Robin Mark RICHARDSON

RICHARDSON, Robin Mark, B.A. (Hon.), M.A., C.F.A., M.A.R.

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Beaches (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 3)


October 17, 1979

Mr. Robin Richardson (Beaches):

Mr. Speaker, may I first most sincerely congratulate you on the unanimous selection of yourself for a difficult but most important post. I can think of no better person for this most respected position during what I am certain all hon. members will work for and pray will be a Parliament of Reconciliation." I pledge to you my co-operation in this essential task.

Next, I extend the traditional and very sincere congratulations to the hon. member for Erie (Mr. Fretz) and the hon. member for Cardigan (Mr. MacDonald) who moved and seconded the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

I should also like to refer to my predecessor, the member for the riding of Greenwood, Mr. Andrew Brewin, and pay a tribute to him. Mr. Brewin is a very fine gentleman, a respected parliamentarian who represented my district for 17 years and, in my opinion, he is a compassionate man and a great Canadian.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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October 17, 1979

Mr. Richardson (Beaches):

I hope to hold a reception for him later this year here on the Parliament Hill he loved so well, to which all of his many friends will be invited. I should like this House to know that Andrew Brewin is held in high regard and affection by many who, like myself, do not happen to share his political views.

I should also like to express my personal tribute to the memory of the Right Hon. John George Diefenbaker who was well known to the Richardson family. As some hon. members

would know, my uncle, Burt Richardson, was Mr. Diefenbak-er's chief of staff for several years in the early 1960's. Mr. Diefenbaker was a man of great moral integrity and personal courage-a man of strong Christian conviction-and my only regret is that I did not have the privilege to sit in this House with him as a member of this Thirty-first Parliament.

My sadness at the passing of Mr. Diefenbaker is only the human feeling of realizing a great man and former prime minister of the Canada we love is no longer with us. It is more than overcome by the knowledge that the present Prime Minister (Mr. Clark) and leader of this Progressive Conservative government is equally a man of great moral integrity and personal courage, who is willing and able to take the tough actions necessary to ensure a safe, prosperous and united Canada for all Canadians in the days, months and years ahead.

I propose in this speech, Mr. Speaker, to deal with the prospects for Canadian peace and prosperity raised in the Speech from the Throne and, in particular, to challenge all hon. members to work together to help restore morality and a sense of true values to public affairs. After all, Mr. Speaker, Parliament is the central forum of our country. It should set the tone of public life since its decisions are felt by every Canadian. Our greatest challenge, individually and collectively as members of Parliament, is to help rebuild public respect and confidence in government.

First, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few general remarks. At a moment like this when I am giving my first speech in this historic Parliament, I naturally think of the people in my own constituency. I think of the people of Beaches, as I am sure other hon. members think of their constituents, as the salt of the earth, and I hope I can justify the confidence they have placed in me as their federal representative.

I think particularly, Mr. Speaker, of the many people I met during the past two years of campaigning as I called from house to house, who have experienced and are experiencing the devastating effects of prolonged inflation. I am concerned, Mr. Speaker, about the retired people trying to live on limited pensions, the working men and women whose life savings arc being destroyed, the homemakers who face soaring food prices, the homeowners, merchants and other small business entrepreneurs who are being devastated by high interest rates, and the young people who are facing very uncertain job prospects.

I think also, Mr. Speaker, of the many people I met who are fed up with politics and government. I am sure other hon. members experienced the same thing. They are the people who are dismayed by corruption and scandal in high places; sick of being bought off with their own money; distressed and discouraged at red tape and remoteness of government, and downright angry about the taxes which now account at all levels of government for almost 50 per cent of all the earned income in Canada. Fifty per cent, Mr. Speaker! God only asks for 10 per cent; Caesar and his legions are not so easily satisfied.

Who can deny, Mr. Speaker, that these are darkening days? The smaller this world grows, the more it seems to fly apart. There are wars and rumours of war; hot wars, cold wars, bush wars, and economic wars. There is famine and hunger, disease and suffering, strife and turmoil. There is financial uncertainty bordering on chaos that could serve as the prelude to an awful worldwide depression with its untold misery. The threat of nuclear holocaust is constantly with us. It would seem, Mr. Speaker, that "the distress of nations" is upon us.

It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that primarily inflation is a moral and political problem. Have we in this House the imagination to see that it is a threat to the political, social, and moral character of our society? Do we not see that the confiscation of capital, income and savings that results from inflation provided some politicians and bureaucrats with the excuse to trespass into many areas of our lives, and curtail freedoms? Have we not perhaps now come to the point in our history where, in a very real sense, "democracy in deficit" is descriptive of both our economic plight and possibly of our political future, unless we are willing to act with courage and conviction to resolve our problems?

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be a member of this Thirty-first Parliament and, in particular, of this new Progressive Conservative government that is facing up to these very real challenges. I trust that we all in this House perceive the need to work together, regardless of political party affiliation, to support the initiatives set out in the Speech from the Throne. We must work together, regardless of party affiliation, on the foreign policy review, on the basic reform of Parliament, and on ways to balance the budget. We must address the crucial moral issues at the heart of the human dilemma today-social justice at home and abroad, the right to life, the problem of inflation. We must come to grips with what we are all about as individuals and as a nation.

Our failure in the past as a society, and our failure specifically here in Parliament, has been to articulate our national goals and preserve our individual values in attaining them. It is this failure, Mr. Speaker, that has led to the broad sense of disillusionment amongst the Canadian people today.

1 represent many Canadian people who wish to be governed by a righteous and God-fearing Parliament. As many hon. members may be aware, Christians all over Canada have been praying for each one of you personally in the hope that men and women of God would be making the laws of the land. Mr. Speaker, I believe we have a yardstick by which to measure our effectiveness. That measuring device is God's Word. We must search for a biblical basis for civil government.

As a professional economist and businessman 1 have said much, and 1 will say more at a later time, about the primary cause of our inflation, which is government itself. But, Mr. Speaker, as a Christian and as a concerned Canadian, I am convinced that not all of Canada's problems are economic. Many are moral and spiritual. Indeed, both the human spirit and the national soul may perhaps be more in need of repair than the federal budget.

The Address-Mr. R. Richardson

I believe the bible to be true, Mr. Speaker, when it states in second Chronicles 7:14 God's promise as follows:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their lands.

What more do we need to encourage us, to motivate us, than to become active working together in the healing of our land? Mr. Speaker, I may sound like a voice crying in the wilderness, but I know for a fact that this Thirty-first Parliament has many others of like faith.

I am excited, Mr. Speaker, by much of what I have seen since the May 22 election, and I am very optimistic about our country's future because of the leadership I know will be given by hon. members in this "Parliament of Reconciliation." Our individual and national response to the desperate plight of the Vietnamese boat people, and the support received from hon. members on both sides of the House, is a very encouraging sign of what can be achieved by this Parliament as a positive witness to our fellow Canadians and to the world. Canadians have had enough of meanness and pettiness. What they want from us, Mr. Speaker, is leadership, and the true essence of leadership is service to others.

It is a fact that Canada, more than any other nation in the world, is blessed with abundant resources, good, hard working, and law abiding people, and a huge potential. As the Prime Minister has so properly said, "It is a time to build". I believe that in our Prime Minister we have an enlightened leader who has the courage of his convictions to uphold an unpopular stance in the name of the future good. He has given a positive indication in his response to the debate on the Speech from the Throne that we are and will continue to move firmly to correct those things which have been holding us back individually and collectively from meeting our God-given potential in this country. Although he would perhaps not use the same words as I, the Prime Minister has challenged us all, whether we be members of Parliament or individual Canadian citizens, to participate in this building of Canada with energy and skill; to stand fast in our faith; to fight the good fight; to be consistent in our good works, with love and understanding-"like the yeast that leavens the loaf and raises the level of all it touches".

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Mr. Speaker, what a tremendous transformation would occur if the golden rule were applied to politics and government. Can you imagine the change that would be wrought? No more political campaigns based on "victory at any price by any means"; no more dog-eat-dog tactics; no more under-the-table deals; no more false witness; no more ego trips for self-centred purposes. Where there is animosity, there would be love; where there is greed, there would be generosity and compassion. Patience would take the place of anger, and service would rise above self.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully recommend to this House that one small thing we might do to signal a new direction to the people of Canada would be to allow the general public to enter this chamber while we are conducting daily prayers. It would

October 17, 1979

The Address-Mr. Malepart

certainly do no harm, and might even prove inspirational to some Canadians to see their members of Parliament humbling themselves before God on a daily basis, asking Him for His divine guidance.

Especially in these times, Mr. Speaker, when Canada stands at the political, economic, and spiritual crossroads, the challenges facing this Parliament are very important and can be exciting and rewarding too, not in the monetary or status-seeking way, but in the knowledge that we in this House of Commons are doing our part to build Canada so that some day it might truly be said of this land that "... His dominion shall be from sea even to sea ..."

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the challenge set out by our Fathers of Confederation was to build a nation in keeping with basic Christian principles. What began with them as a step of faith more than a century ago has proven to be a continuing test of faith ever since. I submit, Mr. Speaker, it is both a challenge and a sacred obligation for the hon. members of this House to work together in the healing of our land at this time of unparalleled opportunity.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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October 11, 1979

Mr. Richardson (Beaches):

I should like to ask the minister whether he has given approval to the CTC to proceed with the application of Canavia Transit, whether he has given support to that application and whether the government has taken a decision on the use of Toronto Island for STOL service.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSPORT
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October 11, 1979

Mr. Robin Richardson (Beaches):

Mr. Speaker, my question is addressed to the Minister of Transport. I refer to an article in The Globe and Mail in which Mr. John P. T. Gilmore, the president of Canavia Transit Inc., a somewhat mysterious Montreal-based company which refuses to disclose its directors and financial backers, and a company which has filed an application before the Canadian Transport Commission to use the Toronto Island airport for a STOL commuter [DOT] service, alleges that the hon. gentleman, as Minister of Transport, has given a clear directive-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSPORT
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July 8, 1960

Mr. Richardson:

No, we usually start off-and this is actually covered by a different item-by having a list, and we endeavour to use local contractors wherever possible, that is, contractors in the community in which we propose to build. We invite a number, and this number varies; it may be six, three, or may be ten. Then, anyone else who wants to tender on it applies for the drawings, specifications, and so on. If he appears to be a reliable contractor who is capable of carrying out the work, we never have any objection to that.

I invite the attention of the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate to the following passage:

Topic:   I860
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