Heath Nelson MACQUARRIE

MACQUARRIE, The Hon. Heath Nelson, B.A., M.A., LL.D., F.R.S.A.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)
Birth Date
September 18, 1919
Deceased Date
January 2, 2002
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_MacQuarrie
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=8874ad6a-cef4-4764-be03-7a8555017c67&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
author, political scientist, professor, radio-commentator, teacher

Parliamentary Career

June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs (August 17, 1962 - February 6, 1963)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Queen's (Prince Edward Island)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Hillsborough (Prince Edward Island)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 424)


March 17, 1978

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, I am proud and honoured to follow a fellow Islander, the hon. member who has just spoken, a very distinguished parliamentarian and a one-time opponent of mine in a general election.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
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March 17, 1978

Mr. Macquarrie:

The task which faced Macdonald, Brown, Cartier and McGee was enormously difficult. The challenge was tremendous and horrendous, but they overcame it. I often say, and I am sure my hon. friend agrees with me, that we are unworthy successors if we allow what those men created to disappear. Surely to God on this St. Patrick's Day-that Scottish born saint whom we all honour-we must realize that bringing this country into being was far more difficult than keeping it together in a time of advanced communication. In 1864-and it is wonderful that I am following the hon. member because Canada began in Charlottetown, the cradle of confederation-the problems of communication and transportation were enormous and difficult. The people did not know one another. It was reported in a very distinguished Nova Scotia newspaper that maritimers did not know many Canadians, and the few they did know they did not like.

However, it took people like Macdonald and Brown to build Canada. Brown even started to drink during his visit to Charlottetown. We are very proud of that. He had quite a good time. He probably relaxed for the first time in his life. All these people decided that the ideal of the country was very important. Yet we are reluctant to honour Macdonald. We are reluctant to have likenesses of these men on our coins. We are totally unmindful of Cartier. Having studied a good deal of history I often wonder what might have happened had Macdonald died before Cartier and Cartier had become the leader of our party. If that had happened, today we would be what I think we should be, the favourites of the province of Quebec. However, that did not happen. These men were great figures. Only recently have we even mustered up the courage to put on the stamps of the nation the likenesses of wonderful men like Mr. Pearson, Mr. St. Laurent and a man I did not like very much but admired greatly, Mr. Bennett. These people were

March 17, 1978

leaders. I thought that the hon. member who has just spoken did an excellent job in integrating all our various interests.

For 15 years I have been pleading in this House for a day to remember John A. Macdonald, the father of our country. He was the outstanding architect of Confederation. He was not the only one, but the outstanding one. In consultation with the hon. member I was prepared to forget that John A. was born on January 11, which is a rather bad time, ten days after New Year's Day. John A. was a Scotsman. He knew all about hogmanay. It took him about ten days to recover. We were prepared to move it on into February. We talked it over with the hon. member for York-Simcoe (Mr. Stevens) who-please, God-may be Minister of Finance before the year is out, and we all agreed. There was a very good discussion and a consensus in the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs which, if I am right, was then chaired by His Honour Mr. Speaker. That, in my judgment, was parliament working at its best. It is unfortunate that here today there is not a single cabinet minister I can address this remark to, but I think it behooves the executive to note occasionally the consensus and the will of the people's representatives.

I think it was quite unbecoming, improper and unnecessary for the Secretary of State (Mr. Roberts) to pre-empt the hon. member and the rest of us, and even more unbecoming, if I may use that kind of garbled English-and I do not often do that-for him then to renege on his own interference. We do not have the holiday. We have put the consensus of parliament into discard, and that I find totally reprehensible. At a time when it was more important than ever before that this institution be well regarded by the public which it represents, the government did a double disservice not only to the hon. member, to me, to the hon. member for York-Simcoe and to Sir John A. Macdonald, but also to the parliamentary institution itself. For that I think they deserve the harshest condemnation, and I hope they will take advice and not continue this practice which I have indicated. I mentioned the hon. member for Cochrane, but it has happened many times. Perhaps the most important hour in this parliament is the private members' hour, when we do not listen to the orders of our beloved friends, my highly regarded whip on my right and the House leader, and when members who are here because people sent them here decide what they are going to talk about and what they are going to say. Because representative government is older than responsible government, I think the emphasis should be on that private members' hour.

The learned and hon. member who has just spoken rendered a great service by making a good, earnest and sensitive representation on behalf of people. He is a very courageous committee chairman. He is sensitive to very hot public issues, if I may say so. I applaud him for his leadership.

Heritage Day

I never make long speeches. Perhaps my speeches are longer than I think. I believe I am to be followed by the venerable hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). He is the chancellor of an outstanding university which has still not offered me a degree. As a Scot, I can say that I am proud we gave the Irish St. Patrick. I am very mindful of where my strength came from. I remember the many Irish Prince Edward Islanders who voted for me over the years. I was happy to have an opportunity to follow my fellow islander, the distinguished hon. member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. MacGuigan). I am happy to support him in his endeavours to establish a national heritage day.

I am not afraid Canada will fall apart if another holiday is celebrated. Is our economy so frail? Are our people so weak? Are things so bad that if one more holiday occurs, the entire country will go to hell? I cannot believe it. I am interested in greater productivity during working days. I discount the days people do not work. There is no reason why a highly developed country like Canada, with its advanced technology and albeit lousy government, cannot afford a holiday every month.

We must celebrate and honour our native people. We must honour discovery day. We must honour Sir John A. Macdonald. Then we can honour Sir Wilfred Laurier, Sir Robert Borden and even Mackenzie King, God forgive me. There have been many tremendous Canadians. There was Dr. Wilder Penfield, who was probably one of the ablest and most brilliant men the world ever produced. There was Dr. Bethune. Also there is Dr. McClure, who is still living. He was the former moderator of the United Church of Canada. There are scores of people who should be honoured by us for one day. We should stand aside and honour these people who make up our heritage.

If I were greedy and wanted to use up more time, I could name many people. I could talk about Senator Cairine Wilson, Nellie McClung, C. G. D. Roberts, the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Stanfield), C. D. Howe, Charles Tupper, M. J. Coldwell and J. S. Woodsworth. It would be exciting, imaginative and valuable to have a national heritage day. As was suggested by the hon. member, from year to year a Canadian could be chosen to receive honour. We could survive for 100 years and not be required to use the same list twice. I will not live for 100 years, because I am too intemperate.

While I condemn the government for its niggardly action and their even more reprehensible reaction, I commend and support the measure before the House.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
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March 17, 1978

Mr. Macquarrie:

He has abilities and capabilities to spare, once you even him up with the present members. That is the only nasty thing I will say. It is not meant to be nasty; it is a tribute to my hon. friend from Prince Edward Island, and if the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) takes that advice and my party loses ground, then we will charge it up to my professorial rather than my political posture.

I am very pleased with the leadership the hon. member has given to this matter, and I am very disheartened by what the government has done about it. In my couple of decades here I have noted that there is a great tendency on the part of this government, if there is something developed by a private member which wins acceptance in parliament or in the country, immediately to cut off that initiative of the private member and to produce a bill.

I remember that time after time my very dear friend the Liberal member for Cochrane (Mr. Stewart) produced bills to get the likenesses of Canadian prime ministers on the currency of our country. God help us, it is nearly time that that was done. He also introduced a bill to get the flag of Canada into this chamber. His bills were always talked out or ignored. I was sitting in the House when the then minister of finance stood up without even consulting the hon. member for Cochrane and said that the government would bring out an issue of currency with Laurier on the five dollar bill and John A. Macdonald on the ten. I think that is very suitable because when you buy a bottle of rum, you need a ten dollar bill, and I always use a John A. Macdonald bill. I think I am being very

historic as well as gustatorily correct. I am told Borden is on the one hundred dollar bill-I have not seen one-and that Mackenzie King is on the fifty. We should have done that long ago.

We Canadians have been reluctant to let our Canadianism show. I went to school in the United States in grade one. Perhaps that is where I went astray. Abe Lincoln was there, and George Washington was there. I was taught exactly how to salute the flag, what to do with my hand and what words to say, and I can say them yet. But will we give John A. Macdonald credit? Will we give Laurier a chance? Will we honour Borden? Will we respectfully give credit to the great men who brought into being a great country?

I have studied-and the hon. member is a great scholar- the nation builders of the world. I have taught in university about Cavour, Mazzini, Bismarck and all the rest of them. But our founding fathers do not have to take second place to any statesmen in the world.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
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March 17, 1978

Mr. Macquarrie:

A few years ago the Liberal party in Prince Edward Island thought it should scour the highways and byways to get a more highly educated man than Macquarrie. It discovered the hon. gentleman, whose erudition and education I salute and respect. I look upon him as one of the most distinguished Islanders of this generation or any other following a very distinguished and honourable family in our province.

I want to say, too, that I have the greatest respect for what he has done in the course of his duty as committee chairman. He has brought broadmindedness and, generally, an apolitical attitude toward some very important issues facing the Canadian people and parliament.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS
Subtopic:   HOLIDAYS ACT
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March 16, 1978

Mr. Heath Macquarrie (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, long before I came to this House I was an academic and a firm believer in having before me the fullest documentation possible before arriving at a judgment on any subject. I am, therefore, in agreement with the motion. I am also much committed to the idea of freedom of information to the fullest possible extent with respect to government and government transactions.

I listened carefully to what the hon. member had to say. He intimated he was not opposed to the move to Prince Edward Island, but-it was a substantial "but" for a three-letter word. I cannot understand why he should be surprised that this proposal should be made. It is long ago since this chamber first discussed the decentralization of the administration to various parts of the country. A number of departments are already functioning from one end of the country to the other. It is past my understanding that this move to Charlottetown, the cradle of confederation, should cause so much consternation or that it should be held up as an example of inflicting pain and anguish upon public servants. I can understand that great difficulties might arise over family matters, children's education, and so on but there are not many operations in the private sector or, indeed, in the government itself where guaranteed geographical security is part of the job commitment. I never had a big business empire such as the hon. member referred to but I am wondering whether in that empire extending all across the country there are not many people who were called upon to move very suddenly from one part of Canada to another.

The move to Prince Edward Island will not take place suddenly. I hope all those concerned will be able to make suitable arrangements to provide for their families, their children and so on. But I do not accept with good grace the suggestion that Prince Edward Island is incapable of offering language training for those who will be working in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Instead of quibbling about things like this I believe this House and the country should applaud the honourable and gallant Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. MacDonald) who has arranged for the transfer of the department to the city of Charlottetown, a city where the per capita representation of veterans in the Boer War, the first world war, the second world war and the Korean war was very high.

It is very fitting that a minister of such great military distinction should be the man responsible for the initiation of such a move, it is conceivable that the move will be finished under another government, but those are the fortunes of political warfare. Before I leave this place I want to salute the Minister of Veterans Affairs for the action he took and say to the mover of this motion that any public servant now living in the national capital who finds that his work will take him to the city of Charlottetown is very much blessed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
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