Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak to this motion.
I will start out by asking where the member has been. She must have been away for the last number of weeks since the speech from the throne and the budget which outlined the commitment of the government as it relates to negotiations with the provinces in areas of provincial jurisdiction, for example in training and education. Not too many days ago we sent every member of Parliament a copy of a letter that we sent to every province which indicates what we would like to get into negotiating about as it relates to these agreements which help men and women get back to work.
It seems passing strange that the Reform Party presented the previous amendment under the first grouping which dealt with the issue of trying to save money. Its argument to get rid of the Minister of Labour and the Deputy Minister of Labour was that they were a waste of taxpayers' money.
Under the next amendment, the Reform Party wants to create a whole new bureaucracy under the lieutenant governor in council. This means that some committee or group of bureaucrats being paid by the provincial governments will have to get together to review every single agreement, which are in the thousands, by the human resources development department that we enter into with agencies in provinces across the country.
I am not quite sure I understand where the Reform Party is coming from. That party believes in the elimination of duplication and overlap. That party asks why it is taking so long. Reformers keep telling us: "You take so long to do anything no wonder we do not get anything done". The Reform Party wants us to be very quick about what we do and then it presents an amendment that would take us months and months to try to get any discussion going on an issue. Obviously, this adds another step to the process and I hazard a guess it would be a very lengthy one to negotiate certain agreements on almost every issue. The member should clarify this.
We said in the speech from the throne, and the Minister of Human Resources Development has been very clear in his letters to the provinces, that we will be entering into framework agreements. These framework agreements would be for those who are not in the labour movement and who may not have had the opportunity to enter into an agreement that has a broad general consensus of the provinces and the federal government to deal with issues and either transfer the responsibility to the province or to allow the federal government to enter into an agreement with agencies on an ad hoc basis based on a particular framework agreement.
That is what we are proposing to do. That is how we save money. That is how we allow governments to work more efficiently. If the member and other members of her party are suggesting that we will create a whole new bureaucracy and a whole new level of duplication because of somebody's mystical belief that the federal government is trying to shaft the provinces or does not care, that it
is trying to get political mileage out of an issue, I do not think they have been listening to the debate.
I really want to emphasize that I am having difficulty today listening to the Reform Party's arguments. As mentioned before, the first amendment said that we should get rid of some of the costs and the Minister of Labour, that he does not do anything. We know how important he is to the overall workings of government and to the Canadian men and women who fall under federal jurisdiction.
Then we get an amendment that suggests we should put a whole pile of money into a process which there is no need to have. Once we are finished negotiating with the provinces-and we agree that each province will be different and we accept that-then we will get on with the job we have been given, which is to help people get back to work, to give them the tools and abilities to be successful.
I want to emphasize that we enter into literally thousands of agreements every year in every province with different agencies. Imagine the kind of bureaucratic nightmare the Reform Party is suggesting we create with this amendment. I suggest we totally reject the amendment.
The fact remains that the speech from the throne and the letters that have been written by the Minister of Human Resources Development to the different provinces speak for themselves as to the intent of the federal government in regard to its relations with the provinces. We do not need another level of bureaucracy to help us do that job.