Good afternoon, Madam Speaker. I extend my congratulations on your Speakership. This is my first opportunity when Madam Speaker was in the chair to say that and I wanted to very much.
Now I want to do some other things. My good friend from Mercier brings before this House a resolution. Let me say something else, Madam Speaker, that as long winded as I love to be, I am going to be all of 10 minutes because my good friend from Durham is going to follow me for the second 10 minutes of our 20 minute period.
My friend from Mercier would have the House deplore the government's lack of vision and lack of concrete measures relating to job creation policies.
I say to her that is a marvellous resolution. It is certainly grammatically correct. All the words are in the right place. It is procedurally correct. It is in the correct form for the House. It is certainly politically correct. That is what an opposition normally does. It says that it is not good enough, we want more.
Procedural, political and grammatical are three of the four litmus tests that one must always apply to any resolution before this Chamber.The fourth is whether the motion is substantively correct. Is it correct in substance?
My friend from North Vancouver as always is in the Chamber. He is nodding so vociferously I have a feeling he has something going with the member for Mercier. He must have written the resolution. He is pleased with the wording in the resolution and annoyed at me for suggesting it might not be absolutely letter perfect.
How gracious do you want me to be? I have already conceded that it is at least three parts correct, so we are 75 per cent of the way there.
Let us look at the other 25 per cent. Is it correct in substance? By analogy I say to her you can lament the poverty of a rich man, but that does not render him poor. You can cry in your beer about the low alcoholic content of your beverage, it will dilute the beer, but otherwise will not prove your overall thesis.
The smart thing to do, I say to the member, before rushing out to deplore, to lament or to cry in your beer is to analyse the beer, find out what it is you are about to deplore, and satisfy yourself that you know what you are talking about before you begin deploring it, let alone talk about it.
What are some of the cold hard facts? There are several, but there is a word in this motion, I love it, vision. Vision connotes something down the road. It suggests that somebody back there had some perception of what ought to be or what might be and so you say to yourself: "Who's the author of this resolution". Ostensibly it is the member for Mercier, my good friend, but just possibly it is her House leader.
Just possibly it is her leader. Just possibly it is a committee project. Perhaps all 54 had a hand in this. I do not see too many taking credit, but let us give her credit. She is at least the author of record and she uses the word vision. Let us look at the vision of the author because it is very insightful.
Could it be the same author who wrote a document called "A New Party for the Turning Point" last May? Could it be the author of a document that was circulated widely during the election of last fall in Quebec? Could it be the document that talked extensively about the separation of Quebec? I understand that because it is a publicly stated part of the party's platform. I have no difficulty as a matter of principle with that being in the document. It would be deceptive on the part of the party if that were not in the document. I do not decry that. However, since this is a party that decries the lack of vision of others then the implicit question is this: How about its vision on this same subject?
We go to the document. They had a fair amount of hindsight on page 7 of the document, the first reference on employment. It says that naturally there has been a considerable increase in unemployment. That is not exactly vision. It is not a bad observation but it is based on past experience, not on what might be.
Then we slave through the document, which makes for some pretty good reading actually, and wind up on page 22. On page 22 there is a table which again, for the second time now in 22 pages, refers to job creation by name or by inference.
There it says that in 1988-89 the federal government spent $2.7 billion on job creation exclusive of transfer payments. That is not bad but it is also hindsight. It is also what has been. There is not one solitary sentence about what the vision of the member for Mercier would be on the subject she now deplores.
What are the cold hard facts? I suppose a not too cold but certainly hard fact is: "66,000 lost jobs returned", a story a week ago in the Financial Post . Another not too cold but certainly hard fact: ``New jobs jump in February'' in the Toronto Star a week ago. These are some of the hard facts, not particularly cold.
"Job rate drops to 11.1 in February". My good friend from Calgary Centre enters the debate. I am so glad to see him. His favourite paper, the Globe and Mail , says that the job rate dropped to 11.1 in February. These are just a few of the cold hard facts.
I see my time is quickly running out. Let me come to one more issue. The issue is Chicken Little, the sky is falling. The easiest thing in the world is to say that everything is wrong with the world. The easiest thing to say is that the sky is falling. Unless members have some information for me to say how they are going to prop it up, I do not want to hear it. If I am going fast, I would like to go without knowing.
It is true whether on the issue of separation from Canada or on the issue of job creation that my good friend from Lac-Saint-Jean, the Leader of the Opposition, had a Damascus road experience, no question about it. The day he left the Tory cabinet, he had a true Damascus road experience.
For those members who are not as biblically correct as I pretend to be, Paul on the road to Damascus did a 180 degree turn and saw a light. The member for Lac-Saint-Jean did a 360. He did a turn on the road, but when he finished turning he was still going in the same direction, away from the light.
I stick to the issue of job creation. He realizes that the party he aided and abetted for a number of years was on the wrong track economically, with regard to national unity and a number of other issues.
I respect his decision to see the light. What I lament about with his behaviour is that he did not just do a turn, he twirled. He turned not only into the light but back away from it and in the process missed a great opportunity to not only to help build a great country but to get more young people, more people of all ages, back to work. That is what I lament over.
That is why the deploring in this motion is about all the wrong things. The basic premise of the resolution does not bear scrutiny. I appeal to the members of this House to treat the motion for what it is worth, a politically correct motion that the Official Opposition was obliged to move. We respect its adherence to political correctness. We appeal to the House to do the right thing and stick by the government which has a program for youth, an apprenticeship program, that I could go into. I have pages. I have not even started my several page speech here.
There are so many things we are beginning to do. Have we done it all in four months? Not quite, but we are working on it.