William Warren ALLMAND

ALLMAND, The Hon. William Warren, P.C., O.C., Q.C., B.C.L., LL.D

Personal Data

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
Birth Date
September 19, 1932
barrister and solicitor, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (November 27, 1972 - September 13, 1976)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Solicitor General of Canada (November 27, 1972 - September 13, 1976)
  • Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (September 14, 1976 - September 15, 1977)
  • Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (September 16, 1977 - June 3, 1979)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (September 16, 1977 - June 3, 1979)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine East (Quebec)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
October 25, 1993 - February 24, 1997
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 831)

November 21, 1996

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

moved that Bill C-223, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (oath of allegiance), be read the second time and referred to committee.

Madam Speaker, Bill C-223 proposes to amend the Citizenship Act and, in particular, to amend the oath of allegiance which individuals must take when they become new citizens. For the most part these are immigrants who have been resident in Canada for at least three years and have met the requirements for Canadian citizenship. In order to finally become a citizen they must take the oath of allegiance.

At present the oath of allegiance reads:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

It is my experience that this oath comes as a surprise to many new citizens. Many cannot understand why, if they are becoming Canadian citizens, the principal thrust of this oath is to pledge allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II who, in their opinion, is a citizen of the United Kingdom and not truly representative of Canada.

The purpose of this oath and any oath of allegiance is to pledge allegiance to assure loyalty and to assure good citizenship. Consequently, one would expect that the principal thrust would be allegiance to Canada, to assure loyalty to Canada and good Canadian citizenship and not loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II.

The present oath is ambiguous. It speaks of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, and later asks persons "to fulfil one's duties as a Canadian citizen". This is confusing and ambiguous. At a time when national unity is under attack there should be no ambiguity and no confusion with respect to our oath of allegiance. It should be absolutely clear that our loyalty is to Canada and not, unfortunately, to the tainted monarchy in the United Kingdom.

As a result my proposed oath, which is in the bill, would read:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Canada and the Constitution of Canada, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

That oath is not ambiguous. There would be no confusion in the minds of new citizens. In taking such an oath they would know that they were making a serious commitment to Canada.

The present oath refers to Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of Canada. It is true that the present Citizenship Act and some other laws use the expression "the Queen of Canada" but it is a legal fiction. It is not a reality. Queen Elizabeth II is as English as you can get. She is not a Canadian. She is not representative of Canada.

In recent history there have been several occasions when Canada disagreed with the United Kingdom and voted against the United Kingdom at the United Nations. The most flagrant case was in the Suez crisis, when according to the legal fiction the Queen of Canada voted against the Queen of England even though she is the same person.

If we want citizens to be truly loyal to Canada should we use such an absurd fiction? This proposal to change the oath of allegiance is consistent with other steps which we in Canada have taken since the end of the second world war to assert our national identity and our maturity.

I have in mind first of all the Citizenship Act of 1947. Prior to 1947 we did not have a Citizenship Act. We were merely British subjects. The first Canadian Governor General was appointed in the late 1940s. Prior to that we had English Governors General. Since that time all our Governors General have been Canadian.

In the late 1940s the Privy Council was abolished as the final court of appeal for Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada was established as our final court of appeal. In 1964 the present Canadian flag was adopted as our unique and only Canadian flag. In the 1980s O Canada was adopted as our national anthem and we no longer have God Save the Queen as our anthem. Finally in 1981 the Constitution was repatriated to make our Constitution a fully Canadian document.

Recent studies and polls have supported such a change. Last summer consultants for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration held 12 sessions with Canadian citizens in various cities of Canada: Vancouver, Lethbridge, Toronto, Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Halifax. Strong opposition was voiced in these sessions by citizens to swearing allegiance to the Queen. Most preferred an oath which pledged loyalty to Canada.

A similar study was done when David Crombie was secretary of state in a Conservative government in 1987, but unfortunately no change was made at that time.

This is not a bill to abolish the monarchy. It is simply to change the emphasis in our oath of allegiance. The abolition of the monarchy would require a constitutional amendment and I am not proposing a constitutional amendment. My proposal is to pledge allegiance to the Constitution of Canada. It still includes the monarchy so it is a question of emphasis.

This bill would not abolish the monarchy but is consistent with other measures taken. It would downplay the role of the monarchy in Canada as it was when we adopted O Canada as our national anthem rather than God Save the Queen, when we adopted the Canadian flag, the Canadian Governor General and so on. I am proposing that we continue in the same tradition.

This change would not in any way change our role in the Commonwealth. Several Commonwealth countries like India and others are republics yet they still remain strong members of the Commonwealth and accept the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth, but that is a different matter.

I am proposing an oath which will emphasize Canada rather than Queen Elizabeth II. I am not wed to the exact words of the new oath in my bill. If someone in this House or elsewhere can come up with better words or expressions that have the same goal, to place the emphasis on Canada, then I would certainly be pleased to accept such a change.

My goal in doing this is Canadian unity and loyalty to a united Canada. The people of the United Kingdon are our friends and allies but they are a separate, independent country and no longer the masters of Canada. Let us have a made in Canada oath for Canadians, for Canada.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Citizenship Act
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November 8, 1996

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

Within a few weeks the United Nations will vote to establish a permanent international criminal court to try individuals who commit serious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity, including genocide and ethnic cleansing.

I know the government supports this measure but it requires an amendment to our domestic legislation to permit the referral of accused Canadians to the new international court. In order to give impetus to a positive vote at the UN, when will Canada amend its domestic legislation to facilitate this matter?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Court
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October 24, 1996

Mr. Allmand

Mr. Speaker, while I share many things and some policies in common with my hon. friend, I guess this is an area where we disagree.

To being with, it is true that some members of the Bloc Quebecois and some members of the Parti Quebecois when they speak of Quebecois do include in their reflective moments all of us in Quebec, anglophones, minorities and so on. But there are others and even some in this House who when they speak about nous les Quebecois do not include us.

For example, I cannot remember the seat, but one hon. member during the referendum campaign stood up and said that only "les Québécois doivent avoir le droit de voter au référendum". He meant and he clarified that, and it was also said by a member of the

PQ in Quebec, that this meant the real Quebecois. By that he meant those who were the descendants of vieille souche.

There is abiguity over there. The hon. member says that the definition is inclusive. However, there are many others who speak of it exclusively and I could give many examples.

With respect to Mr. Galganov, I did not congratulate him on everything he did and said. I said he was right, however, when he campaigned on the West Island of Montreal to assure that the signs were both in English and French in accordance with the Quebec law which the Quebec government supported up until now. When Mr. Galganov did that he was right. He was not attacking the Quebec government. He was telling the various major stores on the West Island "do what the law gives you the right to do". In that he was right. I do not congratulate him for calling certain people bastards. I think he went too far on that.

Mr. Speaker, I have much more to say.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 24, 1996

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in Montreal and a fifth generation Montrealer who loves his city, loves his province and his country, I take this debate very seriously.

The separatists in all their forms, whether sovereignists or Parti Quebecois or Bloc Quebecois or Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, continue to bury their heads in the sand. They refuse to face the

reality that their policies are seriously hurting the economy of Montreal. They are hurting the recovery of Montreal as one of the world's great cities.

They refuse to recognize that their policies to hold continual referendums, to make statements with respect to exclusivity as to who is really a Quebecois, and from time to time their extreme language policies are scaring away jobs and new investment. Obviously not all investment; there is investment in Montreal, but there could be much more without these negative policies which I have just referred to.

It is true that Montreal suffers the same problems as all other smokestack industrial cities, the old industrial cities: the need to convert to the new economy, the need to convert to high technology and to globalization. We can debate on another occasion the effectiveness of these policies by the government to help all Canadian industrial and commercial cities that are faced with those same challenges.

In addition to suffering the same difficulties as other North American cities and cities in Europe that are trying to adapt to the new economy, Montreal is hit with the additional burden of continual referendums, extreme nationalism and extreme language policies.

The Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois talk about democracy and self-determination and the respect for democracy and self-determination, but they refuse to recognize the results of two referendums which have already been held. Their policy seems to be to continue to have referendums until they win one, no matter what kind of question and no matter by what margin. They refuse to recognize the rule of law. They say that they will not recognize decisions of the supreme court with respect to the universal declaration of independence issues.

Do such policies encourage employers to come and stay in Montreal? I would think not. Consider their statements as to who is and who is not a Quebecois. One day we hear them speak of the Quebecois in a very exclusive fashion, as if only those who are descendants of vieille souche Quebecois are really Quebecois, which results in two types of citizenship in Quebec.

On another day, in a more reflective mood they will say that I am included, the Blacks are included, the Indians are included, everyone else is included. But then we had statements in this House by one member of the Bloc Quebecois who suggested seriously that only those who fit his definition of Quebecois should have the right to vote in the referendum. By that he meant the descendants of the vieille souche Quebecois.

I hear this again. I hear "nous Québécois avons besoin de notre état". When they say "nous Quebecois" they do not include me and many of my electors in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. They are speaking of an exclusive ethnic type of nationalism. I ask again: Does this sort of policy encourage employers to come and stay in Montreal?

In the same vein, we had the statements by the former premier of Quebec, Mr. Parizeau and the minister of finance, Mr. Landry, which attacked the ethnic minorities in Quebec for their votes in the referendum and the interpretation of the poll results. These were statements which terribly upset the ethnic minorities in Quebec. There were recent statements which were even more extreme from Mr. Villeneuve who attacked the Jewish community in Quebec and said that they would get theirs once independence was brought about.

Do these kinds of statements encourage employers to come to Montreal: extremism in language policy; proposals to bring back the language police, which has even been attacked by part of the sovereignist community in Quebec and by the trade unions. However, there is still a proposal to bring back the language police and other extreme language policies. There is the recent situation at the hospital in Sherbrooke. The hospital put up bilingual signs to assist the elderly anglophone community of the eastern townships who must go to the Sherbrooke hospital and instructions came from Quebec City to take down the English signs even though they were in a secondary position.

There have been attacks on Mr. Galganov. In the first place, all he was doing was asking major businesses on the West Island of Montreal to respect the Quebec language laws and simply put up English language signs in accordance with the law of Quebec, which is English in a secondary position and in smaller letters. He was asking the stores to do that because their signs were only in French and yet he was attacked.

Does extremism in language policy encourage other Canadians, Americans, Europeans and Asians to invest and stay in Montreal?

I want to make clear that I fully support policies, and have for years, to assure and promote the French language and culture in Quebec and have it flourish. The federal government has done that for years and continues to do so. It has done it through Radio-Canada, CBC, the Canada Council, the CRTC, Telefilm Canada and assistance to theatres, museums, libraries and research.

It is without a doubt that Quebec, French Canada in general, is now the second strongest French culture in the world after France. Nobody can rival Quebec or French Canada. It is strong in writing, theatre, music and academia. It is very strong and has done that within the federal system. These extreme policies that I referred to are not necessary. All they are doing is hurting the economy, the jobs and the people of Quebec.

The purport of the resolution states that Montreal and Quebec are not getting their fair share. With respect to federal transfers to Quebec, in 1996-97, this fiscal year, while Quebec has 25 per cent

of the population of Canada, 31 per cent of the money transferred from the federal government to the provinces goes to Quebec. I support that because I think that is a fair share. It amounts to $11.1 billion. It has been approximately at that level for the last six years.

Yesterday there were questions in the House to the Prime Minister with respect to the granting of contracts in Quebec, saying that Quebec was not getting its fair share. The Prime Minister answered correctly that, first of all, we grant contracts on a tender basis and give out contracts to companies and professionals who apply for different jobs on a tender basis.

However, it is a question of the chicken and the egg. Quebec does not have the same number of entrepreneurs and professionals that it did when I first started in politics here in the 1960s. A lot have left. A lot have not come who would have come. A lot of former Montreal businessmen in Montreal head offices are now in Toronto, Calgary and elsewhere because of the extreme policies of the PQ governments with respect to these matters. They scared away firms that would have been there to bid on these contracts and probably get them for the Quebec people.

With respect to the assistance to industry, I was present this week when the Prime Minister announced the repayable loan of $87 million to Bombardier to develop a new aircraft. The federal government has been very supportive of the aircraft industry in Quebec. I will list them off. There was a contribution by Industry Canada of $940,000 to Matériaux techniques Côté; a contribution of $825,000 to École Polytechnique chaire industrielle; $5 million to Institut de recherche en biotechnologie; $1.7 million to Mallinckrodt Medical Inc. It goes on and on. Bell Helicopter received $8 million. Aliments Delisle received $1.5 million. Galderma received $1.6 million.

With respect to the infrastructure program which has just taken place over the last two years, the region of Montreal received 400 projects, of which the federal government contributed $236 million for 12,000 employees.

I see that my time is up. I simply want to say that if the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc Quebecois really want to help with jobs in the economy in Montreal, they should forget about referendums and the extremism of their nationalistic policy, co-operate, take up the offer of the Prime Minister and together we will create jobs and develop Montreal as it used to be.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 21, 1996

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last week the Nobel committee focused attention on the villainous situation in East Timor when it awarded the Nobel peace prize to Bishop Belo and José Ramos-Horta, brave fighters for human rights and freedom in that small forgotten country.

Prior to 1974 East Timor was a Portuguese colony but became independent at that time when Portugal withdrew. Immediately afterwards in 1975 Indonesia invaded its neighbour and annexed its territory. Since this invasion one-third of this country's population has been killed, resulting in the worst genocide on a per capita basis since the Holocaust. At the Dili massacre in 1991, 200 people,

peaceful demonstrators, were killed by Indonesian soldiers. Despite two UN resolutions condemning this invasion and requesting the withdrawal of Indonesian troops, 20 years have passed and nothing has happened.

I urge Canada and other governments to make a greater effort to support the Nobel winners and the-

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   East Timor
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