January 22, 1975

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

APPOINTMENT OF TABLE OFFICERS

LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. May I inform the House of the appointment of Messrs. Reginald Boivin and Maxime Guitard to the position of third clerk assistant.

All hon. members are aware that Messrs. Boivin and Guitard have always carried out their duties most satisfactorily during the many years they have served with the House of Commons.

I am sure that to all hon. members the knowledge of these appointments will be of interest and satisfaction knowing, as hon. members do, the many years of faithful and devoted service that both of these distinguished gentlemen have given to the House of Commons. It is a great pleasure for me to be able to announce these appointments to the House at this time.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF TABLE OFFICERS
Permalink

STATUS OF WOMEN

LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, as this session of parliament reconvenes, we are entering not only a new year-and I hope it will be a happy one for all hon. members-but a unique and special period, International Women's Year.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

International Women's Year, 1975, was proclaimed by the United Nations. It is a year which has three goals: peace, development and equality. Canada, as a member nation, has undertaken a substantial program of support for this special year, through legislation, through funding of groups and organizations, through the promotion of equality within federal government departments and agencies, and through the promotion of a national awareness of the current status of women.

One of the most evident means the government has at its disposal to improve the status of women is through legislation. Parliament is considering at this time an

omnibus bill on the status of women which aims at amending eight federal statutes. Thanks to this bill, the government will be able to eliminate sections which, in various statutes, discriminate against women. Other legislative amendments are also being considered: one of them will bring about the establishment of a federal commission of human rights.

We are very happy to have nine women sit with us in the House, an unprecedented number. Because of their sex, we are inclined to look upon these hon. members as official spokesmen on every topic related to the status of women, which is quite understandable. Yet, there are 264 hon. members altogether in Parliament, and each and every one of these men and women should lend an ear to the demands of women: do they not make up half of the electorate? The status of women is a national problem which must be of interest to all Canadian men and women.

Discrimination against women is in some ways comparable to discrimination against society's other disadvantaged groups. It is not always overt. In fact, as both provincial and federal governments work to introduce legislation that provides equal rights in many areas, the acts of discrimination themselves often become more subtle and insidious. The crucial and necessary changes are frequently required in areas where no legislation can ever be introduced-in attitudes. Yet it is attitudes that often militate against equal treatment for women and men.

During International Women's Year it is hoped that all the people of Canada will work toward making equality a reality by truly recognizing women and men as equals. Real freedom of opportunity for women will come when society recognizes that women have the same right to pursue whatever goals they may individually choose, be that goal centred on home and family or career or a combination of any such goals. This equality of opportunity can only come about when all Canadians recognize women as full and equal contributors to our society.

International Women's Year is a year in which we can acknowledge the major contributions which women have made to Canada's social, cultural, political and economic development. It is also a time to ensure that as women choose new roles, the doorways are opened so that they may continue to make such contributions.

It would, however, be unrealistic to assume that full equality will be achieved in just one year. It is for this reason that International Women's Year, while being a special year, must not be regarded as an end in itself but must be seen in the context of the government's ongoing program to improve the status of women. This work must

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January 22, 1975

International Women's Year

be, and will be continued beyond 1975 until equality exists in fact as well as in law and Canadian women are recognized and accepted as equal partners with Canadian men in the building of our nation.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to associate myself and my colleagues with the marking of the commencement of International Women's Year proclaimed by the United Nations. I hope that we will see, during 1975, not only happy members of parliament, as referred to by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), but very marked progress in the achievement of equality for women in this country and in other countries as well.

Opportunities for careers for women in our country are unquestionably expanding. We must, however, recognize that we are still behind some countries, some societies with regard to the position of women in our society, opportunities for women, and their equality. While it may be that there are now very few careers really closed to women, I think any man would have to admit that in Canada there are many careers in which a women has to be considerably abler, smarter and more industrious than a man in order to succeed.

If we look around us here today, without casting any aspersions upon the qualities or intelligence of those of the same sex as myself I would have to admit that the Commons as it presently exists is not truly representative of this country, in the sense that women are not adequately represented.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

I probably have to admit, too, that the women who are here had to be a good deal more able, better politicians than me in order to get here. I am surprised that that comment did not receive a great deal of applause, at least from across the way. In any case, let us hope that 1975 will be a productive year in terms of improvement in the status of women, particularly in our own country, because it is in our own country, for which we have responsibility, that we need definite programs. I rather suspect that women in Canada are not now particularly interested in conferences and commissions; they want to see definite, tangible changes and improvements.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stanfield:

It is now three or four years since the report on the status of women was tabled in this House. Many of its recommendations still have not been carried out. We must recognize that it is more difficult for a woman in Canada, generally speaking, to achieve an equal place in the world of work than it is for a man. While I would not expect even this government to overcome this difficulty completely in one year, let us hope we see some significant progress in very tangible ways, Mr. Speaker.

Some bon. Members: Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

On behalf of my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Stanfield) in recognizing the importance of International Women's Year. I cannot forgo the oppor-

tunity of saying at the outset, however, that we were not given a copy of the Prime Minister's statement until about seven minutes before 2 p.m.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Already I see that hon. members opposite are back to their pre-Christmas form. I cannot help but conclude that if the statement had been made on international trade policy or on labour negotiations within the country, or on a wheat problem, it is probable that we would have had the statement somewhat earlier even from the Prime Minister. However, these hon. members no doubt think they have done their bit for the cause of women's liberation by wearing their buttons in the House. Perhaps I could have some order, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

They no doubt think that therefore they have done their job.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Simmer down.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink
LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. It is customary for one representative of each party to have the opportunity to reply to a statement on motions.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATUS OF WOMEN
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S YEAR
Permalink

January 22, 1975