John Patrick (Pat) NOWLAN

NOWLAN, John Patrick (Pat), B.A., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Independent Conservative
Constituency
Annapolis Valley--Hants (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
November 10, 1931
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Nowlan
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=233615e5-2efe-4c21-add7-fe0441115d79&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Annapolis Valley (Nova Scotia)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Annapolis Valley--Hants (Nova Scotia)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
PC
  Annapolis Valley--Hants (Nova Scotia)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
PC
  Annapolis Valley--Hants (Nova Scotia)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
PC
  Annapolis Valley--Hants (Nova Scotia)
November 21, 1990 - September 8, 1993
IND
  Annapolis Valley--Hants (Nova Scotia)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 722)


June 4, 1993

Mr. Pat Nowlan (Annapolis Valley-Hants):

Mr. Speaker, I want to compliment the last speaker, the member for Nunatsiaq certainly, and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development for bringing this bill, as a result of the agreement, to the floor of the House.

That is why I speak in a somewhat mixed way. The hon. member for Nunatsiaq lived through a great deal of the negotiations. Many positive things were said about this agreement by him. For all those who participated in the negotiations that produced the agreement, I do believe it is Parliament working and the process of people working with their government agencies and officials.

June 4, 1993

Government Orders

I speak almost with a forked tongue. That gets into the substance of the agreement I am glad to say is here today. It has to be put on the record that I am totally against the process. To have had the minister of Indian affairs speak for 18 minutes as he did in introducing this bill at second reading does not even begin to equal the 15 or 16 years it took to get the agreement. The member for Comox-Alberni said 20 or 25 years. I guess it depends on where one starts to define this very complex issue.

If there was ever an example of a dead Parliament doing dangerous things, this bill sadly is it. This bill should not have been brought in in the closing days of Parliament, the last weekend before we rise. Whether we come back, we do not know.

With all the good things the minister of Indian affairs and other speakers have said about it, this bill has the potential of nation building, of bringing the Inuit into the federation on some of the major points of the agreement.

The minister spoke this morning for 18 minutes. Then the government House leader stood up and used Standing Order 78(1) with the connivance and the complicity of the opposition and they are always railing against allocation of time.

However, an agreement of this size and magnitude should be in the public domain as a bill. The negotiations went on for 15 to 20 years, depending on the time frame used. Have that percolated and focused and then have people decide that perhaps something said in Parliament at second reading or in Committee of the Whole deserves further attention.

The rule is supposed to be used to move things along when there has been an excess of debate, when there has been obstruction. Yet we have had a horrible example in the dying days of this Parliament of the government using Standing Order 78(1) with the connivance and collusion of the opposition. In effect it says that the parties have agreed, yet other members who may not belong to political parties have not had a chance to speak out for their constituents or for other people in Canada.

We know from the history of this Parliament that this party has had no credibility on constitutional matters. There were three parties that agreed to Meech Lake some many years ago. In effect that went down the drain.

More recently we know the three major parties all got together on the Charlottetown accord. Three or four of us spoke out in a negative way on the Charlottetown accord and we were unable to get a vote then. Under the rules it is well known that five members are needed to provoke a vote and look what happened to the Charlottetown accord. The parties, the member for Glengarry- Prescott-Russell and members of the three major parties, all went one way on the Charlottetown accord for the greater good of Canada. Yet the people of Canada had some misgivings, to put it kindly. The people of Canada said no to the Charlottetown accord in a referendum.

That is another reason that a government in its dying days to exercise Standing Order 78(1) to close off debate on something of such magnitude and importance to the people involved is not doing justice to the issue.

That is why I certainly agree with the point of order that was raised in a very short period of time. Under the rules we cannot get into debate when Standing Order 78(1) is used. The member for Beaver River did raise a point of order about the process. I had just stepped outside; I was on the phone. I came back in and found out the government House leader had used it.

Members of the opposition, whether Liberal or the NDP, are always protesting with vigour how they have been raped by allocation or closure. Yet when they are not gored they will get into bed with the government. It was never intended to be that way. This is the second time in the last month the government has used Standing Order 78(1).

The earlier matter, and certainly the one I was associated with, was the Elections Act which affected all members. They were able to use it because there were only four or five members in the House.

June 4, 1993

However, on this one I feel sad for the hon. member for Nunatsiaq who made a great speech and the people in the gallery who have lived this. This should not be snuck in as though people are ashamed of the deal. It should have been given a proper debate and historic debate.

Mr. Speaker, you are from the west. The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta entered Confederation in 1905. You can go through the Hansard for that time. I am not going to take time doing so because my time is limited.

The member from Comox-Alberni started. According to the table we have exactly one hour and 13 minutes left to pass this bill on the basis of this rather complicated agreement; one hour and 13 minutes from the time the member from Comox-Alberni started, to pass this bill in all stages including Committee of the Whole consideration if we ever get to it. Then the old hammer chops and that is it.

I could compare that with what happened in earlier days. I am not going to over-dwell on it, but there was debate on Bill C-69, the Alberta Act, 1905, and debate on Bill C-70, the Saskatchewan Act, 1905. There were different indices then to get the material. Just a quick review of the index in those days when new provinces were being brought into Confederation and being made part of Canada shows that it was not done in the dying days of Parliament. It was not done on a late Friday afternoon or in the dark of night. It was done in open daylight. It had debate at first, second and third readings. There were 84 pages of index of both bills. I think 52 members participated in debate on one bill and over 52 participated in the other debate. That is what used to happen.

I say this is a perversion of the rules and I say it sadly. It is a travesty of Parliament which by its very name, as we all know, means we are supposed to speak. We are supposed to be able to speak. The government House leader stood after 18 minutes and in effect invoked closure, allocation of time. We were to have one hour and 45 minutes from when he moved that and we are now down to one hour and 13 minutes when the member from Comox-Alberni stood. It boggles the mind.

After all, as we have heard quite properly, this is a mammoth exercise by government and the people. According to the maps, some of the briefings and the

Government Orders

material I have assembled that I think is correct, we are dealing with one-quarter the size of Canada in terms of defining a new territory. Undoubtedly and with full credit to the people of that territory, be they 16,000 or

17,000 Inuit of the total of 20,000, over time there will be an emancipation process as there should be perhaps to develop a state or a province.

We have a bill affecting one-quarter of the land mass of Canada as a result of negotiations for, I thought, 15 years or 16 years. The minister's speech does not even begin to represent one year for each of the years of negotiation. In that sense it is not doing justice to the Inuit or to Parliament because it is a travesty of Parliament to have this type of motion at this time.

There are so many questions one could ask. However this is second reading and perhaps a better time would be at Committee of the Whole if that is what we are going to do. I know some of these things have been negotiated. This should not just be done in the dying days of a Parliament but when the focus of public affairs is on many other matters. There has not been the public focus on the implications of this bill.

I listened to my friend's speech because I respect him very much. There were many matters that could perhaps have been examined in the brief time we have. There will be a new public service in the territory. There may be an influx from the south coming north. There may not be the majority that would presently be the majority in the territorial Government of Nunavut. There are many things.

When this was first announced as recently as 1991 Ovide Mercredi raised questions about the inherent rights of aboriginals being adversely affected by this process. There is something else that I do not think many appreciate. It was part of the give and take and one of the reasons we were able to get an agreement. The creation of this bill, for the first time as I understand it, actually transfers the land ownership. I am not talking about aboriginal title. I am talking about the actual land ownership over a good section of this land. It affects all Canadians because until now all Canadians north and south of 60 have had an interest through the Crown in that land. I am just not sure where the interests of Canadians from coast to coast north of 60 lie under this bill.

June 4, 1993

Government Orders

There are many other matters that could be mentioned. I do not even know where the implementation agreement is. Is the bill we will be debating after passing Bill C-133 the implementation agreement that was supposed to be here as a condition precedent before this bill was to be ratified? There are different elements of the ratification processes for Parliament, not for the Inuit who have had their ratification and their votes. That is something I wondered about. Perhaps we can deal with it in Committee of the Whole.

I give compliments to the minister because it has been a trying experience. I have not shared a lot of the general criticism that the minister has had in his department, because it is a very tough department. I frankly think he has handled it fairly well with all the difficulties of not just this bill but of many other matters.

I am very saddened he felt it necessary to speak in the ear of old jack hammer government House leader or jackboot House leader, the member from Calgary or from wherever. He invoked Standing Order 78(1) to cut off debate on something of such magnitude when we should have been singing hosannas as we found out more about the details of the agreement.

I think we could move it along to Committee of the Whole because of the process and because I feel so strongly about the process regardless of the subject matter. You are indicating, Mr. Speaker, that my time is almost up. I hope I am here to say no, as perhaps my friend from Beaver River would have done, when this bill is called for second reading. I feel strongly that this was the wrong tactic to use on something so fundamentally important for the people affected. It certainly is a poor reflection of the state of this Parliament. The sooner we can have an election and have a variety of parties in the House, the sooner we will not have the conspiracy of silence, the Official Opposition and the NDP agreeing with a government that they usually condemn every day.

Ever so often on a Friday afternoon they get in bed with them and commit political incest. That is what the opposition parties have done. I do not want to hear them protesting any more about allocation of time when they happen not to like it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NUNAVUT LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENT ACT
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May 27, 1993

Mr. Pat Nowlan (Annapolis Valley-Hants):

Madam Speaker, it may surprise some members, let alone leadership candidates, that the power given to a national leader to sign the nomination papers of a candidate was put into the Elections Act in 1974 solely for the purpose of financial accountability since candidates were given the power to issue tax receipts.

National Revenue needed to know who the legal candidate of a party was since there was a past practice of deliberately nominating candidates with the same surname to confuse the voter.

Unfortunately in the election campaign of 1974 Robert Stanfield first perverted the purpose of the power when he refused to sign the nomination papers of the mayor of Moncton because of his views on bilingualism and yet signed the nomination papers of 17 members, including Mr. Diefenbaker, who voted against the Official Languages Act.

This same ironic contradiction seems to apply to a former Minister of Justice, the current defence minister, who while professing belief in criminal reform and rehabilitation of criminals, let alone extending the right to vote to inmates in prisons, appears ready to deny her nomination signature, if she wins the leadership convention, to a candidate who may have sinned in the past but has paid his dues.

Let the people decide on a candidate and not have the divine-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NOMINATION PROCESS
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May 26, 1993

Mr. Pat Nowlan (Annapolis Valley-Hants):

Mr. Speaker, I am glad I was able to say yes to that earlier motion. I guess I am happy to rise on this matter. I know the House went all night last night on this bill. It is one

Government Orders

of the more fundamental bills this Parliament certainly is going to have to handle before it terminates either in June or the fall and we have an election.

I rise to obviously echo most of the things that have been said here over the last 24 hours. There is no stronger term that I can use than the obscenity of a government of which I formerly was a member forcing through a bill on a matter of such fundamental importance, the NAFTA free trade agreement with the United States and Mexico.

I was a government member when we had the fight in the 1988 campaign with free trade. Quite frankly it was the most difficult election I ever had. My vote showed it because I went from 12,000 to 2,000. Now the Liberals are licking their chops in my riding thinking they are going to bite me off whenever I run again. Of course, there was a little different tale in the wind then as far as I am concerned. But as everyone knows, at least we had a debate on free trade in 1988. We had a debate in this House.

I have great respect for the government House leader. From a government House leader point of view of ramming things through, he has done a pretty good job. However, I am going to remind him of several quotes from the record of Parliament when he chastised and criticized and condemned the then Liberal government for ramming bills through on time allocation and they only did it one or two times. However, as the member for Leeds-Grenville mentioned, it has never been done more often in recent history than by this government.

My former colleagues are having a leadership contest. I have had exposure to those and they are certainly exciting things. Goodness knows what can happen after a party picks a new leader.

Something really bothers me and frankly, it is one of the reasons I have no hesitation in sitting over here in opposition. Having been a member of that party which really tried to profess in the House and tried to practise this, it was John Diefenbaker who said that Parliament was the place for people to speak and to debate, but it is this party now in government that completely wipes the blotter book with its history and tradition. The public out there are not inert and are not stupid. The Charlottetown Accord proved that. That is the reason the public are more tuned in to some of the leaders of the land.

May 26, 1993

Government Orders

I have been here for a good number of years and I see one of my colleagues who has been here a little longer than I. The rumour perhaps has been confirmed that he might be elevated to a higher place and that is good for him. That means that there are only about three or four of us who are getting close to the barrel in terms of longevity here.

I could try but I have not got the ability to say it like the former right hon. member for Prince Albert did in saying how he loved Parliament. But Parliament is a sham and a charade when we have this type of allocation of time.

When the government House leader moved the allocation order before lunch he convicted himself when he tried to recite all the debate there had been on the NAFTA bill. He spoke of meetings that had been held across the country, subcommittee meetings and different questions that were asked in the House. He even stooped to talk about the statements of members in the House and took the time of the bureaucrats to tally all that. But then he came out with his own words and said what we all know in this House, that the debate on second reading until last night had been four and a half hours.

This bill is fundamental to the future of Canada and North America. That is why I have no hesitation in saying the government is forcing this bill through now. The majority rules, there is no doubt about that. I would love to see certain reforms of Parliament that everyone is preaching about. In effect there may be some way to control the allocation and get a discretion in the Speaker.

Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, as you well know I had grave misgivings when this matter was moved into committee under closure and you decided you had to put the motion. I certainly was hoping the government would delay putting the motion so there could have been some more debate before it was forced into a committee. It sat only on technical evidence. It did not call outside evidence. It did not visit different parts of the country. It really just cleaned up some of the definitions of this 4,400 page bill rather than really analysing some of the pluses and minuses that go behind the bill.

We are debating this in this House today when there is going to be a leadership convention. We all know this House is going to most likely be cut off by the guillotine and perhaps not come back after the leadership convention. The first big question the new leader is going to

have to pick for the present government is whether it is going to expose itself to the House of Commons in its habit of forcing everything through by abusing the allocation rule.

I have been here under many reforms of Parliament. The allocation rule is only to be used to allocate time after there has been a good old filibuster, after there has been obstruction or after there has been a very definite effort on the part of the members of Parliament and/or the opposition in concert to really thwart the passage of a bill. You cannot say that, Mr. Speaker, when there has only been four and a half hours before closure came in to ram it into committee. Then it comes out of committee and we have it here in an all-night session last night.

I do not know who is doing what to whom, but I know what is happening. The Prime Minister is bowing off the stage. We are not sure what the Minister for International Trade is doing at the moment, but there is some rumour that he may be bowing off the stage too.

Former friends and colleagues of mine on the government side who would not debate this in their caucus should ask the Prime Minister, the Minister for International Trade and the government House leader if they remember when they were in opposition and used to champ at the bit in those rare times when the then Liberal government forced things through and they said things about the rape of Parliament and how people were being ignored. Have they forgotten from whence they came?

I want to read just one little excerpt from the speech of the member for Calgary Centre as he then was before he became government House leader in a debate in this House. I have so many more, Mr. Speaker. This is Bill C-78 an act to amend the Oil and Gas Production and Conservation Act, which caused quite a lot of controversy around here. After days of debate the government moved allocation and this is what the member for Calgary Centre, the present government House leader said about closure:

"Mr. Speaker, this motion by the government to close off debate is despicable and outrageous. It is all of those adjectives that could and should be used to describe it. But perhaps more than that, it is tragic in a real sense that more than just this bill is involved, more than just the vitally important national energy policies are involved. It is really one more nail if you will, one more bit of pressure on what little parliamentary democracy we have".

May 26, 1993

I have another quote from page 6157, but my time is just about up. Mr. Speaker, I will not presume any further. I appreciate you recognizing me because I frankly could be voting for many parts of the NAFTA bill. I must say I am upset with the drug part that is incorporated in this international agreement. I have no hesitation, in view of the process the government has used, of voting against this bill in every form and campaigning against it because it has not been fair to Canadians to do it this way.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT IMPLEMENTATION ACT
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May 13, 1993

Mr. Pat Nowlan (Annapolis Valley-Hants):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Solicitor General. I think he knows that I am going to ask it. I gave him a sort of oral notice and we have had correspondence on it. It involves another institution of the federal government called the RCMP and its recruitment policies.

We have had correspondence on this. There has been a change in recruitment policy affecting graduations that are occurring across the country. There are many candidates who were involved in the system before the April 1 change, some of whom have waited four and five years to get into a position where they might be chosen to go to Regina. Because of the change I am informed that in at least two situations as of yesterday, whether you were in the pipeline for four or five years or not, you are now in the same position as a graduate of grade 12 and therefore-

Business of the House

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
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April 29, 1993

With respect to Hollis Harris, president of Air Canada, is he (a) a Canadian citizen and, if not, what is the status of his immigration (b) is he qualified to work in Canada under the Designated Occupations List for Immigrants (c) is he working in Canada under any section of the free trade agreement and, if so, what section?

Topic:   HOUSE MANAGEMENT
Subtopic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
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