Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, 28th Parl, 2nd Sess, No 10 (12 September 1970)
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Parliament, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada, 28th Parl, 2nd Sess, No 10 (12 September 1970).
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Twenty-eighth Parliament, 1969-70
THE SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1970
(See Minutes of Proceedings)
SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE
CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
Representing the Senate
Representing the House of Commons
(Quorum — 17)
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerks of the Committee
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
Saturday, September 12, 1970.
The Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons met this day at 2:15 p.m. in the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium in Brandon, Manitoba. The Joint Chairman, Mr. MacGuigan, presided.
Representing the Senate: Senators Cameron, Fergusson, Grosard and Yuzyk.—(4)
Representing the House of Commons: Messrs. Allmand, Asselin, Brewin, Dinsdale, Gibson, Hogarth, Hopkins, Lachance, MacGuigan, Marceau and McQuaid.—(11)
Also present: From the House of Commons: Messrs. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre) and Stewart (Marquette).
Witnesses: Mayor W. H. Wilton, Mayor of Brandon, Manitoba; Mayor D. B. Sutter, Mayor of Souris, Manitoba; Mr. J. H. Belows, Director Manitoba Branch, Canadian League of Rights; Mr. Patrick Walsh, Canadian League of Rights; Mr. R. C. Bailey; and Dr. M. V. Naidu, Head, Department of Political Science.
The Joint Chairman introduced His Worship Mayor Wilton who welcomed the Committee to Brandon and presented a bilingual brief on behalf of the City of Brandon to the Committee.
The witness was questioned. During questioning, Mr. William Pearson and Miss Maureen Campbell asked questions and made comments from the floor on the invitation of the Joint Chairman. Later, the questioning being completed, the witness was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced His Worship Mayor Sutter who presented a brief on behalf of the town of Souris, Manitoba, to the Committee. Later, he was questioned after which the Joint Chairman tanked him for his presentation and he was excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr. J. H. Belows who made a statement after which he was questioned. The questioning being completed, the witness was thanked and was excused.
Mr. R. C. Bailey was introduced by the Joint Chairman and made a presentation to the Committee. Later he was questioned. During questioning, on the invitation of the Joint Chairman, Miss Lea Bailey asked a question and Mr. John Cochrane made comments from the floor at the invitation of the Joint Chairman. The questioning of the witness being completed, he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Dr. Naidu to the Committee and he made a presentation to the Committee. Dr. Naidu was questioned. Later, the questioning being completed, the witness was thanked and excused.
At 5:45 p.m. the Committee adjourned to Sunday, September 13, 1970.
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerk of the Committee.
(Recorded by Electronic Apparatus)
Saturday, September 12, 1970
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen who are participating here with us in Brandon, most of the proceedings will be conducted with all of us sitting down, just as a House of Commons committee meeting in Ottawa is held. To get things started, I just want to say a few words by way of explanation of why we are here and what we hope to accomplish.
The Committee which is before you is a joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate. It is charged with the responsibility of enquiring into suggestions, proposals, for the reform of the Canadian Constitution. To do that, we have been instructed not only to take into account proposals which are made by the federal and provincial governments, but also to hear what the people of Canada have to say. It is in this latter capacity that we are here.
We have opened our public hearings in Manitoba. We have been sitting in Winnipeg for the last several days and now in our second set of public hearings it is only fitting that we should be in Manitoba’s second city of Brandon. We are pleased to be here with you. We are pleased that such a large number of you have turned out to participate with us. Whether or not you are presenting a brief to us you will be welcome to comment from the floor at times when I invite you to do so. There are microphones on each side to which you may proceed to make comments on any of the proposals which are made by the briefs which are being formally presented, and at the end of the meeting if we have time, if there are any other matters that you would like to bring to our attention within our sphere of reference, we will be more than pleased to hear them.
We hope to have a dialogue with you which is both formal and informal. We have to have some structure and, indeed, our rules of the Committee of the House of Commons require that we pay attention to requirements of parliamentary language and the sense of relevancy which dominates parliamentary proceedings. But with those few limitations, we are pleased to hear whatever you may have to say, and after the first witness has given his brief and after the Committee
members have asked some questions, I will then be pleased to invite anyone here to make comments from the floor.
Thank you for coming, and we hope you will participate.
Before proceeding any further I would like to introduce the members of the Committee who are present here today. First of all, taking these in alphabetical order, Senator Donald Cameron, from Banff in Alberta. Would you stand up, please. Senator Muriel Fergusson, from Frederiction, New Brunswick; Senator Allister Grosart from Pickering, Ontario; Senator Paul Yusyk, Fort Garry in your own Province. Representing the House of Commons, Mr. Warren Allmand, from the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grace in the City of Montreal; the Hon. Martial Asselin, representing the riding of Charlevoix in the Province of Quebec; Mr. Andrew Brewin, representing Toronto- Greenwood; your own member, the Hon. Walter Dinsdale, Brandon-Souris; Mr., Colin Gibson, representing Hamilton-Wentworth in. the Province of Ontario; Mr. Douglas Hogarth, New Westminster, British Columbia; Mr. Leonard Hopkins, Renfrew North in Ontario; Mr. Georges Lachance, from Lafontaine in the Province of Quebec; Mr. Gilles Marceau, from Lapointe in the Province of Quebec; Mr. Melvin J. McQuaid, representing Cardigan in Prince Edward Island and a former attorney general of that Province; and your own member from Marquette, Mr. Stewart, is also sitting with us here today. My own name is Mark MacGuigan, representing the riding of Windsor-Walkerville in the Province of Ontario.
I understand that the audience is allowed to smoke and that ashtrays will be passed out.
I would now invite our first witness of the day, His Worship Mayor W. H. Wilton, Mayor of the City of Brandon, to address us. Mayor Wilton.
Mr. W. H. Wilton (Mayor of Brandon): Mr. Chairman, Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada, ladies and gentlemen, I am not going to go into a long welcome to the Committee. We have had the pleasure of being with them for the last hour and a half and have enjoyed being in their company.
I might say that the people and the citizens of Brandon are a very unselfish group. It was just a short time ago that I had, on behalf of the citizens of Brandon, the pleasure of presenting a set of cuff links to the Premier of the Province, and the message that I gave him at that time was that I hoped that each morning as he put these cuff links in his shirt he would think
not of what the people of Brandon could do for the government of the Province of Manitoba, but what the government of Manitoba might be able to do for the people of Brandon. This applies to the Joint Committee, although we have not cuff links for you.
The Mayor and Council of the City of Brandon would like to welcome the Special Joint Constitutional Committee to the City and express their appreciation of the fact that the federal government is taking its quest for knowledge to the grass roots. Municipal government is the government closest to the people and constitutional change, should it come about, must protect and strengthen this level of administration.
I would like to break in here to announce that the back part of the brief is in French. We hope that it is the same as the front. If there is something different in the back than there is in the front, do not blame the mayor.
The City of Brandon, like many medium-sized growing Canadian cities situated in a relatively large rural area, finds itself, in its endeavours to maintain a progressive and expanding position, having to load, through municipal tax levies, its business and property taxpayers well in excess of what might be considered a fair burden. (Regional population approximately 118,000 people, City population approximately 35,000 people).
The demands placed on Brandon in supplying the social service needs of its own population and to an ever-growing extent the Western Manitoba region, takes numerous forms—education, welfare, policing, rue protection, recreation, medicare and culture. Brandon’s willingness and ability to develop social service facilities, and assume the responsibility of the needs of the regional population is being further compounded by surrounding municipalities taking advantage of the situation. Lower taxes in the surrounding municipality, for example, are resulting in a higher home and industrial growth rate in that municipality than in the City.
It is realized that a boundary expansion can correct the situation to a degree. Technically, it is doubtful if the City of Brandon could accept a fringe population increase in excess of 1,000 people without considerable federal and provincial assistance. Water, sanitation, storm drainage, streets and lighting, etc., will require funding considerably in excess of the city’s financing capability. In the meantime, the city municipal taxpayer continues to shoulder an unproportional tax load, and rural fringe housing and commercial enterprises continue to pollute their own drinking water with their own sewage.
We question at the municipal government level if the division of powers, tax sharing and intergovernmental lines of communication, as practised under the existing interpretation of the Canadian Constitution, are in the best interests of the changing social order.
There appear to be two specific problem areas at the municipal level, The first is the communication problem of keeping the federal and provincial governments aware of the community’s specific needs. The contention that the elected federal and provincial members can supply the communication link is far from factual in this highly technological society. Further, in most instances, it involves a non-party political municipal body becoming directly involved in party policies. Municipalities require direct communication with federal agencies and a clearer line of communication with provincial government agencies. Direct lines of responsibilities between governments and agencies should be clearly spelled out.
The second problem is the constitutional arrangement that gives the federal and provincial governments preferential position over the municipal government in the order of priority spending as it applies to the needs of a municipality. External governments institute programs of social reform often unilateral in scope and frequently irrespective of the priority need of a society at the municipal level.
The City of Brandon with its genuine problem of being a regional community centre welcomes programs such as DREE. It is our belief that a planned attack on a regional need by the three governing bodies is a logical development and in keeping with the requirements of the times. The DREE concept and the intergovernmental communication necessary to conduct such a program could well be the solution to a community with Brandon’s development problems.
When communities are called upon fundamentally for reasons of economics and capability to serve many of the basic needs of a region, it is essential that these services should be well defined and 100 per cent of the
capital cost supplied from a source other than the municipal taxpayer. The present practice of external government participation in a community’s needs by the payment of grants is resulting in adverse effects at the municipal government level. The external governments’ frequent policies of demanding a proportion of the funds to be raised through local tax levies would appear in practice to give little or no incentive to efficiency. Further, it serves as a “‘come along” inducement. In the case of capital projects a municipal taxpayer can be saddled virtually indefinitely with a cost for an entity of only partial use by the municipal taxpayer. The adoption of the DREE concept in replacing the system of government grant concept is to our mind an acceptable solution to the problem of regional development.
For example in Brandon the Vocational Training School, university, hospital, personal care homes, provincial exhibition, auditorium and airport are instances. A good example of a pending cost-sharing project is the replacement of the Assiniboine Hospital for those chronically sick. The City of Brandon has been requested to contribute in excess of $800,000.00 towards the cost of the building fund. This constitutes approximately a two-mill levy on the property taxpayer of Brandon for a period of 10 years. This is a considerable added tax load on a community already carrying an above average load. One can readily see the unfairness when one considers the extent to which the taxpayer contributes to hospital and medical services from tax sources other than municipal. Further in the case of this facility, in excess of 50 per cent of the patients are from out of Brandon, some originating from as far afield as Portage la Prairie.
In summary, the Canadian Constitution, as it affects a municipality such as the City of ‘Brandon with respect to municipal affairs, tends to allow the two external levels of government to adopt a “big brother” approach. Municipal governments, with their larger and sophisticated administration units, are quite capable of managing their own affairs, setting spending priorities and supplying the needs of their people.
To make our society progressive in step with the needs of the 21st century and to take advantage of the constantly improving education and ability of our
people, a way must be found to bring about fair taxation, planned regional economic development and intergovernment communication.
It is respectfully suggested that the contents of this brief present some constructive ways in which fair taxation, planned regional economic development and intergovernmental communications can be brought about.
Respectfully submitted by the City of Brandon.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you very much, Mayor Wilton. The mayor mentioned that we had spent some time with him and members of the City Council beforehand, and I would like at this time to say a public thank you to the City of Brandon for the warmth of its welcome. The Committee members and myself much appreciated their hospitality.
Now I would invite the Hon. Walter Dinsdale, member for Brandon-Souris, to address questions to the mayor.
Mr. Dinsdale: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et messieurs. Perhaps you will allow me, Mr. Chairman, as the incumbent member for this area, to indicate at this public citizens’ forum how pleased I am that it was found possible to visit the centre of the Western Manitoba region, as His Worship the Mayor has indicated, the second largest urban community in Manitoba.
I have been telling my colleagues, who come from every part of Canada, as you will have discovered from the introduction by Dr. MacGuigan, that Brandon is a truly Canadian city. Brandon-Souris is a bilingual community and this has been reinforced by the bilingual nature of the brief that has been presented here this afternoon. I do not know whether His Worship the Mayor would like me to read the French portion, because I did study French all the way through my academic career at Brandon College and would be quite happy to do so unless the Committee Chairman rules that we dispense with the reading at this time.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think we can dispense.
Mr. Dinsdale: This is an occasion that I trust will be repeated on many,other occasions. As we have listened to briefs and representations in the City of Winnipeg, several have expressed the notion that what we need is a continuing forum for consultation on national problems, and this is precisely what this Committee represents.
We have a representative audience here this afternoon. We could hope that there were many more who might have come out to see what is, in effect, a miniature parliament right in our own Western Manitoba community. I am very pleased to see some of the mayors here—Mayor Herb Lawrence for one, and there are others represented. I mention Mayor Lawrence because he represents the famous village of Wawanesa, the home of the Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company; as it was written up in Maclean’s magazine, the one-horse town that spawned a giant. We are glad to see some of the reeves here; we are glad to see our Brandon West M.L.A., Ed McGill, here. This I am sure is indicative of the interest at all levels of government in what is taking place here today.
Now if I may direct the first question to the mayor, Mr. Chairman, I would take it, Your Worship, that you are not so much concerned with the amendments to the Canadian Constitution as such, ,that is, the British North America Act, as you are with the necessity of making use of the present terms of reference under the Constitution in coming to grips with the realities of the changed position of urban communities in our Canadian political structure. Have you any specific recommendations to make with reference to the constitutional changes, or do you feel that what your brief has presented, very clearly and effectively here this afternoon, could be carried out under the present constitution?
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I believe that the main problem which faces our municipality is that we have to have a better line of communication with the senior governments, both the provincial and federal and that we have to have more authority within our own municipality. We have to have more control over the moneys being spent in our municipality.
Mr. Dinsdale: Do you feel that this should be done by specific clauses in an amended or a new constitution? As you know, under the present constitution, the urban municipalities are not mentioned. They are creatures of the provinces. Do you feel that the structure of Canadian society has changed to such an extent that there should be some specific designation of powers under a constitution?
Mr. Wilton: Municipalities have to be given more power under a new constitution. I do not think they can continue to operate as a creature of the provincial government.
Mr. Dinsdale: There is some discussion at the parliamentary level that a definite department of urban
and housing affairs should be established to deal with the situation and the problems that you have outlined in your brief. Do you think that if a department of urban and housing affairs was set up to be responsible for the implementation of DREE programs and so forth and for the co-ordination between the province and the urban communities and Ottawa, it would bridge the gap that is becoming increasingly obvious.
Mr. Wilton: This would give us a more direct line of communication which is what we are asking for and what we need.
Mr. Dinsdale: Which is more important-constitutional amendments or a departmental function?
Mr. Wilton: What is more important to the municipality now is for its voice to be stronger and louder.
Mr. Dinsdale: The Department of Regional Economic Expansion, D.R.E.E., is already in operation. Do you feel that it has accomplished what Parliament contemplated in dealing with regional disparities in the matter of regional development in the western Manitoba region? If not, where are the difficulties that you see?
Mr. Wilton: To this date, nothing has been done under this program that I am aware of to help the City of Brandon. We have been designated the second area for the Province of Manitoba. Apparently the ground work is being laid now through the provincial government to make application to the federal government. D.R.E.E. programs so far have been concentrated in the northern part of the province. We, in Brandon, we desperately in need of D.R.E.E. at the present time.
Mr. Dinsdale: You are saying then that all representations and applications for assistance to regions are made through the provincial government?
Mr. Wilton: That is the way we have been doing it.
Mr. Dinsdale: Are you suggesting that there should be direct access to the federal government by urban communities?
Mr. Wilton: I would not say that there should be direct access to the federal government. The provincial government is a partner in it. The municipality and the provincial government naturally have to work With the federal government. The communication line seems to
break down too often and it just takes too long. We have seen this need in Brandon for several years and still we do not seem to be getting off the ground. This is a lack of communication. This program should be able to move faster than the D.R.E.E. program is moving in the Province of Manitoba at the present time.
Mr. Dinsdale: I will pass for now.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Dinsdale.
I am sure the Committee would also want me to extend an invitation to Mr. Craig Stewart who, while not a permanent member of the Committee, is here with us today sitting as a member of the Committee. We are pleased to have him with us.
Mr. Stewart (Marquette): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ladies and gentlemen, I would like first of all to congratulate the City of Brandon on the excellent brief they have presented. There are several points here that I would like to clarify in the brief.
Mayor Wilton, on page 3, you state:
The present practice of external government participation in a community’s needs by the payment of grants is resulting in adverse effects at the municipal government level.
What are you referring to here? Do you mean paying property taxes using the grant system? Is this what you are referring to? Or, are you referring to some of their grant programs?
Mr. Wilton: We are referring to some of the grant programs. We feel that some of the grant programs are a detriment to the city rather than a help.
Mr. Stewart (Marquette): Of some of the recent programs that we have seen, have there been any that have been satisfactory to the municipal level of government, for example, the winter works program?
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Stewart, of course there are many which are beneficial, but we just do not believe that the municipalities can survive by waiting for someone to give them a grant. We should know before it is. announced in Ottawa that this is being looked after on a grant system. The costs of operating a municipality and serving the people at the municipal level are getting so high that you can no longer operate on a “comme ci, comme ca” basis. Like the Government of
Canada, we have to know where our money is coming from.
Mr. Stewart (Marquette): Going back to the first question I asked you. Are you satisfied that the grant system used by the federal government in lieu of property taxes is satisfactory in municipalities? Would you like to see some other system?
Mr. Wilton: As I understand it, the federal government pay full taxes on their property in the City of Brandon. The provincial government work on a grant in lieu of taxes. Therefore, we are much happier to get the federal government’s full taxes than we are with the provincial government’s grant in lieu of taxes.
Mr. Stewart (Marquette): One final question, Mayor Wilton. You have mentioned that there is a lack of communication between the municipal level of government and the provincial and federal levels. Has there been proper consultation in the past before programs are implemented or discontinued? Has there been satisfactory communication with you people at the municipal level?
Mr. Wilton: There is a complete breakdown of communications between the federal government and the municipal government in certain areas. A good example is the Brandon airport.
We really do not know where we are going with this airport. We get a message from one person that we are going one way and we get a telegram the next day that we are going another way. We asked the responsible people from the Department to come out and meet with us but we cannot get any place with them. We cannot seem to get them to understand the problems of a western community—transportation between cities. We cannot seem to get the people in Ottawa to understand that the growth and the development of a community like Brandon depends on people in industry getting in to see what we have to offer. We have to have a link with western Canada and we do not have that. Air transportation is the mode of transportation today that is accepted by the people. We have to be a part of that air transportation system. We can no longer be riding in the farm wagon when the other people are flying in the air but we cannot seem to get this through to the people responsible. This is where we have a terrific breakdown in communications. These people who are running these departments seem reluctant to venture into the field to understand the problem. Does that answer your question?
Mr. Stewart (Marquette): With that answer, Mayor Wilton, I would say that you are saying it is time the Department of Transport held Committee hearings in the Brandon area.
Mr. Wilton: That is right.
Mr. Stewart (Marquette): I will pass.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, I have four other members of the Committee who wish to ask questions. Then I will invite comments from the floor. Mr. Hopkins, you are next.
Mr. Hopkins: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Wilton, I am interested in your comments about the consultation and contacts with senior levels of government.
The municipalities across Canada are basically and originally the offspring of provincial governments. Yet today we hear a lot about municipalities wanting to deal directly with the national government. Do you think that provincial governments over the years have paid the necessary attention to municipalities in their individual provinces and that a lack of attention may be among the reasons behind the desire for greater contact with the federal government? We must consider that in a developing society, it is only natural that operations should build up between the federal government and the people across Canada. Do you think there has been a vacuum between provincial governments and municipalities?
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I think there has been a definite lack of communication between the municipalities and the provincial governments. I think that there still exists a lack of communication. There are many instances in our own community where we, the governing body of the municipality, find out what is going to happen in our municipality through a news release. This is absolutely unsatisfactory. This has been going on for years. The provincial governments are going to have to change their attitude towards the municipalities. If they do not—and this is probably a pretty tough statement—the provincial governments are going to have to be done away with and the municipal governments are going to have to take over to have a direct line to the federal government.
We have to deal directly with the federal government on certain problems which are Department of Transport problems. There is no communication between the provincial and the federal governments at all in this area as far as a problem such as we have in Brandon is concerned.
Mr. Hopkins: I would like to get around to housing. I do not know what your local problems are as far as housing is concerned but I have always had the very definite view that Central Mortgage and Housing, or at least the federal government should have the sole authority for housing in Canada. Therefore, it would deal directly with the citizens of Canada in the various municipalities. We do have regional CMHC offices across Canada already. There is no particular reason why these cannot look after the regions which they represent the same as any provincial body.
I would just like to put on record at this time that I was opposed to the cost-sharing arrangements that were made with the various provinces by the Hon. John R. Nicholson, when he was Minister of Labour and in charge of housing. He made agreements with provincial housing corporations whereby the federal government would pay 90 per cent of the cost of housing projects sponsored by individual provinces and the provinces would put up 10 per cent of the money and really have the say in what was going to be done. I think if the federal government is going to pay 90 per cent of the cost, it might as well pay 100 per cent of the cost and cut out 75 per cent of the red tape. Would you agree that as far as housing is concerned, this would be a good policy?
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I certainly would agree that the communication in housing should be directly between the housing authority and the municipality. As you have suggested you are paying 90 per cent, you might as well pay 100 per cent. The plan as it works today is only a delaying tactic. It means that we have to make application to the housing authority. They then have to go to the provincial government and it is checked by the provincial government. Later, it is checked by the national housing to see if we actually need these units.
I should also state though that we are very pleased with the support that we are getting from CMHC. We have just completed 50 low-rental housing units which are all occupied at the present time. Fifty more units have been approved by the provincial government and will be, we hope, in next year’s estimates. We have tenders out now for a seven-storey high-rise senior citizens home and we hope next year to apply for a further $1 million for a second senior citizens home. I do agree that the communication and action probably would be much faster-and I qualify this
when I say “probably faster”—if we were able to deal directly with the government in Ottawa.
Mr. Hopkins: It would have a second effect too in that it shows a greater federal presence in a constructive way across the country would help to unite the country more. You mentioned regional economic expansion and how any changes in policy must come through both the provincial and federal governments. I have always been rather frustrated by the fact that while the federal government in Canada is responsible for the unemployed in Canada, provincial governments, by and large, have a big say in what economic development is going to take place in Canada. In view of your concern about regional development, do you feel that the central government in Canada should have a greater say in economic policy in Canada?
Mr. Wilton: I am not quite clear on what you mean.
Mr. Hopkins: I would like to give you this concrete example then. Each of these 22 special areas that were chosen in Canada for regional development had to receive the approval of the provincial government before they could progress. Do you feel that the federal authorities should have more direct contact with the people of Canada in general in these regions that must be assisted and again have a greater say in where they are going to spend money in these regions in Canada without having to have this continual provincial approval?
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I would think that this would depend on how much the federal government was prepared to pay. If it is prepared to pay 100 per cent of it, then it should deal directly with the municipality.
Mr. Hopkins: Actually, in the first phase, the federal government is paying 100 per cent of the grants to industry.
Mayor Wilton: The more governments become involved the greater the delay.
Mr. Hopkins: Mr. Chairman, I just have one more question if I may and to preface it I would like to
quote from Professor J. M. S. Careless’ book. Canada, A Story of Challenge. On page 4, he says:
Barriers such as the mountains and the shield exact a heavy price in scattering the population. They make for sectional divisions and high transportation charges. They weaken national unity and retard national development.
The basic reason for building railways across the country was to tie the country together. We also are developing today mass road transportation with a large amount of freight travelling by transport on our highways. You brought into focus the air travel problem. These three are all very important fields as far as tying the country together. We are all here for the purpose of trying to find means of tying the country closely together and creating greater national unity. I have recently been appalled by the high increase in freight rates. Just recently, in my own area, there was a large increase in rates on the resource based industry, wood products, by the CNR. I have expressed my views vehemently against this publicly.
Do you think that in the writing of a new constitution in Canada, we should spell out very definitely that transportation costs should not be such that they will cut down on pulling the country together and keeping it together. You are situated here in Brandon in the western part of Manitoba. You have many examples of other fair-sized communities here in Western Canada that are sitting aloof” they are a considerable distance from other major centres in Canada. In order to tie these together, we have to make it economically feasible freight-rate wise and transportation wise to hold these communities together.
I do not think that we should be appalled at all if our transportation system, such as our railways lose money. We should be more interested in keeping our freight rates down and in keeping the country tied together than in balancing books. The economic base of the whole country should bear the cost of keeping the country together. Certain smaller areas have such freight rates that they cannot compete on the markets of the country or the world.
Would you agree to putting a guarantee of this nature into a new constitution. Do you think it would have those beneficial results or do you have another argument on this?
Mayor Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I cannot help but agree with the speaker because the high transportation costs is probably the most important thing that has worked against the growth of the City of Brandon over the past number of years. We are in the unfortunate position where a shipment coming from Vancouver can go to Winnipeg much cheaper than it can come to Brandon. These transportation costs have certainly worked against the development of a community such as Brandon over the years.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, before passing on to the next questioner, I would like to introduce another distinguished member of Parliament who has joined us, Mr. Stanley Knowles who represents Winnipeg North Centre.
Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just dropped in for a moment to welcome my fellow members of Parliament to the distinguished university at whose campus you are now located.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Knowles. I understand that Mr. Knowles is Chancellor of the University of Brandon so his welcome is indeed an official one from the University.
Mr. Dinsdale: He is Dr. Knowles.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Melvin J. McQuaid.
Mr. McQuaid: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just have one or two short questions. There are three briefs to be heard this afternoon. I would suggest that the Chair might see fit to put a time limit of five minutes perhaps on each questioner. I hope to be the first to follow that rule.
Some hon. Members: Hear, hear.
Mr. McQuaid: We are here primarily to determine whether or not there should be a new constitution for Canada and ·if there should, what should be written into it. Many of the provinces, including Manitoba, have already suggested that the rewriting of the constitution should be very low on the list of priorities insofar as the federal government is concerned. I was quite interested in your observation that your municipality feels that we do need a new constitution for Canada. Is that correct?
Mayor Wilton: We think that it is necessary to have a new constitution in Canada. We also think that you
should hear from all parts of Canada which is what you are doing. When the new constitution is developed make sure that it is a constitution that we can work with and live with.
Mr. McQuaid: That leads me to my second question. As a Committee, we have to try to determine what should be written into this new constitution. One of your suggestions was that the municipalities should be given more power under any new constitution. As you probably know, the municipalities are now the creatures of the provincial governments and they get their powers from the provincial government. Is it your suggestion that under a new constitution the municipalities should become the creatures of the federal government and should receive their powers from them rather than from the provincial governments? As I understand it now, under the present British North America Act, the spending power of the federal government is very very wide and there is very little to prevent the federal government from extending more financial aid directly to the municipalities if they see fit to do so in order to allow them to meet the commitments that these municipalities are naturally expected to meet. Am I correct in assuming that it is your opinion that these municipalities should now be made the creatures of the federal government rather than the provincial government?
Mayor Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I am not sure that they should be a creature of the federal government. We are saying that we need a freer hand in the raising of money and the spending of money. The other governments are stepping in and taking money from our area to be used in other fields which we need in our own municipality. We have to have a different taxation form. Land taxes can no longer carry the heavy costs of education as in the Province of Manitoba, we can no longer afford the welfare costs that are being carried by the municipality. As we pointed out we are being asked for close to $1 million for a new hospital to serve the whole of western Manitoba. We just have not got the taxing power. The people whom we are taxing have not got the money to pay the taxes to cover this.
Mr. McQuaid: Would you be more interested in getting the power to broaden your tax base? Is this what you are interested in?
Mayor Wilton: I think that this is what the municipalities need, extended power, and other governments must get out of certain fields and leave that to the municipalities.
Mr. McQuaid: You would prefer that rather than to have the tax collected by the federal government apportioned on a basis of need to the municipalities?
Mayor Wilton: If you are going to apportion it on the basis of need through the federal government, it is a long process. We as a municipality would really never know what we were going to get or when we were going to get it. As I tried to point out before, we are so far from the action Ottawa that I am sure that sometimes they might even forget where we were to mail our cheque.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. McQuaid, I think if I am to envoke your proposed rule, now is the time to do it.
Mr. McQuaid: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Asselin.
M. Asselin: Your Lordship, I would like first of all to commend you for the initiative shown by your Executive Council in submitting this brief in both official languages. You have thus set a perfect example of the bilingualism which should prevail in Canada.
I would leave aside the brief which you have submitted to us. You have been questionned on the various aspects of municipal problems of which 1am also aware, having been a mayor of my city for many years. I would like to put a question of a general nature concerning Quebec. We would like to find out what the Westerners think of Quebeckers.
Since 1960, Mr. Mayor, the various governments of Quebec, both Liberal and Union Nationale, have requested from Ottawa exclusive jurisdiction in certain constitutional fields such as social security and more particularly education, which is considered in Quebec as an exclusive provincial jurisdiction. Expressions were even used which have frightened english speaking Canadians. The question of a special status for Quebec has been raised. «Special arrangements» are now being mentioned in order to alleviate some of the anxiety felt by English Speaking provinces.
Politically speaking, Quebec is going through a difficult period at the present time and I am here alluding to this separatist movement which we have in Quebec and which I hope will be of a temporary nature, because I think that I am here voicing the opinion of my colleagues from Quebec in saying that the great majority of Quebeckers want to remain within the Canadian Confederation provided there is a renewed federalism.
When I refer to «Special arrangements», your Worship, I do not have in mind the cultural field only but also the economic aspects. Special arrangements could be entered into with Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in the economic field.
I would like to know what is being thought here of the attitude of these successive governments of Quebec since 1960 with regard to their claims in the constitutional field.
You may reply in English if you want to.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps I might just say for those of you who did not have the benefit of translation that after thanking the mayor very warmly for taking the trouble to present this brief in French as well as in English in the written form, Mr. Asselin went on to ask a general question about the reaction in Western Canada, and especially in this part of Western Canada, to the views which the Quebec government has been expressing since 1960.
Mayor Wilton: Mr. Chairman, speaking for myself mainly and probably the City of Brandon, I would like to tell the speaker that we are very jealous of what the mayors of certain cities in the Province of Quebec have been able to press the federal government into giving them. We would certainly like their formula.
When I was at the mayors and reeves convention in Halifax, the mayor of Quebec City got up at that time and said that he had just had word that they were getting $52 million in his area basically from the DREE Program and that $40 million of it was right in the City of Quebec and he wondered where the other $P million was going. I think that this is probably the attitude of the mayors of all cities.
As far as this part of Western Canada is concerned, we are definitely interested in Canadian unity. We certainly do not want to see any province separate from the Dominion of Canada. We know that the Province of Quebec is going through a very trying time. We feel that there is no doubt that they will always be a part of the Dominion of Canada and that we will all be one Canada.
Special status, special arrangements, special economic conditions, these are all things that some people seem to work out to a better advantage than the rest of us. Mayors such as you have in many of your cities in Eastern Canada seem to have a stronger voice when it comes to getting help than some of us more backward mayors in the West.
Mr. Asselin: Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Andrew Brewin.
Mr. Brewin: Mr. Mayor, I would like to thank you too for your presentation and say that I think you succeeded very clearly in making one message clear at any rate and that was that there was a very urgent need under present circumstances for greater consultation and co-operation between the different levels of government, particularly in the context we are now discussing, between the federal level of government and the municipalities. I think you made that very clear.
My question is directed to how from the constitutional point of view-and that is what this Committee is particularly concerned with-you think that could be achieved. I gather from what you say that you do not want to achieve it by taking the basic legislative control over municipalities and regional government away from the provinces but that you want to provide for more effective consultation with the federal government. At the present time, as you know, consultation with the federal government, if not legally prohibited is at least inhibited by the fact that it is said to be none of the federal government’s business to intervene in municipal affairs in any shape of form. This is strictly provincial. I would ask you whether you think it would by helpful if we had an explicit provision giving the right and perhaps creating some machinery which would provide for federal-provincial- municipal co-operation at all three levels of government.
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Chairman, I think that what I am about. to say will be what was said many times and, I believe, passed on to all the governments in Canada after the Mayors and Reeves Convention in Halifax, and it is the feeling of the municipal people that when consultations are being held with the federal government in Ottawa which basically affect the municipality more than anyone, their people should be a part of the consultations; that it should not be discussed between the federal and the provincial and then handed down to the municipalities; that all three forms of government should be jointly in on the conversation.
Mr. Brewin: And this might be facilitated by a clear reference in the amended or changed Constitution?
Mr. Wilton: This is right.
Mr. Brewin: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Senator Grosart.
Senator Grosart: Mayor, I wonder if any right of consultation, even written into the Constitution, will solve your problem. Is not the nub of the problem as far as the municipality is concerned the fact that you have no constitutional status whatsoever, although you are one of three levels of government and the one which is most closely associated with the largest part of the population?
Mr. Wilton: This is right. We are the grass roots people. We are the grass roots government.
Senator Grosart: I am asking you, would you agree that the nub of the problem is that you have no constitutional national status?
Mr. Wilton: At the present time and under the present Constitution this is right, is it not?
Senator Grosart: Would you agree that it might be a solution of the problem to have a definition in the Constitution of the responsibilities of the municipalities and provision in the Constitution for sources of income to meet those responsibilities?
Mr. Wilton: I believe this is necessary in any new constitution.
Senator Grosart: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Me. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: I am a little concerned about the suggestion that the hon. member, Mr. Brewin has put forward to the mayor about mechanisms for consultation with municipalities in a constitution. As a former municipal councillor, I can certainly appreciate the plight of municipal governments all across Canada today, but my problem is this. The municipal government is essentially a local government that is endowed with the power to carry out certain specific tasks, but that is not the only local government. You get into the regional boards. For instance, in my riding we have the. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Water District,which is endowed with powers to carry out certain tasks. You get into boards of education; you get into planning and zoning boards, all of which are part and parcel of local governments. And it appears to me that
if you vest in the constitution participation of local government, you have to encompass all these concepts of government. It would be a moneymaker for the lawyers from a constitutional legal point of view. There is no doubt about that, because you would have a very, very, complex mechanism. Surely the essence of municipal government is that it looks to the provincial government, which is another local government in a sense, for its power, its authority, its taxation powers. I see nothing in the Constitution today that can prevent a provincial government from giving all the powers in the world to municipal government to carry out its functions, and I do not see why we should change the Constitution to rearrange that situation.
Mr. Wilton: Mr. Chairman, the form of government that we have in our province is that basically the municipality has very little authority. We have to have the written authority of the municipal board or some department of the provincial government pretty nearly every time we turn around except on the taxes that we are asked to raise for the school board. For our municipal levy, for all forms of spending we have to go to the provincial government; and in areas where they have to go to Ottawa, we have no voice with them in going to Ottawa. We are kept sitting back, waiting, wondering what has happened. I do not think this is right. I think that the municipal body has to become a more active and interested party right from the bottom up with the provincial government and with the federal government.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to invite anyone from the floor who would like to comment on this brief on this subject to come forward. That includes either the near floor or the far floor, and as I suggested at the beginning, for those of you who were late, you are all welcome to sit up here to be closer to the scene of action. Is there anyone Who would like to comment at the present time? Would you go to the microphone, please, and would you please spell as well as giving us your name for the sake of the record.
Mr. William Pearson: Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee my name is William Pearson. Sitting here listening to the questions and comments and in particular the brief, it seems to me that one of the points that have been slightly glossed over, though it has been mentioned is the fact that, as I understand the Constitution, under Section 91 and Section 92, which are the primary divisions of powers, there are
certain areas which are given exclusively to the provinces and certain areas given exclusively to the federal government. We ran into that with the airport here in Brandon which, by virtue of DOT and communications and railways and so on is federal government, and we are expected to raise money to finance that airport and keep it running because we feel that an airport is necessary for this city if it is to go anywhere.
The federal government some years ago talked about a regional air policy. All that ever happened to Brandon out of that regional air policy is that we went from Viscounts to a Navajo or a Piper or something, and we do not think that is a really great development. This is where we have no kind of direct communication constitutionally with the federal government in this kind of area and I think this is where we have a problem.
Quite true, in the field of education we can talk all we like with the provincial government but the legislation is that the school board sets the budget and the municipal council has to meet it; they can debate a little with the school board but not very much.
So the problem really comes in, in any revision of the Constitution or even a continuation of the present Constitution; in those areas where the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction and there are many—railways, all forms of communication, practically, which are essential to any modern community. There is no provision whereby the municipal government, which has a real stake in having an airport and having railways and having freight rates and a whole lot of other things, can communicate directly constitutionally with the federal government, and this leaves a great gap in our present operations.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Pearson; I think that is a very good point. I do not know whether or not Mayor Wilton wants to comment on that. Mr. Allmand, would you like to ask a question?
Mr. Allmand: Mr. Pearson, it seems to me there is a constitutional link between the people of Canada and the municipalities and the federal government, and that is their federal representatives.
Mr. Pearson: I could agree with you, but I spent 10 years as a civil servant in Ottawa in three different departments and I am going to be quite frank to you.
As much as I know and love Walter Dinsdale, there is no way in which he is going to be able to get around that great bureaucracy and find out what I want to know sitting here in Brandon. It is just literally impossible. I am sure all you members would vouch for this. It is just literally impossible in a straight time question to be able to solve all the problems that are asked of you by every individual. I have great respect for the Civil Service. I have left it but I have great respect for it. But they run a kind of little ball game all their own and I do not think you people really get into it.
Mr. Allmand: May I ask you a question, then, and perhaps the mayor too. Do you think perhaps that our federal constituencies are too large; that we might be able to serve our municipalities and our people if we had smaller territories and a smaller number of electors? Do you think that that might be the solution?
Mr. Pearson: No, I do not. Frankly, I think we are probably the most overgoverned people in the world. First of all, I think our municipal governments are too small in terms of resources, and that may be area and population. Secondly, I think our provinces, certainly a great many of them, are too small, but they were designed in a horse-and-buggy era of communications and that is no longer pertinent today. I think the problem is perhaps that our members in the House do not have adequate staff in order to keep—
Some hon. Members: Hear! Hear!
Mr. Pearson: I knew that would be a popular suggestion but I really feel that sitting out in the boon-docks, if you will, we have a communication problem. Not with our members. I can talk to Walter any day of the week by picking up the phone and he will generally answer if I call or he will call back, and I think that is true of many people in this room. But I know that there is just no way that he is going to be able to get the kind of information on things that we need to know. How do you deal with air regs. inspectors in Winnipeg through your member in Ottawa,’ because then it is coming down like a bolt from the Minister’s office or something and everybody is jumping to attention and there is a flap on. If you can put enough pressure on the Minister, you can get what you want.
Frankly, your lines of communication are not open enough, in my opinion, for this kind of liaison to
really work, particularly with the vast interest which the federal and provincial governments now have in the whole operation in the community. It is just astounding how many times you have to get permission of some board or authority of minister or something to do anything anymore.
Mr. Allmand: Thank you. I think most of us would agree with you and we appreciate the support of the public in helping us make that breakthrough.
Mr. Pearson: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Ladies and gentlemen—I am sorry. Did you want to come forward? Would you give us your name, please?
Miss Maureen Campbell: My name is Maureen Campbell. In reference to lack of communication between Brandon and the federal government, we have one very good example, and that. is the closing down of Rivers Air Force Base. This was done in a way in which the provincial government did not even know it was going to be closed down until a day before. I think it is rather funny that out of two bases, the one base that was not closed was one that a Liberal M.P. was sitting in.
Another thing that is very wrong in Manitoba is that Brandon has two trains going to Winnipeg each day and two trains coming back from Winnipeg each day. The two trains leaving for Winnipeg leave at 6 o’clock in the morning and the two trains coming back leave at 12 o’clock at night, and one of these trains does not even come directly to Brandon. It goes 10 miles north. You have to take a limousine in from there. This is one example of where you have a very large lack of transportation, and now it seems they are going to raise the rates. Incidentally the bus rates have been raised from Winnipeg to Brandon too. They are nearly five dollars.
I would like to see a federal government development fund established. Manitoba was the first to establish a development fund, something where you give an industry little give-aways. You make roads for them and provide water for them and they come in and it seems that these things have built up and built up and it is getting to the point now where I think that what you do to get industry into a province is not worth it. You may create jobs, but it just is not worth it in the long run.
One very good example is Simplot. From Simplot you get another problem. The federal government gave Simplot $5 million; the provincial government gave
them $20 million. Sure we got jobs created but we also got pollution from Simplot, and this is another constitutional problem. As I understand it right now, it is not written into the Constitution which is responsible for pollution—the municipality, the provincial or the federal or even the industry itself. This has to be established, and I do not know why it has not been brought out.
Another thing that has to be considered is education taxes. Right now some farmers pay $600 in education taxes just because of the property, and this is another thing that has to be solved.
One thing I like is probably Quebec. I think Quebec has brought forth some of the most relevant constitutional proposals for reform that I have seen, and this is that each municipality or province should have the right to go to conferences outside and not have to refer to other larger bodies.
Another thing is that I think the municipalities should be made an entity in themselves. They should not be responsible to the provincial government to get little rights or little things they can do for themselves.
Another thing is the federal tax share program. It seems to me that in the last 100 years we have had the strange theory that if you take from the rich and give to the poor you are doing a good deed and for 100 years it has not solved anything. The rich provinces are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and most industries do not even think about where they are going to develop or where they are going to place industry. They go directly to Ontario and specifically within Toronto, and federal or provincial governments do not have any say at all where these industries are going to locate. I would like to see them have a say in this. This is where a federal development fund could be very useful because they could say to these people, “All right; you can establish yourself inside some province but you have to do certain things. You cannot expect these provinces to build your roads for you or to give you water facilities or anything else.”
I have a lot more to say, but you probably would not be interested in hearing it. Oh, yes. There is one thing especially. If you change the Constitution, you have to have the approval of the British Parliament. This is ridiculous. Within your constitutional reform we have to do it this time but let us make sure that if we do change the Constitution we have one specific thing in there; that if we have to change it again, we do not have to have the approval of the British Parliament. This is a direct insult to Quebec, I feel.
The Chairman: Thank you very much, Miss Campbell. I think you have really given us a flavour of the local problems and also commented on some national ones. Mr. Gibson, did you want to make a comment?
Mr. Gibson: First of all, I would like to commend the young lady who just spoke for the quality of her criticism and her courage in coming up and speaking up like that. There are two points that she brought out that I would like to deal with very briefly.
First, on the subject of pollution, your point is very well taken. At this precise moment the premiers of the provinces and the federal Prime Minister are meeting at a conference in Ottawa. Pollution is on the agenda and will be dealt with at that conference.
I would like to say also that the Canada Water Act has been brought in. I know there is impatience and unrest in the country over pollution, but I think you will all agree that it is a terribly complex and difficult thing. It requires tremendous research. We have the Canada Centre for Inland Water in Burlington, Ontario, and it is only half completed, but there is a tremendous amount being done in the lakes getting at the causes of the pollution in the Great Lakes. There is a lot being done in that field. There is a clean air act being brought before Parliament this fall and this whole subject will be thoroughly developed.
On the subject of abolishing final passage of amendments in Britain instead of in Canada, I brought this plea forward in the hearing we had yesterday. I strongly advocate that we should immediately get rid of the British Parliament passing our amendments, even though we have not completed the other amendment process. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any other comments from the floor?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank his Worship, Mayor Wilton, very much for his fine presentation and also for the hospitality which he and the City of Brandon have extended to this Committee. Thank you, Mayor Wilton.
Mayor Wilton: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like, before leaving the chair, to express my thanks to yourself and your Committee, on behalf of the citizens of Brandon, for the very courteous hearing that you gave me this afternoon as their representa-
tive. I realize that I am an amateur among a group of professional politicians and I certainly did not look forward too much to the question period. Thank you very much.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): You got yourself elected, too, so I think you are as professional as any of us.
Mayor Wilton: Thank you very much.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): We are very pleased that Mayor Sutter of Souris is here to present a brief on behalf of the Town of Souris. Therefore, I would introduce to you and welcome to our Committee, his Worship, Mayor D. B. Sutter of the Town of Souris. Please proceed, Mayor Sutter.
His Worship Mayor D. B. Sutter (Mayor of Souris): I am very proud to be able to attend before such a distinguished group of citizens. If Mayor Wilton is an amateur then I am still in left field.
We did feel we could not let this opportunity go by without commenting at least briefly on the Constitution because it seemed to us on Council that too many of these meetings are held and the phrase comes back, “You had your chance to say your piece”. So we did, although the time was short, from our notification—and thank you for the direct notification, because otherwise we would have missed it—prepare a brief on this subject.
We have purposely couched it in vague terms because we do feel that, though we are a town of 2,000, we do speak for parts of Western Canada. For the Mayor and Council of Souris, then, this is our brief:
Whereas the Mayor and Council of the Town of Souris are of the opinion that the British North America Act is hopelessly outdated and does not permit the natural future growth of Canada;
And whereas the said Act has in the past been the instrument of an exaggerated growth of the central provinces at the expense of the Western and Atlantic Provinces;
And whereas the Parliament of Canada as now constituted leaves the Western Provinces with no real power at the decision-making level in Ottawa with the result that all major decisions are made without reference to the vital interest of this area;
And whereas this area is increasingly at the mercy of federal bodies and agencies over which we have no
control and on which we have no adequate representation;
And whereas the decisions of these bodies are only too frequently representative of the racial and religious prejudices of the central provinces without relation to the needs of western culture.
Now, therefore, the Town of Souris submits as follows:
1. That the Canadian Constitution be wholly reenacted and repatriated.
2. That the Queen be retained as titular ruler.
3. That the Senate be abolished and a second house formed with equal representation from each province with a right to initiate legislation and to veto legislation initiated in the lower House, with the members to be elected.
4. That the Constitution contain a Bill of Rights which would guarantee the freedom of all groups, not just the two major language groups.
5. That the Constitution recognize the peculiar culture and racial make-up of Western Canada and guarantee the rights of the inhabitants of the Western Provinces to learn a second language of their choice.
6. That tariffs and freight rates in particular be regulated to equalize the opportunity in all parts of the country.
7. That combines legislation with real teeth in it be enacted to prevent and break up the present cartel situation which has effectively eliminated price competition in industry behind heavy tariff protection.
8. That the benefit of such agreements as the automobile parts pact with the United States be extended fully to the consumer and not just to the manufacturer.
Respectfully submitted this twelth day of September.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you very much, Mayor Sutter, for your wide-ranging presentation on behalf of your town.
Ladies and gentlemen we cannot hope to concentrate on all of the aspects of this brief because so many different questions have been touched upon. Since we have already had a fairly full discussion of municipal matters, and this brief does not, in most part, relate to them, perhaps we can, for the moment, leave that from further discussion and concentrate on other questions.
We have already had some comments on the repatriation of the Constitution but perhaps one of the senators would like to discuss with the Mayor his proposals for the Senate. As I understand it, he proposes an elected Senate, which should certainly be a challenge to our colleagues of the upper House, and that it be based on equal representation per province rather than by geographical region, with perhaps ten senators from each province.
Would any of the senators like to cast the first stone? Senator Cameron.
Senator Cameron: Mr. Chairman, I congratulate the speaker on his courage in restating something that .the senators have become quite accustomed to hearing, namely that the Senate should be abolished.
I am one of those who have felt for a long time that while the Senate should not be abolished it certainly should be reformed and it may be of interest to the speaker that one of the reforms I would like to see is an elected Senate. This would take some time to bring about and it might be done in stages, that initially we continue the appointive Senate on a different basis, as an interim measure for maybe a fixed period of time.
For example, there is a very strong feeling in many parts of Canada, but particularly in the Maritimes, that the Senate serves a useful purpose as a defender of minority rights. I am quite sure if you were to abolish the Senate today, you would immediately have an uproar, particularly from the Maritimes, and I speak not as a Maritimer but as a Westerner.
Secondly, I know that you would have a great deal of resentment in Quebec. For this reason, I suggest, possibly as an interim measure for a period of time, that the appointive system be continued with certain further limitations on how the appointments are made, but that a large proportion of the membership be appointed by the provincial governments.
You may recall that the Prime Minister, two years ago, at a Constitutional Conference, suggested that the provinces take some steps with a view to making suggestions as to how they might make appointments to the Senate; I am paraphrasing here. The Prime Minister made a statement about one month ago that because the provinces had taken no initiative, he would likely have to fill the present sixteen vacancies as has been done in the past. We will be very interested in seeing what kind of appointments he makes.
But I am convinced that, if we had the provinces making, say, fifty per cent of the appointments, you would eliminate some of the alienation, in the West particularly, because the West would feel that they
have a specific voice in respect of their regional difficulties.
For example, in the Province of Alberta there has not been a Senator appointed, representing the party in power, since 1935, and I come from Alberta. In the Province of Saskatchewan, from 1944 to 1965, or 1966 was it, the same thing was true. In British Columbia there has not been a Senator appointed, representing the viewpoint of the provincial government, since 1953, and I know from personal contacts that this has been one source of irritation.
So, for a beginning, some provincial appointments would help to overcome this feeling of alienation and give the provinces a greater feeling of participation, but ultimately I certainly favour the election of the senators with more power rather than less.
Just let me say this in defence of the body of which I am proud to be a part. It does a great deal more than it gets credit for doing. I only need to refer to some of the committee programs that are going forward at the present time: the program that my colleague Senator Fergusson in on, the Special Senate Committee on Poverty, is giving the people of Canada a chance to participate in the formulation of policy; the Special Senate Committee on Science Policy with which I have been involved for the last two years is dealing with one of the most major responsibilities of the government for the next few years; and I could go on and name many more.
So do not be misled by the kind of irresponsible talk that you hear made by certain commentators on the radio and television, and certain people in the press, about this useless body. Certainly it could do more than it does do but it is still performing a useful function, and we hope as time goes on and we write this new constitution, that it will be able to do an even better one.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Senator Cameron. Since Senator Cameron has agreed with you, Mayor Sutter, I do not know whether you feel that you need to comment on what he said but if you would like to, go ahead.
Mayor Sutter: I would like, briefly, Mr. Chairman, to point out that in this brief, which is very brief, we did not t3ke the trouble to elaborate. Immediately after abolishing the Senate, we would expect a responsible elected authority, whatever you might call it, a new Senate or whatever.
The other point I would like to bring out is that I am not belittling the present work of the Senate. I think, under the present constitution, that their hands are
tied, partly because of the method of appointments, partly because they are lifetime appointments, and all this sort of thing.
My whole point is that this is the only way we could see to provide some voice or check for the have-not areas. That is the point and I think that is the way I want to put it.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Senator Fergusson.
Senator Fergusson: Mr. Chairman, I do not think I want to discuss this at any length at the present time, except that I would like to say I completely disagree with my colleague, but I do not think I will enter into all of the reasons why.
However, there is one thing I would like to ask the witness. In his brief, he suggests that, in the new Senate or whatever it will be, we have equal representation from each province. Are you expecting to have the same representation from Prince Edward Island as from Ontario?
Mayor Sutter: Yes. If Prince Edward Island is still there, yes.
Senator Fergusson: You do?
Mayor Sutter: Yes. I have to refer to our friends to the south where the State of North Dakota carries just as much senatorial weight as New York.
Senator Fergusson: I see.
Mayor Sutter: This is a built-in check on the system.
Senator Fergusson: This is an entirely different idea from when Confederation was set up and we had territorial representation so that we would not be swayed by population growth. But I just wanted to know if that was your idea.
Mayor Sutter: Very much so. This is the built-in idea of this number three point.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Any further comments? Mr. Marceau.
Mr. Marceau: Mr. Sutter, when I read your fifth conclusion, should I conclude that you are against bilingualism and the two official languages?
Mayor Sutter: No, not exactly sir, but they are too narrow for our country. The only time in my short career that I have heard any whisperings of separatism in the West have occurred following the B. and B. Commission.
Mr. Marceau: Concerning your second conclusion; could you explain why this is there, that you accept that the Queen be retained as titular ruler?
Mayor Sutter: I can see now, Mr. Chairman, why we have to explain these things. Naturally, in a short brief, they are very concise.
There has been a Manitoba Centennial year, sir, and the Queen has been a recent visitor in our province, and I speak for our town or any of those who saw the Queen, that said that, even though they just saw her, this one thing was a more constructive factor in unity than anything else that has occurred in Manitoba this year. So it is for unity alone that I speak on this.
Mr. Marceau: Thank you, sir.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Any further questions? I suspect actually that our next witness will be raising some further questions about monarchy or trying to resolve them as the case may be, dealing with the subject. Are there any comments from the floor?
Well, then, thank you very much, Mayor Sutter.
Mr. Dinsdale: I wonder if I could just make a comment? This is the other part of Brandon-Souris, which translated means mouse. But I think it has been indicated here this afternoon that, as the old movie has it, it is the mouse that roared. Dr. Sutter has made. a very excellent presentation and expressed the Western viewpoint quite precisely and effectively here this afternoon.
Mayor Sutter: Thank you, Mr. Dinsdale. In preparing this brief we certainly tried to think beyond the Town of Souris.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): You certainly succeeded in doing that, Mayor Sutter and, on behalf of the Committee, I would like to thank you for your presentation
Ladies and gentlemen, I would now invite Mr. I.H. Belows, Director of the Manitoba Branch of the Canadian League of Rights, to address us.
Mr. J. H. Belows (Director Manitoba Branch, Canadian League of Rights): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Although this brief is not prepared in French, I do have with me today a man who comes from Quebec and for those who may want to ask questions in French about our brief, Mr. Patrick Walsh is here to answer them.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): In any event, we have a translation service, so the questions will come to you in English, Mr. Belows.
Mr. Belows: Mr. Chairman and members of the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada, we appreciate the opportunity of appearing before you to present those views which we feel are important if Canada is to become a free and sovereign nation under the present system which is represented as being a constitutional monarchy. This system has provided the greatest opportunities for self-development of the individual. The Canadian League of Rights is a free association or movement of Canadians dedicated to the preservation of freedom and justice in Canada and the defence of our Christian heritage. Members of the League pledge themselves to further the following aims and objectives:
To promote loyalty to God, family and country.
To defend our constitutional monarchy and Christian heritage.
To work for the restoration of more responsible parliamentary government, and to oppose government by regulation.
To encourage personal responsibility and individual initiative as essential to the preservation and expansion of personal freedom.
To oppose monopoly, centralized power and bureaucracy in government and in every sphere of national life.
To uphold national sovereignty and the ties of the Commonwealth and to expose all forces operating against them.
To strive for a genuine association of free and sovereign nations, co-operating for the wellbeing of all peoples.
To oppose and expose every form of totalitarianism.
In his evidence before you on May 28, 1970, the Hon. John Turner, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, read into the record a statement by the
former Justice Minister, our present Prime Minister, who spoke to the annual meeting of the Canadian Bar Association in Quebec City in 1967 on the matter of constitutional revision. I will read what he said:
The time is ripe. The federal government declares itself ready to discuss any constitutional changes that are proposed—But we do desire that any changes shall take place in an orderly way, and under the guidance of governments responsible to the people.
It is with these thoughts of responsible governments in mind that we bring to you points of constructive criticism with possible solutions or alternatives to current vital problems affecting the citizens of Canada.
I The Attack Upon Canada’s Heritage
During Manitoba’s centennial year we were greatly honoured by a visit from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, along with members of the Royal Family. This was the highlight of the entire centennial celebrations. The Hon. Mr. J. Borowski, Minister of Transporation for Manitoba said this of the Royal visit:
She did something in the North that we politicians have never been able to do. She had Tories, the steelworkers, the miners unions, the Chamber of Commerce and the lot working together as if they belonged to one family. If this is what having a monarchy does, I hope we always have one.
Shawn Herron in his comments in the Montreal Star on July 18, 1970, said, with reference to the above:
Don’t dismiss that eulogy as the little secondhand republicans of the CBC like to do. Isn’t this exactly what a monarchy is supposed to do? Isn’t this exactly what Americans can never have: an object of loyalty and affection above the battle we’ll get back to tomorrow?
In contrast to this, the Canadian Secretary of State, Gerard Pelletier, a minister who swore allegiance to the Crown when he took his high office, was reported in the Toronto Telegram to have said:
… the force of things will eventually bring about the end of the Monarchy in Canada…Our government has been accused of suppressing the coat of arms, but it doesn’t really matter. We could put Schenley’s coat of arms on government
buildings and no one would know the difference. These symbols do not mean a thing in the 20th century…
We take exception to such statements, especially by a Minister of the Crown, because we believe that all authority in our community comes from the Crown and this authority comes from God, as shown during the Coronation service when the Monarch is handed the sword from the altar, the Archbishop saying:
With this sword do justice, stop the growth of iniquity, protect the Holy Church of God, help and defend all widows and orphans, restore the things that are gone to decay, maintain the things that are restored, punish and reform what is amiss, and confirm what is in good order; that doing these things you may be glorious in all virtue; and so faithfully serve our Lord Jesus Christ in this life, that You may reign forever with Him in the life which is to come.
John Farthing in his priceless work Freedom Wears a Crown makes a brilliant defence of the institution of the Crown. He stresses the importance of history, pointing out that the appeal to history, as they interpret it, is a major feature of the Marxists’ claim to be the logical possessors of the future. He says in his conclusion:
What have we to oppose Marxism? How do we meet this inexorable force in the world’s life?
He answers these questions by observing that a nation that is cut off from its basic political traditions is incapable of meeting the Marxist challenge. We are now continually being told that we need a new nationalism, a Canadian identity. But Farthing observers:
… man is a being who lives in time as well as in space, …
and that traditions transcend both time and space. Farthing writes further:
The ideal of the king and the queenly is inherent and ineradicable· in the human heart. In it may be found all that is truly innate in the moral life of man.
Farthing concludes in the chapter entitled “The Crown Versus Mark”:
Where the Marxian affirms the impossibility of advancing to a new and better order of life than
that prescribed by the laws of nature, save by appeal to hatred and conflict, revolution, destruction and dictatorship, the British ideal is that of an essentially evolutionary advance, appealing throughout to a spirit of unity centering in the throne and in the creative freedom enshrined in British traditions. The one aims to destroy, the other seek s to fulfill the law.
We strongly urge the Committee to recommend the continuance of the Christian monarchial system since it is based upon the sanctity of each individual person and in the personal ideal of freedom.
II Planned Destruction of the Private Enterprise System
Why at a period when Canadian people in every sector of the economy, through their productive resourcefulness, have achieved a range, quality and abundance of consumer goods of every description never before approached in this country should we be entering a period of recession with all the symptoms of inflation; exorbitant taxation, mounting debt, increasing prices, industrial unrest and bankrupt farmers?
The New Times of June 2, 1970, in an editorial entitled “Keynes on Inflation”, states:
Irrefutable evidence has been produced (Fabian Socialist Contribution to the Communist Advance, by Eric Butler) to show that Keynesian economics are designed to destroy the foundations of the free enterprise economic system and private ownership of property …
I suggest that you look at the White Paper on Tax Reform.
… and to drive it towards the Marxist concept of society.
Those who are imposing Keynesian economics cannot claim that Keynes did not understand the destructive role of inflation. In his book entitled The Economic Consequence of the Peace, which was published after World War I, Keynes wrote:
By a continuing process of inflation governments can confiscate secretly and unobserved an important part of the wealth of their nations …
There is no subtler, nor surer means of overthrowing the basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction and does it in a manner
which not one man in a million is able to diagnose. Keynes also observed:
… while the process impoverishes many it actually enriches some.
Inflation is like a drug. It provides some short-term relief but produces a condition requiring progressively bigger doses of the drug. The end result is complete collapse. Every politician who says that there is no solution to continuing inflation except to “control” it by periodic doses of destructive credit restrictions might be politely asked if he does not think that he could be taking money from those paying him, his electors, under false pretences.
We suggest to you, gentlemen, that the “advisers” to governments find ways and means of solving the inflation problem or, failing this, to make way for those who can.
It is quite readily discernible that the Keynesian economic philosophy is clearly a method of centralized power control in which the current phase is a means by which the London School of Economics graduates or Fabian Socialists agents can institute the legal denial of rights guaranteed by the monarchy.
The method currently is to make constitutional amendment commissions desirable and thus constitutional amendment a physical fact. The monarchial system, of course, denies the use of physical force in” property usurpation, so over a period of years the taxpayer is unwittingly committed to paying for his own transition into serfdom.
If government in itself has all the rights purported to belong to the individual, what rights are then left to the individual? The right to serve government? An institution created by man to serve him?
George Bernard Shaw said:
The method of Bolshevism is identical to that practiced by Fabian Socialists.
It can be concluded that any attempts to rewrite the Constitution without clarification to the citizens on legal paper to spell out the intent and the recommendations by the government can only be construed by these people as deliberate subversion of the social and moral principles on which this country is based through its heritage. It has survived some of the greatest holocausts in history through World War II
and the reputation so established throughout the world.
The constitution is exclusively the property of the citizens of Canada herein declared.
This is respectfully submitted, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Belows.
Before I ask my colleagues if they have any questions I think I should clear up what seems· to be a misconception on your part with respect to the purpose of this Committee, if by your words you suggest that this Committee has not given clarification to the citizens by spelling out the intent of the government. The government has made proposals to the provinces which are a matter of public record, among which is included the preservation of the monarchy. These proposals by the federal government are among the things which this Committee is charged with scrutinizing and going around to seek the views of the Canadian people on, so there are already a set of proposals on constitutional reform, which are publicly available. In fact, we have a copy with us, if anyone wants to see them. We have been asked to consider these proposals and to consider any alternative proposals, which may be advanced by either other governments in Canada or by the people of Canada. That is our purpose in being here with you today. Do any of my colleagues have questions they would like to ask? Mr. Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: Mr. Chairman, I would first like to ask a few questions about Mr. Belows’ Association, the Canadian League of Rights. Could you tell me how many members the Canadian League of Rights represents?
Mr. Belows: I do not have the exact figures here, sir, but they number in the thousands in Manitoba.
Mr. Allmand: Do people join your association by paying a membership fee?
Mr. Belows: Not necessarily; we consider many people to be our supporters.
Mr. Allmand: You have put forward interesting points of view and I would like to know how many people really support them. You have appeared as a witness on behalf of the Canadian League of Rights, and when witnesses appear on behalf of groups we try to find out how representative the groups are.
Although I have asked that question, if you do not have any exact figures I will pass on to something else.
As the Chairman pointed out, I have before me the booklet entitled The Constitution and the People of Canada, and these are the proposals that were put forward by the Prime Minister for the government in February of 1969. One of the proposals which appears at page 64 reads as follows:
Canada should continue to be a sovereign state of which the Queen is Head of State.
I would like to know whether you have read the proposals in this book and whether you approve of the proposal that I have just read. Of course, the proposal is elaborated on in the book, but it is clearly stated as I have read it.
Mr. Belows: I would say, Mr. Chairman, that we agree wholeheartedly. I think it was in view of some of the statements that were made in the past that we were so emphatic about the preservation of the monarchy in Canada. We agree with that concept. We have no argument with it.
Mr. Allmand: I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any other questions?
Mr. Lachance: Is the witness in favour of the repatriation of the constitution to Canada?
Mr. Belows: I did not hear the question, sir.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): He is asking if you are in favour of bringing the constitution back to Canada so that it can be amended here rather than in Great Britain.
Mr. Belows: I may be wrong in this because I am not a constitutional lawyer, or anything like that, I am a contractor, and I am not altogether familiar with everything dealing with the constitution although I know a few things about it, but I believe that the Statute of Westminster gave us that right in 1931. Is that not correct, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. Lachance: I believe that is quite correct.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): And you have no quarrel with that?
Mr. Belows: No, I do not have any quarrel with that.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Belows, I notice that a great deal of your brief is concerned with what I think is expressed as a’ continuation of the nation under the Christian monarchial system. What about all the Jewish people, the Moslems the Hindus, the Taoists and all the people of this nation who are not Christians? Why should the constitution of a nation favour one particular religion?
Mr. Belows: We are not talking about any particular religion, Mr. Chairman; we are talking about a Christian basis of society, and I believe that in the broad sense this would certainly not be opposed to any other groups of religious people.
Mr. Hogarth: Should not the constitution of a nation such as ours of necessity be entirely and completely secular and free from all religious influences of any kind? Surely in a constitution we should not promote the Christian religion, the Jewish religion, the Hindu religion, the Moslem religion or any other religion. Surely it should be completely secular.
Mr. Belows: I believe that our country was built on the basis of the Christian concept and I believe that all of these people have been treated very well in our country under a Christian concept of society.
Mr. Hogarth: I see.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Dinsdale.
Mr. Dinsdale: I would like to ask Mr. Belows a question for clarification on the point that was raised by Mr. Hogarth. Yesterday we had several briefs presented to us which emphasized the idea of a pluralistic society which seemed to be a viewpoint that was peculiar to Western Canada. We had the Metis; we had the Canadian Indians; we had the Ukrainian Canadian Committee and so forth.
With regard, to your emphasis on the Christian monarchial system, what would be your interpretation of the pluralistic concept that was presented by so many of these western spokesmen?
Mr. Belows: I attended there, yesterday, as you know, and as I said, any organization, any group of people can certainly live under a Christian concept. I am not specifying any particular religion in this regard. I am talking about a Christian basis of society and I believe any ethnic group can live within that concept. Does that make it clear? I am not sure whether I understood your question correctly.
Mr. Dinsdale: You are repeating the main thesis here. Do you think the description “Christian monarchial system” or “titular head” adequately describes the role of the monarchy in Canada?
Mr. Belows: I believe under that system it has protected all races regardless of what their religions were and I believe that should continue.
Mr. Dinsdale: I would take it then that your main concern is to re-emphasize the primacy of the monarchial system to our society.
Mr. Belows: Right.
Mr. Dinsdale: It has been emphasized by Mr. Allmand that government proposals re-enforce this. Why did you make this a major thesis of your brief, this afternoon? You mentioned a statement from the Secretary of State which tends to suggest he sees a withering away of the monarchial system. Is that the only reason for your re-emphasis here today?
Mr. Belows: Partly, probably it is. We feel that under the Christian monarchial system, we have developed a society second to none and wherever in the past the British Crown has appeared and even under the colonial system, it has been like, you might say, the Roman Empire when it was a great empire. It protected its citizens all over the world. Today we see in the Arab states the hijacking of aeroplanes and people from all over the world. They are not protected any longer under the same type of system that we used to have at one time. I think this is sort of fading away into the background and I think under a strong monarchial system, a constitutional monarchy, the rights of citizens are protected.
Mr. Dinsdale: Do you feel it is threatened today in Canada?
Mr. Belows: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Dinsdale: Do you feel the monarchial system is threatened today in Canada?
Mr. Belows: Yes, I do. Many of our people do feel the monarchial system has been threatened by many of the statements of men in high-ranking positions.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Brewin.
Mr. Brewin: Mr. Chairman, I notice at page 6 he quotes somebody named G. B. Shaw. I wonder if that is George Bernard Shaw and whether your organization usually regards him as an authority.
Mr. Belows: Yes, we do.
Mr. Brewin: You do. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any comments from the floor?
An hon. Member: Could he comment on Mr. Shaw?
Mr. Brewin: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I might be permitted to ask a supplementary.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Brewin.
Mr. Brewin: I would be interested to know where this quotation comes from in the voluminous works of George Bernard Shaw. Do you have the actual citation of where this remark attributed to him comes from?
Mr. Belows: Yes, we do have the substantiation for this. We can give it to you later, if you like,
Mr. Brewin: That is fine.
Mr. Belows: I can show it to you, but it is contained in the …
Mr. Brewin: I do not think the statement is so worthy of attention it needs go on the records of this Committee. I am interested for my own sake.
Mr. Belows: Yes.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you.
Mr. Belows: Fine.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I take it there are no comments from the floor, so I will on behalf of all of you thank Mr. Belows for appearing before us.
Mr. Belows: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Our next witness is Mr. R. C. Bailey. Would you please come forward, Mr. Bailey? Mr. Bailey is the Managing Director of West-Man Regional Development Inc. Mr. Bailey.
Mr. R. C. Bailey (Managing Director, West-Man Regional Development Inc.): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Honourable members of Parliament and the Senate.
This submission is made on behalf of myself only. I work for an organization composed of 67 local governments known as West-Man Regional Development Inc. I wish it to be known that the views expressed in this presentation are my own and in no way are they the official views of this organization.
I would like to comment on the question of individual rights to be included in a revised Constitution of Canada and I would use as reference the two Government of Canada documents entitled The Constitution and the People of Canada and A Canadian Charter of Human Rights. These two documents put much emphasis on human rights, that we are a free people living in a free society.
What does it mean to be free? Are we really a free people living in a free society?
To be free means that a man is free of government control, that he has fundamental rights which are respected by other individuals and by the governments and that these rights become a moral principle defining and sanctioning the way a man lives and acts in a social context. The government’s function in a free society is to protect these rights.
In a truly free society—I might add there are none in the world now—this moral principle which would govern free people could be defined as follows:
Every man has the right to his own life, to his own liberty and to the pursuit of his own happiness.
Every man is a sovereign individual who owns his own person, his mind, his life, his work and his property.
Every man has the right to exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor others to himself.
A free society then would be one where men deal with one another as traders by voluntary means for mutual benefit. All human relationships would be voluntary. Men would be free to co-operate or not, to deal with one another or not as their judgement and interest dictate. Men would deal only by means of reason, discussion, persuasion and contractual agreements by voluntary choice for mutual benefit. No man would have the right to initiate the use of force against others or demand the sacrifice of anyone to anyone. A free society is one which is free of the use of force or coercion against any individual.
In today’s world it is only governments which have the legal right to use force against its people or to delegate by legislation the special use of force to special groups. I stress legal right. I question if governments have the moral right to use force except
to bring justice to bear where individual rights have been violated. Today in every country of the world, Canada included, in one form or another the individual’s life is subjected to the whim’ of the state who can use him as they see fit.
In Canada, for example, consider the present programs of income redistribution and equalization payments plus the popular notion that people have economic rights such as the right to work, the right to protection against unemployment, the right to social security, the right to a guaranteed annual income, the right to education and the right to enjoy good health. At whose expense?
To further complicate this picture, we now have various groups in Canada joining together in institutionalized pressure groups, each fighting for legislative favours and special government programs to gain some economic advantage at someone else’s expense. In any other context except by government sanction these pressure group tactics would be known as looting.
These programs which are now partly implemented and, unless unchecked will be totally implemented, are now done by the government using force to expropriate the wealth of some men for the unearned benefits of others. These men whose wealth is expropriated are forced to contribute to these programs whether they agree with them or not and thus they become slaves to the state as long as their wealth or their ability to produce wealth lasts.
Who are the looters here and whose rights are being violated?
The basic issue, and I emphasize it is a moral issue, with regard to a Constitution lies in the question, will Canadians be free. Will Canadians have the right to their own life, to their own work and to their own property to use and dispose of as they please or will the individual in Canada be the property of the state who can use him as they see fit and keep him in bondage to society as long as he is productive, but have the state guarantee him a living at someone else’s expense should he become unable or unwilling to work?
There can be only one answer to this question and that is that Canadians must be free. Canadians must have individual rights which are respected by others and protected by governments under an objective code
of rules. Thus, the constitution of a free society becomes a charter which protects the individual against the government and describes the conduct of the government as the protector of individual rights to make social existence possible by protecting benefits and combating the evil which men can cause one another.
A discussion on the rights to be included in a constitutional charter as described in the document The Constitution and the People of Canada is in itself a violation of individual rights.
Consider, for example, the statement, “Canadians look to the state as a vehicle by which they can contribute to the well being of other Canadians”. I take issue with this statement and the thinking that goes with it. Our past experience here is that when the state acts as this vehicle by which Canadians can contribute to other Canadians, that force is used to expropriate the earnings of some for the unearned benefits of others. Where force is used in this manner, then people are no longer free people.
Consider also Article 3(c) discussing fundamental rights, which states:
… every individual in Canada is entitled not to be discriminated against by reason of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, or sex in obtaining public accommodation, facilities and services.
This Article violates the right of the individual who owns this property use use and dispose of it as he wishes. Private discrimination of this kind is not a legal question, but a moral one and can be fought br private means such as social ostracism or by boycott. Even though we may abhor this type of discrimination, if we are to be a free society which respects individual rights we must respect the right of this individual to dispose of his property as he pleases. Thus, I would recommend that Section of this Article be removed.
The third objective which refers to economic, social and cultural development of Canadians, and the fourth objective to contribute to the standards of living of all mankind, are desirable objectives which Canadians as individuals or through voluntary groups may wish to contribute. Governments are only able to contribute to these objectives by providing vehicles through which Canadians can voluntarily participate. To do otherwise would be to use force to expropriate some people’s earnings which is a clear violation of
their rights as individuals. As mentioned before, the only proper function of governments is to protect individual rights.
The major federal government function then would be the armed forces to protect Canadians from foreign invaders, the police to protect them from criminals and the law courts to settle disputes between men. Objective rules of conduct based on justice and individual rights would continually need to be assessed and defined through the legislative process of Parliament.
The major provincial government function would be to provide services such as roads, utilities et cetera and to manage resources vested with the province. Such services as provided should be paid for by those who use them and each individual should be taxed accordingly.
If we are going to be a free people living in a free society, then we must make every effort to find private means of operating educational systems, hospitals, health and welfare services, and all the rest of the multitude of programs presently operating in the so-called public interest.
The only economic system which will guarantee individual rights is the free enterprise system which would be free to operate without government control, a system often referred to as laissez-faire Ie capitalism.
I consider it the first and most important question that a constitutional charter include a section on fundamental rights if we really believe we are a free people living in a free society. These rights must be spelled out to include the principle that every man is a sovereign individual who owns his own person, his mind; his life, his work and his property. The Constitution should also spell out that these rights are protected by due processes by the law courts of Canada. If we do not believe Canadians are entitled to be free, then the charter should say so.
Before making this decision, I would point out to You that the moral and philosophical principles of individual rights “in a free society do not receive much attention in our halls of learning or in the vast establishments of governments. I would submit that if as much money and resources were put to the task of finding systems and building a society which was truly free as is now being put into the building of our
welfare socialist state that we could find ways to operate this country which could make Canada the first totally free society in the twentieth century.
I urge each of you to give this matter your serious consideration since you are dealing with moral principles which will guide and direct the future of Canada. I challenge you to be visionary in your task of deliberating on the Constitution of Canada and to build a Constitution that will catch the imagination and spirit of all Canadians whether they are young or old, since I firmly believe only a free people living in a free society, as I have outlined, will man ever find security, pride in self, happiness and peace in this world.
I wish to thank you for this opportunity to appear before you to present my views on what I consider to be the most vital part of the Constitution, all of which I respectfully submit.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Bailey. Mr. Andrew Brewin.
Mr. Brewin: I would like to thank Mr. Bailey for producing this rather philosophic discourse for us. I would like to ask him whether his view and the view that he represents is that rights of property, rights of ownership, are absolute in their nature or whether he would not agree that they should only be exercised in a manner that does not harm other individuals.
Mr. Bailey: Mr. Chairman, what would be meant by individual rights, in this case.
Mr. Brewin: Yes. I notice at page 5 he quotes the proposal that:
Every individual in Canada is entitled not to be discriminated against by reason of race, colour, national or ethnic origin. religion, or sex—in the obtaining of public accommodation facilities and services.
Does he feel if a person uses his property to offer it to the public at the same time to discriminate against some group in the public that this is harming an individual and that the community has the right to step in and say “This is abhorent to us and this conduct will not be tolerated.” It may be all right in your own home. You can do what you like there, but if you are doing something in the public you must not do that which offends against the moral sense of the community”?
Mr. Bailey: I agree that the question is a moral question and not a legal one. I do not condone that
type of treatment of individuals if they discriminate, but I believe it is a moral question and, as such, has to be dealt with on a moral basis by the rest of the community, not on a legal basis which is dealt with by legislation.
Mr. Brewin: You do not think, concerning the conduct of a public service, a public accommodation to which the general public are invited, that the community has the right to step in and say, “You shall not use your rights, which are your own personal rights, in away that offends against the moral sense of the community”. You think in no case should this be done?
Mr. Bailey: Not when that individual owns the facilities.
Mr. Brewin: I see. So your right of ownership in your view, is supreme, over the other rights that the other individuals may have not to be discriminated against? That is your point?
Mr. Bailey: Yes, that is what I believe in.
Mr. Brewin: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I would just like to ask a question myself — I do not get many opportunities — just following up Mr. Brewin’s line of questioning, how is it Mr. Bailey that you recognize the community when it comes to protecting property, but you do not recognize the community for any other purpose? It seems to me in the outline of your philosophical discourse here that the police are appointed because they protect property, but if what you are interested in is protecting a person’s fair name or right not to be discriminated against, or his right to education or any of the other rights which are commonly accepted by society, this is something which the community should not provide?
Mr. Bailey: I think the method of providing it is what I object to. If the community through the government use force to —
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): By force you mean the force of law, you mean if they use law?
Mr. Bailey: That is right.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): This is the normal means of a community acting collectively when it is together in a civilized body.
Mr. Bailey: I am not suggesting that people should not be able to have an education, but I think if the only means of obtaining that education is to force people to contribute to it, then I think this person who is forced to contribute is no longer a free person, he becomes a slave to the state.
vThe Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): My only question is, if you want somebody to be that free, why not go the whole way? Why have a community at all? Why have the police services to protect property? If we are going to be free, let us be completely free, and let our property be completely unprotected.
Mr. Bailey: I am not suggesting that we revert to anarchism which is what you are suggesting.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I am suggesting that you are reverting to social anarchism yes, exactly.
Mr. Bailey: I do not agree with that, and I have not stated that in this paper.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): No, that is the conclusion which I draw.
Mr. Bailey: I said that these rights should be protected by governments under objective code of rules and that these rules should be objectively defined rather than subjectively defined.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): But the only human rights you are protecting are the rights of property, you are not protecting any other kind of human rights. My objection is to your inconsistency. I say let us not protect any in that case, If you want to be logical.
Mr. Bailey: What other human rights are there?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): What about the right to reputation, the right to education, the right not to be discriminated against, take those as starters.
Mr. Bailey: I believe these are rights which a person must earn. The state cannot grant him those rights unless he earns them; is that not right?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): That is not my view but if it is yours, I am prepared to let it rest
at that. Our purpose is to find out the views that others hold. Mr. Allmand?
Mr. Allmand: Mr. Chairman, on page 7, the witness says at paragraph 3:
The only economic system which will guarantee individual rights is the “Free enterprise system” which would be free to operate without government control—a system often referred to as “Laissez-Faire capitalism”.
I wanted to ask the witness if there is any prototype now existing in the world, or has there ever been any that would meet his requirements of this free enterprise system? Could he point to any state or society which might serve as his ideal of this particular type of system which guarantees individual rights?
Mr. Bailey: There is no system at the present time which would be a truly free enterprise system or a laissez-faire system of capitalism. I think the closest that we have ever come to it was during the nineteenth century when for almost 100 years there were no wars in what we considered the civilized world at that time; there was no inflation or depression of the extremes as we have known them in the twentieth century when the enterprise systems have become more and more controlled by governments.
Mr. Allmand: What civilized countries in the nineteenth century?
Mr. Bailey: Perhaps I could better define that as the western civilization. This would be Europe and America primarily.
Mr. Allmand: Sir, I think history will show that those countries under the systems they had during that century had the exact opposite. You say here “this would guarantee individual rights”, but Charles Dickens wrote in that century of the great exploitation of children and women and the harsh treatment of people working seven days a week and so on and so forth. Is this the kind of thing you would like to see return?
Mr. Bailey: I do not think you can judge the system, Mr. Chairman by that matter, and I believe if you study the situation that Charles Dickens wrote about at that time, the people had no alternative but to work or they would starve. They preferred to work. The child laws written in Britain at that time were not against the industrialists but against other types of institutions, which were, I believe, operated by the churches who were using children as wards of their systems.
Mr. Allmand: I have no further questions.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Gibson.
Mr. Gibson: I am interested in getting your views on the rights of women particularly. I will give you an example. Say a boy and girl get equal marks and a third student, a boy, get one less mark and the scholarships are awarded to the two boys, The girl is refused the scholarship because she is a girl. What is your view on that? Do you think that type of discrimination is valid?
Mr. Bailey: These types of awards should be based on whether the students earned them, not whether they are a boy or a girl.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are there any comments from the floor?
Ladies and gentlemen I would like to thank Mr. Bailey for his presentation. I am sorry, did you want to make a comment? All right, go ahead. I did not catch your hand in time, would you please go to the microphone and give us your name.
Miss Leah Bailey: Is my first name good enough?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): No, we need your full name.
Mr. Bailey: That is my daughter.
An hon. Member: Is your second name going to change?
Miss Leah Bailey: You understand, all right. My name is Leah Bailey, I just happen to be Mr. Bailey’s daughter.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): May I ask how you spell your first name?
Miss Bailey: L-E-A-H.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): All right.
Miss Bailey: Going back to the rights of a person and their public property and all those things you were talking about, dad, the man over there cornered you and made you …
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): You are addressing your remarks to the Chairman and I do not think I was cornering anyone.
Miss Bailey: I am sorry, Mr. Chairman. He cornered my father and made him admit that he was entirely in favour of the rights of personal property over supremes. This is something I was not clear on. I was led to understand that a person’s rights are supreme as long as they do not offend any other people’s rights. I
wondered if you would clarify that a little more for me. Do you understand what I mean?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I think I get your point, yes.
Miss Bailey: Could you comment on that please.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Do you want to comment on that?
Miss Bailey: Please.
Mr. Bailey: Mr. Chairman, after such an endearing question, as I understood, the gentlemen who questioned me I believe he qualified his statement by saying that property rights were a supreme right providing this property did not interfere with the individual rights of any other individual. That was my understanding of his question and it was on that basis I agreed with him.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you very much, Mr. Bailey. I am sorry, another question.
Mr. John Cochrane: This was, I suppose I should say, rather an amusing experience to sit and listen to this because it is the sort of thing that I have heard a lot of, and which still does not quite make sense to me. What is an attempt to define freedom as if freedom were something that existed outside of something? In other words, freedom by itself means something. Freedom by itself does not mean anything. Freedom to do something means something and this is what you would have us establish. You would have us try to establish freedom without trying to define what we mean by freedom. The result is that when you try to tie it down to something concrete, it always comes up, freedom to exploit other people. This is essentially what happens when you carry the logic of freedom without any distinguishing marks. Freedom to me is meaningless. Freedom of speech means something to me. Freedom to choose what job I want to do and where I want to work is something that means something to me. Freedom to exploit, in essence is what your proposals come out to in the end. They have to come out to that in the end because you do not define it and that means the freedom to exploit will always develop out of it. I understand what that means and I reject it. I regard freedom as being relative and I think it is something you are going have to learn and governments will have to accept, that freedom is a relative thing, not something that you can define out of a dictionary.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Bailey?
Mr. Bailey: I take issue with that statement very definitely. To begin with, what I was talking about was freedom as it applies to the constitution and to governments. If an individual is going to be free, in -the sense that he is free from government control that is one point. The second point is that I do not believe a free economic system, as I advocate, gives anyone the right to exploit anyone else. I outlined in my brief that people deal with one another on voluntary means. As long as people deal with one another on voluntary means, how can you be exploiting anyone? For that reason I would have to reject your statement, sir.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I might just add, I think in fairness to the questioner, Mr. Bailey, he· was .suggesting that when the government restricted somebody’s freedom, it was not for the government’s sake, it was for somebody else’s sake. So this limitation of freedom of some people was for the purpose of expanding the freedom of some other people. Perhaps this is too philosophical a dialogue to enter into at this time of the afternoon and unless there are further comments, I will thank Mr. Bailey and call the next witness. Thank you Mr. Bailey.
Our next witness is to be Mr. Weiss, I am not sure whether he is in the audience or not. Is he here? Mr. David Weiss, a former alderman of the City of Brandon.
If Mr. Weiss is not present, may we have Dr. Naidu of the University of Brandon.
If Mr. Weiss does not appear before we are finished; I believe that Dr. Naidu will be the last witness. After that I think we will be able to invite you all to coffee which is being prepared in the Green Room, just outside the door. It will be ready in about 30 minutes and perhaps that will be about the time our committee will be adjourning.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to call on our next witness, Dr. M. V. Naidu, who is a professor in the Department of Political Science at Brandon University.
Dr. M. V. Naidu (Head, Department of Political Science, Brandon University): Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to present a few ideas, there have been quite a few points noted, but I believe I have about ten to twelve.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Fifteen minutes.
Dr. Naidu: The Chairman is in a generous mood. I will try very briefly to comment on some aspects
which I wanted to develop. I will limit myself, therefore, to certain outstanding comments in the mimeographed sheets which I have distributed. There are some parts which are not ready.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): If you would like us to incorporate any parts of this unread into our minutes, we will be quite pleased to do that.
Dr. Naidu: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): As long as you designate the parts.
Dr. Naidu: Yes.
Mr. McQuaid: On a point of order, was the whole brief incorporated in our minutes?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): We could make the whole brief an appendix but the difficulty is if the witness picked out bits and pieces to give orally then it rather affects the integrity of the whole thing. I do not know if we would reprint the whole thing at the end, but if there were some particular section we could then print it as an appendix. If he is not going to do the whole thing, perhaps we could print the whole thing as an appendix, that might be the simplest way of doing it.
Mr. McQuaid: As it has been submitted to us in the form of a brief formally, I thought we could take it as being his submission. Now, he is commenting more or less on his submission.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): That is right.
Mr. McQuaid: I would like to see the brief itself appended to the minutes.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): We can do it that way Mr. McQuaid, thank you.
Dr. Naidu: Thank you, I appreciate that suggestion.
Mr. Chairman, maybe in consonance with what was being said a few minutes ago, I would concentrate on certain facets of rights that I want to talk about. Briefly stated I may define “right” as a guarantee that society provides to individuals to pursue certain activities in consonance with general welfare. Therefore, the very definition of right is a social, relative concept.
But the implication sometimes when we talk about rights is in terms of absolute rights. There are no absolute rights. It is at the most a myth or a hypothetical postulate. Further, implied in this approach of absolute concepts of rights is the myth of natural rights, inalienable rights. I reject that too, because rights are, I repeat, a social relative concept.
The usual statement in bills of rights are the classical announcements or pronouncements on freedom of speech and assembly and religion and so on and so forth. To me, some of these things have to be restated in the context of the modern industrialized societies and technological societies we live in. Therefore, from that point of view, I think the real threats to individual freedoms, in modern societies have to be interpreted in terms of the political parties, the role of political parties, pressure groups, business, labour and professional monopolies, monopoly mass media and the role or the influence of money in politics and the concepts of law on legal procedures.
If democracy is to be meaningful, then the things that are really threatened in the conduct of democracy today are the concepts of judicial procedures which are supposed to channel social grievances. These have become not only cumbersome but in modern parlance irrelevant to modern times.
Another channel of expressing mass feeling in society is communication, and today the mass communication that is controlled by a few individuals has destroyed this possibility, more or less. Then the third aspect which controls our modern life is the role of monopolies that control the markets with which they deal, the price system, the wage system, and the consumption problems, and leave little or no freedom to the individual. So if we have to reconstruct freedom in a meaningful sense, we should guarantee to the individual not only rights against government, which has been the traditional notion, but also rights against certain nongovernmental institutions.
The political parties today have become synonymous with democracy because parties nominate candidates, parties run campaigns, parties chose Parliaments, parties decide programs, parties decide when to vote, who should vote, how members should be voting, and in short it is party democracy, and until
recently even the democratic structure of the party system was very seriously questioned. It is rather ironic that most constitutions which do function on the basis of parties have not even recognized the legality of political parties and have left them under the subterfuge of private organizations. It is high time that the constitutions recognized political parties as legal, public wings of the democratic function and also guarantee within the parties that the functions and the structures of the party, particularly the party finances, are made matters of public concern.
I know I am trying to alienate everybody possible, because I will have something to say on the journalists later. Even the Barber Commission appointed by the Parliament itself ended up in one very interesting statement when they said that party funds are shrouded in mystery, and I do not share the view of the Prime Minister when he suggests that party funds are still a private matter.
Secondly, and closely relates to that, is the role of pressure groups. Pressure groups today run politics. Once again these are not really recognized under the law, except in some cases where we have regulations on lobbying. But these pressure groups do control not only the economic forces in society but also indirectly political forces, and therefore these have to be recognized, and in this context it may be pointed out that most writings on pressure groups refuse to see that pressure groups exist for certain vested interests in society. The poor nowhere have pressure groups. The poor only rise in revolt or become guerrillas. They never have the chance to organize pressure groups. But if the poor and underprivileged are Supposed to be linked into the political process of democracy, then it would be worthwhile to let them be given the facilities to operate as pressure groups without allowing them to resort to the methods of guerrilla warfare or insurrection.
The monopolies have curtailed our democracy in very serious ways and I do not think that I would have to explain to most of you the concentration of businesses in the hands of a few groups, the concentration of the labour unions and also the professional organizations which control almost everything about their functioning, and the individual or the consumer or the citizen has very little chance to exercise his options. For example, in the Canadian context, some 183 major corporations control 40 to 50 per cent of the whole economy, and then there is the interlocking
system between all the directorships and boards, the banks, the insurance companies, the manufacturing agencies and so on and so forth. This really boils down to some of the studies that have been made. In particular The Vertical Mosaic study by Porter at Carleton reveals a great deal of the problem of how some thousand citizens in Canada control most of the economy and run it according to their policies and goals.
Therefore, freedom of the consumer is really a myth; freedom of the worker to dictate his wage is a myth; freedom of collective bargaining is losing its real sense; and at the same time professional organizations have destroyed the freedom of people to chose or to enter professions and exercise. Labour unions, with the principles of closed shops or devices of this nature have undermined the freedom of labour.
In short, big business and big labour have created the fundamental problems of society, which ultimately ends up in big government. Usually the logic is put the other way round, that big government creates the problem. I briefly suggest that it is the other way around. Big government is the logical and inevitable outcome of big business, big labour, big transportation, big mass media and all this other paraphernalia of a technical society.
I would like to make a brief comment on certain of the legal systems and the court systems we have. If law and the court system is to be a very meaningful instrument in channeling political problems of society, then it is high time that necessary changes are brought about, for example, in the concepts of wrongs that we have. A person who steals $10 from a gas station sometimes, proportionately speaking, receives a much more serious punishment than a bank president who embezzles thousands of dollars or the national chain store that does price-fixing and gets away with a fine of $1,500. So there is a great deal of irrelevancy and there are out-of-date notions of what is right, just as in medieval times the fellow who stole a loaf of bread was hanged, and the fellow who robbed the country was made a general or something else.
So we have to redefine the concepts of rights and wrongs. We have to redefine the concepts of punishments. We have to redefine the role of jails. The old medieval notion that jails are supposed to be places for
seeking vengeance or retribution is absolutely anachronistic and uncivilized. Now jails must become the instruments of reformation and rehabilitation.
Similarly the court system should become not merely easily accessible to the people, which it is not. In fact after a hundred years of the Canadian federal system we are now talking about legal aid. Legal aid in getting the legal services and also the capacity to pay fees are an absolute travesty of any kind of right thinking in the rule of law where people cannot even have an opportunity to go to a court of law and seek redress, and therefore they have to operate outside the framework of the existing scheme.
With reference to the question of political rights, if democracy is to be made meaningful, then not only should the political parties be democratized and their funds and functions made a public concern—and guarantees must be provided in the Constitution fo this effect—but guarantees of free and fair elections also must be given which, of course, implies not the usual slogans, but it means that money is not going to be an important factor in deciding elections, and that about a few thousand people shall not run political systems. In fact, I would like to suggest property qualifications for candidates, a negative property qualification. Those who earn more than a certain amount of wealth should be disbarred or disqualified from seeking public office. For example, if you put a ratio of national per capita income, say $3,000 in Canada, anybody who earns more than 10 times or 15 times that, or whatever figure you can agree upon, should be disbarred from becoming eligible as a candidate. The number of people, according to the statistics we have, who earn more than $15,000 in Canada is about 6,600. So these 6,600 people should not disenfranchise the rest of the society.
On the other hand, the rest of the society can agree that there are innumerable talents in the society beyond these 7,000 people who have dedication, knowledge, and experience, and who can be good politicians, and also there is the fact that wherever economic power and political power become concentrated, freedom is threatened. Where psychological and social power is integrated with political power, freedom is threatened. Where in the name of freedom a few individuals can control systems, then democracy becomes an oligarchy of the aristocracy.
I would suggest, therefore, that no political party or Individual should be allowed to spend any personal or party funds on election campaigns. On behalf of the public or the society, time or the opportunity for certain limited exposure on mass media must be provided at public expense, and a very small amount should be allowed for personal expenses for the candidates. In most democracies the principle has been accepted, but as politicians you all know that you do not want to cut your own throats and make laws to do that. But there should be a new definition of crime called “crimes against democracy”, and anybody who transgresses these limitations of law should have very serious penalties, not merely being disallowed to sit in the Chamber for a day or two, or not merely a $100 or $1,000 penalty, but very serious enforcement, ipso facto enforcement of penalties for those who contravene these regulations, because public officials should be, like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion.
There is another great myth that there are private fortunes and personal morality. There is no such concept. Morality is public. Personal acts there are, but morality is for the society. Therefore, this axiom is wrong, or the contradiction in terms of private morality from which politicians or public officials can be exempted is wrong. A public official’s life must be an open book for the public, and therefore his personal fortune and his personal morality should be very much the concern of the society.
I speak about educational and cultural rights. There are some who may not agree that the feeling of one third of the Canadian population in reference to the French minority is a very genuine one, for various historical reasons I need not go in to, and one-third of the population is a substantial size of a society to be concerned with. To me, language is a sound system, and the mores sounds you can identify with meaning, the better it is for the society. Therefore, as a measure to provide the feeling of identity, bilingual policies that have been initiated or certain guarantees that are there in the Constitution must be maintained and strengthened, along with the possibility of further educational rights in other languages when there are substantial minority groups.
Mass media is a point I would like to come to now. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are the traditional concepts described in the context of democracy. But today these have to be redefined. Freedom of the press today has simply become the freedom of the press owner. The freedom of the press must be restituted to the people. Let me simply illustrate the point. Today if a citizen wants to write to a newspaper, and the newspaper does not want to publish it, there is absolutely no remedy for it. If a television station or radio station does not want to give an expression to a certain individual’s views, there is no remedy at all, and therefore papers which shape our life are mass media.
The impact of mass media is the thing I must emphasize. Today we not only eat, drink, dress, think,. feel, act, and fear as the media suggest, but the very meaning of democracy has been very gravely threatened by the mass media, the one subject on which we have paid the least a attention. A few individuals run the whole psychological aspects of society on which there are no regulations whatsoever, and therefore I would suggest a kind of news agency or news media like the CBC also ill the field of journalism, which I may call, for ·the sake of convenience, Canadian newspaper service, if you want, and this must provide the full and free opportunity for the people to express themselves. Besides that, I have some brief suggestions for temporary measures too, and that is that in every paper a certain quantity of the production or in every radio and television station a certain amount of time must be alloted for the people where no editor or publisher or owner can deny the right for the people to express themselves, but that this time or this space is allotted without any editorial control for the people to express themselves as they want. And, of course, on their editorial pages, the papers or broadcasters will have the right to say what they feel like. I want to make this distinction, the ddifference between news and views. I submit that we do not have newspapers: we have only viewspapers. Every reporter, whether prepared for it or not, whether equipped for it or not, whether he is learned in the subject or not, is editorializing the news. I have had long arguments with my journalistic friends. They think this is old-fashion dichtomy. I would like that old-fashioned dichotomy. Let there be news which is purely objective, and this become a fundamental right to be able to get the facts of news and then be able to make your own judgments on the issue.
Then I would also suggest two certain aspects on the role of militarism in society, which to me is another grave threat to freedom. Under the rule-of-law system, the British tradition, the concept of civilian supremacy is not very clearly spelled out as in the American system, but it may be desirable in the Constitution to spell this out so that occasionally a defence minister like Mr. Hellyer does not have to take special precautions to see that his navy commanders do not speak and say what they want to. Secondly, by militarism I also refer to the whole philosophy in society where physical force and resort to violence is inculcated, worshipped to, preached, and given a premium. In any democratic society, because democracy is essentially a nonviolent system, this has to be emphasized in every conceivable way. It is a rational, nonviolent system where we say it is better to yap, yap, than to wage war.
Therefore, any emphasis in the system where private individuals can arm themselves and form vigilante groups or protesters that resort to violence, like some of those peace seekers who attacked Mr. Trudeau when he came to Vancouver and spit on him, the most non-peaceful peace marchers or the hateful peace marchers, or the violent non-violent marchers, these are the very roots that destroy and sap away this trend of democracy. But the business of guns, the business of military discipline, the business of military expenditures, the so-called industrial military conflicts which the late Mr. Eisenhower pointed out-the only right statement he ever made, and the credit must go to the ghost writer—that is a very serious threat to the society.
These are some of the fundamentals which we can incorporate in the Constitution and give a new meaning to what freedom is. These are the new threats to democracy—monopoly, money in politics, undemocratic parties, uncontrolled pressure groups, militarism in society, and over all, the lack of feeling that democracy is a rational, optimistic, humanitarian system.
I think I have taken more than the time you wanted, Mr. Chairman. If there are any questions I shall be glad to answer them.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Professor Naidu. Ladies and gentlemen, I have four questioners. Considering that it is now 5.20 p.m., I propose to make that the limit of the number of
questioners, and then after these four gentlemen have asked their questions, to invite further and final comments from the floor. First, Senator Grosart.
Senator Grossart: Mr. Chairman, I am sure that with most of those present here I would say that I share the lofty sentiments of Professor Naidu. However, I would have to say that I find his suggestions for the practical application of them in a constitution rather highly unrealistic. Indeed I would wonder whether he has had very much practical experience in any of the areas in which he is making his recommendations. I doubt if he has had much experience in the newspaper business, in political parties, in trade unions or in some of the other areas he discusses.
For example, he suggests that there be a limitation on the income of a man who can run for Parliament. He has suggested several levels, the minimum of which would, of course, mean that the present Prime Minister of Canada would not have been able to be a candidate. As a Conservative, I suggest that this is an indication of the unreality and impracticability of some of these suggestions.
There is then in the field of journalism a suggestion that we write into the Constitution a requirement that no editor may express a partisan viewpoint. This is a specific suggestion that should go into the Constitution. I wonder how the Professor reconciles this with the concept of freedom of speech.
What he is saying is that nobody writing in any newspaper, and presumably commenting on TV, may be partisan. If he can find a way to define partisanship in a Constitution, he is a better man than I.
There is a suggestion here that there should be a right to a minimum standard of education, with which most of us would agree. I wonder if the Professor would suggest the minimum be the standard that was granted to him. Should it be a B.A. or an M.A., LL.B., LL.M., and PhD? Should everybody have that right?
There is also a suggestion, again speaking to my point of the unrealism of some of the suggested applications of these high sentiments, that there should be a guarantee of education. The exact words are “in any language to any linguistic group”. I would ask him if he is really seriously suggesting that at public expense there should be schools set up guaranteeing the right up to whatever minimum standard he has in mind of any Canadian to be educated completely in any language that he chooses.
The Professor also suggests that the Constitution should legislate—because the Constitution does legislate-that all “editorial writings should not be one-sided.” I am quoting the exact words. I wonder if he has in mind some numbers. Should they be two-sided, three-sided, four-sided, five- or six-sided? He says it should not be one-sided. Perhaps he is going to suggest a maximum limit.
There is also the suggestion that “no privately-owned news medium should be permitted to cater to more than 100,000 consumers.” Does this mean that somehow television stations must be restricted and we must have some kind of iron curtain dropped around audiences, and that we will prosecute anybody who is found to be number 100,001? It is absurd.
There is right of access suggested here: that no newspaper editor or owner should be allowed to refuse to publish any letter or any communication. It is absurd. Every newspaper would have 1,000 pages. Who is going to pay for it? As the Professor is suggesting, we should have a certain number of newspapers, 1,000 pages each, published daily, containing every letter, every suggestion that anybody wishes to make.
He does suggest, by implication, that anybody will have access to a TV microphone. Where are we going to find the time? Surely he will realize that you are going to have to have a police state to control the line-up of people who will want to come and assert their right at any given time to address the public-limited, of course, to 100,000 listeners-any time he wants to.
There are other matters, but I would be very interested in the kind of wording Professor Naidu would see used in a Constitution to work-again these high sentiments—into a practical Constitution.
One of the guarantees, for example, is the “right to work” and again these are the exact words used. Does Professor Naidu mean the right of anybody to work if he does not belong to a union certified through collective bargaining? Collective bargaining is another right he suggests. I wonder if he will tell us how he would reconcile the right to work with the right to collective bargaining.
The Constitution, Professor Naidu suggests, should prohibit “unreasonable lockouts.” Perhaps he will give us a definition of “reasonable lockouts.” I will leave it at that, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Senator Grosart. Perhaps I might ask the witness to
answer this in as generalized a form as possible. I think Senator Grosart has asked as many questions as there were points in the paper and I do not think we could stay here long enough for the two of you to dialogue over all of the questions that he has asked, but perhaps in a generalized form you could give your views on these points.
Senator Grosart: I will keep quiet. There will be no rebuttal from me.
Professor Naidu: I am glad the, Senator has asked questions which I wanted some of you to ask me. With the limited time I will briefly go through them.
First, as I suggested in the beginning in the first paragraph of the brief, I was essentially interested, in bringing certain constitutional concepts, but I have given some other aspects to illustrate the scope and nature of it since we need subordinate legislation. Therefore, not every word that I have written I am suggesting must go into the Constitution. I hope he has read the first paragraph.
Senator Grosart: The only instances that I indicated were where you had said this should be written into the Constitution. I omitted the subordinates.
Professor Naidu: You promised no rebuttal.
Senator Grosart: There is a difference in parliamentary practice between a rebuttal and the right not to be misconstrued.
Professor Naidu: I will also point out that where you have chosen certain of my words, you have missed some other words in the same paragraph.
First, my experience. I have some experience in parties, I have some experience in trade unions, I have some experience in journalism.
The next point, you would have lost the services of the Prime Minister. I realize that, but I am suggesting there are many more potential Trudeaus in society who will never, never have any such opportunity. I am not prepared to believe that Canada can produce only one Trudeau.
Partisan viewpoint about papers. I suggested in the paper that editorial policies during the election cam-
paign should not be partisan, if you read that a little carefully. To illustrate the point, there is not a single influential paper in Canada that you can point out to me that has ever endorsed, for example, an NDP candidacy. You simply cannot.
Some hon. Members: No, no, no.
Professor Naidu: I am not talking of party papers, I am not talking of party organs, which are very limited. I am talking of the general circulated newspapers. I would very much be interested to find out …
Mr. Gibson: Read the Toronto Star.
Professor Naidu: Maybe I will have a chance to explain that.
Minimum standard of education—I simply suggested a minimum standard because the implications I have are praescriptus concepts; that is, the laws later will prescribe in a given context what these details of tests of minimum or maximum should be.
The question was raised about reasonableness. In any legal parlance, the test of reasonableness is decided in a given context under given circumstances. I could not have elaborated in great detail about some· of these general implications.
As far as editorials are concerned, I mentioned that during the campaign they should not be one-sided so that the electorate gets a chance to be exposed to different points of view. There are some groups which will never get a chance to explain their point of view. I do not care what group it is.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I wonder, Professor Naidu, if I could ask you, rather than going point by point through Senator Grosart’s litany of errors-you are, of course, expanding on what you meant originally, but as I understood it he made certain general charges against you, especially the fact that your proposals on the whole were not realistic. I wonder if you could address yourself to that point rather than to the others, which I think he meant as examples.
Professor Naidu: What is realistic? I would love to have a definition of that.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order. I think it is only fair to allow Professor Naidu to answer these things point by point and he is doing very well. I do not think it is fair to leave my comments on the record without giving him an opportunity to answer them.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): If that is the view of the Committee I am certainly prepared to allow Professor Naidu to continue in the fashion in which he was.
Professor Naidu: Thank you, sir, thank you very much. We got to restricted circulation. The biggest scourge of present set-up of mass media I hinted at is the monopoly situation. One-paper cities-I have bundles of statistics to provide for your satisfaction who controls what and how the whole system works. By the monopoly press I simply mean that this has to be some way undermined. The only justification that anybody can rationally offer in favour of the existing situation is that technically it is good, mechanically it is necessary, and profitably it is desirable. But today the mass media should not be run for profit. They have become the backbone of democracy, the very premise on which democracy stands, and should not be subjected to private profiteering. That is my presupposition.
What I am suggesting, therefore, is fragmentation of this monopoly so that greater variety and real competition come up in publications and editorials. Therefore, I am not going into the details of how a TV station can monitor only 100,000 people when there are mechanical possibilities. Let us not forget the tremendous technological revolutions that are taking place. There may be a lot of things that we, at the moment, think are inconceivable which may be possible in the next 10 years, if not earlier.
With right to work, I suggest once again he missed other alternatives I was talking of in the same context. That is the right to a decent living, by which I mean a certain amount of food, clothing, shelter, medical care and education, which even the Charter of Human Rights has recognized as a basic minimum. Then again the Senator will ask me what is this minimum? To which I will again reply, this will be decided in the given context by authorities of the society in implementation of the constitutional promise.
I also suggested how you can get these minimum necessities. One would be money. Even Mr. Stanfield has been talking about a minimum income, which is one way of meeting the problem. But I suggest it is not a desirable way. The guarantee of a minimum income may develop tendencies of laziness, parasitism, “getting something for nothing”, in the accepted
colloquial parlance, and besides that, the purchasing power of money can always be undermined the next day. You gain $50, and the next day the bread price goes up by 50 cents. So the purchasing power of money itself, is not enough unless you accept that along with the minimum guarantees of income you are also prepared to control wages and prices.
On the other hand, I would suggest that to meet that kind of situation, even society supplying the commodities of basic needs may be a better way than giving minimum income guarantees.
Unreasonable lockouts—again the test of reasonableness is usually left to a definition at a given time. I think I have covered your points.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): May I call on Mr. Andrew Brewin.
Mr. Brewin: Mr. Chairman, I find it extraordinarily frustrating to be asked to ask questions of a witness such as this, who has given us such stimulating remarks in a few moments at the end of a session. However, I just want to confine myself to two points.
It is suggested to me right through his paper that he puts too much faith in written constitutions. I agree with almost all the objectives he puts out, but how are you going to establish by a written constitution the right to a decent standard of living? How are you going to regulate the parties, which are voluntary organizations and should remain voluntary organizations? I can see that by legislation you should, and I hope we will, regulate the spending of money in elections and thereby help to democratize our party system.
I put to the witness that he has, in his very stimulating paper, .suggested a whole series of things that are not really capable of being put into effect by written constitutions. There is far too much faith in his paper on that particular method.
The last point I would like to make is by way of a minor protest and that is that it seems to me that he is not living up to the philosophy which he has propounded when he suggests that men beyond a certain negative level of income should be debarred from the political system. This is making a cast of people. Surely this is entirely wrong. Surely the problem he
deals with could. be more adequately dealt with if the expenditures in campaigns were limited so that wealthy men would not have great advantages over other men. But to suggest that they should be made pariahs and not allowed to run I suggest is unworthy of the principles that he has espoused in his speech.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Thank you, Mr. Brewin. Professor Naidu.
Professor Naidu: Mr. Chairman, first I concur in your concept that the written parts of legislation are no guarantees. For that matter, in any kind of situation, the definition of law, the definition has changed; it is not merely the letter of the law but the practice of the law. In fact, there is no such dichotomy in the strict sense. Whenever we talk of constitution. we are talking essentially in the preconceived notion of a paper document.
Constitution is what has been called a living constitution and therefore, takes into account practices, judicial precedents, and people’s ultimately vigilance. As a statesman once said, “The ultimate price of freedom is eternal vigilance of the people”. But there are other things in addition to your suggestions in respect of legislative aspects which could be accomplished. I wanted to develop the concept of education in society. I will put it very briefly.
Today the term “education” has come to mean technical training, today education has come to mean facts and statistics, today education has come to mean a licence for economic income. I take a broader view of the term “education”. Education is of the soul, is of the mind, is a building of an attitude to evaluate. The guarantees of freedom of democracy in a society lies in this attitude of people. I go back to the basic concept that democracy is a rational system. Therefore how you think and evaluate is a guarantee of a democratic philosophy. Connected with this is my feeling that mass media today has become, whether we want it or not and whether we like it or not, the chief instrument of education. We all know that it just takes dentine to get your boy. As the owners of the mass media will say, they are giving what the people want, which is partly true. The other part is that they are creating a taste in the people of what they should want and, therefore, certain improvements in the mass media could also create the proper mental and psychological framework, which alone can guarantee the meaningfulness of any written statements.
Now let us talk about wealthy men. I knew this would be raised as a very important question. One
could ask if I am putting discrimination in reverse. The point is that no election right is an absolute right.We have age prescription and, if nothing else, they may have to give up very soon if we develop I.Q. tests in a more scientific and dependable way in the near future. The whole concept of age will have to be abandoned. We may just say that there are some very mature people at 16 who are capable of being participants in a participatory democracy, or there are very incapable people at 60. Therefore some of the concepts that we have accepted have been part of the legacy. The restrictions we are imposing today in the name of age, in the name of sanity, in the name of basic deposits for elections, in the name that women cannot vote or stand for some positions, or that certain racial, ethnic groups cannot be elected with a written or unwritten restrictions, are all process of political adjustment. Therefore prescribing a limitation on wealth as a bar from seeking office will in no way harm the society. I would only say that with the evaluation of the difficulty this group has caused to society and the loss that society may feel, it would be much better for society to let economic power not concentrate with political power.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Lachance and then Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Lachance: Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the witness how he reconciles his redefinition of punishments of wrongs and his philosophy of reformation and rehabilitation. Also, I would like to know if he has any suggestions about reformation and rehabilitation?
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Chairman, my question is along the same lines arid perhaps I could put it at the same time.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Perhaps Mr. Lachance will allow you to put it.
Mr. Hogarth: My problem is this. On page 3 of your brief you say:
The old concept of revenge and retribution against the wrongdoers must be quickly given up in favour
of the humane concept of reformation and rehabilitation.
And at the bottom of page 2 you do not deal too humanely with chain store operators that happen to transgress your crimes against democracy. You say:
Redefinition of wrongs should naturally be followed by a redefinition of punishments; e.g., a misleading advertisement by a national chain store should not be punished with a ridiculous penalty of a $1,500 fine. The large amount of stealing from millions of people and the penalty should amount to at least thousands, if not millions, of dollars as justifiable restitution to the victim citizens.
Then also in your discourse, dealing with what are now going to become crimes against democracy, such as politicians who spend a little bit over the allowed amount, you say that there should be very serious penalties for the transgressions of crimes against democracy. Why do you not give us politicians a little bit of this humane treatment that is suggested.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr. Lachance has said that these questions express the gist of his as well, so perhaps you can merge the questions of the two members when answering.
Professor Naidu: Mr. Chairman, the point on my choice of words is very well taken. Perhaps I could be given a second chance to state what I meant. In the context of penitentiaries I was using the concept of vengeance and retribution in a pure sense of criminal jurisprudence, and in the context of the politicians I was trying to suggest in the sense of their being responsible to the society in undermining certain democratic processes-if you can accept that kind of subtle distinction I am trying to propose. If I had more time perhaps I would have worded it better. The point is well taken. In fact, I may be very harsh in pointing out some things about the politicians, but if I had time I could present some ideas I have developed on why the politicians should be well taken care of. Unfortunately, I do not have that written up.
Mr. Lachance: Mr. Chairman, I would like to know if the witness has any suggestions about rehabilitation?
Professor Naidu: Mr. Chairman, a simple example is a case of murder. So far the only concept of murder
has been that it was wrong and therefore an “eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” was the concept. With all the scientific knowledge and evidence we have now, we believe that anybody who attempts murder, killing somebody or killing himself, is really a psychologically sick person. The argument is that the instinct of self-preservation is the strongest in man and no “normal” person will resort to this. Therefore, with this new kind of approach the criminal should not be merely asked to pay the penalty of life or death or slow atrophy in the jails, but provided with hospital or therapeutic care. So many experiments are being done in that regard. This is what I mean by rehabilitation.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. McGuigan): I will accept very brief comments from the floor, if there are any.
Senator Yusyk: Mr. Chairman, on a point of order. We have had a very interesting discussion, we have heard some very interesting views, which would be worthwhile going into, but there is not all that time. However, I noticed here in his synopsis of suggestions that he was to deal with the division of powers and the organization of federal, regional and municipal governments. Could I ask – the witness why he has not presented these two aspects?
Professor Naidu: I feel guilty because of the lack of time.
Senator Yusyk: Would it be all right, Mr. Chairman, if we asked him to submit in a brief form what he had intended to deliver under items 2 and 3?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. McGuigan): Yes, Senator. While it would not be possible for a further oral dialogue, certainly we would be very pleased to receive any further written submissions which Professor-Naidu would like to make.
Are there any comments from the floor? If not, I would like to thank our last Witness, Dr. Naidu, and to say to all of you that we have been grateful, first of all, for your attendance and, secondly, for your participation. Perhaps it has been a long afternoon but you have sat through our hearing patiently. I hope that you have found the brief and the discussion as interesting as we have.
The meeting is adjourned until 2.00 p.m. tomorrow in St. Boniface.
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