January 26, 1970

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

CANADIAN CONSTITUTION

LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Donald S. Macdonald (President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, as announced last week the business for both today and tomorrow will be a debate on the motion to establish a joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons on the constitution, which stands in the Prime Minister's name which is now under government notices of motions and which it is assumed will be transferred in due course to government orders today. There have been discussions among the parties as to the procedure for handling this matter and I think there might be found to be general agreement for a special order to deal with this debate.

The first characteristic of it would be that the ordinary time limits provided under Standing Order 31 would be suspended, that an initial spokesman for each of the parties would be entitled to speak for 40 minutes and that thereafter speakers would be entitled to speak for 20 minutes. Second, the debate would be a two-day debate and all questions necessary to a decision on the motion would be put immediately before the ordinary time for adjournment on the second day.

There has also been a suggestion, and unfortunately I have not had full opportunity to consult on this point, that on each of the two days private members' hour might be suspended in order to allow maximum opportunity for participation. I wonder if that might be agreeable and if that could be a special order of the House?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE ON MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. W. Baldwin (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the importance of the subject and the wish of many hon. members to participate, although the terms of reference relating to this matter are somewhat complex we feel that in the interest of the widest possible debate this is the proper course to follow and would be perfectly agreeable to it.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE ON MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, we have agreed to this procedural motion.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE ON MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE
Permalink
IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is this agreed? Is it so ordered?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE ON MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN CONSTITUTION
Sub-subtopic:   PROCEDURE ON MOTION TO ESTABLISH JOINT COMMITTEE
Permalink

HUMAN RIGHTS

STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Secretary of Slate for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, January 19, the hon. member for Hamilton West directed a question to me and to the Prime Minister regarding allegations of racial discrimination in Canada. I should like to thank the hon. member for giving me the opportunity of making a statement on this important matter and of expressing what I hope is the view of all hon. members of the House.

[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)

Since the incident which occurred at the Sir George Williams University computer centre in February, 1969, various statements have been made, both in Canada and in the Caribbean, by some of those accused of offences in connection with that incident and by other persons with an interest in the matter, alleging that Canada has a racist society and pursues racialist policies. As hon. members are aware, such statements are without foundation. The fact that the Canadian government does not engage in, and will not tolerate in any department or agency for which it is responsible, policies which involve discrimination on grounds of race, creed, colour or ethnic origin is well known. Furthermore, as an adherent to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, and a signatory of the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, Canada has affirmed its opposition to such discrimination. The government reiterates its fullest support of these principles and objectives.

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January 26, 1970

Racial Discrimination

Since the events of February, 1969, I have met on several occasions with a number of people interested in the Sir George Williams University incident. At one such meeting with a group of students and professors, I gave them the government's assurance that the events at Sir George would in no way affect Canadian government policy with regard to the admission of Caribbean students or the functioning of Canadian educational assistance programs. I have also met twice with diplomatic representatives of the Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean, when I assured them that our immigration regulations and policies would not be altered as a result of these events. I also expressly made the point that the incident at Sir George Williams University should not be allowed to damage relations between Canada and their countries.

Racial discrimination is a cancerous growth which gnaws away the humanity of society and is an example of what Robert Burns called "man's inhumanity to man". Canada is not free from racial prejudice. In this, as in all countries, there are people who practise racial discrimination. Racial discrimination arises from ignorance and fear. It cannot be eradicated by Acts of Parliament or regulations, although these can and do restrain its more extreme manifestations.

The Canadian government is opposed to racism in any form and is working to create the conditions in which our society will be free of it. The government cannot carry out this task alone. It calls for the best efforts of all Canadians of good will. Parents and teachers, who form the attitudes of the young, bear a special responsibility.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES
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PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lincoln M. Alexander (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure I speak not only for members on this side of the House but all hon. members who are concerned about the problem of discrimination because of race, creed or colour when I say I am pleased that the government has stood up to be counted throughout the world for the benefit of those who have the attitude that our eyes continue to be closed to the ultimate results. This has now been discounted. Unquestionably there are many in our great country who continue to practice acceptance of a man on the basis of race, creed or colour. This must stop.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES
Permalink
PC

Lincoln MacCauley Alexander

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Alexander:

We have seen the results of such an attitude in other countries which I need not mention. Those who continue to

adhere to this philosophy must realize the harm that can come to this country. We must maintain our good relations with the West Indies because there is mutual benefit from such a relationship.

I am pleased to see that the House generally has accepted the spirit of my question. I am also pleased that Canada has stood up to be counted as a country that welcomes all people, regardless of race, creed or colour, who want to come to this country in freedom and take part productively by becoming an actual and viable force in the mainstream of Canadian life.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES
Permalink
NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Orlikow (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the statement made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. We have always supported the international conventions of the United Nations and of the International Labour Organization. Canada itself has fair employment practices legislation and the Bill of Rights on its statute books, and we support the principles enunciated in the minister's statement.

We welcome particularly the statement that despite what happened at Sir George Williams University the government has no intention of altering its policy under which Caribbean students have been admitted in large numbers to study in Canada.

Without expressing any view on the trials now in progress, or on some of the things which happened at Sir George Williams- indeed, it would be improper for me to comment on the trials at this point-I express the hope that when the trials have been completed and the students have paid the penalty, if any, meted out by the courts, the government of Canada, through the Department of Manpower and Immigration, will' avoid taking a very legalistic approach to this matter. I trust it will not arrange for the automatic deportation of these people as it has a right to do when crimes have been committed and convictions obtained.

There is one further point I should like to make, though it does not relate directly to the responsibility of the federal government. It seems to us that the decision of the university to bar from registration this year the students who have been charged, before they have been convicted or given an opportunity to defend themselves and explain what happened, is wrong. To a certain extent at least they have, in fact, been tried and found guilty by the university, and for this reason we believe the course taken is wrong.

January 26, 1970

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES
Permalink
RA

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Abilibi):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank sincerely the Secretary of State for External Affairs, on behalf of my colleagues, for the statement he has just made in respect of racism.

I appreciated the statement made by my hon. friend, the hon. member for Hamilton West (Mr. Alexander). May I say that I am proud of his participation in the business of the House, because, once more, I repeat, once more this proves that any person, regardless of his race or his color, can take an efficient part, not only in the business of the State, but also in the administration and the operation of a State.

In my opinion, Mr. Speaker, the real issue is not simply a matter of race, colour or creed, but rather a problem of individuals. Since Canada throws her doors open to all sorts of individuals, the presence of a certain foreigner in Canada at this time is worrying a lot of people, especially some ministers of the province of Quebec. I rather think it is in that field that Canada should enforce strict supervision in order to prevent some trouble makers from infiltrating into our country.

Topic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ALLEGED BY CERTAIN STUDENTS FROM WEST INDIES
Permalink

IMMIGRATION

TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE ON PROPOSED RESETTLEMENT IN ALBERTA

LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of Manpower and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration):

Mr. Speaker, I promised the hon. member for Saint-Denis last week or the week before that I would table correspondence on the subject of the proposed resettlement of certain immigrants in Alberta, and if I have leave I will table that correspondence.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE ON PROPOSED RESETTLEMENT IN ALBERTA
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE ON PROPOSED RESETTLEMENT IN ALBERTA
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   TABLING OF CORRESPONDENCE ON PROPOSED RESETTLEMENT IN ALBERTA
Permalink

January 26, 1970