January 11, 1973

LIB

John Mercer Reid (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. John M. Reid (Parliamentary Secretary to President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to be able to congratulate you on your successful re-election not only to the House of Commons but also to the Speakership of this House. This is the third parliament in which you will have been the Speaker. I think this has created a rather valuable precedent in our affairs, in that we have now made a series of decisions with respect to you, Sir, which have led, perhaps, to the creation of a permanent Speaker in the House of Commons. Your attainment of the office is well deserved because with your sense of humour and abilities you are able to break up tense moments in the House with a word of humour, thus making Members of Parliament who have never been particularly cognizant of the authority of the Chair, they being carried away in the battles of the moment, aware that they should pay more attention to the rules than otherwise might be the case.

The Address-Mr. Reid

At the same time I would like to comment on the election of Mr. Deputy Speaker. I think it is high time that the practice of sharing high positions in the House of Commons between parties was adopted and continued. I hope that in succeeding parliaments this precedent that we have begun will be continued. I think that the person who now holds the position of Deputy Speaker has been particularly well chosen.

Further, Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not congratulate the Deputy Chairman of Committees and the Assistant Deputy Chairman of Committees, both of whom served well in the last House of Commons, on their re-election to those positions.

This brings me to an important point which has to do with the committee system as it will operate in this House of Commons in which there is no majority. It has been the practice since the committee system was revamped under the government of the late Lester B. Pearson that, with the exception of the Public Accounts Committee, chairmen of committees have been drawn from the party with the largest numbers in the House. It was always my feeling that this was an undesirable precedent, because the role of a chairman of a committee is analogous to that of yours, Sir, in the House of Commons, in that the committees are microcosms of the House of Commons with the parties represented on them in proportion to their strength in the House. The role the chairman of a committee ought to play should be that of Mr. Speaker in the House of Commons. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, it seems that, given the standings in the House of Commons, we have an opportunity to try to revise the way in which chairmen have been selected.

The suggestion I would put forward is that Mr. Speaker, in conjunction with either the whips of the various parties or the House leaders, should develop a panel of chairmen from both sides of the House, including all groups in the House of Commons, who would serve as chairmen of these committees. I think this would be a valuable precedent. It would give experience to a variety of members in the functions of the House of Commons; it would provide a valuable training ground for individual members to learn the rules and to train for important positions such as the role you now play, Mr. Speaker, the role of Mr. Deputy Speaker, Chairman of Committees and Deputy Chairman of Committees. I think that this kind of precedent could only strengthen the House of Commons particularly at a time when the role of the Chair and the role of the chairmen of committees are going to be of particular importance to the smooth functioning of the House. I think it would also be a happy advance toward building on the precedent which has led, I would hope, to the continuing development of a permanent Speakership of the House of Commons and the bipartisanship of the office of Speaker of the House of Commons with the inclusion of Mr. Deputy Speaker.

Recently the redistribution commission for Ontario made a series of recommendations regarding that province. The riding I represent, Kenora-Rainy River, is one of the largest in Canada. Unfortunately, under the recommendation of the boundary commission that riding would expand by approximately one-third even though, if one

looks at the population figures for northern and northwestern Ontario, it would be possible to have the same number of seats available instead of the present recommendations under which we will now lose two seats, one for northern Ontario and one for northwestern Ontario. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that the rural ridings in Canada, not only of northern and northwestern Ontario but all across Canada, are too large.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

John Mercer Reid (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

The workload for rural Members of Parliament is simply becoming far too great for them to handle and for them to exercise all the responsibilities they must when they become members. The reason is quite simple. By their very nature rural ridings do not have large centres which can provide the government services so badly needed. That means that the people depend more on their Member of Parliament than do those in larger communities with a variety of government services. The workload is different and I would say that the workload of a rural Member of Parliament is far in excess of that of an urban member.

This development is unfortunate. It seems to me that the redistribution commission has gone a step further in the way in which it has attempted to divide Ontario by creating urban ridings and has left vast rural ridings without any natural communication centres through which the people can contact their member. In my own case I would have to work out of both Winnipeg and Thunder Bay in order to provide proper communication with my constituency. There is no large centre in my constituency which means that the scattered population does not receive that kind of representation to which they are entitled to receive from their member. More important, Mr. Speaker, they do not reap the full benefit of the services of either the federal government or the provincial government because of their isolation and the distance from the larger centres of communication from which government operates. It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that they do not receive proper value for their tax dollars because of this diminution of services.

I think the way in which the redistribution commissions have been operating works against the rural areas and makes it difficult for them to benefit from the development programs of the government, for example, regional development expansion. It makes it almost impossible for Members of Parliament representing such areas to participate fully in the work of the House and to provide national representation in their areas. The Member of Parliament is responsible for being the linchpin between the federal government agencies, provincial government agencies and his constituents. The workload becomes very heavy.

Parts of the Speech from the Throne could be entitled "What I have learned from the last election". I think we all learned a great deal about how people feel about government, not partisan politics, but the way in which government is carried on. One of the things which has bothered me is the expansion of governments into areas in which they were not before. There has been a tremendous feeling of uneasiness in that what the government says it can do is not in fact being done. The people feel that govern-

January 11, 1973

ment decides to do things, makes promises and sets up a bureaucracy, but the results of that bureaucracy and those promises fall far short of what was originally intended. They feel that the bureaucracy which has been established to do certain things does not benefit them but only the members of the bureaucracy who hold jobs. They feel that the bureaucracy is not sufficiently sensitive to the needs of the people, that administrative procedures, decisions, interpretations of regulations and even acts of parliament are designed not to assist the people who have selected Members of Parliament to vote these laws into effect but to assist only those people who are administering them.

It is my feeling, Mr. Speaker, that there have to be new ways of solving the problems other than the traditional ones of identifying the problem, identifying a solution and then creating the bureaucracy to solve it. That mode of action is no longer successful. I am encouraged by experiments such as the opportunities for youth and local initiatives programs which have given people an opportunity to use their own ideas and to work on solutions to their own problems.

Because of this distrust, if you will, of the governmental process, it strikes me that we must be prepared to consider another proposition. In the early 1960s there was considerable debate in the House of Commons, in the provinces and in the country at large about the possibility of appointing an ombudsman for Canada. 1 know the idea was canvassed in the House and the former member for Red Deer presented a bill to the House of Commons. I am in the process of preparing a bill for consideration of the House about the creation of the office of ombudsman.

Because of the situation in which we now find ourselves with a minority parliament, the government will not have the energies to cope with the growing power of the bureaucracy; it means that the energies of the government will be concentrated in the House of Commons; it means that we as Members of Parliament will not have the energy to try to cope with the growth of bureaucracy; it means that we must find some other agency to deal with this growing problem. Therefore it seems to me that the creation of the office of ombudsman would be beneficial not only in terms of dissipating the uneasiness of so many of our constituents over the development and exercise of bureaucratic power, but that it would be beneficial for the bureaucracy itself to know that there was a means by which people who felt they were being discriminated against by that bureaucracy could have an adequate hearing of their grievances. It seems to me that this role can no longer be played to the fullest extent by the Member of Parliament if government continues penetration into a variety of areas of Canadian society.

In the Speech from the Throne I was delighted to see concentration on the needs of western Canada. As a member from Ontario whose constituency is significantly affected by developments in the west, I feel there is a caveat I must enter on behalf of my constituents. That caveat is that if and when the meeting with the four western provinces is held to consider their economic intentions, there must be provision for representation from northwestern Ontario. Our area is affected directly by what goes on in the west and is dependent on decisions

The Address-Mr. Reid

taken in the west. I am referring to federal government decisions in response to the desires of the west. While it may be convenient for the federal government to divide the country and to operate on the basis of provincial consultations, it is also important for the federal government to deal adequately with the northwestern Ontario region that abuts on the western region, and to provide us with representation to permit us to make our own case at conferences involving the government of Canada and the West. We in northern Ontario have a separate personality, if you will, and we need representation to speak for northwestern Ontario. We do not merely need representation from the province of Ontario which we feel has never been able to speak adequately for us at Queen's Park, let alone at federal-provincial conferences.

I was also pleased to see the reference to the Department of Regional Economic Expansion in the speech and the promise that there would be more decentralization and closer co-operation with provinces. I wish to make only one comment concerning regional economic expansion. I say to hon. members who come from Toronto and from what we in the north call the golden horseshoe that if there is any sense in the existence of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion in Canada it means that growth must be limited in those particular areas and diverted to the fringe areas of Canada. Perhaps a certain amount of growth will need to be taken away from the golden horseshoe area. It will not do for Members of Parliament on this or the other side of the House to speak piously of the aims of regional economic expansion without being prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to limit their own growth and to take active steps to divert growth, that is, existing industries, to areas in need.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

John Mercer Reid (Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Reid:

If that basic principle is not accepted by the House the Department of Regional Economic Expansion might as well be eliminated, because it will not have any long-term effect. It will not bring any significant longterm benefit to those fringe areas of Canada that want to grow but have been unable to grow because of the way in which policy until now has been designed in Canada. It has been designed to protect and develop secondary industry in central Canada, which I interpret as being Ontario and Quebec.

I now return to a serious problem existing in my constituency at present. The provincial and federal governments have determined that one of the growth industries in northwestern Ontario that must be developed is the tourist industry. Camp owners have been urged to winterize their operations and to try to keep open, where possible, for 12 months instead of concentrating on the two summer months as some do. Some have accepted this challenge. The province, in addition, has been stepping up its advertising campaign. The federal government has been co-operating through the Canadian travel bureau in attracting more tourists to the area.

In the area I represent a considerable cloud overhangs the development of the tourist industry, that cloud being mercury pollution. That pollution has hampered, hurt and

January 11, 1973

The Address-Mr. Reid

restricted the development of our tourist industry which at present is probably the second largest employer of people in northwestern Ontario. In 1970 mercury was discovered in the English and Wabigoon River systems and the provincial government, acting in concert with the federal government, issued a series of directives. I wish to put these directives on record because they are interesting.

On April 6, 1970, Hon. Rene Brunelle, Minister of Lands and Forests, closed down all fishing, commercial and sport, in the Wabigoon River below Dryden up to and including Clay Lake. On May 1,1970 Mr. Burnelle issued a statement which reads as follows:

I have initiated action which will close certain fisheries today. They are as follows: All commercial fishing in the following lakes in the territorial district of Kenora, Ball, Indian, Grassy Narrows, Lount, Seperation, Umfreville, Tetu, Swan and Eaglenest. In so' far as sport fishing is concerned, action is being withheld pending consultation by our health dept. Pending further advice, anglers are cautioned to refrain from eating fish from the lakes named in the Kenora district.

On May 14, 1970, Mr. Brunelle issued a further bulletin:

The sport fishing ban established in early April will be lifted immediately. Fish caught by anglers from these waters should not be eaten in the opinion of the health authorities in Canada and the U.S. The mercury in them makes them unfit for human consumption.

This was known as the fish for fun program. Anglers were encouraged to fish for sport, that is, to catch fish but not to eat them. They were to throw them back into the water.

On May 15, 1970, Mr. Colin Myles received a telephone call from the Ontario fish and wildlife department stating that fish from the river system must not be eaten. Then Hon. James Auld, Minister of Tourism in those days, is reported as having said:

In these designated areas fishing will be strictly for fun. This means no shore lunches or take-home stringers.

On May 22, 1970, Bulletin No. 1 issued by the provincial Department of Lands and Forests dealt with Ontario waters affected by mercury. It said there was no longer a ban on sport fishing in certain Ontario waters recently found to be contaminated by mercury but that all fish caught in these designated areas should not be eaten but returned to the water. In a letter of July 14, 1971, Dr. Sutherland, chief of the health studies department, said:

I have no hesitation in stating as my opinion that the fish from these waters should not be eaten.

In a further letter of November 16, 1971, Dr. Sutherland said.

I am informed by our Department of Lands and Forests that there is no evidence that mercury contamination in the fish has decreased significantly. We will recommend strongly that fish from these waters should not be eaten.

On February 28, 1972, Dr. Stopps, also of the health studies branch of the Ontario Department of Health, said: With calculations such as these, it is quite obvious that eating fish from the English River system would be hazardous to the health of camp guests.

This conclusion was confirmed by letter shortly afterwards by Dr. Richard Potter, the present Minister of Health.

In yesterday's Ottawa Citizen, dated January 10, 1973, at page 36 there appears a report of an interview with Dr. D. G. Chapman, director of the food advisory bureau in the federal department of health. The report in part reads:

Mercury is extremely toxic in fish and any legal maximum levels for other foods probably will be "considerably lower" than the present 0.5 parts per million (ppm) guide now used for levels in fish, Dr. D. G. Chapman says.

It goes on to say:

"All evidence points to the desirability, from a health hazard standpoint, of reducing this level as soon as possible," he told the Ontario Council of Commercial Fisheries last year. . . .

"We're never too happy about a chemical as toxic as this in any food product and therefore we wouldn't want to establish even this level too firmly. We might want to see it reduced."

Dr. Chapman says in the article that there has been a series of experiments by the department of National Health and Welfare with cats. The animals have been fed regulated amounts of mercury in order to discover how much mercury is necessary to kill a cat, or at least to cause symptoms of disorder. They are now beginning to make important findings. According to the report Dr. Chapman says:

The symptoms, which come on gradually, include: Numbness in the hands, arms, lips and tongue; gradual loss of hearing leading to deafness; gradual blindness with loss of vision from the periphery or edges of the visual area leading to tunnel vision and eventual blindness; deterioration of speech; unsteady gait and general inco-ordination of limbs.

In cats, it has led to almost paralysis of the hind legs.

The point I am trying to make is that mercury pollution constitutes a serious problem in my area. Indian people, who habitually have obtained a great part of their living from the waters of the region through commercial fishing, still fish. Such fish still form a considerable part of their diet. Those Indians who were active in providing services to the camp owners as guides and workers in the camps and the camp owners are concerned because until this matter is cleared up satisfactorily the whole of the tourist business in my part of northwestern Ontario is under a cloud. Up till now we have been unable to get the provincial government, which has the primary responsibility for the fisheries and for the tourist industry, to take any action at all even though they recognize it is a serious problem. They have been unable to provide the kind of assistance and leadership which is required to deal with this problem fairly and equitably from the point of view of everyone.

The Indians from the reserves of Grassy Narrows and Islington are most concerned about the situation. A great part of the diet of these people still is fish because it is all they can afford. They have been petitioning the Ontario government for some time to provide assistance and advice. The only thing they were told by the provincial government authorities is that women at a child-bearing age ought not eat any fish because of the potential damage to any child they might be carrying or which they might in future be prepared to carry.

In the Kenora district death by violence of the Indian people is one of the highest in Canada. There has been

January 11, 1973

some suspicion that part of this has been caused by the build-up of the mercury in their systems. It has only been in the past two or three months, after a great deal of pressure brought by the Indian reserves in the area, the provincial government has agreed to hold an inquest into the deaths of a number of people who died under what can only be termed as unusual circumstances. That inquest, the first, will be held some time later this month. The Indians themselves, their Indian organizations- Grand Council Treaty No. 3-have been most active, most concerned and most worried about the fact that the effect of the mercury build-up in the body may have something to do with some of the diseases and difficulties these people have been suffering.

It is not good enough for us to say we should compensate these Indian people because something more important is at stake. What has happened as a result of this mercury contamination is that not only have we destroyed the livelihood of these people in terms of the commercial fishery and the tourist industry but, more important, we have also destroyed what the Indians feel most keenly, their way of life. It is now no longer possible for these poeple to live off the land and supplement their diet and income by living off the land as they did in the past. So the hurt to these people goes far beyond anything we might be able to compensate in terms of money. When these people appeal to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Mr. Chretien) I hope he will be as generous in providing assistance to them as he has been to the Cree from James Bay in giving them the funds or the means by which to fight their battle in the courts of Quebec against the massive power diversion project.

There is one final point on this problem. The tourist industry represented through its association, the Kenora District Camp Owners' Association, has been petitioning the Ontario government to provide assistance, help and guidance. Their problem is simple. The tourist industry in my area at the present time is based to a large degree on fishing. The commercial fisherman perhaps sells his catch at an average price of 50 or 60 cents a pound while the tourist who comes and catches fish, which he takes home to show his friends, finds that the fish cost him about $10 a pound. This valuable industry is based upon the eating of fish, shore lunches and the taking back of fish to the homes of the tourists in the United States. Sports fishing is permitted by the Ontario government but not for eating. The federal government does not permit the sale of fish caught containing over .5 parts per million, while the Ontario government permits fish caught under Tourist Auspices above that scale to be eaten. This is also a commercial transaction. It seems to me it involves a moral question which must be faced.

I feel that governments cannot allow double standards of this nature to develop. It is a question of moral responsibility. It seems to me that the area ought to be closed to all fishing until the Ontario government or the federal government is prepared to say that the rate of mercury contamination in the fish is low enough for it to be eaten by individuals without any harm to their health. Now, the situation is ambiguous and unusual. It seems to me it is morally indefensible. The camp owners and the Indians have been working on this.

The Address-Mr. Wagner

My last point concerns the responsibility of the federal government in dealing with this case. I believe that under the constitution fishing is a matter of federal responsibility although in the case of the provinces they have responsibility over the waterways and I understand responsibility for the fishery has been delegated to the provinces. Nevertheless there is a clear federal responsibility because fish basically are a federal responsibility even though it has been delegated to the provinces which have primary responsibility.

The second point is that the waterway in which this has happened is an interprovincial waterway. The Wabigoon River and the English River system flow into the province of Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg. Here it has caused a considerable problem of mercury pollution. It seems to me the federal government, if it is requested by the provinces concerned, cannot refuse to participate in any program of rehabilitation and/or compensation if that is requested. The federal government ought to be prepared to provide assistance to these people when it is required because in my opinion there is a definite federal interest involved.

In the throne speech the government announced it has a number of measures with which it wanted to deal. One that caught my attention was the provision of a series of regional conferences to deal with transportation problems in Canada. Transportation is very important in my constituency and in all of northwestern Ontario. I know the federal proposition is to meet with the provinces in terms of regions. That would mean that the prairie provinces would be a region and that Ontario would be a region. Northern Ontario, however, is a bridge between the heartland of Ontario, or the golden horseshoe, and the Prairies. The problem is that transportation rates have been calculated in a way that has discriminated against those communities which have their existence on this bridge. Transportation rates have not been calculated to provide those communities in northern and northwestern Ontario proper consideration and proper rates in proportion to other communities in Canada.

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PC

Robert Jardine McCleave (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I regret to interrupt the hon. member but the time allotted to him has expired. He may continue if there is unanimous agreement. Is this agreed?

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Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

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PC

Thomas Miller Bell (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bell:

No.

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PC

Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Claude Wagner (Saint-Hyacinthe):

Mr. Speaker, I hasten to extend my respectful greetings to you, not merely in keeping with etiquette and established usage, but because I have already recognized that you possess the intellectual and moral qualifications that make an impartial and respected mediator.

I also extend these sentiments to the Deputy Speaker of the House (Mr. McCleave), an unanimously esteemed and appreciated colleague. I congratulate the government on its non-partisan action and hcpe the precedent set will be followed. If the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker can be so readily replaced, why could this not apply also to the

January 11, 1973

The Address-Mr. Wagner

head of the government and the leader of the official opposition? I also extend greetings to the mover (Mr. Blais), and the seconder (Mr. Blaker).

Mr. Speaker, I realize that I am sitting in the Canadian Parliament at a time when parliamentary government is living through a unique period of its history where it must serve the prime interests of the Canadian people rather than the electoral designs of political parties.

Mr. Speaker, I feel it is a privilege for me, as member for Saint-Hyacinthe, to represent with my Quebec colleagues the aspirations of that province in the Canadian Parliament and this when all Canadians, from whatever province or region, are precisely yearning for unity in diversity, common ideals which respect the characteristics of all partners.

I would have liked so much, Mr. Speaker, to speak today about the position of our party concerning the government platform. However, the generalities of the Speech from the Throne, stamped with fine intents and pious hopes, do not prompt me to improve upon the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau).

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I do not have to apologize for what I am going to say this morning. Truth has its own rights and so has justice.

I am not very proud of the behaviour shown by some hon. members in this House. Last Monday, I was surprised by the nature and the tone of the speech of the Prime Minister. He was not the man I knew before nor the writer I read once. Listening to him and embarrassed by his words, I remembered an article he wrote earlier in his career in the 56th issue of Cite Libre, in April 1963. This article is entitled:

Pearson or the abdication of the mind.

The head of the government said then:

The political philosophy of the Liberal party is quite simple: say anything, think of anything or, better still, do not think of anything at all, but bring us into power because we are the ones who can govern you best.

Ten years later, we hear the echo: "Say anything, but bring us into power".

Mr. Speaker, unaware of what was in store for him, the hon. member for Mount Royal wrote concerning those who did not dare criticize the then Liberal leader, and I quote:

They recognize that the leader of the Liberal party was a little rash about changing the platform of the party, but they feel that this is not the time ... to condemn the leader and divide the party.

Further on, one can read:

The Liberals believe that power is their own property.

Mr. Speaker, this is how the Liberal party had been stigmatized by its present leader. So I say, with reason, the more it changes, the more it remains unchanged.

This desire of the present government to hang on to power at all cost makes me say that its minority position uncovers its political immorality.

Mr. Speaker, the incredible remarks that the head of this government and the leader of the Social Credit party (Mr. Caouette) have made last Monday have simply made me sick.

Why did we have to listen to these two awkward and ridiculous representations about Canadian unity, so called by some people, awkward and ridiculous representations according to the most objective observers, to editorialists and even to the leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Lewis)? They were made to conceal their ineptness to deal with and solve now the real problems, that is economic inequalities which affect the Canadian people.

It was not even clever to resort to such tactics of diversion, Mr. Speaker. I want to state clearly that I had to control myself not to intervene and rise on a question of privilege. Today, I appeal to the pride of the people from Quebec and to the dignity of all Canadians so that they no longer tolerate such situations and I shall keep on doing it.

As a member of this House from the province of Quebec, I note how often and with what ease the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) readily employs distortion to make debating points which could not otherwise stand on their own. Might I give one illustration? On Monday, the Prime Minister referred to an editorial published in the Vancouver Sun of November 3, 1972. The section from which he quoted was put this way in the original editorial:

A minority government headed by Mr. Trudeau is almost certain to be defeated in parliament within a matter of months with a further loss of party prestige. The most important prospect, however, is that in the meantime frustrated English-speaking Canadians will feel that their wishes as expressed at the polls last Monday are being thwarted on a constitutional technicality by a party that owes fundamental political allegiance to Quebec.

The editorial writer puts that particular view forward as a prospect, and that is the precise word he uses, "prospect". The Prime Minister, in quoting from the editorial on Monday, did not include that part about the prospect.

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Some hon. Members:

Shame!

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Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wagner:

He began his quotation in this way, and I quote this time from Hansard of January 8 at page 53: -frustrated English-speaking Canadians will feel that their wishes as expressed-

It is abundantly clear, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister, by taking this sentence out of its original context as a prospect, has changed the whole meaning of that section of the editorial. The newspaper assesses this as a mischievous reading of its real position, and I agree with that assessment.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wagner:

Of course, my purpose in covering this matter is not to defend the editorial integrity of the Vancouver Sun. I use it as an illustration, I think a particularly emphatic illustration, of how the Prime Minister is prepared to distort material that is unfavourable to his position.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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PC

Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wagner:

One has to ask why the Prime Minister indulges in this kind of distortion. The Vancouver Sun thinks it is mischief, but in view of the serious stakes in

January 11, 1973

terms of national unity I consider it to be much more serious than mischief.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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PC

Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wagner:

I consider it to be a tragic and destructive act, particularly when it is done by a man holding a position of high office with the solemn obligation he has to help Canadians understand each other.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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PC

Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Wagner:

What the Prime Minister did on Monday constitutes an act of blowing up bridges, and there is no justification for that, politically or morally.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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January 11, 1973