Ralph Wesley STEWART

STEWART, Ralph Wesley, B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Cochrane (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 30, 1929
Deceased Date
February 11, 2004
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Stewart_(Canadian_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=20a77e7a-c701-44f6-853b-e47770dc7fff&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
advisor on bilingualism in the public service, consultant in management and in government affairs, orchestra conductor, public servant

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
LIB
  Cochrane (Ontario)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
LIB
  Cochrane (Ontario)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Cochrane (Ontario)
March 7, 1979 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Cochrane (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 46)


March 19, 1979

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

I believe that is of the essence of our democratic system. The hon. member for Timmins was not elected by anyone in Cochrane riding, nor was the hon. member for Thunder Bay. I am their sole representative and I will continue to be until the next election and hopefully for many years to come. Neither of these gentlemen should be too concerned with the way the constituents in Cochrane will be looked after and represented, because for 11 years they have been quite happy with the service they have received from me. I do not need any help from them.

My argument is reinforced by precedents. I should like to cite a quotation from May's Nineteenth Edition at page 151 as follows:

March 19, 1979

Conduct not amounting to a direct attempt to influence a Member in the discharge of his duties, but having a tendency to impair his independence in the future performance of his duty, will also be treated as a breach of privilege.

Further concerning the nature and consequences of my actions, in Beauchesne's fourth edition, Citation 111 (1) reads:

Wilful misrepresentation of the proceedings of members is an offence of the same character as a libel.

Not only were the statements referred to contemptuous of me personally, but they are even more contemptuous of parliament because they first of all cast disrepute on the Elouse as a whole by implying that only those elected on the government side can represent their constituencies.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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March 19, 1979

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

Both those hon. members have now alleged they now have responsibility for the Cochrane riding.

This has served to confuse my people further. First, the redistribution of ridings had confused many of the people. This was complicated further by the postponement of the election. Finally, when I crossed the floor of this House and indicated my intention to continue representing the people of Cochrane constituency in the future, they at least knew then where matters stood. But immediately thereafter, when my two northern colleagues chose to make their statements, one can imagine the kind of confusion that was created in the minds of my constituents.

The danger of the remarks made is in the fact that they question the value of our system of government. According to these gentlemen, if followed logically, all the members sitting to the left of Your Honour represent no one. In other words, caucus affiliation alone would determine whether or not an MP represents his constituents.

On many occasions I have pointed out to my people that I did not believe in partisan politics once an election campaign is over, but rather that, once elected, I represent all my constituents whether they happen to be Liberal, Conservative, NDP, Social Credit or of no political affiliation.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
Full View Permalink

March 19, 1979

Mr. Ralph Stewart (Cochrane):

Mr. Speaker, it pains me to have to present this question of privilege today because it arises out of remarks made publicly and on television by two colleagues of this House. The matter goes, in my view, to the very heart of our representative democracy in parliament, and

it questions the ability of a member of this House to represent his constituency based on his party affiliation.

The crux of the matter is that the hon. member for Timmins (Mr. Roy) and the hon. member for Thunder Bay (Mr. Penner) have advised my constituents in the riding of Cochrane publicly that since I changed my caucus affiliation I can no longer represent them properly here. Furthermore, the population in the northern part of the riding was instructed that representations should be made to the hon. member for Thunder Bay, and the population in the southern part of the riding was instructed to address their problems and so on to the hon. member for Timmins.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
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March 19, 1979

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

Mr. Speaker, I have given the essence of the statements. The statements were made on more than one occasion and particularly on television. They are a matter of record. They were to the effect that from now on the two members in question would be looking after and having the obligation to look after the matters of my constituents, and that the hon. member for Cochrane would no longer be looking after their affairs. That essentially is the matter.

In order to complete my remarks and, indeed, if you judge, Mr. Speaker, that this is a question of privilege, I would like to place on the record a motion. The essence of my argument is that not only are my privileges affected here, but also the privileges of any member who does not happen to have an affiliation with the caucus of the government party. I have cited two citations which I think reinforce that argument. If it is found that there is a prima facie case of privilege, I would therefore move, seconded by the hon. member for Calgary Centre (Mr. Andre):

That the attempts by the hon. member for Thunder Bay and the hon. member for Timmins to interfere with the duty of the hon. member for Cochrane to represent and act for the people of his constituency be referred to the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
Full View Permalink

March 19, 1979

Mr. Stewart (Cochrane):

Secondly, they attempt to obstruct me in my duties as a member of parliament.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MR. STEWART (COCHRANE)-STATEMENTS MADE BY HON. MEMBERS FOR THUNDER BAY AND TIMMINS CONCERNING REPRESENTATION OF CONSTITUENTS
Full View Permalink