Monday, November 30, 1992


The House met at 8 p.m.



(Second Day of Debate)


            Madam Deputy Speaker (Louise Dacquay):  Order, please.  The hourbeing 8 p.m., will the House please come to order.

            Mr. Jack Reimer (Niakwa):  Madam Deputy Speaker, indeed it is apleasure to stand up here and talk today on the throne speech,and it is similar to when you are in school.  One of the firstassignments you have when you get back into class from theEnglish teacher is, how did I spend my summer?  You have to lookback and say, well, this summer has been tremendously excitingand changing for myself on a personal basis here and thefunctions and the things that I have had the opportunity toattend.  The summer of '92 will certainly go down as one of mymost eventful summers in my life.

            Firstly, what I would like to do, Madam Deputy Speaker, issend out some congratulations to the new faces here in theLegislature, and it is my pleasure really to extendcongratulations to the new member for Portage la Prairie (Mr.Pallister) and the new member for Crescentwood (Ms. Gray) for theLiberal Party.  I would also like to at this time extend bestwishes and all the best in the future for the member forRupertsland (Mr. Harper) who has put in his resignation forbigger and better things, and I wish him all the best in anyendeavour that he wishes to enter into.  I have had theopportunity to meet with the member the odd time, and indeed hiscontribution and his involvement with Manitoba and the history ofManitoba will certainly be noticed.

            I would also like to extend best wishes, salutations and goodhealth to the Leader of the Second Opposition, the member forRiver Heights (Mrs. Carstairs), who has announced herretirement‑‑oh, pardon me, not her retirement but her steppingdown as Leader and possibly stepping out of the political agendain the near future.

An Honourable Member:  How come you are always so nice when theyare going?

Mr. Reimer:  When they are going, we are always nice.

            I would like to also take the time to extend best wishes andgood health to our Lieutenant‑Governor (Mr. Johnson) who was nothere for the throne speech, but I understand that he is gettingbetter, getting back into fine form.  He was missed during thethrone speech, and I wish him a speedy recovery and good health.

            In looking back, as mentioned, when you look at your summerand what happened in the summer of '92, I have to look back atsome of the events and some of the things that I will just takesome moments to sort of highlight in a sense.  I guess when welook at Winnipeg, and being an urban MLA in the greatconstituency of Niakwa, southeast Winnipeg, in the communities ofSouthdale, Island Lakes and part of Windsor Park and a little bitof St. Germain‑‑Winnipeg in the summertime is a very excitingplace to be.  I had the opportunity to represent the Ministerresponsible for Multiculturalism, the Minister of Culture,Heritage and Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson), at some events.  Someof the ones that stand out naturally are the Fringe Festivalwhich was enjoyed here in Winnipeg.  I believe there were over80,000 different participants in the various plays that were putin various venues around the city of Winnipeg.  Very successful.One of the highest attendance figures they have had.

            From the Fringe Festival, we had the Folk Festival here inWinnipeg‑‑not necessarily here in Winnipeg, but it was in BirdsHill.  The participation and the amount of attendance at that wasat an all‑time high, so we had a very exciting time during thatperiod.

            Also, naturally there is Folklorama.  Here in Winnipeg it isindeed an exciting time.  This time, for the two weeks that wehad it here, we had over 38 pavilions, various ethnic pavilionsspread out over a two‑week period.  I had the opportunity tovisit every one of them.  It was‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Every one?

Mr. Reimer:  Every one, and I will tell you it was something tosee if you had not been to them, and I imagine most of us have.

            The involvement, the volunteerism was at an all‑time high,the attendance was at an all‑time high.  It just goes to show,here in Winnipeg and here in Manitoba, when the people get behindit and the volunteers get involved, we can make thingshappen‑‑[interjection]  Yes, and as mentioned, when you go tothese you have the opportunity to taste the various foods, theethnic cuisine, not only the cultural shows but everything elsethat is involved with that, so it is a very exciting time to behere in Winnipeg.  Manitoba in the summer time is quite anexciting place.


* (2005)


            Going on to the Speech from the Throne, as it was broughtforth a little while ago, I cannot help but repeat a couple ofthe paragraphs that came out right at the very, very beginning.It seemed so very apropos here in Manitoba when we talk aboutwhat is happening.  I would just like to quote from the Speechfrom the Throne, and the lines are:

            "The winds of change are sweeping the globe.  Walls andboundaries that have traditionally defined nations, internationaltrade, national economics and individual lifestyles are tumblingdown.  This revolutionary process is affecting every continentand touching virtually every nation and every community.

            "History teaches us that the most durable and enduringsocieties are those best able to cope with change, adapt theirway of life and take advantage of the new opportunities."

            It seems that it should be repeated–the line "best able tocope with change, adapt their way of life and take advantage ofthe new opportunities."  On a personal note, I can attest to thatvery, very easily, because at times we do have to go through somedifficult changes.  We have to adapt and we have to look forwardto new opportunities.  As anybody, you have to turn the page andyou keep moving.

            Here in Manitoba, when we look at our economy and the thrustthat we have to come forth with, we have to be optimistic.  Wehave to look at Manitoba and see the value that we have here inManitoba.  Manitoba's greatest asset and our biggest contributionreally is the people.  Our people who form the backbone and thedesire to make things happen in Manitoba.

            We are very fortunate here in Manitoba.  We have this type ofaggressiveness; we have this type of entrepreneurship; we havethis type of labour force; we have this type of involvement, notonly with management but for labour in trying to strive forth tomake the best for Manitoba.  I guess we can always look back andsay that things should have been the way they were before.Unfortunately, in today's society with the changes we have, wecannot look back too far.  We cannot look back that far and saythat those were the good old days and we want them back, becauseit just would not happen.

            Today's society, with the mass amount of communications andchange that comes about, makes what is normal today obsolete bytomorrow, so we have to position ourselves to change.  As agovernment, one of the things that we strive for very diligentlyis to be aware of the people, to be aware of what is going on inthe economy of Manitoba.  So it becomes quite significant.  WhenI happened to be listening to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr.Doer) a little while ago talking about his budget, and I happenedto pull out of my little bag here some of the things that he hasbeen talking about, I have to just make a few comments about theLeader of the Opposition in the sense of what he brought forth ashis type of agenda.  I could not help but bring forth when ourthrone speech came out–when I say "our," I mean the government–the NDP or the New Democratic Party brought out theirnews release on their priorities for this session.

            We have to look at what they are coming up with and what theyare suggesting as a way of doing business and the way of going tothe community and try to see where their answers are and wheretheir directions are.  The Leader there, the member for Concordia(Mr. Doer), kept talking about and criticizing this governmentfor the studies and the reform and the changes that thisgovernment was bringing forth, and saying it is the same oldrhetoric rehashed and it is brought forth again and again, but wehave to look at what their agenda is.  Then they come out with avery broad spectrum of statements, and actually it is so broad itonly takes up, I believe, two pages‑‑priorities for the sessionwhich take up two pages.


* (2010)


            It becomes quite a budget speech for the NDP in the sense ofwhere their priorities are.  In here you see words likeperformance, and you see words like reform, and you see likestudies and you see like boards and commissions, and you see alot of the same type of thing that they are talking about overand over again.  They talk about their positive thrust, of whatthey feel they should be doing, but they seem to be doing thesame old rhetoric and the same old rehashing of how they used todo things.  They look backwards all the time as to what should bebrought forth to the people of Manitoba.  You have to wonderwhere the priorities of the Leader are and what he is talkingabout.

            He did happen to mention about being out of touch.  He keptsaying that this government is out of touch.  It has to go acrossthe road and take a walk across the street, and he talked aboutthe fact that the delegates at the convention, the ProgressiveConservative convention‑‑in fact, I should point out that at theConservative convention that was just held, we had over 500members in attendance and we had a tremendous turnout of themembership.  I guess he is referring back to a guess when hisconvention was on just a few weeks ago where they had, I think,it was only 200 memberships or people out.  So, when he talksabout the interest in the party and his strong mandate, when heis talking about his 200 delegates, and the conference that wejust went through where we had over 500, you can see where theinterest is and the direction of priorities.

            In one of the comments made by the member for Concordia (Mr.Doer), the Leader of the New Democratic Party, he talks about ourbeing out of touch, the delegates at our convention, but I haveto look back at one of the comments and one of the directivesthat came out from the NDP convention, and this was theinstructions that they had for the youth.  This was a packagethat was distributed to the youth of the NDP, and some of thethings that they were saying that they should be involved with.One of the things they said is they should have a conference,they should get together, and they asked the youth to pick up, asan item of conversation and discussion, the Regina Manifesto.The Regina Manifesto is what the youth of the NDP should use as aguiding light in discussions.

            Now, when you talk about the Regina Manifesto, you aretalking about 1930s policy.  This is what the executive of theNDP are telling their youth to use as a guide, the ReginaManifesto of 1930.  My gosh, how could you use that as aguideline?  How could you use the 1930s as a guideline for the1990s?  This is the youth of the NDP that they are trying to getgoing.  I mean, you have to get more in tune over there.  Youjust cannot look backward and look backward.

            I have to revert back to when I talked one other time, and Icalled it the new dinosaur party.  My gosh, I guess it still isthe new dinosaur party.  I mean, we just keep looking backwardand backward across that way.  Mr. Doer also, I believe, came upwith the line–I have to make sure I have it right here–when hewas talking about the junkets.  I believe what he was talkingabout was the Premier (Mr. Filmon) being the junket king of allpremiers.  This is attributable to Mr. Doer.  He was talkingabout the various trips that our Premier had made overseas.

            We have to look back and say, well, what was the reason forthese trips?  Well, when the Premier took the three trips–theywere talking about the trips to Brazil and to Britain and to theOrient.  Now, why would the Premier of Manitoba be going overthere?  Well, he would be going over there to drum up business.The name of the game is to get business back here in Manitoba.

            Who did he take with him when he went over there?  He tookbusinessmen, and they paid for their own way, not at thetaxpayers' expense.  I believe when he went over to the Orient,there were about half a dozen businessmen.  When he went over toBritain, there were about half a dozen businessmen.

            They say, why should he be going over there?  I have to lookback to 1987 when the then Pawley government took a trip to theOrient also.  Yes, they took people there too, but did they takebusinessmen?  No.  They took cabinet ministers. [interjection]No, it was a trip to the Orient, a 10-day trip to exotic places.


* (2015)


            Now, how did it go over in the newspaper here in Winnipeg?Well, here in Winnipeg, we heard that Eugene Kostyra, who wasMinister of Industry, Trade and Technology, went.  We heard thatVic Schroeder, who was Energy and Mines minister went, and JerryStorie went, too.  They also took along Marc Eliesen.  He was thechairman of the Manitoba energy society and the chairman of Manitoba Hydro.

            Mr. Eliesen, as we all know, has gone on to bigger and betterthings from here.  In fact, he has gone on to Ontario where hehad a nice job for–I believe it was originally what he wasasking for from the Ontario government, the NDP governmentthere.  I should mention that he used to be with the NDPgovernment here as their advisor, but on to Ontario where he tookon a contract for, I believe it was $340,000, but then there wassuch a hubbub over there that he said, no, I will take a cut inpay.  He went down to $270,000.  I mean there is a man thatsacrifices his moralities for money.

            From there he decided there were little greener pastures whenthere was a little bit of a change in government.  He ended up inBritish Columbia, where he is now with Hydro there.  He is one ofthe persons who went on this trip with Pawley to the Orient.  SoI find it kind of passing strange, if you want to call it, thatwe have the people over there in the opposition talking about thePremier (Mr. Filmon) going on the junket king of all Premierswhen we have over there all those from 1987 going on trips.

            In the paper there the other day I could not help but noticea picture of Premier Bob next door.  It is a picture of PremierBob at the telephone, and I think he is phoning either–no, he isnot phoning home, it is from the Taiwan Hotel.  My gosh, he isover there on a business trip too.  Yes, Premier Bob, the fellowfrom over in Ontario, another Premier travelling.  In fact, as amatter of record, in 21 days of sitting last summer, Premier Bob,the NDP Premier, has missed 14 days.  Fourteen out of 21.  Wherehas he been?  He has been to France; he has been to Germany; hehas been to Britain; he has been to the Orient and he is goingback to the Orient.  This man is a travelling Premier.

            Our Premier (Mr. Filmon) goes to three places.  He goes toBrazil on one of the biggest ever conferences on the environmentthat has ever been called in the world, 100 leaders from all overthe world, 30,000 participants.  Our Premier was thererepresenting Manitoba at an environmental conference that wasbeyond reproach. [interjection] Now we are talking about someonefrom Ontario just doing something, but we say, well, why do wealways talk about Ontario?  I mean, why should we be talkingabout Ontario?  Well, we have to look at a statement that wasmade by Premier‑‑[interjection] Mr. Doer.  He was talking aboutPremier Bob and he says, I have to recall when the member forConcordia (Mr. Doer) said, I like Bob Rae; I think Bob Rae isdoing a great job.  If you want to debate the Province ofOntario, my friends, I will debate it and we will debate it withpride any time.


* (2020)


            Here is Premier Bob doing all these trips.  I mean, you justhave to wonder where the priorities are on this.  I have to goback to what the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) was talkingabout when he was talking about wanting to get things happeninghere in Manitoba, wanting to get the economy going and to spendmoney.  Spending money is something that the NDP government knowsvery well.  In fact, when we looked back on some of the commentsthat were made, he talked about‑‑and this was in the paper theother day here too, November 16, I believe, when the NDPconference was on, and Doer compared his economic blueprint tothe Jobs Fund that Howard Pawley's NDP government announced in1983 to finance small construction and jobs.

            Now, we have to ask, where is the Jobs Fund, and where arehis priorities?  Back in 1983, the same Gary Doer, while speakingabout the Jobs Fund, and I quote:  It is bloody immoral in mymind, he says.  The government does not understand the differencebetween a make‑work job and a structured economy.  He is talkingabout the Pawley government at that time.  Any economist willtell you a structured job is more beneficial to the economy.

            He went on further to criticize the NDP government for itsJobs Fund which he likened to the government dropping people whofixed pot holes in the highway to hiring people to cut flowersalong the sidewalk.  My goodness, this is the same Gary Doer.  Atthat time, he was MGEA president.   So at one time, it is bloodyimmoral in my mind, he is quoted as saying.  Now he is saying weshould be getting the Jobs Fund going again. [interjection] Quitedishonest in fact, because it comes from all areas that way.

            What we have to ask Mr. Doer is, where is this money going tocome from in the Jobs Fund?  I mean, if he is going to come forthwith a Jobs Fund, we have to look out and say, well, where is themoney going to come from?  Where is Mr. Doer going to get themoney from?  Well, we got a bit of a hint when we see a quotefrom the–this is from the Swan River Star & Times, September 23,1990.  This is from Swan River, a very good riding.

            I would think that the Leader of the NDP always gets a littleapprehensive when he goes into Swan River. [interjection] Well, Ibelieve the former member in there was a very strong candidate,sort of gave him a run for the money a bit.  In fact, if werecall, I believe there were only 21 votes in that leadershipcampaign.  But I have to quote–actually what I am quoting aboutis where the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) was going to gethis money to run the Jobs Fund, and here he comes out and saysthat possibly they could allocate resources from the socialassistance budget to job training and job creation programs.  TheLeader of the NDP is saying that to pay for the Jobs Fund, theywill take it out of the social assistance budget.  Now he standsup here and he says that the social assistance budget is sacred.There should be more money going into it, and here I will quote,September 23, 1990, allocate resources from the social assistancebudget.  It goes this way and that way.

            There is duplicity there.  In fact, if we talk aboutduplicity, we are talking about the duke of duplicity over onthat side right now because of the flip‑flop, the insincerity.He is going to use the social assistance budget for job trainingand for jobs for the Jobs Fund.  So that is where he feels thatthe money should be coming from.  So when we look at the JobsFund and the blueprint for monies paying for it, we should lookalso to where other monies are being spent.

            We look at Ontario.  I bring up Ontario because of the factthat our Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) feels that this issome sort of a guideline and this is the type of model that weshould be forming ourselves after, because Ontario has come upwith a Jobs Fund also.


* (2025)


            Now, the Jobs Fund in Ontario, where the NDP Government therewas planning to spend a billion dollars on job training which wasannounced six months ago.  In six months they have spent $21million in Ontario to create jobs.  That $21 million shouldcreate thousands of jobs, but it has created 675 jobs so far, andthey have spent $21 million.  In my calculations, that is about$31,000 per job that they have spent in trying to create jobs.There is also a quote there where they have made limits of up to20,000 children through child care subsidies, and to date Ibelieve they have only utilized something like 38 spaces.

            So, in looking at the comparison, we look at Ontario becauseof the fact the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) seems to feelthat there is some sort of correlation between good governmentand the NDP Government.  I guess we can look back at the NDPgovernments here in Canada as something like the Marx Brothers.You know, we have got Harpo, Chico and Groucho.  We haveHarcourt, we have Romanow and we have Rae.  So we have our ownversions of the Marx Brothers here in Canada if you wanted totalk about Marxism.

            We have the NDP governments, and not only that, what ishappening with the NDP governments in other parts of Canada–finally realizing that there is such a word as fiscalrestraint.  We are looking at cutting of jobs.  They talk aboutcutbacks into their funding to education.  They are talking abouttheir welfare cuts.  They are doing a lot of things that are notreally going contrary to what they are supposed to be doing whenthey talk about the fairness and the equity to people.

            So we look at what we are trying to do here in Manitoba withour economy and some of the emphasis and the directions that weare trying to come out with, and we talk about the fairness, theresponsibility of the government in bringing forth legislation tohelp with a new age and a new direction for Manitoba.

            As has been pointed out by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr.Doer), when we had the Economic Innovation and Technology Councilthat was just here in Winnipeg a while ago, where you had over400 businessmen, and labour, education and the government examineways to try to bring forth a new direction and an emphasis ofunderstanding here in Manitoba.

            It is this type of involvement and this type of appreciationto try to make things happen that will make and bring Manitobainto a better position here in Canada because there are otherforces working at trying to bring forth the aspect of acontinuation of growth.

            One of the things that was presented and was built upon isWorkforce 2000 which is looking at a training force of almost25,000 people by the time it is finished, and these are peoplewho are being trained in the work force themselves by theemployers and the employees helping each other.  A lot of theemphasis and the direction is to try to help people buildthemselves up.


* (2030)


            The Leader of the Opposition, the member for Concordia (Mr.Doer), talked about the Crocus Fund and how all these things werebrought forth by his government.  In fact, the impression that Igot from when I was listening to him speak was that most of thedirection, the emphasis and the content of the throne speech isactually as it was for the former Pawley governments and theSchreyer governments.  Well, if that is such a true case, I wouldsee no reason in the world why he would be voting against thethrone speech and bringing in amendments to it, if he comes outso strongly saying that the direction and the emphasis that is inthis throne speech is old hat for him.  So we have to look atwhat the Leader of the Opposition is trying to bring to us whenhe talks about trying to make a new beginning or rehash some ofthe things that are talked about here in the throne speech.

            There are a number of other indicators that we can look at,economic indicators here in Manitoba, and these have been alludedto before.  At the same time, I think that there is a willingnessor an agreement to make sure that these are understood when wetalk about the capital investment being up 8.9 percent over 1991,as mentioned, which was one of the best performances of all theprovinces, when we talk about a national figure which is at a 2.7percent drop.  There is a 51.8 percent increase in manufacturingand capital investment for 1992, which is going to far exceed thesecond‑best performer.  The national figure actually representsan expected decline of 4.2 percent, so when we look at anexpected 51.8 percent increase, we are looking at a verysignificant increase in manufacturing capital here in Manitoba.

            Manitoba is only one of three provinces recording a declinein business bankruptcies in 1992.  You do not like to see anytype of bankruptcies but, at the same time, I guess you have tolook at it in a comparison rate, and any type of businessbankruptcy is not a welcome sight in any province.

            Unemployment has dropped to 10.3 percent in July to 10percent in August of '92.  The first eight months of 1992 showeda 30.3 percent increase in housing starts in Manitoba, which wasthe fourth best performance in the country, which is doubling thenational average.  The national average was only 15.3 percent.Total capital investment is expected to increase over 3 percentin 1991, with B.C. being the only province to pass us.  Theirincreases are expected to be 3.8 percent, and we are looking at3.3 percent.

            So these are all very positive indicators of our confidencehere in Manitoba.  At the same time, you see, when the oppositionover there sees figures, they use them as a doom-and-gloom scenario.

            It is just like the old Chicken Little scenario, the sky isfalling, the sky is falling, but at the same time the Leader ofthe Opposition is like the rooster.  He is the rooster in theChicken Little scenario and, like the rooster, he likes to crowin the Sun every morning.  The Sun we will refer to is The Sunpaper with the little 10‑second clips there.

An Honourable Member:  But he is no little red hen.

Mr. Reimer:  No little red hen, no.

            In fact, the Conference Board of Canada, which the members ofthe opposition often refer to, predicts that Manitoba willexperience real economic growth of 1.4 percent for 1992.Granted, you always like to see better growth and you always liketo see better percentage rates, but at the same time on apositive note it is a confidence in Manitoba.  It is a confidencein the direction that it is bringing forth.  I had theopportunity the other week to be at a mining exposition here inWinnipeg where there was a tremendous interest shown by miningcompanies and prospectors and people involved with miningdevelopment here in Manitoba that was unprecedented.

            One of the noticeable things is that when we talked to thepeople there, when I had the chance to talk to some of the peoplefrom other parts of Canada–in fact, there were people there fromother parts of the world–they talked about the positive attitudethat this government has shown in trying to attract mining andinvestment here in Manitoba.  Mining and exploration can be avery big boon not only to northern Manitoba but to all ofManitoba, because the economies as we know in northern Manitobaneed the stimulation and the job growth and the positive attitudeof growth of all places because of their isolation and theirdependency on workers.  It is just as important in all Manitoba.

            In northern Manitoba, any type of positive aspect has itsspin-off because of the jobs it creates and it will flow down toall aspects of Manitoba.  Mining exploration and miningdevelopment are a big factor and a big stimulus for Manitoba.Anytime there is a new mine, it creates the activity, and itcreates the positive attitude of growth.  At the same time, withany type of mining, I guess as soon as the mine is open, that isthe day it starts to close, because somewhere along the line theorebody runs out.  When the orebody runs out, the mine,unfortunately, has to close, so there is a certain realizationthat this has to happen.

            But at the same time if there is a growth factor involved,this province and this government should take advantage of it andtry to encourage this type of development in Manitoba.  Asmentioned, any type of jobs will have the positive effect here inManitoba.

            In going back to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer), hewould feel that any type of work force or any type of jobcreation has to have some sort of tangent to it or ring so thatthere is a concern that all factors are being attuned to.  Wehave to go back to what the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) wastalking about in his reply to the throne speech when he wastalking about large corporations and the corporations moving andthe movement of capital with these various companies andcorporations.

            We must remember what a corporation is, and we have to lookat the definition of a corporation.  The definition of acorporation actually is shareholders.  Shareholders are peoplethat invest money in a company, and one of the things that theyput forth to the directors of that company is the fact that theyhave to be profit-oriented.  Profit is not a dirty word; profitis something that makes the economies grow.  If a company doesnot have profit, it will not stay around.

            The NDP in one of their philosophies in one of theirstatements at the convention just recently said that they wouldmake Manitoba the toughest place to close a business.  Now, isthat not something great to try to attract business here toManitoba?  Go to a big company, a big mining company, a bigmanufacturer, ask them to come to Manitoba, and at the same timetell them that we will not let you close.  We will make this thetoughest place in Canada to close.

            How can you encourage business on one hand and tell them tocome here and then tell them, we are going to regulate yourprofits, we are going to tell you how much money you can make, weare going to tell you when you can close and when you can open?What kind of hypocrisy is that?  The duke of duplicity has got itall.  You cannot have it both ways.

            When you talk about companies, you talk about corporations,you talk about profit.  There is nothing wrong with making money,and if you are going to make money you are going to stay inbusiness.  If you are going to stay in business, you are going tocreate jobs and, when you create jobs, you create money.  Moneymakes taxes and taxes pay for the social services that thisgovernment wants and which all governments want.

            We are not going to have that if we have tough legislationand legislation that is going to say that you cannot close yourplant when the thing does not become profitable.  There has to besome sort of regulation where people can do that, but no, theyare going to sit there and say that you cannot close.  That isone way to get corporations to Manitoba.  That is a greatphilosophy by the NDP.

            It just does not make sense that they can come up with such astrong statement and bandy this around.  This is a new resolutionfrom the NDP that this is the way you attract government, this isthe way you attract jobs, this is the way you attract businesshere.  Do not bring a shop to Winnipeg, because we will not letyou close.  We will make it the toughest place in Canada to close.

            Madam Deputy Speaker, I see by the flashing light on my tablethat I have no more time left.  Thank you very much for my time,and I thank you that I had this great opportunity to talk on thisthrone speech.  If anything matters, the positive attitude willcontinue on this side, and we will continue to try to make thingsbetter and best for Manitobans.

            Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker.


* (2040)


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I appreciatethe opportunity to speak on this so‑called throne speech here. Itwas about the eleventh‑‑yes, it was one of the most dismal thronespeeches that I have seen here.  It ranks right down there withthe '91 throne speech that we had in this House.

            I want to, before I get into some of the debate on that,congratulate the member for Portage (Mr. Pallister), who hasalready crossed over to our side, and the member for Crescentwood(Ms. Gray) on their election.  I hope they will have a number ofgood years in this Legislature and be able to contribute in apositive way to the debate. [interjection] Just like you wroteit, eh, Mr. Premier.  So I would like to congratulate both ofthose members.  As well, I want to congratulate the new staff,including the Pages in this House and all of the staff for theirsupport.

            Madam Deputy Speaker, I found it kind of interesting when themember for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer) was speaking about trying torationalize the junkets of the Premier (Mr. Filmon).  Of course,I know all about that.  When I was the Minister ofTransportation, the member for Pembina (Mr. Orchard), at thattime as critic, said that I was on a junket when I went toFrobisher Bay.  He recalls that very well because that was hisversion of a junket by the NDP at that time.

            I have to admit, I did not have as good taste as the Premierhas and a number of these ministers as they become worldtravellers, as has been done in the last number of months by thePremier and certainly a number of the ministers as well.

            Inside of five months the Premier went to Brazil and Europeand Ukraine and Russia and the Orient, and certainly instead ofdealing with the problems here at home, right here in Manitoba,which were growing week by week and month by month he is busytravelling around the world.  Yes, those business people thatwere along certainly were quite capable of going on their own andthe Premier (Mr. Filmon) did not make a darn bit of difference asto what kind of effect or impact it will have on the Japanese orany of the other countries there.  It is simply a junket by thatPremier quite clearly, Madam Deputy Speaker.

            Now, I will not dwell on that too long except to say that ifthe member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer) cared to look at all thestatistics for the province of Manitoba, he would rather, Ibelieve, red‑faced turn away from them and not mention them inthis Legislature because he had to be very selective in pickingout the odd one that happened to make the province look somewhatrelatively good compared to the other provinces, Madam DeputySpeaker.

            Then he said these are all good news indicators for theprovince of Manitoba.  That is good news?  Ten percentunemployment is good news to a Tory.  A minus 3.3 percent in thegross domestic product of the province in the previous year, adecline of 3.3 percent, that is good news for Tories?  Well, themember for Niakwa says, up, up.  Yes, he wants it to go up, butthe fact is it went down 3.3 percent in 1991.  Unemployment as Iindicated at 10 percent; private and public investment in theprovince of Manitoba was ranking tenth out of 10.  Certainly theindicators show conclusively that Manitoba is faring very badlyunder this Conservative government and is really stretching it totry to make the case that somehow Manitoba is doing well.  Allthese members have to do is get out there and talk to Manitobans,and they will realize that in fact they are facing unprecedentedproblems under this Tory government.  Not since the Lyongovernment, that Lyon good for nothing–oh pardon me, that Lyongovernment of 1978 to 1981.

An Honourable Member:  Get your facts straight.

Mr. Plohman:  Well, the member for Arthur (Mr. Downey) does notlike me referring to the government before the Pawley governmentas the Lyon government.  Now, he should not be so sensitive aboutit.  The fact is I am not talking about their truthfulness, I amtalking about the Sterling Lyon government.  But he has forgottenthat is the name of the Premier at that particular time, and heshould, because at that particular time the province was in arecession far ahead of any other province in this country, and weare followed, mired in that recession again with this Filmongovernment much the same way as they were with Sterling Lyon.

            (Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

            Now, I find it interesting that the member for Niakwa (Mr.Reimer)‑‑I am going to take a few minutes to deal with hisspeech‑‑that he would talk about NDP governments not knowing thedefinition or the meaning of fiscal restraint.  He said they didnot know that, but what he forgot to mention was the Torygovernment in Saskatchewan, the Devine government, the last yearleft the Romanow government a $940 million deficit in one year, a$14 billion accumulated deficit.  Is this the kind of fiscallyresponsible people that this member for Niakwa is talking about?Is that who we should be emulating in this country?  These wereTories, provincial Tories in the sister province of Saskatchewan.

            Now look at these guys, Mr. Speaker.  We have the Minister ofNorthern Affairs (Mr. Downey) talking about his record that heseems so proud of.  He has taken it from a $50 million surplus in1988 to a $642 million deficit in 1992.  That is a turnaround of$700 million the wrong way by these Tories, and they say thatthey are fiscally responsible, and they have the gall to stand upand believe their rhetoric and believe that somehow the previousgovernment was less fiscally responsible than this bunch overhere at this particular time.  Nothing could be further from thetruth.  Clearly the record shows, so let them not use thatcomparison because clearly they have gone backward.  They areirresponsible.

            When they put in last year's throne speech they intend tospend carefully and manage wisely, nothing could have beenfurther from the facts in this province because we saw what theirrecord has produced.  We have seen it over the past year, we haveseen it over the past four years, and we will see it, I am sure,unfortunately, for another couple of years in this province, butno longer, Mr. Speaker.  We will not see it more than two yearsbecause the people of Manitoba will not allow this Minister ofFinance (Mr. Manness) to sit in that chair for longer thananother two years.

            The Minister of Finance is quite proud of the fact that hecan talk about freezing personal taxes for four years.  It soundsvery much like the Lyon government talking about their five‑yearHydro freeze.  Remember that Hydro freeze that they talked aboutand bragged about that somehow that was going to bring economicprosperity to this province?  What happened?  We were mired inthe deepest recession ahead of any other province at thatparticular time.

            Now what has this personal income tax freeze done for theprovince of Manitoba over the last four years?  What has itdone?  Has it given us this economic prosperity?  Have we seenthe economic prosperity?  Have we seen jobs in this province?No, because the companies that are getting the breaks in taxes,Mr. Speaker, are not creating jobs, and they are running awaywaiting for some leadership from government which is not comingfrom‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Hon. James Downey (Minister of Energy and Mines):  Mr. Speaker, Iwonder if the member would submit to a question?

Mr. Plohman:  Mr. Speaker, this member has been around longenough in this House to know very well that there is plenty ofopportunity to ask a question with leave after the speech, and Iwould be pleased for him to do that at any time, but I kind ofresent the fact that he wants to cut into my time right now.

            When they talk about freezing the personal tax rate, theyshould be honest about it with the people of Manitoba.  The factis that rather than getting the money from the personal incometax that they are so proud of saying they have frozen, what theyhave done is taken it from other taxes from the people ofManitoba.

An Honourable Member:  Where?

Mr. Plohman:  That is precisely the question I wanted the memberfor Steinbach (Mr. Driedger) to ask.  He said, where are theygetting it?  Well, we know where they are getting it.  They aregetting it from the property taxpayers of this province.  Theyunderfund education, they transfer it onto the municipalities,and they have to assess the taxes.


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            It is called the GFT.  The minister does not recall the GaryFilmon tax.  They have not admitted the fact that these taxeshave been put in place precisely because this government hastransferred responsibilities, funding responsibilities andprogram responsibilities onto the municipalities.  So they arenot being honest with the people of this province when they onlytalk about one side of the equation.  They only talk aboutpersonal income taxes.

            The other thing the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) shoulddo in this province is stand up once a year if not more often, atleast once a year, and he should thank Eugene Kostyra for puttingin place the infrastructure in the tax system that would ensurethat we would have surpluses in this province.  That is the onlyreason this minister has been able to freeze personal incometaxes that he likes to brag about and take personal credit forthe last four years because of the fact that he was left withrevenues that were more than adequate to ensure a positivesurplus in the budget in this province, not a deficit.  So it hasbeen through no good management of this minister that he has beenable to freeze those taxes.

            Mr. Speaker, I want to just take a few minutes to lookthrough the previous speech that was brought into this House, the1991 speech, because from that I think it can tell us a greatdeal about how much credibility we can place in the kinds ofcommitments and promises that this government makes in its thronespeech this year, if we look at past throne speeches, look attheir track record and see whether in fact they will produce onwhat they say.

            When you look through it, first of all we find the completereversal from what they talked about as spend carefully andmanage wisely.  We have not seen that.  We have a record deficitin this province.  Obviously, they failed on that count.

            They talked about a new Economic Development Board of Cabinetin last year's throne speech.  What results has that new cabinetcommittee had over the past year in this province?  What has ithad besides one of the highest unemployment rates in thisprovince's history?  Where is the economic development in therural areas of this province?  Why are people flocking out of theprovince instead of returning for all of these jobs and economicactivity that this cabinet committee would seem to indicate havetaken place here?  They are not here.  They have not produced.They got zero, and then when the Minister of Northern Affairs(Mr. Downey) talks about zero he is absolutely right.  That isthe record of this government.  If I was giving them a mark itwould be zero out of 10, Mr. Speaker, quite correct.  I have togive the Minister of Northern Affairs his dues on that.

            Let us look at the review of the Manitoba Crop InsuranceCorporation.  They said they were going to conduct a review andthe minister appointed a‑‑he announced that in the '91 thronespeech.  What have we seen from it?  He got his report from thehardworking people he appointed to that committee who travelledaround the province and reviewed the Crop Insurance Corporationin this province, as was their mandate.  He received this reportin June of 1992.  Now, five months later, he has not evenreleased it to the public.  He does not want us to see it,despite repeated requests that we have made to him in person, byphone, in writing, despite repeated requests being made by hiscommittee that he appointed.  People from his committee havephoned the minister and pleaded with him and written to him.

            The Keystone Agricultural Producers have asked him to releaseit.  Farmers from across Manitoba have asked him to release it.He will not release it.  Do you know why he will not release it?I believe that report proves what we said all along, Mr.Speaker.  It says that the inequities in crop insurance weregrossly exaggerated in the GRIP program as a result of the higherpremiums and higher payouts and inequities that existed in thatbase in crop insurance were made even more negative in terms oftheir impact under GRIP, and that GRIP, in fact, has been unfairand inequitable in its application across this province becausehe insisted on basing it only on crop insurance records, but hewill not release that report.  He says that he is doing ananalysis first.  What is he hiding from?  Why will he not releasethat report to the people of Manitoba, to the farmers and to theofficial opposition in this House?

            Now that is what we get from this government's reviews.Theonly time that they act quickly on reviews is when they can hackand slash and cut programs.  Then they will move quickly, Mr.Speaker.  But when it comes time for making improvements anddealing with difficult problems, we see no action from thisgovernment.  That is what we can expect from review upon reviewupon study by these ministers and this government.  It is clearlya method that they use to get them past the next election, to getthem past difficult problems to delay dealing with the difficultissues that they must deal with in this province.  We have seenit in that particular case.

            Now what about the statement that they are going to identifyopportunities in environment, health, information technology?Mr. Speaker, they have the Green Team.  The member forRoblin‑Russell (Mr. Derkach) today, the Minister of RuralDevelopment, talked about his Green Team.  He talked about some200 jobs.  Now I think all that he did with that money is producecaps and maybe 200 part‑time jobs he talks about.

            The member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer) is complaining about the675 jobs he says Ontario created.  Well, we got 200 jobs, theMinister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Downey), part-time jobs that hehas had with his Green Team.  That is what he is bragging abouthere in Manitoba.  That is his record of success, his make-work jobs, and he talks about the NDP putting money into make-work projects.  This is the kind of solution that we see from the minister of northern development, supported by the member forPembina (Mr. Orchard), in cabinet no doubt.  Oh, yes, that is agreat idea, the Green Team.  Let us get caps, too, for them.That will be good.  That will make them feel proud to be on ourteam.  Well, we do not get any results, Mr. Speaker.  No jobs,200 jobs, what is that?  A drop in the bucket, not even a drop.It evaporates before it hits the bottom of the bucket.

            Let us look at the deregulation of MTS.  Now I want to take afew minutes to talk about that, because I am sure that thecabinet ministers were not very pleased when they saw these twoheadlines in the press back to back, Mr. Speaker.  Air messblamed on deregulation and right below, the member forSpringfield, the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay), theminister responsible for the telephone system, is going toannounce his deregulation of the telephone system communications.

            We believe Manitobans want the opportunity of choice, hesaid, and he knows if he would learn from the Minister ofTransport who knows the facts on this deregulation of transport,particularly the air industry and rail, that in fact this hasbeen terribly detrimental to the province of Manitoba and to thecountry, and they are going to follow like lemmings over thecliff with the telephone system.

            Mr. Speaker, now will they say, well, deregulation is notworking even though they follow right on the heels of LloydAxworthy, the previous Minister of Transport under the Liberalgovernment when he was moving as quickly as he could before the'84 election to deregulate the air industry, because he thoughthe could get some quick fixes, he could get some low faresquickly.  The people say, who gave us those low fares?  Oh, itmust have been Lloyd Axworthy.  Let us vote for Lloyd.  That iswhat he wanted to do in 1984.  He could not put it in place quitequickly enough.  Mazankowski realized this beautiful opportunityhe had and jumped right in, because it was completely in tunewith the philosophy of the federal Conservative government.These two go side by side, the Liberals and the Conservatives andthe deregulation side of it.

            Now, on the other hand, when it does not suit their agenda,their corporate agenda, then they want to regulate more.  Now letus look at the regulation in the pharmaceutical industry.  Theywant to provide greater regulations, greater protection for thesecompanies.  Yet, on the other hand, they want to deregulate inthe transportation.  When it fits their agenda, on the one handthey will deregulate and regulate on the other hand.


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            I say there is no consistency in the philosophy, just asthere is no consistency in the philosophy of this Minister ofHealth (Mr. Orchard) here today when he stood up and denouncedfinally the reregulation, the greater protection for the namebrand drug companies, while his First Minister, his Premier (Mr.Filmon) refuses to denounce the North American Free TradeAgreement, which includes precisely that provision that willenshrine it in an international trade agreement, which makes itmore difficult to change in the future.

            I say that these ministers are all over the map.  They knownot whereof they speak.  They have no plan.  They have noconsistent philosophy except that the corporate agenda is theonly agenda for this country and for this province.  They followalong on the Mulroney agenda that we have seen that has been putin place in this country over the last number of years that hasbeen discredited.  They will, undoubtedly, see the end of theMulroney government in the near future, but unfortunately if itis a Liberal government federally, I do not think that there willbe much change in the direction of the nation under JeanChretien, the tired old lieutenant of Trudeau in his province.

            Mr. Speaker, I want to also raise some other major issuesthat I believe should have been in this throne speech that werenot in this throne speech by this government.

            This throne speech has one very small section onagriculture.  There are about three small paragraphs.  In one,obviously, the minister has seen that the farmers of Manitobawant some action on the sugar industry and so, because of thewriting campaign that was undertaken, he finally figured he hadto put something in the throne speech.  So he pushed for having amention of the sugar beet industry and broadening opportunitiesfor processing, hopefully, in this province.

            This is long overdue just like the reference todiversification.  While this government has talked aboutdiversification for five years, they have done nothing.  Now theyare going to have a forum; that is their great project indiversification, a forum.  No action, Mr. Speaker, ondiversification.  They have cut back on research.

            At the same time they have done nothing on a sugar policy.We can go back into the 1970s, we can go back into the 1980sunder New Democratic governments when we were pushing the federalgovernments to put in place a national sugar policy that wouldensure a vibrant sugar beet industry in this province and acrossthis country.  This party was nowhere on that at that time.  Theywere not supporting it, Mr. Speaker.  Now, suddenly they get afew letters coming in, and they realize it might be popular atthis time, so now they say they are going to call on the federalgovernment for a national sugar policy.  It is a fact that 90percent of Canada's sugar needs are served by importing of sugarfrom outside this country.  That is something that has to change.

            We support the fact that this is mentioned in this thronespeech, but it should have been acted upon and dealt with manyyears ago by this government when they had the opportunity.  Theyhave not done that.  They have not supported that concept overthe last number of years, so the sugar beet industry can indeedmake, I think, a great impact on the economy in the province ofManitoba.  It is making a significant impact now.  It could bemuch greater in areas like Portage where the new member forPortage (Mr. Pallister) has just moved into the Legislature, as Icongratulated him earlier on; there is an example where sugarbeet production could be expanded.

            Certainly, in the member for Steinbach's (Mr. Driedger)constituency and the Interlake area and perhaps many other areasof this province, we can see tremendous growth in the sugar beetindustry.  It is something that this minister and this governmentmust move aggressively on in order to ensure that the federalgovernment puts in place a national sugar policy.

            I do not believe that they will do it, Mr. Speaker, becausethey will say that is protectionist and the Free Trade Agreementwill not let them do it, but here they have it in their thronespeech that they are going to take action on sugar beets.  Wewill wait and see whether in fact there is anything substantialor whether it is just more words, more rhetoric, for the peopleof Manitoba to have some belief that this government is going todo something.  I have my doubts, but I am prepared to wait a veryshort time to see.

            We see no mention in this throne speech, Mr. Speaker, inagriculture by this Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) withregard to the proposals that are being made with regard to theCrow benefit, major proposals by the former Deputy Minister ofTransport, Ramsey Withers, under the Liberal government, underLloyd Axworthy, when the Western Grain Transportation Act was putin place.  He started the dismantling of the Crow then, and hewants to finish his work now under the Conservative government.

            Ramsey Withers has put forward a proposal to the ministersthat would see the massive dismantling of our graintransportation rail system in this country, particularly in theprovince of Manitoba, that would see the payment going toproducers.  One of the excuses that they are using is that it isnot going to fit with any hypothetical GATT agreement.  That issomething that infuriates me and many people, I believe, becausethere is no GATT agreement, yet they want to and they continue toput offerings on the table before they have an agreement.  How isthat negotiating from any point of strength, when you put thingson the table before you even finish the negotiations.

            There is no agreement at GATT, and we should not, Mr.Speaker, be giving away the Crow benefit or using that as anexcuse, as Charlie Mayer is doing, the Minister of Grains andOilseeds federally, or it seems supported by this Minister ofAgriculture that he is too using that as an excuse.

            Now, we do not have any mention of that issue in this thronespeech, any mention of that issue to stand up for the farmers ofManitoba, to ensure that our interests are protected, that therail system is protected, that we have some protection for ourroad network in this province–nothing in this throne speech.

            Of course, before the federal government has done its evildeeds for this country, it wants to deregulate agriculture inCanada.  They say that under the guise of some efficiencies, ofbeing more competitive, they are going to remove many of theregulations that are in place at the present time.  I know theMinister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) is probably supportive ofwhat they are saying there.  I hope he is not, but I think,unfortunately, he is.  He cannot sit smugly and say everything isrosy in agriculture because, if he looks at the net farm incomefor '91, Manitoba has the biggest drop, a 68 percent drop in netfarm income, the largest drop of any province in this country in'91 over 1990.

            We see a drop of 8 percent in the farm population, from '86to '92 as well, something else that the Minister of Agriculturecannot be proud of.  He cannot sit there and say that agricultureis looking rosy, even though we just have a report that we have anear record harvest, according to Statistics Canada, albeit feedwheat worth less than two bucks a bushel.

            Let us take a look at what this minister is silent on withregard to the Wheat Board and other Agriculture Canadaregulations.  Mr. Speaker, from the information I have, not onlyare they looking at removing barley from the exclusivejurisdiction of the Wheat Board for a dual system on a NorthAmerican market, which we oppose and believe the Wheat Board cando a better job of supporting or of marketing our barley, we areinterested in finding out where the minister sits on that andwhether he, in fact, is going to stand up to these moves by thefederal government. [interjection]

            It started with oats.  The Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr.Downey) points out that oats was removed from the Wheat Board.We said that was the first step.  Now we see that it is the firststep and that the minister from Manitoba, the Minister for Grainsand Oilseeds, Charlie Mayer, is attempting to finish a lot of hisdestructive moves before the people of Manitoba and Canada kickhim out of that job.  We think that will happen very shortly.

An Honourable Member:  Who is going to kick him out, AudreyMcLaughlin?

Mr. Plohman:  Well, the people of Manitoba are going to kick himout.

An Honourable Member:  No, they are not.

Mr. Plohman:  Yes, they are, Mr. Speaker. [interjection] He iscertainly not going to be in government, so he is not going to bein that position; so he is trying to do as much damage as he canright now.

            Mr. Speaker, in addition to taking out barley and removingbarley from the exclusive jurisdiction of the Wheat Board, thereare other major implications of the deregulation which includethe country's grading system.  Now the minister has not mentionedany of these initiatives.

            I raise this in the Throne Speech Debate because there isnothing in Agriculture in the throne speech other than themention of sugar beets and a forum on diversification.  Nowheredoes the minister mention the tremendously serious problemsfacing Manitoba farmers on these issues of the Crow benefit, onthese issues of the Wheat Board and the deregulation, and GATT.This minister is not dealing with those issues in this thronespeech, and I think he has been negligent in putting them forwardto the Premier and ensuring that they are in this throne speechto indicate some kind of action on his position.




            I believe he is lying low on those issues.  He wants to seewhich way the wind is blowing before he starts taking somepositions.  Clearly, we know from his philosophical bent that heis probably supportive of any of the moves that Charlie Mayer ismaking with regard to the Wheat Board, any of those he is makingon the Crow benefit.  As a matter of fact, it was this Ministerof Agriculture who stood up apparently at the Agriculture meetinglast spring and indicated that he would like to see the Crowbenefit paid–or at least a review undertaken to see the Crowbenefit paid differently to each province and managed under theprovincial jurisdiction.

            So he started that–[interjection]  Well, the Minister ofAgriculture (Mr. Findlay) can clarify that at some future time.I am sure he will have an opportunity to do so, and I lookforward to that.

            Let us look at the grading system that would be deregulated,Mr. Speaker.  Red meats, feed grains and potatoes perhaps couldbe removed from regulation under the agriculture grading systemin this country.  It advocates that Canada adopt a system wherebyexport commodities would only have to meet the standards of theimporting country rather than the Canadian standards.  I thinkthat is of serious concern, and I hope the minister is going totake a strong position against that kind of change in agriculture.

            The report, as I understand it, Mr. Speaker, also recommendsthat livestock grading become the responsibility of the industryrather than government and that grading be carried out on acost‑recovery basis and even then it could be optional under somecircumstances, which is absolutely ridiculous.  So I believe thatwe stand to lose a great deal because we have a very respectedgrading system with high standards in this country, and we shouldnot allow this federal government with no mandate to do thesekinds of things at this time to dismantle many of theseregulations that are going to hurt our reputation as a supplierto international markets of many different commodities and fordomestic use.

            So I say that this minister has not represented the interestsof agriculture well in this throne speech.  I see that there isno mention of the livestock industry, the decimation of thepacking industry in this province.  Many people are raisingconcerns, many farmers that I talk to.  What initiatives is thisgovernment taking to try and turn that around?  Are they justsimply going to resign and say, oh, well, who killed it?  How isthat going to solve the issue right now?

            There is the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness).  I thought hecould ask slightly more intelligent questions than that.  He mustdeal with solutions to these problems.  He is in government.  Heis responsible.  The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) isresponsible.  The livestock industry, the packing industry inthis province and processing industry are going down the tube,and these people are not doing anything about it.  The people ofManitoba, the farmers of Manitoba, the people of rural Manitobanotice this.  They are disappointed in this minister andgovernment, and they watch daily with a great deal ofdisappointment at what this government is doing.

            I notice there is no mention in this speech either, Mr.Speaker, about the Keystone Agricultural Producers new fundingformula for the organization, the new check‑off that they want.Where does this minister stand on that check‑off legislation andchanges that they are proposing to get greater dollars flowingin?  Is he willing to make that check-off legislation optional interms of the designation to the organization of the producers'choice?  Is he willing to look at that if it is going to beincreased?

            This is something that this minister has not clarified andhas not included in this particular throne speech.  In additionto that, as I mentioned, he has waited now some four years, intohis fifth year, on diversification, talks about diversification,and now we see a showpiece in this particular throne speech, ashowpiece of action.

            Where is the action on diversification, Mr. Speaker, by thisminister?  Why does he continue to cut back?  Why does hecontinue to cut back in research, in dollars fordiversification?  I want this minister to deal with that issue inthe next budget to ensure that that is a priority when he bringsforward his estimates to the Treasury bench and to the TreasuryBoard, that he will indicate that this is one of his majorpriorities for the province of Manitoba in agriculture.Diversification is essential.

            Mr. Speaker, I want to point out in the four minutes I haveleft that I hear these remarks from members across the way aboutderegulation.  I want to put in perspective for these ministersand these members opposite that when we were sitting ingovernment and the deregulation philosophy was running rampant inthis country, both by the Liberal federal government, the Liberalprovincial governments and Conservative provincial governments,only one NDP government in this country, we stood against thatderegulation time and time again with the federal government inair deregulation, in rail deregulation, presentation afterpresentation, because we did not have direct jurisdiction inthose areas, but we made it known publicly in every forum we hadthat this was a death knell to the air industry, that there wasshort-term gain for long-term pain for the consumers of thiscountry.

            They refused to listen and they went ahead, and now they aretalking about reregulating the transport industry in some ofthose areas because it has been a disaster and we see the resultsnow.  We see it in rail–10,000 workers are going to be laid offin CN.  Now they talk about a gain.  We see this resurrected,this proposal.  We see the massive layoffs in the air industry.

            Mr. Speaker, only as a last resort, reluctantly, did we signthe Memorandum of Agreement dealing with deregulation in thetrucking industry.  Yes, we signed it, and let me say that wewrung every possible concession out of the federal minister, JohnCrosbie, before we did that.

            We ensured that there was shared funding to implement theNational Safety Code.  We ensured that the safety code would becommitted to and put in place before we agreed to deregulation.We ensured that there would be a trial five-year period, thatthere would be a review before that period was over, and weensured that Manitoba would put in place a regulatory system.Even though there was a move to reverse onus, it was a meaningfultest.

            The Minister of Highways and Transportation (Mr. Driedger)knows that.  He has retained the same transport chairperson whohas continued to do that I believe to the extent possible underthe circumstances in this country.

            Now, Mr. Speaker, those are the facts with regard toderegulation.  We do not hear the Minister of Highways andTransportation stand up in his place in this House and say thatthe great deregulators in the transportation industry were theNDP, although he has strayed from the truth.  He has occasionallyin this House left the impression that I, as former Minister ofHighways, was responsible for the deregulation of thetransportation industry.  He is wrong, as I have stated,categorically wrong, and I know that the members of the Treasurybench, members of this cabinet fully understand that issue now,even if the Minister of Transportation has not explained it tothem in the past, but I would hope that he has.

            Mr. Speaker, this throne speech is a dismal recipe for thisprovince.  It gives no direction.  It shows a flounderinggovernment that is going nowhere in this province.  I know thatthere is only one solution, and that is to put an end to thisgovernment within the two years that they have left here.  I knowthe people in Manitoba, when they know the complete story aboutthis government, are in fact going to do that in the nextelection.

            We are going to make sure they know about the facts of thisnon‑throne speech that we have received in this House under theguise of a throne speech and a plan for the province ofManitoba.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation):Mr. Speaker, I feel sort of honoured by what appeared to beapplause on your behalf, and I appreciate that.  Another newsession, and I want to indicate to yourself that I do not think Ihave ever seen you look better sitting in that chair.  Obviouslyyou are in good health and seem very enthusiastic, and I think itis proper.

            Mr. Speaker, there is a saying that says, the more thingschange, the more they stay the same, but that is not quite true,because things have changed even in this House from the time thatwe finished our session last June, I believe it was.  Since thattime, you know, we have had a couple of members that have steppeddown; we have had some by‑elections.

            I want to take this opportunity to welcome the new members,one that has been re‑elected and certainly to the member on ourside, the member for Portage (Mr. Pallister).

            Things do change.  We had a resignation just the other day,Friday, so things do change.  Other things have changed in thisHouse.  We have a new face sitting at the table here, so thingshappen that way.


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            New Pages, and I sometimes wonder what our new Pages think ofwhen they get into this Legislature.  I want to pay a specialtribute to the young lady who did the first vote count onFriday.  I thought it was exceptional.  For the years that I havebeen here, Mr. Speaker, I think sometimes when the Pages comehere they seem sort of awed and nervous.  This young lady walkedup there and without looking at her notes, she called every shotright.  That is no reflection on the others, but it is a verydifficult thing and she did it with poise and confidence.  Ithought it was one of the better ones I have heard.  It was good.

            I have had the privilege over the years that I have been hereto participate in many of the throne speeches and I have sat invarious seats in this House.  When I was a backbencher, I satover there somewhere.  When I was in opposition, various seats onthat side, and I have to say I listened to many, many speeches,good speeches, bad speeches, meaningless speeches.  Possibly, Mr.Speaker, for all the ones you have listened to, probably themeaningless ones are the most ones that you hear.  Surprisinglyover the years, we have listened to the speeches from whereveryou sit.  The member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) is always veryboisterous and tries to be very aggressive.

            I think back to the speeches, and I say this for the benefitof the new members, over the years the speakers who draw one'sattention, and I want to make reference to some of them over aperiod of time.  It used to be Russ Doern at one time, he hadvery colourful speeches.  Nothing in them, but colourfulspeeches.  It was interesting to listen to, to some degree, ifyou wanted some entertainment.

An Honourable Member:  You cannot even say that about Maloway.

Mr. Driedger:  Well, I was just going to make reference to themember for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) now.  The member for Elmwood nowtries to follow along those lines‑‑[interjection] I cannot evensay it is that comical all the time.  You need some of this stuffin here as well.

            I mean if you had all the speeches of the calibre of themember for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman), and I should not make referenceto the amount of empty seats in here, but it used to be differentwhen there was a lot of attention during these debates andeverybody seemed to be here and pay attention to these things.Maybe it is a reflection on the quality of the speakers whom wehave making speeches nowadays.

            I can recall other good speakers in this House.  There wasthe member for Lakeside (Mr. Enns) in his younger days.  He usedto be very boisterous and have very entertaining speeches.  Hestill does.  He has always been a very fluent speaker andexpresses his views.  He had his own personal views in terms ofthe international scene to some degree.  For many of the newmembers coming in, the member for Lakeside in his speeches hasalways been a very colourful speaker.

            Another speaker in this House whom I had a lot of respectfor, I did not value any of his political background, but Mr. SidGreen at that time I was almost awed by him.  First of all, hewas a lawyer, had legal training, very qualified speaker.  Ialways made reference in my earlier days in the House as abackbencher that Sid Green could take the head of a needle andspeak in it for 40 minutes and you would listen and wonder whatwas coming out of it.  At the end nothing came out of it, but hesure kept you listening and paying attention for 40 minuteswhenever he spoke.

            Those were the kinds of speakers whom I remember over theyears participating in the debates here, but then we have anawful lot of speeches here that we get through this rhetoric tosome degree.  We just experienced some with the member forDauphin (Mr. Plohman), who has a tendency to go in thatdirection.  We all have our own way of presenting our views inhere, and that is what makes it nice and interesting.

            I want to say to the new people coming here, do not getdespondent.  I walked out with the member for Portage (Mr.Pallister) in the afternoon, and he said, boy, I am getting aheadache from this stuff.  I said, this is your first timearound.  Wait till you have been here 15 years, then you knowwhat you want to sort of close out and what you want to payattention to.

            But this is a process that after all the years that I havehad the privilege of speaking in this House, I always find itchallenging and exciting to get up for it to some degree toparticipate.  It is because I like the system, I like what I amdoing.  I like being a politician, and I have said many timesregardless of our political parties that the majority of themembers who come into this House are sincere about trying to dothe best they can for the constituency and for the province.

            Some just do have not the capabilities, I guess, but that isa shot.  I have no need on taking many shots, but we all have ourown views and what we think is important and how to do it.  Thatis why the political system in this country is so good, because Iwas terribly disappointed when in '81 the Sterling Lyonadministration got defeated.  I thought that we were goodgovernment at that time, that there was foresight, but the publicis always right.  At that time the public made the decision thatthey wanted an NDP government and they had them for two terms,and ultimately the public said we have had enough of thosepeople.  We do not agree with their philosophy anymore; we wantto change.  They changed.  The debate can continue here foreverwhere you say, well, you know we are doing the wrong things.

            I sat back there exactly where the member for Point Douglas(Mr. Hickes) is sitting right now in that chair and rememberreally going after the government of the day, the crazy thingsthat were done.  At that time the government did what theythought was best.  Philosophical differences, that is allowed; weshould be able to have that.  But, Mr. Speaker, sometimes I thinkthat the level of debate gets a little shallow.  Really, it doesget a little shallow because when we consider that economicsituations that happen in the country, not just in the province,in the country, internationally, affect the things that happenwithin this province.  Ironically, when you look within thiscountry of ours we have four NDP governments, or is it three?Three.  We have four Liberal governments.  We have fourConservative governments.  Every one of these provinces isstruggling with the same problem.

            When the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) gets up and says,this government has done the wrong things, compare our recordwith the other provinces. [interjection] Yes, the member forDauphin says compare our record, but the member for Dauphin doesnot indicate that during the time they fortunately weregovernment that the economy was strong.  The economy was verystrong comparatively.  Every one of the provinces is paying theprice of the change of what has happened in the economy, not justin Canada, not just in North America but in the world situation,and it is affecting all of us.

            So when we have a lot of these speeches, and I expect thereare going to be many more coming where the criticism coming says,"The Minister of Finance has not done this, or the Premier hasnot done this."  Go for it, that is fine.  But I think we stillhave to have some sense of realism in this thing when we speakand challenge each other.  We think what we are doing is right.We are doing the best we can under very difficult economictimes.  Within my department, every one of my colleagues, asministers and our caucus as well, realize tough decisions that weare making as government, very difficult, and the member forDauphin, tongue in cheek, should not make some of the accusationsthat he does, because he was involved in making some very toughdecisions when, as Minister of Highways and Transportation, hiscapital budget, which was under the member for Pembina at thattime, was $100 million in 1981 when they took government.  By thetime the member for Dauphin was through being Minister ofHighways and Transportation it was around $85‑86 million.

            Those were tough decisions, and do not tell me that themember for Dauphin liked those decisions.  So now he stands thereand spouts the wisdom of‑‑so I am just saying that things shouldbe put in the right perspective.


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            I am not going to be critical of the other provinces,Saskatchewan or Ontario, because they are making tough decisionsas we are making right now, and that is out of sorrow.  It is nota happy time for them, it is not a happy time for us, but theseare things that should be taken into consideration when we aspoliticians want to have respectability from the general publicout there who elected us.

            What do we do?  We damage it ouselves.  We do it toourselves.  I think we have to be a little bit moreconscientious.  I have always enjoyed being here.  I am proud tobe an MLA.  I am very proud to be in the seat that I am in asMinister of Highways and Transportation, with the difficultdecisions that come with the position.  I am proud to be herebecause, as my colleague from Lakeside (Mr. Enns) very oftensaid, only 57 people out of over a million have the privilege tobe here, and we should weigh that heavily in terms of how werespond and how we react to each other.

            I do not necessarily agree with the stepping‑down Leader ofthe Liberals, who was trying to give us the sort of motherhoodtype of thing that we should do.  We are all of age here.  We donot necessarily have to be scolded and told to do that because,invariably, we all fall into the same trap, and I do to.  I havebeen from time to time in speeches in this House, I have justbeen going at it and critical and quite enthused with that, andthere should be enthusiasm here.

            One thing that I found sort of interesting in the speechesthat have taken place today, in fact the member for Flin Flontalked of being tired.  Obviously the member for Rupertsland (Mr.Harper) is tired; he has resigned.  You know, there seems to be atired attitude here.

            Well, I will tell you something.  I am not tired.  I likewhere I am.  I enjoy the challenges.  They are very frustratingat times, but that is part of the responsibility we have.

            So I like to be here.  I like to do the best that I cantogether with my colleagues.  When our Minister of Finance (Mr.Manness) has to make tough decisions, I sometimes personally getupset with him from time to time because of the targets andbecause of the things he asks me to do, but that is hisresponsibility.  My responsibility is highways and transportation.

            The changes that are taking place in the world are verychallenging.  Every province is facing these things.  I have todefend what happens in my department.  I have to say to everybodythat transportation is a very important part of the changes thatare taking place.  As we try and get the economy stimulatedagain, when we talk of world trade, things that affect usinternationally, transportation is a very important mode and avery important component.  I want to make sure that that getsaddressed in terms of how we deal with some of these problems asthe economy turns around.

            I think the most frustrating thing that can happen to agovernment if they go through the economic tough times, do theright things, and when things start getting better, they getbooted out.  That must be a terrible frustration, and Iexperienced that to some degree from '77 to '81, when theSterling Lyon administration made tough decisions, had thingsgoing on the right track.  In '81 the public said, that isenough, out they are, and in came the NDP administration underPawley at the time, and I will not use the expression, startedspending like drunken sailors, but certainly capitalized on theupturn of the economy and managed to do all kinds of things andnow sit back and say, look what we did.

            There is an old saying, what goes around comes around, andinvariably we all must face the things that we have said.  So Icaution all members in this House, from time to time when theymake comments, think a little bit, be careful.  If you made astatement eight or 10 years ago and you have changed yourposition, do not apologize for that.

            There used to be some of the members that made a point to goand look through Hansard, what did the member say 10 years agoand now he has changed his position.  I know the teasing that Ihave gotten and the kidding that I have gotten from membersopposite because I voted against seat belt legislation.  I am nowa strong supporter of seat belts; I make no apologies for that.At that time those were my views.  I was entitled to state thoseviews.  I voted against it, which was my right.  Now I am theadministrator, to some degree, of seat belt legislation and Isupport it.

            I want to indicate the kidding that has taken place‑‑and themember for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) seems to have some fun kiddingme about Sunday shopping.  What I did in my particular case, andI am prepared to put it on record, was I wrote every one of mychambers and councillors and asked them what their views were onit.  They indicated to me in my specific riding they were opposedto Sunday shopping.  They felt it would have a negative effect ona rural constituency.  I brought forward those positions in thedebate in our caucus.  The decision has been made to allow Sundayshopping and I support it.  I have had my case.  I am there todebate again next time on a different issue.  I do not expect towin or lose all the issues that I deal with.  I think that iswhat we are here for.  So I think that is the mark of what we areresponsible for in terms of making decisions.

            Some individual came up to me.  Well, he said, if you did nothave your way on the decision on Sunday shopping, why are youstill there.  I said, what will I do, take my blocks and gohome.  I am elected; I am responsible; I accept that decisionthat has been made.  I do not know how other caucuses operate,but in our caucus we have open debate on these things.  When thedecision is made, we accept that decision, and I expect all ofthe other caucuses do the same thing.

            Show me any member of this House who has not lost someissues.  What do you do?  Do you sulk?  No, that is not the wayyou do it.  So anyway those are the challenges and interestingthings that happen in the Legislature.

            I want to spend what time I have left in talking abouttransportation issues.  I am glad the member for Transcona (Mr.Reid) is here, who is my critic, because in some of the questionsand answers that take place during Question Period there is notreally enough time to get into some of these issues.  I will tryand cover as much as I can during the time that I have in termsof dealing with some of that.

            I think the members in the Legislature are well aware thatthe trucking industry, with which I will start off first, is avery important industry to Manitoba.  We are an exporter oftransportation services.  It is part of the economic thrust thatwe have here, basically because we are located in the rightplace.  We are located in the middle of Canada, but it isimportant to us as some of these things happen we know that theindustrial development is out in Ontario and Quebec and that wehave our certain strengths in the western part, but we arelocated in between, and that is one of the reasons why seven outof 11 national carriers are headquartered in Manitoba and that iswhy it is part of the whole distribution centre.

            I want to tell the members here that the truck port of entryat Emerson is the fourth largest in Canada and it is escalatingalmost on a daily basis.  I say that in justification for thetwinning of Highway 75.  We have a tremendous amount of trucktraffic coming along Highway 75, and I think it is a veryimportant vital transportation link.

            The traffic is changing more to north‑south whether we likeit or not.  I could get into the debate of the Free TradeAgreement with the States or the NAFTA agreement, but I will nottouch on those things at the present time.  I do not think I haveenough time.

            The onus is on a north‑south basis.  That is the reality oflife.  I will tell you something.  What I will try and do for themembers opposite is try and give them the information in terms ofthe escalation of truck traffic, because they come north‑southand then go east‑west.  We are in a good, positive position forthat.

            The trucking industry has gone through major problems acrossthe country.  If members know, the strikes that were taking placein Ontario and Quebec were because the truckers were unhappy withthe deregulation aspect of it, the impact that it had on them.The position of Manitoba, I have no qualms saying that we havenot changed our position from the time that the member forDauphin (Mr. Plohman) was the minister.

            We are still on the same track in terms of trying to makesure that certain issues were addressed as this deregulation tookplace.  I have followed through on those things.  That is why wework co‑operatively with the trucking industry, and that is whythe trucking industry has not been that unhappy with us.  I mean,they are not always happy with us, but they are not to the pointwhere they have demonstrations and strikes, because we have anintimate working relationship with them in terms of trying tomake things a little better for them.

            We have extended our RTAC routes throughout the province toaccommodate them.  We have extended the loads, the dimensions onthe trucking industry.  These are all little things, but positivethings for them.


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            The member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) was making reference tothe National Safety Code.  We will virtually have it implementedby the end of this month.  We will talk about inspectors later.The National Safety Code is virtually in place, and I will havethe privilege of addressing the Manitoba Safety Council tomorrowon commercial inspections at their meeting.  I think it has beenan accepted thing that we would phase it in.  It has not createda big uproar.  We have the inspections in place, and we have thatkind of relationship developed in there.  I could speak at lengthon that.

            I want to touch on some of the issues that have been raisedin Question Period and also have been on the news lately.  Theair industry is going through dramatic changes.  Everybody isaware of the fact that for some time both our national aircarriers, Canadian and Air Canada, have been losing dramaticmoney to the point where they were virtually both going broke ifthey would have kept this on.

            It was at that time, Mr. Speaker, when I made the personalcomment saying that deregulating it at the speed that they didhas created some of the problems.  I think everybody is aware,when you start losing $600,000 a day or whatever they are losingnow combined individually that you cannot have two carriersflying out of the same place, for example, from Edmonton toWinnipeg, within half an hour of each other and both half full.That is where the economy just does not make sense.  That is whyI made that reference that there possibly should have been someregulation still in place.  I justify my position on that.

            Actually, after I was quoted in the press, ironically I had a50‑minute interview with the media.  This was one of the lastcomments I made and that is the one that makes the headline.  Mr.Mazankowski has indicated as well that possibly they maybe shouldhave reviewed some of these things.  We cannot change some ofthese things, but I think it is incumbent on us to raise some ofthese issues that we feel could happen.

            I feel very proud of my transportation advisory staff that Ihave, who basically are on top of these.  They have been dealingwith transportation issues, whether it is air, rail or whatever.These are the people I rely on to give me the right informationso that I can assess it and bring these points forward.  I thinkthat is a standard approach to these things.

            Under the air industry, we saw the thing unfold whereCanadian was running into difficulty and was trying to amalgamatewith American, and then that one fell through and they tried todo an amalgamation with Air Canada.  That fell through and thenAir Canada amalgamated with Continental. [interjection] Well,Continental basically is a company that has been in and out ofbankruptcy, I think, for the last eight years.  Ironically, at atime when they are losing that kind of money, Air Canada couldstill afford to buy, together with some investors, for $450million of that industry.

            I have no bones about indicating that I prefer to see twocarriers so that we do not have a monopoly on it.  I do notbelieve in this monopoly aspect of it, so any which way withinreason, making sure that we look after the taxpayers' dollar thatwe try and have a dual system going out here.  I think there issomething that can be worked out.  There has been endlessmeetings and endless discussions taking place on this.  I thinkthat once we know exactly what is going to happen, the positionthat we have taken is that before Manitoba is going to put in anymoney, if they are looking at that option of putting money intohelping Canadian, that there has to be a good business planpresented so that we are not going to take and pour money downthe tube somewhere with no benefits out of it.

            There is the aspect of Gemini and Sabre.  It is surprising,Mr. Speaker, that I have to indicate that I have never seencorporate giants really operate the way they have been operatinglately.  They can be pretty ruthless in terms of looking aftertheir own interests whether it is Air Canada, whether it isCanadian or Gemini.  These are big corporations.  It is not likea personal arrangement that we have when I deal with mycolleagues or something like that.  This is tough business.

            So I am hoping that out of the whole turmoil that has beenout there with the air industry that something will come out ofit that is going to be to the satisfaction and, certainly, theposition we have put forward that in the decision making thatultimately we might be faced with is that we look at the economicand the job impact on Manitoba.  That has to be there, because wehave‑‑and this is not talking disrespectfully of Air Canada‑‑butwe have 1,800 Air Canada employees.  We have 450 Canadianemployees, and we have 171 people employed with Gemini.  So theseare the things that we have to balance as we make decisions interms of what is positive for our province, keeping in mind whatis also positive on the national scale, but I think that is howwe have to deal with it.

            Now I want to touch briefly on the rail industry.  The memberfor Transcona (Mr. Reid) raised the question today of how manyjobs were lost.  He sort of lobbed a wide-ranging question, and Ifielded it with sort of a political answer on that, but there areproblems out there.  We know that CN is challenged withrationalizing their operation to be more efficient, to becompetitive.  When they do that invariably it affects jobs.

            As I indicated in my answer today, we are the second highestemployer for the railways.  I think we have something like 5,500employees with CN‑‑do not quote me specifically‑‑and around 2,800with CP, in that range, Mr. Speaker.  So that is a big employmentimpact for us.  If they talk of layoffs, I think there is adiscussion taking place right now between CN officials and theunion people, no decisions have been made.  As the decisions comedown, I would expect that probably the member for Transcona andmyself will probably know at about the same time, because usuallyhe has his connections with the union and gets the information asfast as or faster than I do from time to time.

            That is the concern that I had, and I was talking to my stafftoday and saying, here it is a few weeks before Christmas, andthe anxiety of potential layoffs, whether it is with Air Canada,whether it is with Canadian, whether it is with CN or CP, it mustbe really stressful for people.  If you have a house mortgage,you have a wife and a family, a young family, you have workedwith this company or a corporation for 15, 20 years, and all of asudden the potential of a layoff comes along.  I would considerit very stressful.  I think it is always tragic.

            We debate here and say, well, what have you done, or whathave you not done?  Ourselves, as government, we cannot make thedecision for CN as to should they lay off or not lay off.  They make their own decisions‑‑the same thing for the corporations,Canadian, Air Canada.  They do not have to answer to us in termsof how they rationalize and whom they lay off, but I think thatthe human aspect in terms of doing this should be considered.  Iwill throw forward a suggestion that, for example, withingovernment, we try and anticipate some of these things.  Then wetry, and instead of having warm bodies being affected, we use theattrition route to some degree rather than just straight lay off400 people.

            It is a difficult decision-making time for people involved,and I am sure that the people who basically end up finally givingnotice to individuals that their jobs are terminated do not enjoyit either.  It is a tough, competitive world out there.  Dramaticchanges have taken place in the whole transportation industry.Reference was made by the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) to theMinister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) in terms of the method ofpayment and potential changes coming.  I expect that the federalgovernment has chosen that course, and the impact that it willhave on Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, these are things wehave to be very careful of to make sure that we, in our view,bring forward the best arguments we can in terms of making surethat the impact is the least on our people.

            These are tough decisions that we make at a changing time.When things are going well, money is there, everything is flowingfine, it is easy to be government, because you are going to lookgood.  But it is not easy to be government when you have to maketough decisions and you make the decisions that are affectingpeople's lives.  That is the thing that always bothers me most,even when we go through the agony of trying, going through thebudget process, trying to achieve certain targets and it is goingto affect people's lives.  I would like to think that everybodyis compassionate.  It bothers me.  It bothers me that some peopleare going to be without a job, because I have four children,three of them married, who are affected by these things, haveexperienced first‑hand, the layoffs, being out of a job.  I thinkthat is a real tough thing under the circumstances that we havetoday.

            I keep thinking back when I got out of school, at that timeGrade 12, and I had one year university.  If you wanted to work,jobs were there.  Jobs were there, but now, when you post a jobfor any position, we have‑‑what?‑‑150, 200 applications.  Itshows that people want to work, that all we need is the jobs, butwe cannot control the national, international economy.  We areaffected by those things.  For example, as the Minister ofAgriculture has indicated, the GATT agreements affect what ishappening to our farm communities.  Dramatic change is takingplace.  The method of payment is going to affect that.  It willaffect my department, and I raise this when we have ourdiscussions in terms of, if you pay the producer, what will it doto my infrastructure?  These are things that all have a bearingon it.  That is why we are challenged with the decisions that wehave to make, and they are not always easy.


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            Mr. Speaker, there are two other areas that I wanted to touchon, and I could belabour for a long time the issue of Churchill.Churchill, for myself, has been one of the most frustratingexperiences in this office that I hold.  The record of grainmoving through the Port of Churchill has not been good in thelast years in spite of the best efforts by this government to tryand influence the Wheat Board, the federal government and CN.  Itis not a positive thing that is taking place there.

            I thought this year with the Russians, with the changes thattook place in the Eastern Bloc, the Russians wanting grain, nothaving money, that under the credit system that we should havebeen able to dictate to them where they take the grain.Obviously our message‑‑and I do not mind being critical of theWheat Board‑‑I think they had the opportunity even with the shortshipping season that we have which could be extended in my view,especially with the Russians who are used to dealing with thosekinds of situations, that we should have capitalized and had abanner year.

            I want to tell and I repeat again, the enemies of Churchillare many.  The St. Lawrence Seaway people have a strong lobby.They would like to see Churchill shut down.  Ports Canada is tothe point where they have been losing money now and they have toget money from other ports to take and sustain the portsoperation.  They are talking about a potential closedown.  CNfrom when I first got into this office offered to sell me CN fora dollar, their whole line to Churchill for a dollar.  Then wehave the private grain companies who really do not give a damnabout Churchill or not because they have their own operation.

            There are many enemies out there.  We have the emotionalsupport from many municipalities, from certain farmers, but Iwant to indicate that I think that we are in a crucial time interms of decision making with the federal government andChurchill.  The rail cars are being depreciated and deleted.  Ido not know whether we could even deliver any more or CN coulddeliver any more with the present system of using the rail cars.I still feel we could use the hopper cars down there.  You know,the line rehabilitation is a major problem.  So many componentsto this thing and if there was a real desire by the federalgovernment, I think there would be no problem.

            We have tried to instill that desire as best we can and Ihave to indicate that the Premier (Mr. Filmon) himself has takena very active role this year in terms of trying to promote theactivities of Churchill.  I know that my colleague the Ministerof I, T and T (Mr. Stefanson) has been dealing with the Murmanskpeople in Russia direct in terms of having the Arctic bridgeconcept that we are talking about, having stuff go both ways.

            We have the potential rocket range out there.  We have thepotential national park.  There are many things that are stillout there positively, but there has to be that desire.  How weinstill that desire aside from the components that we can dealwith, there has to be a broader acceptance of that.  If we couldever get somebody like‑‑I have said this before and I make noapologies‑‑if the Port of Churchill was located in Quebec, itwould be a thriving, humming industry, and I make no bones aboutthat.

            I would hope that the member for Transcona (Mr. Reid) asksabout the feasibility study on the rocket range.  My colleaguethe Minister of I, T and T (Mr. Stefanson) is prepared toprobably deal with that when he has the opportunity.

            Mr. Speaker, time goes fast when you are having fun, but Ihave many issues in my department which I would like to address.The other is the Highways issue.  I am just glossing over some ofthem very fast in terms of issues that I have, but Highwaysitself and that is always a very challenging and exciting thing.When my department builds a new road, it is there.  You can seeit.  It is living proof and the appreciation is there.  The onlyfrustration I have is there is not enough money there all thetime.

            Mr. Speaker, the national highways program‑‑I am hoping,fingers crossed, that there is still going to be an announcementcoming down.  We have been up and down with enthusiasm from thisspring when the First Ministers met and they talked about thepotential of a national highways program coming down which wouldbe some cost‑sharing with the federal government.  This will bethe first time that Canada would have that kind of a program.There has been some cost‑sharing on specific projects, but we aretalking of a 10‑year national highways program‑‑an excitingthing.  We are the only developed industrial western country thatdoes not have a national highways system.

            If it happens, I have made some kind of remarks about what Iwould do if it was announced.  I do not think I want to put it onrecord; somebody might hold me to them, but I want to telleverybody here that my deputy and myself have been the strongestpromoters.  Manitoba, probably the smallest benefactor of anational highway system, has been the strongest promoters of it.Maybe that is the way it should be.

            I am looking forward with some mixed emotions andanticipation for Wednesday when Mr. Mazankowski will be bringingdown the economic statement.  Maybe the national highway programis in there.  Mr. Speaker, if that happens, I may not be here fora day or so because I would be rather excited, but we are hopingthat will happen.

            In terms of the provincial construction, and when I comparethe record of this government, to us it has been a priority.  Itis important that our capital programs‑‑highways, hospitals,schools‑‑have not been deleted, that they have been the biggestever I believe.  Right?

            When you consider what poor Saskatchewan had to do, they havecut theirs virtually in half.  You know when I meet the ministersfrom some of the other provinces who have had dramatic cuts, thenI feel relatively fortunate, and it is not much of a solacebecause you know they go through agony as well in terms of makingthese decisions.

            I am looking forward to further debate on many of the issuesthat I have covered here.  I have tried to highlight some ofthem.  I have expressed my views.

            Mr. Speaker, once again, it has been a pleasure toparticipate in the throne speech.  I look forward to listening tocomments from other members of the House.  I hope there is somesubstance to some of the discussions that will take place,instead of just having the sort of meaningless discussion thattakes place from time to time.  It has been a pleasure, thank you.

Mr. Speaker:  Is it the will of the House to call it ten o'clock?

            The hour being 10 p.m., this House is now adjourned andstands adjourned until 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).