Cyril KEEPER

KEEPER, Cyril, B.A., M.A.

Parliamentary Career

February 18, 1980 - July 9, 1984
NDP
  Winnipeg--St. James (Manitoba)
September 4, 1984 - October 1, 1988
NDP
  Winnipeg North Centre (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 342)


September 29, 1988

Mr. Keeper:

I have not smoked in 12 years, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   CANADIAN HERITAGE LANGUAGES INSTITUTE ACT
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September 29, 1988

Mr. Keeper:

The Hon. Member asks whether I intend to vote for this motion. Good question. Do you think 1 will have a chance to vote either way? 1 don't think so! I imagine there are government Members who have more sense than to let it come to a vote and who will say we should take the time to analyze the motion. It was a pleasure to be able to make my contribution to this debate.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS CANADA POST CORPORATION ADVISABILITY OF AMENDING ACT
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September 29, 1988

Mr. Cyril Keeper (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity given to me to make a few remarks on this subject. I think that the motion before us is very important and I would like to point out that motion M-113 submitted by Mr. Attewell, one of my colleagues, reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should consider the

advisability of amending the Canada Post Corporation Act so as to make

Canada Post an essential public service which would render illegal any strikes

affecting postal delivery.

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to point out that Canada Post is already an essential service, an essential service for many people. Some people can use other services like Fax, which is a new technology. Some people can use either the postal service provided by Canada Post or the service offered by Purolator or other companies; these people can afford to pay more for this service and thus have other options. But for the elderly, for young people, for people on low incomes, postal service is already essential. It is not necessary to have an Act of Parliament; we do not need legislation establishing that postal service is essential. It is obvious that Canada Post is an essential service for almost everyone. But some people already have alternatives.

The other aspect of this motion is that it would make any strikes illegal... it is the idea behind this motion, the idea of making any strikes illegal. Just imagine! I think that we live in Canada, where people have human rights. I am quite surprised, but I would have thought I was in Poland. Am I in another country now? A country like Poland where the Communist government has already taken away the right to strike and made it illegal? Has such a law, such an approach, worked? Can a government take away people's human rights? Is it possible to make laws? Obviously. But is it possible for dictators to take away people's human rights, to take away their right to work? Mr. Speaker, I am impressed by the Poles, because they have a government that has all the powers, a government that says it represents all the people and that there is no other institution that can represent the people's interests. No church, no labour union, only the Communist Party can represent the people properly.

That is the approach of the Communist Party in Poland and these people have rejected the NDP. There really is a difference because the NDP is a democratic Party. We entertain socialist notions, notions to promote the interests of ordinary people, but in a democratic way, whereas a Communist party is a Party seeking to impose its views on people. They are determined to outlaw strikes and they have legislation which states that there shall be no strikes and no unions. But in the end, when people represent their own interests, they realize that joining forces can be an advantage. When they find out that working together and presenting a united front give them more power they form a union, but a union which the Government does not recognize as such. Still it does not make any difference. Solidarity is a Polish union representing workers, and their Government simply has to admit the fact and negotiate with these people in a country where dictature prevails.

September 29, 1988

As 1 see it, Mr. Speaker, the emphasis in this motion should be on the words "the Government should consider the advisability of amending the . . . Act". The key word here is "consider". We are simply asking that the proposition be studied.

1 take this opportunity to deal with the motion by saying that some countries have tried to outlaw any attempt by people to be represented. It does not work out because people know that when a Government ignores their interests they have to get together and tell the Government that they expect their interests to be properly represented.

1 would also point out that unions are legal in North America and that strikes were legalized in the 1930s after a number of violent strikes. At the time the American Government thought it would be well advised to acknowledge the existence of union activities through legislation to settle the issue rather than pretend they did not exist and choose to let them take place in illegality.

Mr. Speaker, I simply want to say that the motion must be seriously considered. I would be quite surprised if the Government were to let it come to a vote. I imagine that Government Members will want to talk it out. It is because the concept here . . .

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS CANADA POST CORPORATION ADVISABILITY OF AMENDING ACT
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September 29, 1988

Mr. Keeper:

I've just been accused of something I am sure the Hon. Member does not mean. It is at least 12 years since I smoked a cigarette.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   CANADIAN HERITAGE LANGUAGES INSTITUTE ACT
Full View Permalink

September 29, 1988

Mr. Cyril Keeper (Winnipeg North Centre):

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I know that I am maturing as I spend time in this place, but I am sure you would not confuse me with the Hon. Member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Orlikow). That reminds me of when I was in Winnipeg last week and was coming back to Ottawa. I stopped in at the airport and gave them my ticket. The clerk passed me my ticket and said, "Mr. Knowles", so I thanked him for the compliment. I hope that that is a good omen.

The legislation with which we are dealing to establish the Canadian heritage languages institute and the motions that are before us deserve the attention of this Parliament. It is too bad that more time was not spent at committee level in order to deal with this legislation. If that had been the case perhaps there would not have had to have been so many motions before us.

Motion No. 5, which in essence says that the Minister would report on the institute's activities after three years rather than after four years, makes a great deal of common sense. That certainly is not something that always characterizes this place or always characterizes amendments to legislation. This is a good amendment because, if we have the election, as I expect, called tomorrow morning . . .

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   CANADIAN HERITAGE LANGUAGES INSTITUTE ACT
Full View Permalink