Thursday, March 18, 1993


The House met at 1:30 p.m.








Mr. Jack Reimer (Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Utilities and Natural Resources):  Mr. Speaker, I beg to present the Second Report of the Standing Committee on Public Utilities and Natural Resources.

Mr. Clerk (William Remnant):  Your Standing Committee on Public Utilities and Natural Resources presents the following as its Second Report:

      Your committee met on Tuesday, March 2, 1993, Tuesday, March 9, 1993, and Tuesday, March 16, 1993, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 255 of the Legislative Building to consider the Annual Report of the Manitoba Hydro‑Electric Board for the year ended March 31, 1992.

      Mr. John McCallum, chairperson, Manitoba Hydro‑Electric Board, and Mr. Robert Brennan, president and chief executive officer, Manitoba Hydro, provided such information as was requested with respect to the Annual Report and business of the Manitoba Hydro‑Electric Board.

      Your committee has considered the Annual Report of the Manitoba Hydro‑Electric Board for the year ended March 31, 1992, and has adopted the same as presented.

Mr. Reimer:  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Pallister), that the report of the committee be received.

Motion agreed to.





Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the Supplementary Information for Legislative Review for the Department of Family Services.

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table the Annual Report for 1991‑1992 for Centre Culturel Franco‑Manitobain.


Introduction of Guests


Mr. Speaker:  Prior to Oral Questions, may I direct the attention of honourable members to the gallery, where we have with us this afternoon from the Neepawa Area Collegiate, forty‑four Grade 9 students under the direction of Mr. Bob Ferguson.  This school is located in the constituency of the honourable Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings).

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




Student Social Allowance Program

Student Statistics


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  My question is to the First Minister.

      Mr. Speaker, this week we have been asking a number of questions to the Premier on the long‑term economic impact of the cutbacks in the student social allowance provisions that are in the province of Manitoba, cutbacks that we believe are affecting the most vulnerable people in our society and will have long‑term negative impact on Manitobans and on the Manitoba economy. Yesterday, the Conservative government answered a question in this House, in its evasive way, by stating that many of these young people live at home with their parents and therefore could continue their education living at home.

      Mr. Speaker, this is a serious, serious issue for at least a thousand Manitobans.  The quote is:  For many of these young people who are trying to finish their high school, they can remain at home with their parents.  Others can access other support programs.

      I would like to ask the Premier (Mr. Filmon):  How many students are affected?  How many of these students can live at home, based on the government's analysis, and how many students will be cut off of their educational opportunities with the decision that has been made by the government?

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Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, the member asked the other day how many students are involved in the program at this time.  Just over 1,100 students are on student social allowance, again, a program unique to Manitoba, a program that is not offered in any other jurisdiction in Canada.  I would like to correct the member.  I indicated that one of the options for a number of young people who have turned 18 or 19, who are returning to take their high school education, I indicated one of their alternatives, for some of them, would be to live at home with their parents.  Others who perhaps have other circumstances will have to be involved in finding other solutions to that situation.


Alternative Programs


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier (Mr. Filmon) what other solutions he has to a person named Mrs. Neufeld.  The Premier makes the decisions.  He should be willing to stand up in this House and justify his decision.  I am sick and tired of asking questions.

      Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier:  What is he saying to Mrs. Neufeld, a 24‑year‑old parent of a one‑and‑a‑half‑year‑old girl, who is married to a person who is also going to the Adult Education Centre and is receiving assistance as full‑time students under the student social assistance program?  They want the opportunity of an education.  They feel it is the only way they can get on their feet.  We must have an education for our future.  It is not a luxury; it is a necessity for us to have a meaningful occupation.  This budget has been a gigantic ripple effect.  We are people with lives, not numbers.

      What answer does this Premier have to that person, where the Minister of Family Services has not given us any alternatives, any options for those people so they can get a living, have some dignity and have a future rather than have despair under the Tory government?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, we have many thousands and thousands of students in Manitoba who are aged 18 to 24, where most of these students fit in, who access this unique program in Manitoba, one again that I would mention that other provinces do not provide for students. There is assistance in other forms for them to continue their education.  The profile of a number of these is that they are young 18‑ and 19‑ and 20‑year‑olds.  I have indicated that there are other options for them.  One of the options is to remain at home with their parents and complete their high school education.

      Many students work on a part‑time basis and pursue education at the same time.  For those who need to rely on the safety net offered by this department, there are other options that they can access.


Funding Elimination Impact


Mr. Gary Doer (Leader of the Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, the Premier did not answer the question.  The minister has not answered the question.  He did not answer the question yesterday; he did not answer the question the day before.

      We are asking:  How many people are impacted, and what is the long‑term economic impact on these people?  What options do they have with the government cutback?

      These are two parents with a one‑and‑a‑half‑year‑old child, Mrs. Neufeld writes in a letter, which I will table to the minister.  There is a human face to these whimsical Conservative decisions that are affecting the most vulnerable people in our society. [interjection]

      Well, Mr. Speaker, if we could get some specific answers, we could start debating the government.

      Everyone says to us, stay in school‑‑[interjection] Well, if the Deputy Premier (Mr. Downey) wants to answer, it would be the first time we ever received an answer in this House‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Mr. Doer:  Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Neufeld says in her letter today‑‑which I will table for the government to see the human face of their decisions‑‑everyone says "stay in school," "no education, no job;" then they cut the very means of support for people taking that advice.  It is not fair.

      Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Premier (Mr. Filmon):  What long‑term economic advantage is this for the people of Manitoba, for those thousand people who are affected by this decision? What is the long‑term impact with people not having an education, not having an opportunity and not having hope in our great province of Manitoba?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition indicates that he has not been able to get information.  I have indicated today quite clearly, there are just over 1,100 students who are accessing this program which will come to an end at the end of June.

      The member refers to budget decisions as whimsical decisions.  I would ask the member to realize what is happening across this country, at the federal level, at the provincial level in every province in this country, where there are huge deficits, that everybody is having to make decisions regarding these deficits.  These are not whimsical decisions.  These are very serious decisions.


Workforce 2000 Grant Criteria


Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Mr. Speaker, this government's commitment to education has been shown in so many ways:  $7 million from the community colleges, a $2‑million clawback and then a rollback to universities, cuts to school boards, cuts to daycare and finally the elimination of the student social allowances program.  The only new initiative we have seen from this government has been Workforce 2000, grants to the private sector to employ and train existing employees.

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      I would like the Minister of Education to explain how she justifies the provision of grants for training to, for example, Wardrop Engineering for 34 people to be trained at a rate of $625 an hour, to Canadian National Building Materials for 24 people to be trained at a rate of $527 per hour, or even, for example, Glendale Golf and Country Club for 30 people to be trained at $177 an hour.  Does the minister have any justification for the high cost of this training when any one of those $10,000 grants would have kept two young Manitobans in school for a whole year?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr. Speaker, my honourable friend does not seem to understand the purpose of Workforce 2000.  The purpose of Workforce 2000 is to assist people who are currently working to be upgraded in their skills and allow their small business also to be upgraded, as well as larger corporations.  I think that the honourable member should know that Workforce 2000 deals with small business people as well as larger, and it is a cost‑shared program.

Ms. Friesen:  The fact that it is a cost‑shared program means that the numbers I quoted were low.  They could be double and triple that.

      I would like to ask the minister:  Would she acknowledge that the Workforce 2000 grant of over $8,000 to a printing company to train their employees was intended to enable them to take the jobs of the 59 Queen's Printer workers whom her government fired?

Ms. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, I would like to start with the statistics that the honourable member raises because frankly I put those into doubt.  She continually raises a series of statistics and statements when she starts her questions, and they have not always been accurate.  She said the other day that Saskatchewan had no differentiation in tuition fees.  That is wrong‑‑for visa students.  So, I have to say that the credibility of that member as she states statistics needs to be questioned. Then, in relation to programs where corporations, companies and small businesses have met the criteria for Workforce 2000, they have assisted those employees to remain employed and the company to become more productive.


Workforce 2000

Dave's Quick Print


Ms. Jean Friesen (Wolseley):  Mr. Speaker, my question was quite simple.  Did Dave's Quick Print receive a grant from Workforce 2000 of $8,000, and did Dave's Quick Print receive the jobs that the 59 people who were fired by this government from the Queen's Printer had to give up at the insistence of this government?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister of Culture, Heritage and Citizenship):  Mr. Speaker, again, the preamble from the member opposite is absolutely wrong.

      There were 59 employees in the Queen's Printer, and in fact, there will be somewhat less within government, but we are finding out that within the private sector, all of those different companies that have tendered and have been successful indeed for getting government business will be providing that service at approximately 1.6 cents per copy when it was costing government 5 cents per copy.

      Obviously, members of the opposition would rather have inefficiencies within government and waste and mismanagement than having government dollars spent on the priorities of health, education and social services.


Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report

Government Commitment


Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

      Mr. Speaker, this week the government cut funding to 11 native friendship centres.  I want to ask the Minister of Justice about those cuts in the context of his responsibility for aboriginal justice in this province.

      For three years he and his colleagues gave promises that the AJI report would be respected, and they could hardly wait for the report to come out.  They spent three years, $3 million singing the praises of that commission.  That report, when it came down, specifically called for‑‑[interjection] Mr. Speaker, for the edification of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns), the fact is that the Minister of Justice spent three years telling us that he would respect the decisions of that‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member for St. James with your question, please.

Mr. Edwards:  Mr. Speaker, will the minister acknowledge now that this government has absolutely no intention, never had and will not have, of complying with the spirit and intent of the AJI which called specifically for increases in organizations that brought the native and non‑native‑‑

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

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Hon. James McCrae (Minister of Justice and Attorney General): Mr. Speaker, the question and the speech that preceded it raise a number of inaccuracies.  I think the honourable member was saying that before we even received the report from the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, this government was binding itself to each and every recommendation.  That has never happened, and the honourable member knows that.

      With respect to certain key recommendations in that report, the recommendation of separate systems of justice, for example, we have been very clear.  We reject that recommendation.  We have been repeatedly clear on that point.

      Instead, we hoped to have the assistance of the aboriginal leadership of this province in putting into motion a number of initiatives that would vastly improve the justice system as it pertains to aboriginal people.  We have not had the co‑operation that we have needed, but that has not stopped us, Mr. Speaker, as you will find out when I give my answer to the next question.

Mr. Edwards:  This minister has never given that report the time of day.  Every member of this House, every member of the native community and everyone in this province knows that, Mr. Speaker.


Aboriginal Friendship Centres

Funding Elimination Justification


Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Again for the minister, Mr. Speaker.

      Can the minister indicate whether or not he took into account, his government took into account, the December 1990 report on native friendship centres in this province which specifically indicated the success of these centres in their tasks, indicated that they had met and exceeded the expectations?  On what basis did this government cut funding to eleven native friendship centres?

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, the member has to be aware that across this country many institutions, organizations and governments are looking at the way they do business, restructuring, having to do with less.

      We have made some very, very difficult decisions in regard to the friendship centres.  The province is responsible for a little less than 13 percent of their global budget of all the friendship centres.

      Friendship centres, with the remaining almost 90 percent of their budgets, will have the ability to carry on the majority of the work that they had done in the past.  The boards of those centres will have to make some difficult decisions about what programs they adjust within their centres and what they carry forth with.


Meeting Request


Mr. Paul Edwards (St. James):  Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Family Services then.

      Did the Minister of Family Services do what this report recommended at page 28 and get together with the people who are running these friendship centres so that the government might better understand what they did?

      The comment at page 26 of that report was specifically:  The report group concluded that the government had no understanding of the accomplishments of friendship centres and the struggle of the majority of the membership, and that the government had a lack of belief in the whole concept of friendship centres.

      Did the government take the friendship centres up on their offer to sit down and discuss the merits‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Hon. Harold Gilleshammer (Minister of Family Services):  Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member for St. James that we have met with the umbrella group from the friendship centres.  Within the past few months, I had the opportunity to visit one of the friendship centres in Portage la Prairie.

      Again, I would point out to him that these are very difficult times, as we look at budgetary deliberations at the municipal level, that other governments across this land are going through making very tough decisions.

      I can assure the member that we looked carefully at the annual reports that are brought forward by the friendship centres prior to us making this decision.

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Student Social Allowance Program

Funding Elimination Impact


Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (St. Johns):  The Premier (Mr. Filmon) will now have seen the letter from Shirley Neufeld and realized the human impact of a devastating cutback in the form of the student social allowance program.

      Hundreds of other students are writing, students like Claudette Lacroix, who says:  Student social allowance is my only means of support.  I have been trying to improve my education so I can get a better job, so I can get off welfare.

      People like Hung Nguyen, who says:  Please do not hurt us. Do not cut our only lifesaver.  After school, we are sure to‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member for St. Johns with her question.

Ms. Wasylycia-Leis:  My question to the Premier is:  Does he now realize the impact of his devastating decision in terms of cutting the student social allowance program?  Does he not realize that not investing now in people's education and training will only cost us much more dearly in the future?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Mr. Speaker, what I do recognize is that nine other provincial governments in this country have found that they were not able to support such a program within their budgetary means, that nine other provinces, in looking at their priorities‑‑three of them being New Democratic‑‑could not see their way clear to supporting such a program.

      What I do realize, Mr. Speaker, from looking at the issues that are being dealt with, very difficult issues by people right across this country and indeed in every civilized country in the world, is that programs that were brought into place in the '70s and the '80s may no longer be sustainable in the '90s when we are left with a debt legacy from the previous administration that causes us‑‑that built in place‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Grant Devine over there.

Mr. Filmon:  Mr. Speaker, Grant Devine was not in this province, but Howard Pawley and Gary Doer were.  They are the ones who built in the debt base that we inherited at a rate of $450 million of annual interest costs.  That is what it cost us for their spending in their years in government.  That $450 million is not available to be spent on programs such as this.

      Mr. Speaker, it is very, very difficult for us to be able to make ends meet, to be able to spend the money on these programs that are found to be unsustainable by every other province in the country.


Funding Elimination Justification


Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (St. Johns):  Mr. Speaker, it was the Premier of Manitoba who said just a few months ago, education and training are the keys that unlock a world of opportunity.

      Mr. Speaker, how can the minister, the Premier and this entire government now justify cutting the student social allowance program, which in effect means taking away the key from the door of opportunity‑‑not only that, it means throwing away the key of opportunity‑‑for hundreds of students in the province of Manitoba?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Mr. Speaker, I repeat, because the member for St. Johns has difficulty understanding.  The fact of the matter is that nine other provinces have said that this program is unaffordable to them, nine other provinces, including‑‑

Some Honourable Members:  Oh, oh.

Mr. Filmon:  Mr. Speaker, I would ask the members to give me the courtesy of listening to my response.  I listened to their question.  I am up to try and respond to it.  If they do not want to hear the response, they should not ask the question.

      Nine other provinces, including‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.


Alternative Programs


Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (St. Johns):  Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Premier what alternatives he is offering, what other programs are available to people like Sherry Wurtz who writes:  I left my home, my family and my friends just to come to the city and fulfill my dream.  With one stroke of the pen, the government has destroyed the chance of living my dream.  I cannot help thinking, hoping and praying that some way, somehow I did not come all this way just for it to end here.  What is the answer to Sherry and‑‑

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

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Mr. Speaker, the response is that nine other provinces, including three New Democratic provinces, cannot afford to fund this kind of program.  However commendable it may be, this program is one of many programs that we have to look at and say, there is no longer enough money to pay the interest on the debt that was accumulated, over $450 million of it as a result of expenditures by New Democratic administrations, no longer available for us to pay for this program.

      We cannot, regrettably, afford many of the things that were sustainable in the '70s and the '80s that are not sustainable now.

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Sunday Shopping

Rural Consultations


Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  Mr. Speaker, when this government unilaterally introduced Sunday shopping, they promised rural Manitobans that they would have a voice in assessing the impacts of this initiative on them.

      Mr. Speaker, we are getting letters and calls from councillors, Chambers of Commerce, all residents, business people in rural Manitoba wanting some assurance that they are going to have a voice in expressing their views, a voice in this decision.

      Will the Premier make a commitment to these people that they will be heard before the government makes a decision on the future of this initiative?

Hon. James Downey (Acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism):  Mr. Speaker, before the government embarked upon this issue that the member refers to‑‑there is a trial period that has been established to determine the results of such an activity as Sunday shopping in Manitoba.  The results of that program will be reviewed.

      There will be, as normal, an opportunity for all Manitobans to participate before a committee of the Legislature at the Legislative Building to make their thoughts known when any legislation of that nature is brought forward.


Standing Committee Referral


Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  Mr. Speaker, the time line is running out.  There are not only concerns from business people, there are concerns from church people who have a concern about the legality of this program.  When is this going to happen? When is their voice going to be heard?

Hon. James Downey (Acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism):  Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, when legislation or any activity is taking place by this Legislature, there is an opportunity for any and all Manitobans to bring their thoughts forward between a committee of all members of the Legislature.

      It would be helpful, and I am certainly not pointing any fingers at the official opposition, but it would be helpful to get on with the business of the Legislature, doing Estimates, debating some of those things that the people of Manitoba have expected us to come here to do.


Sunday Shopping

Government Analysis


Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  Mr. Speaker, there is no reason why this government cannot call this committee and hear what the people are saying.

      I want to ask the Premier:  Have they done the studies?  Have they done any assessment of all of this, and is there any information available on the real impact, because this is destroying business in rural Manitoba?  What assessment have you done on this?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  The answers to that are yes, yes and yes, Mr. Speaker.


Multicultural Community Politicization


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, the Manitoba Intercultural Council has provided for all Manitobans, through elected representatives from all the different ethnic communities, many positive things.  I just go back to the report that they had tabled a while back dealing with combatting racism as one of those things in which the minister herself even said that it was a good document.

      The government has decided to take away the funding from MIC, yet on the other hand, it finds the resources in which to go into the politicization of multiculturalism.

      My question to the minister, and I will make it as simple as possible, and that is:  How does the minister justify cutting back on the Manitoba Intercultural Council while at the same time having resources going to the politicization of multiculturalism in the province of Manitoba?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism):  I have heard the critic from the Liberal Party on several occasions in this House even bring forward private member's bills, Mr. Speaker, in order to have government remove governmental supposed interference with the Manitoba Intercultural Council.

      Mr. Speaker, we had legislation here that both opposition parties spoke in favour of that did exactly what is happening today.  That is, in fact, removing the heavy hand of government from a community organization that should have the ability to elect its own members and indeed set its own role and mandate, hire its own staff and serve the community that it is elected to serve.

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Manitoba Multiculturalism Act

Manitoba Intercultural Council


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, the government said that they followed what the Liberals were saying.  We were saying to take away the political appointments, to stop hiring the executive assistant from the Manitoba Intercultural Council.  We do not want‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  Question, please.

Mr. Lamoureux:  ‑‑what the Premier (Mr. Filmon) wants, and that is MIC to die.  He has taken away the whole thing.  Mr. Speaker, that is not what the Liberals were suggesting‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  This is not a time for debate.  The honourable member for Inkster with your question, please.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Mr. Speaker, I am suggesting to the government that they be responsible and not politicize the multicultural community, and that is in fact what they are doing.

      My question to the minister is:  Can the minister tell this House if she has any plans on incorporating MIC or any other organization such as MIC into the multicultural act, like we had suggested in June of last year?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism):  Mr. Speaker, unlike the critic for the Liberal Party, I have every confidence in the multicultural community in this great province of ours, Manitoba, in fact to continue with the Manitoba Intercultural Council, which is completely controlled by that community, so that they can set their own role and their mandate and deliver the kinds of services that the multicultural community has become accustomed to having.


Manitoba Intercultural Council

Alternative Organizations


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is‑‑she will try to justify her actions by saying that she is giving back to the multicultural community their own independence.  She cannot justify the actions that she is doing and what she is doing within the multicultural community, given the appointments that she has made.

      My question to the minister is:  Is there any commitment from this government to a nonpolitical, apolitical organization that will do the types of things that MIC did in the past?

Hon. Bonnie Mitchelson (Minister responsible for Multiculturalism):  Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to the entire multicultural community.  We provide assistance and work together very effectively with many, many community organizations to try and attempt to address their needs through government programs and other activities that are ongoing.  We will continue to do that.  We will work with and meet with anyone who makes that request, and we will reach out into the community to try to support all Manitobans.


Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation

Road Maintenance


Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister responsible for the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation, which lost, I note, $14 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

      Mr. Speaker, the City of Winnipeg, due to funding cuts, has reduced the maintenance and repair of city roads.  Indeed there were many accidents due to ice and snow that had not been removed.

      I ask the minister:  Did the minister and his colleagues raise concerns with the City of Winnipeg over the impact on MPIC of this cut in road maintenance?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister charged with the administration of The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act):  Mr. Speaker, I am not exactly sure where this question is leading, but I believe the member is asking for people to pay for city street maintenance out of their Autopac premiums, and I do not agree.

Some Honourable Members:  Oh, oh.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  They have it totally reversed.


Vehicle Safety Inspections


Mr. Leonard Evans (Brandon East):  Mr. Speaker, I have a question very directly for the Minister of MPIC.

      Since cutting vehicle safety inspections will result in more unsafe vehicles operating on the road, I want to ask the same minister:  Did the minister consult with his colleagues before cutting vehicle safety inspections by more than 80 percent?

Hon. Glen Cummings (Minister charged with the administration of The Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Act):  This is a very difficult situation, where the corporation is faced with rather large capital costs in order to put the equipment back on the road.  This is a pause in the volume of inspection, but a maintenance program is being carried on using the existing Autopac claims centre line.  The numbers, I believe, will be somewhat larger than what were indicated in the reports today.

Mr. Leonard Evans:  Very specifically, Mr. Speaker, why did this minister decide to increase brokers' fees by some $1 million this year instead of keeping car inspections at the same level as previous years?

Mr. Cummings:  Mr. Speaker, I think it is unfortunate that the member refers to students, because one of the things that we believe the corporation has to continue to put a high priority on is driver training, and those are the places where we want the dollars spent at this most critical time.


Education System Reform

Government Strategy


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  Mr. Speaker, the Manitoba Association of School Trustees are beginning their annual convention in Winnipeg today amid confusion and in total absence of leadership from this Minister of Education.  Confusion reigns supreme in this province as a result of this government's actions.  The only plan for reform from this minister seems to be cutbacks and intrusion into local decision making.  There is no plan for a reform of education as she likes to say.

      I want to say, Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that she received the task force report on education reform almost a year ago, will the Minister of Education now tell us what action she has taken on the task force report that was given to her almost a year ago?  Will she be outlining a plan of reform including goals, objectives and a plan to the trustees at their annual meeting?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr. Speaker, the member has his facts somewhat wrong.  The task force that reported to me was a task force on the reform of The Public Schools Act.  The Public Schools Act is a piece of legislation that provides authority for school divisions to do their work, for school trustees to do their work.  This was not the document on education reform.  This was a document on the reform of The Public Schools Act.

Mr. Plohman:  I just asked the minister if she is going to provide any direction, any plan for reform at the trustees' meeting this weekend.  She can surely answer that.

      As well, I want also to ask her today whether she will provide a listing of the local levies and the additional dollars that were needed by school divisions as projected by her department and herself when she announced the funding announcement in February, about a month ago, as well as the actual figures that were tabled with her as a result of the March 15 deadline that is passed now.

Mrs. Vodrey:  Mr. Speaker, to answer, will I be tabling to the trustees over this weekend a plan of reform, no, I will not, because reform is ongoing.  Reform is also a process of consultation which the member‑‑[interjection] Well, it sounds to me that this member would simply like to bring forward a plan and present it.

      In the throne speech, we did outline areas for reform and reform discussion areas such as a curriculum teaching practice and assessment.  Those are ongoing.  We are having discussions with the school trustees in addition to other partners in education, including the parents, Mr. Speaker, which I think is very important.

Mr. Plohman:  Their version of reform, Mr. Speaker, is neither new or innovative.  It is simply the Social Credit actions and cutbacks in education.

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member for Dauphin with your question, please.

Mr. Plohman:  That is all that happened in B.C.‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.                                                                  Mr. Plohman:  ‑‑and that is what they are following right now.


Education System

Professional Development Days


Mr. John Plohman (Dauphin):  I want to ask this minister:  In light of the fact that yesterday she is quoted as saying that she does not intend to roll back teachers' salaries, is this minister planning to bring in legislation that will eliminate the professional development days or turn the jurisdiction of those days over to school divisions?

Hon. Rosemary Vodrey (Minister of Education and Training):  Mr. Speaker, I would start by asking the member to listen to the information that will be coming from Saskatchewan later today, and I think he will find that very interesting.

      In addition to that‑‑well, he is very busy, I will answer when he asks his next question.


Health Care System

St. Boniface Area Services


Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  Mr. Speaker, over 18 months ago, home care and mental health services were moved out of St. Boniface community and moved downtown.  The Minister of Health promised concerned community groups on November 20, 1991, that the move was, and I quote:  I want to stress that this relocation is a temporary measure.

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      Mr. Speaker, yet a year and a half later their services are still outside of the French community.

      My question is to the minister:  If the Minister of Health is committed to community‑centred health care, can he tell this House when will these offices be relocated in the community in which they belong?

Hon. Donald Orchard (Minister of Health):  Mr. Speaker, I will provide my honourable friend with current information after I make inquiries to gain such.

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Speaker, my question is to the same minister. Winnipeg Region's space has been bogged down in the minister's department.  To effect efficiencies in housing staff, his senior staff need to be moved out of the ivory tower in Eaton Place, and they do not want to.

      Will the minister direct his staff to be flexible in their office location so that the front‑line health services can serve the community better?

Mr. Orchard:  We are always encouraging staff and the ministry across government, in our funded agencies, in school divisions, in universities and in all of the areas that we fund across government, to show greater flexibility in leadership.  My department is no exception, Sir.

Mr. Gaudry:  Mr. Speaker, the minister has indicated that he will supply me with the information, but is he prepared to table in the House the correspondence ensuring that the plans are proceeding to put home care and mental health care back into the St. Boniface community?

Mr. Orchard:  Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to my honourable friend, I will provide to him an update in terms of the scheduling, which ought to answer that last question.


Lynn Lake Friendship Centre Role


Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  My question is to the Premier. Yesterday in an interview, the Premier said the cuts that were announced by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) to the Flin Flon and Lynn Lake friendship centres and other groups, some 56 groups, were made because they were viewed as advocacy groups.

      My question is to the First Minister.  Given that he will have now received letters of support for the Lynn Lake Friendship Centre from the Kinsmen Club, from the LGD of Lynn Lake, which identified that the friendship centre in Lynn Lake had supported some 12,000 clients, from a hot lunch program for students to counselling for abused women and children, for alcoholism counselling, as well as a whole range of programs, will the First Minister now tell this House why the Lynn Lake Friendship Centre is an advocacy group and not a service provider?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Mr. Speaker, I will begin by saying that the preamble is inaccurate.  The question was not asked about specifically the Lynn Lake Friendship Centre.

      Mr. Storie:  I hope then that that leaves the Flin Flon and Lynn Lake Friendship Centres with some hope.


Funding Reinstatement


Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  Will he now acknowledge that they are not advocacy groups but service providers, and will he reinstate the grants, in particular, for those two friendship centres?

Hon. Gary Filmon (Premier):  Mr. Speaker, I will say this, that across the board, on average, the friendship centres' proportion of the budget that came from the provincial government last year was 13 percent, was not 100 percent.

      In addition to that, I will say that there was a whole variety of reasons why various programs were reduced in various ways.  He is speaking of specifically the Lynn Lake Friendship Centre and the proportion for‑‑[interjection] Let us talk about facts.  I mean the members opposite become embarrassed when they are challenged on the facts.  In Flin Flon the proportion was 9 percent.  The 1990‑91 revenues from right out of their annual report, it was 9 percent.

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


Committee Changes


Mr. Edward Helwer (Gimli):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the member for Portage la Prairie (Mr. Pallister), that the composition of the Standing Committee on Economic Development be amended as follows:  the member for Arthur‑Virden (Mr. Downey) for the member for Gimli (Mr. Helwer).

Mr. Speaker:  Agreed?  Agreed and so ordered.

Mr. George Hickes (Point Douglas):  I move, seconded by the member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk), that the composition of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts be amended as follows: Elmwood (Mr. Maloway) for Concordia (Mr. Doer).

      I move, seconded by the member for Swan River, that the composition of the Standing Committee on Rules of the House be amended as follows:  Burrows (Mr. Martindale) for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes).

Mr. Speaker:  Agreed?  Agreed and so ordered.


House Business


Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Mr. Speaker, before Orders of the Day, I would like to announce that the Standing Committee on Economic Development will meet on Tuesday, March 23, 1993, at 7:30 p.m. to consider the 1992 Annual Report of the Communities Economic Development Fund.

Mr. Speaker:  I would like to thank the honourable government House leader for that information.




      Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Mr. Speaker, would you call Bills 2, 3, 5 and 8.




Bill 2‑The Endangered Species Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns), Bill 2, The Endangered Species Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les especes en voie de disparition, standing in the name of the honourable member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 3‑The Oil and Gas and Consequential Amendments Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Energy and Mines (Mr. Downey), Bill 3, The Oil and Gas and Consequential Amendments Act; Loi concernant le petrole et le gaz naturel et apportant des modifications correlatives a d'autres lois, standing in the name of the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 5‑The Northern Affairs Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Northern and Native Affairs (Mr. Downey), Bill 5, The Northern Affairs Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les affaires du Nord, standing in the name of the honourable member for Radisson (Ms. Cerilli).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 8‑The Insurance Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh), Bill 8, The Insurance Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les assurances, standing in the name of the honourable member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]

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Mr. Speaker:  The honourable government House leader, what are your intentions now, sir?

Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Mr. Speaker, would you call Bills 10, 11, 12 and 13.


Bill 10‑The Farm Lands Ownership Amendment

and Consequential Amendments Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay), Bill 10, The Farm Lands Ownership Amendment and Consequential Amendments Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur la propriete agricole et apportant des modifications correlatives a d'autres lois, standing in the name of the honourable member for Point Douglas (Mr. Hickes).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 11‑‑The Regional Waste Management Authorities,

The Municipal Amendment and Consequential Amendments Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Rural Development (Mr. Derkach), Bill 11, The Regional Waste Management Authorities, The Municipal Amendment and Consequential Amendments Act; Loi concernant les offices regionaux de gestion des dechets, modifiant la Loi sur les municipalites et apportant des modifications correlatives a d'autres lois, standing in the name of the honourable member for Interlake (Mr. Clif Evans).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 12‑The International Trusts Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Justice (Mr. McCrae), Bill 12, The International Trusts Act; Loi sur les fiducies internationales, standing in the name of the honourable member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


      Bill 13‑The Manitoba Employee Ownership Fund Corporation Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism (Mr. Stefanson), Bill 13, The Manitoba Employee Ownership Fund Corporation Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi constituant en corporation le Fonds de participation des travailleurs du Manitoba, standing in the name of the honourable member for Flin Flon.

Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  Mr. Speaker, I am going to take a few moments to comment on this particular amendment and to, I guess, relay some concerns, not specifically with respect to the amendments but general concerns.

      Mr. Speaker, I recognized, after reading the minister's introduction in second reading to this legislation that many of the amendments here were of a minor nature and were actually addressed because of some wording changes that were required to facilitate the development of the Crocus Investment Fund.  No one in this Chamber would want to undermine the ability of the Crocus Investment Fund to do its job in Manitoba.

      We have been talking for a great deal of this session already about the need to invest in the province of Manitoba.  It is a little ironic, some five years after the idea of the Crocus Fund was first introduced by the NDP government, that we are now to the point where we are making some amendments, where we are seeing some announcements about the Crocus Investment Fund.  It will be some time yet, unfortunately, before there is actually any investment directly from the fund into some Manitoba venture, whether it is Manitoba small business, manufacturing business or perhaps some larger industrial project that will benefit the people of Manitoba.

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      Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate that it is sad, it is pathetic that it has taken this government some five years to put in place a mechanism to make sure that this kind of investment was possible.  It is equally sad that this government has failed on virtually every other investment strategy in the province of Manitoba.

      The government today and the Premier (Mr. Filmon) today talked about the need to reduce expenditures of government.  Who is the government attacking?  The government is attacking children.  The government is attacking families who are in crisis.  Mr. Speaker, the government is attacking northerners. The government today and the First Minister (Mr. Filmon) today refused to defend the cutting of funds for the Lynn Lake Friendship Centre, a centre that provides service to 12,000 clients over a period of a year, a service that is essential in the minds of the Lynn Lake residents, including the mayor and council of that community.

      This government has failed when it comes to investment in Manitoba.  Some month and a half ago, Mr. Speaker, the member for Brandon East (Mr. Leonard Evans) and I listed some 20 investment projects that this government initiated that have failed.  Some two years ago, two and a half years ago, the First Minister was at a press conference announcing that MacLeod Stedman was going to move its head office from Toronto to Winnipeg.  We were going to have 117 new jobs in the province of Manitoba.

      Mr. Speaker, there was never any such investment on the part of MacLeod Stedman.  Why?  Because the company that the Premier was negotiating with was heading to bankruptcy.  Not one of those promised 117 jobs ever showed up in Manitoba.  Some months later, the Premier announced again at a press conference, a splashy press conference with all the appropriate press releases, and talked about Royal Trustco moving its head office, creating a head office for client services in the city of Winnipeg.  Two hundred jobs were announced at that time.  Again, the Premier of the Province of Manitoba was dealing with a company on the edge of bankruptcy.  Where are those 200 jobs?  Where is that investment?  It is nowhere to be found.  The list is endless.

      Repap‑‑1989, the government signed an agreement that was going to create an investment of some $1.2 billion in the province of Manitoba and create some 400 additional jobs.  Mr. Speaker, there have been no additional jobs created as a result of the province's agreement to sell off or to give away some 108,000 square kilometres of Manitoba forest.  There is no $1.2‑billion investment.  This government has failed to develop an economic strategy, to put in place an economic strategy and to deliver on that strategy, and they have failed every Manitoban.

      What are the consequences?  Why is it important that we are debating this bill at this time?  Well, the amendments of this bill are going to allow the Manitoba Federation of Labour and working people across this province actually invest in the province.  Working people want to invest in the province of Manitoba.  They want it to grow.  They want it to prosper for their own sake and for the sake of their children.  Why is it taking five years for the government to maneuver into a situation where that is possible?  Why has practically every other investment of this government fallen to pieces around its ears? Mr. Speaker, it is because there is no real commitment.  There is no strategy.

      Mr. Speaker, the consequences of that fact, the consequences of losing 25 percent of our manufacturing sector, the consequence of the decline of the retail sector, the movement, the transfer of jobs from Canada to the United States, from Manitoba to the United States as a result of free trade has left this government in a precarious financial position.

      We believe the First Minister when he says we are in financial dire straits.  We believe the First Minister, but, Mr. Speaker, that government has introduced five budgets, soon to be six budgets.  Sooner or later, they have to take responsibility for their own financial mess.

      Now, instead of taking responsibility, instead of changing economic course, instead of saying, yes, we have made some mistakes and we are going to have to change course if we are going to have economic growth and development in the province, what are they doing?  They are attacking the very people who need help the most.  They are attacking students on student social allowances.  They are attacking families in crisis in communities across the province who have used services provided by friendship centres, by crisis centres.  That is what they are doing.  They are attacking the very people who are now most vulnerable as a direct result of the economic incompetence of this government. That is the problem.

      Mr. Speaker, I do not want to belabour this point on this piece of legislation.  The fact of the matter is that‑‑and it would be quite ironic if working people and the Manitoba Federation of Labour, through the Crocus Investment Fund, actually end up to be the only bright spot in the economy of the province of Manitoba, because they are obviously prepared to invest in Manitoba.  The Crocus Fund investment funds that are raised through this mechanism will be invested in Manitoba 100 percent, and that is good news.

      Mr. Speaker, I did not want to miss the opportunity to chide the government for its failure to change course when it is apparent that a change in course is necessary.  The unfortunate fact is that because of the stubbornness, because of the refusal to recognize that there is no economic plan in place, the people of the province of Manitoba are going to be the ones who make the big sacrifices.

      The young people that the member for Concordia (Mr. Doer), my Leader, referenced today in Question Period are the people who are being sacrificed.  The young woman who is trying through the student social allowances program to get an education so she can contribute is going to be sacrificed.  The young children in Lynn Lake who are looking forward to a hot lunch program so that they can be sustained and continue to attend school in Lynn Lake are going to be sacrificed.  That is indeed unfortunate.

      Mr. Speaker, I have spoken to a number of people about the contents of Bill 13.  We, on this side, are prepared to let Bill 13 proceed through second reading and on to committee.  There may be other members in the Chamber who want to speak on this legislation, but this, unfortunately, is the only ray of hope we have for the Manitoba economy, that working people‑‑not the government of Manitoba, but working people are prepared to invest in our future for our families and for our children.  It is an unfortunate situation, that the government does not have the foresight to show some leadership when it comes to the economic imperatives of our province.  Thank you.

Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, I rise on a bill which would, in fact, put into legislation the activities and actions of the Crocus Fund.

      The Crocus Fund is a fund which is to provide for the participation of Manitobans in a new and innovative way through their ownership of corporations.  This concept is a bold one and one which gets its heritage, quite frankly, from experiences in many of the countries in Europe.

      We think it is somewhat regrettable, unfortunately, that the Manitoba Employee Ownership Fund to this date in time, through the Crocus Fund, has only been made available to the Manitoba Federation of Labour and has not been made equally available to the Canadian Federation.

      We have two different umbrella groups, if you will, for labour organization in the province of Manitoba.  One is certainly far larger than the other, but we think that it is true that if one is going to be made eligible for such a program, then so too should the other.  The more of this kind of participation in the ownership of our corporations, we think the better.

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      We think that it is a positive move to, in times particularly of a recession, in times where there is a reluctance to address the needs of the stimulation of the economy, that we not limit that stimulation to just some people to the exclusion of other people.  We think it would be far better if it was made all‑inclusive.

      That will not, Mr. Speaker, keep us from supporting this legislation because in and of itself it is a very positive thing.  We do believe that there is a need to make additional examinations of the type of ownership fund which has presently been made available to the Manitoba Federation of Labour.

      I think it is important to put on the record why such ownership funds are valuable experiences and exercises.

      We have had in this nation, and unfortunately in the United States, a tradition that the stockholders have to be protected at all costs.  It is quite interesting to look at what happens in Germany and, to some degree, Japan and even countries like France and Italy.  When they enter into a period of recession, they expect the stockholders, the shareholders, to experience the downside of a recession in equal degrees with the downside that will be experienced to labour.

      What they have found in that experience is that it actually has resulted in their getting out of recessions more quickly, that, yes, the stockholders have to take a reduction in their dividend, or indeed no dividend at all, but they do not lay off their employees.  That is the absolute last resort.

      It tends to be in the North American economy the first step, not the last resort.  As a result, when the recessionary period is over, and when they are looking to bring that company back on stream with higher productivity levels, they have lost many of their talented and well‑trained workforce.

      Those individuals have first gone on unemployment, unfortunately for many of them, and then into other occupations. In some of those occupations, they have learned new skills, it is true, but some of them are wasting their skills.

      As a result, they have been unable to get back on the economic prosperity track as quickly as they would have been able to do if they had had a continuation of that trained workforce with no interruption.

      The experiment has worked well in Europe.  There are some who would say that one of the reasons why that experiment has worked well is that there is often employee participation as owners of the company.  Because they are looking at their fellow employees, they are reluctant to lay off their fellow workers, and so there is a strategy that would say, we must look more carefully at our fellow workers than we appear to do in the North American milieu.  I think that this piece of legislation makes it indeed possible for the Manitoba Employee Ownership Fund to develop those kinds of relationships and to allow for the investment by the employee in the company and, in some cases, to take outright ownership of that company by a 51 percent or better margin.

      Employee ownership is I think very much a new concept in this province, certainly, generally, a new concept in North America, one that needs a great deal more work and development.  This is a good first step.  That is why my party will support this legislation.

      The Employee Ownership Fund began this year with a lot of television advertisement‑‑at least, the Crocus Fund did‑‑with a lot of public interest.  I would be interested in hearing from the government which will soon have the results of that information, what has been the investment in the Crocus Fund, because it was a very valid investment.

      In fact, I deeply regret, Mr. Speaker, that I was not aware of the change in the RRSP monies, which I only found out about by receiving a cheque at the early part of this week.  Had I known that, I would have been able, quite frankly, to have put more money in my RRSP or into an alternative fund like the Crocus Fund.  As it turned out, because I did not get the information before the deadline, I, and I know a number of other MLAs, were not able to make the kind of investment that they would have been able to make in their RRSP.

      I look forward, certainly, in the future to making an investment in the Crocus Fund because the money will stay here in the province of Manitoba, will hopefully help to create the kinds of jobs that we want in this province, will start us perhaps on a new developmental track in looking at the way in which labour and employees in general can take more participation in the ownership of corporations in the province of Manitoba.  Perhaps, it will also lead us into a new direction of how we deal with employees in a recessionary economic circumstance, one which I think we are lagging behind and one in which I hope can be renewed in terms of our attitudes towards employees in the future.

      With those words, Mr. Speaker, I will indicate that there will be other speakers from the Liberal Party, although brief, on the Manitoba Employee Ownership Fund, Bill 13.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Inkster):  Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure and some disappointment, too, I guess in terms of speaking up today and putting a few words on the record with respect to Bill 13.  The bill itself, I believe, as the Leader of our party had pointed out, is a bill which we can support.  We would have liked to have seen a bill that would have been a bit broader, that possibly would have included other organizations, potentially.

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

      The Crocus Fund in itself is a good idea, and one would have liked to have seen that good idea or the concept, the principle of what the government entered into with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, in fact, to have been expanded upon.  I know that the Canadian Federation of Labour had sent some correspondence and wondered why it is that they were not necessarily included in the process.  I am not 100 percent sure if in fact they had been consulted.

      I like to believe when government takes action and moves in certain directions that they do not just limit that action to one specific group on something of this nature anyway, because there are a number of things that could be done.

      I am sure that we will see a number of creative ideas coming from the MFL, in particular with respect to the Crocus Fund, that will make a difference.  It is good to see labour getting involved or more involved in making those sorts of decisions or being able to influence the economy in a different way.  This is, of course, one of the things which is a positive, and hopefully we will see more ideas.

      You know, I have always maintained that if something does come forward from government and it appears to be something that is worthy of supporting, then in fact we will support it.  But it still is a responsibility for us to talk and to ensure that the government is aware of some of the other things that it could do.

      I know that when it comes to training and retraining or trying to generate some enthusiasm out in the job market, giving people opportunity to feel good about the future prospect of employment throughout the province of Manitoba, there are a number of things that could be done, and this particular bill allows for one of those things.

      I know that there are other things that could be done.  In fact, I did have a press conference a while back where the Liberal Party put forward a number of thoughts and ideas in terms of what it is that we believe the government could be doing in addition to things such as the Crocus Fund.

      It primarily came out of the press conference, primarily focused on the Skills Training Advisory Committee.  They have the report known as the Partners for Skills Development.  It talked in terms of workforce revitalization strategy, and what can be done, and what the government itself should do.

      You know, there were basically six recommendations, and I want to go over those recommendations because I believe these are some of the things that even the MFL, to a certain degree, can act on because it is an interest group that has great influence and could help sway or have an impact on government policy.

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      We talked about the run of the recommendations to develop a provincial labour force strategy.  We like to believe that this one particular bill is, at least in part, a part of the strategy, or I hope it is a part of a strategy.

      I am not entirely convinced, Madam Deputy Speaker, that this particular government looks at all different aspects and then develops it into one overall strategy, primarily because some of the actions that we have seen by this government. [interjection]

      Well, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) said he intends to focus on one or two and so forth.  No doubt, there are literally hundreds of things that could be done.  The ones that you focus on should be put into the broader picture, a package, so that it is not just here, and the next ad hoc decision comes from there, and you want to do this and you want to do that, so that all of those ideas or actions that you want to take are in fact, Madam Deputy Speaker, put together.  Put them together and present it to the province of Manitoba, so what we would see is debate on a package that covers the different areas for job creation, labour, labour retraining programs, the education, retraining, things of this nature, because if we have that package then we are going to be able to have, I believe, the type of debate that would be able to provide the alternatives to the government.

      It is very important that we develop that provincial labour force strategy, because if we do not develop it, Madam Deputy Speaker, what we will see are potential industries in the province of Manitoba not develop to their fullest.  Given the times‑‑look at the manufacturing industry and the loss of jobs in the manufacturing industry‑‑given the times, we cannot afford to lose those very valuable jobs.

      The numbers that I understand are there are something to the effect that in the last few years we have seen the manufacturing industry in itself drop from 61,000 to just below 50,000.  Madam Deputy Speaker, those types of jobs have been what have provided Manitoba the opportunity to not necessarily have the booms but to not have the bust of the business cycles or of the market cycle.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, those are the type of jobs I believe that we have to be very concerned about.  That is why I would go back to the fact to develop that provincial labour force strategy that would include the Crocus Fund and other aspects, but you need to see the different departments working together to ensure that there is that overall strategy.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, the MFL, the Manitoba Federation of Labour, can do many different things, but unless we see another point or another recommendation that came from the Skills Training Advisory Committee, unless they start acting on the other points such as the point No. 2 recommendation to improve the public school system, even they will be limited.

      When we develop and pass a bill that we are passing today, we need to know what the other departments are in fact doing, because in the province of Manitoba we have a public school system, which is a positive thing, Madam Deputy Speaker, because we want all to be able to educate.  It is called putting individuals on an equal playing field.  What we do need to do is to correlate the needs of what our future workforce will be to what our educational facilities are providing, because it is very limited in terms of what it is that this bill will be able to do because so much of it will require the skills and the education of the workforce itself.  If we do not have those skills, those required skills, what will happen is that we could give all the money we want to the MFL and to other labour programs or initiatives that this government comes up with, such as this particular bill, but it is not going to be spending the tax dollars in the most efficient way we could if in fact we do not have the labour force, the other aspects of the strategy, the overall strategy from this government.

      It is very easy for us to stand up and to speak on a piece of legislation that does move in a positive direction.  It does provide some good things, Madam Deputy Speaker, but unless we know what it is the government wants to do and the different aspects, it is hard to say in terms of what or how potentially effective it could be.

      The Partners for Skills Development report also made recommendations to revitalize the apprenticeship system.  I am sure that what we will see is programs that will, at least in part, address this particular issue, because we are using or we are going to be generating through the Crocus Fund the funds that in most part will be concentrating, I believe, on those new jobs.  In order to provide those new jobs, there has to be some form of training, of apprenticeship and so forth.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I would suggest that the Skills Training Advisory Committee and the report that they tabled, the Partners in Skills Development, is something that all of us should read through because it does bring to us a very legitimate concern that has to be addressed.  We hope that we will see some of those points addressed in more detail, because we have seen the government, well, not necessarily acting on all of the different recommendations that have been brought forward that could have been fairly straightforward to do something, to show some sort of indication that the government is willing to move in a direction.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I wanted to comment a bit more specifically now on the Crocus Fund.  I know when it had come out there was a lot of interest in terms of what was going on.  In fact, I had phoned the office and had asked to get a copy of the brochure.  They did a first‑class job, I must admit, in presenting the brochure.  It has, as a part of the brochure, an application.  It is very eye‑appealing, talking about double your RRSP tax savings.  They did a wonderful job in promoting it and now it is only a question on whether or not they will get the support that we believe should be there.  It is something that will make a difference and, hopefully, we will see a positive response and that the government will not just leave it where it is currently at, just with the Manitoba Federation of Labour, that in fact it will look at expanding the program.

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      Some of the ideas that the government has entered into or initiatives that the government has entered into have not necessarily proven to be the greatest success story in the province of Manitoba.  I know the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) alluded to a couple of them.  I do believe that this particular one has great potential, and we hope that the government will in fact act on it.

      What I would suggest to the government, Madam Deputy Speaker, is that they continue to have dialogue with some of the other unions with respect to this program to see if we can get other groups involved.  As I say, I know the CFL, the Canadian Federation of Labour, did have a press release, and I just happen to have a copy of it in front of me now, which was dated January 18, 1993‑‑Working Ventures Team Seeks Equal Treatment from the Provincial Government.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I believe that the Canadian Federation of Labour has some points that could be made in terms of ensuring that they too not be excluded out of programs such as this.  I can understand the government wanting to move along not necessarily as fast as many people would like to see, but the Canadian Federation of Labour has proven itself over time and is something that I would suggest to you is worthy of the same sort of consideration that the Manitoba Federation of Labour was given.

      I know, Madam Deputy Speaker, that this is at least a bill which the minister had introduced just before we got out of last session, and the New Democrats have already spoken on this bill. I do not know if the government's intentions are to get it into the committee stage or how soon they would like to get it into the committee stage, but I do know that there will likely be a number of presenters, or I would anticipate that there would be a number of presenters on this particular bill.

      I think that we have to be sensitive to what others feel is important with respect to expanding this particular initiative, because I do not believe that I can say it enough, that what we want to see is a broader picture dealing with how we can get the Manitoba economy moving again.  It goes far beyond Bill 13.  We have to be able to develop some overall strategy that will deal with all different aspects of skills development, entrepreneur growth in the small businesses and so forth.

      If we take a look in terms of where the greatest potential growth in the province of Manitoba is, I believe that we have to concentrate from within Manitoba.  We cannot rely on big business from outside of Manitoba to ensure that Manitoba is going to be providing the jobs that are necessary in order to sustain any sort of real, long‑term growth.  In fact, the small business has been the backbone of the community, whether it is the farmer out in rural Manitoba or the independent grocery person in the city of Winnipeg.  These are the individuals for which we have to come up with the programs, the incentives, and so forth, to ensure that they are viable.

      It does not necessarily mean that you have to give money.  It is a question of providing a service for those entrepreneurs, Madam Deputy Speaker, so that they can tap into the expertise that government can provide, so that they can tap into a resource bank, if you will, to cut away the bureaucracy that is there that quite often, at times, proves to be more of a stumbling block than anything else.

      This is why, as I say, Bill 13, in itself, is indeed one aspect of looking at what we can do in the local economy in the province of Manitoba.

      We have to look at the other aspects.  We have to include as many Manitobans as possible in terms of getting them involved in the economy, because we are not going to see, at least I do not believe we are going to see, the large multinational corporations coming into Manitoba in any sort of great numbers.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, that is not to say that Manitoba does not warrant those corporations and bigger businesses, larger businesses to come into Manitoba.  In fact, I think that Manitoba has a lot to sell, whether it is our location, our cost of living, cost of housing, the many different wonderful attributes that the city of Winnipeg, our rural communities offer to the business world.  We could go on and on in terms of why we feel that Manitoba is such a wonderful place to invest.

      What we do have in this particular bill is money that is going to be brought in, and it will likely come primarily, obviously from Manitobans, but that money will be invested into Manitoba.

      Hopefully, Madam Deputy Speaker, what we will see is a number of good ideas that will turn into long‑term jobs, jobs that will help diversify our local economy, because it is the diversification of the economy that allows us to be able to weather the storms of bad economic times if the will of government is to allow growth in a certain fashion.

      I say a certain fashion because I very much believe in the Keynesian theory, where government has excess in good times, that you should be holding back.  In the economic bad times, Madam Deputy Speaker, the government has to be a bit more creative.  It has to be able to ensure that the economy is going to be able to minimize any dramatic hardships to so many.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, hopefully what we will see is more initiatives coming from government, initiatives such as Bill 13‑‑but not just to believe that because we have one or even two ideas, we stop at that.

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      I am sure if you went around, everyone in this Chamber, no doubt, could come up with one or two ideas as to what they believe would help Manitobans invest in themselves, whether it is through a program such as this or whether it is through other programs.  I know, I have had the opportunity to speak on some of those other programs in the past.

      Having said those few words, Madam Deputy Speaker, I am going to suggest to the government that we do want the bill to go to committee at some point in time.  We hope that, when it does go to committee, what we will see is the sort of debate at that time also dealing, not specifically with‑‑I should not say not specifically, because when we go into committee we are dealing specifically with the clause by clause, but that we will go beyond that to a certain degree and hear from individuals who have some other ideas, because it is the only opportunity that the public has.

      As I said, I had conversations with at least two individuals who have talked about the Crocus Fund and have brought me a number of ideas that I think are well worthy of some sort of dialogue.  I am sure those issues will in fact be touched upon. I know that I will likely be speaking on this bill again in third reading.

      Again, to the government, we hope to see this bill pass in the not‑too‑distant future and hope to see the government act accordingly in terms of trying to develop other initiatives similar to this with potential organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Labour.

      Having said that, Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to speak.

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  I move, seconded by the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs), that debate be adjourned.

Motion agreed to.

* * *

Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, would you call Bills 14 and 15, please.


Bill 14‑The Personal Property Security and Consequential Amendments Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 14 (The Personal Property Security and Consequential Amendments Act; Loi concernant les suretes relatives aux biens personnels et apportant des modifications correlatives a d'autres lois), standing in the name of the honourable member for Thompson (Mr. Ashton).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 15‑‑The Boxing and Wrestling Commission Act


Madam Deputy Speaker:  To resume debate on second reading of Bill 15 (The Boxing and Wrestling Commission Act; Loi sur la Commission de la boxe et de la lutte), standing in the name of the honourable member for Interlake (Mr. Clif Evans).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Is there leave to permit the bill to remain standing? [agreed]




Hon. Clayton Manness (Government House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, would you call the motion to go into Supply, standing in my name, please.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Debate on the proposed motion of the honourable Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) that this House at this sitting will resolve itself into a Committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty, standing in the name of the honourable member for St. James (Mr. Edwards), who has 21 minutes remaining.

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

An Honourable Member:  No, no.


Point of Order


Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Second Opposition House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, we have a member who wants to be able to speak on this motion.  I know that the member for St. James would like to be able to conclude his remarks.  If in fact the government is willing, we will have someone else who wants to speak on it also, stand, but I would ask that the government not be so hasty in making a decision that would take advantage of someone who is unfortunately not prepared to be able to stand up.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member for Inkster does not have a point of order.  It is a dispute over procedure.

Mr. Lamoureux:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I am wondering, is it the government House leader that then is denying the member for St. James to be able to conclude his remarks?

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member for Inkster does not have a point of order.  The procedure is clearly defined in our rules.

* * *

Madam Deputy Speaker:  The motion has been moved.

Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I will speak on the motion for the fact that what has been happening in the House in the last week. [interjection] No, I am not ashamed. No, I should not be.  I think it has been very unparliamentary what has happened here in the House.

An Honourable Member:  Unprecedented.

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, unprecedented.  It is quite obvious that is what has happened. [interjection] No, no, I am not concerned about speaking about this.  It is the fact that it is very unprecedented what has happened in the House, and it is quite clear.

      We have the people of Manitoba on our side.  They know what has happened.  I mean, where are the Main Estimates so that we can deal with them?  I was just speaking to one of the ministers a few minutes ago, and he says you are not prepared to debate the Estimates I have given you.  I said, yes, we are prepared to debate, but where are the Main Estimates so that we know where the cuts have been made or what has happened to the other departments.  Two very important Estimates have not been tabled in this House, the Department of Health and the Department of Education, where cuts have been announced and people are concerned.

      I went to a school board meeting last night where there were a hundred people at the meeting, where they have expressed their concerns and know that during these hard times they have to understand there has to be cuts.  I think as parliamentarians we have been elected by the people of Manitoba to work for them, and I think they want us to make sure that we do a good job.  If we do not have the tools to work with in this House, to do the work that we are supposed to do for Manitobans, I think it is not fair.

      I think the minister has done wrong to Manitobans by introducing this motion at this date. [interjection] No, I am not.  I think someone who has done a disservice is the government that is in power now.

An Honourable Member:  That is right.  Unprecedented, the only government to ever do it.

Mr. Gaudry:  That is right.  We have checked and you know yourself that it has never been done in the House of Commons. [interjection] Yes, last Friday, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) indicated himself it was unparliamentary, what he was doing.  When he announced his budget for April 6, he says it was unparliamentary.

      That is his choice.  He has done two things, as far as I am concerned, that are unparliamentary.  I think to be fair to Manitobans, we will continue to debate this motion until the Estimates‑‑I think there are two things that have to be done here so that it is fair to Manitobans.  This resolution has to be withdrawn from the Order Paper so that we can continue to work properly as legislators for Manitobans.

      Not only that, I think the most important ones are the cuts that have been announced in the Department of Education and the Department of Health.  I think we have discussed‑‑there has been a lot of debate in Question Periods in regard to health care and education.

      There is no reason at this stage to do any Estimates when we do not have the Main Estimates or the budget.  As far as the budget is concerned, we do not have the revenue that is coming in so that we can debate to see where the cuts have been, where we should be supporting the government and things of that nature.

      We have asked the government‑‑I mean to say, if they are concerned about Manitobans, we have asked the government to adjourn this House and come back after the budget.  Look at what it is costing Manitobans at this time for us sitting in the House when there is no agenda.  We have gone out‑‑[interjection] Pardon?  Just listening to you for the last 10 years, it is costing Manitobans.  I said before, the NDP are morally bankrupt, and they have bankrupted this province.  There is no question about it. [interjection] Well, sure, I would probably make a better leader than what you have right now.

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      That is right.  Do you know what some of your members have said?  I would not say that, because I have a lot of respect for everybody who is in the House, a lot of respect for my colleagues in the Legislature, but I am talking about the party, and I say that very honestly when I say the party is morally bankrupt.  I did not attack you, the member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway). [interjection]

      There is no translation, so I will not speak in French.  I would love to do it.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I will get back to relevancy.  I was talking about the fact that I think we have asked that the House be adjourned.  It would just make sense, because the government has no agenda.  You look at the bills that have been introduced. You said you would have an agenda when we came back in the House in March, and there is no agenda.  Look what is in there.  You have said yourself.  There are housekeeping bills.  I agree they have to be introduced and discussed and debated‑‑[interjection]

      Well, if I was campaigning I would go out in the rural areas where I know there is work to be done, because some of the ministers are not doing the job they should be doing.  I am looking at the member for Minnedosa (Mr. Gilleshammer), for example, just right now.  Maybe I should read one of the letters I just got here in regard to‑‑[interjection] No, I would not do that.

An Honourable Member:  I think they are sensitive, Neil.

Mr. Gaudry:  Oh, yes, they are, because they know we have the Manitobans on our side in regard to this motion that has been introduced in the House.  They see how the government is wasting their money, and they know that the government has been wasting their money.  They have not done anything for the last five years they have been in power.

      They have done good things, I have to agree with that, because they could not do any worse than the NDP did for the years that they were in power.  We look at their‑‑[interjection] It is true.  You have to face facts.  Look at the debt we have here in Manitoba.  Who was it caused by?  The Schreyer government, the Pawley government.  It has just gotten worse and worse.

      I would not have to bring back all of what the Conservatives are bringing back every day‑‑the bridge to nowhere and MTX and what other ones‑‑[interjection] That is enough.  We could give that to Education today.

      It is quite important, I think, that we debate this bill, because I think we are on the right side.

An Honourable Member:  Because you do not want to go into Estimates, that is all.

Mr. Gaudry:  No, we would be prepared to go into Estimates if you‑‑we do not have the tools to work with the Estimates that you have tabled in the Legislature.

Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Only 18 percent of the Estimates are tabled.

Mr. Gaudry:  Like the member for River Heights said, there is only 18 percent of the Estimates. [interjection]

      Well, we looked at the Highways and Transportation and we‑‑[interjection] No, there is not unlimited time.  There is limited time when you come down to Estimates.  You are talking about 240 hours, and I think it is very precious.

      I think you people who are interested right now‑‑as rural members you are putting in your 90 days, and I think that is wrong.

An Honourable Member:  Where were you at ten o'clock last night?

Mr. Gaudry:  Where was I?  Campaigning. [interjection] I put in a lot more time than you will ever do, the member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau).  We are not here for debate across the floor here:  who is here, and who is not here.  I think we are all there to do the work, and I am sure we all do our fair share of constituency work.  That I will not argue.

      I have met members, and I know they are working out in their constituencies.  We expect that we all do that because we have been elected. [interjection] Pardon.  Well, you could get a chance there.  We are wasting our time because you have no agenda here in the Legislature right now, so there is a chance to go back to your constituency.

      I just want to make it clear that we should adjourn this House and come back here on April 5, so that we can have the budget in place, we have the Main Estimates, and then we can debate the Estimates accordingly and go into committees and whatever other work.  Right now, you listen to the bills that have been introduced, and sure there are bills, and as far as I am concerned, they are all housekeeping bills.

An Honourable Member:  No.

Mr. Gaudry:  Yes, and the member the other day was questioning whether they were going to put 50 bills this session.  Well, there are other bills that should have been introduced, and maybe I should talk about the‑‑[interjection] Well, sure, but there will be more the next time, with our good leaders here that are going to be working very hard to bring back the party again. [interjection] No, both.  We have two good candidates, and I have not announced yet whether I am going to run.  I will probably be better than them yet.

      We talk about bills.  Maybe I should talk about the bill on the French governance this afternoon.  I mean there is a bill that has been promised St. Boniface for a long time, and I know there is concern from both sides, from the community, whether they should get together.  Apparently, they are very close to sitting together.  It is one in which I have an interest because I have a community that I have been supporting in regard to the governance of schools.

Hon. Clayton Manness (Minister of Finance):  That group will end up being shortchanged because of the fact we are not dealing with Estimates now, unfortunately.

Mr. Gaudry:  No.  The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) says that we are being shortchanged.  We are not being shortchanged.  The bill can be presented at any time, and it can be debated.  If it is going to be a major bill, let us bring it so that it is there for debate.  We are prepared to debate the bill on French governance and, I think, Manitobans.

      The governance of schools should be part of the school reform that the Department of Education is talking about.  It should be part of that.  This was stopped last May, I believe, and I felt at that time that the governance of schools also fell between the cracks at that point.

      I know it is being brought back; it is supposed to be introduced very shortly, and I hope it will.  Therefore, as I say, there to me is a very important bill that should be introduced and brought into the Legislature so that we can debate it.  My people in St. Boniface and across Manitoba‑‑there are not only French schools in St. Boniface; there are French schools in French communities outside in the province, and they are looking for it also, some of them.

      There are some that are not sure what they are getting because they have not seen the bill.  I think if they saw the bill, what was in there for them, they would be prepared to support it, and maybe it would bring the people together faster so that they can negotiate in regard to the French governance.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, other things that I think affect this bill, the motion that has been brought to the Legislature is the fact that we are concerned as legislators what is happening and‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Parliamentary tradition is important.

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Mr. Gaudry:  Well, that is exactly right again.  We have said it before.  The parliamentary tradition has been forgotten, I think.  Where is the democracy of our parliamentary system when we are going to set a precedent here that should not be allowed? I think our Leader has said it many times.  Once it is done, it will be continued and it is something that we do not want.  We want the tools to work for our people in Manitoba.

      This practice of having the Estimates, it has always been, and the budget.  It is important that we have this budget.  We are looking forward to debating.  They have been using the fact that we are not prepared to debate.  It is not that we are not prepared.  We are prepared to debate this.  We will work the hours that we have to work to get these debates so that we are satisfied with what is going to happen in the hard times that we are facing at this time.  We know that.  We meet people at all times.

      Like I said, I went to this school meeting last night where there were 80 people.  They are going to change the hours in the St. Boniface School Division.  They are going to start an hour earlier, because they have realized that the transportation is a costly item in our education system.  They were showing last night, for example, if they change the hour of school from an hour where school will start for Grades 9 to 12 at eight o'clock and at nine o'clock for kindergarten to Grade 8, that they would save over a million dollars just by having that hour difference. Where they could use the same bus, they would reduce the buses from 18 to 15 and the cost would be a saving of a million dollars.

      The parents there last night were concerned of the fact that they had to put their kids on the bus at 7:10 a.m. and then in the evening, because you take students from Grades 9 to 12, at night they will not go to bed earlier.  Then they were suggesting that we change that.  We send the kindergarten to Grade 8 first, but, again, the parents were leery to the fact there are single parents and you have young kids on the street and then the kids would come home in the afternoon.  What happens?  They are there without supervision from two o'clock or 2:30, whatever it would be.

      Then another question was, well, my kids are being picked up at 11:30.  I have to put them on the street at eleven o'clock to be in school at twelve o'clock.  When does my kid have lunch?  So there are all kinds of concerns, but the school division was trying to get input from the parents.  The night before there were 20 parents.  Last night, there were 80, when we have such a big school division.  So what is it going to create in the school division?  I know people will say no.  We have school trustees, the same thing as we have here, legislators.  They have to make decisions and good decisions on behalf of Manitobans, but you cannot satisfy everybody.

      Therefore, there is our school division again, and it is part of where the government has put a cap on the school divisions in regard to increasing taxes.  They feel that they are being controlled by this government.  I think they are right to a certain extent, because I think trustees can make decisions on their own.  They should not be controlled by this government's dictatorship, I guess I could call it.

      I will read an article here:  Cooling the bankers.  It says here:  "What Mr. Manness has offered instead is a rip‑and‑read process of estimates, in which social agencies and advocacy groups suddenly find their budgets disappearing with no explanation and no indication of how their pain contributes to a rational process of expenditure control."

      We see these things every day.  I mean, it is important.  I think we should be able to work for our constituents.  There is article after article where people are concerned about what is happening with the government.

      In another article here, it says:  Bulldozing grants.  I think we saw that the other day.  I think questions have been raised in the House, and they are legitimate questions that are being asked.  We do not get any reply on what is going to be happening.

      It says here very clearly, quote:  "The cuts announced this week are consistent with the government's overall strategy‑‑avoid the tough management decisions and make everybody share the misery."

      The misery is not hard when it is done on the backs of the poor people.  I mean, it is quite obvious with all the grants that we have seen, the 56 or 57 that‑‑[interjection] Again, as was mentioned in the House in questions today, the foster children.

      Do we get a favourable answer for the children from poor families or single parents, or as the member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock) was saying today, abused children are forced to return into an environment that they have just come out of, and it is not fair.  What are these cuts to these grants going to do?  It is the same thing.  They will be forced to return to that kind of environment.

      It says here:  "The government is vulnerable because there is still so much uncertainty about the state of the provincial finances."

      If we had the budget and all the Estimates, we could maybe support and give suggestions to the government. [interjection] Pardon?  Well, we will see about that.  The member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) says support the budget.  How can we know?.  It is fine to say we will support.  If it is a good budget, we will certainly support it, but if it is one of these budgets that is not fair to Manitobans, we will not support it.

      Here is one thing it says:  "One thing is certain:  Mr. Manness is scared stiff of announcing a deficit that will approach $700 million."

      I do not blame just the Minister of Finance here‑‑[interjection] Yes, I would be.  I fully agree.

      As I say, I do not blame fully this government for what is happening.  We look at the figure of interest that we are paying for the money and the debt that we have.  I fully agree.  It comes from when they were on this side of the House.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, it is unfortunate but there are a lot of things that we are concerned about.  "Until those cuts are put into some kind of context", it says here, "they won't do much to impress the bankers.  What might impress them more than lopping off a few thousand dollars from one community agency or another would be a demonstration that Ottawa and the provinces are ready to embark on a consistent and co‑ordinated program of deficit reduction."

      I know this government has indicated they want to reduce this deficit.  I think we all want to see that‑‑and reduce the debt, but how can we reduce the debt when we are always in a deficit. [interjection] Maybe I will be able to sell some memberships to some of my friends in the government there to support me in the leadership.  It looks that way at this stage.  A little coherence‑‑[interjection] Pardon?  I am running right here, not over there, you can rest assured of that, because I would have a lot of cleaning up to do if I was on that side‑‑a little coherence in fiscal policy might just do as much for our provincial and national credit rating as indiscriminate hacking and slashing.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, all I would say at this stage, and to conclude, is the fact that this motion I think was wrong to be brought in at this time, especially when we did not have the Main Estimates to deal with.  I think it is very important, because I maintain again that it should be the full Estimates that are on our desks with the budget and the other Estimates.  Then we are prepared to sit down and work and debate the Estimates.  We will maintain that until we get that budget and we get the Main Estimates, so that we can deal fairly.  Fairness, I think, is part of this deal. [interjection] The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) asked me if I would not be scared of this deficit. Sure, I would be scared.  Anybody who understands finances would be scared in a situation like this.

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      We will continue to debate this motion until we get those Estimates.  If we cannot get the Estimates, let us adjourn the House and go and do work in our constituencies.  Everybody has work to do in their constituency.  Look at the money we will save‑‑[interjection] The member for Elmwood (Mr. Maloway), if he wants to get up and speak, I will give him a chance but he would have nothing to say, anyway.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I will conclude with these remarks and hope that the Main Estimates will be on our desks tomorrow and that we can start debating or adjourn so that we can go into our constituencies and work with our constituents.  I know I would love to go tonight again to a meeting but we are in committee.  I will be back in committee so that we can continue the work in the Legislature here.  I will send somebody else to do my constituency work, because they are meetings that are my concerns as well as my people in St. Boniface.  It is in regards again to the closing of pediatrics in St. Boniface.

      I know we have indicated that we were more or less supporting the reform of the health care system.  We have always said, though, what we wanted was the process be clear and communicated and consulted.  I have three forms in St. Boniface in regard to explaining the health reform.  I have made the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) aware of that.  He was kind to me.  He gave me some of the information, but what we found out in those meetings, in regard to health care‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Neil, you are talking, but you are not saying anything either.

Mr. Gaudry:  I am saying more than you have ever said.  You should have got up yesterday on a point in regard to Flin Flon and say a few things, ask the questions.

An Honourable Member:  I did.  And I straightened out the Liberals for a change.

Mr. Gaudry:  I doubt it very much.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, as I was saying in the health care reform, I think what we found out was a lack of communication, a lack of consultation, and it was important and people admitted. Administrators from hospitals also were being requested why they had not advised their employees, the nurses, the doctors.  One meeting that I made there were five doctors there.  They were debating the fact that pediatrics should have stayed in St. Boniface, because they had not been told what was happening at St. Boniface, whether the French services were going to be given at the Children's Hospital.  They were guaranteed that at that point, and it sort of eased off.

      The process was not there for the health care reform.  We meet groups pretty well on a daily basis and some of them understand it has to be done.  We will work with them, and we intend to work so that the process, whether this health reform book comes from the Tories or comes from the NDP 10 years down the line, it would be the same book, the same health reform.  I think we are at a stage now that it has to be done and we have to work together for the benefit of Manitobans and Canadians in general because it is not just a Manitoba issue, this health care.  It is global.

      I think when we discuss this with our groups in our constituency, if you explain it to them in that respect, they will see if you follow what is happening.  We look today at the budget from Premier Romanow in Saskatchewan, and Ontario is the same thing.  So we will continue seeing these kinds of cuts and reform across Canada, across the world.  I think we will have to follow and do support things that we feel are good for our people.  I mean, it is not just to say we do that or we would do this.  I think if we do not work co‑operatively at times where times are tough, we are not going to succeed or accomplish anything.  I think co‑operation is what is required.

      The government at this time might say we are not co‑operating.  We are co‑operating.  We are giving them suggestions.  What we want is the Estimates book and the budget and then we are prepared to sit down and work with this government.  Then we are prepared.  We are sure we will have good debates going, and it will be for the benefits of Manitobans, but let us have the budget and the Main Estimates and then we will debate and we will be prepared to deal with it.

      Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to talk about this.

An Honourable Member:  No, you do not.

Mr. Alcock:  Yes, as a matter of fact, I do want to talk about this.  I have wanted to have this discussion in this House for a very long time.  So I am delighted that I have the opportunity today to have it.  I am reminded of a point about a year ago when I was responding‑‑I forget whether I was responding to the budget or responding to the throne, but at that time I made the comment towards the end of my remarks that there is a real problem with the way this Chamber operates.  There is a real problem with the fact that a large of number of people sit in here afternoon after afternoon and step privately out in the halls and say, it is a gigantic waste of time.  When I said that, what was interesting is that members from all sides of the House came to me and said, you are right; it is.

      I realize that we are caught in the situation that all democracies and all parliaments get caught in:  that it is very difficult to devise an alternative method of doing the work of the people and of allocating and sharing power in this country. But the fact is that the processes that we have in place right now cause a lot more heat than light.  They do not provide the kind of intelligent debate, intelligent examination of issues on behalf of the people of the province of Manitoba.

      I sat in the Public Accounts committee today.  I, finally, just made a few concluding remarks and left because it was a gigantic waste of time.  I felt sorry for the minister, believe it or not, and I felt sorry for his staff who had to sit there and endure yet another hour of mindless conversation on irrelevancy. [interjection] I am not going to name the member at this point.  I think the minister can enlighten the Minister of Environment (Mr. Cummings).

      What we are talking about here is the process by which we do the work of this province.  Hopefully, all members in this House are working to the same end, and that is to build a stronger, more productive province that employs and cares for the people that live within it.

      I think this Finance minister (Mr. Manness) is committed to that end, but his original intentions and his original beliefs about this Chamber have kind of gotten off the rails.  I am a little surprised at his actions lately.

      When we first came into this House, I was the House leader for a period of time, and I remember welcoming the arrival of the current Minister of Finance and the current government House leader into the position of House leader, because he seemed to be someone who was prepared to sit down and work with all parties in this House and to negotiate a way, a solution to the problems that confronted the House.

      I do not know, it may be‑‑he has got a very difficult position‑‑it may simply be that the pressures of the position, watching the financial position of his province erode the way it has and watching how his plans have fallen into tatters and ruins, are so great that he simply does not have the time, or perhaps the will, to continue those negotiations.  Because they are tough; it is not easy negotiating with all three parties.  I think that is part of what has brought us to this impasse.

      All three parties worked hard on an agreement to try to solve some of the silly problems that confront us here.  One of those was we always got into this sort of standoff, this game of chicken, around the end of the session, where we would back it right up against the summer and then we would dare somebody to do something to screw up the end of the session.

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      We got into a negotiation that said, let us sit in the fall, and do part of the work of the government in the fall and part of the work of the government in the spring.  Let us try to get onto a more rational schedule, rational for all members of this House, more rational for the business of this House.  I think that was a good idea.

      I think the work which is being done by that committee can be, and will eventually be, very productive on behalf of everybody in this House, and on behalf of the people of this province, because it will produce a more productive Chamber.

      We started that this fall, and we made an agreement.  We sat a bit in November and December, and then we were to come back on March 1‑‑or between March 1 and 8, by agreement.

      If the government realized‑‑and I am not even going to castigate them for not putting any work before this House.  If they knew that was going to be the case, if they knew they were not going to be ready to come back into this House on the 1st of March, the government House leader could have approached the other two parties and said, look, for a variety of reasons we have these problems; the legislative load is not what we would like it to be or it is not going to be ready in time; we do not have significant legislation for you to debate; the budget is not going to be ready.  We could have said, look, we will simply postpone the beginning of the House, and then we will go back into our normal processes.  He did not do that.  He called the House anyway.

      We came in and we sat.  What did we do?  We sat here and we went through a bunch of irrelevant bills and we adjourned the House early and we went home.  What a gigantic‑‑[interjection] Well, if the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) wishes to speak, I invite him to stand on his feet and speak to this.  As the dean of this Legislature, I suspect he might have something to say on this issue.  The fact is that we had nothing to do in this Chamber. [interjection]

      Well, actually the Minister of Natural Resources has said something that I think is worth considering.  He did say the one benefit was that we all had a chance to spend a little more time together.  I suspect he is right.  We would all benefit by spending a little bit more time together.  Unfortunately, what we were doing when we were here did not produce, shall we say, a productive or a heart‑felt sense of bon ami.  It produced an enormous sense that we were wasting time, because that is what we were doing.

      The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) then, rather than saying, look, obviously this is not working, and again sitting down with the two opposition House leaders and saying, well, let us find a solution to this; let us negotiate around this; is there something we can do; is there a piece of legislation we can work on and get through, said, no, I am going to bring in the Estimates, but I am not going to bring in the Estimates the way they have always been done.  He says, himself, that this is unprecedented.  He says it is unparliamentary‑‑this from a minister who stood in this House when he was in opposition and talked about the budget being the most important document that the government dealt with, talked about the fiscal planning and the expenditures of a government being the most important thing that a government did.  Rather than dealing with that within the context that we have always dealt with this information, he decided to shatter that.  He decided to tear it apart.

      One can speculate at great length about what his reasons are for that.  One can read in all sorts of plots and plans.  One can suggest that maybe they are trying to dribble out the bad information, that they do not want it all to come out in one piece, that they want to get it on the table a little bit at a time.  In fact, he suggested that in his remarks on Friday, that we get a little bit of bad news about Family Services this week, and next week we get a little bit of bad news about Health. Surely, that is not responsible.  Surely, that is why we have never done this before.

      I mean, if this was the normal way of doing business I would not be standing on my feet here, but it is not.  It is not the way this government has, or any government has, conducted itself.  That is very clear.  There is a reason for that.  The reason is, as the Estimates are one part of the process of running this province, if we are to evaluate them, we have to evaluate them in total.

      I know other members across the way who have some experience in management, who have some experience in business, would not accept a financial sheet that was only 18 percent complete.  They would not accept that as a way to evaluate an organization.

      The fact is, Madam Deputy Speaker, when we sit in this House right now and we look at some of the disgusting, regressive actions that this government has taken‑‑[interjection] The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has said, well, we will give you a summary sheet. [interjection] He said if‑‑if I gave you a summary sheet, would that be enough?  The fact is, it would not be enough.

      Let me explain, since we seem to have the attention of the Minister of Finance, why it would not be good enough.  We have sat in this House for the last few days talking about some of the very regressive, and I believe, dangerous activities that this government has engaged in.  We have watched them while they have kicked children out of school, while they are pandering to the worst tendencies in this community in their treatment of visa students in this province, while they have cut back on the very thing that they profess to value, the education of people in this province, and then we say‑‑you know, my first response when I heard that we were going to kick 1,200 to 1,400 kids out of school, or force them to go back to their parents, as the Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer) so ludicrously suggested, I thought, I cannot be hearing right.  I must have misunderstood.  This cannot be true.  There has to be some other solution to this.

      When I asked the question, because I did not have the information, of the Minister of Education (Mrs. Vodrey), I thought maybe the Minister of Education has a solution to this. Maybe what has happened here is they have just changed some administrative procedure, and kids will receive support from one line and they will receive their educational support from a different line, but that is not true, or if it is, I do not have that information.

      I do not have any ability to evaluate the overall‑‑I do not even have a reconciliation statement.  I do not know what has been moved, what has gone where, who has come back, none of that kind of information, so how am I to do the job that I am called upon to do and evaluate the planning of this government if I do not have the plan.

      This minister wants for his own political purposes, his own ability to manage his political agenda, he wants to pony it out in whatever way he chooses to do so.  We are saying no.  We are saying it has not been allowed in any Legislature, and it will not be allowed in this Legislature as long as we have the opportunity to prevent it.

      I will suggest to the minister that he could have prevented all of this if he just took the time to sit down and negotiate and to talk to people, if he sat down when he encountered problems and if he stopped trying to order the opposition around the way he orders his own members around.  It seems that he is able to exact a certain amount of discipline, and they all jump to his tune on that side of the House, but they do not on this side of the House and they will not.  As we are learning fast, and as I hope that this government House leader is learning, this House only runs when there is co‑operation among all three parties in the House.  We may fight about policies, we may fight about issues, but we can get the work of this House done when there is some co‑operation.

      It was interesting, it was the former member for Churchill, the former House leader of the New Democratic Party when it was in government, Jay Cowan, who taught me that lesson so well in those first two years in the House.  Jay demonstrated many times that the work of this House will not get done unless there is a willingness on the part of the government to negotiate, to talk to people.

      That is what we have lost in this House.  That is what this Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has stopped doing, because there was a time when he did.  There was a time when he would work to try to facilitate the business. [interjection] Well, the Minister of Finance says that we should petition the Premier (Mr. Filmon) for a change.  I think that is something, perhaps, that would be a good thing.

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      I suspect it may be something that the Minister of Finance would feel relieved to have that responsibility off his back.  I said in the beginning of these remarks, it may simply be that the minister is under so much pressure because of the financial position of the province that he does not have the time to give the attention required to the business of this House, and maybe it would be better to hand that over to somebody else. [interjection] Yes, now the Minister of Finance makes the point that we came back on the 1st of March because he had made an agreement with the three parties.  He could have sat down with the three parties to that agreement and had a discussion.  He chose not to do so.

      In the same way, it comes through in even little things. There is not even consultation on the calling of committees‑‑they just happen.  There is no consultation on anything anymore in this House, it just occurs because this Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) is either too tired, too overworked or too arrogant to consult the other parties in this House.  That is why he finds himself in this position.

      He seems to have found himself too overworked to consult with the members of the cabinet, because he is making decisions within their departments that I simply cannot believe some of them support and certainly I know privately that some of them do not support.  He can get away with that within his own cabinet; he cannot get away with that in this Chamber.

      I want to suggest a couple of things, since we are talking about the processes and the procedures of the House, the way the House conducts itself and does its business.  I want to suggest a couple of things that, I think, take this movement in the rules a little bit further.

      When you think about how an organization works, when we look at how a business, for example, conducts its business, you can go to all sorts of management workshops or you can study this at university or at the colleges, and they will tell you that the first thing you have to do is, you have to plan.  In your planning, you look at your environment, you look at your resources, you come up and you establish a plan.  In government we do that.

      Part of the planning is done through the Estimates process. Part of the planning is done through the legislative agenda, as we establish a legislative agenda.  You then take some actions. The actions in the case of the government may be through legislating something or regulating something or withdrawing legislation or amending legislation.  It may be through the budget, through funding something, through not funding something, through changing, reprioritizing, any one of a number of decisions that can be taken financially.

      The third thing you do, if you are going to be a prosperous, effective and growing business is, you evaluate what you have done and you use that evaluation to feed into your planning for your next year.

      Now, what do we do in this Chamber?  We sat today, March 18 of 1993, evaluating the results of '91.  By the time we got information out of the Public Accounts, which is one of the primary ways in which we look back on government and look back at what it has done, it is more than a year since the end of that process.  Is that responsible?  Is that effective?

      We do not even review in any structured way the annual reports of the departments.  We may, if we choose, bring them up in the Estimates process, but we do not go through and say, gee, you know, we spent X number of millions of dollars in this area, what did that produce?  What was the outcome of that?  Are we better off?  Are we worse off?  Did we meet the need we spent that money for?  We never ask that question in any structured way in this House, and yet we would expect any corporation that was effective in its functioning to do exactly that.  But we do not do it.

      We do not relate the money that we spend to the output that we get.  We do not look at the value that we get for money when we spend.  We come in here, we rush around in response to a Speech from the Throne and the budget.  We spend a lot of time going through the Estimates, a lot of time which I think every member of this House would agree is a waste of time.  Then we jam through a legislative agenda in the dying hours of the session, sitting up until all hours of the night, passing legislation and then we get out of here.  Then we let it all sit for six to eight months.

      That is clearly ridiculous.  Anybody who looks at that process comes to the conclusion that it is ridiculous, but that is how we govern the affairs of this province.  So what happens is that this Chamber becomes less and less relevant to the reality of managing this province.  I would like to see it become more relevant.  I would like to see us get back in charge of the management of the affairs of this province.

      I want to make a couple of recommendations, and I hope the Rules committee will think about this.  Why could we not start in the fall?  Why could we not sit in the fall, in October, and why could we not, in a structured way, review the annual reports of departments and look at the outcomes and the processes, not deal with the budgets, not deal with the money at that point, deal with the product that we produce?  Why could we not at that time deal with legislation and look at the legislation in absence of the pressure of dealing with the budget?

Mr. Manness:  Two years that process has failed.

Mr. Alcock:  Why could we not do that‑‑well now, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) from his seat says in two years it has failed.  It has failed because of his inability to establish it and bring forward anything meaningful.

Mr. Manness:  Anything meaningful.

Mr. Alcock:  Exactly.

Mr. Manness:  So if I brought something forward, why would you not deal with it?  Is that any reason not to deal with it?

Mr. Alcock:  Well, if the Minister of Finance would care to listen I will explain it to him‑‑[interjection] Just listen, you will become enlightened. [interjection] Some people suggest that maybe you will not become enlightened.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, why could we not spend that period of time looking at what we wish to do and what we have done.  Why could we not spend that time in planning and reflecting on what we do before we move to the budget.  Then we could spend this period in the spring‑‑and this Minister of Finance has made the case before that he wants to get his budgets down, as the federal Minister of Finance has made the case that he wants to get his budgets down, before the beginning of the fiscal year.  I accept his explanation as to why he has not been able to do that.

      There is chaos at the federal level also, and there are enormous changes taking place in the economy of this country.  So I am even prepared to accept his explanation for why he cannot get a budget on the table before the beginning of the fiscal year, although the six days he has bought himself I am not certain is relevant, frankly.  I think it would be important to have that information before people before the beginning of the fiscal year.

      But if we had a set schedule for it, if we brought it in on a particular day of the year, then the Minister of Finance would be forced to do that.  We would see that information before the beginning of the fiscal year, and we would focus on the financial information and the operating information of the province, but we would do it in a completely different environment.  We would not do it while we were debating legislation.  We would not do it in the absence of the evaluative information or the program information.  We would do it within a context which said, this is what we set out to accomplish, and this is how we are going to pay to accomplish that.  It might be a very different debate that we have in this House.  It might be a debate that is less filled with irrelevant posturing and a little more focused on getting some work done.  That is the kind of debate I would like to participate in.

      It is sad that this Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), rather than attempting to assist that kind of debate, rather than attempting to facilitate that kind of debate, where we begin to work together in this House on solving some problems and getting some work done, has chosen to treat the other side of the House with such complete disregard.

      I must confess, I must digress for a moment because the member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) is back in the House, and I want to reflect momentarily on some remarks that he made in this debate last week when he stood up in the House.  He questioned the reason why we might be concerned about this.

      I am saddened, I am genuinely saddened, by the actions of the Democratic Party on this particular issue.  They seem so quick and so ready to throw away any kind of values or position or respect that they have had here.  They are prepared to change, modify and move to do anything.  They do not seem to have any kind of central respect for this Chamber, any understanding of how it works or any sense of trying to make it better.  They want to come in here and posture so the other side can come in here and posture, and none of us are well served like that.

      I would have expected the NDP to be on their feet first challenging this minister's right to bring down those Estimates in that fashion.  I fully expected that and I am surprised that they were not.  I am surprised to hear them on their feet defending their actions as though somehow they are advancing, but no action‑‑[interjection] That is true.  The member for Flin Flon (Mr. Storie) says, no, they are not defending.  What they are doing is speaking out of both sides of their mouths‑‑well, we do not agree with the government doing this, but go ahead and do it.

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      That is such patent nonsense.  Mind you, it is consistent with the actions that they have been taking in this House, but it is such nonsense.  Surely, we can find some way to work together to do the work of this province.  Surely, we can find some way to sort out this particular situation, but not just this situation because this is only a reflection of the way this House works. The fact is, we spend an enormous amount of time, or we waste an enormous amount of time, and we produce very little of value.

      I have sat in the loges of this House with a number of members of the House.  I have had conversations in committee with members from all sides of this House, and in those conversations we say, you know, is it not a shame that we spend our time in the way that we do here?  Could 57 intelligent people not be working together, be competing about how we make this province stronger by working to do better on behalf of the people of this province, by trying to build a stronger, more productive, more competitive province?  Could we not be supporting?

      You know, I want to reflect, for example, on the example set by the member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) who, when the Minister of Health (Mr. Orchard) started talking about reform, could have stood up in this House and said, oh, it is awful.  The Tories are trying to trick you.  They are trying to slip one by you.

      He did not do that.  The member for The Maples (Mr. Cheema) took the minister at face value.  He examined what the government was proposing to do, and he said he would support it. Unprecedented.  People were shocked.  The NDP, of course, could not understand, could not comprehend what was going on, that somebody could actually reach across the floor and support an action of the government.  He did it because he felt that it was important to have a debate in this Chamber that was really on behalf of all of us, that we had to have a debate about how we reform health care because we all benefit from the health care programs, and we want to see them continue.

      Why could we not have the same debate on educational reform? The government, the Premier (Mr. Filmon), has promised it.  We certainly supported it, and we have called repeatedly to see it begun.  If the government is serious about saving money, changing the processes, finding some way to reduce expenditures, there is a way they could do it without throwing kids out of school. There is a way they could save an enormous amount of money and still continue to offer people educational ways out of poverty, but they have refused to do it.  They have chosen not to try to solve a problem.  They have chosen to act out their narrow, self‑serving political agenda at the expense of a lot of people in this province, and, unfortunately, at the expense of the poorest, most vulnerable people in this province.  I think that is completely unacceptable.

      I want to speak about something.  I had a chance to speak to the member for St. Norbert (Mr. Laurendeau) briefly in the committee this morning.  I made the comment that I was very concerned about the actions of the government relative to Visa students in this province, and I really am quite shocked at what they did, because they did not affect their bottom line by one nickel.  They made their financial decision.  They said the University of Manitoba will get 2 percent less than they did the previous year‑‑tough decision, but they made it based on what they believed to be the fiscal realities and that was it.

      They could have gone to the university and said, there is your money, now you make your decisions about revenues and cuts and everything else, but they reached around the Universities Grants Commission and they said, in addition to that, you will raise the fees of Visa students by 75 percent.  Now why did they do that?  What was their purpose in doing that?  What did they achieve?  Did the Minister of Finance's (Mr. Manness) financial picture change?  No.  Did it help his budget one bit?  No.  Why did they do it?

      Surely, the university has a Board of Governors, some of whom they appoint, that has a lot of intelligent people who work in the management of that institution.  Could they not have left that decision to the university?  They leave an awful lot of other decisions to the university, if they respect the Universities Grants Commission.  So why did they not leave that decision to the people who run the universities?

      The conclusion one is left to draw is because that decision panders to a very narrow portion of their support.  They want to feed that portion of their support, and, unfortunately, it panders to what is wrong in this community.  It panders to the worst elements of this community.  It panders to those who say that in tough times, it is okay to victimize people who cannot fight back, that in tough times, it is okay to attack people who cannot fight back.  It was a vile and vicious decision.

      It caught a lot of people who are part way through programs by surprise, who have come here planning to function in a certain way.  It caught them with a tremendous increase in their basic costs, and for what?  Did it improve things for us here?  Has it made this budget a little easier?  No.  So what has it done? What is the result of this?  How are we better off as a result of this decision?  The University of Manitoba and the administration of the University of Manitoba is worse off, because the government has said it does not trust them to make decisions. Certainly, the students are worse off.

      What is interesting‑‑I was very proud the other day to meet with the union of Manitoba students.  The students, the non‑Visa students who are not affected by this rule have stood up and said it is wrong.  They have stood up and said that they will not accept this action on behalf of their brother and sister students at the university, so they do not support the government in this.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, there is another aspect of this that is equally puzzling.  If someone came into this province and said to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness), the Premier (Mr. Filmon), or the Minister of Industry and Trade (Mr. Stefanson), I am going to open a business here, and I think I can sell $20 million worth of Manitoba product overseas and bring that revenue into this province, this Minister of Finance would be on his knees, as he has been on his knees every time a company has come forward with that proposal, and he would offer them tax concessions and he would offer them money and he would offer them all sorts of support and his staff would run around trying to make their life a little easier.

      That is what we have here.  We have people who are coming here from other parts of the world that are bringing in $10,000 to $15,000 each and spending it in this province.  They cannot take jobs away from Manitobans because by regulation they cannot work in this province.  Yet we are saying to them, go away, we do not want you.  We do not want you in this province.

      Now, there is another aspect to this that is a little troubling when I read what this government says about the global marketplace and the need to expand trade overseas and the need to develop relationships with other countries overseas.  There is a very puzzling development here.  These people, these students, represent exactly that.  They train here, they work here, they go back to Hong Kong, they go back to China, they go back to Africa, they go back to France, they go back to Italy.  What do they know?  They know Manitoba.  They know it because they got educated here and they liked being here.

      As they go on into business, what do they provide but ambassadors for this province, with linkages with this province, linkages with other businesses, linkages with other companies, linkages with other countries.  Is that not what this government is talking about when it talks about its Technological Innovations Council and the need to develop greater linkages around the world and greater contact to facilitate international trade?  Is that not what we are talking about, setting up trading links?  Is not the fact that we educate and send out into the world another thousand people a year a good thing for us?

      So why are we preventing it?  Every other province who has done this has found some way to compensate.  I go occasionally to Harvard University.  Harvard University brings in students from all over the world, from every country in the world. [interjection] Well, now, you see I was hoping actually‑‑the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mrs. McIntosh) has asked the question:  Well, what do they pay there?  The fact is that students from countries who do not have the economic base to pay for it are subsidized 100 percent.  Harvard spends millions of dollars because it knows, as a world‑class university, that it is a better university if it can attract students from the Philippines, from the PRC, from‑‑[interjection] Well, the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs asks the question: What is a student‑‑the average budget for a student going to Harvard was about $32,000 last year.  Harvard will pay 100 percent of that cost if the student demonstrates need, to attract students from Malaysia, Singapore because it knows that it is a better school as a result of having those students here.

      We do not even do that; we do not do that here.  The member for Rossmere has asked the question:  How many?  I unfortunately cannot speak for the entire university.  I do not know the answer to that question, but I know that in the Kennedy School it is in the area of about 30 percent of the student body versus 4 percent at the University of Manitoba, and we do not give them that kind of subsidy because they come in and they pay for their housing and they pay for their fees.

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An Honourable Member:  Undergraduates‑‑two‑thirds of the undergraduates.

Mr. Alcock:  That is just absolutely not true.  See, I guess this is what I find so alarming with these questions coming from the backbenchers of the government, that you do not know.  You support that decision and you do not know what you are talking about.  That is the thing that is just so damn frustrating about this.

      We have a university out there.  We have an administration of that university that has examined this question very carefully and year after year after year has made a decision not to do it and, despite the fact, and this is the thing, it does not affect your budget.  You made your budget decision, so why?  Why?

      I just find it so absolutely appalling that you would then take this action to victimize people who cannot fight back.  It is such an absurd decision, and not only that, I mean, kids that are here that are halfway through a program, they came in here with one set of financial understandings and now all of a sudden you change the rules.  Not for your benefit‑‑it does not affect the taxpayers in this province.  It does not reduce your budgetary expenditure.  So why did you do it?  It is so bizarre. [interjection]

      Well, I have expected better from this House leader for a very long time and he has not delivered, and when he begins to deliver, you may get a little better. [interjection]

      I was not.  I requested you.  No, I did not.  Actually I petitioned on your behalf, unfortunately.  I have to take some responsibility for this particular decision I find myself in right now.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I suspect, or I am beginning to get a sense that my time is drawing to a close.  Can I ask you how much time I have left?  Three minutes?

      Madam Deputy Speaker, would you canvass the House to see if there would be a willingness to give me leave to speak longer?

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  Is there leave to permit the honourable member to go beyond his limited time?

An Honourable Member:  No.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  No?  Leave has been denied.

Mr. Alcock:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I am saddened by that, because I think the members would perhaps have learned a little more about what is happening.  I had hoped in this few moments that I have had to speak that I might make two points.

      One is that the processes of this House need to be reformed. We all need to work on that reform, and we would all be better off if we undertake that reform.  The second is to sound a call to the members of the government to wake up, to read the papers that are going in front of them, to think about the decisions that are being made on their behalf and to reflect on the outcomes of those decisions, because you are being fooled if you do not know the information that is being put in front of you, and you are making decisions that are‑‑[interjection]

      Well, parliamentary tradition does not allow me to describe the decisions that you are making adequately, unfortunately. They are so narrow.  They pander to what is worst in this community and they hurt people who have no way of fighting back. [interjection]

      Well, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) says, it is not true.  Let me describe one situation.  Children come into care because they have been sexually or physically abused. During that period of upset they will fall behind one or two years in school because of all the disturbance in their house. They are taken out of their homes.  They go live in a foster home, or they used to go live in foster homes.  I guess they will not anymore‑‑but they lose time at school.  They turn 18 and we push them off a big cliff into the cold world.  We say, you have not got the skills because you lost a couple of years of school. But for a brief time we said, look, if you go to school and if you do well, we will support you.  We will allow you to do that because we know the only way out of poverty, the only way, is to get an education.

      We said to them, if you do not perform well in school we will not give you the support.  We would jerk those kids off of that support, like that.  But if they did well‑‑if you wrote your test, if you passed your grades, if you succeeded, we would support you because we knew it was better for us as a province to have you educated.

      This minister said yesterday and today in the House, well, they can go back home.

      We took them out of those homes because they were being abused.  Now, wake up.  We are denying those kids the only chance to get a damned education, and you guys sit there and support that decision and laugh at it and cheer when people talk about it.  I think that is disgraceful.

An Honourable Member:  Who is laughing?

Mr. Alcock:  Everyone at your benches, and I think you should be ashamed of yourselves for that decision.  I think it is the most regressive, stupid, evil decision I have seen the government make.

      I think every one of you should walk out of this Chamber and hang your heads, because the only chance that these kids have got is to get an education.  So give it to them.  You are saving nothing.  You are not saving the taxpayers of this province anything.  You are costing them money.

An Honourable Member:  You are putting them on welfare.

Mr. Alcock:  They are already on welfare.  So you are going to pay the cost or you are going to force your municipalities to pay the cost of that welfare.  What have we saved?  We have saved a few‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  The honourable member's time has expired.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Madam Deputy Speaker, I am delighted to rise on this motion.  I am only sorry that the Legislature did not give leave to the honourable member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock) because he was making some very critical points about the issue that is before us.

      I want to redirect this House very briefly to what it is we are dealing with.  This motion says, "THAT this House, at this sitting, will resolve itself into a committee to consider of the Supply to be granted to Her Majesty."

      Well, the young Pages sitting before us today, I wonder if they really knew before they came into this Chamber that we used such arcane vocabulary, "Supply to be granted to Her Majesty." What does it mean, "Supply to be granted to Her Majesty"?

      In order to understand that concept, you have to understand the whole parliamentary system.  The parliamentary system comes from a French word, "parlement."  That in turn comes from the French verb, "parler," to speak.  Parlement, spelled with an "e" in French, not with an "ia" as in English, was a sense that a group of people, the "ment" if you will, came together to speak, to speak together.

      The original origins of the concept of parlement, to speak together, comes from France, and although it was not a long tradition in France it came to Britain and thus to Canada from the parliament of William the Conqueror, 1066, and all that.

      So we have the evolution, very gradually, of something that is called the Great Council, but the Great Council had little or no power.  It did have the ability on occasion to come together for the purposes of discussion, but it had no other power than that.  It did not have any power, that is until 1215; 1215, you will remember‑‑if you remember your history books, everybody in this Chamber‑‑that it was the time of the Crusades.  Richard the Lion‑Hearted, Coeur de Lion, as he was called, was off in Jerusalem fighting the Turks, the Ottoman Empire.  What you had in Britain at the time was King John, his replacement.  He was actually the protector of the realm at this particular time.  He was not the king.  This was the day of which some legends have been made.

* (1620)

      This is the day of Robin Hood and Maid Marion, if you will, and the sheriff of Nottingham Forest.  Why did they come together?  What was the objection to John?  The objection to John was very simple.  He was trying to obtain supply without the approval of the people, without the approval of the Grand Council.  That is what supply is all about.  Supply did not begin with this Chamber.  It did not begin with Chambers in Ottawa. The concept of supply began in the early Grand Councils of Great Britain, brought to them from William the Conqueror and the Normans in France.  That is the essence and the beginning of the concept of supply.  So we had in the early years of British history a king who wanted, at that stage with all of the authority and the power that he had, to override the legislators or indeed the‑‑


Point of Order


Hon. Jim Ernst (Minister of Urban Affairs):  On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker.  This is terribly interesting, but not terribly relevant, and I would ask you to call the member to order.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  The honourable member for Inkster, on the same point of order.

Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Second Opposition House Leader):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I must admit I am somewhat surprised on a couple of points, first and foremost, that the minister would have the guts to stand up and make a statement of that nature.

An Honourable Member:  Audacity.

Mr. Lamoureux:  "Audacity" might be a better word to use for here.  Secondly, the fact that the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs) is putting forward a speech that is very relevant, and if the government members would be more attentive to listening as opposed to chatting amongst each other to try to distract the member for River Heights, Madam Deputy Speaker, what we will see is that in fact the member is being very relevant.  I would suggest to the members that they be patient, they listen, because this could be a long process.  As a responsible opposition, we feel that it is‑‑

Madam Deputy Speaker:  Order, please.  I believe the leader of the second opposition party has indeed made his case in defence of the point of order.

      The honourable member for Flin Flon, on the same point of order.

Mr. Jerry Storie (Flin Flon):  Madam Deputy Speaker, I have no point of order, and neither did the member for Inkster, and neither did the minister.

Madam Deputy Speaker:  I thank the honourable member for Flin Flon for that advice.  It is accurate; there was no point of order.

* * *

Mrs. Carstairs:  I am very thankful to the member for Flin Flon, because I think he has indeed pointed out the point, that there was no point of order.  From the beginning of my speech, I have been discussing the concept of supply and that is the motion before us, that we would go into Supply.

      I have heard a lot of comments throughout this debate that have not been talking about supply, and so I think we have to begin with what has in fact occurred in 1215 and what was the granting of the Magna Carta, that fundamental principal document of our parliamentary tradition and how it was related to the concept of supply, because it is fundamental.

      Let me read from a political and cultural history of modern Europe which outlines that very carefully.  It says:  The long charter or Magna Carta served as a constant reminder that the people of England had once risen in arms to defend their rights against a despotic king‑‑it sounds like the Minister of Finance‑‑although, as a matter of fact, nobles and the clergy were the ones who actually represented the rights of the common people.

      The second thing which it did, and this is where it becomes highly relevant to what we are doing right here, its most important provisions, by which the king could not levy extraordinary taxes on the nobles without the consent of the Great Council, furnished something of a basis of the idea of self‑taxation.

      The third clause was:  To no man will we sell or deny or delay the right of justice from which, of course, came the right of habeas corpus.

      So we had, therefore, the beginning of a process in Britain which eventually came to Canada that in order for His Majesty, in this case, to get funds from the people, he had to appear before that council and he had to suggest to that council why he required that item of money, why he needed supply, how much supply he needed, what he intended to do with that supply‑‑that is the critical issue, what he intended to do with that supply‑‑how, in other words, he intended to spend that money.  So that became our tradition of supply from the days of John, who, because he in ruling as the protector of Britain in the absence of his brother Richard was acting in a way which was despotic, was acting in a way which was unacceptable to the people of the day, although, it is very clear that the people of that day were not the common people.

      I would suggest to this Chamber that those of us who represent the 57 constituencies of Manitoba often do not tend to come from the common people either, that people who tend to come from lower‑income experiences do not often find themselves sitting in this Chamber.  Although we do not have the classes of the 12th and 13th Century, we still to a certain degree have professional classes and well‑educated classes who are disproportionately, I would suggest to you, represented in this Chamber.

      The evolution of parliamentary tradition did not go through a great deal of changing between 1215 through the rules of the Tudors.  The Tudors came to power for the first time in 1497 with Henry VII, and they ruled through Henry VIII and Edward VI and then Mary Tudor and then Elizabeth.  She unfortunately left no heirs, so when she died in 1603, it was necessary to her successors in the Grand Council to look toward another monarchy. So they turned their attention to Scotland, and they brought to the throne of Great Britain James VI of Scotland who became James I of England.  He ruled from 1603 to 1620, and he in turn was replaced by his son, Charles I, who ruled from 1620 until 1649 when he was beheaded.

      One cannot understand parliamentary tradition unless one understands what happened under the Stuarts, because it was under the Stuarts that the authority of the Grand Council took on a whole new meaning.  The authority of the Grand Council was seriously questioned by the Stuarts.  They were of the philosophical belief that they had authority which had been lost to monarchs in Britain as a result of the Magna Carta.

      James I, in fact, took his essential political theory from a document which had been written by Bishop Bossuet who wrote about the divine right of monarchy, which said that Her Majesty or His Majesty, depending on who was ruling at that particular time, needed to go to no one.  They quoted, in fact, biblical references to supply.  They made the reference, for example, in this treatise, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and, as the father corrects his children, so should the king correct his subjects.  If the head directs the hands and feet, so must the king direct the members of the body politic.

      James I summarized his idea of government as, A Deo rex, a regi lex; a king is from God, and law is from the king.  So in his particular philosophical orientation, he did not believe that he had to refer to anyone for supply, that this was his absolute right as the monarch of the day.  So comes the concept of absolute monarchy; so comes the concept of the divine right of kings.  Unfortunately, he was quickly made to realize that if he did not call the Great Council into being, that he could very quickly find himself without any money.

      That is why we were called into being, one would assume, on the 1st of March, because the government knew that it was quickly running out of supply, and that in order to get that supply, it would have to come before this Chamber according to parliamentary precedents and traditions, and demand from this Chamber in an orthodox, recognized, acceptable way the means by which they would obtain that particular supply.

* (1630)

      They did not do that, and as a result, when his son succeeded to the throne, the bitterness and the resentment toward his father bubbled in the cauldron of political activity until it got higher and higher and higher.  Charles, when first asked to meet with his first parliament, angrily dissolved it.  He said, if you will not do what I want you to do, then I will dissolve it.

      You know, Madam Deputy Speaker, that reminds me a lot of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) a couple of years ago, when in a committee he said, you will not do it my way, I will walk out, and he did.  The unfortunate part about it was‑‑[interjection]

      Well, the member for Lac du Bonnet (Mr. Praznik) says we would not offer him a piece of pizza.  Well, you know, that was Charles's problem, too.  They did not offer him anything either, and as a result he dissolved the Parliament.  But you know what happened to Charles?  Let me remind the member for Lac du Bonnet.  They took off his head.  That was the end of him, some 29 years later.  So we have to watch that.  We would not want, in our liberal attitudes of today, we certainly would not want that to happen to the Minister of Finance.  That would be a dreadful fate to occur to the Minister of Finance.

      Charles, of course, found himself very quickly without supply.  He had no money.  He could not do the things he wanted to do.  He could not put his army into place.  He knew that he was going to get more and more revolt from the members of the establishment, most of the nobles, and so he called a second Parliament.  Again he wanted to make sure that he could get his loans, that he could get his money, that he could get the revenue that he needed to function appropriately.

      Unfortunately, Charles was not very happy with this particular Parliament either.  They would not grant him the money that he wanted to raise.  They would not grant him the loans that he wished to have.  So again he got angry and he dissolved that Parliament as well.  Then, of course, it became absolutely imperative that he needed to compromise, and this is the critical word here.  Even Charles discovered the art of compromise.  Now, we did not get any compromise from the Minister of Finance, but Charles I of Britain, who subsequently lost his head because he would not continue that form of compromise, found it possible in 1628 to enter into a compromise.  That compromise historically is known as the Petition of Right, and it is another fundamental document in the evolution of our parliamentary process and, more importantly, the evolution of the concept of supply.

      Now what did we find in the Petition of Right?  Well, the one that was most important for our purposes‑‑although there were a number of others about the fact that they could not have standing armies for longer than one year‑‑the most important one for us is that he was not allowed to levy taxes without the consent of Parliament.  That became critical.  Without Parliament, he could not levy any taxes.  Parliament and Parliament alone was supreme in supply, and that is why we are talking about this supply motion today.  For 11 years, despite the Petition of Right, he decided he could still do without Parliament, that he could promote his own activities, that he could levy taxes if he wanted to, despite the fact that he had signed and sealed the Petition of Right.  So they finally got completely fed up with him and they tried him, they convicted him, and they beheaded him.  It was that simple.  As a result, we kept a parliamentary evolution continuing.

      When the period of the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell had ended by 1660, we had the restoration of the monarchy.  First of all, it was his son Charles II and then his son James II, but eventually the British people through their parliamentarians became fed up, quite frankly, with the Stuarts and they looked elsewhere for leadership and for guidance.  In this particular case they looked to William of Orange who was the duke of a small principality in what is now Holland, and they asked him if he would come to Britain.  But they asked him to come to Britain under very special rules and regulations, and those very special rules and regulations were known as the 1689 Bill of Rights. Quite frankly, it is the Bill of Rights in 1689 which is more important than Magna Carta, although most people have heard of Magna Carta.  It is more important than the Petition of Right of 1628, because it is the Bill of Rights of 1689 which gives Parliament more power than they have ever had before.

      I think it is important for the purposes of this House‑‑[interjection] Madam Deputy Speaker, if I could just have a moment I think I will disconnect both of my hearing aids because that way I will not hear all of the silliness coming from the other parts of the House.  Let me talk about what was in fact given to the people of Britain and thus to us, because this is our heritage in the Bill of Rights of 1689.  In the Bill of Rights of 1689, what they did was they denied the power of the king to suspend laws or to dispense subjects from obeying the laws.  In other words, up to this point in time, if the king determined that a certain subject was above the law, then the king could so decree.  The honourable member for Interlake, the king said, you can do whatever you like despite the laws of the land.  I am sure that was very convenient for the honourable member for Interlake, but not particularly convenient for the people that you might govern over.  That became prohibited.  The king could not extend freedom from law to any individual subjects.

      The second thing it said was that he had no right to levy money of any kind‑‑no kind, not just taxes, but at this point they also had a number of what we would call the so‑called sin taxes but which were not considered taxes in the normal sense of the word.  He also was prevented from ever levying those.  He could no longer maintain an army without the consent of Parliament.  It stated that neither the free election nor the free speech nor the proceedings of Members of Parliament should be interfered with‑‑the proceedings of Members of Parliament. This is the Bill of Rights, 1689, the proceedings.  That is where we are at in this Chamber.

      The Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) has indicated that he wishes to interfere with the proceedings.  The Minister of Finance represents Her Majesty.  He is part of Her Majesty's government.  The right to interfere with proceedings was removed from Her Majesty, or His Majesty, in 1689.  The Minister of Finance seems to want to get some authority back which, quite frankly, they lost centuries ago.

      It went on to say that it affirmed the rights of subjects to petition the Sovereign.  This is what, of course, gives us our whole ability to, in this Chamber, present petitions, and we are presenting those petitions to the Lieutenant‑Governor‑in‑Council, therefore to Her Majesty.  Back in 1689 came our right to do that.

* (1640)

      The Bill of Rights, far more important in English history than the Petition of Rights inasmuch as Parliament was now powerful enough to maintain as well as to define its rights, was supplemented by the practice begun in the same year of granting taxes and making appropriations for the army for one year only. So entered into the concept of our historical tradition the idea of an annual budget; 1689 began the concept of an annual budget. That is what we learn, when we go back, and we review, and we analyze history, of the importance of Parliament to us as citizens of this land.

      We go through the monarchs of the days that followed because William of Orange, when he died very shortly actually after he came to the throne, was actually replaced by his wife's sister, Anne, and she in turn died in 1707.  At that point, they had to turn once again away from British monarchs because they did not have any left, and they had to go to a duchy in Germany, the Duchy of Hanover, and so came the Hanoverians to the British throne, because there was a marriage between one of the Stuarts and one of the Hanoverians, and that is where the line of authority came from.

      So you ended up with George I as the first Hanoverian to come to the throne.  Ultimately, after World War I, they changed their name to Windsor, but, in fact, they were the Hanoverians, and they are all direct descendants of the Hanoverians. [interjection] Actually, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) says there was Julie and there was Henry.  In fact, I have to tell him there were not.

      There was no Julie and there was no Henry.  There were, in fact, some six Georges and a number of Edwards and, of course, an Elizabeth, but there were no Julies and there were no Henrys. But we may get a Henry.  It is quite appropriate with the present line of authority to the British monarchy that we do have a Henry that is now third in line to the throne, and there is a possibility of a Henry, but we have not had a Henry since the Tudors, and that was Henry VIII, and Henry VIII died, if I am absolutely correct, I think, in 1547, perhaps.

      I think it was 1547 that his son, Edward VI, came to the throne.  If it was not 1547, it must have been in that particular‑‑[interjection] Well, it is true.  The Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Enns) is really asking me to digress here.  He certainly did not die of unrequited love.  After all, he did go through six wives.  The final sixth one, of course, Catherine Parr, outlived him.  He had managed to get rid of Anne, and Catherine of Aragon also was gotten rid of but by divorce. He got rid of Anne of Cleves, he got rid of Catherine Howard, but he was stuck with Catherine Parr until he actually took his leave from this earth.

      We saw the further evolution, however, of parliamentary government and tradition when we looked at the 18th Century and the British constitution, because it further limited the powers of the monarchs in five very important respects.

      First of all, and this is the one that is most critical to us, at that point it was the monarch who lost the right to levy taxes even with the consent of Parliament, because henceforth‑‑this was under the reign of William III‑‑only Parliament could levy taxes.  Not even the king could do so. That, of course, is the Supply motion that we have before us now, where it is not a Supply motion that comes from Her Majesty, it is a Supply motion that in fact comes from the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness).  When we vote on this Supply motion, it is a Minister of Finance Supply motion.  It is not a motion from Her Majesty.

      The second thing, of course, was that he could make no laws. He had lost control of the judiciary.  The king could not maintain a standing army.  This too had to be maintained by Parliament.  The king could not even appoint to office, or retain in office, any member or any minister who did not enjoy the confidence of the parliamentary majority.

      So the powers of the king were taken from the king or the queen and were vested entirely in Parliament.  That is the wonderful tradition that we have obtained as parliamentarians in this very important history, but it was still safe to say that even by 1837, Parliament in and of itself was not what you would call a very democratic institution.

      The Parliament of 1837 was not parliamentary in our sense of the word because in order to be chosen to appear at Parliament, in other words, to be a parliamentarian, it was a very narrow group of people who could in fact select you in that particular process.

      The first great reform act, which was introduced in 1837, is the one that began to make it possible for the member for Lac du Bonnet (Mr. Praznik) and the member for Springfield (Mr. Findlay) and the member for St. Vital (Mrs. Render) to actually represent our people, because, unless they have a lineage that I am unaware of, I do not think that any of them came from the nobility. [interjection] Well, I am not suggesting they are not noble people.  I think that it is quite clear that everyone in this Chamber is a noble and an honourable person, but it is equally clear, I suspect, that their great great‑grandparents were not lords and ladies of the manor.

      That is an interesting digression and one that is certainly relevant to the parliamentary tradition, because I think it should be understood why we are called honourable persons and why it is essential that we all be referred to in this Chamber as honourable.  Of course, it is because in the early days of Parliament everyone in the Chamber had an honour.  Everybody in the Chamber had a title.  It was that title that gave them their honour, and it was their honour that made them referred to as honourable.  So that is why we in this Chamber are referred to as honourable in this particular situation.

      So, when we look at 1837, we look at the situation of who was in fact represented in this Chamber.  For example, more than 300 out of the 658 members of Parliament of the House of Commons were chosen by a small group of influential nobles or by the ministers who were in the office at the time of the election.  So almost half of the entire Chamber was selected by a group of about 50 nobles and the ministers of the day, which means it meant it was a pretty select group.

      The 421 members of the House of Commons who sat for the cities, towns and universities represented only 84,000 electors, even though there were several millions of people living in Great Britain at that time.  The reason for that was, they did not change the list of towns and cities from the time of Charles I in 1628.

      Because the number of towns and cities in 1628 was very limited because it was primarily an agricultural Britain of the day, you did not have many towns and cities listed.  So it was only those towns and cities who could elect or send to Parliament the remaining 421 members of the House of Commons.  So the total membership of the House of Commons was made up of the electors represented by less than 85,000 people in Britain of the day.

* (1650)

      What happened after the Napoleonic Wars, which ended first in 1814, and then there was another little brief one in 1815, and finally they were over, was that the whole movement in Britain changed dramatically.  This was the day when people left the agricultural life and moved to the cities.  This was the forerunner, the beginning of the whole industrial revolution, and more and more cities, more and more towns evolved and developed. They began to demand that their towns and their cities had representation in the House of Commons.

      They did so.  They obtained that representation in a series of acts concluding with that granted in 1832 and the first reform bill.  What the first reform bill did was to enfranchise the majority of the middle class, not all of the middle class but certainly large chunks of it.  Certainly, big farmers were represented.  The member for Springfield (Mr. Findlay) would take note of that because I suspect that in his day he would have been considered one of the big farmers.  Certainly the member for Russell (Mr. Derkach) would have been included in that particular category.  But nobody that they employed on that farm, nobody that they employed as an agricultural labourer would have been included in the ability to vote of that day.  Of course, it is highly significant that of course no women were allowed to vote, so you automatically eliminated 50 percent‑plus of your population.

      There also were age restrictions.  Nobody could vote unless they were the age of 30, so that they could bring to the voting process a certain amount of responsibility or perhaps sober second thought.

      There was of course criticism of that particular reform bill because there were still large numbers of people left out of the process.  So a second reform measure was introduced in 1867, and it was in 1867, followed by 1884 that gradually the vote was extended to all men, all men, that is, that were not in jails or all men that were not in mental institutions or all that were not declared mentally infirm.  They were given the vote.

      At about the same time, there were some very important reforms that came into being, again important reforms that reflect on the process that is before us today.

      In 1870, for example, they introduced the Civil Service reform act.  It was the Civil Service reform act that made it possible for the Minister of Finance to have a staff that would not be appointed by his direct command but that would be appointed by competitive examinations, who would be hired on the basis of their competency, who would be able to present him and therefore Treasury Board with a series of Estimates based on the financial forecast of the government of the day and based on the direction given by the government.  Certainly, they could do that from professional competence and not because they were loyal to the individual Minister of Finance.

      In 1911 something very interesting happened.  That bill was an example of a budget that was rejected by a Chamber that was not elected.  That is known as the Parliament Act of 1911, and what occurred in that particular piece of historical reference and, again, evolved our parliamentary system was the rejection of the budget by the lords.  Now at this point the lords had only two forms of representation.  They were those that had inherited their title and therefore were indeed still the vestiges of the nobles of the land or those that had been appointed by Parliament to the judiciary.  They too had seats in the House of Lords. They defeated the government's budget.

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Not a wise move.

Mrs. Carstairs:  It was certainly not, as the Minister of Labour says, a wise move, because the Parliament of the day decided to do something very similar to what Brian Mulroney decided to do just a few years ago in order to get the GST passed.  The House of Commons and the Prime Minister threatened to swamp the House of Lords and that if they could not get the votes that they wanted from the House of Lords what they would do would be that they would, quite frankly, put enough people in the House of Lords so that the House of Lords would vote the way the government of the day wanted them to vote.

An Honourable Member:  Some things never change.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Some things never change.

An Honourable Member:  Some things should not change.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Well, I am delighted, Madam Deputy Speaker, because I have just heard the words I have been wanting to hear from the government benches.  I have two ministers that are saying from their seats, some things should not change.  That is exactly what this whole speech is all about:  Some things should not change.  Some traditions, some rights, some proceedings that we have been given as opposition members of this Chamber should indeed not change.

      The House of Lords finally yielded.  The House of Lords finally did, by a narrow majority of 17, pass the Parliament Act, which henceforth limited the amount of stalling time for the House of Lords on any budget to one month.  Now that power has dissolved in its entirety.  They do not even take the budget into the House of Lords in Great Britain as they do not take the budget into the Senate, but they lost this authority and this authority came down to this Chamber.  It is in this Chamber that we deal with budgets.  It is in this Chamber that we deal with Estimates.  It is in this Chamber that our rights as parliamentarians must be protected.

      Madam Deputy Speaker, I want to talk about just what has happened in the process of the last few days.  About a week and a half ago the Minister of Finance (Mr. Manness) as the House leader, not as the Minister of Finance, but as the House leader, made contact with the Liberal Party House leader and he said to us through our House leader that he wanted to do something which was quite unusual.  He made no bones about that.  He was very upfront.  He said, I want to do something which is quite unusual.  I want to introduce some of the Estimates, but I am not going to be able to present you with the Main Estimates book.

      The House leader came to my office, and I told him that to the best of my knowledge, it was unprecedented, but I said, I am not an authority on parliamentary tradition.  I certainly have some knowledge of parliamentary history, but I am not an authority on parliamentary tradition.

      So I asked our research staff to make some critical calls.  I asked them first to call the House of Commons.  I asked them to call other Legislatures in this nation.  I even made contact with our own Clerk because, to my knowledge in this House while I have been here, they had never even presented Main Estimates outside of a budget presentation, and I thought perhaps you could not even do that.

      Well, the Clerk of the Chamber, having knowledge of the traditions of this particular House, quickly informed me that this was in fact possible, that prior to 1983 and rule changes in this House, it had happened that the budget was not presented at the same time as the Main Estimates book.

      However, I was informed that individual Estimates had never before been presented without being in the context of the Main Estimates book.  So I went to Ottawa, and I asked specifically for a ruling on whether this was possible‑‑not a ruling, because they cannot give a ruling to this House.  That is not the correct word.  They cannot give a ruling.

      So I went and I asked if they had done this in the House of Commons, which is really the one we look to.  I mean, it is very frequent that the Speaker, for example, will make contact with the House of Commons staff in Ottawa and the Speaker's staff because they have many more staff than our Speaker here, and they have been, quite frankly, functioning longer than we have, and they have traditions from more countries than we have.

      Our staff did indeed go to the House of Commons, and we learned that, of course, this does not happen.  In the House of Commons, what has happened is that there is now a very clear time sequence, by agreement, that the Estimates of the Government of Canada will be presented in the House of Commons on March 1, not the Estimates of Defence or the Estimates of External Affairs or the Estimates of Health and Welfare‑‑all of the Estimates.  All of the Estimates will be presented on March 1 of any calendar year.

(Mr. Speaker in the Chair)

      At that point in time, with the presentation of Estimates, the members of the House of Commons are then given three months to debate, in committee, of four standing committees‑‑

* (1700)




Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  The hour being 5 p.m., time for private members' hour.




Bill 200‑The Child and Family Services Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Wellington (Ms. Barrett), Bill 200, The Child and Family Services Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les services a l'enfant et a la famille, standing in the name of the honourable member for Swan River (Ms. Wowchuk) who has seven minutes remaining.

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand‑‑and also standing in the name of the honourable Minister of Family Services (Mr. Gilleshammer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing in the names of the honourable two members? [agreed]


Bill 203‑The Health Care Records Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for St. Johns (Ms. Wasylycia‑Leis), Bill 203, The Health Care Records Act; Loi sur les dossiers medicaux, standing in the name of the honourable member for Emerson (Mr. Penner).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand? Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]


Bill 205‑The Ombudsman Amendment Act


Mr. Speaker:  On the proposed motion of the honourable member for Kildonan (Mr. Chomiak), Bill 205, The Ombudsman Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'ombudsman, standing in the name of the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer).

An Honourable Member:  Stand.

Mr. Speaker:  Stand?  Is there leave that this matter remain standing? [agreed]




Mr. Speaker:  Are we proceeding with Bill 202 (The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur la location a usage d'habitation)?  No.  Okay.

      Are we proceeding with Bill 208 (The Workers Compensation Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur les accidents du travail)?

An Honourable Member:  No.

Mr. Speaker:  No.  Are we proceeding with Bill 209 (The Public Health Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur la sante publique)?

An Honourable Member:  No.

Mr. Speaker:  No.  Are we proceeding with Bill 211 (The Municipal Assessment Amendment Act; Loi modifiant la Loi sur l'evaluation municipale)?

An Honourable Member:  No.

Mr. Speaker:  No.  Prior to going into Proposed Resolutions, the honourable member for St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) will do his committee changes.


Committee Change


Mr. Neil Gaudry (St. Boniface):  I move, seconded by the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs), that the composition of the Standing Committee on Economic Development be amended as follows:  St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry) for Inkster (Mr. Lamoureux).

Mr. Speaker:  Agreed?  That is agreed.




Mr. Reg Alcock (Osborne):  Mr. Speaker, I just have a quick piece of House business.  There is standing on the Order Paper an Address for Papers in my name.  I would just like to inform the House that that Address for Papers has been satisfied by the minister‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  This is private members' hour.

Mr. Alcock:  Might I ask leave just to correct this?  That is what you asked me to do last time.  I am simply trying to clean up the Order Paper at the request of the House, that there is an Address for Papers sitting here in my name that has been satisfied.  I would like to thank the minister for doing it.

Mr. Speaker:  Okay.  Just wait a second.  We will find it.

      We have been asked by the honourable member for Osborne to remove an Address for Papers for which the honourable member has indicated the conditions have been satisfied.  Is there leave of the House to remove said article from the Order Paper? [agreed] I would like to thank all honourable members.




Res. 9‑Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross


Mrs. Sharon Carstairs (Leader of the Second Opposition):  Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by the honourable depute de St. Boniface (Mr. Gaudry),

      WHEREAS Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross was forced to get her medical degree from the Women's Medical School of Philadelphia because no Canadian medical school would accept women as students; and

      WHEREAS after graduating in 1875 and practising medicine for a few years in Quebec, Dr. Ross and her family moved to Whitemouth where her husband was involved with the construction of the railway; and

      WHEREAS Dr. Ross established a practice looking after railway workers and eventually a full family practice when the railway brought settlers to the area; and

      WHEREAS women became eligible to be doctors but they had to have at least six months education at a Canadian medical school; and

      WHEREAS Dr. Ross refused to relearn at a Canadian medical school what she had learned in five years in Philadelphia; and

      WHEREAS she faced fines and jail for continuing to practise without a licence; and

      WHEREAS in 1887 she petitioned the Manitoba Legislature for her right to practise and was turned down; and

      WHEREAS Dr. Ross continued to practise medicine serving the community of Whitemouth until her retirement in 1912 without a licence; and

      WHEREAS Dr. Ross played an important role in the development of the province of Manitoba; and

      WHEREAS Dr. Ross's dedication and perseverance improved opportunities for all Manitoba and Canadian women; and

      WHEREAS very little has been done to recognize the role of pioneer women like Dr. Ross and their importance to our history.

      THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislative Assembly of the province of Manitoba grant to Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross the posthumous right to practise medicine in recognition of her valuable contribution to Manitoba life and the unfair barriers she faced in her lifetime.

Motion presented.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Mr. Speaker, I am hopeful that all members of the Chamber will join with me in the passage of this resolution. It is certainly not a controversial resolution.  It is one that, quite frankly, came to me by virtue of a book that I read last summer called The Iron Rose:  The Extraordinary Life of Charlotte Ross, written by a Manitoban who now lives in Vancouver by the name of Fred Edge and published by the University of Manitoba Press.

      Charlotte Whitehead Ross did not go to medical school until she was 27 years of age and already had three children.  The reason she chose to go to medical school, despite the fact that she had to leave her husband, take her younger child with her, leaving the two older children in the family home and, by the way, with the full support and encouragement of her husband, tried to go to medical school in Canada, but at that particular time‑‑these were the days before Jennie Trout managed to get into a Canadian medical school‑‑Charlotte Whitehead Ross, whose father, by the way, was a member of the House of Commons, could not get into a Canadian medical school, and so she had to look elsewhere.

      Because many schools in the United States would also not accept her, because they also did not accept women into the mainstream so‑called medical schools, she went to the University of Pennsylvania, which had established a women's medical college.  Her first year she actually had to drop out.  She found, shortly after her arrival, that she was pregnant with her fourth child.  The pregnancy became somewhat complicated, so she had to return to Montreal where she was living at that particular time, left her studies, gave birth to the child, then returned to medical school the following year in order to achieve her medical degree.

      She practised for the first time in Quebec, and here too she practised without a licence, because the province of Quebec simply would not recognize a woman as a medical doctor no matter how proficient or acceptable her level of training.

      One of the ways in which, of course, they got around this was the way in which we got around it in Manitoba.  We said that we would not recognize anybody who did not graduate from a Canadian medical school.  That was a neat trick, because no woman could graduate from Canadian medical schools.  So virtually what you were saying was, you could not practise medicine if you were a woman in Canada.

      Upon her return from having achieved her medical degree, her husband decided that he wanted to move to Manitoba.  He not only had a history of building railways in the East, but so did his father‑in‑law.  His father‑in‑law put together a financial consortium which led to Mr. Donald Ross moving to Manitoba to construct the railroad.

      At first, because by this time her family was indeed quite large, it was her original thought that she would adjust her family, but, of course, the first accident occurred; it was life threatening, and it quickly became apparent that a doctor was necessary.  Her husband immediately sent for her so that she could provide that medical assistance.

* (1710)

      She, therefore, began with the railway workers, but, of course, it quickly became evident that not only railway workers needed her, but women in the area needed her, children in the area needed her, because there was no other doctor.  The only way you could then get a doctor into Whitemouth was to bring one out on the train from Winnipeg, and by the time they got there, the patient was often deceased.  So if there was to be any hope that the patient would survive, it would be through the quick medical assistance that could be provided by Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross.

      She finally realized, however, the difficulties that she was in, in not having a licence, when the Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons came down with a series of regulations which said that they would not recognize anyone who had not graduated from a Canadian medical school.

      This is where some of the names will perhaps become more familiar to people.  She came into Winnipeg and she immediately made contact with a Mr. Aikins, at Aikins, Culver, Hamilton, Barristers and Solicitors.  Of course, that is James Aikins, whose firm today still very much exists in the city of Winnipeg, which, of course, is Aikins, MacCaulay & Thorvaldson which was pointed out by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Praznik).

      He decided that the best way for her to achieve this was to petition the government directly and to by‑pass, if you will, the College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Unfortunately, she ran into some difficulty with a man by the name of William Luxton, who was an MLA of this Chamber, but was also the editor of the Daily Free Press, now known as the Winnipeg Free Press.

An Honourable Member:  The Manitoba Free Press.

Mrs. Carstairs:  Well, that is right, originally.

      What happened in this particular case was that he was vehemently opposed to women being allowed to practise medicine, and he was not only prepared to fight it on the floor of the Chamber, he was also fighting it in the editorials that his paper was writing.

      Donald Smith, an English immigrant farmer, who sat interestingly enough as an independent member from Springfield‑‑I thought that would be of interest to the current member for Springfield (Mr. Findlay).  He was a farmer, as is the current member for Springfield.  He had been approached by James Aikins and agreed to actually sponsor the bill in the Manitoba Legislature.  Unfortunately, the bill was defeated, and she never was given her licence to practise medicine in the province of Manitoba.

      I have to suggest to you, it did not stop her from practising medicine.  What does one do when one is a fully qualified doctor, there is no other doctor in the vicinity, and patients need you? She had to hope that she would not come to somebody's craving for enforcement of the law to its nth degree.  She continued to practise medicine for the rest of her life.  Nobody ever did prosecute her, fortunately.  She was never charged and, therefore she was never convicted of practising without a licence.

      I should also point out to you that there is‑‑and I did not know this until after I had actually proposed the resolution‑‑a direct connection to a former member of this Chamber.

      Last year, in our condolence motions, all of us spoke about Mark Smerchanski.  I did not know at the time when I proposed this resolution that his wife Patricia Smerchanski is a granddaughter of Charlotte Whitehead Ross and only learned that when the book was being unveiled and she spoke that evening as the granddaughter of Charlotte Whitehead Ross.

      I am hoping that all members of this Chamber can right a wrong that, unfortunately, an earlier Chamber in my opinion committed, and that we can posthumously grant in the tradition of co‑operation which we sometimes do get on interesting resolutions, and to do something which will pay tribute to the very fine work that this woman pioneer in Manitoba gave to the life of so many Manitobans.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Darren Praznik (Minister of Labour):  Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour to rise on this occasion to speak about Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross.  I must indicate to the Leader of the Liberal Party that this is one of those occasions when a resolution comes before this Chamber that is designed to right what in our view today is certainly a wrong in the history of the province of Manitoba, and to recognize certainly the role of pioneer women in our province's history, their tremendous contribution, and not only contribution, but I think, as the member for River Heights has pointed out, certainly the tremendous number of obstacles that they had to face in trying to make that contribution.

      The member for River Heights has asked for the co‑operation of this Chamber in passing this resolution.  I can tell her that I know on this side of the House there are a number of members who would like to speak to this resolution.  It is one of great interest, I think, for those of us who have an appreciation for the history of this province.

      I say to her today, should it not pass at this time, I think at another point in the session.  This is certainly a resolution that is worthy to be brought forward again on the Order Paper for consideration of passage.  I know the hour allotted to it may not be sufficient for those who wish to contribute, but I would indicate to her very clearly today to not be disappointed if time should run out because, as someone like her who appreciates and enjoys the study of history, this is certainly one resolution that is worthy of that kind of unanimous effort by the members of this Chamber, if not today, certainly at some other point in this session.

      I would like to say to members of this House and to the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs), that being a member of the Legislature from eastern Manitoba, my constituency borders the Whitemouth area.  The member who currently represents Whitemouth is the member for La Verendrye (Mr. Sveinson), who is a colleague and sits in our benches, and I know that he would like to probably speak to this resolution at some point in the debate.  That part of the country in the province of Manitoba is a very unique part because it was one of the last parts to be truly settled in our province, something that is not always appreciated in the study of Manitoba history, although, as the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs) has spoken in this Chamber about her arriving in the 1880s in that particular area, Whitemouth really was the nucleus of settlement in that far end, the eastern part of our province.

      It was an area that grew up primarily, initially, around the running of the CPR line, the main line, the original line which runs through my constituency aimed at the town of Selkirk whose city fathers at the time‑‑because women were not able to sit on council‑‑made a decision that they would not match the tax benefits that the City of Winnipeg was to provide.  So just a little to the West of where I live, the railway takes a sharp turn to the South to cross the Red River and the city of Winnipeg and made Winnipeg what in fact it is today, a major city in our province.

      The coming of that railroad opened up that part of eastern Manitoba for farming.  The Whitemouth district, of course, had some of the best, most fertile soils in that part of the province and attracted farmers, attracted a small town to service the railroad, a brick factory.  In fact, it is one of the few areas in eastern Manitoba where one will still find brick barns and brick houses, because they did have a brick factory.  But it was a very, very difficult area, difficult because it was covered with the end of the boreal forest, heavily wooded, difficult to access other than by the railroad, very tough country in which to farm, the area where my colleague the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Findlay) hails from, where he farms today, formerly the member for Virden now representing the good people of Springfield.

      That part of the province, the prairie region, particularly the short‑grass prairie, even the tall‑grass prairie, in no way matched the difficulty‑‑a whole different set, I acknowledge, of trials to be undergone by our pioneers‑‑of having to settle in a significantly wooded area, because before you could turn sod, you had to cut trees.  You had to do a lot more physical work to make the land productive.

      The people who settled in that area not only had those great difficulties of beginning their farms and the beginning of that settlement, but they were also very, very much isolated from the major areas of settlement in our province.  They did not have the access, of course, to a lot of branchline railroads.  In those days, there was not much of a road system anywhere.  They certainly did not have any.  They were solely dependent on the main line of the railroad.

      * (1720)

      Consequently, the ability to attract physicians, the ability to attract any kind of basic services to those communities was very, very difficult and to have a practising physician who could service the community in those early pioneering days was a tremendous asset.

      As someone who is 31 years of age today‑‑[interjection] I am 31 today.  I will be 32 in May, so my colleagues may wish to celebrate that with me at that time.  But for someone of my age today in 1993, it is so hard to appreciate why the profession of the day would find such difficulty in providing a licence to a properly trained doctor to practise medicine in a frontier area of our province.  It is absolutely amazing to someone of my generation living in this year to understand how that in fact could be the case, because it really defies common sense, at least how we see it today.

      The fact that the Manitoba Legislature was petitioned by, I understand, the sitting MLA of that time to override the College and Physicians and Surgeons and to grant to Dr. Whitehead Ross the right to practise I think was very significant but, here again, we have an early example of an establishment in our province, the news media and member of the Legislature from Winnipeg really imposing a set of values that would be to the detriment of those areas of our province that did not have access to the medical profession in the city of Winnipeg.

      What is interesting, and I say this as a rural member, the parallel that one can draw from time to time of how a large urban centre in a province, how the issues are debated in that centre and judged by a set of standards within that centre may not always have a sound application to those areas that are far distant from that urban centre.

      I know from time to time we have seen decisions made by provincial governments, by provincial parties, and I offer trying to engage in partisan debate, but I know the Liberal Party, with its strong urban presence in our province and without representation from outside of the city, has from time to time done the same thing on issues where they have made suggestions or recommendations to policy that may have been perfectly sound within the boundaries of the city of Winnipeg but have not had as sound an application out in rural Manitoba.

      There is a lesson in this experience not only in how our own view of the world can treat someone so terribly based on their sex but, also, the lesson of how a Legislature or the influences in one part of our province can impose restrictions that are to the detriment of other parts of this province.  That lesson is one that has occurred throughout the history of our province. This is certainly one of the very, very early examples of it.

      As a member of the Legislative Assembly for eastern Manitoba, I am sure that many of the early pioneers along the Winnipeg River in the Brookfield area, which is near Whitemouth, certainly the River Hill‑Seven Sisters area who moved into those areas very early would have sought and had the services of Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross.  I am very pleased that this resolution has come forward to right what obviously was a wrong at the time.

      Mr. Speaker, again, just to the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs), I know I share with her a love of history and of learning about our past, which is so often forgotten or discouraged almost by many who teach history or by many in our school system who do not share that same appreciation and for many of our students make it into a chore and an exercise that they do not appreciate.  I certainly appreciate this resolution, the reasons that it was brought to this House.  It is certainly worthy of this House's consideration.  I know myself in my experience with the Manitoba Metis Federation, representing a very significant Metis population, the concern that was always expressed to me about the need for this House and the House of Commons to recognize the role of Louis Riel, to right a historical wrong.  The same principle applies, I think, in this case, a way of us acknowledging a wrong that was committed in our past.

      I know that I enjoyed very, very much my work with the Manitoba Metis Federation, with my colleagues, the Honourable Jim Downey, the Minister responsible for Northern and Native Affairs and Deputy Premier in crafting that resolution that came before this House.  One of the moments that I will always remember in my legislative career is having the honour and the privilege of seconding that resolution that came before this Assembly, because it was something that meant very much to me to be able to participate in righting what was really a wrong in the early days of our province.

      I am sure the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs) also shares that same feeling in bringing forward this resolution to this Chamber.  It is one, as I have said before, that I think I very much appreciate.  I think it is very worthy of consideration by the members of this House.

      Again, it outlines to us the great difficulties that were encountered by our pioneers, particularly our women pioneers, who had to bear a great deal of the burden of settlement and the difficulty of settlement.  It outlines to us and reminds us, as well, of many of the barriers that we, in fact, put in place of women and others in our society over the years that prevented them from using their ability and their best efforts to serve their community and their fellow Manitobans and to build our province.

      It reminds us again in 1993 that we should always be ensuring that all of our citizens have the right and the ability to pursue their talents through their efforts to make a contribution to the people of our province.

      As I have indicated as deputy government House leader, I think this is a resolution that is worthy of consideration of this House.  If it is not passed today, I think it is worthy for discussion to see it brought forward again at another point.

      I would like to thank the honourable member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs) for bringing this resolution forward.  It is certainly one, for those of us who love history, that is worthy of our consideration and discussion.  Thank you.

Ms. Rosann Wowchuk (Swan River):  Mr. Speaker, it also gives me pleasure to speak today to this motion, where we are recognizing Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross.  I want to tell the member who introduced this resolution that I was not aware of the contributions that this woman made to our province.  I think it is worthy that we should be recognizing her.

      I think, in recognizing her, we have to also recognize the stumbling blocks that were put in the way of many women as they tried to pursue a career of their choice.  It is unfortunate that those blocks were put there, but it is also fortunate that things have changed in this province and that women do have the opportunity, although there are still many cases where there are not as open opportunities as there should be.  There are still blocks there.

      This is one way that we can recognize the contributions that women have made to this province, and I am looking forward to perhaps getting a copy of that book and reading through the contributions that this woman has made.  It must have been a tremendous hardship and a disappointment to spend that much time studying, particularly the difficulties that she went through, to leave her family, to go out of the country to get an education because that was not available and then to have that education and not be able to make use of it.  It must have been very, very disappointing.

* (1730)

      Where she practised with her husband and her father being involved in the railway industry brings back memories of some of the things that my ancestors did.  Both my grandfathers and my father were involved in the railway industry.  I know that they faced some very difficult jobs, and there were many accidents as well.  Our families also lived in very remote areas where we did not have access to a doctor, so the people in the Whitemouth area were very fortunate to have someone who could provide services to them which were not available to many people in other parts of the province.

      I think it was wrong what happened to this woman, that she was not granted her licence to practise in this province was wrong, Mr. Speaker.  I think it is only right that these things should be corrected, just as the member for Lac du Bonnet (Mr. Praznik) talked about the corrections that we had made in recognizing Louis Riel, who was not recognized.  It is time that we should recognize other people if they have not been recognized in the past.

      Mr. Speaker, we are pleased to see this resolution brought forward, and we would offer our support to it as well.

Mrs. Shirley Render (St. Vital):  It gives me pleasure to rise to speak to this motion.

      I think all of us know that perhaps here in Canada we have a history that could be called the forgotten history, and this is one aspect of it.  The history of women is something that I have been interested in for a number of years.  The publication of this book, I think, just brings to light another aspect of our history that most of us do not even realize about.

      What I found interesting, and I have just had the book sort of seconds in my hand.  I was just reading one little part here where‑‑now I have to put my glasses back on here‑‑

An Honourable Member:  Oh, you are getting old.

Mrs. Render:  I am getting old.

      I am quoting from the dust jacket.  It says:  After overcoming resistance to herself as a female doctor, she became a trusted and well‑loved figure in the community.

      This is something that I found out in my research.  Some of you know that I have just written a book on women pilots, Canadian women pilots, and one of the things that the women there told me, in fact, the men told me, that so often they judged a woman.  They said, gee, you do very well for a woman.  The women said, we will know that we have made it when they say, you are a good pilot, not just that you are a good woman pilot.

      So as I say, I think it is very interesting that 100 years earlier, this lady, Dr. Charlotte Ross, said much the same thing, that she was judged not just as a medical doctor, but as a female medical doctor.  Of course, that is the root of all of this right here, that women who went into nontraditional roles had a whole pile of misconceptions, obstacles, barriers that they had to overcome.  I think one of the things that was probably common, whether a woman became a doctor or a lawyer or a pilot or an engineer, was the thought that women's proper place was in the home.  That was probably the toughest barrier for women to overcome, because it was not written down in any legislation. There was not any rule book that said women must do this and women must do that, but that was the tradition, and tradition and unwritten rules are some of the hardest things to overcome.

      Social attitudes of the day, certainly back in the 19th Century, even though this was a country that was a pioneering country and there were really no rules, there was no laid‑out pattern that women had to do this and women had to do that, and of course we all know from our history, our knowledge of women in the farm area, those women did not stand on ceremony and say, my job is only to cook, I am not supposed to go out in the fields, I am not supposed to push a plow.  Again, I think it is very interesting that when things have to be done, women do not stand on ceremony and say, I am not going to do that, they just go ahead and do it.

      But, on the other side of the coin, when they try to move into areas that perhaps others do not think they should be there, all of the sudden the unwritten rules come out.  And certainly Dr. Charlotte Ross found these unwritten rules.  I notice that the very first part of the resolution states that she was forced to get her medical degree from the United States rather than from Canada.  I remember many, many years ago reading a book on another Canadian woman doctor.  I cannot remember her name, but it was the very same thing, she had to go south to the United States to get her degree.  When she returned to Canada she had to take some more training, but because the college in Montreal would not accept her as a student, and because she felt she had to get‑‑well, it says right here, you have to have more training in Canada to get that licence.  She wanted to be a proper doctor, so she disguised herself as a man, and that was the only way she could become accepted at the school.  If my memory is correct, she‑‑well, I think she put in almost two years and nobody found out that she was really a woman underneath that disguise.

      Now, down about the sixth or seventh WHEREAS, it says: WHEREAS Doctor Ross's dedication and perseverance improved opportunities for all Manitoban and Canadian women.  I think those two words, dedication and perseverance, are very important, because again, in my research and in my studies I have found that women who moved into the nontraditional areas, the trait that was common to all of them was persistence.  Dedication and perseverance are just another way of saying it, that the women who persisted and who were not about to take no, who were not about to be turned away or to be afraid to take that challenge, they were the ones that were the true pioneers.

      Just as a sort of a personal note, my father is a medical doctor and he received his medical degree before World War II. When I asked him what he thought about women being in medical school, he said, as a matter of fact, Shirley, approximately one‑third to one‑half of the class were women, and that was before World War II.  I am not too sure what happened in the interim period, because certainly throughout the '40s and the '50s and the '60s there were not that many women, but my youngest brother is now just finishing his medical degree and he says that more than half of his classmates are women, so I do see a difference.

      We have had to wait a long time.  I see here that Dr. Ross graduated in 1875, so I certainly hope 100 years later that we can say that, yes, women do make up at least one‑half of the graduating class.  But whether it is numbers, I think that is immaterial.  I think the important part is whether there are barriers preventing women from going into whatever field.  I do not think there has to be a quota on women.  It is whether or not the doors are open.  I certainly know that in this day and age, and I am sure all members here in this Legislature would have no qualms about saying, yes, if women are qualified, if women are competent, there is no reason why that particular woman should not do what she wishes to do.

      Certainly, Dr. Charlotte Ross was one of these women.  She was qualified; she was competent; she was courageous.  I think it takes a lot of courage to leave your home, your family, your province and indeed your country to go away and pursue that career.  That takes a lot of guts, and I am not too sure how many people here would be able to do something like that.

      So she was a pioneer.  She was a pioneer in a whole variety of ways.  She was a pioneer because she was one of the first Canadian women doctors.  She was a pioneer because she did overcome obstacles.  The word "pioneer" I think sometimes we use in the sense that they were the first or they were early, back in the early part of this century, and Dr. Ross qualifies in all senses of the word.  I do not think from the little bit I have read on her‑‑and I remember getting an invitation to the unveiling of this book.  If my memory is correct, I think the unveiling did take place at‑‑was it at the university or at the medical college library?  It seems to me it was at the medical college library.  It was a downtown address.

* (1740)

      But in the write‑up that I remember reading in the paper, I do not think she was one of these‑‑well, how shall I phrase it‑‑loud‑mouthed feminists who banged and waved her arms and sort of flapped around.  My feeling of Dr. Ross was that she‑‑[interjection] No, I do not think they had it back in those days.  My feeling is that Dr. Ross was just one of these women who said the best way to prove that women can do the job is simply to be qualified and competent, just simply to do a good job and just go about doing it, not rant and rave.

      Again, that was something that I found out in the research that I did for my book.  The women in my book felt that the best way to make their mark was simply to be competent, to be qualified, and to do the best possible job.

      Mr. Speaker, I think that this is a good resolution.  I think it is very definitely worthy of our spending time talking about an individual such as this.  Dr. Charlotte Ross I think has the admiration of everyone here in this Chamber, and I think we should‑‑it is a little late, but I think we must congratulate her family for bringing to light this history because it is a piece of our history, a piece of our history that has been forgotten, that has been sort of shoved under the mat.

      I think it is high time that we here in Manitoba celebrate the fact that we have pioneers, either men or women, but pioneers whom we can be proud of.  I am glad to see that this book is published and that we are bringing to light here in this particular Chamber some of the achievements of our Manitoba people.  Thank you.

Mr. Ben Sveinson (La Verendrye):  Mr. Speaker, it has been said a number of times already in the Assembly just now of the wrong that was done many years ago.  I do agree and would like to, I guess you could say, connect with this person in some way just relating back to my own life and the area that I grew up in, also the area that I represent right now.  This lady, her husband and family, actually it was not in Whitemouth that they lived‑‑I guess you could say it was the R.M. of Whitemouth possibly now‑‑but it was in the River Hills area.

      At any rate, it was said earlier by the honourable member for Lac du Bonnet (Mr. Praznik) of the different trials that our pioneers did run into at that time and how the CN did connect them in some way with the area of Winnipeg.  I guess at that time that was somewhat minimal, too.  However, just connecting with it in some way‑‑and we talk about this lady who in fact did have the schooling.  She did have the experience in practice.  However, she was turned down because she did not have enough years of experience, from what I gather, in this country.

      Mr. Speaker, I would like to take my friends within this Assembly back to my time as a child in northern Manitoba up around Spearhill.  It was indeed‑‑[interjection] Well, it is about five miles off the No. 6 highway at Moosehorn, Manitoba. It is just a little bit north of Ashern.  However, if any of you have gone up in that area you will find that as you proceed east from Moosehorn you run into very quickly within about six, seven miles, you run into wilderness.  Not from Ashern, from Spearhill, you run into wilderness.  It is in some cases floating bog.  I do not know if some of my colleagues in here have ever been out on floating bog but it is said that‑‑and it really happens‑‑if you step on this stuff it will wave back at you about 30 or 40 yards away.  It is quite an experience.  However, that is not the whole thing that I wanted to get in here.

      My mother, for example, was not trained as such in the medical field‑‑[interjection] in being a mother, that is right, exactly, and in raising a family of a very large number I think, 13, nine boys and four girls.  I, Mr. Speaker, was born in a log cabin about seven or eight miles east of Spearhill in the middle, literally, of wilderness.  It is absolute wilderness all around it.  I was told by my grandparents and by my parents and my brothers what kind of a mischievous little fellow I was during my growing‑up years and the troubles that I got into.  I am not going to go into all of them, because some of my colleagues around here might laugh too long.  However, just to give you a few things that we used to do, one was cutting wood.  We used to sell it to the lime plant in Spearhill, Manitoba, which was indeed a company town.  Winnipeg Supply and Fuel owned the lime plant there and, indeed, it was a company town.

      The point that I want to get to here is just to show you how mothers‑‑and indeed this lady was indeed a mother.  She did have schooling, but I am just trying to connect it with what things my mother did.  My brothers and I were out cutting cord one day, and being mischievous young fellows we saw‑‑and indeed we did some trapping in those days, too, actually a lot of it.

An Honourable Member:  Gophers?

Mr. Sveinson:  No, squirrels, muskrats and so on.

      At any rate, we saw this squirrel in a tree, and we were just kind of sitting around the fire at the time, it was in winter. We said, hey, let us scare that squirrel a little bit, you know. So we grabbed little sticks and we threw them up in the tree to scare it, you see, a little bit.  Then we started running through the trees because he was jumping from tree to tree.  So I grab another stick and I let it go again.  It hit some branches, and it came right back and went right through my lip.  There is a scar right here.  It went right through my lip. [interjection]

      This is where the connection comes in, Reg.  If you listen closely, Reg‑‑the member for Osborne (Mr. Alcock), if he will listen now he will get the connection.

      I threw the stick.  It hit the branches on the spruce trees and came right back at me just like a dart.  I could see it coming just like an arrow, and it went right through my lip.  You can see the scar right here.

      At any rate, it was strange.  I felt no pain, but I just kind of backed up against a tree and I just slid right down to the ground.  I was out.  I passed out.  When I came to, my brothers were there.  I was bleeding, of course, from here and I could feel this thing inside here.  The branch had gone through my lip and the knot had broken off just inside the skin.  It swelled up pretty good, and we were about a mile and a half to two miles away from home.  We did not have anything fast to get there.  We had to walk.  Away we went.  We got home.

      Now the key here is, we were about 15 miles away from the nearest hospital.  We did not have a car or a truck.  It was horse and buggy time.

An Honourable Member:  You are not that old, Ben.

Mr. Sveinson:  Oh, yes, unfortunately I am.

      However, my mother said to me, Ben, there is something we have to think about here.  If I push that stick through your lip it is going to tear the muscles in your lip, because it was just inside.  If I push it back through it will not tear anything more than has been torn already.  It was quite numb at the time.  It was starting to give me some pain, but she did slowly push it back through and took it out.  I did not go to a doctor.  If you look at this scar, it is hardly noticeable.  There is no lump there now at all.

An Honourable Member:  Can I see it?

* (1750)

Mr. Sveinson:  Yes, it is right here.  I was about eight or nine years at the time, about eight or nine years old.

      What I am trying to point out here is that this lady was indeed a pioneer.  My mother was a pioneer.  In fact, I guess you could say that, in some ways, I was too.  I grew up in what is called the horse‑and‑buggy days.  I did drive the horse and buggy.  I did drive the horse and the sleighs and had a great time doing it, a great time.  I loved every minute of it.  I did a lot of trapping and hunting, which was part of that pioneer spirit, but having somebody like this lady‑‑[interjection] woman?

      I am being told what to call this lady.  I truly think she was a lady.  A lady is indeed a woman.  I hope my colleagues connected with that.  When I say a lady, that is even, I do not know, it kind of gives more‑‑how would you call it? [interjection] That is more like it.  That is right.  A woman on a pedestal, if you will.  It is something, I do not know, somehow maybe a little more glamorous.  On a pedestal kind of exemplifies what I mean.

      I really do consider what this woman, who was, indeed, by anybody's measure, a doctor, and a very trained doctor, who in fact practised‑‑and this does connect.  It kind of makes me feel good, in the sense that I do represent the area where at one point she did live and practise.  So it does make me feel good to be able to talk on this, and indeed to, in some way, be able to connect with this woman who lived actually quite a long time ago.

      I was not born in that time, of course.  In fact, I was born quite a long time after that, but there was something more in the area, and not as the kind of connection, if you will, that those areas had with civilization.

      I believe that I was about 14, no, about 12 years old before we had hydro at the farm that we lived on in the area where I was born.  It is not that long ago either, when you really think about it.  Eleven off of 48.  That is about 37 years ago that in fact we finally got hydro in that area. [interjection] Yes.  When you try to think about it, it is not that long ago, really.  You look at the services given today, and this is again connecting with this woman.  I do not like that; I like "lady."  At any rate, this woman who was a lady and a doctor, if you look at today in the Whitemouth area still, because I guess of the population in the area, it still has a hard time to hold doctors in that area.

      So I would just like to say that I indeed think that this is a resolution that is worthy of passage and compliment the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs) for bringing it up.  Indeed, in case some others would like to speak on it, and I would encourage them to do it, but indeed to pass it at least at another time.

Mr. Jack Reimer (Niakwa):  Mr. Speaker, indeed, this is a very appropriate resolution to come before the House in regard to looking at past discretions for some of the members who were in the House a long time ago.  I guess when you look at the resolution regarding Dr. Charlotte Whitehead Ross and her contributions not only to the medical profession but to Manitoba and the early pioneers, it is indeed something that Manitoba and Canadians can be proud of.

      The fact that the doctor came to Whitemouth to do her practising and to serve her community in regard to, I believe, with her husband being part of the construction with railway, the railway here in Manitoba has always played a very significant and important part.  In Dr. Ross's practice, I believe when you look back in time to the early times when she was going to medical school and the fact of some of the discrimination against women at the time in practising, one of the indiscretions that was pointed out to me by one of my colleagues was the fact that at one time there was a certain stigma attached to women going into medical school because they would be forced to look at naked men.

      There was that Victorian attitude.  We came to call it a Victorian attitude of the male dominance at that particular time and the fact that the woman was not allowed to even look at a naked man.  In fact, she was involved with the medical practice. It just seems unapproached at that time. [interjection] Mr. Speaker, I should maybe not have gotten into this subject in that particular way.  We have to get back onto the track of looking at this resolution and not what my colleagues here are trying to mislead me and take me down this path of wrong direction.

      Indeed, it is a very apropos motion and I believe that the member for River Heights (Mrs. Carstairs) is very sincere in bringing this.  I believe that the motion is something that we should look at in a sense of trying to right the past discretions or indiscretions of our former legislators and in looking at bringing forth and recognizing the pioneer spirit of Dr. Ross.

      As mentioned before, women have played a very, very significant role in Manitoba and the history of Manitoba, and it just seems that a very short time ago, in fact, we just finished celebrating, I believe, the international year of the woman here in the Legislature just less than two weeks ago.

An Honourable Member:  International Women's Day, March 8.

Mr. Reimer:  Yes, March 8, that is right, International Women's Day.  There was a significance and a recognition by the Minister responsible for the Status of Women (Mrs. Mitchelson) here in the Legislature for the strong contribution and involvement that women have had in Manitoba.

      Dr. Ross certainly would qualify as being one of the pioneers here in Manitoba and indeed‑‑

Mr. Speaker:  Order, please.  When this matter is again before the House, the honourable member for Niakwa (Mr. Reimer) will have 12 minutes remaining.

      The hour being 6 p.m., this House is now adjourned and stands adjourned until 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday).