William Gordon RITCHIE

RITCHIE, William Gordon, M.D.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Dauphin (Manitoba)
Birth Date
September 27, 1918
Deceased Date
November 20, 1998
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Ritchie
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=b0dc3ba1-fe48-402c-abb0-275ec311bb8d&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
physician, surgeon

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Dauphin (Manitoba)
October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
PC
  Dauphin (Manitoba)
July 8, 1974 - March 26, 1979
PC
  Dauphin (Manitoba)
May 22, 1979 - December 14, 1979
PC
  Dauphin (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 197)


March 19, 1979

Mr. Gordon Ritchie (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, on December 22 I asked the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Buchanan) a question regarding Mr. Yalden's report. The question arises over an item in which Mr. Yalden stated that there are many people who are classified officially bilingual but who are not in fact. We have heard a great deal about this problem, and the debate on bilingualism increases. I do not think that this increase in the level of discussion is meant with any malice, but it is a very serious matter, is very divisive, at least in the eyes of most, and it is not getting at the real cause of the problem.

The Commissioner of Official Languages in his statement was critical especially of English-speaking public servants who were declared bilingual and who were receiving salaries commensurate with this classification. It was suggested that some of these people could not discuss last night's hockey game in the second official language.

The news item implied that most offenders were something that they really were not, and they were English-speaking public servants. In fact, anyone who deals with government realizes that many French-speaking civil servants are unable to perform adequately in the second official language. This is not meant on my part as an indictment of any particular person. It is always difficult to work in a second language without long practice and repeated use of that second language. This is perhaps only an illustration of the emotion with which this problem is posed to Canadians.

It is perhaps easy for national politicians to come forward with some solutions, and it is easy to say that if only certain concessions are made to the citizens of Quebec all would be well. The fundamental problem is not one of bilingualism, but what the relationship of Quebec with the rest of Canada might

Adjournment Debate

be. When one observes what has happened in the last ten to 12 years in Quebec I think one can get some indication of how the people in that province feel. Whether they were Union Nationale, Liberals, or now of the Parti Quebecois, in the last dozen years they have wanted to preserve their own cultural identity, their customs and language, and to make what they consider is a better place for themselves in their own province.

I would not want to disregard their aspirations, but all of these efforts are at the expense of Canada. There is little difference between Bill 22 and Bill 101. While Quebeckers wished to have a uniquely French language and culture, they have complained that in the rest of Canada the French language and culture should be maintained for their benefit.

A prominent person on the Ontario educational TV network made it clear that he was talking about language and culture. He wanted to have a language and culture that was French in nature wherever he went in the rest of Canada. For him this was not wrong in itself, and it is understandable, but it creates problems for the rest of Canada which may never be resolved. Indeed, to accede to this person's point of view would mean that other languages and cultures would take a back seat-in effect, a type of melting pot culture.

We have borrowed much from Britain which, over the centuries, has absorbed waves of refugees from Europe. In fact this makes the present British culture. In the last two centuries we have had the American tradition, which again has meant the assimilation of many peoples of different languages and cultures, with a type of English language with its own distinctive Americanism. I think this is an important facet of Canadi-anism outside the province of Quebec, where the melting-pot function is at work with the fusion of many peoples into one Canadian identity.

Therefore, the aspirations of the people of Quebec in the language and culture idea are diametrically opposed to the assimilation and melding of various peoples. Few of the various races that make up the Canadian mosaic outside the province of Quebec are interested in maintaining their own language and culture to the exclusion of the Canadian identity. Looked at in this light, it seems hardly likely that the present system of bilingualism, which was of necessity present in the civil service long before this legislation was conceived, is the best basis on which the Quebecois and the rest of Canada can continue and have a lasting arrangement. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION
Subtopic:   OFFICIAL LANGUAGES-ALLEGED IMPROPER DESIGNATION OF "BILINGUAL"
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March 19, 1979

Mr. Gordon Ritchie (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of National Health and Welfare. In view of the minister's concern over the number of physicians opting out of medical care and the possible erosion of the universality principle, and in view of the fact that the widely accepted principle of opting out by provincial Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Social Credit jurisdictions-particularly the NDP in Saskatchewan, one of the most liberal-does the minister consider that this long-standing opting out principle should be terminated or restricted?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   DOCTORS OPTING OUT OF MEDICAL CARE PROGRAM
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March 19, 1979

Mr. Gordon Ritchie (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words on this amendment. I think perhaps we

March 19, 1979

have not looked at all at the problems that are associated with the shortage of oil and with the problems in Iran. We have to remember that Iran, which most western countries had considered to be a stable country, turned out not to be very stable but a real pushover. There are those who consider Iran is in for much more turmoil down the road before things settle there. The facts are that Imperial Oil, which was buying oil directly from Venezuela, had lost its share to its parent company, Exxon, and the force majeure applied by Exxon was against Canadian interests. But we benefited from other aspects, and this is not something that Petro-Can would be able to do.

There were a number of Canadian subsidiaries of international oil companies which were dependent on Iranian oil, and curtailment of crude supplies since the Khomeini revolt began has caused most of them serious dislocations and logistical problems. British Petroleum Ltd., which got about 30 per cent of its crude supplies from Iran, was forced to impose force majeure, rationing on deliveries to affiliates, including BP Canada Ltd. Petrofina Canada Ltd., thought to use 100 per cent Iranian crude for its refinery feedstock, also has had a problem in obtaining crude supplies because its parent, Petrofina Belgium, buys 25 per cent of its crude supplies from British Petroleum. Gulf Canada, Ltd. depended entirely on Iranian oil for its Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, refinery. But once production slowed in Iran, Gulf, through its parent, Gulf Oil Corporation, managed to load an ultra large crude carrier in Kuwait with 2.3 million barrels of crude, enough to keep Point Tupper going for six weeks. Last week another half-loaded ultra large carrier left Kuwait also headed for Point Tupper. Had we had direct-to-direct dealings, this oil would not have been available for Canadian use and certainly we would have lost. Presumably the minister is intending to make all or nearly all deals directly with Venezuela. All the indications are that Mexico will not be a major producer of oil for some years down the road.

When President Carter went looking for oil and gas on his visit to Mexico, he pretty well got the cold shoulder. The Mexicans said that they were not likely to give much oil to the United States, and in fact they berated the Americans for not taking their overflow in surplus population which they have in much greater quantity than oil.

What about the value of oil swaps directly or direct contracts from one government company to another? Should we take and put our eggs in the Venezuelan basket? We must remember that Venezuela has cut back its oil production 50 per cent since 1970. So the question arises as to whether there will be further cuts in Venezuelan oil because Venezuelans are worried about their supplies. Is Venezuela any more of a stable country than Iran was? On the surface it is not nearly as stable.

I should like to refer to the Euromoney Currency Report wherein it refers to Venezuela. It reads as follows:

President Carlos Andreas Perez, elected in 1973 to preside over the OPEC bonanza, leaves office on March 12. He is succeeded by the Christian Democrats of Luis Herrara Campins. Retrenchment and austerity are certain. Exchange

Energy Supplies

controls and import restrictions will be the first line of defence for the bolivar but no Venezuelan expects them to work. Devaluation is necessary to cut the import bill. Political necessity dictates it should be soon, while the blame can be put on Perez. Expect a significant depreciation, say 15 per cent, perhaps in March. Where possible, local borrowing should be increased.

The ambitious industrial plans are running late and massively over budget. The trade account was in the red by almost $3 billion last year-the first deficit for 50 years.

It is relatively greater than ours. This is with all the Venezuelan oil to sell. It continues:

The Central Bank estimates the current account shortfall was $6 billion, and foreign exchange reserves have fallen despite an orgy of foreign borrowing. Import growth remains around 25 per cent. Inflation is widely reckoned at 20 per cent although officially suppressed by price controls and subsidies, which Herrera is pledged to reduce. The money supply is only just being brought under control, decelerating to a 15 per cent growth rate. The largest commercial bank, BND, has become a spectacular casualty, nationalized to prevent a liquidity crisis turning into a widespread banking collapse.

That is the state of Venezuela. It does not have a particularly strong economy. As we realize, in South American countries there are frequent changes in government of a military type. To load on Petro-Canada all of the responsibilities of buying oil offshore seems to be putting all our eggs in one basket. It is not necessarily the best way out. That is all I should like to say about this amendment before the House.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ENERGY SUPPLIES EMERGENCY ACT, 1979
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March 8, 1979

Mr. Gordon Ritchie (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the right hon. Prime Minister. As the new chairman of the National Commission on Inflation will be Mr. Renouf, who will be bringing with him many members of the disbanded Anti-Inflation Board, is the Prime Minister preparing for the reimposition of wage and price controls, particularly in view of the fact that he suggested last night the economy was zig-zagging?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
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March 8, 1979

Mr. Gordon Ritchie (Dauphin):

Mr. Speaker, I would direct this question to the Minister of Finance. Will the new NCI be making its reports directly to the government, or to the public, as the now defunct CSIP did so the government could be aware of what its reports contained before communication to the public?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REPORTS SUBMITTED BY NATIONAL COMMISSION ON INFLATION
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