These are the kinds of support that our senior citizens need. If I get sick, I can phone someone and somebody will come to help me, to carry me up to my bed, like a home care worker who should be available even on call duty, like a nurse, on call. If I have a leaking faucet and if I have a plumbing problem, then I can call someone, then the plumber will come and help me fix my home. This will be information as well as services provided not only by government, but also by some voluntary groups in the community who want to do good work for the rest of humanity. These are the safety needs.
Finally, there are the mobility needs: if you are stuck in your home, you are physically disabled, you are in a wheelchair. I have seen a constituent of mine who is in a wheelchair, and he is living in a basement and the basement is down below and he cannot‑‑without the assistance of anybody carrying him up from that basement, he can only move around the hallway and his room. This is like being in prison. Mobility needs are important. Facilities should be provided in the form of transportation services for senior citizens even inside the city. Those who are living in apartments and in condominiums by themselves should have necessary facilities to move themselves around in the community.
There should also be large signs in the roads, as the Manitoba Society of Seniors have indicated in their concerned position paper 1992, and large signs that they can see for those seniors who still are able to drive motor vehicles. That could be risky for some people. There should be barrier‑free entrances in all buildings, an elevator where they can lift themselves up rather than climb the stairways, and handrails. When they go to the bank, they can go inside and do their business. In other words, we facilitate mobility; we facilitate safety; we facilitate their physiological and health needs; we facilitate their peak physical needs.
are all the concerns of senior citizens.
We are here in order to assess how we can help our senior citizens live
a full life, satisfying to themselves and to their own community. We have
known, and this is statistically proven, in Canada, for example, out of
approximately 24,343,000 people there are at least 2,360,000 approximately
senior citizens. That is approximately
10 or 11 percent all across
I will stop on that and give the opportunity to our third party to give some kind of opening remarks.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: We thank the honourable member for those comments.
Does the critic for the second opposition party, the honourable member for St. Boniface, have an opening statement?
Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): Yes, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, first, I would like to say thank you to the minister for supplying us with his notes here and his opening statements. Also, at this time, I would like to say thank you to the minister for asking us to attend certain functions with him when we are available to do so.
think this morning was an indication of a good day with the seniors in
think my involvement started with the senior home that we built in St.
Boniface. It is probably one of the
At that point, there were six of us and we decided we were going to go ahead with the building. The money had been authorized by CMHC for the financing, and six of us decided we were going to go ahead without the approval of the provincial government and mortgaged our homes to do the financing of the block. It was an $8‑million project.
We took a chance, but we had faith in the people who were involved. It was fun doing it. Like I say, in '82 I guess was the sod turning, and the official opening was on April 25, 1984. I had been president of the organization from that day on until 1987 when finally I said I had enough, give a chance to somebody else, in the interests of the seniors.
I have been involved also with other organizations like Sister Clermont clinic, for example, and I think the minister is well aware of that organization. It was an organization that I was on the board of. It had a lot of seniors involved as volunteers and a couple of nurses who visited seniors in their own homes. A lot of times these seniors, all they needed was company or to reassure them that all they needed was a checkup from a nurse maybe, rather than run to the doctor on a weekly basis, reassure them that their blood pressure was okay, and what they needed was reassurance.
I think that is why when we talk about volunteers today with the seniors, and we see all these organizations now of seniors‑‑and today the picnic in Souris again, like I say, was a success I am sure.
Unfortunately, we had to come back. We could have spent the day there. We could have gone golfing, and we could have played ball with the seniors. We looked at the golf course. The minister and I did go look at the golf course, but we did not want the member for Rossmere (Mr. Neufeld) being jealous that we golfed all day or something like that. [interjection! No.
look forward to working with the minister‑‑and I think with the
aging population that we have not only in
I think another positive thing that the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) has brought forward is the reform of the health care system. I think we look at it with a positive outlook on those issues, because we know that we cannot go on spending monies without looking at it being reformed to care for not only our seniors but our sick people.
We visit the hospitals where we have people who have been there for two or three years, waiting for a bed into a personal care home. It costs a lot more to have them in the hospital. I say that from experience, because my mother was in the St. Boniface Hospital for two years where‑‑it is not their fault‑‑there are no activities. But if they are placed in a place like Tache home or other personal care homes, we can see that they have activities. You keep them active and they will be looked after and not see them deteriorate mentally or physically.
Like I say, I speak from experience. I go to Tache probably six or seven times a week visiting my mother and other friends who are there and giving a hand as a volunteer. I think it is important. I think this is where we should encourage more people to do so.
think our younger generation have to be made aware that our seniors are the
people who have made this province. You
look at what
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: We thank the honourable member for those brief remarks.
At this time we would like to invite the honourable minister's staff to come forward and have the minister please introduce them.
Mr. Ducharme: As the members are aware, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, we do not have a large staff at the Seniors Directorate, but we are like the seniors in this province, we do with what we have.
I would like to introduce my Executive Director of Seniors, Kathy Yurkowski.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: We thank the minister. We will move on. We are going to be dealing with page 144.
Item 1. Seniors Directorate (a) Salaries $132,300.
Mr. Santos: I have some questions on Salaries. I am referring to the Supplementary Information for Legislative Review, Appendix 1, the historical pattern. It is page 14. The way I read this is that the legislation was approved in '88, the directorate was actually established in '89‑90, and the initial allocation was $209,400. I use that as the base line.
Then the following year, 1990‑91, this becomes $277,000. That is an addition of $67,600. That is an increase of 32.28 percent, right? Up to this time is there only one staff?
Mr. Ducharme: No, there are two, and then we went to three in 1991.
Mr. Santos: Then, in 1991‑92 there is an additional increase of $25,500, that makes it $302,500, but according to the adjustment here, the way I read it, there was a transfer here in that year on page 6. What does that mean, transfer of functions from Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, $5,000; transfer of functions from Fitness and Sport $5,000?
Mr. Ducharme: That is a consolidated grant from Sport and from Culture. That is what that is.
Mr. Santos: . . . the money is coming in.
Mr. Ducharme: That is correct.
Mr. Santos: Not in a personal‑‑it was moved from Sport. Okay.
Mr. Ducharme: We used to have the grants come in to the Seniors Directorate. There was one grant from Culture and one grant from Sport.
Mr. Santos: So in the following year, because of that infusion, that money came from other departments. Actually then, in reality, that $25,500 increase is less. That is only a $5,000 increase because the other $20,000 came from the other department.
Mr. Ducharme: Yes, he is going to have to be more clear than what he is asking. He is going from one year to the other. He is probably going to have to get a little more clear as long as he wants us to explain to him the changes in those two years. I could certainly clarify to him what went on, but I would like him to be a little more specific in what year he is referring to.
Mr. Santos: A jump from $277,000 fiscal year 1990 to '91, and the Adjusted Vote in 1991‑92, that raises up to $302,500, because if the $50,000 came from Fitness and Sport and $5,000 came from Culture, Heritage and Citizenship, then the actual increase per se for Seniors Directorate‑‑these are allocated by cabinet, by the Treasury Board, and do not come from any other department‑‑is actually $4,500 only, which is only a 1.62 percent increase.
Mr. Ducharme: The reason for it is because the Seniors Directorate does not do any funding other than the video that you will notice that we did in '91‑92, that jumped it up in '91‑92. The rest is just salary increases, just increments. We have not hired or changed our staff in that year.
The only thing we had in '91‑92, if you will notice the big change, and you will notice a big drop down from '92‑93, we had a video which was for $50,000. We did not produce that video.
Mr. Santos: I am coming to that, because that $302,500 the pattern so far is an increase from one fiscal year to another fiscal year, a 32.28 percent increase going up.
If I draw the graph here, it is going up, and then it goes just a little bit inclined, because that is up to the grant from Fitness and Sport and Citizenship, and the actual increase is $4,500. So it has hardly moved. Then in the fiscal year 1992‑93 there is a decrease of $38,600; that is an actual 12.76 percent decrease, reducing $302,500 to $263,900.
Mr. Ducharme: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, first of all, the Seniors Directorate is not a funding position. We have kept our staff the same in '91‑92, and as he knows, there was an zero increase for all staff. So we kept our staff for that particular year, and then the next year, the big difference would be the video. We did not do a video the next year.
Of course, we did not increase our Seniors Directorate unless we increased our staff, and there was no increases in that year. The feds gave us a grant for the video, and it was a one‑time grant that is also built in there, and they did not give it to us the next year.
Mr. Santos: Going now to the actual positions, I am not referring to persons sitting; I am referring to the positions. So you started with a managerial position, and what‑‑administrative support or a professional/technical?
Mr. Ducharme: PM 2.
Mr. Santos: So you have a managerial and a professional. That is the initial year in 1989‑90. Was that increased to three positions in 1990‑91?
Mr. Ducharme: When we got going in the first year, we decided that we needed a secretary, so that was the third position.
Mr. Santos: My information in 1991, I did some research on this; I can identify who are sitting in those positions and what their salaries are. The managerial position was Katherine. She had been all along the managerial person; $51,160 is what you make in 1990‑1991. The professional/technical person was Leanne Rowat; she makes $39,927.
Mr. Ducharme: She is no longer with us.
Mr. Santos: Okay, but that was the initial occupant. Later on when you added someone, Jeannine Carriere, she makes $25,233. The following year, this is where my question will come in, because that administrative support position's occupant salary increased by $1,167. That is 4.62 percent the following year, fiscal year 1991‑1992. A jump, in other words, from $25,233 to $26,400, that is a 4.62 percent increase.
Mr. Ducharme: Yes, remember under the bill there are increment changes.
Mr. Santos: The managerial position increased by $2,740, which in present day is a 5.36 percent increase, to $53,900 in the fiscal year 1991‑92. The real thing that concerns me is the professional/technical position at a decrease of $1,227 so that the salary that was $39,927 becomes $38,700, and that was a decrease of 3.7 percent. Why?
Mr. Ducharme: You have to be a little more specific on what years you are applying to. I mean, give us, first of all, what year you are applying to. You are talking about '90‑91, '91‑92‑‑be a little more specific because we are trying to follow a line on here and I want you to be more specific.
Mr. Santos: During the fiscal year 1990‑91 one of the two positions in the Seniors Directorate is professional/technical. Attached to that position is a salary of $39,927. On the records during the fiscal year 1991‑1992‑‑
Mr. Ducharme: Well, you notice he has gone three years now.
Mr. Santos: Well, 1990‑1991, what will be the next fiscal year?‑‑'91‑92. Because our fiscal year ends‑‑
Mr. Ducharme: Oh, I know what he is getting to.
Mr. Santos: ‑‑March 31, and then it begins again and it straddles the next calendar year.
Mr. Ducharme: I know what the member is talking about now. He is talking about the actual money paid to that position for that year. That is the amount paid for that position for the whole year. We did not have the person for the whole year. We started with a new person part way through the year, and we had a space where we did not have anybody there. So that is why when you look at the position you are looking at the total amount for that year. We did not have a person for the total year. That is why it is down on that particular position.
Mr. Santos: For how many months did that person occupy the position?
Mr. Ducharme: November to March. It was vacant November to March.
Mr. Santos: Vacant. All right, and it was not filled until when?
Mr. Ducharme: The person started last week.
Mr. Santos: So it is in the current fiscal year.
Now, focusing on that position alone‑‑
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Could I ask the honourable member to bring his mike up and make it a little easier for Hansard to pick it up?
Mr. Santos: Okay. Suddenly, there was a jump in salary compared to the other two, the managerial and the administrative support position, so that the increase in dollar terms is $7,400 from the initial base. That, in my computation, amounted to 19.12 percent increase because that position now, professional/technical, attached to it is $46,100.
Mr. Ducharme: I am informed that, first of all, when you hire somebody‑‑and we told you there was never a ceiling in that position, and the ceiling in that position was $46,000.
I was informed it was brought up to that maximum ceiling position by Treasury during that course of the year, and that is why that amount was brought up to that.
Mr. Santos: Is the honourable minister telling me that someone who is new in the position is started at the ceiling rather than at the lower of the ranges?
Mr. Ducharme: No, I am not telling you that.
Mr. Santos: What is the minister then telling me? How can he explain this 19.12 percent increase from the original salary of the position that was vacated from November to March, and then when it is filled up, the salary jumps 19.12 percent?
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, if I am not being clear, remember I was not there during that particular year, so I will give you the information I have. When Leanne, you mentioned her, was in, we were never allotted enough for her salary. We always had to borrow from the Operating. Treasury Board, when they saw that they did not allow us enough for that position, brought in enough to bring it up to that level, and that is why that increased. We were taking the difference always from the Operating to pay her salary. However, during that year, I am informed, Treasury Board authorized the department to show the salary at that high level that we were paying her at, instead of taking it out of the Operating.
Mr. Santos: Can I have the name of the person who took the position that was vacated by Leanne?
Mr. Ducharme: The personnel in that position is Sharron Wilford. She went through the competition of the Civil Service Commission and she was brought over from Health.
Mr. Santos: Is that spelled W‑i‑l‑‑
Mr. Ducharme: W‑i‑l‑f‑o‑r‑d.
Mr. Santos: Sharron, with a double "r," from Health.
Mr. Ducharme: Yes.
Mr. Santos: She must have some seniority with the government or something. What was her salary that she vacated in Health?
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, Personnel tells us what we hire them at, according to their qualifications. We do not set that; the minister or the staff do not set that. I think her previous salary was in the '40s and that is what we paid her.
Mr. Santos: I am just disturbed with this, because while one person was occupying the position, the salary increased by 3.7 percent, and when another person occupied this same position, the salary jumped 19.12 percent. What is so special about the circumstances?
(Mr. Gerry McAlpine, Acting Deputy Chairperson, in the Chair)
Mr. Ducharme: No, I explained to the member that they paid the difference in the salary out of the Operating. The salary was always paid and it was brought up to the PM 2 level that is instructed by the Civil Service Commission. So what we did was, apparently, and I can only give you the information I have, they always had to borrow from the Operating to pay that salary, but the person in that position was always paid at that level. However, a portion was taken out of the Operating to make up the difference. Apparently, the department went back to Treasury Board, and Treasury Board authorized that the salary be established without taking it out of the Operating.
Mr. Santos: Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, I am not asking how they come up with the money. I am just questioning the variation in the salary attached to the position, from a very static, stationary salary level and then suddenly promotion salary‑wise in terms of salary increase.
Mr. Ducharme: I do not know what I have to do to get it clear, but the salary was always paid, except that a portion of it came from the Operating. There was no increase in the salary, and I want that on the record. The salary was a combination of the salary and taking out of the Operating. When it was originally set up they did not know what classification they would have to get approval from Treasury Board on, so what they did was they paid some out of the Operating and they paid a salary. The person who came in in the position maintained the same type of salary.
Mr. Santos: The honourable minister then can tell me the salary that was attached to the same professional/technical position during the fiscal year 1991‑92, regardless of whether the position was occupied or vacant. How much was the salary attached to that position?
Mr. Ducharme: We do not have that salary in our records. I can get that for the member, but I can say to the member that the same PM 2 level was maintained, combining the operating amount you took from the operating and salaries. So I will get that for the member. What I will do for the member is I will get who the person was in that year, I will get what we paid them, what we paid them out of the operating, and what we paid for the salary for all the years for that particular person.
Mr. Santos: I am not concerned who is occupying it; I am concerned about the relationship between the position and the salary attached to the position, and the relationship between those two relationships from one fiscal year to another fiscal year.
Mr. Ducharme: I am advised that the level of salary was the same, if you take any consideration that you used money out of the operating to cap it. Then they went to Treasury Board and got the Treasury Board approval.
Mr. Santos: The information out of my research and study is that during fiscal year 1991‑1992, the administrative support position has a salary of $26,400. The professional/technical position has a salary of $38,700 paid. The managerial position has a salary of $53,900 during the fiscal year 1991‑1992. Is this correct? So that the total is $119,000.
Mr. Ducharme: Okay, to get it correct again, he specifies a lower salary. To go back and make it very, very slow now, the amount to bring it up to the $38,000 of what was paid the second year was taken out of the operating costs on the lower year, and you added that. Then the next year, after Treasury Board approved the top salary, then you did not have to take any money out of the operating.
Mr. Santos: What was then the base, even if we absorb the money from the operating, what was the basis of the salary, in your estimation, honourable minister, for that position, the one that was actually attached to it? Not the money that was actually paid, because it was vacant during November to March, what was the official salary level of that position during fiscal year 1991‑1992?
Mr. Ducharme: I will have to get that for the member. I will have to get that broken down for him. But, basically, the same salary is maintained for that position combination approved by the government over those three years.
Mr. Santos: I am now trying to study the pattern of salary in these three positions. The following year, and this is the present year, the administrative support position has not changed, the same person? Okay, that same salary that was $26,400 in 1991‑1992 is now $28,300. That is an increase of $1,800.
Mr. Ducharme: Are you talking about '91‑92, or are you talking about '90‑91, or are you talking about '91‑92? I am not quite getting clear, are you saying the year '91‑92?
Mr. Santos: Fiscal year is operating two years; 1990‑1991 is one fiscal year.
Mr. Ducharme: '90‑91.
Mr. Santos: Okay, 1991‑1992 that is another fiscal year; 1992 to 1993 is another fiscal year. [interjection! This is the third fiscal year.
I am saying that according to Schedule 4, page 8, that salary now is $28,200, administrative. That is on the record. [interjection! Right. All I am trying to say, what the raise means. It is a raise of $1,800, which is 6.82 percent increase.
Mr. Ducharme: The step plus the 3 percent that we authorized under the agreement.
Mr. Santos: Correct. You jump from one range to another range as you have your maturity. Normally in the Civil Service position, you start with a lower range, the entrance level. Then as years roll by, you go from range to range in addition to increases, right?
Mr. Ducharme: But this is the same person who we are talking about.
Mr. Santos: It does not matter whether it is the same person.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. McAlpine): Order, please. I would remind honourable members to, when they are making their remarks, to address their remarks through the Chair, please.
Mr. Santos: I am just going towards the facts themselves, the statistical data here. Last year that was $26,400. This year, fiscal year 1992‑1993, it is $28,200. Correct?
Mr. Ducharme: The Civil Service and Treasury Board authorize the salaries for what we pay those positions.
Mr. Santos: Correct.
Mr. Ducharme: That is all arranged through the Civil Service Commission.
Mr. Santos: All I did was subtract $26,400 from $28,200. Take the difference, divide the difference by the base, which was last year's position, and that gives me the percentage increase.
Mr. Ducharme: What is mathematical about that? The person got an increase.
Mr. Santos: Nothing, it is just a statement of fact, 6.82 percent increase. That is the administrative support position.
Now, the managerial position‑‑of course, that is Kathy's position‑‑last year, it was $53,900; this year, it is $58,000. If I subtract $53,900 from $58,000, I get $4,100. I am explaining to you how I arrive at these percentages. If I divide $4,100 by its base of last year's salary, the increase is 7.61 percent.
Mr. Ducharme: Remember, Kathy has not just started with Seniors Directorate. Kathy was in government before. She is entitled to her increment and the 3 percent raise. She is entitled to both.
Mr. Santos: You are not answering my question‑‑
Mr. Ducharme: Oh, you wanted to know‑‑
The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. McAlpine): Order, please.
Mr. Ducharme: Just let me explain. Just let me finish.
She is entitled, like every other employee, when her increment change comes up, she gets her increment plus the 3 percent that was agreed to by MGEA.
Mr. Santos: The honourable minister should not be very defensive. I am not questioning anything. I am just stating the computation of these percentages, how it came to be. I thought I had made it quite clear.
Now, this is where my trouble comes in. When I look at the professional/technical position, from a base, whatever it is, which must be in the $40,000s or so, it jumped, as to the data that I have, from $38,700 to $46,100. There was a change. They have no qualifications and maybe seniority in other departments of government.
But to me, that jump from $38,700 to $46,100 means $7,400 which, if I compute again in percentage form, is 19.12 percent. This is just a computation. I am not questioning anything. These are the facts.
In other words, if you take all three positions together and lump them in one jump, what was $119,000 salary last fiscal year, this year becomes $132,300. These are on your data. That alone is an overall increase of 11.18 percent.
Mr. Ducharme: You have to remember, we have calculated in there what we are going to have to pay at top position for a person we just hired. She comes from another department. You do not reduce their salary if they have the experience. Remember, you are paying position.
That is not an actual expenditure. That is only the estimated expenditure, because, as you remember, we have just hired that person, we just hired her last week. So we have to put in there what the maximum amount is in that position. We have done that. Then next year, what will work out will be the actual position that we spend.
That position you are talking about, there is no one there. There has not been anybody there since November. So when the Estimates are done up, you put in the maximum amount in that position, so that when you do hire and people compete for that job, there could be‑‑I do not know, how many people did we have? We had 80‑some applicants for that job. You have to have your level at the top so that when you fill it, then next year it will show up as the actual amount that you fill. But you have to anticipate paying the top dollar on that position because it was vacant at the time of the Estimates.
Mr. Santos: Of course, I do not know if I have the authority to ask for the documentation of that hiring.
Mr. Ducharme: The documentation that you can have is‑‑I am not quite clear what the Civil Service Commission will release, but I will release any documentation that the Civil Service Commission will allow me to release to you.
Mr. Santos: I would like to know, for example, her category, where she came from, what salary range she was, from the initial entrance level, whether she had reached the ceiling yet, and I would like to know the change from the old position. I am not talking about the present; the present to me is irrelevant. It is the position, to this present position.
Mr. Ducharme: I can tell you that they usually go up one increment, so there would automatically be an increase to what she is doing. However, I will give you as much information on the categories the Civil Service Commission will allow, because in this particular case we went out to all the employees and advertised. As a matter of fact, as I say to you, we had 86 applicants and the best qualified one was a position of a person coming over from Health, who was interviewed by the Civil Service Commission and they came down to four, and when the names were shown to me, they had picked No. 1, the Civil Service Commission picked No. 1, and that is the one that I wholly recommended.
Mr. Santos: Mr. Acting Deputy Chairperson, and to have a comparative perspective, I would like to have also the relevant documentation for the previous occupant with respect to her background, how long she had been in the Civil Service and so on, what range and what position she had occupied. Otherwise it will be meaningless to me.
Mr. Ducharme: Yes, we will give you the job description and we will give you as much as we can that Civil Service Commission will give us, because our staff left it completely up to the Civil Service Commission.
Mr. Santos: All I am trying to establish here is that there should be some kind of equity when people move from one department to another department, so that no one is in a disadvantageous position. I do not know where the previous occupant went when she left the position. She might still be with some government unit or department, I do not know.
Mr. Ducharme: The Civil Service Commission recommends what we pay them. They recommend the categories that are hired, and that is all done when they do their interviews, and so if they say that I can release that for the person we hired recently, I will give that to you.
Mr. Santos: So what we have established here is that there is in the overall‑‑I am now talking three fiscal years‑‑$116,320 total salaries in the fiscal year where it started, 1990‑91; then the following fiscal year, 1991‑92, that $116,320 jumped to $119,000. That is a jump in total‑‑I am now talking of the global figure‑‑of $13,300.
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, the only thing I can explain to the member, the information I have received is that there was a time when we did not have anybody, so we did not pay the money. So he is comparing actual to this year's anticipated salary that we had not filled at the time of the Estimates, and at that time we allowed for the maximum amount. All that is in calculation in there so the member cannot compare actual to anticipated, because when we filled that position we were anticipating what to fill it at and we used the maximum amount.
Mr. Santos: I like to compare that pattern, which is $116,320 to $119,000 to $132,000, an increase initially of 2.3 percent, and then an increase of 11.18 percent global, total for all the three positions. So there is a pattern here of increases in salaries. Okay, that is unavoidable given the structure of the salary and seniority system and other rules in the Civil Service.
If we look at page 12, the activity component, the Other Expenditures, Grant/Transfer Payments other than Salaries is the second category there. If I look at the figure from '91‑92 to year ending '93, the first one, Managerial, $53,900 to $58,000, that is an increase of 7.61 percent. The Professional/Technical, it is right there, from $38,700 to $46,100. That is 19.12 percent, and you have explained as best you could. The other one is‑‑
Mr. Ducharme: Just while we are on that line because I have given the member the opportunity of jumping back and forth, I think that now we are on that line to clarify for the record the $46,100 is estimated. At the time we had not filled the position so we had to allow the maximum amount in that position. Now we have filled that position, but that was an estimated amount only at $46,100. I want to be very, very clear on that.
Mr. Santos: That position is filled at the initial month of the fiscal year, is that correct?
Mr. Ducharme: No, that position is not completed at that time of the year. We were doing without that position from November to March so that $46,000 is not spent yet. It is estimated that that is what that position would be.
Mr. Santos: The position now is filled beginning this current fiscal year?
Mr. Ducharme: The position was filled a week ago.
Mr. Santos: So this is within April 1, 1992, the current fiscal year that is running now, right?
Mr. Ducharme: Right on, except that it was filled at the end of May. Of that $46,000, the actual will probably be less for that year because we will not have to pay the whole $46,000 because the person we have hired was not here from April 1 to the end of May so you have to take out two months.
Mr. Santos: Okay, whatever is two months equivalent in proportion to the total, that you will take out. How much will that be? You can compute it.
Mr. Ducharme: For sure there will be two months but I have not got the stats of what salary they paid that person from the Civil Service Commission but it would be roughly two months off of there.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. McAlpine): Order, please. I have recognized the member for Broadway. Do you have any further questions for the minister?
Mr. Santos: Yes, I have. The Other Expenditures there, now, this is the Other Expenditures other than Salaries, right? There is no change in the Grants/Transfer Payments so it is stationary. I have no question on that.
The Acting Deputy Chairperson (Mr. McAlpine): Order, please. Are you ready to move on to the next line?
Mr. Santos: I will not start if we are moving because there might be some question that I may be precluded to ask. I do not think that we should be very strict about this.
(Mr. Deputy Chairperson in the Chair)
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: I would just like to ask the honourable member if he was finished with the Salaries line at this time because the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) has some questions he wants to ask on this line?
Mr. Santos: If he has some questions on Salaries, I am yielding to the honourable member for St. Boniface.
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, on Salaries, I am ready to pass the line. I think the minister has said he will supply us with further information, and I am sure he will pass it on to both critics. I think it is quite clear and laid out. I feel comfortable with the information that he has given us so far, and that he is going to supply for the last three years. I have other questions that I would like to deal with before five o'clock today.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: We thank the honourable member for that. Is the honourable member for Broadway completed with the (a) line, Salaries?
Mr. Santos: To facilitate the procedure, I think we should pass the Salaries.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Item 1.(a) Salaries $132,300‑‑pass.
We will now move on to (b) Other Expenditures $131,600.
Mr. Gaudry: I think, Mr. Deputy Chairperson, to speed up things here, we should deal with the questions that we have prepared.
received a call from a Mrs. Jones voicing her frustration and concerns with the
moving of the 55 Plus office to Carberry. Mrs. Jones was quite upset about the
fact that seniors receiving the services were not made aware of this move and
the fact that it was in the MSOS offices.
Not made aware of this move, she happened to find out by going to the
Jones would like to know how much it is costing government in long distance
calls with the toll‑free number that seniors are asked to call for
information. Also, she was quite upset
with the services of the Carberry office.
She would like to see the office returned to
Could the minister supply us with the statistics indicating why such a move was warranted?
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, I can understand the member for St. Boniface's concerns, because when you are readjusting where seniors move after a time like they are used to going, I think we all get that way with our habits and seniors are more habit forming than anybody else. We have inquired and our staff is trying to monitor that right now. We know that you did inquire and had asked MSOS to help individuals who had difficulty in completing the forms.
First of all, the 55 office is attempting to gather stats regarding the number of individuals who require help in completing forms. We have asked them to supply us with that information. The program has the 800 number which is accessible by phone. So it is not as a result of phoning in, it is the actual people going there.
I am informed that there was a staff person available directing these people, and they are still conducting that. I am told that there was upwards as many as maybe 14 people who came to that office a day during that adjustment period. They are trying to encourage them to use the toll‑free number.
First of all, the forms‑‑all that is required is a signature and then they send a copy with their income tax form. Apparently, the form that they are using is not a tough form to use. However, our department will continue to work with them and monitor that because of the interest that you showed.
Gaudry: The seniors did express concern to see the
office move out of
Ducharme: Yes, we approached Age and
Mr. Gaudry: Can the minister tell us what has happened to the Piney area congregate meals that they had requested? Has anything further been followed up or been done with the project?
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, I am informed that Health has $300,000 towards these types of projects, and they were out evaluating where they were going to‑‑make sure that they were viable and evaluate them all. So I do not have any more update on Piney.
Mr. Gaudry: When will this report be ready in regard to our evaluation of these requests for meals?
Mr. Ducharme: We asked for it quite some time ago, so I will make the inquiry, but I am advised that it will be quite soon.
We are anticipating or hoping that the amount that was allotted would look after the list that we have. However, we will contact Health and make sure. I am informed that it probably will look after the list.
Mr. Gaudry: In the annual report a transportation committee composed of representatives of various government departments and seniors organizations was active in looking at options for seniors. Could the minister indicate, which community groups did the transportation committee meet with?
Ducharme: First of all, remember that the group‑‑I
know they met with a north end group.
They met some private people. I
cannot give you the names, but I can give you maybe some of the people‑‑are
you familiar with who is on it, because a lot of those people are directly
involved in that transportation anyway?
We have the Department of Health, the Departments of Highways and
Transportation, Family Services, Culture, Heritage, Urban Affairs are on it and
Rural Development. Then we have seniors
organizations involved in that. We have
MSOS, Age and Opportunity, Council on Aging and Ethos are also on that
committee, and also the City of
are presently working, as you know, with the
So that committee is still working. We are still hoping that they come up with something that probably is going to be better than the existing program, but the existing program is handling a lot of seniors. I know when I was Urban Affairs minister‑‑it is handling a lot of seniors throughout the city.
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, this is a three‑phase project that we are talking about, eh?
Mr. Ducharme: I understand, yes, it is, and the first phases will get in in July.
Mr. Gaudry: The first phase will be done in July, and when can we expect the second and third phases of the project?
Mr. Ducharme: I imagine that when we get the first phase we will get a recommendation from the committee on how the schedule will appear for the next two.
Mr. Gaudry: As far as home care is concerned, will the minister be involved with the reform of the home care services that will be provided to seniors with the Health minister?
Mr. Ducharme: Our directorate is always involved with Health and remember that Health really has a connection through Betty Havens, who is your geriatric expert on that. Also, I am fortunately Seniors minister on a committee with Health and Family Services because of our connection, and so anything coming forward, I am on that committee. Also, our directorate is usually advised and we are consulted with.
Mr. Gaudry: Why I am asking about home care is the fact that since the minister has announced the reform of health care, there have been a lot of calls coming from the seniors in St. Boniface, due to the fact that there have been some pamphlets delivered, anonymous pamphlets, where they have said they are closing beds and so forth. Of course, the discussion of home care comes about. Like last week, for example, on Friday I met about 10 seniors together, and I think they understood the fact that there needs to be reform done in the health care department.
In discussing home care, what they were looking at was the fact that they feel there should be some training maybe given to the home care.
got another call, the same lady that lives not too far from the
She said, well, I understood when I was going to get home care that I would get at least a meal. She said, no, you should give me a cup of tea. She said she told the lady to go home and that she could make her own cup of tea. She got into trouble with Home Care. I have not returned the call, but I am sure it is probably the fact that she is looking at home care.
My recommendation is that, I know there are a lot of ladies out there who give home care and they are very great persons. I know for a fact that L'Accueil Colombien there in St. Boniface where there is a lot of home care service, and her recommendation is some of them maybe should be trained or have a job description when they go out and be given exactly‑‑I think the people that are receiving the care also should be told what these people will be doing. Some say, well, I want my balcony swept, and she says, well, I am not here to sweep your balcony. I can maybe sweep the kitchen floor, but no more‑‑and the vacuum is too heavy, I cannot lift the vacuum. I think there should be a job description to these people. It is just the thoughts that have come out with the people that I have met last week. I think it is important, and I would like to see the minister's response to these recommendations.
Mr. Ducharme: I am looking forward to participating, as you know. The same as you, I have been involved in personal care homes, in establishing them, and I know that some of the senior homes and find out where the home care is lacking and to get away from that fear that I know that you people have not used, that‑‑I met people just yesterday at the Winnipeg Centennial Library where we talked about closing down beds. They were quite understanding that, just because you are closing down beds, if you could save $800 a day, that means you can provide a lot more home care and lot more personal care homes. They understand that. All they are concerned about is to make sure that they are well looked after.
I think you understand that situation. I know you talk about home care and volunteer people working and nurses working with the seniors. You know my mother‑in‑law very well‑‑
Mr. Gaudry: Yes.
Mr. Ducharme: ‑‑and she has worked a lot in St. Boniface with them. She stresses the same thing you are stressing, that a lot of them do not understand. What you said, a job description‑‑I guess we do not call it job description, but where the detail is of what they will do for them. Some of them demand something that they cannot do, and some people demand that it could be done cheaper somewhere else. I think that is what you are referring to. So I look forward to that participating. I can assure you then the committee that I am on, that I will have that opportunity.
Mr. Gaudry: The other thing, if we are going to finish by five o'clock‑‑my colleague spent 40 minutes on one item‑‑but anyway I would like to pass on to him after. But that video, I will have to congratulate the minister for bringing out the video. He is well aware that I have requested a number of them for seniors and others. As a matter of fact, the nurse in the St. Boniface who is teaching gerontology requested them, and I passed them on. She felt they were very useful for her course, and she requested them both in French and in English. What was the total cost of the video?
Mr. Ducharme: Just to clarify the amount, remember I am talking to produce, to manufacture, to do the video, all the paper material, was in the vicinity of $100,000. That was shared by the federal government. Remember that is everything. That is all the pamphlets and all the paper that we are using. That included about 25,000 of each brochure and 700 of the videos. Remember all the languages, both languages, that is 25,000 of each one.
Mr. Gaudry: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, before I pass the mike over to my colleague here, I would like to say thank you to the staff and the courtesy they extend every time we phone your office.
Mr. Ducharme: Just some more information is we are working‑‑and we are hoping not to stop with one video. We are hoping to work with a bank association, whoever. They have really shown an interest, but they have not shown a little bit of this nice stuff yet, but we are hoping that maybe they will help us in our next one, and we are going to carry on with that.
Mr. Santos: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the first line on page 12 under Other Expenditures is Grant/Transfer Payments, but on page 17 there is a distinction made under that category, under the Object Codes: discretionary grant, nondiscretionary grant. Can somebody help me, what is the difference between discretionary grant and nondiscretionary grant?
Mr. Ducharme: What I believe it to mean is it is not guaranteed every year, and that is the difference. One is, and you commit yourself.
An Honourable Member: Which one is that?
Mr. Ducharme: The nondiscretionary grant is guaranteed.
Mr. Santos: Whose discretion is being exercised whether it will be guaranteed or not?
Mr. Ducharme: I guess, government.
Mr. Santos: That line on Transportation on page 12 is a decrease of $700, from $10,300 to $9,600, and that is in percentage terms, 6.8 percent. What does that entail in terms of activities reduced?
Mr. Ducharme: I guess it depends on where they would hold the conferences for the staff. Remember all that is in there, the conferences, costs and everything, so we could actually have a reduction because maybe the conferences are closer, or whoever goes or whatever. That is the discretion that we use. In other words, it could be lower because the conference is not as far away or the expenses to go to those conferences, or maybe we did not go to one conference over another. That is basically where all the costs are all under, under Transportation.
Mr. Santos: Anyway, $700 is a minimal decrease, but the next one is a large decrease, from $98,200 Communication/Advertising to $52,000. That is a decrease of $46,200, amounting to 47 percent, almost one half. Why?
Mr. Ducharme: The video. The video we produced the year before was $100,000 and the costs were shared by the province and the feds, and that is where the difference is. We did not produce a video in the year ending March 1993. The video was produced the year before and that was $50,000.
Mr. Santos: The contribution by the federal government?
Mr. Ducharme: The federal government was $50,000 and ours was $50,000, so only $50,000 would show on ours, so that is where the reduction is.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Can I ask the members to try and come through the Chair? It will make it much easier for Hansard to keep this on the rail. It will keep Hansard a lot clearer for the future.
Mr. Santos: That happened to me, too, when I was chairing, and I always intervened. So be alert, Mr. Deputy Chairperson. Vigilance is the price of freedom.
In the expenditures, that is the same, $10,000, no increase?
Mr. Ducharme: It would be the same; we have not changed where we are doing business out of our office, we have not changed our staff. It is still the same as it was the year before.
Mr. Santos: On Professional Services, from $10,600 to $5,000. That is a $5,600 decrease and that is greater than one half, 52.83 percent decrease. Why? What professional services are discarded?
Mr. Ducharme: Before we produced the video we had to hire someone to help us‑‑consultants to find out where the best people were to use for the video, who the best people were in the city. We had to hire consultants to get a cost on our video and that was in the professional services.
also mention in there, I guess, some of the costs would be the art work for all
the pamphlets that are in there. I would
like at this time to thank the person who was involved in the video at the
start of it. He donated his time and
that is "Let's Make a Deal" Monty Hall, who is from
He did not charge us for his time, but he charged us, for instance, to send our material there and back. So that was included in there. For the consultants, it was mostly preparation, that different preparation for the video.
Mr. Santos: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, in total then, this preparatory work before the actual filming itself, how much did it entail when you were spending for professional services?
Mr. Ducharme: Approximately $4,000‑$5,000.
Mr. Santos: Going now to page 11. The objective of the Seniors Directorate is "to provide a central source of contact for seniors, seniors organizations and government." The second one: "To promote the interests of seniors and to ensure programs and policies are sensitive to their needs and concerns."
How does the Seniors Directorate ensure that the programs and policies are sensitive to the concerns and needs of senior citizens?
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, to the member, my staff, myself and the organizations that we have a network with, sit down with these groups continually; we work with these groups continually. We get numerous phone calls from concerns in regard to health programs, to family services; they express their concerns to us. We take those forward through the committee process that has been established by this government.
sit with the two major departments, that is Family Services and Health, I
express those concerns to them, and they are brought forward from my
staff. I also meet with the directors of
MSOS, and with the directors of Age and
I started a small group where I bring forward the presidents of all the seniors organizations. I meet with them in my office. I try to do that three or four times a year and I will continue to do that. That is how you relate and that is how you get these programs. No matter what government you are in, that is the whole basis of getting information across, to get these people in.
George Hickes (Point Douglas): I just have one
question. I would like to ask the
minister if he has had any contact with the residents of 425
There were some concerns raised to me about the whole security measure in the area. They were supposed to have been setting up a meeting with SAM (Management) Inc. I would like to ask the minister if he is aware of any meetings, or if there has been anything brought to his attention.
Mr. Ducharme: Not specifically to that, to the member. They probably have talked to Housing. We have had several concerns in regard, not just to that one but, to other buildings in regards to security. I know when I was Housing minister, from my senior groups, I was the one that brought forward to utilize the senior alert program. I brought that into regional housing because we used the same one that was used for our alarms.
we will attempt to work with the senior groups because no one should have to
worry about protection. We will continue
to work, and I have taken note of the
Mr. Hickes: That was the question I was going to ask: Would the minister be willing to get in touch with the management team?‑‑and he has already committed that, so that is good.
Mr. Santos: This is one of the best ministers I know.
An Honourable Member: He must want something, Gerry.
Mr. Ducharme: I do not know what he is after.
Mr. Santos: I am not after anything.
Mr. Ducharme: I am just kidding you.
Mr. Santos: In fact, I have something to say. I asked for that video, I never got it.
Mr. Ducharme: Yes, your caucus got one.
Mr. Santos: I never received it.
Mr. Ducharme: I will get you another one, but your caucus did get one.
Santos: Page 11, under Activity
Identification/Operational Overview, it says:
"Facilitates and implements new initiatives to benefit Seniors in
Mr. Ducharme: First of all, I guess the initiative from our first year was to work on the video, because that was a result of the hearings. The second would be to get the brochures that we have now established. We have several brochures established in many languages, and we are devising these brochures. We are trying to concentrate on specifics, like I mentioned in my opening remarks about Pharmacare and my opening remarks about trust.
We are trying to develop‑‑because the seniors like the small pamphlets, they do not like the big books. Also, we can get them in many languages. I know the member is quite aware that we have two native languages we have developed in some of these brochures: When you are dealing with Pharmacare, and When you are dealing with problems. That is our initiative right now, to try to get that information across.
Mr. Santos: The only two languages you mention are Cree and Salteaux, whatever that native language is, Ojibway. Are there some other translations in other languages that you have done, other than these two?
Mr. Ducharme: Not for all our brochures. We have done Ukrainian, German, French and English to some of our other ones.
Mr. Santos: What about new immigrants?
Mr. Ducharme: The ones who have actually talked about it would be Ethos‑‑that is a multicultural group‑‑have asked us to prepare, and we have asked them to give us our information on what they would require and what they need for their groups. Ethos has been very helpful in telling us what other languages. We have to go by what is in demand, and if we get a demand for the languages we will certainly produce them.
Mr. Santos: There is the distribution of these videos, how many of those videos have been distributed so far?
Ducharme: The initial amount we made up was 750. We distributed the 750 in
to add to it, the feds have now started to pay for‑‑they paid for
the 500 that we distributed across
Mr. Santos: Under Expected Results, also, in the second line: Interaction with government departments on behalf of concerns expressed by senior citizens. Do you have any record of the instances or number of interactions you had with other government departments on behalf of senior citizens?
Ducharme: Most of our interaction is with our own
departments, and we have phone calls continually from them, we do have letters
and memos back and forth to the other departments. We have some information of
interaction. We do get calls from the
Mr. Santos: Under Activity Identification, also, the second to the last line under the category: "Liaises with community groups on seniors issues." I know you have some interactions with what you mentioned in your opening remarks, Manitoba Society of Seniors.
Other than those, do you have any interaction with new seniors groups among immigrants, other than Ethos?
Ducharme: Yes, Ethos, as you mentioned, and also Age
Mr. Santos: On page 10, the last line: The Seniors Directorate "Evaluates programs, policies and legislation to ensure that seniors' concerns are reflected." Who is doing this evaluation?
Mr. Ducharme: My staff will do the evaluation, but also we could, if we have not time, hire someone to do the evaluation of a project. The transportation committee we hired, for instance, that we have ongoing will evaluate the transportation. We will hire someone to look at different programs and evaluate them.
Usually a lot of our evaluations, fortunately we are only a directorate, we do not have a lot of funding to evaluate, so a lot of times the departments will do evaluation, and they will include our staff with them. They will supply the evaluation for us.
Mr. Santos: Mr. Deputy Chairperson, the last few minutes, will the minister ensure that he get enough funding source of his own, rather than depend on other departments?
Mr. Ducharme: Well, the only trouble is that, remember, it is intermingled. There is no use duplicating the people that are evaluating. So my people can look from the Seniors Directorate portion, and let the other departments‑‑it is all government money. Let the other departments do the evaluation for us.
Mr. Deputy Chairperson: Item 1.(b) Other Expenditures $131,600‑‑pass.
Resolution 122: RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $263,900 for Seniors Directorate, Seniors Directorate, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993‑‑pass.
This completes the Estimates of the Department of Seniors Directorate. The next set of Estimates that will be considered by this section of the Committee of Supply are the Estimates for Labour.
The time being 5 p.m., and time for private members' hour, committee rise. JUSTICE
Madam Chairperson (Louise Dacquay): Will the Committee of Supply please come to order. This section of the Committee of Supply will be dealing with the Estimates of the Department of Justice.
We will begin with a statement from the honourable minister responsible.
Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the committee for coming to an understanding about considering the Estimates of Manitoba Justice in the order that we are dealing with them. I think this will make it easier for me and may help opposition members as well. It should make it easier for me to fit in the Estimates with the successive rounds of constitutional conferences and will perhaps facilitate other business of the Legislature as well.
Justice is asking for spending authority for $165.9 million in the 1992 fiscal
year, an increase of about $6.8 million over last year's Adjusted Vote. Most of the increase can be attributed to a
few areas. There will be an increase in
the Policing budget of about $1.9 million, most of which arises from higher
At this point I would like to move into brief discussion of some individual highlights of the operations of Manitoba Justice, at the same time introducing the relevant budget items associated with them. As honourable members will know, Legal Aid has been an interesting subject of discussion this year. The tariff of fees paid private lawyers doing legal aid work was reduced, effective last April 1. The regulation affected various block‑fee criminal items in the tariff. The overall impact was a 12 percent reduction, often referred to as 25 percent reduction, but the overall impact was a 12 percent reduction projected to save $255,000 this fiscal year and $510,000 in 1993‑94.
Many private lawyers were understandably unhappy, and service was withdrawn in some parts of the province. I am pleased to say that reasoned discussion with the defence lawyers association and others resulted in restoration of service and a solution for this year. The association proposed reducing the criminal tariff reductions with a 12 percent holdback on criminal cases. We agreed to this effective May 18, 1992. The effect is that 12 percent of the fees normally paid out in criminal cases is being held back by Legal Aid. If money is left over, that holdback will be paid back on a pro rata basis.
want to stress to all honourable members that the Legal Aid budget has not been
reduced by this government. Quite the
opposite is true. The
I am pleased to note that service is indeed in place and was not adversely affected during some of the discussions and service withdrawals that took place. Our goal is to ensure that this continues to be the case.
of the highlights of the past year was the successful negotiation, in
association with our colleagues in seven other provinces, of a new and historic
policing contract with the federal government covering the costs of the RCMP as
We were also able to achieve assumption by both levels of government of a fair share of the cost‑base items respecting policing services. Other major achievements were inclusion of important provisions for both financial and program accountability, as well as procedures for resolving issues and differences.
We were very happy to reach this agreement. It removes the RCMP, which is universally honoured and respected in our province, from being tarred by intergovernmental disagreements. Indeed, we were proud yesterday and note that there will be the RCMP patrolling the grounds of this fine institution.
It will also make possible a variety of consultations on current program and financial matters respecting police services. At a time when policing is a profession and the place of policing in our society faces major changes, this will make it easier to make adjustments as they become necessary.
are making other changes in those areas in and associated with the department
that relate to policing services.
Briefly, the Manitoba Police Commission is being abolished, and the Law
Enforcement Review Agency's judicial responsibilities are being removed. LERA will continue to exercise its
investigatory role, but the judicial responsibility for appeals now exercised
by LERA and the Police Commission will be vested in
Some of the administrative responsibilities of LERA and the responsibilities of the Police Commission for promoting crime prevention, efficiency of policing services and good police‑community relations will be assumed by the Law Enforcement Services branch of my department.
Two types of results are expected from these changes. We expect to achieve more administrative efficiency and better service to the public and the policing community. We expect, as well, to achieve better handling of appeals from LERA decisions respecting police conduct, since they will now be heard by judges who are experienced both in the law and in adjudicating disputes. This will produce a more efficient process of reviewing policing practices.
On behalf of the government, I would like to draw the attention of the committee to one important change in administrative practice which will be reflected in the operations of the Civil Legal Services branch of the department.
Starting with the current fiscal year, legal services to government departments and some Crown agencies will be operated on a charge‑back basis. By making the cost of these legal services more visible, the change will make government process and administration more accountable to the Legislature and to Manitobans.
area where much progress has been achieved is in fighting domestic violence.
From the start, the court was well received and its operations have increased. This was reflected in the number of Crown attorneys prosecuting cases and the number of hours of court time scheduled for hearing the cases. The trend appears to be increasingly heavy use of the court. This results from several factors, among them increased awareness of rights, the increased effectiveness of this specialized court and our policy of no tolerance of partner abuse. We have provided for the higher demand for the courts services in the 1992‑93 Justice budget. We have projected and provided for increases of $376,400 in expenditures, and they are adding six staff years in Public Prosecutions to strengthen the court's operations.
In the Courts division, a new and successful service called computer‑assisted transcription or CAT was introduced last year in the Transcription Services unit to handle the production of court transcripts. The new system, approved by the government, allowed for a mix of court reporters and CAT clerk monitors.
Judges, in consultation with court staff, determine the appropriate method of recording evidence. Priority is given to criminal, civil jury trials‑‑I am not sure we have many civil jury trials, but that is where the priority is, as well as the criminal ones‑‑and legally complex civil cases and matters involving litigants or witnesses with language problems.
So far, I am pleased to report that the scheduling and use of CAT reporters is consistent with the principles and protocol approved by the court's executive board. Another one of a kind system in this country for administering the court system. A blend of CAT reporters and court clerk monitors allows us flexibility in customer services. CAT reporters are very beneficial in legally complex cases or in matters involving language problems since their training makes possible the smooth, professional conduct of a court hearing.
In addition, CAT technology can be used in specialized cases. The judges are pleased with the blend of services. The system gives judges flexibility in determining the appropriate way to record evidence based on the type of case. Moreover, since the service began, the number of pages produced per day has increased but the percentage of outstanding transcripts to be done has decreased.
I would like to speak briefly about our continuing tough policy concerning drinking and driving. We continue to crack down on people who insist on drinking and driving and on those who drive while suspended. We are happier with the tougher measures against repeat offenders that came into force with the support of honourable members of this House last year. The message will not be changed: You must not drink and drive.
In Corrections, as I mentioned earlier, most of the increase in budget relates to the opening of the Remand Centre, where we hope to start transferring inmates by September. We have earmarked 20 additional staff years for the centre's operations‑‑20‑‑reflecting the larger capacity of the new building and its facilities.
addition, there will be one‑year transitional costs associated with the
change from the outmoded
Finally, a brief point of information for honourable members about matters arising from the Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry: Since the report was issued, we have been in touch with leaders and representative organizations in the aboriginal community to invite their participation on a number of working groups that would plan specific initiatives respecting Aboriginal Justice Inquiry recommendations. We are awaiting their responses and we hope they will accept our invitation in the near future.
With this, I will conclude this part of my introduction and await the comments from my opposition critics. I have to tell you, Madam Chairperson, as in the rest of the government, in the rest of this country, it has been a difficult year financially speaking, a difficult year in other ways as well, as the daily news will attest. But I am very proud of the progress we, as a department, have made, and I am very challenged by the work ahead of us, always acknowledging and recognizing much could, will and should still be done.
I would like to thank the very, very valued people we have working in the Department of Justice publicly for the fine, fine support they give this minister, this government and the people of this province each and every working day of the year. There is a high level of commitment in our department. I think there is a fairly high level of pride amongst the people who work for the Department of Justice. It is a very special department dealing with some very special problems and needs in our communities and in our province, and it sure is nice to have dedicated people to work with. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan): My opening comments will be very brief. I would just like to commence by reflecting as well, the comments of the minister with respect to the dedication, professionalism and activity of the staff of the Department of Justice. I know, personally, many of those individuals and while at times during Question Period we may appear to reflect perhaps on their professionalism, it is certainly not intended. It is not my intention, and I am sure the critic for the Liberal Party as well. We certainly recognize the very difficult task that has been placed in front of them and certainly join with the minister in his comments with respect to all of those individuals who work in the department.
I can indicate, at least for our party, the approach is going to be a little bit different with respect to our dealing with the Estimates. I am just going to outline briefly for the minister how we intend to approach it, for two reasons. First off, because we are expediting these matters because of the very lengthy and difficult negotiations that the minister is involved in, and consequently I just want to advise him generally what my plan is in this regard, and secondly, because of the time restraints on the Estimates process, we feel we cannot necessarily fully deal with all aspects of Estimates this period of time as we might hope to.
I personally hope to touch on matters this Estimates process perhaps that I did not have an opportunity to touch on the last Estimates process, and to expedite matters as best that I can. It is also, at least, my intention to try to deal with matters concerning the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry when we next meet on Thursday, as opposed to today's session of the Estimates process.
With those brief comments, I can indicate that I am prepared to proceed to deal with the Supplementary Estimates.
Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James): Madam Chairperson, I want to start by recognizing that both the minister and the government House leader, and my friend, the member for Kildonan, and his House leader have attempted to be accommodating in a co‑operative fashion of the very difficult schedule the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae) has had, and will continue to have no doubt, in the ensuing weeks as the constitutional discussions go forward. We are pleased to be able to participate in this time frame, and I do not intend to be lengthy in our discussions because I know time is short.
Other years we have gone many, many hours and I think both myself and the member for Kildonan have, to the minister's credit, had access to him and been able to discuss issues as they have arisen from time to time, and that we appreciate.
As a result, we will be restricting questions at this point in these Estimates unlike past years, and perhaps unlike future years, but we will be doing that in these Estimates.
I took note of the comments of the minister. In the course of the Estimates, he will see that we, of course, take issue with some of his statements therein, but I do not intend to make a lengthy statement at this point and I look forward to going through the Estimates clause by clause. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
Madam Chairperson: At this time I would request that the minister's staff please enter the Chamber.
I would remind all members of the committee that item 1.(a) Minister's Salary will be deferred and dealt with after all other resolutions have been passed.
McCrae: Madam Chairperson, I am pleased to introduce
people who are probably already known to honourable members. The first is Shirley Strutt who is our Acting
Deputy Attorney General for the
Mr. Chomiak: I wonder if the minister can indicate for me where he anticipates we should deal with the Pedlar report, under which appropriation?
Mr. McCrae: Since Public Prosecutions is basically chairing the government's working group respecting our responses to the Pedlar review, I should think that Public Prosecutions lines in the Estimates would be the appropriate time to discuss those issues.
Mr. Chomiak: I am wondering if the minister can outline for me, there are eight staff years in Executive Support this year as was the same last year, can the minister just perhaps table at some point a list of who those eight individuals are?
Mr. McCrae: At some point in the future I would be happy to do that for the honourable member.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, my final question in this area is: I note that the managerial salary level is $102,100; can the minister indicate that more or less reflects the salary of the deputy minister?
Mr. McCrae: Madam Chairperson, the figure referred to by the honourable member would be a reference to the Deputy Attorney General, but as the honourable member knows we have changes going on in that area. For the moment we are well served, indeed, by Shirley Strutt as Acting Deputy Attorney General. This number reflects what would have been the case if there had been no change.
Mr. Edwards: Madam Chairperson, just on that point, can the minister indicate what the process is with respect to securing a permanent deputy minister, when he expects that decision might be made, and how he is going about finding a new deputy minister?
Mr. McCrae: As the honourable member knows, there are a number of ways to choose a senior executive like a deputy minister. None of those things are done without the knowledge and consultation of the Premier (Mr. Filmon) of the province, who has the job of appointing ministers and appointing deputy ministers.
that in the background, I say to you that at the present time we are well
served by the services of the present acting deputy minister, but we do have to
take a longer‑term look at the future of the department. To be quite frank with the honourable member,
we have today not made long‑term arrangements. We expect to turn our attention to those long‑term
arrangements shortly after the return of the Premier from
Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I just wanted to query the
minister to clarify where, perhaps, I should ask this question, so I am asking
under this category. I, at some point,
would like a list tabled of the outside counsel, the occasions when the
I wondering if this is the appropriate place to ask for it or some other place, or maybe the minister can take notice of that now, and we can proceed on to other matters.
Mr. McCrae: I believe, in the past, when this request has been made, the response has been to provide that information, and I see no reason to change that way of doing it.
Madam Chairperson: Item 1.(b) Executive Support: (1) Salaries $334,400‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $92,900‑‑pass.
1.(c) Policy, Planning and Special Projects: (1) Salaries.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, the minister, on previous occasions, provided us with a two‑page handout entitled Policy, Planning and Communication project listing. I am wondering if the minister would be prepared to also table that document at this time?
Mr. McCrae: Madam Chairperson, I think I can provide to the honourable member a list of the items that the Policy, Planning and Special Projects people are working on. I do not think it will take two pages this year.
As the honourable member would understand, the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and domestic violence has really captured the attention of our policy and planning branch this year. I will give the honourable member a list of the projects that the branch is working on but I do not think it will take two pages this year.
Mr. Edwards: Madam Chairperson, we would appreciate receiving that list as well and we have received it in prior years; it is useful.
I wonder if the minister is prepared to table to members a copy of the 1988 Law Enforcement Review study which was completed in the department.
Mr. McCrae: Madam Chairperson, I will just ask Mr. Sinnott to bring Mr. Yost in, who is, I understand, not far away and he can help me get through some of these questions.
I said to the honourable member, and agreed that I would make available a list of the projects that the branch has been working on, but it has not been customary for the branch to make available the contents of its work. It comes under the heading of policy advice to the government, so I would have to decline the honourable member's request.
Mr. Edwards: Is the minister prepared to indicate then whether or not his recent changes to the Law Enforcement Review Agency were in compliance with the study and the recommendations which were found in the 1988 report?
Mr. McCrae: As with any comprehensive work, the things that flow from them do not always reflect all the items in the study, so from some aspects of that study would flow the legislative changes that are proposed in this session and the changes may not reflect all the matters dealt with in the study or indeed all the recommendations. It is, though, an internal and it is a government document that is for the use of developing policy, and we have developed a policy with the use of that study and other resources.
Mr. Edwards: Can the minister indicate whether or not there has been a study done, or is being done now, on the issue of Police Commission vis‑a‑vis the City of Winnipeg Police, or are there discussions ongoing with the City of Winnipeg about what body might be put in place to deal with the allegations which come forward from time to time which we all know about of police abuse, in which it is not necessarily victim driven, through a process like LERA or other processes in place, but rather there is a public concern about the police activity and there is a great need for a swift and credible review?
Of course, we have many experiences. This minister has personally met experiences where that has got out of hand and eventually we have had to bring in others to do these reviews in a costly and, I think, less than perfect way.
there been any discussions with the City of
Mr. McCrae: The questions the honourable member raises are sort of a multidisciplinary kind of thing, policy and planning has an involvement, Public Prosecutions has an involvement. There is a review going on of civilian and other forms of authority over police agencies across the country, so in terms of a project along this line by the policy branch, I do not think it could be described in that way, but Prosecutions is also part of that.
I have not personally had a lot of‑‑how would I put it‑‑substantial discussion with Winnipeg Police authorities about a police commission there for the future. We have our plans, as the honourable member will see on his review of the legislation coming forward at this session for how the province will play its role in dealing with public complaints against the police, and how we deal with policy matters and crime prevention matters as traditionally carried by out the Manitoba Police Commission.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, last year we were advised that there was an experimental two‑year project consisting of five magistrates at the Provincial Remand Centre to deal with bail hearings and the like. That was a two‑year pilot project according to the department last year, and as I understand it, the project would be reviewed after May, 1993. My question for the minister is, has this pilot project been expanded in any way, shape or form outside of the five new magistrates at the PRC?
Mr. McCrae: The answer is no, there has not been the expansion implicit in the honourable member's question.
I am just having a wee problem, Madam Chairperson, I do not know how long we are going to be doing this, how long these Estimates are going to last, and I am just saying to the honourable member, sometimes it is good for me to get some departmental advice and the question about the Remand Centre Hearing Officer Program is really better asked under either Prosecutions or Courts I would think than under this particular heading.
I am not trying to be difficult. I do not know how long you want to spend. If you want to talk about a lot of general things, we can do that, and then if there are specifics, we do have people here to help us through these things. That question, I might be able to give you a better, more detailed answer on some of these things if they were asked at the time when Courts or Prosecutions are with me.
Mr. Chomiak: That is fine and I will endeavour to do that. I was just simply reflecting the questions that were contained in the pilot study that was provided by the minister last year, which is why I asked it under this particular appropriation. That is fine, certainly I want to expedite matters as best as I can under the circumstances.
I do not think that I personally will have any more questions in this area, subject to the fact that when the minister tables this, if he tables the list of projects and studies under this appropriation when we next meet, I may want to come back to ask a couple of questions on that tabled document the next time we meet here, Thursday.
Madam Chairperson: Item 1.(c) Policy, Planning and Special Projects: (1) Salaries $288,500‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $144,900‑‑pass.
1.(d) Financial and Administrative Services: (1) Salaries $989,800‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $124,100‑‑pass.
1.(e) Human Resource Services: (1) Salaries $649,400.
Mr. Edwards: Madam Chairperson, can the minister indicate‑‑I know there has been some recent resolution of salaries with the Public Prosecutions Branch‑‑is this the group in the department that negotiates with the union for Crown attorneys in this province?
Mr. McCrae: My department is involved in those negotiations as a resource to the Civil Service Commission which is in charge of the bargaining.
Mr. Edwards: Madam Chairperson, can the minister indicate what, and the specifics of, the pay increases were in the last resolution? We had press reports, but can the minister give us a brief summary of what the results were with the negotiations, which I believe concluded about a month ago, and also indicate where that ranks our Crown attorneys in terms of pay in this country?
Mr. McCrae: Madam Chairperson, there are a number of elements to the agreement. It has been, I understand, ratified by the ranks of the Crown Attorneys Association of Manitoba, but not yet by the government.
than the general kind of thing you will hear publicly about percentages and so
on, there is not much light I can shed on this contract at this point until
ratification happens. It is safe to say
that I think the percentage increases are in line with percentage increases for
other public servants in
Edwards: Can the minister answer the second part of
the question as to where our Crown attorneys rank in
Mr. McCrae: That information, would, I assume, be available from the Civil Service Commission, but the honourable member gives me more powers than I have. I am not the one who would take the issue of a collective agreement with the prosecutors to the government, but the Civil Service Commission minister, I presume would be the one to do that.
Edwards: Is the minister saying, and I do not mean to
belabour the point, but that he is simply not aware of the answer to that, of
where they rank in
Mr. McCrae: Until I look at the package in detailed form, I will have to reserve on answering that question for the honourable member. I do not know today where they were, or where they will be. We value their service, we have negotiated with them an agreement which they apparently have ratified, and that is where it stands today.
Mr. Edwards: Madam Chairperson, just in conclusion, would the minister undertake, once he has done that, to inform us of the results of that. I raise that because others have raised with me rankings which I would like verified before I was to take them as fact. I would be interested to know if the minister comes to the same conclusion that I have been advised of when he has done his review, and would appreciate him advising me of the results of his review.
Mr. McCrae: The information will be public information and if there is any way I can help get the information to the honourable member, I would be pleased to do so.
Madam Chairperson: Item 1.(e) Human Resource Services: (1) Salaries $649,400‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $33,200‑‑pass.
1.(f) Computer Services: (1) Salaries $664,000‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $393,900‑‑pass.
1.(g) Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I note the overwhelming appropriation this fiscal year for this category, but my question at this point to the minister is, we have discussed informally, and I just want to clarify, we did discuss informally, again, for purposes of expediting this process, that we would try to deal with as much of the Justice Estimates today and perhaps the beginning of Thursday when we next meet as possible, and leave the AJI for the latter part of Thursday.
Does that meet with the basic understanding and approval of the minister, because I believe the critic for the Liberal Party is in concurrence with that?
Mr. McCrae: I just have been given a hint by the honourable member that we are not going to finish today, so that being the case, unless we finish up and can deal with that matter later today, I expect to be present, available and willing to discuss the matter on Thursday.
Madam Chairperson: Item 1.(g)(1) Salaries $0.
Mr. Edwards: Just to clarify, I think the suggestion was that, like the Minister's Salary, we would set this appropriation aside. I realize it is zero, but we would just not deal with it until Thursday, and that we would continue through Justice and try to get it done today, other than this. We may or may not be able to do that, but definitely, we would leave this until Thursday. I wonder if there is agreement from the minister. There is certainly agreement from the member for Kildonan and I to do that.
Mr. McCrae: Actually, there is no harm in passing this nonappropriation here. It says zero at the bottom. There is an appropriation for Aboriginal Justice Inquiry measures or initiatives, which is in another place altogether in the Estimates book. It is not listed in my department, but I think we all understand that I am saying we can discuss that line in the Estimates book even though it is not part of the Justice ones, whenever it is convenient for honourable members to do so.
Madam Chairperson: Item 1.(g)(1) Salaries $0‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $0‑‑pass.
Item 2. Public Prosecutions (a) Public Prosecutions: (1) Salaries.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I have a number of questions in this area. Firstly, it is in relation to‑‑in the Shaver case‑‑the use of an independent special prosecutor by the Department of Justice.
I am wondering if the minister can briefly outline for me the circumstances surrounding the use of a special prosecutor in that instance, and what the departmental policy is with respect to the use of special prosecutors, as well as other instances, if the minister can outline for me when special prosecutors are being utilized at present?
Mr. McCrae: I will talk for just a minute while Mr. Whitley, the assistant deputy minister responsible for this branch, finds his place and his page number.
general terms, the policy is that sensible and appropriate decisions should be
taken in prosecutorial matters to ensure that there is no hint of conflict in
any given situation. Honourable members
will recall cases where we have engaged the services of prosecutors other than
those employed in the
The honourable member asks a question about a specific case, which always gives me some concern when the case is not completed. Perhaps the honourable member can ask me another question. While he is asking me that one, I will get some specific advice with respect to the Shaver case.
We have explicit policy, Madam Chairperson, written, dated and part of our operational policy in the Prosecutions Branch.
With regard though to the case referred to by the honourable member, since there are allegations in the case that deal with discussions between an informant and prosecutors within my department, it is felt that the best thing to do is to engage the services of someone outside the Prosecutions office altogether. It is extremely complex and expected to be a very long case. We felt that engaging someone outside the office was the best thing to do in this case because of the nature of the case.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, how was the process made to determine who the special prosecutor would be in an instance such as this? How was the individual determined?
Mr. McCrae: I am sorry for the pause, but the honourable member will know that these decisions were made some months ago, and with the relatively brief notice I had that we were going to be discussing these things today, I think it is wise to have my memory up to date.
Deputy Minister of Justice at that time was given a list of private
practitioners in the
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I can indicate that coming from the Department of Education Estimates, the minister's pause amounts to a mere ripple in terms of time. I can certainly assure the minister of that.
With respect to the Hughes report recommendation, the province set up a liaison committee. I am wondering if the minister can indicate for me how the liaison committee is functioning, when it last met, and generally what is on its agenda.
McCrae: Senior officials of my department, of the
Prosecutions Branch, the acting chiefs and deputies of the City of
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, as a result of the recommendation of the Hughes report, the department indicated that new charging and arrest policies in Crown opinions in complex cases will be developed and implemented by the liaison committee. Can the minister outline if in fact this has happened? Can he table what those new procedures are?
Mr. McCrae: Out of the process I referred to in the last answer, and a relationship that our department has with the RCMP, the policy referred to has been developed. It is in written form and can be shared with honourable members. If they would like that to happen, I will make the policy available to them.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I certainly would appreciate it, and I am certain the member for St. James (Mr. Edwards) as well would appreciate copies of those particular policies.
Finally, with respect to the Hughes commission, the Justice Department worked with the city police to develop educational upgrading. I am wondering if the minister can outline specifically for me what that educational upgrading entailed.
Mr. McCrae: I think it is fair to say that extremely significant progress has been made in this area. The honourable member will be aware that like one or two other notable police departments in this country, the City of Winnipeg Police has involved itself in an accreditation program which requires, in order for this accreditation to happen, that the City of Winnipeg Police meet certain standards and, if they do not, to find ways to upgrade themselves to those standards.
process requires the assistance of our department. Our department is there and willing, and is
providing the assistance that is needed in these matters. They are meeting, as a matter of fact, this
week with City of
think it would be a good thing to say, too, that the government of
Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I do not mean to belabour
this point, but the press release on the Hughes inquiry did indicate the
Justice Department is already co‑operating with the
Mr. McCrae: What we have is an ongoing process of working together, Prosecutions Branch and Winnipeg Police. Our prosecutors take an active role in working with Winnipeg Police in their training division. Now, that includes special advice from the Prosecutions Branch on issues related to the breathalyzer, issues related to arresting and charging, which goes directly to the Hughes recommendations. A review has just been completed.
are also involved in giving advice to the police department with respect to
materials used in their training programs.
I think that contrary to a lot of people's opinions, there has been a
longstanding relationship with the
I think there has been a tendency on the part of some to overstate some of the difficulties. I am always the first one there, if there is a difficulty, to acknowledge that, because to pretend that difficulties do not exist is a very dangerous thing, especially in policing matters. There were; no one is denying that. Ted Hughes made it very clear that in one particular case, there was an extreme problem.
I believe that even prior to the presentation and release of the Hughes report, much work had already been done or was still underway in regard to that relationship that we used to talk about that is so important for the proper administration of justice and for the perception of the proper administration of justice. Much has been done. We have talked at previous Estimates reviews about a number of working operating policies between Crown and police and for prosecutors, too.
(Mr. Ben Sveinson, Acting Chairperson, in the Chair)
If prosecutors are bound by certain policy rules, then obviously police authorities have to be as well, because while we all recognize the right of the police authority to lay charges, ultimately how they are disposed of has a lot to do with the role that the Crown plays. The police are aware of that, and things have improved quite significantly over the last few years.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Acting Chairperson, can the minister outline for us what the final costs were with respect to the Hughes inquiry?
Mr. McCrae: Mr. Acting Chairperson, as soon as I can get that information, I will share it with the honourable member.
Mr. Chomiak: Just returning momentarily back to the issue of education in the police department, the minister will recall recently the recommendation of the provincial judge following the inquest dealing with the McKay suicide, which conveniently allows me to do a mea culpa with respect to my question in Question Period, in which I said that the judge had indicated in his report that it could have been prevented perhaps by education. The judge in fact did not say that, and I was wrong.
Having said that‑‑[interjection! It will not be the first and certainly not the last time that I have been wrong. Nonetheless, the judge did indicate at that time that more attention should be paid to education on domestic violence matters for police departments. I am wondering, since we are into the education matter, whether the Department of Justice has implemented any processes in that regard?
Mr. McCrae: Mr. Acting Chairperson, as a result of the Pedlar review into domestic violence, the RCMP, the Brandon City Police and the Winnipeg Police all have working committees to respond to the Pedlar review. All those working committees are working in co‑operation with our department and the community advisory group that has been set up, with whom I had the opportunity to meet this morning.
We can already say that dispatch instructions for police authorities have been improved and the options available to officers have been tightened up, reduced so that procedures are more clear. Previous to Pedlar, no report was required in what used to be called "routine domestic call," now a report is required in each and every one.
I think that piece of change in policy may go some way to responding to domestic violence review, as well as the recommendations made after the McKay inquest.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Acting Chairperson, I have an extensive list of questions with respect to Pedlar, which I will proceed to shortly.
I want to turn to the matter of the department's wrestling with the issue of determining what constitutes degrading material with respect to the recent Supreme Court decision dealing with pornography. I am wondering if the minister might outline for us in the House here what the Crown has concluded in regard to this matter?
Mr. McCrae: As the honourable member will have heard recently, the department has given to police authorities the preliminary definition, if you like, that they should use in dealing with these kinds of cases. It has also been made known that the department is utilizing the services of experts in this area. I understand that the advice has been received from the expert‑‑I do not know if it is a criminologist, sociologist, whatever, psychologist. That advice has been received as recently as today, and I understand that we can go further and make our preliminary advice to the police agencies a more permanent kind of advice very, very shortly.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Acting Chairperson, is the minister prepared to outline for us today, at least, the tentative direction of the advice that is being provided to the police department since they have already received it in a preliminary sense?
McCrae: The honourable member will understand that I
can only comment on this in general terms and make as much reference to the
Supreme Court decision in
I guess the problem that we have been having has been with that last category‑‑the degrading and dehumanizing situation. The honourable member knows and will agree that the Crown is not a censor in these matters. If you look at a piece of video or any other kind of material that has large segments of it that are degrading and dehumanizing, and the work, if you want to call it that, is devoid of any particular artistic merit, then I guess the advice that flows from the Supreme Court and through our department to police authorities is that then is something that is obscene and therefore against the law as it is set out in the Criminal Code.
I do not know if it is ever going to be easy to define obscenity. Pornography is easy to define. Obscenity is not so easy. That is why we have these difficult cases and arguments made. I am very pleased though that the province is taking the position it has when you go right back to the decision made in the Court of Queen's Bench here in Manitoba, the decision that resulted because this government appealed that initial decision, took it to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. Then it was appealed again to the Supreme Court.
We argued strenuously and extremely well, as it turns out, in favour of the court finding that obscenity is dangerous. That part of the argument turns out to be an extremely important part of it, because you are not entitled to go around doing things that are dangerous to other people, no matter what the Charter of Rights says.
So, as a layman, that is how I see what the court's decision is. It does not take away all the legal jargon and interpretations that must flow from that. I suspect that all the jurisdictions that are taking strong positions on obscenity are having the same problem we are. In our case, we did make preliminary advice available to the police, but dealing with that third heading, it seems it was a little more troublesome in making it really clear.
we have, as I say, enlisted the help of a psychologist from
The honourable member might be interested to know that of all of the issues that I have dealt with in the last four years, no issue has generated more mail and more expression of public support for this government's position on pornography than this particular issue.
Mr. Chomiak: Mr. Acting Chairperson, once it is finalized, will that opinion be made public so that we are privy to the information under which the province would consider and not consider laying charges?
Mr. McCrae: The problem is that the interpretation of what the Supreme Court said and what the law says is an interpretation for courts to make. If it is necessary, the type of testimony, if you like, that the honourable member is talking about, will be made public in a public courtroom and will be adjudicated on by a judge.
I do not think it is right for us to make our opinion, of what the Supreme Court judgment says, available because there might be those in society who would think that that then is their guideline. We do not know if this is going to be the right one. It will be decided ultimately by a court of law. So it is not for any wish to be unco‑operative or anything like that, but our view on this matter will, no doubt, at some point come forward in a courtroom. Then whatever the judge says about it will end up being what the real view is.
Mr. Chomiak: The province employs either full time, or on a part‑time basis, a prosecutor who looks after environmental concerns. I am wondering if the minister would be in a position to table for us the statistics or any kind of detail which would outline for us the status of environmental prosecutions from the Prosecutions Branch with respect to that environmental prosecutor.
Mr. McCrae: The cases that can be identified as purely environmental cases, we can make the information the honourable member is asking for available to him. We have a person who specializes in this field but does not do this work exclusively. There is other work in his portfolio as well.
Mr. Edwards: Mr. Acting Chairperson, just to be clear and follow up on some of the questions of my friend with respect to education and training, I note that under the Programs and Grants line, and I am looking at the No. 4, it talks about crime prevention funding grant provisions as a result of new community participation focus. There is a $100,000 decrease. Has that $100,000 been transferred in its entirety to some other provision in the department?
The second question on note No. 3 is with respect to the "increase due to education and training in Family Violence issues." Can the minister indicate what specifically that increase went towards and what the education and training constituted for the prosecuting attorneys?
Mr. McCrae: With respect to crime prevention, due to our fiscal problems, the budget for crime prevention programs has been reduced. There is no transfer. You cannot find that $100,000 somewhere else. It is not there, and that is the case. We have in the last four years, with that budget, been able to do some significant things, and we hope that we will be able to carry on this year with a much‑reduced budget in that area. That is as best as I can put it, Mr. Acting Chairperson.
respect to education, we have specialists operating in the area of family
violence in our
Mr. Edwards: Just on the training issue then, so there was not a concerted program developed for all Crown attorneys to do. It was rather, I take it, Crown attorneys who were involved in those issues would go to specific events.
I just want to clarify that there was no concerted effort to educate or train in the area of family violence or at least raise the educational level on those issues of all Crown attorneys.
McCrae: It is the view of the Women's Directorate of
Manitoba, shared by the federal, provincial and Territorial Working Group on
Gender Bias in the Courts, that a concentration of the training, when there are
finite dollars available, in those areas where it is going to do the most good
is the right approach, so we have adopted that approach. The other one is, spread it thin. You do not get the same result. It is not as positive as we are achieving in
we want all of our prosecutors to be trained in the dynamics of domestic
violence and the protocols and all of those things referred to in the Pedlar
review. Those are our goals, but
certainly, for the shorter term, we need to concentrate the training and
confine it to those‑‑confine is the wrong word, but make sure those
who were directly involved, for example, in our
Mr. Edwards: Mr. Acting Chairperson, on the other point, that of crime prevention, what is left of a specific budget dedicated to crime prevention?
Mr. McCrae: The particular line the honourable member is referring to is what used to be $200,000, is now $100,000, but crime prevention is implicit in a whole lot of other lines in these Estimates. When you look at our department's budget increasing by the amount I referred to in my opening comments and the whole picture, you are not getting the whole picture by looking at the cut in that particular line from $200,000 to $100,000. I would like that to be $200,000, but I am sorry it cannot be this year, and we will have to use that $100,000 as well as we can.
Mr. Edwards: So there still is a $100,000 on this line dedicated amount to crime prevention? I see the minister nodding in agreement, so I do not need him to specifically answer that. I take that as a positive response.
respect to the City of
realize that the monies from those accrue to the city. I realize that there is a prosecutor, I
believe, paid for by the City of
Mr. McCrae: I am going to say something about the honourable member's last question, and then I will get onto this one.
$100,000, the kinds of things we financed through that program are things like
the accreditation for the City of
Citizens For Crime Awareness received $83,000 under that fund to set up some co‑ordinators
for their extremely successful neighbourhood work that they do in involving the
citizens, not only of
that fund, we purchased for the City of
was used to buy a telephone dialing machine, a $15,000 item, for the city of
Those are kind of things that we cover out of that grant, and we will have to be extra careful this year that we spend the $100,000 as wisely as we can.
With respect to the honourable member's question about outstanding traffic tickets, he will know that it is a municipal responsibility. The honourable member, however, joined with us and the New Democratic Party last session, I believe it was, to pass amendments to The Summary Convictions Act to tighten up the loopholes, but the only answer I can give you is that the enforcement is a civic matter.
Edwards: You said that courts are a provincial matter,
and I know that there is one prosecutor employed by the City of
Mr. McCrae: The answer is, yes, eight by the city, and I guess the arrangement is that he operates‑‑she, sorry‑‑she operates as part of our team but does that work for the city and is paid by the city.
Mr. Edwards: Mr. Acting Chairperson, I received a concern expressed by an individual‑‑who I note also wrote the minister‑‑a gentleman by the name of Mr. Barber. He raised an issue dealing with what he called a loophole in the drinking and driving legislation. I raise it in this context because it does have something to do with the prosecution of those offences under the Criminal Code dealing with drinking and driving.
His concern was that someone involved in a motor vehicle accident could leave the scene of an accident when the police were wanting to ask that person to blow or, of course, the penalty is the same for refusal to blow, and that by leaving the scene of the accident, face a much less serious charge of leaving the scene of an accident as opposed to failure to blow or being impaired.
He raised that with the minister in respect of a specific incident in which he was involved. It did cause me some concern. I had not thought of that scenario previously. I wonder if the minister can indicate what response he has to that letter, and if he does not have it at his fingertips, perhaps he could provide me with one. It is a correspondence from Mr. Barber, which was to him, and is dated February 19 of this year.
Mr. McCrae: I will be sharing with the honourable member my response to the letter written to me by the person in question.
It is clearly against the law to leave the scene of an accident. I guess it depends on the circumstances and the penalties that are set out in the statute and depending on whether it is the Criminal Code or The Highway Traffic Act. I take it, to leave the scene is a Highway Traffic Act matter; it can be a Criminal Code matter as well.
So depending on how you proceed would have some effect on the outcome of the matter. I will be sharing with the honourable member my response to the gentleman in question.
Mr. Edwards: That would be appreciated. Just on the, finally, issue that the minister referenced. We have sort of gone back and forth on crime prevention here, but what specifically did the accreditation program for the Winnipeg Police and the Brandon Police have to do with crime prevention?
I do not say that is not a very, very valuable, worthy purpose. It is something ongoing. Upgrading and training of police is something which goes on, one hopes, all the time. The accreditation program, I am sure, covers many aspects of police services. Police services in their entirety could be cast as crime prevention. Police are out trying to stop crime and to deal with those who do commit crime.
I wonder if the minister can tie specifically these grants to a more identifiable crime prevention purpose?
Mr. McCrae: The whole purpose of having police officers is to enforce the law and to prevent crime. The whole purpose of having an improved police agency is to improve the enforcement of the law and to improve crime prevention.
I do not have much trouble linking the two. If the honourable member has problems, maybe he could tell me what they are.
Mr. Edwards: My only problem is this, that based on that definition, all expenditures by police forces to the extent that they are dedicated to improving the quality of policing, qualify for funds from the crime prevention funds. Crime prevention is a more limited, I believe, a more identifiable, definable goal.
My definition perhaps differs from that of the minister, but if one takes that very broad definition, one could see any and all crime prevention funds being spent on the operating costs of police forces. I do not think that was their intended purpose.
Maybe the minister could enlighten me as to whether or not he would agree then that all funds going to police forces to improve the efficiency of the police force would qualify in his definition as crime prevention funding for the purposes of this fund.
Mr. McCrae: I think we have come to a point where our opinions go separate ways on this. I think I heard the honourable member say that these kinds of grants and these kinds of expenditures of public money really ought not to be spent out of this appropriation.
I believe, that if through this accreditation process‑‑and I know that it can be done through this process‑‑we can make police agencies more proactive in their approach than reactive, then we are achieving in a very, very real sense an improvement on the crime prevention fund.
The honourable member has heard me make my speeches about crime prevention before, and I do not need to go through all of that. I guess it is just a plain question of disagreement that‑‑I think I know what the honourable member is saying, and that is that we should be spending whatever scarce dollars in this appropriation there are for something other than police agencies‑‑perhaps something more community based and so on.
What is more community based than spending $15,000 in the city of Brandon to buy a telephone dialer for the police department so they can phone hundreds and hundreds of people who live in the community who are involved in crime prevention programs? [interjection!
Well, the honourable member says that is not what he is talking about, but I will get back to a more general statement then and say that if we, through things like accreditation, make police authorities more proactive than reactive, then we are solving a lot of criminal activity upfront. It is not happening, and then we do not have to go through all the other costs that flow from crime in our society.
So while it is an honest disagreement, I believe I appreciate what the honourable member is saying, but I believe it is money well spent.
Mr. Edwards: Perhaps, certainly, if the accreditation program is entirely directive towards police being more proactive and preventative, I would agree. I have nothing per se against spending funds on police to enhance their sensitivity to crime prevention initiatives on how those can best be done on the streets, and I agree.
to resolve this, the minister would be prepared to table the document from the
McCrae: Mr. Acting Chairperson, before I make a
commitment to release all of those documents, I would want to contact the Chief
of Police of the City of
Let me tell you, we use this particular appropriation for things besides just police‑driven crime prevention ideas. If you look at the amount spent on these accreditation programs and compare it with the other programs that we finance through this appropriation, I think the honourable member would be persuaded before too long that some of the things we have done have been the right things to do.
For example, the John Howard Society of Brandon in southwestern Manitoba is being served by the John Howard Society there in education programs for school children to deal with vandalism and with shoplifting, two of the areas of crime that young people‑‑if they are going to get involved in crime‑‑those seem to be the ones that they sort of try out first, if the statistics are true, which I believe they are.
That kind of program is not a bad idea. It is an education program and it is a crime prevention program. So basically, you know, other than maybe a little disagreement about accreditation, the honourable member and I do see things eye to eye, but when it comes to the information leading to those accreditation grants, I would like very much to provide the honourable member with the information, but I would like to touch bases with the chief first.
Mr. Edwards: I look forward to that. I sense by the minister's throwing the light onto the other programs which are funded under this line, which of course are legitimately more easily identifiable as crime prevention programs, he is backing away a bit from the accreditation programs as being supportable as entirely crime prevention initiatives, which really they should be to qualify for these grants. So I look forward to seeing the supporting documents from those police forces.
I understand that those chiefs may want to be consulted. I would be very disturbed if they would not agree to their release. Clearly, they will want to support and have Manitobans know that they are embarking on this accreditation program to improve their police performance. They have supplied it to the government in support of grant‑‑public monies. I would think that they‑‑[interjection! He says it is a courtesy and I appreciate that. I am simply saying that in the event that they did decline I would be concerned, and I look forward to a positive response.
The minister has in his Expected Results under this appropriation the Victim/Witness Assistance Program, and the Child Abuse Witness Program and the Expected Results there under, which of course we are all aware of, I wonder if the minister can indicate specific to the Victim Witness Assistance program whether or not there is any decision to deal with the victim impact statement program which has been cut, whether there is any move or any desire on the part of the government to reinstate that, or whether that has been cut permanently from the budget?
Mr. McCrae: Through the vehicle of the probation or predisposition report, there is room for a victim impact statement, Mr. Acting Chairperson.
Here again, although we are making some real strides in the area of rights for victims in our court system, in our justice system, this is one program that does require further funding if it is going to amount to a major improvement in the program and with the money that we have in these Estimates we are not able to do that at this time. But through that vehicle that is possible and available to judges who ask for predisposition reports.
Chomiak: Mr. Acting Chairperson, I have several
questions with respect to the Pedlar report and I cannot recall now whether we
agreed that this would be the most appropriate appropriation to deal with the
Pedlar report, or whether we should do it under the
Mr. McCrae: I think when we have the chair of the working group on the government side which has the most to do with the Community Advisory group available to us, this is probably the right place and time to talk about Pedlar.
Mr. Chomiak: I have a general question, and then I intend to turn right to the Pedlar report with some specific questions contained in the report. So I am just advising the minister and staff.
My first question, the general question is, what is the status of the violence review committee? Have recommendations been made to the government with respect to prioritizing the implementation of the report and, if so, what are those priorities?
(Madam Chairperson in the Chair)
Mr. McCrae: Upon receipt of the Pedlar review, our government got busy canvassing the various departments to see which areas of recommendation in the Pedlar review we had already made significant progress on or had completed, to see what we planned in terms of recommendations we could accept, and not just relating to the recommendations comprehensive though they are, there are other areas as well, and thirdly, long term. What do the various departments see as being possible or advisable to do in the long term to promote a safer community for women in our society?
The advisory committee was struck, and that advisory committee is composed of extremely knowledgeable people in the area of providing shelter to abused women and their children. They are also knowledgeable in the systems that work and do not work sometimes, and do not work well enough in other areas, to provide protection for mostly women, but also children‑‑anyone who is a victim of domestic violence.
So the government put together this compendium, if you like, of measures either done, planned, or planned for the long term, to put before the Community Advisory Committee. I, myself, met this morning with the members of the Community Advisory Committee to ask them for their input now that they have that in front of them. What is wrong with what we are proposing or what we are doing? How can we improve what we are proposing or what we are doing? Does this go far enough? Should there be other things?
fact, they expressly asked that they not necessarily be confined only to the
recommendations in the Pedlar review. I
readily agreed that if the Pedlar review could be improved on, or if a more
comprehensive approach is going to be necessary, then why would we want to rule
it out? There is no question everybody
around the table has the same result in mind, and that is a safer environment
for people in
So I believe that, while it is true, I think for the first time that I know of, the government has taken this extraordinary step of asking for this kind of structured process to happen. We have the Community Advisory Group on the one side and the government working group on the other. It is certainly an approach that is new to me at least. We are going to have a few patches along the way where we are getting a process started and we have to iron out some wrinkles.
So today was a day like that for me and the advisory group. We chatted frankly about the problems that we have, the approach that we are taking, and I think resolved together to work together to achieve some real results which will result in a safer and more civilized society.
I can say that I am well pleased at this stage, but there is still plenty of
work to do. All of that is said in the
light of the fact that plenty has been done.
I think there is general acknowledgment that in the last four years in
When you get other provinces sending their Attorneys General or their delegations of senior officials to your province to see what we are doing here and wanting to use that as an example, it feels good, but it also reminds me always of the remaining challenges.
Mr. Chomiak: Candice Minch, who is a policy analyst with Manitoba Justice, as I understand it, acts as a liaison between the two groups and was responsible for putting together a work plan for the community committee. I am wondering if the minister would be prepared to table that work plan just so we have some ideas as to the status and where they are going and how fast they are going.
Mr. McCrae: Candice Minch works as a linchpin, if you like, between the advisory committee and the government for which she works. Candice Minch indeed is well qualified to do that work, I suggest, because she worked so closely with Dorothy Pedlar in her work in all of the consultations that took place and in the preparation of the report.
If it is appropriate to make that work plan available to the honourable member after discussing this with the chairperson of the advisory group, then I will do that. If the chairperson of the advisory group has some difficulty with that proposal, then I will let the honourable member know about it.
Mr. Chomiak: I appreciate that response from the minister. I have a number of questions with respect to the Pedlar report itself and some of the specific recommendations. I suppose there are three ways of doing it.
Firstly, I could go through them point by point and the minister could respond. Secondly, I could just outline the page numbers that the recommendations were on, and at some future point, the minister could advise whether or not those recommendations have been implemented yet or are still pending to be implemented, or thirdly, perhaps the minister has a rolling draft of implementation of the various recommendations in the Pedlar report. So I am inquiring of the minister how he best feels we should proceed.
Mr. McCrae: Madam Chairperson, now I have the honourable member using this new language that we have in this country: rolling drafts, rolling work. There is another one, you know, the word "justiciable," just to get off the topic for a minute.
Premier Ghiz tells me that he had trained in law school and practised law for about a dozen years and then got into politics and has served there with some distinction for some time, but he tells me, only in the context of these latest constitutional talks has he ever used or even heard the word "justiciable." So we are not only building a Constitution, but we are building on our language as well.
The honourable member can do it any way he likes, but you know, if he is worried about saving time and he wants to get information, I am content to have our officials here take notes as he speaks of each individual question and, depending on what it is, to answer each one in writing for the honourable member if he wants.
I will tell you what. If he asks his questions and I have a problem with any of them, then I would let him know at the end if that would be satisfactory to him.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, yes, there were just a number of recommendations that I have highlighted in the book, recommendations of Dorothy Pedlar, that I wanted a response to as to the status of those particular recommendations.
They start with the recommendation on page 13 dealing with an educational program for men who abuse their partners; a recommendation on page 18 dealing with, and I think the minister alluded to, a dispatch response at police departments; a recommendation on page 20 of the police protocol; page 32, policy directives and protocols for the prosecution of cases, and that is the training inherent in there; Recommendation 33, a clarification of the prosecution protocol; page 40, implementation of that recommendation regarding notifying victims; page 49, probation orders, specifically the offenders attending, participating and completing domestic violence programming as directed by probation services; page 57, during postsentence phase, whether a system is now in place to allow for a victim to contact the probation officers; page 60, whether in fact the charges of breach of probation are being implemented; page 70, whether the recording of all information on CPIC is actually taking place and whether that includes victims; finally, what is happening with respect to the recommendation vis‑a‑vis peace bonds on page 74.
I would be quite content to receive a response at any time from the minister with respect to these matters.
Mr. McCrae: We will give the honourable member a response to each and every reference that he has made in his question.
In fact, sometimes, when you are in the middle of a project, you wonder yourself how you are doing and how you are progressing. I hear the honourable member list off all of these, and I identified three here that I think we may not be able to give a complete answer on, but then I look at all the ones that are remaining and I say, hey, you know, we are making progress here.
Always ready to listen to the honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) complain that it is not enough progress or that we should have done something some other way, but as I sat here listening to the honourable member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak) asking his question and itemizing all the various areas of concern and I quickly consult with the Assistant Deputy Minister for Public Prosecutions here, I have to say that we have come a long way, even in a relatively short period of time, given the history of this particular problem.
I am one of those people who believes it is a long history and that we certainly still have the problem with us, but I could not help but think that we are making some progress. I will make the commitment to answer each and every question raised by the honourable member.
Mr. Chomiak: I thank the minister for that response and the fact that he is undertaking to provide me with those responses. My only hope is, and I am sure it is the hope of all of us in this Chamber, that as soon as we can eliminate, do as much as we can to eliminate, this difficulty or at least to reduce it, we will all be a much more content and fairer and happier society.
My final question on this area is: Does the minister have, can he provide us with, information as to how much the Pedlar commission report has cost and specifically how much has been paid to Dorothy Pedlar?
Mr. McCrae: That too will be replied to specifically to the honourable member.
Madam Chairperson: Item 2. Public Prosecutions (a)(1) Salaries.
Mr. McCrae: I cut my answer a little too short. I do not remember exactly those numbers, but they were a darn good investment, the dollars spent on the Pedlar review.
Madam Chairperson: Item 2.(a) Public Prosecutions: (1) Salaries $5,513,700‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $631,400‑‑pass; (3) Programs and Grants $466,800‑‑pass.
2.(b) Office of the Chief Medical Examiner: (1) Salaries $350,000‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $775,200‑‑pass.
2.(c) Board of Review: (1) Salaries $35,600.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, some time ago, I queried the minister in the House with respect to notification provisions of this area of government vis‑a‑vis victims, and the minister indicated that he would take that query under consideration. I am wondering if the minister might have a response for me at this time, if he recalls the specific area, which was whether or not a policy would be implemented to develop so that when a review is taking place under this area, even though it is under the Criminal Code, perhaps consideration can be given to notifying all interested parties, including victims and victims' relatives, of the hearing that is taking place.
Mr. McCrae: The honourable member's point is extremely well taken, and using what little authority I have over this particular operation, I will be making the honourable member's views known to the Board of Review about that.
You know, before the Board of Review recently changed, I remember one of my colleagues and a conversation I had with Howard Pawley, who was then the Premier of Manitoba. The issue arose in a very meaningful way, not about victims, but about families of victims and stuff like that. The then Premier of Manitoba was extremely sensitive to the issue that was being raised, and the then Premier and his colleagues reported that concern to the Board of Review. Alternate arrangements resulted, which were fair to the subject of the matter and fair to the family of the victim who had extreme concerns. Only after a decision had been made though did that concern become known by the Premier, and thanks to having a Premier who was sensitive to the issue, we were able to resolve that.
I do not know if it will work that way under the present system because of the new independence of the Board of Review, which may not always be such a good thing, I suggest. I have made it known to the federal Minister of Justice that I want to ensure that the new rules are being carefully monitored and that there will be an opportunity for discussion of the new rules amongst Attorneys General in this country about that because not in every case‑‑there is nothing wrong with independence, but there is a good reason to use common sense. All parties who have an interest in these things ought somehow to be involved at least by way of notification. I will pass on the honourable member's concern in the appropriate way, if there is one, to the Board of Review.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, I thank the minister for those comments. Just a final question in this area, board fees have gone up substantially. Is that because the department is anticipating more meetings of the board or can the minister just briefly outline what the reason is for that?
Mr. McCrae: Because of the new legislation, Madam Chairperson, we need more board members, we need more hearings, we need to record all the hearings. We have to pay for the court reporter, and all of those things are the reason for the increase in the board fees and other expenses.
Mr. Edwards: How many members of the Board of Review are there?
Mr. McCrae: There were four, now there are five. They are Caroline Cramer, Q.C., Chairman; Dr. Fred Shane, member; Dr. Marilyn MacKay, member; Patricia Desjardins, member; Rod Stephenson, Q.C. member.
Mr. Edwards: I have never had experience attending one of these. How do they work? I realize that it has recently changed but is there, and I am sure counsel are allowed to be involved on behalf of the person, the offender, the person who was actually the subject of the hearing, but does the criminal prosecutions branch send someone or is someone seconded to the review board to present the case for the Crown? How does evidence get gathered and presented to the board?
Mr. McCrae: Even though the hearings are recorded, they are relatively informal, and the Crown represents the public interest before the board. What were formally referred to as LGWs, those people whose interests are at issue, are represented by their counsel.
Mr. Edwards: Madam Chairperson, with what frequency do those who are the subject of these hearings appear with counsel or advocates?
Mr. McCrae: The procedures are all new, as the honourable member has acknowledged. Each‑‑I am trying to get the right word‑‑mentally disordered offender is entitled to have his or her matter reviewed every six months, and the procedure is new, so it is hard to say how many of them appear with counsel, but so far each and every one who has appeared before the board has appeared with counsel.
Mr. Edwards: Can the minister indicate whether Legal Aid considers and honours applications for counsel from offenders appearing in front of this board?
Mr. McCrae: Madam Chairperson, I understand that Legal Aid applies in these cases. If I am wrong, I will make that known to the honourable member, but I believe that Legal Aid applies.
Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): Just one question, I gather we are at the Legal Aid portion of this debate?
Mr. McCrae: No.
Mr. Storie: Can I throw in a question?
Mr. McCrae: I do not mind.
Storie: I had a chance to speak to a lawyer from
McCrae: Madam Chairperson, even if I have been out of
town quite a bit, I am up to date on my mail except for today's, and unless
there is something in today's mail, I have not seen anything yet about an
alternate resolution. Members of the
northern bar took an early and fairly strong position respecting legal fees for
I understand that not all members of the northern bar took part in the withdrawal of services from their clients in this latest dispute. I do not mean to say that all members of the northern bar were prepared to do that or indeed did that. There were one or two though who spoke out relatively strongly and clearly in favour of their particular point of view which I did not necessarily share. But I do not think that anybody wants for a long period of time to turn their backs on their clients, and I hope that is the case with members of the northern bar as well as elsewhere in this province.
Madam Chairperson: Item 2.(c) Board of Review: (1) Salaries $35,600‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $60,200‑‑pass.
2.(d) Provincial Policing $47,745,800.
Mr. Edwards: I appreciate the comments of the minister in his opening comments about the policing contract, the new policing arrangement with the RCMP. It is certainly an improvement on the past and positive in that sense.
have received correspondence from the town of
Perhaps the minister can indicate what the date that the new policing contract came into effect was, and whether or not since that time he has had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the UMM and MAUM with respect to this, and what the status is on their discussions with him, whether or not this is acceptable or whether or not they are still seeking some improvement.
McCrae: The contract is effective April 1, 1992. It is for 20 years. I think the honourable member is familiar
with some of its terms. It turns out to
be an excellent arrangement for future policing in
It is sort of evidence of what can happen when the Liberal Attorney General of Newfoundland, the Conservative Attorney General of Manitoba, and whatever the Attorney General is in the Northwest Territories, they do not have parties there, and the New Democratic Attorney General for Yukon, when people stand up for something and stand up for something right. I am very proud, as the honourable member must appreciate, of the agreement we reached with the federal government after a long period of negotiation to provide services to the people of this country and most of its provinces.
I share that pride with some of the people, who are sitting with me here today who work so hard to make it happen, and with other attorneys general, as I said, from across this country in policing ministers.
I was very happy the day that Mr. Lewis came to town to actually sign the deal in a formal kind of way because, to me, I call it a historic agreement. Some people wonder about my calling it that, but 20 years in the life of a country is a long time, and if you can ensure the delivery of quality police services in a consistent way for so many Canadians for 20 years, then you can take a lot of pride in that, and I do.
So enough of the commercial, Madam Chairperson. There remain, of course, issues to be resolved as we make this contract work. Issues will arise, and under the terms of the agreement, we are going to be able to deal with those issues. We are going to be able to take a bigger part in making that contract work to the benefit of Manitobans and all Canadian taxpayers. We are going to be working under terms that make more sense than some of the other things that have been suggested.
The honourable member's question near the end refers to a remaining issue, and that has to do with the costs for policing paid by people who live in the country and people who live in the towns. Since the signing of the agreement, or since the agreement in principle, members of my staff and myself have spent a fair amount of time meeting with representatives of the urban municipalities and the rural municipalities to talk about the contract that has been negotiated.
Some of these municipalities contract directly, as the honourable member knows, but on how to make the contracts work for them, because obviously they were not as closely involved with all the discussions as my staff. My staff have been going about and making sure the municipalities involved have a good working understanding of what is in the contract and how the contract can work better for them.
I think it is safe to say that MAUM and UMM‑‑well, they have said they appreciated our approach. They gave us lots of support in arriving at the contract. We worked closely with them as we worked through the difficult negotiations, and so we have established a bit of a tradition of co‑operation and working together. They have helped us get the achievement of the deal, and we have helped them, and we will continue to help them in making the deal work for them.
There is an issue, and that is the issue of paying for the services, and it is an issue that the Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach) is grappling with, not the Minister of Justice, although the Minister of Justice is aware of the issue and our staff and former staff have played a role in trying to resolve this issue. You will know that Charlie Hill, the former director of Law Enforcement Services, played a role in working with MAUM and the UMM to talk about proposals for resolving a long‑standing problem.
The problem still is not resolved in a final way, but the Minister of Rural Development advises me that the discussions are going forward, and there may indeed be some other things going on that I am at this moment not up to date on, but I know that there is a will. The municipalities and the government want to see this matter resolved. It is a question of how much is policing worth to the taxpayer depending on where that taxpayer lives.
arrangements are not easy, because for many years, it was felt by one side that
the other side had been receiving a benefit that they had not been paying their
fair share for, and that is put about as simply as I can make it, but that
seems to be the issue. The Canadian way
It would be sad if the minister was the one who had to impose some kind of solution when there may well be room for compromise and room for a satisfactory resolution of it in some other way. So sometimes it is the right thing to do to give these issues a little bit of time. I know on the other hand, resolution is also very important, so proper balance again has to be drawn.
Edwards: Indeed, this issue has been around for some
time. It has been around as long as I have been around here, maybe even as long
as the minister has been around. I know
the department, actually Rural Development and Justice and Mr. Hill, came up
with a proposal. I think they had a
committee which included a MAUM member and a UMM member. I thought they had a proposal at one point
which they put to the convention in
I guess that has gone off the table at this point, but I do hope some resolution can be secured because I know it is a constant source of aggravation and division between parts of rural Manitoba, those in the towns and villages and cities and those living in the country. I know it continues to aggravate. I do not think they are easy answers, but there certainly must be answers, and I hope that those can be found. It is unfortunate to see the rural community divided in that way on any issue but particularly this one of long standing.
I have one other question on provincial policing. I received a specific concern some time ago about the police's training, and this was within the city of Winnipeg, I acknowledge, to know physical illnesses and their ability to deal with people and recognize illnesses that people are suffering from, which can often be mistaken for signs of violent behaviour directed toward police when in fact it is an illness.
The particular circumstance that I am aware of involved in fact a former member of this House. I am not going to put his name on the record, but it involved the police handling of his son who had Tourette's syndrome. He was very upset about the handling.
I wonder if the minister can, for his benefit, and I will pass it on to him, but also for ours, indicate whether or not there is training in place for constables to recognize Tourette's syndrome or other such illnesses which might be mistaken for violent behaviour, when in fact it is just a physical illness.
Mr. McCrae: That is an extremely caring kind of question, I suggest, but it is also an extremely difficult kind of area. There will be those who would respond by saying that the training required may be to such an extent that maybe you should be training to be something that goes even beyond policing.
There has to be though, I suggest to the honourable member, some kind of sensitivity training. We are trying to do that in so many other areas that it is certainly worth mentioning to police here in Manitoba that, you know, someone is claiming‑‑I do not know the circumstances offhand of the case the honourable member is referring to‑‑that an illness is causing him or her, or someone in the vicinity is claiming that an illness is causing the subject person, to be behaving in a certain way. There ought not to be an immediate dismissal of that particular suggestion.
I am happy if the honourable member wants me to do this, to take this up with
police authorities in
Mr. Edwards: Certainly nobody expects police to be doctors or nurses, but there are particular illnesses which lend themselves to manifesting themselves in contortions and excessive nervousness and what appear to be perhaps violent proclivity which in fact are not. My only question is‑‑perhaps we can leave it at this‑‑if the minister would undertake to find out for me or question as to whether or not in the training programs in the City of Winnipeg police, specifically, there is any mention in the training program or any information at all about the symptoms of some illnesses.
Nobody expects police to be infallible in detecting them, but just some awareness that sometimes this can be a factor and that it should be taken into account. Of course, Tourette's syndrome is in particular an illness which results in contortions‑‑it is a form of epilepsy‑‑nervousness which come out in abusive and violent symptoms.
I do not suggest that police should be infallible in predicting it, but perhaps we can leave it at that. If the minister would undertake to find out whether or not there is any discussion at all, even in the most superficial level of that illness in the academy program, in the training program, if he would check that out for me so that I could it pass on, I would appreciate that.
Mr. McCrae: I will do that, Madam Chairperson. There always seems to be the case of someone who is falling through the cracks, does there not? Police officers are trained to recognize symptoms of impairment, for example, so that they can form reasonable and probable impressions about a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle. I know for a fact also that they are sometimes trained to look at potential signs of impairment as potentially being signs of something else, too. That is in that particular area.
Police officers are always asking subjects: What is your health? Are you in good shape? Are you such and such?
Maybe one or two situations crop up that demonstrate that we have not covered every possible situation, but I certainly will indeed follow through with what the honourable member has said.
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, just two questions in this area. Under Expected Results, the Supplementary Estimates indicate: "Increased monitoring and analysis of RCMP expenditures with regards to escalating costs of policing." Is there a specific program or programs being undertaken by the department or any agencies to monitor those costs? I mean, does that refer to a specific program?
Mr. McCrae: The issue of monitoring our RCMP arrangements was central to our contract discussions. That is one of the features of the new agreement that is the most important when you remember that we are talking about 20 years. It is extremely important, as we have learned to our extreme pleasure, where we have been overcharged in some cases and perhaps the accounting has not been just right. This contract makes it very possible for us to insist on a proper level of accountability from the RCMP. It makes it possible for us to be involved in program accountability and to be involved in consultation in respect to the evolution of new policing programs. That is an extremely important part, and the mechanism that we have in government is our department, our branch that deals with law enforcement services which has proven to be so watchful in recent years, and we are very pleased about that.
are monthly meetings with the RCMP to deal with all of the financial aspects of
their operations and how that impacts on the public purse from the provincial
government's point of view. So we are really delighted about that aspect of the
contract, and we are very delighted also at the level of co‑operation and
just a sense of working together that we have in our relationship with the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police in
Mr. Chomiak: Madam Chairperson, in the minister's September 12 press release regarding the cost‑sharing agreement, the minister indicated that municipalities would only face an increase of 6.8 percent in terms of costs. I wonder if the minister might outline for me where that 6.8 percent increase is seen to be entailed. What constitutes that 6.8 percent increase?
Mr. McCrae: That number was probably put in the press release to show what indeed will happen, but it was probably put also there to show what could have happened if we had decided just to sign up earlier on. I do not have the press release in front of me, so I do not know, but these increases in indirect costs, these increases in the cost base items, which was the second major feature, that was the area where there were compromises or deals made. It was in that area.
They dealt with pensions, they dealt with recruit training, they dealt with unemployment insurance contributions, the cost of running the external review and public complaints commission‑‑there is a cost to that, and the provinces and the federal government have to share appropriately in those costs‑‑the costs of accommodations, that is, the buildings out of which the RCMP operate‑‑that is basically what accommodations is, and I did not relate it to amortization and capital. All of those things come together to form the increases that you see in the cost base, which is the subject of the 70‑30 ratio or whatever ratio you happen to be operating under, but there are only two now. There is 70 percent and‑‑[interjection! Oh, I just received some good news‑‑70 percent.
Mr. Chomiak: The minister used the words "indirect costs." Those strike me as direct costs, so now I am confused. I am wondering if the minister can clarify for me what he is referring to, because I believe he said indirect costs. I wonder if he could outline for me the difference between the indirect and direct costs in this regard.
Mr. McCrae: I used the word "indirect" to differentiate between direct costs such as salary costs. That is the context in which I used the word "indirect."
Mr. Chomiak: Perhaps it has been done, but will the minister table the agreement with us for our review?
Mr. McCrae: Yes, I would like to publish it in the newspapers, pass it out door to door in my constituency. The honourable member probably will not want to do that though because‑‑you bet, I will make that agreement available to the honourable member.
Madam Chairperson: Item 2.(d) Provincial Policing $47,745,800‑‑pass.
2.(e) Law Enforcement Administration: (1) Salaries $428,900‑‑pass; (2) Other Expenditures $102,200‑‑pass; (3) Grants $150,000‑‑pass.
2.(f) Criminal Injuries Compensation Board $2,738,600‑‑pass.
Resolution 96: RESOLVED that there be granted to Her Majesty a sum not exceeding $58,998,400 for Justice, Public Prosecutions, $58,998,400, for the fiscal year ending the 31st day of March, 1993‑‑pass.
Order, please. The hour being 5 p.m. and time for private members' hour, committee rise.
Call in the Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: The hour being 5 p.m., it is time for Private Members' Business.
Mrs. Louise Dacquay (Chairperson of Committees): Mr. Speaker, the Committee of Supply has adopted certain resolutions, directs me to report the same and asks leave to sit again.
I move, seconded by the honourable member for La Verendrye (Mr. Sveinson), that the report of the committee be received.
Motion agreed to.
PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
DEBATE ON SECOND READINGS‑PUBLIC BILLS
Bill 16‑The Health Care Directives Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), Bill 16, The Health Care Directives Act; Loi sur les directives en matiere de soins de sante, standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon): I have wanted to speak for some time on Bill 16.
Mr. Speaker, this bill I think is a challenge to all members of this Chamber, because it raises one of the moral issues of our time. We in this country have actually come very late to addressing the issue of the rights of individuals to make health care decisions on their own.
Mr. Speaker, the case of Nancy B., the woman in Quebec who had to ask the court to determine whether in fact she had the right to have medical treatment, medical services, discontinued in compliance with her wishes, wishes which would ultimately lead to her death. I believe in a courageous move, the judge in this case, visited with this particular woman, looked at the circumstances, weighed the question of whether the individual should have this right and ultimately determined that, yes, the individual does have that right.
I do not know how many members have actually read Bill 16. I would be willing to bet that the member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) has not read this bill. Mr. Speaker, there will be many members who have not, not only the member for St. Norbert. The member for St. Norbert has not spoken to the bill. However, I hope that some members will have the courage to speak and to put their thoughts on record.
Mr. Speaker, the issues here go beyond those raised initially by the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) when he introduced the legislation‑‑the WHEREASes, I think again, which are part of legislation now that are becoming more important and that is the preamble, setting the tone for the legislation.
The preamble says, WHEREAS Manitoba law recognizes the right of every competent person to refuse consent or withdraw consent to his or his health care, and whereas this right should also be respected after individuals are no longer able to participate in their health care decisions, therefore‑‑it goes on to recommend that the following bill would give people who do not have the competency to make those decisions, to allow others to make them on their behalf.
Mr. Speaker, this legislation I think begs the first question, the primary question of whether in fact we should be encouraging individual health care givers, institutions, to allow people, to inform people first of all that they have the right, informed right to make decisions about whether their life will be maintained in certain circumstances, whether institutions or health care givers should use extraordinary methods to prolong life and whether in fact individuals should be given the right to determine how and when their particular time of death will occur.
Speaker, this debate, I expect, will rage in
Speaker, it is my understanding that literally thousands of people in
I, for one, believe that the individual should have the right to choose and that the circumstances that go into making that decision really depend on the conscience of the individual. The bill that we are dealing with today I think takes that concept one step further. So when I say that this bill really begs the question, I think we have to consider that, because what we are asking people to do now is not to make the right decision for themselves, not giving people the right to decide for themselves, whether it is the right decision or not from someone else's perspective, but we are asking a third party to have that right. I think that is somehow putting the cart before the horse.
seems to me that in the province, we should address the question of whether
individuals have that right first. I do
not think that this has been addressed in our province. I do not think the Minister of Health (Mr.
Orchard) has made any kind of declaration.
I do not think the
Mr. Speaker, I think we should try and decide whether in fact we want people to have that right and how that right will be implemented in the province before we take the next step of saying, well, a third party should have the right to choose, not that I am opposed to that right being delegated. The bill makes it very clear under what circumstances that would be allowed and under what circumstances that would not be allowed, but I hope that as we debate this legislation, we will be raising the larger question of the right to choose in the matter of our death, generally.
Again, Mr. Speaker, when I was reading the remarks of the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) when he introduced this legislation, I am reminded that he talked extensively about the need for education. This is, I think, an important role of this debate. There are very few people, very few medical professionals, doctors, nurses, who have addressed this moral dilemma in any kind of professional way, either through their professional associations or at their workplace. I know of no hospital in the province that has a policy with respect to either the question of a person's own death or the delegated power that this bill suggests should be available with respect to the refusal of treatment.
So I think that we can serve a purpose in debating this legislation, in talking about it and putting our thoughts on the record, because there are many other people who should be thinking about these issues and raising these issues in the context of their own workplace, within their own families perhaps, as they come ultimately to having to make some of the same decisions.
Mr. Speaker, this is not some sort of esoteric bill that very few people in this Chamber will ever have to deal with. The fact of the matter is, this is a frequent and persistent occurrence in our society, and as medical technology extends the life expectancy, artificially in some cases, of individuals, more and more people are going to have to face this dilemma. They will be assigned responsibility for deciding should medical treatment be given, what kind of medical treatment, should medical treatment be discontinued.
I expect that most people in this Chamber, at one time or another, will be faced with those decisions whether it be with grandparents, or parents, loved ones of one kind or another, friends or family. It is certainly possible that individuals in this Chamber already, or will be, in the future, assigned responsibility for making decisions, life‑and‑death decisions, about the treatment that is given or is not given as the case may be. I think it is an important first step to begin the dialogue to flush out our own feelings on this legislation.
Mr. Speaker, referring back again to the question of education. It is not just the education of people who are directly involved in health care, it is the education of the public. Again, I mentioned that people here are likely to deal with the problem. Well, anyone in our society is likely to have to face these kinds of dilemmas, these kinds of questions, certainly if we pass this bill, sooner rather than later, but they are going to face these kinds of questions for themselves. I think it is important that they understand the context in which the debate occurs, that this is no longer the 1900s where nature takes its course because man, rightly or wrongly, certainly in the area of medicine, has interfered‑‑some people would say‑‑unmercifully.
We can prolong life artificially; we can sustain life artificially. We can have people on respirators for years and years and years, living a quality of life that perhaps they nor their family really understands or comprehends. So it is I think a very timely issue. The member for the Maples (Mr. Cheema), I think, has done us all a service by offering us an opportunity to debate this, and I hope that members will take the opportunity and deal with the underlying question as well as the question that is raised by the bill itself.
Speaker, the member for the Maples, when he spoke, also referenced the Nancy B.
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) who adjourned debate on this bill has yet to enlighten us with his perspective. I would hope that the Minister of Health would have some information that he could provide the Chamber. Certainly I would like to think that medical thinking, thinking on behalf of the Medical Association, perhaps the Manitoba Organization of Nurses have had some discussions, some preliminary policies developed in regard to this bill. It would be interesting to know, it would be informative, if the minister could share with us, perhaps, contemporary thinking on this issue.
Before members begin to formulate where they stand on this piece of legislation, I feel quite confident in saying that my constituents, many of whom are seniors particularly in the community of Flin Flon, would be quite supportive of this legislation.
(Mrs. Louise Dacquay, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair)
Madam Deputy Speaker, I think, particularly as you get older and as you enter those years where you are approaching the average life expectancy of a Canadian, these kinds of issues are much more of a concern. I can only say that I believe my constituents would, in all likelihood, want me to support this legislation.
If we get to the point where this legislation is passed through to second reading, I will be doing a lot more to consult with my constituents, to determine their wishes, to see whether in fact they want us to take this a step further and to do as the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) suggests, and that is improve on the legislation, make it more relevant, identify, I guess, more circumstances under which this kind of legislation would apply and give us some additional insights into what is an important moral question for this Legislature. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James): Madam Deputy Speaker, it gives me pleasure today to stand to speak to Bill 16, a very important piece of legislation, one which we certainly support, having come forward from the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) and an important one for this province to address at this time.
I recognize some of the comments of the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) that this is an area that is growing, it is an area which is new. The medical legal issues generally are often perplexing to the courts and the legal professions, and I think it is often unfortunate that the courts are left to deal with the pressing medical legal issues. Why? Because politicians shy away from them.
They often are issues that draw out intense passions in the community as to when life begins and when individuals have a right to end their lives; in what circumstances do parents have the right to deny medical assistance to their children. These issues are extremely pressing, because the medical profession is ahead of what society is willing to deal with.
The medical profession is always pushing back the frontier of what they can do in terms of preserving life, in terms of determining when life begins. Madam Deputy Speaker, the issues, the moral social issues, which have to be addressed and should be addressed in the political chambers are not addressed in a timely fashion to keep up with the medical advances that are made.
That is unfortunate, and that is primarily not because the legal profession or the politicians of the day do not recognize that these are issues. They do recognize that they are issues. They just do not want to deal with them because they perceive them to be controversial. So you let the courts take a crack at them at the first instance, see what their decision is, see what their reaction is in the public and then you can react. That is generally the pattern of political behaviour on medical legal issues like this.
This has now come to the point, I think, in our society where we as politicians have an obligation to come forward with some leadership, some legislation, on the living‑will concept. When a person of sane mind, of competent mind, can set down on paper what they desire to constitute acceptable medical treatment to them and what they do not, that is a right that each one of us has in this Chamber today, and every citizen in this province has, the right to decline medical treatment. We always have that right. We can say no to medical treatment, and Madam Deputy Speaker, that is a fundamental right which each of us as citizens carries in this country.
What we in effect will be trying to do through this legislation is provide to Manitobans the ability to say in certain circumstances, and define those circumstances, I do not want this treatment. That is essentially carrying forward to a day when the patient may not be mentally competent to make that decision, a decision which they made earlier when they were of competent mind.
It is the same principle which applies to our disposition of our assets as citizens, and consider the relative importance of dealing with one's assets as opposed to dealing with one's own life, one's own ability to determine when further medical treatment should be given and when it should not.
Surely, in our right to deal with our own lives, that is a more important issue than dealing with our assets, yet we recognize, with respect to assets, that you indeed can at any time in your life set down on paper in a will what you want done after your death. We have yet to recognize the right of individuals of sane, competent mind to deal with the level of medical treatment that would be given to them when they lose their competence or their sanity. [interjection!
am sorry, I am missing the member for
Deputy Speaker, the point is this. The
point is that we have come to the stage in our society, I believe‑‑and
I look forward to the member for
I believe that this is an essential right that every citizen has, to decline medical treatment. No one has the right to enforce and inflict medical treatment on any of us. That is as old as our common law itself, that principle, and yet we lose it as citizens when we go into delirium, when we go into unconsciousness, and we then are subject to what? We are subject to doctors who are, in turn, subject to courts. The doctors are very afraid of the courts, so they will throw all resources, they will open all doors necessary to keep life going. They will say, look‑‑[interjection! Well, the member says they are afraid of lawyers. I hate to enlighten him, but most courts are ruled by judges who are also lawyers. Courts and lawyers, you know, it tends to be interchangeable.
But in any event, Madam Deputy Speaker, the point is, we all want protection from negligence in the medical profession, and certain standards have been set. They are not unreasonably high standards. They are standards set, based upon a reasonable level of competence of a doctor. Doctors are susceptible to that and because we live in a litigious society, they come to the point where, when the patient cannot give advice, they are going to err on the side of caution. That is what happens, and you certainly cannot blame the doctors for doing that.
They then bring in all the technology. They bring in everything that they have at their disposal, all of the benefits of our technology to keep life going. They do that because they do not ever want to be put in a position where they are making a decision as to the level of treatment or the qualify of life of the patient who in fact may, when they were of sane, competent mind, have never conceived that they would want to go to that degree of treatment, but would rather die a death of dignity, recognizing that the quality of life was gone.
That is a right which we should all have, Madam Deputy Speaker, and the Law Reform Commission in our province has led the way. I want to put on the record my thanks to the commission for giving us some guidance and recommending some tenets for legislation which the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) has drawn upon extensively in coming up with this bill.
So, Madam Deputy Speaker, I do not want to belabour my support of this bill. It is an appropriate time to do this. We have seen incidents around the world, even in this country, where families have been torn apart in cases where they are not sure whether or not they should be making the decision to pull the plug, as it were, or to stop treatment, to let the person die a dignified death. It is an extremely destructive time for many families in those situations. Sometimes the treatment‑‑of course it is expensive for society‑‑but it goes on and on and on and families are anguished over these decisions, to give an individual the right to release society and to release his or her own family in certain circumstances and to say that, yes, I am willing to go a natural death in these circumstances.
That is an important right, not just for those who are ultimately going to be let go to the other world, but it is an important right for those who live on, for the families that live on to be able to look to a document and say, yes, this is what this individual wanted and I am doing the right thing for this individual. It is a process of healing that is allowed to happen at an earlier stage, and we do not have the ongoing anguish which we see so often in our society.
So I fully support the concept behind this bill. It is a bill which recognizes our rights as individuals to determine the level of medical care that we want and the medical care that we do not want, and adults of competent mind have that right, have always had that right and should continue to have that right as enshrined in this legislation. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.
Madam Deputy Speaker: As previously agreed, this matter will remain standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard).
Bill 18‑The Franchises Act
Madam Deputy Speaker: To resume debate on second reading of Bill 18 (The Franchises Act; Loi sur les concessions) on the proposed motion of the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), standing in the name of the honourable member for Sturgeon Creek (Mr. McAlpine).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Madam Deputy Speaker: Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed!
Madam Deputy Speaker: To resume debate on second reading of Bill 25 (The University of Manitoba Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'Universite du Manitoba), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock), standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Madam Deputy Speaker: Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 27‑The Business Practices Amendment Act
Madam Deputy Speaker: Bill 27 (The Business Practices Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les pratiques commerciales), on the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), standing in the name of the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Madam Deputy Speaker: Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [Agreed!
Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood): I am very pleased to rise today to speak to Bill 27, The Business Practices Amendment Act, introduced by the member for The Maples.
At the outset I wanted to make some comments about the Liberal Party's role as far as business practices legislation is concerned in this province. Before any member of the Liberal Party gets too upset here, I might say at the outset that I have looked at Bill 32 which was also introduced by one of the Liberal members, The Immigration Consultants Registry Act, and from the looks of that particular bill, I think it is not only appropriate, but probably a necessary and timely bill at this point to be introduced. I say that only because I have some unflattering comments to make about the Liberal Party's lack of presence in the whole area of the business practices legislation.
To be fair to them, I might say at the outset that no one party or one member can be expected to be up to speed on every issue in this House, and I think that this is a case where the Liberal Party was really not involved in this particular area and is essentially trying to play some catchup here by introducing an amendment which coincidentally was an amendment that they introduced last year when the bill was passed. It was defeated at that time.
I must say that the business practices legislation that I did not expect from this government, I did not expect from a Conservative government. To give the former minister, the member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Connery) credit, he managed to get his caucus and he managed to get his cabinet to agree to the passage and implementation of a business practices act which is something that has never ceased to amaze us on this side of the House given where the Conservatives normally stand historically on business practices legislation.
We chalk this up to a fluke that he managed to get it passed. We have said many, many times that we felt that the bill was withdrawn due to pressure by the business community. I think that was fairly obvious at the time, and the bill was watered down in that the "unconscionable act" section was deleted.
The fact of the matter is, though, that through all this very lengthy process of The Business Practices Act, the Liberals have been playing a negligible if nonexistent role. In fact, their previous critic, the member, I believe, for Niakwa more often than not sided with the Conservatives on any question dealing with The Business Practices Act or any consumer protection amendment that was introduced in the last Legislature by our party. So this Liberal caucus has a very sorry record in regards to any type of progressive consumer legislation.
We look forward to them changing their views a bit and becoming a little more aggressive in the area of consumer protection. We expect more from the Liberal caucus than some minor amendment to The Business Practices Act such as we see here. We would like to know where the Liberal Party stands in the whole area of the manufacturers suggested retail price sticker on cars. When this became an issue, three, four, five years ago, the Liberal caucus of 20 sided with the Conservative caucus of the day. The Liberal caucus of the day was sat down by the car dealers and was read the riot act and went along with what the car dealers wanted in terms of manufacturers suggested retail price.
I believe that the Liberal caucus of the day really did not understand the issue, did not realize that the sticker price issue in cars is something that has been in Ontario for a number of years, that Manitoba consumers need only go across the Ontario border to Kenora to find the manufacturers suggested retail price stickers on the windshield of the cars, and that it would cost the dealers nothing.
In fact, the stickers come on the cars from the factory, and it is the car dealers of this province who hire staff and pay staff money to remove the stickers from the windshields of the cars. For some reason the Liberal caucus went along with this. No one in the Liberal caucus, at least publicly, has taken issue with the caucus stand on this, and, of course, the Conservative caucus, it goes without saying that they fall in lock step with what the Motor Dealers Association of this province want. That has been the historical position of the Conservative caucus and the Conservative Party, and once again we are not dealing here with a controversial issue. We are not dealing with a cost issue that would cost the government anything. We are not dealing with an issue that would actually cost the car dealers anything, because it is actually costing the car dealers money to have these stickers removed.
are they doing it? They are doing it
because they find it more convenient.
They find that they are able to give people what they want on a trade‑in,
and typically what we found was that people were paying $2,000 more in
So that is something that the Consumers' Association of this province and consumers of this province have desired and wanted, something that was fair to the people of this province and the consumers of this province and even the car dealers themselves.
When they were on a radio show with me a couple of years ago and were asked, why they would not leave the manufacturers suggested retail price sticker on the cars, the president of the dealers association of the day said, no. He could not disagree with that. If the government required the dealers to keep the sticker prices on the cars that they would gladly comply with it.
But that is what the dealers association president said on CBC Radio, because it is the political thing to do and the smart thing for him to do. But privately they sit down with the Conservative caucus and dress them down and let them know who the boss is. They let them know who is paying those election bills, paying for those election signs.
So an issue that seems on the surface to be a sensible, logical inexpensive cost‑free idea, something that would benefit the consumers of this province, is something that this government resists and will continue resistance as long as they are associated so closely with the auto dealers.
The Liberals have no excuse whatsoever here. Because when given the opportunity, when they had 20 members, they chose to ignore the desires of the consumers. They chose to ignore the Consumers' Association and other consumer groups' positions on the matter. They chose to listen to the car dealers association who met with them, certainly within a day or two of meeting with the Conservative caucus.
They were whipped into line by the car dealers and they stayed in line. They have stayed there since. We see nothing from the Liberal Party in the area of consumer legislation or consumer initiatives or even speeches on that matter that would indicate that they have any desire to be supporting consumers in the province.
So the sticker price issue, they are lock step with the car dealers and the Conservatives. The area of the documentation fees, which is a fee that can amount anywhere from $40 to $140, is a voluntary thing that car dealers charge for typing up the sales contract. That is what the documentation fee is for. Every time a person buys a new car in this province, they are being hit by this fee of $40 to $140.
(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)
Most dealerships have it printed right on the contract, and when you ask the dealer what it is all about, they tell you it is for typing up the contract. As if they do not make enough money already on the transaction that they have to charge a documentation fee.
There are one or two dealers in town who do not charge a documentation fee, but most of the dealers have it printed right on their contracts. Now where is the Liberal Party on this issue? I have heard not a peep out of the Liberal Party over the last few years on documentation fees.
Now I expect it from the Conservatives. There are no surprises coming from the Conservative caucus on this issue, because I expect that they will not bite the hand that feeds them.
But the Liberal Party had nothing to lose and everything to gain by supporting the abolition, the banishment of this unfair, essentially a tax on every car transaction in this province. I do not know why the Liberals are so reluctant to take a position, but that is a problem with the Liberal Party, not knowing what side of the fence it is on, on any issue. It wanders back and forth between the right and left and, as a result, provides a very confusing image for people in the province.
The area of octane levels in gasoline, in the United States, at least in the American states close to the border, we have a situation where octane levels are put right on the gasoline pumps. We feel that would make sense. It would cost this government absolutely nothing. It would cost the gas producers a few cents to produce these stickers, and so the public would know what the octane level is on the gasoline that they buy.
Last year, there was a major expose by one of our national TV programs, which indicated that the gas companies managed to change the octane levels and thereby fool the consumers of the country, because, in fact, this is a national issue. They were able to change the grade of the gasoline and leave the price the same.
The result is that people who one day of the week thought they were buying a certain octane level and a certain quality of gasoline for their cars for a certain price, were, the next day in fact, for the same price, getting what was an inferior quality gasoline which was causing problems in the performance of their cars. This was all done by sleight of hand by the big oil companies in this country, and it was the national TV program which did the research and made this public.
Well, the government has done nothing over the past year to legislate and require octane levels to be published, and the Liberal Party has sat silently and likewise gone lock step with the Conservatives on this issue. I have heard not a word, not a question, on octane levels from this Liberal Party. So much for the Liberal Party being friends of the consumer.
I have been spending some time in Crescentwood in the last while, and I tell you, the Liberal Party is going down fast. I do not see the Liberal Party holding its own in the least. People realize‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member's time has expired.
Introduction of Guests
Speaker: J'aimerais attirer l'attention des deputes a
la tribune a ma gauche ou nous avons parmi nous cet apres‑midi, vingt‑quatre
eleves de la 6ieme annee de Notre Dame de Lourdes. Nous avons aussi vingt et un
eleves de Saint‑Basil de Portneuf du
I would like to draw the attention of the members to the gallery on my left where we have with
us this afternoon, twenty‑four Grade 6 students from Notre Dame de
Lourdes. We also have with us 21
exchange students from St. Basil,
* * *
Mr. Speaker: As previously agreed, this matter will remain standing in the name of the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).
Bill 31‑The Municipal Amendment Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry), Bill 31, The Municipal Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les municipalites, standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 32‑The Immigration Consultants Registry Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux), Bill 32, The Immigration Consultants Registry Act; Loi sur l'inscription des conseillers en immigration, standing in the name of the honourable member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 36‑The Health Care Records Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), Bill 36, The Health Care Records Act; Loi sur les dossiers medicaux, standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 50‑The Beverage Container Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable Leader of the Second Opposition party (Mrs. Carstairs), Bill 50, The Beverage Container Act; Loi sur les contenants de boisson, standing in the name of the honourable member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 51‑The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), Bill 51, The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'assurance‑maladie, standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Urban Affairs (Mr. Ernst).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson): I would like to speak briefly on this particular bill, and in fact I will be the first member of our caucus speaking on it. It is a brief bill, but it relates to some very significant issues in terms of health care brought in by the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema), and basically introduces an amendment that would establish within The Health Services Insurance Amendment Act the basic principles of the Canada Health Act, the basic principles of our medicare system.
I think that is something that we should be looking at quite seriously in terms of this particular session, because we are at something of a crossroads in terms of the health care system. We are seeing an increased amount of pressure on the health care system because of a number of factors.
of those factors is in terms of the reduction and the share of health care
costs that we are seeing from the federal government‑‑very
significant reductions. It is not a new
matter. It has been predicted for many
years in this Legislature. In fact, the
previous New Democratic Party government was one of the first governments in
We remember very well the comments of the then Finance critic, the current Finance minister in the mid‑1980s, who was critical of the NDP government for being too critical of the federal government, was critical of the analysis at the time, which said that the previous 50‑50 funding was being eroded on a yearly basis.
We have seen how those predictions in the mid‑1980s have come to bear in 1992. We are seeing significant reductions in the percentage of medicare funding provided by the federal government, so that is one of the factors. We see other factors as well.
Demographics‑‑we have an aging population and because of that aging population there are increased demands on our health care system. There is a third factor and that is to change in terms of technology, change in terms of the efficacy of treatments.
We are now in the position where we have far more technology available for the treatment of illnesses. We see that we face increased decisions to be made in terms of whether to purchase that type of technology, whether we can afford it in terms of the health care system and that is a continuing pressure on our health care system.
I would say there is a fourth factor that is important and particularly important in terms of this country and this province and that is in terms of socioeconomic factors.
Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard), in his own health care reform document,
pointed to the fact that countries such as
the case of
Further to that‑‑
An Honourable Member: . . . light beer.
Ashton: Well, there have been changes in terms of
some consumption patterns as the member opposite points to, Mr. Speaker. But we also have continuing problems on the
socioeconomic side. In
Mr. Speaker, we have seen various responses to that. The provincial government has brought in its own particular response. I want to say that what is important here is not so much the words, because it is interesting to see in Canada, how, in a few short decades, what was very controversial in the 1940s when the CCF was elected in Saskatchewan, the 1950s, 1960s, during which medicare was brought in in this country, and what continued to be somewhat controversial in the 1960s when debates continued across the country in terms of what form of medicare would take place under the then Liberal government and the pressure from the then NDP government in Saskatchewan and the pressure nationally for medicare.
What is interesting is that we now, at least verbally, ascribe to the same principles: a universal, accessible health care system, Mr. Speaker. But I would suggest that it is not strictly the words that are going to matter in this decade and into the next century, it is going to be the actions. Are we going to mouth the support for medicare that we are seeing on a regular basis? Are we going to deal with the need for health care reform? Because I think to deal with those factors I mentioned earlier we must recognize the need to change our medical system. But I ask the question, are we going to be doing it in a way that is consistent with the true principles of medicare?
Speaker, I would suggest that there are disturbing signs in
Hon. Harry Enns (Minister of Natural Resources): Much more. Decisive action.
Mr. Ashton: Well, the Minister of Natural Resources says much more, Mr. Speaker. Decisive action for what?
is one thing to talk about reducing hospital beds, as they are doing in
Just this day in Question Period I raised the concern on behalf of my own community hospital, the Thompson General Hospital, providing community‑based services in terms of chemotherapy, in terms of mammography, in terms of a specialist clinic. Incidentally, the mammography unit was purchased due to the fundraising efforts of the Thompson Hospital Foundation, which has raised more than $300,000 in the last couple of years alone, from citizens of Thompson who are willing to put their own money, over and above the tax dollars that are spent in health care, to provide the facilities that are put in place. They are now fighting with a two‑month time frame to keep that open.
I say I hope and I expect the government will provide the funding, because it makes sense to provide that kind of service in the North, Mr. Speaker. But if the government feels that it has a real commitment to health care reform, I think it has to go beyond the kind of rhetoric we have seen in that blue paper and go further.
I want to just mention, very briefly, some specific proposals I would make to the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard). Let us start on the preventative health care side, Mr. Speaker. We have problems, as I said before, in terms of lifestyle. We have problems in terms of the continued problems of poverty. We have problems in many aboriginal communities of continued lack of even the most basic sanitary conditions. Let us talk about putting some resources and some effort in terms of that. Let us dedicate ourselves to making every community accessible in terms of sewer and water, because not every community is.
Let us go beyond that, and let us look at improving health care, Mr. Speaker, through preventative health care. We are talking about community health care. I say to the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns), let us establish true community‑based health care through the kind of community clinics that were given the kind of support that was required by previous New Democratic Party administrations, the kind of community clinics which have pioneered that kind of medicine in Saskatchewan, which have shown that they are far more cost effective than the normal institutional care, because it can provide everything, from preventative care through to counselling, through to treatment, can provide the kind of resources that walk‑in clinics in Winnipeg are providing at a very expensive cost to the taxpayer, right in a community‑based and community‑controlled environment, where the people in the neighbourhood, the people in the community, the people in the region have a say over what kind of health care they would receive.
think, Mr. Speaker, the key to health care reform is empowerment. That is what medicare was all about. It was democratizing the health care system,
taking away the disgusting situations that existed whereby people had to give
up their children because they could not afford medical care. I still see, in the
I was just reading recently a case of someone in the 1950s who had to give up their children for adoption because they could not afford the medical costs involved with a very basic health care condition.
So let us recognize, Mr. Speaker, the importance of moving ahead with our health care system, providing that community‑based health care, dealing with the kind of problems I mentioned in terms of Thompson or Brandon, making sure it is democratized. Let us empower the people, and that is why I wanted to speak on this particular bill, because it talks about implementing the principles of the Canada Health Act within the Health Insurance Services Act. Let us put that into place in this province and see true health care reform, not rhetoric but action that will ensure further democratization of the health care system.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: As previously agreed, this matter will remain standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Urban Affairs (Mr. Ernst).
Is it the will of the House to call it six o'clock?
Some Honourable Members: No.
Mr. Speaker: No. Okay.
Bill 54‑The Consumer Protection Amendment Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), Bill 54 (The Consumer Protection Amendment Act; Loi sur la protection du consommateur), standing in the name of the honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave? [Agreed!
Bill 56‑The Public Health Amendment Act (2)
Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 66‑The Child and Family Services Amendment Act (2)
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable Leader of the Second Opposition party, Bill 66, The Child and Family Services Amendment Act (2); Loi no 2 modifiant la Loi sur les services a l'enfant et a la famille, standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [Agreed!
Bill 77‑The Liquor Control Amendment Act
Mr. Speaker: On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes), Bill 77 (The Liquor Control Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur la reglementation des alcools), standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik).
An Honourable Member: Stand.
Mr. Speaker: Is there leave? [Agreed!
SECOND READINGS‑PUBLIC BILLS
Bill 83‑The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (3)
Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (St. Norbert): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable member for Emerson (Mr. Penner), that Bill 83, The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (3); Loi no 3 modifiant le Code de la route, be now read a second time and be referred to a committee of this House.
Mr. Laurendeau: It gives me great pleasure to rise today, Mr. Speaker, with the last two minutes to click away on the clock, but I do understand that the next time that this bill is before the House, I know I will have more time because I am sure the honourable members will not put their stall tactics to work the next time.
Mr. Speaker, I know that the honourable members in this House on the opposite side will agree with this bill wholeheartedly when they see that what it is after is consumer protection and safety.
Mr. Speaker, explaining this bill I do not think can be properly done in one minute, but I am going to attempt to explain why it is being brought forward. Before that happens I would like to thank the Minister of Transportation (Mr. Driedger) and this government for giving me the opportunity to bring forward a private member's bill that has actually got some feeling to it.
Mr. Speaker, I have been working on this for five years‑‑five years. Before I even came to this government I was working on this bill because this bill will put in place what has been necessary in this province for many years. It will prevent people from getting ripped off, ripped off by not only the back yarders and the curbers but unscrupulous dealers, and if that is who those members want to protect, let them, but I will not. I will not stand here and‑‑
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. When this matter is again before the House the honourable member for St. Norbert will have 13 minutes remaining.
The hour being 6 p.m., this House now adjourns and stands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).