Mr. M. A. Hardie (Mackenzie River):
Mr. Speaker, before I comment on the statement made by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, perhaps you would allow me to say a few words on a question of privilege, shall I say. In the past three months there were times when I had serious doubts of ever returning to this house. As hon. members know, cancer is a very emotional word. At the same time, I feel I have come through dark days and am now back in the house to stay for some time.
I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and through you the Prime Minister, the leader of my party, the leader of the C.C.F. and all other members of the house and their wives for what they have done for me and my family over the past few months. I am sure it had a great deal to do with my being here today.
At this time I should also like to express my sincere gratitude to my physician and surgeon, the staff of the Civic hospital and the doctors and staff of the Ontario cancer foundation. They treated me royally. They have done all they can and all I can do now is hope. I also want to express my sincere thanks to the staff of the House of Commons and members of the press gallery. I am sure that each and every one of my many friends in the house, along with my friends from coast to coast and the people of my riding, who sent me cards, letters and telegrams with words of encouragement and who offered their prayers for me have had a great deal to do with my recovery.
As a matter of fact, the other day I was feeling fairly good and I paid a visit to a woman I had met in the hospital a year ago. She told me about an old fellow of about 80 or 85 who lived near her. She said, "Everybody around here is praying for him to live and he should be dead". She said, "I told them to lay off". You know, this business of prayer snowballs. She said, "There is real power in prayer". Before I left she said to me, "Do you want me to put you on my list for a few prayers?" I did not refuse, of course; I said, "If you have that kind of faith and a man who should not be here is here, I would be happy to be on your list".
I also wish to thank my wife who spent many hours waiting at bus stops on her way to and from the hospital to visit me once or twice every day. I say again, ladies and gentlemen of the House of Commons, that I am glad to be back, and I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. I do not think words can express the feelings I have for each of you.
With regard to the statement made by the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources, I am sure the people of the north will be very happy to hear of the new policy on development roads which will provide more flexibility with respect to companies that find ore, in the building of roads to their properties. I am sure the people of the north will agree with me today when I say that I am very happy to have heard the statement of the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources.
Topic: NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Subtopic: YUKON AND NORTHWEST TERRITORIES-EXPANSION OF DEVELOPMENT ROAD CONSTRUCTION