May 11, 1965

SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES

STATEMENT ON INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, in response to a number of questions asked in the House yesterday concerning the expulsion of two members of the Soviet Embassy staff, I indicated that I would provide all the information that could appropriately be made public. 1 am glad to be able to do that today.

The information on which action was taken in this matter came to the security authorities not only from one of the Canadians approached, but also from other sources which I am sure the House will understand must be protected if our counter-espionage efforts are to continue to be successful, as they were in this instance. On security grounds it is not, therefore, in the public interest to give all the detailed information requested in the House yesterday. This is all the more true in this case since, while the security threat in this instance has been removed, the investigation is continuing. Nevertheless I shall, within the limits set by security considerations, give some additional information to that included in the press release issued on Saturday morning, May 8, which by its terms gave more information than is normally given in respect of matters of this kind.

Let me first explain, Mr. Speaker, the objectives of the Government's decision to expel the Soviet officials and to inform the Canadian public of that action. The objectives were three: one, to bring to an end the activity of certain members of the Soviet Embassy, the intent of which was clearly prejudicial to Canadian interest; two, to make clear to the Soviet Government that actions of this sort by members of their so-called diplomatic staff would not be tolerated; and three, to impress upon Canadians the need for constant vigilance when faced with approaches by Soviet officials. This was a very important objective, indeed, that we had in mind.

These objectives have been met. Canadian interests have not been damaged.

In regard to the two individual cases mentioned in the press release, one Canadian mentioned co-operated conscientiously from the beginning with our security authorities. Far from being motivated by "illicit gain and greed", this conscientious and patriotic Canadian reported to our security authorities the very first approach made to him; and this information is not usually made public. He thereafter worked under the direction of our security authorities in his further dealings with the Soviet official. This action is certainly to be praised, not censured, for it provided our security authorities with invaluable information about Soviet methods of intelligence operations in Canada and the targets against which they directed their intelligence efforts. Certainly there can be no question of prosecution for wrongdoing in this case; quite the contrary.

In the other case mentioned in the communique the circumstances unfortunately were different. The person involved in this case is a civil servant in a very junior position in a non-sensitive department. His place of work is not in Ottawa. The person is at present on sick leave and is in fact gravely ill. The assistance which he gave the Soviet authorities was not related to his work as a civil servant-and he was a junior civil servant. Our security authorities knew of his activities, but for good security reasons did not confront him with them until last week, when the man in question began to give the police some useful information.

Once the decision was made to take action against the foreign officials and to make that action public, consideration was initiated to determine whether charges should be laid in this case. Until that determination is made it is not possible to give further information on this aspect of that case.

Let me emphasize that in both cases our security authorities received assistance, as the press release indicated, from a number of other conscientious and patriotic Canadians.

Questions were asked about the amounts and disposition of the money involved. The money, Mr. Speaker, was paid out to the two Canadians mentioned in the release in rela-

May 11, 1965

Acts of Espionage

tively small amounts but over a considerable period of time. These sums of money were apparently intended to enable the persons concerned to cover the costs of acquiring the information sought by the Soviet Embassy officials. Thus, in the case of the Canadian who co-operated with the police from the beginning, the money he received from time to time was largely spent, with the knowledge of the police, on travel, accommodation, automobile maintenance and related expenditures associated with the tasks assigned to him, and an accounting was made to the police of these expenditures. In the case of the other Canadian the evidence points to a similar use of the sums received, and it is hoped that as the investigation of his case continues more exact information will become available as to amounts involved and the disposition of such sums as well as other information.

There was some implication in what was said in the House yesterday that the issuance of a press release by the Department of External Affairs on this case was unusual. Certainly the amount of information given in this release was unusual and is not customary, as I have said. It is true that a press release of any kind is not always issued. In some cases, indeed, no information of any kind is given.

In 1959 an attache of the Soviet Embassy procured information from a Canadian citizen which led to his recall. No action was taken and no publicity was given to the case. In October, 1960 a secretary of the Czechoslovakian Embassy was declared persona non grata after being found to have been in contact with a Canadian citizen for intelligence purposes. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police at that time recommended publicity as a deterrent measure. The Government directed that no publicity should be given. In December, 1961 an attache at the Soviet Embassy attempted to obtain classified information from a Canadian Government official over a period of 18 months. His recall was demanded and a press release was authorized in this case.

It will be clear then that procedure in these matters, both in regard to action taken and publicity given, varies with the circumstances, and I believe that in security matters this must be the case.

The Secretary of State for External Affairs dealt with this matter in general terms in answer to a question of June 13, 1963 in his tabled reply which appears at page 1333 of Hansard for June 19, 1963. He dealt with those cases which had been made public but indicated that there had been other cases to

which no publicity had been given. His reply went on:

In these matters it is not always in the public interest to provide information, and I am conscious that my predecessor faced these same difficulties when he decided on April 28, 1961, in response to a similar question-

-in the House of Commons-

-to decline to provide details about such cases.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that I have gone as far as I can to give the House all of the information it is in the public interest to reveal at this stage. I believe, Mr. Speaker, I have gone into somewhat more detail than has been the case in similar incidents over the past 10 or 15 years. I feel, however, the importance of this case and the deterrent value of the information in question justifies this action.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

The Prime Minister has pointed out the difficulties in connection with the security operations of the Mounted Police or associated bodies, and with that I agree. He referred to the press release which, to say the least, was not very happily worded in view of the statement he has now made. In reference to the first civil servant to whom he alluded, the press release reads as follows:

In one Instance, a Canadian civil servant was paid thousands of dollars to gather information and documentation in Canada, the purpose of which was to assist in the establishment of espionage activities in Canada and other countries, and to perform economic intelligence tasks, including the provision of detailed information-

Now, the Prime Minister says this person reported the first approach that was made to him. There is one question that necessarily arises at this point. Did he receive any of these thousands of dollars before he communicated for the first time with the police? This is of particular importance in judging his general attitude toward the action in which he participated.

In so far as the other person is concerned, the press release reads-I presume this is the man who is ill at the moment-

In another instance, a naturalized Canadian citizen was paid thousands of dollars to provide technical information in the electronics field related to the defence industry and to compromise other Canadians, including female employees of the government, with the object of securing their assistance in obtaining access to classified information. He was given specialized photographic training to assist him in these tasks.

Now, Sir, what appears in the press announcement reveals most clearly and definitely, and was so interpreted, that the U.S.S.R.

May 11. 1965

was engaged in a widespread plot against our country and had the assistance of one or more Canadians in connection therewith. One recalls, as the Prime Minister has, occasions in the past. Certainly one recalls what took place in April, 1964, when action was taken. At that time the Chief Justice of Canada, Hon. Robert Taschereau, who was one of the Commissioners in 1945-46, stated that it is like a chain; you break only a link at a time and the others remain intact. He said that espionage with the Russians is like a disease; you stamp out the infection in one place and it breaks out in another.

I realize, having occupied the position of Prime Minister, the difficulties in connection with giving information. However, this press release contained information that is of a shocking nature in so far as that individual is concerned who gave information and assisted the law officers. It is of great importance to know, did he receive a payment? How much was that first payment? Was it a large amount or a small amount? How long after he got that payment did he first bring to the attention of the authorities the fact that he had been approached and had received that money?

The interpretation that has been given to the revelations made in the press release has generally been that apparently there has been unearthed a rather widespread espionage conspiracy on the part of the U.S.S.R., using Canadians or endeavouring to use them to participate in this nefarious course. Under all the circumstances, if the Prime Minister would give an answer to that one question it would help.

Necessarily, as responsible Members of Parliament we do not want to do anything that will prejudice to the slightest degree the investigation that is being made. However, in view of the widespread nature of these activities, I feel that the Government should have an investigation by a royal commission, to look into this whole question and ascertain the degree to which espionage is going on within our country. Such a royal commission would not necessarily have to meet in the open. Composed of judges, it could take secret evidence which otherwise ought not to be revealed.

We have available those who have been trained in the actual school of judicial experience. We have the Chief Justice of Canada, Hon. Robert Taschereau, who was one of the Commissioners, and on the Supreme Court of Canada there are as well two of

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Acts of Espionage

the senior puisne judges, Mr. Justice Cartwright and Mr. Justice Fauteux, who would certainly be of tremendous help in getting to the bottom of the activities of the U.S.S.R. within our country.

The rather limited statement made by the Prime Minister, and understandably so, does not add very much to the press release, for it gives no indication of the extent to which the No. 1 Canadian civil servant was paid thousands of dollars, and whether he had been paid moneys over a period of time before he made his first revelations to the Department or to the police officials.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquiilam):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the House will welcome the statement made by the Prime Minister, because there has been a good deal of concern in the light of the statement which appeared in the press yesterday and the release which was given out by the Government. I am sure all Members will be glad that any attempt at espionage in this country has been nipped in the bud, and that the Soviet Embassy has had it made clear to them that the Government will not tolerate any such activities in this country.

I know the Prime Minister is in a somewhat delicate position in mentioning names and in dealing with matters which involve counter-intelligence in Canada, but I would like to be clear about one or two things.

I take it that the two persons named were, first, a civil servant who is now gravely ill and who, I gather, if I got the right impression from the Prime Minister's statement, was only confronted last week; who apparently did not co-operate with the R.C.M.P., and who therefore stands guilty of having acted as an agent for the government of another country, and guilty of accepting thousands of dollars to carry on activities on behalf of that country. I think we can dismiss that until such time as the Government decides whether it is going to lay charges and we know what action the Government is going to take.

I would like, however, to get some clarification regarding the second person, who I assume is not a civil servant but who is described in the Government release as "a naturalized Canadian citizen" and who was paid thousands of dollars to provide technical information. There are two points on which I would like some elucidation. The first is as to whether this man co-operated with the R.C.M.P. to the extent of going to them the very moment he was approached, or whether

May 11, 1965

Acts of Espionage

it was only after he was under some suspicion and was likely to get caught that he turned state's evidence. If it is the former, and he co-operated with them from the beginning, then I want to know what he did with the thousands of dollars he was paid over a period of time.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
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?

An hon. Member:

It was for travelling expenses.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

If it was all for travelling expenses, then I am perfectly satisfied. But I go on with the release, Mr. Speaker, which says that he was also paid "to compromise other Canadians, including female employees of the Government, with the object of securing their assistance in obtaining access to classified information". Then in the press story it is said:

An informed Government source said it is reasonable to assume that seduction was one method used to compromise the female employees.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

It is indicated, Mr. Speaker, that the expense account might be an interesting document to peruse.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON INVOLVEMENT OF CANADIANS IN RUSSIAN ESPIONAGE ACTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

But in all seriousness, it would surely not be a pretty picture if the R.C.M.P. were using as an agent a man who was seeking to compromise female employees of the Canadian Government. That is something I hope the Prime Minister will look into.

Topic:   SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Only a theologian would suggest that.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

There are two other points on which I hope we get some clarification, Mr. Speaker. One is the extent to which the Minister of Justice and the Prime Minister were kept fully informed of this case from the beginning-the Minister of Justice to whom the R.C.M.P. is responsible, and the Prime Minister as the head of the Government. I should like clarification on whether they have known about this case from the beginning or whether it only came to their attention lately. It seems to me that on matters as important as this, if the R.C.M.P. knew that a naturalized Canadian citizen had been approached to gather information for the Government of another country and had agreed to act as an undercover agent for the R.C.M.P., that information should have been transmitted immediately to the Minis-

ter of Justice, and by him to the Prime Minister. I think we ought to know to what extent both these Ministers were kept fully informed regarding the arrangements which the R.C.M.P. were making, and to what extent those arrangements were proper and befitting the Government and the administration of justice in this country.

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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, I think the most interesting aspect of this case that is before us at the present time, apart from the fact that two members of the diplomatic staff of the U.S.S.R. in Canada have been engaged in espionage activities, is the very poor handling of this matter, first of all by the Department of External Affairs and second by the Prime Minister himself. On his own admission, Mr. Speaker, the information that was given out in the original release from the Department of External Affairs gave much reason for question as far as the public was concerned regarding just what had been going on. Certainly the answers relating to this subject that were given yesterday during the question period were not very wisely phrased, either, because the information certainly left a good deal of question in regard to just what was happening, and also as a result the lengthy statement the Prime Minister has given us today. It is apparent that he was not informed about this case prior to its being announced; otherwise this information would not have been bungled as it was in releasing it to the public.

It seems to me strange that the right hon. Prime Minister has emphasized today that the second person who did not report this originally to our own security people was a junior civil servant. Do senior and junior civil servants have more and less responsibility to the Government and to the nation? Does a civil servant, whether he be senior or junior, have less responsibility than an ordinary citizen? Certainly I do not think the fact that he is a junior civil servant has anything to do with the case at all.

Another thing that is significant in the information given us today is the mention by the Prime Minister that this information which was given to the espionage agents of the U.S.S.R. was information not related to his Department. What is the difference whether information being relayed related to his Department or not, if it had something to do with the security of this country? The information that has been given here today does not satisfy the mind of the public, and certainly does not satisfy my mind, as to

May 11, 1965

what is behind all this. It just creates more questions.

I believe the Government has more responsibility than this, and certainly it applies directly now, not only to the Department of External Affairs but to the Minister of Justice as well, to see that we do receive accurate information that gives an answer to the question that is obviously in the mind of every Canadian today; that is, just where is espionage leading us in this country? The Prime Minister in his statement today said that one of the important objectives for giving out this important information, was to warn Canadians about the dangers of giving information to those who might be seeking it for such reasons as were these particular espionage agents. Would he not think that it would be a much better policy to release to the Canadian public information regarding espionage and subversive activities, rather than just letting it come out in this particular manner?

Yesterday I questioned the right hon. Prime Minister about this, as I have questioned the Minister of Justice on two different occasions in recent weeks, and the right hon. Prime Minister suggested that this could be taken care of in the External Affairs Committee. I do not accept that at all. It seems to me, in view of the fact that in recent months we have had agents active in this country who have been trained in one case in Algeria and in the other in Cuba, and who have been engaged in subversive activities this is just as important to the security of our country as foreign agents trying to gain secrets that certainly contravene the security of the nation. I believe the Government owes it to the Canadian people to either issue a White Paper relating to security in this country, or else to instruct the Minister of Justice or the R.C.M. Police that periodically information will be given out, in order that Canadian citizens can understand just how necessary and how important it is that the security of our nation be guarded, not just by those who have the responsibility to the nation for security but by every Canadian citizen.

I would urge, Mr. Speaker, that the Government consider, not setting up a Royal Commission, because this is not going to answer the question at the present time, but issuing a White Paper relating to espionage and subversive activities in the nation, or else instructing those agencies responsible for security to give out periodic information, in

DEBATES 1143

Northwest Territories Advisory Commission order that we can be informed in so far as it is essential that the public know what is going on, so as to avoid this kind of situation which both the Department of External Affairs and the Prime Minister have stumbled into with regard to this particular matter.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouelle (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, we fully support the action taken by the government to expel, as ordered last week, those Russian communist spies. We believe that no official, in any embassy, should abuse Canadian hospitality. As a matter of fact we are showing enough courtesy in Canada to be respected ourselves and no foreign country should send spies over here to bribe our federal officials.

On the other hand, this proves beyond any doubt that there are within the Canadian civil service communists who are traitors to their country, and I think the Prime Minister and the government should give us the names of such federal employees as was done in the case of those involved in corruption and bribes as, for instance, in the case of Messrs. Denis, Dupuis, Rouleau, etc., whose names have been made public across Canada, creating the impression that such people could only be found in the province of Quebec. But now we find in the dens of co-operative federalism, if I may use the expression, spies kept informed by Canadians whose salaries are paid out of taxes levied against the Canadian people.

The Prime Minister and the government took the right action when they expelled those two Russian spies from Canada.

I think the R.C.M.P. should, in the future, keep a sharper eye on what is going on not only in one department but in the whole civil service. I know that the R.C.M.P. is doing a tremendous and intelligent job in this regard and that it finally discovers those who deserve to be called before the bar of public opinion, as was done today.

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NORTHERN AFFAIRS

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-APPOINTMENT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT

LIB

Arthur Laing (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Arihur Laing (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources):

Mr. Speaker, I have an announcement of some importance concerning the Northwest Territories. Developments in the past 20 years in the Northwest Territories have focused attention on

May 11, 1SL65

1144 COMMONS

Northwest Territories Advisory Commission the forms of territorial government. The growing need to bring the government into closer touch with the area and its people is consistent with development of our Federal system over more than 100 years. There is an increasing awareness in Canada of the potential and importance of the Northwest Territories. The search for oil and metals is assuming extraordinary proportions. The development of the Territorial Government should proceed in an orderly, logical way, recognizing that increasing control over its own affairs carries with it greater financial, administrative and political responsibilities.

Since 1920 the Northwest Territories has been governed by a Commissioner and Council, with Ottawa as the seat of the Government, the Council presently consisting of four elected and five appointed members. Early in 1962 the Council passed a resolution recommending the establishment of a resident government which would require a division into two territories. The Government of the day accepted the principle implied in this resolution, and the present Government brought forward proposals based on that principle.

No conclusive action was taken, and early in 1964 the present Council asked the Federal Government not to proceed further with these proposals until it had an opportunity to study their implications. Subsequently, at its November 1964 session the Council requested the establishment of a Commission to look into and report on political and other aspects of northern development, and also requested that the territorial franchise be extended to all residents of the Northwest Territories. At this stage, there is general agreement that further constitutional development for the Northwest Territories is needed.

We believe there is need for an impartial and objective fact finding group of persons to consider the questions relating to the immediate and longer term political development of the Northwest Territories. In particular the residents should be given an opportunity to make their views known.

It has therefore been decided to appoint an Advisory Commission on the development of Government in the Northwest Territories. The terms of reference of the Commission will enable it to review government in the Northwest Territories and to recommend to the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources the form of government that seems most appropriate consistent with political, economic and social development. Within this general framework the Commission will be

expected to give specific attention to the following matters:

(a) the views of residents of the Northwest Territories and other Canadians regarding the foregoing;

(b) the nature of the Federal Government's responsibility for the Territories;

(c) consideration of the political development of the Territories contingent on the size, nature and distribution of population and its ability to pay a significant share of the costs involved having regard to the present and prospective level of social and economic development;

(d) the present forms of government of the Northwest Territories as defined by the Northwest Territories Act and the Northern Affairs and National Resources Act;

(e) the subject matter of the previous proposals affecting the constitutional structure of the Territories; and

(f) other recommendations the Commission considers desirable.

Dean A. W. R. Carrothers, B.A., LL.B., LL.M., Professor and Dean of Law at the University of Western Ontario, has accepted the invitation to act as Chairman of the Advisory Commission. Dean Carrothers at 42 years of age is one of the most eminent young members of his profession in Canada. Mr. John H. Parker has also agreed to serve as a member of the Commission. Mr. Parker is the able and highly respected Mayor of Yellowknife. He has lived in that city for a number of years and is thoroughly aware of the problems facing the northern areas today. I expect to be in a position to announce the name of the third member of the Commission very shortly. We are hoping that Mr. Jean Gourd of Amos, Quebec will agree to serve. These men can be expected to approach the assignment with professional competence and energy but without preconceived, rigid opinions or views.

The Advisory Commission will be asked to make its report and recommendations to the Minister before the spring of 1966. To assist the Advisory Commission in launching its studies, the Government intends to issue within the next two months a reference paper outlining in detail the social and economic conditions, the political structure and the resources of the Northwest Territories. The paper will not, of course, deal with future government policy, but we hope will serve a useful purpose for the Commission and indeed all Canadians interested in the north.

The Government will also bring before the House as promised in the Speech from the

May 11, 1985

Throne certain amendments to the Northwest Territories Act. These will not involve major changes in legislation, nor will they prejudge or interfere with the work of the Advisory Commission. Measures designed to facilitate the establishment of a territorial public service in the Northwest Territories will be proposed, as will provisions to extend the franchise to all residents of the Northwest Territories. This we feel is obviously essential at this time to ensure a full voice for territorial residents in their government.

We will propose that the stipends for Council members of both Territories be raised to more closely reflect the scale of indemnities paid to members of other legislatures in the country and the special conditions which the members face in the service of the people of the north.

In the development of these plans, the Government is very conscious of the importance of the northern areas to the entire country. The purpose is to ensure maximum opportunity for the people of the north and the full development of the physical resources. The report of the Advisory Commission will, we hope, form a basis for the framing of a continuing development program for the Northwest Territories.

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PC

Eugène (Gene) Rhéaume

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gene Rheaume (Northwest Territories):

Mr. Speaker, I welcome, as will the people of the north, this announcement of the Government's plan to continue with a vital program of northern development which was launched some seven years ago. The most important part of the Minister's statement in these days of civil rights struggles is that all the residents of the Northwest Territories are to be given the right to vote in territorial elections, a goal that has been my stated objective since entering this Chamber two years ago and a project that I know has been close to the Minister, as it was to the Ministers of Northern Affairs before him.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, it is well for the House to recall at this point that it is only since 1962 that there has been a Member of Parliament for the entire Northwest Territories, and that it is only since 1962 that all Canadians have had the right to vote in Federal elections. Members of this Parliament should also recall that it was through the vehicle of the Nielsen bill, sponsored by the hon. Member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen)-a man who daily impresses us with his many facets and interests-and with the full support of the then Prime Minister that this legislation granting the vote was passed.

DEBATES 1145

Northwest Territories Advisory Commission

The right to vote in local elections is a completely necessary and logical step toward equality of rights and responsibilities of those northerners, who will now for the first time be heard in the Councils of the Northwest Territories on those things that most closely touch their lives.

The step announced today is both the result and the vindication of the concepts of the previous administration which were rooted in the belief in our northern people and the belief in the northern destiny of this country.

The appointment of the Advisory Commission is noteworthy for other reasons. It is in keeping with the recommendations of the Council of the Northwest Territories, and will have on it a resident of the Northwest Territories in the person of His Worship Mayor John Parker of Yellowknife, a man who has spent years in the north and who has a special knowledge of the mining industry. This is an industry which will surely provide the economic base for this part of Canada. The Commission will also, if it follows its terms of reference, consult with northerners wherever they may be found. In this regard I would emphasize the necessity for the Commission to meet with the Indian and Eskimo people who bring 5,000 years of northern experience to the problems of the area.

The terms of reference of the Commission I believe are sufficiently broad to include consideration of the possibility of representation in the Senate for the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Until such time as these two areas of northern Canada are represented in the other place, the north country will not be fully represented in Parliament. I hope the terms of reference are broad enough to include a consideration of the role of the territorial Governments at Federal-Provincial Conferences. In the Commission's examination of the Northern Affairs and National Resources Act, it will conceivably and hopefully touch upon the problems in respect of the administration of the Quebec Eskimo people.

There are two other features that I believe are worthy of note. The provision for setting up a territorial public service makes sense. We must have in this country locally oriented administrations with a backlog of northern experience. The proposal to increase the stipends of the Councillors of the Northwest Territories is also well taken. The Northwest Territories consists of approximately 1,353,000 square miles of this country and, if I understood the Minister's statement correctly, about seven elected Councillors will be required to travel this area.

1146 COMMONS

Northwest Territories Advisory Commission

In summary, the announcement today is a major milestone in the inexorable march of the people of the north toward self government. All Canadians can take pleasure and rejoice in this announcement, but none more so than those of us who, by choice, want to make our contribution to the national life as residents of Canada's far north.

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Subtopic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-APPOINTMENT OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT OF GOVERNMENT
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May 11, 1965