Mr. Hubert Badanai (Fort William):
Mr. Speaker, the budget speech, delivered in a very elegant, effective fashion, contains so many stimulating and sensible proposals that it has earned for the Minister of Finance (Mr. Turner) superlative praise. That is the way one can describe the widespread approval of the document that spells and easier load for pensioners and the disabled and more jobs for the unemployed. It is a document, sir, which marks a long advance in Canada's economic and social maturity. It spells confidence, which some people in this country had lost. The need of the time is the recovery of confidence, confidence that we can beat the unemployment problem.
The tax benefits to expand manufacturing and industrial development will certainly stimulate the business community to accept the challenge and become more successfully competitive in selling our products abroad. I congratulate the minister for his refreshing faith of which, unfortunately, members of the opposition appear to have so little.
In a recent news release, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce expressed pleasure with regard to the constructive budget presented by the Minister of Finance. I quote:
"The measures outlined to stimulate Canadian manufacturing and processing industries should do much to reduce unemployment and to make our competitive position stronger in domestic and international markets," said Neil V. German, president of the Canadian Chamber.
The Budget-Mr. Badanai
In particular, the overall effects of the tax measures in the budget will help Canadian industry to offset the adverse effects of DISC.
The Chamber was also pleased with the measures proposed in the budget to relieve the financial burden borne by those groups hardest hit by inflation such as pensioners, veterans and students.
A review of the debate on Bill C-201, a measure to provide for control of foreign ownership of Canadian companies, reveals some misunderstandings but some of the speeches were reflections of pure anti-Americanism. Fortunately, the Minister of Finance does not see it that way. The unrealistic dream of members of the committee for an independent Canada of eliminating foreign ownership is running against a contemporary world trend to internationalism and, in any case, their theories are not valid in the world in which we live today any more than when we needed foreign capital to develop our industries and create jobs to meet the needs of an expanding and growing population. Had it not been for American capital, there would not have been an iron ore mine in northwestern Ontario. I am referring to the development of the Steeprock Iron Mines in the town of Atikokan, 130 miles west of my constituency. Atikokan would still be a small hamlet. It was risk capital that insured jobs and prosperity for hundreds of people working in that area.
I wish to quote from an editorial that appeared in a recent edition of the Calgary Albertan:
In the much-discussed subject of foreign ownership of Canadian industry to that of foreign ownership of Canadian land, both crown-owned and public, there are many grey areas. While this, on the surface at least, appears to be a laudable endeavor, the problems which will arise if the policy is adopted, first on a national, and then on a provincial scale, can be enormous.
If the respective governments really intend to go whole hog on the latest bit of Canadian nationalism, two important points will have to be determined to the satisfaction of all. These are what constitutes a "foreigner," and what constitutes a "Canadian citizen."
In Canada, which will soon reach a population of 22 million, or just about one-tenth of the population of the United States, there are millions of British subjects who are not Canadian citizens, if the narrow interpretation of the word is to be employed. In the first row are the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh.
Then come all the immigrants from the 23 Commonwealth countries, white, black, and various shades of brown.
As Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth, all of these people possess the same legal rights as native-born Canadians, once they have been accepted for domicile and have settled down in this country, and as such they are entitled to all the rights and privileges of native-born Canadians and those who have emigrated from other countries outside of the Commonwealth but who have acquired Canadian citizenship after residing here for the period prescribed by law.
The first thing that has to be determined therefore before governments get too deeply involved in the land ownership problem is-what constitutes a "foreigner," and whether British subjects who do not hold citizenship papers are to be barred from buying crown lands. Does it also mean that no person except those who hold Canadian citizenship papers are to be permitted to homestead on crown lands?
The new restrictive legislation now under review by provincial governments across Canada, is merely another chapter in the "Keep the Americans out" policy so popular nowadays.
However, the majority of the governments affected do not possess the intestinal fortitude to name the country they are legislating against, so the legislation will be such as to confine the sale of crown lands to "Canadian citizens." It would be very injudicious to name the Americans in legislation of this kind when the whole
June 12, 1972
The Budget-Mr. Badanai
country is still desperately anxious to enlist the aid of American capital in the continued development of natural resources and industry.
I can understand why British Columbia, with its miles of ocean front, lakes, plus a myriad of islands, is anxious to reduce the volume of the sale of land to the Americans.
I too have toyed with the idea of following the birds to Victoria, or to acquire a small piece of Salt Spring Island, and there to be nuzzled by the balmy Pacific coast breezes. Every time I think of Alberta's seven to eight month winter, I find it difficult to understand why the Americans, or any other group presently being designated as "foreigners," would be interested in trying to buy Alberta land at seriously inflated prices.
Those who did buy land in the early days of the oil invasion at moderate prices, now possess a solid investment, but times are different now in the wake of the urban sprawl and inflated land values.
I thought that the Alberta government displayed great prudence when it did not rush passage of amendments to the Land Act, at the recent session of the legislature. This is a problem which is by no means as simple as it may appear.
Ever since the North West Mounted Police rode west in 1874 to bring law and order to what is now the province of Alberta, Americans have been prominent in development. They brought in the first big cattle herds from Texas in the early 1880's and in the boom years prior to the First World War, they poured across the border in an unending stream, bringing their furniture and livestock with them. Later, they provided most of the capital for the development of Alberta's oil and gas resources, and practically all of the first geologists and drilling crews were either American or American trained.
For this one reason alone, I find it impossible to join in the "Yankee, Go Home" cry presently being chanted by the Johnny-come-lately minority, whose contribution to development still has to be assessed.
The opposition is forever pounding on the gloomy side of the unemployment picture which, of course, everyone admits is not what the government had hoped it would be. On the other hand, the prophets of doom are trying to make it look far worse than it is. For example, when estimating employment statistics for young people in the 14 to 24 age bracket, the difficulty is to arrive at anywhere near the number of unemployed.
Students who register with Canada Manpower and placement officers at the various colleges and university offices, often do not notify the agency when they obtain work. There is no way of checking up on students who go out to find jobs by themselves. Many students who applied for permanent positions have not notified the manpower centres of their decision to return to postgraduate school in the fall. Several thousand students, unsuccessful in their job search, are flying to Europe and elsewhere and therefore cannot be classified as actively seeking employment. Some unemployed students have taken temporary summer work, or obtained "Opportunity for Youth" grants, and cannot be classified as permanently placed, while others wait until summer is over before looking for work.
Many corporations delayed their hiring this spring. They are still going through the process of hiring at the present time. Some universities now operate on a co-operative plan which staggers the graduates' entry into the labour market to other months of the year. The latest unemployment figures for the 14 to 24 age group available are for March and indicate an unemployment rate of 12.6
per cent, or about 273,000. This compares with 12.9 per cent jobless students a year ago. On the whole, bachelor-level graduates in commerce and business administration are finding jobs; in some instances, there are not enough commerce graduates to meet the demand from the accounting profession. Graduates from the professional schools of medicine and dentistry are always in demand, but others, especially those with just a B.A., find it most difficult to obtain jobs.
Then, there is the woman factor. A few years ago married women did not, as a rule, enter the labour market when their husbands were gainfully employed. Now, even though the husband may have a good job, the wife wants a job too, and when unemployed she registers at manpower centres as well, thus compounding the unemployment figures. Lest I be accused of being against a married woman seeking employment, I should hasten to say that she has a right to look for a job, if family conditions will allow. But let us also realize that the jobless figures do not really mean the disastrous conditions that the opposition are trying hard to convey to the people of Canada.
With respect to immigration, I should at once express my satisfaction with the new Minister of Manpower and Immigration's attitude toward applicants for admission to Canada as landed immigrants. I admire his forthright statement aimed at granting a little more flexibility in the area of personal judgment to immigration officers, such as boosting the point ratings, if necessary, given previously to unsuccessful applicants; in other words, using the criteria with flexible judgment and compassion.
With regard to the Sedgwick report of October, 1970, prepared by a Toronto lawyer who has never had the experience of being an immigrant, I suggest that it be shelved for some other era when Canada will have doubled its present population. The minister, very properly, rejected the contention that visitors are abusing the relaxed immigration provisions; and I would recommend increased reliance on the discretionary judgment of overseas' immigration officials, who are, by and large, the best trained and responsible individuals in the public service. I was pleased to take note of a substantial increase in this year's budget for increasing the number of officers, and of expanding facilities in our immigration offices around the world.
I should also add that the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) should be congratulated on the appointment of the present Minister of Manpower and Immigration (Mr. Mack-asey) who, when he was Minister of Labour, showed his capacity for commiseration in the face of injustice and who, in his new responsibilities, meets the problems of his department with dedication and compassion.
Canada, as a nation, will be 105 years old in less than two months from now. But Canada as a place for European settlement dates back to 1534 when Jacques Cartier came to our coast seeking a seaway to the Orient. He found, instead, a country, vast and beautiful, beyond his dreams. After the first settlers came to this land, the French and the English they were followed much later by streams of immigrants from almost every country of Europe bringing to our shores millions of men and women of many other cultures who made their homes here and helped in the development of what is now a great nation.
June 12, 1972
Baron Tweedsmuir, one of the best known Governors-General of Canada, once said when speaking to Ukrainian-Canadians:
I want you to remember your old Ukrainian traditions, your beautiful handicrafts, your folksongs and dances and your folk legends. Your traditions are all valuable contributions toward our Canadian culture which must be a new thing created by the contributions of all the elements that make up the nation.
It is with this thought, Mr. Speaker, that I express the gratitude of countless immigrants who are now enjoying the privilege of being Canadians.
A dedicated group of citizens in the City of Thunder Bay have taken on the task of organizing a campaign for funds to establish an arts centre which would include an auditorium. This city of 107,000 people lacks a suitable theatre complex to accommodate an average audience of 1,500 people. Every year those in charge of the music festival are hard-pressed to find accommodation for the various events. The various arts' societies, such as the Cambrian Players, the Lakehead Symphony Orchestra and others are experiencing difficulty in finding suitable quarters for their performances. The arts centre complex is also needed for teaching all facets of the arts, workshops and convention meetings. The federal government, under the Local Initiatives Program, has made a grant of $18,720 toward hiring a co-ordinator, a secretary, and ten surveyors to evaluate the need of the community cultural program. For this, the city is very grateful. The Mayor has indicated that the corporation will lend active support and financial assistance to the project it is hoped, which, once underway, the federal government will also assist with a grant or a loan so that this worthwhile project may be brought to fruition.
One of the most exciting projects that has ever been voiced by a Prime Minister of Canada, ranking with Sir John A. Macdonald's vision of a transcontinental railway a century ago, is a proposal outlined by the Prime Minister to build a highway to connect existing stretches of roads from the border of Alberta, at the 60th parallel, to the Arctic Ocean, at Tuktoyaktuk, a distance of 1,050 miles. In a letter to the Globe and Mail of May 2,1972, Mr. P. Pepperrall, a professor of history from Willowdale, said in part:
In the decade of the 70's nearly a century ago, a dream of similar magnitude that was to open transcontinental communication and to perpetuate a Canada from sea to sea was also denounced as a "preposterous proposition", and "an act of insane recklessness". After all, Sir John A. Macdonald's proposed Canadian Pacific Railway to remote British Columbia would be a road to nowhere of forbidding length, built with money he didn't have, over an undertermined route, and through terrain as formidable as any in the world.
Yet these very obstacles, which people ignorant of the Canadian identity considered to be insurmountable, were the very elements which have characterized the Canadian existence, made its people unique, and impelled them to meet the challenge that was the CPR. The sense of interminable distance, lonely space, and rugged vastness was as much a distinctive part of the Canadian character and consciousness as the country that had created it. And to have failed in response to this challenge that was Canada would not only have betrayed the natural tendency and
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uniqueness of the Canadian identity, but also have stifled the thrust that was to carry it as a nation intact over the threshold of the twentieth century.
Canadians might do well to remember the heritage of our Canadian identity, and in particular the solitary figure of Sir John A. Macdonald earnestly making his proposal for the CPR. Sir John was the "old chieftain" whose national dream culminated in the Canada of a century ago, but the Prime Minister may well be the "new chieftain", whose vision of the north builds a Canada for the twentieth century.
Subtopic: THE BUDGET