Thank you. Good evening. As we all know, Canada is going through
an economic crisis. Three and a half years after the beginning of
the recession, GNP capita is still 5% below the 1989 level. The
political debt has become an albatross. Unemployment remains
stubbornly high. In short, the Canadian economy is in decline.
But Canada is also going through a political crisis. The failure
of Meech and the Charlottetown referendum have laid to rest all
hope of renewing the federal system. The status quo is costly and
offers no solution for the future because of the constant
overlapping of federal and provincial responsibilities and the
systematic inconsistencies it breeds. To solve the economic
crisis, we must solve the political crisis. No consistent economic
strategy can be devised that fits the needs and aspirations of both
Québec and Canada. There are two countries in this land. The Bloc
Québécois is a product of the times and of the will of Quebeckers
to control their own destiny. It’s a new political instrument,
which seeks to bring about a quiet resolution of the current
impasse. Thank you.
Thank you. Job creation is one of the Bloc’s top priorities. But
talk is cheap. If we want to really achieve job creation, the
government needs to invest. But where can we find the money. We
believe that we need a balanced approach. That we, it’s possible
to do that without touching the social programs and transfer
payments. The way to achieve the solution is to cut the military
budget, to suppress a lot of tax shelters and government fat.
Money saved here must be reinvested partly in job creation, partly
to reduce the deficit. And apart from public infrastructures, it’s
a good thing to replace sidewalks, but it’s not enough. We have to
stimulate private investment. We don’t do that enough. And one of
the measures we propose is a 20% investment tax credit, as well as
the creation of an industrial launching fund to stimulate
Personally, I can’t help finding Mr. Chrétien’s plan somewhat
simplistic. To count on the sights of trucks moving around our
city to trigger the renewal of the economy well is confusing. The
same thing when he says that we should get rid of the trade deal
with the United States. I don’t see think it could be achieved.
The trade deal has deficiencies. We have had some in Québec. Of
course, we are complaining about the lack of retraining programs.
But on the whole in Québec we accept it because we are free
traders. We are quite ready to take on the international
challenges of competition. And as we know, we were very
instrumental in adopting the trade deal. But when you say that you
can renegotiate the trade deal with the States this is very
dangerous. We have made victories there. We have a mechanism to
settle disputes that nobody has. And if you try to open up the
treaty you can lose everything.
Well, obviously, the protection that we give to social…to people
who have problems in Canada social, people who need social help
from the government is a value of Canada and Québec. We should
stick to it. It’s a great victory of our democracy. And I can’t
understand that all those platforms in many other parties are
threatening the social programs. So we have to do something to
protect the social programs. We have to extract the money from
where it is. The money is in the fat of the government. It is in
the military budget. It is in the tax shelters. I can’t, I can’t
understand why the Tory party is trying to threaten the social
parties when they keep those scandalous, ridiculous tax shelters
for example the family trust. This is not acceptable for Canadians
It is true that you said that to me last night. And that you still
tonight pledge to respect the will of the provinces before reducing
the levels of the transfer payments. But won’t you admit that in
1982 your government was the first to begin such unilateral cuts
against the provinces. So why should we believe you tonight, if
you did it in the past?
The problem we have with the Prime Minister’s stand on this
question of deficit reduction is that there are too many plans that
she has published. Last week was the rosy one. But we saw more
tough ones in May when she was running the leadership campaign.
She said that she would cut about 6 billion dollars in the
operating expenses of the government, which is about onethird of
the budget for the government, so which plan must we deal with,
which plan must we attack.
Which one? Which plan? Which one?
Oh. The last one.
Well, there is no contradiction in the platform of the Bloc. The
Bloc is a sovereignist country. The Bloc thinks with many, many
disappointed Québec federalists that there is no hope of any change
to the status quo. The status quo has been rejected by all
Quebeckers for the last 30 years. And all the efforts of the
political activity of Québec, all parties has been to get out of
the status quo, since we know because of Charlottetown and Meech
that it is not possible to change anything in the federal system,
we have to look at something different. And the only solution is
sovereignty. That’s why the support to the Bloc is not only people
who have disillusions. Those people who are not sovereignists that
will vote for the Bloc, I think, I submit very humbly, is because
they are sovereigntists in the process, they are federalists in the
process of becoming sovereigntists at the next referendum.
Our mandate will be, in the first part, will be to promote Québec’s
interest. We will not, we will not have any strings attach to old
parties to overall Canada imperatives. We’ll be very much our own
men and women for Québec. It doesn’t mean that we will be unjust.
It doesn’t mean that we will be stupid. If we think that there are
equitable measures to implement for other parts of the country for
the time we will be there, of course we will support it. But the
main thing is… that I don’t understand, I hear so many nice words
and probably very sincere intentions about how many reconciliation,
equity, justice, openness, dialogue, everything. And this has been
said for the last three years. Up to Charlottetown. We heard so
many nice things, and so many nice speeches during this time. At
the end it wasn’t possible to recognize Québec’s different. This
is the bottom of the problem. As long as English Canada will not
understand that people in Québec feel to be a people by themselves.
A specific collectivity with a strong desire to develop as such,
with one government in Québec, nothing could be achieved. And I
think it’s too late now. Because English Canada had so many great
occasions to achieve it. I was for Meech. I went into politics to
implement Meech. And I made a lot of speeches all over Canada for
that. And we failed. Well, there is something deep there. It’s
not because, I’m sure…it’s not because English Canadians are…
that they don’t like Quebeckers. Not at all. It’s because they
have a vision of their country. They have a right to love their
country and have an idea of their country as it should be. And
this is utterly respectable and I respect it. The problem is that
Quebeckers have a conflicting and as legitimate as their own vision
of their own country. So we need an additional country in the
land. That’s why there is a sovereignist movement in Québec.
That’s why there will be a Bloc in House I hope. Because the Bloc
will reflect a very important element of the political landscape,
I respect so much Mr. Chrétien’s view.
But it appears to me such a simplistic view. You dig your head in
the sand. You forget that we have a dysfunctional political
structure. That decisions cannot be made the right decisions
cannot be made. We have turmoil, quagmire, all sorts of problems
and you refuse to address the problem. You just, you just, say
it’s the Constitution, it doesn’t mean anything. Constitution is
the decisions are being made. It is the relationship between the
state, between the citizen and the state. It’s so important. It
is the basis of everything. You will never achieve anything to
settle the economic problem if you don’t do something to streamline
your decision making structure. That’s your problem. You’re
forgetting the main problem.
It’s done. It’s already achieved.
Well I think they will have to be received. It will be the
democratic will of Québec. Why shouldn’t the rest of the country
respect the democratic will of Québec. You don’t have any choice
if Québec decides to do that, it’s up to them.
I hope… I sincerely hope…Because I know the people they are
sincere and honest people. I hope that it will be the beginning of
some kind of dialogue. English Canada has to hear more about the
truth of Québec. They have to know the real message. Mr. Chrétien
is a federalist, I understand that will never deliver the real
message of Québec reality. And Québec reality is that now a
majority of people would like to become sovereign. That’s
They don’t dislike Canada. But they know that Canada doesn’t
fulfil their aspiration. And they have a people’s aspirations and
they want to fulfil them in their own way in their own political
No. No. That’s not true.
Excuse me, that’s not true.
I won’t let you say something like that. Quebeckers feel left out
as many other Canadians.
Well…about…Let me say something about that. This is very
important, you know, because it’s about legitimacy. Well I have no
problem going to Ottawa with my salary paid by the taxes of Québec.
Québec sovereigntists are paying taxes. No taxation without
representation. Those people have been paying taxes, heavy taxes
to Ottawa for so many years. Those taxes have been used against
them to promote federalism. Now is the time when they will decide
to send sovereigntists to Ottawa just to represent them. We are
not trying to destroy federalism. We are not trying to destroy
Canada. Not at all.
It’s already done. It’s done.
You don’t know what Quebeckers want. It’s obvious.
Well, that’s a point where the Bloc would agree with all the
parties in the House. Because the Bloc strongly supports
immigration. In Québec for example, I think that Québec is a
better place, more open place, a richer place since we have opened
the doors to immigration. It’s not easy because we have to set up
a French policy to integrate people. We have an accord with the
federal government. It doesn’t work too bad. This is one sector
where it has been possible to discuss openly with the federal
government. There should be some improvement in the accord but on
the whole I think that immigration should be one of the values of
Canada. We should be all proud. I was in Iraq for three years as
an ambassador. I travelled extensively around the world. We have
a great reputation for that. We should really try hard to keep.
Yes. I think that violence and mainly violence against women is
the ugly face of our society. This is something we should unite
against. And I think that we missed a great occasion to do
something much more intense as an effort after the horrible killing
of the University of Montreal of those girls who were killed
savagely by someone we heard about. We had an occasion there to
mobilize people in Canada to have tough gun control law and we
failed. We try in the House to toughen up the law and the
government couldn’t resist to the lobby from people, hunters and
all those people who love to have guns at home. But I think that
we should revisit the law. And it’s one thing to work at the root
of the problem and I agree with you Mr. Chrétien, but we have also
to work on the manifestation of the problem. And tougher gun
control law should be of the order.
Well the deficit is the monster. It is the real enemy. Some
people talk about jobs, jobs, jobs. And they don’t do anything
about it. It’s very good in politics to talk about jobs, jobs,
jobs, like Mr. Chrétien does for example, very effectively. But we
can’t create jobs if we don’t control the deficit. This is the
dark phase of what we have to do in government. And I personally
feel threatened by your plan Madame because your plan is so utterly
inadequate that it is a danger for all of us. I feel threatened
when I think about the burden that will fall on the shoulder of my
children, because we have nothing to fight the deficit. You can
say I have a deficit plan. A plan to reduce the deficit. We all
know and you personally know that it doesn’t work. You base it on
the rosy predictions, which have been the laughing stock of all
economists. When Mr. Mazenkowski made them, he never succeeded to
achieve any of his predictions. And here you are basing your
predictions on that. And Mr. Chrétien is doing the same. That’s
the worst thing of all. Both of you.
I would like to tell you I’m really worried by what you say.
Because we all know that your plan has already blown up.
Your plan. The last one. Well, the last one. Not the next one,
not the one before.
Your current plan. Let me ask you a question.
You want to be Prime Minister and form a government. Let me ask
you a question. We all know that the first year, the starting
point of your deficit reduction plan is the current year’s deficit.
The estimate is at 32 billion point 6. We know from the Minister
of Finance that for the first 12 months you are already overblown,
overdrawn by at least 3 billion dollars. So will you persist in
keeping this estimate as 32 billion point 6 or do you admit with
Claude Piché, the financial analyst from le journal La Presse of
Montreal that we are headed toward a deficit of 40 billion this
year. What is your position on this? What is your estimate now?
You know it. You know it. You’re the Prime Minister. You have
After the election, isn’t that too late? Isn’t that too late?
No, but not because, in spite of that.
Ms. Campbell. Another figure that will have a big influence on the
credibility of your deficit reduction plan is the real deficit of
the last completed fiscal year. What is the real deficit. Usually
we know it by August or September. We are in October and we still
don’t know it. And I think that you should tell the population
what will be, what has been the deficit of last year.
You should say that because you have an obligation to inform the
public about public accounts.
I had a question. Is that the answer? Is that the answer?
Madame, a simple figure. What is the real deficit?
You’re hiding it. You’re hiding the truth Madame.
You’re hiding this figure because it will destroy the credibility
of your plan.
Just answer the question.
I don’t say anything. I ask for a question.
But you don’t answer the question.
What is the real deficit of last year? It’s a simple question.
Yes or no.
There is no alternative for the truth.
What is the figure?
The only alternative is not to answer my question.
For thirty years now, English Canada has been asking what does
Québec want. Well Quebeckers want to live in a peaceful,
democratic and caring society. They want to prosper and create
opportunities for their children. They want to assume the normal
responsibilities of a modern nation. Canadians take pride and
rightly so in their political sovereignty just like almost every
other Western nation. Quebeckers want the same. No less, no more.
That’s what the Bloc is all about, when a system has broken down,
bold new departures are in order. The Bloc Québecois will play by
the rules of Parliament but won’t be shy in advancing Québec’s
interest or in promoting the only durable solution to our crisis,
a new arrangement based upon sovereignty for both Québec and
English Canada. Thank you.
Good evening. In the hundred days since I became Prime Minister of
Canada, I’ve been listening to Canadians all across the country.
I don’t see their problems as mere statistics. I see these faces
and hear the voices of real people who deserve real solutions to
their problems. As a women, a westerner and first political leader
of my generation, I share their frustration and the urgent need not
just to talk but to act. Government doesn’t have all the answers
but it has a responsibility to act on three fundamental issues:
The creation of real lasting jobs. Ending deficits and spiralling
taxes and protecting our social safety net. Higher deficits mean
higher taxes. Higher taxes kill jobs. And higher deficits erode
our social safety net. Tonight, I won’t be attacking the people on
this stage with me, but I will be telling you about their policies
and why I think they fail to reflect the real concerns of
Canadians. Mr. Manning has a plan to eliminate the deficit in
three years but it won’t work. And he has no plan to create jobs.
Mr. Chrétien has a plan to create jobs but it won’t work. And he
has no plan to eliminate the deficit. I have a plan to create jobs
and to eliminate the deficit without raising taxes. I have a plan
to preserve our social programs. Tonight, I look forward to
talking to you about that plan.
Well, I would agree with Mr. Manning’s analysis of the impact of
the debt and deficit on job creation. But I think you have to have
a constructive plan. I think Canadians understand that the
government cannot itself create jobs as such. That, that’s a very
expensive and ineffective way to create long term economic
prosperity. And they’re realists. And they will trust a party and
a government that give them honest answers to this question. We
have a four point plan. First of all, that involves investing in
small businesses and new businesses to help them grow. One of the
greatest barriers to small business creation and business growth is
lack of access to capital. A small change that we made in the
small business and loans act has just created 83,000 new jobs over
a fiscal year. That’s immediate short term job creation. We need
to help our businesses export more. 30% of our income comes from
exports. Every billion dollar of exports creates 15,000 new jobs.
Investing in science and technology and research and development,
very significant and also education and training. One of the most
significant barriers between Canadians and employment today is lack
of the proper skills. That’s our four point plan that is both
realistic and effective.
You know. It’s really wonderful. This is a repeat of all the
wonderful discussions we get in the House of Commons where the NDP
and the Liberals try to outdo themselves in their support for
trade. And yes we want to have trade. Yes we want to trade with
underdeveloped countries, but every time we have an agreement that
will in fact secure Canadian access to markets, they’re against it.
They want trade, but not with anybody in particular. Because after
all, that might require us to have some reciprocity. The big
Let me finish. The big problem to Mr. Chrétien’s job plan is that
would add 600 dollars in taxes to every Canadian household. Yet
It’s stimulative easy arithmetic. It’s stimulative. It’s 6
billion dollars in taxes none of the governments has any money to
do that. You’re really going to borrow it.
Well you’ve spent that money so many times and I hope you’re not
going to send people up in forty yearold helicopters. I hope
you’re going to spend the 2.5 billion dollars that’s necessary to
refit those helicopters.
Nobody is saying stay home. There is an important role for
government to play.
And the important role for government to play is to look at what
the barriers are to economic growth. What are the barriers to
employment. I’m travelling across the country and talking to
Canadians and a lot of the questions I get are for young people
coming out of university who are saying where am I going to get a
job. They want jobs that are going to use their skills. It is
important to have infrastructure but when the economy is booming
that money is there because offices are filled with people who are
doing business, paying taxes, paying rates and municipalities can
afford their jobs. What you’re doing is the old trick of the
government picking and choosing which sectors of the economy are
going to be stimulated instead of allowing those sectors of the
economy that are ready to grow, to grow because you take away the
barriers to their growth. That’s what we should be doing when we
are investing the very scarce resources of Canadians is liberating
that creative potential that’s there. And I’ll tell you it is
there. I’ve travelled this country and it’s there. I am very
hopeful about this.
I never said that and you know that.
Well I think you play fast and loose with the truth.
Oh. So you’re talking you’re going to finish the FTA. We’re not
going to cancel the FTA.
Well I think the reason why Canadians are afraid about the future
of social programs is they know that we have a serious debt and
deficit problem. And they’re concerned that the first kneejerk
reaction of people looking to cut the deficit will be to attack
social programs. And that’s why I set out very clearly how I would
eliminate the deficit without doing that. I don’t think it’s
necessary. I think our social programs, many of them, need to be
reformed to work better for Canadians. I mean unemployment
insurance is based on a model that was developed in the 1960s.
When we gave UI during an economic downturn, people would expect
basically to go back to the same job. Our economy is going through
a serious period of restructuring now. Very often people need new
jobs. We need to do more with UI. We need to provide training.
We are now providing about 3.8 billion dollars a year in training.
We need to do more. But I think…I’m fundamentally committed to
preserving our social programs, which is why I feel so passionately
about dealing with our deficit problem because it’s in fact the
ticking time bomb which if not defused, will in fact kill our
social programs. But we don’t need to kill them if we act now to
eliminate the deficit.
You know, I…Sorry.
I should let Mr. Chrétien answer the question.
Well, the problem with your plan Mr. Chrétien is it’s going to lead
to higher taxes, it’s guaranteed to erode our ability to pay for
social programs because you’ve agreed that you’re going to accept
an ongoing perpetual deficit at 3% of the gross domestic product,
which in fact is a recipe for bankruptcy. My plan to eliminate the
deficit in five years, in fact does not involve cutting social
programs. There is a consensus in the health care system, that
there is enough money in the system. It needs to be managed
better. And right now the federal minister of health and the
provincial ministers of health are working very hard on ways to
make that happen. None of the provinces is asking us to scrap the
Canada Health Act. And I, I don’t think it’s necessary. I agree
with Audrey McLaughlin, that the importance of our social programs
goes far beyond quality of life. Although quality of life is in
and of itself an extremely important factor. I don’t think you can
begin to quantify what it means for Canadians. We’re a very large
country with a very mobile labor force. We want people to be able
to make reasonable decisions about where they go to work. If
they’re worried about portability of their benefits, if they’re
afraid of accepting a better job some place else is going to lose
them their medical insurance maybe because they have somebody in
their family who’s claiming and they’re not going to be able to get
reinsured. That’s a terrible affect on our society. And that is
why I have been so determined to show Canadians, you do not have to
sacrifice our social programs to eliminate the deficit if we start
now and we make the cuts in sensible places we don’t have to touch
I’ve set out exactly where I’m going to cut it. More cuts to cost
of government. More cuts to the department of defense. More cuts
to subsidies to business. I…a careful plan. Mr. Chrétien, you
don’t have a plan. You don’t even recognize that there’s a
Well I actually set out a budget that says that you can do that.
People wanted specificity and I did that.
In that envelope, I’ve said we’re going to look in that envelope.
There’s one area that I’ve left 1.1 billion dollars over that five
year period to find. And we’re looking for that in areas of
duplication and overlap between the federal government and the
provinces. We’ve already started that process. We’ve starting to
find that it’s working very well with Alberta and other provinces.
The problem, the problem…
Just a minute. You’re the laughing stock because you know that the
deficit is 8 billion dollars by ’87 by ’97. You know that Mr.
Well I’m very happy to answer your question. First of all, Mr.
Chrétien is playing is playing fast and loose with the truth and he
knows it. There is a plan in place as of the last budget. To take
very severe expenditure cuts including 14 billion cuts in the
Department of National Defense over the next five years.
The last government budget.
Which takes us to ’97/’98 to an 8 billion dollar deficit. And
that’s the 8 billion dollars that I have to eliminate between then
and the fifth year of my new government and I’ve made it very clear
how to do that. I’ve already put in place a restructuring and
downsizing of the Canadian government that will result in 3 billion
dollars in savings in costs. So I’ve already acted. The first day
I became Prime Minister, I introduced a restructuring that will
save 3 billion dollars in costs in government.
Well, as a British Columbian, I come from a part of the country
that sometimes feels frustrated and alienated. A long way from the
centre of power. When I go to Québec, I feel very well accepted
and I speak French like a British Columbian. And I have the accent
to prove that. I think what creates that sense of disillusionment
and alienation among people very often is the sense that government
is not at the service of the people. And I think what we need to
do is both to articulate a vision of the country. I think a lot of
Quebeckers don’t know how many tens of thousands of British
Columbians send their children to French immersion schools because
they believe in the French fact in Canada. I started my political
career as a school trustee. I’ve lived with this issue. And it’s
very, very important for people in my part of the country to show
their belief in Canada and it’s bicultural and bilingual quality.
That’s a labor of love for them to do that. But I think most
importantly we have to work to make government credible and to make
federalism work for people. Instead of elbowing each other out of
the way in jurisdiction, to work together to use the federal
jurisdiction and provincial jurisdictions in a way that puts the
citizen at the centre to give them better service. That I think is
going to be very important for convincing Quebeckers and other
Canadians that federalism works.
Well, the genius of federalism. And it’s an probably the only
person on this stage that has served at all three levels of
government. The genius of federalism is that it allows individual
regions and provinces to develop in certain ways on their own.
While at the same time creating a national identity and creating
national approach to problems.
And we have to develop these things. But I believe… and I come
from a part of a country as I say, that has often felt resentful of
powerful central Canada. It’s one reason why I ran for Parliament
and I think the biggest hoax that Mr. Bouchard would like to play
on the people of Québec is to suggest that somehow they could serve
their interest sitting in opposition. I can tell you as a British
Columbian that is a recipe for powerlessness that is frustrating.
But it will serve Mr. Bouchard’s purpose because he really wants to
discredit federalism in Québec. So it will be very good for him.
It won’t be good for Quebeckers.
But what’s interesting is that I believe Quebeckers do feel very
strongly that they are both Quebeckers and Canadians. And that’s
why your leader Mr. Parizeau has said that when Québec separates,
Quebeckers will keep their Canadian citizenship. So there’s an
extraordinary contradiction there. And I believe that Quebeckers
can be both just as British Columbians feel very strongly and
powerfully that they’re British Columbians but also feel very
deeply that they’re Canadians. And I understand that duality and
I think it’s something that exists throughout the country. But we
have created a unique social and political culture in this country
that works. The whole really is greater than the sum of it’s
parts. And I think that what Mr. Bouchard is recommending for
Quebeckers is a recipe for powerlessness in Ottawa, and futality in
But what Quebeckers and all Canadians want, they want government to
work, they want government to work for them. They don’t want
government to put the Constitution in the middle of their agenda.
They want people to be the middle of their agenda. What Quebeckers
want is for all levels of government to work together to serve it.
That’s why the first thing that I did as Prime Minister is to call
a meeting of the First Ministers and I have been working with them
over the summer. That’s why I’ve said I wouldn’t change social
programs unilaterally. That’s why I’ve said we have to have a
national strategy on deficit and debt because it’s a problem we all
share together. That’s why I’ve been working with the provinces
and particularly with Québec because Québec’s been out in advance
on this in developing a labour market development program that will
provide for Quebeckers and the rest of Canadians for the first time
some real strategic planning on training them for the labor force
instead of bickering with one another and trying to elbow one
another out of the way and get’s working across the…we’re going
to bring people together. The federal government..
Well two things. First, all of the 250 thousand immigrants who
will come to Canada this year about 100 thousand are independent or
business immigrants and their families. And they come in
specifically to create economic activity. The rest are mostly
family reunification for people who are already here. When I
restructured the government in June, I created a department of
human resources which now includes all of our approaches to
training, all of our approaches to income security and our
approaches to create immigration policy. In other words, the
policy about who comes to Canada and how many immigrants we can
successfully assimilate into our society every year is made
precisely in the context of Canada’s labor market needs that’s
always been the case and it will continue to be the case. I think
what’s important is to make sure that we have the proper followup
services. And as somebody you know who served the three levels of
government including at the municipal level as a school trustee,
there’s always been this tension about who pays for language
training etc. And I think we can do better, in making sure that we
provide the services necessary to integrate immigrants very quickly
into Canadian society. But they are without question an economic
plus and our policy is based on that economic analysis.
Well, if I can you know perhaps speak up a word for the new
federalism that Mr. Manning talks about. I think the most
important thing with immigration policy is that it be intelligent.
And it is in fact an area of shared jurisdiction in Canada. And
we’ve been looking to enter into agreements with the provinces to
help create welltargeted, sensitive policies in terms of
immigration and immigrant settlement that meet the needs of
individual provinces. And Québec of course was one of the
pionneers there and I’m delighted to hear that Mr. Bouchard thinks
the accord is a positive thing because I understand you voted
against it. But I think it is a model…
No. I think we signed an agreement, maybe this is…
Well, there were changes to the agreement that Mr. Bouchard voted
against. The point is that it is an area of policy where the
country is very different. We’ve made changes to the immigration
act that enable us to direct immigrants to certain parts of the
country. Although once they’re there, I mean, the mobility rights
of the Charter are there and they’re free to go where they want.
The important thing is that the policy reflect the needs of
Canadians and I think you can’t answer the question with of the
numbers game, unless you can show that there’s you know explicit
reason to do that. There are, I come from a part of the country
that’s one of the major receivers of immigration. Vancouver, the
most important thing there, the city has been enormously enriched
by as has Toronto, I mean Toronto, which used to be the dullest
place ever, is actually a wonderful place, but it does put, you
know enormous amounts of immigrants do challenge us to have the
services necessary to make sure people can integrate quickly into
Canadian society. And that’s a challenge. And unless proven
otherwise, I think the current levels are working well.
Well, perhaps you ought to rad the policy because the restructuring
of government puts all of the policy with respect to immigration to
the human resources department. And it makes it very clear that
the government of Canada regards immigrants as valuable human
resources. But the government of Canada…
But the enforcement of the law in terms of the things that protect
Canadian security goes into one department. The problem with the
government of Canada is that we have law enforcement
responsibilities that were divided between half a dozen different
departments. It was an extremely costly way of performing services
for Canadians. And there are aspects of law enforcement that
happen to relate to immigration, that happen to relate to the
security of our borders, that were previously in national revenue
that happen to relate to other aspects of our national integrity
that have been brought into that department. But immigration is I
mean, it’s like saying that we’ll be treating people who cross the
borders as criminals because we’re putting that enforcement in the
department of national security.
Well you have an interest in distorting the policy.
Well, I think we’ve done an enormous amount to try an make Canada
safer. Doug Lewis as Solicitor General brought in some very
significant changes to the Parole Act, which has really
strengthened the hands of the courts and strengthened the hands of
parole boards in terms of violent and dangerous offenders. As
Justice Minister, I brought in equivalent changes to the Criminal
Code with respect to sentencing. Once again to put tools in the
hands of the courts to make sure that they have the tools that they
needed in terms of sentencing to keep people who were a danger to
society in jail for a period of time in terms of their eligibility
for parole. The two, Justice and Solicitor General had to work
together. But Minister Lewis in fact did respond very quickly to
the need to strengthen, to create a new dangerous offenders act
that would deal with that issue. He brought it forward in May and
after the election it will be one of my highest priorities to enter
it quickly into Parliament and have it quickly passed to deal with
the problem that you’re talking about, which is a loophole in the
law that results from the merging of sentences.
I’ve already done that.
Well first of all. I’m the only party leader who has a plan both
to eliminate the deficit and to create jobs. And the only
realistic plan to eliminate the deficit because if you think
there’s problems with my numbers you should see Mr. Manning’s. And
Mr. Chrétien doesn’t even recognize the problem he’s prepared to
entertain deficits in perpetuity. There’s a very simple reason why
the deficit has to be eliminated because it is as I say, the
ticking time bomb that is eating away at our resources and putting
all of our other programs in jeopardy. The only criticism of my
deficit plan, it is in fact a complete and an open one. It will
work. It is realistic. The only criticism made by economists is
with respect to the projections on economic growth. We’re all
using the same projections and I’ve made it very clear that if
these projections are off in my plan over five years, there can be
corrections every year. But there has to be a plan. There has to
be a commitment to eliminate the deficit. And our party is the
only party that recognizes that, that has a plan that does not put
our social programs at risk. That does not simply displace the
problem and raise taxes.
I’ve never voted against a cut in expenditures either.
Well first of all, I want to state again my commitment to eliminate
the deficit in five years. Because I think unless we do that, this
country is in serious trouble. I’ve made first of all an
unalterable commitment not to increase taxes because I don’t think
we can afford to increase taxes. I think that’s economically
destructive and will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs of
job creation. I started out on this significant downsizing and
restructuring of government. The first day I became Prime
Minister, I put my money where my mouth is. And I said I did what
people said couldn’t be done. I decreased the size of cabinet by
10. I restructured government to make savings and these are well
documented of 3 billion dollars over five years. I’ve added now
Mr. Chrétien does not have 35 billion dollars worth of cuts in his
approach to cut the deficit, which means he accepts the fact that
we have expenditure cuts going on now as a result of the last
budget and decisions before that will in fact take us on the
department of finance estimates to 8 billion dollars in deficit the
year before I’m planning to eliminate the deficit. So I’ve
proposed another 5.8 billion additional cuts over that five years.
There’ll be another 5 million dollars savings in interest. And
I’ve indicated that I want to sit down with the provinces to find
that other 1.1 billion dollars but also to create a national debt
management plan. You can’t just off load the problem onto the
provinces because they’ll raise your taxes. There has to be a
national strategy to deal with our national debt and indebtedness.
60 billion dollar national deficit. As well as 32 million…
But my light has not gone on yet.
Where’s your plan?
Your plan. Where’s your plan?
So where’s your plan?
Well I don’t have crystal ball either. All I can do is work with
the numbers that are there.
And the commitment to correct them. The fundamental thing is the
commitment to eliminate the deficit. I’ve made that commitment
over five years. There are cuts in place in the system. What I’ve
said is that as soon as the election are over I will table in
Parliament a complete uptodate statement of our financial
Put before, put before the Parliament committee options for deficit
reduction. Get the input of the Canadian people on setting
priorities. Now I have set out a plan that given the existing
But I have indicated that that plan has to be corrected based on
the economic changes. It’s too early in the fiscal year to know in
fact where we’re going to be on the deficit. You know that.
That was the problem.
But the Americans have a huge debt.
Let’s talk about this question of credibility on the deficit though
Mr. Manning. Because you say that you have a plan and your numbers
don’t add up. Your growth…
Your growth projections are as optimistic if not more optimistic
then the ones that are the basis of my deficit reduction plan. You
You are suggesting for example you can get three and a half billion
dollars out of old age security. And you say well it’ll only
affect family incomes over 54,000 dollars. Now economists say no,
in fact you’d have to claw back every cent of old age security for
family incomes over 35,000.
Your own research director, just let me finish. Let me finish.
Just because they’re in my riding. There’s a lot of things in my
riding I don’t agree with.
Just…Your own research director has now backed down and said no,
no, no it’s probably 45,000 dollars. The fact of the matter is you
want to solve the problem of the deficit on the back of the old and
the unemployed. You want 4 million dollars out of unemployment
insurance. You have to add payroll taxes. You’re going, let me
finish, because you’re talking about credibility.
But your numbers are completely bogus. You would offload to the
provinces and increase people’s taxes. It’s a completely bogus
I have put forward a plan…
…to balance the budget by 1988/99 based on the existing
projection that does not touch those. Now…
Now what we have to do. Your approach would kill the economy.
Let’s talk about… But let’s talk about.
But let’s talk about what’s at issue here. What’s at issue here is
the choice between a party on the one hand that doesn’t even think
the deficit is a problem. That thinks that we can continue
sustaining… That thinks that we can…
…a deficit of 3% of our gross domestic product in perpetuity. He
doesn’t see the problem.
Mr. Manning…Let me finish. Mr. Manning has a proposal to
eliminate the deficit that would be on the back of the poor, on the
back of the middle class.
That won’t work and will kill the economy, increase taxes.
What you’re saying about me is that I have a plan.
That I have a plan to eliminate the deficit and that…
And you’re asking the question. I have a very clear plan to
eliminate the deficit. But that it may need some corrections. The
…that I am committed to doing it.
Are you, what what is the alternative to may plan?
To may plan.
There is no alternative. You have no alternative. Give us your
alternative plan. You’re wringing your hands about the deficit.
What is your plan to eliminate the deficit?
Thank you. Tonight you’ve seen the choice before you on October
25th. If you’re concerned about jobs, two people on this stage
offer a plan. The Liberals will spend 6 billion dollars to make
work projects. I have set out a realistic plan to create lasting
jobs. If you’re concerned about the deficit, there are also only
two people on this stage who offer a plan. Reform will attack the
deficit on the backs of the poor, the sick, the elderly, and
provincial tax payers. Our plan will eliminate the deficit without
raising taxes or compromising our social programs. If you’re
concerned about both the deficit and jobs there is only one party
which has a plan to deal with both. Reform has no plan for job
creation. And the Liberal’s plan for the deficit to spend more
than they take in forever. Our challenge is to create jobs by not
forgetting people. I have the passion and commitment to meet this
challenge but to do this I need you. Thank you.
Good evening. For me this election is about jobs and economic
growth. About protecting medicare, about returning honesty and
integrity to public life and about maintaining political stability
in a united Canada. It’s completely unacceptable that in a country
like Canada 1.6 million people are unemployed. 46% of those who
have jobs are afraid of loosing them. For the first time in our
history parents believe that the future of their children will be
less promising than their own. It’s time for change. That’s why
I’ve assembled a new team of outstanding women and men in every
province. They are committed to serving the people not themselves.
And it’s why I we have developed a realistic plan for job and
economic growth for today, not only for the year 2000. Above all,
this election is about people and about which party has the best
team and the best plan to put Canada back to work. It’s about
restoring dignity and hope for a better future. You deserve
Because we have worked very hard to develop the plan that we have
made public. We have put it in writing. We have a program of
creation of jobs, an infrastructure in housing. We have a youth
core that we want to create. We talked about apprenticeship. We
talked about small and mediumsized business that need some help.
And 85% of the jobs are created by the small and medium sized
businesses. We have to help them in financing and export and what
not. And it is a priority of the people of Canada today. They
want us to create jobs and it is last week the IMF and the Group of
Seven they said that the Western industrialized nations should give
at this point priority to job creating and economic growth. And
it’s why we have put it in writing, it’s all well documented. The
costs are there and we have told the Canadian people where we will
cut to get the money to create these jobs and create growth.
You know. We cannot claim that this program will clear all the
problems. I mentioned that 85% of the jobs are created by small
and medium sized businesses. But when the people are unemployed it
is the time to build up the infrastructure of the nation, because
costs are low. And it’s not only a program that makes some, some
sense at this moment. It is being demanded by all municipalities
of Canada. And two weeks ago in Varek, Nova Scotia, the premier
asked for a program of job creation of this nature. It’s exactly
what they are doing at this moment in Japan. They are doing that
in United States. They are doing that in Germany. They’re
investing in the infrastructure and it’s much better when you get
out and you go in the street and you see for sale, bankrupt,
unemployment. You know you don’t spend your money. But when you
see some economic activities, when you see some building erected,
some truck moving, you feel good and you spend your money and it’s
why we want to do that. And we said that since some time and why
the IMF and the Group of Seven ten days ago said to the industrial
world stop what Mr. Manning is talking about, just inflation and
deficit cutting. They say it’s the time to invest. That is the
policy of 1990 that was recommended but for 1992 they say we have
to put the people back to work because we’re developing another
class in Canadian society and the industrial world. And it’s time
to when we have spare money and people available is to put them to
work to create the wealth that will be shared by all the people of
We always voted against this deal. But you, you’re completely
unrealistic Madame McLaughlin when you want to build a wall around
We are the biggest trading nation in the world. You know per
capita we are the biggest trading nation in the world. So we want
to renegotiate that.
How can you say that?
Non. We’re cancelling your helicopter to get the money. Those
helicopter that nobody wants. We’ll take the money there.
Yes but it was, we were getting out of a recession and it is when
we are into a recession is a time…
…to spend money and kick start the economy at this time.
And at that time, Mr. Mulroney was a new fresh face said to
Canadian, you know, I will reduce the deficit. In nine years he
had turn it 2 billion dollar on average of deficit every year.
But you do nothing. You do nothing when the people are starving
out there and they want the dignity to go to work. You say stay
home we’ll pay this debt.
It’s you Madame Campbell who said to the young people of Canada
don’t call us we’ll call you in year 2000.
You said that and…
But you know, in the treated, the FTA agreement clause 1906. It is
written there that in the seven years following the introduction of
the free trade agreement, the Americans are obligated by treaty to
sit down with the Canadian government to make clear the definition
of what is dumping and what is a subsidy. That area is an
obligation by the American to sit down with us and it’s exactly
what Mr. Ritchie said yesterday. He said the obligation is there,
the Tories tried to take it away in their negotiation from with
NAFTA and we say no let’s finish the FTA and let’s have a clear
definition of something…
Non, non. I say that I want to have a clear definition because
what has been the problem over the last five years, it’s…they
have imposed unilaterally, you know, duties on soft wood lumber, on
magnesium, on cars, on wheat, on all sort of products because there
is no definition. When we’ll have a definition, they will respect
the definition, we will respect the definition and we will be able
to beat them. But we need a definition.
Mr. Manning, under clause 1907…
Yes. It’s not a renegotiation Mr. Manning. The Americans have
agreed in the treaty to sit down with Canada to give us a
I say that I have five conditions that I want to renegotiate or
negotiate. Two have been already reopened, Madame Campbell and
Mr. Mulroney said we could not reopen at all and they have re
opened at the demand of President Clinton the question on labor and
the question on the environment. I say I want to have a clear
definition of what is dumping and what is subsidy. They are
obligated to sit down with us two more years.
We have not, Mr. Manning, negotiated as yet the definition. And
they are obligated to do that in the first seven years after the
No. We did not have the opportunity to defeat it because the
Tories had more voters than us. They had the majority, we were not
having the majority.
We were there and we voted against every proposition on that
because we were not satisfied.
We voted against it in every stage and in other stages your people
were not there either.
For me Canadians have always believed in shared social
responsibility. We’ve done it quite well in Canada over a long
period of time through medicare, old age security plan, Canada
pension plan and unemployment insurance. And I want to maintain
that because it is you know the dignity of everybody. But when we
talk about medicare, when you go on the path that you want to go
Mr. Manning, you know, to start to use user fees, what will
Yes you said that. You said that the rich will have access to
better services if they can pay for that. So eventually you have
a system for the rich and a system for the poor.
Here in Canada, we going into…
Thank you Madame. When in Canada we go in an hospital it’s not
because we are rich. It’s because we are Canadian citizens and we
are sick. And I don’t want that system to chance and it’s why I
want to make sure that medicare remain universal and free for every
citizen in our land.
Yes. I think that we have to put this problem in perspective. In
Canada we spent 9% of GNP for medical care for all citizens. In
United States with their private sector system that you love so
much Madame Campbell and Mr. Manning…
You know, they spend 14 % of their GNP for their medical services.
There are 30 million people who are not covered. So, we don’t want
that system in Canada. In fact, the Americans are trying to copy
our own system. But one of the big problem that we have had with
medicare and other transfer payments with the Tory administration
is we sign five years agreement with the provinces. Before, when
it was signed the federal government always respected the
No. Let me finish. Since the last agreement, the Tories, and at
that time Mr. Bouchard, was a minister with Madame Campbell with
Mr. Mulroney they started to cut every year since 1989 a little
bit, a little bit, a little bit. And I say to the provinces, when
we will renegotiate that next year, we’ll sign for five years and
we’ll keep our word and you will be able to plan your work. That
is a big flaw when you don’t give them the security of revenues to
run their programs.
I said yesterday in reply to Mr. Bouchard that I promise that they
will not go down and I hope that we’ll be able to increase them.
I don’t know. Can you say to what level you would increase it?
You cannot do that until you have a budget.
No. I say to Mr. Bouchard that you know, for us in the plan that we
have give to the Canadian public, we say clearly that the transfer
payment has to be maintained. And that we have to maintain the
same level of transfer for all the programs for the next five
years. Not only medicare but university and other social programs.
And I guarantee that we’ll do that.
Where you making cuts?
For me, it’s unbelievable what the Prime Minister is telling us
tonight. You know, she propose in her speech last week she was to
cut about a billion a year. And the deficit is 35 billion. You
know when that came out it was the laughing stock of everybody.
The Globe and Mail and the reality check said that was making no
sense. You cut a 6 billion dollar out of 35 billion dollar and you
say you would go to zero. La Presse, La Presse said it was a big
lie. It was a big lie. You, it’s not me.
Because 6 billion dollar that you are cutting over five year and
you have a deficit of 35 billion dollar a year. Come on, be
For me, I think that building Canada is a work of everybody.
Canada has been always a fragile nation. I always been a strong
federalist in Québec and I always have the same speech in Québec
and outside of Québec. And I have a lot of scars to prove it. But
I have to tell you that I’m not a pessimist about Canada. I
believe that the majority of the Quebeckers when that will come
down to choose, they will always choose Canada because you know
they intrinsictly know very well that if we are still French today,
it’s because we were part of Canada. The francophones who were
part of the United States in the Northern part of the United States
have been assimilated. But we have the magic in Canada to make a
country where it is possible to be different. And it will at the
same time. And I’m going across the nation and everybody knows
that I’m French. You know, I have the proper accent to prove it.
And…and I’m comfortable everywhere. And when I see as I said
yesterday, Madame McLaughlin and Madame Campbell debating in
French, that’s proving to Mr. Bouchard that Canada is much better
today then it was 30 years ago and we have to keep fighting to keep
Canada together. And I will.
You know, for me, I would like to say to Mr. Bouchard that there is
a million francophones outside of Québec who are as francophone as
you and I and who wants us to remain in Canada. But, then people
and people of Québec too what they want of us at this moment is not
discuss Constitution. I’ve travelled in Québec and they tell me
stop talking Constitution. I was in Gaspé and they told me Mr.
Chrétien, if you promise to us that when you will be Prime Minister
you will that you will never talk Constitution, you will die Prime
Minister, they said to me. So the people want us to talk about
jobs. They want us to talk about a good society where we can be
have integrity, compassion, sharing, these are the values that the
francophone share with the anglophone Canadians. We have a lot in
common in Canada. And to…the obsession with the Constitution
will never resolve the problem. Madame McLaughlin is right. We
have to create a society in Canada that is just and that is
generous enough that the francophone and the anglophone will live
very happy in our land. So that is my view. I’ve said that for a
long, long time. And I’m still a federalist and Québec is still in
Confederation. And I will quit politics in many years from now and
Québec will still be part of Canada. I’m sure of it.
When you’re talk about Constitution you’re not talking about the
real problem. It’s an easy way out.
I have heard that story since 1965 that next year was the last
year. And I’m still around. You know, it’s not true. I know
Quebeckers. They like the ambivalence of being you know they are
very proud of being Quebeckers but they are very happy to be part
of Canada. And they don’t want basically to choose. And.. if I
could finish Mr. Bouchard.
You know Mr. Manning you’re proposing to me to get back at the
Constitutions table next month, after I will become Prime Minister.
Forget about it because I won’t be there. I want to deal with the
jobs and economic growth. That’s what the Quebeckers want today.
This is the problem. But it’s easy when you don’t want to talk
about the real problem. You say I have the solution for new
federalism. Federalism is a complex system…
But in 1903 I guess Mercier who was then the Premier of Québec
voted the separation of Québec from Canada. A little bit like
Joseph Howe did in 1869 in Nova Scotia. This has always been
there. And I’m sorry to, not sorry, I know it will always be
there. There’s always some people who will want to fight that.
But we have shown to the world, that it is possible to have a
country with two official languages that work.
And that you can have a different type of people in Canada. And it
is an example to the world. There will be a lot of talks about it,
but talks is not dangerous. We’re still together.
For me, I don’t, I cannot disagree because we seem to be all in
agreement that immigration is a very positive force in our society.
Of course it have been, that’s the way that Canada was created.
You know when in the end of this last century when Laurier was the
Prime Minister he opened the West and in order to create wealth in
Canada he got people coming from all over the world to build this
part of Canada. So this land of ours is very big and there’s still
a lot of opportunity. And when an immigrant comes to Canada you
have to realize that he become an asset right away because we don’t
have to pay for his education, you don’t have to pay for most of
things. He arrive ready to be a consumer. So I think that having
1% of our population as immigrant in Canada, it is something that
we can do. And there is another element too. If despite our
problems we’re still a rich country and we should open our doors to
people who loot at Canada as the best land in the world. So we’re
all in agreement on that.
That’s why we don’t want to break Canada, we have a great
No. It don’t want to get into a numbers game and bidding and over
bidding. I just say that it’s good. And for us the current level
of immigration in Canada is not a bad one. I think that 250
thousand people a year, the economy can absorb it. Because, you
know, you have to realize that when they arrive here they are
consumers the first day. They buy a car, they buy a home, they buy
furniture. You know they are a very positive asset and they work
very hard. And it’s very rare that you find them you know, in the
faculties they tend to work together. The family are helping each
other. The different groups are helping each other to find a
proper place. So for us it’s very good. Nobody has proven to me
that this level is too high today. If it were to cause
unemployment and cause social problems I will not hesitate to
revise it. But nobody has been able to make the case that they are
causing problem at this time.
No, no no. It was done when the Liberals were in power. He was
not there in those days.
I’ve been around for a long time. And I intend to be around for
another many more years.
Well for me, I agree that we have to have a tougher gun control
laws. For me, I don’t think that hand guns should be available as
easily as it is. It’s all right to be a hunter but why to let
people have hunt guns, ah, hand guns in Canada. I don’t think we
need that type of thing. We much to have much tougher laws there.
We have to have reform, as has been mentioned, the Young Offenders
Act. We have to have a real fight to make sure that we have tough
laws against violence you know on women because it’s been a big
problem in our society and zero tolerance should be the objective
of everybody. But the problem that we have to talk about very much
is, it’s coming as Madame McLaughlin said, it’s the roots where
it’s coming from. And it’s always when you have poverty in the
family, when people are not working, when there is misery. That is
where, you know, these problems develop more. And it’s why we say
that we have to give priority to the dignity of every citizen.
That they can have a job. That we have better system where people
are more comfortable with themselves. And if we don’t address
these problems of work and no more welfare and unemployment for
nothing but let them contribute to society. They will fell good
about themselves and there will be much less crime. And it’s why
we say jobs, it’s our priority number one.
I would like just to add a little point that I would like to
Yes. I just say that we have to deal with the problem of violence
on TV too. That is a very big problem these days. And it’s more
concern in Canada and United States. But it’s very high priority
because you know I’m sure that it’s causing a lot of people just to
try to do it because they see too much of it on TV.
Oh yes. Thank you very much. One page 111 in this book Madame
Campbell was saying that we’re cutting expenditures, more than the
money we’ll spend in programs to kick start the economy, including
your helicopters. It’s all there. We want to reduce the deficit.
In this plan we have been very clear. We took two years to make
this plan. It was not made on the back of an envelop like your
plan that you’ve shown to us last week. But what is important at
this time is to control expenditures but the best way to reduce the
deficit is to get the people working. When they are working they
pay taxes. They increase the wealth of the nation. And today the
IMF and the G7, last week said to us Canadians and to the Germans
and to the Americans, stop fighting deficit and inflation. The
problem number one is to create jobs and growth. And we were
saying that to the Canadians since a year and a half, so that is
the solution. To control expenditures but increase the growth in
the economy and the number of jobs.
I heard all that in ’84. You know the fresh new face of the day,
Mr. Mulroney said to us that he was to reduce the deficit and he
was to reduce the debt. For nine years we had an average of more
than 32 billion dollar of deficit a year and the debt went from 160
to 460 billion dollar. So I have Minister of Finance and all these
Non, non, non. Five years plan. You say that it will go there.
I’ll give you an example from your own books. Your own Minister of
Finance, four years ago predicted for this year that the deficit
was to be, for last year, to be 14 billion dollar. Every year it
was revised upward until it was 35. This year, they made a
prediction for 32. The Minister of Finance says it might be, you
know, it will be higher. Some predict 40. So when you’re there,
there so many elements there, that to come and make this big
promise that I Preston Manning, or I Kim Campbell, I will reduce
the deficit to zero. You know it’s a promise that is empty because
there is so many factor coming into play, nobody can do that.
I would like to ask a question of Mr. Manning. The most, most
important and the richest nation in the world, country in the world
is United States, can you tell me how many times since 1932 they
have zero deficit in their budget?
And they became the richest country in the world anyways. So that
prove one thing is the deficit…
No, no. But I say to you. The problem, the problem is you have to
finance the operation.
No. I say that there is not a country in the world…
Remember, remember after the war. We had a big debt in Canada. A
big, big debt. You know bigger than today. And we managed to get
out of it.
Because we created growth. We invited immigrants to come to
Canada. We create jobs. That is the way that we’ve done it. And
eventually, there was always a deficit.
You don’t have a plan.
Madame Campbell. Here we are today…
Jobs and economic growth must be the priority of the next
government. I have always been guided by the basic value of
honesty, integrity, compassion and tolerance. These are the values
that will inspire the Liberal government. Together we have been a
great country. Now more than ever we need a truly national
government to restore confidence and hope. We have a realistic
plan. We have an outstanding team. We can make the difference.
On October 25th, you will be voting not only for a political party,
a leader and a team. You will be voting for values, for jobs and
for your futures. Let’s get Canadians back to work. That’s why
I’m asking for your support.
Good evening. In last night’s debate, we saw the other leaders
arguing amongst themselves about the Constitution. Do you want
four more years of constitutional bickering? Or do you want Ottawa
to deal with the issues that are of real concern to you and your
family. Canadians are telling me that they’re worried about
whether their future will include the security of social programs
like health care. They’re right to worry. Ms. Campbell’s
government has already cut health care by 8 million dollars a day
and has a hidden agenda to cut even more. Mr. Manning wants
private health care and private hospitals. One level of care for
the rich and another for the rest of us. Mr. Chrétien claims he’ll
defend medicare, but the Liberals also promised to fight free trade
and they gave up that fight. Can you afford to have them give up
on medicare? Ottawa should go after the rich who’ve been getting
a free ride and leave your medicare alone. While you worry about
your sons’ and daughters’ future, will they have a decent job, the
sons and daughters of Canadian millionaires see their future
protected through tax free trusts. You pay taxes but not them.
That’s wrong. And together we can change that. We need men and
women who will fight for medicare and defend fair taxes. Tonight,
I ask you to consider this: Canadians risk loosing medicare if we
do not defend it in this election. The next election will be too
Yes. We need a coherent, long term jobs plan in this country. And
we must have an equilibrium between addressing the deficit and
addressing job creation. And, there’s no way that you can address
the debt and the deficit without increasing employment in this
country. We’ve got to stop the myth that unemployment is free.
Unemployment costs this country, 30 billion a year. So we have a
jobs plan. Short term, infrastucture program, a national child
care program. Medium term, an investment fund to stimulate small
business. Not hand outs, but grants. Long term research and
development. If we are going to develop the jobs of the future, we
have to invest in education and research and development. We have
to scrap the Tory trade deals. They cost Canadians 250 jobs a day
since 1988. And so we have to have a comprehensive plan that also
includes a fair tax system. I am very proud and confident that our
plan will achieve the objectives that we have set out.
But Mr. Chrétien, you want to put people back to work but what is
in fact your jobs plan. Does it keep in place the trade deals, the
Canada/US trade deal, and proceeding with NAFTA, which we know
since 1988 has helped to put 250 Canadians out of work a day. How
can you say you have a jobs plan that will create work on the one
hand and refuse when you have the chance in the House of Commons I
might add, to defeat NAFTA. Your party stayed home. You didn’t
defeat NAFTA. You had a chance to do it and then you stood with
your big company friends and not with the unemployed worker.
Nobody wants to build a wall around Canada. What they want to get
rid of is bad trade deals.
Ms. Campbell, the Tory job plan…
Mr. Chrétien, if you feel the CanadaUS trade deal is not
sufficient, I agree with you. I think we should abrogate it. It’s
not renegotiable. You, Turner said the other day it wasn’t
renegotiable. But why wouldn’t you then have your members show up
in the House of Commons when we could have defeated NAFTA in the
House of Commons? It’s hypocritical to say that you don’t like the
CanadaUS trade deal. You want to renegotiate but you allow NAFTA
to go through when you had the opportunity Mr. Chrétien.
No they did not Mr. Chrétien. I’m sorry to correct you but they did
not. You are wrong.
There were 37 Liberals missing. The vote passed by 19. Where, Mr.
Chrétien, were the rest of the Liberals so they could stand with
the New Democrats and say no to NAFTA.
But Mr. Manning, I appreciate your lecture. But you know, the
CanadaUS trade deal has cost us of over 400 thousand jobs. That’s
a very high price to pay. I suggest that you ask the textile
worker who’s unemployed, the auto worker who’s unemployed…
It has not given us easier access to the American market. Why do
you insist that we must accept bad trade deals. The United States
is not trading with us because they’re Mother Teresa and they are
doing us a favor.
And have everybody make four dollars a day. That would be great.
Well first of all, let’s again destroy the myth that unemployment
is free. There’s absolutely no cost to people being unemployed or
living in poverty. It’s a huge cost in human terms and financial
cost to our society. You know, there’s a recent study that said
for every dollar that we invest in a child in need, we save five
dollars and 50 cents later on in policing costs and other social
services. I mean let’s use our heads here. Do we want to simply
say to those who are sick, oh well, just get a private plan, it’ll
be all right. I talked to a gentleman from the States the other
day who’s going to have to pay a thousand dollars a month his
wife has cancer it won’t cover it because she had cancer before he
took on the plan. It is possible to get the money. It is a
question of priorities. Do want a health care program, social
programs or helicopters. Do you want to close tax loopholes for
the rich. The billion dollars that we spent for the entertainment
business tax. Do you want to tax private trusts? Everyone has to
pay their share. Social programs, health programs make us a
society that is attractive to business.
Well, I know that there are a number of things of course we could
cut out. We could cut out the nonelective Senate that costs
Canadians 150 thousand dollars a day. There are many things that
we could cut out. I’m the one that raised the question of MP’s
pensions and how we should look at that. But the real issue here
is what has happened over the number of years of the Conservative
government. Is, we’ve seen 34 billion dollars worth of cut backs
to health care and postsecondary education in this country, in
transfer payments to provinces and territories. We no longer have
a federal government that believes in a health care system that has
any vision in it. We see a federal government, a Tory government,
that puts in a drug patent law, which will increase radically the
cost of drugs for every health care plan for every province and
territory. And on the one hand Ms. Campbell will say I support
health care, I’ll throw myself on the train tracks. Well, it’s the
story of the train, so that won’t work, but you know, to say that,
which is the very common line. We can’t afford it. We can’t
afford in this country to see as I’ve seen senior citizens watching
their friends not getting health care and saying as a woman did to
me in Winnipeg, dear God if this happens to me, kill me first. It
is a question of priorities. Now I want to say that in our jobs
plan which reduces the deficit, we talk about for every dollar we
spend how we will raise that or reallocate spending. The provinces
and territories are directly the victims, we have a federal
government that talks about the deficit but simply wants to
transfer it to the provinces. Now to say Mr. Schlesinger that,
finally, it is a question of priorities and this is the decision
that Canadians will make in this election. This is a priority for
September 12 you said that you wanted the provinces to be free to
rationalize their services, decide how their health care is run.
Scrap the Canada Health Care Act. On September 27, you said,
regarding the wealthy, if they’re willing to pay they can get a
higher standard of care. On September 22, you said the federal
government shouldn’t attach strings to transfer payments.
Mr. Manning, you have a responsibility to be very clear with
Canadians about where you stand on health care because to me what
you’re saying is and it’s either dishonest or naïve, I’m just going
to cut a big hole in the deck of the boat and if it sinks that’s
too bad but I’ll just cut the hole in the boat. Mr. Manning this
is an issue that is dear to the hearts of every Canadian and you
are not being honest about your position.
And let provinces do whatever they want? Let provinces charge
extra fees? It’s very unclear Mr. Manning.
But that’s user fees. That’s a twotiered system. Don’t use
gobleygoop. You like to say you’re not a politician. Let’s talk
real language here.
I believe that the majority of Quebeckers, like the majority of
Canadians want to be part of a successful Canada. It’s not Canada
that’s a failure. It’s the fact that we in this country, and I
would lay it at the feet of Liberal and Tory governments, have
created horrendous levels of poverty, horrendous levels of
unemployment in this country. Look at Montreal, there are many
areas that have 25/30% unemployment. Sure they don’t feel that
federalism is working. It’s not Canada that’s not working it’s the
policies that have built on fragmentation that have pitted one end
of the country against another. And I believe that if we’re going
to offer a country that everybody wants to belong to we have to
build on the things that we share in common. Every Quebecker as
everyone else in every other province and territory wants good
schools for their children, wants a good life for their children,
wants health care and wants employment. We as a country have
something wonderful to share together and through doing that, it
will be our strength not our weakness.
Mr. Bouchard we’re all sincere about our position and we respect
that you are too. But there are a couple of perplexing questions.
You want to come to Ottawa, to make Canada fail. That’s very…
Yes. Yes. Mr. Bouchard.
And one of the major things that has made…
…is that in 1988 you sold the very policies, the free trade deal,
the GST, you sold that in Québec. You as a conservative. You as
a conservative member of the cabinet said this the solution. This
is what I support. And that’s what you did in 1988 Mr. Bouchard.
And now you’re saying well I think Canadian tax payers should pay
us to come to Ottawa to help make Canada fail. I think that this
is something Canadians will find very hard to understand.
Well, I’m interested, you say that none of the political parties
have addressed immigration. I guess you can’t always believe what
you don’t read in the paper. I’ve talked a lot about immigration
because I think it’s very important. And unfortunately there are
those parties that are I believe promoting a sense that immigrants
are a drag on this country. Many of us here, unless any of us
among us are First Nation’s people, immigrants. Our parents were
immigrants. Our grandparents were immigrants. I want to say that
we support that 1% annually of the Canadian population should be
the immigrants that are admitted to this country. We support a
compassionate refugee program with proper controls and if people
are not meeting the requirements obviously they should not be let
in. But one of the things that we have to see is equal access to
immigration for women. Access to language training both in French
and English. And I challenge Ms. Campbell because I see in this
secret document about to propose changes, she’s looking at cuts to
the immigrant settlement program. I believe that immigrants are a
strength of this country and not a weakness as some would say.
Well Mr. Manning, I think we, I’ve been very clear that we support
the 1%. But you know, you have talked…
1% of the population.
Can I…Please allow me to finish. And, but you know, an important
part of that is you talked earlier about the economy. What we have
to do to build the economy. Let’s not forget that immigrants both
contribute to the economy, are consumers in the economy, provide a
market internally for our economy. And you seem to be ignoring
that. And in some way saying that and I think your philosophy, and
we’ve had this debate before that all Canadians should just be the
same, also denies the reality of Canada when we see that twothirds
of Canadians neither of British or French heritage. It’s a
strength of this country.
But, but Mr. Manning, you would restrict that. I come from the
north. And in the north we’ve had Vietnamese boat people. You’d
think that would be a strange place for people to go. But they
have been tremendously successful, business people and contributors
to the north and to Canada.
Everybody know where they were now.
Ms. Campbell, I’m even going to agree with Mr. Manning for a minute
and say it is very sweetness and light here. But why would your
government put immigration together in the reorganization with
public security. Why are you saying to immigrants that you can be
treated as criminals. What have immigrants got to do with
policing. And why of all the other departments would you choose
the department of security. I find this incredible and I find it
insulting and unacceptable.
Are they not in the department of security?
That’s not true at all. I’ve talked to people across this country
who’s parents were immigrants or are immigrants…
You say Ms. Campbell that you want to listen to Canadians. I have
not talked to one person in, who’s first generation immigrant who
isn’t insulted by this policy. It could have been combined with
external affairs. There were many options. But to give by
combining with public security, to give the impression to
immigrants that they are in a policing department. It seems to me,
Well, I’d like to say that I agree that people feel that crime is
increasing. And some of statistics Canada, doesn’t quite agree
with that statistically. However, it is a feeling in the
community. I had a community safety panel in my own community.
And there were three things that people were very clear about.
Violent criminals must pay the price and I agree. Secondly, we
must limit the number of arms available. And thirdly, we have to
make sure that we are ensuring that violence against women, we
adopt a zero tolerance policy of violence against women. If we
believe it, we’ll do it. But we must also address this issue from
another perspective that none of the other leaders have approached.
And that is the area of prevention. We know that unemployment,
poverty contribute to the causes of crime. It costs more than 50
thousand dollars a year to incarcerate a criminal. It costs 12
thousand dollars a year to send someone to university. We have to
also attack the root causes. It doesn’t mean that we are strong
particularly in the areas of violence, but we have to also look at
the root causes.
I don’t think we need to have a debate about whether the deficit is
a problem. Whether the Tories have in fact doubled the debt.
That’s clear. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Ministry of Finance
came out with a study that indicated that the Tory government, Ms.
Campbell was not going to reach her deficit targets because of a
short fall of revenues directly related to unemployment. You
cannot attack the debt and the deficit without some plan to get
people back working. And that’s why we’ve come forward with a
plan. Now Mr. Manning says he’ll reduce the deficit in three
years. It is clear that that could create another 300 thousand
unemployed. That is not the price that this country can afford to
pay. Mr. Manning said he’d take 3.5 billion from seniors. Why
should seniors pay the price of the deficit reduction problem.
Yes, we can reduce waste. Yes we can have more efficiency in
government. Yes, we can ensure that our expenditures are well
targeted and well spent. But we will not attack it unless we get
people back working. That unemployment is free is a myth.
I’d like to address the issue of credibility. We’ve all read the
articles in the press. But I want to talk about what people in my
riding say about credibility. About the miner who’s unemployed.
About a hundred of them in Tarrow Yukon who just want to get
training. They go for training. There’s four spots for those one
hundred people. I want to talk about credibility and why people
don’t believe Ms. Campbell’s deficit plans or Mr. Manning’s.
Because Ms. Campbell says that I want to make sure that people are
employed. I have a jobs plan. And yet her policies have thrown
people out of work. And what she’s done in my own riding is to lay
off the very councillors for unemployment that get people back to
work. That’s why there’s a credibility gap. Words aren’t enough.
The Tory government has undermined the confidence of Canada not
just in their own policies but in their politics by ignoring
Canadians and by saying one thing and doing another.
How does it affect people?
Why do you want to go to the House of Commons Mr. Manning?
Thank you. Tonight you’ve heard very different visions of Canada.
Ms. Campbell wants to continue the policies of Mr. Mulroney. Mr.
Manning would slash and cut so that 300,000 more Canadians lose
their jobs and in the meantime we also lose medicare. Mr. Chrétien
talks with promise about the future but every commitment has an
escape hatch. And Mr. Bouchard wants to spend your tax dollars
sending members of Parliament to Ottawa to destroy Canada. Middle
class families are burried by taxes, farm families are losing their
livelihood. Children are growing up in poverty. We see more
homeless and more unemployed. The hurt and the homelessness are
everywhere. We can do better in Canada. Appeal to the best in
Canadians. Appeal to those values that inspired programs like
medicare. You have the power to change Canada for the better. I
ask you to send New Democrats to Ottawa to stand up for you, to
protect medicare, to fight for jobs and fair taxes. Let’s build a
Well thank you Anne and thanks to you for joining us for this
leader’s debate tonight. These debates are the first time that the
leaders of the traditional parties have been confronted on national
stage by political newcomers. And the reason for that is that many
Canadians are not happy with what the old parties are offering and
are willing to look for fresh alternatives. The need for this was
illustrated last night in a debate last night when in my judgment,
the leaders spent too long and too much time, attacking each other
and not enough time attacking the problems that are of concern to
you. The high unemployment rates, the deteriorating social
services, excessive spending, excessive taxation. When the leaders
did get on to the issues, they spent too much time on the symptoms
and not enough on the root causes of those problems and those
solutions. What Reform wants to do tonight is to attack the real
problem of concern to you and to get at the root causes with common
sense solutions. So you be the judge tonight. Who gets off on
symptoms and who gets to root causes? Who best attacks the
problems of most concern to you. Thank you.
Well, your specific question was why should you trust what anyone
says on this. And I think people should trust what’s being said if
it looks like the answer gets to the root of the problem, not the
symptoms. Now the jobs in the future are going to be created
mainly by the private sector. The big governments are all de
hiring. If you go to private sector investors, big ones, small
ones, domestic ones, foreign ones, and ask them why aren’t you
investing more in private sector job creation in this country,
they’d give you the short answer. They’d say the spending levels
of the government is too high, the debt and the deficit is too high
and the tax levels that go along with that are too high. Now
that’s why we say the way to get to genuine private sector job
creation is to get the deficit and the debt down and we’ve got a
specific program for doing that reducing the federal deficit to
zero in three years. We believe deficit reduction if it’s done
right is stimulative to private sector job creation.
What is the unemployment rate…
But, but, but. Let me ask a constructive comment…
Let me ask a constructive question. What was the unemployment rate
in the year when they threw the Liberals out of office. It was
11%. The policy is almost the same as it was now. By pursuing the
policy that you’re talking about, you drove the deficit up to 38
billion, the debt up to 200 billion and it didn’t create jobs. The
unemployment rate in the last year of your administration is the
same as it’s going to be in the last year of Kim’s. 11%. It didn’t
But we are supposed to be getting out of one now.
No, but Jean…
But let’s talk about kick starting. This is a 700 billion GEP
economy. Like if you believe you can kick start that with a 2
billion investment in sewers, you believe that you can start a 747
with a flashlight battery. The relationship is, is out of whack.
Let’s just…One at a time. Are you gonna propose to renegotiate
the CanadaUS trade agreement?
Let me finish. It’s a simple question. Are you proposing…
But you’re not going to renegotiate the entire trade deal.
But you’re backing off this concept of renegotiating the…
Audrey, if we can come back to the main point here which is jobs
and I think we all agree that trade relations has something to do
with jobs. Good trade relations will stimulate jobs. But I frankly
can’t understand this business of why you would want to abrogate
the current treaty. The current American Congress is more
protectionist than the one that we had in 1980. There’s more anti
import speeches being made down there. They also consider the
Canadian economy to be weaker because of our low performance and
they think we have a constitutional problem. So, if you
renegotiate that agreement under those conditions your opponent is
more antiimport and they think you are weaker. Even put it in
labormanagement terms, it’s like the management is more antiunion
and they think the union is weaker. You would get a new agreement
all right. But it would be worse than the one you have now. That
would hurt employment in Canada and jobs. It would not help it.
Let’s do the things to make it work.
There’s a solution here Audrey. Let’s do the things you’ve gotta
do to make it work. Let’s, let’s get our tax levels competitive
with our big competitor.
Let’s get labor force management adjustment mechanisms that would
help train and retrain large numbers of workers. And let’s get
ride of our internal barriers to trade. But let’s make the thing
work rather than abrogate it.
Well, Joe, I’d start by saying get to the root of the problem.
Let’s say take one program, medicare, Now it’s our assessment that
health care is ill itself. It’s got a financial illness itself.
And many people there know, watching, know that that’s the case.
Hospitals being closed. We have friends, relatives, perhaps
yourself on waiting lists. That health care in this country has a
serious illness. Now we say rather than deny it or pretend that it
isn’t there, let’s get at this solution. And what we’re saying is
that the object of the federal government should be to make sure
health care is within the financial reach of every citizen no
matter where they live or what their income is. Let the people of
each province direct their provincial government as to how they
should raise the money to cover their part of health care. And the
federal government’s commitment should be to maintain these federal
transfers in support of health care at the current levels or
higher. And the big thing the federal government’s been doing is
having these declining transfer payments in support of health care,
which is a big part of the problem. Now that’s at least a solution
that gets at the root of the problem.
No. You read that…
We don’t. No. That’s not correct Jean.
Let’s get to the heart of this problem then. The thing the federal
government can do to preserve and save health care is to get these
transfer payments at a level that will make it sustaining. Now
what is your commitment? We, we have a commitment. The highest
priority in our spending program, federal support for health care.
We make these deep cuts elsewhere about 19 billion dollars in
spending cuts in order to keep that commitment. Now what
specifically is your commitment to the level of federal transfer
payments for health care. Would you keep them at the current
level? Would you increase them up to 50% where they were, they were
Would you increase them?
To what level? To 50%?
Can I ask you a question Kim about… I think this gets to the
heart…gets maybe back to what Joe was getting at. And you’re in
the best position to answer this, as Prime Minister. Like is it
not true that like the federal government spent 160 billion dollars
a year, 40 billion on interest. That gives you 120 billion on
programs and administration. Of that 41 billion is going to
transfers to provinces. In other words, 67 billion, over half the
spending of the federal government, is going to transfers. Now is
it possible to cut the deficit and to balance the budget without
reforming transfers to individuals and provinces. Doesn’t somebody
have to bite that bullet. You can’t do it by defense cuts or waste
You mean you wouldn’t touch transfers?
Are you saying you’d balance the budget without touching transfers
to individuals and programs?
Let me respond to that Audrey.
First of all Audrey, you’ll never find out what the Reform Party
stands for by taking excerpts from your clipping service in Ottawa.
You want to find out what the Reform Party stands for you go to our
own…Now what we said on health care is very clear. We want to
maintain this national standard of health care being available to
Let me finish. Just listen. We want to maintain that standard.
Secondly, we say let the electors in each province direct their
provincial government as to how they raise the money for their
portion. And thirdly, the thing that federal politicians can do…
You ask me to explain our position, then you won’t let me do it.
The thing that we can do as federal politicians. The thing that
federal Parliament can do is maintain it’s transfer payments or
increase them. That’s the thing we can do in practice and that’s
the thing we stand for.
Well our party, Peter, is really a response to your question. Six
or seven years ago in the West, there were lots of people who were
disillusioned with the way the federal system was working. But
rather than try to get out of it, or kick at the pieces, what we
endeavored to do was put together a new and better federalism.
We’ve asked people for you know years what kind of country do you
wnat to live in and we’ve come up with a vision of a better
federalism. A Canada which all Canadians and provinces are treated
equally regardless of race, language and culture. One where
politicians are accountable to the people who elect them. One
where the budgets are balanced. A new vision of a new Canada. And
what we hope to do with respect to Québec, if we could get a block
of members in this next Parliament so we’re visible there, is to
offer a constructive alternative to the old federalists who are not
carrying the day in Québec for whatever reason and the separatist
option so that Québec’s choice is not old federalism and
separation, but do you want to be part of a new Canada or separate.
That’s our response to that question.
Can we… Reformers have two questions that we’d like to bring in
again to get at the root of this. One is for you. And the one is
for these oldline party federalists. The first one is like how do
you think sovereigntists in the Canadian Parliament are going to be
perceived and received by people in other parts of this country?
And how do you think that respect is going to be carried? Do you,
you think it’s going to be carried to the point of…
OK. But there’s one other that better be asked.
You’ve got to be really careful in reading the mood of the rest of
the country toward sovereignty. But the question for the old
federalist parties is the one that you started out on. Is why have
you not been able to sell federalism more effectively in Québec?
Two fullblown separatist movements have grown up under the
Liberals and the Conservatives. Like isn’t what is happening in
Québec, is not that the sovereigntists are any stronger than they
were in 1980. It’s that the federalists and their representation
of federalism in Québec are weaker. That’s why we see this demand
for a new federalism, some third option to offer Québec.
No we’re not saying that.
But do you acknowledge, do you even acknowledge that old
federalists are losing the Constitutional battle in Québec and that
something new and dramatic has to be done?
OK. Well, we have addressed the issue of immigration. We have a
clear policy on it. We’re a proimmigration party, that would be
expected given our roots in Western Canada. What we argued is that
Canada’s immigration policy ought to be based primarily on Canada’s
economic and labor force requirements. In other words that the
government of Canada can demonstrate the given level of immigration
as a long turn net economic benefit to Canada. It should be
supported. If it doesn’t then that level should be adjusted until
it can. We believe if you look at the current levels of
immigration at around 200 to 300 thousand per year that there’s
several studies now that indicate that is too high under the
current circumstances and would be better lowered to about 100 or
150 thousand per year. But that’s basically our policy. It’s a
proimmigration essentially driven by Canada’s economic and labor
Yes. Our immigration policy is completely racially neutral. We
say country of origin and ethnicity ought not to be a factor at
all, in immigration policy. That’s partly why we lean so heavily
on the economic criteria. I do think, you know, in response to
your earlier question, while it really is all sweetness and light
here we’re agreeing for once on one thing. I think what we’re
agreeing on is the general principle that immigration is good. And
it ought to be driven by you know, Canada’s requirement. I think
the more relevant question that a lot of people watching want to
know is do all the parties support the current level of immigration
at 200 or 250 thousand. Or do some feel it should be lowered under
the current circumstances. Our position is that it should be
lowered to about the hundred or 150 thousand level. Is
everybody…Are we in agreement on that? If we are we can may even
save some time.
And what does that, what does that work out to Audrey?
Yeah. It works out to how many then? In excess to 250 thousand?
No. That’s not our position Audrey. No, no. Don’t we know that?
Don’t we know that? We come from Western Canada. Western Canada
was multicultural before Toronto had heard the word.
So you support a level as high as the present. Or even higher.
About 270, 270 thousand per year?
Now I’d be interested in other people’s…
And you support the current levels?
We’ve advocated complete overhaul of the criminal justice system.
But we think you’ve got to overhaul the Parole Board particularly
the patronage appointments to it, which…
…undermines confidence in the whole thing. We also think you
should tighten up the Young Offenders Act. We’ve got a number of
proposals to drop the age of application to get greater public and
media access to that. We advocate the abolition of automatic
parole and greater certainty in sentencing. The automatic
deportation of noncitizens convicted of serious crime. A binding
national referendum on capital punishment. And a much higher
priority of victim’s rights, victim compensation and victim
rehabilitation, which particularly gets into doing something pro
active with respect to women and children that are the victims of
violence. And I think what a lot of people watching tonight want
with respect to criminal justice system is for the protection of
the life and the property of the citizen to be number one priority
of that system.
Well, we have a concrete plan as well for reducing the deficit.
We’ve had this out. We’ve spread around three million copies of
this around the country and it is very specific on how to reduce
the federal deficit to zero in three years and we’ll defend the
numbers in this if people want to get into a numbers argument. The
reason we’re concerned about this of course is because we think the
deficit is at the root of the deterioration of the social program,
the deterioration of the private sector job creating capacity and
high taxation. Now the difference, the big difference between us
and the Conservatives is that we’re prepared to vote against
government motions to spend public money. The conservatives have
made all sorts of nice speeches about deficit but, and this is true
of yourself Kim and it’s true of the Conservative candidate I’m
running against in Calgary SouthWest. If you have never ever
voted against a government appropriation to spend money in your
You don’t get deficit down by talking about it. You get it by
voting against government expenditure.
Well and we address this credibility question on two levels. First
of all we have specifics in our threeyear program. We get into
what is to be preserved, what is to be cut. Dollar amounts,
targets. We have the most specific deficit reduction program if
people want to get into specifics. If that’s how you get
But the second thing and this gets to the hear of Joe’s question.
If people don’t believe the politicians, we have this thing. « So
you don’t trust the politicians. Neither do we. Then let’s change
the system. » The other thing we bring to the picture…
…measures to make political people more accountable to those who
elect them. That’s why we favor these threeyear votes on money
matters. And a recall mechanism that if politicians do not perform
what they promise in an elections, the electors can get after them.
Now I think the combination of specificity and detail plus giving
voters a mechanism to get back at elected politicians if they fail
to make promises that’s how you get credibility.
No, they haven’t had a zero deficit.
No but Jean…
What are you saying? This is a former Finance Minister saying the
more you spend, the better off you’ll be?
What would happen if the people out there follow your philosophy?
You had a whole…
Yeah but Jean, you had a huge pentup consumer demand in the war
that drove the system, you do not have that today. You have
disposable income of consumers going down because of high tax
levels. You do not have a parallel situation today. And if you
base your finance policy on that you’d get us in deeper soup.
No. They do Kim. They do.
They are less optimistic than your finance department.
No, that’s not correct. We disagree with that. We disagree. The
Fraser Institute in your own riding says so.
There’s a lot of voters in your riding.
No, no, no let me ask you. No let me ask you again Kim. Let me
ask you. Are you saying you could balance the budget. But are you
saying you could balance the budget…
Let me ask you this one fundamental question. Are you saying you
could balance the federal budget without touching transfers to
individuals or provinces. Yes or no.
Yes or no?
Well you go ask your economist friends.
No, that’s not true.
As this debate draws to an end, the media people will be attempting
to decide whether there was a defining moment, a 10 second clip
that will say it all. But if there are to be defining moments in
this election, we say they should be based on what is real and
relevant and true. Not just on political posturing. The defining
moment in this election should be when you go to that polling booth
and ask yourself, do I want to elect politicians who spend most of
their time misrepresenting others or do I want to elect
representatives who will dedicate themselves to attacking the real
problems. Let the defining moment in this election be that moment
when you go into a polling booth alone without TV, without radio,
without a newspaper. And vote with courage of conviction for what
is right for yourself, for your children and for your country.
Thank you and good night.