April 19, 1974

?

An hon. Member:

Very funny!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

Not bad.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Reilly:

It is they who brought this bill before the House. It is they who urge the rest of us to pass it without debate. Yet it is bad law. It has dubious constitutional backing. They want us to get rid of it so that there can be a

vote. Well, they are not going to get it. In case there should be any doubt in the mind of the aforesaid leather lungs, I intend to speak against this bill as will most, if not all, of my hon. friends in this party.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

And so would they, if they could!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Reilly:

Yes. As my hon. friend says, if the truth ever came out there is hardly a member within that tatty caucus who, if he had the courage, would not stand up and say exactly what I am saying about this affair.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Reilly:

Mr. Speaker, I am in some difficulty, I must confess, in finding within the lexicon of the English language words to describe the emotion I feel as I stand up here to debate this over-poweringly important measure. My thoughts stray to my riding, not 2,000 yards west of here. I think of the young housewife whose husband, by whom she has had three children, earns less than $10,000 a year, and of the tiny, tiny tender smile that must flit over her lips as she delves deeply into her handbag in an effort to make a down payment on the weekend groceries, and remembers that the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Lalonde) has made Toronto safe for the Argonauts. I think of the many hundreds of thousands of people-507,000 by the government's own count last Monday-who are out of work in this country and who, as they line up to receive their unemployment cheques, may be taking real comfort from the fact that the WFL shall not pass.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Robert Muir

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Muir:

A thousand laid off last week in my city.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Reilly:

Last Monday, the increases in the cost of living were announced. As we all know, the average increase in the consumer price index for the year was 10.1 per cent. In some cities it was as high as 12.5 per cent for the year with St. John's leading the pack. In Ottawa, where the minister sits five days a week, it was 11.4 per cent, the monthly increase being .9 per cent. This is in addition to the multiplicity of other disasters which have been brought on the heads of the unsuspecting and undeserving people of this country as a result of the really creative incompetence of the government.

As I say, I find myself at a loss for words to describe my feelings. Certainly, "honoured" is not the word. "Happy" does not describe the way I feel, either. What I really feel is demeaned and deceived and put upon at having to sit here and watch this kind of spectacle. I think of all the people in the Public Service who are trying through their collective bargaining agents to get a decent collective agreement out of the Treasury Board, and not succeeding. I think of all the travellers who find themselves waiting at airports, unable to reach their destinations. I think of the many people waiting for mail, including a bunch of postal employees in Kentville, Nova Scotia who went on strike because they could not get their pay cheques because the post office employees are on strike elsewhere, as a result of which their cheques could not get to Kentville.

The firemen at the airports across the country want to vote on their contract, but once again they cannot because

April 19, 1974

the post office is on strike and they cannot receive their ballots. Even if they did succeed in getting their ballots on the plane, they had better vote fast because the air traffic controllers are going to be on the street by midnight Sunday. In the midst of all this the government brings on this extraordinary measure to regulate in what fashion, in what numbers, and by whom, a leather spheroid shall be propelled up and down a 100 yard field.

At this point I should like to read a charming editorial that appeared in this morning's Globe and Mail entitled "Canada crowds in again". I think it is particularly poignant in the context of this moment. It goes like this:

It is said that Barbados can bestow a special sense of tranquility on all who visit it; a calming, benign influence that can waft troubles away on zephyr breezes. We trust it worked its therapeutic wonders on Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau during the five or six days he spent there, because he returns to an in-tray that threatens to break the legs of his desk.

If I can interpolate a personal observation here, those of us who have been unfortunate enough to have to witness the ill temper of the aforesaid member from Barbados know full well that there is no discernible evidence that the tranquility or zephyr breezes had any ameliorating effect on his temper at all. To continue:

Some of us can go on holiday and return to find that our week has been invisibly mended. Hardly anyone noticed we were gone, and events just lumbered easily along. It doesn't work that way for prime ministers.

Then, it poses this rhetorical question:

From calypso to collapso? Well, we can't be sure what lurks behind the enigmatic smile of New Democratic Party Leader David Lewis or behind the doors of the Conservative caucus room, but staying afloat in Ottawa can be more fun than skindiving in the Caribbean.

The first thing Mr. Trudeau should understand is that if his in-tray is overburdened, it is not the fault of the Post Office. That operation has done all that could be expected of it to ease the flow of communication by letter.

Let him be thankful also that the possibility of intrusion on his working day by delegations from all parts of the country has been thoughtfully reduced through a gift by airport firefighters, with air traffic controllers standing by. In keeping with the fiesta spirit that goes with labour's rites of spring, the St. Lawrence River pilots have made their own unique contribution.

Canada is wonderful in the springtime. It's nature's time of renewal and all around us things are pushing merrily upward-wages, prices- you name it. Yes, inflation is another of those little things that tells you you have been away. Even in six days you can see the index move.

Lay a budget on us. Give us something to sing and dance about. The good old countervailing force, remember? We have it on the highest authority that this will be a good budget, and those of us who didn't make it to Barbados this winter need a glimpse of sunshine.

Well, Mr. Speaker, if we have not got sunshine, at least we have football. In an earlier reincarnation the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Lalonde) once functioned as principal secretary to the Prime Minister. In that lofty capacity he had occasion to speak to a seminar of Liberal party workers on the west coast. This particular seminar had to do with the participation of party workers in the formation of Liberal party policy. He said at this seminar: "Of course, you have to realize that none of these policy resolutions are binding; after all you are only a few per cent". So they said to him: "What if you have more than a few per cent? What if you have 51 per cent, or even 100 per cent of all the workers in the Liberal party deciding we should do something that you did not want to do?" "Well," he replied, "we would send our P.R. men out to do

Canadian Professional Football a better selling job because we would realize that we had made a mistake".

If I ever saw concrete evidence that that curious attitude toward the democratic process has not changed one bit, it is the almost inch think folder of profession "bumph" that came our way in trying to sell this dubious proposition to members of parliament. We have received telegrams from mayors, and following a rhetorical question posed this morning by the hon. member for Rocky Mountain (Mr. Clark), I should like to tell the minister that of all the telegrams and letters received from mayors of various cities in this country, only three were written after March 1, out of about 15, by the look of it. One has to assume, since the bill was recently introduced in this House, that they knew not what it contained, unless the minister was sliding around showing it to them in advance, and I can scarcely credit that. So I think we can take these letters, telegrams and all the rest with a grain of salt.

As far as the letters are concerned, I should like to read a couple of them to the minister. One from a constituent of mine says this:

I would like to list a few of the reasons why I think Mr. Lalonde is being ridiculous in his stand.

-The Northmen have guaranteed that the equalization from the

Argonauts would not decrease from last season's level for the next

three years.

Actually, it is the next ten years.

They also hold refusal rights to another WFL team in Canada and have guaranteed the government they will not allow another team to play in Canada.

Mr. Lalonde's worry about Canadian sport comes much too late for anybody to seriously believe that is his only motive and not a vote-getter from the western provinces ...

If the government is really worried about the CFL going belly-up why don't they set up a grant system for the leagues teams that are not drawing large enough crowds to support them. The manner in which the government is spending money and giving grants to the most idiotic causes would suggest this would be a worthy cause.

This is a letter to the minister from a constituent of mine who was kind enough to send me a copy:

Canadians have more faith in their institutions and themselves than you give them credit for. Normal competition leads to strength and vitality-government interference leads to complacency and decay.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, a letter that appeared a couple of days ago in the Ottawa Journal from an admirable person who signs himself or herself "K. C. Shindler":

Sirs:

Our federal government has strange priorities. The cost of living has gone up 10.4 per cent in one year, vegetable prices will go up between 20 and 30 per cent by next autumn, Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan wants higher beef prices in Canada, and now Health Minister Marc Lalonde has introduced a bill to protect the CFL from the WFL.

How about a bill to protect me from the federal government?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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LIB

Georges-C. Lachance

Liberal

Mr. Lachance:

Why don't you table the letter?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Peter Reilly

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Reilly:

Here it is, any time you want it. I should just like to comment on some of the remarks made during the minister's lengthy and paranoid apologia for this curious position of his last night. He said, as reported at page 1561 of Hansard:

We hear about the principles of free enterprise and free competition in the marketplace.

April 19, 1974

Canadian Professional Football

Fancy that.

We are told that the state should not interfere with private business unless, of course, private business requests state help. We are bombarded with lectures about people's freedom of choice and freedom of movement and other fundamental rights.

I suggest that must be an imposition on the government. Imagine being bombarded with speeches about people's rights! This entitles them to take a long, long second look at this bill. Just imagine-freedom of choice and freedom of rights are being urged upon the government. How uncomfortable it must make them feel. The minister goes on to say that there is nothing unprecedented or arbitrary in the government's position.

I ask hon. members to consider precisely what it is that this bill does. It makes it a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years behind bars and/or a fine which is set at whatever a court deems advisable, if a person decides to set up a particular business in Canada, to employ American nationals and to carry on part of that business in the United States. That is exactly what the bill does, no less.

Is there another industry to which this applies? Is there another area of entrepreneurship in which a person risks going to jail and/or a fine of undetermined size because he decides to hire as his employees people who come from countries other than Canada, and because he decides to carry on business at least part of the time in another country? I do not believe so. As for being arbitrary, Mr. Speaker, I do not think there is a fashion in which you could behave more arbitrarily than by threatening someone with two years behind bars, unless it is to threaten him with a sentence of death. I think on this basis the minister's defence of this position fails to stand up at all.

Then, he goes on to appeal to the basest kind of prejudice when he says that those whose manufacturing industries have been protected in the past by tariff legislation should not complain about this. He finds that terribly ironic and he tried to suggest to us that this is a quid pro quo on the part of the whole of eastern Canada because of a reasonable position taken in bargaining over the price of oil by western provinces. I suggest to you that this is just about as strained a comparison as the bit of gibberish that came out of the minister of state for multiculturalism this morning when he was insisting on bellowing across whether the hon. member for Rocky Mountain (Mr. Clark) was in favour of Canadian unity. I agree with the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Brewin) that if the issue of whether John Bassett or Fred Schmertz, or whoever, is going to be allowed to operate a football team in Toronto in competition with the Toronto Argonauts bears heavily on the issue of national unity, then this country is in worse shape than I had imagined it to be.

This issue of national unity has been a stalking horse of this particular brand of Grits for far too long now. In the first session of this House after the election of 1972 we heard them get on the national unity hobby horse and, in the person of their Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) and national leader, accuse even the leader of this party of racism during the election campaign of October 1972, and accuse this entire political party of damaging the concept of national unity. They were rebuffed at that time quite

properly and they will be turned back and rebuffed on this issue if they try to make out that this is important to national unity, any more important than mom's apple pie. Perhaps they will come back in here with another imagined threat to national unity in the near future, but they certainly have not made any point here at all.

As to whether this team, the Toronto Northmen, would be a threat to the Canadian Football League, and this is the unifying premise of the bill, I want to examine this with you. I would be very, very grateful if the minister or anybody else over there could tell me precisely how this team located in Toronto is going to damage anybody. The existence of the WFL itself is going to threaten not only the Canadian Football League but the National Football League in the United States because there will be unrestrained raiding and bidding for services. Indeed, this very day in the newspaper John Bassett claims to have signed Larry Uteck, the Toronto Argonauts' first pick of the Canadian college draft. That kind of thing is going to go on apace. The very existence of that league, with its need for players, is going to put the pressure on every other professional football league in North America, and it is not going to matter a hoot in hell whether that team is located in Toronto, Nashville, North Carolina or wherever it is they propose to locate if they are turned out of Toronto. It is the existence of the league that is a threat, and, despite what the minister would like to do, we cannot legislate the league out of existence; we can only knock out one of its teams, and even then we can only push that across the border. It will not make one iota of difference to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Edmonton Eskimos, the Vancouver Lions or any other team if that team is allowed to operate out of Toronto.

It is the league itself that threatens, if indeed there is much of a threat, and I do not think there is because it has been the experience with professional sport of any kind, particularly professional football, that the more people who are exposed to the sport the higher the number will be at the box office. Today, in fact, the United Press International has reported out of Washington:

The Federal Communications Commission reported yesterday the lifting of the home game television blackout by Congress last season had little if any impact on the mounting prosperity of professional football, which enjoyed its best year in 1973.

"The anti-blackout law appears to have had minimal impact on the 26 member teams of the National Football League in its first season of operation," a report issued by the FCC read. "It is unlikely that season-ticket sales will be adversely affected by the law because there seems to be an excess demand for tickets.

"In fact, 1973 was the best season ever for the NFL-"

That simply means that a great many more people are turning out to NFL games despite the fact that they can see them in their own homes on television in some cities because they are being exposed to the game, a great many converts are being made and they want to see them in person. The same thing is true of Canadian football and of Canadian hockey. Whenever you expose more people to a sport everybody benefits.

I suggest the very same will be true of Toronto where there is a market of up to four million people. You can not buy a season-ticket in that stadium and you have not been able to in the last 10 years. You are lucky if you can get standing room even when they are losing, and that is most

April 19, 1974

of the time. I should know having been an Argonaut fan until I moved down to Ottawa, and I cannot even get tickets to the games here.

Let us consider what the Toronto Northmen have offered to pay. They have offered to pay the difference between the equalization grants, paid principally by the Argonauts to western teams, if they need it; the difference between what was paid under that heading in 1973 and any loss experienced by the Toronto Argonauts in earnings at the box office for the next 10 years. They have offered to restrict their television broadcasting to local TV; they have offered a no-raiding clause of teams in the CFL and have stressed that they will urge upon their colleagues in the WFL the same no-raiding agreement.

I ask you to consider what is going to happen if the Northmen are barred from Toronto. There will, of course, be the absence of a no-raiding agreement. They will be free to raid, and they have already started to do this. There will be absolutely no prohibition on all of the teams in the WFL from raiding the sources from which the CFL customarily gets its American imports, and we must bear in mind that all the CFL teams have a very high proportion of Americans on their payrolls. They are getting these players from the U.S. college draft and from American teams in the NFL, and now they are going to have a powerful and well financed component to bid in all in the same fields in the same places.

Unfortunately salaries are going to rise for a couple of years and everybody is going to feel the pressure. Unfortunately, the quality of play will decline because talent is going to be diluted. That happened in the NHL which is just starting to get a little better. Football leagues in both countries are going to feel the effects of the WFL and there is no mistake about that. The World Football League will continue to exist and will continue to be in opposition to the Canadian Football League regardless of what this parliament does.

I would suggest to you that what we are being asked to do here is accept a law which is pure, political protectionism, which is legislation in restraint of trade, which has as I said earlier dubious legality and constitutionality and which is a very thinly disguised attempt on the part of the federal government to do under the guise of criminal law what it could never do in civil law because of provincial jurisdiction.

We are being asked to do this at a time when more than half a million people are out of work, at a time when inflation is at an all-time high, at a time when the country is very close to being paralyzed by strikes in the public sector due to this government's incompetency, and at a time when this government has been discredited from coast to coast in the public view and would not continue to exist were it not refusing daily to submit to a test of confidence in this House.

Despite all the sophistry that floats across the floor to any member unfortunate enough to differ with the spurious arguments of the Liberal Party, despite all the sophistry about "Let us pass it now," I will say once again to the government that until the happy day when the voters of this country have a chance to express their views at the

Canadian Professional Football ballot box you-as disgusting a prospect as it may be for most-are the government, and if you bring in bad legislation in this House you need not expect the opposition parties to lie down before you and let you roll over them and enact bad law. And that is all this bill is.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Henry Perrin Beatty

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Perrin Beatty (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Water-loo):

Mr. Speaker, my remarks this afternoon will be very short because I would be pleased to allow this matter to go to a vote as soon as possible. Indeed, the only reason I rise to speak is to express my shock and the shock of my constituents at the decision of the government to introduce this legislation affecting football as a means of disguising its abject failure to deal with the pressing social and economic problems facing this country.

Last night I indicated my concern about the failure of the government to take any action to deal with the explosion of housing costs in Canada today. I was shocked, and remain shocked, that the only recent action by the government was to further drive up interest rates and to put the cost of housing even further beyond the reach of the average Canadian. The government is not presenting any more speakers to defend its flimsy case for second reading of this bill. They have obviously received the same response from their constituents as members of parliament on this side of the House have received, namely, that the parliament of Canada should be dealing not with frivolous legislation about football but with measures to come to grips with the host of crises facing this country.

I am intrigued that hon. members opposite claim we should hurry this legislation through to committee. All of us on this side would be delighted to do so if the government had any legislation to present dealing with the problems facing Canadians. In Canada today we have more than a 10 per cent rate of inflation. Where is the government's budget that we have been demanding? The government cannot even give us a date for the budget. The cost of housing increased by 41.8 per cent in Toronto in the last year. Torontonians are demanding legislation, not to tell them what football teams they can watch but how they can own a home.

The Unemployment Insurance Commission is in disarray. Where is the legislation to deal with that problem? Half a million Canadians are without work at the present time. What does the government plan to do to deal with that situation? There are strikes at our airports, in our mail system and on our lakes. What action is the government taking to deal with these problems?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

They are probably getting ready to stop the railways.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
PC

Henry Perrin Beatty

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Beatty (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo):

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Stanfield) says the government is probably getting ready to stop the railways now, too. If the government were prepared to introduce legislation that would deal with these matters, all of us on this side would gladly sit down. But we know, the government knows and the people of Canada know that the government has no program to present to parliament and that any legislation we will see after this bill goes to committee will be strictly housekeeping legisla-

April 19, 1974

Canadian Professional Football

tion. It will not deserve, and it will not obtain, the attention of the press or of the Canadian people.

Instead, the government is carefully preparing a well orchestrated, three-ring circus of witnesses for the committee, thinking at the same time that no one will be able to say the time of the House of Commons is being taken up by this silly bill because it will be in committee. In other words, the effect of this legislation is only that of a red herring the object of which is to distract public attention from the failure of the government to deal with the real problems facing Canadians today. I repeat, if the government has any legislation to present to cope with the high cost of housing or with the chaos caused by strikes, or if it has a budget to present, I will sit down now and my colleagues also will be silent.

What has been the record of this government? It was the intention of the government that we should not be here this week, that the problems of Canadians should not be discussed in parliament at this time. When we demanded that, as a condition of parliament's recessing, members of parliament should at least have a day this month or early next month to deal with the government's handling of the economy, the government refused because it knows it has lost the confidence of the parliament of Canada and the people of Canada and it is determined to cling to power with all its force.

When we refused to allow government members their holiday, what did the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) do? He flew off to Barbados. I was interested on Tuesday to read the article which appeared on page 9 of the Globe and Mail dealing with the Prime Minister's reaction to this particular problem. The final paragraph of the article reads as follows:

A spokesman for Mr. Trudeau said the Prime Minister, who left for Barbados on Friday with his family, would probably return to Ottawa either today or Wednesday-in time for health minister Lalonde's controversial football bill.

In other words, in the opinion of the Prime Minister and of his discredited government, the government's handling of the economy is not important enough to bother with, but this fraudulent football bill justifies the Prime Minister's return to Canada.

What is the attitude of the cabinet, the people who are supposed to be running this country? During the question period today, 60 per cent of them were missing, including the Minister of Finance (Mr. Turner), the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Gillespie) and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lang). I am delighted that today the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Drury) is gracing us with his presence. As we look at the treasury benches now we find that of the 29 members of the cabinet who should be here, two are present. And these do not include the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Lalonde) or his parliamentary secretary.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

They are out blowing up the football.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
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PC

Henry Perrin Beatty

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Beatty (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo):

This is a government that is leaderless and directionless, a government that was repudiated by the people of nine of

the ten provinces, and of both territories; a government that has the sight and the smell of decay about it. Nothing more graphically demonstrates its distorted sense of priorities in its last days than this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, the government says it wants to protect Canadian culture and Canadian athletics, although only yesterday the Minister of National Health and Welfare admitted on television that this bill will not save the CFL, that it is no panacea. In fact, there is even evidence to suggest that it will damage the CFL by encouraging American WFL teams to raid their lower-paying Canadian counterparts. I think it is worth remembering, when the government wraps itself in the robes of Canadian nationalism and takes measures to protect football, that our national sport in Canada is not football and it is not hockey; it is lacrosse which was first played here by our Canadian Indians.

I come from a town in which lacrosse has been played for generations. I invite the Minister of National Health and Welfare, who has now returned to the House, to talk to the people who play lacrosse and learn from them what assistance they have been receiving from the government and from his department. There has been precious little help, if any, for our national sport. As my colleague from Hillsborough (Mr. Macquarrie) pointed out last night, there is the prospect of our losing the game of lacrosse to the Americans as teams are created in the United States and there is virtually no assistance available for the sport from our federal government.

Last summer I wrote the Secretary of State (Mr. Faulkner) and the minister responsible for Information Canada, pointing out the importance of promoting this part of our national heritage. I was informed that the government's promotional efforts amounted to one 14-minute film produced in 1964, another produced in 1965, and a booklet on lacrosse in Canada. What a bold initiative!

Mr. Speaker, last year I had an opportunity to watch the Grey Cup game in Toronto. I could not help but have the feeling, watching these two corporations play against each other, that it is very similar to watching the struggle between General Motors and Ford. Unlike the minister, however, I do not begrudge people watching football if they wish, whether it is played by the Toronto Northmen or by the Toronto Argonauts. As individuals, they should have this opportunity. But I cannot help getting the feeling that the ultimate good of the country will be decided, not by professional athletics but by amateur athletics which have been neglected by the government. I see the minister nods his head; he is in agreement.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Amateur Sport; Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Lalonde:

With the first part, yes. With the last part, no.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
PC

Henry Perrin Beatty

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Beatty (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Waterloo):

repeat that this is not the time for smokescreen legislation from a dying government. This is not the time for inaction on national issues. It is the time for an honest attempt to deal with our real problems. I am afraid that such an

April 19, 1974

honest attack on our problems is more than we can expect from this government.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN FOOTBALL ACT
Sub-subtopic:   PROTECTION AGAINST FOREIGN ENCROACHMENT
Permalink

April 19, 1974