Monday, December 7, 1992


The House met at 1:30 p.m.








Ms. Avis Gray (Crescentwood):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present thepetition of Mona Yvon, Tanis Finney, Darlene Jackson and others,urging the government of Manitoba to pass the necessarylegislation/regulations which will restrict stubble burning inthe province of Manitoba.




Mr. Speaker:  I have reviewed the petition of the honourablemember for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux).  It complies with theprivileges and the practices of the House, and it complies withthe rules.  Is it the will of the House to have the petition read?

            To the Legislature of the province of Manitoba

            WHEREAS each year smoke from stubble burning descends uponthe province of Manitoba; and

            WHEREAS the Parents Support Group of Children with Asthma haslong criticized the harmful effects of stubble burning; and

            WHEREAS the smoke caused from stubble burning is not healthyfor the general public and tends to aggravate the problems ofasthma sufferers and people with chronic lung problems; and

            WHEREAS alternative practices to stubble burning arenecessitated by the fact that the smoke can place some people inlife‑threatening situations; and

            WHEREAS the 1987 Clean Environment Commission Report onPublic Hearings, "Investigation of Smoke Problems fromAgriculture Crop Residue and Peatland Burning," contained therecommendation that a review of the crop residue burningsituation be conducted in five years' time, including are‑examination of the necessity for legislated regulatory control.

            THEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that the LegislativeAssembly will urge the government of Manitoba to pass thenecessary legislation/regulations which will restrict stubbleburning in the province of Manitoba.




Hon. Albert Driedger (Minister of Highways and Transportation):Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the Annual Report for the year1991‑92 for the Department of Highways and Transportation.




Bill 11‑The Regional Waste Management Authorities,

The Municipal Amendment andConsequential Amendments Act


Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development):  Mr.Speaker, I move, seconded by the Minister of Agriculture (Mr.Findlay), that Bill 11, The Regional Waste ManagementAuthorities, The Municipal Amendment and Consequential AmendmentsAct (Loi concernant les offices regionaux de gestion des dechets,modifiant la Loi sur les municipalites et apportant desmodifications correlatives a d'autres lois), be introduced andthat the same be now received and read a first time.


Motion agreed to.


Introduction of Guests


Mr. Speaker:  Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the attentionof honourable members to the Speaker's Gallery, where we havewith us this afternoon, His Excellency Ignatius Olisemeka, theHigh Commissioner of Nigeria to Canada.

            On behalf of all members, I would like to welcome you herethis afternoon, sir.

            Also with us this afternoon we have seated in the publicgallery, thirty Grade 5 students from the Lavallee School.  Thesestudents are under the direction of Mr. Muzyczka and Mr.Stevens.  This school is located in the constituency of thehonourable Minister of Government Services (Mr. Ducharme).

            Also from the Sisler High School, we have forty‑two Grade 11students under the direction of Mr. Bill Harper.  This school islocated in the constituency of the honourable member for Inkster(Mr. Lamoureux).

            On behalf of all members, I would like to welcome you herethis afternoon.



Core Area Agreement

Federal Participation


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Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, myquestion is to the Premier.  During the election of 1990, thePremier promised during that campaign to renegotiate an innercity core tripartite agreement to build upon the successes of thepast two agreements.  Subsequent to that date in 1990, theMinister of Urban Affairs agreed after the election to extend thedate of the second Core.  Since that time we have heard varyingcomments of optimism, cautious optimism and concern from theprovincial government about the success of the renegotiationswith the federal Conservative government on the Core AreaAgreement.

            Mr. Speaker, in 1991 the Premier himself, who was meeting atthat time again with the Prime Minister, said the matter ofrenewal with the federal government for urban revitalizationcontinues to be a matter of discussion between the two parties.Again Thursday the Premier was meeting with the Prime Minister,and as we understand that was also a matter of discussion betweenthe two Conservative leaders, the provincial Conservative Premierand the federal Prime Minister.

            I would like to ask the Premier today in light of the needfor a third Core Area Agreement, a need that we believe waspassed in terms of extending the date, has the Premier secured atripartite agreement to revitalize and continue to revitalize notonly the physical part of the Core Area Agreement but the humancomponents of our Core Area Agreement?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Mr. Speaker, the Leader of theOpposition is quite right in saying that was a subject that Icovered with the Prime Minister on Thursday.  In fact, in thediscussion I indicated to him that this had been a matter thathad been open in discussion for more than two years between ourtwo governments.  It is a matter that we believe is very, veryimportant to the city of Winnipeg.  We believe that it isessential that that agreement be renewed for another period oftime.

            We as a province have made our commitment.  In fact, we haveeven indicated to the city that we would go with a bilateralagreement with the City of Winnipeg if no money is forthcomingfrom Ottawa.  It is one of the areas that the Prime Minister hasturned over to his senior staff to get back to us on, and weexpect to hear from them within the not too distant future onthat as well as a number of issues that remain outstanding, andremain a source of irritation between us and the federalgovernment.

Mr. Doer:  Mr. Speaker, I hope that the federal government comesthrough.  I think all Manitobans would not want to see us leftwith a bilateral greement.  In fact, I am quite surprised thePremier would make that statement in the House today, knowingthat the federal government will read his comments and feel nottoo compelled to follow through on this tripartite agreement.They have just potentially saved themselves $35 million overthree years.

            Mr. Speaker, the government chose to extend the 1991 date,and they announced that right after the provincial election inOctober 1990.  We thought at that time that was a negotiatingerror on the part of the province, that they had allowed thefederal government not only to offload by extending the date butthey allowed the federal government to be removed from theculminating deadline of the closing of the Core Area components.

            I ask the Premier:  Now that it was his strategy to extendthe date and his strategy now to say that they are willing to gowith a bilateral agreement, how does he intend to lever thefederal government so that we can get a third Core Area Agreementand that we can get federal money that is absolutely required forthe inner city of this province, the inner city of Winnipeg, bothon a physical basis and on a human basis?

Mr. Filmon:  Mr. Speaker, there are two things to that question;one is that the Leader of the Opposition is anticipating orassuming that the agreement would be on the same terms andconditions and with the same programs and priorities as previousagreements, and I think that our Minister of Urban Affairs (Mr.Ernst) has already indicated that such would not be the case.  Soa mere continuation of the previous program is not what we arelooking for.

            Secondly, with respect to issues such as going itbilaterally, the reality is that the federal government has doneas it did in renewing the agreement with the previous NDPgovernment, offered reprofiled money and not new money.  We havesome concerns about the fact that the previous governmentaccepted reprofiled money as opposed to getting new money.  Wehave said that if that is all that is on the table, we obviouslydo not need the federal government in it.  They have already gotthat money committed through EIC, through Pathways and otherprograms.  We are looking for new money, and that is why webelieve that it is irrelevant to the bargaining to say that weare committed, along with the city, and we will not let the citydown if the feds do not come in with new money.


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Core Area Agreement

Government Priorities


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, the CoreArea Agreement has received international awards for the trainingcomponent of the program, for the Infill Housing Programs, forthe kind of human programs that are contained within the CoreArea Agreement.

            I would like to ask the Premier today, the human investmentthat was featured in both Core I and Core II, the humaninvestment in people as well as the physical investments thattook place in Core I and II, the Forks being one of the notableones in Core II‑‑are the human dimensions and human investmentsnot contained as priorities of the provincial government in athird revitalized Core Agreement?  Can we know from thegovernment today, what are the actual priorities of thisgovernment?  Would they have allowed the federal government toextend the agreement?  They have allowed the federal governmentnot to participate in the third agreement; we have no new federalmoney, as we did in Core I and Core II.  What are the prioritiesof this provincial government, and why are we not succeeding interms of a Core III with the federal Conservative government?

Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Urban Affairs):  Mr. Speaker,certainly the human elements, as the Leader refers to them,contained in past Core Area Agreements have been successful inlarge part.  Things such as the core area training program and soon, I have had an opportunity to be there to see the kind ofpeople who have graduated from those programs, to see thebenefits that the programs have brought to those individuals.  Wewould want to see those kinds of things continue in a futureagreement.

            We are, Mr. Speaker, not tied to any specifics at the moment,because I have publicly committed the government to hold publichearings along with the mayor and hopefully Mr. Epp or whomeveris the senior member of the federal government in order to hearwhat the people of the core area want, what they see as theirpriorities, what they see as the successful programs that werecontained in the Core Area Agreement of the past and what newideas have come forward.  We have some new ideas ourselves, andwe will be unveiling those at the same time so that people havean opportunity to comment on those very excellent programs thatwe have had in the past and on the new ideas that we will bebringing forward in the future.


Chris Davis

Wheelchair Purchase


Ms. Judy Wasylycia‑Leis (St. Johns):  The situation facing ChrisDavis who has spent five costly and unnecessary months inhospital, who requires this government to purchase a specializedwheelchair in order to live in community and receive care at athird of the cost now being paid by this government andtaxpayers, that situation is unresolved to this moment.  Justbefore Question Period the minister spoke with Chris Davis andasked him the question, what is the hurry?‑‑the company, surely,can be asked not to act so hastily and to delay its decision inmoving the wheelchair out of the country.

            My question to the Minister of Health is, what is his delay?He has known about this situation for five months.  Why not giveChris assurances today that the department will purchase thewheelchair, so that at least one aspect of the community carerequirements of Chris Davis are met and he is cared for?


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Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Speaker, myhonourable friend makes the case that all we have to do ispurchase a wheelchair, one of 10 in North America, and the issueis resolved.  That is not as simplistic as resolution of thiscircumstance is.

            Mr. Speaker, my honourable friend further alleges that Ipersonally knew of the individual circumstance for five months.I did not, because in many circumstances the Department ofHealth, working with other ministries, attempts to findappropriate community placements for individuals for whomhospital care would be an inappropriate location.  Thisindividual is one of those.

            Mr. Speaker, what we are attempting to do, and this has beenan ongoing process, is to find the most appropriate communityplacement for living to assure that the medical needs which arenot simple medical needs are able to be met for this individualso that placement in other than an acute care hospital can assurethe individual's safety.

            Mr. Speaker, my statement to Chris today was, the issue cameto light on Friday because the supplier of the specializedwheelchair announced on their own initiative that they werepulling the chair by five o'clock on Friday.  I suggested thatwas an inappropriate time line for the supplier to undertakebecause we expect, through co‑operation between the departmentsand with Chris, to resolve this problem, Sir.


Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis:  Mr. Speaker, the impossible was morepossible several years ago.

            I would like to ask the Minister of Health how it waspossible for this government several years ago to purchase asimilar wheelchair for someone with similar needs to that ofChris Davis, that person now living and doing very well in Fokushousing.

            Why is it harder now, after this government's health carereform initiative, to move towards cost‑effective community‑basedcare than post his announced plan of action?

Mr. Orchard:  Again, Mr. Speaker, I do not know of what similarwheelchair‑‑because it is my understanding that this wheelchairis one of 10 of the new model.  It is not, as my honourablefriend alleges, the one that we purchased two years ago.

            Let me explain for my honourable friend how the ministryworks, and this is not unusual because this is a similar processthat has taken place for a number of years.  We provide modifiedwheelchairs, motorized in the case where needed, where mobilityis impossible without a motorized wheelchair.  Depending on thecircumstance of the individual's need, those wheelchairs aremodified and modified quite significantly.

            Mr. Speaker, that opportunity exists for this individual.The specialized wheelchair, yes, is one that would meet hisneeds, but there are also programs for modifying wheelchairs toalso accommodate that need.  Overriding that, the wheelchair isnot the only issue.  What is needed to be determined and providedis a safe placement for this individual that will meet theindividual's medical needs with assurance that they will not becompromised.  That is the process that has been ongoing in termsof stabilizing the individual, assessing medical needs andplanning for safe placement other than in a hospital.

Service Co‑ordination


Ms. Judy Wasylycia‑Leis (St. Johns):  Mr. Speaker, since theminister raises the other issues, let me ask about the absolutelack of co‑ordination between the three ministers and threedepartments involved and ask why there has been no attempt toresolve this kind of issue, why there are at least three otherindividuals spending months in costly hospitals without thisgovernment taking any initiative to provide some sort ofco‑ordinated housing program with supports to meet their highcare needs?

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Speaker, as usual,my honourable friend considerably stretches her facts.  Let usdeal with some of the special needs individuals that were therein 1988 when this government came into office.  Let us considerthe head injured, on their desk in 1988 when we took overgovernment.  What is the solution today?‑‑a special wing in DeerLodge Hospital for the head injured of Manitoba, and plans atmunicipal hospitals to make that a permanent part of redevelopedmunicipal hospitals.  I might say to my honourable friend,municipal hospitals were a nonresolved issue by the previousadministration.

            Let us deal with another issue of the young disabled, Mr.Speaker.  What we are doing is working with a number ofproponents in the health care community for the provision ofyoung disabled placements in the community to meet specialmedical needs, more appropriately met in specialized facilities.

            Mr. Speaker, my honourable friend says there has been nothinggoing on.  The only thing that has not been going on is myhonourable friend's understanding of significant change in thehealth care system under this government.


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Portage Avenue Explosion



Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr.Speaker, my question is to the Minister responsible for ManitobaHydro.

            I think everyone in this House is relieved that there was noloss of life or serious injury as a result of the explosion lastFriday.  I would like to know from the minister if he can tell usif this incident is being investigated by Hydro officials or hashe directed an impartial independent authority to examine whathappened and to make public their report.

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for The Manitoba HydroAct):  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for the question.As well, it was raised earlier with my colleague from SturgeonCreek (Mr. McAlpine) as to his concern relating to the accidentof Friday.

            I can inform the House that we are extremely fortunate, allManitobans, that there was not any loss of life or limb, or infact any injuries.  We are extremely thankful for that.  As well,Mr. Speaker, there is a full investigation being carried out byWorkplace Safety and Health, as well as Manitoba Hydro.  At thispoint, we are trying to work to co-ordinate all activities asthey relate to that issue.

            It is my understanding as well, the Fire Commissioner'sOffice has it under full investigation.  I want to take thisopportunity, if the member does not mind, to acknowledge the hardwork and effort of all the people, individuals and agencies thatparticipated and helped on Friday with people who foundthemselves under the stress of the extreme incident.  I canassure the member that it is being fully investigated.




Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr.Speaker, there is a serious question about insurance that hasbeen raised for those businesses and, more importantly, theindividuals who have been affected, nearby homeowners andtenants, some of whom have no dwelling whatsoever to live in.Processing of all of those claims will obviously take some time.

            Can the minister give us any information today with respectto interim compensation, particularly for those people who haveimmediate needs such as window replacement and in some casesalternate accommodations?

Hon. James Downey (Minister responsible for The Manitoba HydroAct):  Mr. Speaker, again, I regret, on Manitoba Hydro's behalfand the government's, any inconvenience that has been caused toindividuals.  It is a very disturbing situation, as we are allaware.

            As far as interim arrangements are concerned, I am preparedto work with other agencies that are involved in government tomake sure that there is in fact support provided.  There is amunicipal responsibility as well, as it relates to that.  To whatamount Family Services are involved, I am not sure, but we areworking to try and co-ordinate some support.

            Mr. Speaker, there is, of course, until all the investigationwork is done, some question as to who in fact was responsible ina legal manner as to the accident.  Until the full investigationis done, I cannot respond any further on that.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Mr. Speaker, can the minister tell us if thedepartment will be working with claimants in order to ensure thatthose claims are made as rapidly as possible and that they aresettled as quickly as possible?

Mr. Downey:  Mr. Speaker, again, it is a matter of making sureindividuals are accommodated to the best way possible.  I want toassure the member that we are prepared to co‑operate and workwith all agencies that will in fact try to accommodateindividuals during this difficult time.

            As far as insurance claims and settlement, there has to be alot of work done as to the responsibility as to who in fact wasresponsible.  The investigation, I am sure, will clarify a lot ofthose details.


The Pas, Manitoba

Justice System Backlog


Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas):  Mr. Speaker, my question isdirected to the Minister of Justice.

            Over a year ago, when the AJI report was released by theMinister of Justice, he stated that there was nothing that he wasworking harder on.  The St. Theresa Point Youth Court receivedfunding after a press conference in our office here not all thatlong ago.  Later on, the Hollow Water Healing Circle alsoreceived some funds, as have a few other joint projects with thefederal government, including the Swampy Cree tribal justiceproject and the Island Lake Tribal Council family violenceproject.  Since then, almost nothing has happened, Mr. Speaker.

            My question is:  Since there are over 300 court casesoutstanding in The Pas, with delays of up to nine months now, aswe are speaking here today, will the minister now hire a secondCrown attorney who is familiar with things like healing circlesand other aboriginal justice systems to clear up the backlog thatis in The Pas?

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General):Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for raising thisquestion, because he should be advised that the Department ofJustice is in the process of hiring a second prosecutor in ThePas.  There has been a delay, and that delay is occasioned by thedesire of the Department of Justice, if possible, to hirelocally.  That creates some challenges for us.  We are dealingwith that, and that prosecutor will be in place shortly.  In themeantime, we are dealing with the situation as best we canthrough the use of Winnipeg prosecutors.


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Aboriginal Justice System

Program Funding


Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas):  Mr. Speaker, I would also like toask a question to the same minister.

            Given that the year is almost over now, will the ministerrelease the complete list of all projects that have been fundedfrom the AJI budget that was set aside for the fiscal year '92‑93?

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General):Mr. Speaker, the Department of Justice is working very closelywith some aboriginal communities in this province through theauspices of the Aboriginal Court Worker Advisory Committee.  Thatadvisory committee has membership representing the Assembly ofManitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Metis Federation and the IndigenousWomen's Collective of Manitoba.  That work is going forward withthe specific communities towards the ultimate goal of puttingtogether tribal court models which we believe will serve largesegments of the aboriginal population in some isolated places inManitoba far better than they have been in the past.

            The honourable member will know that just over a week ago Iattended a native justice round table discussion in Ottawa.  Thiswas sponsored by the royal commission which has been struck toreview aboriginal matters.  An extremely interesting conferencewas had at that time with participation from people like myself,the Attorney General of Saskatchewan was there, the Grand Chiefof the Assembly of First Nations was there, and perhaps I willhave other opportunity, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lathlin:  Mr. Speaker, I still say that we should have a listof those projects that have been funded through the AJI budgetfor '92‑93.


Aboriginal Justice Inquiry

Recommendation Analysis


Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas):  My third question is again to theMinister of Justice, Mr. Speaker, and that is, the department hasbeen doing analysis on the AJI recommendations; I want to ask theminister if he is prepared to release that departmental analysisof all that was done on the recommendations of the report so thatManitobans can see for themselves why so many of thoserecommendations have either been dismissed or are not implementedor are being shelved and for whatever reason.

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General):Many of the recommendations in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiryflow from the key recommendation that there be separate andsovereign systems of government for aboriginal people.  That isnot a recommendation that we are in a position to accept sotherefore a number of the recommendations in the justice inquiryare not able to be acted upon.

            As I was saying in my last question, this was a matter thatwas debated between the Assembly of First Nations Grand ChiefMercredi and myself just over a week ago.  Obviously Grand ChiefMercredi, like the honourable member, will continue to putforward the concept of separate sovereign systems of governmentwhich include separate sovereign justice systems for aboriginalpeople.

            As I said to Ovide Mercredi, I will say to the honourablemember, we can debate that until we are both very, very old andin the meantime we will not have done anything.  That is not goodenough, because the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry says that too, andthere is general agreement that where we can work co‑operativelywith communities we should indeed be doing that.  That isprecisely what we are doing.

            The discussion of political will came up, the issue ofpolitical will to create better systems of justice.  Thepolitical will has to come not only from provincial governmentsand the federal government but also from aboriginal communities.The honourable member's community is one of those communitiesthat has demonstrated it has political will and has moved withthe government to‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.


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Emilio Garcia

Parole Review


Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Mr. Speaker, my question is for theMinister of Justice.  It is ironic hearing the minister'scomments this morning that the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry alsostated that aboriginal people represent a disproportionate amountof people who were incarcerated because many cannot pay fines andhave trouble understanding the justice system.

            We have learned that Emilio Garcia, a lawyer in the city ofWinnipeg who was sentenced to 64 months for probably the largesttrust fraud in the history of Manitoba is now out on the streetsafter three months on bail.  I am wondering if the minister canadvise the House how this has occurred.

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General):  Iam not sure how the honourable member's, the two parts of hisquestion tie together.  We did not need an Aboriginal JusticeInquiry to tell us that there were a disproportionate number ofaboriginal people involved in our justice system.  The honourablemember should have known that long before the Aboriginal JusticeInquiry.  The members on this side of the House certainly knewthat.

            The justice inquiry did provide some useful advice togovernment and to aboriginal communities, but surely for thehonourable member to tell us that he did not know about thatbefore the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry says something that israther disturbing about him and the members on his side of theHouse.  The honourable member asks about a specific case.  Ishall conduct some inquiries and ascertain some information forthe honourable member on that case.

Mr. Chomiak:  Mr. Speaker, my supplementary to the sameminister.  Talk about a sovereign system‑‑how is it thisindividual got out when the rules on parole that any of us areaware of‑‑it is totally contrary to rules on parole to be outafter three months on a 64‑month sentence.  The minimum rulesthat we are apprised of are one‑sixth of your sentence before youget out on day parole, and how did this individual get out?  Talkabout a sovereign system.

Mr. McCrae:  The reason for my taking notice of the honourablemember's question is I want to ensure that the information thehonourable member is bringing forward is correct.  We havecertainly seen plenty of examples‑‑not as many times from thehonourable member as from some of his colleagues who occupy thefront benches‑‑of incorrect information being brought forward.Certainly three months on a 64‑month sentence does deserve to belooked into and that is exactly what I told the honourable memberI would do.

Mr. Chomiak:  Mr. Speaker, I am wondering if the minister canalso apprise the House whether or not there is an ongoinginvestigation as to the $3 million that is still outstanding interms of this trust fraud in light of the fact that the LawSociety is concerned that some of that money may have been movedout of the country.

Mr. McCrae:  My understanding is that when this kind of mattercomes forward every member of the legal profession in thisprovince is extremely concerned for various reasons and all ofthem very good reasons.  On that question, I will take thatquestion as notice as well.



Tuition Fees


Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Mr. Speaker, I have a question for theMinister of Education.  Since this government took office, feesat the University of Manitoba have risen some 82 percent and nowas the government is getting into its budget cycle, we arebeginning to hear more and more stories about double‑digitincreases at the province's universities.

            I would like to know from the Minister of Education, what isthis year's policy on student fees?  Are they intending to holdthe line at all?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr.Speaker, I have some laryngitis and so I am going to try andanswer the member's question as well as I can, and I hope that hewill be able to hear me.

            I think that it is very important for the member tounderstand that we also have great concern around the issue ofstudent tuition fees.  We are in the process now of going throughour budget cycle in the Department of Education as a departmentin government.  We are making every effort to take intoconsideration issues relating to university funding and theimpact on student tuition.

Mr. Alcock:  Mr. Speaker, the policy to date has been to transferthe cost of universities off the general revenues onto the debtloads of students.  I would like to ask the minister:  Will sherecommend through the Universities Grants Commission to theuniversities that they hold university fee increases this year tothe cost of inflation?

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, the issue again of student tuition hasbeen of concern to this government.  We have made every attemptto assist students, where tuition fees have risen, to make surethat those students then have available to them student aid whichmay be of assistance to them to allow them to continue in theireducational process.

            Mr. Speaker, that is correct.  The government has allowed thestudents to pick up on their debt load with its inability to fundthe university.


Student Financial Assistance


Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Mr. Speaker, I would ask the ministerif she can report to the House what progress she has made in herdiscussions with the federal government, discussions she wasquite proud of in Estimates last year, and whether or not she hasbeen able to encourage them or get them to increase basic supportrates for students.

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr.Speaker, as the member knows, I have had two face‑to‑facemeetings with the federal minister responsible.  I have alsocommunicated by letter to him.  I have met with the studentpresidents from Manitoba to make sure that their concerns havebeen incorporated into any communication that I have had with thefederal minister.

            In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Council of Ministers ofEducation from across Canada met here in Winnipeg.  As a group ofministers, we also sent a letter to the federal minister and madesure that he was fully aware of the concerns.


Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation

No-Fault Insurance


Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  Mr. Speaker, I have a questionfor the Minister responsible for MPIC.

            Mr. Speaker, this minister has acknowledged that Autopacrates could increase by as much as 90 percent in the next sevenyears.  The previous NDP government asked Judge Kopstein torecommend ways to reduce Autopac costs.  The major recommendationof Judge Kopstein is in the report, and I will read that onemajor recommendation:  In my opinion, the inclination of a pureno‑fault automobile insurance system is the issue which requiresmost urgent consideration by the government of the province ofManitoba, because that system offers the greatest opportunity toraise costs and increase benefits.

            Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is:  Why has theminister refused to act on this recommendation, which he has hadover four years, in order to really bring Autopac costs down?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister charged with the administration ofThe Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act):  Mr. Speaker,obviously, the member has been reading with some interestarticles that he saw in today's paper.

            The fact is, Mr. Speaker, that we have been looking verycarefully at the cost containment in terms of the total cost tothe people of the province.  Over the last three years, since wesaw the 28 percent that his previous government imposed on thepeople of this province, the cost increases in the corporationhave not been that dramatic.  The fact is that there is a trendbeginning to develop again in personal injury costs that we needto examine.


Public Utilities Board Process


Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  Mr. Speaker, I want to be veryspecific with this minister about costs.

            Will this minister confirm that when the group representingAutopac brokers and agents raised the matter of limiting agencyfees and commissions with the MPIC, the corporation told them togo to the Public Utilities Board like everyone else?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister charged with the administration ofThe Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act):  Mr. Speaker, Iam not sure if I even followed the member's question, but I donot think I have any knowledge of whereof he is speaking.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  The minister asked me to repeat thatquestion, my second question.  Well, Mr. Speaker, it is obviousthat they were asked to follow the proper procedure, and thiscabinet was prepared to abort the proper procedure.


Agents' Fees


Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  Mr. Speaker, my last questionto the minister is:  Will the minister now reconsider hisposition, in light of his acknowledgement of rapid increases inthe future as well as those in the past?  Will this ministerreconsider his position on agency fees and allow Autopac toproceed to cap agency or broker fees to 3 percent now instead ofallowing them to rise to nearly 10 percent?  Let us have someaction now.  Let us save a million dollars right now.

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister charged with the administration ofThe Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act):  Mr. Speaker, inthe incorporation of the changes of Autopac 2000, as I have saidto the member several times, there will be a dramatic change inthe way the corporation does business and the way that they dobusiness with their agents as well as the public.

            Mr. Speaker, in putting together that proposal that has beentaking place for over the last three and a half years, it hasbeen one of the primary focuses of the corporation to movetowards these cyclical renewals.  Why would you now decide thatin the middle of those discussions, you should all of a suddenchange direction?


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Labour Force Development

Government Initiatives


Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Mr. Speaker, over 70,000 Manitobansare now dependent upon social assistance.  The vast majority ofthose families want and need training and retraining, but we havea government in Manitoba that has no labour force developmentstrategy and apparently no immediate plans for announcing any.

            I want to ask the Minister of Education:  Will she tell theHouse when she will sign that agreement with Ottawa, and when canthose Manitoba families expect any help or direction from thisgovernment?  Is it this year?  Is it next year?  Is it sometime‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member has put herquestion.

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr.Speaker, we have been working on the signing of theCanada‑Manitoba Labour Force Development Agreement.  We are, Ibelieve, very close to making sure that the interests ofManitobans are now represented in that agreement, and I expect tobe looking at signing it very shortly.




Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Mr. Speaker, I would like to askthe minister to change the policy that she announced in thisHouse last Thursday, when she said that she would not consult anyfurther with the labour movement or with education until aftershe had signed that agreement.  I want to give her theopportunity to retract that.

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr.Speaker, I believe the member has misconstrued any remarks made.

            We have in fact met and are very willing to consult withbusiness, with industry and with labour to make sure that theirinterests are represented and most particularly, Mr. Speaker, tomake sure that their interests are represented in the formationof any boards which then will flow from the signing of thatagreement.


Crop Insurance Review

Report Release


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  Mr. Speaker, I have a question forthe Minister of Agriculture.

            The crop insurance review was undertaken last year, after ageneral concern that was expressed throughout the province aboutinequities in crop insurance, crop insurance distortions invarious areas of the province.  The minister undertook a reviewwith a committee that was appointed that travelled throughout theprovince and provided him with a report that he received lastJune.  That is over five months ago.  Since June, this ministerhas not released that report, despite repeated requests that havebeen made by myself and many others for this report.

            I want to ask the minister:  Why will he not release the cropinsurance review report that was undertaken?  What is he hiding?

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture):  Mr. Speaker, we arehiding nothing.  We had a very open process of 10 people goingaround and hearing input from producers and agribusiness people,whoever wanted to come forward and make some comment to the CropInsurance Commission.

            On behalf of the board of directors of Manitoba CropInsurance and the minister and the federal minister, all threeparties are reviewing it.  Many of the aspects in the review arenow being implemented by the Crop Insurance Corporation, and theboard is reviewing the final details in order to be able torelease the document.  It will be released before too long.  Theboard is reviewing and acting as fast as they can on many of theinitiatives in the report.

Mr. Plohman:  Mr. Speaker, this is incredible.  How can thisminister say he is implementing this report when farmers, theKeystone Agricultural Producers, the committee members themselvesare asking this minister to release it?  When will he releasethat report?

Mr. Findlay:  Mr. Speaker, the farmers of Manitoba asked for areview.  A review was done, and action is occurring on many ofthe recommendations that were brought forward.  All that memberworries about is release of it; he does not ask were we doinganything with the recommendations, which we are doing all kindsof things with.

Mr. Plohman:  Mr. Speaker, in doing all kinds of things insecret, is it not a fact that this minister is hiding this reportbecause he has been proven wrong in basing GRIP completely on thebasis of crop insurance, and the distortions that were in cropinsurance are magnified many times in GRIP because of it?

Mr. Findlay:  That member is saying revenue insurance is no goodfor the farmers of Manitoba.  I would ask him to go and talk toanybody who lives north of the Yellowhead Highway, who know thisyear that if it was not for revenue insurance, they would be outof farming.  You ask any farmer in Saskatchewan who does not havethe base of support that farmers in Manitoba have.

            That member does not want Manitoba farmers to have support.He does not want to support the revenue insurance program, neverhas and probably never will, even though the farmers of Manitobathank me over and over again for putting that program in place,even in his constituency, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker:  The time for Oral Questions has expired.




Hon. Eric Stefanson (Minister responsible for Sport):  Leave torevert to ministerial statements, please?

Mr. Speaker:  Does the honourable minister have leave to revertto ministerial statements?

Some Honourable Members:  Leave.

Mr. Speaker:  It is agreed.

Mr. Stefanson:  Mr. Speaker, I have a ministerial statement tocirculate.

            I am honoured to rise before the House today to salute themany Manitobans who contributed to the city of Winnipeg'ssuccessful bid to the Canadian Olympic Association this weekendfor the endorsement to host the 1999 Pan American Games.

            As well documented through the media, Winnipeg was selectedover Toronto, Sherbrooke and Edmonton.  The selection of Winnipegas the Canadian city to proceed with a bid to the Pan AmericanSports Organization is no small tribute to the dedicated corps ofvolunteers, under the leadership of Don MacKenzie and BarbaraHuck, in what was truly a team effort.  The success of this bidwas the result of the co‑operation that existed between the Cityof Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the Manitoba SportsFederation, the multicultural community, the corporate communityand the community at large.


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            These special community-minded and community-spiritedcitizens, who pooled their skills and abilities and devoted theirtime and energies for the better part of two years, and incertain individual cases longer, are to be duly recognized fortheir contribution to what will result in long‑term benefits toManitoba.

            While the ultimate decision still rests with the Pan AmericanSports Organization, it is generally felt endorsement from theCanadian Olympic Association was the biggest challenge towardsecuring the games.

            In proceeding now with what I feel will be another successfulbid, the investment we will make to hosting the games in 1999will create 2,000 full‑time jobs, add $136 million to theManitoba economy, result in new and improved facilities, enhancesport development and once again provide Manitobans with a strongsense of pride and achievement.

            Mr. Speaker, both the Premier (Mr. Filmon) and I had theprivilege of being in Toronto for the presentation and subsequentannouncement on Saturday.  Words cannot describe the pride thatwe shared as Manitobans and in those who portrayed Winnipeg andManitoba so brilliantly to the COA delegates.

            I would ask all members to join me in congratulating thosededicated volunteers who served on the 1999 Pan American GamesBid Committee and in offering encouragement and support to thehost bid committee and the Canadian Olympic Association towardsecuring the endorsement of the Pan American Sports Organizationfor Winnipeg as the host of the 1999 Pan American Games.

            Thank you.

Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Yes, responding to theministerial statement that we reverted back to, Mr. Speaker, Iwould like to congratulate the delegation on behalf of the cityof Winnipeg, and the full delegation on their success in havingWinnipeg nominated as the Canadian community for the hosting ofthe Pan American Games in 1999.  We look forward to the ultimatedecision that will be made by the Pan American Committee in 1994and we look forward to the deliberations that will take place onthe ultimate decision.

            Mr. Speaker, the minister has mentioned the volunteers whohave worked actively on behalf of the Winnipeg bid, and I wouldlike to also extend our congratulations to Mr. MacKenzie andBarbara Huck on their co‑chairmanship of this bid.

            Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a couple of othervolunteers who I think it is very important today to remember inthis ministerial statement.  One is Jim Daly, who led the 1967Pan American Games and the tremendous voluntary activity in 1967in Winnipeg, which truly put our community on the internationalmap.  The thousands of volunteers who worked throughout thosegames, I believe, made us all very proud.  I know my own personalexperience with my father, taking time off for two weeks workingin the swimming events, and I know of so many others who justtook their whole vacation period, thousands of Winnipeggers underthe leadership of Jim Daly, who I‑‑[interjection] the DeputyPremier (Mr. Downey) may want to make light of it, but Jim Daly,I think, made a tremendous contribution in hosting or chairingthe Pan Am Games in 1967, and I think we would be remiss if wedid not mention his contributions.

            I also think that Art Mauro deserves a tremendous amount ofcredit, because the hosting of the Grey Cup last year withcommunity volunteers, when you compare that with the hosting ofthe Grey Cup in Toronto last week, I am sure made the differenceof the one vote in terms of the voting delegates, and I think weowe some gratitude to those people who were involved.

            I know also that we were seized with this responsibility in1987.  I know that Minister Desjardins visited down toIndianapolis with the former deputy mayor, now the Ministerresponsible for Sport, in 1987 in terms of the initial lobby.

            I also recall, Mr. Speaker, that former minister of SportParasiuk had to deal with some of the capital concepts of hostingthe Pan American Games, and I want to bring to the attention ofmembers opposite, one of the capital considerations that he hadbefore him and that I would ask the government to consider.  Oneof his criteria for contributing with the Sports Federation andthe province in contribution with the city and the federalgovernment was to ensure that all the sports facilities that willbe left behind, all the investment that will be left behind foramateur sports and community quality of life will be spreadevenly throughout our Manitoba communities and not be justrelegated to one area of the city or another.  I would raise thiswith the minister now, because it will be an issue that we willbe watching for to ensure the kind of fairness that we asked forthe federal government last week is the kind of fairness that wesee with facilities that are required in the Pan American Games.

            I would also raise one other issue‑‑and I mean this very seriously‑‑to the government, because I do congratulate them ontheir successful activity in getting this bid.  I want to saythat not only to the Minister of Sport but to the Premier (Mr.Filmon) and all others who were involved in the bid presentationthis weekend.

            One of the things we were worried about in 1986 when we weredealing with the initial bid requirement was the fact that we hadto get a Core Area Agreement in place with the federalgovernment, because it would not appear to be fair to some peoplein our community who are most vulnerable for us to have a federal-provincial agreement on the Pan American Games and nothave a federal-provincial agreement on the Core Area Agreement.

            I say very seriously to the government today that this willbe perceived as a void in our celebration.  So we hesitated forat least a year before we started our lobbying, until we got thesecond Core in place before we started actively pursuing the PanAmerican Games in 1999.

            I congratulate the government.  I congratulate all whopresented the briefs.  I congratulate all the volunteers from1967 on.  We pledge our cooperation with the government on thisvery important project, but I would ask the government toconsider those two points that I raised here this afternoon.Thank you very, very much.

Mr. Gulzar Cheema (The Maples):  Mr. Speaker, I would also liketo join with the minister, the Premier (Mr. Filmon) and themembers of the House conveying our best wishes to Mr. DonMacKenzie and Barbara Huck and all of the volunteers who haveworked so hard to make sure that we got to the first place tohave the Pan American Games in Manitoba.

            Our task will not end at this day.  It is the first step.  Itis a very important step, but the final step will take some time,more effort and more organizations and support from thegovernment in making sure that we get to the final stage so thatwe not only get the financial benefit, but also games are such animportant thing in the world today.  That way we can not onlygather the financial resources but also convey what Manitoba hasdone for this country and for the world.

            When there are so many tensions, the games are one of theavenues where we can really do very well.  I will certainly joinwith the government and the people and the volunteers who haveworked so hard and make sure that we will be successful.  Thankyou.




Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr.Speaker, I would like leave to make a nonpolitical statement, ifwe are reverting now to that.

Mr. Speaker:  Does the honourable Leader of the Second Oppositionhave leave to make a nonpolitical statement? [agreed]

Mrs. Carstairs:  Mr. Speaker, 75 years ago yesterday was thelargest man‑made explosion, up to the disaster of Hiroshima andNagasaki.  This was the Halifax explosion.

            In the Halifax explosion 1,600 were known dead, but manyother bodies were unfortunately never recovered because they werepart of a tidal wave that swept them out into the ocean and werenever heard from or recovered.  There were an additional 10,000people injured in that explosion, some of whom, like mygrandfather Richard Connolly, went on to die within the year fromgangrene as a result of the wounds that he suffered in theHalifax explosion.

            My father was a student of 16 on that day of December 6,1917.  He was actually sitting in his classroom when he looked upand saw the enormous ball of fire and watched as his teacheractually, who had the peculiar habit of his desk apparentlyfacing the window, lost one eye immediately.  Most of the boys inthe room were covered in cuts and wounds‑‑and I am taking much ofthis account, by the way, Mr. Speaker, from my father'smemoirs‑‑and they gradually worked them out of the school.  Whenthey arrived outside, they began to separate and go to their ownhomes.

            My father went home with a young man by the name of Dan McTiernan, but when they got to Dan McTiernan's house, the househad disappeared.  There were no houses anywhere near thisparticular home, and Mrs. McTiernan was one of the dead.  Myfather then became concerned about what had happened to his ownhome.  When he arrived at his house, the whole top part of thehouse was destroyed, and so they camped, literally, in thebasement and on the first floor for several weeks.

            We often like to poke fun at the neighbour to the south ofus.  Sometimes we are not at all in sync with their political andsometimes their economic policies, but my father accounts that itwas the people of Boston, Massachusetts, who were the first tocome to the support of the people of Halifax.  The transportationlinks had been cut off every place else because of damage to therails, and it was Boston that was able to mount a ship filledwith nurses and doctors and medical supplies.  They came toHalifax as soon as they could because that night there was anenormous blizzard.  They managed to make it in, and it wasbecause of the work of the people of Massachusetts that manylives were in fact saved.

            That is why it was with interest last week, when I picked upa story from the Boston paper‑‑and they talked once again aboutthe Christmas tree that was put up in the Boston Common.  TheChristmas tree that is erected each year in the Boston Common isa present from the Nova Scotia government, a present from theNova Scotia government in grateful appreciation for the work thatBostonians had done in helping to save Nova Scotians andCanadians from the Halifax explosion of December 6, 1917.  Thankyou, Mr. Speaker.


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* * *


Hon. Gerald Ducharme (Minister of Government Services):  Mr.Speaker, may I have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?[agreed]

            Mr. Speaker, it is indeed my pleasure to rise in the Housetoday to congratulate the Dakota High School Varsity BoysVolleyball team who once again won the Provincial AAAA VolleyballChampionship.  This comes on the heels of last weekend's victoryby the Dakota High School Freshman Girls team who won theirprovincial division.

            This speaks very loudly for the fine athletic programs thatthe St. Vital School Division provides for their students.  Thetraining does not begin in high school, but starts with ourelementary and junior high schools by very many dedicatedteachers.  Virtually all of the champions have come up throughthe system, and probably some of them, Mr. Speaker, willparticipate in the Pan Am Games in 1999.

            Some of those could be of the following:  the freshman girlsteam coached by Lisa Hill and Lara Winstone and consists ofJacqueline Bilodeau, Crystal Brown, Dayna Butterworth, CherylClark, Cynthia Croatto, Kyla Hanec, Cadence Hays, KathleenHolmes, Dana Klatt, Katie Marie, Jill McAndless who was thetournament's most valuable player, Shea Telfer, Holly Thiessenand Amy Tuck.

            The varsity boys are coached by Phil Hudson, Sandy Prabhakarand Carmine Sparanese.  On that team is Sean Barr, John Causon,Brunel Delorme, David Foster, Steve Graham, Dan Hudson, RickHuff, Brian Martens, Mike Martens, John Minkevich, MarkSchmidtke, Bill Schoen, Ken Unger, Dan Webb and Bruce Winstone,who was also the tournament's most valuable player this year andlast year.  Well done, Dakota.


Point of Order


Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows):  Mr. Speaker, I would like toapologize to the honourable member for Emerson (Mr. Penner).  Indebate on Friday, I forgot the name of his fine constituency.  Ialso referred to it in unparliamentary terms, and I apologize forthat, as well.

            The honourable member invited me to visit Emerson which infact I have done.  I have preached at Emerson, Dominion City andGreenridge United Churches.  I visited Stuartburn and Gardenton,and indeed it is a fine constituency.

            I would also like to invite‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member does not havea point of order.  That is clearly not a point of order.


* * *

Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development):  Mr.Speaker, may I have leave to make a nonpolitical statement?[agreed]

            Mr. Speaker, at this time of the year, we see many provincialvolleyball tournaments around the province.  Indeed, myconstituency, the town of Roblin, was the site of the AA BoysVolleyball Championships on the weekend.  I would just like tocongratulate all of the teams for their excellent sportsmanshipand their conduct in the participation of the tournament.

            More importantly, I would like to congratulate the Goose LakeHigh Boys Senior Varsity team for being successful in achievingthe Provincial AA Championship in volleyball this year.  Coachedby Hugh Newton, Mr. Speaker, they did an excellent job throughoutthe year in terms of practices, and indeed they have shown thatRoblin Goose Lake High produces some top quality athletes in thisprovince.  So congratulations to all of them.


* * *

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  Mr. Speaker, might I have leave tomake a nonpolitical statement?

Mr. Speaker:  Does the honourable member for Kildonan have leaveto make a nonpolitical statement? [agreed]

Mr. Chomiak:  The member for Roblin‑Russell truly did speak whenhe said that it was sort of the volleyball season in sportseason.  I want to join together with other members of the Housein congratulating the Garden City Collegiate girls volleyballteam for winning the first provincial championship in theirhistory, which they won on the weekend, Mr. Speaker.

            On behalf of all colleagues in the House, I am sure you willjoin with me in congratulating the girls volleyball team.  Thankyou.





(Seventh Day of Debate)


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member forSeine River (Mrs. Dacquay) for an address to the honourableAdministrator in answer to his speech at the opening of thesession, and the proposed motion of the honourable Leader of theOpposition (Mr. Doer) in amendment thereto, as follows, standingin the name of the honourable member for Point Douglas, who has33 minutes remaining.

Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  Mr. Speaker, before Icontinue, I would just like to clear up a little misunderstandingfrom some of my comments on Friday.

            Some of the members took my comments not in the intentionthat I raised them.  I was not questioning any member of theHouse's integrity or understanding of aboriginals or visibleminorities.  The only point I was trying to make was that Ipersonally would love to see a fairer representation of peopleliving in Manitoba in this Chamber.  That is the only point I wastrying to make.  If I have offended anyone, I apologize for that.

            On that, I would just like to continue on with theconstituents of Point Douglas who, as we know, are trying to workvery hard to try and make ends meet and continue on with theircareers and their lives.

            When I was talking about the opening of many food banks, weall know that is not the answer.  The answer is training andjobs.  I hope when we look at training opportunities forindividuals in Manitoba that we do look at trying to recognizesome of the training and some of the skills that people bringfrom other countries, to try and look at ways of giving some formof accreditation or recognition of their achievements or skilllevels.  Sometimes, Mr. Speaker, when people come from differentcountries they are very skilled in their chosen area, but whenthey come to Canada they have to resort back to not using andfulfilling their skills, either they have to go for the full termof university or college courses, and they have to try and makeends meet by either working in kitchens or labour jobs.  I thinkthat, with those highly skilled people, we are missing theopportunity for them to help us out in a lot of the skilledareas, so on that note, when you add the training and jobopportunities‑‑

            I think another area that we have to make sure that we do notlose sight of, and we do not lose, is our English as a SecondLanguage programs because those are very important to people thatcome from other countries, and English will now become theirsecond language.  We all know how difficult it is when you travelto another country, or to a foreign place, and English is notyour language, how difficult it is to try to communicate or evenjust to catch a bus or to purchase something.  It is verydifficult.  I hope we do not ever, ever lose those kinds ofprograms because Canada was built on people coming from othercountries, and I am sure it will continue that way.


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            I would like to just take a few moments to talk about myformer colleague, the former member for Rupertsland.

            For us aboriginal people, it was a big breakthrough when wefinally had a national hero that a lot of the children andaboriginal people could look up to.  I am not saying that justbecause he came from our party.  It would not have mattered if hecame from the Liberals or Conservatives.  There was an aboriginalperson that finally had recognition across Canada, and across theworld, to have the platform to explain the struggles andaspirations of aboriginals, where, even today, in 1992, you cango into some of the northern communities and they do not evenhave simple things as sewer and water.

            A lot of the housing in some of those northern communitiesare really second‑, third‑rate housing, and nobody had reallyrecognized that and really worked hard‑‑well, I guess theaboriginal people had worked hard, but the citizens of Canada, Ido not think, were really aware of it until the former member ofRupertsland stood up and got the true recognition across Canadaand the world.

            When I think of some of the times that I had the opportunityof travelling with the former member and just being at theairport or in an elevator, the number of total strangers thatrecognized the former member and came up and said, "Thanks," asan aboriginal person, I do not know if I will ever feel as proudas I did at those times.

            Now we hear talk about aboriginal self‑government, andaboriginal this and aboriginal that.  A few years back, you wouldhave never, ever heard those kinds of statements made.  I hope,because of the support that is out there now from a lot of thenon‑aboriginal people, that a lot of those goals and dreams forour children will be fulfilled because my friend and formercolleague had represented the North, and the North right nowneeds a lot of help.

            There is the community of Churchill, which is my home town.They were trying to develop a space port and wanted support fromthe governments and various organizations and agencies.  When youtalk about the space port program, you are talking about 500 jobsin refurbishing the rocket range.  Those 500 jobs would create alot of employment opportunities and a lot of dollars for northernManitoba, because if you have the space port program, then thereis justification for keeping the railroad open, and when therailroad is open there should be justification for continuingwith a port, because even this summer when the grain ships left Churchill there was a memo that went out from CNR to make surethat there was no grain left in Churchill.

            That is very scary, because if they are looking at abandoningthe port, they are looking at abandoning a lot of employmentopportunities for the citizens of that community because there isreally nothing else happening there during the summer months.But if you get the space port program and if it gets off theground, just like the rockets when they are launched, if it getsoff the ground then the railroad should be maintained andhopefully the port will continue on.

            When I was growing up in Churchill, I remember many, manytimes watching the rockets being fired and it was a greatthrill.  In fact, they used to fire about 3,000 rockets everyyear and if they could get that kind of commitment from variousspace programs, then hopefully it will get a much higher ratingby interested companies and by governments for that much‑neededsupport.

            Also, when we talk about the North, we look at mining.  Themining in northern Manitoba right now is in a very, verydangerous state, because we have had five communities‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Whose fault is it?

Mr. Hickes:  Well, I do not know whose fault it is.  I guess to acertain extent you could lay fault, because of some of theinitiatives that have not taken place and some of the, I guess,the initiatives that took place that were detrimental to miningin northern Manitoba.  When I say that, I talk about the 1.5percent mining tax that was put on mines in the year of 1989, andit is still on.  This is 1992 and the mines are suffering.  Theydo not need that extra 1.5 percent mining tax burden becauseright now there is a lot of exploration work going on in theNorth and hopefully they will find something.

            Then, on the other hand, you cannot blame a government whenthe mine runs out, because the statement has always been madethat the day a mine opens, the next day you start planning for itto close because the orebodies have to run out some time.  Iguess, in anticipation of that, there should have been measuresput in place and more exploration done and more investment tofind alternative orebodies.

An Honourable Member:  They should not have been taxed to thelimit, right?

Mr. Hickes:  Well, the member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laudendeau)said they should not be taxed to the limit.  Well, in reference‑‑

An Honourable Member:  What did the NDP do?  They taxed them outof the province.

Mr. Hickes:  In reference to the member's statement that the NDPtaxed them to the limit, well, in 1989, his government which issitting today raised the mining tax 1.5 percent.  If they weretaxed to the limit, why did the government raise the mining tax1.5 percent?  They should have maybe lowered them 1.5 percent if,as the member states, they are taxed to the limit.  If you aretaxed to the limit, there is no more room to add tax.  Thereshould not be any more room.  So I guess the member should speakto his colleagues and ask them why they raised the tax 1.5percent if they are already taxed to the limit.  Ask them.


(Mr. Ben Sveinson, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)


            When we talk about mines, like planning for when mines aregoing to close, the dollars that are put in right now forexploration and prospectors and stuff, that is a good program.Northerners and people in Manitoba welcome that opportunity.  Toobad it was not started sooner, because we knew and people knewthat the mine and the orebody in Snow Lake was running out.  Infact, in November 1992, all Hudson Bay Mining and Smeltingemployees in Snow Lake got their layoff notices.  That wasNovember 23, 1992.

            So maybe the exploration and prospecting work should havebeen started three, four years ago, because when you findorebodies it takes at least two years to have that mine intoproduction.  So when we talk about that, we can go back and forthand blame each other, and we do.  That is okay, because that iswhat government is for.  Opposition, that is our role.

            I really believe that there is more to life than justpolitics.  When we are in this forum here, when we are in theChamber, this is where our forum is to get our ideas across,hopefully, and the government to justify their actions.  This isa political forum.  But when we leave this building, I hope thatwe all remember that we all have families, we all love, we allcry and that there are times when there is no room for politics.


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            A good example I will give you is some of us members here, wehave participated in hockey teams.  We have members from allthree parties, and we go out there and we have a heck of a goodtime, a really good time, and we are all people.  There is nobodydifferent in that room.  When we are on the ice, there is nobodydifferent. [interjection]

            Well, I would not jump up and down and say that, but we allgo out there and we participate and we have fun together.  We area team made up of different political stripes.  That is why Ireally believe that all the negative stuff that we hear fromother people about politicians, that if we could just get thatteam together and go and tour some of these communities and helpthem fund raise.

            Say, for instance, in St. Norbert if they are having afund‑raising project for whatever, that we put our team togetherand challenge an old timers team from there and whatever money isbrought in goes to that organization.  If we did that, say in theEast, the North, the West, we would go out and have a lot offun.  It might take three or four days out of our time.  I thinkthe people would look at us in a different light.

            Maybe some members do not believe in that.  I feel sorry ifthat is the case, because I think it is an excellent opportunityfor the people to see us as we really are, I would say, I hope98, 99 percent of the time.  We do not have the greatest team,but we have a lot of fun doing it.  In the summertime, we coulddo the same thing playing ball. [interjection] Yes, we shouldhave mixed teams.  I fully agree with you.  I really believe thatis the kind of stuff that we should be doing.  If we did more ofthat, I really believe that people would look at us in adifferent light.  That is an idea maybe we could pursue further.

            Anyway, I would like to get back to some of the issuespertaining to the constituency of Point Douglas.  Just recently,we had people who were finally charged in Point Douglas forselling Lysol.  Another one was charged for selling cookingwine.  Individuals in that constituency‑‑and I am sure rightacross Manitoba‑‑are very, very concerned about that.  Now thecitizens are monitoring that very closely to see if some of themeasures that government wisely put in place will have an impacton some of the stores that are still abusing that.  I hope itdoes.

            When we look at the problems facing a lot of the individuals,whether it is sniffing glue or drinking Lysol or sniffing nailpolish, we are doing a lot of damage to our youth and smallchildren.  It is not unheard of to see kids six, seven years oldwith a plastic bag over their mouth and if we could just putmeasures into place to stop that kind of action.  That is onepart of the problem.

            The other part of the problem goes a lot further than that.It goes into the families and the opportunities for employmentand opportunities for training and on and on and on.  I know itis not going to be solved overnight, but if we could just takesmall steps at a time and, hopefully, some day we will not haveto worry about those kinds of problems.  The more we do, I guess,the more we can do and the more we hopefully accomplish for thepeople, because that is what this life is supposed to be allabout, then I think the better world we will have to leave to ourchildren.

            I do not want to take up too much more time.  I just wantedto put a few things on record.  I hope the government will lookat proclaiming Bill 91, because that will be one of the steps toachieving those goals for the people of Manitoba.  With that, Mr.Acting Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development):  Mr. Acting Speaker, I would first of all say that I am pleased to rise todayto be able to add my comments to those that have already beenoffered on the throne speech.  Let me begin by congratulating andwelcoming back Mr. Speaker to his Chair and, indeed, wishing himwell during this session.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would like to welcome two new membersto our Legislature.  First of all, from the Portage la Prairieconstituency, I would like to welcome Mr. Brian Pallister as mycolleague in the Legislature.  I know Mr. Pallister from some ofthe work that he has done in his community as a member of theChamber of Commerce and, indeed, my involvement with him in myformer portfolio and in Rural Development have certainly gainedme a great respect of Mr. Pallister.

            I know that he is going to be a very contributing member tothis Legislature and he is going to represent Portage la Prairiein a most honourable fashion.  I would like to also say that I amlooking forward to working with the member for Portage la Prairieas a legislative assistant to my department.  I know that we aregoing to have some very interesting work ahead of us in the daysto come.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would also like to welcome to theLegislature the new member for Crescentwood, Ms. Avis Gray.Indeed, as she comes back to the Legislature, I know that she isgoing to contribute very positively to the debate that goes on inthis House.  Indeed, she will represent Crescentwood in a veryrespectable way, and I wish her well in terms of her tenure asthe representative for Crescentwood.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would like to also say that things havechanged somewhat since we were here last spring.  Indeed, we haveseen three members of this Legislature who have decided to doother things with their lives.

            First of all, I offer my best wishes to someone who came intothe Legislature at the same time I did, and that is the formermember for Portage la Prairie.  I got to know Mr. Connery and hiswife very well because we were both newcomers to the Legislatureat the same time and indeed spent many hours together talkingabout rural Manitoba, talking about the direction government wasgoing at the time and how we were going to contribute to theprocess.  I wish Mr. Connery and his family well as he pursuesother endeavours in his life.

            In addition, Mr. Acting Speaker, someone whom I have had manylively debates with in this House, the Leader of the secondopposition party (Mrs. Carstairs), I have to tell her that indeedI enjoyed the debates we had and some of the exchanges we had inQuestion Period but, again, from time to time this Housedegenerates a little bit and we get into the politics ofpersonalities.  I would like to say to her that I was veryinterested in her closing remarks at the last session when shestood in her place and talked about decorum in this House and thefact that this House needed to look towards dealing with issuesrather than personalities.

            I have to say to her that I really welcome her comments thissession and, indeed, she has dealt with the issues and she hasnot dealt with personalities.  She, as Leader of her party, hasindeed brought her party a long way in this province and hascontributed admirably to the political process in our province.I wish her well as she chooses other endeavours in her life, butI know during this session we will have some lively exchanges,and I look forward to those as well.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, the member for Rupertsland, who haschosen to do other things as well, leaves this Legislature, buthe does leave his mark on the political process in our provinceand in the history of this province.  I wish him well as hechooses a new way of life, perhaps looking to other politicalaspirations down the road.

            I would like to welcome the new interns whom we have with usthis session.  I would like to welcome our new Pages, and I amvery impressed with the work that they are doing here in ourHouse.  I am sure that this will be a learning experience to themas well.  I would like to welcome them to the Legislature at thistime, and I would also like to welcome Judy White to the table ofthe Clerk.


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            Members of this House have returned for another session andindeed are looking forward to some debate and how they cancontribute to the political process in our province.  When weended the last session, I come back again to comments that weremade by the Leader of the official opposition (Mr. Doer) and theLeader of the Second Opposition (Mrs. Carstairs) and indeed thePremier (Mr. Filmon) of this House with regard to what we are allabout and why we are here.  We are here to represent the peoplewho have elected us.  We are here to deal with issues.

            Although we view things from different perspectives, it isimportant that we keep in mind that we are here to bring forwardthose ideas of the people whom we represent.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I cannot emphasize strongly enough thatfrom time to time we should look at ourselves and ask ourselveswhether or not we are truly dealing with issues, or whether wesometimes or too often get into this whole rhetoric of dealingwith personalities and our view of another individual.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I think it is important that we introduceguests into this Legislature as we do the students from variousschools in this province.  I have travelled to many schools inthis province and have talked to students who have been in ourLegislature.  From time to time, you will get comments fromstudents who are in Grade 8, and they will ask you the question,is this how you people really conduct your affairs in the House,because it is not the way we are allowed to act in school, and ifwe acted like this in school, they would probably call ourparents in.

            Maybe we should learn a lesson from some of these students.Perhaps we need to take some of those comments to heart andindeed conduct ourselves in a more respectable fashion from timeto time.  I know that the call came from the Leaders at the endof the last session, and I am hoping that this session willindeed take on a different flavour.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would like to spend a moment or twotalking about the constituency I represent.  It is a constituencythat is a long way from this Legislature, at the west side of theprovince and somewhat north of here as well, and we have probablyhad one of the most difficult years that I can remember and thatmany of my constituents can remember as well.  As a matter offact, my father says that in his lifetime he can only rememberone year which probably was as hard on the rural economy as thisyear was, and it was 59 years ago when he was just a newlymarried farmer in that area.

            This year our constituency was hit by probably the mostdevastating frosts that we have seen in a long time.  I rememberwe were at the ministerial conference in Clear Lake on the 13thof August, when I got up at about 5:30 in the morning, and Icould not believe my eyes because the ground was white, and itwas the first frost of the year, so to speak, that was going todo some great damage to our crops and, indeed, that did hurt thecrops.  Then there were frosts two weeks later that literallydestroyed what potentially would have been one of the best cropsthat we had ever grown.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, a lot of the crop is still out in swathin the fields and probably will not see the bin, and much of itwill be destroyed in the spring.  This puts a very bleak pictureon the people who live in my constituency.  Many are wonderingwhether or not they have a future in agriculture or whether theywill be able to make it through this year.  Many are thankinggovernments, both federal and provincial, for the GRIP program.Indeed, I was at a meeting not that long ago where a farmer stoodup and said, thank the government for the GRIP program because ifit were not for GRIP, we would not be in the agriculture businesstoday.

            My constituency is a very resilient one and one which isinhabited by people who always believe that there is a bettertomorrow.  With that spirit, they are looking forward to nextyear as being a better year, and indeed one where they canperhaps get back on their feet and start making some dollarsagain and seeing their lives put back together again.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, the statistics came out on my area, and Ithink it is the highest unemployed area that we have in thisprovince at the present time.  I think the unemployment rate inmy area is about 24.5 percent at this time.

            There are many factors that contribute to the fact that it isa high unemployed area, and therefore we need to pay some specialattention to an area which has an unemployment rate of thatnature, but it is not government that is going to fix it for thepeople there.  It is going to have to come from the peoplethemselves and indeed from the businesses that operate in thatarea.

            To that extent, Mr. Acting Speaker, I have to say that I wasvery motivated on Friday when I attended a graduation at TheRussell Inn.  It was the first graduation of the AssiniboineCommunity College Parkland Southwest Campus.  At that graduation,there were 11 women who were graduating with a program in dataprocessing and a business program.  It was interesting, becausenone of the 11 people who were graduating had employment in thelast two years.  As a result of their taking the program, six ofthem had already gained employment before the night of theirgraduation.

            I guess all this does is point to the importance of trainingand retraining in some of our rural areas.  The little campusthat was established in that community has served not only thatcommunity well, because there were graduates there from areasthat were 30 and 40 miles away, so indeed it is a benefit to thatside of the province.

            It is my hope that that program will only increase in termsof the number of participants in it and there will be a widerrange of programs offered in the future.

            When we talk about opportunities and training and retraining,I guess when you see a statistic like that, where out of 11people who have not worked for at least two years, six havegained employment because of their ability to become retrained,we see how important it is for us to put emphasis on training andretraining opportunities.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, we live in a very tough economic time,not only in this province but indeed in this country and allaround the world.  We are coming out of a recession, or we hopewe are coming out of a recession.  We have seen people lose theirjobs all around the country, and there are not any simplesolutions or cures.  Some people think that there are some simpleanswers but, indeed, there are not.  Restructuring is takingplace all around the world, not just in our province but indeedthroughout our country and all around the world.  As I say, thesolutions are going to be ones that are not simple and are goingto take some time to implement.

            When I listened to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) inhis address to the throne speech, he highlighted such things aslayoffs, job shortages, the suffering of people who do not havejobs.  He said that his party listens.  He accused our side ofnot listening to the people of our province.  Well, let me tellmy honourable friend that indeed our party and our governmentlisten very carefully to the people of this province, and weinvolve the people of the province in decision making.

            I ask the Leader of the Opposition where he was the day thatthe Economic Innovation and Technology Council held its forumhere in Winnipeg.  Mr. Acting Speaker, I heard him call for an all-party task force on the economy, a forum where perhapsmembers from all parties could join and talk about where oureconomy was going.  Well, there is no better opportunity than onewhere we had members from labour, members from business, membersfrom education, members from all walks of life gather at a forumwhere we could talk about what it is that this province needs.


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            Although the members opposite may ridicule the process, therewere many at that forum who thought that this was the rightprocess that we should be embarking on.  Oh, yes, we couldcriticize any one of the speakers or any one of the functions ofthat forum.  We could always find criticism.  But let us look atthe bigger picture, and let us understand that the solutions donot come from the top.  Indeed, we have to reach out to thepeople to find solutions, and that was the idea behind the forum,Mr. Acting Speaker.

            Indeed, through the participation within the groups andlistening to the speakers, there were ideas that came out that Ithink need to be acted on down the road.  These are ones that aregoing to help lead our province perhaps out of the situation thatwe find ourselves in today.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, it is very evident that we cannot thinkabout solutions in old ways.  Our thinking must reflect thechanging economy.  Our actions must be creative.  We must alsounderstand that there is going to be some risk taken when we acton things in a new way because, indeed, the old solutions are notones that are acceptable.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, when I listened to Dan Will that morningat the forum, it was evident that in his comments he was quiteclear in indicating that this process of restructuring oureconomy and our society today is one that needs a partnershipapproach.  That partnership must include labour, it must includebusiness and it must include government.  We must call on allsectors of our society to become involved as partners in achanging world.  We know that those who resist change will beleft behind, and those who pick up the challenge are going toeventually emerge as winners.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I could ask the question, well, how doesManitoba sit in relation to our neighbours with regard to thechallenges and the changes that are taking place?  I could go toThe Globe and Mail, and I know this article may have already beenused by someone, but I think it is such a good one that it shouldbe used over and over again by all of us.  It is an article thatwas in the November 10th Globe and Mail and its headline says:Burst of activity linked to provincial strategy boosting thesector.  It talks about the biomedical industry setting up shopin Winnipeg.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, this is a good news story, because ittalks about the whole biomedical industry and how it is in factusing Winnipeg as its centre.  It says:  For years, scepticssneered at the efforts of western Canadians to build high techenterprises in the middle of the wheat belt.  Many thought theprairie provinces were simply pouring money down the gopherholes.  It may come as a bit of a shock then for the naysayers towatch the bustling biomedical industry emerge in Winnipeg.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, there are several of these initiatives,like the initiative of Apotex Incorporated that will look at a$19‑million biotechnology investment in this province, or wecould look at the Trimel Corporation from Toronto which will beopening a $30‑million state of the art pharmaceutical factory inSteinbach.  We could look at Health and Welfare Canada'sconstruction beginning with a $143‑million virology lab, or wecould look at the Medix Corporation or at the National ResearchCouncil investing $21 million in this province.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, this does not happen by accident.  Ithappens because there are people in this province who want tomake it happen.  These people are the government of thisprovince.  Dr. Sherman says that Manitoba has been aggressive inpursuing these industries.  We have not just sat back and waitedfor them to choose a location.  We have gone to them and we haveoffered them a location.  We have offered them the Manitobaadvantage, if you like.  He says in the article:  On the otherhand, Manitoba officials respond quickly.  He goes on to say thatit is our Premier who is not afraid to go and make the closingdeal if that is important.  That is why Manitoba is leading theway in this regard.  There are many more initiatives of thisnature that are underway right at the present time.

            These are industries that are going to provide long‑termemployment for our province.  It is high‑tech, it isprofessional, it is an industry that is going to bring with itspin‑off industries, related industries.  It brings with itresearch.  It brings with it the academic sector as well.  Soanytime that we can go out and attract businesses, we can attractservices which are of this calibre, I think that all of us shouldjoin together and ensure that we do that for the benefit of ourprovince.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, as I said, there were certain things thathad to be in place before some of this could happen.  Some ofthis that I speak about has been happening over the last four anda half years, and it is this government controlling governmentspending, keeping the taxes down‑‑over five budgets taxes havenot increased‑‑actively pursuing industries into our province,industries that are high‑tech that will add jobs so badly neededin this province.

            All of this also creates a need for us to look carefully atour training and retraining programs.  Over the last number ofyears, we have looked at training and retraining as importantcomponents of our society.  The Southport announcement was onewhere we purposely targeted an industry where we needed to dosome retraining and some training, because there were jobs thatwere available in the aerospace industry, where we had no skilledwork force for.

            It was for that reason that Red River Community College putin programs which would teach our youth, train residents of ourprovince to become skilled in the types of industries that wouldlead them to full‑time and permanent employment.  It is for thatreason that we put Workforce 2000 together, so that those whoperhaps were underskilled or needed training could get thattraining, not in a formal classroom, but also could get thattraining while they were working in a job situation.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, much more needs to be done.  Oureducation system must become part of the changing world so thatit can better respond to the demands and the needs of oursociety.  Our graduates must be as good as their counterparts,not just in Canada, but around the globe.  The opposition'ssolution has always been to throw more money at the system andeverything will be fine.  Well, history even within our ownprovince has shown that this is shortsighted and indeed withoutresults.

            We could point to a couple of examples that have shown thatit is shortsighted or without result.  I refer specifically tosuch an endeavour as the Jobs Fund.  I want to know, and I wonderif there is still a single job around that was initiated underthe Jobs Fund.  The only thing that has remained is the humongousdebt that was created as a result of the Jobs Fund.  I do notbelieve that there is a single job in this province still aroundthat was created as a result of the ill‑fated Jobs Fund.  So, Mr.Acting Speaker, although that Jobs Fund consumed enormous amountsof money, the results were short‑lived, if there were any at all.

An Honourable Member:  And what have you done?

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Speaker, as I indicated‑‑[interjection]The member for The Pas (Mr. Lathlin) says, what have you done?  Iremind him that he was in a different capacity at the time that Iwas Minister of Education and Training, where for years he triedto get an agreement from the former government for a B.N.training program in The Pas.  That was not achievable under theformer administration.  When we came to government, Mr. ActingSpeaker, he became a lobbyist of our government.  As a matter offact, he almost made me believe that he was a Conservative at thetime, but I knew better, and he was trying to convince theLiberals that he was a Liberal.


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            Mr. Acting Speaker, I can tell you that it was under thisadministration that we were able to achieve a good agreement, Ibelieve, one which provided for a Bachelor of Nursing Program fornative students in the community of The Pas.  Now I have notfollowed the program as of recent months, but I can tell you thatit provided an opportunity for students from northern Manitobaand especially aboriginal students to become trained and tobecome professionals in the area of nursing.  I hope that is aprogram that will continue to be successful in the future as well.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, again this simply shows that solutions donot come from the top, and indeed people together have to createthe atmosphere for resolving problems.  Together we have to formpartnerships so that we can go ahead and together resolveproblems in the best interests of the people that we represent.We have to remodel our education system.  It is true.  That doesnot mean we throw away the strength of the system.  We have tobuild on the strength, because our system has many good things init.

            My children attend a public school.  I can tell you that theyget a fairly good education, but it does not mean that it cannotbe improved and it cannot be added to.  That is what we need todo to ensure that our children are going to learn so that theycan then compete in a very competitive society and a verycompetitive world, Mr. Acting Speaker.  So let us not sort ofthrow the baby out with the bath water.  Let us ensure that webuild on the strengths of our system and address the weaknesses,and indeed there are weaknesses in the system.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would like to turn my attention torural Manitoba because that is my home.  I live here for fivedays of the week, while the House is sitting especially, and Ilive in my constituency in rural Manitoba for at least two daysout of the week.

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  But do you do your work whileyou are there?  That is the other question.

Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Speaker, my rural critic from theLiberal Party asked me whether I do any work when I am outthere.  I invite him to join me some day and follow me around forthe two days that I am in my constituency.

Mr. Gaudry:  You know I have been there.

            Mr. Derkach:  Oh, yes.  My colleague says he has been there, andindeed he has.  He has passed through my constituency severaltimes, but he has found that there is no sense in hanging aroundbecause everything is in good order.


Point of Order


Mr. Gaudry:  On a point of order, Mr. Acting Speaker, just toremind the honourable member for Russell that I have been thereand I have done some work.  He knows.  We have sat in his officeand we resolved a few problems.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Sveinson):  Order, please.  The memberfor St. Boniface does not have a point of order.


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Mr. Derkach:  Mr. Acting Speaker, as I said, rural Manitoba is myhome.  Much time is spent talking about the needs of our society,and it is true that two‑thirds of our population is here in thecity of Winnipeg, but there is a population outside of the majorcity of this province that is indeed an important contributor tomuch of the economy of our province.

            Rural Manitoba needs some attention and our government hasgiven it the attention that it requires.  We need to revitalizeour rural economy and our government has moved to do that.  Overthe last few years we have seen a slumping agricultural sectorand we have seen the depopulation and the concern that has causedin many of our rural centres.  Yes, our youth are moving away tothe urban centres because it has been easier to find employmentin the urban centres than it has in the rural areas.  I have toremind all of us that a strong Manitoba means that we must havenot only a strong urban centre, but we must also have a strongrural economy as well.  There must be a balance and one cannotflourish at the expense of the other.

            Our government is indeed committed to rebuilding andrevitalizing our rural economy, but we cannot do it alone.  Wecan be a partner, we can be a catalyst in the process but much ofthat revitalization has to come from within the communitiesthemselves.  Communities must be encouraged to seek answers tothe problems that they face and the challenges that they face.Mr. Acting Speaker, from my travels throughout the provinceManitobans are prepared to take up that challenge and that hasbecome evident in community after community.  Again, they are notlooking for handouts, but they are looking for solutions tocomplex problems that face them.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, a couple of days ago I visited northernManitoba and I visited the communities of Flin Flon, Lynn Lake,we went up to Thompson, we were in The Pas and while visitingthose communities I first‑hand saw the‑‑I do not know what youwould call it, but it was a very demoralizing kind of experiencewhen I drove through the town of Lynn Lake and we saw theboarded‑up homes, the vandalized homes, a community that wascertainly looking for some answers and looking for some newindustry that might emerge in that community.  I met with thecouncil there and it was evident that they did not want just tosee more money thrown their way so that they could spend and thenthey would be back to government for more funding.

            They wanted to see some assistance in terms of developing along‑term strategic plan.  They did not want to see what themember for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) is suggesting, that we keepdigging for ore even though there is not any ore left downthere.  They did not want any handouts either.

            What they want is a way in which they can find solutions tothe problems that face them, a strategic plan.  Together we areprepared to work with the community of Lynn Lake and, indeed,their mayor and their council have indicated very clearly thatthey would welcome people from my department to work with them inputting together some form of plan where they can become aself‑sustained community again, perhaps focusing on a differenteconomy than they have seen in the past.  It is difficult andthey understand that very clearly.

            Over the last number of years we have ventured into some newprogram areas for rural Manitoba and one of the more successfulones was the decentralization initiative.  Mr. Acting Speaker, wemet this summer with ministers from all across Canada, and wetalked about decentralization.  I thought that perhapsSaskatchewan and Manitoba would have been the two provinces thathad taken the leadership in decentralization, but I was surprisedto find that our neighbours to the east, Ontario, havedecentralized over 5,000 positions since the Rae government cameinto power.  They are moving not only positions; they are movingentire branches of departments out of the city of Toronto.  Theyare doing it because they understand the importance of theconcept of decentralization.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, we have moved over 600 positions out ofthe city of Winnipeg into rural areas.  I can tell you that thosecommunities that have received decentralization offices anddecentralization positions are finding that they are not onlywelcome in their communities, but they are contributing verypositively to the economic base of the community as well.[interjection] No, we have moved 600.

            On Friday, a decentralization office in Carman was opened.Although I was not able to be there, my staff tell me that it wasreally an experience that one had to be there to witness in orderto appreciate the kind of enthusiasm that there is in thecommunity for welcoming this decentralization office.


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            Not that long ago, I shared a platform with the member forBrandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans) at a decentralization opening inBrandon.  Although we have taken some criticism from membersopposite about decentralization and about moving jobs out ofWinnipeg, I was happy to see that a member of the oppositionunderstood the importance of decentralization to his community.It is not often easy for somebody from the opposition to say,yes, decentralization is a good and important initiative.  I haveto give credit to the member for Brandon East who did stand inthe public and say that this was a good initiative and hesupported this initiative, and I give him a lot of credit forbeing able to stand up and say that.

            I would like to touch on a few other programs that areoffered through the Department of Rural Development which I thinkare helping rural communities find their way, if you like, interms of revitalizing their economies.  A program that wasintroduced a year or so ago, two years ago, is called theCommunity Choices program.  This program, Mr. Acting Speaker, isone which allows the communities to bring together leadingmembers from their community to a round table to look at thestrength of the community, develop a vision statement for thatcommunity and then embark on an action plan in order to create aneconomic base to attract business into that community, but again,very structured in the way that they do it because they look atwhat strength that community has, not unlike what is happening inLynn Lake.  The community of Lynn Lake has now decided that theywant to take a look at what their strengths are so that they canbuild on their strength.

            The Community Choices program has been an excellent one andhas been a very successful one.  We are now finding thatcommunities around this province understand what their strengthsare, and they are beginning to focus on those strengths.  Theyare beginning to build on those strengths so that it is not ahaphazard approach to economic development.  Indeed, it is a veryorganized one and one which is going to lead to some verypositive results.

            To add to the Community Choices program, Mr. Acting Speaker,we introduced the Rural Economic Development Initiative, morecommonly known as the REDI program.  We indicated that thisprogram was going to be designed to assist rural communities toaccess dollars which are generated from the video lotteryterminals to build upon and indeed to help them develop theireconomic base.  Indeed, it is Ayerst that was the first recipientof the REDI program when it received a million dollars from theRural Development Initiatives program.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, there are four different programs underREDI, and indeed communities all around the province are lookingat ways in which they can access REDI funding.  Indeed we haveover 100 applications, 78 of which are being looked at veryseriously at the present time.

            Another program, Mr. Acting Speaker, which I think is veryimportant to us is the Grow Bonds program.  I do not need to gointo this except to tell you that we have three very successfulprojects:  one, being the Grow Bonds program in Teulon which sold$800,000 of Grow Bonds; the other one being at Morden which soldabout $127,000; and now, most recently, one in Portage, theSunnex proposal, which will be seeking to sell $220,000 worth ofGrow Bonds.  These programs have been exceptional in terms oftheir success so far, and we look forward to them beinginstruments that communities can use to build upon and to enhancetheir state in this economy.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, to conclude, I would just like to say theDepartment of Rural Development sees its role in our society asone which will assist rural communities to invest in themselves,will assist rural communities to become revitalized, and indeedwill help our province to become a stronger province than we havebeen in the past, and one which we can look to the future withoptimism and strength.


(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)


            With that, I see that my light is flashing and it looks likemy time has expired, but I wish to thank you. [interjection] Oh,I have one more minute.  Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker,you are very generous.

            Our department is not addressing many of these challengesalone.  We have taken a different approach to addressing many ofour challenges in our province.  We are working very aggressivelywith the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Industry,Trade and Tourism, the Department of Environment, Education,Urban Affairs, Government Services, Consumer and CorporateAffairs, and Labour and many of the issues that have beenidentified in rural Manitoba.

            Mr. Speaker, when we talk about Tourism, as an example, it isthe Department of I, T and T that we work with veryco‑operatively.  So it is not a one‑department approach tohelping rural Manitobans; indeed, it is a collective‑governmentapproach that we use in addressing many of the challenges thatare before us in our province.

            I think Manitoba has a very positive future.  I look forwardto working on behalf of the residents of rural Manitoba to servethem in the best way that I possibly can as Minister of RuralDevelopment.

            I think that our throne speech does point to a directionwhich indeed talks about the importance of revitalizing ruralManitoba, and indeed it is one that should be supported by allmembers of this House, Mr. Speaker.  Thank you very much.

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan):  I welcome the opportunity, Mr.Speaker, of joining the Throne Speech Debate again at an openingof another session.

            I would like to commence by welcoming the Pages and all ofthose who have returned again to this Chamber and to wish thePages well in terms of their jobs, and to welcome you back, Mr.Speaker, into your position as the Chair and arbitrator of eventsin this House.  I look forward to your usual very efficientmanners of dealing with matters in this House.

            I would also like to welcome the two newly elected members tothe Chamber who already have indicated to me, at least from myvantage point of someone who has only been here two years myself,that they will contribute greatly to the discussion in thisChamber, and I sincerely believe that, Mr. Speaker.  We often donot give credit to people who are elected, given events of thepast few months, to elected office, and I welcome them to thisChamber and look forward to their contribution.

            I would also like to comment on the loss to the Chamber ofthe member for Rupertsland, who, in the words eloquently spokenby the member for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes), made a contributionto aboriginal people that will probably never be eclipsed orerased, at least to this juncture in our country's history.Regardless of what happens from here on in, regardless of howhistory should turn, I will, I suspect‑‑probably my children orgrandchildren will say at some point, my grandfather orgreat‑grandfather sat in the same House as Elijah Harper.  I saidthat to Elijah as a credit to him and all that he has done torepresent the aspirations of aboriginal people in this country.

            I note that the Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs)has indicated over the past month or two that she will bestepping down.  I actually am reserving comment, Mr. Speaker.Because of the ebb and flow of political process in this country,one never knows, and I have been around politics a long time toknow that many times members have come up to me at midtermgenerally to say that they are stepping down, only to find whenthe bell rings again, off to another election, that they arethere.  Should she go through with her decision, I certainly wishher and her husband a pleasant period of relaxation andwell‑deserved respite from this Chamber and for the activitiesthat she has distinguished herself well in this process and inthis Chamber.

            With respect to the throne speech, Mr. Speaker, I wish Icould stand up in this House and perhaps logically or in anonpolitical sense discuss this document rationally, but I havegreat difficulty, because the document itself is very short onnew initiatives and very, very short on ideas.  It basicallyoffends my sense of politics by virtue of some of the statementsin it.  Many of the statements in the throne speech are rehashesand reworkings of previous government initiatives which have beenrepackaged as they have been repackaged before and repackagedprior to that in the two and a half years that I have been inthis Chamber to somehow present a new face.

            It is like a Rubik's Cube.  Every time the government at itsweekly polling gets a new poll out and sees a new face that theyhave to put on, they kind of flip the Rubik's Cube and try torealign their face for the electorate, but frankly it is the samecube with only a realignment.  It is greatly disappointing.


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            Nowhere greater do we see this disappointment and thishypocrisy than in the area of offloaded taxes.  We looked upon itwith great amusement when the throne speech came down and thegovernment chastised the federal government for its offloading oftaxes.  I found it incredible that a provincial government, aprovincial regime that has probably offloaded more taxes than anygovernment in the history of this province, would have the galland the nerve to stand up and lambaste the federal government fordoing precisely what the provincial government has done.

            Mr. Speaker, we put together a chart outlining what has beencommonly referred to now around the province as the GFT, and weused government estimates that are very, very conservative, small"c," I might add, very small "c" conservative estimates of theoffload on the property tax portion alone that the Conservativegovernment has offloaded onto municipalities.  It amounts toapproximately $70 million that has been offloaded onto localtaxpayers; that is for the education portion alone.  That doesnot account, for the property tax portion of the municipalassessment, strictly educational loan.  This has been offloadedonto school divisions, while, at the same time, the government issaying, prioritize your programs, tighten your belts.  At thesame time, what they are forcing divisions to do is cut backprograms, cut back services and raise taxes at the local level sothat the Premier (Mr. Filmon), the member for Tuxedo, can proceedto indicate that he, like George Bush‑‑read his lips‑‑has notraised taxes.

            The lips should really say, we have not raised taxes exceptlocal property taxes.  We have not raised taxes except educationtaxes.  We have not raised taxes except every single permit,licence, everything that moves that has been taxed.  There was atime during the regime of Sterling Lyon, they said thateverything was taxed but the tips on crutches, Mr. Speaker.  Weare achieving those goals again as everything gets taxed in thisprovince to allow the member for Tuxedo to say we have not raisedtaxes, but everyone in the province knows that it has been anoffload.

            I wish the government would have the intellectual honesty toat least admit that, at least to have the intellectual capacityto come to grips with the fact that they have offloaded ahorrendous extent upon the taxpayers of this province.  We haveyet to hear a word from members of that side of the Houseacknowledging that this, in fact, has taken place.

            We had an occasion, Mr. Speaker, for the Premier last week tofinally, on behalf of the government, confront the Prime Ministerabout the damage that the Conservative policies had wreaked uponthe province of Manitoba.  I was heartened to hear that thePremier was able to tell the Prime Minister finally that he wasfurious and we are furious.  It has been a long time coming.  Onehopes that that furious nature will extend until the next federalelection, which cannot come too soon, so that we can once and forall rid ourselves of the Conservative government in Ottawa whichhas probably done more to destroy the fabric and nature of thiscountry than any other federal government.

            I sincerely believe that this particular federal governmentin power now has done more to wreak havoc on not only theCanadian economy, but the Canadian national psyche than any otherprevious regime.  The sooner this government is taken out ofoffice, the better it will be for all Canadians.  If it couldhappen before Christmas, I would welcome it with open arms,because I sincerely believe that.  I can tell you that certainlyin my own constituency, it is reflected in the comments ofeveryone that I meet at the door.

            I do want to diverge slightly on a point that I wish to makeabout events in my own constituency, and that is we all know thatthe lot of the politician has been lowered somewhat in the eyesof the general elective.  We generally are not held as in greatesteem as perhaps we would like to or perhaps many of us feelshould be the case.  Frankly, I believe that the Mulroneygovernment has done more, the Prime Minister in particular, tolower the spectrum and the level of politics in this country thanany other politician in a good deal of time, Mr. Speaker.  Again,once the Prime Minister is removed from the scene, I think thatall of us will function much more effectively and perhaps someform of credibility can again return to the political process,something that has been lacking as a result of that particularregime in power.

            Discussing my own constituency of Kildonan, I have had thepleasure to be able to continue my door‑knocking and my contactwith constituents.  It certainly is the case that the economicdownturn, finally admitted by members opposite to be a recession,has affected the people of Kildonan like all people of theprovince of Manitoba quite dramatically.

            I am struck by the number of students, married and otherwise,who are at home with their parents.  I am struck by the number ofadults that I have talked to, who tell me in conversation thatthey are advising their children to leave the province when theygraduate.  I am struck by the number of occasions I have come toa home and both working adults in the home do not have jobs.  Itis a very tough economic plight out there and anything that we inthis Chamber can do to improve the lot and to improve theeconomic situation, anything that we can do will be of benefit,because of the hardship that it has wreaked upon people acrossthe province, and I see it on a daily basis.

            Another very disturbing aspect that I see on a regular basis,although I do not see it in regular door‑knocking, is the effectof changes to the Workers Compensation Board.  I do not know howto hammer it home any more deeply, Mr. Speaker, than to say it isastounding how many occasions I have been in the homes ofindividuals who have been on workers compensation who have beendeemed or cut off and they are left with no choice, there are nojobs available, there is no compensation available.  The onlything available is, perhaps, social assistance.  Many of thesepeople never thought the day that they were injured that theywould be forced in this situation to seek social assistance forsomething they believed in the past was a right, and that is aright to be remedied by society for injuries obtained at work, aright for which we have all given up our right to sue and manyother rights, but that does not seem to cut much ice with some ofthe very regressive changes that have been introduced by thisregime at the Workers Compensation Board.  It never fails toamaze me what a significant hardship these individuals areencountering.

            Health care is a huge concern of people in the constituencythat I represent.  The lack of home care, some of the conditionsthat are now occurring in the hospitals, the so‑called reform andlack of community services that are in place, the lack ofservices to mental health patients and those with psychiatricillnesses come up over and over again.  Virtually no one isuntouched by those kinds of concerns.

            We on this side of the House are going to take a proactivestance, Mr. Speaker, by sponsoring public meetings to try tobring to the government's attention some of the concerns that areoccurring out there on a daily basis with respect to health care,by sponsoring a series of meetings, the first of which will betomorrow in the constituency that I represent.  The health careconcern is uppermost in the minds of the constituents of the areathat I represent.


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            There is also an underlying concern, Mr. Speaker, in theconstituency with respect to security and safety.  Break‑ins, ifnot in actual fact, apparently appear to be up, and there is agood deal of concern, particularly amongst the elderly, aboutpublic safety.  While I recognize that that cannot be dealt withovernight, I am convinced that we must double our efforts to tryto deal with concerns of personal safety for our citizens in thecommunity, because it is expressed to me over and over and overagain.  We must put more resources back into the communities, andwe must assist our enforcement officers and others to try to dealwith this concern as it exists in the community, because thereare concerns.

            I might add to that end, we in the New Democratic Party areagain sponsoring in this Chamber a resolution dealing withviolence on television, again as one of our efforts and one ofour concerns that we are raising to try to bring to the attentionof the public and to the members of this Chamber what negativeeffect it can have.

            I note that the inspector dealing with the youth division ofthe City of Winnipeg Police Department again reiterated that facttoday, this morning, on the front page of the Free Press when heindicated that there is no doubt in his mind that some of theincrease in youth crime is as a result of the effect of thetelevision transmission from Detroit, contrary to what hadpreviously been the case when we had television transmission fromGrand Forks and other more similar jurisdictions to our own.

            I think there is some accuracy in that, which is why we arelooking to all members of this House to support us when it comesto dealing with the issue of violence on television and which iswhy we have brought the resolution forward again this session andwhy we will be pushing for the adoption of this resolution,because I have said many, many times in this Chamber, when itcomes to matters of justice or matters of personal safety, Mr.Speaker, it is sort of like the Fram Oil commercial:  You pay menow or you will pay me a lot more later.  Certainly anything thatwe could do to prevent even one youth or one person from enteringthat slippery slope of the criminal justice system is money wellspent and is activity well spent.

            I now turn, Mr. Speaker, to an area that I spend a fair bitof time in, and that is the area of education.  There is a wealthof material.  Unfortunately, most of the material is lacking onthe government's part of nonactivity that one could deal with.  Iwill try to get through as much as I can in the minutes allocatedto me.

            I guess in the first instance, Mr. Speaker, I listened veryattentively to the comments of the present Minister of Education(Mrs. Vodrey) outlining the government's program for educationreform.  I received just as much from those comments as I didfrom reading the throne speech, which amounts to nothing otherthan platitudes and verbiage and rehashes of previous statementsthat had been put forward by the government. [interjection]

            I tried.  The member for Lakeside (Mr. Enns) indicates that Iwent too far, Mr. Speaker, but I desperately sat here and I triedto listen to what the minister was saying about education reformand there was no tangible plan.  There was only, for lack of abetter word, rhetoric.  There was only commitments to standards,I heard, commitments to accountability, et cetera, but no plan,no action.

            In fact, when I look at the Throne Speech Debate and have alook at the throne speech itself, I see that the very claims thatare made inside the throne speech have already been announced bythe government.  For example, the government promised:  "Mygovernment has listened to public demand," for example, "foraccurate student achievement measures."  I look to Strategy 62 ofthe government's own Answering the Challenge, this poorlyimplemented document, dated June 1990.  That promise is alreadythere‑‑June 1990.  Throne speech, November 1992‑‑the two, how dothey connect?  A re‑promise of an old promise.

            I look further on, Mr. Speaker, to the government's report:"My government will place greater emphasis on policies andprograms leading towards producing sound reading, mathematics andlearning skills."  I again look to the government's documents.  Ilook to Strategies 67 through to 69, and it is the same pledge,the same program.  Why was it promised in June 1990, and now itis being announced in the throne speech, November 1992?

            So I listened with great attentiveness, I will again repeat,great attentiveness, to the comments of the Minister of Education(Mrs. Vodrey), saying, what is that program that they are goingto announce?  What is the accountability?  What I heard was,again, the commitments to accountability and the commitments tothese concepts that have already been previously announced andhave previously been put in.

            Mr. Speaker, what is lacking, the minister said finally, thatwhat they are going to introduce is a new education act in theprovince, something we have been calling for for two years inthis House.  The minister put in place a process last year, wherethey structured meetings all across the province, and theminister was to be provided with a summary of those meetings inthe spring of 1992.

            I do not think the minister knew what she was going to dowith the results of those discussions, except now they say theyare going to have more public hearings which, frankly, are veryhard to object to, Mr. Speaker.  The fact is that education is asignificant issue, and members of the public want to have someinput into those discussions.

            What has happened is, the government has said, we are goingto have public hearings.  They have produced a document withabout 89 questions in it, held public hearings, received theresults from those public hearings.  They are eight monthsbehind.  Nonetheless, the minister has received that document.Now they are going to have more public hearings.  It just showsthe disjointed effort of this government.  One tends to believe,and I think accurately, that it is mostly an exercise in publicrelations.

            I will predict that this entire review of The Public SchoolsAct is being brought in, Mr. Speaker, as a public relationsgesture, as something to hold out there to the educationcommunity to say, this is what we are going to do in education,and they are going to produce a document that is probably goingto be all things to all people and say, that is Conservativereform; we are listening to what you are doing.  I dare suggestthat this is in fact the case. [interjection] Well, I mean, thatis the government's choice.

            I asked the minister last week to publicly provide us withcopies of the reports of these public hearings that the ministeris now reviewing to have other public hearings on.  She said,well, she just received it and she could not review it.  Isuspect they will do the same thing that they did with thereports of the minister's education committee on finance, andthat is, they will not release it.

            In fact, we were forced to release the leaked documentbecause the public of Manitoba needed to know what was in thosedocuments, what was in the hearings that had been held, so theycould make some kind of judgment in terms of what the governmentultimately implemented when it came to funding reform.

            I suspect at some point the government will release some kindof sanitized version of those public hearings prior to the newpublic hearings that will be taking place to determine The PublicSchools Act.

            With respect to reform, Mr. Speaker, we see about a third orfourth phase of this Conservative government as it moves to itsmandate, ever getting closer to the next deadline which isanother election, and I dare say it is already too late toimplement any of the meaningful reforms.

            We are going to be‑‑[interjection] I welcome that.  I must bemaking‑‑and we will be moving towards the election.  I daresuggest the government is already too late to rehash andrevitalize those reforms, Mr. Speaker, for a government that hasfailed miserably to set any kind of leadership whatsoever in thearea of education, to take any kind of stance to properly put inplace a funding policy that adequately reflects the needs of thisgovernment.


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


            You know, when you look through the throne speech and youlook through what the government promised in education, there issomething sorely lacking, Mr. Acting Speaker.  There is no talkof equity.  There is no talk of access.  One of the foremostdifficulties facing education in this province is the lack ofaccess, lack of equity, but we hear nary a word on that side ofthe House about equity.  We hear nothing about equity.  Thesupposed champions of rural Manitoba, where programs are beingcut, where teachers are being cut, where they are forced to haveparents meetings in the member for Arthur's (Mr. Downey)constituency to try to demand some kind of redress from thegovernment, we hear nary a word from this government.

            I toured rural Manitoba last year, and the North.  I knowwhat the difficulties are in the education field, something themembers should be paying attention to but are not, and that isone of the deficiencies of the throne speech, and that is one ofthe deficiencies of the policies of this government in terms ofequity and access outside of the city of Winnipeg.  Indeed, thereis lack of equity and access inside the Perimeter Highway, butmembers opposite seem to be not aware of that.


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            Where is the co‑ordinated approach, Mr. Acting Speaker?  I amglad we are joined by the member for Pembina (Mr. Orchard).Where is the co‑ordinated approach in terms of this governmentand its approach to education?  There has been a report sittingon the desk of the minister; indeed, it sat on the desk of theprevious minister, the member for Roblin‑Russell (Mr. Derkach).It was given to him in December 1991.  It asks for the governmentresponse and a government action plan on the co‑ordination ofservices to children.  It was given to the government in thespring of 1991, and have we heard a response or a peep frommembers on the opposite side about a co‑ordinated approach?  No,we have just had one ball fumbled after another, and there is nobetter example of fumbling balls than to look at the question ofthe hiring of the audiologist.

            The Department of Health cut $80,000 from a budget toWinnipeg School Division No. 1 that assisted in the hiring of anaudiologist, Mr. Acting Speaker, and when they cut thatprogram‑‑and the members opposite still do not understand theimplication, so I will again try to explain it to them.  Whenthey cut that program they jeopardized a prescreening programthat was put in place by School Division No. 1 in order to catchhearing impairments of children in order to prevent difficultiesfrom occurring in the school system.  They cut the grant.  TheMinister of Health (Mr. Orchard) did not even tell the Ministerof Education (Mrs. Vodrey), who admitted that in this Chamber.He did not even tell the Minister of Education that this grantwas being cut, because she stood up and said, I will havediscussions with the Minister of Health.  The grant was cut andthe program was cut and the school division, sensing the need fora program of that kind, had to go on its own resources in orderto pay for the cost of that audiologist.

            Now, the reason it is so significant, Mr. Acting Speaker, isagain, by catching the hearing impaired, by catching childrenwith difficulty at a very early stage, you are able to preventthese difficulties from occurring later on in the school system,but we have had no response from members on that side of theHouse to the program or the plan that was put forward by MAST,MASBO, MASS and other organizations calling for a co‑ordinatedapproach to government activities.  We are still waiting.  As Iunderstand, there is some kind of cabinet subcommittee that istrying to come to grips with that difficulty.

            I listened with great care and attention to the comments ofthe Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey) at a public forum Iattended about two weeks ago where the matter was discussed, butshe said not a word about that issue, although it wasspecifically laid out on the agenda as a major concern to beaddressed.  There is nary a word mentioned in the throne speechnor by members opposite.

            It continues when you look at the fiasco that occurred, theterrible situation that occurred, that was raised by the memberfor St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis) in respect to health carereform.  If they cannot even get the reform act together in theDepartment of Health, I guess I should not expect them to put ittogether between Justice, Education, Health and various othergovernment departments.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I was also interested to hear some of theconcerns raised by the Liberal Party with respect to educationreform.  Now all of this must be taken with a grain of salt,because we also attended a public forum about two weeks ago wherethe Liberal critic was to address the issue of extending theschool year.  The whole question was extending of the schoolyear, and supposedly it is part of the Liberal Party platform toextend the school year to allow more time for teaching so‑calledbasics, although the Liberal critic, when she came and tested thewind, as often done by the Liberal Party, and discovered it wasnot a popular move out there said, oh no, that is not Liberalpolicy.  It is not Liberal.  It was just a suggestion by ourLeader, just a suggestion for discussion.  Mind you, if thepolitical wind had been blowing that way, it would not have beena suggestion, just as the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux)indicated, the paying for slippers for hospital beds was just asuggestion, but of course he has now confirmed it.  In fact, itis the Liberal Party position to charge for services in thehospital, and I think it is something that the Liberal Party isgoing to have to come to grips with.

            I was very interested to see that the Liberal educationreform came down squarely on the side of that of the government.In legal terms, they often call that tweedledee and tweedledum.I noticed that the Liberal Party has suggested corporate taxbreaks to allow companies to train Manitobans.  That is just whatwe need in Manitoba, more corporate tax breaks, after thegovernment has thrown up its hands and literally put millions ofdollars into the hands of companies to train and retrain in thisprovince where we have one of the most miserable records oftraining and where we have had dramatic cutbacks to our publiceducation system.

            Training colleges and training groups are springing up likemushrooms around this province.  Individuals are doing privatetraining because they are getting the funds extended to them bythis provincial government, and the Liberal Party says, more taxbreaks; we need to give more tax credits to large companies totrain.  I sincerely hope that the members of the public will takethat with a grain of salt.

            I was also very interested to hear the comments of theLiberal Party, the Liberal program for time‑out schools forstudents.  I found it very, very surprising.  I have certainlylooked to the Liberal Party to try to explain itself on thisissue, as to what reference they are making to time‑out schools,in terms of its comments and how it relates to education in theprovince of Manitoba where we have the sorry spectacle of astudent and his parents being forced to bring a civil suit in thearea of education in order to resolve the issue, which brings meto the point of our very valid suggestion, our very significantsuggestion, that the Office of the Ombudsman should have itspowers extended to that of school boards.  This would certainlyallow parents and students to have an opportunity to remedydifficulties and remedy any concerns that are taking place at theschool board level.

            What happens now, Mr. Acting Speaker, quite typically, is aconcern arises at the school board level.  It is attempted to beresolved.  If it cannot be resolved, the letter goes to theminister.  The minister writes back and says, I cannot doanything about it; it is the school board's jurisdiction.  Theschool boards say, we cannot do anything about it, and the mattersits somewhere in limbo.

            I know of at least half a dozen cases‑‑at least half.  Thereare many, many more where these things are in complete limbo.The lack of government initiative and the lack of governmentdirection has resulted in these problems not being solved.  It isunfortunate that students and parents must come to this state ofhaving to sue the school division or the minister in order toobtain some kind of redress.

            I reviewed briefly the Estimates process of approximately ayear and a half ago when I asked about the appeals procedures putin place for special exceptional children, and the Minister ofEducation at the time told me the guidelines were working so wellthat no one had even accessed the appeal panel process in place,and I note, the present minister, when we initially made oursuggestion concerning the extension of the Office of theOmbudsman said there are all kinds of procedures in place.

            Well, the fact is that no one has used those proceduresbecause many individuals are not aware that those procedures arein place, and I believe that all members should join us inattempting to extend this solution, which would be a very readysolution, and not‑‑you know, bills of rights as suggested by theLiberal Party are fine, and all kinds of suggestions, butimmediately, we could put in place a process and a procedure thatwould allow students and allow parents to have redress of wrongsthat occurred at the school division level or attempt to come togrips with what is government policy and what is not governmentpolicy, and heaven knows, that is a difficult thing to ascertainthese days from the government as they flip around and go backand forth with respect to their education policies, Mr. ActingSpeaker.

            It is a difficult area, but a very ready solution exists interms of the Ombudsman issue which is one reason why we have putso much emphasis on it. [interjection]  If the member for Pembina(Mr. Orchard) had been paying attention, he would have heard mego through it the last five minutes, and he would have been ableto see what ready resolve that was to it, but he has chosen, ashe has done on many other issues, not to pay attention to theobvious, Mr. Acting Speaker, and to continue with the tired oldTory rhetoric.  Well, we are two years into the mandate, and thetime is rapidly running out for this government to even begin toput into effect any of its initiatives, other than a rehashing ofthe old promises in a document that has already been cut toribbons by members on this side of the House and by the publicwith respect to no new ideas and no new suggestions in thisparticular document.

            It is a tragedy that the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard),the member for Pembina, is trying well into the mandate to try tosalvage some kind of respect for the health care system and senda reform package at this point in time when it is well into hismandate, Mr. Acting Speaker, and it is so far gone that thegovernment cannot turn it around.  It is tragic because it is thepeople of Manitoba who have to pay for the government's lack ofactivity in this area for the past several years.


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            So, Mr. Acting Speaker, there is much to be said with respectto the area of education and a lack of activity on the part ofthis government.  I have made numerous, numerous comments in thisHouse on many occasions with respect to the funding and theinequities and the unfairness of the funding model that exists inthis province.  When the funding model was put in‑‑I rememberwhen we announced what difficulties they would have with thefunding model, the minister came out rather shocked and surprisedand said that we were all wrong, but we have been, of course,proven 100 percent accurate in terms of the difficulties thatoccurred with the funding model.

            The first thing they had to do after putting in place thefunding model was put in place supplementary funding to augmentthe implementation of the funding model, Mr. Acting Speaker,because it did not work, and then they had to have another pressconference to augment those funds again because it still did notwork.

            Now the minister says they are having group meetings andcontinuing to meet to try to make the system work because itobviously does not work, and in that whole period of time whenthey have offloaded onto school divisions to the tune of, as Iindicated earlier in my speech, at least $70 million, usinggovernment figures of $70 million, we have lost hundreds ofteaching positions and other positions.  Class sizes have grownlarger; programs have been lost, particularly in rural andnorthern Manitoba, Mr. Acting Speaker.

            All of this has been occurring, precisely what we predictedwould happen with the new funding model, and it will only getworse, I dare say, when the supplemental funding that was put inplace to try to ease in this unwieldy structure runs out inanother year.  And only then will we see the serious effects.

            We have already heard from the residents in the member forArthur's (Mr. Downey) constituency as to the dramatic effects itis having on that particular constituency.  If you look at thestatistics and you look at the Conservative plan that they wouldfund 80 percent of education costs, and you look at how far belowthe 80 percent they have now sunk, it is‑‑well, I will not evenrepeat it into the record, Mr. Acting Speaker, but I will providethe statistics to any member on that side of the House who maywish to review the statistics.  I might add, they are allgovernment numbers; they are not our numbers.  They are thenumbers that we have put together based on governmentdocumentation, and they are quite conservative projections atthat.

            We look for the government to implement some kind‑‑for sometime we have been waiting on this side of the House for some kindof movement on the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, and we havereceived no action, Mr. Acting Speaker.  It is very unfortunatewhen one considers all during the process the minister keptassuring the House that, once the report was received, actionwould take place quickly.  It has been very disappointing tothose of us who believed that this report, which is a watershed,I would suggest, in judicial history, perhaps even Canadianhistory, has been so overlooked, and there have been noinitiatives whatsoever taken by this government on many of theproposals in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.  It is indeedunfortunate and a major disappointment to all Manitobans who arewaiting for some action, even the most simple action that couldeasily be put in place, and it simply has not taken place.

            I note the flashing red light; with those comments, that willconclude my comments on the throne speech.  Thank you, Mr. ActingSpeaker.

Mr. Marcel Laurendeau (St. Norbert):  Mr. Acting Speaker, it isindeed a pleasure to stand before the Assembly as a legislator,and as a representative of the fine people of St. Norbert.

            Allow me to give thanks through you, Mr. Acting Speaker, toMr. Speaker for upholding the dignity and honour of the Chair.His judgment, his fairness and humour do the House a greatservice.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would also like to acknowledge thetireless efforts of the Hansard staff.  They record the businessof the House with expediency and accuracy, no simple task, Imight add, given the verbosity of some of the esteemed members.

            I would also like to acknowledge the Clerks of the House, andwelcome Judy White, and I am sure she will enjoy her work herewith the other clerks who have been of great assistance to myselfand all other members of the House.

            Finally, Mr. Acting Speaker, the youth and vigour brought tothis House by the Pages of the Assembly cannot be understated.  Ifeel fortunate to have the assistance of Karen Tymofichuk in theHouse this Session.  Karen is a constituent of St. Norbert, so wecan expect great things from her.  I am sure that all of theirexperiences in the House will leave them with lastingimpressions, hopefully, positive ones.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, let me welcome the new members to theLegislature, first from Portage la Prairie, Mr. Pallister.  Asyou are aware, when he rises, I am sure we will all see him inthe House, but I promise that I would not make any tall jokes andhe would not make bald jokes.  So I will stay away from all thetall jokes today.

            I would also like to welcome the member for Crescentwood (Ms.Gray) in the House.  I knew her before her political careerstarted, and I have always enjoyed listening to some of hercomments, even though I did not always agree with them.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, some of past members who are no longerwith us, I really considered friends‑‑Mr. Connery from Portage laPrairie and I had many conversations in the Chamber just outsidehere as he would smoke on his big cigar.  I do miss the smell ofthat cigar some days.  I miss his positive attitude towards thisLegislature.

            The past member for Crescentwood, Mr. Carr, I always enjoyedhis speeches.  He was always positive and on positive notes, butI do hope Mr. Carr remembers that he owes me a few cigarettes.

            Mr. Harper, I do owe him a large hand of applause forteaching me more about the aboriginal issues than I ever did knowuntil he came onto the scene.  I had some talks with Mr. Harper,the member for Rupertsland, and he helped me to understand someof the concerns and the directions that had to be taken.  I thinkthat the Legislature will truly miss him.

            I would like to take a moment to extend my best wishes to theLeader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs) as she has announcedher intentions to step down.  I wish her well in her futureendeavours, and I am sure John is going to appreciate having herat home, Mr. Acting Speaker.  I was looking for a word that woulddescribe the member and things coming through were:  teacher,politician, honest, and the one word that finally hit home withme was she was a friend.  She was not only a friend to themembers of the Liberal caucus but to all Manitobans, because afriend explains who she truly was as a politician and sherepresented everyone and fairly, so I do applaud her for that.

            Mr. Speaker, there have been some great things happening inmy constituency since the last session of the House.  The peopleof St. Norbert have made valuable contributions to the community,and I would like to share some of them with you today.  OnSaturday, December 5, the St. Norbert Children's Centrecelebrated the official opening.  It was because of volunteerismfrom a board of directors from the children's centre that thisproject came to fruition.  The volunteers had a dream, and thatdream became a reality only on this Saturday with 92 new placesunder one roof.  They were able to amalgamate the three unitsthat they had in St. Norbert as one.


(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)


            The community and myself would also like to thank thegovernment and particularly the Minister of Culture and Heritageand Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson).  There will be someinteresting activity around the centre because of the funding forthis project.  I am confident that the facility will provideyears of service to the constituents of St. Norbert and will be amodel for other communities to follow.


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            Thanks to the support of the Minister of Highways andTransportation (Mr. Driedger) and the City of Winnipeg, therewill be a brand new interchange at Waverley Street and thePerimeter Highway.  The proposed interchange is expected to becompleted in 1995, when we make the traffic using the Bradylandfill much safer.  I know that the interchange will reduce thetraffic problems of the many residents of St. Norbert.  As youare aware, the landfill will be the only landfill for the entirecity as of 1993, so this interchange was very much a necessity.

            I am pleased to recognize the ongoing efforts of the St.Norbert Foundation.  The foundation continues to provide thevital services of a residential treatment centre for those whosuffer from alcohol and chemical abuse.  The foundation operatesa 72‑bed facility, including a 12‑bed adolescent male treatmentcentre called Lemay House, and another 12‑bed facility providingcare for adolescent females called the Kirkess house.  I foundthe philosophy of the St. Norbert Foundation deeply profound, andI would like to share it with you today, Mr. Speaker.

            The philosophy is based on the belief that no person is anisland and that self‑help comes from helping others.  Thepositive power that resides in everyone can overcome the negativeaspects of life.  If we are to learn and to teach, we must attachourselves to an environment that is created and dedicated to thebetterment of humanity.  We cannot cross a desert until we haveprepared ourselves, and we cannot travel the road of life blamingthose about us, but rather we must accept responsibility forourselves and each other and conquer each situation that wemeet.  Our paths have been written and cannot be erased.

            Therefore we must work and concentrate for today with avision of tomorrow.  No one can fail if they are helping afailure, and no one can lose if they are winning.

            The government of Manitoba continues to support the hard workof the St. Norbert Foundation through the Alcoholism Foundationand through the Manitoba Housing in partnership with theprovince.  The St. Norbert Foundation has empowered the people tohelp themselves to a better tomorrow, and for this I commend them.

            Mr. Speaker, Manitoba is at a crossroad, at a criticaljuncture.  We can either follow the path that governments beforeus have taken.  It is easily enough recognized, littered withover‑regulation, high taxes and poorly trained work forces.This, Mr. Speaker, is the path to competitive failure, or we cannavigate a new path, one that leads to competitive success.

            Along the way, there will be new opportunities for allManitobans.  Through economic development programs, businessassistance programs, and through the education and retraining ofour work force, the days of tax and spend, Mr. Speaker, arethankfully behind us.  I have seen time and time again howregulations distort economic incentives, raise costs to businessand consumers.

            The government realizes that competitive economies try tokeep regulations at an essential minimum, and I could not agreemore, Mr. Speaker.  Lately I have heard many dire and pessimisticcomments about the state of Manitoba's economy, and I am oftenreminded of a quote from Charles Handy's book, The Age of Reason,which strikes at the heart of what I would like the House toremember today.

            Handy wrote:  The future we predict today is not inevitable,but we influence it if we know what we want it to be.  We cantake charge of our own destinies in a time of change.

            The path to a better tomorrow must however be decided upontoday, and I applaud the government's direction.

            True to this spirit, my colleagues and I were delighted toparticipate in the Manitoba Economic Innovation Forum held inOctober.  And for the benefit of the Leaders of the oppositionparties who were conspicuously absent from this forum, allow meto explain what you missed.

            To take charge of our economic destinies, a commitment whichthis government has made for Manitobans, we must make investmentsin our capital, in our technology and in our infrastructure, inresearch and development and most importantly in the educationand training of our most precious resources, and that is ourpeople.

            Mr. Speaker, the honourable member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton)says, I should get a different speech writer, but at least I donot have Susan Hart‑Kulbaba writing mine.

            While our government has made advances in the development ofnew technologies, in R&D, for example, in the areas ofpharmaceuticals, and continues to provide infrastructural supportfor it, it must also be noted that we have made inroads into thefields of education and training.  In 1874, Prime MinisterDisraeli said of Britain that upon the education of people ofthis country, the fate of this country depends.  So too withManitoba, I say.  It is not surprising that a commitment toeducational reform is front and centre on the government'sagenda.  We are committed to producing sound reading, mathematicsand learning skills in our schools.

            Mr. Speaker, we have established the University ReviewCommission, which will make recommendations on betteringpost‑secondary education in this province.

            Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to excellence ineducation, and it shows, not like the past government.  Ours is aknowledge‑dependent economy.  This means that economic value andthe potential for greater productivity depends on the generationof ideas, on the manipulation of ideas and on the ability ofworkers to continue and upgrade their skills.  Accordingly, Icommend the government for its Workforce 2000 program, now in itssecond year of operation.

            Mr. Speaker, most of us grew up during an age when a strongback counted most.  Today, virtually every industry or businessyou can name is knowledge intensive.  So while most of us grew upin a more industrial age and, as a consequence, cannot set theclocks on our VCRs, our children must operate in a highlycompetitive and rapidly changing marketplace.  The government hasrealized this and created Project Real World.

            Project Real World, Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of those inopposition who probably have not read any of the brochures on it,is an initiative which provides young people with the practicalexperience, skills and knowledge their economic futures demand.I categorically support this initiative, and I think we owe it toour children.

            Preparing our children to compete in a competitivemarketplace is but one component of the government's prosperityplan.  Just as the future of the province must adapt to technicalinnovation, so too we must adapt to the demands of a globaleconomy.  Global economy is no longer just a buzzword.  Thisprovince is doubly blessed.  Nature's generous bounty makes usrich in natural resources and material wealth and, of course, theindustrious resolve of Manitoba's people is also a source oflasting wealth, but in order to ensure the continued prosperityof our people, we must sell our province to the world.

            The Mineral Exploration Incentive Program offers taxablegrants equal to 25 percent of their investment upon completion ofa project.  The Minister of Energy and Mines (Mr. Downey) knowsthat this incentive will help tap Manitoba's mineral wealth andfoster increased economic development by stimulatinginternational investment.  This is why he has worked so very hardto put the program together.

            Nowhere is the government's commitment to open Manitoba tothe world better exemplified than with Agri‑Tec.  Agri‑Tec is anexporting marketing organization that pursues export contracts onbehalf of western Canadian grain handling, storage and processingcompanies, through government assistance.  Thanks to Agri‑Tec,Winnipeg‑based Central Canadian Structures Limited now has a $6.6million contract to build a storage facility in Mansura, Egypt,and that is just the beginning.  Agri‑Tec is also penetratingmarkets in India, Peru, Yemen, Uganda and Kenya, as well as theMiddle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States.  We havea competitive advantage in the agricultural industry, andAgri‑Tec is letting the world know about it.  The government isproud and commends the efforts in this area.


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            As we move toward the 21st Century, Mr. Speaker, so too mustour industries.  I have already commented on our mining andagricultural industries and the government's strategy for globalcompetitiveness, but what about our human resources industry?

            Take, for example, the health care industry.  Manitoba hascommitted itself to the care of people of this province.  I havesaid that people are a source of lasting wealth, but this wealthrequires care and stewardship, Mr. Speaker.  Accordingly, theprovince continues to invest prudently in such projects as theLaboratory Centre for Disease Control and the Animal VirologyLaboratory in Winnipeg, not to mention all of the private sectorinvestments made by Ayerst, Medix, and Trimel, to name a few.

            This government is targeting areas of the health care marketin order to ensure the most rational delivery system inManitoba.  Mr. Speaker, I have attempted to stay verynonpartisan, and I will stick to the issue.

            The new fiscal realities of this federal government pullingout of funding vital programs means that service deliveries mustbe targeted.  It means that we must spend proportionately more onpatient care and less on administration.  It means that we cannotsimply throw money at the system in hopes that it will solve theproblem, Mr. Speaker.  There will have to be some tough decisionsmade on service delivery and on targeting, but we must face thesedecisions.  I know that the judgment of the government will, asalways, be tempered with caring and compassion.  Unlike withgovernments before, this one can ill afford to spend its way outof contemporary problems.  Quite simply, it is not an option, andwhile this is admittedly not always the politically popularcourse of action, the government of Manitoba would do the peopleof this province a disservice if they were to tax and spend asthose before us have done.

            Mr. Speaker, allow me to remind the House that democracy is aword about compromise, and this government has come to acompromise‑‑balancing the physical imperatives with socialeconomic development needs.  Guided by this throne speech, we arenow on the path to competitive success while keeping in step withthose who are slow to follow.

            Monsieur le President, nous sommes fiers d'avoir ici auManitoba un quartier francais.  Nous allons avoir la chance decelebrer encore une fois avec les Voyageurs au Festival duVoyageur.  Nous dans la communaute francophone avons appris‑‑cafait longtemps‑‑que c'est la joie de vivre ici au Canada et auManitoba qui nous aide.  C'est pas seulement les NPD quicomprennent ce que c'est, la joie de vivre.  C'est nous, c'estnous qui comprenons.  C'est nous qui allons aider les Manitobainsa se rendre.  Ils ont rien a dire maintenant.  Ils n'ecoutentpas.  Ils n'ecoutent pas du tout.


Mr. Speaker, we are proud to have here in Manitoba aFrench‑speaking neighbourhood.  We are going to have theopportunity to celebrate again with the Voyageurs during theFestival du Voyageur.  We in the Franco‑Manitoban community havelearned‑‑a long time ago‑‑that it is the joie de vivre here inCanada and Manitoba that assists us.  It is not only the NDP whounderstand what joie de vivre is.  It is we, we who understandit.  It is we who are going to assist Manitobans to make it.They have nothing to say now; they are not listening, they arenot listening at all.


            Mr. Speaker, I know it is easy to sit in your seat and heckleand become very sinister almost about where the economy is going,but I think it is time that we all have a positive outlook onlife.  I think it is time that we stop looking at all thenegative issues that are put forth.  I think it is time that theNDP start saying what is positive about this province and what ispositive about our communities.  Stop being so negative.  Startlooking at the positive issues.  What do you have in yourconstituency that you are proud of?  Is there something?  I havenot heard those positive issues coming forward from that side, sostop the negativism.  It is your problem that the negativism isout there, and when you start being positive you will see theturnaround.  Those who are negative do not create positive acts.So, please, for your constituents and for this province, changeyour attitudes.  Look at the bright side.  There is a future foreveryone, and the sooner you look at the bright future for all ofus and start seeing the real factor out there. [interjection]

            The honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) hassomething to say, but she had to get coached by the honourablemember for Thompson (Mr. Ashton).  I think I would like to hearit. [interjection] No, they have not got to the bright side,because none of what they just said made any sense, but that isall right, we have gotten used to it. [interjection] No, I amgoing to allow you, the member for Thompson, to read the speechand maybe from this speech he will be able to get something.  Iwill see that you get a copy of it.

            Mr. Speaker, it has been an interesting year for me.  I wouldlike to thank all the members for their assistance over thesummer and all the people of my constituency who have stoodbehind me.  We, in my community, are looking at the positiveaspects of life.  We, in our community, are looking into thefuture for our children and our grandchildren.  We realize thatyou cannot spend your way out.

            We do believe in the programs but somewhere there has to bereality.  It is easy to put forward a lot of ideas.  It is easyto make promises, but I want each and every member over there torealize the reality, the reality that there is no more money.  Itall comes from one pocket.  You have to realize thatthrough‑‑[interjection] There they go again, spend, spend,spend.  They never come forward with a positive approach and thatis adding where they would find those dollars within.

            Mr. Speaker, it is easy to sit there and criticize, but atleast some of the members from the Liberal Party have comeforward with some justifiable alternatives.  I give credit tothose members from the Liberal Party who came forward with thosestatements, but I have not found any of that.

            We have to become very responsible in today's future, not forourselves, but for all Manitobans.  I think that is whatManitobans are looking for.  I think they would like to be ableto respect those of us who are representing them here in theprovince, all 57 of us.  So let us set aside our partisanpolitics and work together. [interjection] Fifty‑six, as of now,but let us set aside our partisan politics and work together forthe future of Manitoba.

            Mr. Speaker, I am encouraged and enthused by the directionthe government is taking.  I can see a bright future on thehorizon.  I would like to congratulate all the members of cabinetand our Premier (Mr. Filmon) for leading us into the future.With the guidance that this government has, we will go a longways into the next millennium.  Thank you.

Ms. Becky Barrett (Wellington):  Mr. Speaker, before I begin myremarks on this debate and discussion on the throne speech, Iwould like to add my welcome to you as other members of the Househave welcomed you back.

            As Speaker of the House, you have been a very fair,honourable, just Speaker and have had to deal with some verydifficult issues.  We all appreciate your abilities, your senseof humour and your justice.

            I also would like to welcome the Pages who have been selectedto work with us this session.  They will put in long hours andwill be required to do many jobs on behalf of the members of theLegislature.  We welcome them as partners in our deliberationsthis term.

            Again, I would also like to add my welcome to the two newfaces this session:  the member for Portage (Mr. Pallister), whohas joined us this session as a new MLA and has certainly learnedseveral lessons as an MLA very quickly, having delivered a veryinteresting Speech from the Throne address and having learnedsome of the other rules and challenges of the House and some ofthe occupations that members of the House occupy themselves with;and also, the member for Crescentwood (Ms. Gray).  It is arewelcoming to the member for Crescentwood after a couple ofyears outside the political process.

            Mr. Speaker, what I would like to talk about today is theSpeech from the Throne, what is and what is not in the Speechfrom the Throne.  I believe this is the sixth throne speech thatthe government has delivered since it was first elected in 1988.I wish I could say that this was a new Speech from the Throne,that it had some energy, some life, some vitality, some verve,some vigour, any one of those positive, forward‑looking actionwords, but I am afraid that I am unable to do so.


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            It is not because I look only on the negative side.  It isthat I read what is in the Speech from the Throne.  I have readwhat is not in the Speech from the Throne.  I listen to thepeople of Manitoba and what they are asking for, what they arecrying out for and what the government is not listening to fromthe people of Manitoba.

            Mr. Speaker, this is a tired old government.  You can be oldat a very young age, and I would suggest that this government hasshown absolutely no energy or youth in any of its deliberationsover the past four and a half years, five budgets and six thronespeeches.

            It has lost touch with the people of Manitoba; it has lostthe trust of the people of Manitoba.  It clearly, like itsfederal counterparts, the Progressive Conservatives in Ottawa,does not care about the people of Manitoba, has absolutely novision for the future of the people of Manitoba, no plan ofaction, nothing.  It is putting in its time; it is waiting it out.

            I fully intend to participate in the process in the nextprovincial election to make sure that the old, tired ProgressiveConservative government in this province gets its due and justrewards, a long and healthy retirement.

            Mr. Speaker, the Progressive Conservative government inManitoba along with its federal Progressive Conservative cousinsin Ottawa are the tail end of the neoconservatism that has helpedperpetuate the global, federal and provincial economic, socialand political devastation that has been visited upon us.

            (Mr. Bob Rose, Acting Speaker, in the Chair)

            In Britain while the Conservatives were re‑elected lastspring, the government of Prime Minister Major has proven to bewhat we knew was going to be a disaster.  If an election wereheld today, Mr. Acting Speaker, the Conservative government inBritain would be turfed out with probably three seats left in thewhole country.

            In the United States, 12 years of Bush‑Reagan trickle‑downneo‑Conservative economics was given its just reward just lastmonth.  The people of the United States spoke very clearly forchange.  They said it is time that we had a government thatworked with us and for us, all of us, not just for the corporateagenda, not just for the transnationals, not just for bigbusiness but for all of us.

            In Canada, we are finding the same thing to be the case.  TheProgressive Conservative government has never been shown to bemore tired, more out of touch with Canadians and more ready to beput out to pasture which we fully intend the people of Canadawill do very soon.  This Conservative government in Manitoba doesnot seem to have heard what is happening.  It has paid noattention to what is going on in the rest of the world.

            I would like to speak very briefly, Mr. Acting Speaker, aboutissues and the reality that face the people of Manitoba and thepeople of Canada, things that the members of the government donot want to talk about, things that are not happy, things thatare not bright.

            I think it is important that we not just "look on the brightside of life" as the member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) saidin his remarks, but it is important that we look at the realityof what is going on in our world.  I find it very interestingthat that phrase "look on the bright side of life" first saw thelight of day during the depression of the 1930s when there weremany musicals put out in America that tried to take people'sminds off the current financial, social and economic troublesthat were facing them.

            One of the most popular songs from that era had as its theme,"look on the bright side of life."  These Conservatives today aredoing exactly the same things that Herbert Hoover did in theearly 1930s, exactly the same thing that John Major is attemptingto do in Britain today, exactly the same thing that George Bushand Ronald Reagan in the U.S. attempted to do, which is not payattention to the needs and the aspirations of the majority oftheir citizenry but to speak only for and listen only to thelarge corporate agenda.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, nationally what is happening to us isthat we are going through the worst economic conditions since the1930s recession.  We had a recession in 1981-82 which technicallywas a deeper and sharper recession than the one that we arecurrently involved in.  Technically, according to some economicindicators, we were supposedly out of this recession in April of1991.

            However, unlike the recession of 1981‑82, we really are notout of the recession in any way.  We have not come out of thisrecession nearly as well as we did before.  In 1983, after the'81‑82 recession, the economy in Canada had a growth rate of 3.2percent, and in 1984, 6.2 percent, due in no small part to theactivist government such as those in Manitoba that were committedto job creation as the basis of the economic recovery.  However,in this current economic session between the second quarter of1991, i.e., July of 1991, just a year and a half ago, and July of1992, our output grew by six‑tenths of 1 percent.  Now this issupposedly while we are out of a recession.  In other words, theeconomy, as a result of the end of the 1981‑82 recession, grewfive times faster than it did in the first year that we weretechnically out of this recession.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, we believe that a large part of thedifference in that performance can be attributed to the federaland provincial political and trade policies that were in place in1991 versus 10 years earlier.  The federal government and theProgressive Conservative government in Manitoba have a leave-it-up-to-the-marketplace economic policy that, along withthe introduction of the Free Trade Agreement, and now,potentially, the North American Free Trade Agreement, haveexacted a terrible toll on the people of Canada and Manitoba.

            Our unemployment statistics we all know are dreadful thesedays.  The unemployment rate is well over 11 percent nationally,and in October there were 55,000 unemployed Manitobans‑‑55,000.Fifty‑five thousand families in Manitoba have no job.  Not a jobin the service sector, not a part‑time job.  No job.

            The unemployment rate continues to be high, Mr. ActingSpeaker, because the total number of jobs in the economycontinues to shrink.  In August this year, the number of full-time jobs fell to a new low after a staggering fall of129,000 jobs in Canada in July.  Since the recession began Canadahas lost a total of 635,000 full-time jobs.  There are well over1.5 million Canadians unemployed to go along with the 55,000Manitobans unemployed.

            In addition, there are almost one million Canadians who areemployed in part‑time jobs who want full‑time jobs.  Mr. ActingSpeaker, speaking as a woman, I am really appalled at the tollthat these economic figures have taken on the women of Manitobaand Canada.  More than two out of every three of these almost onemillion involuntary part-time workers are women.  These are womenwho have entered the labour force at the lowest end as womenalmost always do, last hired, first fired.  They are in positionsthat are mostly nonunionized, so that they have no protectionfrom the vagaries of the market economy and the whims of theiremployers, and they are the ones who are feeling the brunt ofthese economic policies of the federal and provincial governments.


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            Mr. Acting Speaker, in 1991 for the first time since the1950s, in 40 years, for the first time in 40 years the labourforce participation of women declined.  This is not because, as I am sure Conservatives would like to have us all go back to, it isnot because women have chosen to remain in the home.  It isbecause they have no job opportunities.  The job creationprograms are nonexistent; job training programs have been cutback; social assistance has been cut back for women who want toget back into the work force, to do job creation, to haveup‑grading.  All of those programs that would have a verypositive effect on the employment statistics in this province andon the ability of women in this province to find and maintainjobs have been cut back or eliminated by the provincialProgressive Conservative government and their federalcounterparts in Ottawa.

            Another statistic that I think bears repeating that thegovernment refuses to pay any attention to are the welfare rollsand the food bank use in Manitoba.  Thirty thousand people used175 food banks in Winnipeg in the last year, a 300 percentincrease over the previous year.  Now, if this does not speak tototal lack of economic strategy, total lack of planning, a totallack of government initiatives, I do not know what does.

            In the city of Winnipeg the welfare rolls increased by 42percent from June 1991 to June 1992, a 148 percent increase from1983.  In 1983 we were just coming out of the last recession.  In1992 we were supposedly coming out of this recession, yet ourjobless rate has never been higher.  Our food bank participationrate has never been higher, and, as has been stated over and overagain, Manitoba has the highest provincial child poverty rate inCanada, largely due to this government and their federalcounterpart's inaction, due to the enormous offloading onto theprovinces of the federal government and this provincialgovernment's lack of any kind of speaking out on behalf of thepoorest and the most vulnerable members of our society.

            With the recent changes to unemployment insurance that thefederal Minister of Finance brought down last week, the situationwill only get more desperate, for women particularly, inManitoba.  It will be more difficult to get unemploymentinsurance.  People who are being harassed at work or who arefinding their jobs untenable will now think twice or three timesbefore they make any move at all to leave that position, becausethey have to prove that they have been harassed or that theirworking conditions were unbearable.  The onus is now on theworker not on the employer.  You are guilty until proveninnocent.  We know, given the historical precedent set by ourfederal and provincial governments, that individuals will not belistened to nearly as much as the employers in this province.

            What is happening is that the transnational companies aretaking over the business and the politics of our country.  We arefast losing any semblance of independence in Canada.  Over thelast eight years, virtually every action that the federalgovernment has undertaken, with virtually no outcry from thisprovincial government, has had the effect of limiting anddecreasing the rights of individuals, the rights of workers, therights of poor people, the rights of families, the rights ofchildren, and increasing the power and the influence and theauthority of the transnational corporations, whose only interestis in the bottom line.  They have no compassion, no interest intheir workers' well‑being.  They have no ties to any nationstate.  They have only ties to themselves and theirstockholders.  We are seeing that happen throughout the world.They will move wherever capital can be invested.

            Mr. Acting Speaker, I would like to speak very briefly aboutsome of the things that the government has done.  The governmenthas not been totally inactive in the last four years.  No, no,the government has been quite active.  They have been active indoing a number of things.  I would just like to take a briefmoment to list some of the things that this government has done,how it has spoken up on behalf of and for all Manitobans.  Letthe people of Manitoba determine if, as the Premier (Mr. Filmon)of the province stated at his annual convention two weekends ago,things have never been better for all Manitobans as they are now.

            I would just like to do a bit of a reality check for thePremier and suggest that he might want to look a little furtherthan his own political back yard to find out exactly what thisgovernment has done and the impact it has had on real Manitobans,ordinary Manitobans, middle‑class working Manitobans, smallbusiness, employers, employees, families and children.

            In the health care system, Mr. Acting Speaker, this wonderfulaction plan for reform has done nothing except close hospitalbeds.  We have seen not one single concomitant community‑basedprogram to replace the services that were provided by thosehospital beds.  We have example after example of closings, ofdecline of service, with no increase in community-based support,as the Action Plan for Health Care Reform said there would be.We have had bed closures, licensed practical nurses‑‑a vital, important, effective, cost-efficient part of the health care team‑‑cut back, slashed; Street LINKS, a very viable preventiveprogram that was doing a wonderful job, slashed by the provincialgovernment.  Home care has been decimated.  People have beentold, you pay for it; you find the funds because we are no longer going to support you.

            Now the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) has done an enormousamount of delisting of drugs and other cut services that werecovered previously, including now, Mr. Acting Speaker, the changethat we anticipate having come through in January in the abilityof people to be covered under medicare for an annual eyeexamination.  That will now be changed for every single group inthis province, high‑risk children, high‑risk groups such as thosewho have hypertension, high‑risk groups such as seniors.  Every single individual in Manitoba will be unable to have annualoptometric exams.  They will only be covered for biannual ones.This is the only province in the country that has delisted thisservice universally.

            They have in their Pharmacare guidelines come down on—harder than even the income tax system does‑‑people who do not file ontime.  There is absolutely no leverage, no leeway for any person,whether they have been in the hospital or have been otherwiseunable to file on time, to get their Pharmacare support.

            They have cut help to the Unemployed Help Centre, this intimes of massive unemployment.  They cut out completely theincome assistance program, a $55,000-a-year expense for theMinister of Finance, which provided assistance for almost 14,000low‑income Manitobans who now have to pay out of their own pocketfor help in preparing their income tax.  They have cut supportfor the victims assistance programs, this at the same time thatthe minister talked about zero tolerance of violence.  They havecut the rural regional staffperson for the Manitoba ActionCommittee on the Status of Women so that women outside theperimeter will not be able to have access to the programs andservices they had before.


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            We all know what they have done in the realm of the Autopacincreases, the political shenanigans and influence that tookplace under there.

            In my own area of Child and Family Services, in the last yearand a half they recentralized the Child and Family Servicesagencies, thereby leading to an enormous decrease in the role ofthe volunteers, inability of staff to provide the kinds oflocally based services that they were able to do before.  In thedaycare field, they made some enormously expensive, to themiddle‑income families of Manitoba, changes to the daycarefunding.  They have implemented Bill 70, which will mean anenormous offloading of costs in social assistance to the City ofWinnipeg or a major cutback to services and social assistancerates to those in the city.

            Federally, Mr. Acting Speaker, they have not spoken out tothe federal government on the negative impacts of the NorthAmerican Free Trade Agreement.  They have not said a word aboutthe North American Free Trade Agreement.  As a matter of fact,they did not even participate in the hearings that were held, oneof five across the country, this last week.  Only the NewDemocrats appeared before the all‑party federal public hearingprocess.


(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)


            The Premier (Mr. Filmon) refuses to say what his government'sposition is on this vital issue that will have enormous impactson Manitoba, and on Bill C‑91, the drug patent legislation.Finally, at the 11th hour, the Premier makes a public relationsgrandstand appearance with the Prime Minister of Canada; theMinister of Health (Mr. Orchard) gets up and makes a statement inthe House deriding and decrying the impact of drug patentlegislation on the generic drug system in Manitoba and the coststhat this government will have to bear.

            Where, I would like to ask, was the provincial government inthis issue for the last three years, when New Democrats in thisHouse and across the country have been speaking out against thenegative impacts that the change to the drug patent legislationwill have on the health care systems in every province in thiscountry?  Where were they?  They were nowhere to be found.  Youknow why?  Because they are Conservative just like their cousinsin Ottawa; because they believe, just like their cousins inOttawa, that phone line that was supposed to be open from thePremier of Manitoba to the Prime Minister has clearly beenderegulated to the point where it is out of service.

            Mr. Speaker, I would like to end my remarks by saying yetagain that this government has not shown by any of its actionsthat it has any positive ideas for the people of Manitoba.  Ithas no agenda for change.  It has no agenda for helping thepeople of Manitoba find good jobs in new economic initiatives.It has no ideas at all.  It is tired.  It has old ideas, ideasthat have been proven to be ineffective, that are no longer inthe public minds anywhere except in this province and thiscountry.

            Mr. Speaker, we are advocating an activist government.  Weare advocating investment in our economic and educationalfuture.  We are advocating an education system that does not justtrain people for jobs, but gives people the basis skills so thatthey can take advantage of the very changing and always beingmodified job market that we are faced with.  We advocate apartnership between labour; business, both large and small; andgovernment.

            Mr. Speaker, we were the first province out of the 1981‑82recession because of the activist partnership government of theNew Democrats.  We are going to be the last province out of thisrecession because of the inaction, the tired old policies of thisConservative government.

            Mr. Speaker, I wish I had more positive things to say.  I amafraid I do not.  I think, again, the people of Manitoba willdecide if this government has spoken up for them, and I believethe answer will be a resounding no.  Thank you.

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr.Speaker, it is a pleasure to join my colleagues and others inresponding to the Speech from the Throne.  Before I get into myremarks and reflect on some of the comments that have been madeby the most recent speaker and others, I would like to of coursewelcome you back, Sir, to a very difficult task of refereeing theongoing events in this Chamber.  Having had some small experiencein working with you in previous years, I realize how difficult itis and what a tremendous job you do in doing that job of lettinggovernment take place here in this Chamber.  We are pleased tosee you back and in good health.

            We would also be remiss if we did not acknowledge the changesin the Clerk's staff.  I had the opportunity to work with them inthe past as well at Estimates committee and other committees andrecognize how many decisions have to be made on the spur of themoment and how fortunate we are to have a well‑trained staff, butI realize that changes do take place as they have this year andchanges will take place in subsequent years as we see new facesfilling this very difficult position.

            A welcome to the Pages as well.  It is gratifying to see anumber of Pages from rural Manitoba who are a part of the team ofsix, I believe, who will be working in the Chamber this session.It is my hope that students from all over the province will getthis opportunity.  However, I realize the difficulties ofdistance in Manitoba and sometimes it is certainly moreconvenient if you live nearby.  But welcome to those Pages and asyou grow into your job I am sure that you will get to appreciateand enjoy your work here in the Chamber.

            Also, I would like to welcome all of my colleagues back.  Itis good to see you.  During the sessions, we see a lot of eachother, but there are times between sessions when we are all busyin our constituency, and it is truly good to see members returnto this Chamber.

            A special welcome to the two new members, the new MLA for thegreat constituency of Portage la Prairie (Mr. Pallister) whoalready has made an impact with his throne speech and I am sureis going to be another excellent member of this Chamber on thisside of the House.  A welcome, as well, to the new member forCrescentwood (Ms. Gray) who has come back from the bureaucracy toagain be an elected member of this Chamber.  I know that herexperience as a member before as the member for Ellice and hersabbatical into the bureaucracy gives her special and valuableinsight into how government is run in this province.

            I am not going to dwell to any great extent on the greatconstituency of Minnedosa, but it has certainly been a pleasureto be able to spend more time in my constituency to meet with theschool board, with the R.M. councils and town councils, to attendthe many summer and fall events that take place all over ruralManitoba and to truly be in touch with the citizens that werepresent.

            During the last six months since the House adjourned, we havealso had the opportunity to visit many other parts of Manitobawith our cabinet tour and other travels and in that time beingable to visit some of the agencies that my department funds.  Wehad a delightful visit in a daycare at Russell during our cabinettour up there, and it was nice to talk to parents and daycareworkers in rural Manitoba to hear about some of their specialproblems, to look at the facility and to get a better feel forthe type of job that they do.


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            We also had an opportunity to visit at the Dawson Trailopportunity centre in the constituency of one of my colleaguesand to attend the official opening of a government building inthat community.  At that time we were able to look at the programthat Dawson Trail offers to the disabled members of thatcommunity, talk to them about some of their future plans and talkabout some of the issues that they foresee as they proceed intothe next number of years.

            As well, in the interim we have opened another shelter inDauphin.  The members of our Family Dispute Division and otherswere able to attend at that official opening.  That brings thetotal number of shelters in Manitoba to 11.  In the last coupleof years, we have opened new shelters in Portage, Brandon, aswell as Dauphin.  I am pleased that we have a very comprehensivenetwork of programming in shelters throughout the province todeal with what is a horrendous problem that faces society.

            Having said my welcomes, Mr. Speaker, I would like to turn myattention to the throne speech.  As I have reread it and listenedto some of my colleagues opposite talk about the throne speech, Iam reminded of the old adage of the responsibility of being ingovernment and the luxury of being in opposition, that difficultdecisions have to be made given the economic climate in Manitoba,in Canada, in the world.

            This is a time of change.  My honourable colleague who is thecritic for the NDP indicated we have no agenda for change.  Yetin her remarks and the remarks of other members of the officialopposition, I hear them trying to preserve the ways and theinstitutions and the economic situation that has been in thiscountry for decades.  They are the ones who are resistant tochange.

            One of my colleagues spoke last week of the changes that takeplace in the transportation industry, and it would appear thatmembers of the New Democratic Party want to continue to have halfempty planes flying back and forth across this country, to havepassenger trains continue where there is no passenger servicerequired.  I can tell you that change is inevitable, change issomething as a government that we are prepared to face, and Ihear those comments from across the way from people who reallyare afraid of that change.

            In the throne speech, the beginning lines recognize the windsof change that are blowing in Manitoba, in Canada and across theworld.  We have to adapt here at the provincial level to thetremendous changes that are happening in our society,particularly in our economy.  We have heard time and time againwhat a wonderful place Canada is to live.  That has beenrecognized by the United Nations.  Certainly many people whoreturn to Manitoba indicate how pleased they are to be back in aprovince where we have relative safety, where we have tremendousassets and are just proud of our province.  We are seeing everynight on the national news the conditions in other parts of theworld, the tremendous instability on other continents, and Ithink we have a lot to be thankful for here, even though we in fact have our own set of problems that we have to deal with.

            The economy is something that has to adapt to this changingworld, and the old solutions put forth in the past simply willnot work.  We cannot drive up the deficit and the debt and spendour way out of this recession.  We have to find new ways ofaddressing it, and to that end an economic summit was heldrecently.  I have heard members opposite consistently call for aneconomic summit where they could have their input, where businessand labour and government could get together.

            I am appalled that the Leader of the official opposition (Mr.Doer) chose not to attend.  We have been listening carefully forthe strategy that might come forward from members opposite, whoserved in government in the 1980s and 1970s.  The only strategywe hear is to create the type of jobs that they created duringthe 1980s through the Jobs Fund.  The counting of flowers, thepainting of fences, where no tangible realistic construction wasdone.  In fact, the Leader of the Opposition, who was leader ofthe MGEA at that time, was very critical of the manner in whichthe NDP government of the day chose to create those jobs.

            We have had the opportunity during the recess to talk to manysmall business people throughout Manitoba.  Certainly, the No. 1priority that all of them bring to government is to keep taxesdown to make this province competitive.  I am pleased that whenwe took government, we were not as competitive as we are now.Instead of being tenth out of 10, we are now in the middle of thepack and people are again looking at Manitoba as a place wherethey would come to set up their corporations and companies andcreate businesses.

            In the recent municipal election, the public of Manitobaspoke very clearly and very eloquently on the idea of raisingtaxes.  I think that message was clear and that members oppositecertainly should hear that as well.

            In the rural area, of course, we have special problems.  Wehave a unique province with 60 percent of our people livingwithin the Perimeter Highway or nearby.  We have to make specialefforts to get the rural economy going.  Through the Grow Bondsprogram and some of the initial steps we have taken there inMorden and Teulon and some interest in other communities, Isuspect Portage la Prairie being one of them, that you are goingto see additional jobs and additional industry created in ruralManitoba.

            I had the privilege of attending the Ayerst opening inBrandon.  It was a privilege to hear business people from acrossthis nation and from other parts of the world talk about theinfrastructure that they are going to create in Brandon in thespin‑off jobs in many areas of rural Manitoba.  Our contributionto that has been through the REDI program, and I can tell youthat it was well received.  I am heartened that in the thronespeech we are at the verge of proceeding with the ruralgasification of rural Manitoba.

            In the field of agriculture, we have the most comprehensivesafety‑net program this country and this province has ever seenbefore with the GRIP program, the crop insurance and NISA.  Whilemembers opposite choose to find areas that they are critical of,I can tell you that the producers out there are very pleased,particularly the producers this year who live north of theYellowhead Highway, that a safety‑net program is in place.

            In the area of health reform, I have just listened to themember for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) criticize the attempts andthe movement toward health reform in the province of Manitoba,and I am reminded again of the responsibility of government andthe luxury of being in opposition.  All the provinces across thiscountry are involved in health reform.  It is a needed reform.It is something that we have to do to preserve the medicare wehave today.  Rather than be appreciative of the efforts that arebeing made, members of the official opposition are findingindividual cases and being critical of the efforts that are beingmade there.

            I am pleased that the second opposition party has the abilityto analyze these changes, to be supportive of these changes, andmost of all to recognize that these changes must take place.  Ifwe do not make the health care reforms now, the health caresystem as we know it will not be in place as we get towards theyear 2000.

            Mr. Speaker, I would like to turn my attention to theDepartment of Family Services, and again, critics frequently aremaking comment on some of the changes that have taken placewithin this department, very positive changes so that we canoffer the best possible services to vulnerable Manitobans throughthe Department of Family Services.  I would repeat something Imentioned in the House the other day, that we deal with some180,000 Manitobans through the Department of Family Services, andall of our departments deal with very, very vulnerable people.


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            The members have brought up the increased use of socialallowances.  This is certainly a reality in Manitoba as it is areality right across this country in provinces governed byLiberal governments, by New Democratic Party governments, as wellas Conservative governments.  It is a reality.

            We in this province have maintained our rate by increasing itat the cost of living since we formed government, something thatis not happening in other jurisdictions.  In fact, if that ratewas appropriate in the mid‑1980s, it must be appropriate now,because we have increased it on a year‑by‑year basis according tothe cost of living.  Last year, for instance, we increased thesocial allowances rate by some 3.6 percent.  Only the Province ofB.C. gave a larger increase than that and in fact a number ofprovinces gave a zero percent increase and are looking at ways ofretracting some of the social allowance benefits that are inplace.

            On top of that annual increase we have also made a tremendousnumber of reforms in that program that members opposite oftenforget about and do not want to comment on.  The most recent onewas the extension of health care benefits to recipients of socialallowances which will allow them to maintain their healthbenefits for a full year as they move from social allowances intothe world of work in the disabled category and the sole‑supportparents.

            When we made that announcement, not one comment was made byopposition members in recognition that this was a tremendous moveto allow those people to move off of social allowances and intothe world of work.  I was disappointed that my critic fromWellington particularly did not applaud that move because it isone that advocacy groups have been calling upon for many, manyyears to allow recipients to move into the world of work.

            We created a program last year called an income supplementfor the disabled‑‑again, a longstanding issue in thisprovince‑‑that recognizes that disabled people have special costsand should be recognized and compensated for those.  This year,even with a very, very difficult budget facing us, we have againincreased that amount to the disabled by 16 to 17 percent.Again, this is an increase to the total social allowance's budgetline and it is not just volume driven as members are wont tosay.  We do have to take care of that volume, but we also havemade these other enhancements.  We also gave special assistancefor school supplies, particularly for high school students.  Wehave passed on the goods and services tax credit, the GST credit,without counting that as additional income, and we introduced asupplementary benefit whereby the cost of living and property taxcredits are now flowed on a monthly basis rather than an annuallump sum.

            I remember having the full support of the member for Burrows(Mr. Martindale) in doing that, and then, of course, he laterchanged his mind and said no, because some recipients are againstit, now I am against it.  But this has allowed recipients toreceive that sum on a monthly basis, to be able to access thosefunds on a monthly basis, and allow them not to be at the mercyof tax discounters who were taking a hefty proportion.

Ms. Barrett:  Give them the choice.

Mr. Gilleshammer:  Well, the member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett)wants us to revert back to the old way of doing things and allowit to go with a lump sum payment.  I will tell you, we had theunswerving support of her colleague the member for Burrows (Mr.Martindale) on this, and he is recorded in Hansard as saying thiswas a tremendous step forward.  Then, of course, he changed hismind on that.  We also made a small change to the children'strust accounts, the trust assets, and we have allowed anexemption there for $25,000 when those trusts are in the name ofa minor who is part of a family unit on social allowance.

            We also made tremendous increases in the liquid assetexemption level, again, a long‑standing issue that the previousgovernment failed to address throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  Inthe last two years we raised the liquid asset exemptions to$2,000 for the disabled, $1,000 for other recipients, and we putfamily maximums of $4,000 for the disabled clients and $3,000 forothers, so that in fact recipients are able to accumulate some oftheir income, whether it is exempted income or the monthlyallowance that they get, and are able to save for the largepurchases that they sometimes wish to make.

            The issue of the head of household is another issue that hasbeen around for a long time, and, again, the previous governmentchose not to make any decision on that.  In recent months we haveindicated that the guidelines had been changed to eliminate thegender discrimination and that the family unit can indicate infact their choice of who the head of the household should be.

            Last session we passed, in this House, Bill 70 which is goingto call for the standardization of rates and the standardizationof access to social allowances.  This was a commitment that wemade in 1988, and through I think a really good process withmembers of UMM and MAUM and the City of Winnipeg.  The SARCcommittee held hearings and had discussions with many of theircouncils and many citizens and brought back a recommendation thatthese rates and the access to social allowances should bestandardized.  We have indicated that come April 1, 1993, we aregoing to proceed with that, and we have grandfathered municipalcases at the existing rate until the end of 1993.  This is goingto allow a greater fairness throughout the system, and a numberof municipalities are now in the process of changing theirby‑laws and changing their regulations to come in line with thosechanges.

            We have also made a policy change effective November 1 on thetransportation issue for wheelchair recipients for socialreasons.  In the past we have allowed them 24 of these tripsannually, two per month.  We are allowing them, at their request,something we have worked with the poverty groups on and thedisabled groups who have asked that more flexibility be given inthat area, that they can use these trips at their discretion withthe total number of trips remaining the same.

            While my honourable friend from Wellington (Ms. Barrett) madethe comment that we have cut back on social allowances, we havein fact had annual increases at the cost of living each and everyyear, something that this government is very proud of, plus wehave done all of those other enhancements, and every one Imentioned has a cost to government.  I am only sorry that themember for Burrows (Mr. Martindale) was not here from thebeginning to hear all of those changes because I think it is apretty impressive list.

            My honourable friend from Wellington also made comment on thechanges in the restructuring of the Winnipeg Child and FamilyServices agency, and I am pleased, even though she was late, thatshe was able to come to the annual meeting last week and get somefirsthand insight into the operations of the agency.

            She made mention of the fact that there were not as manyvolunteers; in fact, there are more volunteers working with theWinnipeg agency.  There are some 750 volunteers that are now partand parcel of the Winnipeg agency.  I believe that is more thanthe separate agencies had in the past.  Volunteers, of course,are very, very welcome.  They make a tremendous contribution tothe delivery of service to the vulnerable children that theWinnipeg Child and Family Services agency provides for.

            She also made a comment that the agency was giving poorservice.  I am sorry that she chooses to characterize the work ofthe agency as being of poor service, because I think they do atremendous job of providing services to the vulnerable childrenhere in the city of Winnipeg.


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            There has been a tremendous amount of internal organizationin terms of the rearrangement into four service areas throughoutthe city of Winnipeg.  There have also been major changes in theaccounting procedures and the legal procedures and the manner inwhich those services are delivered, and the savings in that areanow go to service so that the agency can divert some of thesavings in restructuring the internal accounting andrestructuring the legal services.  They can now use those savingsfor enhancement of service.

            In the area of service issues, they have been able to dealwith issues that the previous six agencies, I think, haddifficulty with because of the need for co-operation between thesix boards and the six executive directors.  I would like toreport that real progress has been made on the issue of nightduty, and the ability of the agency to respond to children whoare in need of service during the late‑night hours and the earlymorning hours, and the agency now I believe has a better abilityto respond to those issues.  As well, there have beenimprovements in the adoption function that the agency takesforward as well as the recruitment of foster homes.  There is nolonger that competition for foster homes and, if a child isapprehended in one area of the city, they have the ability to usefoster homes anywhere else in the city.

            The final service issue that I would mention is the newservice information system, and I do not think we havecommunicated well how important a tool this is going to be forall of our agencies, the aboriginal agencies and the departmentin coming years.  This last Friday, I had an opportunity inPortage la Prairie to visit the central Manitoba agency inPortage and have an opportunity to see the SIS systemdemonstrated.  By April, the system will be in use in some partsof Manitoba, and later in 1993 I believe it will be in use inmost of Manitoba.

            As well, the Winnipeg agency has had a tremendous success ininvolving the community and solving some long‑standing problemsto do with services to children and services to the community.  Iwill just give you some examples.  A year and a half ago, forinstance, Pritchard Place was in danger of closing because theirfunding was not secure and the relationship with a number oftheir funders was a little bit shaky.  I think the work that theWinnipeg agency and the board and the staff at Pritchard Placehave undertaken has really stabilized Pritchard Place and allowedfor their continued presence in the community.

            Recently, we signed a service and funding agreement with theManitoba Metis Federation.  At the same time, the Winnipeg agencyalso assigned a staff on a part-time basis to look into some ofthe child welfare problems and issues peculiar to the MMF.  I cantell you that that is a real step forward.  As well, theadolescent parent centre, the moms and babies program of MountCarmel Clinic, all of which provide services to high‑riskadolescents and young adult parents and their children, have alsosigned an agreement with the Winnipeg agency.  So there are many,many examples where the Winnipeg agency has in fact improvedservice and has worked with these agencies to stabilize them.

            Mr. Speaker, I suspect I am running towards the end of mytime.  I would like to just mention a couple of other areas ofthe department.  The rehabilitation and community living, we havea number of initiatives there that I think are noteworthy.  TheWorking Group on Community Living that met over the last coupleof years to bring recommendations to government was establishedin June of 1990 and reported during 1991.  I am pleased that wefinalized a number of the initiatives and announced them onNovember 5.

            The centerpiece of this project is to take 25 individuals whoare currently in provincial institutions or in unstable communitysettings and to work with them to live more independently in thecommunity.  I think this has been a tremendous process whereby wehave involved ACL Winnipeg, ACL Manitoba, the institutions thatare part of my department as well as department staff and otherson this working group to bring forward these recommendations andto proceed with this pilot program.

            Also this session we will be bringing forward legislation onthe vulnerable persons living with a mental disability.  Thiswill replace The Mental Health Act, Part II.  Again we have hadan excellent process of consultation with the wider community.We had hoped to bring this legislation in last session, butbecause of the volume of work that had to be done we were notable to complete that.  We will be tabling that legislation whenwe get back from the Christmas recess, some time in March orApril.

            We think that this is landmark legislation that I have sharedin a small part with my two critics.  I would hope when we areready to introduce it we can have another opportunity to discussin some detail the details of that legislation.  Thislegislation, I am sure, is legislation all members of the Housewill be able to support.

            In the daycare area, certainly providing quality daycareservices in rural Manitoba is possibly the area that we have beenlobbied on most in recent times.  We are now spending in excessof $50 million in the daycare program, and that is roughly 100percent increase from what it was in 1988.  The restructuring ofdaycare has allowed many, many low-income families to place theirchildren in daycare because of the subsidies that are offered,but we still have a long way to go in some rural areas, cognizantof the fact that we cannot create daycare centres in many ruralareas because the numbers simply do not allow that.

            We have seen a tremendous decline in our numbers of studentsin schools.  Similarly, there is a decline in the number of youngchildren in rural areas who need to access daycare.  Probably thebest avenue for those parents is to access family daycare, and weare pleased that we have been able to license more family daycarehomes in many areas of Manitoba to accommodate them.

            We have been involved with the Department of Agriculture andthe Women's Institute, looking at innovative ways to provideservice in some remote and rural areas of Manitoba.  We are inthe midst of an experiment with the Child Minder Program, wherebywe are registering the friends, neighbours and relatives ofparents with youngsters who may wish to access daycare.  We havehad a very good partnership both with Agriculture and the Women'sInstitute to enable us to bring forward this initiative, and Ithink it is going to serve many rural families well.

            In the area of youth employment, in the last year we wereable to maintain our program with the CareerStart Program thispast summer.  Many Manitobans were able to access summer jobsthrough that program.  As well, we were part of the Partners withYouth program, which helped to create more summer jobs within theprovince.  Similarly, the student job placement offices wereagain open throughout rural Manitoba.  I think we had 34 sitesthis year.  They registered in excess of 10,000 students and putthem into part‑time or full‑time summer work.

            Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would again urge the firstopposition party to bring forward concrete examples of changesthat we can bring about in government throughout the variousdepartments, and would remind them of their greaterresponsibility as members of the Legislature, not simply tocondemn and to criticize, but to be part of the change that hasto take place over the next number of years and to bring forwardideas that are going to truly help with some of the majorinitiatives that we are in the process of undertaking at thistime.


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            The member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett) indicated that wehave no agenda for change, yet it is that very change that istaking place that she is so critical of, the health care reforms,the restructuring in this department and the tremendous effortsthat the Minister of I, T and T (Mr. Stefanson) and the economicportfolios in government have been looking at.  I would urge themto be supportive of those changes and to understand that we arein a changing world and that these initiatives in keeping taxesdown and bringing forward other ideas are going to have apositive influence on Manitoba in the coming years.

            Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I have appreciated having anopportunity to make my contribution, and would welcome theopportunity to hear some of the other ideas that might comeforward from other members.  Thank you.

Mr. Steve Ashton (Thompson):  I appreciate the opportunity tospeak on yet another throne speech, Mr. Speaker.

            I must say, before beginning my introductory comments, thatif I was to give this throne speech marks‑‑and I will get intodetails of this later‑‑I would certainly give them A+ forcreative rhetoric, somewhat fewer marks in terms of actualsubstance.  In terms of recognizing the reality of what ishappening in Manitoba, well, I do not think they have invented amark yet that describes how poor the throne speech was, Mr.Speaker.

            I want to begin with some preliminary comments because it istraditional in the House to comment, Mr. Speaker, a number ofways, certainly to welcome you back to the Chamber, and at therisk‑‑I know you have various rulings to be making in the nextfew days, and I want to assure you that I am not trying to begany favour by saying that I trust in your judgment, win, lose ordraw, as I have done on many rulings in the House as Houseleader.  You have been extremely fair.  I really think you havebeen exemplary, and I think you have truly upheld the kind ofspeakership that is in keeping with the parliamentary system.  Iknow I speak for certainly all members in our caucus, and I willhope for all members of the House, to welcome you back.

            The other thing I would like to do is recognize some of thesignificant passages that have taken place.  I think it wasHarold Wilson who once said that a week is a long time inpolitics, Mr. Speaker.  Well, there have been a number of weekssince we last sat, and there have been a number of significantchanges in this House.  I would like to remark on those.

            We, first of all, of course, have had two‑‑well, I was goingto say two new members elected to the House, Mr. Speaker.  Wehave had one new, new member, and we have had a returning memberelected.

            I would like to, first of all, welcome the new member forPortage (Mr. Pallister) to the House.  I want to commend him forwhat I thought was an excellent preliminary speech.  I think itwas very much in keeping with parliamentary tradition, gave avery vivid picture of his constituency, Mr. Speaker, and I thinkit set a tone in terms of his future career in this House.  Welook forward to further speeches.  I am sure some of them in thefuture might be a little bit more political, and I wouldencourage him to be as political as he wants.


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


            I think he established very well the sort of constituencyfocus in the first speech he gave, and certainly my experiencehas been that what counts is the constituency level, certainly tothe people of Portage.  In fact, I have been in hisconstituency.  I was just there last Thursday. [interjection]Well, I cannot say that I agreed with his positions on issues,certainly in his support of the government.  I certainly wishedhim well in terms of the people I spoke to in Portage.  I wouldlike to welcome him to the House, Mr. Acting Speaker.

            I would like to also welcome back the member for Crescentwood(Ms. Gray).  It is interesting, Mr. Acting Speaker, it is veryrare actually, I think, for members to return to this House afterhaving, shall we say‑‑I use this with the member for Broadway(Mr. Santos).  I talk about his involuntary sabbatical between1988 and 1990.  I could say the same for the member forCrescentwood who was on an involuntary sabbatical.  I certainlycredit her, as I have with the member for Broadway, on beingpolitical phoenixes.  I can think of only one other member, AlMackling, the member of this House who went through a similarsort of sabbatical in recent memory.

            I think it shows real commitment to the public process andthe political process when anyone, after seeing what life afterpolitics is like, decides that they want to return to politics.We need that kind of dedication at a time when it is not alwaysthat easy to be in public life.  So I certainly welcome her back.

            I wanted to comment, of course, on the retirement fromprovincial politics of Elijah Harper, Mr. Acting Speaker.  I wantto indicate that I will miss Elijah in this House.  I was electedin 1981 at the same time, and the certain kinship that goes withbeing, shall we say, part of the same class, in this case, theclass of 1981.  I just had the opportunity of reflecting inprivate conversations on how many significant events havehappened in that 11‑year period.  I remember the first time I metElijah after the election, walking into a caucus meeting.  Ithink, if anyone had even begun to outline the events of the next11 years, certainly for all of us who were elected in 1981, andmost particularly for the former member for Rupertsland, I thinkthat any of us would have suggested that that individual wascrazy.

            Who would have thought that the member for Rupertsland wouldhave become a key spokesperson for aboriginal people as hehas?‑‑not that he did not come in with a great deal of promise, aformer chief from the Red Sucker Lake Band, full of ideas in1981.  I think it is interesting, Mr. Acting Speaker, and I thinkit is something we should all take pride in this House, to seethe member for Rupertsland now being seen as a nationalspokesperson for aboriginal people.  No matter what he does inthe future, whether he continues in terms of politicsfederally‑‑and I know he has certainly not ruled that possibilityout‑‑I know that he could be working nationally on aboriginalissues internationally.  He has become world‑renowned in terms ofspeaking for aboriginal people.

            I think, even putting aside some of the partisan commentsthat we make over the years, all of us in this House would agreein wishing Elijah Harper all the best in the future, Mr. ActingSpeaker, and thank him for his 11 years of service, not only forthe constituency that he has represented, but also for allaboriginal people.  I want to say on a personal note just howmuch I have learned about the true view of aboriginal people frombeing a colleague and a friend of Elijah Harper.

            There have been a number of other passings as well.  Theformer member for Portage is no longer here, and I know, beforethere was reference to the fact, that some people will miss hiscigars.  I think we will all miss his outspokenness, perhaps withthe exception of the Premier (Mr. Filmon), but we will certainlymiss his unique approach in this House.  He certainly livenedthings up when he was here and was a very outspokenrepresentative of Portage.  I think over the years he and Iprobably had more disagreements than anyone on a lot of issues,certainly when he was Minister of Labour and I was Labour critic,but we wish him well in the future as well.

            Also, of course, the Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs.Carstairs) has announced that she is going to be stepping down asLiberal Leader.  I think she probably has the rather uniqueopportunity now of not retiring immediately from provincialpolitics but to, shall we say, be hearing somewhat prematureobituaries, memorials, Mr. Acting Speaker, but maybe this isprobably something we should do more often in this House, andthat is recognize the‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Resign.

Mr. Ashton:  Resign.  I notice some of the Conservative memberssaying resign.  If they want to resign, we have no problem withthat.

            What I wanted to do was remark on the fact that I think shehit a very important tone in her speech as well, Mr. ActingSpeaker, in talking about what has happened in this House overthe last number of years.  I find it interesting in reflecting onconversations with the people who have sat in this House longerthan I have and former members how there has been a deteriorationover the years.  I will always believe that what is said in thisHouse on issues is one thing, what is said in the hallways, whatit is said on a personal basis is another.


(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)


* (1750)


            I think it is important, as the Leader of the Liberal Partypointed out in her speech, not to carry on some of the politicaldebates into the hallways.  I recognize that all 57 of us areelected to represent our constituents‑‑56 now.  We may havediffering views, and in fact even the Minister of Consumer andCorporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh) and I agreed on something lastsession.  I think that is an achievement.  I know that when wewere in Labour committee and I moved a number of amendments whichher minister agreed with, she was somewhat suspicious because Iwas moving them and she felt that she had to vote against them,although we actually voted on the same side on that, Mr.Speaker.  So long as we can agree on even one thing, there has tobe some hope for all of us.  I think as the Leader of the LiberalParty pointed out, that is very important.

            I think that we should look back in recognizing that, alsoacross the political lines and issues as well.  I know we werejust talking a few minutes ago about some of the important issuesthat have come over the years, looking back to The Human RightsAct of 1987, in which the Liberal Leader played a very importantrole from her side supporting some initiatives that were beingbrought in, particularly in terms of sexual orientation, whichwas a very controversial issue in this Chamber.  I am not tryingto revive the debate, but it is the kind of thing that often isnot recognized in terms of political analyses when one isfinished in terms of politics.

            I think, Mr. Speaker, sometimes achievements of that naturemean more than how many seats one gains or loses, althoughcertainly the position of the Liberal Leader will be very welltaken in terms of history, of having gone from no seats to theLiberal Party being active again.

            I want to say that and I know there will be times once theLiberal Leader is out of politics to say the same.  I know thereis always a fear in this House if we say something nice orpositive or recognize something else that someone in anotherparty has done that might be considered suspect or might be seenin the wrong way, but I have no hesitation in saying that on anumber of important issues, politics aside, that she has had avery important influence on this province and she will certainlybe missed in the House in future years.  She has made a majorcontribution.

            I just want to mention, for example, I remember when theLiberal Leader was first elected, my daughter was about fouryears old at the time and I remember having a tough time when Iwould ask her what she wanted to do, explaining to her that shecould be an MLA.  I remember one time I asked her if she wantedto be an MLA.  She said no, there were only boys, so I pointedout that there were a number of girls‑‑women‑‑in the Legislature,and I am saying that in a nonsexist way‑‑when you are talking toa four‑year‑old about boys and girls, I am saying it in thatsense‑‑and I remember that she recognized the Leader of theLiberal Party at the point where I remember going on a bus tripto Brandon for the Royal Winter Fair‑‑this was about a yearlater‑‑and I considered it real progress when she recognized theLeader of the Liberal Party and was saying, that is SharonCarstairs, that is Sharon Carstairs.

            It is funny how you do not see, in a way, societal attitudesuntil you see it in your own kids.  She had finally recognizedthat one's gender does not matter in terms of politics.  It maysound like a minor point, but I think that is what is happeningin society generally.  I personally look forward to the day inthis Chamber when we have gender parity, Mr. Speaker, because Ithink it will be a far better place and far more reflective ofthe reality of the changes in society.  I have found from my ownpersonal experience how important that is.

            Now I want to just also spend a couple of minutes, and I willhave the opportunity to talk a bit further tonight, talking aboutmy constituency, Mr. Speaker, because, as I said just a fewminutes ago, as far as I am concerned we start in this Chamberrepresenting our constituents and our constituents first.  Thatshould be our top priority.  I say that because I find in dealingwith constituent problems and concerns, talking to myconstituents as I do on as regular a basis as possible, that isthe sense I get from people.

            People are far more interested in public affairs than we givethem credit.  They have a much broader perspective than we givethem credit.  I know in my case, representing eight communities,I find that there is always something to be learned from goingand talking to the people that I represent, and listening, thetoughest thing for anybody in public life, in politics, is tolisten.

            We talk about listening but we are actually better at shallwe say, talking than we are at listening.  When one actually goesand listens, it is amazing the kind of wisdom that one hears, thekind of constructive suggestions and legitimate concerns andcriticisms that one hears.

            I know my own area today, it is pretty tough; there are toughtimes.  Thompson, which had pretty well been sheltered from therecession, is now being faced with the prospect of the loss of125 jobs, hopefully through attrition and early retirement.

            Many of the more remote communities in my constituency havebeen facing tough times for many years, and it is getting worse.I was recently in Nelson House again, for example, and theprospects for economic development are pretty remote despite thefact that the band is doing a considerable number of innovativethings.  It is the same thing in Split Lake, where the NorthernFlood Agreement has been settled, and I want to commend all thoseinvolved in resolving that.  There are very tough times, and I amhoping the Northern Flood Agreement will lead to someopportunities in terms of economic development.

            Ilford, Thicket Portage and Pikwitonei, Mr. Speaker, arebayline communities.  They are very concerned about the future ofthe bayline.  They do not have road access.  They are concernedabout the very future of their communities, and I want to pointto the difficult circumstances they face.  They have been leftbehind.  Metis and C-31 residents who do not have the reservestatus are being left behind in terms of aboriginalself‑government.  We need to be looking at communities such asthose and communities such as Wabowden as well in terms of thedifficulties they face.

            Wabowden, Mr. Speaker‑‑I will be in Wabowden in a couple ofdays, as a matter of fact‑‑is facing difficult times because ofRepap and the elimination of jobs in that community.  Generally,across the board there are tough times, very tough times incommunities.  And you know what?  What I think is important thatwe do in this House is not only bring forward issues but the kindof experiences and the kind of reality that people are goingthrough.

            I want to just outline a number of examples of that.  The daybefore we began our pre‑session ceremonies in this House, I wasin Thompson, at home.  I decided to go and talk first-hand to anumber of tenants on Cree Road who are living in situations‑‑andyou know that area of town very well in Thompson, I know‑‑who arebeing faced with being forced out of their properties because thelandlord in that particular case has not been putting forth thekind of repairs necessary.  Mr. Speaker, slum conditions.

            I went in and I talked to people I had known for many years,people who have lived in these apartments for 10 and 15 and 20years, Mr. Speaker.  The bottom line is, it is scary that in1992, we can have people living in those kinds of conditions.This is in Thompson which is generally a good standard of living,but that is one example.

            I have been in Pikwitonei, in homes of individuals whoinvited me in to see gaping holes in the floors, cupboardsfalling in, Mr. Speaker.  I have seen foundation problems.  Ihave seen windows that have cracks to the point where it isimpossible to keep heat in those buildings.  I have gone togovernment departments and agencies to be told, well, that is notour jurisdiction and then have gone to another and been told thatis not our jurisdiction either, while people continue to live inthose conditions.

            I have talked to people who have been unemployed for a year,for two years, for three years, who have all but given up hope.I have talked to people, Mr. Speaker, who live in remotecommunities and are lucky to work a month or two, people who relyon UIC which is, once again, being cut back, even just to make itthrough with any level of dignity working for two or threemonths.  I have talked to trappers in my constituency who cannotmake a living anymore off trapping.  Yes, indeed, there arepeople who wish to continue to trap.

            So this is reality out there, Mr. Speaker.  It is a newreality, and that is the kind of thing this government should berecognizing in its throne speech, not the new buzzwords, but thenew reality.

            You can look at it in terms of statistics‑‑the highest levelof child poverty, one of the highest levels of poverty in thecountry, Mr. Speaker.  We have one of the lowest levels ofindustrial wage.  There are tremendous changes taking place inour economy and, unfortunately, what is happening is we are beingstripped of our industrial capacity, particularly here in thecity of Winnipeg.

            We are seeing a shrinking in the mining industry that is unprecedented‑‑Thompson losing 125 jobs, Flin Flon beingdownsized, Snow Lake being closed, Lynn Lake already having beenclosed, Sherridon already having been closed, Mr. Speaker.  Thedays of the levels of employment we have seen in the past are no longer here.  We are seeing changes in terms of what is happeningwith Hydro development, the possibility of at least a five‑yeardelay in terms of Conawapa because of the delay in the OntarioHydro sale.

            The fact is, there is a new reality out there and it istough.  You know, Mr. Speaker, I know members opposite will say,well, you are just being critical.  It would be easy to respond.I could read back many a phrase, and I will, in fact, in a fewminutes, that members opposite put on the record when they werein opposition, but that is not the point of it.  When I say timesare tough, they are tough.

            When I say that members of this House would do well to getoutside of this building and talk to the unemployed and talk tothe people living in slum conditions and talk to the young peoplewho are seeing very little hope, that is not a question ofnegativity.  That is a question of reality.  That is whatfundamentally concerns me about this government and this thronespeech, because this government is completely and absolutely outof touch.

            They brought in a throne speech that never once mentioned theword "recession," the "r" word.  It is almost as if, Mr. Speaker,the Premier (Mr. Filmon) can stand here and the Premier canimagine that everything is fine in the province of Manitoba, thatthere is no recession‑‑we have all these statistics that show howgreat things are.  Well, the only way you can do that, like thePremier is doing it, is if you are completely and absolutely outof touch.  The only way you can do that is if you see theprovince through the window of a jet airplane looking down on it.

            If you talk to people up close, you know that we have arecession.  It is a lingering recession.  We are in some of theworst economic circumstances in this province since the 1930s,and the only way to come up with solutions to the problems thatwe have is to recognize that there is a problem in the firstplace.

            Now, perhaps, the Premier (Mr. Filmon) does not recognizethere is a problem.  Perhaps the people he represents, bothconstituency‑wise and also in terms of the coalition that theConservative Party represents, perhaps they are not going throughthe same tough times, but I even doubt if that is the case.  Imean, if the Premier took the time to talk to some of thetraditional supporters of the Conservative Party, they would tellhim straight that there are tough times in this province, Mr.Speaker.

            I want to suggest that this is more than just a failed thronespeech.  There have been six Conservative throne speeches, Ibelieve.  This is the sixth one.  After awhile, one tends to losecount, Mr. Speaker.  This is obviously, to my mind, the one thatis most out of touch with reality.  You know, I would say thereis some significance in that, because I think we are at awatershed with this government.  We are at a political watershed.

            When they were elected in 1988, they were able to run, Mr.Speaker, against the NDP at the time.  Does anybody recall someof the key issues at the time?  Autopac was one of them‑‑and Iwill be getting to that tonight‑‑taxes, general view in terms ofthe government being out of touch.  That was what they ran on in1988.  In 1990, they had the opportunity for a second term.  Alot of what happened in 1990 was reflective of some of theconstitutional discussions that had taken place and some of theironic twists and turns of fate.

            Now, Mr. Speaker, it is 1992, and we are going through awatershed.  Friday, the highest level of unemployment in quitesome time‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  When this matter is again beforethe House, the honourable member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton) willhave 18 minutes remaining.

            The hour being 6 p.m., I am leaving the Chair with theunderstanding that the House will reconvene at 8 p.m.