November 20, 1978 (30th Parliament, 4th Session)


Donald James Johnston


Mr. Johnston (Westmount):

I have to assume that the Leader of the Opposition, because he really did not address himself to any of the substantive issues contained in the budget, must be in agreement, by and large, with the proposals contained in it.
I learned some things in the course of my campaign. I am a neophyte and a debutante with no political experience, and, in the course of my campaign, my Conservative adversary, who was a very able adversary, let it be known to me that he had been at a candidate's school. This was my first criticism of my own party, because I did not have the benefit of candidate school. It appeared to me during the course of the campaign and after listening to a number of members of the opposition, including its leader, that candidate school specializes in a particular form of humour, a good deal of gloom and doom, and the preaching of a lot of platitudes.
The comments which I intend to make to this House today will be less humorous, with less doom and gloom, and I hope that there will not be too many platitudes. However, I would like to point out that the Leader of the Opposition did make one statement which I share wholeheartedly with him, and that is, that this is not a country beset by problems, but a country of unlimited opportunity. I was delighted to hear the Leader of the Opposition make that statement, because it has long been my impression during the course of the last several years and, in my election campaign that too much gloom and

November 20, 1978
The Budget-Mr. D. J. Johnston
doom is being preached in this country, not only by the opposition but from other quarters as well.
I see this country today as a country of unlimited potential and energy, with enormous coal reserves, untapped riches in the tar sands, hydroelectric power which could double within the next 15 years, and with one of the great forest reserves of the world, unmatched by any nation except, as I understand it, Russia and Brazil. We are endowed with one of the great freshwater reservoirs, minerals, and twice as much farmland per capita as the United States, although we are not quite as productive. Canada is a country of unlimited opportunity. That is why I say, that I am delighted to see those opportunities married to responsible financial policies, such as those contained in the budget brought down by the government.
It is clear to even the most cynical observer that the Minister of Finance (Mr. Chretien), in his budget rejected seductive political proposals in favour of long-term economic growth which the country requires.
Turning for a moment to my own riding, I should like to point out that indeed it is not only an honour and privilege to represent Westmount, but also a challenge. I am called upon to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Hon. "Bud" Drury, whose distinguished career as a soldier, public servant and politician is well known to members on both sides of the House.

Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
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