Stanley Haidasz (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs)
Mr. Stanley Haidasz (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs):
Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in the debate on the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne of the first session of this parliament, I am eager to congratulate you on your re-election as Speaker of the house and to wish you every success in the performance of your heavy duties.
I also wish to congratulate the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of committees (Messrs. Faulkner and Bechard) on their appointment.
I wish to add as well my congratulations to those that have already been made to the hon.
September 20, 1968
The Address-Mr. Haidasz member for Madawaska-Victoria (Mr. Corbin), who has been chosen to move the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne. The depth of his thoughts and the enthusiasm with which he expressed them assure us that he will bring a worthy contribution to the house proceedings.
I also want to congratulate the member for Kamloops-Caribou (Mr. Marchand), the first member of Indian origin to sit in this house and the mover of the address in reply. I salute his arrival in the house, as I salute that of the member who has just finished his speech. His presence in this house, as well as his special knowledge, will no doubt help us to better understand the problems of the minorities of Canada.
Mr. Speaker, I take great pleasure in joining my colleagues and my electors in congratulating the right honourable Prime Minister on his victory and that of the Liberal party in the general election of June 25. His wish for a just society, as well as the devotion and the courage with which he pursues that goal, is welcomed with great satisfaction and enthusiasm by my electors and, doubtless by all the citizens of Canada. I am particularly pleased to hear his statements and especially to read in the Speech from the Throne that constitutional reforms are the best guarantee of Canadian unity.
Our most important duty during this parliament is to strengthen national unity. Moreover, the Canadian charter of human rights must ensure to all our citizens the protection of fundamental liberties.
I wish also to thank the right hon. Prime Minister for the honour he extended to me by calling me to the office of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Mr. Basford). I shall endeavour to fulfil my duties to the best of my abilities and I may add that I am very pleased to try and help the ministers, all the members and the Canadian people at this critical hour.
With the experience he has, the minister quite obviously understands the daily problems of Canadians and judging by the manner I have seen this department work since it has been his responsibility, I am convinced that the Canadian consumers are already being helped and will be helped further in the future.
Mr. Speaker, in the discharge of my duties, I want also to express my gratitude to the electors of Parkdale for having elected me as
their representative in this house. I hope that I will, at all times, serve loyally and devotedly my constituents and my fellow-citizens.
Parkdale constituency, which is situated in the southwest area of Toronto, is almost a miniature replica of a cosmopolitan centre. Besides the Anglo-Saxon and French-Canadi-an groups, almost all other ethnic groups live there. As was the case for many of our ancestors, many of my constituents immigrated here to start a new life. Some came with a spirit of adventure; others were in quest of freedom. Coming to Canada in large numbers, thanks to a judicious immigration policy of the Liberal party, they have found freedom and a better life in this country. They are proud of the traditions of our country and anxious to participate in its development. A great many of them have contributed to a large extent to our economy as labourers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers, missionaries, artists, etc.
During May last, the right honourable Prime Minister honoured us by presiding at a ceremony and unveiling a monument, in Toronto, commemorating Sir Casimir Stanislas Gzowski, one of the first Polish immigrants that settled in Toronto. On account of his services to Canada as an engineer and a statesman, he was knighted by Queen Victoria, in 1890.
Mr. Speaker, the immigrants constitute an invaluable asset for the future of Canada. The great amount of respect shown by my constituents toward our free and democratic way of life is very enlightening. They are firmly decided not to lose the freedom they have found in this country. Hence, they have an uncompromising desire to help those nations that have lost their freedom.
[DOT] (3:30 p.m.)
Among my constituents who, especially at this time, have demonstrated, and rightly so, a grave concern for freedom and basic human rights, a concern shared, I hope, by all Canadians, are those of Czech and Slovak origins. The aborting of the long awaited liberalization process in Czechoslovakia by the Soviet led invasion of that unfortunate country on August 20 shocked our citizens and indeed the people of the free world as well as many citizens in countries behind the iron curtain. This blow to freedom has marred the world's celebration of human rights year. The General Assembly of the United Nations
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declared 1968 human rights year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the declaration of human rights. I am sure we would all like to express the hope, Mr. Speaker, that before the end of this unfortunate year basic freedoms and human rights will be returned to the people of Czechoslovakia.
While attending the international congress of gastroenterology held in Prague in mid-July of this year I had the opportunity of not only visiting and admiring the 1,000 year old historical evidence of Christianity and western civilization, but also the privilege of meeting and speaking with people from all walks of life in that geographically small but rich and beautiful country of Czechoslovakia.
It was evident that Czechs and Slovaks awaited with a curious and patient expectation the beginnings of basic freedoms and human rights, and yearned for an economic growth that would benefit the common working man. But their hopes were short lived. On August 20 the cold harshness of the imperialistic designs of a totalitarian state extinguished the fire of freedom in Czechoslovakia. I believe, however, that the intense desire of the defiant people of that country to be free to determine their own destiny will never be extinguished.
The Canadian government, both at home and abroad, protested against the invasion of Czechoslovakia. At the United Nations Security Council emergency session the distinguished and able Canadian representative immediately voiced Canada's protest by cosponsoring a resolution condemning the Soviet intervention, and then initiated a second resolution which sought to ensure the release and safety of the leaders of Czechoslovakia. In Ottawa, following an emergency session of cabinet, the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp) stated unequivocally Canada's protest and voiced our indignation.
In Toronto at a public protest rally, I read on behalf of the Secretary of State for External Affairs a special message which condemned the Soviet led invasion of Czechoslovakia. The message also stated that the Canadian government had unequivocally condemned this use of force and called for the immediate end of the Soviet occupation.
By its actions the U.S.S.R. had chosen brutally to ignore the most basic principle of international law and two of the cardinal principles of the United Nations charter; that of the sovereign equality of states, and the obligation that states must refrain in their international relations from the use of force
The Address-Mr. Haidasz against the territorial integrity or political independence of another state. The Canadian government has been in the forefront of the efforts at the United Nations to aid the people of Czechoslovakia. Canada does not condone the occupation of Czechoslovakia nor the illegal and unjustified intervention of the U.S.S.R.
The special message of the Secretary of State for External Affairs also stated that an agreement reached under duress resulting from military occupation and this mode of resolving difficulties between states is completely repugnant to the Canadian government. In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government showed its compassion in dealing with the consequences of the Czechoslovak tragedy. Already Canada has offered a new home and emergency financial assistance to the nearly 500 refugees from Czechoslovakia. This is an enviable record which I do not think has been surpassed to this date by any other government outside Vienna. It is to the credit of the Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. MacEachen), with the co-operation of his cabinet colleagues and the efficient work of his officials, that Canada has provided such humanitarian treatment to these refugees.
May I encourage the minister to continue his efforts and also suggest to him that he add to the special Canadian team recently sent to Vienna more departmental officials and also representatives from Czech and Slovak national organizations in Canada. Such a move, I believe, is desirable in view of yesterday's Reuters press report from Munich that according to the international rescue committee there are more than 30,000 refugees from Czechoslovakia homeless in various parts of western Europe.
I believe many Canadians are impatiently awaiting the forthcoming session of the general assembly of the United Nations. Perhaps many people are hoping for too much, but, Mr. Speaker, despite its weaknesses, the United Nations is still the best instrument for peace and justice that the world today possesses. In the meantime, Canada should work toward the establishment of an impartial and effective international control agency. Such a body should be empowered to preserve peace and justice by controlling the proliferation of nuclear weapons, negotiating peaceful disputes, advancing human rights and supporting economic development.
The Address-Mr. Haidasz [DOT] (3:40 p.m.)
As the representative of Parkdale I also have deep concern for my constituents who, at the same time, are citizens of the great municipality of metropolitan Toronto. This great city was the first community in the western hemisphere to give political recognition to the metropolitan form of government, which was created by the demands of modern, industrial society. Metropolitan Toronto was legally established in April, 1953, by an act of the Ontario Legislature.
Toronto plays an important role in the development of our entire country, and not just in the development of Ontario. This great municipality, with a population of 1,900,000 persons-the population increases by about
60,000 persons each year-soon will contain nearly 10 per cent of all Canada. A great industrial and educational centre, Toronto is also a major port in the St. Lawrence seaway system; through the port are forwarded domestic and foreign cargoes to almost all parts of the North American continent as well as to many overseas countries.
During this long, hot summer I, with several Liberal colleagues of this house, attended meetings of the city of Toronto redevelopment advisory council, as well as meetings of other public agencies and officials concerning the great redevelopment plan of Toronto's downtown core, the Toronto harbour and the new 50 mile long waterfront, including a new and bold concept for the Canadian National Exhibition grounds. On September 10 the Toronto planning board approved an official and complete 15 year development plan, during which time metropolitan Toronto's population is expected to grow to 3 million people.
Toronto's redevelopment plan includes matters under federal jurisdiction such as transportation, new airports, extended harbour facilities, a post office in central downtown, a radio and television broadcasting centre, a new waterfront and, as I mentioned before, large grounds for the Canadian National Exhibition.
I am happy to see the Postmaster General (Mr. Kierans) in his seat this afternoon, and I extend to him an invitation to visit Toronto as soon as possible, to see the operations of the central post office. He might also wish to learn of the plan the Toronto planning board has for the relocation of the central post office. At the same time I extend a similar invitation to all other cabinet ministers whose departments have a bearing on this redevelopment plan. It is definitely in the national
DEBATES September 20, 1968
interest to utilize all our technical know-how and financial resources in order to carry out these redevelopment plans. The people of Toronto need and demand swift action. Federal and provincial co-operation with Toronto officials on these matters will stimulate a great sector of the Canadian economy, provide thousands of new jobs and eventually increase our national revenue.
I submit that further provincial and federal initiatives are indispensible to the improvement of the quality of life in our sprawling urban centres. The problems of slums, poverty, disease, delinquency, crime, inadequate housing, air pollution, contaminated water and traffic congestion will choke our cities and paralyze the entire Canadian economy unless all levels of government plan and act more quickly. All our urban problems which have national implications must be examined thoroughly. The influence of modern environment on Canadian citizens is a major and urgent national issue. In order to cope with these and other environmental problems I suggest to the federal government that we establish a special department of urban and environmental affairs.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I should like to say that the government's legislative program has an underlying basic philosophy and an appreciation of the right priorities. It will satisfy many needs and provide better living conditions in our present, complex, modem society. I support and have confidence in this legislative program which, I submit, merits favourable consideration by members on both sides of the house.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY