GAUTHIER, André, B.A., LL.L.

Personal Data

Lac-Saint-Jean (Quebec)
Birth Date
February 6, 1915
Deceased Date
May 22, 1994

Parliamentary Career

June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  Lac-Saint-Jean (Quebec)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
  Lac-Saint-Jean (Quebec)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
  Lac-Saint-Jean (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 19)

November 25, 1957

Mr. Andre Gauthier (Lake St. John):

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to rise in support of the motion of the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Mont-calm (Mr. Breton) who asks the government

to set up a special parliamentary committee tor the purpose of considering the establishment of a simultaneous translation system. An innovation such as this would certainly promote better understanding between the members of the house, and therefore between all Canadians.

I hope this proposal will be welcomed on both sides of the house, and I add that our English-speaking colleagues should be the first to endorse a project of nation-wide implications such as the one proposed in the motion now before us.

French-speaking members are probably partly responsible for the fact that so far the need was hardly felt for the installation of a simultaneous translation system. In fact, those of us who have a perfect command of English address the house mostly in English. I realize that they do so for the benefit of the unilingual majority and also for the sake of being better understood.

But the consequence of all this is that French, theoretically one of Canada's two official languages, has practically disappeared from the debates, and active participation in debates is confined solely to members who have a perfect command of English. True, all speakers have the privilege of expressing themselves in their own language, but all do not have the satisfaction of being understood.

-nen, Mr. Speaker, simultaneous interpretation would be a notable improvement from the viewpoint of all visitors. All of them would feel more at home while listening to the debates in their mother tongue.

I do not propose to go into the cost of such an undertaking; it would, in any case, be very cheap, in the light of the vast improvement it would mean both for the members and for the cause of national unity.

I had the opportunity of seeing one system of simultaneous translation in operation in 1954, at United Nations headquarters. If a translation system is satisfactory where five languages are spoken, it would be all the more so in this house, where only two official languages are involved.

The Junior Chamber of Commerce of Canada, which has over 25,000 members and which, in the past, has more than once given evidence of its desire to further the cause of national unity, has adopted the simultaneous translation of its own debates and, in May 1956, through its chairman, Mr. Ross Smythe, asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to establish that system which has promoted a better understanding and such a beneficial rapprochement between the two major racial groups in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, as I do not want to delay any longer the passing of this resolution and also

House of Commons

because no further arguments are needed in support of a measure which everybody approves, I shall conclude by expressing the wish that the request of my colleague, the hon. member for Joliette-L'Assomption-Montcalm, meet with unanimous assent. This would be one more step towards national unity.


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March 21, 1957

Mr. Gauthier (Porineuf):

It hurts.

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March 15, 1957

Mr. Gauthier (Porlneuf):

They do not

want the answers.

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February 7, 1957

Mr. Gauthier (Porlneuf):

There he is again.

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January 28, 1957

Mr. Andre Gauthier (Lake St. John):

Mr. Speaker, I have very little time left before ten o'clock but I do think I have time enough to make a few remarks. The hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. Knight), I am convinced, has introduced his motion in a sincere effort to find a solution to the problem of education in general.

I do not have to demonstrate the need for supporting education. That is a generally recognized fact. All of us here to the best of our ability, are searching for a formula according to which our young fellow citizens may be allowed to benefit more from education.

Education is a personal responsibility of parents. That is a privilege which is rightfully theirs. Still, man is not able to develop, to realize his whole potentialities except as a member of society. That being the case, those in authority must exercise their complementary duties. In my province this is first of all the business of the local school board to which I am particularly happy to pay tribute.

Our federal system nevertheless recognizes the exclusive responsibilities of the provincial authorities to legislate in educational matters. I will remind hon. members that the fathers of confederation did not deem it wise to include these in the general powers granted to the provinces under section 92. They chose instead to draw up a separate section to deal with this matter, a fact which indicates the importance they attached to the subject. It was their wish that education be a provincial matter. Even with the best intentions in the world, I do not think that we should do anything which would, in any way, diminish the responsibilities of the province.

The mover of the motion has taken the precaution to include the following reservation:

Without encroaching in any way on the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces in this field.

That is undeniable recognition of the fact that the federal government has no jurisdiction in that field, and that should be sufficient to dispose of the resolution. Problems coming within the field of our jurisdiction are numerous and varied; some are very difficult to solve. We should spend our time and energy working for the common good of our constituents in the fields in which we have jurisdiction and which were assigned to us by the provisions of the British North America Act.

Federal legislators are duty bound to be very circumspect and careful in matters of education. The province of Quebec has most imperative and special reasons to be jealous of the field of education. It is the only means available to French-speaking Canadians of keeping the language and traditions inherited from their forefathers. If there is a crisis in the field of education, a fact recognized practically everywhere, let us leave to the provincial authorities the trouble of studying the problem and let us help them to solve it if they so request us. The proposals designed to put an end to the present financial crisis in the field of education referred to in the resolution must come from the provinces. They will I am sure set the required conditions and guarantees.

For all the reasons I just gave-it is already ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker

I must say that I will oppose this resolution of the hon. member for Saskatoon and I move the adjournment of the debate.


On motion of Mr. Gauthier (Lake St. John) the debate was adjourned.

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