Roland Léo ENGLISH

ENGLISH, Roland Léo

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Gaspé (Quebec)
Birth Date
January 1, 1909
Deceased Date
January 15, 1993
manufacturer, organizer, teacher

Parliamentary Career

June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Gaspé (Quebec)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
  Gaspé (Quebec)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries (November 18, 1959 - November 17, 1961)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries (January 18, 1962 - April 19, 1962)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
  Gaspé (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 23)

February 1, 1963

Mr. English:

What is the hon. member talking about?

Topic:   I. 19G3
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December 18, 1962

Mr. English:

Mr. Chairman, I regret having to waste so much precious time because of the hon. member's question.

I continue:

The chamber of commerce also appreciates the foHowing statement made by the Hon. George Marler, former federal minister of transport: "The present opposition in the parliament at Ottawa will never criticize what the Diefenbaker government will undertake to lengthen anywhere the railway branch lines in the mining regions of Quebec and the rest of Canada-"

In our area, we have enormous resources, but, without that vital artery, our economy is anaemic and has not developed on a par with that of the other areas in the province and even in the country.

Three factors are essential to the development of the Gaspe peninsula: an abundance of electric power; enough capital to develop our resources; and the railway. The government of the province of Quebec and our mining companies have already procured for us the first and second factors respectively and only the federal government can give us the third one.

Well, Mr. Chairman, I think I have stated the need of a railway which is only 57 miles long but which is vital to the economic development of the Gaspe peninsula, and the benefits the government brought to that region when it decided to build it.

Mr. Chairman, I have but one thing to ask. I know that the government has shown diligence and I have no blame at all to address to the Canadian National Railways because during the summer, the lay-out was proceeded with and now, that being completed, the plans and the expropriation of land are being looked after.

I am simply asking the government to bring pressure to bear so that the work can start during the winter season. Winter is always a hard time for the Gaspe peninsula, for fishermen, lumbermen and farmers.

Mr. Chairman, if we want our young people to stay home, if we want to prevent them from leaving their native land-at the present time, I note with sadness that people are leaving my riding to seek fortune and work in Montreal because they have heard that a world fair will be held there and will create a lot of jobs-let us work together, without political partisanship, to help that region of the province that has been too long neglected. It is now forgotten because its problems do not resemble those of Quebec city or Montreal, or even those of the agricultural ridings in the rest of the province of Quebec.

I would even say, Mr. Chairman, that that part of the province of Quebec should be brought under the study made by the royal commission set up to examine the problems of the Atlantic provinces, because our difficulties in the Gaspe peninsula are very similar to those of the maritime provinces: fishing, mines and forests.

Mr. Chairman, I apologize for taking up perhaps too much of the time of the house but until now I have been very patient. I was content to listen, and even before you tell me that my time has expired-


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December 18, 1962

Mr. English:


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December 18, 1962

Mr. English:

Mr. Chairman, I must say to the hon. member that if grain elevators had to be built in my riding, I would speak up with as much courage as I did for a railroad in my region.

Mr. Chairman, I seem to remember that at the time the bill concerning that railroad was under discussion, all members agreed. In addition, I remember having read a brief submitted by the north Gaspe chamber of commerce and stating:

The north Gaspe chamber of commerce associates itself with the statements made by Messrs. Hees, Gordon and others on the occasion of the official opening of the Chibougamau railway:

There are two essential prerequisites to our national economy:

1. A large portion of our natural resources is still awaiting means of transportation to be developed: 2. Our railways are still taking the lead and opening new areas to economic development.

This is what Mr. Donald Gordon, president of the Canadian National Hallways, had to say: "In a country such as ours where distance is the determining factor in the cost of goods, natural resources development cannot be envisaged without thinking of the railway".

Mr. Chairman, it is rather surprising that it took him so long to think of the construction of that railway.


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December 18, 1962

Mr. English:

Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to join with all members who took part in the present debate which has been lasting for a few days. I listened yesterday to speeches devoid of all political partisanship and imbued with really patriotic principles. In fact, the atmosphere in this house has changed completely. We did not hear politicians, but statesmen concerned with the problems facing us.

We all realized that unity was essential in this parliament, if the clarion call for unity is going to be heard, and especially by all the people who live in our beautiful country, Canada.

We are now in a troubled age. We see a combination of facts that prompts us to look farther than ever before.

On each side of us new groups appear, more important than we think, and which could, tomorrow, create a wide chasm between both our ethnic communities.

What are we to do? Are we to declare open war to all new movements? Are we to condemn them? Are we to consider them as undesirable? No, Mr. Chairman, let us rather consider them as our brothers, let us try to understand them. In a word, let us be the apostles of mutual understanding.

Mr. Chairman, no movement is born without a cause. Let us try to find out that cause and the best way to do it is not to investigate, it is not merely to form movements to oppose those already existing, the best way is simply to look at ourselves, English Canadians and French Canadians, and each of us to examine our conscience.

We shall then discover that everyone of us has his share of responsibilities to assume. We shall perhaps find out that we caused unconsciously the spark that started the fire which seems at present to take alarming proportions. Let us stop eyeing each other like divided brothers. Instead, let us consider each other like united brothers. Those movements did not spring up overnight. It might have been possible to prevent them from coming into being if right from the start our politicians had lent a more attentive ear to their claims.

Interim Supply

Let me give you an example. The selection of a name for the C.N.R. hotel in Montreal was not a momentous question; the request made by all social organizations of the province of Quebec could have been granted.

The province of Quebec has always advocated, not only with words but with action, the respect of minorities.

Has the province of Quebec not always had a public education board formed of two committees, one called the Catholic committee and the other, the Protestant committee?

Succeeding provincial governments in the past have always treated those two groups with the same fairness. Subsidies granted for the building of schools were not higher for French schools and lower for English schools. Indeed, those subsidies were the same for both groups.

Mr. Chairman, that is what we, in Quebec, call true fair play. That is what we, in Quebec, call well understood unity. That is what we, in Quebec, call respect of minorities. That is what we, in Quebec, understand by practising what we preach.

Mr. Chairman, I represent in this house one of the finest ridings not only of the province of Quebec, but of all Canada, the riding of Gaspe which comprises 10,700 French speaking families and 1,800 English speaking families. Mine is a united county where it is good to live in peace and harmony. We all look upon each other as brothers, as true people from Gaspe, and true Canadians.

There is no question of race, religion or language. Our French Canadians always made an effort to speak English, and our English speaking Canadians did the same.

Since I have been in the house, I have always defended the interests of the Englishspeaking minority in my county.

For the last few years, the English speaking municipalities in my riding made some representations to me to the effect that they were lacking television service, and asked me to intercede on their behalf with the government authorities. They were right in asking for fair treatment, Mr. Chairman. I did approach the proper authorities on many occasions and appreciate their having acceded to my request.

This is what we find in the report on the matter, established by the board of broad-

oast governors and dated December 4, 1962:

Mont Bechervaise, Gaspe West (Que.)

Licence for the establishment of a new television relay station at Mont Bechervaise, in Gaspe West (Que.) via the Gaspe South Telecasting Syndicate, to pick up programs of station CKAM-TV, of Upsalquitch (N.B.) on channel 12, and retransmit to channel 4 with 5 watt power and directional antenna.

Recommendation: APPROVED.

Reasons: The board thinks that the facilities requested by the Gaspe South Telecasting Syndicate are the only ones that could answer the needs of the English speaking people in the district where the proposed relay station is to operate. The board trusts that it will be possible to collect sufficient funds to build and immediately operate those facilities, and that steps may be taken to ensure the maintenance of those installations.

Is not Gaspe, Mr. Chairman, a magnificent example of unity, which we may quote with pride on any occasion?

This afternoon, I listened to the hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Mr. Sauve) when he pointed out that, in his beautiful riding, there were, proportionately speaking, more veterans from the two wars than in any other riding. I entirely agree with the hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine, and I have to tell him that the riding of Gaspe is one of those which have given the most soldiers to our country. In my county, there are three legion branches: one at Chandler, one at Gaspe, and one at Murdochville. In those three areas, there is no difference of class, race or religion.

Those four different communities form a single area where all fair-minded people in Gaspe irrespective of race and religion, discuss under the same roof the common interest of the county of Gaspe, and I am proud to say that this county has distinguished itself. Under the circumstances, I am not surprised about Iles-de-la-Madeleine, because that riding followed in the steps of Gaspe, because it belonged for a long time to Gaspe county.

Mr. Chairman, as united and as rich as it may be through its mineral, forest and fishing industries, through the moral fibre and the courage of its inhabitants, the riding of Gaspe has nevertheless been neglected by all previous governments.

Unfortunately, this great courageous population has all too often been used for purely political purposes.

We have been deprived of high schools and classical colleges far too long. In fact, many children have not had the necessary education because their parents did not have the means to send them to the classical colleges in Quebec city or Montreal. The only university our ancestors had really gone to is that of hard knock.

Mr. Chairman, how can we explain the fact that such a rich country has been left undeveloped for so long? How can we explain that this country, discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534, had to wait until 1956 to see its first city, Murdochville. However, its wealth had been lying underground for a long time. Providence had put it there so that it could be developed and benefit the whole community.

At this stage, Mr. Speaker, I should like to refer to the Gaspe copper mines financial report, submitted by the president of the company, which clearly shows that the Gaspe peninsula is a rich country. I quote:

Gaspe Copper is going through a prosperous year.

The net profit of Gaspe Copper Mines Limited for the first six months of 1962 will reach-

You will have noticed, Mr. Chairman, that the figure is for the first six months of 1962.

-$2,700,000, compared with $400,000 for the whole year 1961.

This was revealed today by Mr. John R. Brad-field, president of the company, to the shareholders now holding their annual meeting here.

This substantial improvement in the results of the operations of the company is explained by the fact that better prices for copper as well as the Canadian dollar exchange rate have brought about an increase of $500,000 in the revenues of the company. Besides, as was revealed by the annual report sent out two months ago to the shareholders, the amortization of substantial capital and preproduction expenditures has been completed during 1961. Mr. Bradfield also underlined that the company's debt, which amounted to $47 million in 1956 has been substantially reduced. More than $40 million have been paid off, so that the current is only totalling $6,500,000.

Mr. Chairman, the debt amounted to $47 million in 1956 and is but $6 million today. And these figures were only for a period of six months in 1962, which means that the $6 million current debt will be completely paid off before the end of the year.

Mr. Chairman, there is not only one mine in the Gaspe peninsula. There are several, which are only waiting for mining companies and strong arms to put them at the service of the public. And, merely to prove that the Gaspe peninsula is a rich area and that I was right in asking for the construction of a railway which would contribute to its economic expansion, you only have to look at what is happening at the moment.

Interim Supply

In fact, Mr. Chairman, when the Conservative government decided to consider the fate of the Gaspe peninsula, it realized that it had to do something for its exiled brothers and adopted an act which received the unanimous approval of both houses, an act which finally permitted to give to the Gaspe peninsula what it had been seeking for more than 75 years.

Mr. Chairman, that is a promise which suddenly became a reality. And the reality brought about considerable economic expansion in the Gaspe peninsula.

Until now, companies that owned mining claims did not want to develop them until they had the essential transport facilities to do so.

I also recall that I was asked at the time if I had consulted provincial government authorities to determine whether it would be a self-liquidating project.

1 must say that, at the time, I could not reply, because I was in communication with the Quebec authorities, and I could not reveal information before it was made public by the government itself.

Following the passing of the bill by the House of Commons, the Quebec government granted one company a 32-square mile area in the national park of the Gaspe peninsula. That park had always been closed to mining operations in the past, because it was preserved as a sanctuary.

Mr. Chairman, it is all very well to look after caribou, but I feel it is even more important to look after human beings and, according to order in council No. 616, the provincial government granted Mr. Pierre Beauchemin and his Gaspe associates a 32-square mile area. A short while later, drilling operations began, and the results are most promising. This will allow us to have in the near future, not only one, but at least three mines in operation in the constituency of Gaspe. For that, credit must go to the Conservative government which has made it possible to build that railway to develop that area.

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