John Horton MCDERMID

MCDERMID, The Hon. John Horton, P.C., F.R.I.

Personal Data

Progressive Conservative
Brampton (Ontario)
Birth Date
March 17, 1940
marketing manager, public relations officer, radio announcer, television announcer

Parliamentary Career

May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
  Brampton--Georgetown (Ontario)
February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
  Brampton--Georgetown (Ontario)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
  Brampton--Georgetown (Ontario)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources (November 1, 1984 - October 14, 1986)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade (October 15, 1986 - September 15, 1988)
  • Minister of State (International Trade) (September 15, 1988 - January 29, 1989)
  • Minister of State (Housing) (September 15, 1988 - January 29, 1989)
November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
  Brampton (Ontario)
  • Minister of State (International Trade) (September 15, 1988 - January 29, 1989)
  • Minister of State (Housing) (September 15, 1988 - January 29, 1989)
  • Minister of State (Privatization and Regulatory Affairs) (January 30, 1989 - February 25, 1991)
  • Minister of State (Finance and Privatization) (February 26, 1991 - June 24, 1993)
  • Minister of State (Housing) (March 15, 1991 - April 20, 1991)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1002 of 1002)

October 23, 1979

Mr. John McDermid (Brampton-Georgetown):

Mr. Speaker, 1 rise, under the provisions of Standing Order 43, to put forward a motion on a matter of urgent and pressing necessity.

In view of the previous administration's signing of a $14 million lease, four days before the general election, for space it did not require, since the said property at 219 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, is owned by a company whose vice president is reported to be the hon. member for Laurier (Mr. Berger), and so that the people of Canada may be assured the contract was not, in fact, political patronage, I move, seconded by the hon. member for Saint John (Mr. Ferguson):

That the Minister of Public Works immediately launch a complete investigation into the negotiations and signing of a lease between the Government of Canada and the Montreal Alouettes Football Club Inc. regarding the space at 219 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, and report the findings of the investigation to the House.

Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS
Full View Permalink

October 15, 1979

Mr. John McDermid (Brampton-Georgetown):

Mr. Speaker, I can guarantee to the House that I will speak no doom and gloom such as we have just heard from the the hon. member for Eglinton-Lawrence (Mr. de Corneille).

My colleagues, the hon. member for Erie (Mr. Fretz) and the hon. member for Cardigan (Mr. MacDonald), are to be congratulated for the superb manner in which they moved and seconded the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. I join with other hon. members in endorsing the Speaker's election to his high office. Having watched him on television for quite some time and now being in this great house and watching him in person, my long-time admiration for his abilities has been more than reinforced. I offer my best wishes to him. We on this side of the House will try to make life in this session pleasant for him. To the Deputy Speaker and to the hon. members for Carleton-Charlotte (Mr. McCain) and Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Scott), I offer my best wishes as well.

I represent the riding of Brampton-Georgetown, comprised of Brampton, a community in the region of Peel, population

The Address-Mr. McDermid

125.000, and the old town of Georgetown, now a part of Halton Hills, a community in the region of Halton, population

19.000. Both of these communities have growing populations. My riding is the fourth largest in Canada in terms of electors. The mayor of Halton Hills, Peter Pomeroy, and the mayor of the city of Brampton, Jim Archdekin, lead two very active and fastgrowing communities.

The past two members of the Ontario legislature have given honour to the community of Brampton, both being worthy members and both being premiers of the province of Ontario. Colonel Tom Kennedy was the provincial member for Peel from 1919 to 1959, forty years, with a brief break between 1934 and 1937. Our member of the provincial legislature is the hon. William G. Davis, the present premier, who just celebrated 20 years in the legislature serving Peel, Peel North, and now Brampton. He was honoured Friday past by his constituents, former constituents and friends. These are large shoes for me to fill federally-names like Sam Charters, Richard Blaine, John Pallett, Ellwood Madill and, yes, such liberals as Bruce Beer and Ross Milne. But the man I idolized, and who was lost to Canada at a relatively young age, the man who first attracted me to politics, was Gordon Graydon, who graced this House from 1935 to 1953 and was opposition House leader. His widow, Daisy Graydon, still lives in Brampton and is a great help to me and I appreciate her support.

Georgetown citizens have had excellent representation in the Ontario legislature, for instance, the hon. Jim Snow, the hon. George Kerr and Julian Reed. Federally, names like Sybill Bennett, Sandy Best, Terry O'Connor and across the House I am sure hon. members remember Dr. Harry Harley and Dr. Frank Philbrook. Now I have the honour to represent the riding. I would sincerely like to thank the citizens of Brampton-Georgetown for their votes. I will do all within my power to justify their support.

I am proud of both Brampton and Georgetown, Brampton being my home town, Georgetown being my father's home town. My great grandfather came to this country, a tea merchant from Glasgow, and opened a general store in Georgetown. My grandfather was postmaster in Georgetown and my father a United Church minister, who served the congregation of St. Paul's United Church for 26 years in Brampton.

Brampton and Georgetown have expanding and new businesses; for example, CN's new Malport, Dominion Glass Co. Ltd. which just opened a $10 million expansion. Ford's national parts depot, American Motors, Northern Telecom, Kitchens of Sara Lee, Neilson's, Smith and Stone, Abitibi Paper, and many many others all contributing to the economic well-being of the two communities.

There is still a small but significant rural area in Brampton and Georgetown. There are productive dairy farms, beef farms and produce farms which grow some great apples. The Gray brothers, two young farmers, have just invested over a quarter of a million dollars in a computerized milking parlour in my riding. This sort of investment shows great faith in the future of Canada and in the field of agriculture in the area. It is the

October 15, 1979

The Address-Mr. McDermid

home of the world famous Armstrong brothers standard bred breeding farm, which is the home of the Armbro horses who win their share of purses at standard bred tracks around the world. In memory of the late Elgin Armstrong and Ted Armstrong, the founding brothers, a new multi-million dollar facility was opened recently just north of Brampton by the premier. Elgin Armstrong's son, Charles, is now running the Armstrong business and was named businessman of the year this past week by the Brampton board of trade. My congratulations to Charles.

You can see, Mr. Speaker, that I represent an exciting and growing part of the province of Ontario and 1 look forward to representing it for many years. Seated geographically to your left-and, 1 might add, well placed, because that is where they all are politically-are a group of hon. members who like to talk about redistributing wealth, a very worth-while ideal. But all of them want to redistribute the wealth before it is made.

The new Government of Canada clearly recognizes that we cannot redistribute what we have not first created. The previous administration tried, heaven knows they tried, and in doing so, plunged this country into a deficit that is costing every Canadian taxpayer $700 per year just to pay the interest, never mind paying back the capital that is owing. It is the fastest rising cost in government. What a legacy to leave the young people of Canada! We in the government plan to rectify this situation so we can proudly say to our young people, "Here, take this country, we pass it on to you in great shape without that albatross, that huge debt, to drag you down."

There are a number of items on my checklist that this government and the people of Canada must do to reduce the debt and tackle inflation. We must realize that there is something decidedly illogical about demanding at one and the same time more and more government services, less and less taxation, higher and higher living standards and the adoption of a zero growth economic approach. We must tackle our balance of payment problem by recognizing that we are a trading nation with a pressing need for a healthy, vigorous and productive manufacturing sector. We must recognize the crucial role of profits and of other forms of savings in making this possible. Profit on this side of the House is not a dirty word. We must create a fair and just environment for the foreign capital which, like it or not, we are going to require in the future. Most important of all, we must create the type of domestic climate that will provide individual Canadians with the incentive and ability to furnish more and more of their country's capital needs. We must recognize that we cannot allow our unit costs of production to get out of step with those of our major trading partners, and we must realize the irreparable damage which indiscriminate and irresponsible use of the strike weapon-whatever its short term gain to the participants-will do to our ability to survive in the international marketplace.

We must move quickly to reduce significantly our per capita consumption of energy through appropriate conservation measures. We must now tap our frontier resources and mount a massive effort to develop alternative energy technologies.

Above all, and I say this for my friends on the socialist side of the House, we on this side will not stop apologizing for the enterprise system, as they like to do. Any economic system that can deliver what ours has, despite the roadblocks that have been consistently thrown in its way, has a great deal going for it.

It is trendy and chic in certain quarters to continually castigate our economic way of life for the way in which it supposedly favours the privileged at the expense of the underprivileged. Any objective and unbiased analysis of Canada's social development policies and income redistribution programs, however, will quickly give the lie to such an assertion. Furthermore, I would remind those who persist in perpetuating this myth that there is probably no greater injustice that a society can perpetuate on the weak and helpless than to erode the will and initiative of the enterprising and the strong.

I must also confess to some degree of bewilderment at the proposition put forward by the opposition parties that the road to economic salvation lies in ever-increasing government involvement in the workings of the competitive enterprise system. It is well established that the highest living standards are enjoyed by nations where the enterprise system predominates. On the other hand, countries where state capitalism is the vogue are certainly not noted either for their high standard of living or for the efficient and equitable distribution of goods and services. In an article outlining the superiority of the market economy, Gottfried Haverler, professor of international trade at Harvard University, asks:

How else is one to explain the wide difference in living standards that exists between West and East Germany; between Greece and Yugoslavia; and between Austria and Czechoslovakia, bearing in mind that the paired in each case enjoyed comparable living standards in the pre-communist past.

Certainly our competitive enterprise system may have its faults and shortcomings, and we should not hesitate to move in order to correct them, but let us not lose sight of our system's strengths-its respect for the dignity of human achievement, its rejection of the indignity of human enslavement and its uncanny ability to harness the power of human endeavour toward the realization of common goals. It is these basic and fundamental strengths that provide the competitive enterprise system with its aura of perpetual relevance, which in turn forms the core of its superiority over all other forms of economic endeavour. And this human achievement, the strengths of our system, will be allowed to flourish under this government. That is what the message is in the Speech from the Throne delivered so capably by His Excellency the Governor General.

There are many other aspects of the Speech from the Throne that please me, and in particular the statement that "in co-operation with the provinces and industry, a national tourism strategy will be developed". I have had the pleasure of chairing a caucus committee on tourism this past number of weeks. We met with the Canadian government office of tourism, provincial government officials of tourism and many members of the private sector involved in this important

October 15, 1979

business, and it is important. Tourism in Canada is a $11 billion business, accounting for 5 per cent of the gross national product and employing over one million people. Eighty per cent of the tourist businesses are classified as small business. For far too long this important sector of the economy has been virtually overlooked by previous administrations and this must be changed. It was obvious to the committee after hearing the various presentations that duplication of efforts was being experienced in Canada. It was also obvious that the foreign travelling public was confused in that they are being bombarded by the federal government and the provincial governments in marketing of all types without apparent co-ordination in their efforts.

The Tourism Industry Association of Canada or TIAC, an association which is the umbrella organization in Canada, is actively promoting a tourism plan for Canada with the Canadian government spearheading the activities. After many hours of discussion the committee agreed it was a very necessary component if we in Canada are to improve our tourism deficit position. The committee's presentation was made to the minister responsible, the Minister of State for International Trade (Mr. Wilson) and to the Prime Minister (Mr. Clark). It was agreed that this was vital to the well-being of tourism in Canada and would become the policy of this government, and there is no dust settling after that decision. At the federal-provincial meeting of tourism ministers this week in Newfoundland this matter will be discussed.

The objectives of the plan will be to maximize the contribution to the national economy, keeping in mind the following: our international balance of payments; the quality of life and development of the community; the conservation of the environment of the country; the preservation of the nation's cultural heritages; the special contribution tourism can make to regional economic expansion; and the optimization of Canada's rich resources capable of supporting a tourism industry. The objectives are to be reached by dividing the tourism industry into two areas, marketing and industry development. The task is great but our government is dedicated to the upgrading of the tourism industry and to co-operating much more fully with the private sector and the provinces in achieving this goal.

Many other recommendations have flowed from the committee's work, such as an awareness program for Canadians of how valuable tourism is to the economy and to them directly; that the attitude of government staff who come in direct contact with the travelling public be improved; that a closer liaison between Parks Canada and the tourism industry be achieved; that a faster, more efficient method of tourism statistics gathering be devised; and last but not least, a recognition of the importance of the tourism industry be expressed by the government in adding the title of "tourism" to the Minister of State for International Trade's title. The industry has asked for their own minister and ministry. It would be irresponsible of me to recommend another ministry when in fact we are trying not to create but to streamline various departments, but I would urge the Prime Minister and his

The Address-Mr. Bujold

government to give very serious consideration to this request so that tourism's importance in our Canadian economy will be given due recognition.

As a new member, may I publicly thank everyone, the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues, my constituents of Brampton-Georgetown, my colleagues from all sides of the House, the staff on the Hill and in the various ministries, and my own personal staff for helping me over the first few months. It has been an exciting and educational period in my new chosen profession, and I look forward to a very productive session.

Mir. Remi Bujold (Bonaventure-iles-de-la-Madeleine): Mr. Speaker, I am quite pleased and honoured to take part today in the throne speech debate. First allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you for the trust shown in you by the House of Commons and especially by the government party which recommended your appointment to the position that you now hold. Your sense of responsibilities, your integrity as well as your fairness are the qualities recognized by all members of the House. At the risk of repeating what has already been said, I wish to point out that the role you will play in the months to come will surely not be without any difficulty. 1 therefore wish you much success in your duties as Speaker of the House.

I also extend my congratulations to the Deputy Speaker, the Deputy Chairman and the Assistant Deputy Chairman of the Committees of the Whole House. I am also pleased to congratulate the mover and the seconder of the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. Undoubtedly it was for them the best possible way to begin this new legislature.

My preamble, Mr. Speaker, would not be complete if I failed to pay tribute to my predecessor in this House from 1962 to 1979. I refer to Mr. Albert Bechard, a man who always represented with dignity the constituency of Bonaven-ture from 1962 to 1968 and that of Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine from 1968 to 1979. I wish him well in his new job as Canada's Consul General in Louisiana. Finally, I would like to thank most sincerely the voters of the riding of Bonaven-ture-lles-de-la-Madeleine for the faith they have put in me during the last general election. I will do everything I can not to disappoint them as they expect a lot from their federal representative, considering their remoteness from large centres as well as the many communication difficulties they face.

On this first opportunity I am given to address this House, Mr. Speaker, I will not describe the great resources and beauties of the riding of Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine. I will do rather like my eminent colleague from Shefford (Mr. Lapierre) and invite all my hon. colleagues to come and visit the Gaspe area and the lles-de-la-Madeleine, as thousands of tourists from this country and all around the world do every


areas. This would avoid the enormous deficits incurred by airlines currently serving the area, and give a better transportation network to the various districts in eastern Canada. Hopefully the sale of Nordair will be a step in that direction. And I take this opportunity to invite the Minister of Transport to speed up this matter which has been under consideration long enough.

As 1 emphasized earlier, the new government has no apparent concern for the vital segments of our economy. Farmers were expecting a lot from the throne speech. They were greatly disappointed. Not a word, not a policy statement pointing to this government's approach in that area. What will our dairy producers do in the face of milk quota auctioneering? How is the problem of the astronomical cost of transporting produce into the large centres going to be solved? It is my hope the new government will not do as they did in the case of the Montreal harbour strike, when they waited for months before acting, letting disputes drag on and on. Mr. Speaker, our farmers deserve better treatment. I hope the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Wise) will take strong action, I hope that agriculture will become as much a priority for this government as energy and fisheries.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, let me turn to a significant omission in the throne speech, the constitutional crisis now facing the nation. Like my hon. leader, I am far from believing that the new leadership the right hon. Prime Minister is apparently trying to establish is capable of solving the Canadian crisis. I doubt that the constitutional problem can be solved by granting every provincial demand. Indeed the right hon. Prime Minister does not seem to pay much attention to that most urgent and serious problem in Canada, if the press conference he gave last week is any indication. The Prime Minister stated the significance of the referendum should not be exaggerated. He felt that it was much more important to ensure a permanent federal presence in Quebec.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I should like the Prime Minister and his colleagues to tell us how saying no to the decentralization of various departments within Quebec will ensure this presence in Quebec. Those are some of the questions I am directing to him. He also stated, and I quote:

-that the referendum was in fact only one of many events to take place in 1980.

Mr. Speaker, I suggest that this fails to recognize the importance of the situation in the province of Quebec and the seriousness of the constitutional crisis we are going through. What is still worse, Mr. Speaker, we have heard his Minister of State for Federal-Provincial Relations (Mr. Jarvis) indicate that the government's participation will be minimal. How could it be otherwise, for they have only three hon. members in the House of Commons and two ministers in the Senate? So, how can that presence make itself felt strongly? Obviously the minister had no other argument to plead in that regard. But there is worse when he says, and I quote:

The Address-Mr. Brisco

In addition, we do not have the strength to wage a big campaign in Quebec. One must recognize one's weaknesses.

Mr. Speaker, to my mind, that is implicit recognition of the fact that the Progressive Conservative government does only represent the nine other Canadian provinces and does not represent the province of Quebec in the House of Commons. As I pointed out, Mr. Speaker, we are now up against a secessionist government in Quebec, which will not hesitate to resort to all the means necessary to achieve its ends, and by handing it certain powers the Canadian government will not allay its hunger.

In the face of the gathering storm in Quebec, I feel that those who hold deep convictions about Canadian federalism, and specially the members of Parliament, must see to it that this country remain a model of unity despite the diversity of its parts. Finally, Mr. Speaker, I sincerely hope that some of the suggestions of the opposition, in particular with regard to Quebec, will not be turned down in order that the unity we all hold dear might be strengthened.

Full View Permalink