April 9, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Alistair McLeod Stewart

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. STEWART (Winnipeg North):

I certainly will; I shall send it now.
These men battled for Canada not on the basis of racial origin or their religion,. They fought as Canadians and it is as Canadians that we should recognize them. That is one pL-the things they fought for.
V When we brought this matter up before the city council in Winnipeg the Winnipeg Tribune in an editorial on July 19, 1945, said this:
How can we reasonably expect wholehearted assimilation into the national life of Canada on the part of peoples of many origins if the official attitude continues "to be one which gives the appearance of being bent on segregation? Canada needs Canadians, not hyphens. Insistence on hyphenation seems to be firmly entrenched in the official mind.
Yet here again we find this newspaper, which took umbrage at these words, including in its own applications [DOT] for employment the same request: "What is your nationality? What is your religious denomination?" If these newspapers are sincere, then I suggest that they strike these words from the application forms. They are used either for discriminatory purposes or they are of no use to them at all. But discrimination goes farther and strikes much deeper than these examples I have given of business practices. I have drawn to the attention of the house before the plight of certain, minorities in this country. I have spoken of the Jewish people, and none has been more cruelly persecuted by the Christian world in the last two thousand years. They are still suffering all over the world. It still appears to me that anti-Semitism is on the increase. Anti-Semitism, racialism of any type is one of the most deadly enemies of .any democratic community. It not only hurts those against whom it is directed but warps and twists the minds of those who .practise it; yet we find it again in the government service, in the department of immigration; we find it in the allegedly cultured places in this country, in universities such as McGill and Toronto. I am glad to say that racial discrimination has ceased in the university of Manitoba, but we must never rest until we have wiped it out from these other universities and given'to the
Jewish people the same rights and the same privileges that every other Canadian citizen has.
Then we have another minority group, those who are of German origin. On September 19, 1939, the Prime Minister said in this house:
I ask, above all, for a broad toleration. I was glad to hear my hon. friend (Mr. Manion) make that plea, not only on behalf of citizens here in our own country who belon" to the two great races, but as well on behalf of those of German descent, who also are citizens of our country.
Yet during the war this government, at the head of which is the man, who made that statement, discriminated wretchedly against those of German origin. Those who came to this country from Germany after 1922 were compelled to report to the mounted police, some every month. Like criminals they were compelled to have their finger-prints taken by the mounted police. I know one man, a German by birth, a Canadian by adoption, who had two boys. One of them received a medal for gallantry overseas as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. His second boy died fighting for Canada; yet every month that man had to report to the mounted police. How does the government justify that conduct in view of its expressions of virtue? I know of other cases. I can think of one young lad who fought for three years for Canada, whose people have been in this country for four generations, but because his name was German he was denied the right to work. Yet last session this house accepted the united nations charter, and to what did we pledge ourselves? We said:
We are determined to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and the equal rights of men and women.
How does the house intend to put those words into operation? That is one thing we should be considering seriously now. Then we have those of Ukrainian and Polish descent who were brought to Canada by the thousands by the railroads and unceremoniously dumped on the most barren and rocky ground in the west. The hon. member for Outremont (Mr. Rinfret) said the majority of the people of Quebec feel that they are the true settlers of this country. I would suggest to him that he go to western Canada, where he will find people who also believe they are the true settlers of this country. We do not say we are better than other Canadians; we merely say that we are as good. These people have made a garden out of what was practically a desert As a memorial to their labour and toil
Canadian Citizenship

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