House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Youth Employment
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jean Payne St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, training our young people for success in the competitive economy of the 21st century is the most important investment Canada can make in its future. Over the past month, in conjunction with the ministerial task force on youth, I have held round table meetings in Trepassey, Mobile, Mount Pearl and St. John's to discuss the obstacles facing our young people as they make the transition from the classroom to the job market.

Young people are sometimes hindered by outdated curriculum and a lack of practical experience. They are hindered by a system which encourages a lack of confidence in themselves and in their abilities. Young people have the energy, drive and potential that all employers value. They simply need a foot in the door and a chance to prove themselves. Given such an opportunity youth quickly learn how to apply their knowledge in the workplace.

Government, educators and business leaders all have a role to play in the education of our youth. If each sector can do its part, Canada will reap a fine profit from its investment in young people. Government must provide the environment so that educators and business leaders can do the rest.

Manpower Training
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again, our government has shown that it keeps its promises.

Yesterday, in this House, the Minister of Human Resources Development made public a proposal by our government to the provinces with respect to manpower training.

The plan unveiled will make it possible to meet the longstanding and legitimate expectations of the provinces and of Quebec in particular. The provinces will henceforth be responsible for active job measures, and they will receive approximately $2 billion from our government to help the unemployed re-enter the labour market.

Our Prime Minister has, once again, kept his promises, and our government will soon withdraw from the manpower training sector. This is eloquent proof of our determination to work in partnership with the provinces.

Access Awareness
Statements By Members

May 31st, 1996 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, this week is National Access Awareness Week, for the integration of persons with disabilities. This is a excellent opportunity for Quebecers to get to know and become more aware of the numerous barriers persons with disabilities have to overcome if they are to participate in mainstream society, both socially and in the workplace.

It is fortunate that Quebec and other provinces have decided to celebrate National Access Awareness Week, because the federal government has clearly abandoned these people since the end of its national strategy, on April 1. Since they came into office, the Liberals have managed to dismantle the office of the secretary of state for disabled persons, restrict the admissibility to the tax credit for disabled persons and cut the funding for advocacy groups.

This government has demonstrated an unheard of contempt and arrogance for people with disabilities, who simply want to be recognized and treated as full-fledged citizens.

Crime
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government would have Canadians believe crime is falling. I have two words in response: hog wash.

Violent crime and offences committed against Canadians have increased by an appalling rate over the past 30 years. In 1962 there were 221 violent crimes per 100,000 population in Canada. Current statistics show the violent crime rate is now well over 1,000 incidents per 100,000 population and the property crime rate is three times higher than in 1962.

In overall terms the average Canadian stands a 99.9 per cent chance of being victimized by crime at least once in their life. So much for falling crime.

The only issue in decline is the credibility of a government which has praised itself for making our streets safe when clearly the opposite is true. The Canadian voters will not be fooled. The do nothing Liberal government is soft on crime and Canadians know it. Watch out Liberals-

Crime
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. John's East.

Fisheries And Oceans
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, for many MPs and their constituents, coast guard and fisheries and oceans services are an important part of community life.

This is hardly surprising considering that 88 per cent of the workforce is located in the regions, including my own. I recognize my colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, for his efforts to bring about change.

With the merger of the coast guard and the DFO the minister is leading a historic integration of these two fleets. With an emphasis on multi-tasking, this merger allows each vessel to perform several duties, including science research, enforcement of rights, fishery patrols and search and rescue such as the recent daring rescue of the Amphion .

With a long history of co-operation, this merger will result in streamlined services, elimination of duplication and a reduction of overhead expenses. The result is substantial savings and better value for taxpayer dollars.

I urge the minister to ensure stakeholders are part of this decision making process and continue on this challenging path.

National Unity
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, enough is enough. It has become evident the Prime Minister and his government have absolutely no plan to deal with the national unity issue, no plan A or plan B. In the next referendum the government will be caught again with its pants down around its ankles.

Here is a plan for the Prime Minister. I have put forth a private member's motion that outlines the five criteria under international law required for an area to secede: one, a clear question; two, passed by two-thirds majority; three, the secessionist unit is a people meeting international standards; four, these people have to show their rights and freedoms have been discriminated against; five, they must demonstrate they can form a government.

The Prime Minister must also dispel the myths between federalists and separatists. He must bring members of Parliament from across the House together to build bridges of tolerance and

understanding. If he does not do this, the country will fracture, compromising the health and welfare of all Canadians.

National Unity
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I am sure we always welcome colourful language in the House. Nonetheless, I urge all members to consider very seriously when using such terms as used by the member for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca.

National Unity
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, we hear much talk these days about what individual Canadians are doing in the interest of national unity.

In my riding of Nanaimo-Cowichan one person has done a great deal of writing and broadcasting about Canadians who have, through their achievements, made us proud of the country in which we live and call home, Canada.

Dick Drew has written a book entitled The Canadian Achievers as part of his effort to highlight the outstanding contributions made by people from coast to coast. His best selling book and ongoing radio show outline the accomplishments of some of Canada's least known and well known personalities and in so doing focuses on the very source of Canadian unity, our people.

For those looking to find a source which highlights the spirit and motivation of individual Canadians, Dick Drew's radio show and book on Canadian achievers are a welcome contribution to Canadian unity.

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1986, the governments of Quebec and Canada signed a framework agreement on vocational training for a duration of three years. Since that agreement came to an end, negotiations have not led to its renewal, and the $130 million paid to Quebec has never been indexed. This has been the situation for seven years now.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. Is this present government offer, again limited to three years, not likely to have an identical outcome, since Ottawa still controls the employment insurance fund?

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the offer made to all of the provinces and territories of Canada is as follows. We wanted to ensure that there was some element of certainty, if ever we were able, as I hope we will be, to reach some agreement that would last a minimum of three years. We wanted to be sure that it lasted at least three years. That is not the maximum, nor the set duration.

In this way, we hope to be able to show our good faith, our desire to find a new way of doing things, assuring the provinces and territories that any agreement concluded would last at least three years. This is not merely a question of revision; for as long as agreement continues thereafter, once the three years are over, we ought to be able to continue these agreements for an indefinite period.

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would also be worthwhile to set some guidelines, as in the case of the agreement on immigration, because the agreement I am talking about has not always proved entirely successful.

For the last ten years as well, the federal government has been paying $130 million to Quebec from the consolidated fund. Yesterday the minister admitted that his government would be withdrawing from the manpower field within three years, with no compensation.

Will the federal government continue to invest in this sector the funds it was previously paying to the provinces, such as the $130 million Quebec was, and still is, receiving under the 1989 agreement? If so, is this not proof of its continuing to be involved in this area, despite its avowed intention to withdraw?

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to suggest that we will not manage to sign any agreements, but even if it happened that no agreement was reached, we are already committed to withdrawing from the field of manpower training. Our decision in that connection was made months ago. As far as the estimates and appropriations earmarked for manpower training are concerned, it was our intention, and continues to be our commitment, to withdraw totally from manpower training.

This means the budgets will drop to zero. We will not be getting back into that area again; we have absolutely no intention of doing so.

As for the agreements we hope to negotiate, however, there is no doubt that for active measures, if the provinces so desire-and it will be of their own choosing-they will no doubt be able to do certain things in the occupational training sector which they consider to be legitimate and worthwhile.

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there would appear to be a number of clarifications needed in this area; we have been told that the federal government is headed toward elimination of the funding allocated to the provinces. There is reference to a zero budget within three years.

The money itself will not, however, disappear. It will not go to the provinces, but neither will it disappear.

What we need to know is what the federal government intends to do with that money. This strikes me as a good question, and one that we will certainly be getting back to, for at some point I would like to have a response.

Taking a different tack on this same subject, in his recent budget the Minister of Finance announced that he would be freeing up $315 million over three years for the young people of Quebec and Canada, to help them break into the work force.

Can the Minister of Human Resources Development indicate to us why this vital program is not part of the proposal made to the provinces, since it is quite obviously a manpower program? Even more important, it involves not only today's work force, but tomorrow's as well, the work force of the future.

Why not integrate this project announced a few weeks ago by the Minister of Finance with the offer made to the provinces?

Manpower Training
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, this is obviously a highly complex matter, this entire area of training and active measures.

The hon. member is right, there are other departments in addition to my own with responsibility in these sectors with which we have long been involved. I wish to assure my hon. colleague, and particularly the governments with which we are going to negotiate, of our desire to ensure that these active measures, tailored to the specific needs of the provinces, are delivered by them.

As far as our withdrawal from manpower is concerned, the hon. member indicated that the money we do not spend on training will still be there somewhere, but that is not the case. As you know, despite the valiant efforts of the Minister of Finance, we still have a deficit in Canada.

It is not as if there were money left over somewhere. When budgets are cut, or when we pull out of one or another sector, the unspent moneys are reflected in the government's overall financial plan, and it is in that context that we have already committed ourselves to decreasing our expenditures year after year. This has, moreover, already been done already for some time; when we are no longer involved in manpower training, the budgets will have been totally used up as well.