April 25, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Joseph Arthur Barrette

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBETTE (Translation):

That is
what we also intend to do.
Mr. DESLAURIERS (Translation) -an
organization worked out by parliament, according to all the rules and regulations of the constitutions and which entirely eliminates all irregularities and criticism, inspires trust and encourages all those interested. Why did this government not proceed likewise and why has it not introduced a similar bill to that of Great Britain with which, no doubt, they are acquainted? In such a democratic country as Canada, the government has no excuse to introduce this bill. At a time when every person of sound mind are requested to oppose systems with subversive and radical notions which endeavour to take root among us, why does the government, in the interest of peace, order and good government, introduce an incoherent and autocratic bill, setting aside the rights of parliament, throwing overboard our constitution, our statutes and endeavour to enact a measure which should only find a place in Russia.
If the government did not proceed as did Great Britain when establishing its marketing board, the reason is that in Great Britain, statesmen who govern the country respect their constitution, while in Canada our rulers, in introducing this bill, have given proof of an entirely different attitude. The Prime Minister himself, states that our constitution shoidd be amended. May it please Heaven that it be not in the sense of the bill under consideration, because it would be better to begin immediately to disrupt confederation.
It is absolutely unreasonable for the government to request the representatives of the people to approve an act granting the governor in council powers which they cannot forsake according to their oath of office and the constitution of this country. This bill

would grant to the government, already in possession of a signature in blank, the powers of an absolute dictator. It is most unreasonable to request the members to help in undermining their parliamentary rights, in destroying the constitution and to place in the hands of one man the destinies of the whole nation. If that is not sovietism, I wonder in what way this bill differs. In fact should this bill be enacted in its present form, we shall witness throughout the country the organization of dominion marketing boards, local boards, investigating commissions, agencies and subagencies, composed of persons paid by the government from the consolidated revenue funds, indemnifying those who are friendly and presenting accounts to be paid by the public treasury on orders issued by the governor in council.
Moreover, we shall find that this staff will assume all prerogatives pertaining to provincial authorities, regulate the work of the people, like in Moscow, regulate production, take possession of it and market it, while the people will be powerless to prevent them doing so. The people will always be in danger of being ruined by a ridiculous and heavy fine or even thrown in gaol. Why not have added exile, as in Russia!
We shall witness the greatest abuses. It cannot be otherwise. These dictators under the plea of doing their duty, will have on hand licences to grant to any one, with conditions attached-that is sure to happen- they will enslave a whole nation to favour profiteers, political followers, they may even organize rackets worthy of the city of Chicago. That is where this section of exemption may lead us. While a friend is granted the privilege to squeeze a market, accumulate a fortune, his neighbour will not be permitted to market the fruit of his labours.
We shall surely see malignant, envious men, suing their neighbour through spite. Will not the country in which we live produce such a state of chaos, when the destinies of a whole nation are in the hands of one man, of a governor in council?

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