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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Waterloo—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the eloquent speech of the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord.

It is interesting to hear the Bloc people talk about Toronto and other things. They conveniently forget that Mr. Bouchard squirrelled away close to $1 billion of health money in a Toronto bank, money that was earmarked for Quebecers.

I want to ask that great Quebecer and great Canadian, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, if he would explain to us the kind of good work the federal government is doing with respect to eradicating poverty, not only in Quebec but across Canada. I would like to hear his views because I know he is a very eloquent and passionate Quebecer and Canadian.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

André Harvey Liberal Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am first and foremost a regionalist and I find myself somewhat in agreement with La Presse 's Lysiane Gagnon, who says that Bloc Quebecois members are on a picnic here in the House.

In the wake of an election, Bloc Quebecois members are pretending to defend Quebec's interests. Let us begin by defending the interests of our region, which needs help badly. The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region generates an extra $300 million annually for Quebec, because of the multinationals that exploit us but do not leave us with any jobs to show for it.

As long as we had jobs from exploiting our resources, we kept quiet. But now natural resources are being exploited in a big way and jobs are disappearing. Quebec is therefore benefiting. We have the figures to prove it. I invite Bloc Quebecois members to read the latest study by Dr. Moussaly and they will see what is going on.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

André Harvey Liberal Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

It is not the federal government which is to blame, but the Government of Quebec, a government which is extremely—

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but his time is up.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:10 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, like others who came before me, I also want to congratulate you on your new position as acting speaker. I wish you all the best in your new position.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the voters of Hillsborough for their confidence in my candidacy. It is an honour and a privilege to serve in the House of Commons. I am grateful to have been given this opportunity. My pledge to each of them is simple: to work hard, to represent the district to the best of my ability and to be guided by the values of the people of Hillsborough.

Mr. Speaker, I must tell you that I am enjoying the view from this side of the House. When I left my previous place of employment, my associates gave me a present. They gave me a set of binoculars. They told me that where I was going in the House I would not be able to see either you or the chair without these binoculars. I am pleased to report that my view from this chair is excellent.

At this point in time I want to pay tribute to my predecessor in Hillsborough, Mr. George Proud. Mr. Proud served the constituents of Hillsborough with dedication and distinction during the last three parliaments of the House. George Proud was a hard worker, was committed to the people of Hillsborough and always maintained a very close contact with the common person.

The riding of Hillsborough is comprised of the city of Charlottetown and a portion of the town of Stratford. Charlottetown is a very historic location, especially as it relates to this country and this very institution. It was there in 1864 that delegates from Upper and Lower Canada and from the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island met for the purpose of exploring the possibility of forming a union which eventually led to this federation.

As members of parliament, it would assist us to reflect on the challenges and obstacles that faced those delegates who met in Charlottetown in September 1864. The obstacles were immense: cultural differences, historical differences, language differences, differences in trading patterns and religious differences.

Those delegates faced what in today's parlance would be considered insurmountable obstacles. However, they had one overreaching objective: to form a country, a country that would be greater than the sum of its parts. That was exactly what they did, and that is why we are here today.

As I indicated previously, the view from this seat is excellent. It is through this vantage point that I can report to the people of Canada that the government is doing a good job, not only here in the House of Commons but also in administering the affairs of the nation. By following sound economic principles and implementing a balanced approach, an annual deficit of $42.1 billion has now been eliminated and replaced by a surplus of $12.4 billion.

The balanced approach includes paying down the debt and cutting taxes fairly. It includes investing in health care, research and innovation. It includes investing in families and children. It includes protecting the environment. This balanced approach is the reason why the Canadian people gave the government a third mandate.

The theme throughout the Speech from the Throne that impresses me the most, as a first time member of the House, is that of inclusion. Any time a country, such as Canada, experiences economic growth both social and economic inequities arise. This occurred during the industrial revolution and, to a lesser extent, has occurred in western economies that have experienced economic growth mainly brought about by the increased use of technology.

Economic and social inequities, if allowed to persist, are counterproductive to further economic growth and will eventually lead to social unrest. We cannot separate social and economic priorities.

The Speech from the Throne establishes an agenda that will widen the social and economic circle of the country. It includes programs to improve the lives of the poor, especially poor families with children, our aboriginal communities, the disabled, people who have a lack of skills or training and people who are illiterate.

One of the greatest challenges facing the government is the issue of child poverty. In the throne speech, the government has announced initiatives which, taken with commitments already announced, will provide children with a good foundation so that every child has a good start in life.

Some of the commitments already announced by the government include: spending $2.2 billion over the next five years for early childhood education; the doubling of maternity and parental benefits available under the employment insurance legislation; the doubling of the child tax credit; and the lowering of income taxes for lower and middle income families.

I was pleased to see in the throne speech that the government will continue to expand on these initiatives. It has committed to implement new measures to help single parents overcome poverty and become more self-sufficient. It has committed to work with the provinces to modernize the laws relating to child support, access and custody. It has committed to take steps to enable parents to provide care for gravely ill children. Perhaps most important, it has committed to provide further income tax relief directed primarily at lower and middle income Canadians.

Another challenge facing the administration is the conditions found in our aboriginal communities. Too many aboriginal Canadians continue to live in poverty, without adequate housing, health, education or job opportunities. I am pleased to see in the throne speech that the government has made it a priority to ensure that the basic needs of aboriginals for jobs, health care, education, housing and infrastructure are met.

The government has taken a number of initiatives, including commitments for aboriginal post-secondary education and the creation of the aboriginal heads start program. There are a number of initiatives outlined in the throne speech that take these commitments a step further. A lot remains to be done but I believe the agenda is the correct one.

A third group that the throne speech reaches out to is those Canadians who do not have the necessary skills or training to compete in today's marketplace. The throne speech calls for a renewed effort in building a skilled workforce and the establishment of a national literacy initiative.

As a member of the House, I am pleased that our government has come forward with this agenda. The focus has shifted from economic survival to economic and social renewal.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member on his excellent maiden speech. It is a pleasure to have the hon. member from Atlantic Canada and the great province of Prince Edward Island here in the House.

I enjoyed the member's speech. He covered a wide range of important topics on the government's agenda and on the past performance of the government. He touched on important problems and issues that are of concern across the country. They are certainly of concern in his riding as they are in mine.

Would the member like to comment on one part of the government's plans, the area of innovation? Would he tell us what he thinks will be the impact of those important efforts in Atlantic Canada?

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am very excited about the steps the government has taken with regard to innovation.

I was especially pleased last June in Halifax when the Prime Minister announced the Atlantic investment partnership. It called for approximately $300 million to be spent in Atlantic Canada on innovative projects, mainly geared toward our university research institutions. I believe that is the right path. It will develop our innovative infrastructure in Atlantic Canada and we will see results in the years to come.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, I too want to congratulate the hon. member for his maiden speech. I remember the first speech I gave in the House of Commons. It is a very nerve-racking experience and can be very disconcerting. The member did an admirable job and I commend him. The only trouble is he is on the wrong side of the House.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

He is on your side.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

He is on my side but he is with the government over there.

I was rather impressed with the way the member dissected the Speech from the Throne. I think he did a pretty fair job of it. However, this morning a private member's bill was introduced that deals with the custody of children when parents divorce. The Speech from the Throne did not really deal with that issue. I know the member cares about that issue because the people in Prince Edward Island are very concerned with families.

Would the hon. member tell us what his position would be in terms of joint custody for children?

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, first, I am on the same side of the House as the learned member. However, my goal in the House is to get to the other side of the House. If there is anyone over there, especially on the front benches, who wants to trade with me, I am willing to talk with them.

With regard to the custody of children in cases of divorced or separated families, the only principle, and by far the most important and significant principle, that has to be taken into account in any legislation that comes before us and is passed by the House, is that the best interests of the child be taken into account. All other interests are secondary.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Etobicoke North Ontario

Liberal

Roy Cullen LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I also congratulate the member for Hillsborough. I know he comes from a very distinguished career on Prince Edward Island, including being on the board of the CDIC, and many other areas.

I was curious about his comments with regard to the linkage between social and economic policy. He also cited a few examples. Could develop that theme a little further, particularly in the areas of early childhood development, health care, drug abuse and other aspects.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, this is an important issue. When we look at the history of nations, any time there are disparities or there is economic growth, economic and social inequities develop.

Canada has been sheltered somewhat from that because of the social legislation we have. It is important to bear this in mind. There are inequities in the wage levels in Canada, and that is why, in this 37th parliament, we have to bear in mind the family, children and the disabled. We have to widen the circle, not only the economic circle but the social circle.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak in support of the Liberal Party of Canada and its initiatives and plans for Canada on issues that are exceptionally important.

The Liberals have been in power since 1993. At the time we came to power, the economic state of the nation was, to put it mildly, a mess. There was a deficit of over $42 billion and there were huge debts. There was a lack of confidence in the economy as well as a lack of confidence in the institutions themselves, whether it was parliament or the government itself. As well, there was a high unemployment rate in excess of 10%. Inflation was at an all time high. Bankruptcies were in the hundreds of thousands in almost every single sector of the economy. The international community's confidence in our economy was on shaky ground to a large extent. The picture was not very pretty.

The people of Canada gave us the opportunity and the mandate to govern. This government, in a three step approach, has taken a number of initiatives which I will put in a global setting.

The first step the Prime Minister and his government took was to restore confidence in the institution. To that extent, the government undertook one of the most dynamic and pragmatic analysis ever of almost every single program at the national level. In essence, the objective of that analysis was to find out in terms of plans or programs what should be in the federal domain and what should be in the provincial domain. A number of good things came out of that objective.

Also, the Government of Canada decided to let go in excess of 42,000 public servants, which caused a lot of harm in this community and this region. However, the government did that because it felt that it first had to clean its own house and set its own affairs in order.

Second, the government brought back confidence on the economic front. To that extent, the government had an exceptionally aggressive strategy to encourage trade and to look at every single segment of the Canadian economy, the manufacturing sector as well as the service sectors and others, in order to figure out the things that were necessary to put in place in order to support those sectors.

The government thus adopted a policy of low interest rates, without dictating to the Bank of Canada what should and should not be done. The government also embarked on a major infrastructure program, which created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. This program was exceptionally popular. The federal government provided one-third of the funding, the province put in a third and the municipalities put in a third. The program generated an economic stimulus across Canada. It created jobs and helped municipalities undertake projects they would not otherwise have undertaken.

The third thing for the government to do is to start investing in the future, based on the results of the first and second steps undertaken by the government. We have moved from a situation of having a $42 billion deficit and a huge debt to a situation where, for the first time in a long time, we have a surplus. When the government started to generate the surplus we were able, for the first time in a long time, to start, at the turn of this century, to pay down the national debt. Our house is in order, public trust in the national institutions has increased and is in place and the economy is moving forward. Now that the Liberal Party has been elected for the third time, it is time for investment. That brings me to the third point, which to a large extent is the Speech from the Throne, which the House of Commons is now debating.

It makes me very proud, first as a Canadian and second as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, to see such a wonderful initiative put forward by the Prime Minister and his team. It makes me proud to be a Canadian and proud to be a member of this House. When I heard the Speech from the Throne I felt good and I thought, wow, it is really wonderful to be a member of this nation, this party and this parliament.

We will bring about very positive and managed change for Canadians over the next few years. We will see investments accelerating in areas that are exceptionally important and close to the heart of every Canadian. One case in point is the investment in education and training, in lifelong learning. The ability of a citizen to go back to school with government support, regardless of his or her age, is a wonderful thing.

Not too long ago the government initiated a $400 maximum investment per child for each $2,000 a parent invested in an RESP. That was a wonderful initiative, which will go a long way. With a situation like the one we have in Canada, where close to 25% of people have difficulty reading an application form or properly reading, writing or performing a very simple mathematical skill, it is high time for government at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to take initiatives to bring about positive change in the lives of our people. In 1986 a business study showed that the cost of illiteracy to the economy was in excess of $10 billion annually. That is the direct cost, but the indirect cost of illiteracy to the nation is huge, in the tens of billions. To that extent, it is exceptionally important for the Government of Canada to embark on a program such as this one.

I bring up this point in order to say that it is only one good initiative the government has undertaken. There are a number of other initiatives on which I am sure my colleagues will elaborate in their own speeches. I was delighted, however, to see the Government of Canada embarking on this magnificent initiative. I know my constituents in Ottawa Centre will be thrilled to know that not only will they now be able to save for their children's education and have the government provide them with incentives and support, they can also do it for themselves.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member on his speech today. He is of course the member for Ottawa Centre and Ottawa has experienced tremendous economic activity in the last few years. I wonder if he would like to comment on and suggest how other areas of the country might try to emulate the success that Ottawa has had, particularly in the Kanata area with the high tech sector, and whether he would comment on what the innovation plans of the government would do to assist in that regard.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely true that this region has done miraculous things, one of which was dealing with the huge cuts to the public service. In excess of 40,000 people found themselves without jobs. On top of that, the economic situation overall was not that great.

In a matter of three to five years, things turned around in this region in an incredible way. This region is now not only the leading economic engine in this province and in this country, but will fairly soon lead any other city in North America and perhaps in the world in terms of economic activity.

I am proud and honoured to be a professional engineer by education and also a resident of this city that is so dynamic. I am so proud to be a representative of the riding of Ottawa Centre.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your guidance and your help this morning. As well, I acknowledge and thank my colleague from New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, who I will be splitting my time with today.

At this moment it is important that I express my sincere gratitude to the constituents of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, as they are the people who are responsible for me being in this wonderful House of Commons. My job as a member of parliament for my riding is that of a servant. I am very proud and humbled that they have chosen me to represent them. The people of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar put their faith in me and the Canadian Alliance Party that I represent. I know they want to see things done differently. I know they want their voices heard. I will do my very best to make sure that happens.

The constituency of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar is a beautiful part of Canada, a large rural riding with an urban component. Agriculture is of vital importance to the people of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, not only in the rural communities but also in the city of Saskatoon, where the spinoffs from the industry are prominent. It is very unfortunate that there was only a passing mention of Canada's agriculture industry in the throne speech. I find it hard to believe that an industry so important to our nation was not given more emphasis.

In the throne speech, the government says it will “help Canada's agricultural sector move beyond crisis management, leading to more genuine diversification and value-added growth, new investments and high standards of environmental stewardship and food safety”. I do not believe there are many members in the House that know more about agricultural diversification, value added growth and new investment in agriculture than I do. Perhaps that is why I find the Liberal government's flippant use of the words ringing hollow and so without meaning and true intent.

Under the Liberal government, the farming industry has been left in dire straits. Continuing international farm subsidies, thin trade negotiations, low commodity prices, government indecision, bureaucratic red tape and the gross inefficiency of farm income assistance programs have driven farm families across the country to desperation.

With all due respect, we have diversified. There is not one farm family I know of that has not moved from traditional grains to trying oilseeds and pulse crops. Some have developed community based investment options to diversify into seed production, seed cleaning or larger livestock operations. Farmers are turning grain land to grass and raising traditional livestock. Some are taking on huge debts to convert traditional livestock operations to specialty livestock. Others are experimenting with herbs, spices, vegetables and an assortment of other products that boggle the mind, anything to try to make ends meet and to diversify as their governments keep telling them they must.

There is not one farmer I know of who relishes the fact that he and his wife must work off the farm to keep the farm running. There is not one farmer I know of who likes going to farm rallies or who likes lobbying the government for help.

There is not one farmer I know of who watches sons or daughters leave the farm and is not literally heartbroken, just as my husband and I were when both our sons, their wives and our beautiful granddaughters left our farm and our small community for jobs in Regina and Edmonton because they could not make a living.

The government's loose use of catchphrases like diversification and value added is very convenient for its speech writers and bureaucrats, who cannot in a million years understand the situation on Canadian farms right now.

That is precisely why it is so disappointing, discouraging and infuriating for farm families to repeatedly be told by government that this is what they must do to survive in agriculture today. Yes, the agricultural industry is changing quickly, as is any other industry affected by our fast paced, technology reliant global economy, but do not tell us what we already know. Help us adapt, help us get there and help us continue to be the best food producers in the world.

In order for farmers to move past crisis management, the government must seriously and immediately deal with international agricultural subsidies. It has been all talk and no action from the Liberal government. While Canada has reduced agricultural subsidies, the American and European governments continue to subsidize their farmers at high levels. It is a simple case of competition, and we cannot compete.

International subsidies are crippling the agricultural industry in the country, and while the Liberal government took a tough stance to protect Quebec airplane manufacturer Bombardier from international subsidies, its stance to protect Canadian farmers against U.S. and European countries has been positively limp and lethargic.

I would like to believe that the weak mention of agriculture in the Speech from the Throne was an oversight by the Liberal government. It is a very sad situation if that is the case. However, it may very well be the start of a tough love demonstration promoted by the Prime Minister for western provinces. If that is the case, it is a demonstration that affects agricultural producers from our nation's eastern shores to the coast of British Columbia. It is an insult to the industry that built this country and that has fed our people, an industry that has fed the world and that needs our support.

I am committed to working on behalf of the agricultural community in my constituency and on behalf of all Canadian farmers. Before my term is up, I intend to make sure that each and every member of the House understands the importance of agriculture to the economic and social fabric of our country. The members of the House will be diversified right up to there.

If there has been one thing that has become clear to me since my decision to seek a position as a member of parliament, it is how important family is. There is nothing more precious to me than my own family. Since the election it has become increasingly obvious that my work on behalf of families in my constituency will be some of the most important work I do.

In my first few weeks on the job, I was approached by people with a variety of concerns: a woman in a situation of domestic violence who was dealing with the justice system; a couple who were not getting any answers from the AIDA program; and an elderly man who could no longer look after his ailing elderly wife in their home. There were others. The one thing all these people had in common was family, family members who were there trying to help them and support them through their problems.

What is so discouraging about the direction of the Liberal government over the last decade, and which continues to appear in the direction of this throne speech, is that it continues to put politics ahead of family. Families are forgotten. It does not matter what one considers: health care, where families cope with long surgical waiting lists; a mom who is a nurse and who is hardly home because of the tremendous numbers of shifts she works; financial issues, as families struggle to pay skyrocketing fuel bills; justice; child poverty; and agriculture.

Canadian families need our attention, especially the members of our family who have helped build this country. I especially look forward to spending time with and working for the senior citizens of my riding. They are special people who have contributed so much to building our communities, our province and our nation. They are our roots.

I want to recognize and pay special tribute to my mom, Irene Winacott, and to my mother-in-law and father-in-law, Roberta and Roland Skelton, for their love and their support. They are incredible people. The challenges they have faced in their lifetime were great and many, but they are wonderful examples of strength, grace and love.

I also want to thank my husband Noel for his patience, his whole-hearted support and his hard work, not only through the nomination process, the election campaign and consequently this new commitment, but for the last 36 years. I want to thank my children, my daughter Terri and sons Ted and Mark and their spouses, for being great cheerleaders, listeners and advisers. I want to thank my five beautiful granddaughters, Wendi, Tenille, Victoria, Shelby and Shae, for keeping me young.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for her first speech in the House of Commons. Beyond what she said, I also want to compliment her on the tone of what she said, because she is speaking as a true representative of her community. I hear an urgency in her voice in regard to what she is talking about, which is the plight of her community, especially of the farmers.

I have been around the House for long enough to know, and I have come to understand that when it comes to big government programs, the Liberals cannot manage. Yesterday we had the minister answering some questions in the House of Commons about farm aid. Basically he was saying that his hands are tied and that he is doing the best he can in spite of a bad situation. However, he did not offer any solutions or any hope of relief for desperate farmers.

Last week we had tractors on the Hill. That was a sign of desperation. We have an AIDA program and the government says that is its answer, but I want to ask my colleague this: what is the practical situation in the kitchens of some of these farmhouses across her riding? Of those who are expecting AIDA to help them, what is their situation?

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, there is desperation at our kitchen tables in Saskatchewan. People need their money. We have people waiting who filed their AIDA forms last September. They have been told by the AIDA office that their forms will not be looked at—for the first time—until March. These people need their AIDA payments at this moment. We would like the Liberal government to make sure that this is done as soon as possible.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to congratulate the hon. member on her maiden speech.

As we look at agriculture and listen to her comments, we see that things are changing rapidly in agriculture. This year alone, some of the input costs have gone through the roof, such as fuel, energy and fertilizer costs. The costs for all of these things are going up and will further adversely affect farm operations.

Could the hon. member, as an active farmer, relate to the House and to Canadians some of the difficulties she and her farm family are facing due to this increase in expenses?

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, we all know about the soaring price of natural gas. This immediately increases the cost of fertilizer. Any farmer who wants to get fertilizer is finding it very hard to obtain. We have fuel dealers who are on the verge of bankruptcy because their bills from last year have not been paid.

Farm families need immediate assistance. Unless assistance is given immediately, we will not have a crop put in this spring.

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I too would like to congratulate the member from Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, and I wish to ask her if she has the same theme in her part of the province: we lost a large number of students this year and that has effectively closed some of our schools. The number of young people leaving the rural areas is so large that in many areas the traditional curling teams and hockey teams are done for, probably forever. Is that true in the hon. member's community?

Speech From The ThroneGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member raises an important issue. In rural Saskatchewan we have lost basically a whole generation of farm families. They have all moved away, either to the city or to another province, because there are no jobs available for them in the rural communities. We find that they are having trouble getting into technical schools to further their education because the seats are already spoken for. We are losing that whole generation of agricultural people in Saskatchewan.

Auditor GeneralGovernment Orders

February 6th, 2001 / 1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Auditor General of Canada to the House of Commons, Volume III, dated December 2000.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(e) this document is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.