Donald James JOHNSTON

JOHNSTON, The Hon. Donald James, P.C., O.C., Q.C., B.A., B.C.L., D.C.L.(Hon.), D.Econ.(Hon.)

Personal Data

Party
Independent Liberal
Constituency
Saint-Henri--Westmount (Quebec)
Birth Date
June 26, 1936
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Johnston
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=363f81c5-9312-4ed1-b6cd-5d268d6d5a4f&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer, teacher, writer

Parliamentary Career

October 16, 1978 - March 26, 1979
LIB
  Westmount (Quebec)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
LIB
  Saint-Henri--Westmount (Quebec)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
LIB
  Saint-Henri--Westmount (Quebec)
  • President of the Treasury Board (March 3, 1980 - September 29, 1982)
  • Minister of State for Science and Technology (September 30, 1982 - June 29, 1984)
  • Minister of State for Economic Development (September 30, 1982 - December 6, 1983)
  • Minister of State for Economic and Regional Development (December 7, 1983 - June 29, 1984)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
LIB
  Saint-Henri--Westmount (Quebec)
  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (June 30, 1984 - September 16, 1984)
January 18, 1988 - October 1, 1988
IND
  Saint-Henri--Westmount (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 384 of 385)


December 12, 1978

Mr. Johnston (Westmount):

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, would the hon. member for Grenville-Carleton (Mr. Baker) permit a question? I might add, Mr. Speaker, that there is no one in the House with a fresher mandate than mine. The question I would like to ask relates to the hon. member's support of the principle of referenda. Unfortunately I was not here to listen to the remarks of the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands (Miss MacDonald), but I gather that it is the position of the official opposition that the principle of the bill is acceptable, but that the scope of the questions which can be asked under the bill is too great. That is my interpretation of what I understood this evening and, if I may, I would like to have the hon. member's response to that. Having read clause 3(1) it struck me that the scope was really quite narrow.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   CANADA REFERENDUM ACT
Full View Permalink

November 20, 1978

Mr. Donald J. Johnston (Westmount):

These are my first remarks in this House, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, it is a great honour and privilege for a number of reasons. First of all, simply being an elected representative of the Canadian people is a great honour, as is representing the riding of Westmount, which, as hon. members know, will soon be redesignated as Saint Henri-Westmount. It is an unexpected pleasure to have the opportunity to listen to and follow the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Clark), and accordingly I would like to depart from some of the general comments which I intended to make at the outset about my riding-which I understand are traditional and to which I will come back in due course-to comment briefly upon some of the statements made by the Leader of the Opposition with regard to the budget.

I have sometimes been a critic of budgets in the past, but I must say that I am proud, as a humble backbencher, to be associated, however indirectly, with the budget handed down last week.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Full View Permalink

November 20, 1978

Mr. Johnston (Westmount):

I was delighted to hear the hon. Leader of the Opposition pay homage to Mr. Drury. Even in his retirement from the House, he has gone on to accept several difficult mandates, and still serves the Canadian people.

In its wisdom, the riding of Westmount selected a Liberal by an overwhelming majority in the recent by-elections. Yet, I feel that in the minds of many Canadians, the Westmount riding conjures up the image of one of the two solitudes about which Hugh MacLennan wrote so many years ago: the solitude of the affluent English in the province of Quebec. The riding of Westmount is not such a bastion or fortress of the English-speaking population of the province of Quebec. In fact, Westmount today is symbolic of the Canada of the future, the pluralistic society which brings together so many of the wonderful differences present in Canada, such as racial, religious, economic and social. All those differences are present in that great riding. The riding comprises one of the most important influential Jewish communities in Canada, as well as one of the most important business communities and universities, combining all that in a riding which is predominantly English and very substantially bilingual.

From time to time the premier of Quebec, Mr. Rene Levesque, has made reference to the metaphor used by Sir Winston Churchill of two scorpions in a bottle being representative of the relationship between the French and the English. I can assure Your Honour and all members of the

House, that if that metaphor is applicable anywhere is Canada-and I personally do not think it is-certainly it is not applicable in my riding or in the city of Montreal.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Full View Permalink

November 20, 1978

Mr. Johnston (Westmount):

1 should like to close, Mr. Speaker, on a rather more serious note. I said earlier that Canada has enormous potential, and the Leader of the Opposition agrees with that. We have a tremendous asset base and we have a population that can exploit that base. The constituent elements of economic growth, as we all know, basically consist of the marriage of resources, labour and capital. We need capital in this country, Mr. Speaker. Unfortunately, political uncertainty does not create a secure environment to attract capital, be it Canadian or foreign.

We in the Westmount riding, Mr. Speaker, are on the front line of the battle not only to save our own economy in Quebec and that of Canada, but to save the country itself. The people in the Westmount riding, be they French-speaking or Englishspeaking, live with this problem every day. I believe that the people of Westmount, like the troops on the front line of a battle, are in a better position to judge what kind of leadership and what kind of leader is required to win that battle than the reserve troops who are stationed many miles away. I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that the vote on October 16 whereby the Liberal party was given an overwhelmingly increased percentage majority compared with 1974 was a message which the people on the front line sent to the people of Canada. And they sent a message that was loud and clear, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Full View Permalink

November 20, 1978

Mr. Johnston (Westmount):

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the Westmount riding represents the Canada of tomorrow, where learning and speaking both official languages will be considered an opportunity and not an obligation.

At present, Mr. Speaker, we are observing in the West-mount riding a profound change in the attitude of the Englishspeaking population which is willingly taking part in the francization of Quebec. Anglophones, for example, are seeking opportunities to communicate and speak French with their fellow citizens, and it is astonishing to see, Mr. Speaker, that most of my Anglophone friends' children are attending either French schools or French immersion schools where both languages are taught. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, despite the Parti Quebecois' efforts to create an attitude of confrontation between Anglophones and Francophones, exactly the opposite is happening today.

Mr. Speaker, since the conquest, Canadian history has taught us that the division between French and English in the province of Quebec is based on religious rather than language differences. Up until now these religious differences have almost separated the two societies or prevented their integration. In my view, the ease with which English-speaking Irish Catholics have integrated themselves into the French community, for example, is proof of this theory. I believe, Mr. Speaker, that is why today we Find Francophones with names like Burns, O'Neill and Johnson, even in the Parti Quebecois.

As we know, Mr. Speaker, these religious barriers have nearly disappeared. This is a very great change in Quebec. In my opinion, relations have never been as friendly and as positive. I believe that far from being confirmed, these two solitudes, of which Hugh MacLellan wrote, are rapidly getting closer together. We, English-speaking Canadians, who have not the slightest intention of leaving the province of Quebec, see in all this the potential for a multicultural society.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
Full View Permalink