L027 - Tue 22 Dec 1987 / Mar 22 déc 1987
The House met at 1:30 p.m.
Mr. Philip: At the time the Rental Housing Protection Act was introduced in May 1986, it was supposed to preserve the rental stock in Ontario. The act expires in June 1988. What is fairly clear is that the legislation is ineffective. According to spokespersons for Metro Tenants Legal Services, 75 per cent of rental buildings constructed since 1978 have received municipal planning approval as condominiums.
Tenants such as those living at 2645 Kipling Avenue in the riding I represent have lived nine years in a building they thought was a rental building, only to discover they are being evicted to make room for the purchasers of their apartments. In my own riding, to the best of my knowledge, all private rental buildings constructed after 1978 have been designated as condominiums. Thus, tenants in 3,495 apartments face the strong possibility of being evicted at any time. This amounts to 47.9 per cent of the rental units in the riding of Etobicoke-Rexdale.
This is not only bad news for tenants; it is also not to the advantage of the consumer. There is no guarantee that buildings which have been built to condominium standards nine years ago are necessarily at those standards today. Condominium purchasers, many of them working people, are also faced with the awkward situation of having to evict other working-class families from their units.
I call on the government to look at this serious problem. Unless some legislative action is taken immediately, over 200,000 rental units will disappear in the near future.
Mr. Villeneuve: As the festive season draws near, we all look forward to getting together with family, neighbours and friends to celebrate together and enjoy one another’s company. We must not forget throughout this happy time of the season a group of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
This disease, surely but slowly, turns normal people whom we love into individuals who are very confused and difficult to understand and cope with at times. Certainly they are a group of people who will likely be more or less forgotten over this festive season. This disease is striking more and more of our Ontario citizens. Let us not forget it is not limited to afflicting only our senior citizens. Many middle-aged and even younger Ontarians are affected.
I want to make this Legislature aware that January has been designated Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. We must all be concerned about this alarming disease and work vigilantly towards finding a cure. The Cornwall and District Alzheimer’s Society will be holding an open house on January 6, 1988, to make all citizens aware of this dreaded disease and to provide comfort not only to those who have been afflicted but also to those who live with and assist those affected with Alzheimer’s.
I wish to say congratulations and best wishes to the Cornwall and District Alzheimer’s Society and to assure those involved in that organization that they have my wholehearted support, along with that of my party, in the excellent work that they have been doing both in Cornwall and the entire tri-county area of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S BROCHURE
Mr. Pelissero: I pose a question. What do the defunct television shows Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies have in common with Brian Mulroney’s brochure on free trade and agriculture? They all perpetuate the primitive myth of a farmer as a bumbling hayseed using outdated equipment.
Let me describe the brochure. It features an illustration of Mr. Mulroney’s impression of a typical Canadian farm: two happy farmers, two happy cows, a bushelful of potatoes and a pile of golden hay. The female farmer is riding a 1940s-vintage tractor. The male farmer, clad in a baseball cap and denim overalls, has a slightly glazed look on his face while he chews on a stalk of wheat with both hands hitched in his suspenders. My concern is that today’s farmers face enough obstacles without the Prime Minister perpetuating such a backward stereotype.
This is not the reality of modern Canadian agriculture. Farming is a capital-intensive, technologically driven industry. Intelligent and articulate men and women are the first link in an agrifood chain which is responsible for one in seven jobs in Ontario. I can only assume that this caricature of the Canadian farmer represents the Mulroney government’s level of understanding of modern agriculture. I call on the Prime Minister to recall this brochure and have it reprinted in a manner less offensive to the profession of farming.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY
Miss Martel: I want to bring to the attention of the Ministry of Labour a very disturbing incident involving health and safety concerns in the inspection process. I hope this is not how health and safety inspectors are operating in Ontario.
Briefly, in April 1987, two miners on the 1,400-foot level of Inco’s Frood mine refused to work in an ore pass as they believed conditions were unsafe. While inspecting the drift, they pulled loose off the walls and wood off the beams holding the back in place. Timber had already fallen in the area. The earlier graveyard shift had also refused to work in the same drift.
All this was shown to the general foreman, who stated the drift was being reconditioned. However, this was occurring back to back with men working the area in the day. The miners stated they would enter only when reconditioning was complete. One week later, a support beam and timber fell from the drift entrance. The union requested ministry investigation. The inspector questioned only four of the 10 miners involved in refusing to work. He inspected the site without a worker representative although two union stewards were working that day. In his report, the mining inspector stated:
“Certain inconsistencies in statements taken, coupled with an evident lack of knowledge by both employees and the company over correct work refusal procedures tends to leave this inspector no alternative but to say a decision in this matter cannot be easily reached at this time or possibly ever.”
Is this the kind of response we can expect from Ministry of Labour inspectors investigating legitimate concerns of unsafe working places and resulting work refusals?
MINISTRY OF SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Jackson: Two weeks ago we sat through committee hearings into the spending estimates of the Ministry of Skills Development. With Christmas approaching, I have drawn up a list of appropriate gifts for various people and programs within that ministry.
I would give the member for York Centre (Mr. Sorbara), the former minister, a lump of coal, which is all he really deserves. Last year he told us to sit back and relax as problems in his ministry worked themselves out. This year the only thing that has worked out was the budget for Skills Development. The budget was cut back.
I would give the $1.7-million Transitions program a few more participants. Right now, only 25 people are being served. I would give our older workers’ help centres a new funding formula because 25 per cent of those centres have been forced to close in the last two years.
I would provide programs implemented through northern colleges and universities a proper assistance mechanism, and to the ministry bureaucrats l would give savings accounts to handle their 60 per cent in-year increase in administrative costs.
And since this government claims that free trade will cost jobs, I would give the minister programs because he does not have a single program right now, let alone a strategy, to deal with the job displacement he says he foresees.
The Skills Development Christmas wish list is almost as big as the list of broken Liberal campaign promises. Perhaps after the holidays the minister could make a New Year’s resolution to develop his own administrative and management skills before trying to develop the skills of the workers of Ontario.
CHIEF WEBB ENGSTROM
Mr. Miclash: It gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to pay tribute to a man who is a constituent in my riding and a great citizen of the town of Kenora.
On December 31 of this year, Chief Webb Engstrom of the town of Kenora police force will officially retire from his position after 35 years of service on the force. Before beginning his duties with the police in Kenora, he was a member of the Ontario Provincial Police for three years.
We in Kenora are very proud of Webb Engstrom. He is a lifelong resident of the community, his parents having arrived in Kenora in the early 1900s to settle. Webb grew up in a police family, his father being a member of the Kenora police force. When Webb was old enough to enter the workforce, he followed in his father’s footsteps. Since then, he has made a name for himself as a dedicated and ever-helpful police officer.
In his role as chief of police, Chief Engstrom has been a member of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In the community of Kenora, he has been a member of the Lions Club and belongs to the Lutheran church
Mr. Engstrom is married and he and his wife, Laura, have two children -- Randy, a teacher in Winnipeg, and David, a fireman in Kenora -- along with three grandchildren.
On behalf of myself and the people of the riding of Kenora, I want to express my best wishes to Chief Engstrom on his retirement and hope he enjoys many years playing golf, curling and fishing in the Lake of the Woods area.
Mr. Engstrom is certainly an asset to Kenora and is very much recognized for his distinguished career.
Mr. Hampton: Yesterday in this House the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Riddell) acknowledged that several beef farmers in the province had incurred serious financial losses as a result of food additive problems at Agriculture and Food bull testing stations in the 1986-87 year.
He also indicated that a committee he appointed to study the problem, the bull test study committee, had completed its report. He confirmed that food additive problems were related to the serious financial losses incurred by beef farmers, but he indicated he would not release the committee’s report enabling beef farmers to know where they stand. He cited as his reason potential litigation problems.
Mr. Speaker: The member’s time has now expired. Perhaps he might want to continue at some further time.
Mr. Harris: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I guess until you hear what I have to say: I have just been passed a note concerning the Izvestia hockey tournament and I wonder if I could have unanimous consent. All three parties might want to comment for a couple of minutes.
Mr. Speaker: Is there agreement?
IZVESTIA HOCKEY TOURNAMENT
Mr. Harris: I think it is appropriate that we comment briefly and congratulate the Canadian hockey team which just a short time ago defeated Finland in the final game and won the gold medal at the Izvestia hockey tournament, right in Moscow and right in Russia, for the very first time in the history of this tournament.
I think it is also significant, and I hope you will permit me to comment briefly as well, Mr. Speaker, that this is one of those examples that tells us what we think about ourselves and what other nations think about Canada as a nation. In many areas we are clearly the best in the world and in this example we have proven ourselves to be best in the world.
I do not know how many of the members read the précis of Allan Gottlieb’s speech in Reader’s Digest that just came out. He is the ambassador for Canada to the United States. Also, he was appointed by the former Liberal administration in Ottawa. He commented on the free trade debate about how we feel about ourselves. Those who appear to be opposed to this deal feel Canada is an insignificant power. Those who appear to be in favour of the deal, both inside and outside of Canada, view --
Mr. Cordiano: Give him a misconduct.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Perhaps the member would contain his remarks in regard to stickhandling.
Mr. Breaugh: You were talking about hockey and now you’re dribbling.
Mr. Harris: Many on this side of the House may not think how we feel about ourselves as a country is important, but I think it is fitting that we are able to talk about that today, at a time when once again we have proven ourselves to be a major and significant power in this world and the best in the world. That is how other nations view us in a number of other areas as well.
Mr. Reycraft: On behalf of my party and my caucus colleagues, I too want to congratulate the Canadian team on its great triumph in the Soviet Union at the Izvestia tournament. There are many of us who have been following their exploits very carefully over the last several days, perhaps none more than my colleague the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. MacDonald) who, I understand, was once a member of a world championship hockey team, the Belleville McFarlands.
There seems to be nothing like an international hockey tournament to stimulate nationalistic emotions within the people of this country. I am very pleased to see that we once again stand at the top in international hockey.
Mr. Hampton: On behalf of my party, I would like to add to and echo those comments.
The Canadian national team deserves congratulations for what it has achieved, but I also think that some of the individuals involved should receive particular congratulations. Many of the young people who play on the team have sacrificed fairly lucrative professional careers in order that they could represent Canada. Some of them have come under a lot of pressure, in fact, to turn professional and turn away from the national team.
As well, the coaches deserve an incredible amount of respect, congratulations and support. My former coach, Tom Watt, is one of the enduring supporters of a national hockey team. He is someone who believes in a more scientific approach to hockey, an approach that we have now succeeded at in some measure in the international sphere.
It is fair to say that in many ways our national hockey team represents the very best of our hockey. It is certainly clean hockey. It is hockey that people like to watch. In many ways, it is devoid of the hooliganism that we sometimes see in some of the professional leagues. I think we should acknowledge all of these contributions by our national team, the individuals who play for that team and the individuals who coach that team. They are certainly worthy of our congratulations and our respect.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: Victims of major trauma resulting from motor vehicle and industrial accidents, sports injuries, falls and violent crime almost always need rapid, comprehensive care in order to survive. That is why I am pleased to announce today a significant expansion in the trauma care network in Metropolitan Toronto.
St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto will have its adult trauma care capacity more than doubled as the next step in the development of Metropolitan Toronto’s trauma care system. St. Michael’s now treats about 150 cases per year. It will begin to move into the 300- to 350-caseload level annually. My officials will be discussing the need for additional funding at St. Michael’s as its caseload increases over the next two to three years.
Metropolitan Toronto’s trauma system consists of quick, decisive treatment by an integrated network of trauma care professionals at St. Michael’s Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, Sunnybrook Medical Centre, Wellesley Hospital and Toronto General Hospital. l want to commend these hospitals for working closely together in the development of this system.
I would also like to thank the Metropolitan Toronto District Health Council for its instrumental role in planning and developing Metro Toronto’s trauma system. The expansion we are announcing today will result in more rapid, expert trauma care for residents of south-central Ontario.
COMMISSIONER ARCHIE FERGUSON
Hon. Mrs. Smith: Today I stand to make an announcement that will stir both nostalgia and pride in the citizens of Ontario. I wish to inform the members of the Legislature that Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Archie Ferguson, who is with us here today, has informed me that he has decided to retire from the force effective January 22, 1988.
First to the nostalgia: This date has been selected by the commissioner because it is the 37th anniversary of his commencement of service in the OPP. It so happens that I share his nostalgia for this particular date because it also is my 39th year of involvement in a marriage which has also involved devotion and rewards appropriate to the occasion.
Hon. R. F. Nixon: Any other adjectives that leap to mind?
Hon. Mrs. Smith: I will let the member do those.
Since joining the force in Kenora in 1951, his skills and dedication have resulted in a steady rise through the ranks, culminating with his appointment as commissioner in 1983. Although it would be impossible to mention all the noteworthy cases he has been involved in over the years, I know the commissioner is particularly proud of his role in successfully resolving the Mary Nelles kidnapping in 1969 while serving as a member of the criminal investigations branch.
The commissioner also deserves special praise and recognition for his ability to instil a sense of togetherness, pride and public duty in the force through programs such as Strict is Fair and Constable Awareness. He is a well-known figure to all, tall in more than stature, dignified in more than demeanour.
Now to the pride: When I assumed my new post, I was welcomed and supported by the commissioner. On almost my first day in office, I accompanied him to the annual commissioned officers’ mess dinner. That evening I became aware of the respect that members of the force had for him as commissioner, the support for his leadership and his similar feelings of respect for those serving with him.
On subsequent occasions, including the recent convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, I was repeatedly reminded that our police forces in Ontario are admired around the world. We owe them much and we owe our commissioner deep gratitude for what he has contributed to building the OPP up to its present position of esteem.
Commissioner, I am happy I became Solicitor General in time to have become your acquaintance, your friend and your admirer. I wish you and your wife, Jean, every success and happiness in your retirement and I thank both of you for your contributions to our province and its people.
ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
Hon. Mr. Ward: Members will recall that on December 7 I informed them that $600,000 had been allocated to fund 12 pilot projects related to our student retention and transition project, an initiative addressing the dropout problem.
Today I am pleased to announce an additional step which we believe will increase the relevance of our programs for secondary school students, while at the same time providing them with firsthand experience in the world of work. My ministry has awarded $1,180,000 to fund 20 pilot projects under the access to employment program for co-operative education. The funding ranges from $50,000 to a maximum of $75,000 per project, and in the case of partnership initiatives from $20,000 to $75,000.
These pilot projects will help encourage greater participation by special populations that have been underrepresented in co-operative education programs and also lead to the development of programs that focus on the needs of students at risk of dropping out or who have returned to school.
School boards receiving funding for pilot projects are: North York Board of Education; le Conseil de l’éducation de langue française du Conseil scolaire de Niagara Sud; Metropolitan Separate School Board; Durham Board of Education; Lincoln County Board of Education; le Conseil des écoles séparées catholiques du district de Kapuskasing, two projects; le Conseil des écoles séparées catholiques du district de Timmins; Timmins Board of Education, Lakehead Board of Education; Kenora Board of Education; Carleton Board of Education, two projects; Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry County Board of Education; Windsor Board of Education; Bruce-Grey County Roman Catholic Separate School Board; Grey County Board of Education, two projects; Sudbury Board of Education; and Sault Ste. Marie Board of Education.
These initiatives focus on ensuring the relevance of the learning experience at the work site and complement the programs either initiated or expanded under the co-operative education and transition-to-employment incentive fund which was introduced in January 1986.
COMMISSIONER ARCHIE FERGUSON
Mr. B. Rae: I want to add our congratulations to Commissioner Ferguson on behalf of the official opposition. I do this with haste, not simply because Christmas is always a good time to have a good connection with the Ontario Provincial Police, but because I did want to say how strongly I feel personally that Commissioner Ferguson has provided leadership in the field of policing in the province.
We have many, many things still to do, but he has contributed greatly to the morale of the force and to a great sense of public confidence in the integrity of policing in this province, which is most important and for which Archie Ferguson deserves a great deal of personal congratulation.
I want to offer you my congratulations, Archie, and all the best in your retirement to you and Mrs. Ferguson.
ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
Mr. R. F. Johnston: I would like to respond to today’s announcement by the Minister of Education (Mr. Ward).
If I can use a seasonal reference here, the minister seems to have a kind of Christmas-stocking-stuffer mentality to programming for education at this point. He feels that giving little trinkets to the education system and throwing them at a problem like the terrible drop-out situation that we have is somehow appropriate, especially when this is in the face of a major report being expected within a month from George Radwanski about what the overall problem is and what some major systemic and structural solutions might be.
I ask the House to think very seriously about how large this problem is. Seventy per cent of kids who are streamed into the basic stream in high schools drop out before they complete that program. Forty per cent of all students entering high school do not complete their education in high school. This is a major structural problem that we have run into. It is something that needs a major look, not a dozen pilot projects on the one hand, and then when the minister gets flak from the press about the inadequacies of those, he throws 20 new pilot projects off on the other hand to try to solve it.
This is a problem that touches curriculum. This is a problem that touches the philosophy of education in a major and fundamental way. It is an issue that touches poverty issues. When there are kids going to school hungry and feeling like poor and inadequate second-class citizens in the high school system, is it any wonder they drop out? How many pilot projects does the minister think are going to change their sense of self-esteem?
I think this government is caught with that low, old Liberal notion that equality of opportunity rather than the quality of outcome is what is important. If on the face of it the minister can throw money at kids with trinkets of this sort -- one teacher per school or whatever this will work out to in terms of the actual costs being put in -- then he is fundamentally masking a serious structural problem that needs our complete emphasis.
I find it a little bewildering that the minister would bother coming forward with this kind of program. Why does he not deal instead with the Minister of Skills Development (Mr. Curling) and make the Futures program work?
Why does he not make the part-time studies and part-time work program work, instead of introducing a whole new hodgepodge of programs to certain selected pilot projects in this province and ignoring the fundamental problems out there in the system today?
I just say “humbug” to the minister. It is not worth a cent.
COMMISSIONER ARCHIE FERGUSON
Mr. Cureatz: In conjunction with the Solicitor General (Mrs. Smith) and the leader of the official opposition, I too would like to congratulate Archie Ferguson on his retirement. The minister has very nicely, in three pages, brought forward areas of interest to delight us all about his past experiences, but I want to relate to the House that in my experience dealing with Archie was always very rewarding.
I can think of a previous life as parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General’s office and discussing various issues that took place around the great, big, long table at the Solicitor General’s office. I can say to you, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier (Mr. Peterson) and to the House leader that as I observed Archie as he gave advice to the Solicitor General, not once did I ever hear him indicate a particular personal bias, a particular political leaning as a result of an issue that was taking place in Ontario. I always admired him for that, in terms of his position.
The Premier will be doing well to find an individual to replace him.
ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
Mr. Jackson: I would like to greet the statement of the Minister of Education (Mr. Ward) in the House today with the same kind of concern that has been expressed already.
We are very concerned, from the point of view of the Progressive Conservative Party, given the fact that the Liberals in 1985 made a clear and unequivocal campaign promise that every grade 12 student in Ontario would have unfettered access to co-operative education programs in this province.
It was a promise the Premier made but has not kept. Now we have the new Minister of Education standing in the House and promising that he has what can at best be an ad hoc response and a Band-Aid program. This is now the second announcement in less than 10 days which basically skirts around the issues raised by the Ken Dryden report. All members of the House are aware that the Liberal government dropped him as Ontario’s youth commissioner, in spite of the quality and substance of the recommendations contained in his report.
It makes every member of this House even more nervous, now that we hear the Minister of Education, about what really is contained in the George Radwanski report. Why is the minister coming forward with these Band-Aid programs to shore up something that is in this report which we are waiting for? We are not sure what it is, but now it is clear that there are going to be some dramatic recommendations and maybe even some interesting revelations about the government’s approach to assisting the growing number of high school students who are dropping out and the growing number of students expressing interest in a more employment-driven curriculum for their future.
We are concerned that there are no clear guidelines with respect to these pilot projects. As a matter of fact, with the announcement he made last week, we now have learned that in one of the school boards the $50,000 is going to go to one teacher to study the whole process of dropouts.
That is what the government stood in the House and advised us was going to be the nature of its commitment. So we ask the same question today. Is that the similar kind of pilot project that the minister has authorized and approved here? Are boards just going to study co-operative education needs in school boards, or are they going to hire staff and assign them to go out and make the connections in the private sector to set up the co-operative employment situations for students?
It is just one more example as well of the fact that this government continues to load up many of its election promises within its global transfer announcement for funds for education. Every time the government comes up with another one of these interesting and somewhat expensive programs, in a certain way it erodes the general level grants that are going to boards. We are very disturbed. All members of this House should be concerned about the continuation of that practice.
Finally, speaking of broken Liberal promises, the government did promise that it would fully fund adult and continuing education. It still has several days left of House time this week, and apparently we are going to be here next week. Hopefully, we are anticipating another announcement, this time to honour the government’s commitment to provide full funding for adult and continuing education as promised during the election.
TRADE WITH UNITED STATES
Mr. B. Rae: A question to the Premier: Following on from the exchange that we had yesterday, I wonder if the Premier can confirm that it is possible under an interpretation of the words, “The province will not be bound to implement those aspects of the agreement which fall under provincial jurisdiction,” that the province will, in fact, implement some aspects of the agreement under provincial jurisdiction, if that is what the province chooses to do. Would that be a correct interpretation of the kind of leeway the Premier is giving himself with those words?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: What the clause does is give a very clear assertion, shall we say, of provincial sovereignty in this matter. We will not be bound to do things that are in our jurisdiction. Again, I go back particularly to the wine question. At the moment it is very difficult to tell what implementation legislation would be requested, if any. There may not be any. On the other hand, there may be some in the future. That question has not been determined, but I think it very clearly says that the province does not feel bound to implement it.
Mr. B. Rae: This is very important because the government has moved in the securities field and the financial field already to open up our markets well before there was any formal agreement with the United States. Just last week, the Minister of Transportation (Mr. Fulton) announced again the introduction of bills with respect to the deregulation of trucking, which clearly follow the Reaganite philosophy in the United States and clearly have to do with changes that have taken place in the United States.
Will the Premier not agree that it is entirely possible under this agreement -- under the wording which he has used, “It is entirely possible” -- that what will happen is that the government will turn around and say: “We never said we were not going to implement. We never said we were not going to do things which will be compatible with the free trade agreement. All we said was we wanted to make a theoretical statement about what we think provincial rights are”? Will the Premier not admit that it is possible that he will be doing things compatible with the agreement because that is what he decides to do one day?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: Anything is possible, some time along in the future in this province and long after the honourable member and I have gone on somewhere else. But I would like to point out a couple of things to my honourable friend.
He alluded to the financial reregulation or deregulation, if he likes to call it such. That was not a bilateral move with the United States contrary to some people’s opinion. That was a multinational view, a multilateral view, where we asserted, I think, Toronto’s prominence as an international financial centre, in spite of the problems the federal government is causing us in that regard, because we are determined not to leave Toronto, not to leave Ontario in the backwater of international commercial transactions. It is not just a move with the United States.
With respect to the trucking bill, as my honourable friend will know, the piece of legislation that is on the books is some 30 or 40 years old --
An hon. member: Sixty.
Hon Mr. Peterson: Sixty years old, even before the time of some of my Conservative friends. That bill has been discussed for 11 years in this House and nothing has happened. That is a move we think is going to very substantially assist our truckers here. We believe it is going to be a significant move for northern Ontario. It does not automatically grant access for US truckers. They are here now. It is not giving them any more privileges really than they have at the present time.
We believe it is going to be in the interest of keeping Ontario competitive and, with or without a free trade agreement, we have a responsibility to make sure Ontario is world-class competitive.
Mr. B. Rae: I think it is perfectly obvious that what this proposed resolution from the government does is to send out the most mixed of messages. They are not in fact saying to the federal government, “We’re not going to comply and we’re not going to implement.” That is not what they are saying. If they wanted to say that, they could.
What they are saying is: “Maybe we will and maybe we won’t. Whether we do or we don’t, it is our business whether we do or we don’t.” That is all they are saying. They are not making any other kind of a statement, and that is what makes it unacceptable to us as a resolution.
Will the Premier not at least admit in this House that the resolution does not say that he will not implement but says that he will not be bound to implement, and that those are two different things?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: The Leader of the Opposition may want to word the thing differently than we have chosen to do, but I say to him that I think the message is extremely clear to --
Mr. B. Rae: No, it isn’t.
Hon. Mr. Peterson: Well, it is to me. It may not be to my friends opposite, who may not want to view it with a clear pair of spectacles on in this regard, but I say to them I think it is a clear assertion of our right to make laws inside of our own jurisdiction. We are not going to be honour bound to implement things that are in our jurisdiction. It is that simple, and I think the message, at least to me and I think to my colleagues, is extremely clear.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: I have a question for the Minister of Skills Development on the question of the failure of the Futures program for native kids in Ontario. Members probably are not aware that the ministry delivers its services to native young people through two different ministries: for those on regular reserves and off reserves through its own ministry, and for those on isolated reserves through the Ministry of Citizenship.
I wonder if the minister can explain to me how he has the nerve to suggest that native young people are a priority of his ministry when, if you look at the Futures budget from last year, although the kids on isolated reserves were offered $1 million worth of program that was supposedly going to be made available to them, only $385,000 was spent, and this year, out of a budget of $1.2 million, only $75,000 has been spent with three quarters of the year gone.
I find it amazing, and I want the minister to explain to me how he can say he is providing any kind of service to those communities when only 121 kids on isolated reserves have been given any programs at all in the last year and a half.
Hon. Mr. Curling: The Futures program is committed to serve all young people, including natives, and we are still committed to that. I do not see any discrepancies at all in the fact that our program is open to the native people there. I have no complaint from those people to say that it is not serving that community.
On the point that the member raises, if there are specific problems there, I am prepared to sit down with the honourable member or the people concerned to iron out the problems that he so addressed.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: I find it incredible. There are 50 isolated reserves, and only 121 kids on those reserves have received any kind of program. The failure rate is even higher than it is in the southern experience of Futures. His own ministry people have stated that they want to tighten up the rules; they are concerned that the bands have been misusing the funds. I have documentation here from his ministry about their concerns about how it is being run.
Is it not true that the most serious problem is that there is not enough flexibility? There are only three staff people for the whole province to deal with these kids. Given the incredible distances, that makes it an impossibility for them to handle it.
There are huge literacy problems which his programs do not lend themselves to.
Instead of delivering the service through the Ministry of Citizenship, the minister should seriously consider delivering the service through native organizations like the friendship centres around northern Ontario. Would the minister please consider that notion?
Hon. Mr. Curling: The guidelines of Futures are laid down and there are certain problems that we have encountered on some of the reserves there. It is not a matter of tightening up the guidelines; it is also to make sure the guidelines are being adhered to.
The suggestion the honourable member made that quite possibly we could get the native people more involved is something we can look into. It may be beneficial to that specific region.
Mr. D. S. Cooke: Is this the first you have heard of it?
Mrs. Grier: Did you not know?
Mr. Jackson: We raised this point in estimates two weeks ago.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Hampton: My question deals with the experience the minister has just cited. There are nine Indian reserves in the constituency that I represent. Only four native youths have been able to obtain training from the Futures guaranteed options program in the last year, and each one of those reserves has a youth unemployment rate of over 50 per cent.
Yet at the same time that Futures is failing, the youth employment counselling centres have identified young Indian people who want training and who are eligible for it, and the board of education’s alternative education program has teachers and programs available to conduct the training and experienced people who know their way around the native community who will be only too happy to assist.
What is happening with the minister’s program when it cannot take advantage of those local resources to meet the needs of nine Indian communities that have unemployment rates of over 50 per cent among young people?
Hon. Mr. Curling: I am prepared to look at the program within those regions if it is not reaching the target or meeting the goals that it is intended to meet. As the member said, there are only five native people who have responded to this program.
Mr. Hampton: Four -- five minus one.
Hon. Mr. Curling: Again, the program is intended to give those young people a second chance. If they are not being given that second chance, I am prepared, as the minister, to take a look at it to make sure the program meets its target group.
TRADE WITH UNITED STATES
Mr. Brandt: My question is to the Premier, who is also applauding. He is preparing for the next stage of his address to this House on free trade.
Yesterday, during the exchange we had in the House with respect to the free trade matter, the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Bradley) indicated that the reason the Premier of New Brunswick was in favour of this particular deal, the free trade deal, was that the federal government had given the contract to New Brunswick with respect to the six frigates.
A few days prior to that, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology (Mr. Kwinter) indicated that the seven premiers who were in favour of this deal really did not care about Canada or Ontario because, by reflection on his remarks, he indicated that the only people who cared about Ontario were those who supported the Premier’s point of view, namely, the labour organizations, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation and a few groups that have indicated their support for his position.
I would like to know whether the Premier in fact associates himself with the remarks of his two ministers as they relate to this very important and critical matter.
Hon. Mr. Peterson: Frankly, I did not hear the remarks the member is suggesting my honourable colleague made, and I am not in a position to verify that. My honourable colleague the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology tells me the member’s interpretation of his remarks is incorrect as well.
Let me deal seriously with the question for a moment. I recognize, and my friend does, that this is one of the most difficult and complicated debates to engage this nation in some considerable period of time. That is why I believe it deserves a thorough airing in this House. I am very happy and enjoyed very much the contributions I heard yesterday from a couple of our colleagues, the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) and the member for Markham (Mr. Cousens). I think it is important that the debate continues and all people have an opportunity to express themselves.
I do not think for a moment it is fair to assume that all of Ontario agrees with me -- or the member, for that matter; I would not be so presumptuous as that -- any more than all Albertans agree with Premier Getty or all Quebeckers agree with Premier Bourassa. Even though, as my friend says, it is probably six and three quarters to three at the moment in terms of premiers, I think Canadians are divided on the issue in all regions.
I do not consider this a regional debate, and I hope we can get away from that kind of cast that has been put on the debate by some. I think it is destructive to the fabric. I think my honourable friend shares that point of view because he knows, and we all know in this House, the potential for a debate of this nature to tear at the fabric of our nation. All of us in this House are committed to using whatever influence Ontario has to build a strong nation, and not to weaken the nation.
It is a debate where there are different points of view, as I said before, ultimately to be decided by the federal voters in this country. It is not a regional debate. As I say to my honourable friend --
Mr. Speaker: Order; supplementary.
Mr. Brandt: I want to say to the Premier that I appreciate the fact he is interested in taking the high road on this particular topic and subject because I do believe it requires that kind of debate and that we should avoid, if at all possible, attempting to place this in a regional perspective which could by reflection be destructive to the building of nationhood we are all interested in, but I have a very serious question for the Premier in relation to the way in which this debate is going.
If by some chance the Premier were successful in stopping the free trade agreement with the United States, which I think is highly unlikely, what alternatives does he have for Ontario, for Alberta, for the east-coast provinces and for the rest of Canada in relation to the very real problem many of us have recognized relative to protectionist measures that may be developed, and have been developed in the past in the United States, or relative to any kind of restrictive trade practices that could be raised to inhibit the amount of economic activity, which is absolutely critical to Ontario, recognizing that some 90 per cent of our sales go to that country. What is his alternative?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: My honourable friend raises an important question, and it is not going to be easy to answer it in a brief time, but I will try to give my friend as full an answer as I possibly can.
The first point I would like to make to my honourable friend is that I do not believe this trade agreement gets the kind of access or gets around the protectionism in the United States that he talks about so glowingly. There is a fundamental difference of opinion on that. We have not changed any US trade remedy laws. Countervail, antidump, 201s and 301s are still there and still can be invoked against us. All we have done is to buy into a binational panel interpreting those laws against us. There is no guarantee, as my honourable friend knows -- he has expressed his reservations on this point -- about any protection from the omnibus trade bill as well as future protectionist moves should they come along in the United States.
On the second part of the question, I do not believe we have accomplished his goal in that regard. Even though we were promised -- I say to him that I was told point-blank by Simon Reisman across the table, “Never again will Canada ever have an antidump or countervail suit.” We were told that. That was the operating premise going in. He did not get what he wanted. He did not get what the Prime Minister said was so important. He said, “US trade remedy law cannot apply to us, period.” That is a quote. Yet they did not achieve it. Obviously, if we had achieved that, it would have been a big win for Canada and would have been worth pursuing, but we did not achieve that and I think we have to say we failed in our own mission. The federal government failed to achieve what it said was its bottom line.
Back to the other part of my friend’s question, because it is important. He says to me, “What are the alternatives?” I say this to the member: I believe we have to consider Ontario’s position in the global economy, not just in the continental economy. I believe we should be pursuing our responsibilities under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. I do not believe we should just be increasingly tying our economy to the United States. Yes, I recognize the importance of the country as our trading partner. It is our largest trading partner and will continue to be for a long period of time. But I think in the long term -- l am talking about over the next 10, 20, 30 and 40 years -- we have to have a much larger focus than that.
The United States has enormous problems economically --
Mr. Speaker: Order; final supplementary.
Mr. Brandt: I have to say to the Premier that no one in this House, to the best of my knowledge, takes any exception or has any opposition to the concept of a multilateral trade discussion with other countries. That, as he well knows, can go on at the selfsame time as a free trade agreement with the United States.
I would say as well, if I might, that there is a large body of evidence and opinion out there, which obviously is not shared by the Premier, which indicates we do have enhanced access to the American market; that we have a dispute settlement mechanism which is considerably better than what we have in place now; and although there are never any absolute, total, unquestioned guarantees with respect to doing trade with another country, there are many trade experts who have indicated that this is the best mechanism of any trade agreement anywhere in the world. Yet it does not meet his criteria.
Mr. Speaker: Question?
Mr. Brandt: Recognizing --
Mr. Speaker: Question?
Mr. Brandt: I felt compelled to put those comments on the record.
Mr. Speaker: Question?
Mr. Brandt: My question -- if I can get it on the floor; I am being interrupted by the member for Brampton South (Mr. Callahan) -- the question I have for the Premier very simply is this: Recognizing that there are these differences of opinion on the dispute settlement mechanism, on access to the American market, on these retaliatory possibilities on the part of both countries, will the Premier take what is the logical next step and refer this matter to the standing committee on finance and economic affairs for full and thorough debate and hearings, as this House agreed to originally?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: If I may, let me just answer the preamble of his question. It is not a question of not meeting my criteria. It has not met the federal government’s own criteria; either that or it has changed its criteria or lowered its standards.
The most charitable interpretation of the dispute settlement mechanism is that it is a tiny, perhaps marginal, incremental gain. What have we given up as a country to get that? We have given up control of our energy policy. We have given up a lot of our domestic levers.
I say to my friend that people like him would want to take note of Mr. Parizeau’s comments yesterday, who said that establishing the north-south trading pattern as opposed to the east-west, which we have been committed to as a country and have to continue to be committed to, will make it easier to fulfil his political ambition. He understands what will develop over a period of time.
This is a debate that is complicated, that needs everybody’s attention paid to it. What we have tried to do from our perspective is to engage everyone in this debate, not just legislators but the public as well. That is why we had the committee of ministers working with the preliminary agreement, and that will be shared shortly. That is why we are having a debate in this House, to express the will of the majority of the members in this House to the federal government, the American government before the deal is signed.
I also believe the standing committee on finance and economic affairs has already engaged this subject, has started discussions and should. I would hope that all citizens of this province become involved. This is not going to end on January 2. It is not going to end when this debate is over. This is going to be ongoing for some long period of time. I think it is a responsibility of all legislators, of all Canadians, to engage themselves in this debate, as significant a debate as we have had in the history of this country.
RETAIL STORE HOURS
Mr. Brandt: I have a question to the Premier with respect to another topic. The Attorney General (Mr. Scott) indicated that large stores can break the law and remain open on December 27. The Solicitor General (Mrs. Smith), who is given the responsibility of enforcing the law, is unable to enforce the law at this point because the Attorney General says he will not prosecute anyone who remains open on December 27.
Now we have a situation where the Solicitor General has passed on to the municipalities the responsibility for Sunday openings, even though she had indicated at an earlier time that passing this on to municipalities would be nothing more than providing wide-open Sundays throughout Ontario.
My question to the Premier is, has the decision to allow stores to remain open on December 27 not left the Solicitor General, relative to the remarks made by the Attorney General, in an extremely awkward position to carry out her particular duties?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: The answer to the member’s question is no.
Mr. Brandt: Last year we had the Solicitor General as well as the Attorney General saving they would enforce the law as it was at that time. This year we have the Attorney General saying he is not going to enforce the law. In May we had the Premier indicating that he wanted to clarify the whole situation long in advance of the Christmas season, and we all know what happened there.
Then we had the Solicitor General saying some weeks ago that the chicken way out would be to give this to the municipalities. Then about a week ago, the Solicitor General took the chicken way out and gave the whole matter to the municipalities.
How much confusion does the Premier think this province can stand relative to this question?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: It is a good point the member raises. Obviously, he is confused. I am not confused. Other people are not confused. We do not mind explaining again to the honourable member if he would like us so to do. I think it is quite clear.
Mr. Brandt: I think quite the contrary. I would really appreciate the Premier of this province not taking this question so lightly, because I think he should be aware that not only is there a large, large percentage of Ontario citizens who do not want wide-open Sunday shopping but there is also a large number of workers who do not want wide-open Sunday shopping.
The government has also placed the municipalities virtually unanimously in opposition to what it has done by passing on the responsibilities for deciding on Sunday openings to the local levels of government, None of them wants it. Why did the government take the chicken way out?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: I say, with great respects I think my honourable friend uses words rather promiscuously.
Hon. Mr. Peterson: The mayor of North York thinks this is a terrific idea. He is not part of the member’s unanimous consensus nor is the mayor of Ottawa or the mayor of Hamilton. There are a lot of progressive and thoughtful mayors in this province.
Mr. Brandt: How about the mayor of London, the Premier’s home town?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: A bright man. I am very fond of the mayor of London. He is one of the finer mayors. I would like to do everything I can now if anybody is watching from London, to say what a fine mayor we have and I am very proud to have such a decent and progressive mayor. I did not say he is perfect, I said he is an excellent mayor.
I say to the members as with any other policy the government has, there are people who agree and people who disagree, but I do not think it is that big a deal, frankly, to go from regulating store hours six days a week to regulating them seven when they now have the power, as the member knows, to control the tourist exemption. It really is not that big a leap of faith, as my honourable friend says.
I also do not find it confusing. I find it rather elementary what the Solicitor General has done, what the Attorney General has done and what we have done. We have taken a bold step forward for democracy putting it in the hands of the municipal politicians, those politicians closest to the people of this great province.
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS CANADA LTD.
Mr. Mackenzie: I have a question for the Premier. The Premier is aware that better than 2,000 workers at McDonnell Douglas were recently forced to stop work to get action on very serious health problems in the plant, including over 212 safety orders by the ministry.
Is the Premier aware that these same workers and their union were informed just yesterday that 238 of the workers who were involved in those work stoppages or are currently still involved in some of the safety work stoppages have been told that they are laid off indefinitely as of tomorrow? Can the Premier tell us what he is prepared to do about this blatant discrimination against workers who were simply carrying out their rights under Ontario legislation?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: First, may I say to the honourable member I appreciate very much his giving me prior notice of this question. I appreciate his sharing that with me. I know how deeply the member feels about this question.
We are taking the allegations very, very seriously, as the honourable member knows. I understand what the union is saying in this regard. He will be aware that management is putting it to a different explanation at the present time.
All I can tell the honourable member is that the ministry officials are there, I believe at this very moment -- if not at this moment at least today -- trying to get to the bottom of this situation. If, in fact, there are reprisals involved here, it will obviously be a serious situation but I am certainly happy to monitor the situation and share whatever information we have with the honourable member as it develops.
Mr. Mackenzie: I appreciate that response. Inasmuch as the Ministry of Labour was directly involved in coming to the resolution of the safety and health problems in the plant, is the Premier prepared to see that the ministry issues an order now that these layoffs be held in abeyance until there has been an investigation of the charges ?
Hon. Mr. Peterson: I am not sure that would be the appropriate response from me. It may well be, and I will certainly investigate the suggestion the member has made. I can assure him the ministry and the government take it very seriously and will do everything we can if in fact there are misunderstandings or someone is abusing the law in this situation. As l said, I will keep the honourable member informed.
Mr. Runciman: I am afraid I do not yet have the Christmas spirit and I did not give prior notice, but my question is to the Solicitor General. The minister may recall that on numerous occasions this year my party requested the tabling of reports on several investigations: the Ontario Provincial Police investigation of LSI Applications, a firm partially owned by one of Herb Gray’s brothers; the OPP investigation into the Vaughan land sales, again involving people with Liberal links, and the Ontario Securities Commission investigation into PEC Financial Corp., a firm owned by Wilf Caplan.
Eight months after we first raised these matters, can the minister indicate when we might expect the reports to be tabled?
Hon. Mrs. Smith: The member will be interested to know that these investigations have indeed continued, have involved a great deal of investigation and each, individually, is progressing. I will be reporting on them as soon as we have the information gathered together.
Mr. Runciman: That is the same nonanswer we received eight months ago. These investigations are never-ending, apparently -- these investigations that involve members of her party. We are entitled to know which of these investigations have been completed, where they are now and why no action has been taken. Will the minister give that information today or is she going to continue to cover up?
Hon. Mrs. Smith: There are two inferences in the statement that I do not accept. One is “cover up” and the other is “members of her party.” We are investigating certain deals which involve many people, and we will continue to look into them. They involve massive amounts of paper investigation, and we will continue to look into them and provide justice to the member and to the people being investigated.
Mr. Mahoney: My question is to the Minister of Health. The former Conservative government, when it dealt with the funding for the Credit Valley Hospital, refused to include a request to fund a computerized axial tomography scanner in that hospital. That is a little bit akin to building a new home in modern society today and making the washroom facility an outhouse.
The minister has now inherited this difficulty, of course, of funding the operation of the CAT scanner, and I would like to ask if she is prepared to review the file and, in the light of the tremendous demand in the greater Peel-Halton area, consider moving up the funding of the CAT scanner for the Credit Valley Hospital as quickly as possible.
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: The Peel District Health Council requested CAT scanners at both Peel Memorial Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital. However, the recommendation from the Peel District Health Council was that the Peel Memorial Hospital CAT scanner be approved as a priority.
I will say to the member -- and I have received his representations on behalf of Credit Valley -- that the ministry is prepared to review the Credit Valley proposal as soon as the Peel Memorial scanner is fully operational.
Mr. Mahoney: Recognizing the need, of course, for fiscal restraint and the fact that we cannot solve all problems created in the past at once, will the minister at least instruct her staff that the need has been demonstrated at the Credit Valley Hospital and it does not require a further needs study to approve the CAT scanner for that hospital?
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: For the information of all members in the House, the ministry has approved the use of CAT scanners in 47 hospitals across the province. In each case, the annual operating subsidy is $150,000. It is expected that the hospitals will be responsible for purchasing, installing and providing the balance of operating costs.
As I said before, we will be pleased to review the Credit Valley proposal once the Peel Memorial scanner is fully operational.
FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRIES
Mr. Wildman: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. In view of his admission yesterday that the provincial government does not know how much timber is left in Ontario, can he explain recommendation 2 of the Woodbridge, Reed report that he should “be prepared to commit unused wood supply towards new industry growth”?
If the Ministry of Natural Resources does not know how much timber there is or where it is, how will the minister implement that recommendation? Where will the wood come from?
Hon. Mr. Kerrio: l am prepared to share with the members any of the information that has been developed.
I am rather disappointed that the member has not addressed this whole question of a new look at the forest industry in Ontario. This government, for the first time in 40 years, brought Dean Baskerville in to do the kind of in-depth study that would tell us where we should go in the future.
The study the member refers to was a commitment that was made. It is not another study on another study. It was commissioned because Dr. Baskerville asked us to commission this study. As soon as we got the study in our hands, we tabled it.
Even though there is some question about industry and MNR we are functioning in an entirely different manner than was ever the case before. Every time we receive a very important document we are prepared to share it with every member of the Legislature, and we take into account what they say about where eve should go in the future.
The fact that I made a comment about particular species was the question the member is relating to. I said that in many cases we do not know if there is a new undertaking by a mill or another application that a particular species exists in a particular location. There are surplus woods. The forest industry is very strong. We intend to make it stronger. But there certainly are areas where they could be brought into question.
Mr. Wildman: If the minister were located up north, that kind of answer would help to fertilize regeneration. Will the minister commit that the timber he is talking about -- he does not know where it is but there is lots of it, a surplus of it, and everything is strong -- is not in the parks or wildlife preserves or wilderness areas where cutting is not now permitted?
If so, can he assure the House that the hearings on the class environmental assessment announced last week by the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Bradley), even though he said MNR’s draft report was inadequate, will not be narrowly limited to timber management alone but will deal with tourism, fish and wildlife, parks and recreation and conservation, to ensure the timber he is talking about is not taken from other uses for which it should be preserved as it is now?
Hon. Mr. Kerrio: Finally the member is realizing some of the initiatives this ministry is taking; that is, going forward in an aggressive way of looking at a class environmental assessment to protect all the users in this province. That is something we are putting forward on our own initiative. No one had to push us into that.
The fact is that we tabled these reports and we had a 16-point program to put into place, as recommended by Dr. Baskerville. We now have nine implemented, this being one of them. I want to say it is ahead of schedule and that boast could not be made by the former government. The ministry is taking care of a forest industry that is strong. That does not say we cannot make it stronger, and that is exactly what we are doing.
Mr. Villeneuve: I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Riddell), but in his absence the member for Lincoln (Mr. Pelissero) is very knowledgeable, probably more knowledgeable than the minister. May I ask him the question?
Mr. Speaker: I am sure the honourable member is fully aware of the standing orders and he certainly can ask the Premier (Mr. Peterson) if he can ask the parliamentary assistant (Mr. Miller).
Mr. Villeneuve: In that case, I will go to the Minister of Health. I have another question.
Several weeks ago I asked the minister a question, which she answered, on palliative care at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Cornwall. Today, can she tell us when she will announce a comprehensive palliative care policy for this province?
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: Let me thank the member for his question. The issue of palliative care, as he knows and as most members in this House know, has been before the government for quite some time. Since my arrival at the Ministry of Health some 11 weeks ago, I have had an opportunity to begin reviewing the proposals. The district health councils have made a representation to the ministry and to the minister and I am looking to their advice very closely.
I am very concerned about how we provide palliative care in this province and hope in the new year to have an announcement.
Mr. Villeneuve: I thank the minister and I am most appreciative that she does care, as many, many people across this province care.
Since the palliative care unit at the Hotel Dieu Hospital will be closed in March, can the minister give us an undertaking and can we provide some information that there will indeed be some financial support from this Legislature prior to the month of March 1988?
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: Yes. For the information of the member, and I am familiar with the hospital that he is referring to, it is important to note that there are two palliative care programs currently in that hospital. One is an inpatient program which is funded under the global budget of the hospital and the second is a community outreach program which is funded, not by the Ministry of Health, but by volunteer contributions and volunteer support within that community.
I support that approach and I hope the community will respond to allow that program to maintain operations. We presently have two pilot projects under way within the ministry and we are looking at a comprehensive palliative care policy. But the program the member refers to is not presently funded by the Ministry of Health.
Mr. Callahan: My question is for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Now that we have seen the results of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision with reference to the rather significant claim that was made against the city of Brampton and others due to injuries, my city has, as I am sure other cities have, large tracts of land on which activities are carried out, including those which at times may be somewhat hazardous.
Would the minister consider amending the Municipal Act to provide that, in the case of municipalities, their liability would extend only to acts of gross negligence, as opposed to acts of simple negligence -- by way of definition, gross negligence requiring a much higher degree of negligence than simple negligence -- in order to allow activities that are now being curtailed in my riding and others?
Hon. Mr. Eakins: The question of adequate municipal insurance is one that is very important to me and to the municipalities and one that I have been discussing from time to time in an ongoing dialogue with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
It is my understanding that the municipal insurers in Ontario do not distinguish between simple negligence and gross negligence. I would think to do so would certainly mean that more claims would be going to court, because most of the claims are settled out of court. It is a matter I am very much aware of and one on which we have an ongoing dialogue with the municipalities.
Mr. Reville: My question is for the Minister of Health. I want to come back to the question of abortion services again, because in the 11 weeks that the minister has been in charge of the Ministry of Health, I regret to say that her position and the position of the government have remained unclear.
Is the statement made by the former Minister of Health in March 1987 that the objective was to ensure that services are accessible still the position of the government? If that does remain the government’s position, in what ways is the government prepared to make sure that the access is real rather than rhetorical?
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: I am pleased to respond to the member opposite. I know he shares with me the concern and commitment that women in this province should have access to all women’s health services on an as-needed basis, but I differ from him because I believe our commitment to women’s health services is clear. We have stated it very clearly, and the government has announced several major initiatives in the provision of comprehensive women’s health services. To date, in the Legislature, I have announced two women’s health centres. We believe these will meet the needs of the women of Metropolitan Toronto.
Mr. Reville: I think the minister’s answer is probably the best example out of her own mouth that I could give of the lack of clarity in the government’s position. In answering questions and in her actions, the minister refers always to women’s health services. While we in this party are delighted to see progress in the provision of women’s health services, we would like some clarity from the minister on what she intends to do about the very serious problem identified by Dr. Marion Powell in terms of access to abortion services. In only one of her announcements has anything to do with access to abortion services been mentioned.
Since she has indicated to us that she will be making further announcements in the weeks to come, I would like her to indicate very clearly to the House that she does intend to ensure that there will be access for all women in the province who require abortion services.
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: Let me clarify for the member once more that it is my belief that therapeutic abortion services are but one part of women’s health services. We are committed to meeting the needs of women’s health services generally and therapeutic abortion services particularly.
We have stated time and again that we are committed to meeting those needs, particularly for therapeutic abortion services for the women in this province in accordance with the federal legislation. Under that framework we believe the approach we have taken and the announcements we have made to date will meet the needs of women in Metropolitan Toronto and we are reviewing proposals from centres and hospitals across this province to meet the needs right across the province.
Mr. Cureatz: I too have a question to the Minister of Health. This is a follow-up to some of my comments during my speech on throne speech debate, which she will recall.
I give her credit for being in attendance that afternoon in regard to my comments, and she will be wise to be in attendance along with her other colleagues when I make my address concerning the resolution on free trade next week. I know she will be in attendance for a day or two to listen to my concerns. But more particularly --
Mr. Speaker: And your question?
Mr. Ferraro: What day?
Hon. Mr. Elston: Tell us what day.
Mr. Cureatz: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
I want to bring to the minister’s attention the fact that on December 7 a resident of the town of Whitby was admitted to the Whitby general hospital following a series of seizures she had. When she was admitted, there were already five people in the emergency ward waiting for beds. The patient was forced to stay in the ward for 44 hours because there was no bed available for her.
Can the minister explain how, in a community of 48,000 people, she expects 65 acute care beds to be adequate which, as she well knows, is well below the ministry standards?
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: Let me say in response to the question of the member opposite that I have had representations from and discussions with my colleagues the member for Durham West (Mrs. Stoner) and the member for Durham Centre (Mr. Furlong) on this very subject. Further, I have met with representatives from Whitby general hospital to discuss this issue.
Let me say that in the Ministry of Health we plan for services on a regional basis across the province. We believe the people of Durham are well served by three hospitals in the Durham region: Whitby general hospital, Ajax and Pickering General Hospital and Oshawa General Hospital. We believe that each of these facilities has an important role to play in the region.
Let me tell the member that in my discussion with the representatives of Whitby general, we discussed the role they play, which is a very important one. They acknowledged that we have provided some 65 chronic beds. One of the problems existing in that hospital right now is that there are patients inappropriately placed in its acute beds. They acknowledged that once the chronic beds are functional, it will relieve some of the pressure on the acute beds in that hospital.
Mr. Cureatz: It is interesting that the minister’s comments now seem to relate to the fact that the Whitby hospital will not be securing those well-needed beds.
Can the minister explain why the people of Whitby are being told that the 65 beds are adequate in spite of the fact that the hospital has asked for the additional 43 beds? I can only bring to her attention that not only the residents of Whitby but also the whole council of Durham region, which of course affects an area much greater in size than the town of Whitby, has through resolution supported the board of Whitby general hospital in its efforts to obtain Ministry of Health approval in funding for the additional active treatment beds.
Does the minister feel the 65 beds presently allocated to the hospital are sufficient enough? Does she see no area of expansion for more beds at the hospital?
Hon. Mrs. Caplan: The member will know -- let me say this is acknowledged by the representatives from Whitby general and from Durham region generally -- that the pressure for additional services and beds is not a phenomenon of just the past two years and that we have made significant progress in the allocation of additional chronic and active treatment beds to the Durham region. I believe some 105 beds in total were allocated to the Ajax and Pickering hospital and the Oshawa General Hospital and additional chronic beds to the Whitby general hospital.
It is our belief that the provision of services on a regional basis is appropriate and that the needs of the people of Durham region, and Whitby in particular, will be met by the allocation of these new resources. I want to say to the member, in response to his question, that representation from the region is very understanding of our approach in the delivery of services on a regional basis. I would say that the members from Durham region understand that each hospital plays a very important role in the delivery of services to their communities. I note that the population increases for Durham region are taking place in Ajax, Pickering and Oshawa, but I have made a commitment to the people of Whitby to monitor their requests on an ongoing basis.
Mr. Sola: I have a question for the Attorney General. In today’s Globe and Mail is an article that disturbs me greatly. In a story by Kirk Makin, he states:
“Ontario child welfare workers have found 12 to 14 cases of violence against children in the past three years that are related to Satanism, but politicians still refuse to look into the issue, says the director of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.
“George Caldwell said that although only a couple of instances have become known to the public, all of the children’s accounts of obscene activities and ritual human sacrifices seem too authentic to be faked.”
What gets me upset is a statement that “police seem unable to lay charges and politicians are simply hoping the problem will go away.” It seems to me if children are being abused and police cannot lay charges, it is a serious allegation to state that politicians refuse to acknowledge the problem. Is the minister aware of this issue and has he checked into it?
Hon. Mr. Scott: I would like to thank the member for the question. I understand well, being of two years’ seniority, the difficulty created every morning by reading the Globe and Mail. I know the member will come, as we have, to adjust to that.
The article, however, refers to the incidence of what is called Satanism in the province in relation to child abuse. I want to assure the member -- and I think I speak undoubtedly for the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Sweeney) -- that any person who has evidence that a child has been abused should promptly bring that to the attention of the local children’s aid society, the police or the crown attorney and we will prosecute regardless of the motivation that has produced that child abuse.
The press report that created difficulty was a very difficult case in Hamilton where the crown attorney felt, after full consideration, that the damage that would be done to the children involved by requiring them to testify was too serious. Consequently, he withdrew the charges. That is a matter over which we do not have any control, of course, because before a conviction can be obtained evidence must be presented.
I want to make perfectly clear to the member and the House that, as my friend the Minister of Transportation (Mr. Fulton) has pointed out, it is mandatory to bring evidence that one has to the attention of the authorities. If the children’s aid society director quoted in the newspaper has that evidence, he would do better to stop talking to the newspapers and bring it to the attention of law enforcement officers and prosecutions will ensue.
Mr. Sola: My supplementary follows along in the article, which states that “the author of the 1979 study on cults -- Ontario Ombudsman Daniel Hill said yesterday that the government should convene a new inquiry to look specifically at Satanism and extremist fundamentalist groups. ‘My study didn’t deal with any of that.’”
Is the minister willing to consider a study to update our information on cults?
Hon. Mr. Scott: I am not opposed to it, and we will give some consideration to it, but I think it is not particularly useful to conduct an elaborate study of what Satanism is and so on. What I think is very important to do, and what the minister and I are committed to do, is to take every piece of evidence that a child has been abused in Ontario and commence legal proceedings against the abuser, regardless of the motivation that person advances for the abuse. That is the way that this problem is going to be solved, not by doing some kind of esoteric study into the motivation of some religious cult.
Mr. Allen: I have a question to the Minister of Community and Social Services.
The minister no doubt is familiar with the recent Ontario Advisory Council on Women’s Issues report dealing with the problem of sole-support mothers and the extreme difficulties that they have surviving. Recently confronted with the Offord report on welfare children, he was very disturbed at the findings in that report. When the minister got rid of the spouse-in-the-house rule, was it really his intention to sneak in through the side window with penalties for co-residents and did he intend that single parents would in fact end up with less money for food to put on the table for their children after he had exacted his $40 minimum penalty?
Hon. Mr. Sweeney: The intent of the spouse-in-the-house rule was to recognize changing conditions in which single parents found themselves, and in fact to prevent them from being put into a situation where they could not claim financial benefits from our income support programs and at the same time could not claim financial assistance from the person who was living with them.
As a matter of fact, there were two major changes in the rule. The first one was that they would continue to be eligible for benefits, but along with that was that the second person moving into the house would be responsible for his or her own costs. We think that is a reasonable route to go. It protects everybody, and that in fact is what we are doing.
Mr. Allen: I might refer to the report of the Social Assistance Review Committee on the spouse-in-the-house rule, which noted:
“It is extremely important to introduce these changes in a fashion that ensures that staff are fully aware of what they mean and why they have been introduced. We have been struck by how little is known about why the spouse-in-the-house rule was repealed. We also encountered much confusion about how individual cases should now be handled. This confusion extends to ministry and municipal staff as well as recipients.”
I want to send across to the minister examples of two cases in which, when the deductions are made, in one instance the family has $57 less to spend on food and in the other it has almost $40 less to spend on food. Does the minister not realize that he is still penalizing companionship and mutual support, reducing available housing by creating disincentives to cohabitation and generally penalizing efforts of minimizing costs as well as treating those on welfare as though they were cheating rather than --
Mr. Speaker: Order. Minister?
Hon. Mr. Sweeney: I want to briefly touch on the honourable member’s earlier remark that our staff was not prepared to deal with this. That just is not fact. Every staff person within the ministry went through a rigorous training program to familiarize him or her with the rationale behind the changes and with the procedures for implementing it.
At the same time, our staff carried out a training program with municipal employees to be sure they were familiar with it; the report I have had back from every single municipal director I have spoken to was to the effect that the training was excellent. They indicated clearly that there were some people, municipal employees, who did not completely agree with the change, but the training was done.
With respect to the actual implementation, first, effective November 1, there was no grandfathering, no backdating. Whatever the arrangements were prior to that were left in place, but the clear message sent out was that from November 1 onward, if two adults are sharing living accommodation, they are both expected to contribute. The $40 is a minimum. It is not a maximum; it is a minimum. If there are two adults sharing, they are expected to share at least the accommodation cost. I do not think that is unreasonable.
Mr. Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.
Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I have been approached by 20 or 30 members of the Liberal back benches, in spite of the harassment they have had from the House leader today, to ask me if there is something in the standing orders -- and I wanted to get your advice on this -- that would allow for a mass ejection of members of the House so that they would not have to return for at least a week. I wonder if you can help us with that?
Mr. Laughren: No ruling?
Mr. Speaker: No. Is there any other so-called point of order?
ORDER OF QUESTIONS
Mr. Harris: Mr. Speaker, I have a point of order; it concerns the television coverage of the House, not the actual intelligent and informed debate that one sees at 1:30 once proceedings start, but the preamble before we actually get into the proceedings.
I do not know if you have watched it, Mr. Speaker, but it is an explanation of how the House works. You are on it, so I am sure you are aware; it may be some time since you have watched it. The Clerk of the House is also on it. This is about seven or eight minutes before the House actually starts, when it comes to the point where the Clerk explains the purpose of question period as being that opportunity for the opposition parties to ask questions of the ministers of the crown. The implication is that we do not get to sit in their caucus room and we do not have access to the ministers the way the government members do. It does go on, though, and it is said by the Clerk, “At some point the Speaker may recognize one, possibly two, members of the government to ask a question.”
That is what the public of Ontario is being told is the purpose of question period. I accept that. I think it has been the practice in the previous 44 years, but I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that is not what is occurring in the last number of weeks in this chamber. In fact, the government members, even though they do have that weekly access in caucus -- I understand they are clammed up many times by dictate of the Premier (Mr. Peterson), but they do have it and I believe that is the intent.
I suggest it is something the House leaders may want to look at. It is something the Legislative Assembly may want to look at. In any event, something is obviously wrong with the message that is being given to the public of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Conway: If I could just speak briefly to that point, Mr. Speaker, I have not seen the film to which the member for Nipissing (Mr. Harris) makes reference, but I will avail myself of the earliest opportunity to have a look. I think the point the member makes is an interesting one. I certainly recommend that he bring it forward to the House leaders’ panel so that we can discuss it more specifically.
I want to say, on behalf of a caucus of 95, that surely no one in this House wants to limit the opportunity of members of this caucus to participate in the proceedings of this House.
Hon. Mr. Scott: Alan Pope should never be allowed to ask another question. He has used more time than anyone else.
Hon. Mr. Conway: I will conclude by setting to rest the particular concern of some members opposite about my travels this afternoon. What I have been asked to find out is where, oh where is the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Pope)?
Mr. Speaker: On the point made by the member for Nipissing, I would like to inform the member for Nipissing and other members that today I believe there were three government members who asked questions. However, I am sure all members are fully aware of the standing orders and I would just like to read standing order 29(b) to the member.
“The order of oral questions shall start with two questions from the Leader of the Opposition, followed by two questions each from the leader or leaders of the other opposition parties in order of their membership in the House; all parties shall then rotate in questioning, starting with the official opposition.”
I would say to the member I have tried my best to uphold the standing orders set out by this House.
RETAIL STORE HOURS
Mr. Villeneuve: “To the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario:
“We, the employees of Canadian Tire Cornwall, are greatly opposed to Sunday openings, as are the clergy and the vast majority of businesses and workers in Cornwall.
“This would seriously affect our family lives and our religious obligations. We feel that we do not provide essential services of a life-saving nature, as do some stores, e.g., drug stores, etc. Therefore, stores such as Canadian Tire should not be permitted to open.”
It is signed by 60 employees of the Canadian Tire store in Cornwall.
ADJOURNMENT OF HOUSE
Mr. McGuinty: I have a petition dated December 22, 1987.
“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:
“Whereas the Christmas-Hanukkah season is traditionally a time for family;
“And whereas members of this Legislature who are from distant places are subject to the vagaries of travel which could occasion considerable time;
“And whereas the legislative support staff are subject to the same;
“And whereas the following people are particularly anxious to see the Legislature adjourn, namely, the following constituents of Ottawa South:
“Elizabeth McGuinty, Mrs. Dalton McGuinty I, Jocelyn Mary McGuinty, Liseanne Mary McGuinty, Dalton J. Patrick McGuinty, Jr., Dylan Charles McGuinty, Patrick John McGuinty XXIII, David Joseph McGuinty, Michael Terence Thomas Moore McGuinty, Brendan Paul McGuinty VI, Anne Marie McGuinty, Teresa McGuinty, Marie Angela McGuinty, Noralyn McGuinty, Connor Joseph McGuinty, Carleen Mary McGuinty, Dalton J. P. McGuinty III; Liam Brendan McGuinty, Matthew Carlos McGuinty, Caroline Nicole McGuinty, Gordon Patrick McGuinty, Lucille Mary McGuinty, Michael J. McGuinty-McKee,” all of whom have duly signed. There is also a paw print on this paper of one Tory McGuinty, who is the McGuinty family pit bull terrier.
I am also posing this petition on behalf of the family of the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Brown): Mrs. Lynn Brown, Micki Brown, Amy Brown, Paula Brown and Jennifer Brown, all of whom are with us in the gallery.
“We, the undersigned, petition all members of the Legislature of Ontario to expedite adjournment of the Legislature at the earliest possible time.”
Mr. Speaker: I am certain the honourable member has read the standing orders, and it is certainly in order to present a petition and to advise the House that the honourable member has himself signed the petition. It is not the usual procedure to advise the House of all those who have signed.
RETAIL STORE HOURS
Mr. Pollock: To His Honour the Lieutenant Governor of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:
“We believe in the importance of keeping Sunday as a common pause day so that all people may have physical, spiritual and social health. We are concerned about the quality of life and the wellbeing of people of our province and we object to the further commercializing of life through the Liberal government’s proposed Sunday shopping legislation.”
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO ACT
Mr. Reycraft moved first reading of Bill Pr37, An Act respecting the University of Western Ontario.
Motion agreed to.
ELECTION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Sterling moved first reading of Bill 91, An Act to amend the Election Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Sterling: Under the present law, people can vote by proxy in Ontario if they are away from their residence for reasons of employment, business or education, but there is no exemption, for example, if one is away on holiday travel or if one is called away due to family illness. Such occurrences may be unexpected or planned well in advance, yet there is no remedy for the elector in these situations and their opportunity to vote is lost. This was a significant problem during the recent election because it was close to the summertime.
I would like to allow people to be able to vote by proxy if they are away on election day for personal reasons. I believe we should encourage as many individuals as possible to participate in the election --
Mr. Speaker: Order. A brief explanation is certainly within order. However, this is not the proper time to debate.
ONTARIO MUNICIPAL MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE ACT
Mr. Campbell moved first reading of Bill Pr27, An Act respecting the Ontario Municipal Management Institute.
Motion agreed to.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS IN ORDERS AND NOTICES
Hon. Mr. Conway: I would like to table the answer to question 28 and the interim answer to question 69 standing in Orders and Notices [see Hansard for Tuesday, December 29].
ORDERS OF THE DAY
TRADE WITH UNITED STATES (CONTINUED)
Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to government motion 8 on the proposed trade agreement between Canada and the United States.
Mr. Cousens: In the spirit of something that took place in my riding today, I think the whole spirit of free trade and the spirit of Canada could be brought to what is going on in this Legislature. The Olympic torch passed through the great town of Markham, through south York region and is winding its way up to Newmarket. It will come down tomorrow into Metropolitan Toronto.
It was an exhilarating moment for all who saw what happened. There was a sense of pride, achievement and participation. If only we could have something of that same spirit when we are talking about free trade, when we are talking about our country and about Meech Lake. If we could bring something of that spirit of coming together as a country, then instead of having fractious debates and instead of having what I call the three-ring circus that is going on in this Legislature now, we could begin to become a far greater and a far stronger country than we are. Indeed, the very fabric of our country is made up of its people and the dreams of those people.
What we are debating in this House is something that can impact in a very positive way on the future generations of our country. Our country has so much to hope for. so much to give and so much to be able to participate in. The free trade debate we are now in the midst of in this final week before Christmas, and which could well be prolonged into a greater period of time, is something that is tragic in its consequences for many people here. One of our honourable members, the member for Ottawa South (Mr. McGuinty), just had a rather fun way of approaching the fact that he would rather be home with his family. The petition was signed by enough other people. They would rather be elsewhere.
I would like to go on record as sharing in this with the honourable member and those who cheered him on when he made the petition, because the place for us to be at this point in time, were it not for the importance of this debate, is with our families, in our ridings, doing something else. The fact that the federal government decided it did not need to pass a motion approving the federal Prime Minister’s approval of the contract with the United States on January 2 and the fact that the US Congress and Senate have not approved the actions being taken by President Reagan hardly makes it necessary for this House to debate and debate the issue of free trade or freer trade, when in fact it is not going to change the whole impact a great deal.
However, what it does say is that many of us in this House are genuinely concerned with this parliament trying to speed through a quick approval of a resolution that is condemnatory of the free trade agreement without giving options, availability and time for all honourable members in this House to be able to participate actively in that debate, to be able to place on record their feelings, the thoughts they have and their understanding of the issue. I feel it is in some ways a tragic mistake the Premier (Mr. Peterson) has made. Maybe what he is doing is painting himself into a corner as he begins to remove himself even further from the mainstream of Canada.
Here is an opportunity for the Premier of Ontario to set up and give leadership to the rest of this country, to come forward with a conciliatory approach that says Ontario understands the importance of having a bilateral trade agreement with our neighbours to the south, Ontario knows this is going to be proceeding from the federal government's perspective.
We in Ontario are now going to accept the leadership role that we have always had in the past to help make it work, to help make this country come together in the spirit of what Confederation is all about, in the spirit of what the Olympic torch is all about, in the spirit of knowing that this country is worth fighting for. But it is worth fighting together to make it stronger rather than having the kind of battle that is being waged in this House, a battle of words where we have the Premier outlining his viewpoint and we have the opposition party so categorically opposed to it that it is even further left than the Premier.
Then we have our party, trying to follow the path that says this pact is not perfect, but at least there is something to hold on to. It is a step in the right direction. The future negotiations that will take place on free trade can, we hope, refine it even more, not unlike what happened in Europe when the free trade agreement was struck in the European common market, when nations started to trade and do things with a common monetary system and the whole parliament they now have. But that evolved. It developed because there was a consensus and a hope. That same kind of expectation can be within this parliament, this House, this province and this country if people begin to believe that we can do things together.
I find it amazing that the Premier is able to come along and support the Meech Lake accord with a 20-hour debate and discussion, and yet after two years of strenuous work on the part of the many people who have been involved with this free trade pact, he is unable to come forward.
Mr. Laughren: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if we could see if we have a quorum.
The Deputy Speaker ordered the bells rung.
Mr. Laughren: I did that for you.
Mr. Cousens: I thank the member.
I believe the people who should be here are not here. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology (Mr. Kwinter) still has not turned up. I was pleased that yesterday the Premier was able to take some time to be present for the debate, and I hope he will be able to come and participate in it before it is finished.
I would also like to make one other point. As I am talking about the spirit of what is going on. there are within the Premier’s own cabinet differing views beginning to be known, some for, some against and some who have not made up their own minds on free trade. Yesterday, I made some closing comments on that and people laughed. But the fact is, the Treasurer and Minister of Economics (Mr. R. F. Nixon) has made no statements or comments against free trade and, in fact, his recent economic statement was very much in favour of it.
The House leader of the Liberal Party, the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) has also been very quiet when it comes to the free trade discussions. The Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Riddell) is getting such a lobby of support around him from the agricultural community, I do not know how a thinking minister of agriculture could not be supportive of the free trade agreement.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs (Mr. Eakins) surely travels throughout the province and understands what people are thinking. He does not necessarily do that with Bill 29, which is going to affect Metropolitan Toronto. The fact of the matter is, wise man that he is, I would think he is also on side --
Mr. Haggerty: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Under our rules of debate in the standing orders, the member is abusing his privileges in rules 19(d)(3) and 19(d)(4):
“3. Persists in needless repetition or raises matters that have been decided during the current session.
“4. In the opinion of the Speaker, refers at length to debates of the current session or reads unnecessarily from verbatim reports of the legislative debates or any other document.”
Mr. Cousens: I know the Speaker is not going to listen to that interruption. The point I am making is that the Premier’s cabinet is not united in what is going on.
A summary point, honourable sir, is the fact that there are enough people within that Peterson government, if they could stand up and be counted, that the truth would begin to come out. Unfortunately, cabinet secrecy is such that it is not coming out in public.
But that cabinet cannot be totally, 100 per cent behind where the Premier is right now. The fact is that he has us so blinded with secrecy, the word is not getting out. By my count, I have it at 10, 10 and 10: 10 cabinet ministers strongly supportive, 10 cabinet ministers very much opposed to free trade and 10 who do not know.
I could give a list of them but I will not bother going though it, because it is not necessarily the most important point of the debate. My point is still valid: a lot of lipservice, but not a lot of honesty.
I would like to take it further. Yesterday, we were reviewing the Premier’s speech to the Empire Club of Canada on November 4, a very significant speech. It was a speech in which, for once, we got the Premier to delineate his point of view on the free trade agreement.
I just want to touch on several points that came out of that speech. The first point brought forward yesterday is that when the Premier said the free trade agreement does not make access to the US market appreciably more secure, I find him wrong on about seven counts. In fact, the US market is far more accessible to Canadians through the free trade agreement.
The first point is that US trade laws will give special consideration to Canada. In the future, no general antidumping or countervail duties will apply to Canada unless we are specifically mentioned.
The second point is that poor consultation will take place between the United States and Canada before new trade regulations and trade laws are brought up. There are no surprises. That is what that one means.
The next point the Premier did not give credit to in his speech was that declaratory opinions from the dispute panel allow for moral suasion to take place. That means when there is something to discuss we are not going to have to go through the legal process, but people will be able to sit down around a table and review the concerns and hopefully reconcile them before there are trade actions brought into place that are going to be dilatory to Canadian trade practices.
The dispute panel, furthermore, can trigger consultation prior to new measures by the US or Canada. This is another way the dispute panel can prevent an escalation of trade wars between our two countries. We will be able to work it out peacefully rather than have confrontation.
Furthermore, there is less chance of the United States sidestepping Canada by taking surprise emergency actions. It happens. Right now, because of the way trade laws are practiced in the United States, it is not controlled centrally out of Washington, through the Senate or through Congress. It is controlled in many different places within the United States, within different states and within different forums.
Now, through this one broad, sweeping piece of agreement we have through free trade, there is going to be less likelihood of surprise emergency actions taken by the United States. That has become a problem which I will refer to later on in my presentation.
One further point the Premier did not recognize when he said there certainly is not going to be an appreciably more secure market in the United States is that we will not get into the legal hassles and wrangles, because the Canada-United States trade commission will be able to meet and resolve disputes with different levels of dispute solving mechanisms.
I further question the point made by the Premier when he said that the energy market is certainly not going to be enhanced or helped in any way by this agreement. I do not think there is any doubt that we have far more secure access to the US energy market than ever before through this agreement.
In the Premier’s speech to the Empire Club and the Canadian Club, he was also presumptuous when he said that the new proposed dispute settlement mechanism would not apply to Canadian softwood lumber. I mentioned that briefly yesterday, and the fact is that Canada could have won that battle under existing trade laws but did not determine to do so. But when he comes along and says that this new dispute settlement mechanism is not going to solve that one, it is apples and oranges.
That whole situation could have been resolved in other ways, and so he brings in a red herring. He uses it as an illustration to say, “You know, we in Canada are giving up something.” We are not giving up something. Those existing trade laws that we could have used on the softwood lumber situation still exist, and we can still use them in order to make our point known, in order to win the legal battle.
Further in the Premier’s speech, he has distorted the facts on saying that workers will go through tremendous dislocation. Does he not read the Economic Council of Canada report? The Economic Council disproves that theory. It says that 180,000 jobs could be lost --
Mr. Callahan: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I believe the honourable member has indicated that the Premier distorted the facts. I suggest that is out of order, contrary to rules 19a(8) or (9). I suggest that the member be required to withdraw that statement.
Mr. Cousens: Whatever the Premier did, he failed to give the full picture as to what is going to happen. When he claimed there were going to be tremendous dislocations for workers in this country, I believe he somehow did not reflect the story and the truth that is coming through from the Economic Council. The Economic Council indicates that 180,000 jobs could be lost over a period of time because of the free trade agreement, but it also says that up to 530,000 could be created.
I have trouble with all the different numbers that people throw out, because, on one hand, you are going to hear someone like the Economic Council say, “Hey, but I am using the numbers and you are using numbers.” It must make it extremely difficult for people in Ontario wondering who to believe, because we get all these politicians coming up here quoting different sources and giving different numbers and the fact is, bottom line -- and surely to goodness the Premier in his speech could have given recognition to the fact -- there is going to be improvement, not hurt, to Canada through the free trade agreement.
The labour adjustment problem is almost nonexistent, but I would like to go a step further; if it is going to be a problem, why could our Premier and the Prime Minister of Canada not -- and I believe the Prime Minister of Canada has not lived up to the opportunity that he has a chance to do now --
Mr. Laughren: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I think the member is making a speech that more people should hear and I do not think there is a quorum.
The Deputy Speaker ordered the bells rung.
Mr. Cousens: Instead of the Premier condemning the fact that there are going to be massive labour adjustments, instead of the Premier indicating that there is going to be tremendous dislocation to Canadian workers, what he could begin to do is to say, “Our province is going to do something for those people who are going to be hurt by the freer trade practices that come into Canada.” This Premier could come out and say, “We will have special programs for the wine industry that could be affected.”
Last evening when I was meeting with a friend at a house party, he was concerned about the printing industry. Indeed, his concerns were something that I was not able to answer or address because I did not have enough information on it. I was not able to do so. I have already called a friend and I will call the federal government and ask what can be done about the printing industry in Ontario if in fact it is going to be hurt by it.
If there is going to be a labour problem, if we know and can anticipate that through free trade there are going to be difficulties, then the David Peterson that I know should become David and Goliath. Instead of having arrows and stones and throwing problems in the way, he should come out with solutions and say, “We are going to work together to make this a better province and a better country,” instead of him coming forward and just saying, “Hey, worry-monger people, we are going to have problems.” He has not done that. I really would like to see the day come when instead of coming out and just being critical and condemnatory, he could be complimentary and try to build.
It is almost as if Mr. Peterson was saying in his speech at the Canadian Clubs of Toronto and the Empire Club on November 4, “What is the point of trying if we are going to lose anyway?”
Another point that I tried to make yesterday, and I am leading up to where I left off -- l cannot believe that Mr. Peterson believes what he said when he said the federal government eliminated the national energy policy and the Foreign Investment Review Agency without asking for a single concession in return.
Mr. Haggerty: Right on.
Mr. Cousens: The member obviously agrees.
First of all, the national energy policy was a bad economic policy. Anyone who followed Pierre Elliott Trudeau through the 1970s knows that the NEP was Trudeau at his worst What he did to western Canada and what he did to our whole energy policy in this country was really something that needed to be revised.
Second, when Mr. Peterson comes along and says that we went and gave away on FIRA, instead, FIRA has been replaced by Investment Canada. Why? Because Canada needs to encourage investment, not discourage it, and FIRA was discouraging it.
So when Mr. Peterson says in his speech that the government eliminated the REP and FIRA without asking for a single concession in return, he was not putting them into the context of what is Canada. He was not doing that. Why did he not? I am sure he knows better, because I am sure he understands how the national energy policy was changed. I am sure he understands how FIRA was revised to become Investment Canada. Then why does he not put it into context?
The Deputy Speaker: May I remind the member that there is a parliamentary tradition to refer to other members by their riding name or their position, as opposed to their personal name.
Mr. Cousens: I usually try to do that, Mr. Speaker, and I will make sure that it does not happen again for a long time.
It is not true when Mr. Peterson -- may I say Mr. Peterson? Premier Peterson?
The Deputy Speaker: The Premier.
Mr. Cousens: I like to be respectful, because he is our Premier.
It is not true when Premier Peterson said we in Canada gave away our right to pursue an independent energy policy.
We maintain that right, however. We maintain that right to control the exploration, the development and the production of energy in this country. That is written into the contract. It is implicit to the contract. The principle of proportional access to energy by the US has already been adopted.
Mr. Callahan: In times of crisis, we’ll freeze to death up here while they light up in Las Vegas.
Mr. Cousens: I am not going to comment.
Proportional access to American energy and to US resources has already been adopted by the Canadian energy plan.
Another point Mr. Peterson made in his speech was that the US will be the big winner. I say that in Canada the consumers are going to be the big winners. I tried yesterday to touch on some of the savings to consumers that will take place, that when consumers go to buy an overcoat --
Mr. Callahan: Drop over to Buffalo and find out what will be lost.
Mr. Cousens: Maybe you could have it and shove it in your mouth. Mr. Speaker, can you put him down or keep him quiet? I find his intrusions abusive and --
Mr. Callahan: You go on unemployment insurance.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cousens: Is this honourable member going to be allowed to continue to disrupt?
The Deputy Speaker: Order, please. The member for Markham has the floor.
Mr. Cousens: The consumer in Canada is the big winner. When you start seeing that Canadians are going to be able to buy household products, furnishings and clothes for less money, sports equipment will cost less, carpeting will cost less. Look how much we buy right now from the United States. It will cost much less once the free trade tariff barriers are removed and we can begin to have freer trade with the United States.
I am concerned as well with the Premier’s hysteria about the auto pact. There is no economic rationale for reduced auto production in Canada, and he alludes to that. The auto pact has not been gutted.
There are a number of other points I would like to make that are mentioned by the Premier. First of all, just touching further on the speech that he gave on November 4, when the Premier said the termination of the duty remission arrangement will severely limit Ontario’s ability to attract new Japanese assembly plants, I wonder, first of all, if anyone has done a study of how many jobs were lost by existing Canadian automotive plants because of the introduction of Hyundai, Toyota and other assembly plants in Canada?
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cousens: I am asking the question, what is the future of manufacturing in Canada? Come down to a definition.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology should listen to what I have to say. I will listen to what he has to say. The fact is he has been on a troupe around the province. He has not come back to this House. He has gone along, spent public money, picked up all the information he could about the free trade thing and he has not come in this House and tabled any kind of report from his little circus that he had running around the province.
This is our chance to come and table some of the concerns we have about the free trade agreement. He has not done so. Why not is beyond me because he has the chance every day. This House has been sitting since early November. I am concerned about the fact that the minister can come along and think he has all the answers. I do not think he does.
The fact of the matter is that the automotive industry has a real future in this country. If we come along and give it a chance and say that there is a context for growth, a context for building a stronger automotive industry, we can do it. But this government is not going to do it necessarily by bringing in industries like Hyundai, Toyota and some of these and to put --
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: That is the most absurd statement I have ever heard in this House.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cousens: The minister might hear more if he started to listen and sit here some of the time.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. One person at a time, please.
Mr. Cousens: The point is, if there are seven jobs in the manufacturing of a car, how many jobs are there in the assembly of a car? Probably one in seven. How many jobs are coming in through the Hyundai, Toyota and some of these other plants? We are glad to have them, but are they going to be allowed to stay? Would they be fair to the auto pact? Was it a way of slipping business in the back door into the United States through Canada, through Ontario? The fact of the matter is, if we continue to have the kind of production plants that we have with Hyundai and Toyota, which I am glad to have --
Mr. Cousens: Let it not be on the record that the abusive statement made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology refers to any bad intentions on my part to be in support of industry and to be in support --
Mr. Cousens: I am not trying to get out of anything. l want to have a balanced statement that recognizes the fact --
Mrs. Marland: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: It is my understanding that interjections are not permitted and I am taking very strong objection. I do not mind one or two, but we have two members on the government side of the House who are persisting beyond a point of a few casual comments. With respect, I would ask your ruling.
The Deputy Speaker: The chair recognizes one member at a time. I would appreciate that if members have comments to make, they make them when their time comes around. I recognize the member for Markham and he will address his remarks through the Speaker and ignore the interjections. l will now do my best to make sure they are kept to a minimum.
Mr. Cousens: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
I think the point is that we in Ontario know the auto pact could have been in jeopardy had we continued to allow such --
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cousens: If we had tried to negotiate the auto pact on its own without having it as part of a general trade agreement, a bilateral trade agreement between our country and the United States, had that not been done, the consequence could have been very serious for Ontario because for one thing, the auto pact could have been cancelled with 12 months’ notice. If we had tried to negotiate the auto pact by itself, surely to goodness at that point the United States would have said: “To what extent are products that are being manufactured at these new assembly plants you have brought into Canada such as Suzuki, Toyota and Hyundai impacting in a negative way on the trade balance of the United States? Are you taking advantage of the auto pact because of the kind of trade arrangements they would then have by being in Canada for what is called manufacturing?”
I sometimes find our own definitions rather hard to understand because manufacturing sometimes is nothing more than assembly. Fortunately, we are going to try to bring these companies up to a point where they are manufacturing far more Canadian product in their vehicles, but that in itself could have been a problem when they first started by virtue of the arrangements that existed with Canada and the United States under the auto pact. I question the extent of the statement of the Premier when he said that the determination of duty remission arrangements will severely limit Ontario’s ability to attract new Japanese assembly plants.
The fact of the matter is that Canadian duty remission arrangements are viewed by the US as cheating on the auto pact and would have resulted in countervailing duty trade actions had they been continued; that is, the termination of these arrangements does not represent a genuine concession since Canada would have had to alter these practices when trade actions were taken or when pressure mounted for a renegotiation of the auto pact.
The Premier’s comments suggest that the current auto pact arrangements were permanent and not subject to change. This is not true. Canada faced a choice of getting a deal on autos in the free trade agreement or working out a new auto pact arrangement at some later point in time. Since automobiles and parts are the biggest single element of bilateral trade, it makes sense to include them in the free trade arrangement. However, the decision does not result in Canada making unilateral concessions, so the fact of the matter is that what the Premier has tried to indicate is that there was a major concession which could have been forced on us very, very quickly had there been any discussions on the free trade arrangement.
Another point that was made in the Premier’s speech on November 4 had to do with this quotation. He said, “The high level of US ownership and control of companies in Canada could hinder Canadian penetration of the US market.” I wonder what companies he was thinking of at that point. He never said. For the last 20 years I have been involved with an American-owned company run by Canadian management. It has a world mandate, a mandate to build product that is sold competitively in the world. That company is as much a Canadian company as any other company that is owned, operated and run by Canadians. The secret to it is that it has to be competitive, not only competitive in Canadian markets but also, in having a world mandate, competitive in world markets.
I question how companies like Honeywell from Minneapolis would ever come along and be worried by the kind of statement the Premier was making when he said free trade could hinder their penetration in Canada. The problem I see is far more one of companies that have products manufactured in Canada and the United States. I am thinking specifically of one company that recently established a branch plant in Markham. It has a plant in Canada in Ontario, one in California, one in Mexico and one in Singapore. The Singapore plant is manufacturing exactly the same product as is involved in the other three plants. The cost to produce that product in Singapore, for a variety of reasons, is becoming far cheaper than it is to build in the Canadian environment.
What is the long-term strategy for the Canadian plant? I think the question becomes very simple. If profitability is the objective of companies, are they going to continue to manufacture in Canada? Not likely. They probably will do the same as some of the other companies that have moved out of Ontario into Third World countries or into Mexico, where labour is cheaper. That is the kind of thing that is going to hinder progress and hinder our standard of living if we are not able to be competitive with other countries.
If the Premier believes that US ownership will hinder our attack on the US market, I would like to know what companies he means. He does not indicate any companies in his speech, but I would be pleased to know just which ones he is talking about and we could follow that through. We could find out, if that is the case, what could be done to keep them here.
One of the other points made by the Premier in his speech was his questioning whether branch plants from the United States would be eliminated once all tariffs were eliminated. In other words, to what extent would branch plants that are presently operating in Canada --
Mr. Callahan: Why should they stay here?
Mr. Cousens: Now the member is asking the question too.
Mr. Callahan: You don’t have to be an economist. Why should they stay here?
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cousens: I would like to have the member or the Premier name those plants that will be gone once the tariff barriers are eliminated.
Mr. Callahan: Name the empty buildings.
Mr. Cousens: No, no. The Liberals are the ones who make the statements. Their Premier is the one who comes along and questions whether US branch plants will stay in Canada once the tariff barriers are eliminated. If their Premier is going to have the courage to say that, let us find out which ones he is talking about.
There are a number of reports which contradict the Premier’s statement. A 1984 Conference Board of Canada survey of 7,500 potential investors revealed that tariff barriers had a neutral impact on the decision to invest in Canada.
A 1985 survey of 200 foreign corporations with Canadian subsidiaries conducted by the Department of External Affairs revealed that only 25 per cent of respondents would alter their investment decisions if Canada-US trade barriers were eliminated.
A third example is a 1985 study for the C. D. Howe Institute of Canadian investors in the US which revealed that one third considered US tariff and nontariff barriers to be very important in their decision to invest in the United States.
A fourth example is a 1985 study of Canadian investors in the United States by the International Business Council of Canada which revealed that the desire to overcome trade barriers was a major reason for the US investment.
A fifth example is a 1984 study of foreign-owned manufacturing firms in Canada by Professors Daley and MacCharles of York University which revealed that the majority of firms surveyed would not divest in Canada in response to the elimination of tariff barriers.
I think the point comes across very loud and clear that the elimination of trade barriers is not going to hinder the future of American business in Canada.
Another 1985 study of high-technology industries in Canada conducted for the Ontario select committee on economic affairs by Arthur Donner concluded that the divestment of high-technology firms following a free trade agreement is unlikely.
The point is that these studies provide strong evidence to suggest that trade liberalization will not lead to major closures of US-owned plants in Canada but the liberalization may slow down the investment outflow of Canadian dollars which is now taking place.
You come along and wonder what the Premier was really trying to accomplish by giving this speech. I have gone through it a couple of times. I am still very concerned with the statements that were made yesterday by the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Bradley) who did the very thing that the Premier in his speech said he wanted not to do. At the bottom of page I, he said we should not impugn the motives or question the good faith of any province, region or individual. As I said, yesterday the Minister of the Environment indicated the people in Nova Scotia and the Maritimes bought the free trade agreement because they were bought off by the frigates. I find that just a little bit less than wholesome, especially when the Premier is trying to set a good example. I do not think his example is that good, but none the less he says the words.
One of the other points made by the Premier on page 10 of his speech is: “There is no reason to believe that it will be any easier to negotiate an agreement five years from now than it is today. Putting off tough decisions does not make them any easier.”
I do not think anything is ever easy. If something is worth fighting for and worth working for, it takes a certain amount of concentration, effort and sacrifice on the part of all to make it happen. The European Community did not happen overnight. The point is, what we are seeing with the new free trade agreement is an opportunity for better trade, an opportunity for a better standard of living, an opportunity for consumers to benefit. The Premier is coming along and saying, “Hey, if you don’t make all the decisions at once, then it’s not worth making any of them at all.”
The Premier also said, referring to the free trade agreement, “They gave away some of our devices to preserve Canadian culture, such as postal subsidies for the Canadian magazine and periodical sector.” When he said that, did he really believe that it is going to happen?
Another statement made by the Premier: “Ironically, the federal government, which co-operated with us to attract Japanese assembly plants to Canada, has now severely limited our ability to expand those facilities and attract new ones. We would risk losing high value added work to the United States.”
I do not think he really wants to say in the next sentence, but he should say: “Yes, we would continue to break the auto pact. We would continue to kind of work in our own hidden agenda but, the fact is, we know the auto pact would be jeopardized anyway by those Japanese plants and the other foreign plants that are coming into Canada.”
Just a couple of other quotations from his speech which I find not all that satisfactory: “Proponents of free trade acknowledge that Canada would go through a significant period of adjustment. It is one thing to do that in a time of prosperity, but what if there is an economic downturn?”
What if there is an economic downturn? I do not think any of us takes for granted the great boom in the economy that has taken place in Ontario in the last several years, but I would have to tell members that if they are talking about a government that has done nothing to help make the economy prosper and go better, it is this government. What it could have done is fight the deficit far more; it could have done something, in fighting the deficit, to reduce the effect of inflation. I am sure it could have begun to put some money out there for business instead of taxing business; there are some 19 different taxes that have been added in Ontario since this government came to power.
I would like to see the investment made by this Premier and by this province to come along and say: “We will help make the free trade agreement work. We are prepared to do something about it.”
I would like to ask the question here as well: Does the Premier really believe it when he says, “Our sovereignty is our most valuable asset”? I believe that, and members believe it, but by putting it into the middle of this speech, he is saying he is the only one fighting for Ontario and Canadian sovereignty. The fact of the matter is, I happen to believe the agreement that has been put together does a great deal, does everything it should, to protect Ontario and Canada’s sovereignty.
Further, the Premier was saying: “We need to ensure that Canadians can sell our goods and services in the US market without being ham-strung by unreasonable protectionist measures.” My answer to that is, we can and we will. He goes further. He says, “We need to be able to set our own course and make our own decisions: about investment, energy and other facets of the economy.” We can and we will. This free trade agreement gives that option to Canadians. It does not take away any of the rights and privileges we had in the past.
He says further: “This deal is simply a bad deal for Canadians. No deal is better than a bad deal.” That is absolutely wrong. In some cases, it is a true statement; in the case of free trade, it is not. You can take any statement you want and put it in the middle of any paragraph or in anything you want. The fact is, the Premier has said about the free trade agreement, “No deal is better than a bad deal.” l am telling members he is wrong. I disagree with him, our party disagrees with him and there are many Canadians who disagree with that statement.
When he says no deal is better than a bad deal on the free trade pact, he is misleading -- l will take that word back -- he is not really interpreting.
I do not want to be offensive to the Premier, even if he is being offensive to the rest of us by making some of these statements.
I disagree strongly with the statement of the Premier when he says, “No deal is better than a bad deal.” I believe that what we have in this pact is not a perfect deal. I do not say it is perfect, and I do not have all the answers. I wish I did, because I think it is such a great big step forward. There is an awful lot to it. I have a number of books here that I will be referring to before I am finished.
But the fact is, as the leader of our party said on the day we selected him, the member for Sarnia (Mr. Brandt), as leader, “Half a loaf is better than none.” I think his point has a certain amount of validity. I do not want to pretend to anyone that the free trade agreement is perfect, but it at least offers the opportunity for Canadian business to move into the United States markets and to start to trade there, giving them a reciprocal opportunity to trade in this country.
The Premier also said, “It is no act of faith in Canada to say that we are so weak, so vulnerable, that we can survive only if we surrender much of our sovereignty and our ability to direct our own economy.” I disagree with that. Our sovereignty and our own ability to direct our economy are not changed because of this agreement. He said, “Canada has the resources, the knowhow, the industrial base and the talented work force to compete anywhere in the world -- not just in North America.” That is true, and I hope we can continue to open up trade opportunities around the world.
The fact is, better than 80 per cent of our trade is done south of the border. Let us continue to keep those lines of communication open. It is as if the Premier is offering to the people of Ontario an alternative place to trade. There is not one alternative place to go.
The European common market is almost closed to us. You have all these other markets around the world: the Soviet bloc countries have theirs, Latin American countries have theirs, East Asian countries have theirs. For us to trade affectively with other nations, we would have to have a trade arrangement, a trade agreement. That trade agreement will not happen, because they already have their little pacts, their little arrangements all set up. The only two countries in the world that can survive without a trade agreement, that are really allowed to trade on their own -- and they can almost trade by themselves -- are the United States and Japan.
What we are trying to do through this arrangement, through the free trade pact, is to give Canadians an opportunity to trade with our large trading partner to the south of us. I think it is for the best. I think it is a positive step forward. I would like to see some action taken by our Premier and by this government that allows for a far more conciliatory approach towards this agreement.
I would like to suggest that the Premier, instead of coming out and condemning the agreement as strongly as he has, come forward and say that we as Canadians are proud of our heritage. We know we can co-operate and work together. It is time for us in this country to realize that there is about to be signed, on January 2, an agreement between our country and the United States. I think it is time to stop the attitude of -- in fact, maybe I am firing it up by even speaking today; but I have to, because if I do not, there probably will not be another opportunity in this parliament for a member to speak on the free trade agreement.
It is not the opposition or the third party that sets the agenda of the House; it is the government. It is the government that has come in with this condemnatory resolution that is forcing us to continue this debate.
I am not enjoying being here today. I would much rather be elsewhere, as I am sure would all other members in this House. What we need to do is face up to the fact that we are not gaining an awful lot for the free trade agreement by coming along and throwing arguments back and forth. It is like throwing stones. It is like a tennis ball that is going back and forth. It is like a three-ring circus where there are three different parties each with a different point of view.
One can summarize the whole argument of the free trade discussion into four words, “I’m right; you’re wrong.” Who believes anyone at this point because of all the rhetoric, all the hysteria and all the misleading and generalized statements that the media and others have brought out? I think this is a time when someone in this country should stand up and speak without the prejudice and bias that is so present right now. That same person could be the Premier of Ontario who could lead the way so this country would come together around it.
I do not want to see this country torn and divided because of the free trade agreement. I think we are in a position to make this country stronger than it has ever been. Now we have one Premier who is ready to back out of the Meech Lake accord. What a way to end it. I do not deny that I do not like Meech Lake, but I would rather see us come together on things, as I said earlier, in the spirit of the Olympic torch for Canada.
I think there is a growing feeling among people in this country that they are being pressured into a decision. Others remain confused. When we are out talking to people, l do not think any of us from any of the three parties does not realize that they do not understand what is involved and what is happening. They do not know how to make up their minds. They do not know who to believe. At this point there will be all kinds of people trying to set the record straight.
Contrary to a few editorial boards in the newspaper industry, I believe the free trade agreement is not as bad nor as final as it is being made out to be. I think little attention is being given to the fact that should a situation arise as a result of the deal that is completely unacceptable to the workings of this country, the agreement can be cancelled on six months notice. That is in article 2106 on page 304 of the agreement. The whole thing can be scrapped, cancelled, by either party on six months notice.
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: That is like trying to unscramble the egg.
Mr. Cousens: As long as the member is saying that once it is in place, he will help keep it there, that is good. I am really pleased with that. I think that is the best word I have heard yet from the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.
The fact is that under article 2104, amendments can be made to the text. This, in itself, can open up the opportunity for the refinements, changes and improvements to this agreement that are going to be needed over the next several years, realizing in the first place that one does not get all the way in the first set of negotiations.
No negotiated agreement will be to the liking of all sectors. I realize that. But I believe this agreement is a good start which will ultimately be in the best interests of our country. I believe it is in the spirit of our co-operative efforts that we as a nation stand together, stand tall in making this agreement work. I believe those sectors which may be adversely affected in the short term will need not only our assistance but also our united efforts to adapt to the change. That is the kind of leadership I would like to see come from the government of Ontario, where it would be there setting the example to those other provinces, realizing that we are leaders, that we are Canadians first, that we are Ontarians second and that we can help make this program work for this country.
The free trade agreement is probably mis-named by being called the free trade agreement. It is probably a freer trade agreement inasmuch as when one starts thinking of the whole relationship of our country with the United States over many years of history, it has taken a long time before any government has been able to craft a document like the one we are debating in this House today.
You go back to the years of the 19th century. In 1854, there was the Elgin-Marcy Treaty. It provided for free trade, even back over 125 years ago, in agricultural and forest products. It had free trade in ores and metals. There was free trade between Upper Canada and the United States in dairy products. There was also free trade in fish. In those days you used to be able to catch a few fish in the Great Lakes. Those trade arrangements had been worked out in 1854. Between 1855 and 1863, these bilateral trade agreements between Canada and the United States accounted for up to 90 per cent of the gross provincial product taking place in this province.
It was a decision of the United States in 1866 that abrogated that treaty. During the next 50 years after that, there was sporadic interest in a free trade or a freer trade arrangement between Canada and the United States. In fact, there were efforts by Sir John A. Macdonald -- he had his policy on Canada -- but there were American protectionist policies which continued to keep the trade walls high between our two countries.
Then in January 1911, the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Laurier, negotiated a deal providing for reciprocal, duty free trading on some and reduced duties on other goods. He opened up the option we are now talking about today. It was approved by Congress, but Laurier was defeated by the Conservatives and never put the agreement in force.
It is a battle that has been going on for a long time. The whole issue arose again after the Second World War. There was a deal put together by Mackenzie King in 1948. It collapsed because around that time the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, known as GATT, came about. Our country and the United States began to look at what could be done through GATT through a multilateral trade liberalization that could take place between our country and the United States and a Europe that was beginning to come alive again and with other countries that then were not known as Third World countries. Then there was that whole opening up of trade and the beginning of Japan as a world marketing force.
During the Trudeau years, it was a time of Canadianization, a time of the national energy policy, a time of the Foreign Investment Review Agency. This was a time when a lot of capitalists from the United States and other countries were scared off. They decided not to come to Canada. They decided they would stay in their own country and rely on the opportunities there. None the less, Canadian exports to the United States, from 1973 to 1985, rose from 68 per cent to 79 per cent.
I guess the next stage that came in was when President Reagan was elected in 1979 and when there was the conclusion of the Tokyo Round of GATT. At this point there began to be more of an interest by Americans in a bilateral agreement. As of 1984, that whole process began to be thought through and discussed. Canada began in 1984 bilateral sectoral trade talks with the United States.
Then in 1985, Donald Macdonald had his royal commission and was able to endorse a number of initiatives that began to have a significant effect. I will come back to what some of those are later. He began to crystallize the thinking and the opportunities that could exist for Canadians by opening up better trade arrangements with the United States.
Canadians have always had a number of basic expectations from a trade agreement. First, we know our economy is not large enough to continue to survive on our own merits by ourselves without having a trade arrangement with another country. Canada must reduce its dependence on resource-based exports and move to secondary manufacturing. Indeed, that is something that has begun to happen in this province more and more.
Through the Tokyo Round of GATT discussions, we found we were no longer protected by high tariffs from foreign competition, nor were we blocked by high tariffs from penetrating the United States and other advanced industrial countries.
The obstacles are great. They are obstacles because in the United States there are many trade barriers. There is all kinds of protectionism. But there is a need for diversified growth that shows we in Canada cannot rely on our own internal nationalistic policies as an answer. What we have to realize is that we in Canada have to go outside ourselves. We have to be able to find opportunities, not unlike what Great Britain was in the 1700s as a trading nation. It was powerful because of its ability to trade and to market.
I believe we will have a great failure in this country if we fail to complete the agreement with the United States for a bilateral trade agreement. I believe it is precedent setting. It is a breakthrough of significant proportions. It can have ramifications for many other countries that are watching what is happening in Canada and the United States on the North American continent right now. Those countries might take this as an opportunity for them to open up special trade arrangements to break down some of the walls they have themselves. This could open up Third World trading forces we have never seen before.
A bilateral trade agreement will protect us from some of the worst inclinations we have on this continent. First of all, it can protect us from what is happening in the United States, which is a form of protectionism, and it can protect us in our own country from the kind of administrative protectionism that comes from the government.
I am impressed by an awful lot that has been done over the last short time leading up to the kinds of things that have been manifested through the preparation and presentation of the free trade agreement. I believe we have reached the point where we have grown a great deal from the days when we had the original Elgin-Marcy Treaty. The United States has grown a great deal since 1866 when it abrogated that agreement. Increasingly now in Canada, we are at a point where we know that we have what it takes. We are able to go ahead. We are able to compete effectively with any other country. We are able to stand up on our own two feet. We are proud of being Canadians and we do not think we are going to be held back by any other force.
I am impressed by an awful lot of what Donald Macdonald did through his task force. This was a task force that was established in the fall of 1982. Properly titled, it is called the Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada and it was chaired by Donald S. Macdonald, a former cabinet minister, a federal government Minister of Finance. This report that he prepared -- he was not the total author of it -- is one of the most comprehensive analyses to date. It deals with the issue of government versus market forces in a Canadian setting.
I was reading an article by Irving Brecher in Policy Options, written in January 1986. He points out that the report by the Donald Macdonald commission “uniquely makes the case for viewing international trade policy as the focus for Canada’s economic and institutional response to the challenge of the 1990s.”
I would like to refer briefly to the volume that has been prepared. It is the report from the royal commission, volume 1. There are a number of points made in this report from this commission. To highlight some of the thoughts they have given:
Point 1 on page 378: “For almost 40 years, Canada has pursued a largely multilateral approach to its foreign economic policy. Indeed, we have been one of the strongest supporters of the multilateral system centred on the GATT and the International Monetary Fund.” Nothing in the free trade agreement is going to take away from those efforts. Indeed, what we have to continue to do is find those niches, find those opportunities and develop them.
He points out a few questions. He says: “For Canadian producers and investors, there are several tests of this international system. Can our government successfully improve market access for those sectors where Canadian production is or can be competitive in world markets? Will it maintain current access available to Canadian producers? Will it protect producers from unfair or injurious foreign competition? Because private sector investment is necessary for growth and job creation, Canadian producers need to be confident that their access is secure and that foreign governments will not move to frustrate the efforts to market Canadian goods abroad.”
Those questions have been answered in the free trade agreement and they have been answered in an affirmative way.
Another point he makes is that “Canada’s economic growth is critically dependent on secure access to foreign markets.” Here I underline a most important sentence. “Our most important market is the United States which now takes up to three quarters of our exports. More, better and more secure access to the US market represents a basic requirement while denial of that access is an ever-present threat.” That denial would come through countervailing; it comes through duties, through tariffs, through protectionism from the United States.
Another point that comes through in the report made by the Macdonald commission is that the pursuit of Canada-US free trade is not at odds with efforts to strengthen and improve the existing multilateral framework. So it comes around, the picture is full. We are not jeopardizing our opportunities and the important options we have to trade with other countries but we are building a special network with our neighbours to the south that can open up our futures in a magnificent way.
There were three recommendations made in the section on international trade. The first one is: “Canadians have benefited from and contributed to the multilateral system of trade and payments developed primarily in the last 40 years and we should continue to support that system as the mainstay of our foreign economic policy. Canada is sufficiently strong and independent, however, to pursue bilateral initiatives, including better economic relations with the United States within the framework of multilateral relations.”
The second conclusion he draws is that “Canadian import policy in general should be based on a recognition of its cost to consumers.” The most important thing is the cost to consumers, as well as the protection of our environment, the protection of our sovereignty and these other things. But the cost to so many Canadians -- if we can reduce what they are having to pay out in order to live and exist in an inflationary society, we are going to see costs and prices go down. That, in itself, is going to be an achievement. “Canada should minimize any new protection, reduce protection gradually as part of bilateral or multilateral negotiations and accelerate adjustment processes.”
The third and final point Macdonald makes is: “Export promotion should be pursued aggressively and with greater reliance on the private sector mechanism. But the degree of subsidization this may involve should be within internationally accepted rules and practices.”
It has been thought through; it has been considered; it has been developed. We are in a position where we know that through the kind of thinking that has been put together by the Macdonald commission, there was a basis, a foundation, the beginning of an opportunity for the federal government to open up those trade opportunities.
When one starts thinking about some of the other concerns, there is one of the points made by Brecher when he says, “Free trade is the main instrument in this commission’s approach to industrial policy. “ Freer trade is the way in which I have heard the Honourable Tom Hockin from the federal cabinet describe it at meetings in my riding. He and many others recognized the need for larger and better markets for Canadian business. If we have that opportunity for markets, that is going to open up better opportunities in this country for jobs, for people who are going to be driving the machinery of business.
Another point made by the commission and echoed by Brecher is, “The role of governments is not to retard competitive market forces, but to complement them by positive adjustment measures.” We saw the worst of what government could do when the national energy plan was in effect in the 1970s. It forced out of this country so many of those entrepreneurs and those petroleum experts who were in the process of trying to open up new wells and make the Canadian petroleum industry come alive. When government got involved, things fell apart.
I do not think we are in a position ever, now, to have free market forces because there is so much government. People in Canada seem to have a lot of confidence in their governments to run things for them, but government should find a way of maintaining harmony and balance with business so they are able to develop strategies together, so business can prosper.
Maybe the most important thing is that the environment for business is right. When that environment is right, then business can proceed and develop new products. We have seen that in the high-technology industry. We have seen what happened in Silicon Valley. We have seen what happened in the Boston area. We have seen what happened in the triangle down in the southern states. It happens. Somehow the government is involved, but so is industry, so is education and there is harmony and there is working together.
What I would like to see happen is that, through the free trade debate and through the opportunity we have by opening up trade, we will have all levels working together: federal, provincial and municipal governments somehow harmoniously understanding that we have a mission, a mission not unlike what our country went through in the Second World War when we said, “We are going to go into this war, we are going to give it all we have and we are going to win.” We made a contribution far in excess of our size to the effect we contributed to the world need.
But we believed in it. We were harmonious. We were committed. What we are not seeing now is that sense of commitment, that sense of vision, that sense of working together. I believe we have the opportunity for success by having governments working together to stimulate market growth and to stimulate business.
I would like to refer to another quote cited by Brecher: “Governments generally lack the capability to orchestrate or even formulate a comprehensive, detailed industrial strategy of the kind advocated by the more ardent interventionists.
“Even if a detailed strategy were possible, it would not be desirable. The world is just too complex and the need for flexibility and adaptability too great to justify confining the private sector in such a straitjacket.”
Somehow, that brings through the point I am trying to make that the private sector really can have the doors opened for it through a free trade agreement. Once that begins to happen, we in this country can begin to see the effect of having those doors opened. At this point, what we are seeing many people trying to do is lock the doors.
I think one of the very positive things that happened in this country and in this province has been the kind of trade mission that our province has sponsored. I had the pleasure of participating in a trade mission to Europe a couple of years ago. I was in Paris, Brussels and London and was able to work with entrepreneurs who, to that point, had not been overseas and had not had a chance to show their wares at an international show.
What we have got to do is realize that we want to do that, but we can also open the doors, the highways and the systems for trade with the United States.
There is another quote by Brecher. I am impressed by a lot of the comments he made and this is the last quote I will read from him, in Policy Options in 1977: “I have no hangups about a long-exploited Canada totally incapable of pursuing its own interests in a broad free trade arrangement with a greedy, all-powerful neighbour. Canadians face a fundamental policy choice: Keep on muddling through or take a calculated plunge into the productivity waters. The jump carries its share of risks, but it is the only choice for a Canadian economy strong enough to accommodate domestic demands for progressively higher living standards while playing a dynamic and significant role in the development of the world community.”
There is a jump to it. In fact, when I think of my theological background with Soren Kierkegaard and the leap of faith, there is an element of that with the free trade agreement. I do not think we have everything all worked out perfectly, but over a period of time once that leap has been taken, it will lead to opportunities that only come if you make the jump.
The fact is we have done enough testing and enough analysis and enough measuring. We know the depth of the water. We know there is enough help to pull things back if we need to. We know what is going to happen to it. Now what we have to do is have some faith and trust that we are capable of presenting our products and our wares and ourselves on the US markets successfully, and we can be successful and we will be successful and what this agreement gives us is that opportunity. It give us the opportunity which otherwise would never come.
I believe we are into a crossroads of the most historic nature. Successive administrations of prime ministers and of presidents on both sides of our country have --
Mr. Neumann: Eliminate the border, that’s what you guys are going to do.
Mr. Cousens: How terrible. I will come back on that one. I will correct that one
Successive administrations of both prime ministers and presidents have raised the aspect of free trade since the mid-19th century, as we have already referred to, and each time a real or proposed deal has gone down to defeat. It is not easy to negotiate a free trade agreement. It is hard to put all the facts on the table. It is hard to handle biased media. It is hard to get away from politicians being opportunistic.
So you then ask, “Why should this deal be any different?” I believe it is different for a number of reasons, first of all, the realization that increasing protectionist sentiment in the united States is one of the greatest threats to a vibrant and healthy Canadian economy. The US is not one of the last free trade countries. The fact of the matter is the US is building such protectionist measures that if we do not have a program to protect ourselves, we will be locked out, closed out of that opportunity.
Mr. Callahan: Is it any less since they started negotiating?
Mr. Haggerty: Just take a look at what Wilson is doing with his tax reform. He’s suggested that he is going to put a tax on food; you talk about cheap food from the United States.
The Acting Speaker (Miss Roberts): Order. The member for Niagara South (Mr. Haggerty) will have a chance to speak in the proper rotation. The member for Markham will continue.
Mr. Haggerty: He said that was his last quote. He’s repeating himself.
Mr. Cousens: No, my last from Mr. Brecher.
I would like to refer to a speech presentation that was given by Alan M. Rugman, who is professor of international business at the University of Toronto. He was talking to the York Technology Association in Markham on September 23. I was there for his presentation. He is an excellent speaker. Indeed, when he talked about the closing down of the world trading system he talked about why Canada needs an effective dispute settlement mechanism.
He brought out a number of facts I am sure members are not aware of that have to do with the development of protectionist spirit in the United States, and he comes to a very major theme about administered protection in the United States. When he talks about it, he says, “The world trading system is on the verge of closing down.”
I repeat that: “The world trading system is on the verge of closing down. Forty years of growth have been fostered by the gradual liberalization of trade, especially among members of the triad powers, the United States, the European Community and Japan. Smaller nations such as Canada and the newly industrialized nations have also prospered due to the enhanced global trading.”
The fact is, he is concerned about the world trading system closing down. Then he goes on to explain how it is closing down and why it is closing down and he points out that under United States trade law, domestic producers can launch actions to have countervailing duty and anti-dumping investigations made against rival foreign producers.
In addition, US firms can request more general investigations when their industries are perceived to be suffering from import competition. That is going to change, my dear friends, because when it comes out we have bodies to discuss it, debate it and consider it. We will have a chance to react to it, which we do not have now. I am glad that the member for -- where can I find him on here?
The Acting Speaker: I would remind the honourable member for Markham to address all his words through the Speaker.
Mr. Cousens: The point comes down to this, inasmuch as he understands it, then he should understand the negative impact that those barriers have on Canadian trade.
Mr. J. B. Nixon: They continue to exist.
Mr. Cousens: They will continue to exist, but before they go into practice, there will be different forums developed within the establishment of a free trade agreement that will allow Canadians to discuss it, to react to it, to use moral suasion, to review it or to bring out changes before they go into effect.
We have had a change in Speakers and it is a pleasure to see you back, Mr. Speaker, although the other Speaker did an excellent job maintaining this unruly bunch.
Since the 1979 United States trade act made this type of process of protection possible that we just described in the United States, there have been over 300 separate countervailing duty cases and about 400 antidumping cases in the United States. An increasing proportion of these result in positive preliminary determinations of material injury and a substantial proportion result in penalties being imposed to offset alleged foreign subsidies.
Mr. Callahan: In other words just quiver and run off and just sign anything.
Mr. Cousens: I am just saying, and the member obviously did not understand it, since 1979 there have been 700 different examples in the United States of protectionism.
The honourable member, Mr. Speaker, does not understand and he keeps interrupting, but I think there might be hope. He is showing interest. He is coming along. I am hearing his head rattle, or is it his tongue? I respect what the honourable member has just said though, because the fact that he is aware of the countervailing duties that are going on in the United States and the effect they have had on Canadian imports into the United States means it is all the more important that we find a way around them, a way through them and get rid of them through the free trade agreement. We are on that route.
Mr. J. B. Nixon: No, you are not.
Mr. Cousens: That is the point, my friend. The United States, according to Rugman, now has the most active system of nontariff barriers to trade. He goes on to point out several other hundred countervailing duties that took place in the United States.
The point here is that it is all happening and if we in Canada do not come out with a strong statement, a strong idea of where we want to go, then we will not have a chance in the world trade markets. Canadians will not be able to do it because we do not have enough people to sell to in this province or this country unless we can open up some trade opportunities elsewhere.
The point I made there is that there is increasing protectionist sentiment in the United States. This is indeed one of the greatest threats to a healthy Canadian economy. The second point I would like to make why this free trade agreement is historic and meaningful and absolutely essential to the future of this country and this province, and we have said it before, but let us say it again, is that the United States is Canada’s largest trading partner. Maintaining this relationship is ultimately in our best interests.
We are talking about the needs of our society. We live in a very dynamic country. The demographics for change are here now. Canadians who have studied the matter –and I refer to a prominent Liberal who was in charge of this report on the Royal Commission on Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada and many others, regardless of party affiliation -- understand the importance and the need to develop this trade arrangement. They see Canada as I see Canada, as a country with opportunity, as a country that can open up those doors and walk ahead with courage and confidence.
We in this country have developed a lifestyle. We have social services and universal programs that none of us wants to see hurt. I believe immensely in the dream of Canada. I believe that what we are talking about with this free trade agreement is an opportunity for Canada to become an even greater force on the markets of the world and an example in all the cultural and meaningful things that we have built here for civil rights, for our freedoms and for our sovereignty, a respect for people -- except in this Legislature, it seems at times.
The fact is, it is a time for change. An opportunity is knocking. Unless our economy keeps pace with the international community, we cannot continue to sustain these programs. We cannot continue to have the excellent health program and programs of service for unemployment that we have in this country. We have to be able to drive these programs with money, and the money for that will come partly through increased trade and increased services.
Mr. Callahan: He does not know what he is talking about.
Mr. Cousens: I will not comment. The honourable Deputy Speaker does not seem to want to recognize some of the noises.
The government cannot continue to artificially keep the structure of Canada going without the necessary impetus from the private sector.
I will show members shortly how the private sector has been involved in the development of the free trade agreement and how this has been something that was not just a brainchild, a dream child or an idea of one or two people in Ottawa or one or two people in Washington. It is in fact something that has come through government working effectively with business. It is somehow now being blocked by the Premier of Ontario, who is saying, “I am going to take it to the Constitution.” There is another Premier who says he is going to back out of his agreement on Meech Lake -- maybe. Who knows?
The fact is, we in Canada have to work to develop and build relationships with other countries. l think it is only a matter of time before the infrastructure that we know as Canada will collapse under the weight of the demands of the system unless we find ways of opening it up so that we have that new infusion of funds. If we wait, how long are we going to wait? If we do as the Premier said, “Wait until the deal is perfect,” how long would that be?
I believe we are on a historic pilgrimage that opens up a marvellous opportunity for this country. I believe this country is maturing to a stage where it can withstand the United States television that comes into it.
There are some things I would like to see us build and maintain. I would like to see us have a strong educational system. The Minister of Education (Mr. Ward) is in the House today and I think he has the kind of spunk and spirit to continue to build a strong educational system.
Mr. Breaugh: What?
Mr. Cousens: I hope he does, and I think he believes he does.
Mr. Breaugh: Did you and Cam have a falling out or what?
Mr. Cousens: It is getting close to Christmas.
Mr. Breaugh: He is saying nice things about the government. He is running out of gas.
Mr. Cousens: I need some new schools in York region. We are going to be coming on bended knee and the honourable minister will be kind, I am sure, as he was last year.
Mr. Cousens: That was an even better Minister of Education.
I believe we can compete and succeed in the international community. In fact, we have the talent, the resources and the skills in this country and we can become the kind of world force that I am thinking of. I believe we can reach the point now where we can stop being preoccupied with the fear that we are going to be integrated into the United States and become another state, another star, another line in the flag. I believe that we will continue to lead in many areas, and in all the areas that we want, because those options are intact in the free trade agreement.
In Canada, we have a tremendous opportunity to define a Canadian character within the international community, a community that is increasingly integrated and interdependent. I am proud of the fact that I am a Canadian and I will continue to be proud of it. With the free trade agreement there is no reason why that pride should be diminished. I believe this free trade agreement begins to open up opportunities for other countries. We can become a model for those in the Third World countries who will begin to see that they too can find better ways of expanding and improving and developing. The free trade agreement that we have with the United States does nothing to preclude any relationship we have with any other country. The precedent set by this agreement can be argued to be a powerful tool in breaking down barriers of the have nations which continue to hinder the development of Third World countries.
As we face the future of what this pact is all about, we look very closely at what the free trade agreement is. There is the synopsis of it. Very few Canadians will have a chance to act through the whole agreement before January 2.
Mr. Miclash: Are you going to do it for us?
Mr. Cousens: No, and I would have a difficult time completing the entire debate and the discussion on that in the time we have. By tabling this in time for us to have this debate now, we can at least dispel some of the myths that people have about the free trade agreement.
During the past several months, and I do not know who has perpetrated the myths more, whether it is the newspapers, the media or the circus that has gone on across the province trying to put down free trade -- I will not get into a negative thought; maybe the Premier is the sole cause -- but during the past two months many myths and distortions have been raised about the implications of the free trade agreement on a variety of issues. I would like to go through some of those myths and dispel them so that people can see for themselves -- those who are listening to this debate, those who are reading the Hansard, those who are watching it on TV when there is nothing else to do. Let us then look at some of the myths that have been perpetrated by those who oppose the free trade agreement.
The first point that I have seen raised by a number of people is that the free trade agreement will lead to a flood of US pornography and handguns in Canada. Does the minister believe that?
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: No.
Mr. Cousens: Good, because in article 407 in chapters 5 and 12, they make it clear that it is Canada’s right, under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, to control pornography and firearms, that our control remains untouched by this agreement. In other words, this agreement maintains Canada’s culture, Canada’s way of life. I think that we could do more to fight pornography than we do now. I think there are more things we can do to build on the strengths that we already have. I certainly believe that the last thing any of us want to have is the kind of handgun legislation that allowed people in Florida to come along and start sporting sidearms. That is not Canada.
It is not true that Canadian law regarding pornography and handguns is going to be negatively affected.
The next point is that free trade will lead to the end of bilingualism in Canada. There are many francophones who are concerned that free trade is going to destroy, ruin or take away some of the inherent rights that they have as Canadians. Chapters 5 and 12 of the agreement lay this fear to rest. It is simply untrue.
I am concerned, on the one hand, that this province may try to push Ontario into official bilingualism. I think it is the same kind of stance that the Premier has taken in opposition to free trade. He can take the same kind of position for official bilingualism, and his caucus, all 94 of them -- or 93 now, effective shortly -- are just going to come along without thinking and agree with it. I challenge them to be a bit more wise and understand the needs of the province.
The fact of the matter is that Canadian culture is going to change significantly, not because of the free trade agreement but because of the Meech Lake agreement, something that was designed in 20 hours. The agreement we are talking about now took more than two years, three years, 100 years to evolve and develop.
There have also been rumours and worries that free trade will unleash wide-open competition in the service industries. Article 1402 makes it clear that existing laws and regulations governing services remain untouched. The agreement relates to future laws and regulations.
In other words, Canadians can compete. If Canadians want to get the spirit of the war effort for the Second World War, which I talked about earlier, we can come alive and we can become a major and a dominant world force in the marketing of our goods and services around the world. We have the fibre. We have the strength. If only we believed in ourselves, we could use our young people, our resources, our educational institutions to continue to open up and develop the service industries.
Another myth is that free trade will destroy social programs. Some people say Third World goods will enter Canada, forcing Canadians to end social programs to remain competitive. I have touched on that one earlier. The fact of the matter is that we know our social programs can and will survive. It is clearly articulated in the agreement.
Under the rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, generally available social programs are not countervailable. As an example, the United States has already examined -- and this is one I am sure the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) knows a lot about -- the fishermen’s unemployment insurance benefits in a past dispute and found they are not countervailable. Social programs will continue to be intact.
Under both GATT and chapter 5 of the free trade agreement, Canada and the United States can both impose a sales tax to raise revenue to fund government programs provided it does not discriminate against imported goods, i.e., if all goods consumed in Canada or in a province are taxed equally.
In other words, we can continue to do what we want. In other words, when the Treasurer and Minister of Economics comes in with his new budget, he can increase the taxes by one cent or two cents on the dollar or whatever he wants to do.
Federal and provincial governments have long imposed sales taxes which allowed Canada to finance a wide array of social services while maintaining competitive corporate and personal tax systems.
The other point that substantiates and completely makes my point in saying that the free trade agreement will not destroy social programs is that additional articles -- I will not go into them, but they go through further proof of the fact that in Canada we can continue to protect our social programs.
One of the things everyone should read is the preamble. I will not bother reading it into the record. I think that is going to be done by one of my other honourable members. The preamble clearly states that Canada’s ability to take measures to defend the public welfare continues to be Canadian.
We have the programs. We like our programs. We will keep our programs. We also have to pay for them. So, in paying for them through the free trade agreement that is developing, we are going to generate more wealth in this country, not unlike what the auto pact did in 1965 when it came in. It began to open up trade for this country. It opened up manufacturing. This is the kind of future we are going to have, only it will affect all of industry and all of our country.
It reminds me of the fact that in 1964 and 1965, the New Democratic Party was so strongly opposed to the auto pact. They condemned it. Mr. Speaker, you and I were not around in those days. We were probably doing other things -- studying, working -- but the fact is that at that time the NDP said, “It is the worst thing that could ever happen.” Now it is continuing to say that of the free trade agreement. At least, the Liberals in government have not gone that far.
One of the other myths that is very prominent among those who have not understood what is going on -- and I do not know how they pick up these myths and biases, whether it is just through the mistruths of people who understand more but do not want to table it all --
Mr. Neumann: How about the myth that it is going to lead to higher foreign investment?
Mr. Cousens: I am coming to that one along in here. I will be pleased to answer that question and I trust that the honourable member will be satisfied once he hears that.
But it says some people are concerned that regional development programs are at risk because of the free trade agreement. Under the GATT, subsidies are recognized as legitimate ways to promote regional development, but countries should not use those subsidies which injure other countries. Subsidies are not illegal; only subsidies that cause injury. Under existing US and Canadian law, subsidies are only countervailable by the importing nation if they are not generally available and if the subsidized product materially injures a similar good in the importing country.
So what are we going to do about regional development programs? We will continue to have regional development programs. We will continue, I hope, although this government has done nothing yet to support northern Ontario or eastern Ontario, they can and they should continue to support those regional areas that need the help. We just hope this government will finally get off its tail and get on and do some of the things it should be doing.
Only a fraction of Canadian regional development subsidies have ever been challenged as countervailable in the United States. Only a fraction of these have been found by US authorities to have caused injury to US competitors. Since 1980, no countervailing duty on a regional development subsidy has exceeded one per cent of the export price. The existing threat to US countervail on regional development subsidies is therefore remote and the impact negligible. If a subsidy is found to be injurious, we can continue to subsidize it if we want to, but our exports will be more expensive in the US market. It is our decision.
Another myth that has been prominent among some who are mistaken in their views has to do with Canada’s cultural sovereignty being at stake. This is a major point that the Premier made in his speech on November 4 when he said that Canada has to continue to be Canada. No one would argue with him on that. We know that Canada must continue to be strong, but let us just look at what it says in the free trade agreement on our cultural sovereignty.
On page 55, when it is going into some of the other provisions of the pact, it says specifically on Canadian sovereignty: “From the beginning of the negotiations Canadians expressed concern that an agreement might erode the government’s capacity to encourage and help Canada’s cultural industries, film and video, music and sound recording, publishing, cable transmission and broadcasting, and thus contribute to the development of Canada’s unique cultural identity. In order to remove any ambiguity that Canada’s unique cultural identity remains untouched by the agreement, nothing in this agreement affects the ability of either party to pursue cultural policies.”
“Nothing in this agreement affects the ability of either party to pursue cultural policies.” I have talked to so many artists and so many people who are concerned about that very question. It is satisfied, it is stated, it is clear from the very beginning of the negotiations in the free trade agreement that Canada was going to protect and did protect its own cultural identity.
Mr. D. R. Cooke: Where is culture defined?
Mr. Cousens: I will come to that and I will be pleased to get into that at a later point. I thank the honourable member for asking that question.
Article 2005 specifically indicates that, subject to four limited exceptions, nothing in the agreement affects Canada’s ability to pursue cultural policies.
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: What are those limited exceptions?
Mr. Cousens: The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology asked what the exceptions are. There are four of them: article 401, article 1607, paragraph 4, article 2006 and article 2007.
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: What about 2005, paragraph 2?
Mr. Cousens: I am wondering if the minister has read that himself.
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: Are you going to read it to me?
Mr. Cousens: I do not have it handy right here, but in my notes I was at least able to give the minister that in case he did not know.
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: Would you like me to read it to you?
Mr. Cousens: The other myth that has been brought forward is that marketing boards are at risk. That is why I thought for sure, when we started talking about the Minister of Agriculture and Food, since he is very likely one of the people in this cabinet who is strongly supporting free trade initiatives because the marketing boards --
Mr. Cousens: Oh, the member laughs. I am concerned that he is laughing, because the agricultural people we are talking to, the people who are coming forward now, are satisfied that the marketing boards, which is an excellent method of supply in this country, will continue to work as they have. They are the envy of other countries. The United States is jealous of the way our marketing boards work.
Would we do anything to destroy them? Not a chance, and they are not jeopardized. They are safe.
An hon. member: Baloney.
Mr. Cousens: These people say “baloney.” I hope the member will come up and give some facts. He should only speak when he is in his seat.
Mr. Pelissero: I am doing that right now. Talk to the egg producers, talk to the milk producers, talk to the chicken producers. The marketing boards may be there; there just won’t be any farming, that’s all.
Mr. Cousens: That is the point we are making, and if the honourable member has some points, if he has talked to them and he has their official statement, I would be glad to have his case stated. The fact is, marketing boards are not at risk through the free trade agreement.
Mr. Breaugh: Why don’t you give him a chance? Why don’t you yield and let him make a few remarks?
Mr. Cousens: I would yield to the honourable member if he wanted to make a few remarks to that.
Canada retains the right to apply import restrictions on agricultural goods where these are necessary to ensure the operation of a domestic supply management or support program. Article 706 sets out the increases in Canadian global import quotas on chicken, turkey and eggs, increases which merely reflect the average levels of actual imports over the past five years.
Marketing boards will continue to operate. The government of Canada has announced that two-price wheat in Canada will end.
Mr. Neumann: What about the food processors?
Hon. Mr. Ward: What about the turkeys?
Mr. Cousens: What about the turkeys? Now, if there is anyone who knows something about turkeys, it is the Minister of Education.
What we are seeing is continual effort by the government to help consumers, to help farmers, to help Canadians.
Another myth that has come through by so many is that they say, “The free trade agreement guarantees the United States access to Canadian energy supplies and creates a continental energy market.”
Mr. Cousens: l will read that again, I am sorry. “The free trade agreement guarantees the United States access to Canadian energy supplies and creates a continental energy market.”
That is a myth that many have raised. Instead, if these same people would look at article 902, it affirms Canadian and US rights and obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade on the legitimate trade restrictions in energy products, i.e., Canada retains its powers to control the flow of Canadian energy exports.
Another article in support of that is article 905. It recognizes the important role played by the National Energy Board in Canada and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in monitoring and licensing energy exports.
Annex 905.2 outlines the commitment by Canada to eliminate not one of the three National Energy Board tariff export guidelines. The National Energy Board will continue to assess whether all costs have been recovered and whether the offered price would not be less than the cost to Canadians for equivalent service. The National Energy Board will no longer assess whether the offered price would be materially less than the least-cost alternative for the US buyer. This will now be the subject of negotiation between the negotiating parties.
Article 907 significantly limits the ability of the United States to restrict Canadian imports on the grounds of national security. This is a very important point in light of US protectionist demands to block Canadian uranium and electricity exports.
Article 904 defines the obligations of the United States and Canada to reduce energy exports on a proportional basis when such exports are restricted for reason of short supply, conservation or domestic price stabilization. We have control over our national energy, over all our products, as we had it before the free trade agreement.
I think it is most important that members understand what article 908 does for us. It states that Canada’s long-time obligation under the agreement on an international energy program to increase oil exports during a period of short supply takes precedence over any provisions that serve United States markets. In other words, we continue to look after our own needs first.
The free trade agreement allows for wide-open investment in Canada. This is something some people are very afraid of. They are saying: “It is just going to open up investment in Canada. We will not own anything any more.” Let us just look at what Canada’s rights are under that clause, and I will be pleased to share it with members.
Article 1602 and article 1607 outline Canada’s right to review significant direct acquisition proposals. Seventy-five per cent of the assets that are currently reviewable by Investment Canada will remain reviewable after the transition period.
Article 1603 recognizes Canada’s continuing right to negotiate product mandate, research and development and technology transfer requirements with prospective investors. In other words, things will continue to happen where we control what is going on within our country. It is stated in that article.
Article 1607, another article in the agreement, grandfathers all existing foreign investment restrictions in such areas as communications, transportation, energy and cultural industries.
We are concerned about Canada being wide open to foreign investment. Article 1602 recognizes the ability of the competition tribunal to review anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions.
There was some concern a short time ago about Ontario’s trucking industry being destroyed by the free trade agreement. The fact is, the services annex does not include transportation services. I think that is an important point. There was a lobby from the US and from Canada. I met with several truckers who were concerned about what would happen in Ontario in the trucking industry with the change in regulations under free trade as it was in the initial proposal. There was a strong lobby. The lobby made its point very clear, that they were concerned that the trucking industry as we know it in Ontario and Canada could be affected by that inclusion of the trucking industry in the free trade agreement. In the final draft, the trucking industry has been removed. As contentious an issue as it was, it has been removed. Over a period of time, Canadians might well develop a fresh and new approach to this issue and it could be something that I am sure could be opened up in future negotiations.
Another myth that is very prominent, which maybe members have been thinking about and want to raise, is that free trade in apparel and textiles wild wipe out the Canadian industry. Begin by asking, “Who is afraid of whom?” In fact, American interests greatly fear our highly competitive clothing manufacturers. These concerns have caused the Americans to demand a ceiling on export growth potential of Canadian apparel made from third-country fabrics. A quota on such Canadian apparel exports has been set at a level six times above current trade levels allowing Canadian apparel manufacturers to continue to increase their exports while limiting American fears that Canadian imports will wipe out the US industry. A similar quota has been set for Canadian textiles with foreign yarn.
Another point that I would like to make --
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: Canadian penetration in the apparel industry is one tenth of one per cent. How are we going to wipe them out?
Mr. Cousens: It is a myth, and the member is probably the perpetrator of the myths although he does not speak up in the House, he just yells along and makes his points.
Another myth that is prevalent in the minds of many people is that Canada should depend on multilateral negotiations in the GATT, not bilateral free trade arrangements with the United States. What we have got to put into perspective is that GATT will continue to operate. We will continue to have a relationship with other countries, but what we are now doing in having a special arrangement with the United States. It clearly states within the free trade agreement that nothing in this agreement takes away our commitment to multilateral trading opportunities with other countries.
Chapter I in fact sets out that the free trade agreement is consistent with GATT article XXIV. Page 13 points out just that. A lot of people concern themselves with what is going to happen with GATT. Chapter I begins with a declaration that the agreement is consistent with that article in GATT, the article which provides the framework in international law for negotiating free trade agreements.
It sets out a legal statement of the basic principle underlying the agreement as a whole. Canada and the United States will treat each other’s goods, services, investment suppliers and investors as they treat their own in so far as the matters covered by this agreement are concerned The members opposite should set their worries loose. They are not needed and they are not applicable. The agreement does not put us in a position where we cannot continue to trade with other countries. We can, in other words, continue to do as we have.
Part 2 of the free trade agreement builds on previous commitments made in the GATT. Various GATT codes and standards, procurements, subsidies, etc., and the auto pact, the existing harmonized commodity description and quota systems -- these continue to exist. Both countries continue to retain their existing GATT rights and obligations unless otherwise stated. I have gone through to find out where it is otherwise stated, and I cannot find it. But the sense and the spirit of the agreement is that we are protected and we are not in violation of GATT.
Chapter 5 of the agreement incorporates the fundamental national treatment obligation of GATT into the free trade agreement. In various sectors -- for example, agriculture, procurement and trade-related investment measures -- both our country and the United States have agreed to work towards multilateral liberalization in the coming round of GATT negotiations. It is an evolution that will continue to open up trade opportunities for our country and the United States and, as I said earlier, with other countries as well.
I am concerned, and I do not think I have heard the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology say this, but the general feeling by many is that the auto pact is gutted.
Hon. Mr. Kwinter: I have said it.
Inter. Cousens: He has said that.
The feeling I am getting is that the auto pact is untouched. The production safeguards remain as do tariffs on third-country imports, creating a $300-million-a-year incentive for companies like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford to exceed minimum production levels in Canada. Chapter 4 of the free trade agreement secures duty-free access for Canadian products into the US market. Annex 301.2 makes it possible for Asian producers to export Canadian assembled cars duty-free into the United States if they meet a strict 50 per cent North American content standard.
Chapter 10 of the agreement recognizes Canada’s obligation to honour its commitments to Asian car makers locating in Canada. Article 1003 provides for free trade in used vehicles by 1993; another benefit for consumers, who will be able to purchase American used cars. I would not mind having an American used car, because I could probably buy it cheaper than some of the cars I am able to buy here.
Mr. D. S. Cooke: That’s called gutting the auto pact, isn’t it?
Mr. Cousens: I am coming to the point, and I am trying to make the point, that the auto pact is not gutted. The fact that consumers are going to benefit seems to be a hindrance to the member, and that is not right. I think consumers have to benefit in this country. We have to fight for the consumers --
Mr. D. S. Cooke: You have not come to any point yet.
Mr. Cousens: The member is not fighting for them. All he can do is sit down there and, like a blind sheep, follow --
An hon. member: Follow what?
Mr. Cousens: The leader.
The Acting Speaker (Miss Roberts): Order. I would ask the honourable members on both sides to direct their comments through the Speaker and to allow the honourable member who has the floor to complete his comments.
Mr. Cousens: The government of Canada has announced -- I have the wrong page.
An hon. member: We didn’t notice.
Mr. Cousens: I had a point that I tried to make. This is the problem when there is such interest in the debate. It is important that we continue to touch on key points.
I have tried to illustrate that a number of myths have been perpetrated, indeed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, who was saying the auto pact is gutted. The fact of the matter is we have it; it is intact; we can continue to benefit from it.
I am concerned that many people do not understand that the free trade agreement has a basis that goes far deeper than just an announcement that was made, as indicated in the different steps that were passed through. Take the different steps that have led up to today: October 3, 1987, President Reagan sent his notice; October 4, elements of the agreement signed by Canadian and US negotiators; December 10, legal text; December 11, tabling in the House; and then as they proceed.
It goes far back into history during the last several years with some of the strategic decisions that were made by the federal government, which established the groundwork for a good process, so that out of this process we can develop a trade agreement with the United States that truly understands the needs of Canadian interests of a widely varied nature.
There was an interesting communiqué that came from the Department of External Affairs on September 19, 198S, when the Honourable James Kelleher, Minister for International Trade, announced the appointment of Walter Light, chairman of the executive committee of Northern Telecom, as chairman of a newly created private-sector International Trade Advisory Committee. The principal role of this trade advisory committee was to provide a two-way information flow between the government and the private sector on multilateral and bilateral trade policy issues.
In other words, at the very beginning, before any major appointments, the most significant thing was the establishment of a bridge with private industry so that the government in Ottawa could begin to know what the interest would be all across this great country of ours. In fact, in announcing Mr. Light’s appointment, Mr. Kelleher stated, “The decision to establish a trade advisory committee responds to the wish of the business community and others to have a more formal mechanism for regular consultation on trade matters with the government.”
That consultation has been going on for the last two years. In fact, the member for Cochrane South (Mr. Pope) was commenting that there had been some 18 meetings that our own Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology had been involved with. There is just no doubt that the government wants to ignore the fact that it has been involved. They are trying to ignore the truth. They are trying to come along and make statements without having to admit that they have been part of the process where the federal government has solicited and sought their input. “The establishment of this consultative process will meet our urgent need to prepare for the trade development and negotiation challenges that lie ahead.”
So began networking, an important term in any kind of process, so that you are not just having one spokesman who is not tied into the rest of the country and the rest of the business interests, the rest of government and all the other groups.
That was started right at the beginning in the establishment of a trade advisory committee and the appointment of Walter F. Light. The trade advisory committee consisted of 25 to 30 people, experienced and knowledgeable in trade matters -- and it went on to describe just who those people were.
Mr. D. R. Cooke: What did they get paid a day? What did Walter Light get?
Mr. Cousens: No pay. Let me go on and answer. The honourable member is asking some good questions. The Minister for International Trade announced the makeup of the International Trade Advisory Committee, ITAC, part of the private-sector advisory committee system set up by the then minister, Mr. Kelleher, to advise the government on international trade access and marketing issues.
Thirty-nine prominent members of the business community, coming from labour, consumer areas and academic, research and cultural communities, were appointed to ITAC. They represented all regions of the country. They were experienced and knowledgeable in trade matters. This was the beginning of consolidating a viewpoint, gathering a consensus of what this country had to say about free trade.
Mr. Kelleher announced that this group --
Mr. Wildman: Everybody on the committee was from Schefferville.
Mr. Cousens: I do not know if there was someone from Schefferville, but just in response to that comment, I think it is really important for us to know that Mr. Reisman was not the only person working for Canada in the trade negotiations. Behind him was a trade advisory committee that was there developing and thinking through the different options, the different possibilities, trying to say: “OK, if you do this it’s good. If you do that, it’s bad.”
Look at the people who made up that committee. They included people from the National Bank of Canada, from Telemedia Communications, from Bombardier, from Celanese, from Alcan, from Steinberg’s, from the C. D. Howe Institute, from Diagnostic Canada. They included Mr. Fleck of Fleck Manufacturing, Ogilvie, the SNC Group, the Consumers’ Association of Canada, Sally Hall.
It included the British Columbia Resources Investment Corp., the Lundrigan Group, Algoma Steel Corp., TransCanada PipeLines, Leon’s, the Canadian Federation of Labour, BC Bearing Engineers Ltd., National Sea Products Ltd., Dupont, London Life, Maclean Hunter Primo Foods, Prendiville Sawmills in Winnipeg, CAE Industries in Toronto, James Richardson and Sons in Winnipeg, Alan Rugman -- whom I quoted earlier, from the University of Toronto now -- T. S. Simms and Co. Ltd., Domtar, Atco, Magna International, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, University of Calgary, Lise Watier Cosmetics Inc., Redpath’s.
When the International Trade Advisory Committee was formed, we then began to have one group in the country thinking and worrying and considering all the impact that could affect this country through the establishment of a new trade agreement with the United States. At that point, the Minister of International Trade in February 3, 1986, announced the formation of sectoral advisory groups, which are known as SAGITs. A SAGIT is a sectoral advisory group on international trade.
The fact is that 14 sectoral advisory groups on international trade were established back in February 1986 to complement the work that was being done by the international trade advisory committee, chaired by Walter Light. In announcing the SAGITs, Mr. Kelleher on February 3, 1986, said, “These groups will be extremely important to the government in providing a sectoral viewpoint on all trade matters and in particular on upcoming trade negotiations.”
Mr. Kelleher indicated that this structure is not cast in stone. He expected there would be some changes made to it and more people would be added. What he has now established is that he has two groups, an overall group that is reviewing the whole of the international trade, and then these sectoral advisory groups which are going to be in a position to review in specific detail information that pertains to different industries.
The international trade advisory structure has a two-way flow of information. It has the opportunity for government to feed back into industry and the opportunity for industry to feed up into government. These groups were established to advise the government on Canadian objectives, Canadian priorities and strategies for international, multinational and bilateral trade policy issues. The other component was that these groups would meet on a regular basis. They would share information. There would be no surprises.
These sectoral advisory groups on international trade really fell into place in an excellent way. The Minister of International Trade, James Kelleher, on April 25 announced the appointment of the chairmen and chair people of these different advisory groups on international trade. Let me note from his April 25 communiqué: “The SAGITs will be extremely important to the government in providing a sectoral viewpoint. These chairpersons are all experienced business people. I am grateful that they have accepted the responsibility to advise and inform the government in all trade matters.”
If only this government would do something similar to establish some kind of communications link with the real world. Since September 10 it has come in here and just forgotten to listen. The rest of the world has a lot of concerns out there. There are many examples, but I will not steer off subject because I realize these people do not want to hear about the housing promises they have broken, the education promises they have broken. They do not consult, they just tell.
The federal government, in establishing these SAGITs and these review groups, was trying to listen. They were set up to listen so that those who had concerns had a way of contributing their view and of being listened to.
The members were appointed by the minister and they covered a wide range of subjects. The 14 different sectoral advisory groups included the subject of agriculture, food and beverage. I will not read down the names of all the members of each of the SAGITs, just the chairmen and their secretaries.
I would like to let members know what these SAGITs were. We had agriculture, food and beverage with Dr. Benoit Levine from Montreal. We had one for fish and fish products, with Victor Young of Fishery Products International Ltd. in St John’s, Newfoundland. We had another SAGIT for minerals and metals, with Dr. Bill James of Falconbridge.
Full stop. These people were contributing --
Mr. Wildman: Bill James?
Mr. Cousens: We have the member for Algoma awake at last. He was involved in this process and it automatically makes him excited --
We had another SAGIT for energy products and services, with Robert Pierce, president of NOVA, An Alberta Corporation, in Calgary. We had another SAGIT on chemicals and petro-chemicals, with Firman Bentley of Polysar Ltd in Sarnia. Another SAGIT for forest products with Raymond Smith, president and chief executive officer of MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. We had another one for industrial marine and rail equipment, with Guy Champagne of Exeltor Inc. in Bedford, Quebec. There was another one for automotive and aerospace, with Jack Ripley of Allied-Signal Canada Inc. in Mississauga; another one for textiles, footwear and leather, with Sandy Archibald of Britex Ltd. in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia; another one for apparel and fur, Peter Nygard, chairman of Nygard International in Winnipeg.
What the government was doing through the establishment of these advisory committees was listening and learning. It meant that when we were into negotiations with the United States, we were going in prepared. We were armed, we were ready, and there was not a sense of just coming in at the last minute with a quick bill such as the one we are debating right now, that does not even make an awful lot of sense when you consider what is going on. The government had deliberated and considered what was involved in this long in advance. It knew the ramifications of free trade. It knew what was involved with free trade and what was involved with multilateral trade.
I forget where l left off. Maybe I will have to start at the beginning. I think I left off with consumer and household products.
Mr. Harris: That is exactly the part I want to hear.
Mr. Cousens: The member is a good consumer.
An hon. member: A progressive consumer.
Mr. Cousens: For communications, computer equipment and services, Alex Curran, who is chairman, president and chief executive officer of SED Systems Inc., Saskatoon. There is another SAGIT on financial services, headed by Mrs. Jallyn Bennett. There is another one on general services, headed by Dr. Gail Cook of Bennecon Ltd. in Toronto. There was another one on arts and cultural industries.
What happened here is that these people gave of their time and their energy, their experience and their background to help our federal government develop a context for freer trade negotiations, and through drawing from all the groups that made up each of these SAGITS, they were able to report through to Walter Light’s group and then allow an assimilation of ideas. That is why this project has taken so long. That is why the free trade agreement that we have here today is not just one last-minute, quick-issue copy. This should be something that we respect as a basis of the future of this country. It comes through the evolution of much talk and much discussion, much dialogue of those who have been involved with it. I am glad that you have a copy.
Mr. Breaugh: The problem is, it reads like the Life of Brian.
Mr. Cousens: I am dealing with the synopsis and I am glad the other honourable member has another issue.
Mr. Harris: They obviously want you to go through the full agreement, not just the abbreviated version.
Mr. Cousens: I am leading to it, I hope to. I really do, because if the process is correct, when the government established the whole idea of reopening a free trade agreement with the United States, before it entered into that it wanted to make sure it knew how to do it, what it wanted, what was going to be on the table, how to handle it. There is nothing worse than being in negotiation and have surprises come up; so you have to come in to those negotiations informed, educated, prepared.
What I am trying to tell this House is that the federal government went into the negotiations armed and prepared with the facts. They had the best interest of our country at heart, they knew what they were talking about because they had involved the grass roots of this country in developing the grass roots. It goes right through to all the companies. I think what we want to do is start looking at the ingredients of those. They are representative of the people of Canada. They know the best interests and they were prepared to give of that time and that effort to see that it happened.
There was a heavy involvement up front by the federal government in establishing a free trade agreement. It was not something where you just had a few bureaucrats developing a few new guidelines, as you see with the Liberal promises in this province, without any fact or foundation. I will not get diverted, but I would like to -- the 102,000 homes by 1989, affordable housing for the province; it was just drawn out of the sky and now when we try to ask the Minister of Housing (Ms. Hosek) --
Mr. Reycraft: Order, order.
Mr. Cousens: This ties in with what I am saying. We asked the Minister of Housing, “Where did you get the 102,000, where are they going to go? What are you going to do with them? What are you plans?” She does not know, she never knew and she does not know now. I am saying when you ask questions about the free trade agreement, the federal government knows what it is talking about. They have done their homework, they have done some work ahead of time, and it is not a myth you are dealing with, not like some of the scary things this government does.
The problem we have is that the country is not aware of the investment up front, of the time and the effort of so many people in these SAGITs and in these advisory groups for the federal government. You have a pyramid -- it comes this way down.
Hon. Mr. Elston: Why would he not go with Michael Wilson?
Mr. Cousens: There are some good heckles coming. I think we would have better heckles if we were at home, doing what we should be doing. We should not be here right now, because the government really made a terrible mistake in presenting this motion and expecting this House to approve this resolution without any debate. This is probably the single most important debate that will take place in this parliament. It affects every Canadian. Every one of us, who cares about Canada, has to be prepared to stand up and be counted.
I am very pleased to see the Minister of Agriculture and Food drag himself in. We were looking for him earlier.
The point I am trying to make is that the Toronto Star and the media have not given any credibility to the background work that was done by the federal government in preparing for the free trade agreement.
Mr. D. R. Cooke: It doesn’t have any credibility.
Mr. Cousens: The Star does not?
Mr. D. R. Cooke: No, the draft doesn’t.
Mr. Cousens: I thought he said the Star does not and I thought that, coming from a red tie, there was really some hope.
What we are really starting to face up to is the fact that many, many people became involved in the whole of the free trade discussion.
Mr. Wildman: You are dealing so much with the process instead of the nub of the agreement.
Mr. Cousens: I am coming to that, but unless the process is correct --
Mr. Cousens: In fact, I might go on into tomorrow. I did not realize how interested some members are in what I am saying, and it really means it is important to follow it through.
During the last two years there have been many, many studies on the effects of free trade on Canada.
Mr. D. R. Cooke: Most of them by Ontario; we did most of them.
Mr. Cousens: Those studies confirm what I am saying here today, that in fact these trade negotiations, when successful, can be excellent for what Canada is all about. I would like to comment on some of the studies that have been done and on some of the comments that they made with regard to what they believed free trade would do for Canada.
One of the reports was done by the Department of External Affairs in August 1985. It contains preliminary results from the research program undertaken in the summer of 1985 on the economic implications of an enhanced trade agreement between Canada and the United States. It is based on two separate studies, one by Informetrica and the other by the department, using the University of Maryland’s inforum model.
Mr. D. R. Cooke: That’s on the comprehensive deal, but that’s not the deal we got.
Mr. Cousens: What they did is look at seven alternative trade liberalization cases, and they were selected for comparison with the base case. Case 4, assumed to be the most likely, combined tariff and nontariff barrier elimination with the productivity increase. The results of that case are as follows:
“The real gross national product in Canada is, on average, about 1.7 per cent higher per year than in the base case by having free trade. Canada’s real net exports increase because of free trade. The consumer price index is lower than the base case in every year of the period.” In other words, the consumers are going to benefit because of free trade.
“Employment gains are evident from the outset, reflecting an increase in industry output.”
They are indicating from this study -- and I realize that becomes the problem of many Canadians in trying to understand the figures and the numbers and what is going on -- that by 1994, overall employment is going to be running more than 100,000 above the base case.
Hon. Mr. Riddell: Let it be noted that the Tories are prepared to see the farmers go down the tube; 50-cent turkeys means farmers will go down the tube. The remarks that are being made about the agriculture industry in this province are nonsense.
The Deputy Speaker: Order. Point of order?
Mr. Harris: I do have a point of order that I would --
Hon. Mr. Riddell: Fifty cent turkeys means the farmers go down the tube, if the Tories support agriculture the way they do.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Harris: The Minister of Agriculture and Food appears to want to enter into the debate, yet he was not here yesterday when we wanted debate from him; and the chairman of the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, who has been interjecting repeatedly, appears to want to enter in the debate. I am surprised, because being mouthy and stupid has not got him very far with this government in the last two years, but he still does it.
Hon. Mr. Riddell: Is this a point of order?
The Deputy Speaker: Order. I thank the member for the opinion. Does he have a point of order?
Mr. Wildman: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I think the member is being unfair to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Somebody has to speak for the turkeys, especially at this season.
The Deputy Speaker: The member for Markham.
Mr. Cousens: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The point I am trying to make is that the process followed by the federal government leading to the free trade agreement that we are debating in this House now, the preparation that has gone into it, was not by just a few people. There have been reports, there have been studies, there has been analysis, there has been a gathering of all the facts and all the information that can possibly be gleaned so that we in this country are able to put together the most effective trading arrangement possible between our country and the United States of America.
Before any decisions were made and tabled in the agreement that Mr. Reisman and Mr. Murphy were making, you have to look at some of those studies that gave them reason to believe they were doing the right thing.
One of the reports that I have had a chance to review in part is the automotive agreement in a Canada-United States comprehensive trade arrangement. This was something prepared by Gray, Clark, Shea and Associates Ltd. in November 1985. This is a paper that looked at the options of the automotive agreement and the likely effect it would have.
The highlights of that report are these. It says, “Substantial structural changes in the production techniques employed by the North American automotive companies will occur as they adjust to new competition which will determine production, location of vehicle assembly and parts plants and employment levels. The North American automotive companies will experience a declining share of the automotive market, which will bring further pressure on decisions relating to the shared production objectives of the automotive agreement.”
I do not think there is any doubt that if Canada had tried to negotiate the auto pact by itself it would never have come through this with the kind of success it has now, which continues to protect the auto pact.
Another study that was done was on investment responses by multinational enterprises to three Canadian policy options for Canada-US trade. It was done by Derek Chisholm at the Institute for Research on Public Policy. This policy examined probable changes in foreign direct investment within Canada by multinational enterprises. The examination sought answers to the three questions about the multinational enterprises’ responses to reductions in trade barriers.
“The fact is that the level of foreign control over domestic industries will change significantly. The level of foreign control” -- and this is one of the highlights of that report – “over domestic industries could initially diminish during the medium term after trade barriers are reduced. But over a longer horizon, technically advanced foreign investment and foreign control could increase. The form of foreign control could alter, as multinational enterprises respond to reduced trade barriers with corporate strategies that integrate Canadian subsidiaries by rationalization or rural product mandates.”
There are many lessons to be learned and one that I would like to share with the House is something that comes from the European experience. Before the Canadians developed their own approach the Europeans did that, and one of the studies that was done was by A. W. A. Lane in October 1985. His study was entitled Economic Integration: Some Aspects of the European Experience. His paper looked at the features of the movement towards economic integration in Europe. It concluded with some comments on the implications of a comprehensive trade agreement with the United States. I would like to share some of those highlights with you.
First of all: “Permanent dismantling of tariffs can provide a stimulus to industrial restructuring which increases efficiency and competitiveness.” That is something that is implicit to this whole trade agreement. We want to be able to restructure our business. We want to see our manufacturers go ahead with a sense of confidence as they retool, as they rebuild, as they seek to go and expand their markets into other areas of the world. In so doing, the dismantling of tariffs does provide a stimulus for industrial restructuring. That happened in the European common market, it can happen again here in Canada.
Another point made in that same study is that where there is integration between highly developed countries which have a broad range of secondary industries, intra-industry specialization tends to predominate. What we are really talking about there is the development of niches. When Canadians get into the world of computers and communications, we have already established through Northern Telecom an expertise that is the envy of the world and we can take that expertise into the United States as Northern Telecom already has done and expand and build upon it. This is an example of a Canadian enterprise that has been able to do it through skill, through intelligence --
Mr. Wildman: Without a free trade agreement.
Mr. Cousens: -- and without a free trade agreement. The fact is we can have the same kind of illustrations with other products and other industries, with free trade.
Another illustration that comes from that same study of the European common market experience is the way in which state aids are treated in a Canada-US trading arrangement, that could have an important bearing on its regional impact. The Treaty of Rome took a particularly tolerant attitude towards measures of this kind. I think what we are trying to say is that --
Mr. Wildman: Ronald Reagan was not negotiating the Rome treaty.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Cousens: Well, Ronald Reagan did other things. I would like to share one other quote that comes from one of the studies that were done on this. This study was done on the economic effects of trade liberalization with the United States having to do with “evidence and Questions,” by Moraz and Meredith, the Institute for Research on Public Policy. This was prepared in September 1985. The main conclusion of this paper suggested that “bilateral trade liberalization could be expected to provide large, long-run economic benefits to Canada.”
The overwhelming evidence of these reports, and I could read more of them, and I really --
Mr. Wildman: I doubt it.
Mr. Cousens: I could. I think they are there to be tabled. The fact is that the federal government was able to base its considerations in the development of a free trade agreement not just on a few ideas or a few people; it had its fingers out into the world of business through the --
An hon. member: They have their fingers out in a lot of worlds these days.
Mr. Cousens: They have them in the member’s pockets too, I will tell him. There is so much money in there jingling, for Christmas; if only he could get out and spend it rather than sitting here for this debate.
The development of the whole trade context and the development of the arguments that allowed us to go into the free trade discussions meant that we went in prepared, armed, ready to do business. The intention behind the free trade discussions from the very beginning was to do the best thing for Canada. By involving all of these people in these deliberations and in gathering that information, we knew that could happen and it did happen.
I would like to go further and discuss some of the concerns, why the free trade agreement has significant impact for all of us. It has to do with why we wanted to do it in the first place. There are 10 reasons why the free trade agreement is important. Not only does it provide more jobs, not only does it provide for higher growth and not only does it provide for lower prices -- these things are implicit in the whole free trade agreement -- but there are a number of reasons why it is so essential that we have it. First of all’ to strengthen Canada by preserving jobs and creating new jobs in all regions of the country. In reading the reports of the Economic Council of Canada and in seeing what private sector advisers are saying, I have no doubt this is going to happen. We are going to preserve jobs in Canada. We are going to create new jobs.
The second benefit, which is really important and imperative to any kind of trade agreement, is that we lower consumer prices when we go to buy a house, furniture, an appliance or clothes; there are going to be benefits to it. That is the second reason this arrangement and this agreement is important.
The third reason it is essential is that the free trade agreement will encourage more job-creating investment in Canada. In the last decade, Canadian investment in the United States has grown at a rate three times higher than US investment in Canada. Now what we want to do is see more job creation investment in this country and in this province.
The fourth point why free trade is important is to increase our national wealth and our ability to finance social programs. I want to see us continue to expand our programs for seniors and for young people. I want the Minister of Education to spend money on schools in York region and Peel and Durham and where they are needed, but it cannot be done if the money is not there. This free trade arrangement will give us that opportunity to have more money in the coffers in Canada, because there is going to be more action in the first place.
The fifth reason is that the free trade agreement will increase export of manufactured goods, not just natural resources. What we want to do is sell not just fish but fish sticks, not just wood but furniture and not just gas but petrochemicals. We want to be able to refine our goods. We want to be able to sell finished goods. We want to be into a secondary manufacturing environment. With this agreement we should be able to generate far more manufacturing, far more growth and far more incentive for Canadians to invest in Canada, for Canadians to want to invest in this country.
The sixth point why this free trade agreement is important is that it increases our energy security. There will be more development of energy resources in this country. There will be a greater supply of energy resources and we will have greater security of our energy resources.
The seventh point is that this free trade agreement will restore fairness and the rule of law in Canadian and American commercial relations. There is no way we can control countervailing and tariff laws in the United States right now. This agreement will make that possible. We will begin to have fair trade as well as free trade between Canada and the United States.
My eighth point on why this free trade agreement is so important is that it will strengthen Canada’s negotiating position in global negotiations. I believe that when this agreement is approved and becomes a fact, it is going to open up our trade further in other countries -- into Europe, into Asia and into Third World countries. We want to trade. We know the importance of trade. With this agreement, we know we can begin that process and be far more effective than we have been in the past.
The ninth point is that this agreement will help Canada to be safe from some of the sideswipe actions that are possible in the United States.
What happens right now is that in Congress there are acts before the house that could apply to Canada and that are worrisome to all of us. What we want to see happen is that this kind of countervailing action, that imposes a special hardship on us when it is really meant for other countries, will not happen in the future. I believe the free trade agreement will help protect Canadians from being sideswiped by US decisions in their own Congress and Senate that otherwise could impact us in a very negative way.
My tenth point on why it is important is that the free trade agreement will enshrine in both our countries an opportunity that neither country will inflict self-inflicted wounds in a trade war. We do not need any more of these conflicts over softwood lumber or potash. We need to see our future develop with a sense of being able to say, “We have an agreement that means something.” We know we are on that road.
We have come a long way, and indeed there is still a long way to go. The one big decision that can still be made by this government is to retract this bill -- this resolution, it is not a bill. They can take it away, put it aside -- they do not even have to rip it up because it is now printed in thousands of copies of Hansard -- and come back with what they originally agreed to do. That was to have a resolution that would be debated and then sent off to committee. They are not doing that. What they have done is to bring forward this bill that says everything --
Mr. Speaker: Order. Perhaps the honourable member would --
Mr. Cousens: I am just getting warmed up, Mr. Speaker. I move the adjournment of the debate.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Cousens has moved the adjournment of the debate.
All those in favour will say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion the ayes have it.
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 6:01 p.m.