Robert Joseph OGLE

OGLE, Robert Joseph, O.C., S.O.M., B.A., D.Cn.L, LL.D., J.C.D.

Personal Data

New Democratic Party
Saskatoon East (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
December 24, 1928
Deceased Date
April 1, 1998
missionary, priest

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
  Saskatoon East (Saskatchewan)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
  Saskatoon East (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 74)

June 18, 1984

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the debate this morning specifically on the wording of the title. It reads:

An Act to establish the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, to enact An Act respecting enforcement in relation to certain security and related offences and to amend certain Acts in consequence thereof or in relation thereto.

I believe it is extremely important to be able to define correctly what is going on, to say a thing clearly so that it relates to an idea which everybody understands. What I talk about is not a new idea.

In the first chapter of the book of Genesis the question of being able to name the creation is how ancient people addressed the very important fact of why human beings differing from other beings in creation are able to explain, to say and to know exactly what an idea is.

In the title before us I feel there are certain words that in no way explain what is meant or understood. The first word is "security". I have already spoken to this idea. I want to say again that I believe the word "security", at least in English, is a word that does not have a clear understanding today. It is a vague word. In fact, it is more than vague; it is a word that to my mind has literally changed its meaning in my lifetime and during the time I have been speaking the English language. When I was a child, as other Members of my age will remember, the word "security" referred to a state of being. It was the kind of thing that happened when you were safe at home. It was the kind of thing that took place when you had enough to eat and you were warm and dry. It is an idea signifying that basically you were in good status.

I believe in our lifetime, and recently more so than ever, the word security has litarelly changed its meaning for many, many people. The word security more frequently now is used, and used very commonly, to refer to the fact that everybody has to be mistrusted. I think the best example I can give in the experience of everyone in this House of Commons and of every Canadian is how a person is treated when going to board an airplane. Not many years ago I could go to an airport and board an airplane with the same facility as I can board a bus or a train. In recent times, because of incidents in international aviation, security clearance has become an accepted pattern in many parts of the world, although in some places security clearance is being overlooked and in some Latin American countries I know now that security is not carried out at the airports. But notice how I use the word "security". Security now refers to an event, a happening or a situation in which everybody is considered a possible criminal. People have to be challenged personally at a particular time to make sure they are not criminals. I believe that is against our tradition. I believe that in the tradition of Canadian life it is important to remember people are not criminals before you address them.

I find it very disconcerting and in a sense dangerous that many people, without thinking, accept the fact that you have to go through security to get on an airplane. I do not feel any more secure getting on an airplane after having gone through the little electronic door than before. I believe anyone who wants to steal an airplane will steal an airplane whether that person goes through the electronic door or not. That does not make me any more secure. But the falseness that anybody can look after your security, that "big brother" somewhere can make you more secure, is what this Bill is basically about.

When I address the title, Mr. Speaker, and that word "security", I feel we are being led down the road. Probably if we want to use the word security, we would be on much safer ground if we started to call the Bill something like a Bill to set up the national security state. The national security state is a reality. I have lived in national security states. A national security state was a movement that took place in the last 20 years. In many of the Third World developing countries, Latin America in particular, a national security state became a dominating philosophy of the people in power. It became the philosophy that those who were against the people in power were subversives. National security police agencies were required and these people would go after the subversives. 1 speak from conviction and from experience.

That kind of state developed in very democratic countries and it developed in the last few years. Chile is an example. It is a national security state in the new understanding of national security. Chile has a massive police force, an army, not to go against people of other countries but to go against its own people. That situation also took place in Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay. It still exists in Uruguay. Last week the Leader of the Opposition of the Uruguayan Parliament returned to Uruguay and was immediately imprisoned. Why? Because he had committed a crime? No, because the national security

June 18, 1984

state said that he did not have a right to be in opposition to those in power.

What about the notion of this Bill and its name? Remember that naming something is extremely important. A dictionary will explain how to name something. It will tell you the genus of what something is basically about, that two things coming together will make it possible for a human being in his or her mind to say that this particular being over here is this and not that. The title of this Bill, at least to my mind, does not tell me it is this and not that. I think Canadians are aware of this. I have been told that a more apt name, if we want to think about another name, would be to call it an Act to suppress the civil liberties of Canadians. That might be closer to the understanding of what the Bill does and it might be easier for Canadians to understand. Mr. Speaker, I believe personally that the present title does not give us a clear understanding of what is going to take place in this Bill. The Bill should be clearly titled and understood before its less important matters are debated. I hope the Minister who has proposed this Bill will hear what is being said and will understand that what is taking place in the naming of the Bill is extremely important. It has not been well done.

The second word in the Bill that I believe should have a much more clear understanding is "intelligence". What does intelligence mean in present day English or present day French? To what does it refer? Whose life does it interfere with? What does it mean in relation to myself or to any other Canadian? Who has the right to look into my life, to find out things about my life, to keep them secret from me and from lots of other people, but which could be used against me whenever those in power decide that I have become a subversive, one who endangers the security, as they would say, of the state?

Full View Permalink

June 7, 1984

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Mr. Speaker, I have only a few minutes to speak on this issue today but I am happy to be afforded an opportunity to say a few words about it.

In general, I support what this Bill is attempting to do. I appreciate, as I imagine the mover of the Bill appreciates, that there was no chance that it would pass today. Nevertheless, it has given Members of the House another opportunity to speak on this matter. I congratulate both the mover of the Bill and the Hon. Member for Provencher (Mr. Epp) for addressing it from their points of view. As Members know, I speak from a political position in the sense of a political future in this House. I would like to add to that the feeling which I have regarding what has taken place in our country, particularly in Manitoba.

I believe that one of the major factors in the debate has been fear of the unknown. When there is fear, there is distortion. I grew up in a world which was not unlike Manitoba. I grew up in Saskatchewan. When I was a child, I literally lived in a language laboratory. If I had known what it was and if I had been open to it, I could have learned seven languages within two miles of where I was living. Unfortunately, at that particular time in history, my parents-who were Irish, from Quebec and completely bilingual in French and English-felt that there was something wrong in passing on to their children the ability to speak bilingually. I do not know why they felt that way. Thank God that is no longer true. On my way home to Saskatoon the other day, I rode with the president of the French schools in Saskatoon. He cannot speak a word of French. His four children are in the schools because he wants them to be bilingual. Somehow or other the fear that my parents were able to instil into our generation will not, I hope, be instilled into the next generation.

When I was about seven or eight years of age, there was an old French Canadian farmer who had come from Quebec and had become bilingual. He spoke with an accent, but he spoke English very clearly. He told me that I should learn another language. He told me that a language is a very light load to carry. That was great advice because a language is a very light load to carry. There is nothing to be afraid of in being able to understand another person who speaks another language. No one in Canada is forced to learn another language. They do not have to learn English nor do they have to learn French. However, it is very nice to be able to speak two, five or ten languages. What is really required is a change in mentality. That may come in the next generation, although I believe that the confrontation which has taken place in recent history in Manitoba would not bring that about. There seems to have been a lack of will to reach an understanding.

On November 15, 1976, I was returning to Canada after spending a year doing research with the International Development Research Centre in India. I was not aware of the fact that there was an election taking place in Quebec that day. I had been in India where there are 23 states. The states of India are basically divided by language. Although there are 400 languages or more, India has built itself into 23 states, basically with the same language groups. India does its official business in English and Hindi. With this massive number of languages and the massive division, this country, with a popu-

June 7, 1984

lation of 400 million or 500 million, is able to function. However, upon returning to Canada, coming through customs I found that an election was taking place which was basically being fought on the language issue. I said at that time, "What has happened to our country?" I did not understand why we were not able to accept each other with only two languages when a member of the Commonwealth is able to live with a diversity which is incomprehensible to Canadian minds.

I think it is extremely important to have an openness. There should not be the fear of someone forcing a language on anyone. I think we must be consistent in accepting the historical realities of our country and that the rights of minorities are guaranteed. Minority rights were established in 1870. The English were probably in the minority at that time.

I am sorry the Manitoba Government was not able to solve the question earlier this year with the help of the federal Government and others, but I do hope sincerely that it will be solved in the near future.

Full View Permalink

May 25, 1984

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Mr. Speaker, the people of Saskatoon are very much afraid that the National Film Board office which has been there for the last 25 years or more is in danger of being closed this fall. The National Film Board has given excellent service to the city of Saskatoon as well as to all parts of northern Saskatchewan that are served from that city, including about 500,000 people. This office also serves the University of Saskatchewan, the school boards and senior citizens. A particular program has now been introduced by the National Film Board to help new Canadians become assimilated, to learn the language, and to find out about the country of Canada. It has had excellent success.

About a year ago the same fear arose that the office would close. At that time thousands of Saskatoon citizens by petitions, by letters, and by whatever means a citizen can use, appealed to the Minister to continue the centre. Fortunately the request was accepted and the office was given a one-year extension, but again the same fear is present. Therefore I am asking, in the name of the people of our region of Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan, that the Minister seriously look at this again and that any extension not be limited but that there be a permanent commitment to have a National Film Board library in Saskatoon.

Oral Questions

Full View Permalink

May 15, 1984

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Mr. Speaker, in the last several days it has been brought to my attention that the international arms trade will pass $1 trillion within a year or two. I believe that this is one of the major sins and evils that now face the planet earth.

I would like the House, and every Canadian who can hear my voice, to become even more aware of the divergence that is taking place in the world at this time between those who seek military solutions to problems and those who live in utter misery and poverty. How is it possible that, on a planet with the sophisticated ways of life that we have, the funds which should be used for the well being and health of people are being turned into arms?

It is not only the superpowers that are involved, it is now many of the growing Third World countries. Brazil, Turkey, and Israel are also major arms shippers and major arms sellers.

I repeat that I believe that, in the name of humanity, the Government, this Parliament, and all Canadians must put their united wills together once more to see that this race stops, because it will not bring anything except total destruction. It will not bring anything except death and misery. We have no other choice but to see that it stops.


Full View Permalink

April 5, 1984

Mr. Bob Ogle (Saskatoon East):

Mr. Speaker, I also have the honour to present a petition from Amnesty International of almost 1,800 names of people who live in the City of Saskatoon, in the Province of Saskatchewan and in other provinces of Canada. The petition humbly sheweth that thousands of men and women are imprisoned throughout the world solely because of their political and religious beliefs, that others are held because of their colour or ethnic origin, that these are prisoners of conscience and none have used or advocated violence, that none of these people should be imprisoned, that the fact they have been arrested and punished because of their beliefs or origins is an affront to humanity, and that they should be freed unconditionally.

Wherefore the undersigned, your petitioners, humbly pray and call upon the Parliament of Canada to support and call for universal amnesty for all prisoners of conscience. And as in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray.

Subtopic:   PETITIONS
Full View Permalink