Personal Data

Fort William (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 11, 1895
Deceased Date
September 19, 1986
automobile dealer, manager

Parliamentary Career

March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
  Fort William (Ontario)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
  Fort William (Ontario)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
  Fort William (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works (May 14, 1963 - February 19, 1964)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (February 20, 1964 - September 8, 1965)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Fort William (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Fort William (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 240 of 241)

June 4, 1958

Mr. Hubert Badanai (Fort William):

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of National Health and Welfare. In view of the financial drain on the municipalities-

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June 4, 1958

Mr. Badanai:

In view of the financial drain on the municipalities caused by unemployed persons unable to pay hospital and medical expenses, has the government taken steps to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act to provide for hospital and medical care for unemployed persons?

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June 4, 1958

Mr. Badanai:

I have given up my copy, Mr. Speaker, but the question was whether the government has taken steps to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act in order to provide payments to unemployed workers for hospital care and medical expenses?

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May 22, 1958

Mr. Hubert Badanai (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, in my first contribution to the debates of this house I should like to exercise the degree of modesty becoming a new member, a modesty which will not overlook, however, certain facts concerning the constituency which I have the honour to represent. My words are not words of wisdom; they are simply the voice of a student rather than that of an expert. It may not be necessary, therefore, for me to take up the whole 40 minutes allotted to speakers on the speech from the throne. As a matter of fact, if I may express an humble opinion, these speeches could be limited to 20 minutes save and except by leave of the house or when circumstances warrant a longer period, such as when the Prime Minister speaks, or the Leader of the Opposition.

At the outset I wish to extend my personal congratulations to you, sir, for being selected for the most important position in the house, because we believe you represent the very embodiment of fair play so necessary in the conduct of this honourable parliament. I also wish to congratulate the mover (Mr. Lafre-niere) and seconder (Mr. Nielsen) of the address in reply to the speech from the throne for their excellent presentations, and especially do I wish to congratulate the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Pearson) for the masterly way in which he presented the viewpoint of Her Majesty's loyal opposition urging the government to adopt a policy designed to increase the level of international trade by introducing vigorous measures for the expansion of the exchange of goods and services with as many countries of the world as possible.

This is a sure way of helping, if not curing entirely, our present unemployment situation, which notwithstanding all the oratory we have heard to the contrary continues to loom as a serious problem. I have just received a telegram from the director of the national employment office at Fort William confirming the fact that there are still 2,445 unemployed people in that city. Had it not been for the work of the winter employment committee which conducted a successful "do it now" campaign throughout the winter months the figures of unemployed persons would be much higher. I wish to pay tribute to all of those who served on this committee.

Lest I should unwittingly convey a pessimistic outlook concerning the future of Canada I hasten to assure the house that there is no depression in my vision, but I do wish to say there is much room for improvement, and the government has the power and the opportunity to bring about measures which will be beneficial to Canadians everywhere. I believe this can be accomplished if the government will act on suggestions coming from this side of the house, for let it not be said that all the brains of the country are confined to the right side of Mr. Speaker.

During the past few days we have had the pleasure of listening to several fine addresses. They were, by and large, notable commentaries which reflected the thinking of many widely separated areas of Canada, and I in turn am very appreciative of the opportunity of bringing to the attention of the house some of the problems besetting my riding as well as our hopes for better days. In his speech on the address a few days ago the hon. member for York West (Mr. Hamilton) made the following statement, as found at page 49 of Hansard of May 13:

May I say that I hope the day of the personality cult in connection with the administration of our foreign affairs is over . . .

If there has ever been a personality cult in evidence in Canada, Mr. Speaker, I respectfully submit that the present Prime Minister would certainly be head and shoulders above any other candidate because of the admiration showered upon him by his supporters as though he were a Caesar. In fairness to the Prime Minister, I believe it is quite possible that he is a victim of his own popularity, which was exploited rather successfully by his party during the last election campaign.


As it appears to be in order for Englishspeaking members to say a few words in French, one of our two official languages, I undertook this agreeable task with the help of some friends.

I am very much impressed by the friendly attitude of all hon. members, to whatever party they belong.

I am beginning to realize that, if the teaching of French was mandatory at the various levels of our schools, it would be a wonderful thing for Canada. I venture to hope that this will come about in the not too distant future. (Text):

The speech from the throne foreshadowed a busy agenda for this session of parliament. It contained some excellent suggestions, with many of which I am in full accord, especially the one dealing with the establishment of a harbour commission for the lakehead cities of Port Arthur and Fort William and the preparing of that harbour to handle ocean going ships. I had hoped that the speech would at least contain a reference to the plight of the municipalities with regard to the difficulties they face in obtaining loans for municipal improvements at low rates of interest, especially in view of the submission made to the government on February 7 last by the executive of the Canadian federation of mayors and municipalities.

The borrowing capacity of municipalities is necessarily limited, and it is therefore imperative that if they are to continue to provide essential local services the federal government should establish a national loan fund-thus being of inestimable assistance- from which the municipalities would borrow at the federal bond rate of interest to finance projects approved by provincial municipal boards. These boards are the watchdogs of municipal expenditures, serving as a protective force against unwise spending on nonessential projects.

With respect to housing, the speech contained the promise of a vigorous program of house building. However, the legislation adopted in the house last week did not go far enough. My own view is that the government should subsidize interest rates on mortgage loans for houses costing less than $12,000. Anybody who is able to afford a new house costing over $12,000 should be able to meet the going market interest rate. Houses, including site costs, under $12,000 are today in the low cost category and a subsidy of say 2 per cent would bring the effective rate of interest to about 4 per cent.

One of the crying needs of the moment is houses for rent. In our municipality we have taken advantage of the former government's housing scheme introduced in 1950 or 1951, and I was pleased to see that the present government is carrying on with the same formula of 75 per cent federal investment and 25 per cent split between the province and

The Address-Mr. Badanai the municipality. The only trouble is that the scheme, while good, should provide for an increase in the federal government's share of the cost of acquiring and clearing substandard areas for low rental housing projects.

I sincerely hope that the Prime Minister will convene a federal-provincial-municipal conference some time during 1958. Such a conference could accomplish much to solve the problems involved in the growth and development of our urban communities. The municipalities cannot be ignored by the federal government. The complexities of our modern age demand a reassessment of the field of responsibilities of all levels of government.

The speech from the throne, Mr. Speaker, did not make any reference to government policy on immigration, and this is a rather important omission. In view of Canada's economic prospects for the future, as forecast by the royal commission, and even accepting the fact that Canadian women are doing their duty by maintaining the birth rate at a high level, there is substantial evidence to indicate the desirability of selective and steady immigration if Canada is to achieve its destiny as a truly great nation, to say nothing of the great vision of the development of the north so dramatically portrayed by the Prime Minister during the election campaign.

In this connection I wish to submit for the consideration of the government a proposal to establish a policy of bringing in emigrants from any land who will qualify as farmers and who will settle on the land, especially in undeveloped areas such as northwestern Ontario. Specifically I mean in the area adjacent to the city of Fort William, where we have a vast potential of good land for mixed farming. These prospective settlers would be required to sign an agreement to remain on the land for at least five years, and if they should fail to live up to the contract they would be subject to deportation. This policy would prevent crowding of the labour market and would thus create more jobs for industrial workers, who would be kept busy producing and manufacturing for these new consumers. In order to make such a scheme succeed the government should establish a loan fund from which these immigrants would be able to borrow for long terms and at a low rate of interest. This loan fund should also operate for the benefit of established farmers who wish to improve their holdings.

The speech from the throne indicated a desire to assist small business. With this I am in full agreement, and I would add that this classification should include tourist operators, who should be allowed to participate in any loan fund legislation the government

The Address-Mr. Badanai introduces to assist small business. At the present time it is almost impossible tor a tourist operator to keep his establishment up to the standard desired by the department of travel and publicity because he is unable to obtain a loan from banks, mortgage companies or government sources.

The tourist business is considered the third largest business in Canada, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the country annually, yet there is practically no form of assistance to it. One large operator in my city recently stated to me that under certain conditions a farmer could get a loan to instal a water system for his pigs, but as motel operator it was not possible for him to borrow sufficient funds to put respectable washroom facilities in his establishment for human beings.

Some of you may ask why I am so interested in the tourist business. The reason is that Fort William and the lakehead area is a real vacationland paradise. The splendor of the scenery is such that I have heard Scottish people say it was a constant reminder to them of Fort William, Scotland, and of the gorgeous bonnie Prince Charles country. This region was practically free of polio even before the advent of the Salk vaccine, and it is a wonderland for hay fever sufferers. There are hundreds of inland lakes, many yet unfished by white men because of a lack of access roads. This lack of roads presents the government with an opportunity to implement promises made during the election campaign.

From time to time, Mr. Speaker, Fort William received assurance that consideration would be given to the construction of a new armoury. The site was made available by the city and arrangements made for the use of the land occupied by the old building. The present armoury building has been condemned as a fire hazard by the fire chief, whose action was supported by the fire marshal of Ontario. Is it the intention of the Department of National Defence to construct a new armoury in Fort William, or must this old building, which was once an arena, continue to be a menace to the business section of the city?

We are somewhat disturbed over the amount of protection the lakehead area can expect in the event of a nuclear war. We cannot agree with the designated role of our cities as a "stand fast" area. We have co-operated in every way possible with civil defence authorities, but always with the reservation that Fort William and Port Arthur are not being called upon to protect the vast food supplies that are stored there. Sufficient thought is not being given to the

proper protection of a vital area. We are in agreement with most cities that civil defence preparedness is not realistic, that the federal government is encouraging apathy amongst the general public and, more important, is actually discouraging a large nucleus of important key personnel from doing a job. A tidal wave of paper is being turned out by the queen's printer which is filled with vague promises and contradictory and misleading suppositions.

Civil defence is the most important service we can provide for the protection of our people, if proper leadership and guidance are given. We are not alone in the civil defence field. Other countries have made far greater progress, why can't we? Surely it is not too costly to provide a proper warning system for every city in Canada. Pumper trucks should be provided by the government for every isolated area, and indeed for all mutual aid areas. Many municipalities cannot afford to provide this equipment, yet it is essential that protection be given. The government should regard civil defence as first-line defence, and be prepared for anything in this nuclear age.

The development of a deep sea harbour at the lakehead is vital to the growth and prosperity of the whole of Canada. For years Fort William and Port Arthur fulfilled their role as the breadbasket of the world. Millions of bushels of grain and millions of tons of iron ore from Steep Rock iron mines have been shipped through the lakehead harbours annually. As far back as 1655 Fort William played an important role in the economy of the nation. At that time the French explorers Radisson and Des Groseil-liers visited the area. In 1678 Daniel Greysolon Dulhut established a fur trading post, and now this whole region stands on the threshold of huge expansion.

It was no surprise to me to hear in the speech from the throne the recommendation that a harbour commission for the lakehead be established. The lakehead is important to the economy of the North American continent because it is a natural gateway to the west and in the centre of the whole continent. Its destiny has been portrayed as the Chicago of the north, and I am sure that destiny will be achieved. The amount of shipping through lakehead ports exceeded that of Toronto and Hamilton by over one million tons in 1957. I was glad to see, as my hon. friends must have seen, an editorial in the Globe and Mail of May 20 referring to the lakehead. It is headed "New Look for the Lakehead", and reads:

A weak spot in Canada's St. Lawrence seaway planning until recently has been the lakehead ports -Fort William and Port Arthur. It has been obvious from the beginning that if the project was

to fulfil its great economic promise to the nation as a whole, and to western Canada in particular, the lakehead ports would have to undergo great improvements-organizational and physical.

The lakehead harbours are 1,250 miles from Montreal by water or 2,250 miles from the open Atlantic ocean. The impact of the seaway will be stimulating to trade and industrial expansion, and will increase the lake-head importance as a distribution centre. However, in order to accelerate this development it is essential that the extension of the breakwater be undertaken by the Department of Public Works as soon as possible. Ocean ships are not unique at the lakehead. They have been calling at these ports for many years, but the deepening of the channels and the seaway will permit much larger ships to penetrate the heart of the Canadian hinterland. It will mean cheaper rates for export grain and will eliminate cargo transfer between the lakehead and Montreal. The estimates are that this may mean as much as 5 cents a bushel.

Natural gas, which is now available at the lakehead, will provide employment for thousands. Notwithstanding all that was said in the famous pipe-line debate of 1956, had it not been for the courage and determination of the former Liberal government to put the bill through this gas would still be under the ground or going to waste instead of enriching our economy. The availability of gas will make it possible for an iron ore processing plant to be established in the lakehead area. The processing of iron ore by gas is a revolutionary new method. Such an iron ore processing plant would make Canada independent of other countries, particularly the United States, and I understand that iron and steel products are largely responsible for our large trade deficit with that country.

I would suggest that the support of the federal government to establish an iron ore processing plant at Fort William would be beneficial to the whole country.

As a prophet, Mr. Speaker, I am not in the same class as some of my hon. friends on the other side of the house. However,

I venture to predict that within the next 25 years the lakehead area will witness dynamic development into one of Canada's greatest, a mighty pillar supporting the economic progress of our nation. The Prime Minister has not misplaced his confidence in recognizing the need of preparing the lake-head for the coming of the seaway.

With the exception of the newest members of the house, every one here knew my good friend and distinguished predecessor, Rev. Dan Mclvor, who for 23 years represented the riding of Fort William in this house.

The Address-Mr. Stewart I am sure this chamber has seen many members endowed with ability and honesty of purpose, but I doubt whether anyone has ever occupied one of these chairs who could even approach the humanity of the former hon. member for Fort William. I know you would want me to convey to him on your behalf greetings and best wishes for a long, healthy and enjoyable retirement with Mrs. Mclvor, a gracious and beloved lady well known in Ottawa. Finally, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to my constituents for the privilege and opportunity to serve them here.

I wish to conclude with a legend concerning an old Indian chief. This chief was growing very old and, feeling that the end was near, he wished to select someone among his braves to succeed him. So he called all the braves of his tribe together and from among them he selected four whom he thought worthy to carry on the traditions of his forebears. To them he said, "Tomorrow morning at sunrise you will climb yonder mountain: you will climb as high as you can, but you must return at sunset". The following morning the four braves started out and at sunset they returned. Of the first one the old chief asked, "How high did you climb?", and the brave answered, "I saw the spruce". Of the second the old chief asked, "How high did you climb?", and the brave replied, "I saw the pine". To the third the old chief put the same question and the answer came, "I saw the alpine brush". Finally of the fourth the old chief asked, "How high did you climb?" Proudly the brave answered, "I saw the sea".

After confederation 91 years ago, under the great Sir John A. Macdonald Canada climbed to the spruce. She climbed to the pine under the great Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Under Borden and Meighen she climbed to the alpine brush; and under the inspired leadership of Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent she climbed until she saw the sea.

God grant that during the next four or five years under the Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, Canada may continue on the road to development, prosperity and security for all Canadians.

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May 20, 1958

Mr. Badanai:

I should like to know whether these figures represent all that the federal government is going to spend in Fort William in 1958.

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