June 29, 1984

NDP

Pauline Jewett

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jewett:

It is high time you listened.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FUNDING ALLOCATED TO SOCIAL HOUSING
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LIB

Marc Lalonde (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lalonde:

-but politeness is a little bit too much to ask of him. He is so concerned about his own rhetoric that he cannot sit down for a few seconds to listen to what is being said.

I invite him again to look at the total package of measures in the area of housing. He will find that the Government has put a high priority on providing support for those in need in the area of housing.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FUNDING ALLOCATED TO SOCIAL HOUSING
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VISIBLE MINORITIES

PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, in this, the Prime Minister's last day-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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?

An Hon. Member:

Where have you been?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

I was in your riding saying goodbye for you. It won't be long now.

In this, the Prime Minister's last day in the House of Commons, on behalf of my colleagues I want to wish him good health and happy days in his retirement years ahead.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

On this, his final day, would the Prime Minister grasp the moment to right an historic wrong that has been inflicted on Canadians of Japanese origin? Will the Prime Minister, on this special day, take the time to convey, either on behalf of the Government or on behalf of the Parliament of Canada, a formal apology to Canadian citizens

June 29, 1984

whose rights were so trampled upon in the war years? I think it would be a gesture that would sit well with all Canadians who believe so fundamentally in the sanctity of minority rights.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, 1 thank the Hon. Leader of the Opposition for his good wishes. I will remember this place with no nostalgia but some kindness, and certainly I have been honoured to serve the people of Canada as best I could in this place for some years. I am very proud of it.

With respect to the matter that he raises, I put it to the Leader of the Opposition that he might want to associate himself with the response of the Government to the recommendations of the Task Force on Visible Minorities when we did express regrets at what had happened to the Canadians of Japanese ancestry on the occasion of the Second World War, and when we announced the setting up of a fund in order to promote racial equality in Canada.

If the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the New Democratic Party want to go that far, I think it would be a progressive step, and an encouraging one.

I am not sure what more the Hon. Leader of the Opposition would have in mind when he talks about redressing an historic wrong. There is no way in which we can relive the history of that period. In that sense, we cannot redress what was done. We can express regret collectively, as we have done.

If the Hon. Leader of the Opposition intends going further and indemnifying individual Canadians with sums of money, I think he should make it clear. I know that there is a fair amount of confusion in that. I would have respect for him if he suggested that, and made some provision for the many millions of dollars that would be involved, but the sum of money is not the main question. The main question is how many other historic wrongs have to be righted.

Even today we know that there are people living in Manitoba who have been deprived of their constitutional right since 1890, and who are deprived of a very real freedom of expression in that province. It is not of the same material order as the deprivation that the Japanese Canadians suffered after the war, but I think a deprivation of the spirit of a freedom is also worth some redress. Yet this Government has never suggested that they be given money. We have just suggested that we right the wrong which has been perpetrated in these recent months by a Conservative Government in Manitoba. I know that the Leader of the Opposition shares the regret that we on this side have for that. I just hope that his fellow Tories, if they are so anxious to right wrongs in the case of Japanese Canadians, will think of these wrongs and will do something to right them.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

Mr. Speaker, I regret that the Prime Minister's sense of partisanship will remain with him to the end. I hate to have to remind him with regard to the Franco Manito-

Oral Questions

bans that it was a Liberal Government that removed the rights of French Canadians in Manitoba.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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PC

John Patrick (Pat) Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

Laurier did not do a thing.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   VISIBLE MINORITIES
Sub-subtopic:   INTERNED JAPANESE CANADIANS-REQUEST THAT PRIME MINISTER TENDER FORMAL APOLOGY
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REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE

PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I have another question for the Prime Minister on this his last day. We are talking about a specific problem, and there is a world of difference between a regret and a formal apology. Canadians of Japanese origin had their rights trampled upon. The reputation of this country was besmirched. All I am asking the Prime Minister today is to acknowledge the fact that this country, this Government, this Parliament, was wrong, and to convey our deep and genuine apologies to the Japanese Canadians, and in so doing tell all visible minorities in this country that this kind of heinous action will never again take place in Canada and, if it does, that we will have the nerve and the courage to stand up and apologize for it and deal with it honourably.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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PC

Martin Brian Mulroney (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

That is all I am asking the Prime Minister. I am not trying to cast aspersions or blame. There is enough blame in our history to go around for all of us, Mr. Speaker. I am pointing out to the Prime Minister on his last day that there is a specific problem, and I am asking him if he will rise to the occasion and convey, on behalf of the Government of Canada, a genuine apology to Canadian citizens who were so badly done by. This does not preclude action in other areas in the future.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the emotion with which the Leader of the Opposition speaks. I respect that. He feels deeply indignant about what happened to the Japanese Canadians some 40 years ago. I share that indignation. I have expressed it on other occasions. It seems to me he is making much of a semantic difference between an apology and a regret. As for me I am always prepared, with some effort, to apologize for my actions.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

I do not see how I can apologize for some historic event to which we or these people in this House were not a party. We can regret that it happened. But why mount to great heights of rhetoric in order to say that an apology is much better than an expression of regret? This I cannot too well understand. All I am asking the Leader of the Opposition is why only regret this particular aspect of our history? He mentions the Liberal Government of 1890. Why doesn't his Party, as a Party, apologize for those events too, to the French Canadians? Why don't they do that? Why does the Leader of the Opposition not use the same amount of rhetoric for this? Why does he not apologize for what happened to Riel? Why

June 29, 1984

Oral Questions

does he not apologize for what happened during the Second World War to mothers and fathers of people sitting in this House who went to concentration camps? I know some of them, Mr. Speaker. They were not Japanese Canadians. They were Canadians of Italian or German origin, or some old French Canadians who went to jail, who went to concentration camps during the Second World War. Why do we not apologize to them?

I do not follow the Leader of the Opposition who talks about my political partisanship. Why suddenly only the Japanese, Mr. Speaker? Why suddenly only the Japanese Canadians? Is it because there are votes in it?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT GOVERNMENT APOLOGIZE
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June 29, 1984