September 20, 1968 (28th Parliament, 1st Session)


Joseph Adrien Henri Lambert

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Lambert (Bellechasse):

I consider it a pleasure and an honour to belong to a Canadian political party whose leader is such a highly devoted man and who has the courage to foster the economic security of all through freedom.
I would also like to congratulate all the other members who have been re-elected or elected for the first time. However, I would be unfair to myself if I did not entertain a very special feeling for my colleagues of the Ralliement Creditiste who so valiantly deserved the trust of their fellow-citizens.
At the same time, I would like to congratulate and thank those entrusted with the legislative and parliamentary function who have achieved the present degree of parliamentary organization and efficiency. Even though perfection has not been attained and some may not be satisfied, there is an impression that, at least, we are not starting from zero. Already we are facing something that exists, that moves, that is organized and is improving and that is continually being completed, without ever reaching its final stage.
You will agree, Mr. Speaker, that beginning at the very early age of 16, as in my case, to farm the land and also becoming an orphan at the age of 11 and starting from nothing in almost all my undertakings, I have a very clear impression, on my election to the House of Commons, that truly something has been accomplished. I feel contented and happy, and I congratulate those who were here before.
But I do not come here without anything to my credit; something has happened in the past 40 years. I have always tried to understand why the people I came into contact with acted as they did. I learned first to get along pretty well with the members of my
September 20, 1968 COMMONS
family and now, for a long time, I have cultivated my land as well as my family and social relations. For 25 years, I have been the secretary of a municipality created with the help of my fellow-citizens, because the municipality I am talking about is relatively young, since it goes back only to the thirties. That municipality, which today is the pride of the riding of Lotbiniere, is well organized, because the hard-working people who live there have cleared the land and settled on farms. I would say therefore that I have some experience of public life.
For the last 30 years or so, I have been taking part in all the activities of farm associations. I have followed with a great deal of regularity, in the public gallery, the proceedings of the legislature in my province. Therefore, I do not feel completely as a novice in the social and public life when coming here to Ottawa. I am happy to feel at home, to have a part to play and not to feel as if I had stolen somebody else's place when taking my seat as a member. I feel that I am here really as the choice of most of the voters in my riding who honoured me by selecting me over my opponents, and whom I would not want to disappoint during the term of my mandate in the Ottawa parliament.
[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)
I am here, Mr. Speaker because I have something to say, a representation to make, and maybe also something to defend. I do not want to be too severe but I do want to be explicit, frank and honest in asserting the rights of all the citizens of my riding, of my province, of other provinces, in a word, of Canada as a whole. In my opinion, it is life that counts the most in the "qualification" of persons with whom I am in contact. To live on a farm and having chosen to do so, one must love life.
Since redistribution, the new riding of Bel-lechasse includes, besides the provincial county of Bellechasse, a large part of Montmagny and the major part of Dorchester. It is a large riding where the people, who used to live exclusively of agriculture and lumbering, now earn their living, partly, by working for industries which have settled there.
The agricultural production of the riding of Bellechasse, which formerly was quite considerable, has also decreased, as everywhere else throughout the province of Quebec and Canada, precisely because agriculture is not profitable.
As far as existing industries are concerned -there are large ones, and small ones-the
The Address-Mr. Adrien Lambert larger ones could still expand, and the Industrial Development Bank Act should of necessity be amended to allow loans to those industries, at lower interest rates, so that they might achieve their goal and expand for the benefit of the people who live in my area.
There are also smaller enterprises which have hired help. These are family undertakings, which can also develop but which, as it is, hire a certain number of workers who, for the better part, are farmers who work there to increase their income because their own farms do not bring in enough revenue.
There is talk, generally, and there has been for a long time, of industrial decentralization but not much is being done to achieve that objective. I feel that in order to achieve that industrial decentralization, interest must be developed at every government level, municipal, provincial and federal, amongst, the go-betweens, and also the people who live in that sector of society, in order to promote the development of the municipalities and to enable them to provide the services essential to the establishment and expansion of new industries.
It should also be realized that if we want to maintain a decent level of population in our rural areas, new industries will have to offer employment to the local manpower, in addition to farm labour. If this objective could be achieved, we could hope to see an interesting level of population, the construction of new family dwellings, on condition, obviously that it be found possible to offer rural areas the advantage of a housing loan policy that would encourage the construction of real family dwellings, buildings in which not only modern machines could be housed, but also little Canadians, so that those spouses who still want children are enabled to house them properly.
Mr. Speaker, we also have in our areas, in my riding, as in other ridings in Quebec, many abandoned farms.
The farmers had to abandon them because their income did not allow them to live there. If you go through those parishes, you see many farms which used to be the pride of our people, of our province. However, today, when you see them, you wonder what happened to bring about such a situation in such a great and beautiful country where there is still so much to do.
Mr. Speaker, those people who, for the most part, cannot offer their services to industry because they are not qualified have
September 20, 1968

The Address-Mr. Adrien Lambert become social welfare recipients. It is not good for our country when too many ablebodied people cannot do their share to build our country and to increase productivity in order to wage an effective war on poverty about which so much is said in the Speech from the Throne.
We will also have to work seriously to give our children, who will soon leave schools with a vocational or industrial training, a job enabling them to put into practice the science which they strived to acquire during all those years we kept them in school. People complain that education is expensive but, if so, it is one more reason why we should do something without delay so that these youngsters whom we are preparing for the future will not be discouraged, after having left school, when applying for a job. The first question put to a student seeking a job is: Have you a diploma? When he answers, yes, I have; here it is, he is asked a supplementary question: Have you any experience? But as he had always gone to school in order to get his diploma, he was not able to work and get experience, of necessity he had to answer no. And when he said: No, I have no experience, he was told: It is just too bad, but I cannot hire you because you have no experience.
Mr. Speaker, I mention those cases because they have occurred frequently in the last few months. Indeed, I have witnessed such dramatic situations and our children find them discouraging, because they are led to believe that a diploma some training or other, would enable them to earn a living and get ahead as easily as one drives a car on the highway.
Mr. Speaker, attempts were made, perhaps involuntarily, to lead all our young people to believe that diplomas would be sufficient to earn a living and to make their way up into society but, then our children discover that this is not enough, and they blame the adults for not telling them the whole truth.
Mr. Speaker, I see that my time is quickly running out. There are so many things to explain so that the house may improve the economic situation of the eastern part of our province. I am not the only one to have witnessed that situation and to have seen such things as I described to you.
During the conference of premiers which I followed on television-I heard one of the premiers of the eastern provinces say at one time: Yes, it is true that there is a constitutional problem in our country, but there is an even more serious problem, the economic problem.

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