Friday 1 March 1991

Committee room 1

Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples

Ontario Federation of South Asian Students, Ontario council of Sikhs

Yuriy Weretelnyk

First People's Cultural and Recreational Centre in Scarborough, Non-Profit Inc

Bruce MacMillan

Labour Council of Metropolitan Toronto and York Region

Senior Student Study Group, Upper Canada College

Chief R.K (Joe) Miskokomon

Matthew Furgiuele

David Conrad

Native Council of Canada

United Indian Councils of the Mississauga and Chippewa Nations

Association des femmes d'affaires du Québec

Canadian Pensioners Concerned

Afternoon sitting

David Baker

Islamic Co-ordinating Council, Toronto

Committee on the Future of Canada

Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario

Peel Multicultural Council

Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association

Steven Kerzuer

Chris Villinger

Ken Kafien

John Copping

Association of Ontario Health Centres

D.K Campbell



Chair: Silipo. Tony (Dovercourt NDP)

Acting Chair: Churley, Marilyn (Riverdale NDP)

Vice-Chair: Bisson. Gilles (Cochrane South NDP)

Beer, Charles (York North L)

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)


Wilson, Gary (Kingston and The Islands NDP) for Ms Harrington

Clerks pro tem:

Carozza, Franco

Deller, Deborah

Freedman, Lisa


Kaye, Philip, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office

Drummond, Alison, Research Officer, Legislative Research Office

The committee, in part, met at 0919 in committee room 1.

The Vice-Chair: Good morning, everybody. Welcome back for the last day of the first part of our hearings. We are live from Toronto. So people out in the audience understand what is happening, we have again today split the committee into two parts. There is a committee up in the Amethyst Room and we are over here. Every hour, for people watching on television, we will be switching live from one committee to the other and we will be replaying in their entirety the whole proceedings probably on Monday or Tuesday.


The Vice-Chair: With that, I would like to start off and call the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples, if you would come forward, please.

We will be doing groups and a mix of individuals today. So that the presenters know, groups are 15 minutes, individuals are five. I will give you a bit of a warning at the end so that there is time for questions or something. We would also ask you to read your name into the record.

Mr Mason: My name is Jay Mason, president of the Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples. I was born in Toronto. I am Mohawk and Anishnabai. My mother is from Six Nations. My dad is from Rice Lake out near Alderville.

I would like to thank everyone for asking me here, to come and have the chance to do this. It is the first time I have been here and I have not been outside at the peace vigil or anything we had all summer, so maybe things are getting better. We are here in a different light now.

CASNP is an educational organization. Our main concern is working with native people and non-native people as an alliance in educating non-native people as to who the native people in Canada are, what are our issues are, what our stand is, what we need in terms of our struggle to be recognized as a sovereign, self-governing people and towards our land rights. So we do a lot of work in schools. We publish publications. We put out one that we have got in a lot of schools now called "All My Relations" which is a resource teaching list. Another thing we have put out is called the "Resource Reading List," which gives a critique of various textbooks and various books out there on native peoples and tells whether they are racist, whether they are stereotypical. whether they are written by native people or non-native people, whether they are objective, informative, this sort of thing. So this is the work CASNP is involved in as well as in -- how would we put it? -- emergency response organizing. When the situation in Quebec happened last summer, we were in a position of: What was going to be done? How are we going to make sure no one gets hurt? So we had to be ready and able to start organizing things. This is how the peace vigil that was out here started up. There were various rallies and marches, educational campaigns, press conferences, press releases.

The direction for CASNP comes from native people. The Canadian Alliance in Solidarity with Native Peoples feels it takes direction from native peoples because they are the ones who know what their struggle is and what is needed in terms of how they go about things.

CASNP is a non-profit, charitable organization, but we do not take any government funding. The reason for that was, when CASNP first started it was known as the Indian Eskimo Association in 1960. At that time it was basically the only political lobbying arm native people had in order to work towards what they needed, their issues, whatever, and then when the other organizations started up with CASNP's help, such as the Union of Ontario Indians and the National Indian Brotherhood, CASNP decided it did not need that funding any longer because it might be competing with the native groups themselves that needed it. We have still maintained that line where we do not do that, but we try to keep on with our work. We try to fill the gaps where the other organizations cannot do something or where they cannot fit in.

Some of the things we are looking at as native people are not only the education of non-native people, who we are and what the contributions of native people are, but also educating our own people into being able to better compete with the overall society or to fit in and find our place in terms of education, business, health fields, etc. A lot of people do not realize that three quarters of the world's vegetables came from native people. We found out this summer.

A lot of people came up to us with the crisis in Oka and said, "Well, would you tell me one thing that Indian people have done for this country?" With a little bit of research you find out that three quarters of the world's vegetables came from Indian people, including the Jerusalem artichoke and the Irish potato -- over 79 varieties of Irish potato. Peanuts, popcorn, chewing gum, watermelons, tomatoes, peppers and chili, all the varieties of corn, and every kind of bean in the world except horsebean and soybean came from native people. Over 300 medicines listed in a pharmacopoeia are related directly to native people. There is even evidence to show that we were instrumental in influencing the government practices and structures we live under today.

So when people ask me, "You tell me one thing that native people did for this country," I have to reflect that they have had a very serious lack in their own education. Growing up in Toronto myself -- I was born here -- I know in the educational system they did not teach me very much about myself.

Basically, what I remember learning was that Indians were savages, that we martyred the poor Jesuit missionaries and, oh, yes, that we gave corn and turkeys and stuff like that. That is a very serious lack in education, so we find it carries over to our own people as well. We have to educate them too to give that feeling of self-worth, that feeling of justification as to who we are, so we would start feeling better about ourselves.

We also have to deal with our native languages. As native people we look and we see there is always this question in Canada over what is the official language of Canada, so we have bilingualism, French and English. We should be saying, "Well, you all should be learning a native language," because this is native land, this is native territory. We did not bring our language from someplace else in Europe or Asia to this country and want to preserve it. Our language was here. The government issued a report a couple of years ago and said that out of 55 native languages in Canada, only three have a chance of surviving the next generation.

One of the concessions we have been able to get is that they allow us to teach native languages. We can learn the Ojibway language or the Mohawk language in schools now, but we are allowed to learn them only as a second language. We have to state that it is not our second language. This is one of the first languages of this country and there should be some attempt made for this to be recognized in the Constitution as well as French and English, that native languages as well play a viable part. You just have to look at your own words to understand that. There are a lot of native languages in there: tomato, tuxedo, toboggan, just to name three. Then there are all of our place names: Ontario, that comes from an Iroquois word, skenadadio, which means beautiful lake or nice lakes; Toronto, of course, everybody knows is an Indian word for meeting place.

We have to start looking at that because we have Brian Mulroney and he is apologizing to the Japanese, he is apologizing to the Italians, he wants to apologize to other people, but we have been faced with genocidal policies. We come to realize that boarding schools did not close down until the 1980s and we know the genocidal practices that happened there. As Indian people, we have all had our parents and our grandparents and our uncles and aunties tell us about being beaten for speaking their native language.

I call this a genocidal practice, because the Geneva Convention on genocide from 1946 says that depriving a group of its culture, heritage, religion and language is genocide, that removing children from one group of people to another is genocide, and yet we do not see anything on the part of Mulroney to apologize to us for these practices or to really help us develop a way to rectify them and start coming back into our own ways to preserve who we are as a people.

Like I said, it is not so much multiculturalism, that we brought our culture from someplace else and we want to hang on to part of it. Our culture came from here; it should also be part of the culture of Canada and it should be part of the culture of North America. So this is the respect that has to be given to it.

This is what CASNP works on as well and like I said, our direction comes from native people. What we are trying to do with CASNP now is to increase our membership in order that the non-native people can take an active role in supporting us, where we can say we are going to be supporting the party that recognizes native land rights, that recognizes native self-government, that recognizes native language rights. Hopefully we can swing some things that way towards a better understanding, a better living arrangement for native people.

I had a chance briefly to look at the pamphlet here and even the statistics that figure in here, I remember from the 1960s, really have not changed that much for us. We still have high rates of suicide, high rates of alcoholism and drug addiction, high rates of high school dropouts and a lot of it can be attributed directly to these policies that have been committed against Indian people. We have been asked why we do not try to assimilate better, and the only thing I can come up with is, how can Canada expect us to be wholesale victims of the Stockholm syndrome and want to be part of something which has excluded us right up until the 1960s and into the 1970s?

These are the things the government has to look at. How are they going to change this? How are they going to help us to change it? As native people we know what we need to develop. We just might lack the expertise and we might lack the legislation in order to enact it.

I think I have run out of wind now, if you have any questions. I do not write speeches. They asked me to bring a document. I am not very good at writing things down, but I did bring a copy of a talk I gave someplace else which deals with a lot of these things that I can leave with you.


The Vice-Chair: One of the things we see as committee is that a lot of people who come before us and speak from the heart often give very good presentations, so you have no apologies to make. Are there any questions?

Mr Winninger: Yes. We love to hear from delegations like you and occasionally we even have time to ask a question, so I am going to take full advantage of it. I think you make the point very well that native people in the past have lost control over their own destinies and their own lives, and that may be why we have seen endemic drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, violence, suicide rates that are far higher than in the non-native population.

Part of dealing with these problems is gaining a measure of control over your own lives and that would be through self-government, I guess, self-determination, settling land claims and improving the quality of your lives.

I would like you to know that over the course of our hearings across the province there has been tremendous support for native people and that may demonstrate a dramatic turnaround from the situation even a few years ago. Certainly this government, since its inception, has committed itself to settling land claims on a fair and equitable basis, improving the quality of life for natives and at the same time moving towards self-government.

The important thing is that you as a native people determine your future to a large extent, and hopefully through mutual and co-operative arrangement we can all work towards that end.

Mr G. Wilson: I have to say you spoke not only from the heart, but from the head. It was very informative and moving. I want to ask you, though, in the course of your experience, how you can reach people. Mr Winninger mentioned the growing support for your plight, but what about people who are not that supportive? Have you ways of reaching them with your view of things?

Mr Mason: Basically by shooting off my mouth and appealing to their lack of knowledge because, like I said, what I have seen is that people's ignorance is basically out of a lack of knowledge over who we are as native people, the things we have done and how we have come to the state we are in.

One of the things that is really important to us is land rights. Land rights for native people, for us, has to be a non-negotiable conflict, which is any conflict which stands in the way of meaningful growth in life, because the very essence of who we are as a cultural group and entity as a distinct society is inherent in that use of, that relationship to and with the land. That part is very instrumental in who we are as people, so that part is non-negotiable.

The other part we have to look at is socioeconomic development, where we have to be able to start becoming self-sufficient people. I know people have asked me, "Why don't we see more Indian people, more native people with their own businesses?" And basically I have to tell them, "We've only had about 25 years to play catch-up." Opportunities did not really open up for us in terms of business and private ownership until 1965, the 1960s. So that is not very much time for us to develop that expertise and that resource bank of uncles and grandpas who know how to educate us. This is the part we are lacking and what we have to work towards more.

Mr Harnick: Sir, this may not be within your area of expertise, but one of the things that concerns me and that we have not heard a great deal about, having spoken to many native leaders, is the problem of natives living in urban centres, the difficulty that people are having, the fact that nobody is there. There are no agencies. There is no help. What should we be doing better? What would be the role of government in helping native peoples who are off reserves in urban areas?

Mr Mason: I would say there are 40,000 to 50,000 Indians living here in Toronto. I remember growing up in Toronto. Like I said, I was born here in 1952, which was before they passed Indian citizenship for us, so when I grew up here I thought we were the only Indians in the world. But we do have native centres. We do have council fire, but there has to be more funding into viable, positive programs.

Myself, like I say, my concern is education. I would like to see better educational opportunities out there. I would like to see a good native adult education program which would prepare people for their high school diploma, and that is just a start.

Once you start with that in a positive way that native people can relate to, education geared towards their culture, then we will start seeing things pick up a little bit. We will start seeing people pick themselves up. Some of the social problems that Mr Winninger talked about, I see not so much as native social problems as symptoms of an unhappy people.

I often feel that natives who are in urban areas are forgotten, almost to the point even by other natives, in addition to governments. We are a very invisible minority here.

Mr Harnick: To governments. Quite so, a difficult problem.

Mr Mason: This is what I can see, that if we start those educational programs and develop programs that are not only going to be educational but lead to development or employment development, these will be other things that will help people feel good about themselves, even if it is just education to where they can go back home and then take a responsible position in their community. It is a lack of responsibility for our communities, for our lives, that drives people down like that. The worst thing you can do to a human being is to make him feel useless, and this is what we are trying to combat. We are trying to feel useful again.


The Vice-Chair: We would like to next call the Ontario Council of Sikhs, Gurpreet Singh Malhotra and Manohar Singh Bal.

Again, we would remind people, when they do come to present, to make sure that they give their names so that we are able to get it into our records.

Mr Malhotra: Good morning. My name is Gurpreet Singh Malhotra and I am representing the Ontario Federation of South Asian Students. At my side is Manohar Singh Bal, who is representing the Ontario Council of Sikhs. He will be helping me field questions. Hopefully we will have some time as we move through this.

I am going to read our presentation to you and hopefully, as I said, we will have some questions.

We thank you for this opportunity to be heard. We are here this morning as representatives of the Ontario Council of Sikhs and the Ontario Federation of South Asian Students. We share a great concern for the wellbeing of this fine province and for the continued growth and prosperity of this great nation.

We have watched deliberations on television over the past few days and have witnessed statements reflecting racism, sexism and narrow-mindedness of all kinds. However, among the xenophobia, we, and I am sure you, have been heartened by the positive and constructive suggestions of some of our fellow Canadians. We are here today to perhaps enlighten you to some of the problems faced by members of our society as well as to shed more light on some of the solutions.

The following are some of the values we believe are essential to the Canadian way of life.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom and democracy for all in Canada. The "notwithstanding" clause was used once by Quebec and should never be used again. The rights of all individuals, no matter where one lives, must be protected. The Supreme Court should be supreme and no province should have the right to veto or overturn its decisions.

Our national goals and standards must be universal. We are not against giving some special powers to Quebec provided those rights do not infringe on the rights of others. We are also of the opinion that if the federal government negotiates any special deals with Quebec, all the provinces should have the same right to negotiate providing they choose to do so.


Meech Lake failed partially due to the federal government's use of pressure-cooker tactics to deal with important constitutional issues. The government tried to isolate the public from the most important aspect of a democracy. The scars left by the death of Meech Lake will not fade away easily, and what we need is a smooth and understanding process to rebuild. Legislative committees and the Spicer commission will help to some degree, but we will probably have to go to a second or third round of consultative meetings to earn the trust and respect of the people.

Of major concern to us is the growing rift between the people of this country and their elected officials. Specifically, institutions such as the Senate have proven their ineffectiveness and are seen as a waste of taxpayers' money. We propose that a cornerstone of the aim to revitalize the political faith of society would be a properly reformed Senate. The traditions of this institution can largely be left intact. However, we would recommend that Senate reform properly reflect the various regions of this country.

Basing our suggestion on the writings of Tom Kent of the Institute for Research on Public Policy, we believe that the Senate should be elected for terms not exceeding six to nine years and that the Senate should be based on constituencies. The division of the seats would perhaps be as follows: the Atlantic provinces would receive 25 seats, as would both Ontario and Quebec; the prairie provinces, 25 seats, and British Columbia and the northern territories another 25 seats, for a total of 125.

As one can see, this would create a balance across the country for our house of sober second thought. This is but one way that this country can move to mend the rifts that are growing from a strong sense of underrepresentation and misrepresentation.

Another barrier to creating a strong sense of national identity is the interprovincial trade barriers. We find it absurd that a nation can agree to a form of free trade with a dominant neighbour while leaving in place various forms of trade barriers between its own provinces. Ontario must lead in creating a better climate for the free and fair exchange of goods and services among provinces here in Canada.

One of the questions raised in the discussion paper is, "How do we achieve justice for Canada's aboriginal peoples?" It is a national disgrace and hypocritical on the part of the provincial government that such an issue has been left unresolved.

Who does not know what the aboriginal people want?

We certainly have an idea. They want their rights. They want justice. They want existing land treaties to be honoured. They want to keep their culture and heritage alive. They want land claims to be settled. They want an honest and open dialogue with the provincial and federal governments. They want recognition as the first nations in the Constitution of this country. They want a real commitment and a concrete plan of action to settle all outstanding issues. But the bureaucracy created by the invading white man of years ago will not let them have anything, and they are told time and time again that the process to settle land claims is necessarily slow.

We ask, why? If this committee can be given the mandate to finish its work by a certain date, why cannot some other kind of committee or commission address all the concerns of the aboriginal people by some specific date and develop a set timetable to implement its recommendations? Almost everybody in the government will argue that this is not possible, but the real reason is that there is no political will to give justice to the first nations.

We recommend that the government of Ontario, in co-operation with the first nations, form an advisory committee and that this committee list all the outstanding grievances of the aboriginal peoples and fix a timetable to resolve all the outstanding issues.

Relevant to the issue of achieving justice for the aboriginal people is achieving justice for visible minorities.

My late father left the United Kingdom and moved his young family to this young country so that we could have a better life, a life with finer opportunities, a chance to grow with the growing and learn with the learning. Leaving my specific case aside, when one examines the experiences of new Canadians one finds many of the flaws that mar this society.

While it is understood that anglophones in Quebec rightfully feel persecuted by Quebec's unfair language laws and that francophones in the rest of Canada feel mistreated, we feel it is very necessary to point out to this committee and to the general public the injustices inflicted upon all visible minorities, which are comparatively much greater.

For example, children in the early grades of elementary school, when shown pictures of people of different racial backgrounds and asked to point out the Canadians, have often chosen exclusively white-skinned, light-haired people as those being representative of "real Canadians." This indicates the level to which racist and wholly negative stereotypes are allowed to permeate our society.

New Canadians with accredited qualifications have found themselves overlooked by employers without explanation. As is made newsworthy from time to time, many private employment agencies take it as a matter of procedure to racially define applicants and systematically deny them job opportunities. And established immigrants who marry spouses from their country of origin normally face an unexplained, bureaucratically nightmarish wait of at least 12 to 18 months for their legal spouses to receive permission to join their mates here in Canada.

While bearing these and many other difficulties, these newcomers to our country are expected to establish themselves, adapt to the culture shock, raise their families, pay their taxes, and bear the scorn of the vocal bigot, the inequitable government institution and the apathy of Canadians at large.

Racism and systemic discrimination are major problems facing this province and its people. Minorities are denied equal opportunities in this province. They are systematically pushed into the corner by every sector of society. How many visible minorities do you see in the power structure of this province? How many visible minorities do you see in its senior civil service? This province and in fact this country are largely run by white Anglo-Saxons and they systematically keep others out of the power structures. One will find discrimination at every level of government, including the political party structure.

How are we to address this problem of discrimination and racism?

We recommend that the provincial government set up a task force to study the problem of racism in the province. The terms of reference of the task force should be broad enough to cover all areas such as the civil service, government-appointed bodies, the Premier's Council and every other area which affects public life. Before setting up such a task force, government should make a commitment to implement the recommendations by a set timetable.

We are of the opinion that if we do not tackle this issue today, a few years down the road we will be asked by some other commission to address the intractable problem of how we achieve justice for Canada's and Ontario's minorities.

In closing, we would like to remark on the process we are a part of today. To a certain degree, Canada's and Ontario's introspective hearings and debates signal a strength of character that conveys a genuine desire to improve as a society. However, the present degree of hesitation and immobility are proving to be destructive in both an economic and emotional sense. We of the Ontario Council of Sikhs and the Ontario Federation of South Asian Students pledge to our fellow citizens of this fine province and great nation that we will do all we possibly can to make this country, our country, prosperous, strong and free.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, sir. Just to clarify one point that you made in your presentation, you alluded to the point that the "notwithstanding" clause was only utilized one time in Canada, by the province of Quebec. Just for the record, the "notwithstanding" clause was actually brought into the Constitution by the western provinces. There was a concern that the western provinces had with regard to final decisions being made in the courts. The "notwithstanding" clause has been used by other provinces, namely, Saskatchewan; it has also been used before. There was a question.

Mr Malhotra: I stand corrected. But to speak to that, it was sort of seen, I believe, as a matter of constitutional convention that it was essentially, if you will, a panic button or something that was not supposed to become part of the daily life of a provincial Legislature's activities.

The Vice-Chair: It still is not. Just so people understand, the way the "notwithstanding" clause runs is that basically it is not part of any law in Quebec or anything at this point.


Mr Winninger: Just while we are speaking of the charter, I guess you know that section 15 of the charter prohibits discrimination, as does the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the human rights codes of other provinces are comparable.

I am wondering if you have any thoughts on how the language or the content of those sections might be tightened up to address some of the problems that you have indicated a task force should be struck to deal with.

Mr Malhotra: It is fine as far as the written word would go. The difficulties occur in the implementation. It moves through several layers of bureaucracy and program development and policy analysis before it filters down to actually fixing a problem or perhaps being called upon to fix one. We think that the difficulty lies not in the actual phrasing but in the process by which the phrasing is, if you will, implemented.

No one can deny the level of racism within the province and within the municipalities, etc, and the charter still stands. It is just that the charter does not have the scope to tackle the individual problems. It is the spirit of those words which has to be truly implemented by the bureaucracy, by large corporations, by society as a whole before the problem can at least move towards eradication.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you. Are there any other questions?

Mr G. Wilson: I was wondering whether in just a short way you could say what you think are the roots of racism and how they can be eradicated.

Mr Malhotra: Well, as has been probably pointed out many times before, the root is a sense of ignorance, it is a lack of knowledge as to what is entailed by a certain culture.

An example that comes to mind is the turban issue as seen through the RCMP, the Mounties: the changing of the uniform to accommodate an article of faith. Essentially, when society took it as normal that women become part of the Mountie, the uniform was drastically changed, of course, to accommodate them, but there was no outcry to that effect. What happened with the turban issue is that there was a great outcry, there was a great amount of negative feeling that came from the western provinces as well as local populations.

I strongly believe that stems from a lack of knowledge who Sikhs are, what cultures South Asians, in general, bring, what differences they have and how they are non-threatening. But when one is not knowledgeable of them, I guess a sense of xenophobia takes over and they become worried that they are losing control or something. Essentially, the key would be enlightenment and education, something that everyone would always hope for.

The Vice-Chair: Again, for those who just joined us, we are live from Toronto this morning. The committee is, you will find out a little bit later, divided into two parts. Basically, on the hour, we will be switching live from one committee to the other. The whole proceedings will be retelevised over the parliamentary channel Monday and Tuesday of next week.

Also, groups this morning are going to be doing 15-minute presentations, and if time allows, we will be asking committee members to participate in questions. There are some individuals whom we are about to start calling and we are asking individuals to try to limit their presentations to about five minutes. We have a lot of presenters and we would like to be able to get through all of them today if possible.


The Vice-Chair: With that, we would like to call Yuriy Weretelnyk.

Mr Weretelnyk: Fellow Canadians. All too often in the course of Canadian history, unity has been used both as a signal and justification for policies of intolerance, hatred, oppression and outright genocide. All too often, emotional appeals for national unity have been espoused by those who would deny, refuse, exclude, draw the line, coerce, exploit and dominate.

For over a century, the dominant social dogma which delineated the development of interethnic relations in Canada was Anglo conformity. This policy of social Darwinism assumed that the English people, culture and civilization were the repositories of all the best virtues in terms of morality, political institutions and culture. Therefore, it was to be the mission of the Canadian political and economic institutions to civilize the "great unwashed" masses entering Canada by the end of the 19th century, to make them like us.

The resulting regimentation of Canadian society was all-pervasive, and its legacy continues to this day. It manifested itself in all spheres of public life and has had long-lasting repercussions on countless individuals and groups.

Ontario, for example, found it necessary in 1912 to issue regulation 17 which severely restricted French Canadian educational rights. In the Prairies at the height of the frenzy during the First World War, Ukrainian-English bilingual schools were forcibly shut down and the use of the Ukrainian language was not even tolerated during recess, for which they were severely punished.

But perhaps nowhere were the excesses of a zealous policy of Anglo conformity more pronounced than in the case of Indian residential schools. Not only were native Canadian children subjected to all of the same outrages as their non-native and non-English counterparts, but they were also uprooted from their families, clans and communities, forcibly torn away from the sources of their spirituality, cultures and languages, all in order to satisfy the desire of the dominant Anglo-Canadian ethnic group and put into force by the federal government to "make them like us." Only now is Canadian consciousness beginning to realize the full dimension of the unimaginable horrors and incredible brutalities of the cultural genocide which our country inflicted on many of its least powerful members.

This pursuit of national unity through the policy of anglo conformity also manifested itself by depriving all sectors of Canadian society solely on the basis of national origin. In this regard, we have two notable examples: the internment in concentration camps of thousands of Ukrainian Canadians during the First World War and of thousands of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.

Let us now take a snapshot look at the state of unity in present-day Canada by posing several pertinent questions. What sort of unity can there be between the many native children languishing on impoverished reserves and in the process seeking escape in drugs, alcohol and tragically all too often the final solution, suicide, and the pampered kids of privileged families for whom hunger and want are only words in a dictionary? What sort of unity can there be between the feminists who strive for genuine equality for women and the moral paragons of patriarchal virtues who countenance women to maintain their traditional roles? What sort of unity can there be between those who support the use of Canadian armed forces against native Canadians and those who firmly believe that the genocidal injustices suffered by the aboriginal peoples must be addressed immediately?

Let us now begin to demythologize some of the concepts which underlie the principle of unity and which serve as undefined platitudes which are meant to be to the glue that holds the society together. Is not the concept of the two founding nations one of the most pernicious of all mythologies employed to justify existing power relationships? How is it to be accepted by the 35% of Canadians who are left out in the cold, except as totally unacceptable and profoundly offensive? Is it not the very zenith of obscenity to claim there is social justice in Canada when there are families who count their assets in the billions of dollars while a single mother of three makes a futile attempt to raise her family on $12,000 a year? Is it not the apex of cynicism and hypocrisy to claim that a worker earning $25,000 a year and exercising his democratic right to vote roughly every four years enjoys the same social, political and economic rights as a captain of the corporate world who makes deals with top politicians and bureaucrats in the luxurious surroundings of exclusive clubs? What kind of equality of opportunity exists between the scion of a corporate élite family attending Upper Canada College and groomed since infancy to assume his rightful place in the rarified atmosphere of the penthouses of power, and the daughter of a single black mother on welfare who is forced to suffer the indignities of relying on overburdened food banks for help?

The year 1991 marks the centennial of large-scale immigration of Ukrainians to Canada. Politicians of all levels will offer the usual platitudes stressing the contributions that Ukrainians have made and how well they have integrated in the socioeconomic situation. However, the real story in Canada, which will only be heard at some university conferences, is not pretty. Those significant advances achieved by Ukrainian Canadians over the course of the past century have occurred only at terrible costs: internment in concentration camps, barbaric shutdown of their bilingual schools, public burnings of Ukrainian-language textbooks, having to change their names in order to escape the worst cases of discrimination and finally massive assimilation into Anglo-Ukrainian culture.

[Remarks in Ukrainian]

Maintenant, quelques mots en ce qui concerne le Québec et le peuple du Québec. C'est exclusivement à eux de décider leur avenir. C'est à nous de nous engager dans un débat avec eux, mais seulement comme frères et s_urs, pas comme adversaires ou même comme ennemis.

Il faut réfléchir sur une vérité très importante : indépendamment du choix définitif des Québécois, ils resteront pour nous toujours frères et soeurs, plus proches que nos cousins américains. Ceci doit être le point de départ pour tous les débats.

En même temps, on doit exiger la protection de tous les droits humains, civils, linguistiques et culturels de toutes les minorités ethnoculturelles du Québec qui se trouvent face à une politique de franco-conformité.


Let us not primitivize our political culture by facile oversimplification and obfuscation of complex social realities. Mythologies surrounding fundamental principles of our society must be deconstructed through a process of complete openness, with a view towards a restructuring of the social contract on the basis of genuine social justice. There must be no sacred cows. All principles and assumptions which supposedly glue our society together must be subjected to a microscopic public analysis and in the process be demythologized.

We are faced with a vision of two Canadas. There is a choice to be made. On the one hand, there is the Canada of those who continue to rely on traditional patriarchal power to maintain their own privileged economic position, ethnic primacy and gender superiority. On the other hand, there is the Canada of those who genuinely uphold the equality and dignity of both individuals and groups and wish to bring about real opportunity for the fullest self-determination and self-realization of both individuals and groups. This Canada upholds human rights, including the full equality of women. It believes in genuine participatory democracy. It supports the legitimacy of the view that public policy must enable the cultivation and development of all Canadian languages and cultures. It upholds the right of each individual Canadian to live without hunger and abject poverty.

If Canada continues to proceed along the path of the first vision, "unity" will mean continued patriarchal domination by some males belonging mostly to one ethnic group, "social justice" will continue to be a farce, "equality of opportunity" will remain a tragicomedy and "equality of democratic rights" will continue to be nothing more than pathetic hypocrisy and cynicism.

Conversely, if we opt to painstakingly build real unity upon the recognition, understanding and respect for the principle of diversity within the overriding concept of social justice, then perhaps the 21st century, although 100 years too late, may yet belong to Canada.

[Remarks in Ukrainian]

Merci; thank you.


The Vice-Chair: We would next like to call Obert Puck.

Mr Puck: My name is Obert Puck. I am chairperson of the First People's Cultural and Recreational Centre of Scarborough, Non-Profit Inc. I am pleased to announce we have recently received word from the Ministry of Citizenship and the Ministry of Culture and Communications that we have received the outstanding achievement award for 1991 for community and cultural development for native Metis peoples in Scarborough, so the urban people are not forgotten.

At this point in time I would like to acknowledge and support the select committee presentations of Harry Laforme, Martin Drover, Vern Christmas, Jay Mason; in principle the Ontario Métis and Aboriginal Association representation regarding the precedent case of John Sparrow; and restate that enactments of sections 32 and 35 should occur without further delay, and not to forget, full implementation of the federal green plan.

It is said of aboriginal Metis people that we are symbolists, intuitionists and philosophers, yet as a dear brother reminded me, the Greeks invented nature. Levi-Strauss, a French ethnologist-anthropologist made an interesting analogy of the practice of mind of aboriginal people, comparing us to the "handyman," a sort of tan man from Glad, in the French idiom, a "bricoleur," the art of the bricoleur, bricolage. It is the ability and skill to work inventively with that which is at hand or in ready access of our minds in order to solve problems that happen to arise, devising concepts and comparisons because they satisfy cognitive constraints, creating that which is good to think with.

In a commentary to the National Research Council's acting committee on instructional technology, the post-Meech industrial state is leaking at the seams such effluent that the planet, our mother, and her children cannot find sustenance or hope. Where is the market?

Institutions may buy art but cannot yet produce art that is good for living. Art is more than decorative representational perceptions with an appraised value, shadows on the walls of institutionalized caves. There is a severe dislocation, a non-joining of nature and culture that is not art but something else.

Yes, dominant cultures want our vibrant Mide/Wakan art at the expense of our identity, our populations and our geographical locations. Will we next see proximate the peace garden in Nathan Phillips Square a monument to the Handyman No More; co-creational and curious, forms forming forms for living art?

Each of us is principled within a community of health and abundance. Each of us has the ability to interact with our cultures and dignities intact within the epigenetic landscape of our mother environment. That we in concert are able joyfully and successfully to relieve the heavy burdens we have placed upon our mother makes us full participants in the great mystery of creation.

The destiny of aboriginal-Metis peoples everywhere has been marginalized from top to bottom by imbalanced relationships conditioned by impatience and intolerance. Lives are demoralized by enforced and limited horizons. It was understood when the first treaties were enacted that they would be conscious agreements between aware participants, permitting a mutual and collective effort to uphold the sanctity and the value of the amenities of this place we call Turtle Island, our cherished ancestral homeland, to grow in compassion and generosity by sharing openly our mutual and varied ways, benefiting all.

Architecture and design engineering are among the products of man's attempts to find solutions to problems bound by sets of constraints. Functional, material, structural, fabricational and cultural aspects all provide limits within which factors a designer-engineer must work. Ordering constraints, parameters and aspects, applying them to a coherent structure for processing and control are in themselves design. Identifying the one particular aspect of a problem which may be stressed to the exclusion of almost all others becomes the prime design parameter limiting both the solution and its system of derivation. To establish an ideal monomaterial forces extreme creativity in design-fabrication; therefore, all subsequent constraints are filtered through the ideal monomaterial.

What would you guess is the prime design parameter given the historical temperament of Canada? Compassion is what I would suggest but I will leave you for a moment with a question, what might the ideal monomaterial be? What is Canada, Ontario, Confederation?

Canada is a most sacred trust. It is now evident we must all together set a pace to fulfil the wonderment of that which awaits us with confidence and earned pride in doing the duty one was originally charged with and that sustains the generations. We are all capable of compassion. Without doubt we will know the Rainbow Trail and the Sweetgrass way.

My hint for the monomaterial is "sentience." All too often the laws that have been inaugurated have omitted the sentience of my people; time, we are sentient.

I wish to close with the words of Don Crawford, Secretary, FPCRCS, his rendition of captain Darnluck Pickhard, "Make it go number 1!" That concludes my presentation. Meegwetch.

The Vice-Chair: Meegwetch.

Mr Puck: So I have left room for more people, eh?

The Vice-Chair: Very good, you kept within your time limits.

Mr Puck: If you have any questions, I will answer some.

The Vice-Chair: Unfortunately you went a little bit over.

Mr Puck: That is why I shortened my presentation.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.



The Vice-Chair: Next is Bruce MacMillan.

Mr MacMillan: I appreciate the opportunity to make a representation before you this morning. My name is Bruce MacMillan and I am here representing myself, not as a representative of other groups.

I would like to compliment the commission members and staff, particularly on handling some difficult situations last evening. I see your commission and that of other provincial commissions as a bit of a catharsis. Your commissioners are functioning as psychiatrists to the patients of Canada. There are a lot of frustrated Canadians out there, left frustrated after the process of Meech Lake and their inability to have some input into that process.

My brief this morning is six pages in length. Rather than read it to you, I prefer to kind of highlight a few points within it and then leave an opportunity at the end if indeed you have any questions.

The first page of my brief deals with my credentials, and I have a varied experience. I have been able to travel far and wide across Canada. I have worked for both national and international companies and have dealt extensively with Quebec, so I think I have a reasonable understanding of the Quebec mind and Quebec problems.

I would like to draw your attention to one paragraph, the second last paragraph on that page, which is kind of the crux of my argument. As concerned Canadians, we need to open a direct dialogue with the people of Quebec, both to acknowledge how Quebec has changed in the last 30 years as well as to educate Quebeckers how Canada has changed in the last 30 years.

The next couple of pages of my brief go on to talk about Canada as a nation of bitchers and complainers. I cite a prominent Canadian businessman who in the early 1980s said: "When I look at Canada today, there is nothing I see that is more painful to me than the continual fighting and bitching that is going on among and between just about every group in society. One can hardly pick up a paper these days without finding one group of Canadians at the throat of another -- Ottawa and the provinces, government and the business community, management and labour, teachers and school boards, doctors and health ministries. It is a continuous fight card in which it is difficult to find winners and easy to identify the loser -- Canada itself." This gentleman went on to lay the responsibility for this at the foot of the Trudeau government at the time.

I believe there are certain similarities, since in 1990 and 1991 we are very much in the same situation. We are still a nation of bitchers and complainers, and I draw to your attention that the author of those remarks was none other than Brian Mulroney when he was president of the Iron Ore Co of Canada.

The problem I would like to focus on this morning is twofold. First of all, Quebec does not realize that during the last 30 years, since the beginning of the Quiet Revolution, not only Quebec has changed but Canada has changed. The second point I would like to make is that we need a non-confrontational forum for dialogue about building a better Canada through a new federalism, and let me suggest some ideas and processes we might use to address these issues.

I heard last evening and have been reading in the newspaper that a lot of people have espoused the idea of constituent assemblies as a method of going about constitutional reform, and I think this forum, which takes the process of Constitution-making out of the political realm and puts it on neutral ground, is an excellent idea. I would like to see some national organization like the Conference Board of Canada, being an ideal type of organization, coordinate this type of activity. I would also like to see other organizations regionally across Canada like the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, the Hudson Institute of Canada in Montreal and perhaps an eastern Canadian research institute be included in this type of assembly.

My suggestions for dialogue between Quebec and Canada: A number of people have expressed this need for dialogue, and an example of an initiative that is being taken is that of the Scarborough East Federal Liberal Association, of which I am a member. Their executive is planning to twin with a suburban riding of Montreal with a view to having two exchange weekends in May or June of this year, where we would invite families from Quebec to come and be billeted in private homes here and we would arrange for a reciprocal visit back to the province of Quebec. We think, through communicating on a direct basis, family to family, that we have a better chance of breaking down the barriers between French and English Canada.

The other idea I would like to leave with you is a festival to celebrate our heritage. Many countries like Japan and Germany have a week-long festival each year. In Germany they have Octoberfest in the fall. In Japan it is held around the new year period of time. I think Canadians need an annual excuse to celebrate together, and I would like to propose we consider the period commencing with Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, 24 June, to Canada Day, 1 July, as an opportunity for dialogue, fun and celebration just as we have many multicultural celebrations around this time, and I think they could be incorporated in this kind of a celebration. I believe we need to find things to unite us, not to divide us.

Just to wrap up, I would like to point out there are a couple of other pages to my brief that I ask you to read at your leisure.

I would like to conclude with a story of two Canadian figure skaters. Lloyd Eisler and Isabelle Brasseur, one from Ontario, one from Quebec. I watched them last March in Halifax at the World Figure Skating Championships going into the finals in fourth place, with three pairs of Russians ahead of them. They skated the time of their lives and elevated themselves to the silver medal and second place. I believe these two are an example of what Canadians can accomplish if we work together, putting French and English together as well as all of the other cultural nationalities we have here, I believe we need to find more opportunities to function as a team and have a little bit less bitching and a little more constructive action towards building a better Canada.


The Vice-Chair: We would next like to call the Metropolitan Toronto labour council, and again, we would ask you to read your name into the record, please.

Ms Torney: My name is Linda Torney. I am the president of the Labour Council of Metro Toronto and York Region. I believe you have a copy of our brief. I think I am going to try to highlight a bit as I go through, but first of all, let me tell you I do not intend to give you one single suggestion about structure, because I am a great believer in attempting to define what the problem is before one starts to build a structure to correct it.

First of all, a little bit about who we are: The labour council has 180,000 union members in our geographic area. We come from over 400 union locals and over 40 affiliates. Our size has enabled us to run programs in labour adjustment, education, housing and social services and we have worked extensively in coalition with very many other groups within the Metro Toronto and York region area. For that reason I think we bring a reasonably broad perspective, on the basis of our membership, to these discussions.

We certainly do not intend to address all of the questions you have put forward in your discussion brief. We are going to address some that we think are particularly important to our membership and basically try to answer the first question, which is, what binds us as Canadians? We will also be speaking basically from an urban perspective because that is what we are.

As a large urban population, we think we Torontonians tend to define ourselves in comparison with other large urban centres and in particular with those in the United States. I think we have found pride in the fact that our city has been cleaner and safer than American cities. We have been proud of the diversity of our cultural heritage. We have supported heritage because we do not see ourselves as a "melting pot," which is the term often used to express US immigration policy.

We have rejected the "world-class city" phrase as applicable to Toronto, at least at this stage, not because we have no aspirations to be world class, but we want it only on our own terms, and if it means poverty, overcrowding and pollution, then it is not the kind of thing we want. If we can be a model for equality, health and adequate standards of living, then we are in favour of being a world-class city.

We have had a strong, diverse economic base and in the past this has enabled us to withstand downturns in the economy in a particular sector.

On a broader scale, I think Torontonians, like most Canadians, have prided themselves on their medical and social programs. They are not perfect, but they are based on universality and equal access, and we think these things are important to Canadians.

I think we have considered ourselves to be proud of our foreign policy, which we have seen as setting ourselves apart from our neighbours to the south. We have in fact been peacekeepers, not warmakers.

If these are common views that we in Toronto hold as Canadians, then I think the loss of confidence many people are expressing to us is quite understandable because, you see, we have seemed to define ourselves not so much by what we are but what we are not in comparison to the US. Federal government policies, rather than strengthening our sense of identity, have seriously weakened it with the level playing field concept, and we see ourselves becoming more and more like America. Economically, in Toronto we have lost 20,000 manufacturing jobs in the last year, and unlike the 1982 recession, these plants are not laying off; they are shutting down. The federal government's economic policy has included the free trade deal with the US, the dismantling of Via Rail, CBC cuts, the GST and now embraces a free trade deal with Mexico, which will no doubt cause more plants to shut down since they will be unable to compete. Not only have these policies devastated Canadian working people; I think they have seriously undermined our national unity.

Revitalizing the economy after this recession will be an enormous task and some of our members are wondering whether it will ever happen. Toronto currently has double the number of people on social assistance of a year ago. In the last month alone, 7,600 people were added to the welfare rolls, bringing the total to 117,000. Toronto has always been seen by Ottawa as healthy compared to the rest of the country, so Toronto residents qualify for only 27 weeks of UI benefits and require 20 weeks of work to qualify. In a city where workers have experienced two, three or even four layoffs, this is devastating.


Unlike many other areas of the country, we entered the recession in the middle of a housing crisis. The number of homeless has increased dramatically and there are increasing numbers of families using food banks. There is virtually no construction except for limited co-op and non-profit initiatives. I want to correct the figure you have in your brief of 75% construction trades out of work. I heard this week that for the labourers' union, 80% unemployment is now the correct figure. By the way, this was written before the federal budget -- you should know that -- or I might have put some more in here on this.

On the question of national unity, I think the lack of process is almost as important as the policy. Three times in the last year Canadians watched in horror while the federal government's behind-closed-doors methods shook our nation to its foundation, once during Meech, once when troops were sent against first nations people and finally when we went to war in the Gulf. I talked to many people about these issues, and regardless of the position they took on the issue itself, the lack of consultation and the secrecy surrounding the events were appalling to all concerned, regardless of how they looked at the content of the issue.

We think the political and economic conditions in which we find ourselves will make it very difficult to achieve national unity, but we do not think it is impossible. What we think it will take is a great deal of political will and the kind of thinking that puts the wellbeing of Canadian citizens at least as important as the interests of corporations.

Economically, we must give emphasis to labour adjustment and job creation, and we need to operate on a principle of full employment with adequate wages and benefits for workers. This means retraining must meet the needs of a changing economy and it must include basic skills, otherwise vast numbers of our population are going to be left on the fringes.

We have to include a strong manufacturing base and we have to have creative ideas for achieving this. We have been working very much on the potential of developing a green industry plan for Toronto's portlands. We think that is the kind of creative idea that can help us to recover after the recession, and I hope you will encourage other communities to begin developing creative ideas for retaining and attracting their own industry. We think if we can do what we want to do with the portlands, we can truly become a world-class city in a meaningful way.

I think, in terms of all of Canada, we must address the question of regional economic disparity. It has been a question for as long as I can recall and it is time the north, western Canada and the Maritimes were able to be treated as more than the hewers of wood and drawers of water they tended to be. I myself am a westerner. I come from BC. I grew up with the question of regional economic disparity. It is always still very interesting, when I go home to BC, to hear the perception of people from Ontario who are resident in BC. Actually, probably the only thing that unites English-speaking Canadians is a general hatred of Ontario in general and Toronto in particular.

In any new model for Canada, the rights of first nations people have to be a priority. For hundreds of years, native issues have been last on every government's agenda and it is time for them to take a higher level of priority. Without settlement of native land claims and recognition of first nations' right of self-determination, I believe no true unity can be achieved.

Our policies must address the rights of minorities. We need to remain committed to a country rich in cultural heritages. I think it makes us unique, and in Toronto, with our large immigrant population, it is particularly important.

We need to strengthen our social programs and health care. We fought long and hard for these programs. It is a major feature distinguishing us from the US. We see them being eroded and their loss might well be a final blow to our unity.

Presently, Canada can best be described as the 51st state of the United States, and we believe very strongly that we must regain control of our own economic, social and foreign policy if we are to remain Canada and direct our own future.

I would like to make just a few verbal comments. We have not addressed the issue of French Canada versus English Canada in our written brief and there is a reason for that: I think within the labour movement, as within much of the population in this province, we lack a great deal of understanding about French Canadian issues. All of the discussions have gone on in a vacuum. There has been no real education process, and quite frankly we do not feel qualified to comment on French Canadian issues beyond saying that from the labour movement's perspective we have always recognized Quebec's right of self-determination. What we do not know is the form that will take.

You might be interested to know we are taking our own steps to begin to educate our membership. At our Thursday general membership meeting of this labour council we have invited Monique Simard to come from Quebec to address us on these issues. We hope it will be the beginning of our learning process. Our labour council meetings are open meetings and certainly anybody on this committee who is interested in hearing what Monique has to say would be welcome to join us for that.

The Vice-Chair: We have time for a couple of questions.

Mr Winninger: You have identified lack of process as being as important as policy in destroying national unity. Ultimately, this committee will probably have to address the issue of process as well as substance when coming to terms with our future models for Confederation. I am just wondering whether you can amplify on your concerns with lack of process more so than what is described in your paper.

Ms Torney: Okay. I think the entire discussion around Meech Lake occurred by a small group of people truly not representing their constituencies very well, behind closed doors, in secrecy, and I would say that future discussions of Canadian unity must be done in an open, visible process. I do not think anything was more damaging than the fact that most of us did not know what was happening beyond what we saw in those final 24 hours, when most of us remained glued to our television sets wondering which government in which province was going to do what, or what the federal government was going to do next. It was like watching a horror show, and there had been no discussion.

The people I spoke to did not understand how the issue of first nations sovereignty fitted in with the question of Quebec self-determination. People were asking those questions and not getting answers. I think that remains the situation today. I believe, before any steps are taken, there has to be a massive education process with Canadians. Maybe the results of what you are doing here need to be collected and put forward in a meaningful way, so at least the people of Ontario can educate themselves through what you have learned through these committee hearings. But closed-door sessions cannot happen any more.

Mr Harnick: I had all these questions in mind that I was going to try to provoke you with until you added that last little bit about where you saw Quebec. I do not mean this in any disrespectful way, but I found that the individuals representing labour who have come to talk to us have focused upon policies of the federal government much more than they have focused upon areas they might be able to help us in in resolving the constitutional problems. One of the things you stated is that you found we were becoming more like Americans. Keeping that in mind, within your union or unions or labour councils, have you had discussions about what you feel Quebec should have, how that can be achieved and whether the labour council itself, as a representative of thousands in Metro, could live with the idea of giving Quebec certain rights or benefits that maybe were different from what other provinces could have?


Ms Torney: Those discussions are starting now. We have not educated ourselves on this issue either. I suppose what has happened, certainly from our labour council's point of view, is that we have waited for somebody else to educate us. Where is this definitive discussion of what Quebec really wants, if I can put it that way? That has not happened, so we are starting on that process.

At this point, I could not speak for my labour council because we do not have policy on it. We have had individual discussions around our executive board, for instance. I know all members of my executive board express a great deal of concern about the potential that Canada may split apart. This is not in our interests, we believe, and certainly most of the members of my executive board have individually expressed an ability to live with some differences. Those are not defined and I cannot say they express my membership yet because our process has not extended that far. But would we be willing to look at certain differences? Yes, we would. What they are I could not tell you yet.

Mr Harnick: You see, I was hopeful that at some stage some of the labour groups would come and tell us about the discussions they were having with their counterparts in Quebec, what the level of tolerance would be between the groups, what kinds of frictions you were having, what kind of consensus you were having. Unfortunately, and again, I do not mean this with any disrespect, the labour groups that have come before us have dominated their time federal-bashing, as opposed to looking for areas that would be helpful in a constitutional sense.

Ms Torney: I have addressed the question of where we sit in our own understanding of the issue. Even a week from now we might have been in a better position to address that specific question. But can I just say that I think even if the issue of Quebec and English Canada is solved wonderfully well to the satisfaction of all parties, the other issues must be addressed. What I was trying to focus on are the issues we do know something about. When one talks about Canadian unity, those other issues must be addressed as well or we will not have true Canadian unity.

Mr Harnick: Look, I do not disagree with that. There is one thing I could ask you on behalf of the committee, if you will permit me, Mr Chairman.

The Vice-Chair: We are running over; very quickly.

Mr Harnick: You indicated you were going to be having a meeting with your counterparts from Quebec. It would help this committee if you could provide us with some report about that meeting, about the issues that seem to be the ones we are going to have to focus on, whether there are any possible solutions or any compromise areas or areas of consensus If that does occur, to have that information would be very important to this committee, because quite frankly, we are without that information.

Ms Torney: Yes. We would be pleased to provide it.

The Vice-Chair: One very quick question from Mr Wilson and that will be it.

Mr G. Wilson: It is a real privilege to welcome you here, Ms Torney. As what level do you stand in organized labour?

Ms Torney: President of the Labour Council of Metropolitan Toronto and York Region.

Mr G. Wilson: What does that represent in the membership?

Ms Torney: It is 180,000.

Mr G. Wilson: I think it is the third or fourth largest in Canada.

Ms Torney: It is the largest labour council in Canada and the third or fourth largest central labour party, depending on how the British Columbia Federation of Labour is running in membership at any given time.

Mr G. Wilson: Right, so as you say, it is very broadly based, so you have a good idea --

Ms Torney: Yes.

Mr G. Wilson: Mr Harnick was raising the question of the federal policies in this area, and one thing I think we are taking from this is how that worsens the tensions that already exist. In other words, if you are removing social programs, people can take the view that their problems are then caused by factors other than the federal policies. I was wondering whether you have any comments about that, because this is I think indicative of the steps you take, the proactive steps, inviting somebody from Quebec. You had programs on race relations, on human relations and on sexual stereotyping.

Ms Torney: When I put this brief together --

The Vice-Chair: Can I just interrupt for one second. I would ask you to be very brief on the answer. We have gone over.

Ms Torney: Okay, I will. When I put this brief together I actually had discussions with a number of people and I was personally appalled at the level of despair, disillusionment and discouragement out there and I think that is a reality. All of these reasons I have put in my brief were suggested as reasons people were feeling that way. I think we have an uphill battle. I think we can do it but it is going to be tough.


The Vice-Chair: Next, from the Upper Canada College, the senior student study group. There is a group of five or six students coming forward. One will be speaking. Take a couple of seconds to get organized.

I would ask the members of the committee, when asking questions, to try to keep them somewhat short. We ran a little bit over on that last one.

Mr James: Good morning, Vice-Chair and members of the committee. My name is Kevin James, and I am speaking to you today in behalf of the senior student study group. As a member of the senior student study group, I am pleased to introduce you to our delegation and introduce our proposal for the reconstruction and renewal of the Canadian federation. Then I would be pleased to entertain any questions you may have.

The senior student study group is a group of 10 senior history students at Upper Canada College in Toronto. We have examined the public discussion paper prepared by this committee and, along with our faculty adviser, Dr Paul W. Bennett, we have drafted a proposal aimed at resolving some of the great weaknesses we perceive in our present federation. The members of the Senior Student Study Group present with me today are David Dubins, Simon de Montfort Walker, Jonathan Foo, Poku Forson and Julian Poon.

Our model of a new federal system in Canada is based on a long-term timetable of reform that would result in radically transformed political institutions, constitutional change and a redistribution of powers on federal and provincial levels. Our proposal is based on several premises: first, that the essential compact of our nation is a compound contract. Our Constitution today recognizes the cultural duality of Canada by according primacy to the two founding nations, English and French. Our proposal is based on explicit recognition of aboriginal peoples as the third of Canada's founding nations, and acknowledges that the essential nature of Canada's social contract has today widened to include multiculturalism.

We see no conflict arising from the recognition of the dynamic quality of our country's essential contract, and we believe it must be articulated in the Constitution.

Our brief examines constitutional negotiations with the provinces and the process of constitutional reform, restructuring of political institutions on the federal level and redefining the roles of federal and provincial governments of Canada. We also propose an expanded role for the north and for aboriginal peoples in political decision-making processes. The result is what we call the Candominium model of renewed federalism.

Imagine a vision of Canada in the year 2010 in which the Canadian federation is transformed into a Candominium, a restructured federation not unlike a giant condominium structure. The central authority would manage the federation and administer external concerns while the constituent units or provinces would preside over their own distinctly different territorial entities. The vision is one of a Canadian condominium or Candominium, an ingenious restructuring of our now threatened and divided federal state.

The Candominium model of federation acknowledges the changing nature of Canadian federalism and recognizes the regional loyalties of most Canadians coexist with national loyalty. In the renewed system, the federal government would exist as a regulator of economy, as a guarantor of equalization payments and as a body to determine defence, trade, environmental and foreign policy. Aboriginal peoples would be given a definitive role in our political process, and the patronizing and paternal territorial system of government will be revamped in accordance with aboriginal demands for self-government.

The Senate would be radically restructured to provide for regional equality, direct accountability and legitimacy through a redistribution of legislative powers. We do not propose a fast process for such radical change, and set the year 2010 as a target date for the emergence of the Candominium system. The process would be long because the people will it so. They would be accorded full participation in the process of constitutional reform through a new practice of popular consultation.

Prime Minister Brian Mulroney declared that change need not be our enemy. Indeed, Canadians are ready to embrace a radical reworking of our federation, so long as full input is accorded to aboriginal and regional concerns, and the process of ratification involves a direct appeal to all Canadians.

The senior student study group of Upper Canada College concludes by offering this set of key recommendations. The intent of these recommendations would be to initiate the process of constitutional reform leading to the creation of this Candominium Canada, a restructured Canadian federation.


In summary, we recommend:

First, that first ministers undertake to negotiate a redistribution of powers on federal and provincial levels, according greater legislative authority to the provinces while safeguarding the important fiscal responsibilities of our federal government;

Second, that the process of constitutional reform be amended to provide for direct popular consultation, and that greater participation be accorded to territorial governments and the first nations;

Third, that the Senate be reformed to provide for equal regional representation and the direct election of all members. A redistribution of legislative powers would also be undertaken;

Last, that territorial government be restructured according to the proposal of the Dene nation, and that native self-government be recognized as an integral feature of the new federation.

I thank you and would be happy to entertain questions at this time.

The Vice-Chair: We thank you very much and as always, the presentations made on the part of students have always been very poignant and interesting.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Thank you very much for a very interesting brief. The date 2010 is of interest. That seems like a very long time to have a discussion that seems to be at a very critical turn at the moment. I would like you to say a little bit about a few more things you have put in your recommendations. You said you would like to have more direct popular consultation. Would you say a bit about that.

Mr James: Certainly. We do support the terms of the Meech Lake accord as respects provincial jurisdictions and federal jurisdictions, but we believe one of the greatest difficulties with the Meech Lake accord was its perception by the people of Canada as being fashioned by a few representatives of government without a consultative process or according any sort of consultative role to the Canadian people. We think a consensual process is integral to any sort of new scheme.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Have you talked about any schemes for that? We are now going to make a report and it is an interim report. Have you any direction for us about how we could continue? We have been a month on the road listening, basically, to 500 different presentations. How can we continue that consultative process? Can you tell us a little bit about what you have been saying.

Mr James: Certainly this committee is a fine example of what we believe should have taken place prior to the Meech Lake constitutional accord being drafted and we would recommend that committees such as these remain. This is a select, not a standing committee, I presume. I think it would perhaps be worth while to look at the establishment of a permanent committee.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: On constitutional matters.

Mr James: On constitutional matters.

Mr Harnick: I am very impressed with your imaginative proposal. It certainly is miles ahead of a lot of the people who came and talked about the institutional vision they had of what would happen to this country after constitutional change. The one thing you touched upon was the idea of the federal government being involved in equalization payments. I think what you were perhaps driving at is the necessity of having a federal government that maintains national standards in areas of health care, education, social programs, regional disparities, that type of thing.

Mr James: That is right. Yes.

Mr Harnick: Why do you feel that is an important element a central government should play?

Mr James: First, dealing with the question of the equalization payments, because that is a prime example of what we believe to be an essential feature of the Canadian federation and the distinguishing feature when we compare it to other nations and federations in this world, we believe there is a need for standards to be established that other provinces and provincial governments would abide by. Certainly, while we propose a delineation of powers and a redistribution of powers that would place greater emphasis on provincial governments and accord them greater power, we strongly believe as well that there is a need for a federal government, certainly in terms of equalization payments and fiscal policy and the environment and external affairs and trade, and as you mentioned, in setting standards for social programs and social policy as well.

Mr Harnick: If you had your Candominium concept, would it bother you that some of the residents of the Candominium would have different rights from perhaps others?

Mr James: That would be of concern to us and that is why we have proposed that all provinces be accorded the same powers on the same scale so we can avoid having one province granted more power or residents of one province given a bigger opportunity.

Mr Harnick: Even though some of their interests may be totally different?

Mr James: Yes. We believe that is where equalization payments come into effect. I mean, the role of equalization payments, as guaranteed in our Constitution and as prescribed in our Constitution, is to help establish a greater equality among regions, and so we also believe that is the role of the federal government in the new Candominium structure.

Mr Winninger: My question just flows from Mr Harnick's question. Why would this concept, which is quite innovative, though, appeal to Quebec if all provinces would have the same powers under it? How would it offer Quebec something more than what Quebec already has?

Mr James: It would accord Quebec those powers it desires while at the same time according those powers to other provinces. Quebec is concerned with maintaining its uniqueness in the Canadian federation, and to do that requires certain legislative powers. Other provinces require those powers as well, and I think Quebec is less concerned if those other provinces should receive powers in areas of immigration and such just so long as it has its power reserve to propose policy and legislate policy in those areas.

The Vice-Chair: A very quick question from me: It is something I am always interested in, whenever we have younger people coming forward. All of you, do you feel optimistic over the process at the end of the day that we, as peoples of this country as well as politicians, will be able to resolve this impasse?

Mr James: I will speak first and then maybe hand it over to some of the other students, but I would say yes. But on behalf of other students in the province, we would ask you please to look long term. When we sat down to draft our proposal, we were very conscious of the fact that many commissions and committees that have been struck in the past year have specific mandates to return reports and a timetable that really ends around 1992-93. We are looking long term. We are in perhaps a good position to do that and we would ask you to please set your sights on the coming century and some of the changes that could take place then as well as now.

The Vice-Chair: Can you state your names as you are speaking.

Mr Poon: Julian Poon. I am sure all of us are very optimistic that politicians will respond to the need for them to be more responsive to the wishes of the public. In this respect we see the decentralist model shown in Candominium as giving more control and more participation to Canadians, that the whole idea of a federal paternal structure that was developed in 1867 is not what Canadians need now to preserve their distinctiveness and their right to participate in the decisions of government. So I am sure politicians will realize they have to become more responsive to the wishes of the public in future and to work for a long-term plan of Canada that will work.

Mr Foo: Jonathan Foo. I believe there has to be a long-term goal and reform aimed at the long term, because if we keep going for short-term solutions, they will just slowly snowball themselves and every 10 or 15 years you have to go through the same process again, find solutions which will only last that 10 or 15 years, and go through your whole process again. This way might last a lot longer than just your short-term goals, probably for a good time.


Mr Forson: I am Poku Forson. I am very much in agreement with a long-term proposal for the sole reason that we have had many short-term proposals which do not seem to be effective. Often the proposals tend to contradict each other; they tend to conflict with themselves. This long-term restructuring ensures the provinces will be given more power to conduct many of the issues we find Quebec is testy about at this moment.

This idea of a Candominium will definitely allow for the provinces in a sense to work as nations on an individual basis in order to instate this idea of a Candominium. It is a long-term goal which will require many years of planning, restructuring and input from others.

The Vice-Chair: Last but not least?

Mr Dubins: Yes. David Dubins, Mr Vice-Chair. I believe that Canada's problems are not going to be solved overnight and there are indeed many problems in Canada. Again, as my honourable colleagues have stated, obviously long term is what we need, and we need focusing on the issues. Committees such as these I would support with full force because they examine people's opinions and they take them into consideration and, as it has been stated, they listen to what people have to say. I feel that is an essential part of the process of reform.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your views.


The Vice-Chair: We would next like to call the Union of Ontario Indians. I also ask Mrs O'Neill to sub the chair for a second.

The Acting Chair (Mrs Y. O'Neill): Joe, would you begin, please?

Mr Miskokomon: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. First of all, I would like to thank the committee for giving me the opportunity to be present today and present what we believe is a unique view of Constitution and nation-building.

I speak to you today as the chief of the Grand Council Anishinabek, a people whose communities in Ontario lie around the watershed of the Great Lakes. We are over 30,000 people and our ancestors were the keepers of the land when your ancestors arrived in what they thought was the New World.

We have seen your people come and grow. I need not repeat how your people have devastated this land, consuming its resources remorselessly and without thought for future generations, polluting its air and waters and earth in your haste to develop its wealth without seeing that its wealth is already all around you to be held gently and treasured for the unborn children.

In this short time your people have been here we have seen you evolve. We saw the evolution of Canada from a small colony faithful to the crowns of France and Britain, to a Dominion, to an independent and proud nation. We have seen you evolve as well from the poverty and starvation of the first settlers to a standard of living that is one of the highest in the world.

For the first two and a half centuries of our contact with your people we have often been spectators, watching your development while we kept to our own ways and laws. The first impact your people had on us was terrifying. We were struck by waves of your diseases, to which we had no immunity. The majority of our people died within two generations of your arrival. Later, epidemics killed thousands more. Tragically, they often took the children, our weakest and least immune.

Another impact you had on us was military. Our men were called upon to fight in numerous wars that were not ours but the crown's. It is fair to say that Canada would not have been here today if it had not been for our warriors. Our losses have been your gains. It is not enough to call another impact cultural. In an effort to assimilate us into the general population, our traditional institutions were supplanted, undermined and even outlawed. Our children were often taken away and placed in schools where our languages and cultures were beaten out of them. Our hunting and fishing were declared illegal. The damage that was done cannot be fairly compensated.

We see its results in your jails, in dysfunctional families, in the dependency rather than economic self-sufficiency for most of our communities. You also took our land. What you call land claims we call land rights. Even by the standards of your laws, which were created to protect and justify your government's actions, there were great frauds and abuses which cry out for justice.

Finally, you have nearly succeeded in destroying that land in the name of development and progress. In native cultures, the people are seen as the custodians of the land rather than the owners of it. We are only borrowing this earth from the generations yet to come and it is our responsibility to keep it from harm.

We now see you facing several crises: constitutional, economic and ecological. We see these should not be considered separately. Each of them goes to the heart of who we are. We are the first to feel the impact of social, economic and especially environmental harm.

I did not come here to complain. I came here to suggest ways for Canada to proceed with healing, to find room in its house for all the people within it. We too are a distinct society. We have our own laws, land, language, religion, culture and history. We have a vision of how our future can be accomplished within one Canada and that vision might be useful for other distinct societies in this country.

I would like to put my suggestions in the context of the values that lie at the foundation of our society, values we feel should be shared by all of us.

The government of our communities has always been more than democratic, in that we make our important decisions by consensus. We hear from all of our people. No opinion or thought is too insignificant. It was not part of our culture to choose our government by voting because the nature of elections is to create division and opposition.

We realize your system of government is based on the vote, on confrontation and on opposition. It seems a quick and clear way to resolve political questions. Voting in your Legislature decides issues quickly. You are not used to seeking consensus because in your lawmaking it has never been necessary.

In nation-building, though, we suggest you step back and consider the need for consensus. If you seek the harmony that will keep the nation together, it must come from being of one mind. You might well consider our mechanisms for reaching consensus since they are native to this land and since they have worked for us for centuries.

Consensus is a gentler concept that requires unanimity. We saw the Meech Lake accord deflated because of a lack of unanimous consent. We also saw that it collapsed because it was made in haste and in private. Our elders tell us that anything good in this world takes time to develop. We suggest that decisions about the future of the nation should be made with all the care and consideration that can be gathered, and that no government or proposal should have to face onerous deadlines or time pressures.

Consensus must also be built in the open, not behind closed doors. It is hard to estimate the damage done by the shrouded and private nature of the last constitutional talks. It is good to see that the latest ways of seeking direction, like this one, are open and public, but we would not want to see these consultations as the prelude to yet another closed-door decision session.

Consensus cannot exclude people. Neither we nor the government of the Yukon or the Northwest Territories were included in the negotiations of the Meech Lake round. Other significant parts of society also felt excluded.

Exclusion from nation-building creates resentment and distrust. Decisions made about the people's future without their presence, participation or consent will lead to bitterness in years to come. If consensus decision-making is too difficult a concept or too drastic a change to make in one step, there are preliminary stages that could be introduced to involve all Canadians in our country and our future.

An example of this is holding referendums on issues of national importance such as abortion, free trade, specific constitutional reforms, the imposition of the general stupid tax, known to the government as the goods and services tax.

Any accord that speaks of Canada as a duality of French and English people and cultures is a narrow vision of the land and of its future. We see consensus as embracing all the peoples of the land without exclusion.

Consensus in our culture is often achieved by allowing for individuality and freedom of choice within a larger framework. It now seems as if Canada will need to allow for greater freedoms for the distinct societies within Canada. This tolerance and respect is necessary if you are going to hold a nation together.


In our way, we are taught that our first responsibilities are to the future generations and the natural world. The two are linked. If we harm the natural world we harm the coming people.

Protection of the environment is not included in your Constitution. We do not see those concepts. We believe they belong there first and must always be kept before the eyes and the minds of the lawmakers. Some governments in Canada are making protection of the environment a priority, such as the Northwest Territories environmental bill of rights and the even stronger one planned for Ontario. Environmental protection enhancement and the truly sustainable development that comes with it are the only issues that Canada seems to agree on. Leadership is needed in the effort to have meaningful environmental protection included in any constitutional amendment.

In the same way, we believe that lawmakers have the obligation to seek and maintain peace. We see that "peace, order and good government" has been assigned to the federal heads of power under your Constitution. While general order and good government are useful concepts, we feel peace deserves a place of its own. The place must be so prominent that it is always in the minds of the lawmakers.

Some specific issues which affect the Anishinabek and which we want you to bear in mind:

1. There must be respectful recognition in the Constitution of our place as full and legitimate partners in the development of Canada, past, present and future.

2. We have the right to govern ourselves. It is an inherent right. We had it when you first came off your ships and we have never given it up. Our rights to our own government and laws have not faded over time.

Our treaties and aboriginal rights have been protected in the existing Constitution. The commitment to resolve the issues of self-government and to clarify our place in Canada did not lead to consensus in three meetings of the first ministers. We must keep trying. There must be more meetings, but they must be accompanied by the political will to achieve that recognition in a spirit of mutual trust and respect.

Perhaps we can establish a forum in Ontario that will work to clarify the relationship between the aboriginal people and the crown, including the rights of self-government on both sides. Together, with goodwill and patience perhaps we can bring forward the right proposals.

There might be room in the present Constitution of Canada, under section 43, for amendments specific to Ontario that might serve as examples to the rest of the country. There is an opportunity for leadership by example that we share in this province and a duty to take advantage of the progress we have already made.

We are not asking for anything more than what is fair. We are asking that you recognize we have the right to make our own laws for our own people in our own territory and that these things are necessary if we are to survive as a people.

3. Only last year did the Supreme Court of Canada clarify what we have said for over a century. They said the relationship between the crown and aboriginal people is a trust-like, fiduciary one.

The government of Canada and indeed Ontario has not yet adjusted to the impact of that decision of the courts. The legislative responsibility for "Indians, and lands reserved for the Indians" has been in the federal hands since 1867. We want to make clear the federal government's responsibility and relationship to us before any adjustments take place.

We would not want to see any changes in the Constitution that would make it more difficult for the government of Canada to fulfil its existing obligations.

4. In the Meech Lake accord, there was provision for provincial governments to opt out of national shared-cost programs with compensation, providing that they pursued programs that were compatible with national objectives. We see this kind of provision as dangerous to our rights. Many shared-cost programs are specifically aimed at our communities, which we consider a recognition of federal responsibility.

If provinces are to gain the right to opt out of programs, we at least want to retain the right to choose to retain those programs in their original form for our communities.

5. The Meech Lake accord provided that any single province could prevent the creation of a new province. The Yukon and Northwest Territories are the only places in Canada with the likelihood of seeking provincial status, and the Northwest Territories, especially, has a majority native population. Existing provinces could block these territories achieving their potential, should they choose to do so. This limits the federal role in dealing with aboriginal people.

The provision limiting the creation of new provinces should be carefully reviewed, and so must all provisions which relegate those territories to second-class status without senators or Supreme Court judges.

6. The federal-provincial discussions on fisheries are continuing without our participation. Fishing is both an aboriginal and a treaty right as well as a constitutional issue. Many of our people depend on fish for food and for their livelihood. The manner in which our rights have been ignored for decades makes it imperative that we have access to fisheries discussions and to protection in whatever arrangements emerge from those discussions.

7. While we want to take part in constitutional development and believe that we have an important contribution to make, we do not have the financial resources to do the work properly. If Ontario sees the need to have our participation, we hope Ontario will help make that possible.

8. Any constitutional reform is irrelevant if steps are not included to protect and enhance the natural ecological system in which we all live. The rights of all Canadians to have a healthy and vibrant environment should be enshrined in the Constitution.

We have said last year in a similar presentation that it is more appropriate to have our political relationship with the crown defined by political leaders rather than by the courts. We still believe this to be true. We now see that the politicians alone may not have the vision necessary for nation-building. If we have one great strength it is spirituality, and our elders have always served as our advisers and our guides. Perhaps, in your efforts to deal with the challenges that face you, you should remember the guidance of spiritual people, ours and yours, to assist the political leaders in finding the visions we need.

Madam Chairperson, one of my elders told me, "Some people seek the promised land. Other people have claimed to have seen it. We believe we live within it."

The Acting Chair: Thank you, Chief Miskokomon, for bringing truth to us. You have used up your time but there are two members who want to ask very brief questions, and I would ask you to try to answer as briefly as possible.

Mr Winninger: Chief Miskokomon, in the event Quebec elected to separate from the rest of Canada, I would like to ask you whether you foresee any impact on your aspirations towards self-government and self-determination and also the settlement of land claims either in Quebec or in the rest of the country?

Mr Miskokomon: If Quebec decides to separate, I think there are many implications that deal with the existing Constitution that aboriginal people have embraced within section 35, recognizing existing and aboriginal rights. I think there has been one court case we have fought in England, and the court case, the ruling by Lord Denning in England said that all aboriginal and treaty rights were transferred to Canada through the British North America of 1867, through the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and finally through the Constitution Act of Canada.

During the first two acts at least Quebec has been involved. They surely recognize they have some responsibility in the transferring of those rights in terms of treaties and aboriginal rights within Quebec, and so it cannot be left on the shoulders simply of the federal government through section 91, class of subject 24, that says the federal jurisdiction is through "Indians, and lands reserved for the Indians," that there will be some means of transferring those obligations from Canada to Quebec and then in turn to aboriginal people and negotiations within a newly formed constitutional effort within Quebec.

Mr Harnick: Just as an aside, we are delighted to hear someone mention the wisdom of Lord Denning. My question really deals with the notion of the first nations insisting on the right to continue dealing with the federal government. It is something I do not really understand. Maybe you can help us.

I know there have been overtures by this province to almost take over the responsibility for native affairs. The reaction by the chiefs -- and I suspect you were involved in some of these reactions -- has been: "That is not what we want. The federal government is who we have always dealt with. They have a responsibility. We want to see this through dealing with them." Can you expound upon that and perhaps explain why.


Mr Miskokomon: Two clear concepts, one which is called the divisibility of the crown: When Indian nations made treaties, they made them with the crown. In subsequent times, treaty has been defined within divisibilities of the crown between section 91 and 92 powers. That impact in itself has never been clearly defined within the crown itself. Does a province take on a fiduciary responsibility for the implementation of treaties? To this point in time the province has said no, that that responsibility rests within section 91, class of subject 24, of the BNA Act, which is federal responsibility. So the provinces, once they were created, took the land and held no responsibility to Indian people; one concept.

The second concept is that Indian nations made treaties with nations. The province of Ontario is not a nation and the best we can do is discuss issues in government-to-government relations. Our governments, the government of Ontario will negotiate other arrangements, but they cannot be treaty. We can only do that with a nation and that nation is Canada.


The Acting Chair: Perhaps I may call forward now Matthew Furgiuele. Matthew, you realize you have five minutes.

Mr Furgiuele: I would like to thank you for giving me the time to present my views to you this morning. There are many areas which I feel must be considered in great detail when we are looking at any aspect of constitutional reform, and certainly one area is that of aboriginal rights. I feel when we consider a distinct society, the aboriginals should be the first people we consider as a distinct society. I am not saying Quebec is not distinct; I am merely stating that the aboriginals are far more distinct than Quebec is.

The French claim or the Québécois claim that they are distinct because of their languages. However, they have only one main language, and that is French. The natives have among them approximately 11 major tongues within Canada, in Ontario the predominant one being Algonquian, of course. As well, the French, the Québécois claim they are distinct because they have civil law. However, again, the natives have far more distinct methods of practising law than the Québécois do. There is a great deal of injustice which goes on to the natives. The way we are treating the natives right now would not be tolerated by the Québécois or by any other groups of people, nor should it.

I feel we should let some reserves that feel they would do better without the Indian Act opt out of the Indian Act. However, there are still those reserves which do need the Indian Act for any methods of finances or to be able to function at all, so they should be allowed to stay in the Indian Act. However, I do feel the act should be changed to give the natives as much freedom as any other group of people has that is bound by those types of laws, because it does not seem fair that they have to abide by a lot of the things which are imposed upon them.

As well, it is disgusting that a lot of the reserves do not have heating or indoor plumbing and I feel this is certainly something that every person has the right to.

I am of the view that there should be a strong federal government in Canada. I feel we do not need a decentralized government. If people want to move certain government offices from Ottawa to other parts of the country, that is fine. However, that is not taking away from the powers of the federal government; that is merely providing for jobs in other areas of the country.

I feel there are many new problems with giving new powers to the provinces. For one thing, it seems incredible that since 1982 our Constitution has worked fine and now all of a sudden everybody is saying: "There are major problems with our Constitution. It's not working. We have to change it drastically." I feel there is a problem when you give powers to the provinces, because they will look at what is good for themselves and perhaps not what is good for the nation. What may be environmentally sound for Ontario could prove to be, say, disastrous for Quebec. Perhaps we should be thinking of the words of former US President John Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

There are many problems when you take away powers from the federal government, especially when people say the government made a mistake when it gave the Supreme Court so much power. However, I feel it would be an even bigger mistake if we were to give the power of appointing the judges and suggesting who the judges would be to the provinces, because again, you could end up with a provincially biased Supreme Court which could potentially be disastrous.

The environment is perhaps the most important issue we can ever deal with. Ten years from now, regardless of whether or not Ontario has more powers or less powers or whether Canada remains a nation is not going to matter to the survival of the human race; however, what we do with the environment is of great importance. I feel that all aspects of the environment should be solely the jurisdiction of the federal government, because if you leave it up to the provinces, certain corporations can weigh the environmental laws of different provinces and decide which one is the easiest to get away with pollution in. As well, we must ensure that there are tougher laws on the environment so that we can have a clean environment. And we can clean it up, because the methods are there to clean it up; it is a question of the funding for it.

I feel an elected Senate is not a good idea. The initial purpose of the Senate was that it was to be an appointed body of sober second thought so that if governments changed and the government had poor policy, there was a body which could oversee it and veto the decisions of that government. Now, I am aware that right now in the present system there are a great deal of patronage appointments going on. That is why I feel that if we have a committee consisting of an equal number of representatives from all the officially recognized parties in the House, and if they would decide on appointments to the Senate, then you would eliminate the idea of partisan senators.

I feel the free trade agreement is something which is terrible for Canada. It is bad for our economy. It has lost a lot of jobs, it has created a recession and the US seems to be totally unwilling to accept any changes which we want. In almost every grievance we have brought up to the bicountry panel, the decisions have gone to the US and Canada has lost on almost every single occasion.

Immigration is an area in which many provinces, for example Quebec, are seeking to have a great deal of power. However, when we consider that by the year 2025 the population of Canada is going to be declining and we will be relying solely on immigration to sustain our population, I feel that this is also an area which is of such importance that it should be left to the federal government.

As well, I do not like the idea of spending powers to provinces in terms of opting out as they have in the Meech Lake accord, because for one thing it is stated that they could opt out as long as they had a system which was compatible. It did not define what "compatible" was, nor did it define who would decide what "compatible" was. I do not think they should be able to opt out. However, if we do go that route, I think there should be some body which is clearly defined to decide what "compatible" means and to ensure that compatible definitely is compatible and not something that is completely different.

Now, if there are any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.

The Vice-Chair: We do have time for one question. Any questions from the committee? No?

Mrs Y. O'Neill: The questions have already been placed. I think that is why we have no questions. You have had a lot of points that you have attended to, and you have made your points very clearly about each of them.


The Vice-Chair: We would next like to call David Conrad. We would just remind people who are watching back home that the committee this morning, like last night, is split into two parts. There are committee meetings going on in two separate parts within the Legislature. We will be alternating every hour, basically, between one committee and the other, and the whole of the proceedings will be carried on the parliamentary channel Monday and Tuesday of next week. Go ahead.

Mr Conrad: I thank the select committee for allowing me to appear here today. Canada faces a grave crisis, but we can solve this crisis by working together. There is a lot of pessimism across this nation with the threat of Quebec separatism, a recession in full bloom, a war -- although now it is ended -- and environmental degradation. There is much work ahead of us, but together we can find a compromise that will accommodate the aspirations of all Canadians, even Quebec and aboriginal peoples, in the Constitution.

Also, the Constitution must reflect common Canadian values. One Canadian value is generosity. If Canada is to stay united, this generosity must come through. There must be respect for other Canadians and their needs. Aboriginals, the multicultural community and disabled people need more respect by Canadian society.


I will now talk about how to address these groups concerns. Ontario, the federal government and the provinces must negotiate in good faith to solve aboriginal land claims. Self-government for our first peoples should be enshrined in the Constitution of Canada. Aboriginal people must enjoy all the social benefits that all other Canadians enjoy. The conditions of their drinking water and their living accommodations must be brought up to Canadian standards instead of the Third World conditions they currently live in.

The multicultural community must be recognized as one of the fundamental characteristics of Canada, with a right to maintain its cultural heritage. At the same time, the multicultural community should also be a part of the Canadian culture and heritage we all share. The multicultural community should be recognized in the preamble of the Constitution and perhaps in a Canadian clause, which was proposed, I think, by Manitoba in the Meech Lake process.

This clause would not give the provinces special powers, however. This clause would also recognize Quebec's distinctiveness as the only province with a francophone majority and would be used by the courts to ensure that the francophones in Quebec would not lose their culture, which many of them fear. In recognizing Quebec's distinctiveness, the Canada clause would also ensure the survival of the English culture and multicultural culture in Quebec. The Canada clause would also recognize the aboriginal people as having a distinctive culture and would ensure that steps are taken by governments to protect their rights

In my essay on the development of the independence movement in Quebec -- a copy is attached for the members to read -- I suggested that both class and ideology have played a role. The importance of resistance to dependence and urges for more economic growth has played a crucial role in Quebec's distinctiveness. Culture is more than language. Culture includes both social and economic values. Thus, all in Canada can identify with many in Quebec, with their urge for independence, but I do not feel that it would be in Quebec's interests or the rest of Canada's best interests.

The Constitution should also include environmental rights: the right to breathe clean air and to drink clean water and to eat uncontaminated food.

Senate reform must include an equal Senate, but I feel a triple E Senate which is equal among the regions of Ontario, Quebec, Maritimes and the west -- each of those regions should have an equal number of Senators. Perhaps each of the provinces outside of Ontario and Quebec could he given a few more, and the north as well.

Disabled rights must be respected and the rights of the disabled should be greatly recognized in the Constitution. Legislation should be passed to allow persons with disabilities to live more independent lives. Tougher laws should he passed to increase accessibility to buildings. I also believe that perhaps economic rights could be put in the Constitution, like the right to a decent standard of living.

Finally, I also believe that Ontario should be made officially bilingual. I would welcome any questions.

The Vice-Chair: We have time for one question.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: David, thank you so much for coming. You have done a lot of thinking about this. In the very beginning, you used the two words that many people have brought to us: "compromise" and "negotiate." The only real concrete spot where I saw that coming forward in a distinct way was your Senate reform proposal. I guess my first question to you is, no doubt you have discussed this with some of your friends and your fellow students. Would you be able to give us an impression of whether you think there is a political will now to really recognize the distinctiveness that you talked about and to do the things that you are mentioning regarding Senate reform and anything else you feel could be negotiated.

Mr Conrad: Well, I believe putting in a preamble would not give Quebec, or any other provinces for that matter, special power, which many people seem to be against -- the rest of Canada. I think there can be a will, but English Canada must come up with its bargaining position first. I feel Quebec has been in the process of coming up with its bargaining positions in its report. From there we could work to try to find common ground. I know it will not be easy, but I think most Canadians have the will.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: So you think Ontario needs to take a proactive position in this.

Mr Conrad: Yes, I do.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Next we would like to call the Native Council of Canada. Just as a reminder, there are 15 minutes per presentation.

Mr George: My name is Ron George. I am the hereditary chief of a nation that is waiting for a 1,000-page judgement on the Gitksan Wet'suwe'en court case in British Columbia. I am appearing today on behalf of the president of the Native Council of Canada and as a member of the council's constitutional committee. With me today is our special adviser Robert Groves and Yves Assiniwi, a consultant with the Native Council of Canada. They will be here in a few minutes.

We have tabled a formal submission which sets out in some detail what we ask this committee to recommend and support. I will not read the submission, but I will highlight it so we have some time for questions. Basically what we are here to do is ask for your help. We have received support from this Legislature over the past three years during the Meech Lake accord process. We also received support from Premier Rae. We kept in close touch with him throughout 1989 and early 1990 as our companion resolution proposal began to seriously build momentum. Now we are asking that you help to turn support into action because we are once again being excluded from participation.

We have a long history of direct participation in constitutional reform. Where our participation has been invited and accepted, success has been achieved. We were direct participants in 1980 and 1981. We got the basic framework of our rights recognized and affirmed, and a promise that we were to be the first priority for reform. From 1982 to 1987 we were direct participants in four first ministers' conferences. As a result, the Constitution was amended again in 1984. We did not get what we wanted in 1985 or 1987. We were on the verge of success, in my view, but the Meech Lake accord displaced that opportunity.

You know the results when we have not been participants at the table. We were not present in 1981 when premiers ganged up and took the whole aboriginal rights package out, along with sexual equality rights. It took a tough stand by Premier Blakeney to overturn this betrayal. We think the same sort of stand is needed now by you and by the Premier of Ontario. Of course, we were not invited to be participants in 1987. We all know the results of our exclusion.

The process of constitutional reform has begun again and it is expected that when formal talks start, events will move quickly. We have not been invited to participate or to prepare to participate. This is unacceptable. It also threatens the success of any general effort to reform Confederation. Aboriginal peoples do not have a secure process for constitutional reform. We learned that in 1987 when we were kicked out of the process and told that we might never get back in. Most people think aboriginal peoples should have a process. All 11 governments agreed to a permanent process guarantee last year, but at the end of the day aboriginal peoples have no guarantee now, and we need one.


Since 1987 the weakness of our position in the process has been clear to everyone. We have been deliberately left on the sidelines. Worse, we have been undermined and handicapped in any of our efforts to participate. The federal government terminated all constitutional discussions with aboriginal peoples in 1987. Last year our newspapers were killed off. Our political organizations get huge budget cuts every year. All are threatened with outright termination. Almost all funding for native language promotion has now been eliminated south of 60. When it comes to respecting our rights, what is the result? Not a single federal agreement has emerged to implement or respect the rights that were guaranteed in 1982; not one agreement or action in almost a decade. What would you say if the Charter of Rights had been entrenched without any federal or provincial efforts being made to being their laws into line with it? This is what has happened to us. Rights are entrenched and then enforcement is denied.

For years we have been asked to wait until other priorities were dealt with, priorities like powers for provinces or vetoes for Quebec or fisheries or the Senate. We have waited long enough. The NCC came to Queen's Park in 1988 and again in June of last year to talk about Meech Lake. We do not want to go over the same ground today. You know that we introduced the idea of the companion resolution. Ontario endorsed three of our four proposed changes. You also know why Ottawa's version of our companion resolution was rejected by us last year. However, if your task force is to get anywhere, it will have to build on the groundwork already done over the past few years by us and by others, including parliamentary and legislative committees.

We are aboriginal peoples. Canada is our only homeland on earth. We have nowhere else to go. All we want is to enter the circle of Confederation with honour and dignity. You know that we are founding peoples. Let's say it, and let's act as if we mean it. You also know that no change to Confederation will happen unless there is specific change to meet our needs and rights. You have to develop your proposals in the context of demands for significant change coming from within Quebec. In the same way, your proposals have to reflect aboriginal demands for accommodation both within Ontario and within Canada.

Let me summarize the main aboriginal demands for you:

1. Secure access of aboriginal peoples to constitutional reform as promised in 1982.

2. Secure access to the general process of constitutional change where our rights and interests are directly affected.

3. Clear and effective recognition of aboriginal peoples as an inherent and fundamental characteristic of Canada with protection and promotion of our cultures, languages and institutions, and

4. Security for the rights of northern peoples to enter into and participate in Confederation on terms as fair and flexible as those all other former colonies and territories were given.

For us, what is fundamental to Canada and to Ontario is the need to clearly state and give constitutional force to the recognition that aboriginal peoples are a founding and permanent part of the whole. We suggest that you look at altering your own Constitution. Consult with Ontario Indian and Metis peoples directly to develop specific recognitions and institutions. Recognize aboriginal jurisdictions. Enter into treaties with us. Modernize the Constitution of Ontario to permit representation of Indian and Metis peoples within provincial institutions, including the Legislature. At the national level, the aboriginal role in the governing of Canada must be clarified as a key component to any national reform. We support representation structures at the national level. The proposal for an aboriginal Parliament is a good place to start.

This government is on record as supporting our role in the amendment formula through both consent and process guarantees. You support the need for a general recognition of the aboriginal right of self-government. Ontario now recognizes that this right is inherent. We applaud the government for this. But recognition through policy statements is not enough. We face a major hurdle. We lack the clout to enforce compliance of our rights even when they are clearly stated in law. That is why a general recognition of the inherent basis of self-government along with the compliance mechanism is essential and must be put into place within the national Constitution.

We also ask you to take the bull by the horns and take some concrete steps to leverage action. We do not have a lot of power. Help us with empowerment. Ontario can initiate amendments and trigger the legal requirements for a first ministers' conference with aboriginal leadership. Ontario can endorse a national treaty.

To summarize, we suggest you endorse or re-endorse amendments to the Constitution to meet the four demands that aboriginal peoples have put to the country repeatedly since 1987. We also suggest you look at reforming your own Constitution to bring together more directly public and aboriginal institutions and to allow aboriginal governments to co-operate instead of competing with provincial institutions.

Finally, we ask this committee to send a strong message to the government here and in Ottawa. Urgent action is needed in the next few months. Millions of dollars are being spent by committees and unity task forces and forums, but we are excluded from any organized participation in the process or in the intergovernmental discussions that are beginning. When we are included we contribute; when we are excluded we are forced to fight.

Recommend that a clear message should be sent and soon. Make our participation a condition for Ontario's participation in constitutional talks. Begin direct talks with aboriginal peoples in the province. We are very encouraged by statements of support and the commitments of intention from Ontario. Now is the time for this verbal support to be translated into direct action.

The Vice-Chair: Just on your last point, we recognize there need to be some changes in the way things are done sometimes as far as structure and procedure is concerned, and we see the work of this committee as being the beginning of that. The first part of what we are trying to do is to get input in order to get ideas to see where we go from here. What you said at the end is something we have heard quite loudly and clearly.

Mr Winninger: Yes, on several occasions recently the issue of creating a seat or seats in provincial legislatures for native representation has arisen. I think it was in Peterborough that one chief made a presentation. The question was put to him, and he suggested that he was satisfied with the present system of representative democracy and was not seeking to create, say, affirmative action seats for natives in the legislatures. I wonder if you have any views on that position.

MrAssiniwi: Yes, we do have views on that. You had the views of one chief of one band which is an institution of the Department of Indian Affairs. You did not have the views of all of us.

It is obvious to anybody looking at any Legislature, at the provincial legislatures in the country or at the federal system, that our views are not heard enough. It will be a lot harder to avoid hearing our views if there is representation in every Legislature and in the Canadian system. It does not mean that agreeing to send delegations of native people to the Legislature or to the House of Commons would mean we would therefore extinguish our right to have our own governing bodies and would agree to participate in the Canadian system. Far from that. But if there is going to be co-operation, if there is going to be dialogue, our voice has to be heard once in a while and since we are out of most processes, as you already know, we feel this is one way by which our voice will be heard.

Mr Winninger: That would be creating native seats for native peoples.

MrAssiniwi: Yes.

Mr Groves: If I could just say something very quickly, if you look at the state of Maine model, it does provide an example of corporate representation in the Legislature rather than individual representation by population of aboriginal peoples. It is the tribes which are represented, not the people of the tribes.

Mr Winninger: May I just note again it is my understanding that while natives can sit in the Legislature and express their views and opinions, they cannot vote.

Mr Groves: In that case, they asked not to have the right to vote. They were offered it and rejected it.

Mr Winninger: Thank you. You would seek to have a right to vote as well as expression.


Mr Groves: Once you saw the terms of the offer, I think it would be an internal discussion among aboriginal representatives whether they wanted a vote as well as a voice. It might alter the structure of Queen's Park, for example, in terms of its committee proceedings and the reference levels in bill structures, you know, first, second and third reading, depending on how you want to do it really.

Mr G. Wilson: Another presenter raised the question of how to reach decisions, and the suggestion was through consensus. I was just wondering whether that is the model you would promote, a consensus among native groups, for instance.

MrAssiniwi: We try to achieve consensus in any way, shape or form. This is part of our culture. It is part of our decision-making process. This is the basis of our decision-making process, but sadly enough we have to live with the provincial borders. We have to live with international borders. We have to live with different types of rules.

We are stuck between Indian Act Indians and non-Indian Act Indians, Metis, within settlement lands in the Alberta system and off-settlement lands, even with the strange concept brought up by the federal government at the constitutional conference of status Inuit and non-status Inuit.

Yes, we try to reach consensus, but since we are forced to live under so many different regimes and legal systems, it is sometimes hard to reach that consensus, but as a principle, yes, this is what we try to achieve.

Mr Groves: Just before we go, there is an additional document. In the press two weeks ago, the Globe and Mail had a reference to a federal strategy regarding section 43, and I know there is a lot of technical interest on the committee's part about whether 43 could be used or a treaty could be used. Since the government of Ontario now has a copy of this leaked document, I understand, it is only fair that the committee also have it for its reference. So we are willing to provide the committee with a copy of the document.


The Vice-Chair: Next, we would like to call the United Indian Councils of the Mississauga and Chippewa Nations.

Ms Wesley-Esquimaux: Good morning, committee members and Vice-Chair. My name is Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux. I am here representing the United Indian Councils, which is a group of nine first nations in Ontario. Chief Maurice Laforme was supposed to make a presentation, but he does not seem to have found his way here, so I will proceed through the presentation I am going to make and if he does not come in, I will also address his.

The United Indian Councils welcome the opportunity to make this presentation to Ontario. It is important for this committee to listen to the indigenous peoples in this province and hear what they have to say.

Canada is young at governing itself compared to the first nations and Canada is clearly immature constitutionally.

It is important that so many people are advocating their rights, and the job at hand is to respect those rights so that all peoples can hold their heads high and all peoples will work to strengthen Confederation.

It is interesting that Canadians express widespread support for civil rights, for women's rights, for the rights of children, for environmental rights and even for animal rights, but the inherent rights of the first nations peoples in Canada are treated hesitantly and cautiously so as to minimize their impact.

The indigenous peoples have rights in Canada that no other Canadians have. Our rights have been recognized historically. Our rights have been recognized in our treaties. Our rights have been recognized in the Constitution of Canada. Our rights have been recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada. Our rights are recognized in international covenants to which Canada is a signatory.

But there is currently no process in Canada to articulate these rights. No government has demonstrated the political will to implement our rights or to protect our rights within Canadian Confederation. In fact, both the federal and provincial governments attack our rights vigorously in the courts in an effort to minimize them.

Under the Constitution, the federal government has a primary duty towards Indians under section 91, class of subject 24. The federal government has used this section of the Constitution to pass Indian acts which have been geared towards assimilation and which have not worked. There is tremendous potential for Canada to work towards protection of our rights through section 91, class of subject 24, but there is no political will even to consider a positive and constructive use of the Constitution.

The provincial governments have used section 91, class of subject 24, to argue that they have no responsibility for Indians on reserves. Ontario deserves some credit for being helpful over the years, although it continues to argue that it has no duty. The current government deserves credit for the admirable statements by the Premier with regard to aboriginal issues, and we look forward to the implementation of those principles.

The federal government has adopted an adversarial role towards first nations. Their approach is to minimize aboriginal rights and minimize their trust responsibility to Indians. Policy developments appear to be more in the interests of protecting the crown than protecting Indian rights.

All federal policy initiatives are geared towards delegating authority to first nations rather than recognizing first nation inherent powers. Even rights recognized under the Indian Act and upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada, such as tax exemption, are minimized through government action. The GST is an example of this.

Why? One cannot help but ask the question why.

Do the federal and provincial governments fear the indigenous peoples and our rights? And if so, why? Is it simple racism? There are so many who would say so. Is it based on ignorance? I do not see how that can be the answer. If the Supreme Court of Canada can understand the issues, then there is no reason that governments cannot as well.

Is it because governments are bankrupt of ideas that could help them address the issues in a positive and constructive manner? Again, I do not see this as the answer. The academic community, the legal profession and native leaders and professionals have developed a viable body of knowledge in the area that can be very helpful in the debate. In the end, it baffles me that governments will not deal with our rights in a positive manner.

But I do know that someone needs to break the logjam in this area. Once people see that the world is not threatened by recognition of our rights, they will follow suit. What is needed is an open, creative, honest and honourable dialogue based on the recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights and geared towards recreating opportunities for first nations to take their proper place in Canada, to contribute to society as they did in the beginning when settlers' very lives depended on the friendship and technology of the original peoples. There is nothing to fear in recognizing and implementing first nation rights.

Ontario and Canada are land- and resource-rich. Many problems can be rectified through honourable relations that respect historical realities and work towards a more equitable sharing of lands and resources as contemplated in the original treaty relationship.

Ontario has expressed support for aboriginal rights and Ontario needs to take the lead nationally. Ontario has a historic role to fulfil in this area. The first royal proclamation treaties were signed in Ontario. The first lieutenant governors of Ontario made strong statements in support of the rights of first nations in the province. The province has long stated support for aboriginal rights and Premier Rae has advocated aboriginal rights, including the right to self-government. With Ontario's central importance to Canada and with Ontario's central role in constitutional development, Ontario can be the agent to break the logjam on indigenous rights in Canada.

In summing up, I would just like to reiterate that the need for a serious, honest dialogue is paramount. You can no longer afford to simply pay lipservice to the constitutional process. We are willing and able to come to the table to clearly address those questions that are on all Canadians' minds.

Again, we would encourage you to take on that role. Meegwetch.

There is no chief, so I am going to read this presentation for Chief Maurice Laforme of New Credit first nation, down by Brantford.

We, the United Indian Councils, are doing what we can to give definition to our rights in a modern context.

We have developed a detailed proposal on self-government and have commenced our second year of negotiations with the federal government. We have also developed a proposal as the basis for negotiations with the provincial government which we will commence this spring.

We are also very active in national efforts to have our treaties and treaty rights implemented and to have our land claims dealt with in a fair and equitable manner.

The United Indian Councils is a historic alliance of nine first nations in southern Ontario. Our confederacy is based on our historic alliance, our treaties, our culture and our language.

We are negotiating recognition of our two levels of government: a regional or tribal structure that receives its authority from the first nations, and the first nations themselves which are autonomous and the source of all governmental powers.

The United Indian Councils are seeking recognition of our historic government powers and jurisdiction through the implementation of our aboriginal and treaty rights.

We are prepared to settle for constitutional recognition or legislative recognition as an interim measure.

The United Indian Councils seek the recognition of our powers and jurisdiction as they flow from our aboriginal rights and the historic relationship we have with the crown.

We seek to negotiate the modern expression of our Indian government authorities and recognition of our jurisdiction within co-jurisdictional agreements that apply within our traditional territories.


The principles of United Indian Councils Indian government operations are based on traditional cultural norms, with the adoption of certain modern governmental practices common in North America in recognition of future co-existence.

The first nations will continue to be the cornerstone of the United Indian Councils as autonomous indigenous governments, but each first nation will have a constitution that will outline the basis of governmental authorities and practices and will be under the direct control of the first nation citizens. The first nation government will consist of a first nation council that will act as the executive arm of government.

Each first nation will have a constitution that will outline the basis of governmental authorities and practices and will be under the direct control of first nation citizens. The first nation government will consist of a first nation council that will act as the executive arm of government. Each first nation will form a first nation congress consisting of the council and representatives of established elements within the community, such as our elders, women, youth and other groups. The congress will be the legislative branch of government.

The first nation chiefs will sit in a confederacy called the United Indian Councils and will act jointly on common or regional matters. The United Indian Councils will receive its authority and mandate for the first nations and will act as an extension of the first nations.

The United Indian Councils will house an appeals tribunal, which will be the first expression of a justice system. The appeals tribunal will be the judicial branch of government. The judicial arm of government is seen as completing the circle of government and completes a closed system. The federal and provincial governments will have no authority on reserves, but will have standing before the appeals tribunal.

The implementation of United Indian Councils government will be negotiated as areas of agreement are reached in the negotiation process. Implementation will take the form of an Indian government agreement between the federal and first nation governments and eventually will include the provincial government, in the spirit of our historic relationship. The federal and provincial governments will require constitutional amendments and/or legislation to realign themselves internally in response to this agreement.

A United Indian Councils Indian government review panel consisting of equal representation from the three governments and chaired by the United Indian Councils will be established to monitor implementation of this agreement. The United Indian Councils first nations are negotiating exclusive Indian government control of all internal or domestic matters and co-jurisdictional agreements within our traditional territories. Each first nation will have the right and authority to take actions to protect our rights, powers and privileges.

The United Indian Councils have entered into negotiations pursuant to the federal policy to clarify first nation authority and the terms of co-existence in the modern context. We are seeking recognition of our indigenous, historic powers and the terms of our co-existence and their expression in the modern context. The United Indian Councils have stated our preference for the implementation of our aboriginal treaty rights, including our right to self-determination with a modern, negotiated agreement.

The United Indian Councils are prepared to negotiate within the current process, while working internally and externally to enhance the recognition of our rights. The United Indian Councils has stated a preference for a treaty-making and a treaty clarification process and will work towards an agreement that does not betray those principles.

The Vice-Chair: Are there any questions? The only comment I would make is that through the whole procedures of the month, travelling all over the province, one of the messages that has been loud and clear is the demands that the native people are putting forward.

The other thing that should be noted is that there is a lot of support. I would say the vast majority of presenters have said to us very clearly that we need to start moving in this direction, stop just giving lipservice and start actually trying to do things. That is something we have heard quite clearly.

The last group, is l'Association des femmes d'affaires du Québec. Are they in the room? No? Then they must have gone into the other room. Very good. We stand recessed.

The committee recessed at 1155.



The Vice-Chair: Next, we would like to call the Association des femmes d'affaires du Québec.

Dr Lanctôt: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Guylaine Lanctôt. I am a medical doctor and an entrepreneur. I am the founder and president of the Guylaine Lanctôt Cliniques established in Montreal and Toronto. I have also founded several more in the United States.

I am here today on behalf of the Quebec Business Women's Association. The Quebec Business Women's Association is a 10-year-old private association of women entrepreneurs, executives, professionals and merchants. Founded in 1981 by my sister Henriette and myself, it has progressed in Montreal and expanded into 23 regional chapters all over the province of Quebec. Its membership averages 4,000 members.

The goal of the Quebec Business Women's Association is to help businesswomen achieve their fair place in the business world and create a platform whereby matriarchal values can bring equilibrium to the patriarchal values that have so far overwhelmingly prevailed.

I believe a better world is one of restoring and maintaining the basic laws of nature through a good balance between opposites -- materialism and spirituality, economics and humanism, productivity and creativity, short-term and long-term, science and art, quantity and quality, legality and morality. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you. I came here today to talk to you directly, heart to heart. I want to let you know who we are, what our differences mean, where our priorities stand, how we see our role in the future of Quebec and of Canada. We want you to know not only what we think, but also how we feel about the Canadian Constitution.

Who are we? We are human beings like you. Like you we are born, we live and die. Like you we work hard, do our best, fight for survival. Like you we have children, care for them, love them, raise them and give them the best. Like you we laugh and cry, hope and despair, love and hate. Like you we are very concerned with our future, the future of our children, the future of our country, the future of our planet.

If we are so much alike, in what do we differ? What do we Quebeckers mean when we say we are different? A difference in language? Yes. A difference in culture? Yes. A difference in traditions? Yes. But are those elements cause for divorce? Do you really believe those differences are major enough for Quebec to resort to separation? Good common sense tells us it is not so. What is the real reason then? What difference can be so major that it is irreconcilable? It is a difference in perspectives, a difference in aspirations, a difference in priorities.

What do we think? You say about us that we have joie de vivre. It is true. We are more artistic than scientific, more emotional than rational, more yin than yang.

We recognize the efforts that have been made to try to give us what we want. But from our perspective we wanted autonomy, we got dependence; we wanted participation, we got domination; we wanted responsibility, we got hierarchy; we wanted openness, we got secrecy; we wanted democracy, we got bureaucracy.

When you ask, "What does Quebec want?" we answer, "The freedom to be different and the means to live our differences."

Now let me tell you how we feel. Unfortunately. words cannot translate feelings. The body cannot speak for the soul. In order to share emotions with you, we chose to use the means of an analogy.

We feel as if we are with you on a big ship. It is a beautiful, comfortable ship. We feel secure on it. We are proud of it. We are highly respected on the ocean. But there is a problem. The ship is no longer following the direction we had all chosen. We keep shouting: "Stop going in this direction or we will hit the rocks. Change direction or we will sink." But nobody listens any more and we believe that every day we are getting closer and closer to the rocks. So we Quebeckers want to get off the ship, jump into a lifeboat and go our own way.

We know life would be much harder on a lifeboat. We would face the big waves, the cold, the rain, the hunger. We would have to tighten our belts, and we may still hit the rocks. But we could decide on the direction and be in control of our destiny. We do not mind the physical pain. We will cope with that because our minds will be at peace. It is not our body that is suffering on the ship. It is our soul that is in pain.

What does this analogy mean? The ship is Canada. It represents the body of the country. The direction is the vision, the philosophy of the country. It represents the soul of the country. The direction we have all chosen is one of democracy and liberty, but we believe the direction the ship is going in now is one of bureaucracy and control. We feel we have no say in decisions that are made in our name against our will, namely, on the increasing debt, nuclear trials, control over the media, secrecy of foreign policy.

Let me give you an example: A survey that was run in mid-January 1991, when the war was declared, showed that 54% of Canadians, 70% of Quebeckers. 91% of Quebec women were against Canada's implication in the war. Despite our country's long-standing reputation for peace, we kill people, destroy countries and spend $1 billion doing it.

The rocks are the future of the country. The rocks we see ourselves heading towards are, in the extreme, nuclear war with possible eradication of all humans and all life; irrevocable pollution of the planet with extinction of our species; totalitarianism, a super world dictatorship known as a new world order.

As you can see, we are all in the same ship with the same goals and the same fears. You want to stay in the ship and hope for the best. We want to leave the ship, get into a lifeboat and go in a different direction. There are no right or wrong decisions; there are only different perspectives.

In conclusion, Quebec's attitude is not a malicious one. We simply believe at this point in time that there are things we need to accomplish that we cannot accomplish under the present structure.

We are all human beings looking for a better way to live. Let's not fight one another. We are not each other's enemy. Let's identify the real problems. Let's respect each other's decisions. Helping one another succeed with our respective choices can only benefit everybody. This is the key to a successful future for Canada.

This may have been a somewhat personal and emotional presentation, and I will not apologize for that, as it is representative of the mood of Quebec.


The Vice-Chair: May I say that no apology is necessary. The presentation you made, I think, spoke very clearly of what the issue is, and may I say on behalf of the committee, thank you for a very factual and very honest presentation on how you see things. There are a number of questions. We will start with Mr Wilson.

Mr G. Wilson: I must say that I was astonished by this presentation because when I saw that you were a business association, I was not prepared for these values that you list: "autonomy, participation, responsibility, openness, democracy" are not ones that I had come to associate with business interests, especially as they are represented by our national government, which again, in highlighting the survey, are I think completely contrary to those values that our national government represents, which as I say is associated in a lot of our minds at least with big business attitude. So, as I say, I was surprised by the slant that you took but I found it fascinating, and I hope this is representative of a lot of feelings of the people of Quebec because I can say it represents the feelings of a lot of people living outside Quebec.

My question then comes to be associated with your metaphor, and I know comparisons cannot include everything, but you seem to suggest that the rest of Canada is agreed on the direction the ship is going. It seems to me that is not the case, that there is a lot of debate, and certainly we have heard it in this committee, about where this ship should be going. Is there no possibility of the people for whom you speak influencing the direction of the ship by staying on the ship rather than going in a lifeboat on their own?

Dr Lanctôt: What I have said is that all Canadians, I think, want to go in one direction but this is not where the country is going. That is why I said we are all alike; we are no different. We all got on this boat for the same reasons and the same aspirations. The difference is that Quebec says, "The boat is not going in the right direction." So Canadians say, but the difference is that Quebec says: "It does not change direction so we do not want to go on any more. We just do not want to hit those rocks, because this is where we are heading."

Mr G. Wilson: But you do not see any people in the rest of Canada who share your aspirations.

Dr Lanctôt: Absolutely. The west wants to go, everybody want to go, but they do not go.

Why does Quebec want to leave? It wants to leave for the same reasons that other Canadians want to leave. We are not the only ones with dissatisfaction; I agree with you 100%. I am just trying to come here today to tell you that we are all the same and we have the same aspirations, and the only difference is that Quebec does not want to hope any more if there is no major change in direction.

You know, as long as we keep talking economics and this and that, that is not the issue. The issue is values, the vision, the philosophy, and we have become so materialistic that we are just off target. None of us got into this boat, and I agree we have the same problems, and let's be happy that the country is going through that kind of turmoil. It is a chance we have to make a change. It is like being sick. After an illness, you can see it as a sad thing but you can see it as a very positive thing because it gives you a chance to change orientation in your life, to change direction. This is what your body is telling you if something goes wrong, so I think it is the same thing that the country is going through. But Quebec says, "No, everything you are saying will not change the direction so let's get out."

Mr Winninger: This question is more to satisfy my curiosity than anything else. Virtually all of the presentations by francophones or francophone associations have been in French. Did you make any kind of conscious decision whether you were going to present in English or French?

Dr Lanctôt: No. I came here today to meet with you English Canadian people, so I said I would rather speak English if we want to -- it is easier, I think, to communicate through the same language than to communicate through a translation. That is why I decided to do a presentation in English.

As far as I am concerned, it does not matter. We came here today to talk with you, heart to heart. It would even be better. That is why I had to use an analogy, because I do not think that words can translate the problems of the soul. This is what we want to share with you, and if it is easier to do it in English, let's do it in English. If it is easier to do it in French, let's do it in French. But I think French people know what is going on with Quebec. I wanted to share it with English-speaking, anglophone people, so that is why I decided to do it in English.

The Vice-Chair: I have a question I want to ask. You spoke of something that I think this committee has been hearing a lot of, which is that many Canadians, I think, and many Ontarians are feeling the same things as what you're saying -- that somehow we see that the ship has changed direction and it scares people. We have seen the erosion of our social programs to a certain extent. We have seen that change in philosophy in the way things have been going in the nation.

You speak about getting off the ship. I am just wondering at what point you are able to get back on. If you see that there is goodwill on the part of the rest of Canada in saying: "Listen, we hear. We all understand and we all are feeling the same things. Sometimes we tend to fixate things a little bit more towards Quebec and not look at the fact that western provinces have the same problems, that the Maritimes are feeling alienated, that northern Ontario is feeling alienated. It is not just Quebec."

I guess what I am saying is that if people finally come to realize that and say, "Yes, we do have some problems and we need to address them," and you see that willingness on the part of the rest of Canada, do you think that the Quebec people will be able to say, "Yes, we will stay on the ship and together we will try to steer in the direction that we all want to steer it as Canadians?"

Dr Lanctôt: When I say what Quebeckers want, I just try to show you that it is not economics. It is not material problems or considerations. That is why I said it is our soul that is sick, and I said that all Canadians, we all have the same problems.

When I say Quebec wants to leave, I did not decide if Quebec wants to leave or not. Like you, I see that Quebeckers want to leave. So what are they going to do if we address the real issues? When I say we, I am talking about Canadians in general. If we address the real issues, what are they going to do? I cannot answer for them, but I definitely think that if we address the real issues, we will cure the real problems, and I do not think there would be any separation.

You see, the problem is, how can you find the right solution if you do not know what the problem is? The problem we have been addressing until now has always been economics and all material problems. It is not a material problem; it is a lack of spirituality. Our society is sick. It is totally dehumanized. Not only Canada -- the rest of the world. But we are experiencing the symptoms and the signs of the disease, maybe more or faster than the others. If we address the right problem, we will find the right solution, and I do not see why this country would not remain united, which is what we all deeply want.



The Vice-Chair: We would like to call our last group of presenters, the Canadian pensioners concerned. We apologize for the lateness. What happened was a mixup in the schedule.

Ms Harman: You have to admit I am flexible.

The Vice-Chair: Thank God as Canadians we are flexible.

Ms Harman: My name is Mae Harman. I have been watching with fascination these sessions on TV. I have found them informative and often heart-warming and sometimes dismaying. When I asked my friends if they have been watching, they do not seem to have cable and they do not seem to know that this is happening. I would like to propose that you make up a video that could be distributed to organizations because there is great material here and it should be spread around.

I represent the Ontario division of Canadian Pensioners Concerned. Our organization began in 1969 when some people who were about to retire got together to discuss their concerns about pensions. Since that time our membership has grown and our interests have broadened. Seniors now comprise an ever-growing proportion of the population. We have paid taxes of one kind or another all our lives and continue to do so. We have made many contributions to our communities and we will continue to do so. We have paid a proportion of our incomes into retirement plans assuming these funds would be there to help us to live out our retirement years in some comfort and dignity. We are also voters and intend to be heard. A little grey power there.

Our Canadian heritage includes the province of Quebec and Quebec people and their unique heritage of language, culture and history. This lends to Canada special uniqueness which we do not want to lose. Quebec's language and culture must be recognized as making it a distinct society and Quebec must have the right to maintain and develop its language and culture. Similarly, anglo-phones in Quebec must equally have the right of being educated, receiving government services and conducting their business in English where numbers warrant, and francophones in other parts of Canada must be treated with respect and have opportunities to be educated, conduct their business and receive government services in French where numbers warrant.

The rejection of Meech Lake was not a rejection of Quebec. It was the failure to include women and native people in the agreement and the failure of the whole process to involve the people. The very language of "striking a deal" and "rolling the dice" was repugnant as a substitute for true negotiation, give and take, in the best interests of all citizens.

It has been said that the people of Canada want to have their say. The people do not want just to speak; they want to be heard with understanding and appreciation. They expect respectful reception that digests and analyses what it hears, and responds. It is interesting that a federal government which continually hires pollsters to find out what the people think does so little to respond to the people's wishes and dissatisfactions, but proceeds on its way with the Prime Minister declaring that he knows what is best for us.

In fact, one is led to believe by their comments that this government is almost totally unaware of the lifestyles of the people in this country and is quite insensitive to what it means to be poor, battered, unemployed, disabled, ill, a native or a refugee. We need some new strategies for influencing majority governments and making members of the Legislature more responsive to their constituents. Perhaps there should be referendums on such important items as trade arrangements and new taxation systems and more opportunities for members to be freed of caucus control to vote as their constituents demand.

Native people and their culture are also a part of our Canadian heritage. If we reject their needs, we cut ourselves off from the richness of their contribution. We must redress the wrongs that have been done them and assist them in becoming self-governing and in preserving their own language and culture. Natives who leave the reservations must be treated with dignity and encouraged to be independent.

Canada has a moral obligation to share its resources, both human and material, with the developing countries, assisting with medical help, education and training, technical equipment and advice and helping them to develop their own potential and self-determination.

Generations of immigrants have contributed to our Canadian mosaic. They have brought and shared a richness of industry, creativity, different cultures and languages, arts, technology and food. They have contributed to the development of our resources and our economy, the development of our communities and the enrichment of our daily living. We must continue to welcome immigrants, especially those who need a refuge from war, persecution, famine and poverty in their own lands. We need to handle their arrival with more sensitivity and speed and assist their integration into their communities with appropriate language classes, education and training, housing, employment and good neighbourliness. Most of us either were or are immigrants.

We should stop talking about the powers of different levels of government and speak instead of responsibilities and shared responsibilities. A strong central government is essential to take care of such matters as defence, relationships with other nations, international treaties, postal services, cross-country transportation, immigration, the Charter of Rights, the Supreme Court, the CBC and the national economy.

Since the days of Lester Pearson, Canada has had an excellent reputation throughout the world as a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. We need to regain our credibility in this regard. As a smaller country, we are in a unique position to play this role which is so badly needed in today's world.

Some of our representatives to the United Nations and its organizations have given strong leadership with regard to peace and peacekeeping, poverty, food and agriculture, rights of children and refugees, etc. A strong central government is needed also to set standards for health, child care, education and training, prevention of poverty, the justice system, retirement and old age, public housing, unemployment insurance and disability.

Government at the federal level should provide major financing to the provinces for the above services, and through a mechanism such as the Canada assistance plan make certain that services are available to all citizens across Canada on an equal basis. So long as basic standards are met, provinces and municipalities should be able to develop their own programs, taking into account regional differences and needs, and to supplement these services as they see fit.

Our whole system of providing assistance to people in need has become very complex and expensive to administer and needs major overhauling. Some system of guaranteed annual income is needed to eliminate needs testing. A multiplicity of programs and services is required because people cannot finance their basic needs.

The free trade agreement with the USA was a costly mistake in terms of job losses, removal of companies to the USA and bankruptcies. We need to negotiate to see how we can recoup our losses and prevent future losses. We need to avoid getting entangled in a three-way agreement with the USA and Mexico and the resulting further loss of employment and industry. We need to explore the potential for further development of our resources here for more valuable exports. We need to establish new markets in Europe and the Pacific Rim. We need to break down trade barriers between the provinces.

The federal government and the provinces should be able to transcend petty partisan politics and consult and confer regularly with each other in the best interests of the nation. No province should have the right of veto. A majority vote should prevail.


Quebec cannot be dragged, kicking and screaming, into Confederation. An unwilling participant would be detrimental to good government. Every effort should be made to negotiate reasonable expectations of Quebec based on recognition of its unique culture. For example, all responsibility for education and training, immigration and communications might be transferred to Quebec. We sincerely hope that Quebec will not choose to leave Canada and we are reluctant to even think of the negotiations that would be required. All Canadians need to treat with great seriousness the risks that are entailed.

Regional differences and regional needs must be recognized and respected. The federal government has a strong responsibility to help regions develop their resources and provide the services their populations need.

Unemployment should not be allowed to force large numbers of people to leave their home province in search of jobs in another province. An influx of immigrants into a city should not put heavy taxation burdens upon the property owners there to provide for their welfare. The cuts in transfer payments to provinces should be fully restored. They have placed great burdens on the provinces and municipalities already reeling with the setbacks of the recession.

Tuesday's budget indicates further abdication of federal responsibilities, greater burdens on provinces and municipalities and further suffering and loss of dignity for the unemployed, the poor, the sick and the homeless. It does nothing to encourage national unity.

The federal government should give greater financial encouragement to research and development. Besides being of value to people in general, it would encourage some of our finest young minds to stay and contribute to Canada. Our taxation system needs to be thoroughly overhauled. The previous system of more levels of taxation with the rate rising at each level was more progressive than the present one.

One Voice, a national umbrella organization for seniors, puts it this way: "We are observing, as a result of the government's tax policies, an accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few, while a number of poor Canadians, and their depth of poverty, is increasing rapidly. Food banks are here to stay, it seems, and welfare rolls are bursting with people who are trapped in poverty and cannot escape. The taxation focus on the middle class is causing more and more to slide into the low income categories, while tax breaks continue to serve the wealthy. Many profitable corporations are making no tax contribution to the society in which they operate."

The Vice-Chair: I was just looking through the brief. You have about another three pages and about four minutes to go, whatever way you want to do it.

Ms Harman: Okay. I will just mention that the GST is a regressive and unfair tax. It is especially hard on people with low incomes and it is hard on people who need services which are now taxed, because seniors tend to use those services to a greater degree than other age groups.

I wanted to speak to the clawback. Seniors are dismayed by the clawback on old age security because it is an infringement of entitlement and the first chipping away of the principle of universality. To quote again from One Voice: "The clawback of old age security and family allowance benefits has begun the erosion of the principle of universality of social programs...Seniors deplore this measure and the fact that social policy is thereby being modified through the tax system. There is now considerable fear among seniors and those approaching retirement that a major source of income they had expected will no longer be provided. As partial indexation takes its toll, the clawback will begin to affect thousands of middle income seniors...Many private pensions were negotiated with the understanding that old age security would be received by all eligible Canadians."

I will just mention medicare. Seniors remember a time when there was no medicare and a family could be ruined financially by a major illness. We are troubled when business groups and government spokesmen declare that Canada cannot afford medicare and that there should be deterrent fees and extra billing. We do not want to return to a two-tier system where those who can afford it get health care and the rest get what charity provides. Medicare protects those who are most vulnerable. It allows for preventive medicine and health education. It is a lifeline to the wellbeing of the community and a solid investment in our future. It must not be endangered.

Mr G. Wilson: Thanks very much for your presentation. If you heard the earlier presenter you would find that you had much in common with her. But what made her presentation interesting is that she focused on the feelings that you are raising that are felt by a lot of Quebeckers; that is, she compared Canada to a ship and the direction it is sailing is, in her opinion, heading for rocks, and a lot of Quebeckers are concerned by that and would like to get off that ship.

It struck me that you are one of the builders of that ship, yet the direction that it seems to be going also is of great concern to you. That would strike you, I think, as particularly hard, that these areas that you mention -- in effect, the social safety net that you established and I guess the values of compassion and consideration for others -- seem to be being torn apart. I would just like to say that this is what I hear from you. Would you say that is essentially the point you are trying to make, that the direction has to be changed?

Ms Harman: Well, I am a sixth-generation Canadian. I do not want to get off the ship, but I am beginning to think there is some great conspiracy going on here that is trying to do away with all that was Canada, really. I think you have been hearing a lot of anger and a lot of concern and a lot of fear from people who have been speaking to you. Who is in charge of this country and what is going on here? What is the direction, and is it a direction that is going to help people who belong to Canada?

The Vice-Chair: I would like to thank you very much and remind you that it is the job of all citizens of this country to make sure that our governments hear us. We have been getting a lot of comments on behalf of the people coming before us saying that they feel as if the governments are not listening, and in some cases that is good criticism, but I remind people also that it is our responsibility as citizens to go and see our local members of Parliament or MPPs or whatever, to make sure that indeed these things are not happening. I know that for ourselves, as politicians provincially, the reason we got involved was for exactly the things that you talked about, because it scares us as well. We all have a responsibility to make sure that the ship goes in that right direction.

Ms Harman: I think Ontario has the potential for being a real leader in this constitutional mess that we are in, and we look to you, our government, to accept that challenge and to involve us in that.

The Vice-Chair: We accept the responsibility. Thank you.

Ms Harman: Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. We are adjourned until 2 o'clock this afternoon.

The committee recessed at 1247.


The committee, in part, resumed at 1405.

The Vice-Chair: We would like to welcome you back to the select committee on Ontario in Confederation. We are again live from Toronto. We have a list of groups this afternoon, as well as some individuals.


Mr Baker: Thank you, Mr Chairman, members of the committee. I apologize for any indigestion caused by my presentation. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak to you. I want to emphasize that I am speaking in my personal capacity, since time constraints have not permitted any of this to go to my board of directors.

We live in a country which has a great deal for which we all must be grateful. Our current Constitution is not one of those things. The threat of Quebec's separation for me is not only a crisis but an opportunity to correct many longstanding problems. From my vantage point as a human rights lawyer and social policy analyst, I would urge Ontario to play a bold leading role in reshaping Canada rather than its usual conciliatory and beneficent one.

We live in a country where economic powers are decentralized to an unparalleled degree. I note in the Globe and Mail today that centralism is supposedly over the hill. I guess that means I am over the hill with it, because I am here to talk about the need for economic centralism. I was shocked to learn the extent of this decentralization while playing a bit part as an articling student representing -- along with senior counsel, of course -- OPSEU and CUPE in the Anti-Inflation Board reference back in 1977. The Supreme Court ruled in that case that the federal government could only impose wage and price controls in times of national emergency. I remember feeling at the time that I had helped win the battle but had lost my country.

Political scientists explain our unique structure as the product of compromise rather than revolution. Historians say the Fathers of Confederation guessed wrong when they assumed that whichever level of government controlled the ports and ferries, the post office and the railways, would control the economy. The late Chief Justice Bora Laskin blamed the Privy Council for interpreting our trade and commerce clause down to insignificance while the United States Supreme Court was using a similar clause to create a highly centralized governmental structure. Whatever the explanation, economic decentralization is wrong and, in my opinion, must be reversed.

At the same time we have federal and provincial governments neutralizing each other's financial policy initiatives across this country, with Mr Wilson tightening belts at the federal level and perhaps Mr Laughren doing the exact reverse at the provincial level. We have Michael Wilson saying, "Even if the feds aren't contributing a nickel to medicare, we're going to impose standards on the province," dictating how it will spend its money on matters within its exclusive jurisdiction.

You may be wondering why someone in my position would be critical of national standards for medicare. It is not that I disagree with the standards themselves; in fact, I would entrench them in the Constitution. But I feel it is wrong that the federal government claim credit for national standards when it is not intending to contribute anything towards the implementation of them. I am sure that is cause for concern in many of the provinces, and particularly Quebec, but let me try to explain in a couple of sentences why I feel having a federal role in these areas at all is wrong.

Canada's combined spending on health and social services is about average among industrialized nations. Our spending on medicare is second only to the United States. Our social spending is among the lowest of industrialized nations, however, and this is of course a great source of hardship for people who are poor, including the people I know best, who are disabled people. You might say, "We can't get everything right," but this is precisely my point; not only are we spending a lot on medicare, but we are not spending wisely. We are institutionalizing our seniors at a rate of 10% when Sweden's rate is 2.8%. We pay doctors outrageous fees to perform services which could be performed much better for much less by others. We invest in reactive services such as hospitals rather than in preventive ones such as housing, and we pay for unnecessary operations and have nothing left to feed the hungry.

I think one of the major reasons underlying this and much other stupidity is the overlapping federal-provincial jurisdiction over health and social services. Discussion at the federal level, and in the rooms where discussions go on on a federal-provincial basis, is remote from the complexity one finds when one is directly confronted by a situation where service delivery is required. As a result, élite interests are well entrenched in those discussions, democracy is stymied and the taxpayer dutifully pours his or her dollars down the black hole of the status quo.

Let me turn to the charter and, in particular, the equality right. The equality clause is one of the most important tools in my trade as a constitutional lawyer. The charter is a hard thing for politicians to celebrate because it permits unelected judges to overrule decisions made by elected politicians. As long as the courts get it right -- and there is, unfortunately, no guarantee of that -- the equality guarantee will enhance Canadian democracy in my opinion, however. The critical question is whether courts will recognize it was intended to benefit members of disadvantaged groups to achieve equality of opportunity; that is, to sweep away the systemic barriers which have created their disadvantagement in the first place.

As long as it is not used by members of advantaged groups to deepen the disadvantagement of others, half the battle will have been won. The other half of the battle will be to persuade the courts to do anything at all. The conservatism of Canadian courts is long-standing and the two champions of the rights of disadvantaged people, Brian Dickson and Bertha Wilson, have recently retired from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Let me turn to Meech Lake. The Meech Lake accord was a behind-closed-doors attempt to appease Quebec. By cryptically dubbing the province a distinct society and transferring a host of powers not only to Quebec but to all provinces off Quebec's wish list, the first ministers, including the hesitant social democratic Premier of Manitoba, hoped to paper over the problems and get on with business as usual here in Canada.

Disadvantaged groups regarded the "distinct society" clause as a threat to the paramountcy of their hard-won equality guarantee. Economic centralists such as myself felt that the accelerating balkanization of Canada was simply speeding the country's demise. Meech Lake's failure gives us the opportunity to get it right. I will remind you, if we fail again to reach agreement, Quebec will separate.

Quebec's separation would be cause for regret but, in my opinion, should not be regarded as the end of the world. Ontario is comparable in size to Sweden, it is comparable in population, resources and climate and a host of other ways. Sweden enjoys the second highest standard of living in the world and has governmental and economic institutions we would do well to emulate. We should make every effort to address Quebec's legitimate aspirations. But if the national interest is to be compromised, I would hope Ontario would say "enough," call a halt to the process and consider what options there are to take into account a country without Quebec. My recommendations then:

1. The French fact must be entrenched in a country where the overwhelmingly dominant culture is English. I have not given up on Trudeau's vision of a bilingual country. In fact, having been granted probably the only sabbatical I will ever have, I am going to be spending a large part of it improving my French. Ultimately it is Quebec, as the weaker partner -- that is, the French partner -- -which must judge whether bilingualism is a success or a failure. In my opinion, it is presumptive for the dominant English culture to make judgements on that, and therefore they are going to have to decide whether or not bilingualism is working.

2. Virtually all of the powers sought by Quebec, as outlined in the Allaire report, are legitimately linked to predicting the French fact. They are also the kinds of powers which provinces can more effectively exercise than the federal government because of regional disparities. Overlapping jurisdiction, in my opinion, in these areas has been a disaster, contributing to the legitimate perception that at one and the same time we are both overgoverned and lack leadership in this country. In short, I do not think the shopping list in the Allaire report is an unreasonable shopping list.

3. The federal role of conditionally cost-sharing provincial services must be phased out, as painful as that will be. In place of cost-sharing there should be a transfer of tax points. Federal standards beyond necessity for reciprocity structures should be a thing of the past.

4. Related to number 3, the corrupt and moribund institution of the Senate should be abolished. The proposal of a triple E Senate should be rejected as antidemocratic. In its place we should entrench a mechanism for redistributing resources from the richer to the poorer provinces. Perhaps a parallel would be helpful in illustrating why this is necessary. In the United States each school district is left to its own devices for funding. Through gerrymandered boundaries and the constructions of suburbs designed for the wealthy, rich whites have excellent public schools and poor blacks have inadequate ones in inner cities. In Ontario we have a redistributive mechanism for education funding. While imperfect, it is a big improvement over the American system. This is precisely the kind of mechanism we should be entrenching into our Constitution to ensure that we do not have ghettoized provinces living side by side with wealthy ones.

5. The federal government must be given the control it requires to position Canada in an increasingly global economy. To my mind it is a joke; when we have a decentralized economy in a world where we have to be able to make some important decisions, we are simply incapable of making them. Provincial jurisdiction over financial institutions, labour relations, industrial development, natural resources, energy and the environment should be transferred to the federal government. Countries such as Germany, Japan and Sweden have highly centralized governments on economic, labour and environmental issues and clearly they are the big winners in the world economy. Sweden in particular has achieved great success through a strong labour movement, a commitment to an industrial strategy based on strong export performance, conservation and regeneration of natural resources and environmental protection. As long as provinces are competing with each other for job-producing industries, we simply undercut each other and the country will not be able to develop strong standards in these areas, whatever the goodwill or intention among provincial governments individually may be.

6. My sixth point is simply this: The equality rights section should be amended to ensure that it only benefits members of disadvantaged groups. We do not want to see it used by men to disadvantage further women, able-bodied people, similarly to disadvantage disabled people and so on. This would permit the repeal of section 15(2), which is the affirmative action clause, which is unfortunately creating unnecessary confusion in the courts and can in fact turn out to be something which is used against disadvantaged people.

Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity of sharing these concerns with you. I hope you all get some sleep and those are my suggestions.

The Vice-Chair: Sleep is something we have been lacking. We would like to thank you for your brief. Obviously very well prepared and well thought out. We do have a question.

Mr Winninger: I too would like to thank you and I know you have been providing outstanding advocacy over the past few years. My question relates to national standards and cost-sharing. We have been hearing repeatedly that what holds this nation together is the way we care for our citizens. Strong national standards such as access to universal health care is something that should continue to be entrenched in our Constitution. You know, recently Quebec started charging a fee of $5 for certain emergency services. Would it concern you then that cost-sharing is phased and there be a transfer of tax points unless there is some kind of assurance that the national standards that Canadians have grown accustomed to would survive under such a change?

Mr Baker: Okay, so you are going straight for my jugular here. My concern is this: that the federal government intends to take credit for the national standards and not contribute a penny for implementing them. I say that is a joke. If we want to entrench national standards in the Constitution, let's do it. I do not have any problem with taking the standards set out for medicare and putting them in the Constitution if we feel that way about it. I am concerned about resources, and I am concerned about the fact that we are spending too much on doctors and hospitals and not enough on housing and welfare and things that keep people out of the hands of doctors and hospitals. If we have the resources to entrench something like that, I say do it. I am concerned about what will happen in British Columbia with the current government. I am concerned what would happen in PEI without national standards.


At the same time I do believe -- and ultimately I think this it the point Quebec is making to us -- that we have to accept that the provinces are big people and are able to make big decisions themselves, and make big mistakes perhaps and learn from those mistakes. I think people who live in Alberta and BC have to take responsibility for communicating to very right-wing governments that that is not acceptable, and perhaps that means the right-wing government is not acceptable.

But ultimately I think Quebec is going to object strongly to the existence of those national standards and we have to do something perhaps that involves weaning ourselves away from the current system that we have, mindful as I am that it could cause catastrophes in the short, medium and perhaps even the long term in some provinces.

The Vice-Chair: I am going to have to cut it there because we are running behind. Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: The Islamic Co-ordinating Council. I would ask Mrs O'Neill to come and replace the Chair.

Mr Zafar: Thank you very much. I would like to begin by thanking the select committee on Ontario in Confederation to provide this opportunity for us to present our brief that we have designated as the Spirit of Ontario.

My colleague Imam Abdul Hai Patel and others have participated and contributed towards this brief.

For the last two years, perhaps more, the world watches with wonder at what is happening to Canada, a country respected all over the world as the model of civilized behaviour, tolerance and compassion, fighting over issues like language rights and the breaking up of the country as such.

The remarkable debate that is raging right across our wonderful land has become intensely personal and emotional. The basic root of our Canadian national character of being compassionate is being questioned, both with vigour and with sometimes racist overtones. Hence, never before in the history of our country, has the province of Ontario been urged to come forward and create what we are calling the spirit of Ontario.

We will deal specifically with the spirit of Ontario later, but we feel that we should address ourselves to the challenges of the 21st century, and there are a number of issues that Ontario must examine clearly in the development of a constitutional relationship with the federal government and with the rest of the country.

First and foremost, the spirit of Ontario must be spelled out clearly and effectively. What is the basic and futuristic spirit of Ontario? The spirit of Ontario in Confederation is the spirit of tolerance, compassion and progress.

The spirit of Ontario within its provincial boundary exhibits the spirit of multiculturalism as working together, an example for other provinces perhaps to witness that in Ontario there are over 125 different languages spoken. Right in the heart of Toronto we proudly exhibit street signs in such languages as Chinese and Greek. Here, within our provincial borders, the largest number of recent immigrants have settled. To mention a few, they are from such faraway countries as India, Pakistan, Iran and the Philippines. They all call Canada their home. Here in Ontario the Italians, the Portuguese, the Germans, all have moulded together along with the Chinese, Japanese, in calling Ontario their home.

Here in Ontario I would like to point out to all of you that we have a mosque and a synagogue that share not only the common fences but also the parking lot, and I would suggest to this committee that one Saturday when the Jewish citizens of our province are celebrating their Sabbath, Muslims are parking to come for sunset prayers in the adjacent mosque. Friends, this is the spirit of Ontario, and truly Ontario should be calling itself a distinct society and a model for other provinces to emulate. The spirit of Ontario generates a distinct and unique character for all the provinces to display to all from coast to coast.

Having defined what we mean by the spirit of Ontario, let us now move to the second point, on the issue of economy and international trade.

Perhaps most of you know the exact breakdown of overseas trade of our province, but we believe that many Ontario manufacturers are capable of and interested in exporting but lack the financial and human resources to develop new markets. Whereas the province of Quebec, under some special arrangements with the federal government, continues to expand and establish export markets, here in Ontario we are still dickering over how important offshore trade is. We have yet to develop an Ontario trading corporation that could provide a complete set of trade-related services covering both general and the capital projects. How could we achieve this?

It is a true but oft-repeated cliché that the progress of any economy is the effective use of human and financial resources. It is certainly very true for Ontario.

The rich ethnic mosaic of Ontario could provide business and, in particular, the government, the untapped and underutilized cadre for overseas trade development. Unfortunately, our Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology ignores this aspect. The entrenched self-serving attitude refuses to give opportunities to harness the rich human resources available in our province. Should we decide to harness our human resources, we could easily become more competitive internationally.

The second point we wish to bring to your attention, as the Muslims all over Ontario and right across our land have asked to do, in particular those Muslims living in the province of Quebec, where there are many Muslim migrants from French-speaking countries who call Quebec in Canada their home. They are comfortable with the French language and culture. Furthermore, they feel proud that when travelling on vacations in certain parts of Ontario, the French language, culture and customs are respected. After all, Canada as we know today has been established by the two founding cultures, along with our native people. Hence, we support the selective availability of the French language, as well as the resumption of new dialogue with the federal government dealing with the rights and obligations of the native people.

The present arrangements between the provinces and the federal government are inadequate for the 21st century. The federal government should consider, in our view, transferring some funds and some of the responsibilities re the native people to the provinces. Let a compassionate government like the one in place in Ontario deal with the economic and social needs of our native people.


What bothers us most is that so much has been talked and written about the question of Quebec in recent years that it boggles the mind of common, decent Canadians, and Ontarians are no exception. In this regard, we Muslims believe that Canada without Quebec is a meal without salt. It is the French presence that gives uniqueness to our land from sea to sea. Quebec is a distinct society. We have no argument with this, as we have stated earlier how the spirit of Ontario has propelled Ontario to be both unique and a distinct society. Our province should enhance interprovincial trade. It is the ties of trade and tolerance that should bring people together, not politicians.

Finally, in Ontario men of ideas are needed, men and women who will move forward without being deterred by hesitancy or doubt or discouraged by difficulties or hazards. For the spirit of Ontario and its relationship with other parts of Canada, we need such men and women of vision, not of petty jealousies and hangups.

We have dealt rather hurriedly with some of the challenges that Ontario faces as Canadians gear up to build around a united country and perhaps around a new Constitution. With all this talk of languages, in particular French, perhaps we are forgetting another important aspect of our province: that Ontario's social services towards poor and the elderly, towards those individuals and families that are caught in the economic downturn, should be compassionately updated. This is the challenge to the business community.

We believe that a compassionate capitalism is well entrenched in the spirit of Ontario. The present government should only have to tap the vast resources of goodwill among business and union leaders. Business and union leaders are not antagonistic to each other; they are complementary to building a dynamic and just society.

Once again, thank you for giving us the opportunity to share with you the points of view of 160,000 Muslims who call Ontario and Canada their home.

I leave with a prayer: May God bless the spirit of Ontario and open the hearts of our citizens and make Canada a united country. Thank you very much.

Mr G. Wilson: I was interested to see that you have appealed to what you call the spirit of Ontario and how that spirit obviously pre-dates the arrival of, I guess, you people as well as -- well, let's just centre on that for a moment. You find that there are things appealing there that go beyond individual groups in society and I was wondering whether you could say how we could foster that spirit.

Mr Zafar: I am glad that you asked this question. I have lived here for the last 30 years, and when I first migrated early in 1961, I felt that there was no funding of the multicultural program. People came here. I used to spend wonderful Sunday afternoons being a Muslim in a small town called Thorold. Some of you may not know that one went to the Presbyterian or United Church and cookies and candies were given on Sunday. That route has been lost. That route of compassion, self-help, has been lost.

Instead of that, somehow we got caught ourselves into the government funding the multicultural program. That was initially a good thing. In marketing terms, there is a product life cycle. It has reached the plateau point. We should bring for the 21st century an encouragement for the linguistically and culturally sensitive people of Ontario to develop the trade of Ontario. Who would be better to sell Ontario products than second- and third-generation Italians going to Italy? I can tell you, they are the best. Who would be the best to sell Ontario goods and services in Delhi than second- and third-generation people who have originated from the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent? As you know, sir, as a member of the ruling party, for the last year we have not yet filled the position in New Delhi of senior representative. That is a hell of a waste.

What I am saying, even if I would go further for all parties to understand, is that should we really believe that Ontario is a multicultural society, Ontario is looking forward to the 21st century, then perhaps instead of having a political patronage appointment as an agent general in London, we should give our mother country, the United Kingdom, the first coloured agent general there. So this is the spirit of Ontario, a unique experiment which is working.

The Acting Chair (Mrs Y. O'Neill): Thank you very much.


The Acting Chair: The next group, the Committee on the Future of Canada. I understand that you three ladies -- Ms Maybee, Ms Shariff and Ms Varaleau -- want to divide the time. Does that mean you want to use your full time, five minutes each, or do you want to try to condense it to three to four minutes and have time for questions?

Ms Varaleau: I think the way we have positioned it is that I will have five minutes and you will speak for five minutes, Rose, and Alies for two minutes, so we will have a little bit of time left over for questions as well.

The Acting Chair: All right, let's begin, please.

Ms Varaleau: Okay, this is a brief introduction. My name is Darlene Varaleau. On my left is Rose Shariff and on my right is Alies Maybee. We are members of a committee which was struck as a result of an equality eve celebration. It is our belief that women bring a different perspective to all issues in Canada and we are very concerned that women's voice and perspective be heard on this issue in particular.

The Acting Chair: Okay, thank you for putting this in perspective.

Ms Varaleau: Our discussion ranged into some of the principles that we feel need to be addressed when looking at the future of Canada, and specifically the Constitution, so our discussion was somewhat general and becomes more specific later. At the first, we started about, "Well, everybody is talking about the Canadian identity," and we were saying that there is very much in the Canadian identity to be proud of and in particular a very strong political system. an excellent legal system. We have great wealth in the country and a social network, but also part of the identity that we have is a commercial sector which is not very competitive. We see it as not being internationally competitive and being very risk-averse, and we feel that is also part of our Canadian identity. Also, we see the Canadian government as not managing our resources effectively, which leads us to believe that we are somehow not competent managers of our resources, and that, true, also is part of the Canadian identity and something that people may not express but is actually part of the Canadian conscience.

We believe that Canadians have to understand better the relationship between business and the sense of wellbeing that we have in the country and our standard of living and that we have to address the commercial sector and the public management of our resources strongly.

All three of us are very active politically and we had very specific concerns about the political process in Canada. In particular, we think that our political process is excellent. I recently returned from a trip around the world and have nothing but extreme admiration for everything in Canada and, in particular, our political process, but there are some things that I see in my involvement, and one is that our political process has got a lot of gamesmanship to it. You know, a lot of people enter the process like it is a game, as opposed to what they can contribute to Canada as a whole, and we think a lot of this deals with what happens at the nomination level, where it is a matter of going out and getting a lot of memberships in the riding. It does not have a lot to do with thoughtful policy thinking and that is the fault of the parties. They need to be addressing this. Some of them are, I am not sure very rigorously, but it affects the quality of people who we attract to the political arena.

Another thing is that we have some great people in there, but they seem to take the approach that they can fool Canadians. The idea is to trick Canadians into believing that their message is the right message, as opposed to listening and responding to what the public wants and providing some strong leadership and engaging people in that process.


Another aspect that we feel is extremely wrong in the way we are governing ourselves is the whip system in the political process. We seem to have parties that vote en bloc. How is the public supposed to affect their politicians when the parties are voting en bloc and they do not have another four years to do anything about it? This is particularly an issue in our federal government, where we have something like a 75% majority when it only had 43% of the vote. So when you vote en bloc, how does that reflect the diversity of our culture? That is a party issue -- that is not something that is legislated -- that parties have to vote en bloc.

The other thing is that we cannot get rid of our leaders. If we are upset with them, we cannot get rid of them. We see this in a lot of different cases and I have been told not to name names, but we know who those people are. It takes for ever, and they will drag down the party and they will drag down the nation before they will depart. We would like to see something more like the British system, where the caucus gets together and out the person goes, more quickly than our system allows for.

With respect to constitutional change, we believe, although this process is wonderful, it is very broad, that ultimately we have to address a specific document and have people respond in a context in order to focus on issues. The people, the different groups across Canada, need time to address their membership. They are not going to be able to do that in a two-month process or whatever. We should consider a public referendum, although we do not, as a group, have a clear idea of whether, yes, a referendum is the way to go or not. But it should be considered in terms of addressing public opinion.

We believe there are three principles that must dominate the discussion with respect to the Constitution. I believe, and I have not consulted any polls on this, that Canadians want a strong federal government. If we look historically at what our premiers do, and now our Prime Minister, they are continually pulling away from the centre to gain provincial powers. I do not believe that is what Canadians want, and certainly in the 1981 discussions when Trudeau was on the scene, he kept threatening to go over the premiers' heads to the people with respect to the charter, and, I believe, to a strong central government. If the discussion continues to promote the idea of decentralization, I feel the Canadian people are going to continue to react to the proposals and eventually kick people out of office, so that we are going to be involved in this discussion ad nauseam.

Another principle that must be governed is again -- and this was true in 1981 when Trudeau was going over the heads of the people -- the Canadian people like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We do not want that eroded. Women, in particular, do not want that eroded, although the Quebec women seemed to bend on that last time. But in general, Canadians like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We do not want any province to have a veto over the Constitution. It did not work in Meech Lake. I have a background in the west, and the west certainly is not interested in Ontario being a veto power in the future.

We are also saying that the economy is a critical issue. I guess it is a concern about, "Let's be expeditious about this," because if we are going to go on and on ad nauseam about our Canadian identity, our economy is suffering dramatically and that is also part of the Canadian identity and needs to be addressed expeditiously.

In conclusion, on my part, I want to thank you for the opportunity. What this process did for us is it forced us to come together and formulate our thoughts and be clear about what we as Canadians wanted and, I believe, what we as women wanted. So I thank you for the opportunity to address you.

The Acting Chair: Did you use our discussion paper as the basis for your discussion?

Ms Varaleau: I received it and looked at it and I thought it was great, and no, we did not.

The Acting Chair: I understand that you would like to also add some comments.

Ms Maybee: I think Rose will go first.

Ms Shariff: Yes, I will continue where Darlene has left off. My name is Rose Shariff and I have attached an appendix, the last two pages. Canada needs an economic Constitution. Canada is in crisis, but it is not bankrupt. Canada has the resources to top the list as one of the richest countries in the Group of Seven industrialized countries by the turn of the century. What Canada needs to charge confidently into the 21st century is an economic constitution.

Let's face it: The real source of power in any country is economic strength, based on the dynamic qualities of its components. A strong economy is the pillar for any country's security of its sociocultural and political sovereignty, but the tragic state of our economic-financial affairs in Canada points to the failure of our government to provide a real entrepreneurial revolution to steer the Canadian economy towards the dynamism required when it is most needed. Ottawa has failed in economic federalism, unable to design a Canadian model of economic development at a time when the rest of the world is moving confidently towards economic integration in this shrunken global village.

The present government's naïve reliance on market forces is startling when the governments of the United States, Japan and Germany take on massive responsibilities in the economy. The lack of fiscal restraint points to the tragic lack of imagination on the part of our government. Our public finances are in a sordid state. Ottawa has traded too many concessions in economic resources, energy, our social programs and now our intellectual property to our neo-colonial masters in the United States protectionist Senate.

Canada is unable to improve productivity fast enough to keep pace with and to protect its place in constantly increasing global competition. We are not performing in the research and development field. Canada is stepping back in the training and retraining of its workforce. Canada is dismantling the very fabric of our programs that made us the envy of the industrialized world to appease the ever-protectionist US Senate under the free trade agreement. Federalism, as we envisaged it as Canadians, has failed us.

To rejuvenate and revitalize Canada, we must address the real issues. We need new creative thinking to refresh our sources of pride. Our confidence in our identity as Canadians will grow when we, as Canadians, are in control of our economy. We have to move towards the 21st century, and the 21st century is a century of communities of societies, similar to the European Community. Canada is already a community of societies, unique in our tradition of tolerance, justice and democracy. It is incumbent upon all of us to continue to work hard to reinvent a strong economic, political and social entity, a whole entity so that our country, Canada, can take its proud place in the new world again.

The Acting Chair: Did you have another statement?

Ms Maybee: My name is Alies Maybee. Unlike Rose, I am not in any way an expert on economics. I feel that she is very right, that we do need the economic thing. My concern is that we do not have an articulated vision of who we are as a nation, and I feel very strongly that a country without an articulated vision of who we are and what we want to be is like a company without a mission statement. If you run a company solely for the purpose of making money, you do not do as well as if you run a company for the purpose of delivering the best darned good or service you have got. I think for a country, we need to say: "This is the kind of society that we want. This is what we are, this is what we want and this is how we want to get better," and the byproduct of that will be a vitalized economy. This is not to in any way disregard some of the emphasis that Rose has put.

I feel we do not lack an identity; what we lack is the articulation of our identity. I feel very strongly that there are three Canadian characteristics which have been demonstrably Canadian since the start, the first and I think the most important of which is that we have developed as a nation through an enormous tolerance for otherness. The very fact that we had two founding European nations that were able to agree to disagree on how we managed our civil matters and so on and so forth and to tolerate and respect the differences of religion, etc, set the foundation for the nation that we have today, where we have enormous tolerance not only for the French and for the English in this country but for all those who have reached out and come to this country, because we have demonstrated that. So we now have a multinational nation.


I believe that has led to taking the experiment beyond our boundaries, and with Pearson and people like him, we have seen ourselves as a peacekeeping nation. We have some experiments here that we can offer the world in terms of how we can work together as a community of nations.

I think the other characteristic that is very demonstrably Canadian -- you see it in some other countries -- is a strong belief in the community responsibility. This is not a nation of every man for himself. We have looked from the strong regions to supporting the weaker regions. We have looked to develop socialized medicine and so on and so forth, and I think that is all a part of the sort of respect we have for other people and other ways of being. But I think we need to talk about that. I think we need to say, "This is what we want to continue with," and to set up our government so that it reflects that.

In terms of the mechanics, I do not have very much to add to what my fellow members have said, but that is just what I wanted to add at this point. So I will close at this moment with thanking you all very, very much for listening to us and for offering us the opportunity to wrestle with these things instead of gnash our teeth at home.

Mr Offer: Thank you for your presentation. A lot of the discussion that took place was about the Constitution being an economic constitution and meeting particular needs. I am wondering if you might share with us whether you feel a constitution should be that specific, or rather it should be an articulation of some of the values that we hold, and then it is up to the respective governments to use those values in terms of policies which we may accept or reject, agree with or disagree with in varying degrees. But in its essence, the constitution should not be, "Do this, do that," but rather, "This is what is important to us."

Ms Varaleau: I see the constitution as a context within which we operate. It is not all, "Do this, do that," no, I agree.

The Acting Chair: Thank you all very much for a very interesting presentation.


The Acting Chair: I call Madame Legault and Monsieur Tanguay of the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario.

Mr Bisson will resume the Chair.

M. Tanguay : Quand on me questionne sur le rôle que doit jouer l'Ontario dans la restructuration inévitable de la constitution canadienne, en tant que francophone qui a passé les 54 années de sa vie en Ontario, j'ai des réponses à donner. Nul doute que ces réponses prennent une couleur particulière, celle d'un Franco-Ontarien qui se souvient d'un passé pas souvent facile, qui vit un présent plus prometteur et qui espère un avenir équitable, rempli d'épanouissement social, économique et culturel dans une participation totale dans l'avenir de sa province et de son pays.

Être un francophone en Ontario, l'avoir été toute sa vie et l'être demeuré en soi représente un haut fait de vie pour tous les Franco-Ontariens et Franco-Ontariennes, qui devraient être decorés sur la place publique d'une croix d'honneur pour service rendu à leur province, à leur patrie. Cet attachement à permis à la province d'occuper une place spéciale dans la Confédération canadienne et dans le monde de la diplomatie internationale.

Le francophone est un patriote, un fier, un fils fidèle qui ne vit que pour l'épanouissement de sa race, de ses traditions, de son pays.

C'est avec tous ces francophones de toujours, de vieille souche ou nouvellement arrivés que je m'associe aujourd'hui pour vous dire ce que je crois être le mandat de l'Ontario en ces temps difficiles.

Ce n'est pas par hasard que j'ai choisi de témoigner ici à Toronto, la métropole du Canada, la capitale de notre belle province. Je veux assumer tout le poids de mon rôle de président de l'Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario et montrer que nous avons tous notre place bien au coeur de cette province qui sans nous non seulement n'aurait pas le même visage, mais n'aurait pas non plus tout le brio, le panache, le poids politique tant sur le plan national qu'international que confère le fait de participer à deux grandes cultures qui ont façonné le monde occidental.

Dans cette démarche qui doit nous amener à un nouveau pacte entre tous les intervenants de ce pays, il est essentiel de ne pas oublier le rôle primordial qu'ont joué ces deux cultures de base. De plus, il est grand temps qu'on admette dans le giron politique de notre pays, de notre province ces peuples d'origines qui étaient là bien avant nous et dont nous avons trop souvent ignoré la voix.

La véritable Confédération de demain se devrait de respecter les traditions, les droits acquis et les particularités socio-économiques et culturelles de ces groupes même si cela demande une nouvelle répartition des pouvoirs entre les différents paliers du gouvernement.

Il nous semble facile à nous, francophones de l'Ontario, de saisir les motifs qui ont amené certains Canadiens à préconiser un nouveau pacte constitutionnel. Vivre un partenariat quand les partenaires ne sont pas considérés comme égaux, nourrir des aspirations politiques, économiques, sociales et culturelles quand tous les moyens de répondre a ces aspirations sont contrôlés par l'un ou l'autres des partenaires en exclusivité ne sont que quelques exemples de situations qui expliquent aisément le désaccord fondamental de certains groupes de Canadiens.

La nouvelle constitution doit reconnaître aux trois communautés nationales qui ont bâti le Canada, aux autochtones, aux francophones et aux anglophones, une place prépondérante dans le partage des pouvoirs et des responsabilités.

La nouvelle constitution doit reconnaître aussi que depuis le début de ce beau pays, de nombreuses générations de néo-Canadiens et de néo-Canadiennes ont reconnu cette dualité linguistique de notre pays et se sont jointes ß l'un ou l'autre de ces deux peuples pour en enrichir le développement et la culture.

L'Ontario ne peut pas oublier. Il ne doit pas refuser de reconnaître le rôle primordial de la communauté de langue française dans la découverte et le développement de la province. Depuis au-delà de trois siècles, ces francophones participent activement à la réalité quotidienne de notre province. C'est beaucoup de temps, trois siècles, pour un jeune pays comme le nôtre et c'est difficile à effacer de la réalité, des choses et de l'histoire.

Des exposés savants vous ont présenté à profusion toutes les facettes du rôle que l'Ontario pourrait jouer dans la redéfinition de notre constitution canadienne. Ce n'est pas mon intention d'y revenir à fond ici. Il est cependant un aspect sur lequel je me dois d'insister car je crois qu'il est primordial. L'Ontario doit assumer un leadership certain. Il doit remplir le rôle de chef de file. Il est vrai de l'histoire de l'Ontario depuis l'Acte d'Union de 1840, où il y a eu la première entente politique entre les deux peuples fondateurs, qu'elle n'a pas brillé particulièrement par sa tolérance envers les francophones qui se sont retrouvés de son côté de la frontière.

Même si leur présence sur les territoires ontariens remontait au tout début de la colonie, au-delà de deux siècles en certains cas, et même si le régime anglais n'existait que depuis moins d'un siècle à ce moment, l'histoire n'a pas pesé très lourd dans les décisions politiques qui ont prévalu jusqu'à tout récemment. Le Règlement 17 n'est pas très loin.


Pourtant, les francophones ne se sont jamais démentis dans la poursuite des idéaux à tous les citoyens de cette province. Comme tous les autres citoyens, ils ont aspiré à la reconnaissance de leur droit à la différence, à leur propre culture et surtout à leur langue.

Dès le début, ils auraient bien voulu que leurs droits soient respectés comme l'ont été ceux des anglophones minoritaires de la province voisine, particulièrement dans le domaine de l'éducation avec les résultats qu'on sait cent ans plus tard, d'un côté, un système complet d'écoles élémentaires et secondaires avec des conseils scolaires autonomes ; des écoles du niveau collégial selon la demande ; et comme couronnement, trois universités -- pas des universités bilingues -- McGill, Concordia et Bishop bien à eux de langue anglaise. Pas mal du tout pour une minorité. Nous voudrions bien nous sentir minoritaires, mais nous en sommes encore au niveau des commissions d'enquêtes. Il n'est pas étonnant, dans les circonstances, qu'on nous rappelle, en ayant l'air de nous le reprocher qu'on n'a pas de tradition d'études universitaires chez les francophones et que notre scolarité à ce niveau n'est pas à l'égal de l'ensemble de la population. Comment voulez-vous développer une tradition ? C'est presque du cynisme.

L'image que nous avons véhiculée tout au long de ces années de dures luttes pour obtenir la moindre parcelle de nos droits dans des domaines de première importance me porte à comprendre que le Québec se soit décide à ne plus vouloir subir ce sort. Qu'il ait décidé qu'il en avait assez d'être traité en minoritaire -- nous savons ce que cela veut dire et nous pouvons comprendre -- ne nous surprend pas. Cela nous afflige profondément que dans cette démarche ce soit le Canada tout entier qui risque de sombrer.

Ne serait-ce pas grand temps que la province de l'Ontario se décide à jouer, pendant qu'il est encore temps, un rôle d'exemple et de leader et rendre enfin justice où justice doit être rendue ; qu'enfin elle reconnaisse pleinement qu'il existe au Canada des langues officielles et des peuples fondateurs ?

Mais l'histoire prend un autre tournant. Que notre gouvernement cesse de nous affubler de commissions d'enquête de toutes sortes et de toutes les sources. Qu'on cesse de faire des études pour démontrer des évidences : études sur les conseils scolaires, sur la gestion de nos programmes, sur les collèges, sur les études supérieures, sur les services de santé, sur les services sociaux et communautaires, enfin tout ce qui en temps normal dans une communauté normale apparaît comme une réponse normale à un besoin normal.

Mais quand c'est en français, tout devient problématique. Il ne faut pas faire de vagues, il ne faut pas déranger et surtout pas éveiller la majorité car la majorité depuis toujours a été habituée par les gouvernements majoritaires à questionner tout ce qui n'est pas conforme, tout ce qui est différent. Ainsi s'installe la peur, la peur du changement, la peur de ce qu'on ne connaît pas, la peur de l'autre et de la menace il semble représenter, la peur de perdre des privilèges qu'on perçoit comme menaces par le partage.

Les francophones de l'Ontario demandent donc au gouvernement de l'Ontario de prendre position dès maintenant d'affirmer devant l'ensemble du pays quelles sont ses croyances et ses attentes face à cette restructuration. L'Ontario doit indiquer clairement ses positions face aux questions fondamentales en litige, à savoir la place de la différence, des valeurs spécifiques, des revendications territoriales, économiques, linguistiques et culturelles des peuples fondateurs de notre pays.

C'est surtout cet Ontario qui a actuellement les yeux rivés : les jeunes de la province, eux qui contrairement à ceux d'un certain age, ne vivent que l'espoir et l'ouverture. C'est le sort des jeunes qu'on est en train de jouer aujourd'hui. En sommes-nous suffisamment conscients ? Écoutons-nous cette voix de la jeunesse qui, elle, sait dépasser toutes nos petites mesquineries de cuisine et voit au-delà des frontières provinciales le monde entier qui les interpelle ? Allons-nous longtemps véhiculer en leur nom, au nom de leur avenir des valeurs qu'ils jugent déjà bien périmées ?

Eux savent ce qu'est la valeur d'une autre langue et ça ne leur fait pas peur. Eux savent ce que c'est de partager leur culture avec l'autre. Cela non plus ne les menace pas. Bien au contraire, ils savent que c'est la manière de demain de s'enrichir. Savons-nous écouter leur message ?

Comment l'Ontario doit-il se définir face à ceux qui voient dans le statu quo une situation intenable ?

D'abord, il doit être perçu comme un élément de grande tolérance face aux multiples facettes que présente de plus en plus la population qui la compose car en plus des peuples d'origines, les autochtones, les francophones, et les anglophones, il y a tous ceux qui choisissent de venir se joindre à nous pour former une nouvelle nation aux multiples valeurs et dans laquelle ils peuvent s'intégrer et se joindre aux grandes cultures de base.

Ainsi, l'Ontario donnera l'exemple d'une province culturellement ouverte et économiquement prête à affronter les défis du XXIe siècle.

Fort de cette ouverture envers ses minorités, il pourra exercer un leadership éclairé sur l'ensemble des provinces et travailler efficacement à l'établissement d'un mode de fonctionnement juste et équitable pour tous.

L'Ontario doit être un modèle à suivre dans ses rapports avec les peuples autochtones afin de définir un terrain d'entente qui rende justice à ses premiers habitants de la terre canadienne. Pourquoi l'Ontario ne donnerait-il pas enfin à ses francophones la chance d'exercer leurs droits pleinement, non goutte à goutte, et sans avoir à livrer une bataille pour démontrer qu'ils sont là, qu'ils le veulent et qu'ils y ont droit ?

Si on a pu voir la culture franco-ontarienne fleurir d'une telle façon, si on a pu voir surgir écrivains, dramaturges, artistes, poètes de toutes sortes en si grands nombres dans un milieu qui lui a été si longtemps hostile ou indifférent, combien alors pourra s'enorgueillir la province de ses filles et de ses fils qui brilleront en son nom à travers ce grand pays qu'est le nôtre et dans tout le monde de la francophonie si on lui permet de rayonner, si on l'encourage et si on lui reconnaît la place qui lui revient. La culture est l'indice de la vitalité d'un peuple. Le people de l'Ontario peut et doit briller des mille feux de ses cultures diversifiées, rien de moins.

Ainsi, ceux qui prétendent qu'on ne peut s'épanouir, qu'on ne peut vivre comme francophones hors Québec auraient devant eux la preuve qu'une province qui se prétend à juste titre être le coeur de notre pays est en effet ce coeur assez grand qui peut accueillir et donner à l'autre la reconnaissance officielle.

Les francophones de cette province, peu importe l'issu du nouveau pacte constitutionnel, n'auront de repos jusqu'au moment où on les reconnaîtra officiellement comme entité à part entière ou on leur donnera les moyens d'assumer pleinement et d'une façon autonome l'éducation de leurs jeunes à tous les niveaux, où ils se sentiront en position d'apporter toute la richesse de leurs talents à la construction de cette province, leur province, de ce pays, leur pays. Merci beaucoup.

M. Winninger : Beaucoup de gens qui nous ont fait one présentation ont dit que le Québec, dans la Loi 101 et aussi dans la Loi 178, a nié les mêmes droits que vous désirez avoir en Ontario. Avez-vous une réponse à ça ?

M. Tanguay : II y a quelques années de ça, alors que je rencontrais personnellement le président de l'Alliance Québec du temps -- il y a peut-être dix ans alors que la Loi 101 était en vigueur au Québec -- j'ai fait remarquer au président de l'Alliance Québec a ce moment-là que si on avait les mêmes services, la même reconnaissance que les Anglo-Québécois avaient à ce moment-là, il s'agirait pour le gouvernement de l'Ontario de peut-être centupler les services qui existaient à ce moment-là en Ontario.

Ça ne veut pas dire que je ne crois pas que la reconnaissance des deux langues officielles soit bel et bien respectée dans leur essence même. Mais d'autre part, nous avons beaucoup de chemin à faire en Ontario avant qu'on puisse reconnaître que les services qui sont disponibles à notre population anglophone dans le Québec soient égaux.


Mr Offer: My question has to do with the role of Ontario, and you have indicated on more than one occasion in your presentation that it has to take a leadership role. We have had a presentation that talks about two emerging timetables. The first timetable is that between the federal government and the province of Quebec, dealing with those particular issues of an immediate nature, of an urgent nature. The second talks about the timetable of others coming before the committee, talking to us about the expansion of linguistic rights and multicultural rights, recognition of first nation self-government, all as important as the other but certainly two different timetables.

The question I have is to your position dealing with whether there must be a linkage of sorts between these two timetables, that to address one and in fact to solve one without addressing and attempting to solve the other is in fact a failure, and the role of Ontario must be directed to that area.

M. Tanguay : Premièrement, je vous dis clairement que j'aurais aimé amener une clé avec moi aujourd'hui, une clé de l'avenir de mon pays. L'Ontario possède cette clé qui pourrait permettre la redéfinition de ce beau pays que nous avons. C'est en réponse à la première affirmation que vous avez faite. Je ne le dirai pas assez fort sur les toits : l'Ontario a la clé. Il s'agit que l'Ontario s'en serve.

En fonction de limites de temps, vous parlez de deux sortes de limites de temps : savoir régler les problèmes immédiats et ensuite arriver à compléter, disons, l'ensemble de cette redéfinition de notre pays. Je crois que si l'Ontario et l'ensemble de sa population démontrent vraiment ce leadership et parle au Québec et au restant des citoyens du Canada, en parlant d'une reconnaissance pas tout simplement sur une feuille de papier mais en fonction de valeurs fondamentales qu'il y a depuis le début du Canada alors que nos premiers Européens arrivaient, qu'il y avait deux groupes linguistiques -- il faut absolument corriger -- je vous préviens, si vous, l'Ontario et le Canada, faites cet exercice, nous sortirons de toutes nos discussions constitutionnelles un pays avec le Québec, partenaire très fort comme les autres provinces. Je vous prédis que le Canada de l'an 2000 sera le plus beau pays au monde.


The Vice-Chair: The next group up is the Peel Multicultural Council.

Again, just to remind people that groups are 15 minutes and individuals are five, and if you want the opportunity to have questions asked on your brief, to try to keep it within those 15 minutes. Very good.

Ms Eustaquio: Mr Chairperson, I would like to apologize for the absence of our president, Mrs Savita Junnarkar. Something pressing happened and so she could not be here. My name is Mila Eustaquio. I am the executive director.

The Peel Multicultural Council is the umbrella organization of 65 ethnocultural organizations or agencies involved with multicultural groups and about 100 individuals in the region of Peel.

The mission of the Peel Multicultural Council is to promote a harmonious multicultural society in Peel by increasing communication and by building bridges of understanding between ethnocultural groups, institutions and the community.

In a somewhat similar manner, we see the role of Ontario in Confederation as being similar to that of PMC, and that is of promoting a harmonious multicultural society in Canada by increasing communication and by building bridges of understanding among mainstream or ethnocultural groups; provinces or regions; federal, provincial or municipal governments.

As the multicultural council from one of the fastest-growing and highly diversified regions in Canada, we hereby state: (1) that diversity in cultural, racial, religious and linguistic aspects is a fact of Ontario and Canadian society; (2) that in the interests of preserving Canadian unity, Canadians from sea to sea must be ready to accommodate the specific issues and concerns of various provinces and regions of the country, whether they be the Atlantic region, Quebec, the north or the western provinces; (3) that this same spirit of accommodation must guide the spirit of tolerance, respect and appreciation of diversity within Ontario; (4) that this diversity in cultural, racial, religious and linguistic aspects can and must be harnessed to provide economic and social benefits to Ontario and Canada; (5) that the rights of Canadians, as described in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically in regard to race, gender, national or ethnic origin, colour or creed, are respected, ensured and are not derogated by any form of legislation; (6) that multiculturalism is not only for the protection and promotion of the non-French and the non-English cultures but also for respecting the contributions of Canadians of British and French origins and for the protection and promotion of their respective cultures; (7) that the principles of democracy, justice and freedom for which most ethnocultural Canadians chose to immigrate to Canada be preserved and promoted regardless of what form of government is established for the federal confederation; (8) that a strong, united Canada is essential for economic and social strategy formulation and implementation; (9) that we support the rights and claims of the aboriginal peoples of Canada, and their right to preserve and promote their cultures and languages, and (10) that equality for all Canadians includes respect for and accommodation of the mentally or physically disabled.

Finally, we in the Peel Multicultural Council wish to state that we are Canadians first and foremost and, as Canadians, we firmly believe that we must strengthen and promote equality for all in order to foster Canadian unity, provide all people with a sense of belonging to a nation, ownership and pride.

With the above-stated principles, we urge the province of Ontario to play a leadership role in the shaping of whatever form of government is negotiated by the various provinces and the federal government.

Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.

Mr Offer: Thank you for your presentation. As a member from Mississauga, I can surely attest to the tremendous work done by PMC throughout the years. As we all know, Peel is a very dramatically growing community, so the challenges are there and you have certainly met those challenges, which results in a very tolerant, understanding region.


My question to you, Mila, is that right now there is talk about Quebec possibly leaving Confederation or distancing itself. Do you feel that if that happens that would impact on the multicultural fabric of, if not the province of Ontario, certainly the country of Canada? Do you think that would be a threat to the multicultural nature of Canada?

Ms Eustaquio: I am not very sure whether that will happen in the province of Ontario, but my concern is in other provinces where you do not have as many diverse peoples as there are now. Right now, even with Quebec in Confederation, you have all these racist pins in Alberta, you have all this backlash against Orientals in British Columbia, and to a certain extent too even in Ontario you have all this defacing of the synagogues. Quebec has really been one of the provinces for which Canada is not exactly 100% anglo; it is the force that has been keeping Canada a diversified country and respecting diversity. It might sort of change the whole attitude of the rest of Canada.

Mr F. Wilson: I was really impressed with your presentation here, partly because again you, like several other groups, mentioned the values that seem to transcend all cultural groups. I think you are promoting that we can all aspire to realizing those values.

I was interested, though, in one of your statements about multiculturalism being not only for the protection and promotion of the non-French, non-English, but also for the Canadians of British and French origins. I was just wondering whether you could elaborate a bit on why you thought it necessary to put that in.

Ms Eustaquio: I have been approached several times by specifically the Monarchist League of Canada, saying that: "You know, I don't like multiculturalism. Because of multiculturalism, I feel that our culture is being eroded. I feel that our culture" -- meaning the English or the British culture -- "is going to be subsumed by all your different cultures." And I said: "No, this is not supposed to be. When you look at multiculturalism, it is not a zero-sum gain, that you lose and I gain. I would look at it more like a win-win situation. By preserving your culture it does not necessarily mean that my culture will be eroded. It is celebrating all of our different cultures together, which is what is so great about this country. If you insist on preserving, for example, the picture of the Queen on stamps, it is not something that in the multicultural community we have anything against. We want to be full partners in this Confederation, we want to be full partners in Canadian society and we want to belong, and by belonging, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are excluded. It's all of us."

Multiculturalism should really not just be for the non-French and non-English; it is for everybody, all Canadians.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Okay, we will go on to the next group -- that puts us a little bit ahead of schedule -- the Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association. There is Betty Moseley-Williams, the president, from North Bay; Angelo Albanese, first vice-president, from Welland; Roberta Anderson, director, from Ottawa, and Peter Lauwers, the solicitor.

Mr Lauwers: That may be the first time it was ever pronounced correctly the first time, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Listen, I do get some right.

Mr Harnick: Maybe because you are bilingual.

The Vice-Chair: That is right. I do have an advantage. You can begin.

Mrs Moseley-Williams: I am Betty Moseley-Williams, president of OSSTA. Roberta Anderson is a member of the board of directors of OSSTA, Dr Angelo Albanese is our first vice-president, and of course Peter Lauwers is the solicitor for our association. We have asked him to accompany us because if we get into the very concrete technical terms of Constitution, we think we might rather have our solicitor speak up for us.

First of all, I would like to tell you who we are. The Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association comprises 54 Roman Catholic separate school boards in Ontario. Thirty eight of our member boards are operating under Bill 75 and have minority language sections. Of these boards, 31 have French-language minority sections and 7 have English-language minority sections. As of May 1990, Roman Catholic separate school boards were educating about 500,000 students in the publicly funded schools in Ontario.

In our brief we try to answer the first question in the discussion paper, "What are the values we share as Canadians?" We make three basic points.

Our first point is about the importance of community in human life. We see the right to community as a basic human right. We see the values of pluralism and multiculturalism in Canada as basic constitutional building blocks which most be maintained.

Our second point is that mainstream culture, while it has its good points, poses a serious threat to community life.

Our third point: As Canadians, we must elevate pluralism and multiculturalism into a transcendent national vision. We believe that all levels of government, including school boards, must articulate and promote that national vision.

I would like to develop the first point about community, and this would be on page 2 of the brief if you are looking for the references. There is an important social balance at the heart of the Constitution which is Canada's social contract. On the one hand, it respects individuals by recognizing their claims to personal autonomy. On the other hand, it respects communities.

OSSTA believes that the co-existence of individual and group or community rights in our Constitution is a part of the genius of the Canadian social contract. It is a recognition that pluralism and multiculturalism cannot survive unless they are sustained by practical measures. Freedom to associate is not sufficient by itself. We believe that this co-existence ought to be preserved, not only because it is part of our tradition but also because it is a reflection of our basic human needs if we are to experience not only life but the good life, and that is the dream of every person.

The need for community is a part of every human being. We see access to community as a matter of basic social justice. The Advisory Committee on Children's Services said that it was the fundamental entitlement of children to have opportunities to participate in their own cultural communities. to profess and practise their own religions and to use their own languages. These are to be provided as part of our collective social responsibility, and we agree.

On to page 4. In everyday life, which is all we have, we need identity and meaning. A community, whether it is identified by cultural, linguistic, religious or other characteristics, has a shared culture which gives identity to its members and helps give meaning to their lives.

One of the problems of talking about community is getting a grip on what it really means for public policy. The fact is that human beings naturally group themselves. It is an ancient behaviour that reflects our need for identity and meaning, but on a scale that we can understand. What is perhaps unique about our current situation is that for the first time in our history that personal sense of community is under real threat because of the way mainstream culture works. The nurturing aspects of smaller communities are simply not present in modern culture or in very large structures like countries.

OSSTA believes that the signs of the times are not hopeful for the survival of many of Canada's communities. There are three problems. First, there is the overwhelming power of mainstream culture. Second, there is the steadily eroding ability of the family to transmit by itself its particular value system and heritage. Third, there is the ambivalence of society itself about the value of pluralism and group rights. I would now ask Roberta Anderson to continue with our presentation.


Mrs Anderson: Thank you, Betty. No one can deny that there is much that is good in mainstream culture. However, it lacks any true sense of community, because its motivating spirit is individualism. We live in a consumer culture bent on the self-gratification of individuals. Our society in its public face is secular, English-speaking and unrelenting. The power of mainstream culture is evident in its domination of the media and its pervasiveness in society. We believe that mainstream culture threatens communitarian values, minority cultures and languages, religions and any values that can be described as countercultural.

Canadians must not lose access to the sources of human values. I am now addressing page 6 in the brief. Canadian professor Clive Beck cites human biological nature, basic family structure and basic community structure as sources of human values and adds a fourth source, namely, religiocultural tradition. OSSTA believes that maintaining and enhancing the effectiveness of these different sources of human values are basic building blocks in constitutional reform, if we are to preserve the human face of Canada.

The family is the basic unit of community and of society. Despite this foundational status, families in contemporary society have great difficulty in preserving or transmitting a heritage. They need the assistance of a larger community which shares their value system. The traditional family may never have been adequately effective in transmitting a heritage. We need only look at the francophone community and at the native community for examples of the erosion of culture despite the best efforts of family. But today the traditional family is more the exception than the rule. The Children First report has noted that there is a dramatic increase in one-parent families and families in which both parents work outside the home. The amount of continuous contact between parent and child has declined and so has the ability of the family to transmit its heritage.

We are concerned about the increasingly fragile state of families, the stress of modern life and the increasing incidence of both single-parent families and families in which both parents are working. These factors combine to reduce the ability of families to learn and transmit their own cultural, linguistic and religious heritages and to maintain their sense of community. The result will be assimilation into the mainstream culture.

Because mainstream culture in Canada is so influenced by our neighbour to the south, the American constitutional ideal of individualism has grown in influence. Canadians are losing sight of the importance of nurturing communities and the balance between group and individual rights at the root of our social contract. As you may have noticed in your hearings, that balance is not well understood.

In our brief, we discussed two of the arguments of the individualists who oppose the continuation of group rights. Our best answer to them is in the reasons for supporting community that we have already described. First, there is the strange idea that somehow groups divorce themselves from Canadian society. In reality, no such divorce is possible or desirable. No one wants to create ghettos. Each community contributes its perspective to society as a whole. Every person is a participant in society.

We believe that diversity is good and that homogeneity is bad. Some proponents of the melting pot use the language of individual equality. They argue that individuals are always free to associate for the purposes of preserving and perpetuating their culture, language or religion. The problem with that argument is that the assimilating characteristics of mainstream culture are relentless. In reality, this argument is social Darwinism in different words. In truth, one of the most attractive and civilized features of our Canadian social contract is that we are not forced to make an absolute choice between individual rights and group rights. OSSTA believes that this balance must be maintained. I will now ask Dr Albanese to continue with our presentation.

Dr Albanese: The third part of the presentation deals with the future of Canada. In the third part of our brief we turn to discuss the future of Canada. Reference is page 13.

OSSTA shares the conviction of many that Canada lacks an articulated transcendent national vision. Even though the unique balance among individualism, pluralism and multiculturalism that we enjoy as Canadians draw support from the Constitution, that balance has not been exalted as a civilized national characteristic. We believe that this characteristic amounts to a vision of which Canada can be proud. Our Constitution holds out to each of us the opportunity to experience not only life but the good life, as individuals alone and also as members of communities.

We believe that what is needed is a firm commitment of institutional support to the various communities and groups who make up our social fabric as a nation. We need to glorify our national vision, which reflects respect for not only the freedom and dignity of the individual but also for the pluralistic and multicultural communities in which that individuality finds its deepest personal expression.

The commitment to pluralism and multiculturalism needs to be more than rhetorical. All levels of government, including school boards, have a positive duty to provide the ways and means for implementing our national vision. In the opinion of the Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association, a key institution for the promotion of pluralism and multiculturalism is the school. The successful transmission of a heritage from generation to generation, be it linguistic, cultural or religious, depends on education.

Dr Watson has made the observation that education is never neutral. Something happens to the students who attend the schools. Recognition of the assimilating influence of majority-language education led to the protection of French-language education rights in Ontario by section 23 of the charter. It led to the Ministry of Education's heritage language program. It also underlies the Roman Catholic separate school system.

As part of the publicly funded system of education in Ontario, the members of OSSTA intend to continue to articulate and promote pluralism and multiculturalism as a part of a transcendent national vision for all Canadians. We believe that all the organs of government have the same duty. Consistent with this vision, we hope that these constitutional discussions result in justice for all.

Mrs Moseley-Williams: The Ontario Separate School Trustees' Association is grateful for the opportunity to participate in this process of constitutional reform. There is one aspect of your work that we want to comment on. Consultation in the form of these hearings is obviously essential. However, there is no concrete focus for the discussion. This means that submissions tend to be general and, we expect, repetitive. It also means that you cannot make full use of the expertise of those addressing you. We urge you to consider the preparation of a white paper setting out proposals for change. That will allow for a more focused, helpful dialogue. Meaningful consultation is an essential ingredient in this enterprise if it is to be successful. We get the impression from reading the press that you have been exposed to some fairly intolerant views. Despite the fact that pluralism and multiculturalism have been national values for a long time, some of our fellow citizens have not accepted them, but we are confident that our and their children will. All that is needed is time and experience.


Finally, we would like to close with an Irish toast, which seems to be most appropriate to your work. May you have the hindsight to know where you have been, the foresight to know where you are going and the insight to know you have gone too far. We thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: We thank you very much for a very interesting presentation. I do have a question, and there is another question from the committee. On page 5 of your brief where you talk about mainstream culture, basically the quote inside there is that, "There is much that is good in mainstream culture, but it lacks any true sense of community or principle, coherence and direction because its ethos is individualism and moral - " A lot of people would argue against that. A lot of the presentations that we have had have argued that by having mainstream culture and only one culture you are able to get more cohesiveness. Can you explain that point a little bit more?

Mr Lauwers: I think our basic position is that community has to occur in smaller groupings, that it is not possible for somebody to identify in a real sense with very large groupings. That is why we pick language and culture, ethnicity, religion as those kinds of smaller, more natural groupings that occur spontaneously in society. If you eliminate all of them, I do not think you get more cohesiveness; I think you get homogeneity in total, and that is really the essence of the argument here. In fact, the book by Reginald Bibby -- you may have gotten some references to that -- speaks of that sort of homogenizing influence, flattening out of distinctions among individuals and in society. As a result, people do not have anything to identify with.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Thank you very much for a unique presentation. That certainly is a feather in your cap after we have heard about 500 presentations. This is different because you are really talking about values, but you are talking about them in a pretty specific way in reference to community and family. We have not seen that slant, and I thank you for that. We also, if my memory serves me correctly, have not had a group of trustees before us as such. I think there have been trustees, but they have been parts of larger groups.

You said a couple of things I want to ask you to expound a little bit on. I hope you think that we did have some concrete proposals when we went to the people. That was our Changing for the Better document. I see you want us to do something else, and I would like you to say a little bit more about that. When you say you would like a white paper on the proposals for change, are you suggesting that when we make out recommendations you would like to have another go at responding to those recommendations? We have had suggestions that this become a permanent or a standing committee of the Legislature on constitutional reform. Would you like to say a little bit more about what you see?

Mrs Moseley-Williams: Yes, we would like to see a white paper to react to -- I do not want to say "react;" to respond to. Our association felt most strongly that we, as members of the education community and of the larger Catholic community, had a great deal to say about the Constitution, that it was us we were talking about and us as part of a large group that we were concerned with. So, I --

Mrs Y. O'Neill: You want to respond to our recommendations.

Mrs Moseley-Williams: To a recommendation, yes.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: I hope you can answer this very quickly. You belong to the Catholic school trustees; is this an item on their agenda? Are the school trustees in Quebec making any, what should I say, advances towards the other provinces to get input, to bring people on side, to make this a priority at the annual convention? Could you tell us a little bit about that?

Mr Lauwers: Let me tell you this. I was at a meeting of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association in Quebec City, I think it was, last month, and this item came up. I do not know what they decided to do with it, but it is certainly on the agenda. That is as much as I can say, I am afraid.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: If there are results from that discussion at your annual convention, I think they would be very helpful for us, because you are a leadership group. Certainly we ourselves have been challenged to interact with the province and to encourage others to do that, so I really hope that will be a meaningful discussion for you.

Mrs Anderson: I would just like to add that this brief will be provided to the Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association for its use and will probably appear at the convention in July, and also the fact that schools as an institution play a very key role, because we do culturize children. Whether we do it intentionally or unintentionally, we play a very large role in the future of our country.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: Hopefully you will make sure that our discussion paper, and if we do produce a white paper, will be distributed throughout your schools and we can get the young people involved in our discussions.

Dr Albanese: Only if we get additional grants.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: We provide the copies. Surely you do not charge us money for your opinions. My goodness. That gets very difficult.

Mrs Moseley-Williams: We do thank you and we would certainly make sure our brief will be distributed within Ontario, and we will for certain send it to the Canadian Catholic School Trustees' Association. I can assure you that we will make it part of that discussion so that there can be a reaction. It will be very strong from that group.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: We would next like to call Steven Kerzner.

Mr Kerzner: Good afternoon. Thank you for taking the opportunity to hear me or to give me the opportunity to address you. I believe there is much to be said about the nature of the political reforms this country requires, but today I will restrict my comments to what I believe is one of the most centrally important issues facing Ontario and Canada as a whole, an issue, I believe, which has led us to this current state of national malaise.

Let me preface my comments by stating that I believe that significant political changes must emanate from this province. As the province which is truly the engine driving the economy of Canada, Ontario bears a responsibility to this country which is in direct proportion to its contributions.

While these hearings are in fact reactive, I believe that as a result of the testimony brought before you, Ontario must become proactive and begin to deal with one of the root sources of this nation's current problems. The issue I refer to is our system of government. I do not believe, nor do I think that the majority of Canadians believe, in a system which allows a leader to govern as a dictator for four to five years.

Under our current system there exists no legitimate mechanism of checks and balances. This leaves the citizens of this country without the ability to effect change on the policies of the government in power. This has led to the creation of a system whereby the government can and does run out of touch with the people. Public debate has become a moot point and public opinion has been made irrelevant.

Some would suggest that the ability to vote governments out of office during an election represents the ultimate check on government power. I disagree. In the first place, waiting for as much as five years to vote out a government amounts to the same as locking the door to the hen-house after the fox has already been through. In the second place, in the case of a basically sound government with a few flawed policies, voting the government out amounts to throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I believe that it is time to return control of the government to the people. It is time to institute that which we are currently lacking, which is a participatory democracy.

The institution of a bicameral system with an elected Parliament and an elected Senate, the severing of the monarchy from our political body and the creation of a democratically elected executive branch all would take us further towards a country where the people have a true role in government. These changes must be coupled with the loosening or abolition of party discipline so that elected members of the government can vote with their conscience and in accordance with the views of their constituents. Only then will our elected members become what they are intended to be: representatives of the people rather than the trained seals we see in the legislatures.

Further, I believe that Ontario is a good example of how our political system has failed us. On 6 September 1990, Ontarians, disgusted with the results of the arrogance of the previous government and the years of party discipline which destroyed the ability of members to truly represent their constituents, elected a majority government on a protest vote. We now have a government whose philosophies are, according to a multitude of data, not shared by the majority of Ontarians, but the lack of effective checks in that government's power means that the current government can implement policies which run contrary to public sentiment and which in some cases may hurt this province in the long run. To put it simply, what we have in this country is government by the government for the government, and that must stop.

So I ask you again to be proactive. I ask you to set the ball rolling towards a true participatory democracy in place of our current system of four- and five-year tyrannies.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.

Okay, we will return back. We will try again with the people we called a little while ago who were not here, for the last time.



The Vice-Chair: Chris Villinger. Okay. I remind those who we are calling as individuals that they are coming up as individuals under five minutes, and we have a group to go to afterwards, the Association of Ontario Health Centres, just so you know. You have five minutes.

Mr Villinger: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for this opportunity to speak. This committee is an excellent idea and the federal government should be commended for it.

The Vice-Chair: It is provincial.

Mr Villinger: Is this provincial?

The Vice-Chair: Yes, it is.

Mr Villinger: I know you are looking at Ontario right now, but I thought it was federal. Okay, sorry.

The Vice-Chair: Yes, we will take our credit where it is due.

Mr Villinger: As I see it, Quebec is the main cause of disunity in Canada today. They consistently complain and put excessive stresses on the system through their rebelliousness and their self-preoccupation.

They are preventing Canada from being a coherent whole that should focus its resources, ideas and people to achieve new heights of economic prosperity, cultural sophistication and national self-understanding. Their unreasonable demands upon the federal government should be resolved by showing francophones how immoral and unjust their demands are.

Yes, Quebec has the right to self-government; that is the function of its elected MPPs as well as its premiers, mayors and other civil servants. The federal government, however, is the political absolute that is to be adhered to by all provinces, including the province of Quebec. They are entitled to their own cultural direction but must remain within the context of Canada.

Quebec thinks it is very different from the rest of Canada, which is part of the reason for wanting separation. But let's look at our roots. When Canada was first settled over two centuries ago, linguistic, economic and background differences between the two groups of pioneers were real. But the similarities between them were much more significant. All Canadian settlers of that time wanted to build a new home for themselves, survive in a new environment, achieve a working relationship with the natives and create a strong community. Their concerns were also the same. They had to learn how to overcome new physical ailments, grow crops according to new weather patterns, cope with new anxieties and construct some form of social order. It did not matter whether they thought these thoughts in English or in French; what mattered and what matters today is that English and French roots are similar. The styles of conduct might have differed slightly, but the substance of their minds was common. Therefore, Quebeckers should look into the past and look around them now to realize that they are our brothers in the Canadian family.

Unlike countries such as Britain, the Soviet Union, or the United States for that matter, where the federal government is the only absolute, Canada encourages one's heritage to be his reference point as well. Quebec wants independence. Well, is that not independence? Provincial governments are elected by the people of that province. Is that not independence? Quebec has its independence and need not fight for it any more, just as all provinces have the appropriate amount of power to further their provincial interests without disrupting national unity.

Does Quebec think it is being treated unfairly? I think it is being favoured over the rest of Canada. Politicians of every generation have had to appease Quebec to maintain Canadian unity. Quebec should re-evaluate its adolescent disposition towards the federal government as well as its personal hubris. This done, Quebec will realize its proper place in Canada. After all, they are one of the original founders of Confederation.

Sirs, what I would ask of you is this: To convince Quebec to remain a part of the Canadian family where it belongs, and to treat Quebec as an equal. Equality to me means keeping the balance of power between the provinces by not giving or withholding additional powers without doing the same for the other provinces. Personally, the level of provincial power compared to federal power I think is in proper measure. Federalism plus industrial privatization equals domestic and international success.

I also suggest increasing the number of compulsory credits in Canadian history from one to two. Increasing student exchanges between the provinces would also be an effective way of achieving mutual understanding and respect between the regions. If student exchange programs are not workable, then perhaps funding for additional inter-provincial field trips is required.

I think we should also be self-indulgent and try to become exhibitionists in the media. Reliance upon American programs confuses our own culture. Perhaps large incentives to Canadian movie production companies to produce more Canadian material would yield a great cultural return for little investment. For example, making the Canadian awards for visual and auditory arts more prestigious, I think, is an obvious incentive. Production of material that dramatizes the Canadian experience as it was, is and will be, would enhance the feeling of being Canadian. Use of the media by politicians to express their political, philosophical and personal views, I think, is on the upswing and will hopefully continue to grow. I think mailing of a copy of the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights to every Canadian citizen would be wise.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you. I hope Quebec remains a part of Canada because I think it is a major player in Canada.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much.


The Vice-Chair: Okay. Ken Kafien.

Mr Kafien: I regret having to waste my five minutes rebutting the ignorance of antibilingual groups, but here goes. One of the basic myths that antibilingual groups like to try to perpetuate in order to justify their stance is that bilingualism somehow infringes on people's rights. What a bizarre statement. The fact is that having bilingual services gives back infinitely more rights than it takes; if indeed it takes away any at all is a good question. Some say that it is discriminatory, but how is it discriminatory?

Some government jobs require you to speak to French-speaking Canadians as well as English-speaking Canadians. If you are a welder, you have to learn how to weld. If you are a cook, you have to learn how to cook. It is only the most basic kind of common sense that tells us that bilingual jobs require bilingual individuals. "Discriminatory" is hogwash. There are a few unfortunate cases where people were denied or delayed promotion because they lacked the necessary skills, but no one stops them from learning that skill. The fact is that for every one of those cases, there are 500 French-speaking Canadians whose lives have been made easier and their rights restored because of it. Whom shall we impose on, the 540,000 Franco-Ontarians or, what, the 2,000 or 3,000 civil servants?

Bill 8 did not inconvenience me or anyone I know, or anyone they knew. I ask everyone who would seek to eradicate French services and bilingualism, has it really offended you so deeply, or at all for that matter? Has it changed your life? How many times a day do you have to make some adjustment because of it? Hardly ever for me.

Sometimes I have seen people come before this commission with impassioned pleas, bitterly against bilingualism, spit flying from their mouths, as it is from mine right now. I find myself giggling because I know, and I think the committee knows, that their attempts to incite people to an antibilingual or anti-French stance are transparent. If half of the things that they implied were true, you would wonder why there were not people rioting in the streets. For example, a typical tactic they use is to give you figures on the cost of bilingualism or they will describe it as a "staggering cost." But it is easy to understand why they will not tell you that the bilingual programs in this country account for only 1/200 of the budgetary spending, or 0.5%. As one gentleman said in an earlier session, the numbers just are not there to prove it. So more needs to be done to ensure that people have access to information.

Another myth is that bilingualism is a threat to our national unity. That is a very startling contradiction. The only possible way to explain such a ridiculous statement is that they did not mean it that way. Perhaps what they meant is that the ghettoism of French and English divides us. If you take away bilingualism and end up with English for here and French for there, the two peoples eventually stop talking to each other because they do not have that ability any more. They stop sharing their opinions, they stop sharing their ideas, idealisms, beliefs, values, customs and then the big one, their loyalties.

The peoples change because they can no longer get together and talk any more. One people develops one way of doing things, the other another way. One people develops one way of thinking, the other people develops another way of thinking, until eventually we no longer have anything in common any more and so we split. The real threat to national unity are those who are oversensitive and those who choose to be annoyed by our diversity and choose to complain unjustifiably. The real threat are those who purposely choose the most inopportune times to stamp on flags and to declare unilingualism in the name of outdated principles.


Regarding referenda, I do not believe that you can or even should try to run a country by referendum. They are useful from time to time but not on all matters. However, if antibilingual groups insist, then I am sure the Franco-Ontarian community would be happy to oblige.

I got this from the Commissioner of Official Languages' report from 1989. A nationwide Gallup poll conducted in September 1989 asked citizens whether their province ought to recognize English and French as official languages in order to provide provincial services in both languages. The question, the same as one asked in a similar Gallup poll in 1987, is a strong one, proposing official recognition of English and French as prerequisites to bilingual services. A softer question really asking about the provision of bilingual services without official recognition might have elicited an even more positive response. In 1987 in Ontario, 49% approved of declaring Ontario officially bilingual. In 1989, 53% approved of official bilingualism for Ontario. At best, antibilingual groups could have expected a near loss, according to this survey. Surveys can be somewhat unreliable, but I do not think that a win for a unilingual Ontario would be such a decisive one as a lot of them would like to suggest.

Another myth is that Quebeckers are anti-English. In 1989, 81% of Ouebeckers believed that English should be a mandatory subject taught in school. Now, they passed Bill 101 and Bill 178. Those were monster bills, and it was very ugly, I admit. Half of me wishes that they did not pass them, but at the same time I realize that Quebec does not have the luxury that we have of being able to take its language for granted. To feel their feelings involves the rare ability of being able to project yourself into their vantage point and see it as they do. Some will not or cannot do that.

The question then becomes: Do you have the ability to see beyond the narrow-mindedness and shallowness of an outdated principle of, "We should all be treated equally"? Tell that to a person in a wheelchair, for example.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, I would ask you to sum up. You have gone over the five minutes, and I will give you a couple of seconds to sum up. I realize that you have got a lot there that you have written and it is interesting.

Mr Kafien: I have just a paragraph.

You cannot treat unequal things as though they were equal. That is not fair. Every indication shows that without special steps, the anglicization of Quebec would continue. You cannot deny that Quebec is outnumbered in North America something like 40 to one. They have good reason to worry. Without special measures, eventually Quebec would be just nobody special, just one of the North American crowd. Canada would also then become just one of the North American crowd. Our most obvious difference from the US would be gone or diminished and we would essentially become Americans. That would suit some people just fine, but I strongly believe that Canada should be run by those who wish to be Canadians. In what direction would we go by weakening our French tradition? The APEC model of Canada. Incidentally, APEC stands for the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada, as if English is an endangered species in North America. It is 40 to one, remember? Quebec is a distinct society.

Finally, the principle of equal treatment has its place, but it is only a guideline. The day we become slaves to our principles is the day that we lose our humanity and our ability to use reason. That day will without doubt mark the end of a united, strong and wondrous land called Canada.

The Vice-Chair: I thank you very much. Can we ask you to leave a copy of your brief with the clerk? We did not get a copy.

Mr Kafien: I will get a photocopy, and I will bring it.

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


The Vice-Chair: Next we would call on John Copping.

Mr Copping: I would just like to say I am sorry I was not here when I was called. I was given a time yesterday and I showed up a few minutes before that time.

I came to last night's session hoping to get an opportunity to speak. At the end of the evening, it was clear that there were not enough spots and I was told that I could get an opportunity if I came back today. This inconvenience turned out to be kind of a blessing because it showed me something I never expected to see. I thought that when I came here there would be people of all ages and temperaments jostling for space and making sound arguments and unsound arguments. Well, it was crowded and there were all kinds of different opinions being disseminated, but I was very disappointed to see how few young people had showed up and even more dismayed when only two of them got up to speak.

One of them, I think his name was David Lui, got up and he spoke in a very terse, hard way about trashing the party system and rebuilding the government. He was the closest thing that Canadians can come to having an angry young man. He was raging, but what made me angry was that a lot of the people in the audience were fidgeting and grumbling with what he was saying. I guess they found it very shocking. Now this audience was made up almost entirely of people in their middle ages and people in their retirement ages and they just seemed to have forgotten that young people who say outrageous things are the only chance that this country or any country has for a future. They are also the ones who have to pay for our mistakes.

Today I feel very sorry for any invalid or hermit who has to stay inside and rely on the press and the electronic media to learn what is happening in our country. On the surface things seem to be very dire. The cover of a weekly news magazine has announced that Canadians have two years to decide the fate of their country. A newspaper editorial says that our national identity is threatened. I get the feeling that I am supposed to feel very worried about something and that from one end of the country to the other Canadians feel bitter, alienated and deceived. But a lot of the details are missing. I have not found any mention of how this trouble began or when it began or even exactly what the trouble is. Every time I read a newspaper I learn that the Canada we live in is no longer adequate and for some reason we need a new one. I keep wishing that someone would stop ringing the alarm bell and explain where the fire is. A few weeks ago the Prime Minister was heard to make the rather ominous pronouncement that Canada needed to be restructured and that he was the man to lead the fight. I personally would not let him change my oil, much less restructure my country, but it brings up an interesting question.

Normally, a crisis in the community is reported by the media after it occurs in the community and it is addressed in some way by the government. What kind of crisis is it that first appears in the halls of government, then is reported by the media in the hopes that the community gets wind of it? I would be surprised if a large segment of this community or any community in Canada had even heard of the constitutional crisis. You only need to walk down Spadina Avenue or Finch Avenue or Parliament Street to see what kind of crisis the people are having. Their crisis has to do with living with the effects of a recession, broad taxation and assistance cuts. I think you will find that the intricacies of constitutional debate are largely lost on these people, and this is the general public that I am talking about.

I think that the urgent problems have very little to do with constitutional crisis and nothing to do with national unity or identity. The only new problem under the sun is simply this, if you will forgive my metaphor: There is an ever-widening gulf in our country. On one side of the gulf there is a population grappling with increasingly harsh economic realities. On the far shore is an overbuilt edifice of bureaucrats and policymakers who, for all I know, still think of themselves as leaders, and foundering around in the water in between are chronically uncritical news media which have not got enough gas to make it to one side or the other.

I think a gathering like this is a good example of our provincial government trying to narrow this gulf. I know you have all been working hard and you have heard a lot of stuff, but I think the absence of young people and of working people from last night's session indicated really how a lot of people in Ontario just are not concerned about Meech Lake or the language issue or any of these other really quite nebulous problems that we are repeatedly told we have to deal with. People are far too busy paying their bills and staying alive in a province where the government cannot help its people, in a country where the government does not know who its people are.

I am a self-employed person, so I was able to come here this afternoon, but I waited for four hours to get a space. I am the exception, not the rule.

The situation in Quebec, from my experience, is not very different. I have lived in Quebec as well as Ontario, and I can say from personal experience that your average Québécois has not really the slightest idea what the rest of the country thinks about the province of Quebec, and really they could not care less. The passionate desire for special powers and special status felt by Quebec politicians is not, I think, shared by the general population of that province.

The temptation is to say that people are tuned out and they do not care about the government and they do not care about policy-making. I think that really the absolute reverse is true, and I mean that in every sense of the word. I think it is time that the politicians, editors and pollsters try asking us what we are about instead of simply telling us. Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair: I want to thank you very much. Sorry about the four-hour wait. We did get you on the agenda.



The Vice-Chair: Next we would like to call the Association of Ontario Health Centres; Michael Quinn, the development officer. We see somebody else coming, if you can identify yourself.

Mr Armstrong: My name is Robert Armstrong. I am counsel on behalf of the Association of Ontario Health Centres. I am a lawyer with one of the Ontario community legal clinics, York Community Services, and I am here today representing the Association of Ontario Health Centres. Michael Quinn is with the association and is here representing them.

We would like to extend our appreciation to the committee for inviting the association to come and speak on a somewhat complicated topic, I think, the question of constitutional division of powers, health services and refugees. Because of some of the work that the association has recently done, it really seems quite appropriate that we do speak on a topic like this. You will see in the brief -- and I know that you have just received it and you have been on the move and getting all kinds of materials -- but you will see in schedules IV, V and VI the motion that the Association of Ontario Health Centres passed in 1990 concerning the refugee situation and specifically the backlog; the letter to the Minister of Employment and Immigration and her response in February.

So there has been advocacy by the Association of Ontario Health Centres already on this point and this is an opportunity that we are pleased to be able to take to move a little bit further into the issue. The Association of Ontario Health Centres is composed of 58 organizations in Ontario; 36 are community health centres with community boards; 22 are health service organizations, which are often various types of associations of doctors. Some do have community boards as well.

I would like to refer you if I could initially to page 2 of the brief where we tried to set in a sort of executive summary form what the brief is about. Our submission is related to the constitutional issues that we see arising in the health services field. We are going to use throughout the brief the concrete example of the convention refugee claimants who have come to Canada to seek protection from persecution in their home countries and who have made claims in Canada before 1 January 1989. They are known popularly as the backlog claimants.

We are using them because, as we look through the system and look at the constitutional issues, they tend to make a good concrete case to look at, and that is usually helpful especially if we are dealing with something like constitutional law. Our submission fundamentally, as set out on page 2, is that the health system in Ontario is being faced with a problem and being forced to deal with that problem as it wishes to do and as our members wish to do. But the root of the problem arises at the federal level and in fact there is virtually nothing that seems to be able to be done from the provincial side to stop the root cause which is giving rise to the problem that we at the provincial level have to deal with in the health services field.

I would like to make five points. Four of them arise out the brief and the fifth one is a supplementary one that follows on it.

The first point deals with the backlog claimants themselves. Who are the backlog claimants? As you are aware, 1 January 1989 Canada brought in a new system for the determination of refugees. At that time there was a freeze put on people who had been in the system prior to 1 January 1989: They were not going to be allowed access to this new system immediately. One of the consequences of this was, of course, people who came in on 1 January 1989 and afterwards are now landed, while people in the backlog are still sitting. If you look at schedule I of the brief, this is a federal government document which shows the way in which the backlog program itself slowly came on after the first new system was up and running. The backlog claimants have been estimated at 1 January 1989 to be 85,000 cases or 100,000 cases, depending on who you talk to. In any event, it is a large number of people.

If you look at the brief and schedule VI, which is the recent letter responding to the Association of Ontario Health Centres from Minister of Employment and Immigration Barbara McDougall, on page 2 she admits: "At the end of November 1990, 57% of the estimated 85,000 cases were opened and 39% decided."

We are talking about 120,000 people here with a program that was commenced on 1 January 1989, originally envisioned to have cleared out the backlog in two years, revised to September 1991. Mr Fairweather says there is no way for 1991, and the parliamentary standing committee on labour, employment and immigration, at an earlier stage, said it would take six years at least to clear the backlog at the rate that it was going at the time that it gave the report.

The second point deals with the backlog again. Why are we bringing to you the issue of the backlog? The issue is human suffering. The Association of Ontario Health Centres, as you know, is targeted somewhat towards serving low-income individuals, and since claimants usually come only with their claim and little else, they often are attracted to seeking health services at the community clinics or at the health service organizations. So we are seeing this face of human suffering day after day among residents of Ontario who our primary health care workers are seeing.

What kind of health do these people have? The issue is not so much what the health was that they brought with them; the issue is what has happened to their health since they arrived in Canada, where they are seeking protection. The answer is clear: The health is deteriorating.

If I can point you to page 4 of the brief, what often happens is that we get contact with these people because there is an immigration medical that has to be filled out. Often the claimant will come initially for the medical but subsequently may in fact form an attachment with the clinic and then have that clinic or those particular doctors act on an ongoing basis. That is the source of some of our experience.

If we look at page 13 of the brief, there were two studies that were done, one by the Inter-Church Committee for Refugees, which has been noted in the press recently, and one that has not had so much play, which is a Quebec study on refugees in the greater Montreal area. I have attached that as a schedule as well for you.

On page 13 of our brief we set out the kinds of things that are being seen by our members here in Ontario, by the ICCR study which was carried out and by the Montreal study. Of backlog claimants surveyed, 58% claimed that their symptoms had become worse since coming to Canada. These symptoms are ones that are in the textbooks that were used in terms of developing the kinds of surveys that were done: concern for family safety 76%; very tense and nervous 72%; depression; spontaneous thoughts of their country repeatedly coming into their mind; irritability or angry outbursts; loneliness; sleeplessness; brooding about their problems; restlessness; inability to concentrate; headaches and stomach pain.

A further symptom on the list was called suicidal feelings or thoughts. Although it was the least identified symptom when the list of symptoms were presented to the claimants, it is very instructive to analyse how these broke down. When we looked at the backlog claimants that identified this symptom and matched them against other claimants in the group who were as long-staying as they had been, some dramatic figures came out.

If they had been in Canada two years, of the two-year group, 19% identified this symptom. But by the time we get to claimants who are five years or over, that percentage has jumped to 63%. It should be noted that right now people in the backlog have at least been here for two years and some have been here for four to six years and they have seen other people go ahead of them in the new system.


The study by ICCR notes, "Given the fact that the present backlog process does not allow for virtually anyone to be reunited with their family in less than four years, unless a remedy is found quickly we have a time bomb waiting to explode on our hands." The Montreal research report, which is appended, states: "For refugees, on a short-term basis, this situation creates a situation of psychological distress that is manifested by symptoms of anxiety and depression and represents intense suffering.... A coherent social and humanitarian position is obvious; it is more urgent than ever not to allow the situation to deteriorate any further."

So this is what we are faced with, and the question becomes: How does this relate to constitutional law? We would like to point out that we are dealing with two separate fields. Health services, to a greater degree, is provincial; immigration is federal. But we have to ask a question: How can it be that a federal system can be implemented that is absolutely impervious to provincial influence -- or influence from anyone, as far as I am concerned -- that lays on the doorstep of the province the suffering that arises out of that system? We are asked to put Band-Aids on symptoms in health care services in Ontario, and yet we cannot help the client the way we are trying to help, as medical people, in terms of trying to get at the root cause, because there is a constitutional chasm that simply seems to be unbridgeable. It seems to the association that something is definitely wrong in a situation like that, where there is such a direct, concrete effect on a provincial area of jurisdiction by a federal institution.

I would also like to note, and this could be checked with the Ministry of Treasury and Economics, that in terms of federal money that comes to Ontario, it is my understanding that claimants are excluded from the calculation of the entitlement of Ontario when the per capita grant is calculated. So if we assume that Ontario has one half of the backlog claimants who are still here, which would probably be around 20,000 or something, plus it has approximately 40% to 50% of new claimants who are coming in, who are also excluded and they are coming in now at 36,000 a year, if we say that 40% of that is coming into Ontario, if the per capita grant in terms of figuring out the entitlement is approximately $757 and we multiply that by the number of claimants in Ontario, that is money that Ontario does not get, and yet our services are to be available, under the international agreement, to these people.

They are entitled to welfare; they are entitled to work in the backlog. If they cannot work, they are entitled to welfare. They are entitled to health services, and this is part of supporting a claimant, because we say: "Come to Canada and make your claim, if you're seeking protection from persecution, and we will support you until your claim is decided. If you are found not to be a claimant, you return, unless there is some other basis that you can stay in Canada." But one would have to ask, how can this be that there is no calculation within the formula, that Ontario gets no money and yet has the obligation to provide the service? Again, where is the constitutional chasm being bridged? Where is co-operative federalism that is so touted? As a matter of fact, I would ask this committee, where is confrontational federalism? Why is it left to the municipalities to squawk, because they are the ones that are bearing the burden of the welfare administration? So I think there needs to be a clear look at the division of powers in this particular area where we have such a concrete example.

The fourth point that I want to make is also a constitutional point and it is in our brief as well. That deals with the general question of the division between province and federal government with respect to health services. There has been quite a bit that has been done, especially as a result of the budget, in analysing where the national health system is going.

The association comes down clearly on the side that there must be national standards. The association is clearly worried by the capping that is going on and the freezing of the escalators and the reducing cash grants that will be coming to Ontario, because there will be, at some point, no control with respect to health moneys. The federal government can say, "Oh, don't worry; we'll take away some other money." I ask the provincial government, "What does that do to your trying to figure out what envelopes are important and which departments should be getting how much money?" So, "If you are not co-operating in health, what we are going to do is take it away from you from someplace else." How are you going to keep your house in order without losing funds? It is a double whammy, because if you take the money away from someplace else in order to put it into health, you are skewering some other area.

The federal government may say, "Well, don't worry, we can maintain the national standards because we still have a stick." My question is: Is this the way a federation should function? I think that is the issue that the association is raising. Surely this has to be rethought a little bit.

Finally, the last point that I will make -- I think we are running out of time; this is not in the brief -- is that if one considers that the regular claimants who are coming into Canada after 1 January 1989 are coming in high percentage to Ontario and already, if I can quote the statistics that I believe are applicable, the time length originally projected for an initial hearing for new claimants, when they just get what is called their credible basis hearing -- two to four months was what we were told in December 1988. The reality in December 1990 is 10 months, average.

After you get past the credible basis, then you have to prove that you really are a refugee before the full hearing. What is the time length for a full hearing for somebody under the new system? Not the backlog but the new people who are coming in: Ontario, 7 months; Quebec and Atlantic Canada, 3 months. So if you look at Ontario, we are now talking 17 months at minimum for new claimants -- as the press said, popularly now called the frontlog.

If people who have been here from two to six years, are suffering in the backlog, and the new claimants are now here looking at maybe two years down the road or worse, I ask you, when will we start seeing these symptoms on the backlog in the frontlog? That is exactly on our provincial health service's doorstep. Those are people who are coming to our clinics and we are being asked to serve them.

So I again ask you on behalf of the association to clearly look at the question of whether there should be some influence of the provincial government in a area of federal jurisdiction which impacts so directly, and second, to protect the national health care system but to look at the way that that is done and whether that should be done by a federal stick, or whether that should be done by provincial and federal co-operation.

The association does not at this time have a presentation to present on those constitutional options, but I can tell you now that there are community health centres that are today discussing those very principles in a second brief. Now, whether those will surface and the extent and quality of those briefs, we do not know, but I can tell you that we are concerned and we would ask you to be concerned that there be some principles developed as to how overlapping jurisdictions should be developed in a new Canada.

Those are our submissions.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. We have gone over by a couple of minutes. I will allow one question if it is a very quick one with a very short reply. I will be nice today; it is Friday.

Mr Offer: A very short one: In terms of the relationship that you have brought forward dealing with the backlog and the resultant health problems, do you feel that those would be minimized if those claiming refugee status were be given an immediate work permit?

Mr Armstrong: People in the backlog have had the right to work since 1 January 1989, so they are not at issue on that point. However, it is true, and it is not a position of the association but it is the position of many other refugee and immigrant-assisting groups, that it is absolutely ludicrous to have new system claimants come in and not be able to work until they have gone to the credible basis when we have now a 10-month wait and these people are ready to work and are willing to work and would be willing to compete.

So I think your point is well taken, that they could be contributing, productive members of Canadian society whether they go home or whether they stay. When one looks at the acceptance rates of 70% acceptance in the backlog and something like 81% in the new system, one has to ask, how many future Canadians are we putting through this health wringer, and what are we going to have to do in future for these Canadians who are going to not only be permanent residents but who are taking out Canadian citizenship as one of our workers did the other day?

So we are looking down the road and we have to ask questions. These are future Canadians whom we are talking about. These are not abusers the way the press and the government sometimes puts it. We are talking about 8 out of 10 being future Canadians here. What kind of system are we operating? And I think the provincial government has every right, regardless of whether it is dollar-for-dollar reimbursement because they are out-of-province people for welfare, to say, "What in the world is going on here?" to the federal government and to put pressure on that this system has to be changed.

There are lots of recommendations out there from refugees and immigrant groups about how those systems can be changed to be improved.


The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your short answer.

Mr Armstrong: I apologize.

The Vice-Chair: I should know better than to do that.

Mr Armstrong: As you can see, it is somewhat of a topic for the AOHC and somewhat of a topic for myself. Thank you very much for an opportunity for us to appear.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you.


The Vice-Chair: We would like to call up Captain D. K. Campbell from the Coffee House News.

Mr Campbell: I am Captain Campbell, Mr Chairman.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, excuse me, sir, could I ask you to sit down.

Mr Campbell: That is all right, I am going to sit down eventually.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you.

Mr Campbell: I am Captain Campbell. I would hope that the MLAs would pass on to Mr Philip and Mr Hampton the fact that I was convicted on 29 January for speeding and my case is due on 27 March, as number one evidence that we are an Alice-in-Wonderland government. I will just read my summation, as further evidence that the NDP government is a capitalist government and that obviously the MLAs in front of me are capitalists and that we are in an Alice-in-Wonderland world.

We need one country; one flag; one language; one level of development; one government with municipal governments for details; a non-divisive economic system -- that is, public ownership of our industries; the separation of church and state, no public support for a religious person or organization; unpacked, unbought nomination meetings, meetings based not on the lunatic noises of the 1989 NDP convention recognized leadership candidates but on the knowledge of Canada and the world, and public records of attempts to change our lunatic economic system to public ownership; young persons in grade 1 learning of our laws and respect of said or suffering from adult consequences -- and I hope you got that; that is in reference to the Young Offenders Act. A lot of this will be over your heads, but you can read it over after -- zero population, not the lunatic actions of the United States Mafia and its control of Quebec -- that is, the offering of $6,000 for the production of more problems in a nuclearized-bound world.

We need media sanity, honesty, not silly continued lies; for example, "The Cold War is over." Our child leader -- you know our child leader, eh? -- she is called McLaughlin. She said at the NDP convention, "Hallelujah, the war is over; communism is dead." Well, so much for childishness; an arts council that supports realist, sane, honest, anticapitalist, antireligious, antiescapist writers, composers, ending the Jewish Mafia-Hollywood agreement that Canada may produce no films so long as Hollywood from time to time mentions the word "Canada" in its escapist works. Maybe you do not know about this agreement, but it has been around for a few years and it has got to go in the garbage can. It is the reason why Canadian film producers cannot get distribution of their films, the argument being as long as they mention the film that was done in North Bay, as you well know.

An Ontario government must stop and eliminate any more baloney -- I call them baloney and you, if you are NDP, I hope you call them baloney too. -- division and giveaway of Canada to the United States and world capitalists. We have got about 15 years, give or take 20 years, before Japan and Germany -- if you have been around for a few years; I see a woman smiling there, we have been over this road before, a few of us who are a few years old -- get themselves armed enough. This Persian Gulf deal is just a little sideshow deal, a Gadhafi deal. It is simply flexing the muscles. On 6 August 1945, the United States told the Soviet Union, "Look, shut up, or else we're going to drop the bomb." And we all know about General MacArthur, or we should know about that.

This is my position, that we have these silly nomination meetings where guys are being appointed who have not got a clue. We got an example of a Greek MP who did not know where Ottawa was until he was appointed. Now, this nonsense has to end, the packing of nomination meetings. I do not have to tell you, I stood for Eglinton-Lawrence for the NDP and I got my wife's vote and my own vote.

I want to end my contribution by saying I have done my duty. One might ask the question, "Why don't you stick your head in the sand?" Well, that is not Douglas Campbell. I do not think you have ever heard of the great Canadian who is talking to you.

We did have another great -- not a Canadian, but nevertheless a great person in the Legislature. His name was Ed Ziemba. He went to jail for his convictions. Stephen Lewis, another little child, came along to the Don jail, the warden's tour, you know, and I was picketing the jail in protest against Ziemba's -- along with a reasonably good man by the name of Morty Shulman, another boy that Stephen Lewis rapped the knuckles of. I said: "Look, Stephen, why don't you carry a sign? Do something useful." All he did was smile at me and walked away. Meanwhile, Ziemba was proving that he was a man of conviction. Not a Canadian, but certainly a great person in Canada.

This is the calibre of people that we need, but on the contrary we are electing, we are appointing people who are jokes. Now, I may for the fun of it stand for the reeve of Howland township. You never heard of that. That is Manitoulin Island. A Conservative stood there, and he was the most honest candidate, against the NDP candidate. The NDP candidate says, "We don't want nuclear weapons here, but maybe the Hydro will build them some place else." Well, she just killed herself. The Conservative on the contrary said that he was against a nuclear plant on the north channel, but he would support a hydroelectric one. Second best would be a coal one. Of course, Mr Brown -- you know Mr Brown -- said basically he would support a nuclear plant.

What I want to say is, I can bury myself with a lot of other people, but you are going to wind up like Pastor Niemöller. I am sure you know Pastor Niemöller, his famous statement after the Communists were eliminated and after the Socialists supported the Nazi Party, as the NDP are doing in Ontario. You must remember that Bobby Rae offered the eight Senate seats of Ontario, supported Meech Lake, went to the NDP convention in 1989 and did not support my motion that was carried at the convention against existing and potential nuclear plants. Instead, what did he say? "We are going to freeze."

Now, this is exactly why the Liberals and Conservatives were put out of office, if you be a Liberal, because the workers have got tired of double-cross, double-cross, double-cross. The first thing our young friend, who had gone down to Washington to get down on his knees to the United States capital, said, "Well, you know, you do not have to worry about the revolution in Ontario because it is not going to happen, and meanwhile we are authorizing the sale of Bronfmans and consumer utilities." The CCF has been on record from its beginning to take over public utilities, and what does the NDP government do? The first thing it does, it sells a public utility, or agrees to it. This is a double-cross and it is going to take place to the extent that in 15 or 20 years, when Germany and Japan are strong enough, they are going to nuclearize the United States. It is called capitalism.

You have to tell Audrey McLaughlin that because she thinks that the cold war is over and that communism is dead. No, unfortunately the Douglas Campbells are not dead and I hope they never are if we are going to save this planet. And it is not due to the film, although Caldicott has to be credited, If You Love This Planet.

I want to know now what you capitalists are going to do, because I have done my duty. How are you as capitalists going to stop a Japan, a Germany, a United States capitalist takeover of Canada? Call it tricontinentalism, which has been on stream for 40 years. And you know that good man Eric Kierans, one of the first guys to mess up the post office, but when he is on with a child called Stephen Lewis and Dalton Camp, he makes them both look like children, because he is more and more every day mentioning tricontinentalism without using the words. The word now is "trilateral," okay? But make no mistake, we are heading into a takeover by those three -- I do not mean countries. We are talking now of Krupp, Dupont, Mitsubishi, the old boys. Throw in the Reichmanns and the Bronfmans and what have you, if you like, but that is what we are heading into. And the "distinct society," the Senate business, the division of Canada, Oka, are all manipulated by capitalists. The Mafia controls Quebec; has since the 1930s.


I do not have to tell you about Hal Banks. He beat in my head back in 1949. He was brought here by the CCF, by the Roman Catholic church, by the Liberal Party, to eliminate the Canadian Seamen's Union and every union that opened its mouth after the war, because we made a declaration not to hit the Brits during the war and we kept Britain alive. And what did we have? The scum that was brought in here from the United States, the Mafia, and they got together with their friends in Quebec who controlled Quebec, and this is what we are faced with, a continued division of this country. I repeat, Oka was produced. It is all part of the vision.

Greater provinces: I just finished hearing the chiefs there, one from Parry Sound, Manitoulin Island where my ancestors -- half the island is Campbell; the other half does not know it. Fortunately the chiefs there have decided that they get together and make peace with the municipalities, except for one, Wikwemikong. They want all the island -- they are like the Haida out in BC, he wants all of Canada; well, 85% of Canada -- because their argument is, as you well know, you have heard it probably, that Manitoulin produced them on this part of the planet; unlike us because we are immigrants, you see. We came from another country, but they were produced here.

So I want to know from you capitalists how you are going to stop a capitalist takeover of Canada. Mr Wilson, how are you going to do it?

Mr G. Wilson: We ask the questions here, do not forget.

Mr Campbell: I was in the other room and one of the briefers asked a question. It was not at my level, but how are you going to stop it?

The Vice-Chair: This point here is that basically we are being very lenient in regard to the presentations and we are doing that for a reason, which is that we want to give people full opportunity to express their views. I think at this point I would say that you have a very interesting description of history in the past and you mentioned you come from Manitoulin.

Mr Campbell: Well, my ancestry actually started in the Toronto area but they migrated progressively north and west. I have been here since 1840.

The Vice-Chair: Anyway, we will allow you to sum up. You have a couple of minutes. It is your two minutes, so whatever way you want to use it.

Mr Campbell: I am reminded of the Indians next door. It was good for a laugh, you know. You would have got a laugh out of your NDPers. Apparently Mr Rogers from Parry Sound -- he said God's country -- came down to speak to the NDP convention but he was told that he had to be a member of the party and he put forward the argument that therefore this was another attempt to suppress Mr Bisson, however it is pronounced. You got the reference that I am in the Indian category, I am being suppressed, because you guys are going to have to deal with this question and the workers are quite convinced -- it does not matter whether I come down here. I just finished a North York senior's meeting and I am bringing their argument also.

They are convinced that it does not matter whether we speak to you or not, that you already made up your mind to give Ontario to the United States. But I want to make reference, though, because I believe I was allotted 15 minutes and I started at 4:30.

The Vice-Chair: Oh, yes.

Mr Campbell: I was scheduled at 4 o'clock but because I am little bit more efficient than the long-winded people -- in other words, I am looking at the mountains, not the molehills of whether we should have "ramps" in our Constitution. In the next room there was a handicap association calling for "ramps" to be put into the Constitution. Do you understand me? A capitalist document, therefore a series of lies, at our expense. Probably hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on this rubbish. Not a bit of truth in it. That is the type of rubbish that is going to turn the NDP out. As Bob Rae said, "We have to get the respect of the workers." How in the H can you, when you put out rubbish like that?

Clearly what he should have done, and what the peoples of this world have to say is, do we love this planet? Are we going to put capitalism in the garbage can, including Audrey MacLaughlin. who said at the NDP convention that in the 1960s she was involved with her family. In other words, she was not carrying a ban-the-bomb sign and therefore evidence that about the only thing she could leave maybe is the route to the backhouse. That is about the extent of her knowledge of Canada.

What I am saying is that we have to have knowledgeable people. We cannot change this country if in fact the country is made up of, with all due respect to Mr Carrozza here, who has a feeble knowledge of Canada --

Clerk of the Committee: I have a very good knowledge.

Mr Campbell: I must say that if he had --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, at this point --

Mr Campbell: -- maybe 40 years of experience in this country --

The Vice-Chair: Time is up. Just hold it one second.

Mr Campbell: I have still got --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, the point is, we allowed you very much room in order to express your views, no matter how colourful they were. When you start getting to the point of getting personal --

Mr Campbell: I am entitled to point out that you --

The Vice-Chair: We are at this point.

Mr Campbell: -- stand for office, and I would submit --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, and rightfully so. Democracy works well, and you only got two votes, sir.

Mr Campbell: And you are submitting, on the contrary, that anybody can stand. A person can get up and say such nonsense, "The cold war is over," and is qualified to stand as a candidate in Canada.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, your time is over. Thank you very much for your time.

Mr Campbell: You guys have got 15 or 20 years and you can shake your hands and say, "Well, okay, Douglas Campbell, we have heard one --

The Vice-Chair: Sir, that is enough. We have allowed you very much time to express yourself. We would ask you to leave at this point. You do not go around calling people names on the committee and the clerk of the committee. That is enough.

Mr Campbell: I have a right to read this, and you do not have a right to interrupt me.

The Vice-Chair: Sir, you do not have the right to be ignorant with people of this committee.

Mr Campbell: I am sorry, sir. Under --

The Vice-Chair: Please, can you get security to take him out of here. Call security. Thank you very much. It has been an interesting month through our tours through the province. As you can see, we have gotten presentations from basically all sides, issues that we face as Canadians in the future and things that need to be resolved in order to get the country through the impasse that we see ourselves at.

I think we would like to say thanks to a couple of people for making this possible. We would like to say thank you to the crew that allowed us to televise all of these proceedings over the parliamentary channel. People need to realize the amount of work that was put into this and the amount of hours these people have had to work to make sure that Ontarians had the opportunity to hear the viewpoints of all people across the province.

We appreciate the presentations that were made. We have had many presentations, over 500, which brought quite a few ideas and gave us a lot of things that we need to go back at this point and take a look at so that we can formulate a position for our interim report that will be tabled in the House in the month of March. Thank you to all the presenters.

Also to the members of the committee, we would like to thank you, all the people who were on the select committee, for the work that it involved. I think we also need to say thank you to our constituents in our own home ridings. Many of our members who are here obviously had to take a lot of time away from their home ridings in order to be able to go out and to do the committee work that needed to be done. On behalf of the members of the committee, we would like to thank our constituents for allowing us the time to be able to do this. Mr Winninger, you had something?

Mr Winninger: I believe we should also thank the TV crew that has worked so tirelessly during this tour.

The Vice-Chair: On behalf of the committee, this is our last televised proceeding; by no means will this be the end of the process. The process is going to continue past this point, and we will be discussing more in regard to this whole question. Until next time, thank you very much.

The committee adjourned at 1648.