December 18, 1962 (25th Parliament, 1st Session)


Jean-Paul Cook

Social Credit

Mr. Cook:

Mr. Chairman, I should not want this debate to end without making my modest contribution.
First, I wish to congratulate the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson), the Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sevigny), the hon. member for Lapointe (Mr. Gregoire) and all the members who took part in the debate, whatever party they belong to, for having ventured into a field which has been neglected for too long. I refer of course to the debate which took place all day yesterday on full bilingualism and the harmony which should exist between the two great Canadian cultures, that is the French and English cultures. This debate, in my opinion, should have been held long before today.
Mr. Chairman, in a few years, we shall be celebrating the confederation centennial. I feel that the Canadian government should begin to take its responsibilities right away and give Canada all it needs to achieve national unity.
It was said yesterday that a board of inquiry, made up of representatives from the federal and provincial governments, was on the point of being established for the purpose

of providing Canada, at last, with a distinctive national flag and a national anthem.
Mr. Chairman, I must point out that, since the beginning of the session, many members have made speeches on those two questions. As a matter of fact, the hon. member for Chicoutimi (Mr. Cote) introduced a motion for the adoption of "O Canada" as our national anthem. His motion was discussed for an hour and killed at six o'clock.
The same thing happened when the hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Olson) put forward a proposal to provide Canada with a distinctive flag. Several members took part in that debate, congratulated the hon. member for having introduced a motion of that nature. In short they made their comments to extend the debate, and at six o'clock the bill was talked out.
Mr. Chairman, I sincerely believe that the adoption of a flag and a national anthem is not a matter for provincial authorities, but rather for the Canadian parliament. I do not see why the premiers should participate in the discussion since, as the country has ten provinces represented by three different parties they might perhaps raise difficulties.
Mr. Chairman, I do not intend to go on speaking about national unity, bilingualism, a distinctive flag and a national anthem, because I think that we are now considering the supplementary budget which will enable the government to continue its operations during the Christmas recess.
In fact, I am of the opinion that the best way to attain this national unity which we all want would be to start by agreeing ourselves, among Canadians, and for the government, whichever it is, to understand the needs of Canadians in order to be in a position to give them what they ask for and what they need.
If I consider the details of the supplementary budget that was issued to us recently, I see that very few estimates can interest the working class, our family heads and our Canadian unemployed.
Maybe it is normal that we have a deficit budget every year. But if despite these deficiencies we have unemployed and Canadian citizens who starve to death in a country as rich as ours, I do not believe it is normal to have such deficits. I would agree to a deficit if we were giving to one and all a decent living. But if we visit the country, we see that those deficits have not settled unemployment and that the ills which existed in many of our ridings are still there.


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