Thursday 28 February 1991

Evening sitting, Committee room 1

Paul Pakeman

Michael McCutcheon

Robert E. Wright

David Murray

John Pope

Mary Anne Atell

Philip Walke

Martin Drover

Daniel Galaski

Lawrence New Democratic Party Riding Association

Alain Pechon

George Robert Shaw

Daniel Chevrier

Isobel Allen

Barry Brown

Chai Kalevar

Ron Leitch

Phoenix Association

Melville Phipps

Reta McWhinnie

Henry Raston

Grant Walker Gunness

Joe Armstrong

Lois Bedard

Italian Canadians for Progress

Al Trent

Maria Greifeneder

Carla Berg

Dave Boese

Bloor West Village Voters

Robert S. W. Campbell

Trudy Bretzer

David Fogarty

Féminin pluriel



Chair: Silipo, Tony (Dovercourt NCP)
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)


Stockwell, Chris (Etobicoke West PC) for Mr Eves
Wilson, Gary (Kingston and The Islands NDP) for Ms Harrington

Also taking part:
Cunningham, Dianne E. (London North PC )

Clerk pro tem:

Brown, Harold
Freedman, Lisa
Deller, Deborah


Kaye, Philip, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office
Drummond, Alison, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office

The committee, in part, resumed at 1911 in committee room 1.

The Vice-Chair: I would like to welcome you to our hearings today in Toronto, the second part. We have a long list of presenters. We are going to allow people five minutes to make presentations. We realize it is a little bit hard at times, but we want to allow as many people as possible to come together. The other thing is that we are going to refrain from questions from the committee in order to not use up too much of the time and allow more people to present.

What we are going to do, we will go five minutes, try not to do too many questions. We will get under way. So people understand out there what we have done tonight is that we have split the committee up into two parts. The reason that we split the committee into two parts is to allow more people again to present. If we would have been in a position of having the whole committee here, there would have been a lot of people left off the list. We realize at the end of the day there are still people who will not have a chance to present, but we ask you to submit your brief and to bring it before us and we will go through it.


The Vice-Chair: With that, we would like to ask for the first presenter, Paul Pakeman.

Mr Pakeman: I will stand for this. My name is Paul Pakeman, and I am here to let you know about my deep convictions about Canada. I want to talk to you specifically about federalism, and in order to have the language to be able to explain to you, I am coming from a perspective called earned capacity.

The Vice-Chair: We would ask the presenters to sit. It will not be picked up over the mikes otherwise.

Mr Pakeman: Okay. What I would like to focus on, through the perspective that I am coming from that offers me the language, is earned capacity. First of all, I would like to be very clear that for me federalism is failing Canada. It is disintegrating in front of my eyes. It is crumbling. The question is, why? I am referring specifically to its operations, its structures and practices. In fact, I am saying that it is outdated.

If we go back to historical texts for development of western economies, we find that the very premises and fundamental assertions for economies were built back in the 1700s and 1800s. Let me ask you this: Do you think a business would be in business today if it was using outdated operations and procedures? No. Federalism was built on the premise, back in the 1900s, that the economy and economics were the foundation for social development. Adam Smith, who was to me the father of economics with

The Wealth of Nations, came by and said that it is the economy that allows people, in their own self-interest, to amass their wealth and embrace materialism. In those days they did not have the modern issues that we have been facing today.

Democratic governments like Canada were built on being able to support an economic infrastructure that primarily had a focus on preserving the economy. It has no basis for looking at environmental or social issues. If we start to talk about the social fabric and environmental fabric of Canada, back in the 1900s that was not an issue. We did not have the information back then, so the structure and operation and practices of our federal government were built around sustaining economies, not around looking at environmental and social issues. That is a modern concern. It cannot handle the stresses of those concerns when we start to look at those particular factors. It needs updating.

I cannot talk about the vision for Canada and identity for Canada and talk about our cultural and linguistic variances that we have in Canada and talk about how to achieve it if I do not have the federal capacity to be able to achieve those. We need the operation and practices in order to do that.

Let me give you an example of how well we have weighted, supported economic infrastructure. We have thermostatic mechanisms that can balance the economy. If it gets too hot, we can turn it down and if it gets too cold, we can turn it up. But can we do that with environmental and social issues? Do we have something like the central Bank of Canada or some mechanisms to start to balance the social and environmental fabric? No, we do not.

That is one of the biggest dissonances that I see. No wonder we have the cultural and national crisis that we do. Our present structure was not made to handle that. From the earned capacity perspective that I am coming from, both environmental and social need to be integrated into the economic infrastructure. It has to be united. How can you have and talk about a united Canada without having those things integrated into the economic infrastructure? Only in that way, for me, can we start to address the social issues, cultural issues, national issues that affect Canadians today. We cannot have it on the sideline any more.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to sum up. You have about a minute left.

Mr Pakeman: For me, I think it is possible. There is a policy framework and an instrument framework and earned capacity that allow the integration of social and environmental factors into the economy -- we do not have it today -- that allow for thermostatic balancing mechanisms that can balance it on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, just like we do with money supply in Canada. Only in that way can I see a forging of unity in Canada when we start to look at how we are going to address our goals, because that will change our operation, structure and practices in how to achieve a healthy and whole Canada.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: The next one is Michael McCutcheon. The clerk is coming out presently with the list, so people can check where they are on it.

Mr McCutcheon: My name is Michael McCutcheon. I am a businessman here in Toronto. I am a Canadian and I am very, very concerned about my country. I am concerned about my country because it is going away and it is going away not because of bilingualism, multiculturalism, immigration policies; it is going away because of a thing called party-line vote. Party-line vote is destroying my country. We have to remember that it is party-line vote that created Bill 8. It is party-line vote that changed the multicultural makeup of this country. It is party-line vote that does the immigration policy of this country. It is party-line vote right across the line.

We supposedly in this country elect free men and free women to go to a free Parliament or free Legislature, but the problem is that once they get there, they may walk in free, but that freedom stops immediately with the party whip system. You people here are not allowed by your parties to represent your people, your constituents. You are not allowed to. You must be like a puppet bouncing up and down with the vote every time, like a clapping seal for the leader. It is absolutely ridiculous.

There is no consultation therefore. The power comes from the top down, not from the bottom, the people, up. Basically right now it is coming from the Prime Minister's office or the Premier's office, thundering down through the caucus, and then it becomes law on the floor of the Legislature or the House of Commons. This is what we have in Canada, my friends. We have a constitutional dictatorship and that is the major problem, over all others, facing this country. The party line has to be broken.


Now there are many ways of breaking it. The first way of breaking it is to set up a fixed term of government of four years, or consider this -- and this is, by the way, the Confederation of Regions idea -- if you are voted out of power. You can be voted out by a motion of non-confidence at any time during that four years. Also, institute at the two-year and four-year periods binding referenda. You must act on it. You people here must act on the voice of the people.

The votes in Parliament have got to be free for you to do your job properly and represent the people. We have got to establish a democracy both provincially and federally. We have a lot of problems, friends, major problems, but if the party-line control continues in this country, forget it.

There are several other things that we can do. We can first of all put in a recall system of parliamentarians. If my representative is not doing a good job for me and is widely voting party line, the same way all of you people do right now, I want to be able to sign a petition and fire him and have a by-election and find some person who wants to represent me and not the party.

As I mentioned before, people go down to Ottawa, people come here to Queen's Park to represent the people, but they do not represent the people. They represent their parties. This has to be stopped or we go right down the drain provincially and federally.

Forget about Quebec, forget about the whole shot. Therein lies the problem that you people are studying supposedly. But again, you are going to be reporting back to your party bosses and they are going to make another dictum coming down. It has to be broken somewhere. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.

Mr McCutcheon: I have this book. I have 10 copies of it. I cannot get 38. It is Ken McDonald's Keeping Canada Together. I would like to give this to you for distribution to the select committee.

The Vice-Chair: You can leave it with the clerk of the committee.

I would ask people to try to keep to the five minutes because what is going to happen, we will end up going over and losing time for other presenters. Okay? Thank you.

Mr McCutcheon: Excuse me, I have 40 seconds going. If these people want to clap, they can damned well clap.


The Vice-Chair: Very good. Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is R. E. Wright.

Mr Wright: Thank you. You set forth a number of questions for discussion and I would like to address them in the order in which you put them forward. I am referring to your brochure Changing for the Better.

1. "What are the values we share as Canadians?" We, along with the Swedes and the Swiss, are among the most governable of peoples in the world, and this implies a governmental obligation to treat us with consideration. We are potential doormats and could be and have been on occasion overgoverned. We have been and can be offended. We are offended by arrogance. We value humility, especially when it is found along with informed intelligence.

2. "How can we secure our future in the international community?" First, we must keep the respect we have in the international community. This ties in with your first question. We are respected for our values, even if we are questioned on our success in their implementation. Where we fall down, I am afraid, is trying to be something we are not, rather than practising what we can do best. Yes, use our natural resources, especially those that are renewable, but set aside a part of that income to make Canada a centre for research and development. We can then license and receive royalties from production of new products by others which we cannot do profitably because of our limited market. Our future in the international community will be secured by our ability to do the very best with what we have, which is considerable.

3. "What role should the federal and provincial governments play?" I want the federal government to protect me and my rights and privileges only where a national body can both rationally and cost-effectively do the job. This means as a minimum national defence, setting of national standards, a Supreme Court, national monetary policy. Of this, I see national standards as of the greatest significance. We Canadians increasingly value mobility, and I would be restricted in my choices of residence if I could not enjoy the painless transfer of my lifestyle, including medical care, the legal system, my electrical appliances, my financial assets, etc.

You will note I said the federal government should be responsible only for the setting of standards. I do not think it is their function to police these standards nor to manage them nor to administer them except as a court of last resort, the Supreme Court. I similarly want the provincial government to protect me and my rights and privileges only where a provincial body can both rationally and cost-effectively do that job.

4. "How do we achieve justice for Canada's original peoples?" Certainly treaty rights and land claims must be settled. It would be my suggestion that for the time being such claims be given high government priority, starting at the local levels, which would represent such claims at the provincial levels, which would in turn represent such claims at the federal level.

We should set time limits for settlement. One of the objections of any such settlement would clearly be the elimination of the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. For all claims to be settled, we must also recognize the validity of the Yukon and the Northwest Territories as having provincial status and that first peoples' political borders be theirs to negotiate. Land rights should be inviolate and inheritable without taxation.

5. "What are the roles of the English and French languages in Canada?" No more and no less than the roles of any other language in Canada. If we take the example that any Canadian citizen deserves the right to be communicated with in his own tongue, including American sign language, Inuit, Spanish, Portuguese, etc, in any matters of governmental significance, it is incumbent to provide services in a minimum of the two founding languages wherever appropriate and neither should be allowed to be banned in any way and in any location. Language is, however, only the tip of the cultural iceberg and we should be concentrating more on cultural accommodation than on strictly linguistic matters. I refer to 6 below.

6. "What is Quebec's future in Canada?" Ontario has a function to perform in the process of what I might call accommodation. I see it as selling Canada to Quebec. I do not think the French see the value of being Canadian as I see it, and I think that is a pity. But we are not going to get anywhere being anti-anything unless we have a better mousetrap to offer. I think we can produce one. We already have the guts of it in Ontario.

7. "What is the place of the west, the north and the Atlantic regions?" Back to point 3. If the local governments are given and assume more autonomy through the management and control of local issues, supported by their right to be the only tax collector, then their place would be assured and the question goes away.

8. "What does Ontario want?" Perhaps just to be the nation-state we are. We have embarked on a number of programs to improve our lifestyle, among which your committee is not the least. It has made us think. It has roused us out of our apathy -- who cares? -- and we have been given a real opportunity to make our lives and our country better than otherwise might have been the case.

The Vice-Chair: May I ask you to sum up.

Mr Wright: Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: You are quite welcome.

We would ask that anybody who is not on the list go and see the clerk in the back of the hall to make sure your name is on, and if it is not on, to try to get it inserted at the end of it.

Mr Wright: This is a much longer paper and I have 10 copies here.

The Vice-Chair: Yes. Could you leave it with the clerk? She will pick it up on the way through. Thank you.



The Vice-Chair: Next on the agenda is David Murray.

Mr Murray: Mr Chairman, members of the committee, thank you very much for the invitation to appear before you. We have waited, many of us, for 30 or more years to say these things.

In 1867 Confederation, as we know it, was an appropriate response to the post-Civil War threat of manifest destiny from the United States and the requirement to tidy up British colonial possessions in North America. However, it was never an entirely harmonious union, especially between Quebec and the English-language provinces of Canada. After a period of quietude immediately after Confederation, Quebec nationalism awoke, encouraged by the risings of Henri Bourassa and others, and it never went to sleep again.

Rather, and since the 1960s particularly, Quebec nationalism has become increasingly strident, demanding and catered to. In the very recent past, Quebec's claims to particularity have been at the price of a strong central government and have been matched by the central government's willingness to devolve to all provinces the particularity Quebec as a nation claims for itself.

Not surprisingly, the French-speaking people of Quebec can rightly claim to be a nation of their own. Why? Because 82% of them can claim to be bonded by two, if not three, of the three unifying elements of a nation, namely, race, religion and language. Present-day Canada is bonded by none of the three. Rather it is separated and made more brittle by two of them, namely, race and language.

It is therefore time, after 125 years of the noble experiment of Confederation to say, "It ain't gonna work the way it was designed." It is time to let the Quebec nation have its own space, just as we applaud that Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland, etc, have won or are winning their own space in this century.

In 1867, when Canada's Confederation was founded, all of those aforementioned states were parts of larger political states, just as Quebec is now. They have survived or will survive just as an independent Quebec will survive. But what of Anglo-Canada, and particularly Ontario, after Quebec leaves the Confederation that was created 125 years ago? Anglo-Canada and Ontario will also survive because they will be unified by race and language, but not religion, since all shall continue to subscribe to religious freedom and tolerance. We shall have the bonds of the English language and the Canadian race that is made up of many, many, many original strains: an Anglo-Canadian race of many original strains, just as there is an Anglo-American race of many original strains. This may sound radical to you, but it is not. There is as much of an Anglo-Canadian nation as there is of an American nation, which is also bonded by the English language and many original racial strains.

Let us dismiss immediately one fear of what would happen when, and not if, Quebec separates. The present Atlantic provinces would also survive as parts of Anglo-Canada. Their roots of history run too deep even to contemplate independence or absorption by the United States, even supposing the US would admit them. By the way, Mr Chairman, I say this as a former Nova Scotian before I became an Ontarian.

Atlantic Canada, though separated by an independent Quebec from the mainland of Canada, namely, Ontario and the west, would be just as united to that Anglo-Canada as are Alaska and Hawaii united to the mainland United States, as is Northern Ireland united to the mainland of Great Britain or as was East Prussia united to the mainland of Germany before 1939. There are many other examples to prove that it is not necessary for united countries or bonded nations to be contiguous.

To conclude, Mr Chairman, I offer you the following recommended elements for a post-1992 Anglo-Canada, with Ontario as the leader of it.

We should stop multiculturalism; it is divisive. Instead we should strengthen Anglo-Canadianism along the lines of the American melting pot.

We should provide for a strong central government. We should stop the pious, pompous, provincial, princeling premiers from presuming that they are anything more than the administrators of local matters.

We should adopt the triple E Senate.

We should amalgamate provinces in the interests of economy of scale, and by the way, this is not an original idea from myself. It was originally propounded by Premier W. A. C. Bennett of British Columbia about 25 years ago. It is absurd that the provincial Premier should have veto rights over the future of Canada's Constitution.

To make the two previous recommendations work, namely, a triple E Senate and amalgamated provinces, we recommend that Newfoundland, which is a distinct society, should have 7 senators; a united Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, 21; Ontario, 21; a united Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 21; a united British Columbia and Yukon, 21, for a total of 91 senators.

We should entrench referenda to give more freedom to the individuals, as the previous speaker indicated.

Finally, we should stop the duplication between the central and the provincial governments in areas such as agriculture, communications and foreign affairs. We do not need a CBC and a TVO. We do not need Ontario agents general and high commissioners in London and Ontario agents general and ambassadors in Bonn and Paris.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.

Mr Murray: Thank you, Mr Chairman, for your attention. Extra copies are available.


The Vice-Chair: I call John Pope next.

Mr Pope: Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, immersed in the mess this country finds itself in is one common denominator among English-speaking Canadians, and that is ignorance: ignorance of our history, ignorance of the legitimate claims and aspirations of Quebec and ignorance of the minefields ahead. Clearly we are a nation, but we do not know where we are, we do not know where we are going and we do not know what to do when we get there.

Concerning Quebec, I do believe, after reading the history of my country, that it has both a legal and a moral claim to sovereignty. I could mention the years 1764 and 1791 and they would mean nothing to most people here, but I could say that from 1841 to 1848 the promises made to the French Canadians were broken and French no longer had official status. This was changed finally in 1848 by Macdonald and Taché. But the real crime, I believe, was committed in 1890 in the fourth session of the sixth Parliament of Canada when, in effect, an amendment to the Northwest Territories Act deprived French-speaking people of their rights there. Section 93 of the BNA Act was broken.


I do believe that bilingualism and biculturalism, as practised and administered in this country, which were originally intended to promote unity, have had the opposite effect.

This crisis we are in means opportunity for a new beginning, a Constitution with built-in financial disciplines, a streamlined bureaucracy and decentralized legislative powers. Aboriginal and a host of other rights cannot be solved by the Constitution or it will take a hundred and a thousand years, if ever, to be adopted.

The key to a peaceful, just and successful implementation of Quebec's aspirations and the survival of a prosperous Canada can be found in the position of the crown. That does not mean loyalty to the inhabitants of Buckingham Palace; instead it provides the legal and peaceful solution to ancient land claims, cases in chancery, government debt obligation, treaties and many facets of daily life. The reckless abandonment of this cornerstone would bring hardship and chaos to everyone.

For example, in Ireland, De Valera detested, hated the British and took his country out of the Commonwealth and made it a republic. Yet he found he could not do away with the crown simply because the Irish people would suffer hardships due to many legalities, and it was not until after the Second World War that finally the Queen as the head of state was abolished. So I can see that Quebec, if it goes its separate way, will go its separate way together with the rest of us due to the position of the crown, and this really means that we have to work together.

I see a Constitution with elastic bands, and this was the original BNA Act. For example, Manitoba had treaties, international accords with the state of Minnesota. Manitoba did not have to apply to Ottawa for permission; Minnesota did have to get presidential approval. In Ontario, in 1941, a treaty was concluded with Bermuda on educational matters and 300 teachers came up here, but when Quebec wanted to do the same thing with the francophone nations of the world, Pierre Trudeau said no. We have developed into a centralized state and we need to be decentralized.

There are two universal principles of government, whether it is Liberal or Conservative or Socialist or Communist or the government of a tyrant. These are, one, the protection of the nation and, two, the protection of the family and individual, to protect the family, the individual from the greed of any capitalistic corporation, from the power of any labour union and from the tyranny of any government department.

Following these two basic principles are two great leaders of the past, Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who brought this country to the zenith of its beauty.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to sum up, sir.

Mr Pope: Right.

The Vice-Chair: You still have a minute. I was just asking you to sum up.

Mr Pope: These two principles will have to be faced by both Quebec and the other regions of Canada in the future. This will require a radical departure from the way we look at this. Very briefly, in days gone by, our railways, roadways, canals, all our methods of transportation were part of our system of national defence, and I believe that in the sovereignty situation, we should consider our past and go back to basics.

I thank you very much for the privilege of speaking to you. I hope that you, as representatives of this province, will show a strong measure of realism, integrity, tolerance, sensitivity and, above all, something that is lacking in public life today, ie, sound scholarship, when you meet with your friends from Quebec.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, sir.


The Vice-Chair: Next on the list is Mary Anne Atell.

Ms Atell: I feel values shared as Canadians are freedom, multiculturalism, bilingualism, the health plan, and as Canadians we all strive for a better standard of living, better educational standards and a peaceful nation. We are all immigrants to this land of opportunity, with the exception of the natives and Inuits.

To me, the holding force of Canada in the past was the belief that people had in a new world, a new life where they were no longer going to be oppressed by the government the way that they had left behind in the old country, where the rich were getting richer, the poor were getting poorer, so they created a middle class.

Now the government's ways seem to have caught up with us. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and the government is not listening to us, its people, people who are the driving force of Canada. We are what makes the country tick and we have been pulling up our own socks, and Mulroney still says Canada has to pull up its socks. Well, Mulroney has to pull up his socks. He should stop giving himself salary increases, as well as the members of Parliament.

When the government does not listen to its people, that is when the country breaks down, and Mulroney's government is tearing the country apart, taking away people's lands, fisheries, farms, businesses. This must stop. We do not want to become the 51st state.

The force on which to build a common wealth is to keep the people together in the 21st century as proud Canadians, to give farmers back their lands and the fisheries back to the fishermen and to give the businesses back to the people who are losing them at an alarming rate. Get back our resources. A strong nation is a strong economy. All the regions would benefit from this.

We would not and do not need any uranium mining in Saskatchewan for nuclear weapons and radioactive waste, which is environmentally hazardous. We need farms in Saskatchewan, which have been abandoned due to this government's misuse of power.

The values that bind us together as Canadians are that we are a multicultural, peace-loving nation, and we are a nation rich in resources to develop, rather than selling out to the country below the border.

We believe in freedom of the people and the quality of being free in this country, Canada, the independence to choose our own path. I believe in democracy, but is it democracy that I see in this country? Democracy in the dictionary means "a government in which the supreme power is held by the people." I do not see that happening in this country. Otherwise, Mulroney would not be here any more; he would be gone.

In that we accept things as they come and are a passive nation, I am starting to see a change, such as today's discussion, and I hope our views will be used.

Our multicultural fabric in this society is unique and the major attraction in Canada, well received by Canadians and precious. I feel the Canadian monarchy is long overdue and should work for a better Canada. As for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are all the rights and freedoms protected? Does the unborn baby have rights? Does a child have rights? Does a woman have rights?

Equality rights must be upheld. Native rights should be put into effect. I am embarrassed to be a Canadian when I see native Canadians treated so poorly. Shelter, food and clothing should be a legal right. For the physically and mentally abused, proper therapy should be covered by the health plan for all ages, especially children.

The Canadian way of life would be a lot more pleasant if the relationship between the government and the people were better, rather than a dictatorship. It is very important that the Charter of Rights applies in all respects across the country. We should pay attention to what we have, to know and to keep what we have.

Our common belief is that we have a wonderful country where freedom is very precious. We have our own identity as Canadians and we have built this into a beautiful country which our parents worked hard for and we do not want anyone to take it away from us.

Canada is rich in resources and our multiculturalism has taught us a lot as we have learned from it. We have learned similarities within our differences. For example, everyone has a different religion but a similar Creator. There are different cultures that have similarities in their foods and clothes and music, arts and dance and crafts, similarities as human beings.

To manage our economy is to serve people's needs better, to gather all our resources and start building a new Canada, new ways of approaching these hard economic times. I believe Canada can come back greater and even better than before with our knowledge of positive, productive, environmentally friendly ways to produce energy, foods, clothing, etc, on all levels.

We all know it is there and it has to be done to save this planet. We all breathe the same air, we drink the same water. So let's start doing it. All Canadians want a better life as well as providing the best they can for their children, physically, mentally and spiritually.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to sum up. You are running a little bit past your time.


Ms Atell: I would like to say here that the Inuit people should have their rights given back. The rights of the people of Canada should be given back, what has been taken away from them. The Constitution should apply when it comes to Quebec. French and English language is a wonderful thing to have in our country and it should be applied to every corner of Canada.

The regional identity should be expressed by the people by electing a regional body of specialists in the field, and they should all come together annually so that they can have regional representatives to solve the issues and the concerns, come together so we would know what the issues are in that particular part of this country of Canada. We would like to have more people come together so our standard of living can get higher. We do not need the GST and the war and all these things that add up to something that is not going to do anything better for Canada, but going to make it worse. We have to get it together, and the politicians should get the trust of the people by really solving concerns of the people: women's issues, native issues and cultural issues. Canada will be an inspiration to other countries in how it can be done. Let's do it all together now for the children of the world.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Philip Walke; next will be Martin Drover.

Mr Walke: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Philip Walke is my name. I am here as a concerned Canadian, and the theme of my presentation is the need for a strong central government. I am optimistic about the future, and I have not counted anybody out. I am sure we can solve our problems and still remain 10 provinces and two territories as we always have been.

National unity with a purpose -- this was a phrase often spoken by the late Lester B. Pearson during the 1960s when Dominion provincial conferences were held on a regular basis. What is the purpose of national unity? The purpose should be defined as national unity for the common good of all Canadians. As one of the best, if not the best country in the world, Canada has achieved this purpose in the fields of health care, family allowances, old age security and Canada pension plan, etc. If we were not 26 million people under one umbrella as a nation, none of us would enjoy any of these benefits we have today, and if the country is allowed to disintegrate, then it will not be realistically or economically possible to continue providing these benefits.

Language rights: Canada is a country founded by two founding races, English and French, but it is a land first settled upon by native people of various backgrounds, whose rights have to be both recognized and respected. Therefore, we are either Canadians by birth or we are Canadians by choice, and as such, one of the official languages should prevail, depending on what community we live in, regardless of what region of the country we happen to live in. In this, I am not looking at Quebec being unilingual in one language, or Ontario being bilingual in another language. I am looking at if you are English in Quebec, you have a right to speak English in Quebec; if you are French in Ontario, you have the right to speak French in Ontario. A good example of this is our northern communities or Ottawa Valley communities where we do have French-speaking communities.

A person who is a Canadian by birth has a right to his or her language, and a Canadian by choice should accept the language of the community in which he happens to settle. Customs and traditions should prevail in the churches, homes and ethnic communities, thus playing down the fact of the multicultural society and putting more emphasis on being Canadians first. Ethnic customs and traditions can be displayed at festivals and functions such as the annual Caravan which is put on in Metropolitan Toronto. In this way, I think we all have a chance to join in and be part of the multicultural community and learn how other people live.

The Senate: The Senate has a place in governing this country. However, the role of the Senate should be redefined as to both what its original purpose was and should be. The Senate should be a body to protect the public against bad legislation and also to propose new legislation that is for the benefit of Canadians.

In the free trade and GST debates, those senators who opposed this legislation were speaking for the majority of Canadians, who in the 1988 election voted against the government on the basis of the percentage of the vote cast, and therefore did not give the government a mandate to legislate these measures. It seems ironic when one looks at the criticism which was shown to those senators who opposed these measures for supposedly going against the will of the people, when on the other hand there was hardly a word spoken when a tie vote defeated the abortion legislation.

The members of the Senate should continue to be appointed by the governing party of the federal government, but only on a non-partisan basis; they should be appointed on the merits of ability and knowledge to do the job.

An example of outstanding people in this country to emulate are Senator Joseph Croll for his concerns on issues of poverty and Justice Hall for his work in areas of health care. Other people who displayed wisdom for the good of the country are the late senators Gratton O'Leary and Eugene Forsey.

There have been times in past history when prime ministers have seen fit to appoint people from other parties rather than being partisan and just appointing their own party members. Perhaps a Senate appointment should be for a specified term rather than a lifetime appointment, with provisions for reappointments until a given age, when retirement would be mandatory.

In conclusion, during the Meech Lake debate I took umbrage with those people, both in the media and in a position in government, for stating that those of us who opposed Meech Lake were against Quebec. I opposed Meech Lake for the reason that it gave too much power to all the provinces, thus weakening the central government. I have lived in Ontario all my life, but I class myself as Canadian first, and I respect and support the people of Quebec in the same manner as I do the people of the other nine provinces and the two northern territories.

All provincial governments, together with the two territories and representatives of aboriginal peoples, must negotiate with the federal government as to the future of this nation. The goals and visions for the future must be to provide government that can legislate matters pertaining to social justice. In looking ahead to the 21st century, changes in industry and society will be such that governments will have a greater role in the affairs of society if that society is to be a well-ordered society where all its citizens can live in the dignity which they deserve.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to sum up, sir.

Mr Walke: To provide these goals, the answer is to establish and maintain a strong central government with proper regional administration of its programs. Such negotiations must be done without the use of any type of referendum vote, as the issue is too emotional and complex to leave to the ballot box as an issue of its own. The onus is on elected officials to be responsible for bringing this matter to a successful conclusion.

As a footnote, I reiterate the words of the late Senator Eugene Forsey:

"The only Canada I want to preserve is a Canada that can do something; for its own people, for the hungry two thirds of the world, for the survival of the planet; not a phantom that can only watch helplessly as we all tumble down a steep place to destruction."

Thank you very much, Mr Chairman.

The Vice-Chair: I thank you very much.



The Vice-Chair: Martin Drover.

Mr Drover: I come here tonight as just a regular Canadian. I have never been involved in any political thing. I never voted until last September, when the NDP got in. The only reason I went to vote is because of the almighty dollar; as far as auto insurance goes, I cannot believe what they are saying in the private world of auto insurance.

Anyway, I am a little flustered because I have never done this before.

There are eight questions you are asking here. I have simple answers because I think they are simple questions. You may think I am just simple-minded the way I answer the questions, but that is the way I feel.

The first question is: What are values that we share as Canadians? I think first of all is life; second is language; third is culture.

The second question: How can we secure our future in an international economy? We have to deal with whatever the atmosphere of the economy is. I really do not know. Whatever we have to do to do it, then we have to do it.

What role should the federal and provincial government play? Federal government should play the role of Canada and the provincial government should play the role of the region.

How do we achieve justice for our aboriginal people of Canada? Basically, we give them what they want. We may not have the money to give it right away. I think they are sensible-minded enough to understand that we may not have all the money to give it instantaneously, but I think it is long overdue. I do not think we have any more excuses we can come up with to have another committee make a decision on what they should or should not get. I think they should get everything they ask for.

What are the roles of the English and French languages in Canada? Being that they are English and French languages, I think they should both exist. I think we should have a bilingual country and I think the only way to really achieve it is through education and French immersion. I am part French, but I do not speak any. My niece is going to a French immersion school and she is slowly learning, and from her I am slowly regaining some of that cultural past.

What is Quebec's future in Canada? I do not think this is the question. I think the question is: `What is the French people's future in Canada? I think their future should be that they should be able to coexist with us. I think we should ask the French people of Quebec, not the Quebec government, what they want; what they are afraid we are going to take away from them if they stay with us. But you cannot rightly blame them, in the political atmosphere that is around now. If I was given the choice as an Ontarian to stay or leave, I would choose leaving. I want nothing to do with Mr Mulroney. My hatred for the man is beyond any I have ever felt.

What is the place of the west and the north and the Atlantic region? I think this is a dumb question. I think it is where they lie. I do not see how we could make it any different. What do you expect us to do, pick them up and put them somewhere else?

What does Ontario want? I do not know what Ontario wants. I do not think the question is right. I think it should be: `What does a Canadian want? I am really upset with everything that has been going on for the past few months, and a lot of it has to do with the federal government and the way it has acted towards me. They are more concerned with pleasing everybody else around the world than pleasing me as a Canadian, or pleasing Canada. They are worried about what other people think. Mulroney, with his thing with the military, is trying to give a token force and make it feel like Canada is doing this big offensive manoeuvre for the rest of the world when we really cannot afford to offer that, and that is not the way I feel. I do not mind being in the Persian Gulf in a defensive position, defending and doing things like they were with stopping and checking boats; I can understand that. But to send Canadians into a situation where they could get killed fighting, and when we cannot really afford to provide that, our economic situation cannot afford that --

I just want Mr Rae to know that I stand behind him in whatever he does. I stand behind him as a person, not as a political leader. I do not look at him that way. I look at him in what I believe he is and what he represents to me. I do not always agree with everything the NDP does and stuff like that, but I agree with the man. I think he is a smart, sensible man. Whatever direction he wishes to take, if he follows his own heart, I think we could go somewhere big.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. It was not too bad for your first time, was it?

Mr Drover: It was pretty nerve-wracking.


The Vice-Chair: Daniel Galaski; after that will be Shalom Schachter.

Mr Galaski: Good evening, Mr Chairman and members of the select committee on Ontario in Confederation. I come before you today not as a member of any organization or group, but as an average, concerned Canadian, a Canadian who is at present filled with frustration, anger and resentment.

Before I continue I want to state that I was born and raised in Toronto. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to live in other Canadian cities, namely, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal. I hope to visit the maritime provinces in the future in order to continue the discovery of my Canadian identity. A curious phrase, is it not? "To continue the discovery of my Canadian identity." What exactly does it mean?

For me, it is best defined as a process of evolution, not stagnation; having a national view instead of regional selfcentredness; the acceptance and support of the aboriginal and francophone people's unique culture and language instead of assimilation; tolerance and understanding of the multicultural mosaic of this country instead of ignorance and fear; travelling this great country from sea to sea to sea so that we can build bonds of friendship and respect for one another instead of sitting in front of our TVs and allowing these bonds to be destroyed by the media and politicians.

This is one Canadian who has a serious credibility problem with the Canadian press, both French and English, and the political leaders in this country. In this information age, we Canadians certainly have an abundance of print and electronic media at our disposal. There is, however, a fine line between being informed and beating an issue to death. When the media overkills an issue, a phenomenon occurs in which people accept through resignation. A recent example is how the French press has vigorously stirred up the separatist sentiment in Quebec.

This, of course, if reflected in the latest polls emanating from that province.

The English press in Canada interprets the same information and paints a picture of Quebec's imminent departure. Are we, as Canadians, receiving responsible unbiased coverage of current events? Have we fallen prey to the media's insatiable thirst for sensationalism and the hype of an issue to satisfy their financial bottom lines? Are they in part responsible for the national unity crisis in this country? This is not for me to answer, nor to decide, but for all of us to consider as we seek a solution to the constitutional impasse facing this country.

In the past year the political leaders in Canada and in Quebec have shown contempt for their respective electorates. As long as I live I will never forget June 1990. I will never forget how the Prime Minister of Canada and the first ministers met behind closed doors to discuss our Constitution, the heart and soul, the very fabric of this nation, and reduced those meetings to a crap shoot. `What role did Canadians play in this constitutional process? We were delegated the role of "the ignorant masses." We, the ignorant masses, gathered on Parliament Hill and had to wait for almost a week before Moses Mulroney and his disciples came down off the mountain with their vision of a new Canada etched in stone.

Ah, yes, our illustrious Prime Minister. On one hand he espouses the virtues of a strong, prosperous, united Canada bolstered by our national institutions and powers of equality enshrined in our Constitution. On the other hand lies the remnant of Via Rail, CBC, Air Canada and Petro-Canada.


In addition and more recently, is a bilateral deal relinquishing more federal immigration powers to Quebec. Will the provinces receive the same deal? The answer is a very simple no. And why? Again, the answer is simple. Mr Mulroney does not have the guts to challenge the separatists in Quebec, and I do not mean standing in the National Assembly presenting a speech filled with catchphrases from the past. Actions speak louder than words, Mr Mulroney. Coupled with the economic mess of this country and the void promises of the free trade agreement, your actions, Mr Mulroney, are telling me that it is time for you to resign.

When the Meech Lake agreement died, the English media in Canada told us that Mr Bourassa remained Canada's last hope for federalism in Quebec. With the release of the Allaire report, Mr Bourassa has finally shown his true separatist colours. This report clearly tells Canadians that this was, all along, Mr Bourassa's real definition of the "distinct society" clause contained within that now-defunct agreement. Elijah Harper and Clyde Wells were right in their opposition to the inconclusive definition of the "distinct society" clause as outlined in that agreement. I wonder why Mr Mulroney and Mr Bourassa were so adamant about not legally defining this clause until after Meech was signed.

Mr Parizeau. is not now nor will he ever be a sovereigntist. Do not be fooled by his sovereigntist rhetoric. He is a separatist. Mr Parizeau and his separatist party have painted for their constituents a rose-coloured picture of a separate Quebec. However, both he and Mr Bourassa insult the intelligence of the Quebec electorate by not defining the economic, cultural and social benefits of a separate Quebec.

We must be crystal-clear about this separatist agenda in Quebec. Simply stated, it is the creation of the nation-state of Quebec at any cost, even if it means the destruction of Canada as we know it today. The separatists almost achieved their goal last June, had the Meech Lake accord passed. The thrust of their achievement was contained within the ambiguous "distinct society" clause. Let's face it, a majority of Canadians did not understand the ramifications of that clause. Mr Mulroney and Mr Bourassa kept telling us that they would define that clause after Meech was ratified. We now have the true definition of the "distinct society" clause as outlined in the Allaire report. I contend that the Meech Lake ordeal represented nothing more than the mother of all deceptions of the Canadian electorate. Let us never forget who the key deceptors were: Mr Mulroney, the Prime Minister of Canada, the first ministers, Mr Bourassa and Mr Parizeau.

As a Canadian, I am so God-damned angry and resentful of the clowns we call political leaders in this country. The Prime Minister and the first ministers have, in the past year, redefined the new order of Canadian politics.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Galaski, I would ask you to sum up.

Mr Galaski: Okay. Instead of exhibiting qualities of leadership, responsibility, compassion, honesty and respect, they have chosen to replace these qualities with deception, manipulation, contempt for the Canadian electorate. Because of their actions, they have succeeded in dividing this country. I am ashamed at how the aboriginal peoples in this country have been treated. I am ashamed at the levels of intolerance and lack of respect that English, French and multicultural Canadians show for one another. I am ashamed that our politicians perceive Canadians as pawns on a chessboard to be moved and manipulated via the media for their own political games. I am ashamed at the finance ministers' and the Bay Street wizards,' "It's your problem, not mine," attitude directed at those who have lost their jobs as a result of the free trade agreement and recession.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am tired of being angry, I am tired of being frustrated, but above all I am tired of being ashamed for being a Canadian. In terms of Ontario's role in Confederation, there are recommendations at the back here, and I conclude.


The Vice-Chair: Shalom Schachter, and after that it will be Alain Pechon.

Mr Schachter: Good evening. I am here on behalf of the Lawrence New Democratic Party Riding Association. Lawrence riding is the southern and western portion of North York in Metropolitan Toronto and I was its candidate in the most recent provincial election.

Our membership felt it was important to discuss among ourselves and to participate in the public debate on the future of our province, the future of our country. At the beginning of February we held an open public meeting in the riding. We had panellists Marlou McPhedran, a feminist lawyer, and Professor Leo Panitch from the political science department of York University lead the discussion. After that meeting we had a membership meeting to thrash out our views and then an executive meeting to put together these submissions.

This brief in point form summarizes the views expressed in our meeting. We follow the order of questions that is set out in the discussion paper put out by the government. As an introduction, though, perhaps you will turn from the cover page to the next page where it says "Preamble."

We believe the present timetable that was established for this information gathering is too compact, that if lasting outcomes are expected from this exercise, then more time must be allocated so that wide discussions can take place and we do not repeat one of the failures of the Meech Lake process.

We also believe that the reactive approach to constitutional change or the rush to be in step or ahead of Quebec is not conducive to constitutional change and we should avoid getting into having to follow deadlines that are set by other participants.

Finally we expect the committee to ensure that both in its process and in its outcomes, it reflects the needs of the majority group within this province, that being the women of Ontario.

The first question asked, as to the values that we share as Canadians, we expect that having identified values, they will be reflected in a vision statement of where this country should be going, and we expect that vision statement will then be developed and maintained through national institutions of transportation, communication and development.

We have identified some of the values that we believe are widely shared: first, that we are a multiracial, multicultural and multilingual community; second, that we recognize the importance of community through a shared concern for each member of the community; and finally, that we hold great importance m collective action for the betterment of the members of the community. At the end of these submissions, we will be making a proposal to facilitate that collective action.

You have our comments on question 2, our future in the international economy. At this point I want to go directly to question 3, the roles that should be played by the federal and provincial governments. We believe in the need for a strong central government, one that has the power to ensure that there are national standards for universal social services and to maintain a national economy. On that point I simply point out that if Quebec should stay within Canada, the federal government should have the power to ensure that these standards also apply in Quebec. Second, as part of Quebec's remaining in Canada, if that means that there is a special accommodation reached in giving Quebec certain powers, those powers should not be given to other provinces to ensure that there is a central government with effective powers.

Going on to the bottom point on the page in terms of the Constitution, as indicated at the beginning, we believe that constitutional growth should not be reactive or a product of short-term crisis management, but should be a planned process.

Finally, perhaps most importantly, going on to the next page, the essence of a Constitution should not only be what powers a federal government should have and what powers a provincial government should have, but it should also deal with the question of how we govern ourselves. We have to make government more responsive to the members of the community. We have outlined a number of suggestions on that page. One of them, perhaps the most important one, is empowering citizens and community-based groups to participate in decision-making. Democracy should be more that electing a set of dictators every four or five years.

Going on to question 4, how we achieve justice for Canada's original people --


The Vice-Chair: Mr Schachter, you have about a minute to go, so either go to your conclusion or make the most important points.

Mr Schachter: Thank you. We have indicated that we are a multicultural community. If any group has priority for its needs being addressed, it is our first Canadians, the native people. In regard to question 6, we want to indicate that if Quebec remains, the Charter of Rights should be applicable in Quebec. Question 7, we agree that there is a feeling of alienation for people outside Quebec and Ontario. That has to be addressed in our national structures, perhaps in a restructured, elected, effective Senate that will participate and be part of a national government with a mandate for action.

On page 6, under section 3, "Justice," we point out that our courts have to be more reflective of all elements of Canadian society. I indicated, one of the values that we believe exist in Canada is the value of collective action for the betterment of the community. The Charter of Rights should be amended to define and protect collective rights. One of those rights should be the rights of workers to unionize and bargain collectively and that should be enshrined in our Constitution.

Finally, we believe that political parties have a very important role in promoting competing vision statements. We expect that this new Ontario government will play a central role in the creation and promotion of a vision statement that all Ontarians and all Canadians can share and be proud of.


The Vice-Chair: Alain Pechon, and after that will be George Robert Shaw.

Mr Pechon: Tonight I am going to speak English with a French accent about the second question on page 16 of this document, very important, the question being, "How can we lessen the tension between Canada's two official language communities?"

This is an object. This object has two sides: a front side and a back side. On the back side the threads hang out and the pattern is not evident. On the front side the different coloured threads form a harmonious, unified pattern. This object is a metaphor for the two official languages of Canada.

For the past 20 years, the Canadian authorities have shown the back side of bilingualism, so to speak. If you show the back side of bilingualism, you get tension between Canada's two official language communities. Here are two examples of that tension.

First example: Bilingualism is perceived by many French-speaking Canadians as assimilation. Second example: Bilingualism is perceived by many English-speaking Canadians as unnecessary, as something being forced upon them.

Tonight I would like to show, so to speak, the front side of bilingualism. If you show the front side of bilingualism you lessen the tension between Canada's two official language communities. Here are eight examples of that diminution of tension. Daniel is my helper. I would like each of you who is more English-speaking Canadian to do this test. Because my premise is, all of you know French but you do not know English.

Let's see if I am mistaken. You see here we have a common word shared by French and English people alike. The word is "accord." If you take the "c," the "o," the "r" which is part of the word "accord," you get right away the French word "coeur". Now by magic if you replace the "c" by an "h", if you replace the "d" by a "t," could you give me the English word you have here, people of Canada?

Mr G. Wilson: Heart.

Mr Pechon: Thank you, sir. You speak English.

I would like to answer. This is the front side of Canada, where the pattern is evident. Why are English and French people fighting over 2,000 years? Is French distinct? Did I put or did the French people put the word "accord" into an English throat? For the past 2,000 years, an English throat is filled up with nothing but French words. I would like to make a recommendation to the English language. From now on the English language cannot say "accord," but "acheart."

Let's go to the second one. Could you do the second thing? I will give you a mark. Here we have a common word, shared by the French and the English people alike. The word is "direct" or "direct." Some groups in Canada take the whole word and say "mon droit." The same group next to the French people take only part of it. Could you guess the English word underneath?

Interjection: "Right."

Mr Pechon: I ask you one more time, is French distinct? Did the French people put the word "direct" into an English throat?

Third example: This is an English word shared by the French and the English people alike. The word is "unicorn." If you circle, the word is "uni." "Y" and "u" get the article in French "une" or "un." Next to the beautiful French people, you have the beautiful English people who say?

Interjection: "One."

Mr Pechon: Thank you. You do speak English. I ask you a third time, is French distinct? Did the French force an English throat to receive the word "unicorn"? Monsieur le Vice-Président, could you make a motion again tonight that the English language from now on cannot say any more, "unicorn"? But my kids at school might say, "Monsieur, I saw a unihorn." Daniel, merci.

This is the same English word "unicorn." One group of Canadian people say "une corne." The same group of Canadian people next to it replace the "c" by an "h." Canadian people, could you give me this beautiful English word? Monsieur Beer?

Mr Beer: "Horn."

Mr Pechon: Bravo. You see, French is not distinct. You speak English, you speak French at the same time. You did not know that. Oh, this is an English word shared by the French and by the British people. The word is "duo." This word, applied to French and English, gives the word "deux." Unfortunately, we come fearing "deux solitudes." Ha, ha, ha. Another group replace the "d" in French by a "t." Could you tell me which English word you get by magic, Monsieur Gary Wilson?

Mr G. Wilson: It is not "three." It is not "one." It is "two."

Mr Pechon: I will give you a certificate of bilingualism.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, as much as I would love to be able to go on for ever-

Mr Pechon: Oh, just one for you, President.

The Vice-Chair: Is it the pleasure of the crowd? Is it okay with everybody out there? We will let him do one more? Okay. Do your last one.

Mr Pechon: For you, Monsieur le Vice-Président, we have this English word, the word "cathedra" or "cathedral." This is an English word. It is a French word. If you take only the "hed," you have the French word "sid" which the French people say "président." The English people took the whole word, beginning by "c." Could you guess which beautiful English word we have here?

Mr G. Wilson: "Chairperson."

Mr Pechon: Bravo, Monsieur.

Mr G. Wilson: Thank you.

Mr Pechon: Is a chair this thing from French? Merci, Daniel.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.

Mr Pechon: Conclusion.

The Vice-Chair: Very quickly, sir.

Mr Pechon: On page 16 of this document, it is written about the role of the French and English languages in Canada, "Progress has been made...but there are still some misunderstandings, and some Canadians believe something is amiss in how we're tackling the language question."


I feel we must give priority to teaching attitudes and teaching how to learn French-English/English-French. For many years, I have taught French to English-speaking learners. I have always, always stressed common vocabulary, shared culture and shared history. What is helpful, attitudinally and linguistically, is what we share, not what we do not share. I have made every effort to demonstrate to my anglophone students that they were not learning a foreign language or a second language, but a cousin language, a cousin language whose very words, culture and history have been and will be for ever intertwined with those of English. Paradoxical though it may seem --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up. You are going over your time limit.

Mr Pechon: Just one paragraph. It is or should be our language and culture which unite us, not divide us.

I am enclosing a copy of French in Disguise, a booklet I have co-authored to help students learn more easily and with a healthier attitude. If you see in it any merit --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to stop there.

You have gone over your time at this point. There are others who want to present. We thank you very much for the lesson. It was very appreciated. Thank you. Merci beaucoup.


The Vice-Chair: George Robert Shaw; after that is Daniel Chevrier.

Mr Shaw: Can you hear me, everybody? Everybody make my day.

Let's get down to simple reality. What is wrong with Canada has entirely to do with only one thing: the back-room politics of Canada that have gone on for 30 years. I love all the people of Canada, and all the good people of Canada are the same. They love everybody. We are all just human beings under God. This is a democracy. We are all supposed to be equal, we are all supposed to be beautiful and special, but that is not the case in Canada now. All of the people of Canada, French and English, are all beautiful, are all equal and are all politically innocent about what is really going on in the backroom politics of Canada.

Let's look at who the real racists and fascists are, not the people of Canada, just a few politicians, because Quebec has one thing the other provinces do not have: 100 seats out of 300 seats in the House of Commons. This is the big mystery of Quebec. It is no mystery at all.

I am going to quote the Premier of Manitoba, Gary Filmon, CTV National News, 21 June, Meech Lake:

"Quebec refuses to recognize" -- he is talking about the government of Quebec, not the people of Quebec -- "the multicultural nature of Canada. They refuse to accept the equal and democratic nature of the rights of all Canadians, and until they do, we feel that the accord as it stands is not acceptable to the people of Manitoba and the people of Canada, for they cannot see their own people's faces reflected in it. Until Quebec is willing to recognize the multicultural and democratic character of Canada, we are at an impasse.

I would like to quote Pat Carney, respected former Minister of Energy, to Barbara Frum, The Journal, June 1990, CBC:

"Barbara, I represent the people of the west coast, and I have 2,000 immigrant citizens' children in the Vancouver area alone, and they do not speak either English or French. And I go to Ottawa every month and there is only money for the French, only ever money for the French, and they don't want to listen to me. It's like they don't care, and I'm fed up, so we want to break away and call the western provinces our own country, Pacifica."

The third quote -- five minutes, to me, is an outrage. It does not give me a chance to express my democratic right -- Brian Mulroney at the airport last summer when he greeted Gorbachev. First of all, a reporter sarcastically asked Mulroney if had anything to learn from Gorbachev when it came to the way he treated his minorities in Canada. Mulroney grew very angry and said:

"Listen, nobody can tell us how to treat our minorities. I want to tell you that I consider myself a Frenchman first, and 99.99% of us in Quebec are French only. In Quebec, we French are the majority and we speak only French. When you look at the history of this country, the whole country came into being only because the French willed it so. So all other Canadians owe the French people everything. They owe the French an enormous debt of gratitude."

Oh, really, Brian? Only the French? No one else? Not the vast majority, not all the beautiful peoples and cultures, not the first peoples, not all the other peoples of this land? None of us fought and died and worked and coexisted and built this country? "No," says Brian, "only the French."

All Canadians want to know what is hurting Canada, what forces are tearing her apart, what is rotting her to pieces and who is responsible. Well, those responsible are the three political parties of Canada, the Progressive Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party and the Liberal Party, for what is tearing Canada apart has entirely to do with vicious party politics.

Only the French. This is all we hear from the government of this country. The three parties tell us that of all the vast majority and beautiful cultures of peoples, with all their beautiful beliefs and languages, who inhabit this land, only the French are distinct, special. The word "special," of course, means superior. It does not mean less than, it does not mean equal to, it means superior. We are told the French are superior and deserve superior rights over all the rest of us, and to win Quebec's 100 seats the parties are only too eager to agree.

This is total racism, and the sad fact is that for Mulroney and Bourassa, Lucien Bouchard and Benoit Bouchard, Parizeau and much of the ruling élite, to be French, they believe, is to be superior, and we the vast majority must knuckle under as the Quebec government rapes the resources of the entire country and sends it all to Quebec via Meech and Allaire.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to defend my country. I am here because I am against all racism and fascism. I love all the people. They are all beautiful and equal. I and the people of Canada believe in democracy, and democracy means freedom and it means equality and it means equal treatment towards all. But democracy is not the case for the vast majority of Canadians now -- the parties hate that word "majority" -- including its first citizens, who have waited 500 years for justice. So naturally now we have a virtually exclusively French federal government cabinet.

Frenchness is not bad, English is not bad. The politicians have made it so. The gross total overrepresentation and favouring of one culture over all others is bad. Minority rule is bad, for it is unfair and anti-democratic. And this is the sole cause of all the anger and confusion, of why all Canadians including native peoples are not getting their fair share. Only the French get. This is the source of all Canada's problems. The massive diversion of the country's resources to serve the minority instead of the majority is anti-democratic and illegal.

Let's educate ourselves, Canadians. Let's wake up. Let's look at how politics is really played in Canada, behind closed doors. Like the closed doors of Meech that Clyde Wells, God bless him, threatened to educate the Canadian people about, but his party shut him up.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up. You have about a minute left.

Mr Shaw: Well, that is outrageous. It is not democratic either.

The Vice-Chair: Those are the rules.

Mr Shaw: They are bullshit rules. I have waited 20 years to go in front of this commission.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, you are going to be --

Mr Shaw: The pie of Canada is really sliced up in the back room. Why do the French have total power over the vast majority? Simple. Consider this, first of all, as the politicians do, that of 10 provinces and two territories one province has a whopping 100 seats out of the 300 seats in the House of Commons: Quebec. Remember, Canadians, that what gives Quebec double vote power is that it is a single giant bloc of vote power, because it is all one ethnic culture. To catch the French vote the politicians decided to make Frenchness an issue, so they separated us Canadians into French and English, anglo and francophone, politically, socially, economically and now constitutionally, totally in favour of the French vote. To catch the French vote the three parties tell the French Canadians they are special, superior. People like to hear this, so naturally the parties catch the French vote.

Meanwhile, we English and all the other peoples of this land, the politicians trick us and sell us this French power under the guise of national unity when nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you -- you have gone over by a couple of minutes.

Mr Shaw: Well, I deserve it, God damn it. So here --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, one second --

Mr Shaw: Okay, I will sum up. Give me a minute --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, one second. There have been a couple of occasions now when you swore. This is public broadcast. We ask you to sum up in a couple of seconds.

Mr Shaw: Well, you do not follow the Constitution.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, that --

Mr Shaw: If you cannot take the truth, it is tough.

Therefore, on behalf of all the beautiful peoples of this land, I accuse the government of Canada and the three political parties of Canada of the following crimes against the people of Canada: absolute betrayal of the Constitution of Canada and absolute failure to uphold and defend and obey the Constitution of Canada; failure to uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada; discrimination; political opportunism; racism; fascism; slander and libel, calling us all bigots; inciting race hatred among the people; race and cultural ignorance; race and cultural envy; race and cultural propaganda; complicity; conspiracy; duplicity; deception; blackmail; greed; theft, and most of all, total treason.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Thank you very much, sir.



Le Vice-Président : Daniel Chevrier; after that is Isobel Allen.

M. Chevrier : Bonsoir. Mesdames et messieurs de la commission, la discussion dans laquelle on se retrouve ce soir doit se porter entre paramètres bien précis avec des données inébranlables : l'idée de société distincte et le rapatriement aux provinces, en particulier au Québec, de certains pouvoirs en matières qu'elles trouvent à leur goût et convoitent déjà depuis longtemps.

Au sujet de société distincte, je souligne qu'il n'y en a pas ici au Canada parmi les peuples immigrants. Les seules nations distinctes de ce pays sont les autochtones. Toutes autres sont survenants.

En ce qui concerne le rapatriement de certains pouvoirs aux provinces, la question qui me vient immédiatement à l'esprit est toujours : pourquoi ? Quel but national est-ce que cela servirait ? Pourquoi est-ce que les provinces veulent s'emparer de plus en plus de pouvoirs en juridiction fédéral ? Nous avons un système maintenant qui marche fort bien sans que les provinces deviennent de petits royaumes quasi-autonomes, ce qui suscite une autre question : pourquoi est-ce que nous tenons pour acquis que le fédéralisme ne marche plus, et que nous avons besoin d'un nouvel ordre constitutionnel pour faire face au futur ? Parce que Brian Mulroney, dans sa sagesse infinie, a ouvertement courtisé et couché avec des séparatistes, et maintenant nous souffrons les retombées de ce mariage rompu ? Oui. Mais il ne faut pas laisser démanteler notre pays par un gouvernement fédéral négligent et incompétent sous la guise d'un fédéralisme renouvelé. Le rouleur de dés, avec sa police d'entente à huis clos, qui a précipité la crise dans laquelle on se retrouve ne peut maintenant s'apprêter à la régler parce qu'il n'a plus la confiance du peuple et l'appui du peuple.

Il n'y a aucune négociation à entamer avec le Québec, aucun propos à entretenir en matière constitutionnelle parce qu'il n'y a absolument rien à négocier. La fédération canadienne n'est pas à discuter, pas à négocier et pas à vendre. Le Canada dans son entièreté appartient à tous les Canadiens. Qu'ils l'aiment ou ne l'aiment pas, les Québécois sont Canadiens et ça finit là, fin du compte.

C'est à peu près le temps qu'on vieillisse un petit peu et laisse les rancunes des plaines d'Abraham et des trois derniers siècles derrière nous. Cette idée que le Canada anglais ne comprend pas le Québec est complètement et absolument fausse. Le Canada anglais comprend fort bien que le Québec sait comment se servir de ses insécurités linguistiques et culturelles et de ses blessures historiques, réelles et imaginées, pour faire chanter le gouvernement fédéral à tout bout de champ avec ses menaces de non coopération et de séparation. Il faut que quelqu'un prenne l'avance et dit que c'est fini les jeux : c'est le temps d'agir comme des adultes, des adultes responsables.

De quoi est-ce que le Québec a besoin pour être heureux dans la Confédération ? Des pouvoirs spéciaux ? Des pouvoirs discriminatoires ? Dans une société juste, ce sont des propos qui vont à l'encontre des droits et libertés garantis par la constitution, et la constitution garantit l'égalité. Il n'y a pas de plus égal parmi les égaux. Nous commençons tous d'un point commun d'égalité. Sinon, qu'est-ce qui arrive ? Ce qui arrive dans le pays maintenant : chaque province, chaque petit groupe a sa propre liste de demandes, ses propres revendications, mais personne n'a le coeur de regarder la situation dans son entièreté. Et c'est ça le problème. Il faut arrêter d'être égoïstes parce que notre pays a besoin de nous aujourd'hui.

Notre pays a besoin de l'affirmation de notre canadienneté. Si les Québécois ne sont pas prêts à le faire ou s'ils ne sont vraiment pas heureux avec les provisions d'une constitution qui garantit à ses citoyens une société juste et équitable, ils peuvent s'en aller. Il n'y a personne qui les tient prisonniers ici. Et le Canada n'a pas besoin de traîtres. Alors, allez-vous-en, partez au vent, faites de l'air le plus tôt possible. Mais, ah oui, le Québec reste ici avec nous, dans la Confédération. Trouvez-vous un autre pays à détruire. Les habitants de la région géographique du Québec n'ont aucun titre de propriété sur la belle province. Elle est, a été et sera toujours canadienne. Mais les mécontents, s'ils veulent émigrer, il n'y a personne qui les empêche.

Je ne demande rien pour moi-même de mon gouvernement, mais il faut régler responsablement le dossier amérindien une fois pour toutes. En même temps, ou aussitôt après, il faut s'adresser à l'indemnisation des deux nations fondatrices européennes qui ont initié la colonisation, l'ouverture et le développement de ce vaste pays en appuyant le bilinguisme officiel.

Je lance le défi à mon gouvernement ontarien de prendre le rôle de leadership abdiqué par le bouffon de Baie Comeau dans cette nouvelle ronde de la crise nationale imaginaire. Et notre position doit être, faut être très ferme : il faut que le Québec sache sans équivoque qu'il n'y a absolument rien à céder, rien à négocier, que le Canada reste entier et notre constitution telle qu'elle est se fasse respecter sans nonobstant. L'Ontario peut faire preuve de sa bonne volonté en renonçant son droit de recours a la clause «nonobstant» sans que le fédéral cède quelque chose en retour. Le message aux autres provinces serait clair. C'est à leur tour maintenant de faire la même chose.

Sans un gouvernement fédéral centralisé et fort qui protège les intérêts de tous les Canadiens sans égard à leur race, religion ou politique, nous cessons d'être une Confédération et devenons par défaut plusieurs petits duchés éparpillés ici et là sur une carte géographique.


The Vice-Chair: Isobel Allen; after that is Barry Brown.

Ms Allen: Mr Chairman, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, I represent a group of seven concerned citizens who love and care for our country and province and their future. This brief is based on the questions in the excellent document Changing for the Better.

How can we manage our economy to meet people's needs? Eliminate trade barriers between the provinces. Make better use of all our human resources, including women, minorities, the disadvantaged. Increase linkages between manufacturing and agriculture, between manufacturing and education, etc. Use our know-how.

Do Ontario's economic goals differ from other parts of Canada? Economic goals of Canadians are basically the same. We must have a concern for those individuals who are economically deprived. We must be concerned about Ontario's economic health. There is a need for nationwide goals.

How can we ensure that we become more competitive internationally without compromising goals such as full employment, price stability and equitable income distribution? We need an accurate measure of our industries' competitiveness with international ones. We must plan for economic progress. We must make a joint international venture.

What roles should the federal and provincial governments play? Where possible, government at the federal level should provide adequate cost-sharing and the provincial level should provide the services, the feeling being that services should be administered as close to those in need as possible.

The federal government needs to provide unifying elements that will help bond Canadians coming from different backgrounds. This should be done by discontinuing the providing of funds for ethnic or religious education in the public schools. Ways should be devised to strengthen national pride, that is, flag, national anthem, ceremonies, links to the Commonwealth.

The provincial government should co-operate with initiatives taken by the federal government to bring together the first ministers of all the provinces and the territories and should discontinue interprovincial trade barriers as well as discontinuing the funding of ethnic and religious education.

The relationship between the federal and provincial governments should be repaired so that their mutual goals can be achieved in a spirit of co-operation. There needs to be a harmonious relationship rather than an adversarial one.

How do we achieve justice for Canada's aboriginal peoples? The time has come when every effort possible must be made to settle the land claims of the native peoples, however complicated they may be. Those claims are intimately linked with the desire for autonomy, an aspiration requiring the consideration of most aspects of social life, from the judiciary to native business enterprises. To realize such hopes will require an investment in an educational system fashioned by native peoples with particular emphasis on their needs, to function without reliance on existing government agencies.

What are the roles of the English and French languages in Canada? If Quebec remains in Canada, bilingualism at a federal level should continue, but provision of services in French should be determined at the local bevel as needed. If Quebec separates, French speakers in the rest of Canada will adapt themselves successfully, as many other linguistic minorities have.

What is Quebec's future in Canada? There are three basic choices facing the citizens of Quebec: (1) to form a separate state; (2a) to join in a semi-detached association with the federal government that is linked only at the top, or (2b) to enter a loose grouping of a number of regional governments; (3) to renew and renegotiate a strong centralized federation that will carry out the mandate from the populace to restore, provide and maintain unity so that, with due regard to the rights of every minority, a commitment to the ideals and values of Canada will be accepted.


What is the place of the west, the north and the Atlantic region? These regions are the physical anchors that stabilize the country and, with their unique cultures, help define Canada. Ontario should urge redistribution of the seats in the Commons and the Senate and increase the number of Supreme Court judges for its benefit. Ontario should also encourage transfer payments, advocate the restoration of the CBC outlets, Via Rail, local post offices and seek ways to remove the distrust and envy of central Canada by the rest of the country.

Finally, what does Ontario want? First, we want to thank the Ontario government for setting up the select committee on Ontario in Confederation to give people an opportunity to voice their opinions. This is an opportunity which is long overdue in this country. It will go a long way towards reducing the feelings of powerlessness of the populace. We hope the opportunities for consultation will continue on other bases and issues.

While upholding the traditions and systems that have made Ontario great, we must now grasp new realities that need to be incorporated to mould a finer province and hence a finer country. We must invest in our future by creating stimulating, challenging employment and providing training and retraining for it, especially for our young people.

We realize that in the five minutes of allocated time we have not been able to include in our oral presentation the fuller specifics that are incorporated in our longer brief. It is our deepest hope that Canada will continue as a nation and that all parts will agree to work together harmoniously and with goodwill so that Canada will develop to its greatest potential. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Barry Brown; after that is Chai Kalevar.

Mr Brown: Members of the committee, we have seen in many of the presentations that have come forward, both in this committee and in other provinces across the country, a lot of anger and optimism, pessimism, patriotism, but most of all frustration in trying to find some definition for where the country is going. As many others, I am here to present my five minutes' worth of what I think can be done to get the country back on track.

There are three brief points I would like to raise regarding the current constitutional debate: first, the need to educate Canadians about what our nation stands for; second, a sense of humour about our identity; and, last, a provincial referendum on any constitutional change.

For the past six years I have worked as a Canadian correspondent for a wide array of American media covering Canada. If I tell Canadians that I write about Canadian culture, they ask, "Do we have any?" Canadians will criticize Americans for their lack of knowledge about Canada yet, alas, most Canadians know little beyond the bare bones of our history and reasons for becoming a nation, or at least we have a lot of disagreement on what it is about.

Indeed, once when I commented before a group of pro-English Canadians that ours was a nation founded on democratic principles, not demographics, I was met first with stony silence and then with arguments that Canada had rejected the American style of democracy for a paternalistic order based on the English-French demographics, something we are finding a lot in these committee hearings.

While it is true that the white male democracy originally created by the Americans, despite their ideals -- they had much the same problems as we did, of course -- both their country and ours have changed over the years. The difference now is that most Americans have a firm grasp of the principles they stand for however much they may disagree on their application, while we as Canadians too often still see our democratic values as handed down from institutions rather than as vigorously applied rights.

What this tells me is that Canadians must undertake to educate and celebrate the history and democratic values of this country as if we were selling Canada to foreigners, because, alas, that is what most of us are, foreigners in our own country.

During the past 20 years or so, we have emerged from an infant democracy huddling against a mother country and mother culture for protection to an adolescent democracy rebelling against those same parental strings. In Quebec French Canadians rebel against English Canada, while English Canada rebels against the Americans.

Now we are at a crossroads. One choice we face is the ultimate rebellion against each other, splitting the union, dividing the assets and hoping the children understand. The other, of course, is to forge a Canadian identity based on what we are: a democracy full and flourishing by the will of the people, proud of the road we took to get here and even prouder of our future accomplishments.

One path I believe we have not exploited in the development of our history and culture is a sense of humour. While we come out for these sombre and reflective sessions, we must also be able to laugh at our own follies. When America was going through its civil rights crisis, a TV show called All in the Family debuted to poke fun at the ideological extremes. Why is there no such weekly sitcom about the French and the English, easterners and westerners, or a Canadian Roots about black Canadians and others not members of the dominant demographic?

Curiously, there is a television sitcom called Frogs that is running. It is not about French Canada, however, but Hong Kong immigrants to Canada, known as frogs because they leap-frog across the water. If you have not heard about it, it is because it is a Hong Kong television show. With only a few years left before they are taken over by China, Hong Kong television is running a show on Canadian immigrants that Canadian TV would consider too controversial, which brings me to my final point.

Prime Minister Mulroney says holding a referendum to validate any forthcoming constitutional change would be an offence against the British parliamentary tradition. Well, I find his attitude offensive. This is not Britain. Unlike Britain, we have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, two official languages, strong provinces and a host of other constitutional and historical differences that Mulroney cherishes, or is supposed to.

Leaving decisions of this kind to politicians perpetuates the idea that this is a country ruled again by demographics and not democratic principles because -- no offence to the committee -- most provincial and federal politicians remain white and male, something I know a little about.

If the new Canadian identity is not based on principles that we as individuals have had a definite and fundamental say in, it will not hold. Democracy is not a privilege granted by politicians, no matter how the event occurred historically in this country. I would implore the Ontario government to press unyieldingly for a national referendum on any constitutional change. If Ottawa refuses, Ontario should shame it by holding one here and pressing every other province to do the same.

Why should Quebeckers alone have a referendum? Is that what makes them distinct, that they are more democratic, if you want to call it so? If so, when are we as Ontarians going to be a distinct society? Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Chai Kalevar; after that is Ron Leitch.

Mr Kalevar: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for this opportunity.

I agree with the previous speaker on his opinion about Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, but I disagree that Canadians do not have a sense of humour. I think Canadians have a great sense of humour: they elected Brian Mulroney twice.

It has been said quite often that we do not know what the Canadian identity is. At home we are all in trouble whether we are English Canadians, French Canadians, native Canadians, Canadian Indians, or new Canadian Indian or like myself. The fact is, once we are outside we are very quick to say, after saying we are Canadian, "not American." We derive our identity from outside of Canada, looking out. We are probably the first nationality in the world which is looking out to derive its identity.

Geographically we are located between the two superpowers, the United States and the USSR. Historically we are linked to the two imperial powers, the British and the French. All four of them, supposedly advanced democracies of the west, are the thugs of the United Nations Security Council, yielding veto, not vote but veto, basically saying:

"Might is right. I have a birthright to veto." But Canada, unlike the four thugs it keeps company with, is a voting democratic member of the United Nations. I think that is something Canadians can be proud of. Canada has also participated in all UN peacekeeping operations. That is also something Canadians can be proud of, at least I am.


As a member of the Commonwealth, la Francophonie, the Granite Club, if you like, of the world, the G-7, and the Organization of American States, you could almost say Canada is the glue of the world. Canada is in a unique position to play a very important role. It has the demographic diversity, the linguistic talents and the racial diversity that are required in a shrinking world to reach out and meet all countries of the world. It can become the superpower of peace. It can become the superpower of world public opinion. Canada has the potential. Let's not fritter it away.

What has one of the thugs down south tried with Canada? It has tried what is known as Star Wars. In the last decade, it started with Star Wars, it has started with free trade, and thanks to our branch plant Prime Minister, I think Washington started us on the path for Meech Lake. Thanks to a native Canadian, the true democratic societies of the native peoples, Meech Lake was defeated.

I must say at this point to David Peterson that if he had had such forums before, he probably would be still in power.

But now, let's get on to free trade. Free trade would not allow any one of us to escape. We have a six-month clause to cancel it. The question is: Are the Liberals and the NDP willing to put aside for the next election their partisan differences and behave as Canadians first? It is possible for the Liberals and the NDP to exercise their Canadian-first identification and defeat the Tories and free trade.

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to sum up, sir.

Mr Kalevar: In summing up, I would like to say once again I am very proud to be a Canadian, because my Canadian colleagues have a disapproval rating of more than 80% for Brian Mulroney.

The last point I would like to make is that there is a commission like yours in Quebec called the Bélanger-Campeau commission, before whom I tried to appear but could not. My argument remains that though they claim they are going to decide on the future of Quebec only, by deciding on the future of Quebec they are deciding on the future of Canada. As a Canadian not resident in Quebec as of now -- I have lived in Quebec and paid Quebec tax before -- I feel that commission is going beyond what a provincial commission is entitled to do. I do not care if they go ahead and double the taxation in Quebec. I am not in Quebec now.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up. You are running over time.

Mr Kalevar: My summation is, when you do talk to the Bélanger-Campeau commission, please point out to them that there are people outside of Quebec who strongly object to their recommendations and decisions which break up Canada. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Ron Leitch, and after Ron Leitch is Eleanor Burke.

Mr Leitch: Mr Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Ron Leitch, and although I appear before you as an individual, I have no hesitation in stating that I am the national president of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada. Although I registered for this hearing as a representative for some 20,000 members across Ontario, I was given only individual status. My direct appeal to the Premier did not even receive the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

Canada is at the crossroads in its very short history of less than one and a quarter centuries. It is seething with discontent, not just in the province of Quebec but from coast to coast. This discontent can only be eliminated if true democracy is restored to the people. The overdevelopment of the party system of government makes politicians unaccountable to the people. Democracy ends at the ballot box.

What do Canadians want?

That Canada should have a government of the people, for the people.

That the people should have the power to control their local representative throughout the term of office.

Equality of status for all Canadians.

That governments will not legislate special status for any group within society.

That government grants with tax dollars for special groups within the country or province should cease. In support of this concept, I would refer you to the article of Daniel Damov in the 20 February 1991 issue of the Financial Post entitled, "Me-Firsters are Pulling Canada Down." The prime example of this philosophy is the demand of francophones all across this country to be treated specially.

That there should be one official language for Canada, the language of the majority, English. In a multicultural society such as Canada has become, language for governments is a matter of communication, not culture. I stress we are talking only about government. Canadians, even in the province of Quebec, should have the right to use the language of their choice in their business, social, fraternal and religious activities.

That no act of government shall encourage separation, segregation and isolation of any group within society. Unity comes from tolerance and understanding, but tolerance and understanding can come only from intermingling of all the facets of society. To separate, segregate and isolate our children from an early age through the educational system can only serve to foster intolerance and misunderstanding at a later stage in life. There should be but one school system, one board of education in each region or municipality, so that this intermingling can commence at an early age.

In summary, if we are to have a united Canada from coast to coast, and I believe most Canadians want this, there must be certain basic premises accepted before negotiations can begin:

1. That constitutions are for people, not politicians. Negotiations for constitutional change must be carried out by an assembly of the people selected by the people.

2. That all amendments to the Constitution shall be approved by a referendum of the people before coming into force.

3. That the amending formula for a referendum of people shall be: (a) an overall majority of the people of Canada voting for the change; and (b) a majority in at least six provinces.

4. That there shall be one official language, English, and one regional language, French, in the province of Quebec.

5. That the Constitution shall provide for the equality of status for all Canadians.

6. That no act of government shall cause or tend to cause separation, segregation or isolation of one group of people from another.


As Mr Damov states in his article, "If we can't live together in peace with each other, we will lose the country." Particular aspirations of any group within society must become the responsibility of that group and not government. People must share the responsibility for making excessive demands, but politicians are equally as guilty for giving in to those demands. Politicians must come to a realization that they are the problem, not the solution, and until that happens there cannot be a united Canada. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. Mr Leitch, before you go, I would just like to say a couple of things. First, with regard to your saying you sent a letter to the Premier's office, I am sure you will get a response to that letter. The second thing I would like to point out is that there was no slight. If you applied as a group, I do tell you that your group has applied, your local chapters have come before the committee in other communities. There are many groups that applied to get status before the committee. Unfortunately, something must have happened, and it was not anything we intended to do. I was prepared to let you go a little longer, considering that. So please accept our apologies. We do want to hear from everybody and we were not trying to --

Mr Leitch: I believe I was confirmed as a group and then subsequently told I was not.

The Vice-Chair: Just so people understand, the number of requests to come before the committee were a lot more than we anticipated. Numbers are basically in the thousands. Some of the groups, not only yours, which did want to present -- ACFO, the French group, wanted to present here also. They did not get on the list, and a number of other groups. So it was not any intention of trying to exclude one group or another, but I was prepared to let you go for a bit longer if you needed it, considering the situation.

Mr Leitch: Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: I thank you very much, sir.


The Vice-Chair: Next is Eleanor Burke, and after that is Melville Phipps.

Mrs Gaby: Thank you, Mr Chairman. This is Eleanor Burke and I am Mary Louise Gaby. This is a brief submitted by a small group of people called the Phoenix Association.

The Phoenix Association was formed on 29 January 1991 from the ashes of the Association of Women Electors of Metropolitan Toronto. We called it the AWE. The AWE for almost 50 years observed the meetings of city council and its committees, and later on, Metro and its committees. Action was taken in many municipal areas: housing, education, health, election procedures, etc. Unfortunately, because of the changing lifestyles of younger women, we were obliged to wind up our organization in 1985. Now our concerns for the future shape of Canada caused us to reconvene under our new name, the Phoenix Association. Suffice it to say that we are seniors by now.

Most of our group of 12 or so are past presidents of the AWE and bring a wealth of experience and a lively interest in the political process. To date we have held four lengthy meetings to consider at least parts of the document Changing for the Better, and hereby accept your invitation to talk about a new Canada. We are not going to talk long.

We would like to make a few points on which we have reached some agreement: First of all, a renewed federation for Canada. We decided our preference would be for Quebec to remain within Canada, but of its own free will. At the same time, we realize that some adjustments will have to be made to accommodate this. One thought is that after almost 125 years Canada's Constitution may need a complete revision. We were intrigued by the idea of a constituent assembly, but time did not permit us to develop the notion to any extent.

We agreed that before any separation of Quebec might take place, a thorough study of the economic and social consequences of such a separation to all parts of the country should be undertaken and the results communicated to the country as a whole. Only by presentation of the facts and careful analysis of the details can the public understand the issues and be in a position to voice its opinion about the future.

I was pleased to hear this afternoon, when I was listening on television to the submission by the Canadian Bar Association -- Ontario, that it made much that same point, that the public really is looking for more information.

We discussed a role for Ontario. We see an important role for Ontario as a new Canada emerges, one of conciliation and negotiation. We feel that Ontario, with its large francophone population, its historic business ties with Quebec and its tourism and trading links, is in a special position to use its influence in working out new federal arrangements which could benefit all Canada. Ontarians' experiences with native people, with the special problems of the resource communities, as well as those of the large cities, puts it in a privileged position, but we see Ontario taking a neutral flexible stance of listening and communicating. We are convinced there are many closet federalists in Quebec whom we in Ontario are not reaching. We would urge the Ontario government to develop ways to make federalism seem more attractive to Quebec, possibly through more exchanges by students, business, the professions and particularly the media. Again, the lawyers seem to be ahead of the pack on this one: We must know each other better.

Communicating the process of constitutional change:

We would recommend that Ontario give special attention to communicating the ongoing process of constitutional development. We would appreciate being informed of the ideas being considered by the government to enable us to react to them as time goes on. Only by a vigorous exchange of ideas can a new federalism be forged that will satisfy such a diverse and far-flung country as Canada.

One last point on multiculturalism: Originally Canada's multicultural policy was designed to make immigrants feel welcome in this country and at ease with their accents. Several of our group are European immigrants from the 1950s, and they stress that they left their homeland and came here to become Canadian. They perpetuate their customs and language in the privacy of their homes. Our group feels, however, that Canada's multicultural policy has become divisive, that it tends to exaggerate differences and does not present a vision of a united Canada. We suggest that the policy as it now stands sometimes plays into the hands of groups who, instead of leaving their ethnic problems behind them, bring them with them, causing conflict, not the unity that we are after at this critical time in our history. Therefore, in the light of present-day circumstances, we suggest the time has come for a thorough review of our multicultural policy.

In conclusion, we would hope that Canada can show the rest of the world how a culturally diverse country can design a Constitution to accommodate its diversity, yet maintain a viable whole.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Melville Phipps.

Mr Phipps: Mr Chairman, I must say that just reaching this microphone constitutes a victory for me. I would like to introduce a little humour, but I do not know whether I have time, so maybe I should just start right in with what I have.

Let me put my position forward as directly as I can. I believe Ontario should assist Canada in helping Quebec achieve what it wants: recognition as a distinct and unique society. Ontario should do this by not opposing the separation process. It should use its leadership role to ensure a fair deal and to help Canada, sans Quebec, to become more united and stronger by being sympathetic to other regions and by undoing some of the harm that has been done in trying to appease Quebec.

The reasons for this position are as follows: I think Canadians like myself are fed up with Quebec's tail wagging the Canadian dog. We want to put our head out the window and shout, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more." I think you remember that fellow in New York City.


The reason for this attitude is that we have three federal parties, but they have no hope of forming a government unless they have the support of Quebec, so Quebec gets what it wants. It bothers me to think that it is possible that we may never have another anglophone Prime Minister. That is just the way it is. The present government has many senior ministers, francophones, who have stated publicly that they could put Quebec before the rest of Canada, and have done so. I do not think we can allow this to continue. How do we fix it? I think maybe the easiest thing to do is let Quebec go.

As a result of Quebec's influence, we have had some legislation passed and decisions made that are very destructive to our nation.

Multiculturalism: a program to preserve and enhance cultural differences at taxpayers' expense -- great for Quebec, with a basic one culture that everyone can support, but very divisive, destructive and costly for the rest of Canada. I think the multicultural attitudes or programs have to be completely reviewed.

Official bilingualism: not accepted by Quebec but in place across the rest of the country because of Quebec. It is very damaging to harmonious relationships right here in Ontario, with no essential benefit that I can see to the province and tremendous cost. I might point out that I was at an Etobicoke Board of Education meeting last night and I found out that we have a French board, and the average cost of running that French board is $11,400. The average cost of a general public board is about $6,000. When you start talking about getting into your pocketbook, in these times that tends to make people very upset.

But there are a lot of other things this committee has heard before. Big contracts -- Quebec must get its share: the aircraft maintenance program, Hibernia oil contracts, and now we have $45 million going to a cultural centre, which apparently is on hold, but it will get it.

Free trade: a lot of people are against free trade, but I believe Quebec was for it, because it has much more control over its industries.

I suppose you could add to this issues where Roman Catholic beliefs may be a factor, and there are other examples.

I therefore support Quebec's desire to separate from a country that is broke, borrowing money every day to finance its bad programs and from a government that is so confused that there is no political will to do anything about it. In other words, I think I came from a better Canada a few years ago, at least one where you did not have to work from January to July before you started getting any money for yourself.

The role of Ontario: If Ontario had played its role way back when, when Sir Oliver Mowat was Premier, a balancing power against Quebec and its influence through the federal government, if that had been the role it played, we might not be in the crisis we are today. I do not know how many of you know what Sir Oliver Mowat was up to, but when the federal government decided to push, he pushed back. You know about that. You know the western boundary of Ontario would not be where it is today; it would be way east, because that is where the federal government wanted, it to make a smaller Ontario.

Ontario's support for Meech Lake, which Bourassa wanted to fail -- I am sure Bourassa wanted it to fail; why would you come to negotiations with no chips to give away? -- that was fatal to the Ontario government. Ontario should now show leadership in fighting for the best deal possible for the rest of Canada, and I think it is going to be a fight. Mulroney is certainly not the man for the job.

Finally, I believe no one should look at separation in a negative way or as failure on the part of Canada. The British Empire is not now what it was once simply because the British have always been tolerant when questions of self-determination arose. I think and hope that there is enough British heritage left in us Canadians to do the same. I guess I have not used up all my time?

The Vice-Chair: You caught me; I was writing a note. Actually, you are a bit over your time.

Mr Phipps: Well, I will not tell you why I am so bitter about bilingualism then. You have all met the guy with the dustpan, eh? He is going around the street saying, "They've put me out of business." He has this dustpan, beautiful thing, and it has embossed across the top "dustpan," and he says if it not labelled in French, he cannot sell it. If that is what official bilingualism does, I am agin it.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, sir.


The Vice-Chair: Next on the list is Reta McWhinnie. I would like to say something before you get started. We are running quite a bit behind schedule. We have some 14 people left on the list, which will probably bring us between 10:30 and 11 o'clock. We will do our best. If people try to keep to the time as much as possible so we do not have too much over, we should be able to get everybody through. Thank you.

Miss McWhinnie: Mr Chairman and committee members, I appreciate this opportunity to contribute my views to this committee. It is a great idea, and I am happy something constructive is happening. In view of what you just said, I am going to reduce my comments, which you have mostly heard before in one form or another, and I have a suggestion. I am going to skip through some of these things and will leave a copy of my complete submission.

From what I have been reading in the past few weeks, I learn it is a time for two stark choices: (1) to accept Quebec's demands; and (2) for all provinces to demand the same rights. We have discussed that matter in various ways here tonight. If we do, we have less than two years to decide if this country has a future. We face a severely weakened Parliament in Ottawa if all provinces demand equal rights. It is very unlikely it would endure, and we would all drift to the USA. But Canadians have shown that when tested, as in the Gulf crisis, they are indeed a brave, passionate, committed people, a nation that quietly cherishes its independence, its internal diversity and its unique history.

Canadians from all walks of life and from all parts of the country should seize this moment and get together and talk about finding ways to preserve this country. I believe that, and that if we do that, we will give the next generation the opportunity it deserves to carry on Canada for the next 10 years or century and beyond that.

Here are some quotes. Someone has said, "What Quebec wants is for me not to have a country to live in." Another view: "Quebeckers instead want a country in which they feel at home themselves." The idea of one of Quebec's wisest experts on the Canadian Constitution, Leon Dion, of the best tactics for dealing with the rest of Canada is brutally simple: "English Canada will not give in to Quebec's demands unless there is a knife at its throat" -- not a very long-term solution, I think. I cannot see the ordinary Quebec citizen with a knife in his or her hand ready to threaten me. Claude Ryan, one of Quebec's Liberal Party's most respected figures, said pointedly, "There has to be room for discussion...of Quebec's proposals." I say, let's talk among ourselves.

All Canadians must decide if they want to accept the new country Bourassa says Quebec wants. Why can we not hear from the people of Quebec? There must be lots of interpreters -- I hear one back here -- for us who are not fluent in French. We have been paying for years for people to be trained in the French language under federal programs. Why can we not spend our money on what we want? It is useless to continue to criticize Mulroney. Political leaders, journalists, media spokesmen are doing our thinking and talking for us. We need to confront each other and ourselves to know what we really think and want.

It is great to have the opportunity to give you my ideas. It would be great to get some feedback from you, the committee members. The other folk here, we have heard from them, but I would like to discuss our similarities and differences with them. It would be greater still to talk personally, to actually see and hear folk from St John's, Newfoundland, Yellowknife, Trois-Rivières, Vancouver, Sault Ste Marie, to hear how the people in Calgary and Windsor feel about being cut off from CBC television, to hear how the prairie folk are making out after the rail cuts in service; or about the Montreal-based Tudor Singers whose future may be in jeopardy.


Now more than ever, we need to keep in touch. I think it is great that commissions and committees are going about the country to hear from people. We need that and the people themselves very much need to talk among themselves. I feel that has been very well witnessed here tonight. A lot of money is being spent on this project. I suggest that serious consideration be given to promoting travel for citizens from different parts of this country to get together, make special bus and train fares available, to give a refund on submission of a report to members of organizations whose membership is nationwide and who will have an annual or any other meeting this year, who will be getting together somehow and who will put on their agenda: "Your input to the Constitution, or how to keep Canada together, or do you want to have a country?" and make a report to this committee.

I am finished. I just want to say this. Perhaps a member of this committee could act as the chairman or coordinate such a group in different areas. Perhaps billeting could be arranged. This suggestion has been enthusiastically received by some groups to which I belong, and also I think you will be hearing from the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and Ontario's Women's Action Coalition, which asked for a copy of this submission. I think it is a great idea and I think you have had lots of support for the idea to continue. We have a lot to say.

The Vice-Chair: We are prepared to listen. Thank you very much. Just on that note, people should understand that this is not the end of the process after today and tomorrow. The committee will be putting together an interim report, and after the interim report is out we have other consultation we do that might take different forms, such as the things you talked about, doing some grass-roots stuff. We understand that people need to be listened to, and not token listening, but listened to and acted on. It is something that is very serious for us anyway.


The Vice-Chair: Henry Raston; after that is Grant Walker Gunness.

Mr Raston: Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, first I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to address you tonight. The parliamentary political system has served Canada well, but has served for a very long time with not any substantial changes. However, time does go past and the needs change as well as the expectations of the Canadian people. Therefore, I feel the whole political system in Canada should be reviewed and modified where necessary to increase the accountability of politicians to their electorate, to increase the opportunities for greater direct input by the citizens of this country and to ensure that the various regions of the country have a more effective voice in Ottawa.

I suggest that to achieve this, the Senate should consist of elected members, the seats of the Senate being assigned to each province in a way which would ensure a fair representation of all the regions of the country, to force both the MPs and MPPs to be more responsive to the wishes of their electorate. No loss of a vote, either in the Parliament or in the Legislature, should force the resignation of the government, not even in budget or money matters. This would allow the MPs and MPPs more freedom to vote against their own party if they felt their own electorate demanded it. The only way to force the resignation of the government would be to move a motion of non-confidence.

In addition, Parliament should take example from the US Congress and establish a number of standing committees which would have the power to call witnesses who are citizens, who have the opportunity to be heard.

Finally, the Constitution of the country is for us, the citizens, not for the politicians. Therefore, all draft amendments of the Constitution should be submitted for approval by the citizens in a referendum in each province and, depending on the result of the referendum, only then should be voted in a free vote by the legislatures in individual provinces.

No province should be allowed a veto power over any constitutional changes. The fate of the Meech Lake accord should have proved to those who had any doubt about it that a unanimous agreement of all the provinces is impossible to get, and an approval formula based on an veto is impractical and would make any constitutional changes virtually impossible.

At the end of all those constitutional changes, we should still have a reasonably strong federal government to ensure that it can speak with authority on behalf of the whole of Canada in all international forums, a federal government strong enough to be able to transfer funds from the richer provinces to the poorer to ensure that all Canadians, irrespective of where they live, can enjoy the same level of social services, the same quality of medical care and the same quality of education, and that all are guaranteed the same degree of personal rights and freedoms.

I for one have difficulty in visualizing Canada without Quebec, and feel we should recognize that Quebec is a distinct society, one with a different language, different civil code and different culture than all the other provinces. The problem with the Meech Lake accord was, in my opinion, that it did not define what was meant by "distinct society." What exactly were to be the powers given to Quebec to protect that distinctiveness? It is the fault of our Prime Minister and some of the other politicians --

The Vice-Chair: If you could sum up, sir.

Mr Raston: I only have very little left -- that Quebeckers came to believe that a rejection of the Meech Lake accord meant the rejection of Quebec by the rest of Canada. After all, Mr Mulroney said it over and over again and it was repeated endlessly by the media that a vote against the Meech Lake accord was a vote against Quebec.

It is now the duty of all our leaders to go to Quebeckers directly and to try to convince them that the rest of Canada wants them to remain within Canada, but at the same time that it is in their interest to do so. We should make it very clear that if Quebec secedes from Confederation, there will be no business as usual, that Canada will not guarantee Quebec's loans necessary to repay its share of Canada's national debt and to compensate Canada for all the various investments within Quebec made by Canada over the years. If Quebec secedes, it should not be treated any differently than any other foreign state. It should be made clear to them that secession would mean a considerable drop in the standard of living.

While we should be prepared for some compromises, the price we are prepared to pay for the unity of the country should not be so high that it would leave us with a federal government too weak to hold the country together. Canada is more than a sum of all the component provinces. If we allow it to fall apart, all of us, all Canadians in every province, will be the losers. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, sir.


The Vice-Chair: Grant Walker Gunness.

Mr Gunness: I support the Prime Minister of this country, the Right Honourable Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, can you sit down and say that into the mike. Nobody can hear you from back there.

Mr Gunness: If you listen, you can hear me. The upcoming elections, as announced under the hand of the Prime Minister of Canada, will be 3 October 1993.

My name is Grant Walker Gunness. I am the president of Canada. I have founded a charity called --

The Vice-Chair: Can we ask you to speak into the mike? This is being recorded for people back home as well as Hansard and we cannot hear you unless you are speaking into the mike. Thank you.

Mr Gunness: Okay. I am going to read from this book to the reader and to the listener. This is opening chapter of the light spreading from east to west and west to east again: "Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming."

The Vice-Chair: Shall we stand?


Mr Gunness: Go right ahead. That would be great. God bless you. Jesus Christ, Jean Peters and Francis Xavier Cugat.

These are symbols. The upper one is the Canadian flag. The second one is an archistructural homology of the star of the United States of America, the Soviet star, and stars like it in the world. The bottom star is called the Yahwehan star. It is the Yahwehan Star of David.

The Vice-Chair: Can I ask you to stick to the topic? There are many people who want to speak and we should be speaking about what this committee is all about, in reference to the Constitution.

Mr Gunness: I am speaking about what this committee is all about.

I am going to read the alphabet for you. In the alphabet I am reading, you will find the name of ourselves and our children under the letters A to Z. I am Grant and I am under G. There are many people in Jerusalem, in Egypt, whose names start under this alphabet as well, when it is translated into Arabic.

The unity of this nation, Canada, does not end at the extent of the CN-CP rail lines in this country. It extends around the world in 80 days.

Ladies and friends, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, 0, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, Zoya, Canadian for love, meaning life.

Mary. My wife's name is Mary and I am Joseph.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I am going to have to ask you to confine yourself to the topic. There are many people here who want to speak and we are running out of time. What will happen is that --

Mr Gunness: Sir, okay. I am confining myself to the subject.

Claude I. Taylor, Roland Ritchie, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Pierre Elliott Trudeau is running along with me and John Turner in the riding here in Canada, of Trinity, as members of Parliament, Senator. You are either a Senator or you ain't. We are going to have an elected Senate in this country that will sit along with members of Parliament and that is the congress of this nation. Jerusalem is the congress of Canada.

This will happen in the united states -- the united states of Africa, the united states of South Africa.

The unity of this country and the leadership of Canadians, the founding --

The Vice-Chair: Could you sum up, please?

Mr Gunness: Okay. The founding of this country has been based on a non-violent tradition where we chose among us to band together as a people, one nation under God, and as president of this country, that exemplary example of our parents shall continue.

Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr President.


The Vice-Chair: Joe Armstrong.

Mr Armstrong: I do not quite know if that is a tough act to follow or not. I think it is. Maybe that was the humour you were supposed to receive.

Members of the committee, in the interest of speed, I am going to race through four pages, and I hope to stick very close to your time limits in consideration for other people.

My name is Joe Armstrong. I am an author, historian and heritage activist. I own and share with Canadians Canada's finest private collection of the art and discovery maps of this nation. The collection was featured in the Ontario Legislature during the 1984 bicentennial of the province.

I am the author of From Sea Unto Sea, Art and Discovery Maps of Canada, the author of Champlain, and the French edition Samuel de Champlain. I am the author of the 1982 brief to the Commissioner of Official Languages entitled Bilingualism and the Federal Public Service of Canada: A Moral and Legal Crisis. This is a brief which I will make public today. For three years, I served as a director of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. I am also writing a book called Crisis Canada: A Constitutional Street Guide. It is a nightmare to write such a book.

My family legacy: I am a descendant of 11 generations of Canadian and American ancestry. My great-great-grandfather Samuel Armstrong settled in York county in the late 1700s.

Values: I hold that Canada is not bargainable. Let me be clear. There is no politician, no elected official in this country who has the mandate whatsoever to either divide this land or craft the means of its destruction or even a mandate to craft its restructuring.

I also hold that all of us are equal. I hold that our Constitution, our new Constitution should reflect this. I do not embrace the critically flawed Charter of Rights and Freedoms with its attendant "notwithstanding" clause.

I also believe profoundly that the first frontier is that we are Canadians. The only reason Canada is threatened is that Quebeckers have been nurtured into a stronger vision of Quebec than Canadians have of Canada. What a commentary that is about our national and cultural institutions.

Where we went wrong: I suggest three reasons. 1. The false premise: The false premise assumes that there are two founding nations of Canada, the English and the French. This is the pudge-headed thinking of the elitists and sophists who know absolutely nothing about our complex heritage and history. This false premise can be traced to the Dunton-Laurendeau Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism report of 1963, which resulted in the Official Languages Act of 1969 and the unfolding tragedy thereafter. We must now address this historical fraud or we are finished as a nation.

But even accepting that the B and B commission was well intended and that, as the commissioners put it at the time, "Canada was passing through the greatest crisis in its history," the fact is that the vision of the commissioners was betrayed. The commission and the legislation that followed, the Official Languages Act, called for a game plan with rules of fair play. The legislation, for example, called for the setting up of a bilingual district advisory board.

But after a feeble effort, the Prime Minister, along with a co-opted official languages commissioner, began the process of law-breaking that moved official bilingualism from a carefully worked out binding framework of bilingual designation to the pernicious self-serving power agglomeration arena of political discretion.

2. Multiculturalism, the political handmaiden of official bilingualism, Bill C-92: Multiculturalism is Canada's second-largest cultural tragedy. No nation can survive the legitimization and fostering of divisions within. In our unbelievably smug arrogance that we are not an American melting pot, we have made a deliberate choice to downgrade at every turn our Canadian heritage in favour of government nurturing of state-promoted multiculturalism. Multiculturalism was the state bribe to legitimize the acceptance of politically manipulated official bilingualism. We are the only nation in the world that has such a bill. That alone should cause us to ask some questions as to why.

3. Constitutional dereliction of duty by first ministers:

The first duty of every Prime Minister is to defend a nation's Constitution. In Canada, this has not been done. In Canada, weak leaders have let us down badly.

I cite three examples:

In 1974, the failure of Pierre Trudeau to have Parliament strike down Robert Bourassa's Bill 22, which was offensive to section 133 of Canada's Constitution. Section 133 protects the English language as an official language of Quebec. Bourassa's Bill 22 determined that admission to English-language schools in Quebec was racially conditional. This surrender to Bourassa may have proved fatal to the nation.

In 1977, the failure of Pierre Trudeau to have the House of Commons disallow René Lévesque's Bill 101, which declared that French was the official language of Quebec. Again, offensive to section 133.

In 1988, the failure of Brian Mulroney to have the House of Commons disallow Robert Bourassa's Bill 178, again for the same reasons.


Observation and summary: All of Canada needs a wake-up call, especially in Quebec.

My recommendations are that we can settle for nothing less than a fully democratic state. We cannot play this game of colonial elitism and state-engineered racism any longer. Our parliamentary heritage demands it.

Canadians -- not politicians, political parties or branches of government -- own the sovereignty of the nation. The people must have a full opportunity to fashion the nation they want.

To empower the constitutional process, we need, both by population and region, constituent assemblies with elected delegates to do the job of crafting a great Constitution for Canada. The United Nations judgement against Canada's Constitution is due at the end of March. On 31 October the United Nations human rights committee unanimously condemned Canada, severely criticizing the "notwithstanding" clause in our Constitution.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up.

Mr Armstrong: The final judgement on this matter from the UN is due in the next few weeks. Let's get on with it. We have been wasting time with mediocrity for too long. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you.


The Vice-Chair: Next is Lois Bedard.

Ms Bedard: I am Lois Bedard. I am the sixth of seven children born and brought up in the province of Ontario.

The Vice-Chair: Madam, I would ask you to make the presentation at the seat.

Ms Bedard: I am sure they are going to hear me on the mike. I am a teacher who projects her voice.

The Vice-Chair: Our technology may not be up to that snuff yet.

Ms Bedard: I, Lois Dowson Bedard, am the sixth of seven, born and brought up in the city of Toronto, third-generation Canadians. My parents raised seven children through the Great Depression and through the Second World War. My siblings older than I were educated up to grade 12 and entered the skilled trades, so my father, an artisan of the printing trade, had two executive secretary daughters, three tool and die maker sons and one son a skilled compositor in the printing trade.

All of our family were active trade unionists -- something I have not heard here much -- working collectively to help the working class earn a more appropriate share of this wealthy Canadian economy. We all worked to see that the political arm of the workers, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, forced the Canadian economy to establish a social benefits network that would prevent Canadians from ever going through another Depression.

So what is it to be a Canadian? It is to be born or naturalized in a magnificent, wealthy country in the North American continent. It is to be an educated and skilled and productive worker. It is to be a member of a trade union or a citizen who benefits from the fact that other workers in trade unions have raised your standard of living. It is to be a member of a society that has a third party that is the political arm of workers, the CCF or the NDP, a political arm that can force a standard of living in keeping with the wealth of the nation. It is to be a citizen in a country that has the benefit of two great cultural streams, English and French. It is to be a citizen of a country that has the influence of many other cultures brought with Canadian immigrants into the multicultural nation of Canada.

The Canadian central government was forced to introduce universal hospital insurance, universal health care, universal unemployment insurance, universal old age pensions and Canadian pension benefits. A Canadian central government was needed to enforce uniform standards in these universal programs in each province through transfer payments to the provinces, based on regional disparity planning. All these benefits we listed above were strenuously fought for and won. They are the hallmark of being a Canadian.

Another hallmark of being a Canadian is our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1981 women won the equal rights clause, and in 1991 Canadian women wish to continue to improve on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, along the lines of the attached document. It is all here, clause by clause.

The Constitution is a living document, to be crafted to improve the life of its citizens. It is right and proper that the Constitution be revised periodically to reflect the needs of the nation's citizens. The constitutional crisis is not caused by the continuous drive of the Québécois to determine their own future as a nation. It is their democratic right to do so. No nation can survive without the consent of its constituents. The Quebec question is to be settled by the Québécois in their drive for self-determination.

The constitutional crisis is not caused by the demands of the native people for treaty rights, settlement of land claims and self-determination. As the first nations, they have the right to have their own relationship to the Canadian Constitution.

So why is there a crisis in the Canadian Constitution? Canada has gone from colony to junior partner of the United States élite through its corporate power. Canada's big business is thoroughly continentalist. Canadians did not heed the Waffle's warning of the Canadian sellout to the US capitalists. Canadians gave in to the silent surrender described by Clement. Our capitalist élite is more concentrated than in any other capitalist society. The fundamental centrifugal forces of the Canadian economic decay are dictated by our corporate élite, by the corporate élite of the US imperialists. We are designed to be under the US trade bloc focusing on continentalism, while the new order leaves Europe Inc in charge of Europe, and the Pacific Rim in charge of Japan. The new Gulf coalition is still trying to settle the roles of the other members of the G-7 international nations.

If we in Canada let the free trade agreement, the GST and the made-in-Canada recession establish the level playing field with Mexico, then our provinces will do business with contiguous states on a north-south basis and there will not be a Canada that we recognize or value, just as Mr Mulroney has predicted.

What are we to do? Rescind the free trade agreement --

The Vice-Chair: Ma'am, I would ask you to sum up.

Ms Bedard: -- withdraw the GST and tax on a graduated scale in proportion to wealth. Let each province in Canada in 1992 establish a constituent assembly that will start with the 1991 revised Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the basis for unity. Then let each province establish the assembly to evolve the format of a confederation of provinces. This constituent assembly has to be representative of our population, women and men, labour, multicultural and aboriginal people. This representative body will evolve a democratic, elected, representative system of administering an economically viable Canadian state.

It is not essential that we have one continuous border. Alaska and Hawaii are part of the USA. We Canadians exist as a country rich in natural resources and skilled people. The alternative to wholesale integration into corporate continentalism is a socialist, independent Canada. Canada does not exist to meet the US needs for water, oil or any other trading bloc imperative. Through the mechanism of workers' self-management, community involvement in the goals of production, it would be possible to provide production for need and not just profit.

New Democrats are now the government or official opposition in every Legislature west of Quebec, including the Yukon. We can forge a new Constitution in a new socialist Canada. I am an internationalist who believes that the role of socialists in a nation is to build socialism within and without our native boundaries for the best of all worlds. Please take some time to read this.

The Vice-Chair: We will, ma'am. Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Art Bossio, and after that is Al Trent. Just so people know, we are running behind. We are going to try, if at all possible, to get everybody on, but we still have another 10 to go and we are running an hour over as it is now.

Mr Bossio: Mr Chairman, members of the committee, my name is Art Bossio. I represent Italian Canadians for Progress, which is a business and professional organization in the east end of Toronto.

Canada's cultural pluralism is the very essence of our Canadian identity. Cultural diversity, multiculturalism, a reality of Canadian life, is in fact the source of our greatness as a people and as a country.

We, the Italian Canadians for Progress, strongly believe that all Canadians, regardless of colour, race and religion, must be given equal opportunity to realize their full potential as individuals. Yet in Canada, our population is divided into three categories: francophones, anglophones, and the remaining 9 million citizens as "other." In Ontario alone, over 50% of our citizens are labelled as "other."


As no definition of multiculturalism has ever been legislated by the government of Canada, the door has been left wide open to the interpretation that multiculturalism is only for some Canadians and not for all. Surely the intent of our government could not be to create separate classes of Canadians. Therefore, we propose that the government acknowledge all citizens as Canadians first, each with widely differing beliefs, values, attitudes and traditions; that this government would begin to realize and see that that which we want and value in our own lives is what government should want and value for all Canadians as a whole.

Do not ignore 9 million Canadians from minority cultures which represent this nation's future new majority. We may not be able to trace our origins to either France or England, but our pride and love for this beautiful country are unmatched. Therefore, Canadianism in this broader context must be emphasized in future advertising and public education venues. The diverse reality of a united Canada should be clearly evident at all levels of our social, cultural, economic and political institutions. The success or failure of this concept should not depend on any single Canadian or group of Canadians, but on all Canadians collectively. There should not only be a willingness to accept the philosophy and the concept itself, but there should exist a firm commitment from all citizens to maintain and live within their culture but in a Canadian context.

To achieve this, there must be a willingness to support one another in our everyday interactions. It is just this willingness which will enable us to break through the prejudice and cultural jealousies to ensure our future as a free nation. We believe in a united Canada for all Canadians, achieved through our rich experience of living harmoniously together, notwithstanding our own unique diversities. Thank you.


The Vice-Chair: Al Trent, and after that is Maria Greifeneder.

Mr Trent: Thank you very much for this opportunity to speak in front of the committee. I would like to start out by paraphrasing Bob Rae in a statement he made before a bunch of union leaders, that the institutions that fed so well and overleveraged themselves and overspent themselves during the 1980s would have to be responsible for paying the price during the 1990s, given the current economic conditions. I would like to know, within that statement and the parameters of that statement, where a government whose rate of taxation is increased at the same time that the national debt and spending is increased, both in real terms and as a percentage of GNP would stand.

Essentially, it is my belief, after reading a report forwarded by Garth Turner, the member for Halton-Peel, to the Minister of Finance -- one of the ideas contained in that report was a constitutionally mandated balanced budget at all levels of government. The obvious goal he meant in forwarding that proposal was the control of the burgeoning and massive debt and growing deficit problems we now face, which preclude our ability to spend our way out of the recession in Keynesian fashion, as well as slow down any economic recovery the country might enjoy.

Further than simply reducing the debt, I believe such a system would add a significant amount of political accountability into the whole political process. If government is to be judged on the basis of what it can provide for the amount of money it receives in taxes, I think it would be a far more equitable proposition if the electorate were to have a fair opportunity to view the cost-benefit ratio of government, namely, what government collects versus what the benefit to them has been.

The situation as it exists now is not a situation where government strives to become re-elected by becoming more efficient and making the most of scarce resources. Instead, government now functions on the basis of: "How much money can we promise to borrow to give people what they want and appease them? If we get elected we've got the job done, and if we don't get elected we simply pass on the debt to the next government." Basically, as I stated, if we were to run with the system whereby government was mandated to function on a balanced budget, we would restore a means of accountability to the system, wherein people do not need degrees in investment finance to figure out what the government is doing for them and what it is actually providing.

An even scarier part of this report by Mr Turner is the fact that 2% of respondents to a poll he conducted considered the deficit and debt an economic problem, but only 21% of respondents could define what a deficit was. This is more scary than the actual problem of the deficit itself in that, if the results of these polls are correct, it allows government to basically carry on a process whereby it can misrepresent things to a populace that basically does not have the understanding of how debt and deficit affects our economy, and in doing so continue on a more and more destructive course.

I support Mr Wilson's budget. If anything, I think it did not go far enough in slashing the deficit. I understand fully the need to get ourselves out of recession. However, if you were to explain to the average Canadian person that every man, woman and child in this country owes $15,000 as a proportionate share of the debt, the solutions that the opposition parties are proposing are tantamount to saying, "Well, my family can no longer afford to pay the mortgage on our house so I'm going to go out and borrow money to buy a car in order shut everybody up for a while." To my way of thinking, this will lead to an ever-growing problem in that area.

The other thing is that government policy, both fiscal policy and policies pertaining to education and other social services --

The Vice-Chair: I ask you to sum up, please.

Mr Trent: Okay -- have to not only reflect some kind of equality and fairness, but have to dictate the mindset of the nation. I do not believe that, in the case of Ontario certainly, we do a very constructive job of that. It is virtually impossible, given the current tax and inflation situation, to invest in any kind of secure vehicle without having an actual net reduction of your purchasing power. This type of attitude, the result of this, is simply that we have an economic system that is geared towards consumption and waste and has no recognition of the value of putting money back into the economy, not in the form of spending but in the form of investment. That is basically my feeling on the topic.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Maria Greifeneder.

Ms Greifeneder: Thank you, Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to thank you for allowing me a few minutes of your time. I will try to keep brief, in view of the hour.

Our obsession with categorizing beliefs by superficial criteria, ie, gender, race, language, has taught me the importance of being politically aware, active and persistent. I also learned the necessity, if not desire, to participate in this discussion, since as a Canadian I also have the right to express my thoughts.

Official bilingualism and multiculturalism: To embrace them reflects tolerance; to object breeds racism. Such is the theory of a cultural mosaic like Canada. It is that simple -- or is it?

Aboriginal people: Do we assimilate them or ignore them?

Have we lost our identity or are we gaining a new one? Quebec's role: To be part of Canada or to be independent?

Minority language rights: Parlez-vous anglais, monsieur et madame ? Ou parlez-vous francais?

Indeed, these are just some of the questions.

I would like to speak briefly about what makes us Canadian. It has very little to do with language, colour, religion or race, because in reality we are of a variety of all those things. For all of us who are willing, we will find our place in Canada. As a nation, Canada has attempted to reflect the best of all worlds but, with regret, I think we have failed in that endeavour. The ideas are great. It was our way of achieving them that went wrong.

Canadians should have the right to protect their previous cultures, and I will defend that as long as we live. However, I do not believe we need government funding to do it. Canadians of German, Swiss and Austrian heritages have nurtured their cultures through private resources.

The aboriginal people have waited patiently as our leaders have dillied and dallied with 200-year-old treaties. We have to honour these agreements. By settling the land claims and implementing native self-government, Canada will be a richer country, because at long last it will in fact be a fair one.


Official bilingualism can be solved by defining it before we implement it. If Canadian bilingualism is to be nationwide, immersing all children, including the Québécois, in both languages is in order. If on the other hand our bilingualism is by region, then we should adapt the Swiss model in which each region has one official language. Whatever the definition is, I urge you and your colleagues to reflect very carefully before segregating children by language. If they do not learn to live together while they are young, today's linguistic intolerance will accelerate.

Furthermore, I have heard Mr Harnick of the Progressive Conservatives become aggressive with presenters who opposed official bilingualism during previous hearings. Is Mr Harnick aware that his party opposes official bilingualism in Ontario?

I have thought long and hard about the recommendations of Quebec's Allaire report and I for one believe that Quebec is treated as well and at times better than other Canadian provinces. The report seeks to make Quebec exempt from Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It affords the province powers equivalent to a strong central government. It dictates Quebec's balance of power on issues regarding all provinces. It affords la belle province with a veto on all constitutional amendments. The late Senator Eugene Forsey described Allaire as "neocolonization of nine provinces with Quebec as its imperialistic leader." We sought independence from England. Why would we want colony status with Quebec?

The Vice-Chair: I would ask you to sum up, please.

Ms Greifeneder: If the Allaire report is Quebec's bottom line, it is time for Canada to elect a team of fair but tough divorce lawyers. However, if it is the basis of negotiation, we must make every effort -- and every effort sincerely -- to reach an agreement that is fair to all partners in Confederation.

As we build a new Canada, we must learn from previous mistakes. While respecting the unique qualities of our multicultural fibres, we must become Canadians without hyphens, without labels. We must define official bilingualism as determined by the people of Ontario and Canada. Government must learn that excessive legislation builds more barriers than it removes. Quebec must decide whether being one of 10 provinces in a strong nation is better than separating for superficial language reasons. As our political adolescence concludes, indeed we must enter adulthood with reason.

Ontario's role in the new Confederation is one of knowing the difference between wants and needs. Canadians must end their romance with political apathy, for it is apathy that wins elections for the wrong governments and the wrong candidates. My grandfather, a former diplomat, died believing that politicians are well-paid hypocrites.

The Vice-Chair: Ma'am, I would ask you to sum up. You have gone over.

Ms Greifeneder: We need politicians with more honourable professions. Perhaps more involvement by qualified women will help make the political process a bit more honest.

Thank you, Mr Chairman, members of the committee, for affording me a brief audience with your esteemed group.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Carla Berg, and after that is Dave Boese.

Mrs Berg: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Carla Berg. I am a scientist.

Following the era of discoveries, the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and so on, my contention is that we are living in a brand-new era, the global era of reasoning. Yet in Canada, our compulsion is to define what our country is, one nation or two. In the global community, Canada must stand as one strong and united nation. For example, the European common market represents consenting standards for economic trade of the nine nation members. From that perspective, my argument is that Canada is one country and one nation.

Canada identifies and accommodates French and English culture and language. Simply put, Quebec's role is the same as that of nine other provinces. Canada's future must be decided by all provinces, territories and native peoples.

Quebec's linguistic, cultural, religious and other rights were protected with the Quebec Act of 1774 and reaffirnied when she entered Confederation with proclamation of the BNA Act in 1867. Pursuit of her equal rights has dominated Canada's political scene since. Quebec's culture and language are unique, and it is its responsibility to preserve it. My difficulty is understanding how an artificial reinforcement will offset natural differences of those two cultures.

Now Quebec wants independence with economic benefits from Confederation. Quebec must reason out: Is it a part of Canada's Confederation or not? If Quebec chooses to remain in Confederation, she should do so without specially appointed powers or privileges. I question the validity of Quebec's protectionism and obsession with her language. Independence is her legal right. If that is her choice, it is reasonable to believe in her competence to assume her role as an independent nation within the global village of nations without benefits of its neighbour, Canada.

I support introduction of a second language, English or French, at an early age, in grade 2, but within one publicly funded school system. Without segregation, we could accomplish a bilingual future for Canada.

Legislated bilingualism is unacceptable in Quebec, also in Ontario. Legislators may remember that people or their virtues cannot be legislated. Economic progress is based on productivity cost for output, not a language or culture. In a democracy, we have the right to self-determination and to make the wrong choice.

Before amending the existing Constitution, we must reconsider the role of federal, provincial, regional and municipal governments. Our only solution to the present constitutional impasse is a national referendum on all constitutional amendments.

What is wrong today? We must look into our past to recoup our identity and values. Progress in multiculturalism for those who value their roots represents strength; if shared, enriches it. Jewish people retained their religion, culture and language nearly 2,000 years without a country or access to taxpayers' pockets.

The Vice-Chair: Ma'am, I would ask you to sum up please.

Mrs Berg: I came to Canada 35 years ago from Austria. This is my national costume. My knowledge of English has improved. Learning and adaptation to Canada's structure and lifestyle did not impair my previous education, culture or knowledge.

Ja mislim da razumete sta. sam rekla. Ieh glabe sie verstehen, was habe Ich gesagt. A Roma Si parla italiano. A Ontario si parla inglese. A Quebec si parla franchese. My question to' you politicians is: Quo vadis dominus?

A mosaic or patch without sharing adhesive will result in the assembled patches falling apart. Pride in diversity should not ignore the necessity of common values and cohesive power as a prerequisite for unity.

Canada's generosity, now dominated by special interest groups, is a divisive factor. Minorities never agree except in collective efforts to reduce and oppress the majority. Nothing needs reform as much as people's habits.

In summary, a strong, united nation has a common goal and values to share. That includes understanding, sharing and willing exchange of national heritage among the participating members -- and of course we share a $400-billion national debt.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.



The Vice-Chair: Dave Boese. Again, I remind you we are running late and we have six more to go.

Mr Boese: As presenters, we should have taken a course in auctioneering. It might have helped things.

The Vice-Chair: We want to apologize. We realize the difficulty this gives the presenters and we sympathize. The difficulty is that there are many people who applied. We tried to accommodate as many as we could. It is meant to say to shorten the presentations, which rushes you, and we are aware of that.

Mr Boese: I was born in Canada, so I am a natural Canadian citizen, proud of it. I have travelled this country across two or three times and enjoyed every part of it. My background, though, is German and my heritage is German. I would say I am fairly fluent in German, so I am bilingual. My forefathers, some time in the early 1800s, left central Europe for the land of opportunity, which was the Ukraine or the southern part of Russia, because it was the land of opportunity. Then in 1929 and 1930, around the Depression time, they moved to this country because this was the country of opportunity. They left religious persecution and communist oppression.

One of the things I am a little concerned about in this country -- I hope I am seeing it wrong, but I have a feeling that we are gradually losing some of our freedoms. I hope that some time in the future my grandchildren and great-grandchildren do not leave this country to move back to Russia because it is more free there than here in Canada. Anyway, my simple philosophy in life is basically this:

Live and let live. That gives you a bit of an overview of where I am coming from.

The problem as I see it is this. You have all heard the phrase "Beware a wolf in sheep's clothing." I do not think the issues are properly defined, and this may not be the proper definition either, but it is a little different, I believe. I believe the issue is not about language rights; the issue is about power. I believe the issue is not about cultural differences; I believe the issue is about money. I was glad to see an article about Bourassa, where he says that presently he thinks the economy is more important to him and the Quebeckers than the constitutional talks or whatever. It boils down to money really. Last, I feel the issue is not about equality so much as it is about dominance.

I am not trying to be funny. I think it is just a quirk of human nature. To my knowledge, there are only two people in this country or in this world you could trust when they speak about equality, that is, Mother Teresa and myself, and I am not too sure about myself. So beware of that, okay? There will always be a battle no matter which way we go.

I am going to go quickly on the rest. I have it in point form.

My observations on things that divide us.

Two official languages, I say, will never work. I know it is pessimistic and negative, but it will never work.

Separate laws for Quebec and for the rest of Canada.

Quebec arguing for bilingualism and acting unilingual.

Economic disparity between provinces.

In our province now we have two school boards, big mistake. And by watching these hearings, I am hearing they want to start a third school board. Wow. Look out, taxpayers.

Interprovincial trade barriers: You have heard this all before, but what a joke, eh?

Minority rule: I think there has been a common thread running through these talks about how our country is really run, so keep that in mind.

I believe very strongly that culture is a private thing and should be kept out of politics. As an analogy, I want to tell you that I really enjoy eating French bread. I really enjoy eating Italian bread, and every time I make an Italian meal, I go out to my local Italian bakery and buy a loaf of Italian bread. But when I bake my own bread, which is quite frequently, I make German bread, and no one is going to change that because that is my heritage. That is the way it should be. I do not want anybody telling me what I should do in my own kitchen or in my own bedroom.

Trade with other nations: Free trade under the present conditions is a sellout. The playing field is not level. You have all heard this before too.

Economic wellbeing is more important than culture. You cannot eat patriotism, you cannot eat pride and you cannot eat promises. I want to tell you right now, before anyone accuses me of being a heretic or unpatriotic, I believe there are 8 to 10 million Canadians, supposedly calling themselves Canadians, who are really closet Americans, because they are voting with their money every single day. I am not talking about going to the US just for a two-week vacation, which is fine. But they are voting with their money every single day by the millions of dollars. They are voting with this money, and they are not voting for Mulroney and they are not voting for Bob Rae; they are voting for George Bush. There it is, that is where it is going, over the river. Border cities like ours can become ghost towns within 10 years unless something is done about it, believe me.

Most of Quebec's problems are internal. Maybe I should not get into this, but it is a perception that a lot of us have. The Catholic Church has probably had a greater influence and effect on Quebec's economic plight than anything else the rest of Canada has done. I will skip the next part.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up. You are up to five minutes now.

Mr Boese: I have had five minutes already? Wow. I want to ask you as legislators, never underestimate your power to do good and/or bad.

I will go to my recommendations. I have three recommendations: Plan A, with Quebec in Confederation. I want Quebec to stay. We all do. Invite them to stay and to sign the repatriation papers showing good intent. We should separate culture from politics, just like church and state. This is not meant to be funny, believe me. You had a native person this morning who was trying to make a little light of some of these things. I am not trying to make light of this: through an act of Parliament make one of the Indian languages the official language of Canada and let the rest of us speak what we want to speak.

The Vice-Chair: Sir --

Mr Boese: It will not take long now.

The Vice-Chair: Well, you are cutting into the time of other people and somebody is going to get cut off the list. I am sure you do not want to have that happen.

Mr Boese: I would like to have every politician in this country read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, if you have not read it.

In finishing up, as we do not have the time, I would like to leave you with this. As a young man I was a Jaycee for 15 years. Some of you have probably heard this creed before, the international creed of the Jaycees. If this were part of our Constitution and the people in this country believed it, we would not have the problems we have today.

"We believe that faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life, that the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations, that economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise, that government should be of laws rather than of man, and that Earth's greatest treasure lies in human personality and that service to humanity is the best work of life." Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, sir.


The Vice-Chair: Ken Salah, and then after that it is Robert Campbell.

Mr Salah: Mr Chair and committee members, I represent 12 friends and neighbours from Toronto's west end, and we feel that after a long sleep of complacency Ontario has finally woken up to the reality of the dangers facing Canada's nationhood. The people in Ontario seem to always have had a quiet unspoken pride in being Canadian, but this does not seem to be enough any longer. It is that sense of pride that stirred us into making this presentation.

We resent politicians who claim that without Quebec Canada will no longer exist or will somehow have no national identity. Should the division of our country become inevitable, we feel confident that Canada is going to survive politically, economically, socially and as a very strong and vibrant nation.

As the analogy of a marriage has often been used to describe the relationship between Quebec and the rest of Canada, we would like to continue that analogy for a moment. Would any reputable marriage counsellor ever advise a partner in a troubled marriage to remain in the relationship only because the counsellor believed that without his or her mate, the partner would be nothing, destined to wander in a wasteland, dazed, without any sense of self, while the divorcing partner is going to move on to build a full and rich life elsewhere? We would expect that such a counsellor would be out of a job really soon. We would prefer that a course of moderation and reconciliation in which respect is shown for both partners would be reaffirming their trust and faith in the union.

We also feel there is a huge vacuum in Canada in terms of leadership. We want to hear from leaders who will address the issue we have just mentioned. Are there no leaders who believe in us? Are there no leaders who believe in a strong Canada and that it can exist without Quebec? The leaders of Quebec have been planning on the separation of Canada for a number of years. The rest of our leaders have been focusing on how to keep Quebec in Canada, but they have yet to address publicly, in a positive manner, the issue of what Canada would be like without Quebec.


We also feel our present government has dismantled virtually all of the symbols that held us together as a nation. It is imperative that we reclaim some of those symbols and build some new ones; otherwise the remaining ties that bind us together may not hold and the north-south ties that pull us are finally going to bring us into the United States orbit.

We ask Bob Rae to come forward. We want him to be one of those leaders we are so desperately looking for, to come out and speak out now, to help the people of English Canada find a sense of pride and nationhood and to also find a way to accommodate Quebec in Canada.

The following is how we feel about the topics in the guide you provided.

1. We want a strong central government in Canada, whatever happens to Quebec. We still want a federal government to be able to implement national programs and a national vision. We are concerned that the rights of women, aboriginal peoples, regional disparities are not going to be protected or addressed as well by provincial governments as they will be by a strong central government.

2. We know the Constitution must be changed and we feel it should be changed, taking into account the needs of native peoples and multicultural groups and not just the needs of Quebec. We feel the Constitution must not be hastily changed in response to a threat of a referendum in Quebec, but the changes should be made gradually and be well thought out, and with the approval of the public, not just the politicians.

3. We feel bilingualism as a federal policy is not working. Many people in the rest of Canada seem to resent the expense and the fact that while bilingualism is in the rest of Canada it is not in Quebec. We suggest that national bilingualism as a policy be scrapped and that each province hold its own referendum on whether it would be bilingual.

4. We would like to see an elected Senate and that the representation should be equal from all provinces.

5. If Quebec leaves we feel there must be a great deal of discussion about the representation in the House of Commons, since Ontario would then have roughly half the population of the country. There may be many ways of accomplishing this. It could be addressed in several ways. The west will never consent, though, to stay in Canada if Ontario becomes the sole power. We also would like to see the Prime Minister be elected by direct vote -- the party system has let us down terribly -- a system such as the United States, where the president is elected directly and separately from the House of Commons.

6. Our group was divided on sovereignty-association. Most of us are against it. We feel that if Quebec wants to leave, it should leave completely, otherwise we would be financing its independence.

The Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up.

Mr Salah: I am on my last point. One person in the group wanted to leave them in with sovereignty-association, because it might be the chance for them to come in if they change their minds.

We realized that there are going to be hardships for both Quebec and Canada if there is a split, but we feel it would be worth it, because it would leave each of us as our own separate countries, to develop economically, socially and without the animosity that is going to persist from being financially dependent on each other.

I just want to leave you with one bit of philosophy from Nietzche, who said, "He who has a `why' to live can bear with almost any `how."' Maybe we should think of that as Canadians: the "how" of how to live with our nationhood. Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you very much, sir.


The Chair: Robert Campbell; after that is Trudy Bretzer.

Mr Campbell: Mr Chairman, I am a solicitor presently retiring from private practice in Toronto, and welcome this opportunity to present the following views to your committee on the subject of Ontario in Confederation. I am not a member of any political party, but I am vitally concerned with the problem of Canadian unity, the preservation of Confederation and the maintenance of Canadian independence and sovereignty. I am distressed to have witnessed in recent years the erosion of Canada's capacity to recover and exercise an important, enlightened and independent role in international affairs.

I have taken an active interest in these and related matters as a member of the Council of Canadians, a national non-partisan body of Canadians who are deeply concerned about the future of their country. The council is presently conducting a survey of its members which will lead to a consensus of individual views and a formulation of the council's position on the country's constitutional difficulties. The views presented in this submission are my own and are among those under consideration by the council.

The issue of Canada's national sovereignty and independence is central to any decisions respecting change in the distribution of legislative powers in the Constitution between Parliament and the legislatures of the provinces. It is not possible to comment on Canada's constitutional crisis without taking into account certain events of the country's recent political and economic history which have weakened its political, economic and social structures. These events have exacerbated our constitutional difficulties and endanger the continuation of Confederation.

In 1983 the CBC Massey Lectures on Globalism and the Nation-State were given by Eric Kierans, who examined the economic position of Canada in the modern world. Professor Kierans, an economist and a former president of the Montreal and Canadian stock exchanges, who has held portfolios in the Quebec and federal governments, concluded that this is a world in which the power of the multinational corporation can rival that of the state. It is a world in which the United States adopts the interests of its multinational corporations as its own and as instruments of its foreign policy. The United States, as the dominant superpower, considers the security of the western world indivisible with its own and presides over it economically as a global community. In this global community, labour, resources and capital move freely across national boundaries, each country playing its part on the basis of economic efficiency.

Canada's role in such a world is as a supplier of raw materials, resources and energy. Kierans disagrees with this arrangement of the world, which creates a heartland with dependent peripheral areas whose governments must conform to the grand design. Canada has become such a peripheral area, reducing this country to the status of an American satellite, thereby compromising its sovereignty and independence. This condition is aggravated by Canada's dependence on foreign investment and by control by multinational corporations to an extent which even then was without parallel in the developed world. He contended that in such a situation corporate power threatens the processes of democracy in a way which is immediate and urgent. The Kieran lectures were delivered at a time when the Foreign Investment Review Agency provided at least some limitation over the complete loss of control of major enterprises not already foreign-controlled.

In the year following the Kierans lectures the present federal government was elected in 1984. It quickly adopted as its own the program of the corporate multinationals, which included a program of privatization of public enterprises; deregulation of the service sector; continentalization of the economy; the alteration of the tax structure to harmonize with that of the United States; and the reduction or elimination of social programs. Canada, its economy already dominated by foreign control, was declared open for business.

FIRA was abolished, the national energy policy was abandoned, the drug patent bill was forced through Parliament, and legislation to improve Canadian access to the American-dominated film distribution industry was shelved. All these steps were taken as a necessary preliminary to the passage of the free trade agreement, bitterly fought in the 1988 federal election and opposed by 53% of the voters.

Kierans's assessment of Canada's satellite status became blindingly clear in the free trade agreement, which gave the United States access to Canada's energy supplies, including oil, gas and hydro, at national prices with guaranteed sharing in the event of supply shortage.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up.


Mr Campbell: In addition, the agreement appears to give access to water. Many of the provisions of the free trade agreement are incompatible with the maintenance of Canadian sovereignty. It is time for Ontario to voice the reality that the free trade agreement has been disastrous for this country and to demand that the provision for termination on six months' notice be acted upon.

May I have a word on the matter of --

The Vice-Chair: Very short, sir. We have three more presenters to go, and if we are timely, we will get it done.

Mr Campbell: My reference to the proposed constitutional discussions is that in this world of ultimatums, Quebec is obviously debating to establish its demands for new powers, its bottom line. Canada's bottom line ought to be the maintenance of its power to govern within its capacity to remain a nation. This power and capacity must be the capacity to determine its own policies, values and objectives independently of its neighbour to the south, however great and powerful, and the power to exert the will of its own people in carrying these policies into effect, maintaining those values and realizing those objectives.

Finally, I repeat my reference previously that Ontario must speak for Ontario before speaking for itself. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: I thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Trudy Bretzer.

Miss Bretzer: Thank you for letting me appear before this committee today. There are several topics I wish to discuss in this paper, one of which is Canadian identity. Who are we and what do we stand for? Should Quebec be allowed to leave? Do we need changes to the Constitution, and how will these changes be made? Can we survive as a country?

It is my belief that before we can solve the problems of the Constitution, we must have an understanding of who we are. The Americans know who they are. They have a symbol, the Statue of Liberty. They believe in freedom, liberty and justice for all. These are fine ideas, and I am sure Canadians value them as well, but we as Canadians must find our own identity and not borrow from others. We tend to be a country that goes with the flow, rarely striking out on our own . While this may make us safe, it also makes us very dull. We should strike out on our own once in a while and be daring. We should find our own values and symbols to believe in which would make us distinct. We have a great multicultural society in this country, great national resources in both human potential and environment. There is so much we have to deal with that a solution must be possible.

I firmly believe that Quebec should not be allowed to leave the country. Not only would we be cut off from the Maritimes, but it is my belief that we would eventually cease to be a country at all. We should, at all costs, keep this country together. People who advocate Quebec separating are looking for the easy way out. They seem to have given up trying to find a solution. Quebec does not make it easier by wanting its cake and eating it too. They seem to want all the powers, but prefer others to pay for it.

The federal government appears to be encouraging Quebec in this goal, not because the federal government believes Quebec should leave but simply for its own ends. They want to make sure they get enough votes in the next election. This is not a way to run a country, babying one province over others. All this accomplishes is disunity. The other provinces get jealous and demand the same treatment. This is what we are seeing now. All provinces should be treated the same as far as provincial powers go. All provinces should have equal representation in the House of Commons. The Senate should be scrapped, period.

The solution I would like to bring forward is first to get rid of the mandatory three-year waiting period for making any changes in the Constitution. This was one of the main reasons Meech Lake failed. Many of the provinces changed governments during the three-year period and rescinded the deal.

Once a change is made, it should become law then or during a shorter waiting period of not more than one year. There should be a national referendum on any major changes to the Constitution. This may be more expensive in the short run, but I feel it would be better in the long run. The reason for this is that more people would get a chance to participate and the public would feel less shut out and therefore more willing to accept what changes were made. Public participation is very important in any democratic society, the more the better. Too many politicians have the idea that only they are qualified to make major decisions. Nothing could be further from the truth. The public is probably more qualified to decide. After all, politicians work for us, not the other way around.

Some will say the public does not care. This may be true, but that is because we are brought up to believe that all we can do is vote. This is not true. The public must learn that they and only they have the power to change things. As long as they give their elected representatives the power, things will not change.

I believe in a strong federal government. This is not to say the provinces should not have a say, but you cannot have a strong country if there is bickering among the provinces over power and who gets what. Not only does it prevent the federal government from doing its job, but it makes us look bad internationally. People will think we do not have our act together, which may be true at this moment.

I believe this country still has hope. Things may look bad now, but they will get better. If all of us, people and governments, get our act together, I believe we will solve these immense problems facing this country. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: David Fogarty.

Mr Fogarty: Members of the committee, I have lived in four provinces of Canada: British Columbia, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Ontario. In each province, there are expressed different views of Confederation and how it has functioned. Such diversity is not unexpected, as Canada does not have one or even two predominant political cultures. Canada possesses 12 political cultures, one for each province and territory, not including the various aboriginal peoples.

I believe Canada's constitutional problems stem as much from an inability to recognize this diversity of political cultures as from the ill-conceived, ill-advised attempt at constitutional reform known as Meech Lake. Meech Lake was not an attempt to better the 1982 Constitution. It would have sold our birthright of a proud Canada for a mess of pottage, making Canada into a loose alliance of independent states similar to Germany before their unification. Meech would have left us with a patchwork quilt of federal laws, a Senate beholden to provincial concerns and a Charter of Rights that was not worth anything, as the "notwithstanding" clause overrides it.

The "notwithstanding" clause has to be deleted from the Constitution Act of 1982. It has served not as a check on unwarranted federal intrusions on provincial social policy areas but as a blunt instrument to deny civil rights and liberties to minority language groups. There is no such thing as group language rights, only the rights of the individual. If individuals' rights are denied, then the language group's rights are denied as well.


The institution that best serves as the protector of these rights is the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada is a federal institution and should not have provincially appointed members on its bench. All appointments should be done federally after advisement from the various law societies as to which members are suitable for elevation to the Supreme Court.

Canada has one of the world's most decentralized governments, given the small population and many conflicting legislative bodies in the country. Our country needs fundamental changes in how the House of Commons and the Senate will function. I submit that present electoral rules do not allow for expression of the public's will. Current laws for distribution of electoral districts have led to wide disparities in the population of electoral districts in several regions of Canada.

I would like to propose the following changes to the House of Commons and the Senate: that the House of Commons be 300 seats; that Professor Edward V. Huntington's Harvard 1921 method of equal proportion be used to redistribute seats impartially after each census so as to have the average population per constituency differ minimally between the provinces, with two exceptions: that the Northwest Territories have two seats and that no province have fewer seats than a territory. There is an enclosed method that will explain how it is done. No seats should differ in population within a province --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up. You have about a minute left. I have been looking at your brief, and you have about another five minutes there, so --

Mr Fogarty: Yes -- unless it can be shown that a change in one riding is necessary to ensure a more equitable distribution of votes in the whole province. All ridings are to be as compactly drawn as possible, taking into consideration the physical geography of each province.

I have substantially more issues and concerns I would like to raise, but as time is pressing, I would ask for the consideration of the committee of everything else I have included in my presentation. Thank you for your time and consideration here tonight.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Our last group is Féminin pluriel.

Mlle Hébert : J'ai le plaisir ce soir de vous lire des extraits du mémoire préparée par Féminin pluriel, une coalition de femmes francophones qui vivent à Toronto.

Nous sommes fières de vivre en Ontario, province progressiste qui a donné le ton au reste du Canada en adoptant de nombreuses mesures novatrices dans bien des domaines, y compris les services sociaux, les services en français, la protection de l'environnement et l'équité salariale. En tant que femmes et que francophones, nous estimons que les progrès réalisés dans ces dossiers auront des répercussions positives non seulement sur notre vie quotidienne, mais aussi sur celle des générations à venir.

C'est donc avec grand plaisir que nous profitons de cette occasion pour transmettre aux femmes et aux hommes politiques nos pensées sur la question de la place de l'Ontario au sein de la Confédération.

C'est avec tristesse que nous entendons quotidiennement des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tous les coins du pays reprendre un discours qui, au lieu de favoriser l'entente entre provinces et entre groupes linguistiques, perpétue le climat de méfiance qui sévit actuellement. En effet, les expressions «Canada anglais» et «Canada français» entre autres, nient l'existence d'une importante minorité dans l'une et l'autre des régions désignées par ces étiquettes. Selon cette vision non seulement simpliste mais fausse, les deux groupes linguistiques officiels seraient séparés par des frontières provinciales. Cette attitude traduit un manque de respect, conscient ou non, envers les gouvernements provinciaux comme le nôtre qui ont reconnu officiellement les droits de leur population francophone.

Elle témoigne également un manque de respect envers ceux et celles qui réussissent à relever le défi de conserver leur identité culturelle en situation minoritaire.

En adoptant la Loi de 1986 sur les services en français, le gouvernement de l'Ontario a amorcé la reconnaissance officielle des droits des francophones. Nous estimons qu'il devrait concrétiser l'engagement qu'il a pris envers les francophones et soutenir le vouloir vivre des francophones au Canada. À cette fin, le gouvernement de cette province devrait donner le ton en amorçant publiquement et ouvertement les préparatifs pour instaurer le bilinguisme officiel.

Nous avons également quelques recommandations sur d'autres questions, notamment le système d'éducation en Ontario. Les recommandations sont contenues dans le document et nous vous invitons à les lire. Il n'est pas nécessaire de les lire en détail à ce moment.

Nous recommandons cependant que soit créé le plus rapidement possible un réseau d'enseignement exclusivement francophone dont les Franco-Ontariens auraient l'entière gestion.

Sur la question des services de garde, nous sommes particulièrement sensibles aux lacunes. Nous croyons que le gouvernement devrait adopter une politique en matière de garde d'enfants qui garantirait l'accès universel à des garderies publiques ou à un but non lucratif.

Nous croyons également que l'Ontario pourrait assumer un rôle de chef de file dans l'alphabétisation de ses citoyennes et de ses citoyens, notamment les francophones qui représentent une forte proportion des analphabètes fonctionnels de cette province.

Bien que l'Ontario soit effectivement la plus riche des provinces canadiennes, elle souffre, comme ses soeurs, de coupures budgétaires pratiquées par le gouvernement fédéral. Or, c'est justement en sa qualité de province privilégiée que l'Ontario doit prendre toutes les mesures possibles pour combattre ces mesures draconiennes et empêcher le gouvernement fédéral de sabrer dans les services gérés par les provinces. Nous devons prendre les mesures nécessaires pour garantir un revenu minimum à tous et assurer que les soins de santé, les services sociaux et l'éducation n'accusent aucun recul.

Nous recommandons donc que le gouvernement ontarien donne le ton en faisant pression auprès du gouvernement fédéral pour que celui-ci maintienne son soutien financier aux soins de santé, aux services sociaux et à l'éducation.

Le Vice-Président : Je vous remercie beaucoup. That concludes our hearings for this evening from Toronto. We would like to thank everybody for their presentations and we will be back into regular sittings again tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock sharp. Until tomorrow morning.

The committee adjourned at 2258.