Mr. Ron Basford (Vancouver-Burrard):
Mr. Deputy Speaker, I have enjoyed listening to the last remarks of the hon. member for Queens (Mr. Macquarrie), particularly with regard to closure. I find them a little surprising coming from one who is a supporter of the right hon. gentleman opposite, the former prime minister, who undertook to do away with closure and then immediately imposed his own form of closure by governing the country, or trying to govern the country, by refusing to allow parliament to discuss a budget for two years and by imposing taxation and surcharges by order in council, again without allowing parliament the opportunity of discussing them.
I should like to congratulate you, sir, on your election as chairman of committees and Deputy Speaker, and I ask you to convey to the hon. member for Mount Royal my congratulations on his election as Speaker, which I add to the many already offered him. I am sure Mr. Speaker's conduct in his high office will be such that it will lend to the increasing demand that his appointment be permanent.
I also want to congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) on his election as Prime Minister, and his cabinet colleagues on their appointments. I am sure the trust that millions of Canadians have placed in him will be fully justified. I further want to congratulate the mover and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne on the creditable manner in which they performed their task, which has brought honour and distinction to their respective ridings.
I would like to thank the people of my own riding, particularly those who voted for me and worked so hard on my behalf, for
The Address-Mr. Basford giving to me the opportunity, at a fairly early age, of serving in this house and working with other hon. members in making this country a better place for all of us. I would also like to thank my fellow Liberal party members from British Columbia in doing me the honour of selecting me as chairman of the British Columbia caucus.
I think I speak on behalf of all new members on both sides of the house in thanking those hon. members re-elected in the last election for the very warm and gracious way in which they have welcomed us to the house, and for the very helpful way in which they have endeavoured to get us going on our parliamentary duties.
I have not had the opportunity of talking with the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam (Mr. Douglas), but I am sure when I do his welcome will be tinged with a certain regret because, Mr. Speaker, I have the honour- or at least I regard it as an honour-of belonging to a very select group on this side of the house who defeated New Democratic party members of parliament in the recent election. The N.D.P. group in the house has grown smaller as a result of the April 8 election, and I predict that in the years and the elections to come they will grow smaller still.
If the government is allowed by hon. gentlemen opposite to get on with the job of governing Canada and carrying out its program, of which the speech from the throne is only a first instalment, we will be able to show that this party and this government are the really effective element of reform in Canada, and that the New Democratic party, by fighting or refighting the class wars of 50 years ago, is becoming increasingly old fashioned and out of touch with Canada's twentieth century problems. In passing, I would say to the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge), because I know the N.D.P. well, that I think the Sergeant-at-Arms should be left where he is rather than put in the centre of the aisle.
It is traditional in maiden speeches to describe in some detail the beauties of one's own riding. I -would like to describe the beauties of my riding and of the west coast of Canada, but the beauties of the west coast are so great that they are indescribable. Rather than describe them I would like to invite all hon. members to come out to the west coast of Canada to see the sort of very beautiful country we have there.
To hon. members who do not know my riding I point out that it is purely urban, situated in the central part of Vancouver and having both residential and industrial sections. While I hope to speak from time to time in the
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The Address-Mr. Basford house with regard to problems of special concern to my riding, such as waterfront development, False Creek harbour development and the Kitsilano air force station which is located in it, at the present I just want to mention it is a purely urban and downtown riding.
Because it is situated right in the city of Vancouver, the general prosperity and welfare of the people of my riding, like that of all people in Vancouver, are dependant largely upon the success of Vancouver becoming the major trading port that it can become. At the present time to handle the people and commodities arriving at our international airport and through our harbour, 24 consulates, five trade commissioners, 21 customs house brokers, 15 shipping agents, 47 shipping company representatives and 26 freight forwarders now make Vancouver their operational base. Because of the importance of trade to Vancouver, and because of the importance of Vancouver becoming the trading centre that it can and must become, I welcome the references in the speech from the throne to the fact that the government will pursue an active and expansionist policy with regard to trade. The welfare of Vancouver and the west coast generally depends on Canada having the freest possible degree of trade. In this particular connection I would like to bring to the attention of the Prime Minister and his colleagues the application of the city of Vancouver for a centennial Pacific trade centre. I shall quote briefly from the application of the city of Vancouver with regard to this trade centre:
There is reason to expect Canada's exports to northeast and southeast Asia, Australasia and the west coast of the Americas will flow through British Columbia ports at the rate of more than $2 billion a year a decade from now.
To secure this trebled increase and to improve upon it, and in so doing help correct Canada's urgent imbalance in world trade, requires bold, new-fashioned formulas to withstand competition from the aggressive new Europe and the United States.
The Pacific centennial trade centre is proposed as one such bold, new-fashioned formula.
It is the contention of the city of Vancouver that the centennial Pacific trade centre, bringing together under a common roof all traders with Pacific interests, not only will meet the foreseeable demand but, more, will be the prime agent creating it.
It seeks the impetus of the senior government.
This is an application by the city for the construction of a huge trading centre in Vancouver. I would urge upon the Prime Minister that at the appropriate time he give this application the attention it deserves so that we may have constructed in Vancouver a monument not so much to what has been done as to what the port of Vancouver can become.
My riding of Vancouver-Burrard is wholly urban. Vancouver, like every major city in Canada, has at its centre areas of blight, decay, ruin and slum. While there are many charming residences in my riding, there are also accommodations in which no human being should be expected to live. I am sure some of the agriculturists opposite would refuse to put some of their animals in such accommodation. For this reason I welcome the announcement in the speech from the throne foreshadowing the establishment of a municipal development and loan board as well as changes in the National Housing Act which, I am sure, will provide cities and municipalities with increased financial assistance in respect of slum clearance and urban redevelopment. I would hope that the mayor and aldermen of my city, as well as those of all other Canadian cities, are farsighted and imaginative enough to take full advantage of this municipal program when it is established.
There are those in our cities who regard slum clearance and urban redevelopment as a luxury which municipal taxpayers can ill afford. On the contrary, slum clearance makes good economic sense. Apart entirely from the social and human values involved-and these should not be minimized-it is of real advantage to municipal taxpayers to redevelop their blighted and slum areas. A decayed area brings little or no revenue to a city, yet the major part of every city's police costs, fire costs, welfare and other costs is spent in these non-revenue producing areas. The largest burden for servicing these blighted and decayed areas falls not on those areas but on the non-slum areas. It therefore makes good economic sense for cities to redevelop these areas and bring them back into active and proper use producing tax revenues for their municipalities.
I had not intended to mention anything about the fishing industry but the subject was raised this afternoon by the hon. member for Fraser Valley (Mr. Patterson). I wish to say only that I welcome the statement in the speech from the throne with regard to the establishment of a 12-mile territorial limit recognizing the treaty rights and historic rights of others. I am sure that in the atmosphere which now prevails under a government which is dealing with our friends as friends and not as enemies, we shall shortly be able to establish a 12-mile limit and thus give to our fisheries on both coasts the protection they need.
I should like to compliment the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Robichaud) for having come to British Columbia only a few days after
his appointment and sat down with representatives of our fishing industry, our vessel owners, the union and the native brotherhood to discuss the problems of the industry and to hear the representations, made to him with regard to changes in the international north Pacific fisheries convention. I compliment the hon. gentleman on having taken quick and decisive action in this regard and on saving the NORPAC treaty and the international control of fishing in international waters when it was in great danger of collapse. I disagree with what was said by the hon. member for Fraser Valley and compliment the Minister of Fisheries on his conduct.
I welcome the statement in the speech from the throne that the government will be establishing a commission to study biculturalism. There are those who may wonder why people in British Columbia are concerned about this subject when we are so far removed from the scene of action but I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we as Canadians are as concerned as anyone else about the present stresses and strains within our confederation. I hope this royal commission will produce at least some of the answers to the problem. I hope that all Canadians, whether we be English speaking or French speaking, will act with understanding and maturity because, if we do, we can surely provide a system by which the rights and privileges of all Canadians are protected and recognized within confederation.
However, in this discussion of biculturalism let us not forget another group of Canadians, those who have come from afar to make their homes in Canada. I ask the indulgence of the house before reading part of a letter which was delivered to me on election day. I might add that it made the afternoon of election day a little more pleasant.
I am authorized by a few dozen naturalized new Canadians to address myself to you on behalf of all of us.
Having discussed thoroughly the question of voting today, we have decided all to vote for the Liberal party on April 8, 1963.
The motives of our unanimous decision were:
We have full confidence as working people and as members of an ethnic group that the Liberal party government will secure for us more jobs, and that the new Liberal government will have also more understanding for our own, as well as for all Canadian ethnic groups, their cultural, social and political needs and aspirations.
Please convey this our feeling of confidence directly to the hon. Lester B. Pearson with the expression of our highest esteem for him.
I urge the house not to forget in our consideration of biculturalism that there are thousands of people, those of whom the hon. member for Spadina (Mr. Ryan) spoke so eloquently, who have come to Canada to build new homes and new lives. In some cases the countries from which they came have been
The Address-Mr. J. H. Horner destroyed or have disappeared. These people want to play their part, and an important part, in helping to build this country into the great nation which I am sure it can become.
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY