April 22, 1980 (32nd Parliament, 1st Session)


Cyril Keeper

New Democratic Party

Mr. Keeper:

Very briefly I should like to say that the throne speech makes absolutely no mention whatsoever of the major social problems in the central areas of our cities. That is a very grave oversight. Also it says nothing with regard to the alleviation of the pressing problems of native people living in urban areas. That matter affects the quality of life of us all.
The speech made considerable reference to national unity. I would not want to deal with that matter in a partisan fashion, but I want to say a few general things about Canada because 1 think at this time it is important to remind ourselves that we can build a better Canada if we so choose. We need a country which is not torn by great gaps in wealth, either in terms of social gaps or geographic regions. Rather, we should have a country where the basic needs of all people and communities are met.
We must not have a country which is torn apart by cultural differences. Rather, we need a country which, while it stays together because of its common interests, acknowledges, appreciates, and celebrates its cultural variety, a country which rejoices in the full flowering of its people, a flowering which emerges from the freedom enjoyed by a people whose basic human needs are met. 1 am not only referring to the need for food, clothing, and shelter, but also to the need for security, the conditions for self-fulfilment such as education, recreation, and freedom of expression. Let us seek today to build a better Canada, a Canada that will stand the tests of time.

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