What happened to the total revision of bankruptcy laws to help the consumer debtor, to the improvement
October 19, 1976
of urban and inter-city transportation services, to the legislation to provide for an efficient port system, to the measures for government intervention in cases where a Canadian company may be prevented by its foreign ownership from fulfilling export orders, to the revisions to the Public Service Staff Relations Act, to the human rights legislation, or to the provisions to broadcast the proceedings of the Commons? 1 know the latter is back in the throne speech. What about the guarantees for the domestic control of uranium mining, and on, and on, and on? Promises, promises, promises! All of these were vivid, definite solutions proposed by the Trudeau administration in the last throne speech over two years ago, none of which were introduced, let alone materialized. Surely the government cannot say it has had no time to introduce legislation dealing with the great promises it made on that uneventful day in September, 1974.
We all know that the last session of parliament was the longest in the history of Confederation, and perhaps one of the reasons for the lack of popularity the government is experiencing today is that the Liberal administration did not see fit to make further futile promises prior to this last Speech from the Throne. I suggest, based on past performance, that anyone who believes the sincerity of the government's promises must surely be over-optimistic and unrealistic. I further suggest, again on the basis of past performances, that a great many of the government's promises to the public at large are made with the knowledge that it is intentionally misleading the electorate.
I hear snickering from across the way. What better example could there be than the now famous Liberal flip-flop on wage and price controls? Was that misleading in the 1974 campaign, or not? In an attempt to conceal the inefficiency of the government in this and other regards the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) now stirs up, by way of diversionary action, what I believe to be the most divisive issue in Canada, that of bilingualism.
I am all for bilingualism and the principle behind it. But why stir up this subject on a regular basis with phony issues? To me it is beyond comprehension. The principle of bilingualism was accepted by all parties in the House, and if it were left alone in the hands of the people the nation would be better off for it.
I should like to give an example of a nation which has more than two official languages. I am thinking of Switzerland. Do we ever hear of any problems relating to language issues in Switzerland? It is left in the hands of the population in that country. Mr. Speaker, I realise that members opposite on the government side are getting a little flipperty so I shall change the subject and deal briefly with a matter which members before me have already documented in some detail, namely , the cabinet shuffle and the continuing resignations from the cabinet. I should like to touch on the two new sub-ministries which I am certain have been formed in the hope of making a smokescreen to conceal the government's inability to cope with the massive problems relating to small business on one hand,
The Address-Mr. Jelinek
and physical fitness and amateur sport on the other. Ironically these are two areas with which I have been closely associated at different times as spokesman on behalf of our party.
It was nearly three and a half years ago, when government spending was at a far lower level and the inflationary cycle had not yet begun to spiral, that I recommended for the sake of a physically fit nation, as well as for a semblance of order leading up to the Montreal Olympics within the amateur sports world, that a sub-ministry for physical fitness and sport should be established. The response I received at that time from the then godfather of the Canadian Football League, the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Lalonde), was simply incredible bearing in mind the action taken by the government in these times of restraint. I believe he had just finished sticking his nose in where it didn't belong, that is to say, into professional football, when he found out about my suggestions, and recommendations.
Perhaps Your Honour would allow me to quote from a speech given by the minister to the Sports Federation of Canada on March 16, 1974, part of which was in response to what I had said. Talking about the lack of a fundamental amateur sports program, he said:
I am aware of the concern felt by the hon. member for High Park Mr. Otto Jelinek, concern for these very same matters. Unwittingly, I think there is a very strong recommendation for a Canadian Ministry of Sport. How surprising, to me at any rate, that a man with Mr. Jelinek's credentials as an accomplished athlete should be endorsing the creation of-and I say this with some trepidation because of my own experiences-what appears to be a rather relentless bureaucracy.
Consider for a moment such a ministry with all its possibilities. It is true that I have in my department two deputy ministers-one for Health, and one for Welfare-but can you imagine for a moment the problems for a minister of sport? He would need to hire a hall just to meet with his deputy ministers. There would be the deputy minister of ballooning, the deputy minister of bowling, the deputy minister of trotting and it would go on and on-
Subtopic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE