Tuesday 19 February 1991

Ernest Guiste

Jean Mongenais

Committee of Native Justice

Ann Ilijanic

Victoria Billingsley

Michael Hall

John Meyer

W. D. Lowe Secondary School

Paul Paolatto

Kathy Korenich

Evening sitting

Honourable Howard Pawley

Le Réseau des femmes du Sud de l'Ontario

Morgan Elliott

Cheryl Lucier

Ron Wagenberg

Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario

Traditional Teaching Circle Inc

Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens

Aînés francophones du Sud-Ouest de l'Ontario

Windsor Occupational Health and Safety Council

Walter J. Temelini

Wayne Manley



Chair: Silipo, Tony (Dovercourt NDP)
Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South NDP)
Beer, Charles (York North L)
Churley, Marilyn (Riverdale NDP)
Eves, Ernie L. (Parry Sound PC)
Harnick, Charles (Willowdale PC)
Harrington, Margaret H. (Niagara Falls NDP)
Malkowski, Gary (York East NDP)
Offer, Steven (Mississauga North L)
O'Neill, Yvonne (Ottawa Rideau L)
Wilson, Fred (Frontenac-Addington NDP)
Winninger, David (London South NDP)


Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC) for Mr Harnick
Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich NDP) for Mr F. Wilson
MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton NDP) for Ms Harrington

Manikel, Tannis


Kaye, Philip, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office
Murray, Paul, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office

The committee met at 1536 at the Teutonia Club, Windsor.

The Chair: I call the meeting to order and welcome those people who are here with us in Windsor at the Teutonia Club. This is the select committee on Ontario in Confederation. We are continuing our hearings throughout the province and are here in Windsor today.

We want, first of all, to apologize because of the delay. We have had two weeks of travel throughout the north and central part of the province with the weather co-operating fully, and it was not until we started out from Toronto that we had a problem with fog and being delayed. We have some members of our committee who are missing, who are still on their way trying to get here.

I should also point out that because of the problems we do not have all of our interpreters here. As a result -- this is perhaps more of significance to the people who may be following our proceedings over the parliamentary network -- for the time being we have only the one interpreter here able to interpret from French into English. We apologize for that to those in the audience and particularly to those people who may be following us through the parliamentary channel who will not be able to follow our proceedings in French. We are trying to rectify that, we are trying to find some additional interpreters. If we are able to do that we will add to that. We thought it was more important to begin the proceedings than to delay much longer, so we will be proceeding in that way. For those people here in the audience who may require interpreting from French into English there are interpreting devices available at the back of the hall, and people can sign those out and use those.

Because of the delay, we are going to sit from now till about 5 o'clock or a little after and then take a short break and come back and go till 9 or afterwards if need be, and try to get through as many of the speakers as we can. I would also ask speakers to help us out by limiting presentations, if you are individuals, to 10 minutes, and to 15 to 20 minutes if you are groups. That is the only way, quite frankly, we are going to be able to get through. Once again, we apologize for that, but it is something outside of our control.

I know that in addition to the people we have on our lists there are other people who have indicated an interest in speaking. We will do our best to accommodate that, but that also will be subject to the time the people who are on the list will take. Again, for that reason we would appreciate your understanding in trying to help us get through as best we can.


The Chair: I call Ernest Guiste to come forward.

Mr Guiste: I appreciate this opportunity to share my views with you on the Canadian Constitution and Ontario's role in the important task of re-evaluating and reconstructing the Canadian Confederation.

Ontarians and all Canadians face a formidable challenge. This challenge lies in defining how and to what extent we will reconstruct the Canadian Confederation. The failure of the Meech Lake constitutional accord and the continuing struggles of Mohawk and aboriginal peoples in our country tell us in no uncertain terms that we must re-evaluate and reconstruct Canadian Confederation if we wish to maintain the Canada we know and love.

The task of reconstruction will be a great one. However, we must not be overwhelmed by the challenge. From our history and the history of other great nations, we have learned that where there is no struggle there is no progress. The task of reconstruction will require a combination of hard work, commitment, compromise and understanding among the parties, namely, the federal government, the provinces and the aboriginal peoples of Canada.

The success or failure of our efforts will be significantly influenced by the manner in which we utilize our recent experience from Meech Lake. If we are to succeed, we must learn from our mistakes. The approach of hammering out a deal and rolling the dice must be avoided.

We must recognize from the outset that our goal is not to rubber-stamp all of Quebec's demands. That is not to say that our goal is to exclude Quebec from Confederation. We must be very cautious of giving away the store or throwing the baby out with the bathwater in an effort to score political points.

The task ahead of us will require much reflection and much dialogue. The process of reflection and dialogue must include Canadians from all walks of life. It will require that as Canadians we reflect on what Canada means to us and what kind of federal relationship we desire. All Canadians must reflect seriously on Quebec's grievances and what Quebec means to us. In addition, Canadians must reflect on the horrid images of Oka and respond to the cries of aboriginal peoples to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness.

Having grown up in Quebec, my Canada includes Quebec. I have very fond memories of my years in Quebec. Anyone who has travelled to Alma, Trois-Rivières or even Montreal can readily testify to the cultural distinctiveness of Quebec. In my view, Quebec's desire to maintain and protect its cultural and linguistic identity is entirely consistent with the Canadian vision of a bilingual, multiracial and multicultural society.

I have great difficulty, however, in accepting the argument that this goal is somehow unattainable in Confederation. I am confident that with a little hard work, some commitment, a bit of compromise and much understanding and dialogue we can be successful in reconstructing Confederation in a manner that will be acceptable to all Canadians. In my view, any form of reconstruction must include a strong central government.

The new Confederation must be one in which the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed in the charter are respected from coast to coast for all Canadians. The new Confederation must be one in which the federal government can influence and ensure economic stability and prosperity throughout Canada.

Thank you very much. I would be happy to respond to any of your questions.

Mr Malkowski: I appreciate the perspective given us in your presentation. I am wondering what you think of the Allaire report from Quebec and the 22 recommendations of that report. What is your feeling on this?

Mr Guiste: Having reviewed the Allaire report -- I would imagine most of us have; it has been pretty predominant in the media -- I look at it as a sort of starting point for negotiations. I do not think Anglo-Canadians should view the Allaire report as written in stone. I think Mr Rémillard and other members of Mr Bourassa's caucus have signalled that. I think Quebec is in a situation where, as we all know, there are historical events and consequences that have caused it to be concerned, rightly so, about its linguistic and cultural identity. To respond to the question, I do not think it is written in stone, and I think we should consider it and work from there.

Mr Beer: The question of Quebec's place in Canada and how we deal with that with respect to the other provinces: Is it your view that you would not like to see a Canada in which Quebec had a special status or was said to be a distinct society? Do you think all the provinces, whatever the powers that are distributed, should be the same or can you see a way in which Quebec might be treated differently?

Mr Guiste: As I mentioned in my presentation, the view I take is that it is pretty self-evident that Quebec is a distinct society. When we get into talking constitutional terms, I do not think any province in the country should have greater rights than another province. That is not to say, however, that we are unable to accommodate the interests of Quebec. As I mentioned earlier in my brief, the whole notion of Quebec's interest in its language and culture, etc, can be very adequately accommodated within Confederation. I really am against having a province or any group of Canadians having greater rights than other Canadians.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Guiste.


The Chair: I call Jean Mongenais.

M. Mongenais : Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, bonjour.

Quelques notes personnelles : je demeure à Windsor depuis l'âge de deux ans. Je suis enseignant ; j'ai enseigné dans les écoles secondaires de la région depuis une trentaine d'années et je suis aussi rédacteur de l'hebdomadaire de langue française de la région qui se nomme Le Rempart.

Je conserve l'optimisme qu'il est encore possible de bâtir ensemble un nouveau pays sur la terre que nous appelons le Canada, mais à mon avis cela n'est possible que s'il est perçu véritablement, de part et d'autre, comme un véritable partenariat où il y a eu égard aux droits et au bien-être des groupes autochtones ainsi que des autres communautés qui sont venues se joindre à nous au cours des années. Il existe quand même un vrai partenariat où les deux groupes linguistiques principaux ont en main tous les outils qu'ils croient nécessaires pour évoluer à titre égal, pour se développer comme communauté culturelle et sociale.

Je ne suis pas du tout expert contitutionnaliste, alors je n'ai pas de suggestions quant aux documents légaux nécessaires pour accomplir cela. D'ailleurs, je crois que ce sont les attitudes des gens et des législateurs qui compteront beaucoup plus parce que même avec une constitution assez souple, si les attitudes convenables n'y sont pas, on n'arrive à rien. Et même avec un document confédératif qui peut paraître un peu plus rigide, si les bonnes attitudes sont là on peut arriver à nos fins. Et c'est justement sur la question d'attitude que je vais vous adresser quelques paroles.


Je crois, j'espère avec raison, qu'un très grand nombre d'anglophones au pays sont prêts à bâtir un pays basé sur ce principe de partenariat et à faire les accommodements nécessaires. Cependant, et surtout au cours des dernières années, ce n'est qu'une petite minorité de ce groupe qui ne partage pas cette vision, qui n'est pas prête à faire les accommodements nécessaires, qui s'exprime le plus.

J'espère que les travaux de cette commission permettront d'une part, au nom du gouvernement de l'Ontario, que ce gouvernement en effet s'exprime clairement dans cet ordre d'idées que je préconise ; deuxièmement, qu'à titre de gouvernement de la province la plus peuplée du pays, il exerce son influence sur les autres gouvernements provinciaux pour les influencer dans ce sens ; et troisièmement, que cette commission invite les anglophones particuliers, groupes petits et gros, qui désirent établir ce genre de partenariat de l'exprimer haut, clairement et fort partout au pays pour que ce soit clair aux francophones qui eux ont exprimé clairement et continuent à exprimer clairement ce qu'ils croient nécessaire pour se sentir à l'aise dans le pays et pour qu'ils puissent croire que la majorité anglophone est prête à dialoguer sur ce principe-là.

Thank you very much.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Thank you very much for your presentation. You were answering my question, as you were proceeding, about the leadership role. You obviously think Ontario should take a leadership role.

Mr Mongenais: Definitely.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Could you say a little more about the specifics of that from your perspective?

Mr Mongenais: In the very recent past, Ontario has gone a long way towards creating the type of society in which both major linguistic groups can feel at home and can have a hand, can possess themselves of the instruments they need to develop culturally. I am obviously talking about the francophones in Ontario. I think there are still some gains to be made, but certainly they have been really great in the last few years, the last 5 or 10 years perhaps. On the one hand, I think we can stand as an example of an anglophone province, of a majority English province, where the francophones' rights are adequately respected and developed and where the francophones are given the instruments to use themselves to develop as a cultural group. Second, I would hope the politicians of this province can use their influence, on a personal level if necessary, to convince the politicians of other provinces of the possibilities here. Does that answer your question?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Yes, thank you.

M. Beer : Est-ce que vous pensez que la communauté francophone de l'Ontario peut jouer un rôle avec les Québécois francophones ? Quand vous parlez de partenariats, est-ce qu'il y a quelque chose de spécial que notre communauté francophone peut faire pour mieux expliquer aux Québécois pourquoi il faut quand même essayer de redéfinir le pays, de reconstruire le pays, ou est-ce que vous pensez que ce serait difficile ?

M. Mongenais : La question est nécessairement difficile. Je pense qu'en principe la réponse à votre question est oui, mais il faudrait que je réfléchisse beaucoup pour pouvoir préciser exactement comment. Cependant, les deux points que j'ai donnés en réponse à votre collègue s'y appliquent. Nous avons toujours comparé les francophones de l'Ontario aux anglophones du Québec pour dire que nous ne jouissons pas de tous les droits et c'est encore un peu vrai, mais de moins en moins et nous continuons.

La gouvernement actuel s'est déjà engagé -- je pense spécifiquement à la question, par exemple, des collèges communautaires dans le nord et le sud de la province à titre d'un exemple -- à continuer dans cette voie. S'il reste encore un écart, il est à se rétrécir et je pense que si, à titre de représentants du gouvernement et de la communauté francophone nous affichions clairement devant le Canada que c'est dans cette voie-là que comme province nous sommes engagés et que nous nous engageons à poursuivre, ça peut être un exemple, ça devrait pouvoir se faire donc à la grandeur du pays. Il faudrait bien réfléchir aux mécanismes pour le faire efficacement.

M. Bisson : Je suis d'accord avec vous que la plupart dans le pays sont pas mal tolérants. Comment peut-on démontrer au Québec qu'il y a de l'accord au pays, de la tolérance envers nos confrères au Québec ? Qu'est-ce qu'on a besoin de faire ici en Ontario pour leur faire savoir que oui, on veut écouter, on veut négocier ?

M. Mongenais : Je pense deux choses, Monsieur Bisson. D'abord, le dire clairement comme gouvernement, il va sans dire, parce que c'est quand même le gouvernement qui parle en notre nom. Mais malheureusement, au Québec ce sont les petits événements -- je les appelle petits ; c'est peut-être symbolique, ça représente les petits esprits, d'ailleurs -- ce sont quelques incidents contraires à cet esprit qui ont continuellement fait les manchettes, et ça se comprend parce que c'est toujours ce qui va mal qui fait plus la manchette ; on ne parle pas tellement de ce qui va bien.

La deuxième chose qui serait nécessaire c'est que justement de la population en général s'élève ce cri, cet engagement. Il faudrait que la commission encourage toutes les sociétés privées -- je ne dis pas commerciales -- les groupes, les groupements, les associations provinciales et régionales, les individus de langue anglaise surtout, de l'exprimer pour que le message passe que ce n'est pas simplement un voeu pieux exprimé par le gouvernement mais que ça représente vraiment la volonté du peuple.

C'est regrettable, peut-être, mais je pense à l'exemple du fameux piétinement du drapeau dans une ville ontarienne qu'on a affiché partout pendant je ne sais pas combien de semaines et qui représentait très peu d'efforts de la part des gens qui l'ont fait et ensuite, qu'un certain nombre d'anglophones de cette communauté, à leur propre frais, si je ne fais pas d'erreur, et donc en donnant beaucoup plus d'eux-mêmes, au coût de beaucoup plus d'efforts et d'argent, se sont rendus au Québec pour faire le geste de s'excuser. Mais je soupçonne que 90% des Québécois ne le savent même pas et c'est le premier. C'est pour ça que c'est très difficile à faire, évidemment, mais il doit y avoir des moyens de le faire au moins aussi bien que possible que des individus. Quand la ville de Sault-Sainte-Marie s'est déclarée unilingue, un certain nombre de conseils d'autres villes se sont très vite hâtés pour exprimer le point contraire. C'est ce genre de choses qui devraient être multipliées, à mon avis.


The Chair: I call Doug Pine, from the Committee of Native Justice.

Mr Pine: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. In your discussion paper, you ask two questions: First, how can the right of aboriginal peoples to manage their own affairs be most effectively related to Canadian society? Second: What approach should be followed to ensure that the needs of aboriginal peoples in Ontario and Canada are addressed effectively?

The answers can be given in two words: self-government.

From our perspective, we must work from the premise that self-government means that aboriginal people have absolute control over their lands, resources and people. First nations and tribal councils must have the exclusive and final authority to make and enforce laws within their own territory, to control and manage the development of their lands and resources, to administer and control the monetary affairs of their territory and to determine first nations citizenship and membership.


The Indian Act has effectively extinguished these rights, leaving only a delegation of limited powers. The effect of the act has been to diminish the roles of the chief and council from being effective decision-makers to that of mere administrators. Traditionally, the powers of the chief and council came from the people and did not originate from a piece of legislation such as the Indian Act. Aboriginal people have always taken a communal approach to their social, political and legal affairs. For example, if a decision needed to be made regarding land management, the issue would be brought before the community as a whole and everyone had the opportunity for input and participation in any resolution. The chief and council would then enforce or administer this decision.

The democratic system put in place by the Indian Act has eroded our process of community participation and decision-making, undermining it as inefficient. I would like to draw to your attention that the very process you are engaging in by holding these discussions is in fact the very method of communal participation that I have been talking about. You will agree with me that this process is both lengthy and time-consuming. However, it does provide for direct participation by your constituents in the governmental process. On a smaller scale, this process is still the most effective means of decision-making for our communities. Our communities, unlike yours, are comprised of, for the most part, large extended-family units, therefore making the election process as set out in the Indian Act undemocratic.

There appears to be a perception within the Canadian society that aboriginal self-government is a brand-new idea. We would like to stress that the capacity to be self-governing has never been a right relinquished by our people. Canadian society as we know it is comprised of various ethnic groups. This society has not established a common unity, nor does it share a common identity beyond the land which is occupied. The creation of the Indian Act has been to impose upon us assimilation policies in an attempt to integrate us into Canadian society. I would like to ask you this: How can you ask us to adopt a Canadian identity which does not exist nor which is acceptable by all Canadians?

I do not want to belabour these points, because they have all been said before. I would, however, like to say that three very important tasks must be accomplished with the province in order to facilitate negotiations between the federal government and the first nations. These are the acceptance by this province of aboriginal rights which flow from the treaties, for the province to acknowledge the existence of land claims which inherently belong to native people and for the province to work alongside the aboriginal people in their struggle to re-establish their traditional forms of self-government.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I do not believe that by an adoption of self-government, as I have outlined it, the settlement of land claims or the recognition of treaty rights poses a threat to Canadian sovereignty, but would enhance it.

Mr Winninger: One thing we have learned on our travels is how much we have to learn from native culture and values. You mentioned the model of communal decision-making, which has been suppressed for so long under the Indian Act. What I am wondering is whether that kind of communal decision-making has any implications for us; whether in terms of resolving some of our national issues and building a new form of Confederation; whether you, with your background in communal decision-making and consensus, have anything that you can tell us that would avail us in consensus-building.

Mr Pine: It is not a question of whether we are here, first of all, to interpret to you the decision-making process of our people, even though it may enhance the growth of this country. When our people in the past had made a decision based on the collective with regard to land treaties, it has always been one that has been made through a process of consensus. We would get together as a people, we would get together as a community and approach a question from the aspect of where it stands within our community. It would be put forward to the community members, who in turn would discuss it. At that time, once a consensus had been reached, then it in turn would be delivered to the chief and council for any administration of that particular decision or enforcement of it. It is a long process, but one which has helped native people in this country to survive.

One prime example of that decision took place this summer in Oka, the decision of negotiations. There was a question brought out, why there were so many people involved in the negotiations between the Mohawk nations, their negotiators, and the federal government and the Quebec government. You must understand that within the long-house form of government within the Iroquoian society, the only decision they are able to make is one of a collective. We cannot have a delegation of authority acting on our behalf without our direction. So when the question of whether those 17 or 30 people who were involved with the negotiation seemed inappropriate, it must be recognized that we as nations do have a very strong dependence on our communal decisions in order to forge ahead.

Mr Beer: In your third recommendation you asked for the province to work alongside the aboriginal people in their struggle to re-establish their traditional forms of self-government. What kinds of things are you thinking the province could do with the aboriginal people in bringing about self-government? Were there some specific things you had in mind?

Mr Pine: Not specific things, but it is our belief that any negotiation or relationship that exists must exist between the federal government and all our representatives from our first nations people, that those negotiations be conducted between those two parties because the federal government represents the views of Canadian people and our first nations represent the views of our people.

When we look at what we are asking the provinces, to facilitate the ongoing consultation that needs to take place between the federal government and these first nations in regard to land claims, we need to have a body to facilitate the negotiations whereby our treaties are affected. We need the province to involve itself to facilitate the kinds of ongoing conversation that is needed in order to develop self-government.

In the past, the federal government and the provinces have detoured away from allowing the communities in first nations to actually participate in any decisions. It is important for the province to realize that in order to bring about self-government, the people from the first nations must be given access to the kinds of areas that are required in order to develop that form of government.


Mrs MacKinnon: Mr Pine, you state here: "The powers of chief and council came from the people and did not originate from a piece of legislation such as the Indian Act." Would you care to explain that, please? I always thought it came from the Indian Act.

Mr Pine: No, the Indian Act was brought about by the federal government in 1951. It is my understanding that the act was brought about to administer the affairs of native people within this country.

The powers of the chief and council prior to that were greater to the extent that they represented the views of their people. Until as recently as 1965, 1966, 1967, when the federal government negotiated on behalf of the Canadian people, it negotiated with the communities directly with regard to the kinds of areas that needed to be addressed within Indian communities.

The act nullified that. The act restricts -- and I have taken this from a paper from the area I am from. I have a bit of a hard time pronouncing the name, but just to give you some examples, a band cannot sell, lease or dispose of land to a non-band member without government consent. A surrender of land is required; bands cannot dispose of resources such as timber, minerals, oil and gas without the minister's consent, and again a surrender is usually required; reserve lands cannot be used as security for loans to support economic development; the minister may direct the use of reserve lands for purposes such as education facilities, roads, agriculture.

These are restrictions which have been placed upon the chief and council in their capacity to make decisions on behalf of their people. I could go on and on in explaining the restricted capacity that the chief and council have had to deal with since the implementation of the Indian Act.

Mrs MacKinnon: No, you have done very well. Thank you very much.


The Chair: I call Ann Ilijanic, from the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County.

Ms Ilijanic: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am glad you arrived here in Windsor safely, if slightly delayed.

The Chair: Excuse me. Before you actually start I would just like to announce that in fact our interpreters also have arrived. You just reminded me by what you said, so we are at full steam as far as the interpreting facilities are concerned, being able to have translation back, interpreting back and forth from English to French and French to English.

Ms Ilijanic: Thank you. My name is Ann Ilijanic and I am here today on behalf of the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County.

The origin of the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County is one of grass-roots community commitment. In 1971, with the inception of the federal policy of multiculturalism, some 30 ethnic cultural groups in the southwestern region came together to put multiculturalism into practice.

Collectively these groups decided to amalgamate with the Citizenship Council of Greater Windsor and the Essex County All Nations Association to form what is known today as the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex Country. The nature of the modern organization remains true to its community roots. The council is an umbrella agency of more than 90 different ethnocultural groups, organizations and affiliations.

The mission of the council is to create a harmonious multicultural society in Windsor and Essex Country. As an umbrella organization of community-based groups involved in folk arts promotion, intercultural education, newcomer integration, cultural retention and race relations promotion, the council envisions the creation of a harmonious multicultural society as being achieved through three principal means: partnership between governments and the private sectors and between individuals and groups; the promotion of the acceptance of and appreciation for the coexistence of various cultures; and the elimination of all forms of discrimination.

The community is committed to playing a proactive leadership role in supporting its membership through organizational development, community networking, interagency co-ordination, direct service delivery and advocacy.

This is the background and perspective from which I am addressing this committee today. Membership in the council is inclusive of all walks of life, all racial, ethnic and cultural groups represented in this area.

I shall try to keep my presentation today consistent with and sequentially relatable to the public discussion paper issued by the government of Ontario. In light of this let me begin.

"What are the values we share as Canadians?" It might be said that in the past Canada was held together in part by the perceived needs of its component parts and in part by the sociopolitical inertia of its colonial legacy. The fact that today regions of this country are openly speaking of separation, sovereignty and greater input into the decision-making process attests to the success of the country in nurturing and strengthening its various parts.

The fact that the old order which has benefited so many of us for so long is being questioned also means that we can no longer take for granted the continued viability of our course. To remain strong today we must turn to the values which all Ontarians and Canadians hold dear. I am speaking of our most cherished attributes and rights that perhaps newcomers to this country can more clearly appreciate than those who have known no other way of life.

The priceless and irreplaceable personal freedoms -- freedom of expression, freedom of choice, of religion and all other aspects of that freedom -- are surely valued commonly among all of us. So too is our great tradition of peaceful democratic change and government. Fundamental to both of these concepts is the underlying appreciation of and respect for each other as individuals, groups and regions.

These elemental values are what the council sees our country and province sharing irrespective of region, province, language or background. It is with these that we can change, build and grow. It seems almost redundant to say this, but Canada now faces a time of change and change is often painful. We cannot completely abandon our past, nor can we ignore the changing character of this country.

It is not a time for further internal cleavages. There is no room for separation in a successful modern society. Collectively we will always be stronger and we must pull together for an honest and frank discussion of our shared needs and concerns; to rewrite the rules so that everyone can play the same game equally and for his own benefit, because in the end no system, no relationship, no partnership will last or truly benefit its members if it is not perceived as equal, fair and just to one and all alike.


Specific questions must be answered about the appropriateness of a proclamation of a Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all citizens in one breath and a notwithstanding clause allowing for overriding those rights and freedoms in the next. Does Ontario believe in guaranteed rights and freedoms for all its citizens or not? The council thinks it should.

"How can we secure our future in the international economy?" Multiculturalism, in view of the international nature of modern trade and economics, is beneficial to the future of this province. It is enlightened policy that recognizes and reflects the province's greatest resource, its people.

In the current jargon of economic thinking, terms like "free trade," "common markets," "enhanced trade," "economic union," are all the rage. It concerns us that in the rush to secure markets, be more competitive and balance budgets, the purpose of economic wellbeing is sometimes forgotten: namely, that economies exist to benefit the people; people do not exist to benefit the economy. The fundamental appreciation of the fact that an economy that is strong at the cost of the wellbeing of the population it serves is not something to be desired. No matter what economic choices we make as a province, it is of utmost importance to always bear in mind the social costs and benefits of those choices and weigh them very carefully.

"What roles should the federal and provincial governments play?" Our concern in this area relates back to the concept of fairness and equality. The state structure that we eventually settle upon must be one that has balance. The structure must strike an equilibrium that provides for both the protection of individual liberty and collective assurance.

Individuals and communities must feel that they can lead lives that provide them with reasonable opportunity to reach their goals and fulfil their aspirations. Without such a balance, without the existence of government that provides a framework that is inclusive of these human needs, then our efforts here today and the energy spent on dealing with Ontario's place in Confederation will be wasted. The result will be that no harmony will exist in our country and that we will have only managed to delay the inevitable breakdown of our country.

"How do we achieve justice for Canada's aboriginal people?" It is most appropriate that the sad history and present state of Canada's original peoples be addressed in any discussion on this province's and this country's future. Whether it was a deliberate conspiracy or simply gross insensitivity that our society degraded and undermined and marginalized native culture is a point on which agreement may never be reached.

What we as Ontarians and as Canadians must address ourselves to is the question, "If we are now demanding a system that is more just and fair to the different regions, groups and provinces, how can we deny the native peoples their own piece in the just society?" Natives have been forced to live in a paternalistic and humiliating fashion, subjected to segregated governmental treatment. No other population in this country is treated like human chattel in the same fashion that native peoples have been. Dependence on government stipends, grants and largess must be ended. The time has long since come to enfranchise the original people of this land, to let them live in their independent, self-reliant manner all other citizens share as a birth or naturalization right.

This means the granting of some form of self-government, perhaps along the lines of municipalities, along with sufficient means to empower each band, tribe and nation to achieve success for itself. No single solution exists to fit all the different claims that are there, but surely if our system would not just listen but actually hear what is being said to it by many articulate native leaders, real solutions can be found.

"What is the role of the English and French languages in Canada?" Ladies and gentlemen, no other question in this discussion paper is harder for a multicultural council to deal with than this. As an umbrella group of communities that speak all the major languages of the world, we are familiar with some very heartfelt feelings on this subject.

Our experience with our various groups teaches us that one should distil the cause of such strong emotions down to two basic elements. These elements appear to be perception and insecurity. When people perceive that an inequality of treatment exists, based on the linguistic and cultural background of an individual or group, then the result is inevitably bitterness, tension and passionate emotion.

Insecurity often results or accompanies such perceptions of inequality. When people feel insecure, threatened or vulnerable as a result of linguistic characteristics, this all too often manifests itself in negative and destructive fashions. That is why laws relating to something as fundamental as language must be equally legislated and implemented throughout the state. It seems impossible to imagine a situation in which linguistic duality can co-exist in harmony where perceptions of inequality and insecurity are also found.

Examples can be seen in Ontario's Bill 8 and Quebec's Bill 178. Ontario's Bill 8 promotes the use of the French language throughout regions of the province for its 5.4% francophone minority. In Quebec Bill 178 limits the use of the English language by its 8.8% anglophone minority. The inequity of these two pieces of legislation results in resentment and tension between groups which have previously lived in relative peace.

There is also another point the council feels must be recognized. That is that in Canada generally and in Ontario particularly one can no longer say that society is bilingual, bicultural or binational. The fact of modern society is that we live in a multilingual, multicultural and multinational community. This must be kept in mind when dealing with questions of language and our laws must reflect this reality.

"What is Quebec's future in Canada?" It is the belief of the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County that in a discussion paper dealing with Ontario in Confederation and in a presentation addressing Ontario's aspirations and interests in this country's future, it is strange that comments should be solicited on Quebec's interests and role.

I think it can be said with justification that Quebec does a more than adequate job articulating its own position. Ontario can best address questions and negotiations with Quebec, the federal government and the other provinces once it has achieved a comparable degree of clarity and resolve in expressing what its own interests are.

However, as comment has been solicited, the council would like to say that a simple recognition of Quebec's distinctiveness would probably not be in the best interests of Ontario. No one denies the unique character of the province of Quebec, but Canada is made up of numerous distinct societies. To only recognize the distinctiveness of one province, region or group is to do injustice to all others. To recognize Quebec as distinct would be to imply that the rest of the country was homogenous.

The concept of Canada plus Quebec is too simplistic and would certainly lead to the perception of inequity and feeling of insecurity alluded to earlier in this presentation. Canada would not be the country it is today had Quebec not been the active participant in our historical evolution that it has been. The policy of multiculturalism itself is attributed to Canadian compromise, resulting from Prime Minister Trudeau's policy of official bilingualism, as an appeasement to those of neither French nor English origin. Without Quebec, it is quite conceivable that multiculturalism itself would not exist in Canada today. Quebec along with all other regions, peoples and provinces make up Canada.

"What is the place of the west, the north and the Atlantic region?" Once again the council can only say it feels that Ontario must define its position and not attempt to define or address other regions' concerns for them. It is not our place to articulate what might be acceptable for and to the other provinces. Ontario must be confident in knowing its own interests and aspirations and negotiate with goodwill and an open mind from there.

"What does Ontario want?" The council believes, as you can see throughout our brief, that Ontario will be best served by a Canada that is open and equitable. All partners in Confederation must be comfortable with the constitutional and other arrangements within the country. Free flows of people, goods and services and ideas should be maintained.

Our society and institutions must recognize our past, but not at the expense of here and now. Recognition must be given to the diversity of Ontario's society and the people it comprises. Individual rights and freedoms must be ensured, but not at the expense of any group or community. Without a feeling that the country treats its citizens with equity and fairness, then no lasting balance can be struck. Harmony and balance benefit all citizens and this must be recognized in the negotiating process.

In conclusion, and recognizing that this commission was instituted as a response to Quebec's unilateral constitutional demands, we respect that if the people of Quebec choose sovereignty for their province, they should be free to follow that route. However the divorce of the country will be a very expensive and regrettable proposition for both partners.


The Chair: There is a bit of time but I would caution the members that we need to be brief in our questions in order to get through.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Thank you very much for answering the document. We have not had a lot of people do that in such a systematic way. I wonder if you would say a little bit more to me about what you answered on question 5 when you said: "The fact of modern society is that we live in a multilingual, multicultural and multinational community. This must be kept in mind when dealing with questions of language and our laws must reflect this reality." Could you say a little bit more about what that means at this crucial time of decision-making for this province and maybe beyond its borders?

Ms Ilijanic: I believe the conversation within the council -- and I must say that I have consulted with our council and our board members extensively on this issue -- is to answer the perceived inequality which Bill 8 in Ontario insists on and also the reflection of Bill 178 in Quebec which limits the use of language.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Do you have a manner in which you or the 30 groups that are together do some of the things that Bill 8 does for your communities?

Ms Ilijanic: Ninety groups.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Sorry. Do you have a volunteer organization or how do you serve people, for instance in health services or in educational services, who are at a disadvantage at least in the beginning with language?

Ms Ilijanic: With the language? We have many groups. We offer translation and interpretation services. We offer them on a professional basis, but for anyone coming to this province or to this country not speaking the languages of French or English, we offer them translation services. As far as health services are concerned, we refer them to the appropriate bodies.

Ms Churley: On question 5, you mentioned the two different bills. I just wanted to ask you if you are aware that one of the differences between the minority English in Quebec and the minority French in Ontario is that for many years now the government of Quebec has of course allowed the English to run their own schools, run their own universities, run their own businesses, and do basically everything in English whereas we have not had the reverse for francophones in Ontario, and if you see that as part of the imbalance.

Ms Ilijanic: Yes, that is part of an imbalance and we are aware of that. But I think if you will look back to any of these issues that the council has discussed and touched upon, there is the fact that people perceive it as wrong. Sometimes perception becomes reality. There is the perception of these two bills by themselves and what happened subsequently in the media and the publicizing of this bill. There were some of the bitter feelings that occurred throughout Ontario, various cities, once this was enacted. I believe in the discussion with our groups a lot of this was a backlash to no signs in English in Quebec.


The Chair: I call Victoria Billingsley.

Ms Billingsley: I am sorry I did not bring a copy for everyone.

The Chair: That is fine, if you just leave them with the clerk, we will get copies made.

Ms Billingsley: I have to apologize for the condition. I only knew a few days ago. Also there will be just a few inserts that are not on that copy.

The Chair: That is fine.

Ms Billingsley: Honourable commissioners, ladies and gentlemen, the word "Canadian" in this brief refers to all Canadians outside of Quebec except the francophones, who, like the Québécois, are insulted if one calls them Canadian. I am speaking on behalf of the silent majority who feel less Canadian today than they did 25 years ago, and many have told me that personally.

For the past 25 years, the federal government has failed dismally to establish equality of status for all Canadians. It has unilaterally given special status only to Quebec and to francophones. Quebec has federal powers over citizenship and immigration. It controls the federal pension plans. It has the right of veto and the right to opt out of federal programs. It has control of foreign trade and international competitive sports. It has the unilateral right to appoint one third of the Supreme Court judges. Federal laws and federally funded programs have no federal presence in Quebec. When Quebec speaks for Canada internationally, federal powers are eroded and Canada becomes a laughingstock.

Canada is now but an appendage of greater Quebec, which is practically a sovereign state within this pathetic Canada. How sweet it must be for all those separatists.

Quebec's grasp of power commenced when it gained the sweetest handmaiden of all, official bilingualism, which was but a camouflage in order to entrench French power in Ottawa and across the country, costing gullible Canadians $4 billion a year. The prize federal powers are now in the hands of a fanatic Quebec separatist clique -- and I could name them if you ask me -- including Brian Mulroney, who do not give a damn about Canada.

Did our deaf, supine politicians call for Mulroney's impeachment when he uttered this insulting statement on 15 July 1989, "It is the French dimension of our national personality that constitutes the soul of Canada and its impact on the national and the international level." No, they did not. Neither did the grovelling media, which failed to publicize it

If Mulroney had taken the trouble to look at the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge or if he had studied the Dieppe casualties he would have been hard pressed to find any French names. Canadians of all stripes, most important our native people, have given Canada its national and international impact.

Mulroney continues to speak with a forked tongue. Just last week he announced that he would be the great preserver of a strong federal government while at the same time, that very week, Barbara McDougall was relinquishing federal power of immigration to Quebec and gave it the yearly funds of $325 million, I believe, to administer it. Ironically, the same day, most press editorials praised the Prime Minister, the Windsor Star included, who closed the federal barn door after the prize federal horses were firmly in Quebec's hands.

To add shocking insult to injury, Serge Joyal, Secretary of State in 1982, admitted to a Nova Scotia group, "Everything we are doing is to make Canada a French state, a French country, both inside and outside Quebec.. .a country that reflects our French ideals."

How much clearer must the goals of Quebec be before naïve Canadians see the writing on the wall? It staggers the mind that Quebec has so completely hypnotized our quisling politicians, our degenerate intellectuals, our deaf, malleable media, who grovel at its feet, terrified of ruffling any French feathers. A sad day indeed it is for Canadians when people are afraid to speak out. What a tragic farce Canada has become.


All our MPs condoned Quebec's racist Bill 178. Not one objected. And Windsor's feudal politicians, Herb Gray, Steven Langdon and Howard McCurdy, refused to present to Parliament petitions against this bill. So much for democracy. It ends at the ballot box, my friends.

Quebec is absolutely distinct, believe me, by being the only province in Canada to pass racist language laws defying the Supreme Court. Quebec has the distinct distinction of being the only province in Canada where one cannot conduct one's business in the language of one's choice. On 19 March 1989 Bourassa waxed enthusiastically: "Never in the history of Quebec has a government suspended fundamental liberties to protect the French language and culture. For the first time since 1759, English lost its official status in Quebec and it was I, Robert Bourassa, and my government who did it!" Bravo for Robert Bourassa.

At last the worms have crawled out of the woodwork. Who can doubt that French culture is contingent on the suppression and destruction of the Canadian language and of Canada's British heritage? Bourassa allows only three Canadian flags to fly in Quebec, and when we do see our flag there it is being burned, torn, trampled or spat on.

Recently, Bill C-72, which Canadians know nothing about, has quietly killed official bilingualism. Desjardin and D'Iberville Fortier announced the new policy: linguistic duality. It is no longer official bilingualism. It is linguistic duality, my friends, with French and English now having equal status.

On 16 May and 23 May 1990 the meetings of the joint Senate and the House of Commons were conducted totally in French. Linguistic duality, as it becomes entrenched, will discriminate against Canadians even more than official bilingualism did, and it will destroy Canada as we so proudly knew it 25 years ago.

We give Governor General's awards to Quebec authors who vilify Canadians. Beauchemin, the most popular of these, writes: "Two cultures cannot blossom in the same linguistic space. Bilingualism exercises a devastating effect on our collective conscience; it undermines our confidence in ourselves and it shrivels our souls." This quote speaks for itself. It needs no further comment, except to reveal to us why Quebec declared itself unilingually French.

On 29 January 1986 copies of the following quotation from La Rempart -- by the way, the editor just spoke here: Mongenais -- were sent to all the major newspapers in Canada and to Maclean's. Not one dared publish it. I read the quote and I translated it: "A minority, well-organized" -- and, of course, with public funds -- "with aims and objectives, can dominate a majority who are apathetic and uncaring. We, the French, are a very proud race who must strive for this goal of dominance."

The Chair: If you could sum up, please, you are at the end of the time.

Ms Billingsley: I just have one more page, okay?

The Chair: At the rate you are going, you are going to need much longer to finish, so if you could sum up, please.

Ms Billingsley: You were very liberal with the others.

The Chair: I have been trying to do my best to keep people to the time allotted.


The Chair: You are welcome to take a couple of minutes to sum up.

Ms Billingsley: Okay. I will try to finish it up.

Anyway, the thing is now a fait accompli. French power is in French hands in Ottawa. Charles Beer, who, by the way, is here, has admitted to creating another Quebec in Ontario within 10 years with the power of Bill 8. I hear this on French television every morning.

We have had enough of linguistic and economic blackmail. It is time to say no to language policemen, federal and provincial, which no free country in the world would tolerate. They are called commissioners. It is time to repeal all language laws and to return to the wisdom of the founding fathers, who, in section 133 of the BNA Act, made French and English official languages only in the federal Parliament, the Quebec Legislature, the federal courts and the Quebec courts and nowhere else. Quebec is no more distinct for speaking French than the rest of Canada is for speaking English or whatever. Remove the language and we are all human beings who love, hate, eat, steal, kill, procreate, sing, dance, weep and struggle to survive. The only distinction is that the French want to rule Canada and they have pretty well succeeded.

It is time to stop paying for our own demise. It is time for Canadians to be governed in one official language, the language of international communication and commerce, the language that most countries of the world are adopting, the language of the majority: English.

For Quebec to remain in Canada, it must be a province like all the others, with no special privileges or status. It can have its French, but it must not suppress other languages with racist laws, which must all be repealed if it is to remain a part of this country. Otherwise, the silent majority invites Quebec to separate and wishes it Godspeed.

The crucial war to be fought is not in the Persian Gulf, but here and now. Canadians must rise up with one voice and fight for equality for all, special privileges for none. Canadians must kill for all time the insidious snake of official linguistic duality and Bill 8, not just scotch them. If this is not done, my friends, the fleur-de-lis will soon supplant the Canadian flag flying above our capital, Ottawa.

Unity will never be achieved as long as one province is more equal than the others. Unity at any price is unacceptable.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Billingsley. There are a number of points, obviously, that I am sure members of the committee would like to get into discussing with you, but time does not permit us to do that.

Mr Bisson: Mostly the facts, Mr Chairman.

The Chair: I think there are a couple of factual interpretations we might all disagree with, but none the less --

Mrs Y. O'Neill: On a point of information, Mr Chairman: I do have to say that the Canadian flag flies in Quebec. From the front of my riding I can see at least 10 Canadian flags, and that is in one small corner of Quebec. I think that has to be said.

Ms Billingsley: On official buildings. Those are probably flown by --

The Chair: All right, Ms Billingsley. You have had your say. You obviously have strong views on some of these things, some of which we disagree with wholeheartedly, but you have the right to say that.



The Chair: I call Michael Hall to come forward.

Mr Hall: My point of view will be much different from the previous person's. The funny thing is, we are all Canadian.

I am Michael Hall. I would like to thank all of you for coming to Windsor and also for giving me an opportunity to come here. My views about Canada are very strong, although I have tried to keep them toned down to a certain extent. Basically, I will just do as everyone else and I will try to read my speech pretty quickly.

The values we share as Canadians have increasingly been eroded by time. It is difficult to identify what are Canadian values, since we are being forced to meld into the American way of life more than we have ever had to before.

Canadians value equality of the human race. We do not like to distinguish between black and white, rich or poor. We do not like to separate black neighbourhoods and white or Chinese neighbourhoods. We want all of us to live together and share this same quality of life. Canadians value a non-violent society, where all citizens live in peace and harmony. Canadians do not want the right to carry Uzis and automatic rifles that can kill dozens in a single spray.

Canadians value their governments when they work to provide all Canadians -- when I say "Canadians" I mean Ontarians, but Ontarians are Canadians first -- an equal opportunity to share in Canada's economic wealth. We value our essential social programs, such as health care, education, workers' compensation and public works.

Canadians value their corporate citizens who portray what is uniquely Canadian. Canadians value openness to and tolerance of foreign peoples who come to share our country with us.

Canadians value their nation from sea to shining sea to shining sea.

We value our prime ministers when they stand up for Canada's rights on the world stage, be it to American ice-breakers plying our Arctic or to French fishing boats over-fishing our Atlantic coast.

How can Ontario and Canada compete in the international economy? To secure our future in the international economy Canadians must simultaneously be provided huge incentives to invest in corporations which sell to Canadians and Canadians must place more dependence on interprovincial trade than on international trade.

To counter free trade with both the United States and Mexico, ordinary Canadians must be given an easier way to buy into the companies that make huge profits from Canadians. Just giving us jobs is no longer enough. We must have a piece of the financial rewards to compensate for the jobs that will be lost.

Again, to counter free trade and strengthen Canada's real economy, Canadians must place more emphasis on interprovincial trade. Canadians must learn to rely on each other. There is less chance that a Canadian company will relocate south of the border when most of its business is done in Canada.

But to ensure success we must take down all interprovincial trade barriers, and concurrently with a strong domestic economy Canadians must build a strong international economy that is very much Canadian-owned. It is only by owning the manufacturers and producers of the goods and services we buy that we will assure our economic strength in the world market.

To take ownership of the Canadian and Ontario economies, I propose that the government of Ontario develop a system whereby sales taxes in the province are extended to cover everything, even more comprehensive than the GST. The sales taxes collected will go into a separate fund, something like Alberta's Heritage Savings Trust Fund, but the prime difference will be this: Every Ontarian will benefit because at the end of each year the sales taxes collected will be returned to the people. The only condition for its return to the people will be that Ontarians must purchase ownership in registered and bona fide corporations that do business in Ontario. After a few years, all Ontarians will own major portions of the companies that make their profits from Ontario wage earners.

What about our social programs? I feel some of them are absolutely necessary to equality of life for all Canadians -- health care, education, workers' compensation and others. But the Ontario government has to stop pampering businesses and workers alike. Individuals, the young and the old, must learn to depend more on themselves for their wellbeing. Too many Ontarians take advantage of our state welfare system. We must weed out those who do not want to work.

We must discourage young people, especially single women, from starting families when they do not have the financial means to look after their children. We must make injured workers realize that certain injuries do not automatically qualify them for lifetime benefits.

Our government must reduce spending in almost every field, but more important, it must determine where it is spending. Too many people in high places manage to milk our system just as much as those people who do not want to work for a living.

Our political system: The federal government should be paramount in the land, but there should be more equal representation for the other regions. I too can no longer tolerate the way Ontario and Quebec dominate the federal political scene. By all means, let's have an elected Senate.

Politically, Canada should adopt a political system which combines the best aspects of our present system and the American system. For starters, let's get rid of the monarchy. It is not a unifying factor and is nothing more than a remnant of British colonialism.

I am proud to be Canadian. I do not want to be American and I do not want to be British. Crown lawyers, royal commissions, Queen's Bench -- these names are all hangers-on of a nation that, at best, views us as the 51st state. Canadians cannot identify with a monarchy that lives on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and which has no bearing on our day-to-day lives.

Canada should also return to being a bilingual and bicultural state. We cannot afford to be something to everyone. Immigrants to Canada must be encouraged to adopt a Canada-first attitude. They must be taught Canadian values, culture, history so that they can more easily share in established Canadian values. All newcomers must be allowed to retain their language and culture, but they should be encouraged to integrate themselves into the Canadian community and quickly learn one or both of our official languages. The primary concern of every Canadian, new or native, should be the development of skills, language and culture that contributes to the economic and national wellbeing of Canadians.

Aboriginal Canadians: Canada's aboriginal peoples must be given the means to be financially self-sufficient. They must be allowed geographical areas to convert into provinces, which will be governed as such. By allowing aboriginals the right to create provinces, we give them the right to raise taxes, have their own schools and justice systems and elect members to the federal Parliament. If they decide they do not want any industry in their province, so be it, but the costs will have to be borne by themselves. There must always be a right to freedom of movement of people and goods in any new province created. Under no circumstance do I believe that any aboriginal group should be allowed sovereignty. Canada must remain united under one roof.

French in Canada: The issue of language is my next point. Canada was born with two languages, French and English. We were colonized by two great nations, France and England. Those two countries fought over us and, in the end, England won the war. But England, even back in the 17th century, realized how strong the French presence was in Lower Canada and allowed French to prosper and flourish.

I want to say this next point ever so strongly. No political party or movement in Canada is going to get away with French-bashing any more. I am talking specifically about the Reform Party, the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada and all those itty-bitty city councils in Ontario which declared themselves unilingual English.

I am appalled at all those bigoted, fearmongering racists. I liken them to the Ku Klux Klan, inciting hatred of my fellow citizens just because they are French Canadian. To all of you, I say you will never succeed in making them second-class citizens, not even if you succeed in tearing this great northern country apart and forcing Quebec to leave its Canadian family.

Franco-Canadians live mainly in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Geographically, they cover half our land mass. Some people will say that there are more Italians or Ukrainians in certain areas and that they, or other groups like them, should also have equal status.

Equal status to whom? To French? To English? Are we to have a multinational nation? I hope not. Two official languages, as we see, are more than enough. Our immigrants have done a lot for Canada, but they did not create Canada. The French and English living in Lower and Upper Canada, created Canada, but as Canadians we cannot demand a united country when at the same time we deny our own flesh and blood, other Canadians, French-speaking ones, from St-Boniface, Windsor, Sudbury, Rimouski, Montreal and so on. They have an inalienable right to speak and be served in French so long as Canada is one nation. But if we are to have one nation, we cannot force our French brothers and sisters to live in Quebec and not feel at home in the rest of Canada.


To the French-bashers, again I say, stop lying to the people of this great nation and this province. There is no threat to the English language in Canada, not even in Quebec is there a threat. There is a threat, however, to our country because you, the extremists, have forced Quebeckers into believing English Canadians are all the same and will not help them preserve their language. To the French-bashers I say, learn French. You will be surprised at how quickly you can do it -- four years maximum if you put your heart into it -- and it will open up your minds like never before. The next time you want to put down the French language, sing Canada's national anthem in French first.

I hope there are enough people in this province who will stand up and say proudly to Quebeckers and French Canadians everywhere, "We honestly love you." Yes, love; that is what real nations are made of. We must make French Canadians believe, before it is too late, that their language is our language and that we can help them protect it. When French Canadians see that their language is safe throughout Canada, they too will feel safe in Canada and it will not matter how the provinces and federal government cut up their jurisdictions.

I seek the support of all of you in asking the provincial government to declare Ontario officially Canadian and bilingual. Ontario can and should take the lead in rebuilding a new Canada based on love for all of its citizens.

Thank you. Merci.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Hall. You have gone slightly over time and we are going to have to move on to the next speaker. We will not have time for questions.


The Chair: John Meyer.

Mr Meyer: I expect that committee members are now well aware of the variable weather conditions and the distances within this large province of Ontario. I am reminded of the respondent on the 800 number who asked me when I phoned about two weeks ago: "Where are you calling from? Where is Windsor? What large city is it near?" Truly. He then proceeded to ask his colleague to find Windsor on the computer screen. I am not sure whether this says much about the educational system in Ontario or the part-time hirees the committee may have hired to answer that 800 number, but I was rather shocked. So I told him, "Look for Chatham or look for Leamington."

As a reasonably informed and participating citizen and educator, I am continually impressed by the variety and the quality of the presentations I have been able to hear on cable TV, so I will not try to repeat what I have heard but rather supplement some of the excellent suggestions by essentially presenting my expectations of the government of Ontario.

1. I expect my provincial government to exercise new leadership in these very unsettled times. This might initially be done by continuing to create and implement policies that address current and future impending issues. Past history has a limited function to inform current practices, and I have been hearing a great deal of past history. Therefore, policy-makers must get on with a more proactive stance in more timely response to rapidly changing structures.

2. While I applaud the Ontario government's concern about consultation and community-building, it must not become an end in itself so that the very process becomes an obstacle to change. There must be a greater attempt to close the gaps between the new realities and existing structures and legislation. Relatively stable priorities should be established and then urgent implementation take place. Absolute consensus is not more realistic than political tokenism, nor is it acceptable in my opinion. Government must begin to say no to some of the demands of special interest groups if they do not accommodate the priorities that I hope would be set and the economic restraints. A society cannot be all things to all people.

3. I expect government to recognize that our society can do with less unessential services, with less civil service, with less waste than is apparent very often in public bureaucracies. I would expect government to reorganize, with a perspective of cost-effectiveness and essential services. It may be that sufficient maturation has occurred in this province in various sectors to call for the actual elimination of certain structures that were established years ago for quite other purposes or for purposes which have long ago been achieved. We have a highly fragmented public sector, with even various ministries competing for vast budgets and sometimes working at odds with one another. For example, we should be concerned about the total welfare of the child, the young person, the adolescent, which may in fact involve three ministries at least, in education, social services and correctional services. Presently, total care is fragmented and often unable to respond to the needs of the one individual for various reasons, and this also applies to the inner section of federal and provincial agencies. We need clarification and avoidance of duplication of these services.

4. I expect this government, in its quest for change for the better, to restore authority to all those sectors which have devolved into licence to do whatever one can get away with. If citizens fail to exercise their responsibilities, they should suffer the consequences for harming society and community.

Why is not our legal system responsive to the plight, for instance, recently in Windsor, of the infant who was murdered and thrown into the river, largely because the adolescent father was under the influence of alcohol and drugs? The sentence has now been rendered that the adolescent will receive 10 years' imprisonment, but possibly be paroled in three years, for killing an infant. I realize that this may be federal jurisdiction, but the province certainly can exercise leadership and accountability vis-à-vis federal law.

The irresponsible parent is sentenced then. So this is irresponsibility. Who accounts for this? Whatever is permitted and liable to abuse will find its takers at the expense of responsible citizens. Certainly the early democratic societies had far greater expectations of their citizens and of the contributions of their citizens, and they were punished far more severely than any of us can imagine if they harmed their local society and community.

In terms of our educational system, it is interesting that we only require anywhere from two to five weeks of exposure to citizenship in terms of government and law over a 12- to 13-year period of formal education. And then we wonder why our citizens are illiterate in terms of citizenship.

5. I expect this government to move with reflective haste in advocating the federal government to either consider a vast, centralization of powers or restructuring of government or new forms of affiliation that might respond to a sense of a North American community similar to the European Economic Community. This means that members of the Confederation should choose their commitments and expect to abide by equitable conditions.

Though I am personally convinced that nation-states as traditionally designed are no longer viable, I do advocate new alternatives for collaboration and co-operation and for sustaining quality of life. We currently operate as perhaps some 10 nations within this very loose Confederation, with a history of unfinished constitutional business.

6. I would expect the government to review the many costly and plural commissions and inquiries and committees -- perhaps 800 to 1,000 currently exist -- review their business, limited even to the last 20 years, which has touched on many of these issues. Determine the number of recommendations that they have elicited, which ones have been acted upon and which ones which have not been acted upon, and perhaps see if the ones that have not been acted upon are still feasible and do demand implementation.


Let us stop reinventing the past, really to no significant avail. Look to those elements that are perceived to be divisive in our society, perhaps multiple systems of education, benefits for selected groups, perhaps bilingualism. It was recently suggested that perhaps Canada and the franco-lingual territories could be expected to consider a territorial jurisdiction such as Switzerland, where the language remains first in the territory but not outside of that territory,

The Chair: Mr Meyer, if you could sum up, please; you have gone beyond the time.

Mr Meyer: Yes. The taxation system that burdens the middle- and fixed-income earners is reflected in many of these demands. There are many areas of waste and accountable expenditures sometimes for the very wrong reasons.

Finally, I would expect that the government would introduce greater accountability, with expectations and standards at all levels of the public sector. Let's determine in what ways citizens should and are contributing to their society and in what ways they are not and why they are not.


The Chair: Next, we have a group of students from W. D. Lowe Secondary School. We need, for the record, to get your names, if you want to do that at the beginning or as part of your presentation, as you prefer.

Mr Walsh: Good afternoon, Chairperson and members of the select committee. My name is Justin Walsh and I represent a panel of students from W D. Lowe Secondary School. We are here to talk to you about the future of Ontario in Confederation. We have some common ideas, namely that Canada has been a successful country and that we want to remain united in the future. We also each have our own personal viewpoints about the future of Canada. Some areas that we will cover are the Constitution, multiculturalism, minority and native issues and equal rights.

Mr Smith: My name is Paul Smith and I am part of this panel and I will be speaking about equal rights and voting power. One of the major factors, I feel, that is ripping our cultural mosaic society apart like a great paper-shredding machine is the fact that power in this country is based upon the percentage your individual culture possesses, contrasted against others across Canada.

The natives of this land are only 1.7% of the total population, and we see and read in the news every day about what is happening to them. Equal rights among people today has become a very big issue and is one of importance, since it is our fundamental right to possess them no matter where we come from or how long we have been here. The reason equal rights has become such a big issue is simply because some of the people of Canada have not been able to exercise their rights. People have more rights than others.

Of over 26 million people in Canada, 67% are of either British or French origin, 2% of native origin and the other 31% are from other areas of the world. These statistics I just read to you are often used by politicians and many other peoples of this country as the basis for their stand on the issues. I say it as a sad statement, because it is simply ludicrous to break down the Canadian people into their own little subsections or cultures, as originally we were all immigrants to this land, this land we have called Canada. Every single one of us, by tracing through our family tree and examining our roots, would find we originally come from another part of the world. This is a fact, and no matter how hard we try to escape it, we cannot, because it is the truth.

So do we base these percentages of power we hold on how long our individual cultures have been here and how much work our individual cultures have put forth for the development of this country? This cannot be used as a basis for a distribution of power, as it is simply unconstitutional. It goes against the statement that equal rights should be our fundamental right, as a person immigrating to Canada has not a long family line here in Canada and has therefore done less than others to develop our nation. I think the people of Canada would rather drop the idea that power should be based upon time rather than drop the Constitution.

When the Indians discovered Canada and later on the French and English rediscovered Canada, it became quite evident that there were going to be problems. It was here where the separation of cultures began, and it is quite evident, as Canada was separated into a French and English area. The English resided in Upper Canada and the French in Lower Canada. Today there is a shift in English favour when it comes to language and culture, but as a North American society, the English way of life is the majority. But we find it important to realize there are other languages and cultures.

Today, just to realize is not enough. These other minorities should receive an equal share with what happens in federal and their own respective provincial laws. Quebec feels it does not have this say and uses examples from the past where at times it truly did not have legal power. I am sure they endured great hardships, but not only was this over 100 years ago but there are other minority groups who today suffer the same.

Nothing has been learned and nothing changed in this country except percentage points, the French like to believe, yet the French language can be heard every day in every public school across the province being spoken by all walks of culture in the classrooms, from kindergarten to grade 8. The French language has also now become a compulsory course in the high schools. Yet this is not enough. The French have parliamentary power in our state and in their own province, in our backyards as well as theirs, and of course, the percentage of power they hold is based upon how many French people there are.

By these standards, if equal rights were to come into play then all other languages present in Canada, like Italian, Lebanese, Mexican, Japanese -- the list goes on -- should be taught in all schools across the province from kindergarten to 8 and one year in high school. They are not. I am not sure about other English-speaking people, but I realize that there are other cultures and races in this country of ours and that they should have the right to equal say about what happens in this country just as much as any other person, including the French. But do the French realize this?

If we are to stay true to our Constitution and the fundamental rights that are present in our Constitution, then it is time for change. As a solution to the problems we are facing in the cultural mosaic which is known as Canada, I offer this: Why not take the ratio of the different cultures we have been using for so long against each other and give them equality by multiplying them into a common denominator so that each culture's ratio of voting power, when put side by side, equals the same number? This would further the power in each minority, in their say in not only who is elected to represent them in our Parliament but also further their powers in what bills are passed or rejected.

This proposal I offer to possibly be used in the Senate, where, instead of the Prime Minister taking in senators, the people of Canada, using the system, vote the senators into the Senate. This would truly give equality a chance in our country, whose basis just happens to be multiculturalism. Thank you.


Mr West: Hello. My name is David West. Canada has prided itself on being a multicultural nation that welcomes many varied peoples and their ethnic cultures each year. Approximately 150,000 to 200,000 immigrants enter Canada each year. We believe that in order to fulfil an obligation when you take on being a multicultural nation, you should have certain programs to help get immigrants into the Canadian lifestyle while retaining their ethnic backgrounds. Also, minority access to justice: when people from different nations come to Canada and they need to go to court, it would be more helpful if you had certain programs to assist them while going to court, access to justice, as well as poor people and others.

Some of the other problems are on police treatment of minorities. With the growing number of minorities in the larger cities of Canada, police treatment has become a problem. Police now have too much to carry, they have too many duties to fulfil, and the training they get now, training on dealing with minorities -- it is not sufficient just to take a three-day course to learn about it and then be expected to act on that every day, as well as having all your other problems of being a police officer to deal with. I believe you should start over from the training of the police in dealing with minorities. Evidence that prejudice still exists can be found in many cases, so they should also announce there is no place for people who are racists or bigots in the police system. Maybe that would discourage some.

In another area, Canada's native people, who have been talked about today, I personally believe it is bad enough when the white man pollutes his own lands, but when he comes to pollute native lands which were clean before the white man came, when you could just go out and drink the water and now you can no longer, when the fish are dying and this is one of the resources the natives live on, I do not believe this should be tolerated at all, in any way, shape or form. If the white man wants to pollute his newly acquired land, okay. But when it comes to native lands I think there should be new laws erected to protect them. Thank you.

Mr Walsh: We are now going to talk to you about multiculturalism in Ontario. In Canada, we pride ourselves on creating a society in which people of different cultures can live together without sacrificing their freedom or individuality. It is just a hollow myth that Canada is a cultural mosaic and a country that celebrates much multiculturalism. The trouble is that we are incapable of consensus. Because many Canadians are so busy defending their rights, their bonds are slowly deteriorating.

Change is inevitable. The government will have to establish some commitments to make some important changes regarding our minorities. Our government will have to start looking at the options and review the possibilities that will strengthen our weakening nation. One possibility is education. If we educate our society about the vastness of our country and its impressive cultural and ethnic diversity, it may help to bring about a greater understanding and respect for minorities.

Ontario should take a strong stand and be the proud example for the rest of the country. We should start by bringing our communities together and eventually the entire province. This seems to be the only way to gain personal fulfilment and stability between the people of our nation. The greatest position this province could hold would be one where everyone has the willingness to coexist, develop a sense of belonging. I am not suggesting we move in the direction of the US and establish a melting pot, but rather we should move from self-exertion to a nation of co-operation.

In addition, we must look at what is holding our country together. Canada was a nation that was founded on these principles of peace and tolerance. These principles are deteriorating and the bonds breaking. We must learn to happily coexist. Our country will unite if we accept and develop the strength of diversity that is everywhere within our borders. We must remain as all but also as one, and remember that without each other we will never grow and prosper to our great extremes. Thank you.

Mr Nardini: Hello. My name is Derek Nardini, and I will talk to you about suggestions we make for the Constitution of Canada.

Since the 1982 constitutional amendments, we have seen many problems arise in Canada over language and rights. Our solutions to these problems are as follows.

First, we must remove any obstacles in our path to unity. The "notwithstanding" or "non-derogation" clause should be either adjusted not to include language and cultural rights or a better solution would be to remove it, therefore not allowing anyone to dissect our constitutional rights. This clause has created many problems. It was used by Quebec for Bill 178 to forbid the use of English on commercial signs and also by municipalities in Ontario and Quebec to become unilingual. This must not happen in a bilingual country. To aid in restricting this from happening in Ontario, we should follow the lead of New Brunswick by stating in the Constitution that the two official languages of Ontario are English and French. This would not cause any problems to the English-speaking Canadians but it would help the French-speaking Canadians of this province.

Second, we now know that the federal government gave Quebec power over immigration. We agree that Quebec should receive a choice of immigrants entering Canada. This seems fair, but perhaps other provinces should also receive greater control over immigration.

Another unclear matter is the issue of interprovincial trade. We feel that if we have open trading with other countries, we should also have open trading with the provinces of our nation, as was the intention in 1867. We would have a more secure trade route with provinces of our nation rather than other countries.

In the Meech Lake accord, we were introduced to an idea by Quebec that federal money for provincial programs could be given to the province, which in turn would create its own compatible programs. If this idea were slightly changed so that the federal government would give the money plus a general program outline, which could either be changed slightly by the province, maintaining the federal program's general concerns but modifying it to suit the province, or a meeting of the ministers associated with the issue could be held which would deal with the concerns of the provinces and draft a national program that suits all the provinces, these ideas seem to work more efficiently than the long process of requesting changes in the program from the federal government.

Staying with the issue of Meech Lake, we should all be concerned with the Senate and the Supreme Court. We have seen that the Prime Minister can use his power over the Senate to force through laws and taxes which the majority of Canadians do not want or agree with. The Senate, in our view, should be representing the people. Therefore, we state that, first, the Senate should be evened off in a manner that still allows the large provinces to have power yet will give the smaller provinces more representation.

We also state that the Prime Minister not have the power to add senators who would aid his undesired policies. The senators would be divided into three forms of appointment: first, senators appointed by the province or territory; second, a number of senators equal to the territories who are appointed by a native national council; and third, a number of senators appointed by the Prime Minister for federal concerns. This Senate plan would give provincial, federal and native governments a voice in the Senate.

The Supreme Court is also a concern of ours. We feel the present division should be changed to include a representative for the natives of the country. This representative does not have to be a native, yet he would be elected by a native national council. These judges would be appointed by the cabinet, but from a list of nominees that the provinces and native council submit.

The question of Quebec and Canada's unity is not the only problem we should be concerned with. We also must deal with the native problems. Along with our prior suggestions, we also wish to request a native council, selected by native groups of the country, which is centred in Ottawa and acts as a form of provincial government for the natives of this country. Also, we would like the native affairs minister to be selected by the federal government from a list of nominees which is created by the native council in Ottawa. This member would not have to be a native.

Finally, we wish to address the issue of a constitutional amending formula. This formula should be adjusted by changing the number of votes to pass any amendment from seven to nine. This would allow any two provinces to veto the changes. To go along with this, a ministers' meeting should be held once every two years to determine future considerations and the current problems of the country.


Mr Walsh: I would first like to say that I am a proud Canadian. The young people you see in front of you are representative of some views of the future of Canada. We are the future of this great country. We will not sit idly by and allow politicians of this nation to break us apart. We are full of energy and are willing to fight.

As I listen to the older generation speak about the future of Canada, I realize some have given up. Many have submitted and become apathetic. They are sick and tired of Quebec's crying and the older generation just wants it out. But we have passion. We are not happy with the local figures pitting Quebec versus the rest of Canada. We are not happy with the English being pitted against the French or, in the education system, other religions versus the Roman Catholics.

We blame both the federal and provincial governments, past and present governments, especially the current Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney. If we are to stay together we must reorganize Canada. We must restructure. We must work all problems out and not roll the dice on any issues and come up with a quick-fix solution. French and Quebec rights must be addressed, but we cannot forget minority and native rights, and please do not forget the rest of Canada's rights.

We are willing to work out a deal to keep this beautiful nation together. I believe a strong central government has made this country easier to govern and has kept its citizens content. Thanks to welfare programs and universal health care, Canadian citizens are able to lead comfortable lives, but in a new nation we may have to give up some powers to Quebec and to other provinces such as Ontario, but we will be doing this in order to make us a stronger, unified nation. Any gains for Quebec must be gains for Ontario and every other province. We must keep the federal government as powerful as necessary to keep us united, but above all, let us remain united as we face the future. Thank you for allowing us to let our feelings be known.

The Chair: We are slightly beyond the time, but I think I will allow a quick question, if there are any. I just want to say, first of all, on behalf of the committee that we appreciate the presentation. From the young people we have heard so far, whether they are students in secondary schools or post-secondary schools or whether they are not students and working out in the work world, we have heard a number of interesting and useful suggestions to us. There is very clearly, as you said, a lot of thought that is going on from the people who are the future of the country, and that is something we appreciate a great deal.

Mr Bisson: First of all, I feel somewhat happy knowing that our country is going to be in the hands of people who are somewhat enlightened on issues.

You touched on a number of points, but I just want to come back to one, because I think at the end of the day that is really the hurdle we have to get over. The problem we are in is that there is inflexibility on the part of the older generation, myself and others, who are inflexible when it comes to the issue, either French against English, bilingualism, yes or no, Quebec, yes they are out or whatever.

You spoke in your brief as that being sort of a frustrating feeling to have, to look at that, at the older people, "Why don't they understand?" What advice can you share with us as the older generation in making us understand that there are differences and that somehow we have to get together to try to solve some of our differences? What can you give us, any of you?

Mr Walsh: First of all, you should go to a public school such as W. D. Lowe. We have an ESL program; that is English as a second language. In a public education system, you meet people from all walks of life. You meet minorities, you meet people of every religion, of every social background. You should just walk through the halls one day, and not go to other places where everyone is suit and tie and stuff like that.

Mr Bisson: All right. Okay. I am starting.

Mr Smith: One other thing is to realize that you never stop learning, no matter how old you get, and when you see people, instead of running from your fear or whatever it is that is holding you back, just give it a chance, just for once or three times or five times until you understand, and then maybe you will be on your way to learning something different.


The Chair: I call Paul Paolatto. Mr Paolatto will be the final speaker for this afternoon and then we will take a break and come back for the evening list.

Mr Paolatto: Let me begin by congratulating the committee. I am just beginning to recognize the enormity of the task before you and if I might impose on you for another 10 minutes before your dinner break -- probably well deserved -- I hope I can offer something of some input or some value to yourself.

On the written presentation I have prepared, I will try to condense certain elements. I will pass some of the accolades, if I may, and get to the substance so we can expedite the process.

My intentions in speaking with you today are essentially fourfold. First, I would like to express my vision for a united Canada and its role as a member of our global community. Second, I wish to identify and endorse a policy framework which I feel is critical to the realization of this vision. Third, I would like to offer suggestions as to an improved process for both determining and implementing future public policy in our country. Finally, I would like to comment, if I may, on Ontario's role in Confederation.

To begin, my vision for Canada is a country which guards the rights and freedoms of its individuals, embraces its united heritage, acts as an agent of opportunity and remains a strong partner in the community of nations for the collective good and wellbeing of all its citizens.

While I recognize this statement somewhat oversimplifies the definition of our country, please permit me an opportunity to elaborate.

In my opinion, if the goal of our country is to continually enhance the quality of life of its people, it follows that Canada at minimum must ascribe to the following four positions.

First, I agree with the existing view of our country as a guardian of individual rights and freedoms. Such stewardship is fundamental to the continued functioning of a democratic society. However, with these rights comes responsibility, and where the rights of individuals come in conflict with one another, the collective rights of society must take precedence in resolving the dispute.

Second, I believe Canada's heritage extends beyond the traditional founding nations view of this country. We must recognize that several cultures from around the world contributed to its development. As such, our Confederation must reflect this heterogeneous makeup.

Third, I strongly advocate a country which directs its financial and human capital to the creation of opportunity for all its citizens. Only through opportunity will people resist the mere subsistence afforded them through our support programs and assume greater responsibility for their own welfare and that of our society.

Finally, I endorse our evolution from a fringe player on the international scene to one of executing quiet, confident leadership in helping shape international policy. However, as political, cultural and economic barriers continue to fall around the world, we must continually refine our policy and programs across all levels of government if we hope to remain an influential member of this global community.

Now having articulated a vision for Canada and its people, I present for your consideration a policy framework which encompasses that vision. Please recognize that this framework is by no means absolute in design. It merely reflects those elements which I believe are critical to the realization of our country's quest.

As I mentioned, we must protect the rights of the individual, recognizing them as an equal partner in society without regard for race, religion, creed, social standing, sex or handicap. However, this framework should not further distinguish nor name specific members of society who should enjoy special consideration over anyone else. In my opinion, segmenting special interest groups only contributes to discrimination.

Now I recognize that certain indiscretions by the majority have disadvantaged the minority in the past. However, I firmly believe that as we have evolved as a society we have come to recognize the contribution of all its members. Further, I believe that this recognition is not the result of catch-up legislation, but rather is the product of increased awareness and mutual respect among societal members.


If we legislate one equality for all people, we establish a level playing field upon which individuals who excel in life do so solely on the basis of merit and quality of being. We can then target and emphasize through public education the special interests that need to be addressed as we evolve. However, I am dead set against appending a laundry list of minority rights to our Constitution for the express purpose of affording special consideration over any other citizen.

The Constitution must also reflect the contributions of our heterogeneous membership to the building of our country. Therefore, I strongly support any reference and commitment to Canada's multicultural identity. It is the many cultural personalities which distinguish our country from any other nation in the world.

However, in order for society to prosper within a multicultural environment, we must dilute the current emphasis on the exclusive cultures of French and English. This dualist approach has neglected the cultural elements of society no more or less important than themselves. Moreover its implementation has been one of the major contributors to our country's political demise as it evokes special privileges to one segment of society over and above its other members solely on the basis of historical perspective.

I remain convinced that if Canada remains committed to a multicultural agenda, it must provide the same public services across all cultures. However, because this strategy completely ignores the huge economic cost associated with the delivery of such a program, then such services should be legislated only where they are warranted and economically justified.

I believe setting a public agenda which creates opportunity represents the greatest single contribution a government can make on behalf of its people. I believe maximizing one's potential is the means by which all members of society realize their self-worth. As such, it is imperative that society not merely care for disadvantaged members through social programs; we must direct our financial and human capital at creating opportunities for their continued advancement.

To this end I recommend we recommit ourselves to self-improvement. However, I do not suggest we merely throw more money at our education system. Rather I suggest we solicit participation from key economic interests like business, government and labour to design, develop and deliver a quality education program with particular emphasis on training in science and technology, research and development and the skilled trades. Moreover we should restructure our government programs to maximize societal participation and provide incentives to instil commitment.

Few would argue the importance of our export economy in contributing to our quality of life. However, as the world order continues to evolve at such a rapid pace it is becoming increasingly important that our country set policy which protects and/or enhances our competitiveness in world markets. This strategy requires Canada make a commitment to developing value added technologies in which it currently enjoys or could enjoy a distinct competitive advantage.

I give examples of telecommunications, energy and transportation. It also reinforces the need for Canada to invest more in the development of human capital as well as the need to permit greater economic and social reward in order to protect that investment. While the latter point is contrary to our existing commitment to income redistribution and social support, it recognizes that the development of intellect, skills and innovation are investments which ultimately benefit all of society.

Just to reiterate, my presentation expresses a vision for Canada which supports equality across all individuals, embraces our heritage through multiculturalism, creates opportunities for personal and social advancement and advocates increased international competitiveness.

If I might now comment on your process, one of the critical questions before our nation is how to best facilitate public involvement and apply economic rationale in the setting of the future direction of this country.

It has become increasingly obvious that our government's capacity to satisfy the wants and needs of a number of divergent interests has become severely constrained. As such, we must begin to apply economic tests to our funding policies to determine if they are realizing their intended objectives and, more importantly, if the need for financial or public support is more pronounced in other areas.

Officials across all levels of government must begin to apply economic reality and not political expediency to the programs they chose to initiate. They must make choices with the collective good of all its citizens in mind, and they must introduce these initiatives with maximum public coverage, open debate and some measure of economic justification, such that it eradicates hidden agendas and maximizes public fund accountability.

If I might just provide a sidebar comment, in following some of the proceedings I have noticed one of the critical questions before many of the people who have presented before the committee is a concern of eliminating rhetoric. I firmly believe that what we need is to divest ourselves of words or phrases like "distinct society" or "asymmetrical federalism" and, if we decide to use those types of labels, that we quantify or qualify what implicitly that involves. I think one of the critical things in doing so is it eliminates confusion. I say this tongue in cheek, but when a politician says to me "Trust me," you can imagine I have some reservations.

The Chair: Mr Paolatto, if you could sum up, we are already out of time.

Mr Paolatto: I will, sir. I would advocate the introduction of such policies as the rights of recall and referendum. The right of recall helps entrench public accountability as it provides people with a vehicle to recall elected officials who might work contrary to the public good. Similarly, a referendum provides the public with an opportunity for input on a specific issue of specific importance to the general populace.

I think the critical point, if I may make any contribution, I finally endorse the use of a collaborative process as outlined earlier as a means of determining future policy direction. This process secures input from the very people who must live with policy decisions. Collaboration would prove particularly helpful in the areas of education and international strategy-setting.

If I might just briefly comment on Ontario's role, very quickly, as the economic hub of Canada, I would hope that Ontario assumes a leadership role in advocating many of the policy positions I have presented here today. I would hope the province actively endorses and participates in Canada's reunification.

However, I strongly recommend that Ontario avoid a fire sale strategy by blindly consenting to the demands of any province. I would urge the government of Ontario to proceed with extreme caution in setting a policy of official bilingualism for the province, especially in light of the volatile political environment confronting our nation. I do not disagree with the political issue of bilingualism; I just merely think we should exercise caution until such time as this volatile situation is eradicated.

Finally, I would hope Ontario would prepare an alternative strategy for Canada should Quebec choose to fulfil its own destiny. The government of Ontario must be prepared to demonstrate a willingness to work with Quebec in achieving its aspirations and set a platform for a new, interdependent relationship with that country. While few people in Ontario would welcome such a radical departure from the traditional view of Canada, it would present us with an opportunity to reaffirm our own evolution as a nation.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Paolatto.

We will end the session with that speaker. We will break at this point, and I am going to suggest to the members of the committee that we try to get back as close to 6:15 as we can. I realize that is a short break, but under the circumstances I think we need to try to do the best that we can. What we will do at that point is begin with the list of speakers that we have on the evening list, and we will have some time at the end of that to add some of the people who have indicated an interest in speaking. There will also be some other additions to the printed list that we have.


Ms Korenich: Chairman, I would like to speak. I have someone with a medical problem that I have to assist. I cannot stay.

The Chair: Are you on the list for this evening, ma'am?

Ms Korenich: I requested today.

The Chair: I am sorry. Well, it is up to what the committee wants to do.

Ms Churley: Can you do it in five minutes?

Ms Korenich: I will try my best.

The Chair: The committee is willing to give you five minutes, ma'am. All right. If you would come forward, we will give you five minutes. Could we have your name, please, for the record?

Ms Korenich: My name is Kathy Korenich. Thank you very much for allowing me these five minutes. This has been a subject of great interest to me, and had my father been alive today, I am sure he would be here too, supporting me.

I am here to express for myself and for a multitude of others who share the same beliefs our stance on Ontario in Confederation. Let me tell you this: I already am bilingual, as are a great majority of Canadians. One language is English, but the other is not French. For the same reasons that the majority of Canadians immigrated to this new country, our ancestors came with hopes of a new, better and democratic life for themselves and their families. They realized that they were in a new country and wanted to belong. The majority of immigrants learned the common language, English, and the customs of the country. These same families realized that if they were to keep their heritage alive, they would have to do it, and did, even beyond the family unit, by forming and building at their own expense churches, meeting halls -- you are in one right now -- clubs, newspapers, language schools, concerts, dance groups, orchestras, and the list goes on and on.


The French, we believe, as bilingual, should be doing the same, yet all of us already bilingual Canadians are forced to accept and pay dearly for the preservation of the French language rights and their culture because with these acts they set themselves apart. All people should be treated equal. This is not the case. I do not consider myself racist, but I do consider their demands on us people, as Canadians, as being racist.

This first was accomplished through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by a small group of Canadians, intellectuals and politicians who were elected to represent the majority but selected a dictatorial attitude. This was too important not to put to a direct vote to the people who would have to live with and pay for it for the rest of their lives. But it was not even good enough for Quebec.

And along comes the Meech Lake accord, which was to recognize Quebec as a distinct society and bring it into the fold. Thank God for people like Elijah Harper and Clyde Wells, who spoke for those who had no chance to vote and be heard. We also are thankful for the subsequent defeat of David Peterson, the so-called Captain Canada. He did not listen to the voices of the Ontario citizens.

We are not stupid not to realize that "distinct" was the foot in the door, so to speak, to allow Bourassa and the francophones to realize anything and everything they wanted. Everyone, especially the French, forget that this land we call Canada was already occupied when the French first landed. But the French have made it clear with the events at Oka, after Meech failed, that they do not give a damn that today these same natives are a minority like themselves and have no real special privileges. They do not give a damn except for those who single out themselves and give them special privileges and authority. Ultimately, it is those people who needed a golf course. It cost a life and it is going to cost us taxpayers in purchase of land for those natives.

Much was made in the run-up of the Meech Lake accord over a small group of veterans who trampled the Quebec flag in Brockville, yet flag burning became the rage in Quebec and neither the political leaders nor the media dared to make much of it. The anti-English sign laws in Quebec show a disturbing streak of fascism and outright racism, and yet the news that youth in Quebec were paid or rewarded to seek out "English only" signs was only an obscure article even in our Windsor Star.

There is the case of the Montreal school board official, an Indian from India, who had to go to the Ontario Human Rights Commission to get his job back. He was fired because he did not speak French with the correct accent. And yet our federal government takes it upon itself recently, and hands over control of immigration only to Quebec, in the name of linguistic and cultural freedom.

Federal Minister of Communications Marcel Masse announced a few days ago plans to set up a new $45-million cultural institute in Montreal, using our tax dollars, while severe cuts to the CBC last December caused local programming to be slashed at television stations across Canada, including Windsor. Pray tell, what is that supposed to tell us other Canadians?

The Chair: Ms Korenich, if you could sum up, we have gone beyond the five minutes.

Ms Korenich: I would like to sum up in saying that I am a Canadian and I am proud to be Canadian. But I also feel that everybody should be treated equal. I have the right to speak my language anywhere I choose to with anybody who can understand me, and I will exercise that. I feel that is a right that should be given to anyone, but I think only one language in this country can unite this country.

We have a number of economic issues. We are in a deficit position. We are spending millions of dollars on this constitutional debacle and the French-language issue. We do not spend the money and we deprive issues that are humane, that not only take care of health and welfare but also our underprivileged and our sick and elderly. Those are the areas we should be spending our money in first, before we spend it elsewhere.

Common sense has to prevail. Look at the human issue. These hearings are conducted to demonstrate a democratic process. If the democratic process that you want is to exist, put it to the vote. Then all the people in Ontario can vote and accept the results and live with them.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

We will break at this point, and given that we have extended the time, we could come back at about 6:25. Thank you very much.

The committee recessed at 1758.


The committee resumed at 1828.

The Chair: I call the meeting to order. On behalf of the select committee on Ontario in Confederation, I welcome the people who are here with us this evening. We are in the Teutonia Club of Windsor, continuing our hearings in our travels across the province. We want to explain that we have been delayed in our proceedings today because of weather problems in Toronto; we were delayed coming into Windsor. We extended the session this afternoon and will do the same with the session this evening.

We have a number of speakers to hear from this evening and we will do our best to accommodate those as well as some additional people who want to speak to us, groups and individuals. We will do our best to accommodate those within the realm of reason. We will ask if people can also help us by limiting their comments to whatever extent is possible.

I did not do this earlier, also in the rush for time, but I do want to introduce the members of the committee. We are, of course, a committee made up of members of the three political parties which are represented at Queen's Park. We have from the NDP caucus Gary Malkowski, Gilles Bisson, who is also the Vice-Chair of the committee, Marilyn Churley, David Winninger, Ellen MacKinnon and George Dadamo. From the Liberal caucus we have Charles Beer, Yvonne O'Neill and Steven Offer. From the Conservative caucus we are awaiting at any time the arrival of Ernie Eves, and Ted Arnott is here with us.

We are not quite at full strength, as you can see; some of the members of our group are still trying to get here. I was commenting earlier that it is ironic that when we travelled in the last two weeks through the north and north-central region of the province we had absolutely no problems with the weather. In fact, we had some of the most beautiful weather we have managed to have. Mr Bisson, who is from that area, claims some responsibility for co-ordinating that for us. We obviously did not put anybody in charge of the weather in Toronto, and that was the problem in us being delayed in getting here today.


The Chair: In any event, we are pleased this evening to begin by inviting the Honourable Howard Pawley to come forward and talk with us. We are very pleased as a committee that Mr Pawley asked to come and speak to us.

Hon Mr Pawley: It is a pleasure for me to be here and to greet the members of the commission to Windsor, certainly dealing with a matter which is of paramount importance to Ontario and more particularly to Canada as a whole, at a time which is critical, at a time in which Canada cries for leadership. Your commission has a unique opportunity to provide that kind of leadership at a time when Canadians are expecting it.

To commence, I believe that Canadians are depressed about the Allaire report, a report which would dismantle Canada. They are appalled, as I mentioned, at the lack of leadership available to contend with those various proposals.

The statements by the Premier of Quebec as well as those of the Prime Minister lack any consideration of an alternative articulation. We are placed upon dangerous ground. If Canada is to become an arrangement or a looser form of sovereignty association bound only by economic ties, then we are witnessing the end of what we call Canada.

We must maintain a strong Canada, one which was associated with the advent of progressive taxation after the First World War; the development of old age pensions in 1927; the Rowell-Sirois commission in 1941, which recommended federal intervention in order to ease regional disparities; the assumption, with provincial approval, of unemployment insurance in 1940; the development of family allowances; federal funding for the Trans-Canada Highway; equalization payments; and, most important, the development of medicare covering all Canadians.

A strong central government is good for Ontario, but as well good for Canada. Canadians will not accept alterations which prevent the kind of future progressive reforms which I mentioned have occurred previously. Having been a signatory to the Meech Lake accord, I recognize the need for accommodation. However, we must not sacrifice the advantages of a federal system which historically has accomplished much, a system enjoying the flexibility to either centralize or decentralize power dependent on the needs of the time. I have distributed a chart which demonstrates the ebb and flow of federal-provincial relations during the 123 years of Confederation, demonstrating the flexibility of our existing constitutional arrangement to move from periods of centralization to periods of decentralization.

I want to also mention to you at this stage that during the time I served in various roles in the Manitoba government, some 19 years, as well as seven years as Premier of Manitoba, I did not feel restricted in my ability, in my government's ability, including the seven years as Premier of Manitoba, to accomplish that which I wished to do within the provincial realm for Manitoba. The only area I felt some restrictions was in the introduction of a sufficiently broad and general tax reform initiative which could bring about the kind of fiscal flexibility that one requires in order to undertake social and economic programs of importance.

Canada's Constitution should be structured to provide a framework which will permit maximum economic growth, the reduction of regional disparities throughout Canada, and the maintenance of a satisfactory level of public services with a fair sharing of costs. We must not weaken the central government's ability to achieve economic success in an international competitive environment.

Any division of powers should provide for constitutional amendments which strengthen the capacity for all Canadians to achieve their social and economic destinies. Some social programs' powers may be delivered in a manner which reflects Canada's diversity by constitutionally permitting provinces to opt out of federal programs which are being provided in areas of provincial jurisdiction. Conditionally, a province would be entitled to financial compensation in the event of such opting out if that province were able to establish a program which satisfied national standards. In addition, it is my view that we should recognize the distinctiveness of Quebec's cultural and linguistic distinctiveness.

To meet the exigencies of the 1990s, the central government should exercise responsibility for the environment as well for interprovincial trade barriers. Amendment to section 121 of the Constitution Act would be required in that instance.

Ontario, in the interests of a united and strong, vibrant nation, must encourage the reduction of disparities, to promote greater equality among Canadians wherever they work or reside. Increased disparities represented by the undoing of public services like Via Rail, rural post offices, public air service, the imposition of a cap on established programs financing for universities and health, and the slashing of public broadcasting, so very important to the Windsor area, are coincidental with moves to harmonize Canada into the American economy, moves which will diminish the capacity of Canadians to transcend differences and distances, and thus for us to create a more caring society.

Section 36 of the Canadian Constitution, 1982, enshrines the principle of reducing economic disparities and the provision of public programs and services, including health and education, for all Canadians at comparable tax rates. Section 36(2) has been given little more than lipservice by both past and present federal governments. This provision should be rewritten to require compliance in the future by Canadian governments.

Much has been said of the growth in western Canada of the need for a triple E Senate. Let me report to you that it is my understanding that the present Manitoba legislative committee on the Constitution has received little enthusiasm for such Senate reform, while on the other hand many submissions have proposed Senate abolition.

My experience, while Premier of Manitoba in 1986, with that famous CF-18 fiasco led me to believe that the triple E Senate concept would not have been helpful. My preference would be for a limited number of members of Parliament, elected by proportional representation, which would reflect regional concerns in each party's caucus. These members of Parliament would be in addition to the existing House of Commons composition. Such a system would replace the existing Senate.

Priority should be applied to the long-unaddressed issue of constitutional entrenchment of the principle of aboriginal self-government, coupled with a government commitment to give expression to that principle in subsequent talks with native peoples. Hopefully, greater success can be realized than that which was achieved in the unsuccessful attempts undertaken from 1982 to 1987. Canadians are aware that our first peoples can no longer be relegated to the sidelines in any discussions that involve Canada's future. The debacle of the Meech Lake accord and of Oka testify to that.


In summation, the new course or direction in Canada must involve a recognition that Canada consists of more than economics and that we are not measured by monetary value alone. Our collective responsibility is to establish programs to ensure that the abundance which is Canada, along with our resources and our wealth, can be redistributed to all Canadians through mutual and useful and meaningful economic and social programs, programs that will unify the Canadian fabric by reduction of the social and economic disparities that presently exist. It is critical not only to respect the diversity that exists between French and English Canada but among all Canadians in a multicultural and bilingual society, as well as the full recognition of Canada's aboriginal peoples. Canadians will insist upon a clear alternative vision, an alternative vision that will replace the unfortunately destructive path which has been pursued in the past decade.

Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Pawley. There are, I know, a number of questions. I think we will try to do our best to accommodate those requests.

Mr Winninger: It is rather exciting to get to speak to a Premier who was actually present at the Meech Lake process. I wanted to ask you if you had any inkling or intimation that the Meech Lake agreement might be torpedoed by the native concerns as well as women's concerns and multicultural groups, all of whom were not consulted with in any meaningful way when the Meech Lake process unfolded.

Hon Mr Pawley: Certainly I had clear indication in 1987 that there would be opposition. In fact, in 1987 former Premier Peterson and myself at the Langevin Block were extremely concerned about what we felt, at that time, was an oversight, that there was no doubt that the sexual equality and the concerns of our aboriginal Canadians were not dealt with. Elijah Harper, in 1987 -- I want to indicate this to you -- was very upfront and honest with me, as Premier of Manitoba, and indicated to me that if Meech, as we had agreed to in 1987, came to a vote in the Manitoba Legislature he would vote against it.

I think what we should have learned from Meech, but I hope we will learn in the period ahead, is that we no longer proceed in a way that does not engage the public in participation. I believe you are doing that here. Manitoba had a process, a process which was written into the law of the province, which required 10 days of discussion in the Legislature, required presentations and hearings throughout the province, and then a further opportunity for the legislators to make changes and improvements to the accord.

The Prime Minister was warned in June of 1987 that Manitoba would pursue that course, that our support was one only in principle. It was a compromise, but the Prime Minister was warned, as were other premiers, that Manitoba might very well be back at the negotiating table because of our particular process in Manitoba.

I believe any shortcut, any ignoring of the wisdom of people in participating, is bound to lead to the backlash that was generated over Meech Lake. My regret is not in the substance of Meech Lake. My everlasting regret is that the process was so bastardized as to bring about the kind of result that occurred last year.

Mr Offer: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this matter. It is going to be crucially important to this committee as we go through our hearings and hear from so many people to get, certainly, the perspective of an individual such as yourself. I want to thank you for taking the time to share that with us.

I have two questions. On your first page, you talk about an "alternative articulation" of Bourassa's statements as well as the statements of the Prime Minister. I am wondering if you might be able to expand upon what you view as that alternative articulation. As you will know, there is discussion in Quebec about an increase in provincial powers now exercised by the federal government. I want to know if the alternative articulation is one which is just the retention of a strong central government or if there is something else you could share with us.

Second, something which I as well as others have been grappling with, there are currently discussions between Quebec and the federal government dealing with the whole question of redefined federalism, division of powers, whatever. What did you see as the role of the other provinces in those discussions? Is there a role? Is there not a role? If there is, what might that role be?

Hon Mr Pawley: First, in so far as the latter question is concerned, there must be a role for all provinces in these discussions, and the involvement of all provinces must ensure there is also involvement of Canadians. There is just no way that there can take place bilateral discussions with the government in Ottawa and the government of Quebec. All provinces must be involved, and the sooner that is recognized by Premier Bourassa the better we all will be in this important process of renewing federalism.

The alternative vision: Pierre Elliott Trudeau used to refer to "shopping plaza federalism." It was the way Pierre Trudeau used to refer to the "community of communities" approach of Joe Clark in 1979-80. I think there is much in what is being proposed now in 1991 in the Allaire report, much in the musings of the present Prime Minister, that reflect back to that community of communities, that shopping plaza approach.

I am prepared to recognize that it will be critical to update and to rethink our approach. This is 1991. But in the international market, in a situation in which we are faced with tremendous disparities in this country, when there are immense social problems to be dealt with as well and a major debt that must be contended with, I think the federal government must enjoy the kind of economic powers that are necessary in order to deal with that. So I am very concerned about any vision that would diminish the federal government's economic power.

On the other hand, I believe there is room to reflect the diversity of this nation, the regions. I am very conscious of the west, the Atlantic and Quebec. I think we must reflect the different peculiarities in different regions. That is why I think it is important that we proceed to an agreement for full financial compensation when the federal government launches new national programs in areas of provincial jurisdiction, subject to those programs being compatible with national standards -- I know Meech Lake said "objectives." I was worried about "objectives." It may be that we will have to accept "objectives." I would prefer "standards" -- to reflect the fact that there is diversity in this great country of ours.

I think it is also important that we recognize the distinctiveness of Quebec's cultural and linguistic characteristics. Also, if I could just add, and I hope the committee will examine this, I think a Canadian clause would be important, one that will note the aboriginal origins of Canada, the duality of Canada, the distinctiveness of Quebec, but also will reflect the multicultural future of Canada. You might want to examine a Canadian clause that will reflect Canada 1991 and not -- I know how people cringe when we refer to charter groups -- the English and the French. It gets the back of a lot of people up. I think we have to look at a Canadian clause, a clause that is going to embrace all Canadians rather than allow some Canadians to feel they are second-rate, second-class, in this process.


Mr Arnott: I want to first of all state what a privilege it is to have a national statesman addressing us this evening and giving us his opinions.

You have stated in your submission that you recognize the need for the accommodation of Quebec's interests. One of the problems I see in Ontario and in Canada today is that a lot of people do not want to recognize that there is need for accommodation of Quebec. Can you explain in your own words why we need to accommodate Quebec's interests?

Hon Mr Pawley: I have very deep worries if we fail to accommodate the Quebec situation -- without the price of emasculating Canada. I want to make that very clear, because I am concerned about the extent to which we move to meet the pressures from Quebec. My concern, of course, is that if we fail to do so then I do not know what happens in so far as Atlantic Canada is concerned, whether it is going to be feasible for Atlantic Canada to continue to be part of Canada or whether it will eventually break away, be integrated into the United States. I fear very much what is going to happen in British Columbia and in Alberta. In the final analysis, I can see an absorption take place with parts of western Canada -- Manitoba never, but BC and Alberta potentially so. I fear a gradual fragmentation taking place across Canada, that 50 years from now we would not recognize the land we know now as a result of the picking away of different parts of this country in the north-south alliance. I must say that I am worried about the north-south, and a diminishing of our ability to maintain ourselves as a strong nation.

Therefore, I say let's keep our economic power strong. Let's keep the central government strong. It has to raise the funds in order to redistribute income. It has to be able to pay down the debt. It has to promote economic growth. Let's not interfere with that, but let's recognize that there is much diversity in this country. Surely we are all broadminded enough and big enough that we can recognize that all parts of this country have a great deal to offer -- Atlantic, Quebec, west, British Columbia.

Mr Malkowski: Thank you very much for your invaluable perceptions throughout this evening. It has given us a lot to think about. I know one problem we are faced with, and have been, is the process, as you specifically stated with Meech Lake, as well as leadership on the federal level. That reflects all the problems. I am wondering if you feel that Ontario should take a leadership role in negotiations with Quebec as well as the communication with the federal. We seem to think we need a strong leadership role, and I am wondering if you feel Ontario can have some kind of effect with Quebec to rethink this.

Hon Mr Pawley: Unfortunately, at this time -- with all due respect to my former colleagues who were premiers -- I do not see much alternative leadership available. Most of the premiers have already been fairly or unfairly -- indeed I was -- tainted by the Meech Lake process. The Prime Minister certainly carries that burden as well. I think Ontario, being the largest, most populated -- 35% of Canada's population -- not tainted by the debacle of 1987 to 1990, can provide that kind of leadership. I think Ontario has by way of history the capacity to be more sensitive, more sensitive as far as Quebec is concerned but also sensitive as far the west is concerned.

I was much more optimistic, let me say this to you, six or eight months ago, about how we could work our way through this impasse. I am less certain now because there are so many irreconcilable differences across this country of ours, from the Allaire report in Quebec to what are very uncompromising positions in western Canada, positions which I carry some scars from in years gone by. It is going to be very difficult. I do not see any other actor at this time that has the credibility and the strength and the accessibility and sensitivity to do that but Ontario.

Mr Beer: One of the things we have been told rather bluntly by a number of witnesses is that one of the differences now with our hearings is that we have to recognize that Quebec may in fact separate. We are trying to have a look at the whole country and what is going to happen, and it seems to me that one of the things we have to do in our work is look at how that links to the west.

Manitoba in many ways has always had a unique role. You are part of the west but very close, of course, to Ontario, and often the approach has been somewhat different. Regardless of how the country evolves, whether it is a separate Quebec or some other form of association, what are some of the critical things we must not forget about the new relationship with the west? You mention in your paper that perhaps having some proportional representation in the House of Commons would begin to deal with some of the regional problems, but what other things might you remind us of as we go about our work, so that we recognize what is happening in the west and how that would be reflected in a new Canada?

Hon Mr Pawley: I am glad you mentioned that the west is not monolithic. Sometimes people make the mistake of referring to the attitudes of western Canada and the western Reform Party. The western Reform Party is still principally an Alberta phenomenon. It is not one that is pronounced by way of strength or viewpoint in the province of Manitoba nor in Saskatchewan. But I think the west does require a mechanism by which it can ensure that its regional concerns are better reflected and understood.

That is why there is this tremendous support in Alberta, and to some extent in British Columbia, scatterings of it elsewhere, for the triple E Senate. The reason I said the triple E Senate in my view would not be sensible -- in the CF-18 fiasco, when the party whip was used, premiers Devine and Getty and Don Mazankowski all supported that fiasco, when the west was being prejudiced. That CF-18 fiasco gave rise to impetus that helped the western Reform Party a great deal. I have to whisper to you that the only support I got from a western Premier was Bill Vander Zalm. But I think that demonstrates that a triple E Senate would not in some way or other reflect western concern, it would reflect the party whip.

Thinking about this, I have come to the view that we retain the membership we have now in the House of Commons, we elect some additional members on the basis of proportional representation but ensure that the proportional lists reflect the regions of Canada, so we never again have a situation where there are no Liberals in the western caucus, as there was during the 1970s -- there would be some with proportional representation; no Conservatives from Quebec, again as there was in the 1970s; no New Democrats from Quebec as there was during the 1970s and throughout most of the 1980s; that we would have some input through some system of proportional representation. There are plenty of models for that: Europe has many models of proportional representation. If that is not acceptable, I think the next best route is to look at a House of the Provinces.


One more point I want to emphasize, because I do not want us to forget, my reference to 36(2) of the Constitution is not important as far as Ontario is concerned. In fact, Ontario historically has at some times been cool -- not during the time of Peterson nor the time of Rae but on some occasions previously -- to equalization. But I do not think we can permit continued cutbacks in equalization to less-well-off regions of this country, caps on established programs financing that are taking place at the present time, without soon reaching an occasion when the divisions will deepen, the social friction will intensify, and rather than moving towards a much more harmonious kind of relationship we will be contributing to the reverse.

Ontario may have to take a lead that may at times appear to be contrary to its own interests, in the larger interests: regional sensitivity, supporting equalization for the have-not areas of this country. That includes Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces and Quebec -- $3 billion to Quebec on an annual basis, an important item as far as Quebec is concerned. Ontario has to be prepared to be broad-minded enough and fair enough and equitable enough in its approach to divorce itself from a narrowminded approach. Probably only Ontario has the size and the strength and the population that it can afford to do that.

Mr Bisson: A quick question on the amending formula: One of the things we have been hearing before the committee is that there needs to be a change with regard to the way the amending formula works. Some people argue it is too inflexible; others say it should remain the same. What are your thoughts on that?

Hon Mr Pawley: Politics, as you all know, is the art of the possible. In 1987, Meech Lake, we all agreed to unanimity. I look back with some regret at that, because we paralyzed our amendment process. I wish we could agree 7 out of 10 with 50% of the population. I think we would be much better if we could do that, leave unanimity in a few limited areas. That would be my preference. The issue is going to develop with Quebec's insistence upon a veto. I wish we could compromise to the extent that we recognize the cultural and linguistic distinctiveness of Quebec. In those areas I think we are going to be required, realistically, to accept some veto in so far as Quebec is concerned.

I say that with some hesitation, being from the west, because I do not know whether you can sell that to western Canada. But if we are not prepared to attempt that minimum, I do not know how in the world we are going to bring about a compromise that will keep Quebec within the Canadian family.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Pawley. That is the end of the questions. I just wanted to say, in thanking you on behalf of the committee, that I think all of us will remember this day in Windsor for a number of reasons but certainly one of them will be the chance we have had to talk with you and to hear your views. You have challenged us, I think, as others have, to try to begin to articulate a clear alternative vision of what Canada is and can become. We appreciate the kinds of things that you have suggested need to go into that new vision of Canada.

Hon Mr Pawley: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.


The Chair: We want to go back at this point and invite one of the speakers who was not able to be with us earlier today, Lucienne Bushnell, du comité d'Essex-Kent du Réseau des femmes du Sud de l'Ontario.

Mme Bushnell : Nous vous remercions de l'opportunité de participer aux audiences en vue de déterminer le rôle de l'Ontario au sein de la Confédération dans le débat sur l'avenir du Canada.

La comité d'Essex-Kent du Réseau des femmes du Sud de l'Ontario est l'un des huit groupes d'action communautaire qui forme le réseau. Le réseau est un organisme bénévole qui, depuis sa création en 1982, travaille à l'amélioration des conditions de vie des femmes francophones de la région. Nos dossiers prioritaires du réseau sont : la prévention de la violence faite aux femmes ; l'identification de ressources disponibles aux femmes ; la création de services en français pour les femmes ; et le développement personnel et le mieux-être des femmes.

Nous fonctionnons par consultation pour arriver à bâtir un consensus parmi nous et la société. En tant que femmes francophones, nous voulons briser l'isolement historique dans lequel nous vivons depuis toujours. Le fait d'être francophones nous situe comme minorité linguistique à l'intérieur d'une minorité qu'est celle des femmes.

Nous aimerions souligner le fait qu'il y a des femmes francophones dans notre région, dans la région de Windsor, depuis déjà plus de 290 années. En effet, c'est en 1701 que le Sieur de Lamothe Cadillac partait de Montréal en compagnie de 100 hommes pour venir établir une colonie agricole sur les rives de la rivière Détroit. Durant l'automne de cette même année, son épouse venait le rejoindre pour y établir domicile.

Nous appuyons sans réserve les démarches entreprises par l'Ontario en vue établir son rôle au sein de la Confédération. Mais je crois qu'il faut admettre que ces discussions se font de façon si active parce que le Québec est sur le point de choisir sa destinée qui peut très bien signifier son départ de la Confédération canadienne. Peut-être est-ce dû au fait que nous nous sentons souvent marginalisées en tant que femmes francophones, que nous écoutons les discours des Québécois avec beaucoup d'empathie. Nous acceptons que le Québec choisisse sa destinée en se basant sur les besoins de ses citoyens. Par contre, nous croyons que la présence du Québec au sein de la Confédération est avantageuse pour tout le Canada. L'effet historique indique selon nous que l'Ontario peut jouer un rôle très important dans le débat qui s'amorce sur l'avenir du Canada.

Nous réalisons que ces audiences ont été établies dans le but de fournir aux citoyens et aux citoyennes de l'Ontario une opportunité de faire connaître leurs vues sur le Canada de demain. Comme représentantes de femmes francophones, nous nous en tiendrons aux questions qui nous concernent le plus.

Un aspect de l'identité canadienne est sûrement le fait que nous sommes un pays bilingue et multiculturel. Un autre aspect qui nous différencie de nos voisins les Américains est la valeur que nous donnons à nos programmes sociaux. Comme Canadiennes, nous sommes très fières de notre système d'assurance-maladie, de la pension de vieillesse et divers autres programmes d'aide financière. Nous sommes aussi fières que nos villes soient moins violentes que celles des États-Unis.

Mais lorsque nous regardons de plus près les statistiques, l'image que nous avons de notre société n'est pas aussi idéale que nous la croyons. les femmes sont souvent victimes de violence ; une femme sur cinq est victime d'agression sexuelle. Chaque année des milliers de femmes sont battues par leur conjoint ; plusieurs d'entre elles meurent de leurs blessures. La liberté des femmes est sérieusement réduite par le constant danger d'agression.

De plus, la situation économique des femmes est beaucoup moins bonne que celle des hommes. Une famille sur quatre dirigée par une femme est pauvre. La salaire moyen des femmes est environ 60% de celui des hommes.

Nous devons valoriser la personne dans son individualité sans perdre de vue que l'individu a aussi une responsabilité envers la société. Il faut développer une volonté collective d'assurer la dignité de la personne et le respect qui lui est dû comme être humain.


Les Canadiens aiment croire qu'ils ne sont pas racistes. En réalité, il y a beaucoup d'intolérance envers les groupes minoritaires. De plus, les groupes minoritaires se sentent souvent en compétition entre eux. Trop de gens semblent croire que les besoins des uns sont satisfaits au détriment des autres. Il faut changer l'approche qui est trop compétitive et à courte échéance et se tourner vers des buts à long terme et agir de façon collaborative. Il faut apprendre à réaliser que chaque fois qu'un groupe a l'opportunité de s'actualiser, le Canada en entier est enrichi.

Comment pouvons-nous mieux répondre aux besoins et aux aspirations de nos minorités linguistiques ? Je crois qu'il y a vraiment deux niveaux. Le premier est de nous fournir les services dont nous avons besoin tels qu'identifiés par nous. En d'autres mots, les services sont basés non pas sur des droits, mais sur la reconnaissance de notre capacité d'identifier nos besoins.

Le deuxième est de reconnaître nos capacités de gérer nos propres institutions. Je parle ici au nom des francophones mais aussi d'autres minorités comme les minorités autochtones. Je n'ai pas vraiment couvert ça dans mon mémoire parce que je suis sûre que c'est une communauté qui peut très bien s'identifier et faire ses propres demandes, mais en tant que francophones nous appuyons aussi les demandes des autochtones. Pour les francophones qui habitent dans les régions désignées bilingues selon la Loi sur les services en français, ceci est en voie de réalisation. Nous félicitons le gouvernement de l'Ontario pour la reconnaissance de l'apport des francophones au patrimoine de l'Ontario et de son désir de le sauvegarder pour les générations futures. Nous vous encourageons à continuer à enrayer la marginalisation des francophones en Ontario.

J'aimerais attirer votre attention sur le fait que le système démocratique est un très bon système pour la majorité. C'est un système qui doit être tempéré par le désir de justice et de respect pour les minorités. C'est pourquoi nous croyons que bien que l'opinion populaire soit à la base des décisions gouvernementales, il demeure que les gouvernements municipal, provincial et fédéral doivent faire preuve de leadership dans les questions touchant les minorités. Une des responsabilités des gouvernements est de permettre à tous l'opportunité de vivre avec dignité et d'être citoyens et citoyennes à part entière.

Quel est l'avenir du Québec au sein du Canada ? Nous croyons que la reconnaissance officielle du caractère distinct du Québec est conforme à notre conception du Canada et de la Confédération. D'ailleurs, le groupe de travail sur l'unité canadienne sous la coprésidence de John Robarts, ancien premier ministre de l'Ontario, a identifié les six caractéristiques distinctes de la société québécoise moderne suivantes : il y avait l'histoire ; la prédominance de la langue française ; le droit civil et le common law ; l'origine ethnique commune de la majorité de la population ; les désirs, les aspirations et même les craintes similaires à ceux de la population du Québec ; le rôle unique que la politique et le gouvernement du Québec jouent pour façonner la société québécoise.

Nous croyons que lors des premières discussions sur la Confédération, le Québec était vu comme une province qui occuperait une place spéciale au sein de la Confédération. Le Québec a toujours eu la responsabilité de protéger la culture et le patrimoine francophones. Depuis 1759, le Canada français se débat pour survivre dans une Amérique du Nord anglophone et c'est en partie grâce à son succès que le Canada est un pays bilingue offrant aux Canadiens cette caractéristique dans leur identité. Il faut aussi reconnaître que le Québec a joué un rôle important pour le Canada dans l'établissement du commerce avec les pays francophones au sein de l'économie mondiale.

L'Ontario et le Québec sont partenaires depuis près de 300 ans. Nous croyons que les liens établis devraient faciliter le dialogue entre le Québec et l'Ontario. En effet, il nous semble que l'Ontario est appelé à jouer un rôle central dans les discussions à venir. L'Ontario devrait prendre soin de ne pas laisser ces discussions constitutionnelles endommager cette relation que nous avons avec Le Québec. Car, advenant l'échec des discussions et la séparation du Québec, il est fort possible qu'il y ait une fragmentation du Canada tel que nous le connaissons. Mais quoiqu'il advienne, la géographie dicte que le Québec et l'Ontario continueront à partager une très grande frontière et nous voudrons sûrement pouvoir maintenir avec le Québec nos liens économiques et culturels.

En conclusion, nous souhaitons que l'Ontario protège ses minorités francophones si le débat constitutionnel augmente l'animosité des Ontariens d'expression anglaise contre elles. De plus, nous voulons réitérer notre désir que l'avenir de l'Ontario soit fondé sur une base de justice et de respect pour tous et toutes. Merci.

M. le Président : Merci, madame. Il y a quelques questions.

Ms Churley: Thank you for your presentation. I am happy to hear from a woman tonight. I am just wondering if you have a relationship with Québécois women, and as well, do you think Canada can remain a country, stay together, be able to satisfy Quebec's needs to realize its goals, and in doing so, be able to maintain the social programs you talked about that are so important to women in Quebec and in every province in this country, and also the gains that we have made over the years for equality for women.

Do you think it is possible? I know that is a big question, but of course, it is still very important to women who were involved in Meech that we find ways, across the country, to not lose those gains that we have made over the years.

Ms Bushnell: I think the people of Quebec found their identity. They had been searching for their identity since, really, the 1940s and the 1950s. In the 1960s they began to really find their identity and I think they have travelled a long way.

I think they consider themselves as Canadians and I think it will be a very difficult decision for them to make, should separation occur. I think it will be very painful. However, I think that as the rest of Canada we have to look at it as, "Can we really force them to stay?" I think that unless we are willing to march in an army, which I do not think we intend to do, we cannot hold them against their will.

I believe it is important in discussion to truly hear what they say. I think the disaster of Meech Lake in Quebec was not that people said, "Oh, it didn't work out." The message I was hearing from people who live there was: "They haven't heard us. They don't understand. They have not even listened."

That is why I think we have to be more open and to be able to really, truly listen to what it is. They are afraid. They have been a minority inside Canada. It is hard to be a minority. I think as women, we are not a numeral minority. However, we are in fact when it comes to take decisions that effect us and I think this is what we are trying to change. I think this is what Quebec is trying to change.

I agree that if Quebec leaves, I am very pessimistic how we can keep Canada together. They are not on the edge of Canada. They are right smack in the middle. They are a large population and it is a very great concern that it should happen.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Thank you so much, Ms Bushnell. I want to tell you that you are the second woman who has come before me in the city of Windsor -- the other happened to be a woman taxi driver -- to explain to me just the difference that the river makes in the level of violence. I really think that is a very important point to bring to such a committee. There are very few communities that are as close to an alternative as you are. and you make that very strong distinction and you make it from a different perspective, the women's perspective.

As you know the mandate of this committee is to look at values and to look at social and economic aspirations. You mentioned that sometimes we in government give you things or present laws that we see needs for, but maybe do not respond to real needs. I wonder if you could say a little bit about some of the needs you see that we have not responded to or your aspirations, so that we could then have some new guidance about the way in which we could respond to those.


Ms Bushnell: I think, actually, I would like to commend the government on making violence done to women really a priority. I think things are moving in the right direction. However, I think that although the laws are there, the way they are implemented is also a very large part of the problem. I think that in our culture women for a long time were seen as really property of their husband. We are in the process of changing this.

I think the law has to make it very clear, and I think progress from the government and I think the publicity, the campaigns that the Ontario women's directorate does, for example, every November, these campaigns should be really fully supported. I think it is a question of public education. We have to change the perception, the way women are seen.

I think one of them is to equality, to job equality, to money, to be paid the same salary or an equivalent salary. I think it is tragic to see, for example, that the women who are working in day care are paid less than, I understand, zoo keepers. We have to change the values we put on the jobs that women do, because for many years we have done this job of caring for the next generation, and unfortunately this was done by women at home, and because there was no dollar sign attached to it, I think it is perceived as having not much value.

I think a society values what costs. Unfortunately, the work that women have done has not cost and therefore is not valued enough. I think any programs that change that, any women who recognize the contribution that women do in society, whether it is through paid work or unpaid work, will help change this perception that society has of women and will improve our lot.


Mr Elliott: Thank you for affording me this opportunity to address your select committee. Let me start off by asking a question that all Canadians should think about every once in while, "What makes Canada Canada?" Is it the fact that there is western alienation towards central Canada, or the francophone or anglophone perceived resentment towards each other, or is it the Maritimes' feelings of inequity with the rest of Canada?

These are subjects which many people have addressed and many books have been written about. But in my opinion Canada is a country that helps each other, a country that cheers on its hockey teams to gold, a country whose war veterans strived to protect our interests and brought dignity to our flag wherever it was seen. Ask a Québécois or an Albertan or someone from the Yukon if they are American and they will resolutely proclaim that they are Canadian. It is now time for Canada to help itself.

I too am a proud waver of a red and white maple leaf. I am speaking tonight as a Canadian first and Ontarian second. It troubles me greatly that our country seems so torn apart, so close to breaking up. If it were not for my own travels, I would never have believed that a majority of Canadians would want to stick together. As a country our problems are great, but they can and should be addressed.

I would like to take this opportunity as an armchair constitutionalist, to express what I see as a solution to Canada's problems and what I perceive as Ontario's major role that it can play in solving them.

The recent privatization and dismantling of crown corporations by the federal government is a shameful travesty. Through government mismanagement, Via Rail cutbacks have caused some Canadians to lose valuable links that reduce the distances within Canada. I was under the impression that one of the main purposes of a crown corporation was to provide services that were deemed to be of national interest, services that the public sector could not provide due to economic reasons.

The present streamlining of the CBC, especially here in Windsor, is beyond comprehension. According to their own chairman designate, Patrick Watson, the purpose of the CBC's Canada mandate is to convey the "telling of our stories, the singing of our songs and the dancing of our dance." Here in Windsor, our songs tell about Toronto accident rates, Detroit crime and corruption and American troops in the Gulf. How can Windsor and the rest of Canada effectively and visually see what is occurring if we have maybe one or two reporters sorting through hundreds of cases a month to maybe have a Windsor piece once in a while?

The CBC provides a community link that betters the area, which in turn betters Canada. Before coming to school in Windsor, I used to watch the Toronto news in St Catharines, but upon my arrival watched the local CBC broadcasts. It helped me to achieve a sense of community and that I belonged to the city of Windsor. I think I know how people feel here. They now have practically no local, special interest or news coverage. Some might argue that local coverage might foster regionalism, but I do not subscribe to that view. How are we supposed to know about the rest of the country when our own local news gathering is hampered?

The issue is the CBC severed, almost completely, TV services in a market that is already inundated by American news outlets. If the gateway to Canada is not looked after, what will happen to the rest of Canada? What will happen to what is left of the rest of the CBC? The Ontario government must step up its pressure on the federal government and back all cities that are fighting to restore their services.

Education, along with health care services, needs to be strengthened, not weakened, not reduced to the point where programs have to be reduced or cut to make budgetary restrictions. The federal government has told the province that if Quebec leaves Confederation, we will experience a decrease in these equalization and transfer payments. I come to wonder how the government arrived at this position, especially with the fact that we are faced with decreasing transfer payments and equalization payments to other provinces each year. It is estimated that these payments will be further reduced by eventual Canada-wide reduction of $32 billion by 1995. This ultimately puts a cap on all present and future implementations of health and education programs.

Education is the key to a more prosperous country, a more understanding country. I believe our education system in Ontario, along with their other provincial counterparts, should join together in a co-operative spirit to eliminate ideological regionalism in the way we think about other parts of Canada. We learn the history of Upper and Lower Canada, a little bit about the Maritimes and even less about the west. Are not the histories of all provinces and their development a part of Canada's history? I did not, unfortunately, learn about other provinces until I came to university. What about those who do not have a post-secondary education?

I propose a simple solution that all provinces should attempt. In Ontario we have required courses of math, and English and others, but we should also require an additional four courses of history, telling about the history and future of (1) the Maritimes; (2) Ontario and Quebec; (3) the western provinces and territories, and finally, to join them all together, how they all fit into the milieu of Canada.

With the capping of health care services, it prevents Canada from continuing to be world leaders in areas of its expertise. This knowledge can not only be sold to other countries, but this knowledge also fulfils the Canadian citizen's right to life as guaranteed by the charter of rights. It is disheartening to have to send patients to American hospitals due to the simple fact that some beds are closed due to budgetary limitations.

Next in my submission, I would like to address the situation of the Canadian aboriginals and their want of self-government.

Most Canadians are ignorant to the plight of the native Indian and as a result have developed an incorrect stereotype. I too was guilty of that same mistake. I did not understand what they wanted. I too was outraged at how the native Indians at Oka could get away with a blockade of roads and bridges, how they could get away with holding the sûreté du Québec and the army at armed bay.

With some guidance from some key people, I was directed to information and sources so as to better understand what they indeed wanted. Hopefully I have the right idea, but only can speak as an observer and not on their behalf. So to them I apologize if I have misinterpreted or offended them.


During the incident at Oka, a report by the RCMP stated that the Warrior Society that was behind the armed standoff was "a well-funded and equipped guerrilla force that posed a great danger to law enforcement and military forces. Warriors are feared by other Indians and will stop at nothing to enforce their law on reserves." I believed this at first, but on the other hand, have realized that to other Indians Oka symbolically represents the stress, inequities and alienation they suffer from. Something has to be done now to greatly improve their plight.

Time and time again, the native Indians have stated the fact that they want to be a part of Canada. None, to my knowledge, has ever stated that if their demands were never met, they would seek some sort of association, nor have they ever held a constitutional knife to the throat of Canada. They have patiently tried and waited to negotiate a better life for themselves. Their heritage adds to a Canadian uniqueness, and though I do not agree with the bearing of arms at Oka, I understand that it represents aboriginal frustrations.

Some people have refuted their claims to self-government by stating that if they cannot live in our system, how can they survive in their own? We have to realize that they have tried to live within our system, tried to live with our ideals and therefore are products of our values, not theirs. They have proven that they are better protectors of the ecology and have continued to strive and succeed to be an important part of Canada. I can see how their own system of government and their own system of justice could better address their needs. They certainly can do no worse than what has been done to them in the past.

Although I believe in having a strong central government, the provinces should seek and have exclusive jurisdiction over aboriginals. Their needs could be better addressed by dealing with one level of government instead of dealing with two. Transfer of such powers, however, should in no way interfere with provincial and federal existing programs. The reason the provinces should have jurisdiction is twofold: (1) the demands of each Indian band could be dealt with separately so as to meet any special needs that might arise and to prevent any conflicts among different bands and (2) many Indian claims involve land, and since the province has jurisdiction over land, it would be better suited to look after this.

A good starting point would be to take a look at the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, which I believe was passed in Alberta, to see what lessons we learned from it and how we can improve on its foundation. I like the idea of a municipal structure with a native justice system, a system where they would operate their own services, such as school, fire and police. A group of individuals should help to set up the system under the guise of Indian leaders and help in the technical matters associated with it. This help should eventually be eliminated as aboriginals gain more experience and thus become better qualified. However, aboriginal rights should never supersede that of any other Canadian right, nor should any Canadian right supersede aboriginal ones.

The Chair: Mr Elliott, if you could sum up, we are near the end of the time.

Mr Elliott: We are sitting here today as a result of the failed Meech Lake accord, an agreement that in my opinion was fundamentally flawed. But that is in the past, and we have to look at the constitutional impasse that we are at today. I truly want Quebec to remain a part of Canada in the sense of all provinces being equal. I do not want to see them pursue sovereignty-association.

As a province, Quebec is a part of the Canadian uniqueness. As a province, Quebec is different from us with its heritage, culture and, of course, language. But other parts are also distinct. Herring Cove, Nova Scotia; Sussex, New Brunswick; Dauphin, Manitoba, all have distinct characteristics. Canada does not need Brockville idiots who stomp on the fleur-de-lis. To me, their ignorance only helps to foster ideological regionalism and Quebec's alienation.

But I must add, Quebec or any other province should not have a veto over constitutional matters. This gives the balance of power to one province over the other, and we would be back into the Meech Lake situation we once were and, Mr Chairman, you might be in the same position chairing another constitutional committee.

Some concern is raised with the emergence of groups that are coming forward and saying that they want their rights, or their rights should be guaranteed by the Constitution. It seems to me that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all Canadians the same rights. The charter does not take away from any one group and in my opinion is a fundamentally sound protector of their rights. Section 27 preserves multicultural heritage and section 28 applies the charter to both men and women equally.

In conclusion, let me say that Ontario has to realize it is probably the only province that can truly play the role of conciliator effectively. Our own interests must be looked after but also the interests that benefit the country as a whole. Maybe a new parallel accord to the Constitution, a definite new set of talks, or perhaps ultimate failure of the country -- whatever measures are taken, whatever is decided, it is important for the survival of Canada as a country to realize that we will eventually have to unite.

Meech Lake might not have been the answer to our constitutional impasse, but the supposed flaws of our Constitution must be overshadowed by our relatively young age. As a country we are a little over 100 years and, hopefully, we have more years to develop a truly Canadian identity. Let's stop Canada's intellectual civil war among the political elite and finally allow Quebec to patriate the Constitution and let Canada get on with its uniqueness.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Elliott. We will have to move on to the next speaker, I am afraid.


Ms Lucier: Good evening. I would like to welcome all members of the select committee on Ontario in Confederation to Windsor. I am pleased with this opportunity to speak at a public hearing on a subject which concerns us all, that is, Confederation, our Constitution and our Charter of Rights. I applaud the government of Ontario for caring enough to ask our opinion. It is an important process in a democratic government as long as someone really wants to listen.

As you know, Windsor is one of the communities which has lost its local TV news station through CBC cutbacks. As well, our only local newspaper is owned by a large, syndicated corporation which effectively reduces the quality and quantity of our local news and often fails to reflect the view of Windsorites. We must take any available opportunity to make ourselves heard and to make our views known. The government of Canada has tried to muffle our cries of dissatisfaction but we will not be silenced. I am not alone when I say that I am not pleased with the state of our country. We in Windsor are not happy with the way the government has handled our affairs regarding the Constitution, free trade, the GST, the Gulf war and CBC and Via Rail cutbacks. We are ready for a change. It is time for a federal election.

Tonight I have come here to discuss the Constitution and the future of Canada. I have no answers. I have only my opinions to share with you. I believe we have begun the process of bringing Canada together in Confederation by being here tonight, by sharing our ideas, our interests, anxieties and hopes on Canadian unity and by listening to what others have to say.

I believe Canada needs a strong, intelligent and pro-Canadian leader to guide us through this constitutional crisis. In the next federal election the Constitution must be made a key issue and Canadians must choose a government that will deal with this problem in a reasonable manner. I believe we should take the time to create a new Canadian Constitution which includes our Charter of Rights; the rights of the poor, elderly and disabled; the rights of women and the rights of our aboriginal people.

Our new Constitution should have an amending procedure to deal with changes in political and economic thought. These changes are imminent, and also a clause to allow provinces to withdraw from Confederation. No business has ever existed with an unwilling partner. How can we expect a country to?


Our new Canadian Senate should be an elected body of officials with a set term of office.

We must ensure that our national social programs are upheld and strengthened, including good health care, education, housing and pensions in a clean, safe environment. We must support the right of all Canadians to participate fully, without discrimination, in their communities, to accept government appointments, to have political and religious freedom, to demand equality of opportunity and equal protection under the law for all members of our community. We must strengthen the democratic decision-making process and we must oppose uncontrolled capitalism when the rights of individuals are threatened.

Brian Mulroney has approved the formation of a North American bloc economy through free trade with the US, and now Mexico. We all know that the main beneficiary of this deal is the United States. To protect Canadian interests, we must scrap the free trade deal. We must say no to a North American bloc economy, no to any economic association with the US unless it is to our benefit and on our terms. The future of Canada depends on it.

Is it naïve to think we can become an independent, self-supporting nation? I believe our economy can produce a good life for all Canadians and a secure future if our provinces are willing to co-operate under a democratic agreement. Canada is a nation rich in natural resources. Each province can boast of its own unique contributions to the economy of Canada and each province, not just Quebec, has special interests and needs. I believe it is the diversity of our Canadian provinces that will finally pull us back together. We must put into place a Canadian provinces economic confederation which will promote unrestricted and preferred trade between our provinces. The provinces will learn to use and share Canadian resources, products and services and our nation will no longer be threatened.

We must be willing to delegate power to our provinces to make our country more efficient and to control overspending by eliminating overlapping jurisdictions. We must trust our provincial leaders to be fully responsible in their assigned areas of duties and to report back to the federal government on these matters. This trust in each other is necessary to attain Canadian unity. I am an English-speaking French Canadian in Ontario. I have studied Canadian literature and history in an attempt to understand the English-French situation in Canada. I have also researched my family history in a personal search for my own identity. Perhaps this passage from the introduction of my work The Lucier Family in Canada will explain how I feel.

"My work was motivated by an interest in our French Canadian heritage. Our family has made its home in Canada for 12 generations, and although many of us no longer speak the French language, our culture and our way of life has been retained. Many things we do and say have been passed down over the generations. Our customs, foods, holidays all portray our origins, and yet we cannot remember that they are French customs, for we never knew France. They may seem to be Canadian customs, and so they are, for France is a part of us and we are an important part of Canada.

"We have never been taught to consider the French against the English. Indeed, we have become English-speaking people. And yet somehow we are caught in the middle of this battle. The French-speaking Canadians call us anglais because we do not speak French, and yet our name proclaims us français. And so we must hold tightly to our heritage and be proud of it. We can at once be true Canadians and still be proud of our ancestors, for they helped make Canada a country where all families can live happily together. Some day all people in Canada may learn our 'other' official language and recognize our French culture. Until then we are left to struggle alone in the maintenance of our heritage."

The struggle I speak of is one that began over 200 years ago. The conquest might have caused the ethnic and religious disintegration of French Canada; it did not. This was due in part to French Canada's will to retain its language and to survive as a distinct cultural and political group. It was in fact the British who decided to be lenient in this regard. As early as 1774 the French were given full rights in Canada and the Constitutional Act of 1791 guaranteed the survival of French in Canada. Confederation in 1867 has been called the guardian of French Canadian identity.

This English-French agreement or understanding is an historic convention of our Constitution, a tradition of recognizing the rights of the other. Out of this tradition stems Canada's cultural mosaic, which embraces the liberty of non-English people to be themselves in a multicultural nation. History has given us a dual culture which is diverse in language and race. The French fact in Canada will remain as long as the will to survive does. Canada is a nation of diversity. Our strength is our tolerance of this diversity.

If we are to prevent Quebec from separating, we must first erase the threat of attempted assimilation through the anglicization of French Canadians. This threat does exist. If we are to be a truly bilingual country, then all Canadians should learn to speak both languages fluently. No one has ever lost by learning another language. It is our young generation which is capable of fulfilling our quest for a bilingual nation. I say take both languages seriously and take the time to learn them well. The future of Canada rests in your hands.

We must ask Quebeckers what they expect to benefit from separation. We must bargain with them in good faith and try to reach an agreement. If we cannot, then perhaps we must let them leave. In any case we must certainly welcome Quebec to join Confederation now and in the future.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Lucier. Let me say that in sharing some of your opinions with us you certainly have given us some of the answers, I think, that we are looking for. Are there any questions of Ms Lucier?

Mr Dadamo: I just wanted to ask you a real simple question. If it was you and I speaking at a table and there were not a lot of people watching throughout the province, what would you say to English-speaking citizens of this province of Ontario to get them to embrace each other's culture, if you could say something from the heart?

Ms Lucier: I think it is important that we recognize the culture of all people in Canada, not just the French. We are a multicultural society and so far we have been open to this. We have a history of accepting other people. As far as English-speaking people and the French situation is concerned, I think they should first realize that there are French all across Canada and we are not going away, so you should learn to deal with us, because we are an important part of Canada.


Mr Wagenberg: My name is Ron Wagenberg, and I have taught Canadian government at the University of Windsor for 26 years. That perhaps is not what ordinary Canadians do. Let me say that I love Canada like an ordinary Canadian and I hope my comments will be taken just as much in that context as of someone who is a student of Canadian government.

Let me say parenthetically before I start what I have written that what I intend to say has something to do with the kind of perspective I would like Ontario to have in negotiating the changes in Canada. I am concerned, quite frankly, with this whole idea of a new Canada, because it tends to intimate there is something wrong with the old Canada.

I want to say something on behalf of the Canada we have today. Canada, as we know it today, is not a failure. In negotiating our future to say that everything outside of Canada really is only contingent upon and dependent upon our relationship with Quebec, I think is to take the wrong perspective. It is to take a weak perspective. As a matter of fact it is to invite Quebeckers to leave, because what is there to stay with?

Let me couch all of this in terms of the perspective you have to take in terms of looking at our future, and it is a perspective that I think has to take a certain amount of confidence in what we have become and what we are and what we constituted ourselves to be and what we achieved, and I think one can argue that far from being a failure, this country represents a tremendous success.


Canada, as it presently exists with all its imperfections, constitutional and otherwise, represents one of the most successful political systems ever developed. This can be asserted on the basis of most of the criteria by which political systems are judged.

Is there social peace and respect for public order? Yes, there is. Are there individual rights and freedoms and institutions to protect and expand these rights and freedoms? Yes, there are. Are there democratic institutions and opportunities to exercise democratic rights? Yes, there are. Is there an economic system which has produced widespread, if not equally shared prosperity for Canadians? Yes, there is. Are there policies, even with constitutional recognition, that seek to redistribute wealth so that the poorer regions can have social programs they might otherwise have in lesser measure? Yes, there are. Has the federal system allowed the provinces to retain their unique identities? Without a doubt, and Quebec has succeeded and prospered within the Canadian federal state in a way it never would have in some other political system.

Should we dismantle the arrangements which have produced these results? Absolutely not. Now this is not to argue we cannot make improvements, perhaps major ones, to our political systems. These refinements, however, need not necessarily be constitutional ones, and a lot of the things that people have said to you today are truly problems of major proportions, but they are policy problems that can be settled within the context of what powers the provincial government of Ontario already exercises and the powers the federal government has to exercise. So Canadians who are disillusioned by government generally today, perhaps especially because of policies like the goods and services tax of the present federal government, have blamed institutions which have up till now produced many of the benefits of Canadian life. Both at the federal and provincial levels, Canadians can change policies by changing governments.

I might just say parenthetically that the constitutional position of British Columbia is going to change drastically if the next Premier of British Columbia is Mr Harcourt rather than Mr Vander Zalm. I think we will have less of what was referred to before as "shopping plaza federalism." We will have a more nationalist point of view rather than a provincialist one, I would think.

Canadians need not usually look for constitutional solutions to their problems. Constitutional reforms, for instance an overhaul of the Senate, may be long overdue, but they are no guarantee of better government or of universally popular policies.

Without discounting the legitimate constitutional concerns of the aboriginal peoples and the long-standing sense of grievance of many western Canadians, it is clear that the present constitutional debate is generated by a concern to keep Quebec within the Canadian state. It is something we should try to do. I want Quebec to remain within our federal system. I want that because it benefits Canadians generally and because it is in the interests of the great mass of the Quebec population, but I do not want it at the cost of dismantling the institutions that have been basic to the success of this country.

Canadians would be foolish to even discuss the Allaire report recommendations, which would make of Quebec an independent country while it retained a claim on the financial resources of Canada. It is nowhere to start the negotiations. If I can use perhaps a union-type of analogy, it is like walking into negotiations saying, "As long as you don't call for our decertification, we'll talk about anything else." I mean, that would be ludicrous and nobody would even envision it for a moment, and yet that is the constitutional groundwork that we are being asked to accept outside of Quebec. The report is calling for a sovereign Quebec with institutionalized foreign aid from Canada. That is what the Allaire report is about. It should be rejected even as a negotiating document, as should the presumptuous deadlines it imposes upon the rest of the country. They should be ignored.

We in Ontario and other parts of Canada should stop the discussion of our Constitution, the Constitution of all of us, on Quebec's terms, on Quebec's timetable and for reasons that have never been justified in any concrete way. We can never satisfy the nationalist emotions of a minority of Quebeckers. We can by a rational discussion, if we will be allowed one, demonstrate how Quebec prospers from Canada.

These ideas might appear to be unduly confrontative. I would argue that Canadians, including those who live in Quebec, are at the point where we must confront reality. The reality is that Canada does not represent a failed federal system that needs to be radically restructured. The reality is that Canadians outside Quebec have a strong sense of themselves as Canadians who are both the authors and the beneficiaries of the achievements of this country. I do not agree with the view that says Canada will fall apart piecemeal if one of our 10 provinces leaves. I believe there is more than a little bit of Canadian feeling, of Canadian identity in the other provinces and we cannot always box ourselves into a negotiating position which says, "If Quebec leaves, the sky falls." We do not want Quebec to leave, yet at the same time we cannot put ourselves in a position where we can be threatened, and that is no way to negotiate.

Canadians may not be able to always articulate some grandiose sense of purpose but they really have no need, any more than Norwegians or New Zealanders or Peruvians or Mexicans have to get up in the morning and say, "I am a Mexican because," you know, this, that and the other thing. Canadians for some reason have been convinced we need to. We do not. We understand we are Canadians. The overwhelming majority of us know we are Canadians and we have to proceed on that basis. So your first set of questions about what are common values, forget about that. Move on to what is in our Constitution that we can usefully change.

The idea that Canada today is only viable in the historical context of English-French relations is no longer true. We have moved beyond that. A Canada which includes Quebec must always accommodate that historic relation in a way that does not threaten the French minority, and we should continue to seek reasonable constitutional arrangements for both sides. A Canada without Quebec will still be a bilingual Canada because it will include New Brunswick, our only bilingual province, and it will include the large francophone population of Ontario whose historic rights must be guaranteed.

But Canada, while diminished, will, however, continue to be not just a viable but a successful political enterprise in the absence of Quebec and we must negotiate our future with that confidence. Canada would remain the eighth largest country in the world, by the way, without Quebec, and we would still have three quarters of our population. We have got to stop talking about "the rest of Canada" as if that were some kind of minority. There is a country called Canada, part of which is Quebec.

It is not for Quebec to give Canada one last chance. Canadian citizenship is a privilege, one that countless millions outside our borders would dearly love to have. Quebec nationalism has led many Quebeckers to discount the value of Canadian citizenship. If attachment to their unquestionably distinct society means they cannot accept a government in Ottawa with the capacity to make law for them, then that is the choice of Quebeckers to make. It is only one more testament to the strength and decency of our country that their choice can be made without resorting to violence. That is not the case in other places.

The people of Quebec, however, cannot expect Canadians outside that province to remake the Constitution to accommodate what is in essence a rejection of the Canadian community. Quebeckers must confront the reality that the rejection of membership in the Canadian community must mean the forfeiture of the benefits of Canadian citizenship. The time has come for Quebeckers to choose, because the Canadian political system cannot continue to constantly debate the question of who will be in and who will be out of that system.

The people of Quebec should be allowed to make their decision in a referendum that is conducted by the government of Canada, in my opinion, with a simple unambiguous question such as, "Do you wish to remain a Canadian citizen?" I believe the answer to that question would be yes. I also believe at the present time that if they were asked about sovereignty on the same ballot, they would say yes to that. There is a lot of confusion in Quebec about the meanings of these words.

I am relatively certain that the average Quebecker does not understand that the proposals being made today entail the giving up of Canadian citizenship. That is something that most Quebeckers, a majority of Quebeckers, I think, still want to retain and value. To remind Quebeckers of those costs, the costs of leaving Canada, is not to engage in threats, as some have alleged. It is simply to have Quebeckers be mindful of reality.


For instance, it must be clear that over $3 billion in equalization payments will no longer be available to Quebec and that will have to be reflected in higher taxes or diminished services. Those who work on servicing the CF-18s of Canada's air force, as Premier Pawley has referred to, must realize that we would not allow that work to continue in a foreign country. It must be obvious that Canada's space agency would have to be moved from Quebec to Canada. Policies which protect and encourage industries which are centred in Quebec that involve subsidies by Canadian taxpayers or higher prices for Canadian consumers would likely be terminated. More generally, economic relationships which are now governed under the circumstances of common citizenship, which encourages attempts to redress regional economic disparity, would later be conducted according to the less generous dictates of national interest.

Quebeckers may accept these costs as reasonable ones for the benefit of independence, but certainly someone should point out that there are those costs because their leaders have refused to discuss them. I hope I am not being too cynical if I speculate that those who have the most to gain from Quebec independence have hidden the costs from those, the great majority, who have the most to lose.

What changes should be made to the Constitution? Before addressing that question we must have a grasp of which of our problems are truly the result of an inadequate or inappropriate constitutional structure, and which are simply the product of contemporary political, economic and social circumstances.

For instance, it does not follow that because we do not like the GST we should advocate a constitutional change in the federal government's power to tax. Surely we will have the sense to look at some fundamental principles when we discuss the division of powers between the federal and provincial legislatures.

That seems to be the fulcrum of the discussion, the division of powers, although I think one can look at the constitution more generally to find all kinds of things we might want to reform for the 21st century.

The simplest but most important question that must be answered in the distribution of powers is whether the federal or provincial government can best deliver service to the citizens of Canada resident in their various provinces. Obviously there can be major disagreements on this question. The answer must be tempered by an assessment of whether the exercise of a power by a province has the potential to affect negatively other provinces or whether federal control is necessary to have a desired uniformity in policy. Obviously questions to do with the environment have that kind of quality to them.

Without getting into a detailed assessment of the various powers in sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, which would be inappropriate, I think, in this submission, I would argue that, generally, average people in the various provinces of Canada have little to gain and perhaps a lot to lose by the transference of powers from the federal government. More particularly, disadvantaged provinces and poor citizens in all provinces are the most likely to suffer from such a transfer. What else is new?

To those who complain about the remoteness of Ottawa from much of Canada, I would respond that Toronto often seems remote from Windsor and Sudbury, that Halifax is remote from Cape Breton, Quebec City from the Gaspé, Flin Flon from Winnipeg, and so on. I doubt as well that the clients of Ontario's Workers' Compensation Board are significantly more satisfied with their relationship with that provincial agency than are the clients of the federal Unemployment Insurance Commission. It is also unlikely that residents of any province love their provincial tax collectors any more than they do Revenue Canada.

The spending power of the federal government should be maintained. Without it, the prospect of nationally uniform social programs will suffer. The universality of medicare, for instance, would have been seriously eroded by now if not for the Canada Health Act, a good example of federal interference in the provincial jurisdiction through the spending power, and good on that, good on that interference.

The Chair: Mr Wagenberg, perhaps you could summarize, please.

Mr Wagenberg: I will make it quick. When one looks at the 29 powers assigned to the federal Parliament in section 91, one is hard put to see where the transference of any of these powers to the provinces would lead to a better life for the residents of those provinces. None the less, a variety of powers which have developed in response to modern technology such as communications might be the subject of some better definition and joint responsibility.

The federal powers of reservation and disallowance have outlived their usefulness as has the federal role in education which appears in section 93. However, many residents of Ontario might well expect at least a thorough debate about the continued appropriateness of constitutional guarantees for denominational education in section 93, if you are going to talk about the Constitution.

One change that is necessary -- perhaps I should have said this first because I think it is most important -- should be number one on the agenda for constitutional change, the necessary one which will establish an acceptable constitutional status and basis for self-government for Canada's aboriginal people. I would not presume to even hint at what the outlines of these provisions would be, but I do feel that they must be an integral part of the next constitutional discussions, nothing to be put off any longer.

The reform of the Senate is a popular subject and must be obviously addressed, especially from the standpoint of the western and Atlantic provinces. Ontario, however, has to keep in mind that a fundamental objective of Senate reform is to dilute the influence of the large population of this province at the national level. That is its aim.

Thus, while we must be prepared to compromise in order to address the concerns of the smaller provinces, we must be wary of the powers of a Senate in which we might have 10% of the members as opposed to the House of Commons where we now have a third or more of the members. And while we are looking at the Senate, why should we not at least consider whether we can improve on our way of electing members of Parliament?

In summing up, I would hope that Ontario's constitutional position will be based on preserving a viable economic union which has the capacity to redistribute wealth to the less prosperous regions of Canada and to disadvantaged people in this country. One may hope that eventually redistributive policies will lead to smaller disparities in the economic conditions of Canadians. In addition, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should continue to be the centrepiece of our constitutional life. Finally, we should put our constitutional discussions behind us and concentrate on solving the problems of this country through political debate rather than the restatement of ancient grievances. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wagenberg. We are going to move on to the next speaker.


The Chair: I invite Marcel Bergeron, de l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario.

M. Bergeron : Merci. Mon nom est Marcel Bergeron et je représente l'Association canadienne-française de Windsor et Essex-Kent. J'habite la région de Windsor depuis déjà la moitié de ma vie ; l'autre moitié, je suis natif du Québec. Au début je pensais que j'étais chez nous en Ontario. Par la suite, lorsque je suis rentré sur le marché du travail dans une grosse industrie, je me suis aperçu que je n'étais pas vraiment chez nous en Ontario. Je pensais que j'étais un Canadien, mais on me disait souvent : «Retourne-toé z'en au Québec. T'es un Québécois.»

Je vais commencer mon mémoire. Nous vous remercions de l'opportunité de participer aux audiences en vue de déterminer le rôle de l'Ontario au sein de la Confédération dans le débat sur l'avenir du Canada.

L'ACFO de Windsor et Essex-Kent est un organisme qui informe et développe la communauté francophone de la région de Windsor, Essex et Kent. Selon le dernier recensement, ceci représente un nombre total de membres d'environ 30 000 personnes. Nous avons près de 900 membres actifs.

La région de Windsor est le site d'habitation continue le plus ancien en Ontario. L'origine de notre région remonte à l'époque du régime français. Il y a 290 ans, en 1711, Antoine Laumet, Sieur de Lamothe-Cadillac, partait de Montréal pour venir établir avec 100 hommes à une colonie agricole en vue d'assurer la permanence de l'établissement. À l'automne de la même année, son épouse venait le rejoindre pour y établir son domicile.

Bien que nous reconnaissions au Québec le droit de décider sa destinée, nous appuyons sans réserve tous les efforts en vue d'assurer une place au Québec au sein du Canada. Nous sommes convaincus que la province de Québec dans la Confédération est avantageuse pour tout le Canada. De plus, nous croyons que les faits historiques indiquent que l'Ontario est la province la mieux placée pour prendre le leadership dans ces décisions. Advenant l'échec d'une entente entre le Québec et le Canada anglais, nous souhaitons que l'Ontario respecte la décision du Québec et maintienne des relations harmonieuses sur les plans économique et culturel.

Nous réalisons que ces audiences ont été établies dans le but d'obtenir l'opinion sur la façon dont nous pouvons améliorer le Canada. Les points soulevés vont des valeurs canadiennes à ce que veut l'Ontario. Comme représentants de la communauté francophone, nous limiterons nos commentaires aux chapitres qui nous concernent le plus.


Nous nous croyons un peuple qui respecte l'individu et son droit de vivre avec dignité. Malheureusement, il y a beaucoup trop d'intolérance envers les groupes minoritaires. Par exemple, une grande différence entre les États-Unis et le Canada est le fait que nous sommes un pays bilingue et multiculturel. Mais en pratique, il y a plusieurs provinces où le bilinguisme est carrément rejeté et où le multiculturalisme est synonyme de folklore. Trop de gens semblent croire que les besoins des uns sont satisfaits au détriment des autres.

L'approche est compétitive plutôt que collaboratrice, lorsqu'en réalité nous pouvons toujours gagner en appuyant tous et chacun à s'actualiser. Si nous voulons vraiment permettre à tous les citoyens du Canada de vivre avec dignité, il est impératif que nous reconnaissions les besoins des groupes minoritaires. Il faut focaliser sur les besoins plutôt que sur les droits si l'on veut garantir la justice aux groupes minoritaires, tels que les autochtones, les francophones, les femmes, les immigrants et les réfugiés.

Quels devraient être les rôles respectifs des gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux ? Si la situation idéale est peut-être un gouvernement central fort, toutefois, tant et aussi longtemps que certaines provinces refuseront d'entendre ce que dit le Québec, l'idée d'un gouvernement central fort est vouée à l'échec. Il faut reconnaître que le système démocratique est un fort beau système pour la majorité. C'est pourquoi, si la volonté de la majorité est le seul facteur influençant des décisions canadiennes, il ne faudra pas être surpris que le Québec veuille se transformer en majorité en se dissociant des neuf autres provinces.

Nous devons faire partie des prises de décision qui nous affectent et obtenir les services qui répondent à nos besoins. Pour les francophones qui vivent dans les régions désignées, la Loi sur les services en français est une façon très tangible de reconnaître l'apport au patrimoine culturel de la population francophone et le désir de le sauvegarder pour les générations à venir.

Nous félicitons le gouvernement ontarien qui a fait preuve de leadership en adoptant la Loi sur les services en français. Nous avons les yeux tournés vers l'avenir dans l'espoir d'obtenir les services qui répondent à nos besoins, tels que les soins de santé en français et un système d'éducation géré par les francophones, des garderies aux collèges communautaires et à l'université en passant par les écoles primaires et secondaires. C'est ce que nous n'avons pas encore en Ontario, des collèges communautaires et une université.

Les Canadiens aiment se croire tolérants. Malheureusement, cela n'est pas toujours le cas. Par conséquent, les gouvernements doivent assurer le leadership en prenant les décisions qui répondent aux besoins de leurs citoyens, surtout lorsque ceux-ci sont en minorité. Les gouvernements doivent aussi jouer un rôle d'éducateurs et sensibiliser la population majoritaire aux besoins des minorités.

Il est encourageant de voir que de façon générale, les Ontariens bien renseignés sur l'histoire du Canada reconnaissent que la Loi sur les services en français est favorable à la culture et à l'identité canadiennes. Les principes qui devraient guider les actions du gouvernement doivent être le respect de l'individu, la tolérance et la justice plutôt que simplement le gouvernement par la majorité.

Les gouvernements provinciaux devraient voir aux intérêts de leurs citoyens. Le gouvernement fédéral devrait veiller sur la situation des groupes minoritaires, c'est-à-dire les anglophones au Québec et les francophones dans les provinces anglaises.

Historiquement, l'Ontario est la province qui a le plus de liens avec le Québec. L'Ontario a été partenaire avec le Québec depuis avant la Confédération. Géographiquement, nous sommes reliés par une très grande frontière. L'Ontario a des liens sur les plans de la géographie et du commerce. Quelle que soit la décision à laquelle les citoyens du Québec arriveront, nous croyons qu'il est très avantageux pour l'Ontario de maintenir ces liens qui existent depuis 300 ans.

De plus, nous voulons souligner que les débats à venir ont le potentiel de tourner la discussion en francophones versus anglophones. Advenant la séparation du Québec, il est fort possible que le sentiment populaire soit de ne pas reconnaître les francophones hors Québec. Or, les Franco-Ontariens ne sont pas des Québécois hors Québec mais bel et bien des Ontariens qui sont venus s'établir ici en 1701. Il serait tragique que ce peuple fondateur devienne le bouc émissaire pour les sentiments anti-French qui existent chez certains Ontariens.

Nous croyons fermement que l'Ontario peut jouer un rôle central dans le débat à venir. L'Ontario, grâce à sa longue association avec le Québec et son engagement envers sa propre population francophone, a probablement le plus de crédibilité auprès du peuple québécois. Cette réputation peut être rehaussée par l'engagement continu du gouvernement de l'Ontario à offrir des services en français à sa population.

M. Winninger : Il me semble que vous avez accepté l'idée de la séparation du Québec. Je me demande si vous désirez maintenir quelques relations entre l'Ontario et le reste du Canada. Je me demande s'il y a seulement des relations économiques ou s'il y a d'autres relations.

M. Bergeron : Si je comprends bien la question, non, je ne me suis pas prononcé pour dire que le Québec se séparerait, mais ça peut être le cas. Par contre, je suis persuadé que les relations entre les autres provinces vont être de mise si toutefois le Québec se sépare du Canada pour renforcer tous les francophones à travers le reste du Canada.

Mr Offer: Mr Bergeron, thank you for your presentation. At the end of your presentation, you alluded to the concern you had about Franco-Ontarian rights in the event that Quebec separated, or something less than with the rest of Canada. You expressed a concern as to the impact that may have, but then you went on and stated -- I think this point has been made before, and I think it is important -- that the rights of Franco-Ontarians are not derived or do not gain any strength from Quebec but rather are something inherently found in Ontario. I am wondering if you can share with us your sense of what the role of Ontario might be in order to address the interests of Franco-Ontarians in the event that there was a different relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

M. Bergeron: Il sera vraiment très difficile pour la population francophone de l'Ontario de promouvoir, de former et d'informer la population en général si on n'a pas l'aide du gouvernement. Alors, si nous les francophones voulons conserver notre patrimoine et notre héritage, il faudrait doubler d'ardeur en ce qui a trait à l'éducation, en ce qui a trait à tous les services auxquels on a droit en Ontario ou au Canada en tant que citoyens entiers.



The Vice-Chair: We call next the Traditional Teaching Circle, Ernestine Trudeau and Joyce Vachon.

Ms Trudeau: Joyce and I represent a few of the Ojibway-speaking women in our community. We learned about this meeting late last night, so we did not have very much time to prepare a lot of issues and concerns we have that need to be addressed.

When the vote was given to the Indian people back in the 1950s, I participated at that time in bringing the vote to our native people. I have watched since that time the progress the nation is making, and also the role the Indian people play in achieving their rightful place in society.

Lately, we have seen the erosion of our family life. Our young people face despair, especially our women and our children. We notice this in our family life, so as women we have come together and have asked ourselves some very serious questions. Those questions are: What are we doing as women, as nurturers, as mothers, to help shape the future of our country? Because it is an erosion of values that I see going down the drain.

So we decided to restore our teachings, our traditional values that were once part of our upbringing, I remember, in our language, our mothers and fathers and our grandparents, the extended family, and they would teach to us these things. We had 21 precepts to live by. I also heard my father and grandfathers talk about these value systems that had been passed on to them, and they included the value systems of their religion, as such. But we look at it today and it is not there any more. So we have asked ourselves:

What can we do? We who can remember these teachings want to instil them back into our society, into the Indian society.

When we heard about this committee that was meeting here tonight, we had been talking previously in the months past about what we would be presenting to the people in this community and to other Indian people elsewhere and maybe to women in general -- actually this pertains to everybody in Canada. We all seem to share the same values, almost. We had a way of life that took care of all our needs. We had survived throughout the centuries without assimilation. Our teachings, culture, values and beliefs were taken away from us through assimilation and the Indian Act and replaced by European colonialism. This has caused many problems in our society. We had a shared community. We did not separate church and state; justice and values were combined. Spirituality existed in our daily lives and was recognized in everything around us, including the planet that we live on.

Aboriginal peoples played a very important role in the founding of this nation. If the first nation people had not welcomed the strangers on these shores, there would not have been a treaty between our nation and the Queen and the British government. In order to be ethical about acquiring land from aboriginals, the treaties were entered into in exchange for certain provisions, such as education, health, welfare and the right to govern ourselves. This was the basis on which our economic base was established.

We were also instrumental in the military for the British North America Act to follow. The British North America Act, which is Canada's Constitution, assigned to the federal government responsibility for aboriginal nations. Our rights are entrenched in the Constitution. Only an amendment in the Constitution could change that situation. Under the federal government, colonization took place. That means the Indians were going to be civilized. Churches and schools were under government jurisdiction; therefore they became a mechanism for social control.

It is up to the federal government to recognize what it has created. They have created an illusion. Even though the bill of rights is under the Justice department, it does not apply to the Indian people because we have no right to self-determination or to enjoy the same freedoms as mainstream society. We have a unilateral system of colonialism which has created isolation by placing Indians on reserves throughout Canada. Therefore we have to recognize that there are two legal systems, one for the government of Canada and one for the Indians. There is no meaningful contact with the institutional structure, so we have become victims of the circumstances that this system creates.

The reason why I would like to pick the subject on justice and how it plays a role in our society, especially in the Indian society, is that there has been a very alarming amount of violence throughout the ages, as far as I can remember. You know, violence has been a part of a way of life for our Indian people, violence in the form of hunger. Hunger is violence. To be disadvantaged is violence. And not to be able to take part in the vote, even before it was given, that was a form of violence, because we were voiceless.


Violence has speeded up somewhat in these last years. Just look at the statistics. Our jails are full of native people. There have been recent hangings of women in the Kingston penitentiary. They have no future; therefore they decided to take this step. Something is wrong with the system. Even though the bill of rights is under the Justice department, it just does not seem to apply to us, because when you go through the normal channels to be represented even in a case of character assassination, you have to have $10,000 in your hand to be represented. I witnessed this a week ago.

I accompanied a woman whose rights have been violated, and the lawyer required $10,000 to represent her. We had high hopes that we were going to be represented, and when we walked out of there we were very disillusioned because we said we cannot ever be represented. Our character assassinations take place and we cannot have a place for redress. We came to recognize that there are two legal systems, one for the government of Canada and one for the Indian people.

At the sociological and psychological levels we responded negatively to the situations created by that system. We have problems within our own community created by our own actions due to learned behaviour or not understanding the laws of the system -- mainly not understanding the laws of the system. Sometimes these crimes that are committed, they are petty. It could be because we did not have proper representation or we were not educated as to what the laws are there, but our people do not understand the institutional structure.

As a result of all this, it filters right down to the lives of everybody, right down to the disadvantaged. We feel inferior and we feel disadvantaged because we have experienced violence and we respond violently out of anger and frustration. Our behaviour as a minority becomes very visible in the eyes of the dominant society. There is the stereotype, there is a stereotyping, "Well, you know, what did you expect?" That is the way sometimes people respond or the dominant society responds. Our negative actions become more visible than those same actions in the dominant society.

Most of the crimes are committed impulsively and are alcohol related, and this phenomenon is more prevalent in and near the urban areas. Statistics are lower in rural or isolated reserves, but generally across Canada statistics show that our jails are filled with an unacceptably high level of native people.

Indian people know what they want and what their needs are. We need to replace the dominant value system with the traditional value system that we once lived by. We have to stop this colonialistic attitude, this unilateral structure under which we are governed. We have to replace it with self-determination and bring back our traditional teachings so that feelings of self-esteem, self-worth will once again manifest in each and every one of us. And then we will truly have truth and justice. This can only be accomplished by changing the legal system and the system by which the Indians are governed.

As I studied the way that the system came to be, I made out a chart so that I could see where I fit in. Under the justice system, under the federal government, there is a direct relationship, there is a direct jurisdiction of Indians, very separate, and the Indian Act follows. We are governed by this act. Under this act are reserves all over Canada, but very isolated, very apart from mainstream society. We do not understand the structure of institutions.

Now, in the province of Ontario, under the provincial government, we have our education, our health, our local governments and our welfare. We, as native women, have come to the conclusion that we need to work right at the base, and that is our families and that is restoring these values that we once had and we still have. Some families, you know, still maintain these values, this value system.

So our recommendation from the women is to restore our teachings, restore that we are a nation, that we have languages. We have five major linguistic groups in Canada, throughout North America really, but within my nation there are 31 different dialects. We have to be recognized for that linguistic difference, and we do live by that language because in that language lies our value system. I would like to see language at the education level, in the schools, and also a policy paper by Indian people at the provincial level and input from groups like the women's group that we are establishing here in Windsor. It is a new group, an emerging women's group, that will teach traditional teachings, and that includes not only Indian women. We are including all women.

The Vice-Chair: There are a few minutes left. I will leave it up to you. You can either sum up what you have to say or take questions. There are a few people who had questions.

Ms Trudeau: Okay. We will take questions.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Ms Trudeau, thank you so much for coming. We have had native women present to us in Sault Ste Marie, in Thunder Bay and Sioux Lookout, and I guess I would compare your presentation most to the one we had in Sioux Lookout. You used the word "nurturing," you talked a lot about family values and you talked about spirituality, and I think it is very important that people hear the role of mothers and that this is expressed as articulately as you have done that tonight.

You have come to us with great sincerity and I know that you want us to be able to really hear your message. You did talk about a policy paper at the provincial level that would help you, that you are thinking of, and I guess that is your answer. I presume it is your answer to what approach should be followed to ensure that the needs of aboriginal peoples in Ontario and Canada are addressed effectively. That is one answer. Could you say a little bit more to us about the kind of policy paper, the things you think need to be in such a policy paper that we as provincial legislators could help you with?


Ms Trudeau: We were thinking more in terms of dialogue at the level of all the reserves that are in Ontario by establishing the purpose of our organization, and going and talking with the women of each reserve and finding out what their concerns are. After all, you know, people seem to think that the law of the reserves lies with the men. It is really the women, at home, who help establish these laws.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: On short notice you have made a very, very significant presentation. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: We have time for about one very quick question. Mrs -- Ms Churley, excuse me.

Ms Churley: He did it again.

Thank you for being here and thank you for doing what you are doing. Because I have been told I have to be quick, I will be. Have you noticed a difference yet, now that you are starting to get back into your traditional values, in the young people? Because of course that is where it lies now, now that young people are beginning to realize that in fact they can be proud of their culture and their traditions. I am wondering if you are seeing a change among the young because they are getting back to the basic values.

Ms Trudeau: Well, we need to get to the schools. This is where we are going to see that. We see that in our immediate families also. The women who embrace these values, we see this change taking place, but only in the teachings of traditional values.

Ms Churley: I would love to come to visit in one of your women's groups one day, so I will be in touch with you --

Ms Trudeau: All right, fine. We would be glad to have you.

Ms Churley: -- if I am welcome to come.

Ms Trudeau: Yes, yes, more than welcome to come. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for the presentation.


Le Vice-Président : Le comité aimerait appeler présentement l'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, Lise Roy. We are calling the Franco-Ontarian teachers' association, Lise Roy.

Mme Roy : Bonsoir. Je tiens à remercier la commission d'avoir accepté d'entendre la présentation des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, unité cycle secondaire, sur le rôle de l'Ontario à l'intérieur du Canada.

Notre unité regroupe 61 enseignantes et enseignants francophones, au niveau secondaire, originaires de différents pays et de différentes provinces du Canada.

Je crois que la plupart des Canadiens sont vraiment mêlés maintenant à savoir comment définir le Canada d'après-Meech. Trois choses principales nous sont communes traditionnellement :

La grandeur et la diversité du pays ; toute cette richesse nous appartient à tous. Que j'aille en Colombie britannique ou à Terre-Neuve, c'est mon pays.

Le respect de la différence ; la mosaïque canadienne, on en a beaucoup parlé et les gens sont fiers d'appartenir à un pays qui accepte que l'autre soit diffèrent.

L'amour de la paix ; nous avons eu des hommes qui ont été reconnus internationalement au niveau d'être ambassadeurs de paix, comme Pearson et Trudeau. Notre passé n'est pas colonialiste, donc nous sommes perçus à l'extérieur comme acceptant les gens tels qu'ils sont sans essayer de les changer. Il y a aussi le respect de la non-violence. Nous avons une loi anti-armes à feu au Canada dont nous sommes très fiers.

Comment pouvons-nous assurer notre avenir au sein de l'économie mondiale ? Première réaction : essayons de vendre à l'étranger nos ressources naturelles ; transformons-les et vendons-les comme produits finis.

Encourageons l'achat au Canada ; étant si proche des frontières, c'est un point qui nous tient particulièrement à coeur. Des ajustements doivent être faits quant à ce qu'on veut faire de notre économie et quant aux prix des produits. À titre d'exemple, à mesure qu'on s'éloigne de Windsor, le prix du pétrole augmente assez rapidement. Alors, il y aurait des ajustements à faire.

Il serait important que le monde de l'industrie et celui de l'éducation se rapprochent et s'entendent pour développer une main-d'oeuvre spécialisée qu'on doit en ce moment importer. Notre industrie s'en va de plus en plus vers une industrie de services où les salaires sont bas et où il n'y a pas d'avenir. Alors, il serait important qu'on forme notre jeunesse pour qu'elle soit capable d'avoir des emplois beaucoup plus spécialisés et que l'industrie et le domaine de l'éducation s'entendent pour les former.

Développons aussi l'entrepreneurship dans toutes les provinces. Le Québec est en bonne voie. L'Ontario a un talon d'Achille qui est sa trop grande dépendance de l'industrie de l'automobile ; elle a besoin de diversifier. Dans les provinces de l'Atlantique les quotas de pêche empêchent nos concitoyens de gagner leur vie honorablement, tandis que des étrangers avec leurs bâteaux-usines épuisent les ressources maritimes. Alors, là aussi on a beaucoup besoin de diversifier et d'encourager les gens à se prendre en main et à bâtir eux-mêmes leur avenir.

Les disparités économiques sont tellement grandes au Canada que bien que les buts économiques soient semblables, certaines provinces se sont montrées trop faibles pour les atteindre ; c'est pourquoi le système de péréquation existe. Ce système a l'inconvénient de maintenir les provinces les plus pauvres dans une pauvreté tandis que les provinces plus riches paient la facture, et la fierté nationale en prend pour son rhume. J'aimerais peut-être élaborer un peu là-dessus s'il reste du temps après.

À la base, notre pays est un pays socialiste, ce qui n'est pas mal en soi. Cependant, nous aurions peut-être intérêt à aller voir en Europe comment certains pays socialistes ont quand même développé une économie forte. Nous pensons aux pays scandinaves entre autres.

Le véritable moteur économique du Canada est traditionnellement l'Ontario. De par sa situation géographique, notre province se trouve au coeur même de l'Amérique industrielle. Le Québec a développé dans les derniers 20 ans sa propre économie. La montée de l'entrepreneurship, une vision différente du monde des affaires et sa différence linguistique l'ont amené à se créer une ouverture sur le monde européen et américain.

La Colombie-Britannique a de plus en plus de contact avec l'Asie. Les provinces des Prairies ont des ouvertures en Union soviétique. Quelle combinaison gagnante pour une ouverture sur le monde. Tout est en place, le Canada se doit d'encourager les initiatives des provinces, de mettre en place une politique monétaire qui encourage le développement économique et de développer une fierté d'être Canadien, d'acheter canadien et de vivre en Canadien.

Qu'il me soit permis ici de faire une parenthèse. Depuis les coupures à Radio-Canada, l'image que les Canadiens de notre région reçoivent d'eux-mêmes leur est fournie par les informations américaines, donc, beaucoup filtrées. Comment voulez-vous développer une fierté nationale à travers ça ?

Quel rôle devraient jouer les gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux ? Idéalement, les gouvernements devraient être des catalyseurs, c'est-à-dire, des gens responsables qui font arriver les choses pour le bien-être de tous. Dans les faits en ce moment, chacun tire la couverture de son bord. Nous avons eu un premier ministre qui était très centralisateur ; maintenant les provinces cherchent le pouvoir décentralisé. Qu'arrivera-t-il ? Meech a quand même donné la chance à toutes les provinces de se prononcer sur leur vision du Canada. Toutes les provinces ont été sensibilisées à ce qui se passe dans le pays. On a pris conscience les uns des autres, on a réfléchi. Il nous reste à accepter nos disparités et à les considérer comme des forces plutôt que des agents de division et à nous en servir dans le respect les uns des autres. Pour avoir un Canada uni, nous avons besoin d'une vision commune émanant d'un gouvernement central suffisamment fort pour maintenir une telle vision.

Si nous devons réécrire la constitution, nous devons considérer trois communautés nationales : les autochtones, les francophones, les anglophones. Une des premières règles que j'ai apprises en négociation est la suivante : ne négociez jamais avec un étranger. Afin de pouvoir négocier, les trois communautés nationales auraient intérêt à mieux se connaître. Preuve en a été faite à Oka. Les gouvernements canadien et québécois ne savaient même pas à qui s'adresser pour négocier.


Pour être juste envers les autochtones, il faudrait d'abord apprendre à les connaître, à connaître leurs façons d'être, leurs structures gouvernementales et ensuite aller voir ce qu'ils veulent, comment ils voient, eux, la façon dont ils veulent fonctionner. On doit répondre d'abord à leurs besoins primaires, reconnaître qu'ils sont des personnes à part entière avec leur fierté, leur langue, leur culture ; ensuite négocier les questions de territoire, d'autonomie et le reste. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que, quand on négocie il faut tout donner. Ce qui est important c'est de négocier gagnant-gagnant.

Quels sont les rôles du français et de l'anglais au Canada ? La français et l'anglais sont les deux langues officielles du Canada et, j'ose le dire, de l'Ontario. L'une ne devrait pas être une menace pour l'autre. Nous devrions suivre l'exemple que nous donne les Territoires du Nord-Ouest, où les affaires du gouvernement se mènent dans six ou huit langues officielles avec traduction simultanée ; ou encore, l'exemple des Japonais qui expliquent leurs produits dans au moins cinq langues. Que l'anglais soit internationalement la langue des affaires, personne ne le nie. Cependant, de plus en plus les industries cherchent à comprendre la manière de vivre de leurs clients internationaux. Ici le français fournit une richesse extraordinaire grâce à sa manière de penser et de vivre qui sont différentes. Unies, la langue et la culture de nos communautés nationales nous permettent une meilleure communication avec le monde entier.

Quel est l'avenir du Québec au sein du Canada ? Notre première réaction a été : seul le Québec peut le dire. Mais que l'on fasse n'importe quel découpage politique, les territoires resteront toujours collés. Il y aura toujours besoin de communication et de commerce entre nos deux provinces. De plus, le Québec est une force pour le Canada : commerce, tourisme, identité différente, dépaysement en Amérique quand on veut jouer au touriste. Les autres provinces canadiennes ont peut-être un rôle à jouer dans la décision du Québec de rester dans la Confédération ou non en faisant la promotion interne des différences culturelles francophones.

Quelle est la place de l'Ouest, du Nord, des régions de l'Atlantique ? J'ose donner un peu la même réponse. La place de ces régions est celle qu'elles veulent bien se donner et négocier avec le reste du Canada. Depuis Meech, tout étant remis en question, il faut réévaluer et renégocier notre pays.

Quelle est notre vision du rôle de l'Ontario ? L'Ontario se doit d'exercer son leadership en commençant à l'intérieur de ses frontières, en s'occupant du respect des trois communautés nationales sans chercher à assimiler l'une ou l'autre. Une fois que ces trois communautés sont capables de s'entendre, les autres groupes sentiront qu'ils peuvent vivre leur individualité tout en reconnaissant que ces trois communautés nationales ont certaines caractéristiques fondamentales inaliénables.

Le Vice-Président : Merci beaucoup. On a le temps pour une question. Mrs O'Neill? We have time for one question.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I must ask you, do you teach le français?

Mine Roy : Oui.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: You certainly know how to express yourself very quickly. There are so many things. I really do think it is a very Windsor perspective and francophone perspective. There are a couple of things you said: the entrepreneurship and your actual philosophy about negotiating. I think you are carrying forward some of your own experience, that it is always going to be that when everyone wins or nobody loses, you have the most successful negotiation. That is a very fundamental principle.

I have a very special interest in cross-border shopping right now, and you mentioned that. Could you say a little bit about that to us, because that is part of our identity, being able to keep our people on this side of the border to do their regular daily tasks. Could you say a little bit about that from your perspective, please.

Mme Roy : Beaucoup de gens que je connais, anglophones et francophones, vont magasiner aux États-Unis. Les prix sont moins chers. J'ai mentionné le prix de l'essence. L'autre jour je revenais d'Ottawa en auto. Je me suis arrêtée à l'autre côté de Chatham pour prendre de l'essence. Ça m'a coûté 56 sous le litre. Je suis arrivée à Belle River, qui est tout près d'ici ; c'était à 49 sous le litre. Alors, déjà là les gens vont regarder d'abord pour leur poche. Qu'on le veuille ou non, c'est ça qui est important pour le monde. Les principes, c'est bon, il faut en avoir mais quand ton principe vient en collision avec les besoins de ta famille peut-être, tu vas aller voir là où ça coûte le moins cher.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I just wondered if you had any idea. You have said --

The Vice-Chair: Mrs O'Neill, I would ask you to cut it short. We are really running over time here.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Okay. I just wondered if you had any idea of things we could do to encourage people to stay on this side for their shopping.

Mme Roy : Revoir les prix, peut-être revoir les taxes.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I think you are right. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: At this point the committee needs to make a decision. We have four presenters who are left and we are already running over. Is it the wish of the committee that we give them each five minutes with no questions? So we have a consensus? Okay.

Mr Silipo: Mr Chairman, there are organizations on that list primarily.

The Vice-Chair: There are two individuals and two organizations.

Mr Silipo: Okay, I would suggest that we --

The Vice-Chair: Go 10 and 5?

Mr Silipo: Yes, 10 for the organizations at least.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. All right; that is what we will do.

Mr Offer: Of course, the proviso is if the individuals or organizations are under the limit then we can use the time to ask some questions.

The Vice-Chair: That will bring us to a half-hour. Okay. We will have to follow the time lines strictly because that will bring us to 9:30 and people here have to take things down and get ready for tomorrow.


The Vice-Chair: Okay we would like next to call Gërémie Beaulne. Vous avez demandé cinq minutes.

M. Beaulne : Mesdames et messieurs du comité, bonsoir. Mon nom est Gérémie Beaulne. Je représente la régionale des Aînés francophones du Sud-Ouest de l'Ontario. Je vous remercie de l'occasion qui m'est offerte de présenter un mémoire sur le rôle de l'Ontario au sein de la Confédération.

Nous sommes un organisme à but non lucratif qui comprend 2200 membres et nous sommes affiliés à l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario de Windsor et Essex-Kent ainsi qu'à la Fédération des aînés francophones de l'Ontario, qui comprend plus de 12 000 membres et plus de cent clubs.

Las Aînés francophones sont concernés par la possibilité que le Québec veuille se séparer pour devenir autonome. Les francophones et les anglophones sont les deux peuples fondateurs de notre pays. Il est donc important que toutes les provinces demeurent unies pour assurer la survie de la francophonie au milieu minoritaire. Le Québec lui-même est minoritaire au fédéral comme la francophonie est minoritaire au sein des provinces. Il est donc très important que les gouvernements fédéral et provinciaux se penchent sérieusement sur la question pour assurer que le Québec ne se sente pas lésé dans ses droits, tout en insistant à faire respecter les droits des minorités francophones hors Québec.

Pour ce faire, il faut assurer une bonne communication francophone à travers le pays, tant à la radio qu'à la télévision. Il faut aussi assurer la survie de la francophonie, donc : garderies francophones ; gestion scolaire à des francophones pour des francophones ; services collégiaux et universitaires en français ; centres de santé ; services juridiques en notre langue ; développement culturel de nos communautés ; représentants francophones sur différents comités et commissions ; présence francophone chez les sous-ministères. Nous espérons que les recommandations exposées réussiront à faire réfléchir les gouvernements pour arriver à une solution, pour garder notre Canada uni en répondant adéquatement aux besoins de l'un et de l'autre. Nous travaillons présentement à préparer un mémoire qui sera remis à votre bureau bientôt. Je vous remercie, mesdames et messieurs, pour votre temps et votre patience.



The Vice-Chair: We would like next to call the Windsor (Ontario) and District Labour Council, Gary Parent. Is he in the room? Okay, we will go down the list. The Windsor Occupational Health and Safety Council, Jim Brophy. You will have 10 minutes, Mr Brophy.

Mr Brophy: I will just warm up the seat until Gary Parent arrives. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to speak to your committee. Unfortunately it was not confirmed that I would be speaking here tonight until about 11 o'clock this morning. So I have made a series of notes that hopefully I will submit to the committee in the form of a brief in the next month or so.

What I wish to speak to the committee about this evening is an idea that I think comes out of the experience of workers in Windsor about the need for economic democracy to be enshrined or included in the Constitution.

It is interesting to be in this hall this evening. This Saturday, in the hall that is actually adjacent to here, will be a banquet named in honour of Clifton Grant, who was a Scarborough school carpenter who died over a decade ago from cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. He cut acoustical tiles about once a week. This is the ninth year of this banquet and we remember him and we give an award out in his name because of the experience workers have at work, and to remember that there are serious consequences from the lack of power and control we have over the work environment.

I know that tonight people want to have an optimistic posture, but I feel in our community, just to begin my presentation, I need to say that I think many people in our community here feel that we are in the eye of a storm, that really, our impact and our influence on what is happening in our country and on what is happening within our own community is diminishing.

It is important to realize that we have close to 14% unemployment here, that we have a record number of plant closures, that we have the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association of Canada announcing in the papers that its members are considering setting up operations in the United States or Mexico because of the environmental and occupational health regulations that we have in this province.

Right now, today, you need 16 years' seniority to be working at the Ford Motor Co here in Windsor. We are on the verge, apparently, of negotiating some type of free trade agreement with Mexico. We have already seen what the implications are of the free trade agreement with the United States and one shudders to think what it means to be forced to compete with workers who may be making $3 to $4 a day.

We have the GST. We have lost our CBC. We see the privatizations or cutbacks at Via Rail, Air Canada and Petrocan. We are even finding our schools are closing and we seem to have very little control over that whole process. I personally am a director of the United Way here in our community that delivers occupational health and safety information, and we have seen cutbacks through the whole social service area. As you may know, the United Way in Windsor has the highest per capita in the country in terms of giving, and even then we have been forced to see United Way agencies cut back and have reductions.

Given all of those things it is hard, I think, to try to situate what we can do to influence the direction in which our country is going and the Constitution is going, but I think in the area of occupation health possibly Windsor offers a very unique experience.

To say quickly, over 450,000 claims are made every year to the Workers' Compensation Board in Ontario. Over 1,000 workers are expected to die in accidents in the workplace in all of Canada. In Ontario the estimates are that over 6,000 workers die each year, in this province, from occupationally related diseases. This past year, four workers in Windsor have died in accidents at the workplace and thousands more were injured and maimed and diseased because of the conditions at work.

I would like to just very quickly tell you an experience that happened here some 10 years ago to frame what I want to say about why I believe there should be democracy in the workplace and why it should be framed in the Constitution, and that is what happened here at Bendix Automotive of Canada Ltd.

In 1979 the union, which is the auto workers' union, went to the Workers' Compensation Board on behalf of three widows whose husbands had died of cancer while working at the Bendix Automotive plant. It was a brake shoe production plant.

At that meeting the Workers' Compensation Board said: "We have been watching this plant for a long time and we thought something was going to happen there. We thought that something like this would happen."

They said, "You have been?"

And they said, "Well, you've seen this document," and they handed them a document that is a 1966 -- it was prepared by, I guess at that time, a Ministry of Health inspector, who was doing what today would be done by the Ministry of Labour, who had inspected the plant and found that workers were being exposed to asbestos. He issued orders for different work practices, to stop dry sweeping, have respirators.

They came back into the plant; they reissued it again in 1970. This was the first time the union had seen these documents. Some 13 years later they see documents that are warning them at that point, or warning the company of the dangers.

We know now that in the mid-1970s, X-rays were given and at least in one case a worker was found with a spot on his lung, was not told, was kept in the exposure. We know that in 1978 the industrial hygienist for the company stood in the parking lot and reported that clouds of asbestos were leaving the plant, going over the residential area.

Now, this had a traumatic effect in this community. There are things that have happened in labour history in this community that very few people know about, younger people. What happened at Ford here after the war, with the right for checkoff, was a very important point in labour history in this country. If you go to Ford workers today, very few know about that strike and the importance of it. But if you go to anyone in this community who was here in 1979 and you ask him what happened at Bendix, he can tell you about asbestos, he can tell you about what the conditions were and he can tell you about a young worker who died of mesothelioma like Clifton Grant; also that the plant left this community in the midst of that, closed its doors and went to the United States, later to South Carolina to avoid even having a union.

This had the most profound effect on the workers in this community because it mirrored for everyone to see what the reality of the work place is. It seems to me that all the reforms that have been attempted over the last 10 years have tried to come to grips with this fundamental fact: that in the workplace, little or no democracy exists for the people who are employed there. They have no control over the work environment. They have no control over what is produced there and how it is produced and under what conditions and what substances are used. And because of that flaw, they continue to be victimized, in spite of millions of dollars being spent on education and on training, because fundamental power relationships exist in such a way that the workers have little control over their environment.

What we accept when we go to work each day would be intolerable in civil society. The rights that we expect in civil society, the right to have some control over our environment, is denied us in the workplace.


I do not know where I am in my notes here, but anyway I had another point. I will use my last second to say that I know many people are coming to talk about Quebec because obviously it is a benchmark for what is going on in our country. I suppose I just wanted to say I lived there for three years. I think anyone in English Canada who was trying to understand what was happening in Quebec and whose only source of information was the media would have a very difficult time understanding why people seem to take the positions that they do. But many of us do support their right to their own national identity and I think it is time that in English Canada we would acknowledge that they are a distinct society and what they need for their own survival and their own protection may not look exactly like what we may need in English Canada and that some accommodation must be made for those national needs that they have.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. I apologize in regard to the cut in time, but unfortunately we have to stick to our schedule fairly strictly to get through. I would like to thank you on behalf of the committee.


Mr Temelini: Mr Chairman, I have been asked whether I represent anybody. I do not. I teach Italian at the University of Windsor and I am also the co-ordinator of the new program of multicultural studies and I would like to focus on two points tonight: one, the role of the ethnocultural communities in Confederation, including the linguistic and constitutional debate; two, the economic effects or impact on the teaching and promotion in Ontario and Canada of the heritage languages or ancestral languages, cultures and traditions.

Canada is a multicultural nation. It is in fact, as a result of the July 1988 Multiculturalism Act, the first officially multicultural nation on earth. Multiculturalism has been a de facto reality for many years. Since the 1971 policy, accepted and recognized by all provincial governments, it has grown into a variety of social and educational programs, finally recognized in law, or de jure, in both the Canadian Constitution of 1982, section 27, and by legislation, as I said, in 1988.

Above all, this reality, these programs and this law meant for all Canadians, not just for particular groups, as often mistakenly interpreted, have developed also into a philosophy of life, a social and educational philosophy. Multiculturalism in fact, in its ideal form, according to educators is an ethic. Its main aims are equality, fairness, respect for and among all Canadians. It looks towards ideal citizenship, with equal and shared rights and responsibilities. It involves, therefore, all Canadian -- I repeat, all Canadian -- structures and infrastructures: governments, education, schools and communities. I have a chart that will show this, which I already made in 1989.

The centre of both the term multiculturalism and of its philosophy is culture in its widest sense. All the manifestations of a group, community and nation, from culinary to literary arts, if you wish, are closely connected to language, the main vehicle of culture. And language, as the linguistic controversy in Canada has been illustrating, is closely linked to identity, to self-expression and self-assurance of individual group and nation.

Canadian Confederation must inevitably be based on the recognition and acceptance of the reality and ideals of multiculturalism. Confederation -- a term deriving from a Latin preposition, "com" -- with, together -- and a noun, "foedus" -- a league or alliance -- refers to the state of being united in a league, to an alliance of equals among equals. At the base of the word there is also fidelity, loyalty, faithfulness, faithful devotion to duty, to one's obligation. The Confederation debate without the equal participation of all Canadians, regardless of origin, cannot be a debate at all. It is no longer an issue, as it was perhaps 50 years ago, only of the so-called founding nations. Native peoples and ethnocultural groups are over one third of the Canadian population, but must be made integral parts of the constitutional debate of this new Canadian social and national contract. I have an article for you to read if you wish which I wrote last year, "Conflict, Crisis and Creative Choices."

Consider the analogy of Canada and the family, which I make in the article. The founding nations may be compared to the parents, the native peoples to the grandparents and the ethnocultural groups to the children. Just as in a family, neither can grandparents nor children be neglected, especially if they have a great deal to contribute, especially, again, when the children are no longer defenceless minors, but mature and responsible adults. The fact is, however, that in Canada, in spite of 20 years of multiculturalism and the Multiculturalism Act, the founding nations still refuse to accept the reality that the children have grown up and want a voice in the family and national deliberations.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to come to your conclusions.

Mr Temelini: I will. The mode of thinking and acting in Canada is still that of 50 years ago. The main causes are attitudinal and economic.

Attitudinal: The stereotypes which lead to bias, and often to active discrimination, still persist in Canada for one reason or another. On particular occasions the stereotype becomes openly derisive and destructive. In 1940, it was the Second World War that made official Canada and many Canadians turn against other Canadians -- Japanese, Germans, Italians. In 1990 it is the Gulf war making life most difficult for Canadians of Arab descent. Apologies 50 years later will not be good.

Economic obstacles: Always in hard economic times the first elements to be sacrificed to the bottom line are those very bases on which rest the identity and strength of individual citizens in Canada -- language and culture.

The Vice-Chair: You have come to the end of the five minutes. I will give you another couple of seconds, that is it, to make your final conclusion. I realize the time is short, but we do have a schedule we have to maintain.

Mr Temelini:I need 30 seconds.

The Vice-Chair: You have it.

Mr Temelini: The example that I was saying is, the University of Western Ontario recently cancelled the Italian and Polish programs. The University of Windsor is slowly eroding the same programs in the department of classical and modern languages, literatures and civilization. Such attitudes and such restricted visions go against both multiculturalism and Confederation. The main danger to the individual and to Canada is, in the final analysis, the erosion of true education as it already has been stated.

"The strength of a nation," said an ancient philosopher, "rests upon the education of its youth." Ontario can strengthen Confederation by strengthening education, as was already stated. Above all, it must strengthen multicultural education, such as what we have at the University of Windsor, and therefore strengthen languages, cultures and identity, which promotes the development of a well-rounded human being and citizen. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, sir. I appreciate your tolerance.


The Vice-Chair: We have another presenter, Wayne Manley. We are going to ask you to be very strict, to the point of the five minutes. We are getting a little bit over here.

Mr Manley: This committee is supposed to be in the Windsor area to hear the opinions of people of Windsor and the Essex county area about the direction of Ontario, and today a man came in from Quebec and you let him talk well over a half-hour. You thanked him very much and nicely and asked him questions. Later on, a man who was in favour also of French came from Vancouver and you sat here for over a half-hour very contentedly letting him speak. You also let the ex-Premier of Manitoba come --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, sir, excuse me --

Mr Manley: -- here and talk for 40 minutes because he is for the French and you did not interrupt him once. I am going to have my say.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, that is not the point. You have five minutes. You can use that five minutes whatever way you want, but after five minutes I will have to ask you to end.


Mr Manley: This panel has already made up its mind. Canada is going to be French no matter what anybody says.

Every day goes by, the more I am convinced that my family is living in a communist state. The politicians tell us what is best for us and we must obey. It is high time the tail stops wagging the dog and the dog shows the tail where the teeth are. Ontario should become a separate country and the sooner the better. Over 50% of my taxes go to support other provinces and enough is enough.

1. As a single income earner, I am tired of over 50% of my income being taxed.

2. Paying the east coast fisherman who only works six months of the year.

3. Paying the western farmers not to grow wheat, and I have to pay for the shipping costs of the wheat when it is grown.

4. Against multiculturalism, which after living together for over 200 years has us at one another's throats in three years.

5. Sending $2.5 billion of my tax dollars to Quebec every year and having them brag about how wealthy they are.

6. Paying $3,000 of my money to encourage them to have more children of their distinct society that is going to grow up and despise me.

7. The law that says that Supreme Court judges will be selected by the government and that four out of the nine judges must be from Quebec. This gives Quebec control of all our laws.

8. The Prime Minister constantly running to the Pope for advice on how to run the country. If the Pope wants to run the country, let him come and run for election.

9. Ex-Canadian soldiers recruiting young Quebeckers and training them to fight and die for Quebec.

10. The Quebec Provincial Police purchasing three army tanks to use against the Indians. Who will it be next?

11. The oversized government that is draining the middle class to death. Politicians do not manufacture anything, do not grow anything, mine anything. But what they do real well is to create no-growth jobs like this committee, which produces nothing because you have already made up your minds. It is going to be French Canada or nothing.

12. Tired of feeding dictator countries like Ethiopia, which feeds its 100,000-strong-man army, then uses pictures of starving children to receive more free food while using its money to buy more guns to shoot its own people.

13. A Prime Minister who is despised by 85% of the population insisting that he is serving the people.

14. Joe Clark running around the world supporting small dictator and communist countries. Comrade Joe, who must go.

15. A government that has changed our national anthem 16 times.

The Vice-Chair: You have one minute left, sir.

Mr Manley: No one sings it because they do not know what the words are today.

16. Tired of sending food into countries like India that worship rats and let them eat up over 30% of their own food crops and nearly 50% of the food aid that we paid them.

The Vice-Chair: Sir --

Mr Manley: There are estimated to be five rats for every person in India.

I know I am cut off because I am not French, but you let everybody else from the country come here and talk and this is supposed to be for Windsor and Essex county and it is not. You made up your mind. It is French Canada or nothing. And you are all dictators.

The Vice-Chair: We would like to thank you very much, sir.

For the benefit of those who are watching, we did extend to the former Premier Pawley who appeared before our committee -- there was much interest that was shown by the committee in regard to asking him questions. We expressed a little bit of latitude on that. We apologize to what it meant to others, but this committee felt it was important to ask questions of one of the signatories of the Meech Lake agreement.

We will ask for the last presenter, if he has come in, from the Windsor and District Labour Council, Gary Parent. Has he arrived? Not at all? Okay, this committee will now recess. We will be in London tomorrow, 9:30 in the morning.

The committee adjourned at 9:25.