Personal Data

Social Credit
Témiscamingue (Quebec)
Birth Date
February 16, 1940
Deceased Date
August 13, 2009
administrator, draftsman, research director, technician

Parliamentary Career

October 30, 1972 - May 9, 1974
  Charlevoix (Quebec)
May 24, 1977 - March 26, 1979
  Témiscamingue (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 54 of 54)

January 25, 1973

Mr. Gilles Caouette (Charlevoix):

Mr. Speaker, to follow up yesterday's remarks, I must say that I quite appreciated the speech of the member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) who spoke before me.

I said I was astonished by the government about-face but I gradually learned that this is common policy for Liberal and Progressive Conservative members. The hon. member clearly illustrated the whims of the old parties.

But despite the accusations and the comments made on the bill under debate, I cannot find in this legislation any corrective to the problems posed by the Unemployment Insurance Act. As I said yesterday, this is only a cover for the incompetence of the minister and of his department.

They prefer delaying and perpetuating the farce by introducing new legislation such as Bill C-125.

January 25, 1973

But as a Conservative member said this bill is in fact a blank check for this government and nothing else. Why should we lose our time? On the one hand the government tries to justify its attitude and on the other the official opposition obviously wants to replace this government, though it would probably act in the same way.

What course would the Progressive Conservative party have taken in similar circumstances? Exactly the same as this government, which in fact amounts to saving one's face or saving one's skin.

Saving their face is more important than solving problems. Why not once and for all stop pursuing an ostrich policy and introduce a bill serving the interests of the Canadian people instead of those of the political schemers.

The important point is to give justice to the people but, generally speaking, the Unemployment Insurance Act is nothing more than a palliative for the sores caused by backward administrations.

They still persist in playing at being inquisitors. Indeed, even unemployment insurance officials are fed up with that legislation and they are the first to say that the problems keep growing from day to day since this new act came into force.

Above all, let us not question the workers. I know some who have already proferred threats and who are ready to clean out the local offices. I am prepared to cool or restrain their temper a bit, but never, Mr. Speaker, shall I defend the present system of inquisition under which individual integrity is jeopardized. Why wouldn't the government introduce a bill on a guaranteed minimum salary for all people or on that national dividend advocated by the Social Credit party?

Mr. Speaker, such a formula would not cast doubts on a person's integrity but would ensure a living to the worker, despite disruption of his employment, and that at the very moment he has no work.

The unemployment man would not be forced as he is now to wait for ten, 12 or even 15 weeks to obtain what he is entitled to, what is his due, what today a silly legislation takes away from him or makes available to him only after delays accountable to lack of funds, as now is the case.

Mr. Speaker, I will go even further. The national dividend formula would not put the government in the situation where it is now because it would be possible to do the estimates, which would be better than using variables and imponderables as a basis. The junior experts of the government would evaluate real data such as population, production, and the consumers' purchasing power. On a quarterly basis, these data would indicate the amount available for each individual. Willingly or not, whether it found funny or not our requests for higher old age security pensions in 1962, 1963, 1965, 1968 and again today, the government will have to use this solution. I believe of course that it might prefer to be mentioned in history as an expert in concealment. But I think, for its information, that the time has come to find modern solutions to modern problems. Unlike some of my colleagues, I do not think that the government is responsible because I do not consider it intelligent enough to cause the problems. It is

Unemployment Insurance Act

satisfied with justifying its errors by introducing legislation such as Bill C-124.

Mr. Speaker, it is infortunate to say so, but have we ever seen anything more stupid than a man who refuses to understand? Let us look at the group of members to my left and we will understand. Take them individually, and speak to them. They are intelligent, they accept our points of view, they suggest theirs but when they get together, no dice. It is impossible to get the tiniest spark of intelligence out of them.

Frankly, it is frustrating to see the inability of the government to get off the beaten path. Perhaps we should tell them about Henry Ford's technique when he was confronted with a problem that appeared insoluble. For example, when he wanted to install a one piece windshield on automobiles, he consulted his engineers and his experts who mathematically proved the impossibility of realizing such a dream. Mr. Ford then went to students, non-experts, and he ordered them to solve the problem by organizing contests and he finally got the results we know of. Why such success? Merely because Henry Ford applied the first major principle in administration: when you are faced with a problem, don't limit yourselves to the particulars. Wider the scope. Get off the beaten track. Stop patching the inner tube and invent the tubeless tire. That is the solution.

The government should stop introducing bills to excuse itself and bring forth legislation that really meets the needs and the rights of the individuals: then and only then it will respect its mandate as the people's representative instead of the financiers' who prefer to take advantage of the poeple.

Mr. Speaker, in conclusion I would like to bring up the subject again and ask hon. members how much interest they pay when they take a $1 bill from their right pocket and change it for four quarters which they put in their left pocket? I am sure that you would all answer: Are you crazy? Why should I charge myself interest? I therefore ask them to read carefully clause 2 of the bill and to transpose my question. Then they will understand the spirit of the bill and the Social Credit argument.

Anyhow, Mr. Speaker, since the funds provided under the warrants which the bill seeks to bury are already spent or will soon be, I think that it is advisable to let bygones be bygones and let it pass as an administrative experience, hoping that the government will learn one day to introduce realistic bills.

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January 24, 1973

Mr. Caouette (Charlevoix):

Six o'clock.

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January 24, 1973

Mr. Gilles Caouette (Charlevoix):

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to waste the time of the House because I feel that the bill now under consideration is a mere joke.

During the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, I stated that I was surprised by the cheekiness of the government members who said one thing, but acted otherwise.

Today, once again the government shows its inconsistency. When I compare the comments of the President of the Treasury Board (Mr. Drury) in his statement before the Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates with the bill now under consideration, I am disgusted.

A press release dated January 17, 1973 and entitled "Comments on proposed amendment to the Unemployment Insurance Act concerning total advances" reads in part as follows:

This bill recommends the elimination of the $800 million ceiling on total advances. Such a ceiling is not realistic since it is based on unstable factors such as national and regional unemployment rates, average income rates and labour force expansion.

In committee the necessity of ceilings is confirmed while in the House it is denied. One could believe that the government is taking us for clowns or more exactly for chickens. It is intellectual indecency or unconsciousness on the part of the government. Perhaps you think that I am joking but I will quote the President of the Treasury Board.

On page 25 of issue No. 2 of the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee on Miscellaneous Estimates you will find the following question from the member for Yukon (Mr. Nielsen) and I quote:

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January 19, 1973

Mr. Gilles Caouette (Charlevoix):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Public Works.

Is the minister considering a change in the standards governing retaining walls along the banks of the St. Lawrence river?

Subtopic:   PUBLIC WORKS
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January 10, 1973

Mr. Gilles Caouette (Charlevoix):

Mr. Speaker, despite what my father may have said in his last speech, you will forgive me for not speaking to you in Ukranian. Unhappily, years have gone by and I have lost practice of this language.

Nevertheless, you will understand how excited I am to take the floor for the first time in this House, knowing the qualities and the competence of all my colleagues. One feels very small and nervous when one has to take the floor.

Mr. Speaker, like those who spoke before me, I wish to take advantage of the first opportunity to congratulate you as well as your deputies. I wish you had been beside me, like at the opening of the session, in order to benefit from your advice about Standing Orders and the procedures of this House. However, I know your fairness and I understand that, even from your chair, you will be able if not to advise me at least to show tolerance towards me and all the new members.

Mr. Speaker, given the very special circumstances which make me sit in this House during the same session and at the same time as my father, I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to thank him for all he has done for me. Without his efforts, both physical and intellectual, I should certainly not be here today to represent the people from Charlevoix. His determination, his work and his earnestness have been and continue to be a source of inspiration for all of us, especially for me. If a politician was able to defend and represent the essence of Canadian unity, I think he is the most outstanding example in Canada and that he still has a lot to teach, especially to the Progressive Conservative members.

I note with pleasure that, according to his habits, he can still criticize his opponents' actions, but unlike the other leaders of opposition parties, I must admit that his criticism is always followed by positive suggestions designed to improve situations. Therefore, I hope, Mr. Speaker, to be in a position to follow his example and that I will be given an opportunity to remain as deeply humane as he was.

Mr. Speaker, what strikes me particularly in the Speech from the Throne is the ease with which the party in office can write something and act in a thoroughly opposite way. Mention is made of equality of opportunities for all Canadians, of social justice. However, if ever one party acted dishonestly during the last election that party was indeed the Liberal party. At the very moment speeches mentioned justice, respect for the individual, respect for the law, mayors in parishes and provincial civil servants were being used to implement campaign patronage.

For instance, in La Malbaie, the social welfare cheques were delivered from door to door, on Sunday night, on the eve of the vote. And in Saint-Fereol, on voting day the mayor was driving the electors in his car, while providing liquor. Of course, I will admit that to vote Liberal, one has to be somewhat intoxicated, but this cannot be called justice.

Mr. Speaker, when people have money, they think they are allowed to do anything. They will even offer $50 per family to get votes. Then, on the opening of parliament,

equality of opportunities is being extolled. Mr. Speaker, I must confess that in the Speech from the Throne I should have like to see the government pledging itself to give up all electoral gangsterism and to promote once for all a sound and honest democracy. But, on the contrary, the election is hardly over that the defeated Liberal candidate travels through the constituency and tells the people, and I quote his words:

If you do not get on our bandwagon, your local initiative project will be rejected, and I will see to it personally.

Mr. Speaker, these things happen in Charlevoix. The guilty ones are the Liberals who are now promising equality for all. I must say that as far as honesty and respect for democracy are concerned, I have seen better.

Mr. Speaker, I would hope that the Speech from the Throne will not be, as usual, a screen of hypocrisy, but the indication of a new government orientation. Whatever is being said by some experts, I think there is always room for rehabilitation as long as the brain is not too badly affected.

Mr. Speaker, on the subject of the Speech from the Throne, I can detect the likelihood of a conference between Quebec and Ottawa as the government wishes to, and I quote:

-increase employment opportunities in Canada.

And the only genuine expert in the matter is in Quebec. I therefore hope that the federal experience will not end up as that of Quebec with "Bob the job".

However, I would like to point out to the government that in a society such as ours, it would be high time for the authorities to refrain from hoodwinking the people and admitting that we have reached cross-roads. Either automation is encouraged and administration is planned so as to enable the individuals to profit by the technique used as a substitute for work through additional social measures, or automation is restricted and the individuals remain enslaved to manual labour.

It is quite well to promise jobs, but it would be proper to recognize the human genius and consider the drastic change due to machinery. It rests with the government to make possible changes, but instead of thinking it delights in the electoral demagogy of irresponsible promises. They promise an expanding economy, but they deny to the citizens of a whole riding even the right to live. They talk about aid to tourism, while at Pointe-au-Pic, a port in my riding-a natural oasis for tourists-they refuse access to this place to tourists. They spend millions to create parks and they forget to develop natural tourist attractions on the shores of the St. Lawrence.

In order to get votes, at Riviere-du-Loup, they invest-or rather I should say that they sink-$12 million in a place where sardines are stranded, while on the other shore of the river, the mere fact of improving a wharf would facilitate the development of a sea port to accommodate the biggest ships, as well as smaller ones.

For the past 15 years, they abandon wharfs in Charlevoix. Some are cut in half, others are breaking down at the bottom, under the action of erosion and sink into the river, a situation that has been experienced for the past 15

January 10,1973

years. But finally here we have the government undertaking in the Speech from the Throne to encourage tourism. So we hope that, contrary to his wont, the leader of the government will accept to visit the riding of Charlevoix to become aware of the already existing but undeveloped touristic possibilities and the amount of investment needed to make this area of the country profitable for the population which has now been reduced to asking for the designation of special area.

Mr. Speaker, reducing regional disparities, checking excessive urban development, those are reasons that lead me to suggest to the government that it become aware of the possibilities offered by the riding of Charlevoix so that it may keep its promises.

Now that they have put an end to the ferry service at Les Escoumins, which is unfair to forest producers, they are not sure whether they will provide the grants needed for the maintenance of the Forestville airport, thus depriving citizens of transportation in case of emergency. They let the sea invade the land in Portneuf because they would rather study erosion than prevent landslides by merely building a retaining wall. People like the inhabitants of Ile-aux-Coudres are left without emergency transportation service, because the authorities will not repair the piers so as to enable ships to dock along the island at night. Should an emergency arise, people are left to die because they are not important, or so it seems. Such was the attitude of the government in the past. Those are all examples, Mr. Speaker, of opportunities for the government to create jobs for people and to reduce regional disparities.

Mr. Speaker, the present state of mind of the minority government and the good will it demonstrated in the

The Address-Mr. G. Caouette

Speech from the Throne make me feel optimistic about the development of my riding but only the future will prove the seriousness of the government and its will to help the people, in particular those of Charlevoix.

In closing, I should like to remind my colleagues that, if before October 30 we were all candidates for a party, on the night of October 30 we were elected, by democratic process, members of a riding; but, and this I stress, once elected we not only represent those who voted for us but all Canadians. I trust that each one of us will remember, during the debates, when votes are taken, that parliament represents every single elector in each of our ridings.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the voters of the riding of Charlevoix for electing me and I hope to prove to them that they made the right decision by offering my services to each and every one, whether they vote for me or not. As member for Charlevoix I intend to serve all the people.

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