House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was programs.


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5:40 p.m.


Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Madam Speaker, certainly we recognize what the government is trying to do with their program and we do recognize it as a program.

My point was that we have 10,000 people at $10,000 each. This amounts to a fantastic amount of money. I think we are trying to push the chain rather than drag it which is ultimately a lot more simple, Madam Speaker, as you will know if you ever tried to push a chain.

We should be trying to alleviate some of the tax burdens on Canadian business and they will provide 10,000 jobs and some to boot.

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January 31st, 1994 / 5:40 p.m.


Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Madam Speaker, I too would like to address the remarks about the youth corps.

It seems to me when the member says $10,000 a year, he simply sees that as a cost. In the various streams of the youth corps, for example, one stream will be sustainable development and the environment, another will be community development and learning involving young people with training, even younger people and less able people. Another one is the entrepreneurial stream where young people in the corps will be involved with private businesses in the various communities. Yet another is the military stream.

I would like to ask the member one question. One thing these young people are going to get for this modest investment is their pocket money and their keep. My point is that we will have young people who will have worked in various parts of the country so when a position becomes available in Regina, for example, if they live in British Columbia, they will be more confident in applying for that position. They will learn about the country so that they can move around when an opportunity for a position arises.

This is a very worthwhile investment in young people and I would like the member's comments on it.

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5:40 p.m.


Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Madam Speaker, here again we are using tax dollars to do something that private enterprise can do very well.

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5:40 p.m.

Richmond B.C.


Raymond Chan LiberalSecretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Madam Speaker, as this is my maiden speech in the House of Commons I would like first to take this opportunity to thank the people of Richmond, British Columbia, for the trust they placed in me on my birthday, October 25, 1993.

I am honoured to be serving Richmond and pledge always to work on behalf of my constituents. Furthermore, February 10 this year will mark the Chinese new year of the dog and I would like to wish everyone a prosperous, happy and healthy year.

Many challenges face us in the upcoming year. One of the most important of these is to utilize our most precious resources, human potential.

As I said throughout the campaign, the best investment we can make is to invest in ourselves and our children. For too long Canadians from every region and every age group have faced unemployment, insecurity and disillusionment because of a lack of economic opportunity.

That is why the government believes it is important to invest in our people, to prepare them to return to the workforce. It is as important as creating jobs through fostering economic growth.

We believe this begins by better preparing the transition from school to the workplace, to provide a constructive outlet for the skills and talents of younger Canadians. Canada must become a learning society that empowers young people and adults alike to constantly upgrade their skills and aptitude.

They must be able to meet the future with competence and confidence. So far we seem to have no systematic way of bringing young people into the working world.

As the Economic Council of Canada reported in 1992, Canada has one of the worst records of school-to-work transition. Those leaving school find jobs by trial and error, often wasting their own time and society's resources in the process. Of the apprenticeship programs that do exist, many are outdated and irrelevant in today's high-tech marketplace.

In Metro Vancouver, of which Richmond is a part, overall youth unemployment is an alarming 13.8 per cent. In fact, 15 per cent of males between the ages of 14 and 25 are unemployed. This is not acceptable.

On October 25, 1993 Canadians gave this government a mandate to do something about this serious mismatch between today's jobs and the skills of the people who want to fill them.

As we stated in our red book, we will work with business, labour and provincial governments to provide funding to establish relevant apprenticeship programs. Our focus will be on such growth areas as information technology, computer services, environmental services, and the growing fields of medicine and biotechnology.

Common occupational standards for training certification will be established and set by businesses and labour. Employers themselves will create the course work associated with industry-driven apprenticeship programs. As a result, these programs will be better integrated in the specific needs of business. We will also provide funding for job training through private and public institutions.

As the Minister of Human Resources Development has stated, our government is also committed to improving the Canada student loans program. We will consider changes to enhance short-term aid in collaboration with the provinces and other key stakeholders.

Our partnerships will not end there. Canadians who have jobs also want to improve their skills. They want to be able to earn higher wages and achieve economic stability for themselves and their families. They seek greater job security and a chance for a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.

The trend toward ever higher skills requires continuous education. Most workers realize they will change jobs several times in their lives. More than ever before jobs will require higher levels of literacy and numeracy skills, along with more technical training.

More and more a continuous training and learning culture needs to be developed within companies and businesses throughout Canada. That is why this government is working with business, labour and the provinces to produce joint incentives to increase workplace training.

This government is committed to economic growth in both the short and long term. We are working with the provincial and territorial governments for a joint federal-provincial-municipal infrastructure program. Besides providing much needed improvements to Canada's infrastructure, this program will help to stimulate economic activity and it will help to get Canadians working again.

In another area we will focus on supporting small and medium sized businesses to create new employment through business networks, better management skills, financing, wage subsidies and accessing government services.

Our government will work with Canada's financial institutions to improve access to capital. A Canadian investment fund will be created to help innovative technology firms obtain the venture capital they need to become Canada's industries of tomorrow.

We will also improve training for the owner-managers of small business. Our government will develop plans for access to information on new technologies and new market opportunities.

Jobs for Canadians will come by way of exporting goods. We have to look beyond the North American border for trade opportunities. We have to look for export markets, for example in the Asia-Pacific region, a region with the highest economic growth rate in the world, yet it remains a market scarcely tapped by Canadian industries.

This government will focus on building partnerships with Canadians to develop markets for our exports around the world in order to provide meaningful jobs for Canadians.

Social policy reform and creating jobs by fostering economic growth are both important to the future of Canada. However, the government cannot do it alone. In order to turn the economy around, Canadians must be prepared to play a large part.

For the sake of Canada, I urge all hon. members of this House and all Canadians to be part of this process. If we are, I am sure that Canada can be strong and economically sound again.

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5:50 p.m.


René Canuel Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Madam Speaker, thank you for recognizing my riding. I want to thank the hon. member who seems to be very much aware of the problems of young people. I don't know whether he is as knowledgeable about rural ridings.

In my riding, I taught at a secondary school and occasionally at a CEGEP, where conditions are very bad. People talk about urban poverty, and I realize that poverty in urban areas may be worse than in rural areas. However, conditions in rural areas may be worse, to some extent, because our young people leave to go the city, and so we have fewer skills and resources.

I had students of 16 and 17 who were very disturbed and had a lot of problems. There were cases of runaways and drugs, and at one point we had to call in the police. I know the hon. member opposite is aware of the problems, but not all members of this House know the rural dimension.

That is why I would urge him and other members to think about what is happening in our schools in rural ridings. We have just one CEGEP. There is no university. This means students have to leave the area, for instance those from Mont-Joli. Amqui only has a secondary school which means that past the age of 16 or 17, after their Secondaire V, students have to leave town to go to the CEGEP. And of course the college is in Matane, so if they want to go to university, they have to leave town as well.

Is the hon. member prepared to look at conditions in rural areas, and does he have any suggestions on how he could help our students, our young people overcome these handicaps?

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5:50 p.m.


Raymond Chan Liberal Richmond, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question. It provides me with the opportunity to expand on what we have seen as the way to solve the problems of Canada today.

I appreciate the problems in the rural areas, but the hon. member does have a lot of richness in his community even though he is in a rural area. One of the most important things we have in Canada is agricultural products.

I had a meeting today with a group from the beef cattle farm industry. We are planning to double our exports to the Asia-Pacific region, which will be comparable to U.S. exports. If we are successful we should be able to double the income for beef farms.

I find there is a lot of hope for us. There is a lot of potential for us. Only when we can explore our potential and make sure of expansion in our economy can we transform this into jobs for our youth in the rural areas.

The member talked about a problem with education. With the technology of today we could establish knowledge networks such that students, the youth in the rural area, could also tap into the knowledge resources provided by the government and other institutions.

Sometimes it is not necessary to go through university in order to be a productive Canadian. I recommend the hon. member keep in touch with the government to make sure that it can be moved to provide the knowledge network required in rural areas. While I am from a more metropolitan area, I am also sensitive to the hon. member's region but the reason we are elected is to represent our regions.

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5:55 p.m.


Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to address the motion calling for the modernization and restructuring of Canada's social security system. I will get right to the point, given we have limited time.

I would like to address the two major elements central to the motion before us: the need for more public input in public policy and the need to change the very nature of our national social security net. On the question of public input I want to commend the minister on his leadership in encouraging Canadians to speak their minds on the issue. It is a very serious debate to all of us.

In my riding we are organizing to debate social programs and human resource development in a comprehensive way. Further, the people of Fredericton-York-Sunbury appreciate the minister's approach since it gives more legitimacy to our efforts.

Since last summer we have organized policy groups around 30 public policy areas, including such areas as health, post-secondary education, senior citizens and so on. Each item will be examined by interested members of the public as well as by stakeholders within each area.

Our first public policy forum is slated for February 27. It is designed for us to consider solutions to the problems now facing our health care system. A session dealing with social security will follow. These and all other public policy forums will be televised. A final document on our deliberations will be sent to appropriate federal and provincial ministers.

I applaud all members of the House for the times I have heard reference to the need for greater consultation. Let us work collectively to see that changes are made here so that sound advice we receive back home will find its way to the floor of the Chamber before major decisions are taken and not after.

The second issue I wish to touch upon is the need for a change in emphasis within our social programs. The Minister of Human Resource Development spoke of the need to change the way programs were designed to meet changing needs and conditions. I could not agree more.

It is no longer good enough simply to provide financial support to unemployed Canadians so that they can subsist with the hope that eventually things will get better. Unemployment is no longer a cyclical phenomenon. In many parts of Canada and among certain Canadians it is systemic, a way of life. I am one of those Canadians not prepared to look the other way in the face of this national tragedy. The country is too prosperous and the gap between Canadians with wealth and those without is too great for us to accept the status quo.

It is not merely a matter of money. Too many Canadians cannot read well enough to advance their own interests or improve their employability. Over the long term we have as much obligation to address the literacy problem as we do that of financial support if we want to offer a better future to the many who are chronically unemployed. I welcome the reference to a national literacy initiative contained in the throne speech and applaud the Prime Minister for his foresight in empowering a minister with special responsibility for literacy.

Finally I wish to speak for a moment on a need for us to realize that we are not all equally equipped to handle change. Nor is everyone is a position to be retrained or re-employed. We must always remember there are some among us who are now and will

remain dependent on the state. In our enthusiasm for reform let us not forget to reassure Canadians that our underlying philosophy remains intact. We are not here simply to find ways to save money. We are here to improve the system.

In some cases that may cost money. Training does not come cheap. Some health care costs are going to increase because of demographics. In some cases entitlements are insufficient to meet the needs of poorer Canadians and their children. Fiscal reality demands we be creative, but it can never become an excuse to become uncaring.

One group of Canadians feeling uncertain is senior citizens. Many have spent a lifetime planning retirement based on a set of rules that now seem less certain. The earth is moving under foot. As we contribute to the efforts of the task force looking at social security reform, we must not lose sight of the significant contribution of Canada's social programs to Canada's standard of living for senior citizens. The introduction of programs such as the Canada pension plan and old age security programs has produced a substantial decline in the incidence of poverty among older Canadians.

The next decade is going to redefine Canada. We will no doubt have to be more creative if we wish to maintain our quality of life, but let us not forget the fundamental values of generosity, diversity, compassion and justice that have served us all so well.

Throughout last fall's campaign candidates who ran under our party's banner spoke of balance between fiscal responsibility and compassion. With this in mind I am pleased to recommend that members of the House support the motion for the modernization and restructuring of Canada's social security system. I offer whatever support I can to the minister and to members of task force.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

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6 p.m.


François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Madam Speaker, on January 20, in answer to a question asked by the hon. member for Saint-Hubert, the Prime Minister said in this House that the whole issue of the action brought by the Minister of National Revenue against the federal government of Canada should be settled once and for all.

However, following question period, the Minister of National Revenue made a statement to the media, outside this House, as reported on Page B11 of the January 20 issue of The Gazette , and I quote:

"Obviously I am not the one who can terminate an appeal against a victory of mine in the court. The person who appealed has to do that".

The following day, on January 21, during question period, I asked the Prime Minister if the Minister of National Revenue was going to abandon the proceedings before the Federal Court-Trial Division, which the Crown had appealed. The prime minister told me that the Minister of National Revenue would not be getting any settlement from the government.

I find particularly strange that neither the Prime Minister, nor the Minister of Justice, nor the Minister of National Revenue informed the House that the appeal of the lower court's decision had been discontinued.

My question is really very simple. Is there, still today, before any court whatsoever, some kind of proceedings involving the Minister of National Revenue and the federal government of Canada?

Given the openness the Prime Minister once promised us, I should be able to get a short and concise answer to my question. Could the Prime Minister, the Solicitor General or the minister, who is in the House, confirm that the Minister of National Revenue has withdrawn his action, and if not, if someone intends to ask the minister to fully withdraw his action? In case the minister answers himself, I would like to know if the complete withdrawal papers were tabled.

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6:05 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario


Jean Augustine LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister

Madam Speaker, in response to the member for Bellechasse, he implied in his question to the Prime Minister that the Minister of National Revenue dropped his case, as reported at page 151 of Hansard , ``so that he could receive the proceeds initially awarded to him''.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As the Prime Minister noted in his response, the minister had instructed his lawyer to drop the case immediately and in a manner that the minister would no longer receive any settlement from the government.

For the member's benefit I would like to read into the record the minutes of settlement between the minister and Her Majesty the Queen dated January 20, 1994:

The parties hereto agree that the appeal of the Appellant and the cross-appeal of the Respondent are as follows:

The Respondent, David Anderson, will discontinue the cross-appeal herein forthwith.

The Respondent, David Anderson, hereby releases the Appellant from any claim or obligation pursuant to the judgment of Mr. Justice Strayer dated May 31, 1993.

I do not think the intentions of the Minister of National Revenue could be any clearer.

I would also like to note for the record the minister's situation before he became a minister of the crown. The suit began when the minister was a private citizen and he did not lose his legal rights by virtue of his appointment as a minister of the crown. This was not a matter of ethics. It was a question of fairness.

I would like to read to hon. members an important passage from Justice Strayer's ruling of May 31, 1993. In referring to the approach of the previous government's treatment of the Minister of National Revenue when he was a private citizen, the justice said:

The approach was not only unfair and coercive from the standpoint of the plaintiffs; it was also in my view an abuse of power, in effect amounting to the attempted sale of public offices.

In effect these plaintiffs were being asked to pay for their new Order in Council appointment by surrendering any claim they might have against the government or its officials.

The plaintiff himself obviously was also a victim.

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6:05 p.m.


Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Nipigon, ON

Madam Speaker, on January 21 I asked a question of the Minister of Agriculture. The purpose of the question was to draw to his attention a flagrant abuse of taxpayers' money by way of subsidy through the Western Grain Transportation Act.

The substance of my question was the fact that we had found out the CNR and CPR railways were using taxpayers' money by shipping grain into an area for the purpose of gaining a subsidy even though the eventual destination was not in that area.

Let me give an example. We have found that grain which is subject to no subsidy and is for consumption in the United States has been transported from as far away as Alberta to the port of Thunder Bay, where it is subsidized if the eventual consumption is in the United States. Grain has been transported from as far away as Alberta to the Lakehead, to the port of Thunder Bay. The trains then turn around without unloading the grain, find their way back to Winnipeg and points west, and then go down into the United States. That is a flagrant abuse of taxpayers' money. That is what we were trying to point out to the minister through that question.

We are trying to say that when we find these abuses in our system, we have to step in as a government and stop them as quickly as we can.

As a result of that abuse I found out over the weekend that the city which I represent, the port of Thunder Bay, has not had a worse shipping season in the last 31 years as it experienced in the year just past.

When there are abuses and irregularities in the system, it means one does not play on a level playing field with respect to shipping in this country. By the very fact that we have these regulations that set artificial means and ways in which to ship grain in this country so that we do not have an actual cost, then the port of Thunder Bay and every port along the St. Lawrence Seaway suffers.

That was my reason for bringing that to the attention of the Minister of Agriculture and to the Minister of Transportation. I asked them to review that abuse. To this day I have not heard whether they have started to review the abuse or not.

Again, please review the abuses under the Western Grain Transportation Act and give every port in this country a fair opportunity to get into the proper business of it.

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6:10 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario


Lyle Vanclief LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

Madam Speaker, the member has indeed pointed out a concern about the operation and effects of the Western Grain Transportation Act.

The previous government put in place and was conducting an ongoing review of the WGTA as we know it. I can assure the hon. member that our government is continuing those types of reviews. It has an ongoing study of the WGTA.

The first action that was put in place by the previous government was a review by the grain transportation agency of the grain transportation deficiencies, which the member will agree will address his concern. That report has recently been received by the minister and is now being reviewed by the department.

The other study is on the method of payment of the so-called Crow benefit, which in that study group is called the producer payment panel. That report is expected to be received by the minister a little later this spring.

The government will be interested in the results of these two studies, improving grain transportation and the efficiencies in the grain transportation system in western Canada.

I want everyone in the House to note that this government is not bound by the recommendations or reports of the two studies that were put in place by the previous administration. But we will be reviewing and observing those recommendations and taking them into account as we make ultimate decisions as far as the future of grain transportation in western Canada is concerned. We will also be conducting other consultations as to the efficiencies and effectiveness of grain transportation and act in the best interests of the industry for all of Canada.

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6:10 p.m.


Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Madam Speaker, I am disappointed to see that the Minister of Agriculture is not here today to answer my question.

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6:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

Order, please. It is customary in this House not to mention the absence of ministers or hon. members, whatever side of the House they sit on.

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6:10 p.m.


Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

It is a new rule that I just learned. I apologize.

On January 24, I asked the following question of the Minister of Agriculture:

Can we now conclude that the minister is still trying to protect supply management while he is currently negotiating with the Americans the complete abolition, in the next seven years, of tariffs on yogurt and ice cream?

The minister replied, and I quote:

In whatever discussions we may have with the United States the interests of those producers will be front and centre in our thinking.

He also said: "Again I assure the hon. member and all farmers that the interests of Canadian agriculture in all parts of this country are very much on the top of the government's mind."

He obviously did not answer the question and negotiations with the United States have since ended without the matter being resolved. Therefore, it seems to me that we have the right to know more about the negotiations on yogurt and ice cream.

But first, to answer the minister's question, I will remind him that there is no mention of agriculture in the throne speech and that the Prime Minister himself seems not to know and to misunderstand agriculture, judging from comments he has made lately and the fact that he did not intervene in the crucial stages of the GATT negotiations-in fact, he was on holidays at that time-and so far, he has not done anything. He said nothing on behalf of farmers during crucial negotiations that were held recently, last week in fact, while the President of the United States spoke many times to defend American wheat producers. Therefore I would say that the comment of the Minister of Agriculture, to the effect that the vital interests of Canadian agriculture in all parts of this country are very much on the top of the Liberal government's mind, has no foundation whatsoever.

To go back to the point I raised in my question and to which the Minister did not answer, now that negotiations have been completed, it should be possible to get some clarification because farmers, particularly in the dairy industry, are worried since it seems that the government of Canada and the Minister of Agriculture are knuckling under to American pressure.

Can he tell us today, since the GATT takes precedence over NAFTA, that he will fight for the tariffs already put forward to protect ice cream and yogurt in Canada, i.e. 326 per cent for ice cream and 279 per cent for yogurt? Will the government of Canada keep fighting for these tariffs for those two commodities in Canada? And will they try to settle this issue by appealing to a panel with the Americans so that we get some clarification and some peace for farmers in that industry?

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6:15 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario


Lyle Vanclief LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to respond to the hon. member's concern.

There have been bilateral negotiations on agriculture and agri-food trade between Canada and the United States for the past several weeks, and I would like to assure and clarify to the hon. member that those negotiations are not completed and are still ongoing.

Many rumours have been spread about what is under discussion and what the outcome might be, and I stress they are rumours with respect to the commodities being discussed.

I would like to say clearly that the government is working to defend the interests of Canadian agriculture in these negotiations and that all sectors of agriculture and agri-food production in all parts of Canada are being considered and are being addressed with high priority.

There are a number of outstanding agri-food trade problems with the United States dealing with a number of commodities, as we know. The minister attempted to settle these in a bilateral framework in Geneva in December, but time did not allow the concentrated and detailed effort that was needed. Unfortunately, the situation was too hectic at that time, but of course negotiations have continued. That also did not mean that these problems went away.

The minister met again with his U.S. counterpart on January 8, and negotiations have been and are still continuing.

I want to state clearly that Canada will not trade off one commodity against another. Negotiations for each commodity are taking place on their own merit and are self-contained.

In this context we should recall that a GATT panel in 1989 ruled that Canada's import quotas on ice cream and yogurt products were not consistent with article XI. Canada accepted that finding and sought to reach an agreement and a solution to this problem in the course of a bilateral trade negotiation.

The government is seeking a solution that will provide stability for Canadian dairy farmers, producers, and processors.

I wish to underline that the government's only priority is an agreement that is in the interests of Canada.

The government remains committed to ensuring that our supply management system can continue to operate effectively.

The government also remains committed to ensuring that we have the best possible access to U.S. markets for products we

export there. We will carefully examine any proposed settlement with the U.S. against these commitments.

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6:20 p.m.


Chris Axworthy NDP Saskatoon—Clark's Crossing, SK

Madam Speaker, on January 25 I asked the Minister of Human Resources Development a question that goes to the core of his government's commitment to job creation.

I asked him about the setbacks that the job creation strategies had received as a result of four major government policies in particular, which will serve to do nothing but cost Canada jobs: the accession to NAFTA; the increase in UI premiums for employees and employers; replacing John Crow at the Bank of Canada with someone with the same frame of mind, with a mad obsession about inflation; and chopping $300 million from the UI training fund. We have also seen the Minister of Finance going across the country focusing mostly on listening to people who argue for cutting expenditures rather than arguing for any real commitment to jobs.

The only way in which Canada will create jobs is to have an holistic approach to it in which trade, fiscal and monetary policies all ensure that job creation is the number one goal.

Today we are talking about social programs. It is clearly useful to have active social programs whereby people who do not have jobs receive training, help with literacy, and so on.

The minister would know, and indeed the government would know, that the research on active social programs in terms of solving the job crisis shows that we can only expect very modest gains in employment from that because the main problem is that we simply do not have jobs for people, no matter whether they are trained or not.

The minister gave a rather odd response to my question. He said that we need to give real incentive to millions of Canadians to find a job and give real dignity to their lives. Canadians do not lack dignity and they do not lack initiative; they lack jobs and hope.

It is odd and perhaps it is as clear here as in anything else, why the government is not focusing on job creation. I think we have five policy debates of a general nature, ensuring that all members of Parliament can communicate their views to the government on specific matters of policy. Today we had a debate about social policy, but we have had no debate, and we apparently will have no debate, about job creation. If that is the number one goal of the government, I presume that is where we would focus.

We have heard much too, in particular from the Reform Party, about the importance of the private sector creating jobs. No one would doubt that most jobs are in the private sector, that most jobs will be created in particular in small and medium-sized business.

We have had governments that have been particularly favourable to business over the last years in Canada, in particular in my province of Saskatchewan where businesses were given practically everything they wanted. Social programs were slashed; we ended up with a bigger deficit, with more unemployment and with more misery.

Those policies will not work, not because we do not want them to work, but they will not work because the private sector is not in the business of creating jobs. The private sector is in the business of creating profits. If there is a conflict between job creation and profit, they of course will choose profit, as it is their objective.

So we have a conflict here between a government, representing the people of Canada, that needs to create jobs and the private sector, which will if they can make profit without creating jobs. If they need employees in order to create profit, of course they will hire them, but if they can do without those people, they will. Indeed, any CEO's report across the country that anybody wishes to read will argue with pride that the reason for their improved profit picture is because they have in fact cut their work force.

I ask the government to focus on job creation as its number one objective. That is the only way that we will reduce the deficit in Canada. We can do it two ways. When people make money, they buy the things they need. They provide their own services. They do not have to rely upon government programs to do that. It is not dignity and it is not initiative these Canadians lack; it is jobs.

Social Security SystemProceedings On Adjournment Motion

6:25 p.m.

York North Ontario


Maurizio Bevilacqua LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Human Resources Development

Madam Speaker, I would first like to point out to the hon. member that the government's number one priority is job creation. It is for this reason the government has introduced an infrastructure program which will generate thousands of jobs for Canadians. It also for this reason that we have moved very quickly toward the establishment of the Canadian youth corps for our young people.

It is another reason why we have put most of the tools dealing with job creation into a single portfolio, namely the human resources development portfolio.

I would also like to point out to the hon. member that he should be a bit cautious about throwing figures around, particularly when it comes to training. I am speaking of such numbers as the $300 million cut in training. In fact, our actual expenditure on training will be the same as last year. As the hon. member himself suggests and then proceeds to disregard, we need to look at the big picture.

Training and job creation efforts need to be balanced. Many UI recipients need training but they also need jobs once they are finished. It is why, as mentioned earlier, we launched the infrastructure program where people throughout Canada; the east coast, the province of Quebec or Ontario or British Columbia, will be benefiting greatly from this program.

Furthermore the Minister of Human Resources Development outlined this morning how we intend to proceed to rebuild the social security, labour market and learning framework of our country. This is at the core of job creation. By renewing and revitalizing the social security system we will be providing the right opportunities for Canadians to get jobs. We cannot stimulate employment if our systems do not reward effort and offer incentives to work.

The social security action plan will also propose clear options for redefining and redistributing work to ensure that more Canadians have jobs.

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6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at ten o'clock a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6.26 p.m.)