June 16, 1993

?

Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HON. JOHN FRASER
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NDP

David Barrett

New Democratic Party

Mr. Barrett:

John Fraser has already been eulogized but I want to assure everybody who is still watching this particular part of Parliament that the Speaker is very much alive and is doing very well in spite of the things that have been said about him here today.

I want to talk a bit about the rugby experience shared by my friend the member for Annapolis Valley-Hants. I too not privileged to be on the same side as the Speaker, and I want it to go on the record that he was the dirtiest player that ever played on the rugby field. I want that understood.

He was tough, he was hard, but there was a part of him that was especially important for British Columbians and for Canadians. The constituency that he represents is a microcosm of all races, creeds, cultures, and religions of people living in the province of British Columbia.

Like other parts of the country we have had problems regarding racism. His election and his service to every single person who asked for it in that constituency was a paragon of virtue in terms of interpreting what the role of elected members should be. There is not a single place in the city of Vancouver that John Fraser can walk

June 16, 1993

Tributes

into where he is not instantly recognized and immediately appreciated.

There is not a single member of any religious group in his riding-he has the largest Sikh temple in the province of British Columbia-where he is not appreciated for his commitment to the citizens of this country by manifesting service to the citizens of his constituency.

Would that all of us were able to emulate his graciousness, his openness and understanding of the differences that make us Canadians from coast to coast, we would have half the problems that we have now.

I am honoured to have served with him. I am honoured to have been his opponent. I hope that the many future years he still has in his life will be as enjoyable as he deserves right up to this point as well.

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Subtopic:   HON. JOHN FRASER
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LIB

Leonard Donald Hopkins

Liberal

Mr. Len Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke):

Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me a few minutes to say a word about our illustrious Speaker, John Fraser. He has been a long-time friend. As the hon. member for Parry Sound-Muskoka mentioned, he came in with quite a large number of MPs in 1972 and when he entered this place he was destined for great things in the House of Commons.

He has been loved and respected by members on both sides of the Chamber. I think it can be said that he is respected and admired by Canadian people who have watched him over the years. They saw in him a large element of fairness, a large element of promoting good decorum in the House of Commons. Nothing was more effective in the Chamber when there was a bit of a ruckus going on and members went on for some time without settling down and being quiet for him to stand and say "the Canadian people are watching you". It did not take the House very long to come to order.

He was elected by members from all parties in the House of Commons and he was respected by all of them.

The reason he was such a successful Speaker and so well liked was that he had long experience on both sides of this Chamber. He sat in opposition for some time and he sat in government.

He had a real feel for what members were thinking out here on the floor. He could read the opinions and feelings of MPs and he would act accordingly. That is very essential for someone who occupies the chair in this House. As a result of the fact that he had that feeling he, knew how to handle difficult situations with a sense of decency and in a way by which he gained the respect of members of the House.

He is a great environmentalist, as many people have mentioned today, and he always will be. He also has a very in-depth understanding of the military community of Canada. He has a great respect for militia units across the country. He has always held them in very high regard.

He had a real feel for Parliament, not only for the MPs and others but for his staff. He treated his staff with decency. He always made sure they were recognized for the good and diligent work they did in this place and on the Hill in general. As a result he earned their respect in return.

Another great quality he had was that in spite of his busy schedule he always had time to set aside a few minutes for someone who wanted to talk to him about a problem or bring an issue to his attention.

He is a great admirer of Winston Churchill, as has been mentioned on the floor of the House today. He also has a love of history. He has a great knowledge of Canadian history and Commonwealth history. That gave him another perspective that was needed in this place. He knew the traditions of Parliament going back for centuries.

In late 1978 I had the distinct pleasure of going to the Middle East, particularly Israel, with him. While we were there we had many meetings. We were in Egypt's parliament and we met the cabinet and the Prime Minister of the day. He was right at home in that element, even at that time long before he had exercised a position of real power in the House.

I want to say to John Fraser as he watches this eulogy in the House of Commons today, no doubt with his wife Cate and his family, that we wish him a speedy recovery. As one who has had a very successful recovery I wish him every success in the days ahead. We hope he will go on to

June 16, 1993

offer his services to his home community, to his province and to his country for many years to come. He is certainly going to be missed in this place but John Fraser, the first elected Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, will never be forgotten by any of us.

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Subtopic:   HON. JOHN FRASER
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LIB

Maurice Brydon Foster

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):

Madam Speaker, I want to call the attention of the House today to the fact that a week from tomorrow, on June 25, will be the 25th anniversary of the election of 1968 when some 96 members of Parliament were first elected.

This was a very historic election. Some 64 Liberals, 16 Progressive Conservatives, 9 New Democrats and 7 Creditistes were first elected. There are members who are still in the House who were among that group of 96 members of Parliament first elected in 1968, including the Deputy Prime Minister. That group also included the former Leader of the NDP, Mr. Broadbent, the former leader of the Ralliement Creditiste, Mr. Andre Fortin, who was unfortunately killed in a very sad and tragic accident, the former Speaker of the House, Mr. Jerome, the former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Lincoln Alexander, many judges, four or five senators and a number of provincial party leaders.

There are only six members left in the House today. The member for Vegreville who is the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, the hon. members for Yorkton-Melville, Regina- Lumsden, York Centre, Davenport and me. After this Parliament, as was mentioned earlier this afternoon, only two members will be running again in the next election. They are the hon. member for Yorkton-Melville and the hon. member for Davenport. We congratulate them on their tenacity, stamina and political longevity.

I might mention in passing that the Speaker of the House, Mr. Fraser, ran in 1968. Unfortunately he was not elected at that time but he has often extended great hospitality to the class of '68. There was the annual dinner and reception, sponsored by the Speaker and his wife, Cate. I want to extend my good wishes to them today as tributes are being paid.

We also often adopted the hon. member for Papi-neau-Saint-Michel. He was not exactly in the class of '68 as he was actually elected in a by-election in November 1967. However he has always hung around

Tributes

with the gang. Our theme song this afternoon might be They're Breaking up that Old Gang of Mine because after this election there will probably be only two in the House.

As we look back on that election in 1968, we were just coming off the centennial celebration. Clearly the country was in a mood of great confidence and great determination. There was a certain esprit de corps which we did not really have last year. I hope the country will regain that esprit de corps when the new Parliament, the 35th Parliament of Canada, is gathered together this fall or early next winter. Even though we have many problems in this country, with that kind of spirit, confidence and enthusiasm I think we can overcome those problems.

To my colleagues who were elected in 1968 and other friends throughout the House I extend my very good wishes. Being here these last 25 years has been one of the most exciting, challenging, stimulating and rewarding experiences of my life. I am sure that is true for every other member, especially those who are retiring with this Parliament.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   HON. JOHN FRASER
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PC

Andrée Champagne (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Madam Deputy Speaker:

Before we continue I would like the House to allow me to say a few words about our dear friend and Speaker, John Fraser. I would especially like to say two words, and they are: Thank you.

I first knew John Fraser in cabinet in 1984.1 have been one of his deputies since 1986.

John Fraser was first and foremost a great Canadian. With his loyalty and fairness, his sense of duty, his sense of humour and patience, he has set a very high standard for his successors in the years to come. As a parliamentarian and an environmentalist, he has always shown tremendous dedication, generosity, understanding and warmth.

It has been an honour to know you. Sebastien and I will always feel privileged to be counted among your friends. To you, to Cate and to the family, we wish you all the good times you so dearly earned and so richly deserved. Godspeed.

Hon. colleagues, I would feel remiss if I did not follow the tradition today and in our Speaker's name invite you all to his chamber for the usual goodbye.

Tributes

[Translation\

As of now-and I would have said this earlier, but I didn't really have a chance to interrupt this very moving and appropriate tribute to our Speaker-members are invited to partake of some refreshments in the Speaker's chambers.

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Subtopic:   HON. JOHN FRASER
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CLASS OF '68

PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance; Vice-President)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance):

Madam Speaker, I am sorry to prolong the tributes, but as a member of the class of '681 wanted to join with the member for Algoma and my good friend from Papineau-Saint-Michel to pay tribute to the distinguished class of 1968, those who survived and those who went on to do other things.

In looking over the occupations of the 96 members who came to the House of Commons on June 25, 1968 we can see that they covered a wide cross-section of Canadian society. There were railroaders-and I mean real true railroaders-union leaders, mayors, businessmen, farmers, fishermen, lawyers, professors, doctors, stock brokers, administrators, the odd automobile dealer and people from the professions. They really brought quite a broad perspective of views and opinions with them to the House of Commons and obviously brought their views and concerns which reflected the regions from which they came.

There were a number of firsts that were achieved by the class of '68. Three stand out in my mind. Lincoln Alexander, who later went on to become the Lieutenant-Governor of the province of Ontario, was the first black person elected to the Parliament of Canada. That was really quite a thrill, certainly for him and particularly for us because he was a member of our party.

Len Marchand, who is now firmly entrenched in the other place and has been a great member of Parliament, a great public servant and now a tremendous senator, was the first Indian to ever be elected to the House of Commons.

The hon. member for Yorkton-Melville, and I have to say this because he would be too modest to say it in his

remarks, at the time he was elected was the youngest member to have ever entered the House of Commons. I think he had to quit school and come down here to take on the job.

There was a lot of attention with respect to the variety of members who came here in 1968, but there was clearly a lot of focus on these three members.

I had a chance to go through a number of the people who comprised the class of '68. It is really interesting and noteworthy to consider where they are and what they are doing today. I have already mentioned Lincoln Alexander, who went on to become the Lieutenant-Governor. The member for Oshawa, the Hon. Ed Broadbent, went on to become the leader of the New Democratic Party.

We had people like Judd Buchanan, who is pursuing a distinguished business career; Walter Carter from Newfoundland, who is now in the Newfoundland legislature; Louis Comeau, who I believe is the CEO for Nova Scotia Power; Eymard Corbin, who is in the Senate; Bud Cullen, who went on to become a minister and is in the Federal Court today; Pierre de Bane, who went on to become a minister and a member of the Senate; Alastair Gillespie, who went on to become a minister; Phil Givens, who is the former mayor of Toronto and is a very colourful individual who never really got used to this place and went back to Toronto; our good friend Joe Guay, who was a great parliamentarian and a great committee member and went on to become a minister and a member of the Senate; and there was Speaker Jerome, a very distinguished member of the class of '68 who was a very distinguished Speaker of the House and then went on to become and is presently the Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court.

Otto Lang who was dean of law at the University of Saskatchewan had a very distinguished career here. John Lundrigan was a very colourful member of the class of '68. He went on to become a member of the Newfoundland government. There were people like Mark MacGui-gan and Patrick Mahoney who are now in the Federal Court. I could go on. Keith Penner is now with the National Transportation Agency. Frank Moores went on to become the premier of Newfoundland. Mark Rose.

June 16, 1993

I know my hon. friend across the way gets a little annoyed about reminiscing, but one of these days he will have a chance to reflect on 25 years of service.

What we have here is a pretty good cross-section of what the House of Commons really represents. Yes, there are some who have passed on and we think of them. We think of their families. We remember our friendship and the association we had together in this place.

As others have said in their remarks, I think what we really want to say is that these members contributed greatly to the institution of Parliament. We value the friendship that was made during the course of our association with them.

We all recognize that we believe in the profession of politics. We believe in this institution. This really is the main hall of the preservation of our democracy and our freedom. All of us can be enriched by the valuable contribution the class of '68 rendered to this institution and indeed to the House.

I want to add my congratulations to those who are here, those who have survived and those who have contributed not only to this institution but in their other walks of life in pursuing the goals and objectives of building a better Canada.

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Subtopic:   CLASS OF '68
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Les Benjamin (Regina-Lumsden):

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to join my colleagues from Algoma and Vegreville and others in reminiscing. I have been thinking not only about those still here from the class of '68 but also those that no longer are here.

What made me think about it is that in the spring of 1969 members of the Press Club challenged the House of Commons to a softball game. What they did not know was there were many good country ball players in the class of '68.

Gerry Cobbe, a Liberal member from Portage who is now deceased, played first base. Jack Homer was catcher but he was not in the '68 class. Rocha LaSalle was an excellent glove man and shortstop. I played second base. John Skoberg from Moose Jaw, another railroader and former colleague, played centre field and galloped around catching flies. My colleague from Yorkton-Melville was pitching. In fact he had a no-hitter going for six innings.

Tributes

The Speaker of the day, Hon. Lucien Lamoureux, was a great baseball fan. He set up a temporary backstop on the front lawn of the Parliament buildings. He always showed up at the games. He stood behind the backstop rooting for the MPs. I want to tell this story of how I got an extra question in Question Period.

I made a circus catch on a foul ball. I was playing second base and I caught it out behind first base. Of course I went ass over tea kettle in the course of doing that but when I got back to the bench Mr. Lamoureux came around and said: "Mon collegue, for that catch you get an extra question in Question Period".

That was in June. In late September or October I was selected by my caucus to ask the lead-off question. It concerned box cars, grain movement and so forth. I put my first question and the two supplementaries we are allowed. Then Real Caouette of the Ralliement Credi-tiste who was sitting over here rose to his feet to ask questions as the lead-off questioner for his party.

I leaped to my feet saying: "Mr. Speaker, point of order". In those days one could interrupt anything with a point of order, even Question Period. I think the rules were better then. I said: "You will recall, Sir, an event that occurred last June and I have a further supplementary question". He smiled and said: "The hon. member for Regina-Lake Centre on a further supplementary question". That is how I got four questions in.

Tbmmy Douglas and Stanley Knowles in particular went nuts trying to figure how the heck I pulled that off until I told them it was on account of a foul ball.

The hon. member for Vegreville, a dear friend and colleague, has mentioned a number of people who used to be here. He was interrupted when he mentioned our good buddy Mark Rose. Mark is now the agent general for British Columbia in London, England.

All of the members who were here at that time have gone on to better and greater things. I think a lot of that was because of the schooling they received in this place.

Sir, it has been an honour and a privilege to serve the people in our constituencies, to serve our country and to battle royal here in a partisan way, democratically. Yet, Sir, you will have noticed it takes a heck of a lot longer, twice as long, when we are being nice to each other than it does when we are fighting over something but that is

June 16, 1993

Tributes

okay. We do not do this very often, maybe once every four or five years.

In any event it was a wonderful afternoon. All of us appreciate it. Those of us who were picked out and marked on this occasion appreciate it all the more.

I also want to add my personal tributes to the hon. John Fraser, another dear friend and I hope he will be a fellow goose hunter.

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Subtopic:   CLASS OF '68
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom

New Democratic Party

Hon. Lome Nystrom (Yorkton-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, as the only member of the class of '68 who has not spoken this afternoon, I just want to say a couple of words. It has been quite the experience serving 25 years in this place. One does not believe how quickly time goes.

I remember that when I was first elected I had only been to Ottawa once. I had hitch-hiked through here in blue jeans and sandals in the summer of 1967. I stopped at the Centennial Flame and took a picture of the place, never expecting that I would be back a year later.

As someone who had just turned 22 during the campaign, it was quite the experience to walk into this place and see the likes of Pierre Trudeau. In those days he was like a rock star when he travelled this country. Down in this corner there was John Diefenbaker who was a monumental figure in the House of Commons. There were Tommy Douglas, Stanley Knowles and David Lewis in my party. Indeed there was Real Caouette who sat where the hon. member for Nickel Belt sits today. Those were really very historic figures. It was really quite a time to be elected to the House of Commons.

One also wonders about the casualty rate in this business. As a friend of mine said, 96 of us were elected. Only six of us are here now and only two of us are planning on seeking re-election. It does make one wonder about the casualty rate.

Before I sit down and in case this Parliament does not come back, I would like to pay a special tribute to my colleague from Regina-Lumsden. We were both elected in 1968. We call him very fondly by the name of Benji or Boxcar Benjamin. He has meant a lot to our party. He has meant a lot to me personally. We have been friends for a long, long time.

As a 19-year old kid, back around 1965 I very shyly- and I am still a shy country boy-walked into his office one day and introduced myself to him. He was the provincial secretary of the party, the CCF in those days. He is one of the people who got me involved in politics. He got a number of others involved in politics in those days as well.

On behalf of my party I want to say to you Les, my good friend, that we are going to miss you when this Parliament returns. I am sure my friend from Regina East feels the same way. We also say thank you for your service. We thank Connie for her support and service of us and the party. We honour her here today as well.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CLASS OF '68
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?

Some hon. members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CLASS OF '68
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NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nystrom:

I would say in closing that Les Benjamin is one of those people who even when things are tough never gives up the fight. He has a good sense of humour and brings some levity to this place. He makes politics a real joy.

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Subtopic:   CLASS OF '68
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson A. Riis (Kamloops):

Mr. Speaker, I want to echo my colleague's comments regarding Les Benjamin. I want to thank Les for all the years and the tremendous amount of sage advice he offered regularly not only personally to our caucus but to Parliament and the country in general.

I also want to pay tribute to a colleague in the other House who has represented Kamloops for many years. First elected in 1968, Senator Len Marchand was the first Indian member of Parliament to be elected to the House of Commons. Mr. Marchand represented his constituents extremely well. As a member of Parliament he made the people of Kamloops very proud to be represented by him.

Senator Marchand is admired and respected by all who know him. He is supported by a caring and loving family.

I also want to recognize of course his contribution not just to his constituents but to the residents of British Columbia generally and to Canada for the excellent work he has also done in the Senate of Canada.

June 16, 1993

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CLASS OF '68
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

CANADA'S EXPORT OF MILITARY MATERIAL

PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence; Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the third annual report on Canada's export of military material. This report covers the year 1992.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   CANADA'S EXPORT OF MILITARY MATERIAL
Sub-subtopic:   THIRD ANNUAL REPORT
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GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS

PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence; Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 49 petitions.

[Editor's Note: See today's Votes and Proceedings. ]

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS
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LIB

Alfonso Gagliano (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Gagliano:

Mr. Speaker, through you, I would like to ask for unanimous consent to go to petitions before going to motions. Since this may be the last sitting day before the summer, it would give hon. members who have petitions a chance to present them.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Does the House agree?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS
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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO PETITIONS
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June 16, 1993