LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF MANITOBA

Tuesday, December 8, 1992

 

The House met at 1:30 p.m.

 

PRAYERS

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

PRESENTING PETITIONS

 

Mr. Gulzar Cheema (The Maples): Mr. Speaker, I beg to presentthe petition of W.J. Karle, J.P. Karle, Thom Irving and others,requesting the government of Manitoba to pass the necessaryregulations which will restrict stubble burning in the provinceof Manitoba.

READING AND RECEIVING PETITIONS

 

Mr. Speaker: I have reviewed the petition of the honourablemember for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs). It complies with theprivileges and the practices of the House, and it complies withthe rules (by leave). Is it the will of the House to have thepetition 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill 208‑The Workers Compensation Amendment Act

 

Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona): Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by themember for Radisson (Ms. Cerilli), that Bill 208, The WorkersCompensation Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur lesaccidents du travail, be introduced and that the same be nowreceived and read a first time.

Motion presented.

* (1335)

 

Mr. Daryl Reid (Transcona): Mr. Speaker, this bill is designedto recognize the occupational health hazards encountered byfirefighters in the performance of their duties while protectingthe lives and property of Manitobans.

Medical studies have shown that there is a greater incidenceof heart injury and injuries to the lungs, brains and kidneys offirefighters than for any other compatible profession.Firefighters were covered for such work‑related injuries untilWorkers Compensation regulations were struck down by Justice Lyonin 1988, due to the lack of specific legislation. This billprovides the specifics, Mr. Speaker.

This firefighter protection bill has been extensively debatedby all members wishing to do so in the last session of theLegislature and was, except for procedure, nearly passed atcommittee.

I am sure that all members support firefighters and wouldwish to move this bill forward with a minimum of debate. Thankyou, Mr. Speaker.

 

Motion agreed to.

 

Introduction of Guests

 

Mr. Speaker: Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the attentionof honourable members to the gallery, where we have with us thisafternoon, from the General Wolfe School, fifty Grade 9students. They are under the direction of Mr. Herold Driedger.This school is located in the constituency of the honourablemember for Wellington (Ms. Barrett).

Also this afternoon, we have from the St. George School,sixty Grade 9 students under the direction of Mr. Clint Harvey.This school is located in the constituency of the honourablemember for St. Vital (Mrs. Render).

On behalf of all honourable members, I would like to welcomeyou here this afternoon.

ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

 

Decentralization Criteria

 

Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition): Mr. Speaker, myquestion is to the First Minister.

The government is proceeding with their decentralizationprograms and having announcements being made by various cabinetministers at various photo opportunities almost on aweekend‑by‑weekend basis.

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Doer: We are obviously hitting a raw nerve, Mr. Speaker.

The government has proceeded with decisions to announce 26jobs in Carman and deliver 31 jobs. It has proceeded to announcejobs in Winkler and deliver those jobs. It has proceeded toannounce various jobs and even exceed that in some communitiesheld by Conservative cabinet ministers.

On the other hand, communities with higher unemployment, withjust the same kind of economic needs, if not greater economicneeds, outside of Winnipeg, like Dauphin, were promised 34 jobsin 1990, pre‑election, I might add. Only seven jobs have beendelivered and some 60 jobs have been lost.

I would like to ask the Premier: What criteria are hisgovernment using in the decentralization program that he hasimplemented?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, the criteria involve acommon‑sense analysis of what services can be provided bygovernment at least as efficiently and effectively outside thecity of Winnipeg as they can within the city of Winnipeg, wherethey will also provide economic benefit to the communities inwhich they are located.

We have steadfastly said that if we lack either thetechnology or the ability to provide the services as efficientlyif not more efficiently and effectively in the host community,then obviously we cannot transfer the jobs into the hostcommunity. Consequently, every individual decision has beenbased on that kind of analysis, and we have proceeded, as themember has well documented, to decentralize more than 550 jobsnow throughout the province of Manitoba, some 600 jobs. In allof the communities, they have been very well received. Theservices are proceeding very, very well, and the public is happywith them. The host communities are happy with them, and it is awin‑win situation for everybody.

Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, we have decisions being cancelled inareas of higher unemployment, in northern Manitoba, in theparklands of Manitoba, and we have decisions to proceed withmany, many jobs in southwestern Manitoba, where the unemploymentrate is the lowest in Manitoba.

I would like to know from the Premier: Are the criteriapolitical considerations of the Conservative front benches or theeconomic considerations in Manitoba in terms of opportunities andeconomic requirements of Manitobans?

Mr. Filmon: The commitments that we have undertaken to northernManitoba have either been proceeded with in totality or are stillunderway. For instance, CEDF, Communities Economic DevelopmentFund, which is a fund for rural and remote community development,was operated for all those years out of Winnipeg, a terriblyinappropriate place for it. That has been located and isoperating out of Thompson‑‑it has been for quite sometime‑‑because of a result of a decision of this government. Weare doing that. There have been jobs decentralized to Flin Flon,the MHSC jobs. In all cases, we are working to ensure that thesejobs are made available to these areas to ensure that they arebeing done efficiently, effectively in serving the people of theprovince and, at the same time, providing substantial economicbenefit to the local community.

Mr. Doer: The Premier quotes Flin Flon; he should note thatthere were 24 jobs promised, seven delivered, and 12 jobs lost sofar in Flin Flon.

I would like to ask the Premier: He has argued for fairnesswith the Prime Minister; he has argued that Manitoba be treatedfairly by our federal Conservative Prime Minister. Would thePremier please be intellectually consistent and tell us whetherpolitical constituencies were part of the criteria that thecabinet used and the Premier used to choose where the jobs wouldgo in this province?

 

* (1340)

 

Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, we will talk about intellectualconsistency and the New Democrats. That is a contradiction interms. The New Democrats may want to judge us based on theircriteria, and we will not accept that judgment. They playedpolitics in everything they did, and we will not do that. Thatis why we have placed jobs in Thompson, that is why we haveplaced jobs in Flin Flon, that is why we have placed jobsthroughout this province, in Brandon East and in many areas thatare not represented by members on this side of the House, becausewe are doing it in the interests of fairness, we are doing it inthe interest of consistency, which is more than I can say for mycolleague opposite.

Mr. Doer: I have a new question for the Premier, and I want totable a memo from the clerk of cabinet, who works directly forthe Premier, to the co‑ordinator of decentralization. I wouldlike to quote from that memo that states, quote: The HonourableJim Downey brought a provincial map showing locations ofdecentralized operations to cabinet. Please prepare a similarmap using a provincial constituency map as the base for showingthe proposed decentralization moves.

I would like to ask the Premier: Is this the criterion thePremier actually used and instructed his whole government to dopre‑election in 1990 in terms of decisions of this government?

Mr. Filmon: I cannot believe that the member would even put thatforward when he knows that we have put jobs in Dauphin, we haveput jobs in Thompson, we have put jobs in Flin Flon, we have putjobs in Brandon East, we have put jobs in Selkirk. We have putjobs in all of these areas that are not Conservative seats. Themember opposite has totally destroyed his own argument by virtueof the information that we have provided for him. It is absolutenonsense.

Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, when the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey) andthe co‑chair of the election planning committee bring a map tocabinet, that is not good enough for the Premier because ageographic map is not good enough for their cabinet. They need aconstituency map before the election.

How does the Premier justify instructing the Civil Servicethrough the clerk of cabinet to prepare a constituency map, andhow can he say and stand up in this House and not admit that thiswas a political decision from Day One? The cancellation of jobsin rural Manitoba were political, and this Premier ran the wholedecentralization campaign in a political partisan way with aconstituency map of this province.

Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, because we anticipated that we wouldget this kind of foolish argument from the member for Concordia(Mr. Doer), we wanted to make sure that we had the evidence todemonstrate that we had put jobs in Thompson, that we had putjobs in Flin Flon, that we had put jobs in Dauphin, that we hadput jobs in Selkirk, that we had put jobs in Brandon East,because we knew exactly the kind of foolish argument that hewould put forward.

Mr. Doer: Mr. Speaker, he did in fact promise pre‑election jobsin Dauphin, and then he cancelled them after the election. Hepromised 34 before the election, 60 of them lost after theelection; promised jobs in Flin Flon, 24 before the election,seven were delivered, 12 were cancelled after the election;promised jobs in The Pas, six were delivered, 19 jobs were lost.

What are the criteria this Premier is using? He is usingpartisan, political interference in the delivery of publicservices in this province. This memo proves that this Premierwas only interested in his own re‑election, not interested in theeconomic well‑being of Manitobans throughout this province.

 

* (1345)

 

Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite comes forward withabsolute balderdash. The reality is that there are manycommunities that have not got the jobs that have been promised,one being Souris, for instance. The town of Souris, why did younot bring that one up? How about Gladstone? How about Hamiota?Those are areas that are represented by Conservative MLAs. Thereis absolutely not a shred of truth to the statement that is madeby the member for Concordia, which is totally consistent with allof the accusations that he makes in this House.

 

Video Lottery Terminals

Legion Participation

 

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster): Mr. Speaker, I have a questionfor the Premier.

This government's "anything goes" gambling policy is hurtinga great number of Manitobans. In fact, we have one legion inSte. Rose that has sent out minutes indicating that they aregoing to have to shut down the legion, by the looks of it, by theend of this month, because of the way in which this government isintroducing its gambling policy, if they even have a gamblingpolicy.

My question to the Premier is: Will the minister change thepolicy and allow VLTs in the legion halls, given that it is anabsolute shame, the manner in which this government is treatingthe legions throughout this province, absolute shame?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, I can tell the memberfor Inkster one policy on gambling that I have, and that is thatI will not bet on his chances of being the next leader of theLiberal Party. The answer to his question is‑‑[interjection]

Mr. Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Filmon: Well, it shows that the New Democrats never couldhandicap properly.

The answer to his question is: That is a matter that we arestill under discussion with with representatives of the legionsof this province on, and we will continue to consult as we moveforward on various different aspects of our policy with respectto gaming in this province.

The minister responsible, the Minister of Culture, Heritageand Citizenship (Mrs. Mitchelson), has been very fair and veryreasonable and has spent time listening to people who haveconcerns, from all areas of the province and from all varioussectors, including the legions.

Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, I find it somewhat unfortunate thatwe have one legion in particular that is having to look atclosing their doors because of actions of this government, whichis most unfortunate, because this government is not prepared orwas not prepared to introduce a gambling policy, that it hasdecided to do it in such an ad hoc way in which you are pittingcommunities against communities.

Why did this government not think through all theimplications before bringing in the VLT system?

Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, the various programs that have beenbrought forward in this province have been brought forward withintent and purpose.

The member talks about a legion possibly closing its doors.We would have lost half of the hotels in southern rural Manitobaif we had not brought forth the policy of implementing VLTs inthose hotels. The hotel keepers and the hotel owners have saidthat publicly. He, as a member of this Legislature, ought to beconcerned about that because it would have been a very negativeimpact on many of the communities in rural southern Manitoba hadthat occurred.

I know that the member for Interlake (Mr. Clif Evans)understands that full well. It is a very substantial economicbenefit to those people, so we have brought forward thesepolicies after careful consideration. We have announced thatthese policies are progressing step by step, and so that when webrought the VLTs into rural southern Manitoba, it was to addressa very severe problem being faced by the hotels in that area.

We have said that we are going to be expanding it so thathotels within the city of Winnipeg are the next step in thechain. We have done those things after careful consideration anda great deal of consultation. We are in the process ofconsultation with the legions as part of this overall approach toensuring that it is done carefully and in the best interests ofall the people of Manitoba.

 

* (1350)

 

Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, the Premier says that he wasconcerned and he listened to the hoteliers. Why is the Premiernot concerned in listening to what the legions are saying? Whyis it that the Premier is being very one‑sided on this wholedebate? There has been no public consultation. There has notbeen any coherent policy. An ad hoc‑‑

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member for Inksterhas put his question.

Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, the question was, why am I notconcerned? The answer is that I am concerned; that ourgovernment is concerned. That is why we are in the midst ofconsultations with the legions. If we were not concerned, wewould not be in discussion with them.

Decentralization Criteria

 

Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River): Mr. Speaker, it is a disgracethat this government should consider political interference asthey plotted decentralization on constituency maps.

I want to ask the Premier: Is this map still in use, or hasthe map changed since the election, and is that why all thedecentralized jobs are going to Tory ridings or ridings‑‑

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

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker‑‑

Some Honourable Members: Oh, oh.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. We do not need a singsong right now.

Mr. Filmon: You know, Mr. Speaker, here we have the member forSwan River and her colleagues all of a sudden crying wolf whenthey voted against decentralization. They were opposed to theentire policy, opposed to the policy. Here we are, through theprocess of decentralization, transferring jobs into Thompson,transferring jobs into Flin Flon, transferring jobs into Dauphin,transferring jobs into Selkirk, transferring jobs into BrandonEast, and they now are complaining about the fact that theirconstituencies are getting jobs. I cannot believe it.

Ms. Wowchuk: Mr. Speaker, we voted against politicalinterference.

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier tell us then when we will seethis government carry through with the balance of its promisedjobs? When will we see jobs in Dauphin? When will we see jobsin Thompson and in The Pas?

Mr. Filmon: Mr. Speaker, you know, here is the member for SwanRiver; we have a personal care home being constructed, thanks tothe policies and the decisions of this government, right in hercommunity of Swan River, and she has the audacity to complainabout this government and its fairness. She ought to beashamed. She does not represent her people, and she does nothave any sense of fairness and reasonableness when she asks herquestion.

 

Completion

 

Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River): Mr. Speaker, will the Premieradmit that he is not telling the truth when it comes to that theyare not going to proceed with decentralization since‑‑

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I would ask the honourable memberfor Swan River to remove that remark from the record.

Ms. Wowchuk: Yes, I will remove that.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Swan River, kindly putyour question now, please.

 

* (1355)

 

Ms. Wowchuk: Will the Premier admit that he is misleading thepublic while carrying on about proceeding with decentralizationsince the Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach) has alreadytold the Dauphin media that the remaining 160 or 170 jobs willnot be carried out for the next two or three years, or is thisgovernment‑‑

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

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, we announced, I believeit was about three years ago, at the Union of ManitobaMunicipalities annual meeting, in fact, it was November of 1989in Brandon, we announced at that time that we would bedecentralizing a total of 693 jobs. Now, despite recession,despite difficult challenges for this government, despite theopposition of the New Democratic Party, we have decentralizedover 600 jobs. That is a commitment that we made, and that is acommitment that we have kept.

In conjunction with that, jobs have gone to Dauphin, jobshave gone to Selkirk, jobs have gone to Brandon East, jobs havegone to Thompson, jobs have gone to Flin Flon, all of those areasof New Democratic Party holdings we, we have decentralized jobs,Mr. Speaker. That is because of a commitment that thisgovernment has made, a commitment to fairness, a commitment tobalance and a commitment to rural and northern Manitoba that wasnot supported by the New Democrats. They ought to be ashamed,embarrassed, to even bring forward these questions.

Decentralization

Northern Manitoba

 

Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, the North has beenparticularly hard hit by cuts in government positions and thepolitical decisions as to where decentralization is takingplace. The unemployment rate currently in The Pas sits at 25percent, and the more further north you go, it is 90 percent.

My question is to the First Minister (Mr. Filmon): Sinceunemployment in the North is the highest of any region in thecountry, why did this government put the majority of jobs insouthwest Manitoba, which has the lowest unemployment rate inManitoba? Has he not realized the effects of the Repap layoffsand cuts to the Clearwater Nursery, and other increases in theunemployment rate in Manitoba?

Hon. James Downey (Minister of Northern Affairs): Mr. Speaker,for a member who decided to run for a party, who was unable toget one thing under the New Democratic Party, to ask this kind ofa question, where in fact the Community Economic DevelopmentFund, with some 12 employees, is now operating out of Thompson,Manitoba, where it should be, not sitting downtown at 55 Carltonon the 12th or 15th floor where nobody could get to it‑‑it is nowvery appropriately placed in Thompson, Manitoba, providing theneeds of the North.

The Pas, as well, was a recipient of decentralized jobs,which are important in that community and, as well, Mr. Speaker,major initiatives by this government to assure the ongoingoperation of the Manfor Repap plant, a credit to this government,not to the one he chose to sit with.

 

Decentralization

Northern Manitoba

 

Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): My supplementary question, Mr.Speaker, is again directed to the First Minister.

How does the First Minister explain the fact that there arefewer civil servant positions in northern Manitoba today, afterdecentralization, than when the Premier began this plan in 1990?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, there are fewer civilservant positions overall in this province. That is the realityof having government be more efficient and taking less dollarsfrom the taxpayer. That is the reality. We do not want to addmore taxes like New Democrats do. We absolutely refuse to raisethe taxes in the obscene way that the New Democrats did. As aresult of that, we have 1,200 fewer civil servants across theprovince as a whole. We believe that is the right policy, andthe people of Manitoba believe it is as well.

Keewatin Community College

Funding

 

Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Mr. Speaker, my last question isagain directed to the First Minister.

Over the past two years, despite a rising unemployment ratein the North and the need for more training, Keewatin CommunityCollege has had major reductions. I would like to ask the FirstMinister if he would assure the House today that KCC will not behit again in the next budget.

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, you know, this is awonderful way for the New Democrats to start rumours in thisHouse, is to imply through questions that something is beingconsidered. I know of no plans to target any particular area.We have an obligation to review the entire workings of the CivilService to ensure that we can deliver the services of thisprovince as efficiently and effectively as possible. We willcontinue to examine every possible avenue. We will go throughline by line, position by position, department by department,section by section, and make sure that we can have this CivilService operate as efficiently as possible, and we will examineevery particular option, because we do not want to raise taxeslike the New Democrats raised taxes. That is the wrong policy,and we reject it.

 

* (1400)

Video Lottery Terminals

Revenues

 

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): Mr. Speaker, I have a questionfor the Minister of Rural Development.

Last July, when the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey) announced theestablishment of video lottery terminals for rural Manitoba, hesaid the revenues would be used for rural economic development.The expected amount for the first year was to be $5.3 million.While the actual figure is reported to be $7 million, a week ago,the Minister of Rural Development said any amount over the REDIprogram's budget of $2.4 million will go to general revenues.

Can the minister tell the House when he changed the policyand why? Why is this minister breaking a commitment made to thepeople of Manitoba?

Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development): Mr.Speaker, I do not know where the member does his research andgets his information, but indeed neither the $7 million‑‑that wasa figure that I do not know where it came from. Certainly it didnot come from our office. I indicated in the very beginning thatwe had been given some $2.4 million for the REDI program from VLTrevenues. In addition there was over $895,000, I believe, givento the Grow Bonds program from the VLT revenues. In addition, weput $740,000 into The Green Team. So, in total, we havecommitted over $4 million to various Rural Economic DevelopmentInitiatives across this province.

It is true that the anticipated revenues were going to be$5.3 million. That is something that we had to put our bestefforts in guessing, what the revenues were going to be, becausewe had no history of VLT revenues in this province prior to usintroducing them last November. If there are additionalrevenues, those will be dealt with through the normal process andthe budget process.

Mr. Gaudry: In case the minister has not seen the press releasefrom his department, I will table it. A promise was made todirect all revenues into rural conomic development, a promisethis government is breaking. If it was the government's intentto use VLT revenues for general purposes, why did this ministernot have the integrity and the honesty to say so from thebeginning?

Mr. Derkach: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the member getsup now in support of rural economic development, because first ofall they voted against it in the beginning.

Let me say that, indeed, every penny that we were given inthe Estimates process and in the budget process will be used forRural Economic Development Initiatives. As I have indicated, wehave already committed over $4 million towards Rural EconomicDevelopment Initiatives in rural Manitoba. Our largestcommitment was to Ayerst, where we were able to commit $1 millionfrom the video lottery terminals, and Ayerst is in Brandon, arural community in this province. Indeed the monies we havecommitted have gone to rural Manitoba, to Rural EconomicDevelopment Initiatives in the province.

Mr. Gaudry: If the minister has committed it, will the ministercommit today to channel every penny raised from rural VLTs backto rural Manitoba in the form of rural development initiativesthat create jobs and strengthen local economies?

Mr. Derkach: Mr. Speaker, when we introduced video lotteriesinto this province, first of all the opposition and, I might say,the member's own party, the critic from the Liberal Party, hisown party, were opposed to video lottery terminals and the wholeconcept. We indicated at that time, in anticipation of revenuesof somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5.3 million, that thoserevenues would be used for Rural Economic DevelopmentInitiatives. That commitment stands. We have committed over $4million to date to Rural Economic Development Initiatives, andour commitment is to rural Manitoba.

Decentralization

Vital Statistics Branch

 

Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin): Mr. Speaker, the Premier (Mr.Filmon) stood in this House and said that politics andconstituency maps had nothing to do with the criteria in makingdecisions with regard to decentralization. Yet, since the 1990election, we have had, of the 34 jobs that were to be transferredto Dauphin, only seven of those transferred. So 27 were nottransferred to Dauphin. In addition to that, we have had over 30jobs lost in Corrections, in Agriculture, in Natural Resources,in Highways, in various departments, over 60 jobs lost.

I want to ask the First Minister or the Minister of RuralDevelopment why those jobs for Vital Statistics were notdelivered to Dauphin as promised.

Hon. Leonard Derkach (Minister of Rural Development): Mr.Speaker, I have indicated on several occasions that when thecommitment was made, I believe it was 640 jobs that would bedecentralized throughout rural Manitoba. Since that time, wehave gone through some budget reductions in government as awhole. I can indicate to the House today that instead of 640jobs which we had promised at the beginning, we are up to over760 jobs. The decentralization to Dauphin was one of the firstdecentralizations that we did as a matter of fact, and theopening at the Native Education Branch was one of the first thatI attended in Brandon.

So our commitment is to rural Manitoba. Indeed, VitalStatistics had been identified for Dauphin. As I have indicatedin many questions with regard to Vital Statistics, there werereasons why we could not decentralize Vital Statistics at thattime. The computerization program that has to be updated is oneof those major reasons. When that has been completed, we willthen reassess the entire situation.

Mr. Plohman: Mr. Speaker, that answer is absolutely untrue. Inthis same memo that my Leader quoted from earlier, it said thatat cabinet each minister will be required to agree that eachproposed move within their department is practical, feasible,logistically sound and achievable by the established target date.

What is this minister's excuse for not delivering? How is itthat he is saying he found out later about computerization‑‑

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

Mr. Derkach: Mr. Speaker, I think the member for Dauphin justread the answer into the record when he asked the question.First of all, it has to be practical. Secondly, every departmentwas asked to ensure that before we decentralized any positions,we would make sure that the decentralization process would besuch that would benefit the community and would not be done insuch a way that would be a haphazard way.

If we compare our decentralization program to any of theother provinces that have attempted decentralization, ourdecentralization program is probably the most successful inCanada, and I am proud of the program.

Mr. Plohman: Mr. Speaker, how can this minister stand in thisHouse and tell this House the information that he has when infact this memo was written February 16, 1990, prior to the publicannouncement? It was his job to ensure that these decisions werelogistically sound before they were announced. If they met thatcriteria, why were they announced if they could not bedelivered? What games were‑‑

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

Mr. Derkach: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member from Dauphinthat indeed our commitment is not‑‑

An Honourable Member: For Dauphin.

Mr. Derkach: For Dauphin, because he is not from Dauphin.

When Vital Statistics was identified to be moved to Dauphin,one of the things that the department did bring to our attentionwas that it would be far better and far more practical for us todo the entire computerization system renewal before that kind ofan initiative could be embarked upon. The co‑ordinator ofdecentralization pressed the department to get some answers interms of how long this would take.

Mr. Speaker, I have indicated on many occasions that whenthat process is complete, we will then revisit that decision andmake sure that we will live up to our commitments.

Aboriginal Justice Inquiry

Recommendations

 

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan): Mr. Speaker, my question is for theMinister of Justice.

We raised some questions in this Chamber yesterday about theAJI, and I noted the minister's press release with respect to theAJI that 107 recommendations or 36 percent of the recommendationsof the AJI were within provincial jurisdiction.

Can the minister outline today how many of thoserecommendations have been implemented?

 

* (1410)

 

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Inaddition to support of the government of Manitoba to the St.Theresa Point Youth Court, in addition to the support of thisgovernment for the Human Justice Training Program which helpsaboriginal people be trained for justice work, in addition toongoing work that is taking place with specific communitiesrespecting an aboriginal court model in Manitoba, in addition tothis government's support for the Hollow Water sexual abuseproject, in addition to this government's support for the DOTCprobation services, in addition to this government's support forthe DOTC police department, this government has in directresponse to the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry responded‑‑in additionto the Department of Natural Resources, Northern and NativeAffairs, Family Services and the Women's Directorate in theJustice department, we have responded by addressing therecommendation respecting the granting of interim legal aidcertificates over the telephone; we have developed in conjunction.

Youth Programs

 

Mr. Dave Chomiak (Kildonan): The minister specifically, in thepress release, indicated there would be three initiatives takenout for youth and crime, youth specialists to work with youngoffenders, family abuse teams and crime prevention programs foryouth in aboriginal communities.

Can the minister indicate the status of those three specificprograms that the minister indicated at the time he would beimplementing?

Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Wehave begun that process with our support for the St. TheresaPoint Youth Court and, I suggest, the Hollow Water sexual abuseproject.

As I said, we have begun consultations with respect toaboriginal court models in selected aboriginal communities forthe most part in northern Manitoba. With respect also to ourresponse to the inquiry and to the need that is there, was therelong before the inquiry and remains there, in conjunction withaboriginal advisory groups, we have developed a proposal forchanging the operation of the circuit courts. The justice of thepeace program is being reviewed with a view to appointing morenative justices of the peace. We have elder services availablein all of our correctional institutions in Manitoba since therelease of the report.

Mr. Chomiak: My final supplementary to the same minister: Theminister indicated that these three specific programs toyouth‑‑and that is very timely because youth and crime is a veryserious issue in our society‑‑would be implemented. Has theminister implemented these three simple programs that heindicated in his press release January 28 he would beimplementing?

Mr. McCrae: We have engaged in more cross‑cultural training,native awareness training programs amongst officers in ourcorrectional facilities. These are being revised and updated byofficers of aboriginal ancestry. The program is part of thebasic training program for all recruits in corrections.Correction officers who have not taken the course in the pastfive years will be enrolled with a view to completing the coursewithin the next two years. We have native advisory committeesalready formed at Brandon and Dauphin, and we are attempting tocreate them for all the other institutions. I mentioned DOTCservices. In the area of prosecutions, we have made directresponses to the Harper and Osborne aspects of the AboriginalJustice Inquiry.

 

Hazardous Waste

Environmental Liability

 

Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James): My question is for the Minister ofEnvironment, Mr. Speaker.

In the last session of the Legislature, the House passedamendments to The Dangerous Goods Handling and TransportationAct, giving power to the director of enforcement in thedepartment to issue cleanup orders against almost anyone who wasever involved with a piece of contaminated property, whether ornot they were directly involved in the contamination. Flowingfrom that the minister appointed an advisory committee onenvironmental liability. It has now come forward with itsreport, and the minister has had it since October 5.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister: That reportclearly calls for decisions of liability apportionment to betaken outside of his office's hands and given to an independent decision-maker. Will the minister commit today to abiding bythis report's recommendation and putting environmental liability decision-making authority in the hands of an independent body,such as an administrative tribunal or court, instead of makingthose decisions out of his office?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister of Environment): Mr. Speaker, Ithink on one hand the member would like this minister to take farmore arbitrary action, but on the other hand, he is not sure thathe is really committed to that. This report that is referred tois a very valued report, as a matter of fact, a multisectoralresponse to what is a very difficult problem for the Departmentof Environment. But what he has overlooked however in hisquestion is that we committed ourselves to a much broaderconsultation as well on the national scale. I have attempted toput this on the agenda of the national ministers' conference, andwe will continue to push forward on a broader basis so thatManitoba, or any other jurisdiction for that matter, does notbecome an island in terms of how we pursue these issues.

Mr. Edwards: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister will answer thisquestion. On the last page of this report, underrecommendations, the committee specifically indicated that thegovernment must take stronger steps to prevent futurecontamination.

Mr. Speaker, why is it that this minister and this governmenthas to continue to suffer the admonishment of groups from thebusiness community like the Canadian Bankers' Association, theWinnipeg Chamber of Commerce, who are both on this task force?Why does the government have to keep being criticized by thesebodies to take action to enforce its regulations? This is thethird time this year that this government has been criticized bythe business community for its lack of enforcement.

Mr. Cummings: Mr. Speaker, there is, I think, a little bit ofcontradiction between what the member would like to portray andwhat actually occurs. As a matter of fact, I am admonished manytimes for the department being too active in its activities inrelationship to enforcement and control, but let me assure youthat the implementation of The Dangerous Goods Handling andTransportation Act is the priority function of the department atthis juncture, and we are moving forward in that respect.

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

NONPOLITICAL STATEMENTS

 

Mr. Jack Reimer (Niakwa): Mr. Speaker, may I have leave to makea nonpolitical statement?

Mr. Speaker: Does the honourable member for Niakwa have leave tomake a nonpolitical statement? [agreed]

Mr. Reimer: Today I would like to pay special recognition to anevent that has been entertaining us for many years and now hasbeen formally recognized by a major American travelorganization. Yesterday Folklorama was named the top event inCanada for 1993 by the American Bus Association, which in theworld of tourism is a very prestigious award.

The American Bus Association is a major travel industryorganized in the United States, consisting of 600 motor coach andtravel companies and 2,000 travel‑related businesses from acrossCanada and United States. Simply put, to be recognized by thisgroup, is quite an honour. Folklorama will now be featured inthe association's annual top 100 events publication which isdistributed throughout North America and overseas.

The American Bus Association chose our Folklorama over 70other Canadian nominations because of its multicultural appeal,its reputation, its attendance, the theme and the accessibilityto motor coach travel. This award recognizes the outstandingeffort put in by more than 20,000 volunteers who work efficientlytogether to create the largest multicultural festival in theworld.

These people put in countless hours staffing booths, stampingpassports, preparing food, performing and demonstratinghandicrafts. In fact, many give up part of their holidays justto work at Folklorama. Through their enthusiasm, their teamwork,their professionalism, these volunteers have placed Folklorama,the city of Winnipeg and the entire province of Manitoba in thetourism spotlight, not only in Canada and United States, butwithin the world.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the factors that resulted inFolklorama being named the top event in Canada for 1993 was themulticultural appeal Folklorama offers. Multiculturalism is oneof this province's greatest assets. It should be preserved andcherished. Through Folklorama, thousands of Manitobans andvisitors to this province are able to enjoy our rich culture andour heritage. More than 40 pavilions offer the sights, thesounds, the smells of our proud grassroots.

I, like thousands of other people, have been a regularvisitor to Folklorama. I am proud of Folklorama and what it doesfor preserving multiculturalism, and I ask all members in theAssembly to collectively congratulate the organizers andvolunteers of Folklorama.

* (1420)

 

Ms. Marianne Cerilli (Radisson): Mr. Speaker, I would like leaveto make a nonpolitical statement.

Mr. Speaker: Does the member for Radisson have leave to make anonpolitical statement? [agreed]

Ms. Cerilli: I would like to join with the honourable memberfrom the government side and express congratulations to the FolkArts Council and the number of community groups in Winnipeg andthroughout Manitoba that ensure that Folklorama has become suchan important festival to the summer in Winnipeg. I would like toexpress some appreciation to the American Bus Association for therecognition.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to put on the record a couple ofconcerns that are expressed to me and I also expressed at thepress conference yesterday regarding Folklorama. I just want tosay that a number of community groups have expressed to me theirconcern that Folklorama is in some ways causing them to go intodebt and that we have to look at carefully to ensure that the $30million coming to the economy from Folklorama is going to thecommunities that are doing the hard volunteer work and arerepresenting us so well.

I would just like to encourage all of us to supportFolklorama and show that multiculturalism is a great asset andone of our strengths in Manitoba. Thank you very much.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure formyself‑‑

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

Mr. Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to stand upand to pay tribute to all the volunteers, and there are literallyhundreds of thousands of volunteers who have contributed in someway over the number of years that Folklorama has been inexistence.

I know my colleague from St. Boniface was a mayor of the oneof the pavilions at one time. For many of us inside thisChamber, we have participated in different ways, whether it wasparticipating as a member of the audience, possibly even gettingup or recruited on the floor to participate in a dance or asong‑‑for some of us who have volunteered our services, but mostimportantly, to those volunteers that take so much of theirpersonal time. I am aware of individuals who will take theirholidays on or during Folklorama so that they can contribute thatmuch more towards ensuring that this particular event is asuccess.

Mr. Speaker, I guess those are the individuals whom I reallywant to pay that special tribute to, those individuals who go farbeyond what most would expect in terms of being able, as I say,to taking their holidays, by immediately leaving their workplaceand going to the pavilions for a straight week. It is no easyfeat.

We are not talking about a small number of individuals. Weare talking about a significant portion of Winnipeggers andindividuals outside of the city of Winnipeg who all contribute toensuring that we have what I would classify as a first‑classworld event that has attracted individuals not only from NorthAmerica but throughout the world.

We look forward to seeing Folklorama for many, many moreyears to come. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

* * *

Mr. Edward Helwer (Gimli): Mr. Speaker, do I have leave to makea nonpolitical statement?

Mr. Speaker: Does the member for Gimli have leave to make anonpolitical statement? [agreed]

Mr. Helwer: Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House today to pay tribute to aman who has left his mark on many Manitoba communities and onmillions of tourists who have travelled to these communities overthe last number of years.

George Barone died yesterday in Kelowna, B.C. He was 76years old. George Barone was one of Manitoba's most notedsculptors. His work is enjoyed throughout this province. In myconstituency, he created a famous Viking statue which has watchedover the town of Gimli for many years.

His other well‑known works include: Tommy Turtle inBoissevain, Alpine Archie in McCreary, the Ashern grouse, Sarathe camel in Glenboro, King Miner in Thompson and the very famouswhite horse which has been standing just west of Headingley forabout 35 years. Millions of tourists have stopped by thesestatues and had their pictures taken beside them.

Barone arrived in Winnipeg from Italy in 1949. He had workedfor the CBC as a set designer, as well as in his own studio. Mr.Barone and his family eventually moved to the Kelowna area 12years ago. Not only is he remembered as a great sculptor, but asa great human being as well. He is survived by his wife and twosons.

His larger-than-life statues are known for being able towithstand our hot summers and bitterly cold winters. Besides themany in our province, there are about 15 communities across thecountry that have the Barone statues.

If you want to find out how much of an impact Mr. Barone'swork has had on Manitoba towns or villages that hired him, justask anyone who has visited Gimli, Ashern or Boissevain, and youwill always hear about the statue that belongs to eachcommunity. I believe that this is the greatest compliment thatwe have paid to this sculptor.

Mr. Speaker, I call on all members of the LegislativeAssembly to pay tribute to Mr. George Barone. Thank you.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

 

THRONE SPEECH DEBATE

(Eighth 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, the honourable Minister of Agriculture.

Hon. Glen Findlay (Minister of Agriculture): Mr. Speaker, it isindeed a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to address a fewremarks to the Speech from the Throne which very clearly laid outthe continued mandate of this government to attempt to use asteady hand in directing the province in terms of developingopportunities to take advantage of international opportunities.

I want to congratulate you on being back in the Chair andwish you good luck in trying to keep a steady hand on members ofthis House who sometimes get a little unruly, probably myselfincluded, but I wish you luck in trying to control us, because weall understand that in a democratic system this is a veryimportant medium to help the public understand what is going on,and it helps to direct the government in the decision‑makingprocess.

I would also like to welcome the six new Pages to thisHouse. I hope that their experience here is a very good one interms of understanding how the democratic system works.Sometimes what they see in Question Period is not really whatgoes on in government all the time. There is a little moreharmony between the members of this House than what we see inQuestion Period.

I want to welcome all members back to this House,particularly the new members to the House‑‑the member for Portagela Prairie (Mr. Pallister) here for the first time. I am certainhe is going to make a very valuable contribution to our caucusand to this House and, particularly, representing the members ofPortage la Prairie. I would also like to take this opportunityto wish well to the former member of Portage la Prairie. He wasa good friend of mine in this House, who came to this House andrepresented his constituents well. He probably left underconditions that he would have preferred to have been different,but he made his contribution, he was a respected member of thisHouse, and I wish him well in his retirement.

I would also like to welcome the returning member to theHouse from Crescentwood who was on a brief sabbatical between1990 and now. She is a good person because she comes from ruralManitoba, in fact the riding I used to represent. She grew up inVirden, and I wish her well in this House representing her urbanconstituents.

Hon. Harry Enns (Minister of Natural Resources): Welcome meback, too.

Mr. Findlay: The Minister of Natural Resources also would liketo be welcomed back, and since he is the dean of the House he isprobably the one I should speak about first. He is certainlyinto his 26th or 27th year, one or the other. It is a veryremarkable record in this day and age.

I would like to pay tribute to the Leader of the SecondOpposition (Mrs. Carstairs), the member for River Heights, whohas obviously made a decision that it is time for her to stepdown as Leader. I know we did not often agree on many things,but I will say in the course of my Estimates we tended to agreeon more things than we disagreed. So in that environment we hada good interrelationship, but in Question Period probably we arecertainly on different sides of pretty well every issue.

Also, the member for Churchill, the former member ofRupertsland, I wish him well in his announced retirement andwhatever he pursues in the future.

 

* (1430)

 

I want to briefly comment on a few things about agriculturein the few minutes I have available to me. I would like to startby reminding all members of this House, particularly the urbanmembers, of the value of the agriculture industry. One littlething that happened here, I guess it was last spring, when acertain billboard was erected in Winnipeg by the Royal Bank. Ifany members saw that billboard, I would like to remind them ofthe slogan. It was a grandpa and a grandchild, and I can reflecton that because I have seven of those grandchildren. The littlechild, about one or two years of age, was saying: Grandpa saystown people need agriculture, too. That was a very good slogan:Town people need agriculture, too. I think a lot of people takefor granted the fact that food shows up on shelves, and I wouldlike to remind‑‑[interjection]

Yes, the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) says he wasraised on a farm, and I hope that in the process of thinkingabout agriculture issues, food issues, urban issues, he remembersthe contribution that people in rural Manitoba have made in thelast 125 years of this country and particularly the last 123years when Manitoba has been part of this country.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot help but remember a comment that Iheard from an urban person in a setting where there was seven oreight people from the city of Winnipeg sitting around, and wewere talking. This is about the first year I was elected. Theywere talking about the agriculture issues and, of course, I wastalking about some difficulties out on the farm and back in thosedays low grain prices was the topical issue.

This urban person said why should she worry about farmersbecause she gets her food at Safeway. I have never forgottenthat statement, because she meant it. She truthfully meant it.She thought that food magically arrived on the shelves of Safeway.

We have many, many people in urban settings, Winnipeg,Brandon, all across the world really, who live in an urbanenvironment where food is basically plentiful, particularly inNorth America and Europe and they take for granted the fact thatthat food is there. There are a lot of people who have workedvery hard to develop a very positive industry in this province,in this country and most of us have, if we think back long enoughand hard enough, ancestors who started on the farm.

When this country started 125 years ago, the majority of theoccupations were farming or trapping. We have evolved from thereand, certainly, the fur industry has encountered some very toughtimes because of public attitudes. Certainly, we have had somepublic attitudes that have not been positive about agriculturebut, Mr. Speaker, I want to remind all honourable members thatthere is no place in the world that anybody can produce orconsume food of higher quality, more reliable food safety, thanthey can right here in Manitoba in this province, in this country.

Mr. Speaker, the agriculture industry as a whole in thisprovince generates about $1.8 billion of income at the farmgate. Sixty percent of that product has to be exported outsideof this country in order to be consumed. That is why I so oftencomment on the value of trade and the relations we have had withcountries all over the world in positive trade relationships.

Mr. Speaker, in the grain sector we export over 80 percent ofwhat we produce. We export to some 60 countries of the world.On the livestock side, we export to lesser countries, butnonetheless a significant portion of the livestock sector incomealso comes from exports.

Mr. Speaker, I have often heard members across the way, bothparties, chastise us about supporting trade, about supporting thevery lifeblood of our industry. They think that free trade is adirty word. I want to remind members that in agriculture, wehave basically had free trade ever since we started to exportfrom this country. We have had free trade to the United States,free trade to many other parts of the world.

How we function in that I think is something to be proud of,not to make fun of, and the members over there often like to makefun of the fact that we export to the United States large volumesof product. When we are exporting to somebody who is payingcash, we are obviously exporting to somebody who is a willingcustomer, a satisfied customer.

In Manitoba, since we are so far from salt water, east orwest, the United States is becoming a more and more importantmarket for us. I have commented on this in the House in the pastand, again, I have had derision from the other sides of thebenches in that we have in Manitoba just four years ago exported14 percent of our total exports to the United States. Today, itis over 30 percent. That is how significant the change in traderoutes have been. That is how important it is that we have atrading agreement that allows us to continue to have access to acountry of that size. They pay cash. They buy our productsregularly. They like our quality. I do not care whether we aretalking durum or wheat or oats or barley or pork or beef orpheasants, they like our quality. It is the best there is. Wehave a reputation that we are very proud of.

Just to give the member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) somestatistics, because he seems to be interested in the fact that weare successful in that way, just for instance in cattle. From1988 to '91 we have gone from $58 million of exports to theUnited States to $124 million. So a free, open border is ratherimportant to us. In the cattle industry, we have had a positivetrade surplus with that country eight years out of 10. In otherwords, we are selling more than we are buying from them.

We move trade both ways. We are on a level playing fieldbasically. We are competitive and we succeed very well.

In swine, we have gone from $30 million to $50 million ofexports over that three‑year period. In barley, we have gonefrom $4.8 million to $7.3 million. In many cases here I amtalking about a 50 percent, 100 percent increase in the sales inbasically three years. In honey, we have gone from $2.9 millionto $4.1 million, just to give the member some examples. One moreexample I would like to throw in because of the importance of thecrop is canola oil, where we have gone from $45 million to $57million, or canola meal, from $11 million to $18 million.

That is how important that market is to us, and that is whywe talk so positively about free trade. We have had free tradein this industry as long as I have been here, as long as myancestors have been here, you know, and I could not help butremember a comment of somebody in the cattle industry during theWorld Series, saying: Is it not interesting? We have free tradein baseball.

Free trade in baseball‑‑we have free trade in all sports. Wehave free trade in agriculture. We get so hung up on a few otherareas. If they would just follow the examples of sports andagriculture they would do very well in trade.

We are part of the world. We are part of the global tradingsystem, and this industry very definitely is. There is no wayyou can hide from it. I hear constantly about members on theother side really talking about building the walls higher,preventing trade, impeding trade, trying to hide from the world.We have not in this industry and I am very proud that we havenot. We have succeeded relatively well.

That is why it is so difficult for us to understand whycertain elements in the United States brought against us tradeactions, countervail on pork and swine. Certainly through thedispute settling mechanism with the United States, we haveresolved the issue in terms of live swine. We continue to wincase after case on pork, and I hope that sooner or later thosekinds of trade actions stop from the United States.

Nonetheless, what is really happening day to day right now ismore of the opposite. We have a 332 investigation started by theInternational Trade Commission of the United States Department ofCommerce initiating investigations on peas, lentils, beef andlive cattle. I think we will be very successful in defendingourselves and proving that there is no reason that the UnitedStates should be able to put countervail in place, but the tradeagreement allows a mechanism that will go through that process oftrying to protect ourselves.

(Mrs. Louise Dacquay, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair)

 

Madam Deputy Speaker, let us face it. In trade, the reallybig issue is international trade, and it is the GATT agreement wehave all heard so much about it. It started back in 1986 underthe Uruguay Round. It has been a long and tedious and difficultprocess. It is one issue in which across Canada, all 10provinces, all agricultural producers, the federal government,the agribusiness industry all supported the stand that Canada putforward. It was a balanced approach of asking for protection forsupply management, meanwhile bringing down trade barriers wherethere is trade barrier harassment created by trade‑distortingsubsidies.

I am very proud that in the agricultural industry we wereable to come to a conclusion that was unanimous across thecountry. We have not changed that position from start to finishin this dispute process, but over really the last 18 months, thewhole process of those discussions continuing to proceed has beensomewhat very difficult for us to accept, because the UnitedStates and Europe got into loggerheads over what they were goingto do with the agreement, their bilateral discussions went on andon and on, and there was a meeting in Brussels and meetings inWashington. There never seemed to be any breakthrough until lateNovember. There was announcement that the United States and theEuropean Community had agreed on oilseeds for a mechanism thatwould allow every nation to get back to the larger table to talkabout resolving the international trade difficulties, eventuallyleading, hopefully, to a signed GATT agreement by all countriesof the world.

Those 108 nations have been back at the table now for abouttwo weeks, and over the course of the last two weeks you haveheard of a lot of difficulties arising in France because theirfarmers are rioting and refusing to accept the bilateralagreement that was negotiated between the European Community andthe United States.

 

* (1440)

 

It is very encouraging to read, in today's Free Press, acomment out of Brussels that the European Community, where thetrade and agriculture ministers have been meeting the last twodays from the European Community, the 12 European countries,decided yesterday to reject France's demand that the EC refusedto discuss farm subsidies and world trade talks unlessconcessions are reached in other areas. So now at least 11countries in the European Community would appear to be rejectingthe position France has taken.

France has threatened to veto the agreement, either thebilateral agreement or the GATT agreement, at some point alongthe way. There have been different analyses as to whether theyhave that power or that right, but basically within the EuropeanCommunity agreement apparently there has to be unanimity in anydecisions.

France is saying, they will not agree, so they are more orless saying there will not be unanimity but, Madam DeputySpeaker, this comment from the trade and agriculture ministers ofthe other 11 countries is relatively encouraging that maybe theywill make France understand that in the long‑term best interestof their country, and all the countries of the world, we have anagreement that allows a more level playing field in the futurethan we have had in the past.

Madam Deputy Speaker, there has been each year over $300billion spent in the world in agricultural or foodsubsidies‑‑over $300 billion. That is a staggering figure, and Iask: Does anybody know if it ever did anybody any good to dothat? The taxpayer put that money up. Is it doing the rightthing?

If I was to say what my interpretation is, it is promotingproduction where it is not necessarily economic. It is trying tocreate production where maybe a comparative advantage says itshould not happen.

Madam Deputy Speaker, and all members of this House, withoutthose kinds of subsidies, the economy of rural Manitoba andwestern Canada would be greatly improved. We have used a lot oftaxpayers' monies in the last five or six years trying to offsetthe impact of those kinds of subsidies: in special grainsprogram payments in '86 and '87; a drought program in '88; a croploss program in 1989; and then starting with the revenueinsurance program in 1991 and '92.

It is a lot of money to try to offset the impact of otherpeople's treasuries. If we do not have resolution of the GATTprocess, we all know it is very difficult for either provincialor federal governments in this small country to continue to putforward the kind of money we put forward in the past.

Certainly, the entire farm community that I have talked to inthe last two years wants to see an agreement reached. Many of usunderstand that there will be adjustments that you will have tomake in the overall process of different government programs,federal or provincial, in terms of what we have to do to beconsistent with that agreement.

Many people in the supply and management area are looking atthe what ifs in their situation. Particularly, the milk industryis going across Canada, having hearings, some processors and theproducers together, trying to deal with how their system was runin the last 20 years, and supply and management in the sort ofsecond generation. From here on, what are the realities?

Really, they are talking about more opportunities to produceraw product in this country, process it and export it all overthe world. I condone that. I thank them for that exercise totry to find ways and means that the producers and the processorswill work together to improve production, improve processing andsell more product to the world because that creates jobs in ruralManitoba, creates jobs for western Canadians and basically allCanadians.

Madam Deputy Speaker, we have to continue that intenseconsultation process because if we do not work together from thefarm gate right to the consumer, we will miss opportunities. Ihave said so often to producers across this province we mustremember there is one person who guides our industry and that isthe ultimate consumer, wherever they are in the world. If theylike the quality of the product, the reliability of that productand the food safety aspects of that product, they will continueto buy it. If they are not buying it, we are in big trouble inthe industry, and many sectors of the agricultural community haverealized that and are working aggressively to try to achieve that.

Madam Deputy Speaker, we are in a world of change. We are,no question, in a world of change. It is driven by mankind'singenuity. It is change that has happened ever since we firstset foot in this country 125 years ago‑‑in the case of myancestors, just a little bit longer than that. We have evolved,we have evolved, we have evolved, through research anddevelopment and trial and error. We have done things better,faster, more efficient, less cost and really we must never losesight of that, because the ultimate buyer looks for the highestquality at the lowest price, whoever they are, wherever theyare‑‑if we do not recognize that and try to evolve our industryin that direction and seek new opportunities where they areeconomic. We must look at ways and means we can diversify ourproduction base, and we have done a good job of that in the last20 or 30 years, particularly in the special crops areas in thisprovince where we have the soil and climate in order to do it.

In the livestock sector where we have again the soil and theclimate and the entrepreneurship to do it, we have diversified,but I have often said to producers it is only good if it iseconomic on the bottom line for everybody in the industry,producer, processor, transporter, exporter, whoever they are.Everybody must have a black bottom line in that process or it isnot going to be functional.

We must have more value‑added industry in this province, inother words, take the raw product, process it and sell a productthat has generated more jobs for us. We have had an industrythat evolved on selling the raw product, selling the grain,selling the pig, selling the cattle beast. We are moving moreand more to understanding that if we can create value‑addedindustries in this province, we can have more jobs.

Certainly a couple of classical examples come to mind. PMUoperation, absolutely a fantastic growth industry for thisprovince. It is an industry that started back about 1966 withfour people in western Manitoba going down east to talk to thecompany in Montreal to convince them that in Manitoba we hadhorse people who would collect the urine from pregnant mares anddeliver to a processing plant. That plant was built in Brandonin the late '60s. It has grown and it has grown and it hasgrown, and that is one industry that has never come to governmentfor stabilization program or for support monies or for bailouts.It is an industry that has evolved very, very effectively, andthe announcement a few months ago in Brandon that the company isgoing to triple its capacity in Brandon will allow the increasein the number of horses and farms in that business in ruralManitoba, and in Saskatchewan, Alberta and North Dakota, but 60percent of the horses on line are in Manitoba, have been and willcontinue to be.

We have a lot of people who have gone into that industry inthe last few years. We have about 355 operations in thatbusiness and will probably be going to grow to over 400, maybe500 operations in that business, and 60 percent of them will bein the province of Manitoba. We now have some 32,000 horses online and it will probably grow to about 85,000 horses. Thatcreates hundreds and hundreds of jobs in rural Manitoba in termsof the farmers, the horses, the trailers, the barn building.Madam Deputy Speaker, there is barn building going on in ruralManitoba at a phenomenal pace right now in order to house thesehorses. There is a horse industry there in terms of breeding andraising the mares. There is a horse industry in terms of thecolts and finishing them and slaughtering them and moving them tomarket.

Madam Deputy Speaker, there is a market for horse meat. Wemust remember that. We must develop that industry in theprovince of Manitoba. It is a good industry. It creates jobs,and again I remind all members of this House it is an industrythat has never knocked on my door for stabilization or publicdollar support. That, I think, is very positive. One must notforget another element that is happening with this industry. Itrepresents diversification in rural Manitoba. It representsvalue‑added industry, and it also represents selling a commodityin the nonfood market.

In agriculture you always think of traditional food. This isnonfood, so we are using acres of land to produce a valuableproduct profitable outside the food area. The ethanol industryis another example in that direction. One can say the forageseed industry is another example in that direction. Those arethe kinds of things we need to do on into the future.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I have been very encouraged by the kindof leadership shown by farmers and their leaders in ruralManitoba. About two years ago I went back and I looked at thenumber of individuals in Manitoba who are leaders eithernationally or internationally, people who are respected leaders,chairmen, vice‑chairmen of boards and commissions all across thiscountry. Thirty‑four people from Manitoba are in thosepositions. I challenge any province to have an equal level ofrepresentation, so we have a lot of leaders. I have talked tothese leaders as they come in to talk about their industry,commodity by commodity, over the years. I have been veryprivileged to have the opportunity to work with these people.

Madam Deputy Speaker, as I said earlier, we are in anindustry of change, and that change will not slow down. Nomatter what the opposition members would like to do to slow downchange and hide from change, we cannot do it, and none of ourfarm leaders want to do it. That is why in our Speech from theThrone we have indicated that we will put on a major forum tobring these leaders together to focus on where we have beensuccessful, where we need to go in the future, where ouropportunities are, and how we can work together, whether we aretalking farmers, agribusiness people, processors or government.How can we work together?

* (1450)

 

Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin): How about sugar? It has a fantasticmarket. What are you doing for sugar for the 90 percent that weneed?

Mr. Findlay: The member for Dauphin would like to know aboutsugar. Again, it is a good example of diversification andvalue‑added industry. That industry has been under some degreeof challenge because of the lack of a Canadian sugar policy whichallows dumping of cheap sugar into this country. We have beenconstantly making representation to the federal government thatthat must be solved. I do not want any different trade action onthe border than what we face going south and the same shouldhappen coming into this country. There is an opportunity forgrowth in that industry; there is no question.

The federal minister now has a special measures committee todeal with the sugar industry. It is farmers and processorstrying to decide how to deal with the future of the industry. Weexpect that special measures committee to report fairly soon, andwe will be looking for how we are creating equal protection onour border relative to other countries in this world. It is myunderstanding we are the only country in the world that does notprevent the dumping of sugar. I do not think that is fair. Iasked for an open border, but I also want fair trade, equalacross the border, and our industry is going to need that if theyare going to continue to grow. We have about 27,000 acres insugar beets. It is a very high‑valued crop, very technologicallyinvolved, and we have tremendously good and competent producersin that industry.

Madam Deputy Speaker, that member who sat in the governmenton this side of the House in 1987 absolutely refused to givestabilization to that industry so it could survive the roughtime. They never would have done it if this member and thisgovernment‑‑the members who are on this side now who were on thatside then pushed that government into doing it. Had thatstabilization program not been in place, the industry would notbe here today.

Madam Deputy Speaker, in the farm community, in the farmindustry, we have definitely put in stabilization programs,safety net programs, but all farmers want to have their incomefrom the marketplace.

I have just a few minutes left. I would like to reflectquickly on some of the sectors. I have already said, the PMUbusiness requires no stabilization, because the industry is soundand solid the way it is.

The cattle industry has never been stronger than it has beenthis last year. In fact, it has had seven good years in a row,and the tripartite stabilization program is in surplus, MadamDeputy Speaker, because of the strong marketplace.

The hog industry has had its up‑and‑down cycles.

We have seen growth in the cattle industry, faster in thisprovince than any other province in this country, regardless ofwhat Saskatchewan or Alberta does in terms of programs trying tounlevel the playing field.

Madam Deputy Speaker, the hog industry, as I said earlier,has its up‑and‑down cycles. They have gained considerablepayments under the tripartite stabilization, particularly in thelast three quarters, anywhere from $12 to $15 a hog, but our hognumbers in this province continue to be there.

We have more barns being built, and we have a challenge inthat industry because members around this rural Manitoba seem towant to speak out against building hog barns nowadays. Naturallythey are large units, have a lot of hogs, a lot of manure, butthe technology is there to set those operations up and run themin an environmentally responsible fashion.

The member for Radisson (Ms. Cerilli) is over there talkingto me, so probably she is opposed to building hog barns in ruralManitoba. She is opposed to agriculture. She is probablyopposed to irrigating crops so we could produce product andcreate jobs for processing in rural Manitoba.

Madam Deputy Speaker, in the grains industry in Manitoba‑‑

Point of Order

 

Ms. Marianne Cerilli (Radisson): The Minister of Agriculture(Mr. Findlay) referred to me, and I would just like to clarifyfor the record‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The honourable member forRadisson (Ms. Cerilli) does not have a point of order.

* * *

Mr. Findlay: The grains industry in rural Manitoba is indifficulty because of international trade problems. There is noquestion. Major stabilization has gone into that industry.

I hope that the window we see in GATT, that there will be aresolution before Christmas. I hope that that promise comestrue. If it does, it will be a breath of fresh air. We will notsee instant recovery of international prices, but at least wewill start on the recovery mode, and that is the kind ofself‑confidence people in the grain industry need in ruralManitoba.

Madam Deputy Speaker, it has been a pleasure to have theopportunity to speak to this Speech from the Throne, because itdoes lay out a very positive pattern for our province, certainlya more positive pattern than we see in the provinces neighbouringus east and west.

I look forward to the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) andthe kinds of questions he will raise in the House in the future.I would hope he is promoting the industry, rather than trying tobring the industry down as his questions of the last two weekshave indicated.

Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Oscar Lathlin (The Pas): Madam Deputy Speaker, I welcome theopportunity to continue on my remarks I started last night on thethrone speech.

As I was saying last night, Madam Deputy Speaker, the thronespeech document was indeed a very disappointing document. Imentioned last night what I thought a throne speech would be likeas it was explained to me before. I got the impression that thethrone speech is supposed to be really a blueprint of what thegovernment was intending to do in the session, but this paperthat we were given is, as I said last night, very vague. It hasa lot of language that needs to be made workable. I gave theexample last night of, for example, language such as "Specificapprovals processes will be reviewed with a view to streamliningand better co‑ordinating . . . of provincial regulatory bodies."Now I fail to understand how that kind of language in the thronespeech would produce employment, particularly in the North. Sothe more I looked at the throne speech, the more I wonder why ourPremier attempted last week to distance himself from the PrimeMinister. It is a do‑nothing document, as I was saying.

I was just going to explain last night why I view it as ado‑nothing document, why this government is a do‑nothingdocument, saying last night that when I was chief of my band,Madam Deputy Speaker, every once in a while I would get accusedby my constituents of making the odd mistake and so on. But as achief, I like to think that I accomplished quite a bit when I wastrying to lead my people at The Pas reserve. Yes, I made amistake here and there, but on the whole I think I accomplishedquite a bit. I see this government as being afraid to dosomething because it does not want to upset anybody, but when itis sitting there doing nothing, of course nothing gets done. SoI was going to advise the First Minister last night that formyself I would sooner be criticized for trying to do something.I prefer not to be criticized for doing nothing, because that isworse.

After all, as the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) pointedout, he was satisfied that the two levels of government, thefederal and provincial, were really following the same basicpolicies. He said, I am satisfied we are on the right trackalong with the federal government. The problem is that bothlevels of government are having the same results, they areproducing the same results, and that is more people are out ofwork. There are more layoffs; there are more cuts to programsand services. Of course, the deficit is not going down, it iscontinuing to go up. People are being thrown out of their jobsand onto the UI system and eventually into the welfare system.These businesslike people who are in government now are supposedto be running the government in a businesslike way, except thatthey are not producing the results that they are supposed to beproducing and, at the same time, the deficit keeps going up.

The provincial government also likes to say that they havenot raised taxes. Although they may once in a while complainabout the federal government offloading onto the provinces and,yet, the provincial government does the very same thing byoffloading onto municipalities and school boards.

 

* (1500)

 

Another reason is, of course, the provincial government andthis Tory government do not like to complain too much about thefederal government because they know that the federal governmentraised income taxes and the province gets a percentage of everyincrease that the federal government puts in. One notes, MadamDeputy Speaker, that they never complain about the federalgovernment, which has repeatedly raised taxes in the past. Aswell, when Manitobans use provincial government programs andservices, they will note that the price has gone up 50 percent inmost cases and well over 100 percent in many cases over the pastfour years.

As a northerner, of course I am very concerned about theeffects of the throne speech on the North. If this is indeed theblueprint for government action as far as the North goes, thenthe North, I am afraid, is very much in trouble. The North hasalways been left out.

The Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach) quite openlyand honestly, I might add, yesterday when he was making hisaddress admitted that rural Manitoba and northern Manitoba do nothave the population the South does. In other words, most of thepeople in the province of Manitoba are situated in southernManitoba. There are more people in the South than in the Northand so, of course, that is where the people are and the votesare. So the North can articulate their needs, their aspirationsto this provincial government, but so long as this provincialgovernment does not care about the North‑‑they are more willingto listen to people who live in the South‑‑then the North, I amafraid, is going to continue existing the way it has existed fora long time.

The words "jobs" and "unemployment" were, in my mind,purposely left out of the throne speech. This is again adisturbing message to people of northern Manitoba. The peoplefrom northern Manitoba are facing high unemployment. As a matterof fact, they are facing higher unemployment than any otherregion. In fact, northern Manitoba has the highest unemploymentin any provincial region of this country. As I said earliertoday, The Pas is experiencing a 25 percent unemployment rate, aswe are speaking today. As you go into the more remotecommunities, the aboriginal communities, the unemployment rategets worse. In some communities, the unemployment rate is ashigh as 90 percent.

The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) also said a little overa month ago that it is time that his government became moreaggressive about negotiating jobs, not just at Repap, which hementioned, but throughout the North. The Minister of Financeadmitted that up until now his government had been too passiveand that they may have to be a bit more aggressive in itsnegotiations with Repap.

Well, Madam Deputy Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly with theMinister of Finance in that statement. It is time to getaggressive in the negotiations with Repap. As I am standing heretoday, 200 workers from the lumber division of Repap have beenlaid off for the past three weeks, and they will continue to belaid off until mid-February, I am told.

So it is time that the Minister of Finance included thepeople of the North in its negotiations for jobs with whoever heis negotiating with. It is time that the Minister of Finance andhis government realized and accepted that people from northernManitoba belong to Manitoba. Northerners are basically ignoredin the throne speech, Madam Deputy Speaker. Problems, of course,in the pulp and paper industry, Repap in particular, were notmentioned despite the fact that the province itself had admitted,as I said, the negotiations to strike a new deal with Repap hadbeen fruitless to date.

This year has been very bleak for those workers at Repap,Madam Deputy Speaker. They are laid off two or three months.They are called back to work for a couple of months and then theyare laid off again for two or three months. It is not a verygood way to live.

The commitment of this government to the Clearwater nurseryis suspect at best if we go by the number of layoffs thatoccurred at the Clearwater nursery and also the refusal of thisgovernment to commit itself to stabilize the future of thenursery. So we have little reason to be hopeful for those of uswho come from the North. This government has not learned fromthe mistakes of two years ago when positions were cut, forexample, from Keewatin Community College, Natural Resources,Department of Highways, northern employment offices, et cetera.

The admission by the Minister of Education and Training (Mrs.Vodrey) recently that she was looking at cuts of as much as $17million from her budget is also disturbing, indeed. More thanever, Madam Deputy Speaker, northerners need educational and jobtraining opportunities, not less, but more job trainingopportunities. That is the key to our progress and development.We should not be cutting those opportunities at the time that weneed them the most. We need more of such opportunities. We needmore. We do not need to be told that because you come from theNorth that you should leave the North; come south or to Winnipegor elsewhere in Canada to get training or jobs.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

 

So for that reason, Mr. Speaker, I am also concerned aboutthe program that this government always talks about when I raisequestions in the House and that is the Bachelor of Nursingprogram that is being operated out of The Pas. I hope that thegovernment is going to be monitoring the progress of that programjust as I will be doing in the days ahead.

It was also very disturbing, Mr. Speaker, that there was nota single reference to either the bayline or the Churchill rocketrange in Churchill. As my colleague from Point Douglas (Mr.Hickes) pointed out the other day that the rocket range wascorrectly listed as a priority item previously. After all, ifthe range is reactivated, it would provide approximately 200 jobsin northern Manitoba and would lead to other major economicdevelopment in the North as well as to assist the entireprovincial economy. Just why this provincial government has yetto donate a single dime to that project is hard to believe. Wecan only hope that with enough pressure from people who live inthe North that they will in time be forced to act before it istoo late.

* (1510)

 

The threat to the Port of Churchill, Mr. Speaker, deservesmore than the one sentence it got in the throne speech document.We have yet to see a real commitment from this government, and itis indeed sad to note that they have totally failed to get anypromises from their federal colleagues on the future of theport. In fact, all that we have seen has been a series ofthreats to the port itself. Additionally, no mention was made ofthe recent royal commission report which recommended cutting Viaservice on the bayline, a measure that would hurt not only thePort of Churchill but several communities that are situated alongthe line.

This government, Mr. Speaker, made a big deal about changesto the way fishermen sell their fish. I can tell the ministerright now that a restoration of the Fisherman's Loan Program,restocking of lakes and some marketing by the government would dofar more than this proposed change might accomplish. Whetherthat change that is being proposed will actually benefitfishermen in the North certainly remains to be seen.

Mr. Speaker, regrettably, this government was never committedto the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. Whatever commitment thisgovernment may have had on the AJI has pretty well disappearedwithin this throne speech that was delivered last week. We sawwhere the Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), in my questioningyesterday, was reduced to reading tired excuses from last year asto why very little has been accomplished on the implementation ofthe recommendations of the report.

Naturally, I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, that the Swampy Creejustice project will get some funding along with a few otherprojects in other communities. But it is clear that the ministeris no longer interested in proceeding with many of therecommendations. Over the next period of time we will continueto raise the AJI because we believe that the report has much tooffer Manitoba and because it is recognized everywhere in Canadaexcept by this government that change must occur.

We do not need lectures by the Minister of Justice or hiscolleagues on the state of justice in this province. I havelived here all my life, and I know far too well the state ofjustice that exists for aboriginal people in Manitoba and acrossthe country.

I am not going to side with the government, becauseaboriginal people know very well where they stand with the Torygovernment agenda. I know where I stand. So what we see in thisthrone speech is more of the same that we have seen in the lasttwo throne speeches.

For northerners, Mr. Speaker, this throne speech is not goodnews indeed. Thank you for giving me the time to finish myaddress that I started last evening.

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface): Monsieur le president, ca mefait plaisir et c'est toujours un honneur pour moi de me leverdans cette Assemblee parlementaire. Premierement, j'aimerais tesouhaiter encore la bienvenue. Puis ca fait plaisir de te revoirdans la chaise puisque tu fais toujours un bon travail. Un peud'humour est toujours ajoute a la non‑partisanerie, on espere.En tout cas, bienvenu encore dans cette position tres majestueusesi l'on peut le dire.

[Translation]

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure and honour for me torise in this parliamentary Assembly. First of all, I would liketo welcome you back. It is a pleasure to see you again in theChair since you always do good work. A bit of humour is alwaysadded to nonpartisanship, one hopes. In any event, welcome backto this very majestic post, if we can put it that way.

[English]

Also, Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome the Pages, theones who have been named for this session. It is always apleasure to see young, new faces. It is quite an experience forthem to see the parliamentary procedures, I am sure. I wish themwell and that they enjoy their stay here during the next session.

First and foremost, I would like to express my regrets to seeour Leader who is leaving our party as Leader of the LiberalParty. She is more than just the Leader of the Liberal Party.She was a friend, and I am sure to many of the colleagues in theLegislature. To me, the door was always open, and I am sure itwas to all my colleagues in the caucus. It is sad to see her goand she will be missed in the Legislature and I am sure in theLiberal Party because I am sure she is going to do something thatshe will be enjoying to do herself in the future. I wish herwell in her endeavours. Like I say, she will be missed. She wasa grand lady.

Also, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the new membersin the Legislature, our colleague of 1988, the member forCrescentwood (Ms. Gray), who is back in the Legislature. It isnice to see her back here. I am sure she will do well again likeshe did before.

I would like to welcome the member for Portage la Prairie(Mr. Pallister). I am sure he is a good man. He is succeeding agreat person in the person of Mr. Connery who resigned. He was afriend to everybody here in the Legislature and worked very welland supported his constituents. I am sure the member who waselected last September will do the same and will follow in theshoes of Mr. Connery.

Another person that we did not get a chance to complimentwhen he resigned last January was a colleague of ours, Mr. JimCarr, the former member for Crescentwood, who was also a goodfriend and a very competent MLA. He worked very hard. I wassorry to see him go, but of course with a young family it is noteasy. He decided to go for better things. I would not saybetter things, because it is always a pleasure to work forManitobans, and I know he enjoyed working for Manitobans andworked for everybody who was in the Legislature.

Mais c'est surtout un devoir privilegie d'adresser quelquesmots sur la planification du gouvernement telle qu'elle a etepresentee a cette assemblee deliberante, lors de la lecture duDiscours du Trone de la quatrieme session de cettetrente‑cinquieme legislature.

Il va de soi que l'on peut dire que cet agenda politique dugouvernement ne se distingue d'aucune innovation; n'annonceaucune mesure extraordinaire; ne donne aucun souffle d'espoir auxManitobains et aux Manitobaines d'entrevoir une issue de secoursafin de sortir des perils innombrables, et combien malheureux, dela recession economique.

Dans tout systeme parlementaire, comme celui dont nous avonsle privilege d'en jouir les bienfaits au Canada et au Manitoba,le respect du devoir civique de chaque depute doit faire honneura la confiance leguee par les electeurs et les electrices. Etce, peut importe que l'on soit parmi les rangs du gouvernement oubien assis parmi le ou les partis politiques de l'opposition.

Les allegeances ideologiques doivent servir de fil conducteurtout en permettant a la pensee de ne pas outrepasser la realite.La raison d'etre de notre assemblee legislative, de contribuer al'amelioration des conditions de vie des Manitobains et desManitobaines, doit etre la source d'inspiration qui permette augouvernement et a l'opposition de se completer l'un a l'autre.Oui, oui, je vais en parler toute a l'heure, il n'y a pas deprobleme. Ca s'en vient. J'aime attaquer le gouvernement pourcommencer.

Je ne discuterai pas ici de maniere systematique lesdifferences des deux bords parce que la chose est deja faite defacon habituelle. Neanmoins, j'aimerais preciser qu'il est durole de l'opposition de montrer avec force et pertinence lesinsuffisances du gouvernement.

Monsieur le president, je me sens malgre tout quelque peuravi de constater que le gouvernement demontre une certainesagesse de pensee en retenant les suggestions du Parti Liberal.Je fais bien entendu reference entre autre a la carte Pharmacaredont nous en defendons les merites depuis maintenant plusieursmois, quelques annees, je dirais meme.

Par contre, monsieur le president, c'est avec grands regretsmais sans surprise que je constate que le negativisme prend deplus en plus d'ampleur chez les NPD; ce qui est probablement a lasource de leur etroitesse d'esprit demontree par une critiqueconstante et vide de toute suggestion corrective. Je parle desNeos la. Mais je ne voudrais pas m'eloigner plus longtemps dusujet principal de mes propos qui est le programme que legouvernement pretend nous presenter dans ce Discours du Trone.

 

* (1520)

 

Monsieur le president, quand je dis "programme", je suisgenereux, car il n'y a rien dans ce que le gouvernement nouspresente qui n'ai pas ete mentionne auparavant. En effet, je nevois dans ce Discours du Trone aucun element determinant, aucuneinnovation ou aucune indication, innovations, comme la chefliberale avait dit, qui etaient mentionnees neuf fois dans leDiscours du Trone, mais il n'y a rien de concret, que legouvernement planifie en terme de mesures economiques orientees asortir les manitobains et les manitobaines de la recession, unebonne fois pour toute. D'ailleurs, je pense que le mot"recession" a du sortir du dictionnaire conservateur car, sauferreur de ma part, il n'apparait pas une seule fois dans leDiscours du Trone. Comme il serait agreable a tout le monde,moi‑meme y compris, si le gouvernement pourrait faire disparaitrela realite aussi facilement qu'il fait disparaitre les mots!

Monsieur le president, le gouvernement parle de mise enmarche des produits et services du Manitoba au niveau mondial, enfaisant reference au fait qu'il soutient l'Accord dulibre‑echange nord‑americain. Je dois donc demander ou se trouvela logique du gouvernement en terme de realite commerciale.Comment une telle rhetorique en matiere economique peut‑elle etreviable? En preconisant la liberalisation de l'echange commercialinternational avant meme de normaliser le marche domestique,n'encourageons‑nous pas une discorde provinciale, voirenationale, ou un debat cruel met injustement les valeurssociales, economiques et politiques manitobaines et canadiennesen opposition avec la necessite d'un echange commercial stableavec nos pays voisins, outre‑mer et continentaux.

Monsieur le president, en matiere economique, l'action d'ungouvernement doit permettre d'aboutir a un certain nombre deresultats. Je crois que le premier resultat economiquefondamental, c'est de faire du Manitoba une veritable provinceprospere au sein d'un Canada industriel. Le second, c'estd'assurer certaines mutations necessaires dans des domaines bienprecis, comme par exemple, dans les domaines agricole ou ducommerce.

Mais, il faut egalement se soucier que ces mutations sefassent dans des conditions telles qu'elles ne creent pas desouffrance tout le temps.

C'est pourquoi j'attache pour ma part la plus grandeimportance a ce que l'action sociale du gouvernement soittournee, par priorite, vers les plus defavorises et vers ceux etcelles qui souffrent a l'heure actuelle de la transformationnecessaire et indispensable, de notre economie.

Et puis, il y a un troisieme aspect, que je crois tresimportant du point de vue economique, c'est de donner al'economie manitobaine une dimension nationale et internationale.

Bien entendu, j'ai deja traite de cet aspect plus tot ou jesoulevais le point que cela veut dire un Canada ou l'echangecommercial interprovincial est bien trop souvent inexistant; ceciest du entre autre chose, a un probleme d'ordre national, unprobleme que j'appellerai le probleme Mulroney. Je vois que lemembre de Saint-Norbert est d'accord avec ces commentaires‑la.Ah, oui, ca c'est mieux. Ca s'en vient la.

Tel que je le mentionnais egalement plus tot, il n'est pasconcevable en matiere economique, de proner une politiqued'echange commercial orientee singulierement vers un paysetranger meme voisin, tout en ignorant les provinces et lesterritoires avoisinants et qui se trouvent etre les autrescomposantes constitutionnelles de notre nation.

Monsieur le president, c'est, pour ma part, ce que je croisetre l'objectif fondamental, parce que je ne vois, pour uneprovince de la dimension du Manitoba, que deux issues: ou bien serefermer a nouveau sur elle-meme, et vivoter, a l'abri deshumeurs americaines de l'accord du Libre-echange, et parconsequent deperir, ou bien alors etre en mesure de participerpleinement au marche international, avec ses dimensions actuellesqui s'ouvrent deja, pour englober non seulement le mondeoccidental et oriental.

Il va de soi que cela suppose une transformation des esprits,que cela suppose un effort d'investissement considerable, et quecela suppose des ententes interprovinciales et des creationsd'entreprises de taille provinciale et nationale dont il existetres peu encore au Manitoba.

Le Manitoba a trop longtemps vecu dans ce protectionnismeinter‑provincial qui a ete vehicule successivement par lesNeo-democrates et les Conservateurs. C'est contre leprotectionnisme domestique qu'il faut agir, et c'est sur ce pointque pour ma part, je ne cesserai de repeter que le gouvernementne maintient pas le correctif social indispensable afin d'assurerun equilibre economique stable au Manitoba.

En matiere de renouveau economique pour notre province ils'agit la d'une transformation enorme, et le gouvernementdemontre une nouvelle fois qu'il craint de ne pas etre en mesurede prevoir et de prevenir les consequences sociales de cettetransformation.

Monsieur le president, je suis decu du manque deplanification concrete de la part du gouvernement a creer desemplois. Ce n'est pas assez de proposer que tous les premiersministres se reunissent prochainement afin d'etudier, encore uneetude, la reduction des obstacles au commerce interprovincial;ceci n'est simplement pas assez.

Monsieur le president, je suis soulage d'entendre legouvernement declarer qu'il est resolu a soutenir et a aider lesfamilles et a veiller sur les defavorises. La stabilite socialede notre societe exige d'un gouvernement qu'il prenne les mesuresnecessaires a proteger les enfants vulnerables. Toutefois, pourle meilleur interet de ces enfants, je suis convaincu quel'efficacite du Bureau de protection des enfants ne sera assureeque si ce dernier repond a cette presente Assemblee et non augouvernement par l'entremise du ministre des services a la famille.

[Translation]

It is, more than anything else, a special privilege to say afew words on the government's planning as it was presented tothis deliberating Assembly upon the reading of the Speech fromthe Throne of the fourth session of the 35th Legislature.

It goes without saying that the government's political agendais not distinguished by any innovation. It does not announce anyexceptional measure. It does not provide any breath of hope toManitobans of glimpsing an escape out of the innumerable and sadperils of the economic recession.

In any parliamentary system, such as the one whose advantageswe enjoy here in Canada and Manitoba, the respect for civic dutyof each member must do justice to the confidence that voters haveinvested in him or her. This is so, whether we are among thegovernment ranks or seated with the opposition party or parties.

Ideological allegiances must serve as the main theme whileenabling thought not to overreach reality. The raison d'etre ofour Legislative Assembly, to contribute to the improvement ofliving conditions of Manitobans, men and women, must be thesource of inspiration that enables the government and theopposition to complement each other. Yes, I am going to talkabout that later. There is no problem, that is coming up later.I like to attack the government at the outset.

I will not discuss here in a systematic manner thedifferences between the two sides because this is already doneregularly. Nevertheless, I would like to specify that it is therole of the opposition to point out vigorously and relevantly thegovernment's inadequacies.

Mr. Speaker, in spite of everything, I feel somewhatdelighted to observe that the government is demonstrating somewisdom by taking up the Liberal Party's suggestions. I, ofcourse, am referring among other things to the Pharmacare card,the merits of which we have been defending for several monthsnow, a few years I would even say.

On the other hand, it is with a great deal of regret, butwithout any surprise, that I observe that negativity is growingever greater among the NDP. This is probably at the root oftheir narrow‑mindedness as demonstrated by a constant and emptycriticism regarding any corrective suggestion. I am talkingabout the NDP here. I would not like to digress any longer fromthe principal topic of my remarks, which is the program that thegovernment is purporting to present to us in this Speech from theThrone.

 

* (1530)

 

Mr. Speaker, when I say "program," I am being generous forthere is nothing in what the government is presenting to us whichhas not been mentioned before. In fact, I do not see in thisSpeech from the Throne any determining component, any innovationor any indication‑‑innovations which as the Liberal Party Leadersaid, were mentioned nine times in the Speech from the Throne,but there is nothing concrete in them‑‑detailing what thisgovernment is planning in terms of economic measures directed atbringing Manitobans out of this recession once and for all. Inaddition, I think that the word "recession" must have been takenfrom the Conservative dictionary for, unless I am mistaken, itdoes not appear one single time in the Speech from the Throne.How pleasant it would be for everyone, including myself, if thegovernment could cause reality to disappear as easily as itcauses words to disappear.

Mr. Speaker, the government is speaking of the marketing ofgoods and products in Manitoba on a global scale by referring tothe fact that it supports the North American Free TradeAgreement. I must accordingly ask where the government's logicis in terms of trade reality. How can such rhetoric in theeconomic sphere be viable? By favouring the liberalization ofinternational trade even before rationalizing the domesticmarket, are we not encouraging provincial or even nationaldiscord where a cruel debate is unjustly opposing Manitoban andCanadian social, economic and political values with the necessityof stable commercial exchange with our neighbouring, overseas andcontinental countries?

Mr. Speaker, in the economic sphere, a government's actionmust make it possible to achieve a certain number of results. Ithink that the first fundamental economic result is that ofmaking Manitoba a truly prosperous province within an industrialCanada. The second is to ensure certain necessary changes incertain very specific domains, for example, in the area ofbusiness or agriculture.

But we must also be concerned that these changes occur underconditions that do not always create suffering. That is why, forme, it is of the greatest importance that the government's socialaction be oriented as a priority towards the most disadvantagedpeople and towards those persons who are currently suffering fromthe necessary and indispensable transformation that our economyis undergoing.

Then there is a third aspect, Mr. Speaker, which I believe isvery important from the economic point of view, and that isgiving the Manitoba economy a national and internationaldimension.

Of course, I have already dealt with this aspect earlier whenI brought up the point that this means a Canada whereinterprovincial commercial exchange is all too oftennonexistent. This is due among other things to a problem of anational order, a problem which I will call, the Mulroneyproblem. [interjection] I see that the member for St. Norbert(Mr. Laurendeau) is in agreement with my comments there.[interjection] Ah, yes, that is better. That is coming along.

As I mentioned earlier also, it is inconceivable in economicmatters to praise a policy of commercial exchange that isoriented solely towards one foreign country, even if it is aneighbouring one, while ignoring the neighbouring provinces andterritories which are the other constitutional components of ournation. This is what I believe to be the fundamental objectivebecause I can only see, for a province of Manitoba's size, twoways out or two options: one, turn inward again into itself andstruggle along in the shelter of the American ups and downs ofthe Free Trade Agreement and consequently waste away, or insteadbe in a position to participate fully in the international marketwith its current dimensions already opening up to embrace notonly the western but also the eastern world.

It goes without saying that this presupposes a transformationof attitudes and that this presupposes a considerable investmenteffort, Mr. Speaker, and that this presupposes interprovincialagreements and creation of businesses on a provincial andnational scale of a kind of which few exist yet in Manitoba.

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba has for too long lived in thisinterprovincial protectionism which was put forward successivelyby the New Democrats and the Conservatives. It is againstdomestic protectionism that we have to act and it is on thispoint that for my part I will not stop reiterating that thegovernment is not maintaining the indispensable social correctivein order to ensure a stable economic balance in Manitoba.

In terms of economic renewal for our province, this is anenormous transformation, and the government is demonstrating onceagain that it is afraid of not being able to foresee and preventthe social consequences of this transformation.

Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed by the lack of concreteplanning on the part of the government in the area of jobcreation. It is not enough to propose that all the FirstMinisters get together in the near future once again to examinethe reduction of interprovincial trade barriers. This simply isnot enough.

I am relieved to hear the government stating its resolve tomaintain and assist families and to watch over disadvantagedpersons. The social stability of our society requires that agovernment take the necessary measures to protect vulnerablechildren. However, in the best interests of these children, I amconvinced that the efficiency of the office of the Children'sAdvocate will only be guaranteed if this agency is accountable tothis Assembly and not the government via the Minister of FamilyServices.

[English]

Mr. Speaker, I also have to stress once again the criticalneed of confronting elder abuse. Many seniors in Manitoba arevictims of physical, financial and psychological abuse. The majority of elder abuse is perpetrated by family members orfriends of the victim, thereby making seniors reluctant tocontact the police or to report their abusers to properauthorities.

There is at the present time an urgent need to address thesituation of the lack of shelters for abused elders. Most of thetime, the facilities being used presently do not respond to theneeds of the seniors with mobility, hearing and sightimpairment. Thus, I wish the government would be more explicitin explaining what it means when it says that it will co‑ordinateresources and develop multidisciplinary teams to respond to elderabuse concerns throughout the province.

Our elder people in Manitoba need more than teams, they needshelters, and they need them now. Therefore, I will bepresenting two resolutions: one confronting elder abuse andanother about shelter allowance for elderly renters' indexation.However, as I mentioned earlier, I am glad that the governmenttook up, on the suggestion of the Liberal Party, about thePharmacare card. That was we must not forget about the greatnumber of our seniors who are faced with financial difficulties.This card should eliminate the administrative delays for ourseniors to get reimbursed, and this Pharmacare is based on asystem that will require seniors to pay only their deductible, aswe suggested. Maybe this would not have happened last Aprilwhere several of our Manitobans were out thousands of dollarsbecause of a change in a ruling by this government.

Avant de conclure Monsieur le president, j'aimerais souleverun point relatif aux dispositions de la partie III de la loi surla ville de Winnipeg, un point tres cher aux Franco-Manitobainset aux Franco-Manitobaines de Saint-Boniface.

Puisque de par une tradition bien respectee, les services enfrancais sont encore une fois les grands absents du Discours duTrone, j'espere sincerement que le gouvernement assumera sesresponsabilites vis-a-vis des residants et des residantes deSaint-Boniface. Les bureaux municipaux du boulevard Provencher ne peuvent pas et ne doivent pas etre fermes, quoiqu'en pense etqu'en dise un conseiller municipal a la recherche de publicitegratuite aux depens des gens de Saint-Boniface.

Dans le domaine juridique, je le repete, il est tresdeplorable de ne toujours pas avoir de presence francophone a laCour d'appel du Manitoba.

Le gouvernement parle d'initatives innovatrices afin destimuler l'economie. Un centre permanent de traduction juridiquea Saint‑Boniface qui desservirait l'Ouest canadien estprobablement un tres bon projet pilote pour raviver l'essoreconomique de la collectivite.

En conclusion Monsieur le president, j'aimerais de nouveaureconnaitre l'honnetete et la franchise du Premier ministre aimplanter les suggestions du Parti liberal. Je puis vous assurerque les deputes liberaux qui siegent dans cette chambrecontinureont a proposer des resolutions fortes et pertinentesafin de contribuer au developpement economique, politique etsocial de notre province du Manitoba, y inclus Saint‑Norbert pourle depute de Saint‑Norbert.

Comme vous pouvez le constater, Monsieur le president, mescommentaires sont assez brefs, ou d'une longueur proportionnelleau contenu de la presentation du gouvernement. Pour de plusamples pensees et reflexions, je vous invite ainsi que tous mescollegues deputes a vous reporter a mes interventions de laderniere session, car tout compte fait les Discours du Trone dela 2e, de la 3e ou de la 4e session ne sont qu'une repetition deverbiage dont je doute que les resultats reduiront la clientelede Winnipeg Harvest.

[Translation]

Before I conclude, Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring up apoint regarding the provisions of Part 3 of The City of WinnipegAct. This is a point very dear to Franco-Manitobans and to theFranco-Manitobans of St. Boniface.

Since a well-respected tradition has once again kept Frenchlanguage services out of the Speech from the Throne, I sincerelyhope that the government will assume its responsibility vis--vis the residents of St. Boniface. The municipal offices onProvencher Boulevard cannot and must not be closed whatever acity councillor in search of free publicity at the expense of thepeople of St. Boniface may think or say.

In the judicial area, I will repeat that it is highlydeplorable that there is still no Francophone presence at theCourt of Appeal level in Manitoba. The government refers toinnovative initiatives in order to stimulate the economy. Apermanent legal translation centre in St. Boniface that wouldserve the Canadian West is probably a very good pilot project torevive the economy of the community.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I would like once again toacknowledge the honesty and frankness of the First Minister inimplementing the Liberal Party's suggestions. I can assure youthat the Liberal members who are sitting in this Chamber willcontinue to propose strong and relevant resolutions in order tocontribute to the economic, political and social development ofour province of Manitoba, including St. Norbert and the memberfor St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).

As you will note, Mr. Speaker, my comments are fairly briefor at least they are of a length proportionate to the content ofthe government's presentation. For more detailed thoughts andreflections, I would invite you and all my colleagues to refer tomy speeches of the last session because in some the Speeches fromthe Throne of the second, third or fourth sessions are nothingbut a repetition of verbiage whose results are unlikely, in myopinion, to reduce the number of people going to Winnipeg Harvest.

[English]

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to wish every one ofmy colleagues in the Legislature a Merry Christmas and a HappyNew Year and peace. Thank you very much.

 

Introduction of Guests

 

Mr. Speaker: Prior to recognizing the honourable member forElmwood, I would like to draw the attention of honourable membersto the loge to my left, where we have with us this afternoon Mr.Jim Carr, the former member for Crescentwood.

On behalf of all honourable members, I would like to welcomeyou here this afternoon, sir.

 

* * *

Mr. Jim Maloway (Elmwood): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased tospeak to the Throne Speech Debate for this session. As I lookaround, I see some people who I am glad are here to listen to myremarks. I do not see some people who I wish were here who needthe benefit of the remarks, but I am hopeful that they will showup.

Mr. Speaker, this throne speech is really a mirror of whatthis government is all about. There is absolutely nothing inthis throne speech. There is nothing in this throne speech thatis worthy of even calling a session of the Legislature for. Whenwe look at the bills that this government has so far introducedto the House, we see very, very minor amendments to The InsuranceAct. We see a number of other very minor changes. It is veryclear to me that this government really has no plans for thefuture.

The one exception is the Sunday shopping bill that thisgovernment plans to bring in, and that to me, Mr. Speaker, is nota sign of progress in any sense. In fact, it is a knee-jerk reaction. This government is pretty well the last group that Iwould have thought that would have embraced wide‑open Sundayshopping in this province. I think that these members must havebeen dragged kicking and screaming into line on this particularposition, because when one looks at what the wide-open Sundayshopping is going to do to the people who they represent, to thesmall retailers in their constituencies, they really must havebeen bamboozled in a major way by their leadership over there tofollow this one blindly through. The fact of the matter is, Mr.Speaker, that this particular initiative was taken without anypublic debate on the matter. There was no public debate at all.

(Mrs. Louise Dacquay, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair)

 

In fact, just days before the opening of the Legislature thegovernment announces that it is going to arbitrarily open Sundayshopping on the 29th of November, I believe it was, and we areexpected in this House to debate the bill starting tomorrow andto retroactively pass legislation allowing Sunday shopping totake place. That is absolutely abhorrent to me that thisgovernment would have at the last minute announced thislegislation and been put in a position to retroactively pass thismeasure. One would have thought that if this government had anysense of planning at all that they would have conducted publichearings months ago, that they would have had a full airing ofthe issue in the public and that they would have brought it in inthe form that they were going to bring it in after they had gonethrough that public debate process.

It seems to me that the government will pay ultimately forthis decision, because I will be looking with great interest aswill the other members on this side of the House to whether ornot the Premier (Mr. Filmon) is able to drag along each of his 30members on this issue.

In effect, what we are doing here certainly in the long termwill devastate small businesses in this province, Madam DeputySpeaker.

I start with the rural businesses. The rural businesseswithin driving distance of Winnipeg will be facing‑‑if you thinkthat we are in a depression now, wait until you see what willhappen after a couple of years of wide-open Sunday shopping aspeople drive in from Stonewall, Gimli and other centres, most ofwhich the members opposite represent, will come in on Sunday toshop and will be buying their whole week's supply of groceriesand goods in Winnipeg. If the members think that that somehowbuilds the fabric of Manitoba society, then I think they hadbetter think again. The small convenience stores and so on thatdo their best business on Sunday are going to be possibly evenwiped out by this legislation. The government is going to haveto come to grips with that.

The government likes to maintain that the employees will beable to make their own decisions on this matter and that theywill not be forced to work Sunday. Let me tell you, Madam DeputySpeaker, that when employers are hiring employees, from now onthey will be checking in advance, they will be asking during theinterviews as to what the people's attitudes are on Sundayshopping. If the attitudes do not conform in a positive sensewith what the employer wants, then those people will be passedover for jobs, so do not tell me that you will take care ofprotecting employees by this legislation, because it is not goingto happen.

Another area that the government promises responsibility inon this legislation is that they are planning to reassess thisquestion after five months.

Now, Madam Deputy Speaker, I think most of here know thatonce this trial period is over, this will not be revisited. Thewhole issue will not be reassessed, and we will not see thesituation rolled back to where we were before this initiative was announced.

* (1540)

 

Once Sunday shopping is a part of the normal activities herein Manitoba after the five‑month trial period, the governmentwill not be rolling back the clock to where we are right now. Iwould say that we as a society will all suffer, will all pay theprice for this. The member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) willcertainly bear me out on this, that in his lifetime alone he hasseen society move from an agrarian environment to a veryfast‑paced, fast‑moving urban environment.

What this government is really saying is that heart attackswill not be optional at 50 anymore. They will be mandatory,because with the advent of the video lottery terminals andwide-open gambling which, by the way, the Liberals seemed to beembracing today in Question Period, with the advent of 24-hour,wide-open gambling, with 24-hour, wide-open shopping, what we areseeing is a society that is moving around so fast that people whoare now being driven to distraction, nervous breakdowns and heartattacks will be not having them at 55 anymore. They will behaving them at 50.

This government is destroying the fabric of society, MadamDeputy Speaker. The members opposite are making some noise hereand I have not heard what they have to say. [interjection] Well,the members opposite are having fun once again, and they willhave plenty of opportunities to participate‑‑

Point of Order

 

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health): Madam Deputy Speaker,I wonder if my honourable friend would permit a question.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Would the honourable member for Elmwoodpermit a question?

Mr. Maloway: Madam Deputy Speaker, I certainly will permit asmany questions as the Minister of Health or anybody else wants toask after I am finished.

* * *

Mr. Maloway: I have a way to go before I am finished with thiscrowd, because they know what they are doing to Manitoba societyby this measure. It is basically a knee-jerk approach and aknee-jerk reaction and a short-term approach. What they areinadvertently doing is causing a virtual disintegration ofsociety as we know it right now. They will pay the price intheir constituencies in the next election, because the people ofManitoba are not comfortable with this idea and they are nothappy with what the government is doing.

I would ask these members opposite to try working on Sundayand having to go through that situation. I think that once theytry it, looking at it from the other standpoint, the standpointof the employee, once they have to deal with it from theemployee's standpoint, they would not be so encouraged to go onwith this measure.

So, Madam Deputy Speaker, I think that this is not a veryhelpful initiative that this government is taking, and our caucuswill have much more to say about it beginning tomorrow and in thenext coming days, as our critics take the initiative here andpoint out what this government is really up to with the Sundayshopping and the detrimental effects that this measure is goingto have.

The government falsely assumes that somehow consumers aregoing to have more money to spend. In a recession out in thesociety right now, we are seeing people who are earning atminimum wage and little above minimum wage who are having adifficult time making their money go far right now. These peopleare now able to spend their money in a five‑day cycle, in asix‑day cycle in the stores. All we are asking this person to dois take their normal salary of $20,000, $25,0000 a year andspread it over to another day. The costs to the business aregoing to increase because the business people will have to spendmore on their overheads and more for labour and more expensesbeing open on Sunday.

This would be a fine argument if somehow people were going tohave more money to spend. If somehow people were going to havean extra $1,000 or $2,000 to spend at the end of the month, thenone could perhaps argue that somehow having an extra day to spendthis money is necessary but, Madam Deputy Speaker, I can tell youthat most people I know have no problem spending all of theirmoney and more in the hours that the stores are open at thecurrent time. People do not have trouble getting into debt inmajor ways right now, so this is a false argument.

The idea of a day of rest is another major issue here. Ihave heard from members of churches; I have heard from justmembers of the general public who are very upset because thiswill destroy the one day that they have as a family right now.People in this day and age are having a difficult time as it is,having a day during the week, or two days during the week withtheir families, and now with Saturday being pretty well a fullshopping day, people have been cut down to one day a week withtheir families. Now we are going to take even that one day awayfrom them, or jeopardize that one day, and it will be that muchmore difficult for them to‑‑

An Honourable Member: They do not have to go shopping, Jim.

Mr. Maloway: The member opposite says, well, people do not haveto shop, and that is true, they do not have to shop on a Mondayor Tuesday either, but the fact of the matter is that the memberdoes not recognize that they do have to work. That is part ofthe issue here, that we are going to force people to work onSundays to allow this extra day, so that he and the other membersopposite can, in a more leisurely manner, spend their money thanthey are right now.

The whole question of the businesses. I mean, thisgovernment maintains very loudly that it listens to business,that it understands business. You will hear this from them allthe time. In fact, of the chambers of commerce in Manitoba, theydo not have the support of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce inthis matter, and they know that. The squeaky wheels on thisissue seem to be the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and a few ofthe big stores in town. That is where this initiative is comingfrom and their fear of cross‑border shopping no doubt is a majorpart to play in this matter. The exchange rate that we arecurrently seeing right now, Madam Deputy Speaker, is in factchoking off a lot of the cross‑border shopping at the currenttime. We have a currency question here that has intervened tohelp solve part of the problem.

The other question too, I suppose, is that a lot of peoplewho shop in the States were doing it not necessarily for theprices but for the novelty of it and the outing. Once thenovelty wears off‑‑and I mean driving 60 miles or whatever tosave a couple of dollars I do not think is really the reason whya lot of people go there. I would think that over a period oftime that the whole fad will die out and that people will not doas much shopping there as they did in the short run.

Another reason that the government made this move in myopinion is because of the drop in retail sales. They look atthese figures and say, oh, my God, the opposition are going to beraising Cain with us now because retail sales have dropped and itis all our fault because we are the government and we are drivingthe province into a recession that will never stop. The fact ofthe matter is that the retail sales drop is due to the recessionthat is upon us right now. If and when the recession ends or thedepression ends that we are in right now, then the retail saleswill move back to their previous levels. I have no problems withthat.

 

* (1550)

 

I have dealt with the whole area of the retroactivity of thisquestion, and I am very unhappy about that because this is beingpresented to us as a fait accompli. I mean we are not in aposition, and I might tell you that a couple of years ago when Idid suggest to the government that they change the laws in acouple of instances in The Business Names Registration Act tohelp out in The Brick situation, the Attorney General of the day,the current Attorney General (Mr. McCrae) said to me, oh, well,we cannot do that because retroactivity in legislation issomething that we would never consider, that retroactivelegislation is not something that governments like, governmentsnever do. They could count the times that retroactivelegislation was used on the fingers of one hand this century,something to that effect and that we would never do that. Well,here, Madam Deputy Speaker, we have a situation where thegovernment is in fact endeavouring to do something.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I did want to deal with thederegulation in the airline industry and the situation that hasresulted. It came about as the result of the initiatives of thisgovernment and the Liberals. By the way, I think the opportunityhas come to deal with the Liberal Party here, the diminishing,disappearing Liberal Party that is now down another member andnow the Liberal Party is leaderless and rudderless. So far wehave one aspirant, the member for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux), whohas come forward to lead that dispirited group. We can see fromthe performance to date that the Liberal Party is going nowhere.

As a matter of fact, my colleague from Dauphin (Mr. Plohman)tells me that the Liberals are not only rudderless, but they haveno boat. The Liberals are facing absolute disaster here, wherewith a leadership convention planned, I believe it was for April1 or some such time, they have had to postpone the leadershipconvention because they have one person that even wants theleadership. They cannot even interest a second person in theleadership of the Liberal Party, so I think we can say goodbye tothe Liberal Party. I do not know whether we want to have acollection for them and give them a going‑away present or evenwhen we should have the going-away party, but the member forInkster is bound and determined to bury the remnants of theLiberal Party. We wish him well.

I tell you that I personally support the member for Inksterin his endeavours. I support him all the way to the leadershipof the Liberal Party and beyond. I wish him well. I know thatthe Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) is quick to say, notnow, Kevin; but we say, now, Kevin, go for it. We are all foryou, Kevin. We wish the member for Inkster well in hisendeavours, and we look forward to seeing the two‑party systemdevelop again in this province as it did over the last 20 years.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I know that our time is near, and we must‑‑my time is near and I must move on to allow my colleague tomake his speech. With that, I would leave you until the nextspeech.

Mr. Clif Evans (Interlake): Madam Deputy Speaker, I am pleasedto be able to have the opportunity to address the throne speechthis afternoon. With our limited time, I would like to touch ona few of the topics from the throne speech that relate to myconstituency and to some of the things that are occurring in myconstituency.

First of all, I would like to welcome, as other members have,the new Pages that we have in the Assembly, and I wish them wellin their endeavours through this session in putting up with thedifferent idiosyncrasies and the game-show politics that wesometimes provide for the people here in the Assembly. To thenew members who have been elected just in the past by-election, Iwould like to welcome the member for Crescentwood (Ms. Gray), andI would also like to wish her well in her return to theAssembly. I would like to also, and more importantly, like tooffer my heartiest congratulations to the new elected member forPortage (Mr. Pallister). I have a soft spot in my background andin my heart, my sport side of me, welcoming the member forPortage la Prairie. I had the opportunity through the many yearsto participate against and, at times, watch the honourable memberpitch in fastball over the years. His contribution to Manitobasoftball and his competitiveness, also his participation inCanadian tournaments and, again, wish you well in your endeavourshere.

To the Leader of the Liberal Party (Mrs. Carstairs), I wouldlike to just say that I wish her well with her announcement,Madam Deputy Speaker. I think that she has added many positivethings to this Chamber. I know in the two-plus years I have hadthe opportunity to be in this House, I have gained a tremendousamount of respect. I wish her well and her family when she doesdecide that time is ending and again I wish her well.

Madam Deputy Speaker, just lately also we have had the latestannouncement of one of our members, the past member forRupertsland leaving the Assembly to go on to different things.In the two-plus years and with the aboriginal issues that areamongst us now, I think that Mr. Harper was a man who had histrue, true spirit for the aboriginal people and spoke well forthem. He gave me lots of insight as to the problems and theconcerns that the aboriginal people have here in this province.

With eight reserves within my constituency, Madam DeputySpeaker, Mr. Harper took time out to meet with me and the chiefsand councils and go to different functions amongst my aboriginalconstituents. I thank him for that, and especially the one timethat he took time out from his busy schedule when he and I,through some adverse weather, took the opportunity to go toArborg and speak before the Arborg Collegiate students. I wish him well, and I thank him very kindly for his participation andsupport for myself and my constituency and the aboriginal peoplewithin the Interlake.

Madam Deputy Speaker, as far as the throne speech goes, Ihave certain concerns that were brought up. I would like torelate some of those concerns again and some of the problems thatwe are facing in my constituency. I hope that this governmentrecognizes the problems, not only in my constituency butthroughout Manitoba and deals with them rather quickly, not goingthrough studies and innovative discussions and future studies andlooking into and discussions, but dealing with them.

* (1600)

 

One that I find very interesting, and I know that it had beendiscussed before, Madam Deputy Speaker, was the part of thethrone speech that this government has promised to enact newregulations that will impose substantially higher standards fornew installations and will require testing existing facilitiesand clean up of sites. That is contamination caused by petroleumproduct leaks and we now are dealing with an issue, a veryserious concerned issue in the community of Ashern.

I know I have brought it up in the House here. I think it isa very, very important issue. The people in Ashern, some 20 to25 or 30 people right now, are having water brought into them sothat they can bathe, so that they can drink, so that they canhave water for their coffee, Madam Deputy Speaker. I hope thatwith this type of legislation, depending on when and if and howthis government does implement this act, will prevent andassist. I think that is the issue right here and now regardlessof putting in some act to prevent something in the future andhave some sort of control over these things, it should be donenow. The assistance should be there now.

Now I must say that in the past few months, the people ofAshern have been put again against the wall and have waited forthe last two years with this problem. They have come to thegovernment, they have come to the federal government, to assistin helping them so that they can have proper drinking water orrestructure a new drinking water program that they want toimplement within the community.

I would like to think that this government, who talks aboutinitiative and who talks about the doing and the wanting to do,will act, will do. The people of Ashern have been waiting, MadamDeputy Speaker, as I have said, for two years for this, forsomething, for some assistance, and all they have received ispromises to look into it.

I hope that under this particular act that we are able toassist my community, the community of Ashern, and others, as wehave seen in Stonewall, that there can be some action taken sothat we can have legislation intact that will prevent this typeof thing and will also ensure that if it does happen, the peoplewho are responsible are going to deal with it and are going to bedealt with. So again, it is a problem. It is something thatthey intend to propose. I would like to see the government acton this and propose it within this session.

The throne speech indicates that the government willimplement necessary measures to control and properly dispose ofhazardous wastes and, not only that, but the waste managementburden in small communities, small municipalities such as mine.Right now we are dealing with this problem right throughout thewhole eastern part of the Interlake. We have four or five or sixcommunities who are in desperate need of landfill sites anddirection to take, and again, are we getting any action? Are wegoing to get any action from this government to be able to assistthese municipalities and these governments and communities to goahead and have safe waste management areas so that they can taketheir landfill waste and take their community garbage as such sothat there is some protection for the people and protection forthe natural resources within our community?

Madam Deputy Speaker, the gas that they have talked about,natural gas, I know that the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr.Downey) had made some comments, and I think we on this side ofthe House are strong advocates in that part of the thronespeech. I think the necessity for rural Manitoba is there and ithas been there for some time.

The people are looking for ways to improve their social andtheir economic benefits, rural benefits. I think natural gasgasification would be a plus to the communities. I think itwould be a certain plus to not only the community of Riverton andthe community of Arborg, the community of Ashern and FisherBranch, I think the other communities in the rural areas wouldbenefit greatly. It would be able to provide them with access tobe able to go out and have something for the people in thecommunity to go out and bring in economic development withintheir community, to be able to go out to some manufacturing firm,to be able to go out to any manufacturing company and say, we canprovide you with the natural gas‑‑but action.

Now, we within the Interlake, Madam Deputy Speaker, and Ibelieve since 1989, we have approached this government. I waspart and parcel, in 1989, when we came to talk to the formerRural Development minister, the member for Emerson (Mr. Penner).We spoke to him on this and made a proposal, along with theInterlake Development Corporation, on a dehydration plant, andthe community has moved very, very strongly.

We talk about what the Premier (Mr. Filmon) says as far asinitiative again and doing things and investing in ourselves.Madam Deputy Speaker, the communities around Arborg and farmersand producers around Arborg have worked diligently for two andone half years, three years, in providing a study, providing aneffort to be able to bring a dehydration plant within theInterlake between Teulon and Arborg. Gasification would besomething that would assist that plant along, create jobs, some20 to 30 jobs, would bring in economic benefit within thecommunity, to within the whole area. We are saying that it is anecessity for the dehydration plant to go ahead. It is anecessity.

I am saying to the honourable members across the way that letus act on the things that they are supposedly going to do. Wewant to see it. I want to see it. I think all members here seeit. But what are we going to see? Are we going to see anything?

I think, generally, if you try and read around the thronespeech, we are not really sure, we are not positive, this is whatwe are thinking of doing. I am saying, let us do, let us actwith what you are proposing here; and, if you are not, as in someof the other initiatives in the past throne speech that we haveheard, then why put it in? Why make promises? Act.

Madame Deputy Speaker, again we have a certain amount ofproposed changes to the Natural Resources part of things. Youknow, we, the minister and I, have sat a few times and discussedcertain things in my community, within the whole province, as faras problems through Natural Resources. I have brought problemsto the minister from within my own constituency, big problems.He knows what the problems are.

I think this may relate somewhat to the budget. I promisedthe minister, and I think I am going to follow up on my promisein making a comment in the throne speech, and again in the budgetdebate I will bring this up, the fact that natural resources area tremendous commodity, a tremendous resource to our Interlakeand to the province of Manitoba.

There are needs out there for Natural Resources within theparks, within the fishing industry, within the water resources,and I had promised the minister that I would make mention of thefact that we hope that Treasury Board and cabinet and seniormanagement would look towards the Natural Resources departmentwith being able to fund the natural resources area, not to takeaway but to assist and put the funds and the money where it isneeded for natural resources.

 

* (1610)

 

Natural resources and tourism within the Interlake and withinmany parts of the province go hand in hand. We need certainresources. We need control of the parks, and the ministerhimself says when I come to him with a problem within theconstituency relating to the drainage system‑‑I would venture,not to guess, but I would venture to say that 500-plus acresalone in my community, in my constituency this year, were underwater because of the drainage situation. [interjection] Ofcourse, a wet year‑‑we understand that to a point, but theminister himself understands and realizes‑‑he sees the problem.I have brought the problems to him. Funding is not there. It iscuts.

I am saying to the government that when the time comes forthe budget, that natural resources, Madam Deputy Speaker, not beleft to the side, not be left on the back burner, but come in andassist.

I would just like to encourage again, and let the ministerknow that the member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk)‑‑and I havespoken to her about it‑‑and the member for Dauphin (Mr. Plohman),the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie), we want to see the NaturalResources department be a department and be a part of thisprovince, that it is recognized as being an important part ofthis province.

Now, Madam Deputy Speaker, with some of the comments, and Iguess we can go back to the conference some two or three weeksago that the minister and I attended.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

 

I had the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to be involved with thethree-day conference, listening to the fishermen, the aboriginalpeople and all the fishermen throughout the province, throughoutSaskatchewan, representatives from the Northwest Territories,representatives from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba wantingtheir fishing industry to be seriously looked at, not only by thepresent Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns), but federally.

Through that three-day conference, Mr. Speaker, I heardconcerns, concerns with the marketing of their fish, and I thinkthat the concerns were put forth, resolutions were broughtforth. People were able to make presentations as to the dilemmathat the fishermen are facing now and have been facing for someyears, as the grain farmers and as other commodities, the lack ofmarketing, the lack of price for their product.

At the conference, the delegation and all the representativeshad requested that the present minister assist with being able toprovide some access to a better system, to have the FreshwaterMarketing Corporation looked at, looked at for the reasons thatthe fishermen are giving us.

Mr. Speaker, coming from and hearing day in and day out aboutsome of the problems that fishermen have, the marketing systemright now is perhaps failing certain areas of the fishingindustry. It may be failing the northern fisheries. It may befailing the Lake Winnipegosis fisheries, Lake Winnipeg fisheries,and this government has decided to bring about an amendment toThe Fisheries Act to allow commercial fishermen to sell theircatch directly to restaurants, retailers and processors.

Mr. Speaker, that may, in fact, be a start in some aspects.I wonder, and I hope that the minister, before these amendmentsare brought forth, listens to all the fishermen, not just in acertain area over on this side or a certain area on that side,but throughout the fishing industry, the northern fishingindustry.

There are bigger problems than marketing their fish innorthern Manitoba. I think the minister heard that; I heardthat. There was not a problem so much with the fact that, well,the Freshwater Marketing Corporation is not doing their job forus. There are other things that are of concern‑‑concern with thefreight, cost of bringing that fish from the northernmostcommunities into Winnipeg to be processed, to be sold, to bemarketed.

Mr. Speaker, I think that is one of the messages that I gotloud and clear. If you open up the market, not everyone is goingto benefit. If you open up the market, how is it going to becontrolled? I have to say, that I have to, myself as with theMinister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns), listen to the advisoryboard and have to listen to fishermen make their presentations onthis. Is it really going to be the right way to go for everyone,or are there other concerns that this present minister and thispresent government could address immediately to assist thefishermen throughout Manitoba?

Mr. Speaker, throughout the three days, one of the mainpoints that I had heard from the fishermen in my constituency wasthe fact that they did not have proper representation from theFreshwater Marketing Corporation. Granted, that perhaps issomething that should be seriously looked at through the advisoryboard and the Freshwater Marketing Corporation. I think itshould be looked at.

The aboriginal people themselves feel that they do not haveenough representation on the board, on a board that is veryimportant to them in how their fish are sold or marketed. Is itworth it for these fishermen to even go out and fish through aseason? The costs are outrageous. The price for their fish isnonexistent. Whether this new amendment and legislation that theMinister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) and this government isgoing to bring in is going to be the answer to all answers, Iwould think that he should, in fact, very seriously consider allthe pros and cons of bringing in an amendment to this act about asituation that the fishermen are in.

One of the two other main points, freight assistance, freightsubsidy. I think the minister will remember that in a session in1990 I brought this before him, after the first budget, after wehad been elected and our first budget. I was not really too sureof how the whole system worked. We met with fishermen, who werevery concerned because this government was going to cut somehundred and some‑odd thousand dollars off the Northern FreightAllowance subsidy for these fishermen to assist, to subsidizethem for transporting their fish, bringing them in to southernManitoba so that they can be marketed.

The costs were outrageous, so I would think that the ministershould, in fact, when he is looking at implementing this act toallow the fishermen to sell to anyone, look at the other issuesand the other problems that are facing our commercial fishermenin this province.

I would hope that the minister in his wisdom or in hisposition would and is going to insist that the northern freightallowance be stepped up, be increased so that the fishermen innorthern Manitoba, who have to transport their fish at greatdistance, at great cost, are in fact assisted and helped so thatwhen they do get their payments for it their costs have beensubsidized so they have something that they can take home withthem. Now they have nothing.

* (1620)

 

Now, a lot of these fishermen in northern Manitoba aresaying, by the time we pay the bills, by the time we pay for theboats, the maintenance, the gasoline, the transportation, thereis nothing left. We cannot exist. Our young people do not wantto continue to fish. They do not want to continue doing anythingas far as the fishing industry goes, because it is not viable.

I think the other aspect of the problems that the fishermenhave is with the loan program. Since the loan program waschanged in 1990, '91, I get many, many complaints about thesystem. I think that the loan program falling under the Ministerof Northern Affairs' (Mr. Downey) responsibility‑‑he shouldreally go out and hear what the fishermen are saying as far asthe system goes with the loan program. The whole program seemsto be lacking in expediency, seems to be lacking as far asavailability, seems to be lacking in many situations.

People who need that assistance, that loan program must knowin plenty of time whether they are going to receive, what theyare going to receive, how much they have applied for. The seasonis starting and some of them are not receiving any comment as towhether they are going to receive the money, when it is coming.

These fishermen cannot go to the local supplier of equipmentand take out and purchase any equipment, because they are notsure about the program. They are not sure if the money is goingto come to them. I think it is a serious note. Fishermen arelimited. Not only are they limited to the amount of money thatis available to them, now they are limited and put on the backburner because there is no action taken when they are in a loanprogram.

The loan program, I think, out of Thompson, has been in placenow for a year and a half, and fishermen are more in the darkwith this program. I think between the freight subsidy, betweenthe loan program and the marketing end of it, I would say to theMinister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) and the Minister ofNorthern Affairs (Mr. Downey) in this government to seriouslylook into the problems that the commercial fishermen are havingwithin our province. I would think that would be a start as tohearing what they have to say.

I mean, Mr. Speaker, I have already been receiving commentsjust in the last week from different areas with concern as tothis amendment that the minister is proposing for selling fish tostores and restaurants.

An Honourable Member: You mean your fishermen do not like it?

Mr. Clif Evans: Not all the fishermen. There is a problem outthere. There is a concern out there. I am saying to theminister, I am talking about a fair majority. This is theconcern I am hearing‑‑[interjection] Well, the Minister ofAgriculture (Mr. Findlay) talks about this. Just this pastweekend I spoke with some fishermen, and the majority of thefishermen are saying that the Freshwater Marketing Corporationshould be looked at. Also, a majority are saying that they wouldwant to see this whole act and how it is going to be done beforeit is gone. Before it goes through legislation, they want tosee. I have quotes here about certain concerns. I am not afisherman. I am saying what I hear.

The honourable Minister of Highways (Mr. Driedger) is sayingfor me to put it on the record. I am saying what I hear from thepeople. It is not my personal opinion to express. It is anopinion to express what my constituents are saying, and thefishermen. Again, I would say before and during the negotiationswith this amendment there should be some serious consultationbetween the fishermen and the government. That is what I ask andthat is what I say.

Mr. Speaker, I did not have the opportunity to also offer mycongratulations and best wishes to you as the other members inour House have done so gallantly and elegantly. I know that yourco-operation and support for all members here is trulyappreciated. I know it is by myself and other members here onthis side of the House.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that my time is limited, so I wouldjust like in closing to say to the government, on the thronespeech, instead of smoke and mirrors, instead of a study, thecommunities in Manitoba and rural Manitoba, the communities in myconstituency are taking the initiative to go ahead with differentthings so that we can provide economic benefit. My communityalone, Riverton, has been working very diligently in taking theinitiative, taking the steps toward providing and increasing theeconomic viability within their own system. They are going aheadwith a plan to restore Main Street Riverton, a plan that has beenin place for a few years, has come to the government action. Ithink we want to see some action‑‑not promises, but some action.

Some of these other issues will be brought up during budget.Again, I encourage the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns)that the support is here from this member to be able to providethat minister with more‑‑from this member to the minister sayingI will push and I will say and I will speak up when the timecomes during budget debate to make sure that the minister haswithin his portfolio and his department the funds that are neededto be able to provide this province with the proper funding to beable to keep our natural resources, which in fact also providefor tourism to be able to have those funds.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to in closing say to all themembers of the House, my colleagues and members of the secondopposition and to government members a very Merry Christmas andthe best of the New Year season, and to you, Sir, to all thePages and new members, thank you very much.

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier): Mr. Speaker, as I have said on anumber of occasions in the past, it is always a pleasure for meto rise in response to one of the major debates in the House, thethrone speech and the budget.

Although I am now embarking on my 14th year in thisLegislature, I still get that old thrill, that same old feelingwhen I stand up and have an opportunity to participate in one ofthese debates in which, I think, members on both sides of theHouse have an opportunity to talk about their philosophies, theirhopes, their goals, their aspirations for the future of thisprovince and to be able to have a bit of a freewheelingdiscussion about the things that separate us in terms of ourapproach to government and our principles and our priorities.

I just want to, as is traditional, welcome you back to yourposition in this House as the arbiter of all the matters thatprevail in this House. You have always been, I believe,fair‑minded, showing an equal treatment to both sides of theHouse. I compliment you for that, and I wish you well in yourcontinued endeavours.

 

* (1630)

 

I would like to welcome, of course, the new Pages to theLegislature. They are in their first days in this House and justexperiencing the great thrills of being a part of this wonderfulprocess. I am always reminded of the story that says that peoplewho enjoy sausage and laws should not watch either of them beingmade. This, of course, is true here. Sometimes with all of theantics that carry on in this House, particularly in QuestionPeriod, I do not think that tender newcomers ought to be exposedto this without at least a little bit of briefing to make surethat they understand how the process works. I know, Sir, thatyou have done that for them.

I welcome, of course, all members back to the House and paymy respects to the former member for Rupertsland who regrettablyannounced his resignation before I was able to speak in thisthrone speech. I certainly join all members in the House inwishing him well, in extending our very best wishes in whateverhe chooses to pursue. That does not mean that our good wisheswill go so far as to supporting him should he run in anotherelection at another level, but we certainly will indeed rememberhis many contributions and, particularly, the personal relationsthat we had with him as a member of this House.

I can remember numerous occasions in which all membersgathered, his quiet but very effective sense of humour, and theway in which he interacted with us was always a very positive andenjoyable experience. His contributions to the House willcertainly be remembered by many people in this province andcertainly those of us who knew him well.

I would certainly, as well, like to welcome to theLegislature two new members. I will begin with the memberopposite, the member for Crescentwood (Ms. Gray), who is not astranger to this House, and say that despite the fact that againI have to admit I did not work for her, I certainly accept thewill of the people. I am above all a great adherent to thedemocratic process, and I welcome her back to the Legislature. Imight say that the former member for Crescentwood is sitting inthe gallery observing her behaviour today. I am not sure if heis here to hear me speak or to watch her reaction to my speech,but in either case we are delighted to have her back and to haveher contributions. I might say that I read her contributions tothe Throne Speech Debate and thought that she handled herselfvery well.

I certainly did not expect her to be light in her criticismof our side of the House, but I appreciated the fact that shefound something to criticize in both the New Democrats and theConservatives. In that, I think that she was balanced. That isprobably better than we can expect from some people in thisHouse, so we will accept that as a step in the right direction,Mr. Speaker.

I also welcome, of course, with great enthusiasm the memberof the Legislature for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Pallister) who,despite his youthful appearance and despite his few days in thisHouse, has already cast a long shadow. Mr. Speaker, he bringswith him a great deal to recommend him as an effective andcapable member, and I know that all of us are looking forward tohis great contributions and additions to the House.

I know that he has had, as I say, much experience in a widevariety of areas. Like myself, he happens to be one who is verydevoted to sports, a great enthusiast for sports. You can tellby, of course, our stature that both of us are basketball players.

I might say, as well, that when I was in Toronto as part ofour delegation for the Pan Am Games, I might have influenced avote when I told the representative of softball in the Pan AmGames that we had a new member of the Legislature by the name ofPallister from Portage la Prairie. He said he knew him well, infact, had coached a team that competed against him when themember for Portage la Prairie was arguably Manitoba's bestfastball pitcher and player.

So I hope that little bit of reference resulted in ourgetting the one vote that decided the‑‑I am not sure, but we mayhave had the vote already, Mr. Speaker, but in any case, themember is well known beyond the borders of this Legislature andthis province.

I see that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) is alreadychallenging us to a baseball competition. [interjection] Well, wewill take it one at a time. We will go squash first and then wewill go basketball, then we will go baseball, and if you have anyenergy left then we will take you on in hockey. [interjection]Oh, it is winter.

Well, that reminds me of the story that used to be told hereabout a certain member opposite. I remember this was the firstspeech I ever heard given by the member for Arthur (Mr. Downey).He talked about Lloyd Axworthy when he was on the other side ofthe House and how he was on the one hand and on the other hand.He said he reminded him of an old farm hand he had when in thewintertime he would tell everybody what a great baseball playerhe was, and in the summertime he would tell everybody what agreat hockey player he was, Mr. Speaker.

In any case, Mr. Speaker, moving on to the throne speechwhich I believe is my task at hand, it certainly gives us theopportunity to examine and to debate and discuss the immediateand the long‑term plans of the government of Manitoba. I am verypleased to have heard the comments of many of the membersopposite in the Assembly. I am particularly pleased to be ableto respond to some of those comments and those contributionsbecause I think, as I said earlier, it is a speech and it is adebate in which we definitely see the partisan divisions betweenthe two sides of the House.

From our perspective, the throne speech provides a clearvision for the future of Manitoba. It deals with the problemsfacing Manitobans today; it does not just dwell on them, Mr.Speaker. I think it is important to make that distinctionbecause Manitobans are certainly well aware of the problems thatthey face today. In many cases they face them every day, intheir working life, in their home life, in their community life,and our government certainly has had the experience of dealingwith, both on a government basis and on a personal basis, so manyof the challenges of life in the '90s.

Many of us have had to face the problems, sit down withfriends, with family, with neighbours, and deal with situationsthat we never believed would happen to the people who seem tohave been in the prime of their working lives and all of a suddenbecause of major shifts in the world are in a difficult positionthat they never anticipated. But merely dwelling on the problemsand, in fact, taking some partisan delight out of pointing outthe worst of them to the media in interviews or in QuestionPeriod does nothing to help find solutions for tomorrow.

All of us on this side of the House know that, when our NewDemocratic friends take great glee in sowing the seeds of gloomand doom, they are really working to ensure that Manitobans reapa barren harvest, because all of us know, and I know teachersknow in particular, educators know, that when you tell someonetime and time again that they are going to fail, then surely,inevitably they do fail. There is no encouragement forManitobans when we look at the contributions that have been madein this Throne Speech Debate and in Question Periods of recenttime; there is no encouragement for Manitobans given by the NDP.

But, no matter what the New Democrats might say, Manitobansare strong. Manitobans are out there working, and Manitobanshave great resilience that will see us continue to fight the goodfight and, indeed, ultimately when the recession is behind us,succeed again in the future. We see glimmers of that comingforward, more of them in recent times‑‑a number of announcements.

We all took great delight, and I compliment both oppositionparties for taking a positive view of the announcement on the PanAm Games because it is something that will do many things forManitoba. It will leave a lasting legacy of physical works:additions such as a new baseball stadium; a new field house atthe University of Manitoba; an addition to the Pan Am Pool, asecond practise pool; and another track within the velodrome; andso on and so forth. All of those will be a lasting legacy ofthose games to Manitoba.

* (1640)

 

Secondarily, and I do not think it should be secondarily,almost $140 million of spending that takes place in the provinceof Manitoba‑‑tremendous economic boom to the province. Inaddition to that, as many as 2,000 full‑time and part‑timejobs‑‑very positive things. Of course, who can put a value onthe intangible of the volunteer spirit and the sense oftogetherness that once again it will give our province? TheLeader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) referred to Jim Daly. Iremember his slogan, Total Community Involvement, that he coinedin 1967 that was so much a part of the enjoyment of the PanAmerican Games.

Then again on Thursday, ISM Manitoba, Information SystemsManagement Corporation, announced that it was purchasing AtlasInternational Canada, moving their entire operations toWinnipeg‑‑45 new high‑tech jobs for the province of Manitoba. Avery positive development that was there. On Wednesday of lastweek, UMA Engineering announced that they would enter a jointventure with Black & Veatch of Kansas City, Missouri. Thatventure will see a power engineering centre of excellence forWinnipeg, utilizing the technology of Black and Veatch, as wellas the infrastructure of the very large UMA Engineeringorganization‑‑net financial benefit to the province in excess of$1.5 million, employ an average of some 45 people up to a maximumof 100 people, again, high-tech jobs very important to Manitoba.We are talking in both of these announcements about things forpeople who are trained in the technologies and in engineering.

I was, this summer, at a class reunion in Calgary, of allplaces, of my civil engineering graduating class. I am agraduate of the '60s when there were plenty of jobs for engineerswho graduated at the University of Manitoba, but they were notalways in Manitoba. In fact, a third of my graduating class isin the province of Alberta. They had come here for four previousreunions and said, we want the rest of you to come to Alberta.So we went there and we enjoyed seeing so many of our classmates.

By some of these announcements, the people in thetechnologies, in engineering, will now have greater opportunitiesfor employment here at home in Manitoba, and I think that is agood thing. I remember speeches from the member for RiverHeights (Mrs. Carstairs) on numerous occasions about ouruniversity students having opportunities to stay in Manitobabecause, I think, if we share one thing in common, we all believethat this is one of the finest places in Canada, if not theworld, to live, and that is why we are all here.

But these accomplishments that I am talking about have onething in common. Their success has been the result of Manitobanstaking action, working and succeeding, and in each instance, weas a government have been pleased to have a role in support ofthese efforts, to encourage, to work alongside Manitobans to helpmake their dreams and their aspirations come true. I am veryproud that if our efforts have made any positive contribution,that the end result will be more opportunities for Manitobans.

Mr. Speaker, the throne speech is also realistic in settingManitoba's goals and action plans, and this too is very, veryimportant because to date, realism, I think, has been a scarcecommodity from some of the opposition benches.

I for one and all of my colleagues would not try to foolManitobans into believing that there could be short‑term, quickfixes to our economy. That is precisely the message that is inthe throne speech, is that no matter what 10‑second clips mightbe thrown out by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer), thereare no quick fixes to this economy.

I could take great delight in reading to him some, I think,very intelligent and very thoughtful remarks made by NewDemocratic Leaders who happen to be in government, premiers suchas Romanow and Rae, people who have to practise responsibility,who cannot afford the quick fix, the ten‑second‑clip mentalitythat we see too often from the benches opposite, and the remarksthat they are making about how difficult it is to make choices,to make priority decisions in the economy that we are facing andwhat it means to government.

They have seen, as I have seen, what is happening in theworld around us. They, like I, have been to other countries,observed the dramatic changes that countries throughout the worldare struggling to cope with today, quantum shifts taking placethat have never been seen before.

It is absolutely clear that we cannot simply rely on the oldshibboleths, that we cannot just simply repeat the kind of oldslogans and the old solutions that were tried before. Thoseoutdated thinking approaches are not going to solve thechallenges that face us for the 1990s.

The old ways of government intervention that have been toutedas solutions by members opposite just do not work today. Theworld has changed, and it is continuing to change at a rapidpace. Yesterday's solutions will not work today, particularlythose solutions that did not even work yesterday.

Mr. Speaker, most of us in this Chamber and probably all ofthe taxpayers in Manitoba remember when the Pawley governmenttried so hard to spend their way out of debt and into economicrenewal and growth. We are all painfully aware of theconsequences and where those programs, such as the NDP Jobs Fund,took us. Nowhere. They did not take us anywhere positive, butthey did take us deeper into debt. Those short‑term, make‑workJobs Fund jobs are gone, and all we have to show for them, ofcourse, is billions of dollars of debt.

I find it interesting when I go back into my archives to seethat the Leader of the Opposition in those days, of course, didunderstand that. He did know that. He did talk about it many,many times. I have quoted him on it before, but I will quote himagain, just in case there has been any loss of memory.

I will tell you, the reason that I have to quote him again‑‑Iwould not have done that‑‑but I read in the Winnipeg Free Pressof November 16, 1992, and I quote: Doer‑‑and this was coverageof his major speech to the party's annual meeting, and it says,and I quote: Doer compared his economic blueprint to the JobsFund Howard Pawley's NDP government launched in 1983.

Now I found that really difficult to accept because in 1983,when Doer‑‑and I should not refer to him‑‑the member forConcordia (Mr. Doer) was the then‑president of the ManitobaGovernment Employees' Association, this is what he said of theNDP Jobs Fund, quote: It is bloody immoral in my mind. That iswhat he said.

Here is the rest of it. Doer went on to further criticizethe NDP government for its Jobs Fund, which he likened to thegovernment dropping people who fix potholes on the highways inorder to hire people to count flowers along the roadside.

That is what he thought of the Jobs Fund in 1983, and he saidfurther: The government does not understand the differencebetween a make‑work job and a structured economy. Any economistwill tell you that a structured job is more beneficial to theeconomy. That was from the Winnipeg Sun, March 11, 1984, Doertalking about the Jobs Fund. Today, he is telling us that it wasso wonderful that this would be the principal plank in hiseconomic renewal platform for the province of Manitoba.

Well, Mr. Speaker, that is not an example of what thisprovince needs, and that is old‑think being revisited andregurgitated and certainly not in a way that is going to be, Ithink, of great benefit to the people of this province.

The only other remnants of the old way of thinking that canbe found on the opposition benches and in the New Democraticcaucus room are there in the minds of those members who served atthat time. I know that the member for Brandon East (Mr. LeonardEvans) and his cronies certainly remember because they weresitting around the cabinet table when many of those bad decisionsthat continue to cost us were made. When they were finished withthose decisions on the Jobs Fund and their interventionistapproach to economic development, as the Leader of the Oppositionlikes to call it, when Manitobans had had their fill, the legacythat was left was not jobs. It was not prosperity. All it was,was debt. The Manitoba taxpayer was left holding the bag and theNDP exited stage left. We have had our share of old‑thinkapproaches to government through the NDP taxation schemes.

Now, here is another thing. The member for Concordia (Mr.Doer), along with all of his faithful in the party, had noproblem finding new government money in order to satisfy theirburgeoning needs in government to spend. They took it fromworking Manitobans, and all of the families of workingManitobans, in new taxes. I will quote this again: In six and ahalf years in government they increased the personal income taxtake by 140 percent‑‑in six and a half years.

This is where the real talent of the New Democrats showed up,the real creativity of New Democrats. Finding taxation‑‑new waysof taxation‑‑became an art form. I have said it before, but itbears repeating. The New Democrats never found a tax they didnot like or did not hike.

Yet, no matter how much they increased taxes, they stillcould not come close to balancing the budget‑‑never could comeclose to balancing the budget, no matter how much. Of course, itis not as though they can say‑‑[interjection] Mr. Speaker, I willget to the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie), if he will bepatient when I get to the issue of mining. We will talk aboutthe member for Flin Flon when we get to that issue.

* (1650)

 

It is not as though they have, in fact, learned anything byit or that they can say they would be different today, because wehave examples all around us. Here‑‑you see the problem is, Ihave the utmost respect for Bob Rae. I think he is a man ofintegrity. He is an honest, a decent and an honourable person,but he has the unfortunate error of having surrounded himselfwith a number of refugees from the New Democratic administrationin Manitoba.

As a result, they are bringing forward all of these crazyideas that they put in Manitoba and more. Here is one recentheadline from The Globe and Mail: Bad news grows in Ontario asLaughren warns of tax hike. That is the NDP Finance minister.The subhead is: Treasurer says, if unions do not keep to lowwage demands he will be forced to consider wage freezes androllbacks.

I am not even going to bother to read the speeches that weremade on Bill 70, the outrage that was expressed by membersopposite, who said a New Democratic administration would neverfreeze or roll back wages‑‑never.

Now here we have our neighbouring province threatening twochoices: either tax hikes, and he talks about tax hikes, andthere are tax hikes that are so creative and interesting thatthey bear a little bit of discussion, I might tell you, butincreases in fees of all sorts; and, of course, the other side ofthe coin is wage freezes and rollbacks. That is what the threatis in New Democratic Ontario. [interjection] Well, that was a fewdays earlier. Here is the Toronto Star of Saturday afternoon,NDP eyes highway tolls to jump‑start recovery‑‑highway toll.

Now, I do not ever want them to razz the Minister of Highwaysand Transportation (Mr. Driedger) of our province about hismusings about toll fees, because here their colleagues in Ontarioare already taking a look at implementing them. Now, these arethe three ways in which they are going to jump‑start the Ontarioeconomy, I might say.

Firstly, and this is the heading, it says, motorists couldsoon be paying tolls on some Ontario highways under a massive newgovernment strategy to fund repairs to roads, bridges, sewers,and to create affordable housing. The plan will be presented tothe New Democratic cabinet very soon. Here is a quote from oneof the provincial officials, this will be done as soon as ishumanly possible. We are in the midst of a recession, adepression. We need these programs to begin to startimmediately, an official in the Premier's office said.

The three new Crown corporations would be‑‑now listen tothis‑‑interventionist government, get to the point. Firstly, theOntario Transportation Corporation. This company would build andmaintain new roads and bridges addressing the ProvincialAuditor's report that 60 percent of the province's transportationsystems are in poor shape. The company would then finance thenew road systems and repairs by charging tolls to drivers usingthe new upgraded arteries.

An Honourable Member: And off the balance sheet.

Mr. Filmon: Off the balance sheet all of the debt, and financeit through tolls to drivers.

Here is the second one. The Ontario Water and SewerCorporation. This company would fund the estimated $3 billion innecessary repairs to Ontario's ailing sewer system and allow theNDP government to move ahead on clean water initiatives itpromised in the 1990 election. It would repay its debt bycharging Ontarians higher user fees for clean drinking water.

An Honourable Member: Off the balance sheet again.

Mr. Filmon: Off the balance sheet, higher fees for your water.

Here is the third one, and of course members opposite willsee a glimmer of familiarity in this one, the Ontario RealtyCorporation. Now, the province would become the largest realtycompany in the world under this scenario a government sourcesaid. It would borrow money to purchase up to $400 million worthof provincial land holdings from the government thus reducing theOntario deficit. It would then leverage joint agreements withprivate developers that would ensure construction of affordablehousing, and so on.

Margaret Kelch, Assistant Deputy Minister of Transportation,said in an interview that the plan would be to charge tolls onhighways without having to erect tollbooths and create massivetraffic jams. She told the Star the government may adopt asystem pioneered by the state of Texas whereby all motorists areissued a highway card the size of a credit card. The highwaycard is placed on a motorist's dashboard where it will set off anelectronic detection device on the entry and exit points of achosen highway at normal speeds. Motorists would then be billedby the government for their number of trips past the phantomtollbooths.

Mr. Speaker, our government knows that bigger deficits andhigher taxes are not the answer. You know, members opposite overthe last little while have been making a career of pointingfingers, gleefully talking about the food banks across thestreet. That is a favourite of the member for Concordia (Mr.Doer). Well, I have been here long enough to remember that therewere not food banks in this province until the NDP took office inthe 1980s.

(Mrs. Louise Dacquay, Deputy Speaker, in the Chair)

 

That was an innovation that was brought about by NewDemocratic administration in our province. I remember as wellthat Maureen Hemphill was so concerned about the lack of supportthat was being given by her government to social services thatshe started collecting clothing and distributing it to needyfamilies, because they simply were not doing enough in thosedays. Madam Deputy Speaker, now, of course, the New Democratsare pointing out a finger and saying it is all a result of thisadministration. Well, all of those things happened under NewDemocratic administration, and if they want to look at anyprovince in this country, including those with New Democraticadministrations, they will see that there is plenty of grief andsuffering and brokenness out there for everyone, and that it isnot in any way attributable to a philosophy or a government incharge.

* (1700)

 

Madam Deputy Speaker, we can start going through thestatistics chapter and verse about the suffering, and it does nothelp any. It does not help. The fact of the matter is thataccepting a New Democratic solution to it would not do anythingmore for the misery, but it would ensure that the long‑term debtkept that misery around a lot longer.

Accepting change is one of the most difficult propositionsthat any person can face, and we know as individuals it is ourhuman nature to be wary of the future and the changes that itmight bring. There is no question that we all experience thatconcern and that anxiety. Yet in Manitoba I do not think thereis any doubt that we will not have the luxury of avoiding change,avoiding the creation of new approaches in order to continue tofind ways of succeeding for Manitoba. We have to leave the old,even though they are familiar, ways behind. We have to continueto chart a new course.

Things are moving quickly out there. There is a real worldout there economically, socially, politically, that is changingin virtually every sector of the world, every sector of ourcountry, and it is more obvious than ever that we have to beinnovative, that we have to be flexible, and that we have to beadaptable to meet the challenges of that rapidly changing world.

The real face of change, I think, is underlined by an examplethat I think we can all relate to. When we held our lastprovincial election in 1990, the Soviet Union was the largestcountry in the world, and Communism still was reigning out therein Eastern Europe. In 1991, when I was in Kiev and Moscow ontrade missions, we were dealing directly with Ukrainian andRussian leaders, government officials working together. By 1992the Soviet Union is already extinct. Manitoba companies are nowdealing directly with organizations, companies that have been setup, joint ventures in Ukraine and in other areas of theCommonwealth of Independent States.

Rapid global change has rendered all of the old assumptionsand traditional practices almost useless in this new age. Weneed to find new ways and new thinking to find solutions to theproblems that face us. Above all we have to be innovative, andthat was the principal message that was put forth by the Economicand Innovation Technology Council forum last month here in theprovince. It is the new reality. It is the climate in which allof us must compete. Government and the private sector, all of usmust strive and compete in that new reality if we are going toexcel.

I know that Manitobans can excel in this new world. I knowthat they will be able to build their future strong again as wego into a new millennium, and I am proud to say that Manitoba isat the forefront. When we were looking at opportunities, forinstance, in Eastern Europe we were the first Canadian provinceto sign a partnership agreement with Russia. We made substantialinroads in Ukraine and Russia. Last May, Industry, Trade andTourism sponsored a Doing Business in Ukraine and Russia seminar,and conducted trade opportunities and trade missions to thosecountries.

We have already Manitoba companies like Pollard Banknotesupplying lottery tickets into the new Commonwealth ofIndependent States. We have a Manitoba company, Central CanadianStructures, that has built one three‑star hotel in Leningrad anddesign work has begun on a new four‑star hotel for Leningrad. F.W. Sawatzky has completed its first project in Moscow, fivefloors, 18,000 square feet of office space for leasing. One ofour architectural firms, Smith Carter and partner is working on aresort hotel project in Yalta. We have an organization that wehave put together through I, T and T called Arctic bridge withRussia to further assist our private sector companies to gainwork over in Russia. Numerous other Manitoba companies andbusinesses are pursuing projects that I believe will create infuture millions of dollars of opportunities and jobs forManitobans.

Take the People's Republic of China; they are operating ontheir transition to what they call a socialist market economy.Now I am not sure what exactly that means, but I do know that itis looking more and more suspiciously like a competitive marketeconomy, and they are moving in steps gradually over a decade toget to a market economy such as we find in most areas of theworld.

Last month several of us were over there in the People'sRepublic of China with private sector people to meet withministerial level people from the ministry of commerce, ministryof energy, ministry of agriculture, ministry of foreign economicrelations and trade. Manitoba companies who have the experienceand the technology to tackle some of the biggest infrastructureinvestment projects that have ever taken place in that countryare very optimistic about their opportunities. Opportunities toget involved with things such as, of course, high‑voltage directcurrent transmission lines, grain handling, transportation,distribution and storage, $1 billion investment from the WorldBank, projects for feed mills that some are working on. Majorprojects, major opportunities. Good for Manitoba, good for ouremployment here.

In the U.K. in September, we met with companies who will beplacing $340 million worth of aerospace work with four Manitobacompanies over the next decade. Well, that is I think a veryimpressive risk.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

You can imagine my shock and disappointment when I found outthat the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) has been critical ofour efforts to foster this kind of investment in tradepromotion. You can imagine how shocked I was when the Leader ofthe Opposition said I was spending too much time out of theprovince, that this was not good for Manitoba to be stimulatingthis kind of investment and trade and job creation opportunityfor Manitobans.

Mr. Speaker, while he was here poor‑mouthing Manitoba andwringing his hands, I was out there with dedicated Manitobansworking to stimulate investment, working to stimulate jobcreation and economic development opportunities for Manitoba.

I will go anywhere in the world to promote opportunities forManitoba. Anytime it means investment, job creation, tradeopportunities for Manitobans, I will go there, every time.

Mr. Speaker, you know, in his supercilious way, the memberfor Dauphin (Mr. Plohman) makes comments about who representsManitoba. I will just quote from some letters that we got fromthe people who were with us: Dear Mr. Premier: It was apersonal pleasure being a part of the official Manitobadelegation to Hong Kong and Beijing. The fact that we were ableto meet with the ministry of foreign economic relations in trade,commerce and agriculture department officials was most valuableto Feed‑Rite and Agri‑Tec. The discussions with CITIC, that isthe China International Trade and Investment Corporation, and theBank of China were very timely for me in Shanghai. He goes on totell about the opportunities that have evolved as a result ofthat and some pretty major opportunities for his company as aresult of that.

The next one: On behalf of the Agri‑Tec businessmen, I wouldlike to thank you for inviting us to accompany you to China.Premiers open doors that are difficult to access as abusinessman. Equally important, the people we see in the normalcourse of business are aware that we have met with theirsuperiors as members of the Manitoba Premier's delegation.Following your official meetings, Agri‑Tec met with variousgovernment agencies and organizations. They were all aware ofthe high‑level Manitoba government visit and interested in theManitoba trade objectives.

Mr. Speaker, these are real opportunities that are beingcreated, and they are not the kind of thing, the cheap, two‑bitkind of criticism that we are being given by the New DemocraticParty, and I have to tell you that it is interesting that hiscolleagues who are in government are all over there. Bob Rae wasin Japan for the second time in six months‑‑second time in sixmonths‑‑when we were there.

Mr. Speaker, they were all over there because they know thatthere are opportunities for business and for expansion of theireconomies, and they believe in that, but it is only a NewDemocrat Leader of the Opposition who does not live in the realworld, who can get away with that kind of cheap, two-bit criticism‑‑cheap, two-bit criticism.

* (1710)

 

Our government has been preparing for and coping withchange. For example, even in Japan, in our traditionally strongagricultural sector, the areas of trade goals for Manitoba todayand in the future are not in the traditional area of wheat sales,for instance. What are we selling over there? New, specialtyinnovative agricultural products aimed at niche markets. Grassseed, bird seed, pheasant, goose, turkey, honey, buckwheat, allsorts of diversified products that did not even exist as a market10 years ago are the markets of today, and you have to be therein order to do the work to establish those markets for ourproducers and suppliers.

Today, you can find made‑in‑Manitoba products like books andpressure‑treated lattice wood panels; thermopane windows rightacross the United States, new markets that have opened up even inthe past few years; silk blouses at Saks Fifth Avenue in NewYork; lottery tickets being sold in Spain; busses in SanFrancisco; french fries at all of the McDonald's outlets inTokyo; Wrangler and Calvin Klein jeans in Vancouver andMontreal. The Chameleon computer software system that enablesconsumers as far away as Australia to view accurate coloursimulations of home decorating products was introduced byManitobans.

The international cosmetics giant Estee Lauder is using astheir point‑of‑purchase sale computer software, software that wasdeveloped by a Winnipeg firm. In Las Vegas and Ft. Lauderdale,the people who ride these vehicles that give out parking tickets,those three‑wheel vehicles that the parking wardens are drivingin Las Vegas and Ft. Lauderdale are made in Manitoba.

Those are opportunities that were not there a decade ago.Those are new markets in niche areas that Manitobans are able tofulfill and succeed in. These are positive stories that younever, ever hear from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer) orhis colleagues. They never want to get actively involved inhelping Manitobans to build stronger.

Manitobans, I believe, are looking to their government, totheir representatives in government. They are looking to all ofus to do whatever we can to get our economy growing again. It isthe No. 1 priority for Manitobans, and they do not want to havesomebody out there with negative messages carping andcomplaining, doom and gloom, cheap shots. They want somebody outthere rolling up their sleeves and working to create a betterenvironment. That is what they want.

That is what this throne speech is all about. It is about avision for a stronger economic base for Manitoba. It putstogether key elements of a plan to achieve that stronger economicbase. We are going to continue to build on some of the recentinnovations that we have brought forward, like the EconomicDevelopment Board, that allows us to co‑ordinate all of theeconomic development activities of government under onestructure; like the Rural Grow Bonds that have resulted in newand innovative opportunities for growth in rural Manitoba, newbusinesses created as a result of it; the Crocus Fund, a labour‑sponsored capital investment fund that again gives usanother opportunity to gather together risk and venture capitalto build this province strong; the Vision Capital Fund, yetanother opportunity for venture capital in this province; theMineral Exploration Incentive Program.

Tax initiatives and credits in mining have created newopportunities and stimulated exploration and development that hasnot been seen in this province for decades. It has not been seensince the early '70s, when the Schreyer government brought inpunitive taxation rates on mining and royalties in thisprovince. Finally we are getting firms from as far away asAustralia who have not been here for decades investing inexploration and development.

Mr. Speaker, here is an article from The Northern Miner. Thetitle is: NDP killing mining. It goes on to say that thehardest hit provinces for investment in mining are Ontario andBritish Columbia because of their new approach to mining which ismore taxes and more disincentives for mining. It goes on to saythat Manitoba is putting out the welcome mat for miningexploration development. The province's new approach is bound topay off, it says.

Here are some more quotes that were said about theinitiatives that were brought forward by the Minister of Energyand Mines, the former Minister of Energy and Mines, and theMinister of Finance in the course of the last two budgets.

Headline in The Northern Miner: Manitoba revives mining;headline in The Financial Post: Manitoba gives mining a boost.Analysis from Loewen Ondaatje McCutcheon, who are a brokeragefirm: Mining taxation in Manitoba, a significant positivedevelopment. In an extremely bold move, one province is going against the trend‑‑Manitoba. We regard the fiscal stance takenin Manitoba as evolutionary and very beneficial to the long‑termhealth of the mining industry in Canada.

Another quote, from the president of Noranda Exploration:Manitoba woos mineral exploration with grants, tax holiday forstart‑ups. It is going to have a major effect when we comearound to allocating our funding for projects, he said.

Look at more things that are being said about our mining.From an article in The Northern Miner: But the provinces, or atleast some of them, are also learning that they have to competeto attract capital to make those mines. In that sense,Manitoba's efforts are particularly enlightened. The changes ithas implemented will make it even more attractive when comparedwith British Columbia, Ontario or Saskatchewan. So whencompanies are targeting their limited exploration budgets thesedays, Manitoba may get some of the attention it deserves. Thatis another article from The Northern Miner.

We will continue to improve the way that our government doesbusiness. We will continue to upgrade all of the programs thatwe have for attracting investment and job creation.

Mr. Speaker, I want to just take a moment, while I am on thetopic of change, to say a few words about the recent announcementby the Leader of the Liberal Party, the member for River Heights(Mrs. Carstairs). Certainly the Leader of the Liberal Party andI have had our share of disagreements over many issues over thepast years. But I respect her dedication to the democraticprocess, and I want to say that on the record publicly.

The member for River Heights has often been, I believe, agood example of opposition, contribution and responsibility. Herenthusiasm and her constructive suggestions, as Liberal Leader,have been a welcome addition to this legislative Chamber when alltoo often we have heard nothing but negative doom and gloom. Wehave often been pleased to accept some of her suggestions andideas because I think they, for the most part, have come from agenuine concern for the people of this province. I certainlycompliment her, and in her resigning her position as LiberalLeader, I think that she has made a personal choice which I canunderstand and accept, and I wish her well in all that she does,Mr. Speaker.

I think her resignation and her leaving that role leaves agreat vacuum there, because we certainly do not get anyleadership out of the official opposition in terms of theircriticisms. They make these vacuous criticisms, such as theLeader of the Opposition is making a big fuss these days about anincrease in Autopac rates, and he is saying that compared toinflation, they are a terribly big increase. Well, of course,you cannot compare them to inflation because what has changed isthe increase in claims, and the increase in claims, despite lowinflation, has gone up 16.5 percent because of court awards fordamage, bodily injury damages. It has absolutely nothing to dowith inflation when courts are giving huge increases of 16.5percent on the claims, Mr. Speaker.

It is absolutely foolish that we see these kinds of‑‑and youknow the theatrics that the member for Concordia (Mr. Doer) goesthrough to try and attract attention and to try and portrayhimself as something, to try and sneak out a clip and to try andplant a seed in the minds of the media.

* (1720)

 

We saw, for instance, the member for Concordia go out afterthe throne speech, and media people told me that four times inabout a three‑minute scrum he tried to compare me to GeorgeBush. Of course, he thought that somebody out there might makethe connection and say, well, then, he must be Bill Clinton. Ihave to admit that I am no George Bush, but he sure as heck is noBill Clinton either, I will tell you that.

I have to talk a little bit more about his capability as anopposition. The effectiveness of the Leader of the Opposition, Ithink, was shown by an ad that appeared in the Winnipeg FreePress. They said: In the Legislature there is the Premier, thecabinet, the official opposition and the second opposition party,and then there is legislative reporter Donald Campbell, the realopposition.

That advertisement may say something about the state of thecraft of journalism in today's world, but I believe it says awhole lot more about the sorry state of the opposition benches inour Legislature.

I understand, as a matter of fact, that the member forConcordia (Mr. Doer) has now joined the legislative press galleryhockey team. Did I hear that correctly? He is playing for thelegislative press gallery hockey team? Well, Mr. Speaker, I wastold that the member for Concordia has joined the hockey team ofthe legislative press gallery, and even there he plays secondstring.

I just want to make one point here as I draw to a conclusionabout some of the contributions that have been made by membersopposite. I found particularly offensive a comment that was madeby the member for Radisson (Ms. Cerilli). This is the quote thatwas in her remarks, and I quote: I hate to say it, but when Ilook across at the benches opposite, I see a bunch of old whiteguys. That is the majority of the impression that I am facedwith on a daily basis.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed, I might say, in themedia for not picking up on that, because if that statement hadbeen made by a member on this side of the House, or if thatstatement and the adjective in it had been any other race orcolour, there would have been a charge to the Human RightsCommission for that statement, because we in this province andevery other province in Canada do not allow discrimination as toage, as to colour or as to gender. That comment is a raciststatement which discriminates on all three.

The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Doer), of course, loves toplay this kind of politics of division, this kind of politics ofracism. His member for Radisson (Ms. Cerilli) ought to be notonly disciplined, but ought to be ashamed of herself for thatkind of offensive statement. I truly regret that we have amember in this House who has that integrity and those ethics.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to add a few remarks about thethings that Manitobans can be proud of. One of them is that thisgovernment in five straight budgets has not increased taxes.That is no increase in personal taxes, no increase in corporatetaxes and no increase in the retail sales tax. As well as doingthat, we have controlled our provincial deficit.

In all of those things, we have also been able to continuefunding to Health, Education and Family Services by significantincreases beyond inflation. As a matter of fact, in reviewingthe proportion of our budget that is spent on Health, Educationand Family Services, it is greater today than it ever was underthe New Democrats in government‑‑greater than it ever was inthose days.

I believe that those are things that Manitobans can be proudof. No matter what the member for Concordia (Mr. Doer) says, hecannot change the facts. We are working with Manitobans tocreate a stronger Manitoba, and our approach is working. Privatecapital investment is up 8.9 percent this year over last year inManitoba. That is the best performance of all provinces.

Manitoba is one of only three provinces to record a declinein business bankruptcies in 1992. The Conference Board of Canadasaid that Manitoba's real gross domestic product growth for 1992will be tied for second best in the country. Our unemploymentrate is the second best in Canada. Winnipeg is the least costlycity in Canada in order to start a light manufacturing business.Stats Canada had said that Manitoba is expected to have thesecond largest increase in total capital investment of anyprovince in Canada this year.

We are ranked No. 1 in manufacturing investment intentions,ranked No. 1 in private capital investment intentions.

There is tremendous change going on in the world, but thereis also tremendous opportunity. The simple reality is that thereis no easy solution to Manitoba's economic and socialchallenges. If there were, it would have been used a long timeago. Every world leader would have taken that magic solution ifthere had been one available.

I believe that as time goes on more and more Manitobansrecognize that fact. There is no easy solution, and althoughthey want to hear good news, I believe Manitobans above all wantto hear the truth. Good or bad, they just want to know wherethey stand and who will stand with them through good times andbad, and that is this government.

We have a skilled and productive work force, the mostproductive agricultural land in the west, abundant mineral andforestry resources, the cheapest hydroelectricity in NorthAmerica, and an ideal location in the centre of North America, aswell as forward‑looking economic policies.

We have taken a positive approach to government. I say toyou that, no matter how fast the world changes today, we have tobe prepared for success just the same way that we have been doingin the past. Each of us has to look for our strengths in our ownregions and our own communities, and turn those strengths intoproducts and services that the world needs and opportunities forManitobans. Throughout our history, our greatest achievementshave been based on hard work and determination to succeed againstall odds. It is the thread that binds all Manitobans and uponwhich Canadians have built one of the greatest nations in theworld.

Mr. Speaker, believing in ourselves, believing that we cansucceed, believing that we can be the best is the first steptoward being the best. I believe in Manitoba. I am proud to bea Manitoban. I am proud of the work of all Manitobans throughouthistory. I am proud of where we have come from. I am proud ofwhere we are going. We live in a wonderful province in a greatnation.

 

* (1730)

 

I invite all Manitobans to work with us to make this provinceof ours even greater. I will be voting in support of the thronespeech, and I invite all members of the House to join me in thatsupport, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to Rule 35(4), I am interrupting theproceedings in order to put the question on the motion of thehonourable member for Seine River (Mrs. Dacquay), that is, for anaddress to the honourable Administrator in answer to his speechat the opening of this session.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Some Honourable Members: Nay.

Mr. Speaker: No. All those in favour of the motion, please sayyea.

Some Honourable Members: Yea.

Mr. Speaker: All those opposed, please say nay.

Some Honourable Members: Nay.

Mr. Speaker: In my opinion, the Yeas have it.

Mr. Doug Martindale (Burrows): On division, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: On division.

Is it the will of the House to call it six o'clock? The hourbeing 6 p.m., this House now adjourns and stands adjourned until1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).