I hear someone say that he is, although I cannot vouch for that point. However, I remember well, back in the years around 1935, when the Social Credit government took over in Alberta. Those people were the ones who said that grass would grow in the streets of the cities, the capital would leave Alberta, and that there would be a general depression throughout the province. Yes, people would even wager that within a year's time there would be no such thing as an Alberta government, with those supporting Social Credit principles forming it.
Well, eighteen years have gone by, and I think I can say without successful contradiction that the Social Credit government in Alberta in the last election returned to power with the greatest over-all vote it ever enjoyed. These are things of which the people might well take note. The administration of public affairs in Alberta is as the people want it; it is what they desire, and it is what we will eventually have.
I was neither concerned nor impressed with the remarks of the hon. member for Skeena when he cast reflection upon the people of British Columbia. The day is not too far distant when we will be sufficiently well organized, and with an educational program available to us to give the people of Canada the opportunity to learn for themselves that we have a practical solution to
our greatest problems. We will place men and women in nomination across Canada offering the alternative which will seal the fate of the party now in power in Canada, just as surely as the voters have sealed the fate of the self-same party provincially in most of the provinces of Canada.
Pre-election spending, which is merely placing the real nature of things in a more favourable light, will not, in my humble opinion, fool the people of Canada very long.
As soon as Canadians realize that in our movement they have a bona fide alternative, there will be a change of government in Canada, and we will provide that alternative on the basis of-get this-a positive program of policies based on truth, and free of patronage.
I have been told by many people in my riding that my riding would be sadly neglected by this government by reason of the fact that I do not sit with the government. As a matter of fact, I noticed that in some of the advertisements that were published during our federal campaign. This point of view, I am certain, will prove unfounded. Certainly, since after a member is elected he is presumed, in the best tradition of democracy, to represent all of the people of his electoral district without fear, favour or regard to political views, one would hardly expect the polite hard-luck story from any department with respect to any real need that should be met in that particular district. We do hope that those who suspect this government would favour districts with members elected to the government and disregard the needs of those districts who elected members now sitting in the opposition are entirely wrong, and that events will show that we still have a government of all the people, even if they should fail to govern well.
Perhaps there are some here who do not realize the size of some of these northern electoral districts and the need for assistance in air travel to serve the area adequately. The distance from the southern boundary of the Cariboo riding to the northern boundary is about the same as from Ottawa to Fort William, and if you want to go east it is the same distance as from Ottawa to the northern point of Nova Scotia. That is one riding. I may say that that riding cannot be covered by railway, because the railway is not there-I hope it will be there some day. I feel that we should have some sort of equalization of expense money or some other means adequately to compensate these great distances that people have to travel in these northern ridings. The people are just as important at the very far north of the riding as they are in the south.
The Address-Mr. Leboe
One fellow told me he had a riding every part of which he could reach within ten minutes from one point. I have a riding that is over 1,000 miles from south to north, and I have an expense account of $2,000 and a pass on a railway that does not exist. Some people may think that is funny; but to those people who certainly want to do a job in looking after their riding let me say it is no joke. This proposition of air travel will come up perhaps at a later stage in the session and we are going to be looking forward to a little assistance for those coming from Alberta and from the British Columbia area especially.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY