Madam Speaker, there is another problem which seems to go over the heads of every one on the government side in this House, and that is the issue of overlapping jurisdictions and duplication of services. If I remember correctly, we have been here for three weeks now, and if we were to study the issues which have been of concern to us, the topics which have been raised the most often for the past three weeks, we would probably come to the conclusion that our overall concern is the overlapping and duplication we have been subjected to by the federal government over the years.
This administrative overlap is not disconnected from reality; everyone recognizes that it does not make sense. In public management, every time we mention government deficit, we are told about private enterprise: "Look at how this or that company is managed". Then they give us examples: "Look at Alcan, at General Motors, at Chrysler, at Bombardier. See how successful they are". What did these companies do when they ran into economic problems? Very simple. First, they streamlined operations.
Every time a responsible businessman wants to take significant administrative measures, the first thing to do is streamline operations. For the benefit of the hon. members opposite, streamlining means eliminating all dual responsibilities, redundant organizations and non-essential services, simplifying administration and lines of communications to become more efficient and cost effective.
If this is good for private enterprise, if everyone sees it as the right approach, why should it not also be good for governments? Should the first step to be taken by a government wanting to turn around a disastrous financial situation not be to eliminate everything that is unnecessary, all overlap and duplication?
Before cutting into services and product quality, Chrysler Canada went through a crucial streamlining process.
The government is doing exactly the opposite. Instead of streamlining, they will cut into product quality, into social services, they will reorganize by saving a few billion here and there at the expense of unfortunate people. I am convinced that no administrative measure will be taken to eliminate this dual administration with provincial and municipal governments.
In the employment sector alone, just to show how political beliefs deeply held by the hon. members opposite prevent them from being efficient and seeing clearly, there is total unanimity in Quebec, except for Liberal members of Parliament who have managed to get elected in Quebec. Everyone else, including Liberal members of Quebec's Legislative Assembly, is convinced that employment responsibilities should come under Quebec's jurisdiction. Even the previous Premier had understood this and taken a step in the right direction.
It is essential to convey our position to the members of this Parliament because it is shared by everyone and publicly defensible.
Do you know how many employment programs there are? Give or take a few, there are about 24 in the Quebec government and 27 or so in the federal government. An unemployed person who wants to get out of unemployment insurance or welfare in Quebec is faced with a total of 51 programs under two or three different administrations and in different buildings. They are not always consistent and he may well lose any hope of ever getting out of this vicious circle.
What are the hon. members opposite doing in this regard? We are looking at $250 million a year. It is an impressive amount: $250 million a year. Have you ever thought of renouncing your crippling brand of Canadian nationalism, with your tentacles reaching into every Canadian province and territory, this kind of new disease that makes Canadian federalists want to keep a finger in every pie, because the truth lies in this Parliament?
Do you realize that, if we did without, we could save-and by acting diligently we could also solve an extremely serious problem-$250 million a year?
Instead of making cuts on the backs of the poor, in benefits to less fortunate Canadians, old age pensions, unemployment insurance or federal transfer payments used to pay for social assistance, we could at least manage to save that much, and this $250 million could stay in the pockets of people who really need that money.
Madam Speaker, you are signalling that I am running out of time. I would have liked to take each area of duplication and demonstrate, with figures to back it up-because it can be done-how many millions of dollars could have been saved, how much streamlining of the government system should be done and how much simpler relations between Ottawa and the provinces could be made. By taking these steps, we would have done the very first thing any sensible manager does. Without sacrificing quality, we would have cut the fat and taken a hard look at administration and bad management.