There is one last subject about which I feel very strongly and which I wish to bring to the attention of the house; it concerns national unity. The fathers of Confederation realized very early that no province could achieve the full potential of its natural resources and attain a stable economy by itself. Only through effective co-operation with the interdependent economies of the other provinces could the maximum of prosperity be realized by the provinces individually and collectively.
In spite of the fact that some of the wealthier provinces now feel more economically independent and more financially powerful than in 1867, the situation is still exactly the same today. Not one province could afford to be cut off from the economic and social advantages given to it by the British North America Act. On the other hand each province has contributed in making Canada what it is, a relatively prosperous country with an enviable future; but it will be a truly great country only if it is united. It must be united not only constitutionally but morally with a maximum of understanding, co-operation, patriotism, loyalty and kinship among Canadians of all provinces.
216 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Cardin
The greatest statesmen in our short history have striven to achieve this aim and indeed I am proud to state without fear of contradiction that one of the greatest champions of national unity has been and continues to be the leader of my party.
National unity is not only a possible goal but it is one which has been achieved to a very great sense during the last quarter century. There is no longer any real difference in the minds and hearts of true Canadians no matter what their ethnic origin may be. All have the same aspirations, all have the same patriotism and loyalty for Canada and for Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen. There are no second-class citizens in our country; all have equal rights and these are acknowledged and respected by all true Canadians.
The Prime Minister is certainly aware of all this and yet while paying lip service to national unity and pretending to be the great defender of human rights he did not hesitate for one moment for political purposes to play the nine provinces of Canada against the province of Quebec on grounds that had nothing to do with public administration. I submit, Mr. Speaker, that the Prime Minister once again placed the interests of the Progressive Conservative party before the general interests and welfare of all Canadians.
Because of the great breadth of our country; because of its history, its economic, geographic and economic differences; because of its rapid industrial expansion which is not felt equally in all provinces, there are bound to be different points of view, different problems and different interests in the various areas of Canada. But none of these need be or are in fact obstacles to national unity as Her Majesty the Queen so eloquently stated in her talk to the Canadian people just about a week ago. In those very true words which the Queen spoke to the Canadian people there was more sound common sense than we have heard from members of the government for a very long time.
Canadians on the west coast are anxious to protect their salmon industry. In Alberta the problem is to exploit natural gas and oil as effectively as possible. In the prairie provinces the disposal of wheat is the major problem. The chief concern of the industrial provinces today is to protect both the producers and the workers. In the maritimes the problem is to protect the coal industry.
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