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 11 (13 September 1970)
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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 11 (13 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
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1970
(See Minutes of Proceedings)
SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE
CONSTITUTION OF CANADA
Mr. Mark MacGuigan
Representing the Senate
Representing the House of Commons
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerks of the Committee
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
SUNDAY, September 13, 1970.
The Special Joint Committee of the Senate and of the House of Commons met this
day at 2:04 p.m. at the Norwood Legion
Hall in St. Boniface, Manitoba. The Joint
Chairman, Mr. MacGuigan, presided.
Members present: Representing the Senate: Senators Cameron, Fergusson, Grosart
Representing the House of Commons:
Messrs. Allmand, Asselin, Brewin, Dinsdale, Gibson, Hogarth, Hopkins, Lachance,
MacGuigan, Marceau, McQuaid, Osler and
Also present: From the House of Commons: Mr. Guay (St. Boniface).
Witnesses: Mayor Edward Turner,
Mayor of St. Boniface; Mr. Michel Monnin,
Vice-President, Société Franco-Manitobaine; Mr. Bernie Wolfe, Councillor and
Vice-Chairman, Metropolitain Corporation of Greater Winnipeg; Mr. A. R. Kear,
Professor, University of Manitoba; Mr.
Harold Long; Mr. William Ross, Manitoba
Leader, Manitoba Provincial Committee,
Communist Party of Canada; Professor
G. O. Rothney, Professor of History, University of Manitoba; Mr. Cam F. Osler and
Mr. Leonard Kruger.
The Joint Chairman introduced His
Worship Mayor Turner. Mr. Turner welcomed the Committee to St. Boniface and
made a submission to the Committee on behalf of the City of St. Boniface. His Worship was questioned. During questioning,
Mr. Auguste Dansereau made comments
from the floor at the invitation of the Joint
Chairman. The questioning of the witness
being completed, Mr. Turner was thanked
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr.
Monnin who made a submission to the
Committee and was questioned. During
questioning, Father Jean—Paul Aubry, Editor of “Le Patriote“, and Miss Madeleine
Bernier made comments from the floor at
the invitation of the Joint Chairman. Later,
the questioning of the witness being completed, he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr. Bernie Wolfe who made a statement to the
Committee an-d was questioned. Later, the
questioning being completed, Mr. Wolfe
was thanked and excused.
At 4: 42 p.m. the Committee recessed for
At 5:00 p.m. the Committee resumed.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr.
Harold Long. Mr. Long made a statement
following which he was questioned. Later,
he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Professor Kear who presented a brief entitled
“Potential Future Governmental Arrangements for the Canadian Capital Area”.
(See Appendix “N “) Professor Kear summarized the contents of his brief and recommendations. The witness was questioned
after which he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr.
Ross. Mr. Ross made a statement following which he was questioned. Later, he
was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Professor Rothney, who made a statement after
which he was questioned. Later, the witness was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr.
Osler who presented a brief entitled “Towards a More Effective Position for the
West Within the Federal Parliament”. (See
Appendix “O”) Mr. Osler made a summary and commented on the contents of
his brief. Later, he was questioned following which he was thanked and excused.
The Joint Chairman introduced Mr.
Kruger. Mr. Kruger made a statement. On
completion of which he was thanked and
On the invitation of the Joint Chairman
Mr. Edward Spealton made a statement
rom the floor. Mr. Spealton was thanked.
At 7:50 p.m. the Committee adjourned
to Monday, September 14, 1970.
Michael B. Kirby,
Joint Clerk of the Committee.
This page is blank.
(Recorded by Electronic Apparatus)
Sunday, September 13, 1970
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Ladies and gentlemen. Allow me to introduce
myself. I am Mark MacGuigan, member for
Windsor-Walkerville in Ontario. I am co-chairman of the special joint committee of the
Senate and the House of Commons on the
Constitution of Canada. It is a great honour
for me and for my colleagues to be here this
afternoon in one of the most lively parts of
French Canada to discuss the future of our
country. We will carry on our debate today as
if we were in Parliament. We will, of course,
as we do in Ottawa, use the two official languages of Canada. Later, I will call upon my
french-speaking colleague, the hon. Marcel
Asselin who will say a few words. Mr. Asselin
has been a member in the House of Commons
longer than the other French-speaking members of the Committee.
Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to
this public hearing of the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada. This
Committee is charged with the responsibility
of studying proposals which are made either
by governments or by individuals concerning
constitutional reform in this country.
We hold hearings in Ottawa for government and other experts and we are also circulating throughout the whole of Canada,
through all the provinces and the territories,
to hear the views which may be expressed by
the citizens of this country. We are here to
have a dialogue with you, and with that in
mind will encourage you to make comments
on the briefs which are presented, or indeed
if we have time at the end of the afternoon,
to comment on any other aspect of the Constitution which you would like to raise.
Unfortunately, there is only one microphone, which will be available to you from
the floor and it will be necessary for you to
go around to this microphone over here. If
you do not proceed to that microphone, not
only may you not be heard but your words
will not be recorded. Perhaps I should explain
that as a committee of Parliament, all of the
words which are spoken here this afternoon
will be formally recorded and printed in our
Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence, so that
they will be available for the Committee and
for all citizens of Canada to make up their
own minds on the views which are held today
by the people of Canada concerning the
future of our country.
As a parliamentary Committee holding a
formal hearing we are, of course, bound by
the rules of parliamentary language and of
relevancy, which we normally follow. I would
ask you to adhere to those in your
Now I will invite my colleague, the Hon.
Martial Asselin, l’honorable Martial Asselin.
The Hon. Martial Asselin: I thank you, Mr.
Chairman. The chairman was saying a while
ago, we are in Manitoba and especially in St.
Boniface in order to receive the brief of those
who want to appear before the Commission.
This is an historical landmark for the present
Commission which was created for the specific purpose of meeting various groups of
Canadians whereas to make decisions on our
constitutional claims. We are happy to be in
St. Boniface because we know that this town
has seen a heroic struggle for the conservation
of French language, traditions and culture.
We Quebeckers are grateful to our compatriots for having thus contributed to the greatness that is presently Canada. We are happy
that our French-speaking compatriots of
Manitoba kept their culture. Of course, there
has been conflict, but with the understanding
of their English-speaking colleagues they
have been able to show that in this province
and in all of Canada that small element of
French culture can live and survive, even in
an English-speaking province. Mr. Chairman,
on behalf of the members of the Committee
and of my French-speaking colleagues, I
would like to say that we are anxious to hear
the brief that will be presented and to keep
or with the dialogue necessary between the
French-speaking and English-speaking people. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Mr. Asselin.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would now like to
introduce the members of the Committee, and
I would ask them briefly to stand so that you
will see which gentleman goes with which
name—not forgetting our lady Senator.
My own name is Mark MacGuigan, I represent the riding of Windsor-Walkerville in the
Province of Ontario. We also have with us
representing the Senate, the Hon. Donald
Cameron, from Banff, Alberta; the Hon.
Muriel Fergusson, from Fredericton, New
Brunswick; the Hon. Allister Grosart, from
Pickering, Ontario. Representing the House of
Commons, Mr. Warren Allmand, from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in the Province of Quebec;
the Hon. Martial Asselin, representing Charlevoix in the Province of Quebec; Mr.
Andrew Brewin, of Toronto, Greenwood; Mr.
Colin Gibson, Hamilton-Wentworth in
Ontario; Mr. Douglas Hogarth, New Westminster, British Columbia; Mr. Leonard Hopkins,
Renfrew North, 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, from Cardigan, Prince Edward
Island, a former attorney general of that
province. Mr. Rowland, representing the
riding of Selkirk, I believe may be joining us
before the afternoon is over. I would also like
to introduce a special guest, one of our parliamentary colleagues who is not a permanent
member of the Committee but who is most
welcome here this afternoon and who will
join us for the preceedings in St. Boniface,
you own member, Mr. Joseph Guay, representing your city.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would invite our
first witness to address us. We have the pleasure of having with us Mayor Edward Turner
of this city to make welcoming remarks and
then also to present a brief to us on behalf of
the city. I have introduced Mr. Douglas Rowland and he is just now proceeding to join us
up here. I will now call on Mayor Edward
Mr. Edward Turner (Mayor. City of St. Boniface): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ladies
and gentlemen. It is with a great deal of
satisfaction and pride that the City of St.
Boniface heard that the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons proposed to hold hearings in our city on
the constitution of Canada.
On behalf of the City Council and of the
people of St. Boniface, and on my own behalf,
I extend to the members of this Special Joint
Committee the warmest welcome to our
cathedral city as well as our deepest
appreciation for their consideration in designating our city as one of the main points for
their sittings in Manitoba.
I am also grateful to those persons who
have made a point of attending this local
session. The Constitution of our country is
without a doubt a concern of us all and I
would like to express to the Special Joint
Committee on the Constitution of Canada our
heartfelt wishes so that today’s public hearing
will contribute in some way towards the success of their endeavours.
Allow me, on behalf of the City Council
and of the population of St. Boniface to
thank the members of the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada for
having decided to hold a session in our cathedral City. I also thank those who have made a
point of coming to the hearings and I hope
that today’s debate will contribute in some
way to the achievement of their project. We
welcome to St. Boniface.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, this
submission is being made on behalf of the
Council of the City of St. Boniface and its
citizens with the primary aim of emphasizing
the extremely difficult situation in which virtually every municipality in Canada is now
Members of the Committee are well aware
that since the end of the Second World War,
there have been great changes in the fiscal,
economic and social structures of Canada.
These changes have affected, to a considerable degree, municipal government and its
administration. We appreciate that municipalities are “creatures” of the province and
that any power and authority which cities
and municipalities possess is delegated to
them by the provincial government, pursuant
to the provisions of Section 92 of The British
North America Act.
With the trend toward urbanization in
society and with the changing policies in
health, welfare, housing, transportation and
education, tremendous pressure has been
applied to local government as a result of the
extremely limited taxing power now available
to municipalities. The burden of taxation on
real property has, in many instances, reached
the point where persons on fixed incomes
have, in fact, been forced to sell their homes.
This has happened in the City of St. Boniface
in several instances during the past few years
and, in many cases, persons giving up their
homes have been life-long residents of this
Obviously some drastic changes must be
made in the field of municipal taxation.
Much is made of the argument that one of
the strengths of the Canadian Constitution is,
in fact, the decentralization of authority and
the fact that government and decision-making
is close to the people. Certainly no level of
government is closer to the people and more
cognizant of their requirements than local,
civic and municipal authorities. Much is also
made of the decentralization of authority
which is granted to the provinces, particularly at federal-provincial conferences, but
unfortunately, this same question of decentralization does not appear to be viewed in
quite the same light by the provincial
authorities when dealing with an area
It is the view of the City of St. Boniface
that formal recognition must be made of the
role of municipal government in this country
and that such recognition must be enshrined
in the Constitution of Canada in such a
manner that will guarantee the successful
prosecution by the municipalities and cities of
Canada of their responsibilities in the field of
government. The growing complexities of this
modern, industrial nation of Canada have
created governmental problems that must be
resolved and, in many instances, the most
effective instrument of such resolution is the
local, civic or municipal government. The
right to tax property is now a totally inadequate means of providing sufilcient revenue
to permit municipalities to meet their
The creation of new forms of wealth and
income, the importance of the producer and
consumer of goods and services, both public
and private, have proven to be much less
adaptable to local revenue use and, as a
result, the ability of the federal and provincial governments to raise money through taxation has far outstripped that of the
municipalities. Yet there has not been a corresponding sharing of revenues by the senior
levels of government with the local governmental units.
The City of St. Boniface appreciates the
increase in responsibilities faced by the senior
governments and recognizes that substantial
sums of money must be expended annually in
order to meet these additional responsibilities.
However, it is the contention of the city that
the growth of local responsibilities is not
recognized by the senior governments or, if it
is, that both governments have largely
ignored the problem to the ultimate disservice
of the citizens of this country.
Here, in the area of Metropolitan Winnipeg,
including the City of St. Boniface, local gov-
ernment has been under close examination
for the past few years. This is one of the few
areas of North America in which a metropolitan form of government is in existence, and
no doubt the members of your Committee,
Mr. Chairman, are aware of the fact that the
provincial government of this province is now
actively considering the restructure of local
government in the Metropolitan Winnipeg
area. This concern for local government
unquestionably stems from the increased
problems which the area municipalities and
cities, including the City of St. Boniface, have
been called upon to face, particularly over the
past few years.
While Canada now has only one metropolitan area greater than two million persons and
certainly includes no cities comparative to the
major American cities, there is no doubt that
the need for effective action increases daily.
Fortunately, at the present time these problems in Canada are still manageable and fortunately have not reached the state presently
facing the United States of America. However, it is significant to note that recognition
is being given in that country to the functioning of all three levels of government in close
proximity, and there can be no doubt that the
trend toward urbanization in Canada will
continue, so that ultimately the situations in
the two countries will be very similar.
Many of the programs for which local governments have responsibility have heavily
depended upon federal support, both financial
and otherwise. In most cases, these programs
are in areas of provincial authority. Although
the federal right to participate financially is
not in dispute, in all too many instances, programs and policies of a municipal nature are
developed without direct consultation or with
limited consultation with the senior governments and their departmental officials. The
City of St. Boniface contends that there is an
increasing need for much greater co-operation
between the three levels of government and,
indeed, the city argues that municipal governments must be constitutionally recognized in
such a manner that they will be permitted to
carry out their functions effectively and well.
There is no doubt that if this is not
achieved, the only alternative will be a marked reduction in new responsibilities because,
quite frankly, unless these problems are
resolved, there is no conceivable way whatsoever in which the municipal governments of
Canada can continue to operate in their present role. It is noteworthy that in Canada
today, there are approximately 4,500
municipalities, exclusive of school boards,
whose interests and responsibilities are many
and varied and with serious inequalities
existing in many areas of this country.
In order to remedy this situation, the City
of St. Boniface believes that some form of
direct representation in the federal government of Canada is necessary. Undoubtedly,
this would require constitutional amendment
or, in the event of the Constitution being
rewritten, it would require a substantial
departure from the existing provisions of The
British North America Act. However, in view
of the inter-relationship between federal, provincial and municipal policies, it is quite
apparent that the senior governments must
accept municipal administration as an equal
partner. Federal policies on urban development, for example, will affect one particular
type of municipality in one way and in a
manner quite different from that resulting
from federal policies on railway branch lines,
rural redevelopment or pollution, for
In making these recommendations, the City
of St. Boniface wishes to make quite clear
that it recognizes full well that municipal
governments would most certainly be junior
partners with the provincial and federal governments, but it does believe that the collective importance of the municipalities of this
country is such that would warrant the establishment of this junior partnership.
Certain planning authorities foresee the day
when a vast majority of the Canadian population will be concentrated in a limited number
of large metropolitan areas with rural Canada
being populated by an extremely small
minority. Whether or not that ultimately
proves to be the case, one cannot say at this
time. However, the argument in favour of the
recognition of the metropolitan units as a
separate field of jurisdiction or level of government does make sense.
As a matter of fact, from time to time, one
reads that the metropolitan area of Toronto
feels justified in suggesting to the federal
government that Cabinet representation for
that area of Canada is justified on the
grounds of population and urban problems
which, it is argued, in effect create a separate
status for this section of the country. As a
matter of fact, it must be admitted that there
is a certain justification for such contention.
However, we believe that such representation
should not be limited to one or two major
urban areas of this country, but that all
municipal governments should have such
representation and that this must be set forth
in the Canadian Constitution.
Undoubtedly, this requires an exhaustive
examination of Canadian federalism, and We
are pleased, Mr. Chairman, that you and the
members of your Committee are now responsible for this review and for giving attention
to these matters.
The City of St. Boniface considers it singularly appropriate that such investigation
should be embarked upon at the commencement of our second 100 years. We believe that
our present Constitution has served our country reasonably well in the past, but that the
time has now come for a thorough revision of
the Constitution and the establishment of
municipal government in its rightful place
We seek to enhance the position of municipal government for its own sake in the firm
belief that no other level of government can
be as responsive to the demands of an
increasingly complex and developing society.
We urge that, in the search for a new constitution for this country, the municipalities be
accepted as participating partners with the
senior governments and be provided a role
consistent with their responsibilities and
involvement in the lives of the people of this
country from cost to coast.
The citizens of St. Boniface are grateful for
the interest of you, Mr. Chairman, and of the
members of your Committee in this important
matter, and commend you for your deliberations and wish you well.
All of which is respectfully submitted,
Mayor Edward Turner, Mayor of the City of
The Chairman: Thank you very much,
Mayor Turner. I will invite Mr. Joseph Guay,
the member for St. Boniface, to be the first
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): I will not endeavour to make things more difficult for the
mayor with my questions. Allow me to ask
these questions in English.
Mr. Mayor, first of all I would like to congratulate you on your brief, and my first question is to ask you whether or not you felt that
the element of time was relatively too short
to prepare the brief that you are presenting
here today. Is that your feeling?
Mr. Turner: Yes, Mr. Guay, we did run into
that particular problem. In fact, we just com-
pleted our brief late on Friday. We would
have liked a little more time.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): I will not ask too
many questions, Mr. Chairman, but at the
same time I would like to say that the Mayor
on one hand makes reference here to possibly
giving more authority to the metropolitan
govenment, and on the other hand he goes on
to say that the municipal goverment must be
recognized along with the other levels of government and possibly given more authority.
Possibly he may have a chance to explain
that to us more fully as to really what he
Does he mean that the metropolitan government in Manitoba should be given more
authority whereby we could reduce in a great
aspect the municipal council? Or does he
mean that he wants to retain the authority of
the municipal council because, as he mentioned, they are the grass roots, they are
closer to the people, and they know the problems of the local area more than anyone else?
Possibly he could give more emphasis to that
particular aspect for us.
Mr. Turner: My reference at that particular
point is that I have the very strong feeling
that the municipalities will become an integral part of the metropolitan govenment, and
one will be synonymous with the other.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): You also went on
at page 5 to say, Mr. Mayor—and I am not
trying to put you on the spot as I said in
French—that you have mentioned that the
local municipalities have not been really able,
if I may use that word, to make proper
representation to the federal government
because in many instances they were unaware of some of the policies that the federal
government were coming out with. Your
municipality has been a member of the CFM,
the federation of mayors and municipalities,
from its beginning. In fact, your Mayor in the
City here was one of the first directors, and
one of the first to initiate that organization.
Do you feel that the Canadian Federation has
given you proper representation on a yearly
basis to the federal government where you
have been given an opportunity to express an
Mr. Turner: Mr. Chairman and Mr. Guay, I
think that the CFM, the Canadian Federation
of Mayors, certainly has done an excellent job
for us in Ottawa, but on the other hand they
speak in a very large sense for the entire
population of the country. If we had closer
liaison with our provincial goverment and our
federal government, we could deal directly
with our own particular problems, and I do
not think for one minute that the CFM has
failed in its work or in its objectives.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): There are many
more questions that I would like to ask of the
Mayor, but I felt, Mr. Chairman, that I would
just put a few forward at least to go on the
record that I am interested in the presentation and no doubt will be given an opportunity to ask further questions if we have additional time at the end of the meeting. Thank
you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Thank you, Mr. Guay. Mr.
Mr. McQuaid: Mr. Chairman, the witness
states on page 2 of his brief that obviously
some drastic changes must be made in the
field of municipal taxation.
I am wondering, Mr. Mayor, if you had in
mind that under this new constitution the
taxing powers should be given to the
municipalities. Or would you prefer that
these taxes be collected as at present by
either the federal or provincial governments
and then distributed on a more equitable
basis to the municipalities? This is rather
important in so far as our recommendations
to Parliament may be concerned. Do you
think that municipalities should be given
wider taxing powers? Is that the reason why
you say that drastic changes must be made in
the field of municipal taxation?
Mr. Turner: I personally feel, Mr. Chairman, that to give the municipalities wider
taxing powers could possibly make it rather
cumbersome. For instance, in the number of
municipalities we have in the Greater Winnipeg area, you could get a tax for a specific
area being 5 per cent here and half a mile
away it could be 7 per cent. I think possibly a
more distinct share of those taxes earmarked
directly for the municipalities and not funnelled through other levels of government
would be much better.
The federal and provincial governments
already have the machinery for collecting
these taxes, and to just slice off a portion of it
and then have us set up the machinery to
collect them, I think would add to the cost,
and the benefits could be lost in that respect.
So I think I would have to say that direct
grants would be a much more equitable way
of doing it.
Mr. McQuaid: You recognize, of course, the
problem that would present to the central
government, to try to distribute these
Mr. Turner: Yes.
Mr. McQuaid: My own personal opinion is
that the municipalities be given a broader
taxing power so that they could collect these
taxes themselves, with the understanding that
the federal government would drop out of
these avenues that they have turned over to
the municipalities because we cannot stand
too much double taxation.
Mr. Turner: Yes. And as long as all the
taxes in the same area were the same, then
the idea is not so unsound. But if the rate of
taxation could be adjusted by every municipality, then it could become inequitable in
one area out of necessity, and in another area
it could be very low because maybe they
are rather well off and have a lot of money
in reserve and really did not need it in the
Mr. McQuaid: Do you feel, Mr. Turner, that
there would be any advantage in making the
municipalities the creatures of the federal
government rather than as they are now, the
creatures of the provincial government? Do
you think anything could be gained by that?
Mr. Turner: No, I think, as I stated in the
brief, that they should become another recognized level of government. I do not think that
they should be completely under the provincial or federal government. I think they
should be recognized as a very integral part
of our community.
Mr. McQuaid: But they are recognized as
being that now. What do you mean when you
say that they should be further recognized?
Have you any suggestions as to how that
might be done?
Mr. Turner: At the last convention of the
Canadian Federation of Mayors, it was promised that there would be liaison set up
between ourselves and the federal government. I do not know what is going to come of
it, and I do not know how soon it will come.
But I think the sooner we can sit down and
talk jointly, the better off we will be. In other
words, we go to the provincial government
now. It is not appropriate for instance for the
City of St. Boniface to journey to Ottawa to
discuss something with someone in Ottawa,
maybe a Cabinet Minister, or our representative member. I think it is recognized that we
must go through our provincial government.
Mr. McQuaid: But you say on page 5 that
municipal governments should be constitutionally recognized. Is this what you mean?
Mr. Turner: Yes.
Mr. McQuaid: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chairman: Ladies and gentlemen,
because we have about 10 briefs today, I
would like to try to keep the questioners for
each witness to about three or four. I have
three additional names now, and with your
permission I would like that to be the total
number. I have Mr. Lachance, Mr. Rowland
and Mr. Hopkins. If it is agreeable to you I
will call those questioners and then we will
invite the public to make comments. Mr.
Mr. Lachance: I would like to ask the
Mayor if he does not mind if I ask my questions in French.
Mr. Turner: Not at all, sir.
Mr. Lachance: If I am not mistaking, Mr.
Mayor, you would like the municipal government to be legally recognized by the Canadian Constitution. You want the municipal government to be considered on the same basis
as the federal government and the provincial
Mr. Turner: Mr. Chairman and Mr.
Lachance, I think the recognition of the
municipalities could be by the Constitution,
and by reform of the Canadian Constitution. I
think they should then be able to sit with the
federal government on the same level as the
provincial governments, not with the same
authority naturally, but on the same level and
sit in on talks with them.
Mr. Lachance: Do you think that the provincial governments are now losing exclusive
jurisdiction over municipal affairs?
Mr. Turner: If I understand your question
correctly, sir, you are asking as to whether or
not the provincial governments should have
complete jurisdiction over municipalities.
Mr. Lachance: If the municipalities were
recognized in the Constitution, do you believe
that a member would be responsible for insuring the link between the municipalities and
the federal government?
Mr. Turner: Are you suggesting that a link
should be established between the federal
government and the municipalities, excluding
the provincial governments?
Mr. Lachance: No. I understood that you
said that the urban government should be
recognized in the Constitution as such.
Mr. Turner: Yes.
Mr. Lachance: Then I just want to know
whether you would favour that the member
of Parliament should be the legal liaison, the
legal link, between the municipalities and the
Mr. Turner: Yes, I think this would be a
very equitable situation.
Mr. Lachance: And mentioned in the Constitution as such?
Mr. Turner: Yes.
Mr. Lachance: Thank you.
The Chairman: Mr. Rowland.
Mr. Rowland: Mr. Chairman. My questions
do not have a direct bearing upon the question of the Constitution as such, but they
have some use, I think, as helpful background
information. I think everyone here acknowledges the problems of the municipalities and
the inadequacies of the present arrangements
between the municipalities and the senior
levels of government. Each brief by municipal
authorities that has been presented to us so
far has drawn the conclusion from these
inadequacies that perhaps there should be a
constitutional position established for the
municipalities. Of course, one possible solution to the problem is to define constitutionally the powers of municipalities and reduce
them to suit their current revenue sources,
and another is to reach a determination not to
acquiesce in the urbanization of Canada and
to reject the current trend towards 80 per
cent of our people living in major urban
centres by 1980.
What I wanted to ask you for was some
brief comments upon why you have chosen
the alternative of improved constitutional
status for the municipalities as opposed to
reduced responsibilities and perhaps an
attempt to stop the tendency towards
Mr. Turner: Mr. Chairman, I think one of
the main reasons is that the municipalities we
have now—and I am speaking of these in our
particular area—are serving an extremely
useful purpose, and to decrease their responsibilities or to decrease their size would make
them a very inadequate form of government.
They just would not serve any purpose at all.
They would be token powers. I think they
should remain as strong as they are and
become stronger, because they are much
closer to the people and they are virtually the
voice of the people, and I think their position
should be solidified as part of our Canadian
way of life and not detracted from.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): Mr. Chairman,
will Mr. Rowland allow a brief supplemen-
tary question on that particular point? It is
Mr. Rowland: Go ahead, Mr. Guay.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): Thank you. I will
be very brief. I presume the reason that you
have given that answer, Mr. Mayor, is
because you believe there is a place for the
local government. They are close to the
people. They understand the problem better,
and if they were eliminated, then the other
governments that would represent them
would be too far removed from them. Is that
what you mean?
Mr. Turner: That is exactly what I mean.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): Thank you, Mr.
Mr. Rowland: I have just one more question along this line, and I hope you will not
take from it, Mr. Mayor, that I am antagonistic to the representations you are making
because I am certainly not. It is simply an
attempt to elicit information. If your contention that the municipal governments are
closer to the people and have a greater
understanding of their real needs and so forth
is correct, could you attempt to account for
the fact that public participation in municipal
elections is so very poor as compared to provincial or federal elections?
Mr. Turner: That is a question that possibly
the experts will have difficulty in answering. I
think that maybe at some stage in the
municipal government the people take us for
granted. Some of us like to feel we are doing
a good job. On the other hand, you are sometimes not too sure of yourself. You do not
know whether you are in that good a position. You wonder sometimes whether they do
not come out to vote because they could not
care less who is elected. Then on the other
hand you think that they are not coming out
to vote because they think we are doing a
good job and we can take care of things. And
both attitudes are very incorrect.
The populace should be voting very strongly. In fact, I just finished reading this morning some of the articles in a book Early Tales
of Manitoba, put out by the Winnipeg Free
Press, as a centennial book. At one time in
Winnipeg there was 386 eligible voters and
Mr. Rowland: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. Hopkins: Mr. Chairman, I gathered
from Mayor Turner’s remarks that he feels
that a vacuum has developed over the years
between the municipal level and the provincial level.
Mr. Turner: I think so, Mr. Chairman. For
one thing, the provincial governments are
saddled with their own problems and do not
get around to giving the attention to the
municipalities that they should. They sincerely try to do so. If the municipalities were
recognized as another form of government,
the onus upon the provincial government
would be eased. They would do a good job at
their own level and we would be able to do a
better job in ours.
Mr. Hopkins: I realize the precarious position in which municipalities feel they are.
One saying that I have heard describes it
very well as far as the relationship between
the provinces and the municipalites is concerned .”The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh
away.” While the provinces give you something, you never know what is going to be
taken away from you.
I think we all visualize the municipalities
as being good basic local administrative units.
I served on a municipal council myself before
going into federal politics. One of the frustrations we faced was that while we had
authority over only about 15 or 20 per cent of
the money that we collected, we had to collect
100 per cent for other services.
Much of the money that the federal government contributes to the municipal levels of
government in Canada must be channelled
down through provincial levels. This red
tape has been one of the curses that has
developed over the years. Would you be in
favour, for example, of the federal government in Canada having complete jurisdiction
over housing and urban development so that
they could deal directly with the municipalities in this field.
Mr. Turner: Yes.
Mr. Hopkins: Do I gather from your brief
that you feel the municipalities should have
developed into a third level of government in
Canada or do you feel that the powers
between the federal and provincial governments should be so divided that the federal
government and the provinces can deal
directly with the municipalities and hence cut
down the confusion and frustrations that
sometimes exist in federal-provincial relations
where the municipalities end up suffering.
Mr. Turner: Mr. Chairman, I do not think
this should relate to the entire situation. I
think it should relate to certain facets and the
one that you just mentioned, housing for
instance. Most of the expertise in housing
generates within the confines of the federal
government. We would be able to move much
faster and much farther if we were dealing
directly with the federal government. There
might be other places where the matter
should be discussed and handled by the three
levels, provincial, federal and municipal.
However, there are others where one or the
other should be circumvented.
Mr. Hopkins: We are faced today with the
problem of federal-provincial relations and
we find it difiicult to negotiate within a reasonable length of time on solutions to problems when we have two levels of government
involved. Do you not think there would be
greater confusion if we gave constitutional
status to a third level of government in
Mr. Turner: It could, Mr. Chairman, but on
the other hand, if there were certain facets
where we could deal directly then we would
eliminate a lot of the confusion. If consultation between the three levels was to take
place on every particular problem that we
had to deal with, then it would have a tendency to become burdensome.
Mr. Hopkins: It would be better to deal
directly only in certain cases.
Mr. Turner: That is right, on those things
that are very, very close to the municipalities.
Mr. Hopkins: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Mr. Hopkins.
I will now invite anyone from the floor who
might wish to comment on this brief to come
to the microphone.
Mr. Auguste Dansereau (Municipal official):
My name is Auguste Dansereau and I am a
retired municipal official. May I make a comment rather than ask a question?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Mr. Dansereau: My comment deals with the
brief that has just been read by His Worship
the Mayor. I would like to see the principle of
“no taxation without representation” extended to the schools. By that I mean that the
school ‘boards should be obliged under the
Constitution to collect the taxes.
As you probably know mister Chairman,
here in Manitoba the school councillors draw
up their budget and then present it to the
councils of the various municipalities to collect the money.
It seems to me that this goes against the
principle of “no taxation without representation”. As I see it, there -are three alternatives,
the school councillors should collect their
taxes themselves or the Constitution should
entitle them to sit on the municipal council,
or education should come under municipal
You might be interested to know that taxes
collected for education in the city of St. Boniface are as high, and perhaps even higher,
than those we pay for all the other services.
About 50 p. 100 of our taxes are earmarked
for health, highways, and so forth, and education covers 50 p. 100.
In my opinion if the taxes were collected
by the city and the city were entitled to tell
the school councillors how to spend that
money, there would not be so much disparity
between the taxes we set aside for education
and those that are earmarked for all the other
Thank you, mister Chairman.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): May I ask him a
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Yes,
M. R. Guay (St. Boniface): Do you think,
mister Dansereau, that we should do away
with school boards?
Mr. Dansereau: Not necessarily. As His
Worship the Mayor said a moment ago it is a
problem that the experts and the members of
Parliament must solve. How can one establish
the principle of taxation with representation?
I stress the following point, mister Guay. At
the present time, the only thing that the
Manitoba school councillors have to do is to
submit their budget to the councils of the
various cities and municipalities and tell them
to collect that money.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): In that case,
mister Dansereau, you would agree that the
school board should collect that money
directly instead of having to go through the
In other words, we would take away from
the municipalities the responsibility for collecting money and then giving it to the
various school boards.
Mr. Dansereau: Your question cannot be
answered easily, mister Guay. However, I
would not like to take from the school councillors the right to regulate education, and I
believe that that is in keeping with the spirit
of the Constitution which states that the provinces shall have the exclusive right in matters pertaining to education. It was not a
matter of money, although everything is connected. But it seems to me that the commissioners, in one way or another, should have
the responsibility for collecting the money
that they are asking from the tax payers.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Mister Dansereau, His Worship the Mayor is
taking down your comment. Mister Asselin.
Mr. Dansereau: Thank you very much.
Mr. Asselin: Would you not say that your
problem has to do rather with the internal
constitution of the provinces? Under the
Canadian Constitution education comes under
the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces.
Therefore, I think that you should address
yourself to your own province which, like the
other provinces, has gone up an internal constitution dealing with education.
Mr. Dansereau: Yes but, mister Asselin, I
believe that the Constitution says, “the provinces will have the exclusive right in matters
of education.” Does that include taxation?
Probably so. Whatever the case may be, we
must take care of the taxpayers and I would
like the Constitution to oblige the provinces
and the commissionners to be responsible to
the taxpayers for collecting this money. In
other words, they will have to collect their
money, in one way or the other, so that they
may know that the taxpayers are paying their
taxes the same way they pay them to their
municipality and he pays his income tax to
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Mr. Marceau: If I understood correctly, you
object to them going through the municipality
to collect school taxes.
Mr. Dansereau: I probably did not explain
my point properly. If you will allow me, I
shall start over again.
In Manitoba, our school boards present their
budgets to the municipality, to the city, and
ask this government to collect the taxes
which are required for the smooth operation
of schools. So, I would want the school board
budgets to be subject to amendment, to a
representation on the municipal councils and
that this be stated clearly in the constitution,
and that if the provinces cannot meet the
requirements of the taxpayers that they cease
having the exclusive right in matters of education and that the financial aspect be excluded therefrom.
Mr. Marceau: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, mister Dansereau.
Are there any other questions or comments
from the floor? If not, I thank Mayor Turner
for coming before us. Excuse me, Senator
Cameron has a question.
Senator Cameron: Mayor Turner referred
in his opening remarks to the fact that people
were losing their homes. I wonder if he could
give us a rough percentage of the people who
have lost their homes in the city through high
taxation on properties; and secondly, if he
can give an answer for St. Boniface? Has he
any idea of how extensive this is in comparison with other parts of Canada?
Mr. Turner: I cannot give you a figure on
the percentage of people who have lost their
homes. Possibly that was a misnomer. We
should have said that they had to sell their
homes because they have a fixed income and
are having difficulty paying their taxes and
local improvement charges. Our Council gave
serious consideration to having a bill go
through the local legislature which would
permit us to give consideration to people over
the age of 65 who had homes. Taking some
figures from City Hall, we figured that granting this concession of probably only $100 to
$120 for a home in that particular category
would mean a subsidy by the other people of
approximately $10,000 a year. It would grow
as the years went on. That is the only figure
that I can give you at this particular time, sir.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you very much, Mayor Turner.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Michel Monnin
will present the next brief which is that of
the Société Franco-Manitobaine. He will be
followed by Mr. B. R. Wolfe. I am not sure
whether Mr. Wolfe is giving a brief on his
own behalf or not.
Senator Cameron: Mr. Chairman, we do not
have a copy of the brief. Are there any?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): We
have some copies, but I do not know if there
are enough to go around or not. The copies
have been distributed to those members who
have signified they intend to ask questions. I
have Mr. Lachance, Mr. Allmand, Mr. Marceau, Mr. Asselin and Mr. Guay. Someone
may have my copy.
Mr. Lachance: Mr. Chairman, are we dealing with the Société franco-manitobaine?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Yes.
I would like to introduce to you Mr. Michel
Monnin, vice-president of the Société franco-manitobaine. Mr. Monnin.
Mr. Michel Monnin (Vice-president, Société
franco-manitobaine): Thank you very much,
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee,
We are happy to be able to appear before
you this afternoon to discuss such an important question for the survival and the vitality
of our country.
It is at the request of the Franco-manitobains and of the cultural, educational,
and political institutions represented by the
Société franco-manitobaine that we have been
entrusted with the task of expressing to you
as briefly as possible our opinions and our
recommendations concerning this problem
that you are dealing with.
We apologize if our brief is of a general
nature, but unfortunately we only learned of
your visit recently.
It is mainly for this reason that we do not
intend to go into details this afternoon
regarding the techniques and amendments
that should be made to the B.N.A. Act.
Having first hand knowledge of the frustrations that our commuity has suffered, along
with a great number of our Canadian compatriots, it is therefore very important that a
Committee such as yours should make
immediate recommendations of a positive and
concrete nature concerning the Constitution
before it is too late.
It is therefore required that a constitutional
renewal be carried out as soon as possible
and that this renewal see to the safeguarding
of the economic, cultural and social values of
both English Canadians and French Canadians while bearing in mind, however, that the
Province of Quebec must also of necessity be
called upon to play a special role. It is most
important that the new Canadian Constitution
be drafted so as to allow the Province of
Quebec to carry out its special role in the
Canadian Confederation. But it is also important that the new Constitution give it the
necessary tools to meet this vocation.
If I may, I would like to explain at greater
length what we mean by special vocation.
This comes from the fact that one must
recognize that Quebec is the only French
province in Canada and that if Quebec does
not have the facilities, the means and the
tools which will enable it to develop French
in that province, it is quite probable that the
development and expansion of French will
not take place outside of Quebec. We certainly do not want Quebec to be pigeon-holed at
a completely different level from the other
provinces of our federation. But we must
recognize both in fact and by means of legislation that Quebec has a different role to play
in Canada with regard to the French language. If the recognition of this fact is not
admitted, may we suggest that any constitutional change would be a loss of time if you
have as one of your objectives the bilingual
nature of our country.
Over the past fifteen months, there have
been far reaching legislative changes in
Manitoba for the franco-manitobains and
without taking away from the merits of the
present Manitoba government, it would be
fooling ourselves not to agree that what has
happened in Quebec over the last ten years
has played a very important role in these
changes. We admit that Quebec’s role was not
an active one, but its reaffirmation of the
French fact in that province certainly has had
an impact on the thinking of other Canadian
governments with regard to legislation in the
field of bilingualism.
Moreover, a new Constitution should protect not only the French element outside of
Quebec, but also the English element within
the latter province in case the respective provincial governments are not ready to assume
that responsibility. This means that the distribution of powers which can presently be
found under Sections 91, 92 and even 93 of
the B.N.A. Act, should possibly be modified so
as to enable the central government to see to
the preservation and the development of the
two official languages in Canada. Also, the
amendment should make available to the
provinces the power to legislate and to act in
certain fields if this is necessary, and the
context of provincial bilingualism.
To conclude, we would like to offer the
1. That the revision of the B.N.A. Act
be carried out as quickly as possible in
View of the fact that this is a problem of
first importance and of great urgency.
And for this reason, we recommend
moreover that an intermediate body be
entrusted with the task of preparing a
preliminary draft of the constitutional
draft and that the various Premiers be
called at regular four-month intervals to
come to a final decision.
2. That the Constitution recognize in
an equivocal way what should be the
objectives of a new Canadian Federation
and in particular the retaining and the
development of political, social and linguistic rights of the two founding nations
and the contribution of the third group.
3. That the linguistic rights of the two
founding nations be guaranteed in the
4. That Canada accede as quickly as
possible to the status of a republic while
preserving the formula of parliamentary
democracy and giving a new status to the
present position of the Governor General
in order to meet the national aspirations
of the new Federation.
5. That the Senate be abolished or that
it become a chamber with greater power.
If the Senate is revised which we hope,
we believe that the basic criteria of this
revision should be representation of linguistic and cultural phenomena on the
one hand, and regional interests on the
other. For this purpose, we recommend
the creation of four regional entities, that
is the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and the
Western Provinces. We recommend,
moreover, that the Senators be elected
for a set term and that the constituion of
senatorial ridings bear in mind the two
elements mentionned above. In our opinion, there is no question of having representation according to the population in
the Senate, but rather Senators elected
according to the criteria mentionned
above. Therefore, it should be understood
that the electoral map of the senatorial
ridings take into account the linguistic
and cultural characteristics of the provinces which constitute these areas so that,
on the one hand, we could easily find a
very scarcely populated electoral district
which is composed though of uniform linguistic and cultural characteristics, while
next door, on the other hand, we might
have a very large senatorial electoral
riding which also has uniform linguistic
and cultural characteristics. In addition,
we recommend the following distribution
of the senatorial ridings:
(a) the Maritimes Region — 25 seats distributed as follows: New Brunswick, 12;
Nova Scotia, 8; Newfoundland, 3; Prince
Edouard Island, 1; (b) the Quebec Region,
25 seats; (c) the Ontario Region, 25 seats;
(d) the Western Region, 25 seats distributed as follows: Manitoba, 5; Saskatchewan, 5; Alberta, 5; British Columbia, 6;
Northwest Territories, 2; Yukon, 2.
6. That an equitable and non-political
formula be set up so that members of the
House of Commons be elected according
to a formula based upon population
7. That the Supreme Court remain the
final appeal court throughout the country
but that the appointment of judges be
distributed by the central governments
and the provinces while taking into
account however the special requirements
of the civil laws of the Province of
8. That the judges of the superior and
lower courts be appointed by the provincial governments.
9. That Canada should project a national personality in its external relations
with foreign countries. On the other
hand, the new Constitution must recognize to the provinces the right to take
certain initiatives, especially in the cultural field provided these agreements are
ratified by the central government and
that these agreements reflect the interest.
of the two founding nations as a whole.
10. That a formula for amendments be
provided in the new Constitution.
To close, we would simply like to say that
the Franco-manitobans have recently begun
to see a possibility of actually putting bilingualism to practice in their province. And it
is from this point of view that we have presented these few recommendations.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Mr. Monnin. And now we have
Mr. Lachance followed by Messrs. Allmand,
Marceau, Asselin and Guay. Mr. Lachance.
Mr. Lachance: My first words, Mr. Chairman are to congratulate the Société franco-manitobaine for their fine brief. First of all, I
would like to ask Mr. Monnin whether this
Société fran-co-manitobaine is composed of
institutions or individuals?
Mr. Monnin: Both.
Mr. Lachance: Could you give us an example of the institutions that are part of the-
Mr. Monnin: Through our various managerships we h-ave all the cultural groups such as
the Cercle Moliere, the Cent Noms, the Jeunesses musicales, and on the educational side,
we have the Franco-manitoban Parent Teachers Association. Briefly, nearly all the franco-manitoban organizations belong to our
Mr. Lachance: Is it the only French-speaking society representing French-speaking
cultural, educational and political institutions.
that exist in Manitoba?
Mr. Monnin: Yes, we purposely centralized.
all our organizations.
Mr. Lachance: Are there any elected
Mr. Monnin: The executive board is composed of six members who were elected.
Mr. Lachance: I am asking these questions,
Mr. Chairman, in order to find out the-representative nature of the Société franco-manitobaine. It is very important to know
that. Does your society represent all the
French-speaking people of Manitoba or does it
represent them in a broad sense?
Mr. Monnin: I would say it represents them
broadly. I do not think that we are in a
position to say that we represent all the
French-speaking of Manitoba, but I would say
that we represent a broad share of that
Mr. Lachance: On page 2 of your brief, you
If the recognition of this fact…
We are dealing with the province of Quebec,
If the recognition of this fact is not
admitted, may we suggest that any constitutional change would be a loss of time
if you have as one of your objectives the
bilingual nature of our country.
Do you agree with the bilingual character of
Mr. Monnin: Certainly.
Mr. Lachance: Of Canada.
Mr. Monnin: Without a doubt.
Mr. Lachance: On page 3 of your brief you
. . . that an intermediary body be entrusted with the task of preparing a preliminary draft of the constitutional draft . . .
Do you not think that this intermediary body
does exist at the present time in the Constitutional Conference?
Mr. Monnin: No doubt, it could be an intermediary body, but we believe that…
Mr. Lachance: That there should be
another. . .
Mr. Monnin: . . . that there should be something else. Both circumstances and facts have
shown over the last few years that there is
work being done in this field. However, I feel
that because of existing ministerial responsibilities, the people involved are busy in other
fields and the work is perhaps not progressing
very rapidly. So, an intermediary body could
be set up and be composed of the members of
this Committee and possibly also experts from
various universities, and so forth. We think
the process could move ahead far more quickly than it is doing right now. And the various
governments could belong to this intermediary body every bit as much as the members.
Mr. Lachance: Do you not think that the
various governments could belong to that
intermediary body every bit as much as the
members of this Committee?
Mr. Monnin: I said there could be members
of this Committee, but I would not want to
limit it to that. I was giving an example.
Maybe it should be a committee which is
entirely independant from yours.
Mr. Lachance: I see on page 4 of your brief
that you suggest for Canada the “status of a
republic”. Do you suggest that the Governor
General become the head of state?
Mr. Monnin: Yes.
Mr. Lachance: But he will probably carry
Mr. Monnin: If necessary. Insofar as I am
concerned, those are merely details. What we
want is that our whole institution be ours and
remain so, that it be entirely Canadian from
one ocean to the other.
Mr. Lachance: Have you considered the
possibility that this head of state might have
a representative in each province?
Mr. Monnin: Yes, in each province.
Mr. Lachance: Right now, there are Lieutenant Governors.
Mr. Monnin: Yes. I do not see much change
to the present system, except that we would
like our institution to be truly Canadian.
Mr. Lachance: Would you object to having
the representative in each province appointed
by the federal government or would you
prefer to have him appointed by the
Mr. Monnin: I feel that the province should
Mr. Lachance: He would then not become
the representative of the head of the central
Mr. Monnin: Agreed. I said that I would
like it to be the provinces, but I would be
fairly flexible in this regard. I think that the
question would warrant a more detailed
study, but we would certainly not object to
its being the central government.
Mr. Lachance: My last question, Mr. Chairman. With regard to the Supreme Court of
Canada, you recommend that the appointment
of judges be shared by the central government and the provinces.
Mr. Monnin: Yes.
Mr. Lachance: On what basis would this
sharing take place? Should it be on an
egalitarian basis or proportionally to the
number of provinces?
Mr. Monnin: That could be established in
different ways; the federal government could
make an appointment and then alternate with
the provincial government which would make
the next appointment. I am under the impression that the number of judges in the
Supreme Court will increase with the years,
so a province could appoint a judge and the
federal government could appoint another
Mr. Lachance: Supposing nine judges had
to be appointed, do you believe that half of
them could be appointed by the central government and the other half by the provinces?
Mr. Monnin: I would like that to be possible, although the example you are putting
forward here would present certain difficulties.
Mr. Lachance: Agreed. Let us take eleven
Mr. Monnin: I am not obliged to specify a
figure. What we mean, is that the province or
the provinces should have their say in the
appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.
We are putting forward a general principle
and we do not propose to enter into details.
Mr. Lachance: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Warren Allmand, an English-speaking member of Parliament from the province of Quebec.
Mr. Allmand: Mr. Monnin, we hear from
time to time, in Quebec, especially amongst
nationalist groups, that it is not realistic to
support and encourage French groups outside
of Quebec, and that these groups are too
small and perhaps artificial.
In their opinion, it would be preferable
to forget the French-speaking communities
outside of Quebec and it would be better if
those groups adopted the English language
and culture and even became integrated into
the English community. What do you say to
Mr. Monnin: I believe that the head of the
Parti Quebecois has been saying this for
nearly four years. However, the facts are
entirely different in Manitoba, and the proof
is that the possession of French in the province is becoming ever stronger. I am afraid
that those people are entirely mistaken and
that the groups which hold these views are
not realistic and do not understand the facts
and the position of the various provinces. I
have the feeling that they are talking through
An hon. Member: They talk too much!
Mr. Allmand: Is the French-speaking population of Manitoba trying to improve and to
increase contacts with Quebec and the various other French-speaking communities in
Mr. Monnin: Definitely. And so far as we
are concerned, we envisaged Canada as an
entity where French must be present from one
ocean to the other. I agree that there must be
one strong province on whose resources we
can draw from a viewpoint of culture, education, and so forth, but if there are no French-speaking islands throughout the rest of Canada, it can no longer be called Canada and
then the game is up.
Mr. Allmand: On page 2 of your brief you
state that we in Canada need a very strong
Quebec whose particular location is to help
the other communities in Canada to develop
themselves and improve their conditions. Can
the Canadian Government which does, after
all, represent all the various communities in
Canada carry out this task successfully?
M. Monnin: I understand what you mean.
However, I do not think that it is possible
because, in the end, the Federal Government
is not made up of 6,000,000 French Canadians.
The cultural resources and so forth, are in
Quebec and if Quebec does not have the possibility, the tools whereby to develop itself, I
feel that the Federal Government-, in spite of
the efforts it is making at the present time in
that direction, would not be able to achieve
that because it would be too difficult. Nevertheless, we are very glad to have this pro-of
of good will and we thank you for it, but let
us not forget that there are 6,000,000 French-Canadians in Quebec. That is the key to the
Mr. Allmand: Mr. Monnin, I also want to
congratulate you for your brief and for giving
us so many specific recommendations. As an
English-speaking person from Quebec, I want
to tell you that we encourage you and are all
Mr. Monnin: Thank you very much.
The Chairman: Mr. Gilles Marceau.
Mr. Marceau: Mr. Monnin, I would also like
to add my own congratulations to those of my
colleagues who preceeded me. When we
entered this room we were somewhat concerned because no briefs by the Franco-Manitobans figured on the list of presentations. However, it was worthwhile waiting,
because that brief was very specific and very
My colleagues who spoke before me have
dealt with a number of subjects. First of all, I
would like to ask you a fairly specific question. On the first page of your brief, you point
out that it is important that there be immediate, positive and concrete recommendations.
Do you really believe that it is a written constitution and furthermore, a constitution that
is written within a very short period of time,
which will settle the problem? Do you not
believe that a constitution is a document
which refiects a general concensus, the desire
of a population which has accepted a particular way of life and has accepted to live
together? Do you not believe that the people
who ask us to graph a document» in haste at
any price, are in a way regulating the problem and perhaps obliging people who are not
ready to do so, to more or less accept a constitution that will be graphed immediately?
Mr. Monnin: I agree that a constitution
need not necessarily be a written document,
however I feel that it is necessary under the
present circumstances. I would like to see a
consensus taking the place of a constitution
but, unfortunately, the BNA Act of 1870 still
exists and, in my opinion, that prevents any
consensus. I agree that there may be a consensus, but the BNA Act of 1870 is still there
although it is obsolete and that is why we
must have some sort of change. I am not
saying that everything that is changed must
be written. Part of it, though, must necessarily be written and as soon as possible or
instead, legislation could be adopted immediately the results of which would be the same.
I would like to have a change, not necessarily
in written form, but a change nevertheless.
Mr. Marceau: As you no doubt are aware of
the way of thinking of people in Manitoba, I
would like to ask you whether you think that
they are ready to accept the constitution on
the basis of two founding nations and two
official languages? I have noted that many
New-Canadians who rightly believe that they
have culture which they should preserve, are
under the impression that a constitution
which would sanction the idea of two founding
nations and undergrow bilingualism would
affect them in their wellbeing and that is not
what we want. So, do you really believe that
a constitution based on bilingualism and culturalism would not somehow offend the population of the central provinces?
Mr. Monnin: There certainly is a problem, I
agree with you. But so far as I am concerned,
Canada is a bilingual country and if it stops
being that . . .
Mr. Marceau: Insofar as you are concerned,
but I am speaking about the population.
Mr. Monnin: Fine. But I am talking about
Canada and I feel that if you take into
consideration the various groups, one by one,
you are no longer talking about Canada. If
you do not recognize the fact of bilingualism,
the fact that Quebeckers can leave their own
province and feel at home in the rest of the
country, you are not speaking about Canada
and you will be faced with a complete disintegration. However, I agree that we are facing
an extremely delicate problem.
Mr. Marceau: Is it serious or are we simply
dealing with a minority? That is what I
would like to know.
Mr. Monnin: All right, sir.
Mr. Marceau: How do you size it up?
Mr. Monnin: I feel that is less serious than
in the past and that as we progress it will
lessen, at least I hope so.
Mr. Marceau: Now another question, if the
Chairman will allow me. I feel, and I did so
even more strongly before you spoke, that
you consider Quebec as representing the
French-canadian element and that Ottawa
cannot be considered as representing the two
founding nations. I would like you to clarify
your position on that subject.
Mr. Monnin: No . . .
Mr. Marceau: Your brief seems to leave the
impression that you consider Quebec as being
the pillar of French-speaking Canadians and
that Ottawa cannot and never will be the
official representative of the two founding
Mr. Monnin: No, I apologize, that may be
the impression given by the brief, but it is
certainly not what we tried to get across. As I
pointed out a while ago, had the Federal
Government not set up certain programs,
things would be in a bad way here. But when
we refer to a strong Quebec, we mean that in
terms of resources, individuals, school books,
and so forth, culture, singers, etc., which the
Federal Government cannot provide us with
because it does not have them. The Federal
Government represents the country as a
whole. That is why Quebec must be strong, so
that it can develop itself. I am not necessarily
talking from the point of View of the various
levels of Government, but I think that the
Government must give the Quebeckers the
possibility of developing themselves and
hence, of travelling in the other provinces.
However, I think that Ottawa has an
extremely important role to play in the field
of bilingualism. It is not the same role of that
of a population of Quebec, although it is as
important and the Federal Government must
absolutely continue to play that role and it is
very essential that it should do so.
Mr. Marceau: So, if I understand correctly,
you practically admit that Quebec must
become more and more french in order to be
able to really play its role.
Mr. Monnin: I agree. There is no doubt
Mr. Marceau: While also remaining bilingual, but it must accentuate its endeavours
toward the development of french.
Mr. Monnin: Certainly.
Mr. Marceau: Thank you.
The Chairman: Mr. Asselin.
Mr. Asselin: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To
come back to the brief that was presented by
our friend, I would like to congratulate him
because it is an excellent document.
It is obvious that Quebec is like a head
office for the various french minorities. On
page 2, you state that Quebec will have to
play a special role within the new constitution and have the necessary tools in order to
be able to proceed with its cultural and economic developments. Would you liken that to
what is frequently said in Quebec, mainly
that the province of Quebec should have a
special status within Confederation.
Mr. Monnin: Yes, I more or less agree on
the idea on the special status. But by doing so
I would not want to place Quebec at a level
which is about that of the other provinces.
Nevertheless, we must face facts, that is that
the province of Quebec is different, because
there are no other provinces in Canada where
there are as many french canadians. And so
far as I am concerned, the matter is quite
clear, and there is no other way of dealing
Mr. Asselin: Yes, of course you are leaving
here and an english-speaking environment.
Those the term “special status” or “special arrangements” cause fear among our english-speaking friends here as is often the case here
in the other provinces?
Mr. Monnin: I think it can give them cause
for fear if the term is not properly understood. “Special status” can mean that Quebec,
while being in Canada is not really part of it,
in fact, that it can do what it wants when it
wants. But that is not what we mean by
special status. It simply means that Quebec
must be able to develop itself from the point
of View of the French language and, consequently, that the other provinces where
French is obviously not as strong right now as
it might be would have Quebec to support
and guide them and that is essential.
Mr. Asselin: What do the French minorities
in the English provinces expect from Quebec?
In my opinion, Quebec must be the home of
the French Canadians, the source where the
French minorities can draw support. Are these
minorities satisfied at the present time with
what Quebec has done for them?
Mr. Monnin: I feel that Quebec was doing
far more about five or six years ago. Right
now, it is the Federal Government which has
begun to get into the picture. But I believe
that Quebec now seems to want to reassume
the role it has played in the past, but I cannot
say that I am entirely satisfied with the role
Quebec is playing here right now. However,
that situation is understandable, because Quebeckers may well ask themselves why they
should come to Manitoba. In view of the fact
that as recently as one year ago, because of
existing legislation, their children would not
have been allowed to get their entire schooling in French. However, that is now possible.
So, perhaps that means that Quebeckers will
be more inclined to leave their own province.
Mr. Asselin: Are the French minorities
obsessed by the separatism movement in
Quebec? And if separation did occur, which is
not what I hope for, what would the French
minorities do? Would that be the end of the
minorities? Would they decide to come to
Quebec to continue their cultural life?
Mr. Monnin: I am a Manitoban.
Mr. Marceau: Yes, a Manitoban.
Mr. Monnin: I am a Manitoban, and I am
French, fine, but I am also a Manitoban. I
lived five or six months in Quebec, I like the
Parti Quebecois but I am different. I feel that
people would not emigrate to Quebec.
Mr. Asselin: But are the people obsessed by
the problem of Quebec?
Mr. Monnin: Obsessed, well I would not say
obsessed, but we do not agree with them.
Mr. Asselin: Neither do we, and most Quebeckers do not agree with the separation of
Mr. Monnin: Let us say that the separatists
are beginning to annoy us somewhat.
Mr. Asselin: You are not the only ones.
I would like to come back to the question
dealing with the Supreme Court. In your
brief, you state the following:
8. That the judges of the higher and
lower courts be appointed by the Provincial Governments.
We know that the judges of the Superior
Court are appointed by the Federal Government at the present time.
Mr. Monnin: Yes, those of the lower courts
Mr. Asselin: The judges of the lower courts
in Quebec are appointed by the Provincial
Government, and that may not be the case
here. You also state that the provinces should
have their word to say in the appointment of
Supreme Court judges. Therefore, the Federal
Government would no longer be concerned?
Mr. Monnin: Yes, it would.
Mr. Asselin: But what role is left to the
Mr. Monnin: Yes, I agree, but I do not
really see why the Federal Government
should appoint judges in the province of
Manitoba. I am under the impression that the
entire administration of justice is given to the
province, so why should it not also be given
the power to appoint the judges?
Mr. Asselin: Yes, but I want to come back
to the Supreme Court. You state that the
provinces should make the Supreme Court
Mr. Monnin: Not completely, but there
should be a mechanism whereby the provinces
would have a fairly important role to play in
Mr. Asselin: We know that in the past the
provinces have not been subject to discrimination, but some judgments made by the
Supreme Court have been to their detriment,
especially with regard to the constitutionality
of certain times of legislation.
Mr. Monnin: Yes.
Mr. Asselin: Did your organization not
study instead the possibility of setting up a
constitutional court in which both provincial
and federal judges would sit? In case of a
constitutional conflict between the provinces
and the central government, the problem
could be presented to that court rather than
to the Supreme Court.
Mr. Monnin: I cannot say that we actually
studied the problem from that angle, in preparing the brief, but I feel that in this respect
we consider that it must be the function of
the Supreme Court. We do not necessarily
need another constitutional court of the
Mr. Asselin: Could we not have a division
of the Supreme Court which would deal
exclusively with constitutional problems
between the Federal Government and the
provinces with a view to guarantee that the
provinces will receive impartial judgments?
In the past, several Supreme Court judgments
were made to the detriment of the provinces
with regard to constitutional matters.
Mr. Monnin: I agree, but I would prefer to
reach that objective by having the judges
appointed by the provinces. I really do not see
the need for a constitutional division within
the Supreme Court.
Mr. Lachance: A supplementary, Mr.
The Chairman: Mr. Lachance.
Mr. Lachance: In that case, would you suggest the abolition of appeals by the Court
of Appeal of the provinces to the Supreme
Mr. Monnin: No, not at all.
The Chairman: Mr. Asselin.
Mr. Asselin: My last question, Mr. Chairman, if you will allow me. In my opinion, the
younger generation people would like to see
the monarchy abolished in Canada, and I am
not speaking only of the French-speaking circles in English provinces but also of the
younger generation in the English-speaking
provinces. Is this attitude widespread in your
province, and do the young people want to
have a parliamentary constitutional system in
Canada which is really Canadian? Do you
favour a Canadian republic?
Mr. Monnin: Yes, Well, I think that the
young people are not terribly preoccupied
with that subject, and that the population in
general does not believe that a change of that
nature is necessary.
Mr. Asselin: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Monnin: Right now, I am talking about
the young people, not just about young Franco-Manitobans, but about the young generation in general.
Mr. Asselin: If young people, whether they
be French-speaking or English-speaking, that
is to say young people in general.
Mr. Monnin: Yes.
Mr. Asselin: My colleague would like me to
ask you whether this is an urgent matter or
whether it can wait.
Mr. Monnin: I think it is.
Mr. Asselin: It is urgent.
Mr. Monnin: All right, I do not think it is
the greatest problem you have to solve, but I
think it might have importance. I would perhaps not give it first priority, but I would
include it among my priorities.
Mr. Asselin: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lachance: Mr. Chairman, I would
like to ask a supplementary about the
monarchy. Do you think that if the government decided to abolish the monarchy and
create a republic this would help contribute
to Canadian unity in general or would it be a
disservice to that unity?
Mr. Monnin: I think you are talking about
the conflict between youth and older people
and the way I size up the situation. I feel that
the older people would give in a bit, and that
the younger people would agree. This could
go through pretty quickly and without causing too much upheaval.
Mr. Lachance: But would this serve Canadian unity?
Mr. Monnin: I do not think that it could
hurt it. I may not be answering directly to
your question, but I think that people would
not be terribly upset by this. This could go
through pretty easily and I do not think that
Canadian unity would be hurt.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): Thank you, Mr.
Chairman. Mr. Monnin, I want to congratulate
you for your brief and the way you have
represented the Society and the French-speaking population of Manitoba, and more
especially that of St. Boniface. You have
done it in such a way that you can be proud.
I have one question only. In the third paragraph on the first page, you state:
…we heard of your visit too late.
This means that the time was too short.
Does your Society or do you yourself intend to
your Society or do you yourself intend to
present another brief to the Committee?
Mr. Monnin: No, I did not expect the Committee to ask that. If you want to have more
details, I could start working on the brief
again, but we thought that this might be
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): Thank you,
Mister Monnin, and thank you, Mister Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are
there any questions?
Rev. Jean-Paul Aubry (Editor of the newspaper La Liberté et le Patriote): I am Father
Jean-Paul Aubry, editor of the newspaper La
Liberté et le Patriote, and I would like to add
a few comments to the brief presented by the
First of all, with regard to the special
status of Quebec, I think that following the
research and studies made by the Special
Committee on the Constitution, it should be
able to make the distinction between the particular role of Quebec with regard to the
linguistic and cultural realities of the country
and the particular status of the provinces
with regard to their distinct economic conditions. In the light of information given
regarding the discussions that have taken
place up to now, it would seem that Quebec
wants to have a special status at all levels. I
think that the special vocation of Quebec is to
enable Canada to become a linguistic and cultural entity which is truly distinct from that
of the United States, and also from that of
Therefore, I think that more information
should be made available regarding the
research and the studies which are carried
out concerning the Constitution. First of all,
all the Canadian provinces should recognize
that Quebec has a Canadian role to play at
the linguistic and cultural levels. In this
respect, the federal government should promote in the other provinces the signing of
cultural and linguistic agreements with
Quebec before thinking of entering into
agreements with France for the purpose of
assisting the provinces or french-speaking
minority groups in the field of linguistic and
cultural developments. It is rather strange to
see that cultural agreements have been
entered into with France in order to help us
when Quebec, which has tremendous human
resources in the linguistic and cultural fields,
cannot put them at our disposal. If the federal
government were to allow Quebec to play its
special role at the linguistic and cultural
levels throughout the country, I think that all
the provinces would be ready to enter into
agreements much more quickly than they
have up to now. Moreover, the federal government should allow the signing of agreements between the provinces and for that
purpose, it should put available funds at their
disposal. Since it is ready to pay certain
amounts of money or to allow the use of
human resources from France, similar agreements or similar facilities should exist with
respect to Quebec.
With regard with the economic view point,
I do not agree with the idea of a special
status for Quebec in that field because I think
that each province is different from the
others. At the federal level, the Western
provinces are considered too much as being a
similar block. You have probably travelled
around enough to know that Saskatchewan
produces wheat, potassium and other agricultural products. Therefore, we obviously
cannot enter into agreements or promote the
economy of Saskatchewan the way we would
in the case of Manitoba or Alberta, at least
that is my personal impression. The federal
government has been occupied for a long time
with the tracing of borders and the setting up
of economic blocks, but it has not taken us
very long to realize that these measures are
not applicable at all. They bring about discord, misunderstanding, and other kinds of
I would also like to make another recommendation regarding the importance of
having lucid, simple and objective information with regard to all these efforts in the
field of constitutional reform. Whatever the
committee which would be responsible for it,
whether it be this Joint Committee or the
Committee the creation of which was recommended for the purpose of dealing specifically
with constitutional reform, I wonder whether
there would not be some means of setting up
an objective information service. I belong to the press myself, and I know to what degree
we are tempted to see things according to our
views. But the information regarding research
and efforts in the field of constitutional
research which is circulated comes exclusively from the newspapers, the press and the
television, it necessarily represents one single
point of view. And it must be admitted that
the english-speaking and the french-speaking
points of view are often diametrically
opposed to one another and we who belong to
the minority circles in the West know to what
degree the english-speaking information is.
inadequate. In other words, it is biased and is
hardly ever impartial and objective.
To conclude, gentlemen, I would simply like to congratulate the people of Quebec, our
french-speaking cousins, for having stimulated this movement in the realm of Canadian
thinking. Of course, this was brought about in
a rather particular situation, the separatist.
movement, but nonetheless this has forced us.
to start thinking and to go to work. I would
even go so far as to say that english-speaking Canada should congratulate the separatists.
for having woken them up to the realization
that the BNA Act which was invented or
created over 100 years ago was introduced
mainly to acquire the West and to enable the
East to make money at the expense of the
West. Well, those days are over and done
with! Quebec has woken us all up and has
upset everything thereby forcing us to open
our eyes to Canadian realities. I am a Westerner, I have Western mentality and I think that
the federal government does not take that
View point into account sufficiently. I do not
necessarily share the ideas of the small
separatists groups in the West which exists within certain parties but I do think that.
there is an outlook at the federal level
regarding the provinces which is not Canadian enough. Therefore, let us congratulate Quebec in that respect. For a long time, the
constitutional problem has preoccupied the
various french-speaking groups. Louis Riel
was one the first of them in our own local
environment. We hope that in the future the
federal government will act more equitably
than in the past towards those who to-day in
some way identify themselves with Louis
Riel. Thank you, gentlemen.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Father Aubry. Any other questions? Mister Allmand.
Mr. Allmand: I have just one simple question for the witness that I forgot.
Mr. Monnin, do you have any ties with the
other French-speaking groups in the West, for
instance, Saskatchewan and in Alberta?
Mr. Monnin: Yes, we have an association of
the Western groups. I cannot recall its name,
but we meet regularly as we do with other
minority groups in Canada.
Mr. Allmand: Fine, thank you.
Mr. Marceau: I would like to pose a question to Father Aubry.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. Marceau: Father Aubry, I would like to
ask you a question. If I understand correctly,
the present Constitution, as it is now drafted,
does not prevent in anyway what you propose, that is that education, civil rights and
culture be exclusively under provincial jurisdiction. As you have stated, the present frame
work of the Consitution is no obstacle to
Quebec having a special location in the linguistic and cultural fields, but you want
Quebec to be considered on an equal footing
with the other provinces from the economic
view point. Therefore, it would not be necessary to make any changes to the Constitution.
Mr. Aubry: Providing the present framework would really make it possible, as we
have tried to do it, to state it in a manner
which is absolutely undeniable and beyond
discussion. Furthermore, I feel that the present content of the Constitution is not clearly
defined, and besides, it was impossible to do
so 100 years ago, because I think that the
concept of those who wrote of Constitution
was not truly pan-Canadian, that is from one
oc.ean to the other, linguisticly and culturally
as we understand it to-day.
Mr. Marceau: Thank you.
Mr. Asselin: On the point of Order, Mister
Chairman. When I mentioned the special
status of Quebec, I was obviously referring to
the cultural and linguistic fields. I think that
other provinces such as Newfoundland and
the Maritimes want to have a special status
from the point of view of economics, just like
the Western provinces. I just wanted that
point to be clearly understood.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Mister Lachance, do you also have a
Mr. Lachance: On a point of Order, Mister
Chairman. You think that the witness should
make a correction on the front page of his
brief because this is not a Senatorial Commission of Inquiry on the Canadian Constitution,
but the Special Joint Committee of the Senate
and of the House of Commons on the Constitution of Canada.
Mr. Monnin: I apologize for that error.
Mr. Lachance: This brief must be published
along with the report.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are
there any other questions?
Miss Madeleine Bernier: Would you allow
me to make a comment, mister Chairman?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan) :
Your name, please?
Miss Madeleine Bernier: Madeleine Bernier.
I am a journalist for an English-speaking
daily, but I am speaking simply as a French-Canadian woman. I feel that in the context of
a new constitution it would be very important
to consider the courses given to immigrants
with a view to obtain Canadian citizenship. It
is up to the judge presiding in that particular
Court to explain to the New Canadians the
bicultural and bilingual character of this
country. Unfortunately, I do not have the text
of the oath sworn by the New Canadians. I
learned of this meeting and went about trying
to find the text but I was unable to put my
hands on it. However, I have already read it
and there is nothing in that oath of allegiance
which would make new Canadians realize
that they are in a bilingual country. So, I can
very well understand why later on these
people, no matter what nationality they
belong to and I shall not name any, say,
“Canadians want this and that, and why
should I not do the same?” that is all I have
to say, Mister Chairman. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you. Mister Monnin, on behalf of the
members of the Committee, I thank you.
Mr. Monnin: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Ladies and gentlemen, we will hear one more
witness before we take a break. I will ask Mr.
Wolfe to come forward.
We are pleased to have as our next witness
Mr. Bernard Wolfe, Councillor and Vice-Chairman for the Metropolitan Corporation of
Councillor B. R. Wolfe (Vice-Chairman of
Council. The Metropolitan Corporation of
Greater Winnipeg): Thank you, Mr. Chairman
and members of the Joint Senate and House
My first words are those of thanks to the
Chairman and the members for the opportunity of making a rather brief submission on
one of the most important problems facing
Canada and its cities today. Let me say for
the record that there was no misunderstanding but the shortness of time did not allow
the government of which I am a member, the
Metropolitan Regional Government, to more
specifically put together a brief.
Highlighting the areas of concern of those
engaged in urban government across Canada
our official position on Thursday night was
expressed by the Chairman and concurred in
by the members of our Council—that we supported the briefs of the Canadian Federation
of Mayors and Municipalities which will be
presented to the Committee later.
But as an elected representative, having the
honour and privilege of representing at least
half of the City of St. Boniface and a good
portion of the City of ‘I’ranscona, whose
mayor Harry Fuller is here in attendance
today, as well as a portion of Winnipeg and
the City of East Kildonan, I felt that I had a
responsibility to try to fill in some of the
First of all, I would like to thank the Committee for having the good judgment of
recognizing the existence of the french fact in
Manitoba, and more particularly in the town
of Saint-Boniface. We heartily congratulate
you on your decision to meet in our cathedral
city, our bilingual city which is the cradle of
the french fact in the West.
The problems of urban centres exist in all
parts of Canada and the necessary solutions
will not be found without the support of the
federal government. Canadian cities do not
have the required resources to face the needs
of its citizens.
I should like to take this opportunity to
greet the member for Saint-Boniface, mister
Guay, who was certainly instrumental in
having these meetings held here.
I would also like to thank our friend,
Father Aubry, for his participation and I
would recommend to the members of this
Committee to read his editorial in the newspaper La Liberté et le Patriote of Wednesday,
September 9. Don’t miss it!
If I can go back to my prepared commentary, I point out that there is a need to guarantee, in the drafting of a new constitution—and I say “new” one—that the total urban
problem will be recognized. I say this with
a background of activity in urban government, being a member of Regional Government here for ten years and a school trustee
for seven, but more particularly because of
my activity with the Canadian Federation
of Mayors and Municipalities across this
country. I had the privilege of serving with
a number of people who now sit in the
House of Commons and who were former
active urban representatives prior to their
going to the House.
There is a need for the third area of government, the municipal one, to play a full and
active part at the conference table which
already has seated at it representatives of the
federal and provincial government. It is not
enough, from the point of view of those who
are concerned with the governing of the cities
of this country to pay lip service. I suggest
that indirect consultation and advisory channels will suffice to keep the representatives in
the cities happy.
So today my effort is to try to provide a
focus and identity to the urban crisis that I
feel is shaping up in Canada. I would imagine
that before the Committee has completed its
hearings across Canada it will hear more and
more of the dissatisfaction of the third area
of government. However, the growth patterns
must be shaped and guided with the full
participation and support of the three areas
of government. It is unthinkable to refer to
the constitutional excuse for not fully involving the three areas of government in coping
with the municipal problem as it continues to
increase across Canada. It has been said that
by 1980 eight out of ten or more Canadians
will live in urban centres, with 60 per cent of
them living in 29 major city complexes. Our
regional growth centre concept being promot-
ed by the federal government through the
DREE program certainly could not support
that kind of highly involved urbanizing process. Thirty per cent of them will live in
three major growth areas, Toronto, Montreal,
and Vancouver. Those charged with the
responsibility of writing the new constitution
must recognize the need for change in their
approach to dealing with the problems that
affect the people living in our cities now and
those who will be added to them in the
I officially want to go on the record as
supporting wholeheartedly the position taken
by the Canadian Federation of Mayors and
Municipalities and the representatives who
took part during the recent meeting with the
Ministers of municipal affairs in Winnipeg. I
understand that that particular document has
been filed with the Committee for its consideration. I am sure you will be getting the
indirect report of the observers that sat in
representing the federal government in an
exchange between the municipal representatives of the Canadian Federation and the provincial associations. I was a member of that
To the ordinary individual Canadian citizen
living in the urban setting, there is little concern over or sense of importance of the quibbling of politicians regarding the influences
and inputs of the constitutional restrictions
and the constitutional inabilities. Our offer is
part of the general submission being made, a
recent paper which I as Chairman, have written for my Urban Transportation Committee
of the Canadian Federation and which is a
background paper for the submission to the
municipal ministers here in Winnipeg.
At the time of the printing of the paper I
had not had the intention of appearing before
the Committee but, because of the importance
of coping with the mobility problem of our
cities and knowing of the inability of local
government to deal with the ever increasing
burden of providing this highly essential service, I felt the paper could well be submitted
as additional support for their joint approach
of seeking solutions to our many urban problems. It, along with the other urban problems
mentioned earlier, cannot be dealt with in
isolation, but the solutions must be the result
of an in-depth dialogue between three areas
We also refer the members of the Joint
Committee to the various submissions, and I
have tabled them with Mr. McWilliam so that
copies can be made available to the Commit-
tee. I know that a number of the Committee
are well aware of the submissions of the last
year and a half or two, including an extremely important and extensive submission made to
the federal Cabinet this spring, on April 20,
when we were extremely cordially received
by the Prime Minister and members of the
Cabinet taking part.
In quoting from the Urban Transportation
Committee Report submitted to the Hon. R.
K. Andras in January of this year, we made
reference to a quotation by Prime Minister
Trudeau which was contained in his statement made to the Canadian Federation’s
annual meeting in Edmonton in 1968. This is
We have created in our cities vast commercial and industrial complexes which
increase our wealth, but we have created
them only to see too many of them blot
out the beauty of our landscape or pollute our air and water. We hold out to
our people the promise and even the realization of rising economic opportunity in
our urban centres, only to degrade them
socially and humanly with inadequate
housing, lack of open spaces and impossible transportation conditions.
I am sure that it is safe to suggest that no
member of this Joint Committee would not
find it possible to improve the statements of
the Prime Minister. Perhaps it might be well
to keep his comments in mind as we search
for a new constitution which will properly
provide equality, in the full sense and meaning of the word, for all Canadian citizens
living or existing in our urban centres.
We again emphasize how unrealistic it
would be to provide the new blueprint for
Canada’s second century without the participation of and the in-depth consultation with
so many members of the Canadian family,
represented by the third area of government.
Only by full involvement will the new constitution be a realistic document, reflecting the
needs of the many citizens of Canada’s cities
large and small, and I would suggest, Mr.
Chairman and members, also, hopefully, get
I offer no easy solutions, but I think the
important point I am trying to underline is
that, what is really of concern to those of us
in urban government in Canada is the need
for full dialogue, not the permissive thing
that is foisted on those of us in municipal
government in the form of an aspirin when
we need a cure for cancer.
Mr. Chairman, I have one or two further
very brief comments that I have put together
since listening to some of the earlier submis-
sions. I am concerned that we fully understand for whom the constitution is either to
be amended or rewritten. I would hope that it
would not be for the experts or the mandarins or the politicians but for the Canadian
people, and that they are given the full
opportunity to participate through this function that we are enjoying today. I feel that
this is a recognition of the participative form
of politics and democracy and government
that we sometimes hear so much about but
see so little of.
Your Committee, Mr. Chairman, has been
in existence now for two and a half years, as
I am led to believe, from the material that
was made available to us.
Mr. Hogarth: Not this one.
Mr. Wolfe: Not this one? Well, I was reading the material, Mr. Chairman, that was submitted in a communication to the Federation
over the signature of the Hon. Senator
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, on a point
of order, I think the witness is confusing the
Senate Committee on Science Policy of which
Senator Lamontagne is Chairman with this
Committee of which he is Joint Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I
suspect the confusion arises from the fact that
one of the memoranda which this Committee
sent out mentioned the fact that federal-provincial conferences on the Constitution have
been held since February 1968. However, this
Committee, which is a Parliamentary Committee, began hearings only in May. In May
and June it heard witnesses in Ottawa representing the government and now it is engaged
in its first set of public hearings throughout
Mr. Wolfe: Thank you for the correction,
and I will not hold you responsible for anything that occurred prior to June 1970 and
neither will the Canadian people.
I am concerned as to how soon the recommendations will get to Parliament, because
we are misleading ourselves if we think that
we can go on for years rewriting a constitution while our urban centres and cities continue to deteriorate. Let me suggest that we
can expect a form of activist movement, a
form of dissatisfaction, an expression that
may perhaps, to some degree, parallel the
dissatisfaction in our sister country to the
You cannot continue to compress people
under the conditions that many of them are
forced to live in this country, in our cities,
and expect them to remain without voice.
They will find ways of expression, one way or
the other, and right now and up to now, we
have not had an urban voice really effectively
listened to in formulating the national policies
of this country. Perhaps we will ride along
with some of the suggestions made earlier,
and with the author of the thought, that we
could increase membership in the House to
enable more opportunities for more direct
participation with the people who live in the
I want to go clearly on record as an
individual, and I underline that, who recognizes the need for a strong central national
government as opposed to this continual fragmentation of powers that make it impossible
for us to cope with many of our urban situations. If I can put it in the phrase of the
public relations and advertising media, what
we need is a “Made in Canada for Canadians
by Canadians” constitution.
I noted in some of the material that came
across my desk that we were going to hear
from an array of perhaps 40 or 50 experts,
and I looked at the array of talent, a great
many of them of outstanding academic background and achievement, and wondered how
many of them had been exposed in a practical way such as those of you who have served
on municipal government, as Mr. Guay has,
as mayor and alderman of this city. Theory is
fine if it is at least paralleled with some input
of the practicality of facing with the day-to-day problems of municipal government.
There was another reference made to outside constitutional experts from other countries, and that is what prompts me to say that
I, as a Canadian citizen, want a “Made in
Canada for Canadians” kind of constitution,
and I feel that my own small voice is there
for the voiceless majority of Canadians that
live in the Canadian cities and towns of
Canada. They are that great unrecognizable
majority that seems to not have the direct
influence on many decisions that have a great
effect on their lives, but, you know, Mr.
Chairman and members of the Committee, I
am given to understand, from much research
that is available, that this same voiceless
majority is the source of the bulk of all tax
revenue for all governments, and yet they
have the minimal representation at the
I feel that there is a need for strong federal
government leadership and outright encouragement for urban participation and I say
that, in drafting the legislation, whatever it
may be, that will enable the Urban Council to
come together—as the Hon. Bob Andras told
us in Halifax, and as again supported later
under questioning from the Leader of the
Opposition, with the Prime Minister agreeing
that Mr. Andras was speaking not just for
himself or his department but speaking for
the Cabinet and presumably the government—let the Canadian Urban Council
become the vehicle through which existing
policies and services and support can be
channelled to assist Canadian cities now
while we are waiting to redraft the
Many of the problems that have been
referred to by myself and Mayor Turner and
others in the field of urban government, you
will hear more and more, cannot wait. The
problem of providing the basic services of
sewer and water and the pollution treatment
cannot wait. They are growing in immensity
from day to day. Programs delayed are costly,
and the procrastination of the political decision is a dividend no city wants to collect.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I will only say that I am going to file a
copy of my own supporting submission to the
Federation’s research program without boring
you with any further comments on my part.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Ladies and gentlemen, I have four questioners, and I would ask that that be all; Senator
Grosart, Messrs. Hogarth, Rowland and
Senator Grosart: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I assure the witness that there is no lack of
awareness on the part of members of this
Committee or of the Parliament of Canada
about the urgency of finding solutions for
On the other hand, it is already noticeable
that those who put the stress on the immediacy of these problems are not coming before us
with solutions. I am not being critical when I
say this because it is our job to synthesize the
evidence we have and come up with solutions.
We have asked a good many witnesses
already who have made stirring pleas such as
that made by Mr. Wolfe. My impression is
that when we ask for specific questions as to
what should be in the constitution, witnesses
tend to evade. I am sure Mr. Wolfe will not.
The first question of course is should the
municipalities as such have a specific status
in a national constitution?
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, the answer is
you just cannot avoid it.
Senator Grosart: That being so, Mr. Chairman, can I ask the witness, if there were such
a status, would he see it as spelling out in
clear terms the boundaries of the responsibilities of the municipalities?
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, I think in part
the answer would be reflected in the result of
the first three-area dialogue that would determine the areas of responsibilities for each and
an equitable share in the total revenue
resources of this country. At the moment I
accept J. K. Galbraith’s definition of the division as being that the revenue has been
restricted to the provincial and federal governments while the problems have been
allocated to my level of government.
Using the means of discussion and dialogue
and an on-going three-area committee, I think
the Canadian Federation of Mayors and
Municipalities is ready to make specific concrete suggestions and offer solutions as to
how we bring the three areas together. Certainly it is not a question of additional taxing
powers for there is nobody left to tax at the
local level. We are over-taxing them now.
Mr. Hogarth: Hear, hear.
Mr. Wolfe: That is our problem.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, may I ask
the witness, assuming that the three levels
can be brought together voluntarily or by the
terms of a written constitution—that is the
means but I am not concerned at the moment
with the means, I am concerned with the end
result—if he sees a situation where the constitution would specifically spell out the limits
of responsibilities of each level of government, whether they be two or three, and
specifically assign exclusive sources of revenue to each?
Mr. Wolfe: I would divide that into two, in
answering, Mr. Chairman. First, I want to
define very clearly what areas of responsibility can adequately be carried out by each
level and then I will look at the total revenue
I do not feel that it would be to the advantage of urban government to be restricted to
a fixed source of revenue which would not
reflect the ability to raise or acquire this
revenue across the national scene because I
am of the mind that not all cities or towns
would be able to raise an equitable amount
for whatever program had been given to
them as a responsibility. That is why I think,
over and above and beyond the constitution,
there has to be a recognition of this need for
Perhaps the constitution may only require
that the municipality sit at a yearly bargaining table where they are not now allowed.
They are kept out like unworthy relatives
that may find a crumb at the banquet if the
door is ever opened, and that is the grimness
of the situation we face.
There is a meeting in Ottawa that starts
tomorrow and it is going to consider the constitution. But who is going to be discussing it?
Why, the provinces and the federal government. The municipalities will be back home
wondering how they are going to balance
their budgets in 1971 and with what money.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, I suggest
again that we are not yet getting the specific
answers that we need. The constitution could
very well say that there must be on-going
dialogue between the three levels. This might
be a constitutional principle. I suggest it
would in no way improve the present situation. Is there not something more specific, Mr.
Chairman, than on-going dialogue, co-operation, co-ordination? Is there not a necessity
for a clear definition of responsibilities
matched with revenue sources?
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, the Senator and
I are of one mind but I want to get at it
through a realistic and in-depth discussion.
You are not going to get instant solutions to
problems that have taken a century to develop and that is what you want from me today,
and you just are not going to get them
because they are not available in that way.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, I agree
with the witness that we need instant solutions. This has been the thrust of his whole
argument. Now he says we are not going to
get instant solutions.
Mr. Wolfe: I answered that, Mr. Chairman,
and with respect, I will interrupt to clarify
my point. I said that if you wanted to ask the
Canadian Federation, we are prepared to sit
down with the federal government and this
Committee, and we will work out the solutions that we think are practical and workable. If then, the federal government wishes to
adopt them, fine, but we are not prepared to
procrastinate. That is the very essence of
what I have been saying and the Canadian
Fed-eration, which speaks in the national context, along with the provincial associations.
I think it would be rather unfair to expect
one individual to come here and provide all
the answers. I am not prepared to do that
today, but I am prepared to do so, in concert
with other representatives of the organization
of which I am part. We will give you the
answers, and hopefully you will accept them.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, I certainly
hope the witness is right. We are not concerned with what the federal government
may do here in respect to any presentation
from the municipalities. We are concerned
with what should be written into the
I hope the witness is right when he says
that the Canadian Federation of Mayors and
Municipalities is prepared to come up, but I
have been following their deliberations for
some 20 years now and I make the same
criticism that they do not come up with specific suggestions in this area. I hope the witness is correct in saying that they are now
prepared to face the real issues in respect to
the writing or the revision of the constitution.
With that I pass, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, if I might just
comment on Senator Grosart’s last remarks,
and I realize I am giving up a football game
that you might be winning but I would
rather try to win this game here.
In the field of specifics, we have said to the
federal government in this document I have
in this hand, a good many times, specifically
how we can bring this additional assistance
into play to help the urban areas of this
country. So that I do not think it is beyond
the combined talents or capacities of those
who are the mayors and aldermen of the
cities of this country to say that they cannot
give you that kind of firm recommendation
which if you wish you can put into the constitution but perhaps not necessarily has to be
detailed as a specific recipe for success. In
essence, I am told that a legal contract that is
most binding and effective is the one with the
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, with all
due respect, that is a cliche that is not always
true. If it is I have been charged a lot of
money by lawyers that I should not have
Mr. Wolfe: You might have.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Wolfe, surely what you
are suggesting is this. The problem that we
complained about when I was a municipal
councillor was that the federal government,
or even the provincial government on occasions, simply embarks upon programs. Take
the Central Mortgage and Housing Corpora-
tion program for the financing of homes. That
was a great thing for the individual homeowner, but it brought about tremendous
ancillary problems for municipalities in the
field of services which the federal govermnent
was not bound by any constitutional provisions to consider, and it left the municipal
governments with an inadequate tax base to
meet those problems.
Surely what you want is this. It is just an
idea I am putting forward, more to be to
explored than to be expounded. Surely you
want something in the constitution which
provides that, when any of the senior governments—and I am using the term “senior government” loosely—embarks upon projects
which are going specifically to affect the
powers of or impose costs upon municipalities, you want a check and balance in the
constitution that prohibits that from being
done in any local government area without
the consent of the local government. Is that in
substance what you are after?
Mr. Wolfe: I think you may be offering me
a recommendation which in turn I will make
back to this Committee right now, that you
might set as a provision the need to recognize
participation, at least on a regional basis
which is basically what is inherent in the
DREE program, on a growth centre base.
Mr. Hogarth: Yes.
Mr. Wolfe: If we take that as the basis for
the input of the federal participation, I think
through this kind of a situation we could get
the three-way dialogue that could at least
prevent the kind of thing that you have mentioned from occurring.
Anybody in municipal life will remember
that as the large subdivisions were created
with the help of CMHC money, educational
problems came along, sewer and water problems came along and transportation problems
came along, for which there was no money.
You could not even borrow money, except for
that short time under the old municipal loan
fund, and then it disappeared in a flash
because everybody wanted it.
This is the kind of thing we can prevent
from happening which at least, would better
the whole situation.
Mr. Hogarth: As I see it anyhow, and I am
speaking for myself, in our concern with the
Constitution we are not interested in dialogue. We are interested in the division of
powers, the entrenchment of rights and the
basic fundamental legal requirements of our
nation. It seems to me to put in a Constitution a consultative process in somewhat
The second thing that bothers me is this. I
have right next to my riding, a municipality
in which I think about 25 people reside. We
have other municipalities in which hundreds
of thousands of people reside, we have townships, we have all kinds of local government
entities. We have school boards; we have
regional districts; we have planning districts
and we have harbours boards. Surely, when
you talk about local government you cannot
just take the one level of government called a
municipal government. You have to consider
all these local governments, all of whom are
affected by the policies of the central government or the provincial government, as the
case may be.
My thinking stops at trying to visualize
how this could be incorporated into a Constitution because we just cannot deal with the
thousands upon thousands of entities in the
country that would require consideration and
dialogue, as you suggest. I do not know how
we could get around that point.
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, to the member
of the Committee, there must be some way to
get around it because it is being done regularly in so many fields. This is what makes a
sort of a travesty of the whole Constitutional
buyer that when it is there to be used you
can say, it is there for me not to be able to
help you, but I find it strange that under
federal legislation we were able to bring into,
perhaps, a rural area under either ARDA or
FRED $100 million, but the help stops at the
boundary line of the city that needs it more.
How are you going to put it into the Constitution? I am not prepared to give you the
answer today, but in the existing services and
programs of the central federal government,
there must be some way of guaranteeing the
three-way participation, and this is where we
start. This is the very essence of the last part
of the recommendation we made to the
municipal ministers, that there must be some
Way of a leadership demand imposed by the
federal government to the provincial people
who would have to say, you cannot talk to
Ottawa about the urban problems until you
have at least talked to your own urban
Certainly in Ontario, at the recent municipal provincial Conference in Toronto back in
April, the Minister of Municipal Affairs,
Darcy McKeough, indicated the encouragement of the regional development which
retained local government, but on a broad
regional basis, to set up a vehicle to co-ordi-
nate all those fragmented services you were
talking about earlier. If we can achieve this,
we will be that much closer to have the
instrument with which the dialogue could
As I said earlier—I was not being facetious—that in three or four years we cannot
possibly find all the answers for the problems
that have taken 100 years to accumulate. Let
us go back to square one. When we drafted it
in 1867 no one thought there were going to be
3 million people living in greater Montreal,
but they are there now and they will not go
away, and the problems are going to get
bigger and better and costlier. The same thing
exists right across Canada.
Senator Grosart: May I interrupt, Mr.
Chairman, to say on that point, because I am
in complete sympathy with Mr. Wolfe, that
we did start at square one. This Committee is
charged with going to square two and doing
exactly what the Fathers of Confederation
did, and I think did rather well. They distributed the powers, and to a large extent,
I say, if we are going to square two, let us
do the same thing, and that is my whole
point. Somehow there must be an allocation
of power, authority. I am in the fullest sympathy with the needs of the municipalities in
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Senator Grosart, and now Mr.
Mr. Rowland: Mr. Chairman, I would like
to pursue the same line of questioning as
Senator Gro-sart did even though it might
continue to exasperate Mr. Wolfe.
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Rowland
knows I am never exasperated, after what I
have been through.
Mr. Rowland: In any case, we are concerned here about attempting to formulate a
Constitution and that, as Senator Grosart so
rightly said, involves necessarily an allocation
We have heard from a number of municipal representatives and, as you suggest, I am
sure we will hear from a great many more,
all of whom say that the present arrangements are inadequate, but none of whom have
told us what lines we should pursue in seeking more adequate arrangements.
I would like you to comment on some specific suggestions that have been made from
time to time, just in your own capacity as a
Metropolitan councillor, someone who has
been in local government for a number
of years, so we will have your thinking as an
aid to our own thinking in attempting to be
more specific about the allocation part.
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Rowland, I
have a first step. You know, if we can achieve
the first phase of recognition, it is going to be
for this Committee or some other Parliamentary group of representatives, or the House of
Commons itself, to make sure that the
representatives of the municipal government
are at the table to discuss the Constitution,
officially. Up to now this has not been the
case with respect to the Committee’s function,
what we are getting at in the field of municipal affairs, is that we have yet to be recognized as a credible level of government with
a part to play in shaping the Constitution that
is going to affect the lives of the people we
represent in a very close proximity. If we
achieve that much, it is going to be something, but we have not been given that
Mr. Rowland: I think that you are likely to
achieve it fairly shortly.
Mr. Wolfe: All right, we will go from there.
You asked me about specifics.
Mr. Rowland: I will put to you some specific suggestions which have been made and ask
you to comment upon them.
Mr. Wolfe: Okay.
Mr. Rowland: Do you see in the new Constitution or in a revised British North America Act, this present division of powers as
between the provinces and the federal government? Do you see that sort of approach
being continued so there will be a tri-partite
division of powers between the federal government, the provinces, and the municipalities and the corresponding division of revenue
sources between federal government, provinces and municipalities? Is that the kind of
approach which you would recommend?
Mr. Wolfe: In my own mind, Mr. Chairman,
I have resisted the temptation to say what I
am going to say and I am failing completely.
In speaking on urban problems at the School
of Fine Arts at Banff, I was asked the same
question by the group that was discussing
urban problems and I suggested that we
might conceivably establish enough regional
governments that would not require us to
Mr. Rowland: That was going to be my
Mr. Wolfe: So I think we have to review
the function of the province. At the time of
the original drafting of that first Constitution
there was no envisioning of the new kind of
city complexes that have grown in North
You will see in the U.K., if you read the
reports there on regional government restructuring, there is no provincial government.
You deal with the central government and
you deal with the local government, and that
is it, and it works very well.
Mr. Rowland: I wish you had not resisted
so long because I think that kind of comment
The next suggestion, which is along those
lines, perhaps a slight diversion from it, is
that the major urban centres in this country—we have spoken of three huge ones and
some 26 other fairly large ones—be given
provincial status, in efiect. Would that seem to
be a reasonable approach?
Mr. Wolfe: Not necessarily provincial status
because it has all kinds of irritating contributing factors that would create more
problems for all of us, perhaps. However, if
there were, at least, a recognition that, as a
regional complex under the Montreal Urban
Community Act, there are very specific legislative directives laid down which I am sure at
times have never been recognized at any
We have the same thing in this area and it
is rapidly developing in Vancouver. In
Ontario we have a variety of regional restructuring and it is these regional restructured
areas, not necessarily amalgamations with a
continuation of the local function, but programs that are regional being recognized as
such with a three-way participation.
I, for one, am not prepared to say that I
would give provincial status or a city state
status to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver at
Mr. Rowland: There is one final suggestion
that I would like you to comment upon, Mr.
Wolfe, with your permission, Mr. Chairman.
What you seem to be most concerned about
is the inadequacy of the consultative process.
Do you think that it needs to be entrenched
in the Constitution? Do you see the need for a
consultative formula, for example, being written as one of the clauses of the Constitution
and inserted in the Constitution, which cities
could refer to if they were ignored by either
of the other two levels of government?
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, this is the very
basis for the concern that we are expressing
and trying to identify, the fact that if it were
being done willingly, there would be no need
to say, you must guarantee somewhere this
third area of government which has grown
and grown and grown with responsibility, but
with less and less revenue resource, to do
more and more things for more people.
If you will allow me to quote myself, which
is a terrible source at any time, Mr. Chairman, in my paper I started out by saying that
the city is a kind of an island surrounded by
a body of deep water called provincial government, and for federal help to reach these
islands it must find its way past the often
unfriendly reefs and shoals of provincial
bureaucracy and sensitivity. If you think
those are just words, you have not had the
fun I have had in trying to get past some of
them, not in this province, necessarfly. I dealt
with them in the preparation for my urban
transportation studies that culminated in the
conference in Toronto a year and a half ago
and there were times when I was sure that
some of the people I was discussing the problems with did not even recognize they had
cities in their provinces—they were a late
phenomena of the twentieth century.
Mr. Rowland: Just one further thing, Mr.
Part of the trouble would seem to me—and
I have not had the experience in government
that Mr. Wolfe has had in local government. . .
Mr. Wolfe: I will trade you.
Mr. Rowland: —to be the result of a misallocation of powers and responsibilities
between the federal government and the
provinces, rather than an inadequate status
for the municipalities within the Constitution.
For example, we might be able to solve a
good many of the urban centres’ problems by
making it clear that the federal government
is responsible for things like urban transportation, urban renewal and so forth, in a new
Constitution, so you would not have the two
levels to go through and the red tape that is
involved therein. What would your View be?
Mr. Wolfe: I am happy to know there is
that kind of thinking abroad because, as a
municipal representative, I feel there is a
very great need to review just what functions
the province should retain and what of their
responsibilities should be returned to the central government as a more efficient and more
economic source of programming.
You see, when we look at this total picture
we cannot assume the provinces are going to
remain in their present capacity and function
with their same role to play. If we do, we do
not need to rewrite this. All we need to do is
to make a couple of temporary amendments
and let us get the thing going.
Mr. McQuaid: Mr. Chairman, may I ask a
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Just
for a minute.
Mr. Rowland: I am finished, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. McQuaid: Do you not think, Mr. Wolfe,
that under the present British North America
Act the spending power of the federal government—as the British North America Act is
presently framed—is broad enough, if they
saw fit do to so, to allow it to divert some of
its money for some of these urban projects
that you have mentioned?
Mr. Wolfe: Mr. Chairman, in an attempt
to answer that, I think I suggested that at
times there seemed to be an inhibiting and
restrictive influence that seemed to be a fortunate thing on certain occasions, but did not
exist on other occasions.
Mr. McQuaid: But it is not a constitutional
Mr. Wolfe: It must be because it is the one
most often quoted.
Mr. McQuaid: As an excuse.
Mr. Wolfe: You said it, not me.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. Asselin: I pass, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Mr. Asselin. Are there any comments from the floor?
Mr. Lachance: I would like to know, Mr.
Chairman—maybe I missed it at the beginning—if the witness said he was speaking on
his own behalf only or on behalf of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg?
Mr. Wolfe: Both.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): My
recollection is he somewhat hedged on that. I
will let him rephrase it.
Mr. Wolfe: I will rephrase it in saying that
I am here in my individual elective capacity
as a councillor for metropolitan division six,
which comprises parts of the cities of St.
Boniface, Winnipeg, Transcona and East Kildonan, but I am very sure in my mind—to the
gentleman raising the question—my remarks
would be supported whole-heartedly, in a
unanimous way with very little reluctance on
the part of the rest of my colleagues.
Mr. Lachance: That was only for the
record, Mr. Chairman.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Yes.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are now going to
take a ten minute break. Thanks to Mr. Reg
King the president of the Northern Legion,
Branch 43, and Mr. Vic Newton, the Manager,
coffee is being provided for all of us who are
here in this building.
Afterwards, because we will have seven
witnesses to hear, we will have to proceed at
a somewhat more rapid pace that we have
been proceeding. I propose to limit you to two
question apiece. I will just give the order of
the witnesses, so that they will know. Mr.
Long, Professor Kear, Mr. Ross, Professor
Rothney, Mr. Arnott, Mr. Osler and Mr.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Ladies and gentlemen, the Committee session
will now resume after our short break.
Our next witness will be Mr. Harold Long,
who is appearing on behalf of himself.
Mr. Harold Long: To members of the Committee from the Senate and the House of
Commons of the Government of Canada.
Ladies and gentlemen, pardon my inability
to speak French.
As a citizen of Canada, I have a proposal
for consideration which, I believe, will be of
benefit to all Canadians present and to come.
My suggestion is a Senate elected by a qualified voters’ directory. The Senate will be
regional in character and in composition to
serve all Canada in the causes of hope, unity,
stability and progress.
The regions shall be five in number. The
Maritimes, is composed the four eastern provinces; Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, composed of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and British Columbia. Each region to elect
10 senators. Except for the initial election
each senator may serve 10 years.
In the first election which I propose for the
third Tuesday in January, 1973, five senators
will be elected for five years and five senators
for ten years. Commencing the third Tuesday
in January, 1978, five senators will be elected
in each region for a period of ten years.
The power of the Senate. It can initiate no
legislation. It can deal only with measures
approved by the House of Commons. The
Senate by a simple majority can veto any
legislation passed by the House of Commons.
Any such legislation, if not vetoed by the
Senate, becomes law on proclamation, 60 days
after House passage.
Provided the House of Commons repasses
identical legislation, the Senate can again
veto by three quarters of the Senate plus one.
After one year the House of Commons can
bypass identical legislation and the measure
is no longer subject to Senate Veto.
Mr. Chairman, may I have a little
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Yes,
Mr. Long: Please do not expect this is going
to go on for 40 or 50 pages because this is
only one page and I will be through in a
minute or two.
(1) Payment of pension of senators, staff,
offices, expenses, etcetera which are matters
(2) The causes of by-election of a senator—death, incompetence, criminal conviction.
(3) A senator may serve 20 years in all or
in the case of election for the initial 5 or
by-election, 2 further terms of 10 years.
(4) Nomination and campaigning limited to
50 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and
holidays. Termination of all campaigns by the
Senate 8 p.m. the Friday preceding the Tuesday election.
(5) No person may offer himself for nomination if his record shows conviction for a
criminal offence by a competent court of
Canada, within 10 years prior to nomination
An aside to that is that once a man has
served his term for conviction for a criminal
offence, he should have at some period the
right to be a citizen again.
(6) Each candidate to be nominated must
submit a nomination petition from his region
bearing five thousand signatures from eligible
voters, who will concurrently pay $1.00 each
to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada.
That is to keep out the stupid people who
want to get their name on the ballot.
And under (7)—I will complete it here:
(7) This legislation must be enacted and
formulated prior to September 15, 1972.
That is the end of my presentation.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Long has to catch a plane and Senator Grosart
has already indicated his intention to ask him
questions. Perhaps in the circumstances he
will not feel offended if Senator Grosart is
the only questioner.
Mr. Long: Excellent.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, first of all I
can say we cannot quarrel with Mr. Long on
the grounds of his not being specific.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan.): You
got your wish.
Senator Grosart: I compliment him on that.
This is the kind of presentation that we can
look at and say, yes, no, what is proposed,
what does it cost? I would say this in general,
Mr. Chairman, because we have had some
comments on the future of the Senate and we
have not discussed it very much and I doubt
if we will too much. There seem to be four
alternatives for the Senate: that it be
retained, reconstituted, reformed or relegated
to oblivion. However, no discussion on any of
these alternatives makes very much sense
unless it is backed up with the facts of the
case, and there are two or three books on it
and there are all sorts of facts available.
Secondly, I do not think any discussion of the
future of the Senate will be very fruitful
unless the criteria of judgment are pretty
clearly set out. I would suggest that a starting
point of these three questions is: is there a
need for a second chamber in Canada? The
situation there of course is that some countries have abolished the second chamber,
whereas the majority of the newer countries,
in drafting their constitutions, have found a
need for one. If we need a second chamber in
Canada, the essential question of course is to
decide what is its function; and thirdly, how
it should be constituted or reconstituted.
Now Mr. Long has answered these three
questions. His answer to: should there be a
second chamber? Is yes. His answer to the
question of its function is that it should not
initiate legislation, that it should have in
effect a limited veto of one year. On the third
question, how it should be constituted, he
suggests it should be elected, basically on a
10-year period with a 20-year limit. And then
the very interesting suggestion—the one I find
most interesting—is that there should be a
contribution by 5,000 citizens at $1.00 apiece.
I would ask Mr. Long who gets the $5,000.
Mr. Long: The man who is offering himself
for nomination would have to have 5,000
people contribute, along with their signature
nominating that person, $1 each to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada for general use of the Government of Canada.
Senator Grosart: I am very disappointed. I
thought maybe the candidate got the $5,000.
Mr. Long: No, sir.
Mr. Hogarth: One contribution of $5,000?
Mr. Long: No, 5,000 contributions of $1
each. I do not limit it to 5,000. I hope that the
man who offers himself might find more than
5,000, but at least 5,000 $1 contributions.
Senator Grosart: Mr. Chairman, I would
just ask Mr. Long two questions which in a
way go to the heart of the whole problem of
the future of the Senate. First of all, in
recommending a second elected house, do
you not see a danger, Mr. Long, that you
would merely be going over exactly the
same ground as had already been gone over
by the other elected House?
Mr. Long: On the contrary, Senator Grosart. We in the West—and I do not like to be
regional; I am speaking as a farmer rather
than as a citizen, or a citizen as well as a
farmer—look at the Constitution of Canada,
one man one vote, and I immediately see that
out of 265 members of Parliament there are
84 from Ontario, 75 from Quebec, and even
with my Grade 3 education that adds up to
159, which is a majority. So a preface to my
remarks on the basis of hope—there is hope
here for some type of negation of the majority. And I hope that that does answer your
Senator Grosart: Then you would agree
with me that we seriously need in Canada a
check on the activities of my colleagues in the
House of Commons.
Mr. Long: I think that we need some measure of hope, and in it lies an elected Senate.
I hear that there are regions in Canada–the
Maritimes is one, and Quebec and Ontario
and the Prairies and British Columbia. Now
we have had dissertations here from various
people which I think are not germane at all
to the framing of the constitution. One man
attacked the Prime Minister; he compared
him to his own card-carrying ability of Chairman Mao and Chairman Kosygin in Russia. It
may have been a habit with him. The Chairman permitted him 42 minutes to read a brief
which in my opinion had very little to do
with the people assembled. We have had dissertations from the municipal governments,
the City of Winnipeg, Metropolitan Council
twice, and a great deal of time has been
taken up and a great deal of paper will be
used of the taxpayers’ money to listen to that
kind of thing which has very little to do with
the constitution. You can dispute one or the
other thing about whether we should have a
federal government and a provincial government and a municipal government, but the
constitution as presently set up has only two
bases of government. And I am proposing
here that we change the federal form to that
of an elected Senate where there will be
regional representation, somewhat balanced
in the light of the future.
Senator Grosart: Yes. The witness makes
his point very well, Mr. Chairman, because I
omitted to say that he does recommend a
regionally balanced Senate with five divisions
instead of the present four.
My final question to Mr. Long, Mr. Chairman. He suggests that the veto power of the
Senate be limited in effect to a one-year
period. Do you think this will really be an
effective check, assuming that you believe an
eflective check is needed?
Mr. Long: Well, human nature being what
it is, sometimes it takes a little longer than a
year and sometimes it takes only a few days.
But I had to put in something and it is a
starting point I put out as being one year.
Sometimes you might want to buy a new hat
or a new dress or coat and you wait a year
and decide you do not need it. The garment
manufacturers may decide, as they are presently doing, that they are going to lengthen
the skirts. I do not like it personally, but
maybe in a year…
Mr. McQuaid: Should we put that in the
Mr. Long: I do not think so. I am being a
Senator Grosart: Did you ever try that one-year limitation on such decisions on your
Mr. Long: I am sorry. I have no control
Senator Grosart: Thank you very much,
Mr. Long. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Long: Thank you. Thank you very
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): May
I ask Professor Kear to come forward.
Ladies and gentlemen, our next witness is
Professor A. R. Kear, of the Department of
Political Science at the University of Manitoba. Professor Kear.
Professor A. R. Kear: Mr. Chairman, I am
sorry to correct you at this point. I am a
political scientist but I am not a member of
the Department of Political Science. I am
here in my own capacity as a citizen and I do
not and cannot, therefore, speak for the
University of Manitoba in any way.
I thought to assist the hearings this afternoon that I would give a brief resume before
we launch into our discussion.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Special
Joint Committee on the Canadian Constitu-
tion, the Canadian system of government is
the result of a synthesis, historically speaking,
of Indians and Eskimos, those people of
French spirit, believers in British parliamentary government, followers of American federalism, all of whom compose a society of
two official languages and many cultures.
The question before us today concerns all
22 million Canadians and more than 530,000
of these in particular—the residents of the
Canadian Capital Area. The question of the
future governmental arrangements for the
Canadian Capital Area has two sets of interests that need not be antithetical.
First, Canadians are interested in having a
Canadian Capital Area reflecting the best of
ideas and things Canadian, while it is simultaneously a living symbol of Canada. This is
the Canadian, or countrywide interest in the
future governmental arrangements for the
Canadian Capital Area.
Second, residents of the Canadian Capital
Area are directly and intimately concerned
with any future governmental arrangements
as these residents will be governed by and
will have to live with these governmental
arrangements of whatever character these
arrangements may become.
Gentlemen, a balance must be struck
between these two sets of rights and interests
so that we are true to our democratic and
governmental heritage and that we do not
unthinkingly, unknowingly and blindly
borrow the solution known as the District of
Columbia. The choices available for the
Canadian Capital Area are: a capital territory, as implicitly recommended in Book V,
annex 3 in the report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism; or a
A capital territory would be in the American tradition, with all the inadequacies of the
District of Columbia. A capital province
would be the opportunity for Canadians to
follow and fulfil their own political instincts
and constitutional history and thus define a
solution for the Canadian Capital Area
according to our own character.
At this point in our history we stand in a
situation analogous to that facing the residents of the Red River area a century ago
who, while losing the controls habitually
exercised by the Hudson’s Bay Company,
were uncertain and fearful as to the governmental arrangements they would have in the
young Dominion. The Red River people faced
the choice of territorial government in
Canada, which would be an authoritarian and
undemocratic control from Ottawa—in the
national interest, or of governing themselves
in a province of their own. I do not need to
remind you that in that struggle a century
ago, Manitoba entered Confederation, not as a
territory and colony of Ottawa but as a province politically autonomous of Ottawa.
Residents of the Canadian Capital Area
face a similar set of alternatives and this
Special Joint Committee should not deny
these people the right to examine the choice
of alternatives. The drift of events into the
perceptual future for the Canadian Capital
Area is that a capital territory similar to the
District of Columbia will be created. A capital
territory has not yet been established so there
is still time to avoid the American mistake.
The District of Columbia is a collection of
many mistakes, principally because the residents there have been denied the democratic
right to govern themselves for almost a century. All attempts by District of Columbia
residents to gain the right to govern themselves have been in vain. The latest attempt
was made during President Johnson’s term of
Manitobans, a century ago, seized the
opportunity under the leadership of Louis
Riel to gain provincial status and the right to
govern themselves according to democratic
principles. Today, this Special Joint Committee on the Constitution should reinforce this
right of choice to the residents of the Canadian Capital Area. Failing action by this Committee, the Canadian Capital Area residents
will most likely lose their cherished rights of
governing themselves as the National Capital
Commission continues to acquire more and
more land in the National Capital Region, and
hence, more power over the residents there.
Gentlemen, accepting my suggestion for a
Canadian commission to examine and report
upon the future governmental arrangements
for the Canadian Capital Area is your
responsibility. The future governmental
arrangements for the Canadian Capital Area
lie within the power of this Committee to
recommend the creation of a Canadian com-
mission that would study and report to the
continuing Constitutional Conference.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Professor Kear. It is indeed heartening for us to find so far from the national
capital in Ottawa such a great interest in the
problems of the national capital. Sometimes
when we find this interest in other parts of
the country it is because other parts are
themselves being suggested as the potential
sites for a national capital, but it is obvious
that Professor Kear is not putting it on that
I wonder, taking a leaf from Senator Grosart’s book, if I might just ask Professor Kear
questions which might help to make his views
a bit more specific. He is suggesting the
appointment of a commission. Is it fair,
Professor Kear, to ask you what your own
views are as to the kind of National Capital
Area that we should have? I think it would
be very helpful for us to get this because we
may not have the leisure to await the results
Professor Kear: I am perfectly aware that
the next meeting of the continuing Constitutional Conference begins tomorrow morning
in Ottawa. If you wish, your Committee may
make a recommendation to the continuing
Constitutional Conference tomorrow morning.
More specifically. . .
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Excuse me, even with the communications we
now have I do not think it will be possible for
any recommendation that the Committee
would make at this stage to influence this
present Constitutional Conference because the
agenda has been set for some months; but we
would indeed be interested in your views on
the National Capital Area.
Professor Kear: All right. I might point out,
Mr. Chairman, that the subject of the future
governmental arrangements with the Canadian Capital Area has already been on the
agenda of the continuing Constitutional
Conference, so that body meeting tomorrow
has expressed an interest and presumably
will continue to have an interest.
Simply put, the problems of the potential
future governmental arrangements with the
Canadian Capital Area are so complex that
what is needed is another approach. In the
past there have been a series of particularistic
studies and different studies have examined
particular aspects. The B & B Commission
studied predominantly the bilingual and
bicultural problem. There was a study commissioned by the City of Ottawa, with the
assistance of some of the local municipalities
on the question of transportation in the
Ottawa-Hull Metropolitan area. There has
been a study commissioned by the National
Capital Commission itself on the future economic prospects of the National Capital
My suggestion is that this Joint Committee,
which is a committee of Parliament, recommend to the Canadian Cabinet, which would
in turn carry the idea to the continuining Constitutional Conference, that a Canadian commission be established. Now what do I mean
by a Canadian commission?
A Canadian commission is, if you like, a
new concept in Canadian government, a concept that, as far as I know, has not been
suggested anywhere else. The purpose of a
Canadian commission would be to look at all
the problems in their complexity. That is the
first task. The second task of this Canadian
commission would be to permit the residents
of the Canadian Capital Area to present their
views in public, such as, today. The third
function of this Canadian commission would
be to present its recommendation to the continuining Constitutional Conference.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I
was hoping, professor, that I could persuade
you to suggest and advance for us what you
might think the appropriate conclusions for
that commission to reach would be. As I
understand it, you are making a procedural
Professor Kear: I have my own ideas but I
think the problem is complex enough for it to
be looked at ensemble. The problems are
complex enough that I do not wish to suggest
that I have solved the problem. What I am
suggesting is that a new body look at the
thing at large.
If I can answer a previous question, which
may clarify what you are driving at, what do
I mean exactly by a Canadian commission? In
the past, Canadian governments have used a
traditional but very useful instrument for
looking at a public problem, and this is the
royal commission—members of the Senate or
the House; I do not even tell you what a royal
commission is. But a royal commission is
appointed only by one level of government,
either by the central government or by a
provincial government. In this case I am suggesting that the problems and the future of
the Canadian capital area are too important
to be left just to the central government or
too important to be left to any individual
Therefore, what I am suggesting is that the
continuing Constitutional Conference which
has already discussed this subject be authorized to create a Canadian commission so as to
try to achieve a balance between the legitimate national interests of the country at large
and the interests of the people in the area.
This Canadian commission would operate in a
manner analogous to royal commissions
which, as I said, is a traditional technique of
investigation in this country.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you very much, Professor Kear. My
own impression is that the Constitutional
Conference has not considered this problem
but that it is the governments of Canada,
Quebec and Ontario that had been jointly
exploring this. Perhaps this has reached one
of the continuing subcommittees of the Constitutional Conference, but I do not believe it
has been on the agenda of the full
Professor Kear: I do not wish to embarrass
you, Mr. Chairman, but I must say that it has
been on the agenda.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Well, if you are right I will be pleased to
have that verified.
Professor Kear: I presume that members of
the Committee have faced the problem they
have been handed in this brief plus other
briefs and they have been hard pressed to
read this in advance of the meeting. To
answer the question, Mr. MacGuigan, the
answer is really in the brief. It has been on
the agenda and it has been discussed by the
Canadian Constitutional Conference.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. Gibson: Mr. Chairman, I have no question. I would just like to commend the witness for the obvious depth and work and
research that has gone into this brief. As we
have so many briefs here today, I am sure
this will be referred to frequently in the
future and we will give it a lot of attention. I
want to thank him very much because he has
presented a 38-page brief with a lot of hard
research and very worthwhile suggestions in
I would say, Mr. Chairman, although I am
not certain of this, I believe that one of the
standing committees of the House has dealt
with certain aspects of the Capital
Professor Kear: I would not be at all surprised, Mr. Gibson. If you had a chance to
read this—and I suggest if you look at the
Table of Contents I could find out the highlights for you to read—the danger is, as I see
it, that the drift of events is towards copying
the District of Columbia system. Now, may I
explain briefly what I mean by that?
What is the District of Columbia? The District of Columbia in the United States is a
seat of government for the American government. It is, in fact, a territory dominated,
controlled and completely run by Congress.
An analogous situation, which is not a complete analogy, is that the Yukon is dominated
completely by Ottawa. This is the situation in
the District of Columbia. The situation is
tougher in the District of Columbia than it is
in the Yukon in that the people in the District
of Columbia cannot vote for a dog catcher.
The Americans, for their historical reasons,
created the District of Columbia. What are
some of the results? One of the results is that
some of the worst slums in the Uni’ted States
are in the District of Columbia. After the
death of Martin Luther King, for example,
some of the worst rioting took place in the
Negro slums in the District of Columbia. Why?
Because the people in the District of Columbia have no way of moving Congress or mov-
ing the officials appointed to run the District
of Columbia to solve their problems. This is a
direct result of the denial of the citizens of
the District of Columbia of their democratic
right to choose their own rulers.
Mr. Gibson: Thank you very much.
Professor Kear: I meant to give you the
highlights of this thing. I could go on . . .
Mr. Gibson: I will say this, that living in
Ottawa as a member of Parliament we are
conscious of these problems. The press has
done a terrific job on this. People are constantly sticking up for their rights in Ottawa
and in Hull and I assure you there is a very
active dialogue. In the House of Commons
there are constantly questions on it. The issue
is alive; it is not dead. Your brief is going to
be very helpful because we will be able to
study what you have said.
Professor Kear: Thank you, very much. If I
can demonstrate the urgency of the problem,
Parliament in the past has established the
National Capital Commission by law. Parliament has given the National Capital Commission increasing amounts of money over the
years. If you look at the annual reports you
will see the amount of money that is available. This has been continually reinforced by
successive governments, regardless of whether there have been Liberal or Conservative.
As I see the drift of events, the National
Capital Commission is acquiring by ownership, by purchase, or by expropriation, more
and more land within the National Capital
Region. If you look under Item 6 in the Table
of Contents you will get my point. If this
trend of events continues without the examination that I am suggesting, the National
Capital Commission will some day, I do not
know how soon—five, ten, or fifteen years—own all the land within the National Capital
Region. Quebec or Ontario will not have to
cede one square inch of land. You will have,
in fact, a District of Columbia. The National
Capital Commission will be the governing
authority in the National Capital Region. You
will have, in fact, without any constitutional
change, without Ontarios or Quebecs ceding
one square inch of land, without the Canadian public being aware of it—what is happening? You will have a District of Columbia.
What I am suggesting is that we do not
need to repeat this American mistake.
Mr. Gibson: Thank you, very much.
Professor Kear: We make enough of our
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Just
to clear this matter up I will draw the meeting’s attention to the consideration which was
given by the Constitutional Conference to this
matter. The Constitutional Conference in February of 1969 agreed that the cities of Ottawa
and Hull and their surrounding areas be the
Canadian Capital Area, but no change be
made to provincial boundaries or to the Constitutional responsibilities of the governments
concerned and that the boundaries of the
Canadian Capital Area were to be established
by agreement of the governments concerned.
Therefore the matter, at that point, was
thrown back to the governments. In other
words, the Constitutional Conference is no
longer seized in the same way of the matter,
but it has been thrown back to the governments. But one of the subcommittees of the
Conference, a study committee on the Canadian canital, is to con in’ie its work giving
attention to certain technical questions. So I
think really the answer to our dilemma is
that both Professor Kear and I are right. It
was mentioned but it is not a matter of continuing concern before the Constitutional
Professor Kear: I think you have raised
point a which I would like to make.
The Joint (Mr. Chairman MacGuigan):
Professor Kear: You are quite right in saying—and I mentioned this in my brief—that
there is a study committee created by the
continuing Constitutional Conference to look
at this problem, but the point is that this is a
committee of officials. They are beyond the
reach of public opinion. The residents of the
Canadian Capital Area cannot appear before
these officials; they cannot present briefs;
they cannot present their complaints, their
aspirations or hopes or fears. What I am suggesting is that this be done in the open.
The Joint Chairman (Kr. MacGuigan): Yes.
I think this is a very valid point.
Ladies and gentlemen, Professor Kear has
had his two questioners if you count me as
one of them, so I invite any comments from
the floor if there are any on this issue.
Professor Kear: Perhaps to assist the members of the Committee I could point out the
other highlights if they want to run through
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): No,
your brief will be incorporated in our
minutes so that really will not be necessary.
Thank you very much, Professor Kear, for
coming before us and for your recommendations.
Mr. William Ross. Our next witness is Mr.
William Ross, the provincial leader or the
head of the Manitoba Provincial Committee
of the Communist Party of Canada. Mr. Ross.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): On a point of
order, Mr. Chairman. Could you identify the
address of the party which you have just
mentioned? Where is their seat? Is the
address in St. Boniface or in Winnipeg or St.
Mr. William Ross (Manitoba Leader.
Manitoba Provincial Committee. Communist
Party of Canada): Our office is situated at 607
Main Street, Winnipeg 2.
Mr. Guay (St. Boniface): Right. Thank you,
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you. Mr. Ross.
Mr. Ross: Mr. Chairman and members of
the Committee, my remarks will be confined
to a few special questions which we will feel
are pertinent to any review of the Constitution of Canada, questions which affect the
daily live-s of our people in Manitoba and in
First of all, I would like to state that we
stand unequivocally for a new “made in
Canada” Constitution, one which will reflect
the political economic, social and other realities of the last quarter of the 20th century.
One of the major weaknesses of the British
North America Act was its failure to resolve
the relations between French and English
Lord Ducham, in his famous report of over
a century ago, wrote that in any plan which
may be adopted for the future management
of Lower Canada—which was Quebec—the
first object ought to be that of making it an
English province and that with this end in
view the ascendancy should never again be
placed in any hands but those of an English
That reflected the conquest of French
Canada by the British. It was a colonialist
solution to Quebec. Fortunately, Lord Durham’s plan did not succeed. French Canada
has developped not as an English province but
as a territory of the French-Canadian nation.
I would like to submit here a definition of a
nation because it is pertinent to any discussion about French Canada or English Canada,
for that matter. In our opinion a nation is an
historical evolved stable community of language, territory, economic life and psychological make-up manifested in a community of
culture. That applies, in our opinion, in every
respect to French Canada. That is why the
Communist Party maintains that the interests
of each of our two national communities, as
well as the common interests of Canada as a
whole, call for the recognition of the existence in Canada of two nations: English
Canada and French Canada, each with the
right of self-determination. This means the
right of each to arrange its own affairs as it
chooses and to decide on the state it prefers,
whether separate or in voluntary union with
the other. Unless this right is recognized for
each of the two nations there can be no
voluntary union within a common federal
state, and the partition of our country could
become a menacing possibility.
We Communists stand for the preservation
of Canada as a united country. It is one thing
to recognize the right of French Canada to
separate; it is quite another thing to accept
such separation as unavoidable, for separation
would mean the end of Canada as we have
known it. It would mean that each of the two
parted nations would be weakened and would
fall more and more under United States
Surely it is in the best interests of both
English Canadians and French Canadians to
look for new forms of co-operation that will
make it possible for us to continue to live
together and work together for the mutual
good of both. To achieve this will require the
working out of a new relationship, a com-
pletely voluntary partnership based on full
equality. It will require the scrapping of the
old and outdated British North America Act
and the writing of a new Constitution for our
country which will spell out in clear language
that new relationship. The best way to write
such a new Constitution, in our opinion,
would be the election of a special constituent
assembly on which the people of French
Canada and English Canada would be equally
represented and in which, through a process
of negotiation and discussion, they would
reach government on the best way to organize
the government of the country.
The new constitution should clearly establish the rights of the French Canadian community in English Canada and of the English
Canadian community in French Canada to
conduct freely their affairs in their own language. The new constitution should also
recognize the heritage and the rights of all
ethnic minorities to the fullest possible use of
their language and culture. It is our contention that these ethnic groups are gradually
merging with the two Canadian nations
enriching the two national cultures with their
own cultural traidtions and that they do not
constitute separate and distinct nations in
Canada. However, in making this distinction
between the two Canadian nations and the
ethnic minorities, we want to make it perfectly clear that one Canadian is the equal of
every other Canadian irrespective of where
his forefathers came from.
Insofar as the Indian people are concerned,
we propose replacing the colonialist Indian
Act with a bill of rights for native peoples
which codifies in the laws of Canada the full
and equal rights of the native peoples with all
Canadians, equality of opportunity, full recognition and protection of all historic and treaty
rights, self-government on the reserves, full
freedom to move off the reserves if so desired
without loss of treaty rights.
Once a guarantee of French Canadian
national rights is established under a new
constitution, the way would then be cleared
for the nine English provinces to tackle the
gender of federal and provincial rights, a task
which is long overdue in English Canada.
When the British North American Act was
written in the horse and buggy era, hundred
years ago, there was very little government
spending on anything. In those days children
got their education in the little red school
house, hospitals were run by charity, if a
person could not work he was put in the
poorhouse. Since very little was spent on
schools, hospitals or welfare, the Fathers of
Confederation saw no problem in leaving
such services to the provinces while at the
same time leaving the provinces with quite
limited taxation powers to raise the money to
pay for them.
Those things which cost the province very
little back in 1867 now are an almost intolerable financial burden on the provincial governments and on the municipal governments set
up by the provinces. To make matters still
worse over the past century more and more
wealth has been concentrated in the hands of
a smaller and smaller number of great corporations centred in Ontario and Quebec. While
these corporations make their profits out of
the exploitation of the people of the entire
country, they cannot effectively be taxed by
the provincial governments on the Atlantic
Seaboard or in the West and so the problems
that these provinces have in meeting the costs
of education, health, and welfare are made
even more difficult. Therefore, to meet the
needs of Canada in the seventies, it is absolutely necessary that the costs of education,
health and other social services be placed
upon the central government which has the
widest tax base and the powers to tax effectively the big corporations.
In working out divisions of responsability
between the federal government and the
provinces we favour a greater measure of
centralization, a strengthened federalism
leaving those matters which best lend themselves to regional or local administration in
the hands of the provinces and municipalities.
For example, there is an urgent need to
relieve the growing and increasingly unbearable load of education costs now carried by the
municipalities. We propose that the federal
government pay annually to each provincial
government as part of that government’s
revenues grants based upon the number of
students in the province. This money should
be paid from the income taxes and corporation profit taxes collected by the federal government and its payment to the provinces
should be a statutory and irrevocable right.
This will ensure that provincial control of
education is maintained.
We believe that this is the most democratic
method of dealing with the crisis in education. First, this method removes the intolerable burden of education taxes on the home-owners and permits municipalities to develop
community services. Secondly, to pay for elementary education out of income and corporation profits taxes is a most democratic
method because it approaches costs from the
standpoint of ability to pay. Thirdly, it
ensures that young Canadians from Newfoundland to British Columbia will receive at
least a basic minimum standard of education.
In redefining provincial and federal
responsibility for the skyrocketing costs of
financing services in the municipalities, we
propose that guarantees be provided in the
constitution so that the grass roots democratic
control over municipal affairs remains in the
hands of the people. It is our view that the
authority of local and municipal governments
in the administration of those affairs closest
to the people must be preserved and strengthened. Without this there can be no healthy
viable democratic democracy for the people.
In fixing the respective areas of responsibility for the three levels of government we are
mindful of the fact that any such arrangements would undergo considerable involvement over a period of time to meet the
demands of changing economic and social
conditions and therefore should be subject to
regular review. The Committee in meeting in
Manitoba, the gateway to the West, should be
mindful of the fact that a new constitution is
needed to remove the constitutional roadblocks to overcoming the regional underdevelopment of the provinces.
You certainly must be aware of—and if you
are not as yet I am sure you will be in the
course of your travels through the West—a
feeling on the prairies of alienation from the
rest of Canada. This was referred to in one of
our local papers the other day as an economic
hinterland. There was talk in the West of
secession from Canada. We are opposed to
that but in spite of great resources, economic
development on the prairies has been left
behind the rest of the country by deliberate
policies of eastern monopoly interests and
through government policies. Economic and
social inequalities have been heightened.
A program of western development undertaken jointly by federal and provincial governments in our opinion can be the key to
economic expansion of Canada as a whole for
a long period of time. Such a program could
begin with integrating the water resources of
the prairie provinces with outer British
Columbia and Ontario. Water is one of the
indispensable resources without which economic development cannot take place. Along
with that, there is need for an integrated
hydro power grid linking the West with the
rest of the country.
The raw material resources of the West
make it ideally suited to the large-scale
development of petrol chemical, plastic and
fertilizer industries. The deposits of iron ore,
coal and the use of natural gas in the smelting of steel would enable a steel industry to
develop on the prairies. A vast expansion
eastwards of an all Canadian route of gas and
oil pipelines to supply industrial and consumer demand in the West, the Northwest and
eastern parts of Canada is an urgent requirement for further economic growth. There is a
new question of the development of the Port
of Churchill. Such industrial development
would bring on a demand for construction
materials of all kinds and would create a
growing market in the West for more consumer goods and expand the transportation
Private capital would be invited to participate in such development but the ownership
and control of the decisive projects should be
public with the benefits going to the people
and not to foreign monopolies. All this
requires the initiative and the direct interernment together with the provinces.
There is a new question of the agricultural
crisis in the West and this is not the time to
go into detail and to discuss the government’s
wheat policies or its trade policies. However,
it is pertinent to raise before your Committee
the conclusions of the report of the Federal
Task Force on Agriculture.
This report spells out in cold-blooded terms
a program over the next two decades which
will ruthlessly drive another million people
off the land with no guarantee of alternative
employment. It will establish corporate farms
or agribusiness in control of our farm economy. It will fully integrate Canadian agriculture with that of the United States. It will
doom hundreds of towns and villages to slow
extinction and destroy much of the job creating potential of agriculture for Canadian
Constitutional reform is called for to make
possible a federal-provincial program to correct the crisis in agriculture. This should
include such items as a moratorium on farm
debts, protection of the farmers from the
price-cost race, rural development in reconstruction to raise the standards of life to that
of the industrial workers, the outlying of corporate farms which North Dakota does. The
sale of land to absentee United States landlords or United States business concerns
should be prohibited and there should be
assurance of a guaranteed minimum net
income to farmers based on a system of guaranteed floor prices for their products.
In our opinion the interests of Canada
would be well served if the constitution were
to contain provisions that natural resources
are the inalienable possession of the people
and that none but the citizens of Canada can
own the land and its mineral rights. The
exploitation of natural resources should be
under the strictest control of Canada and our
ownership of natural resources must contribute to the wealth and employment of the
people of Canada.
Control of the Canadian economy should
rest in Canadian hands in order that it
serves the needs and the interests of the
Canadian people and not of foreign owners.
Canada could well follow the example of
Mexico which has provisions in its constitution limiting the amount of foreign ownership
of industry and the amount of foreign ownership of resources all around.
Mr. Gibson: On a question of order, we
have dealt with this in another committee. I
wondered if this could be kept to the constitutional reform rather than rambling into
external affairs and foreign ownership.
Mr. Ross: You cannot have a constitution
for Canada that does not declare the Canadian right to its own territory.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I
think we will have to hear what the witness
has to say in context before we pass any
judgment on it.
Mr. Ross: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. An
explicit guarantee should be made in the constitution of the right of the representatives of
the people to nationalize public utilities or
industries including foreign-owned properties.
As a further step to ensure a national investment policy in the public interest, we feel
there must be some public control over capital exports and a general direction of private
capital investment in Canada. For instance,
five of the Canadian chartered banks engage
in the business of lending money in New
York to finance marginal buying on the New
York Stock Exchange. The Financial Post of
February 18, 1967, quoted a speech by Mr. I.
M. Watt, President of Fiscal Consultants of
Canada in Saskatoon and: Regina. He said:
If by persuasion and/or dissuasion we
could cause the very large amount of
Canadian money that is finding its way
into the New York Stock Market to stay
at home, then we would have very little
need for foreign equity capital.
Since the major portion of funds administered by the financial institutions—banks,
trust companies, insurance companies, pension funds, et cetera—are savings of the community entrusted to them, we believe that at
least 50 per cent of their assets should be
required to be in the form of government
bonds. This will automatically assure a steady
market for government bonds and provide
substantial funds for carrying on public
investment policies. It will also guarantee that
at least half of the nation’s savings are
invested in worthwhile national projects for
the development of Canada.
The export of capital from Canada for
longterm investment abroad should also be
subject to government licence, granted solely
on the basis of what is in the best interests of
Canadian people. This could effectively put a
stop to the draining of needed capital out of
Canada for investments abroad in enterprises
exploiting other people to the detriment of
the good same of Canada internationally.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman and members
of the Committee, it has been said that the
task facing this Committee is one not only for
parliamentarians and constitutional lawyers. In
our opinion, the Canadian people must be involved to a greater degree. All sections should
be sought out to get their opinions on these
questions which affect their daily lives. In the
final analysis, they will have to decide on
what kind of constitution Canada should
have. We understand that there is no perfect
document. Every new constitution will have
to be tested in life as to how it meets the
changing needs of the people. Therefore, it
should contain the mechanism for necessary
review and amendments at intervals. I thank
you on behalf of the Manitoba Provincial
Committee of the Communist Party of
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you, Mr. Ross. Gentlemen, I am assuming that you want to go on to finish all the
witnesses now rather than to call another
meeting for this evening. If we were to have
an evening meeting, now would be the
appropriate time to adjourn but in the
absence of any views to the contrary I will
proceed to finish with Mr. Ross and then to
go on to call for comments from the floor. Is
Some hon. Members: Agreed.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Ross you have projected
a very Utopian concept which seems to me to
be to a great extent almost complete centralization of economic power in the hands of the
central government. You spoke of a greater
centralization of government. It is quite obvious that if what was to be brought about in
the program that you put forward was to take
place there has to be a very very powerful
central government. You certainly anticipate
that the country would be a much greater
place to live in after that took place. Why
would you cut Quebec out?
Mr. Ross: We will not. Under the arrangement we propose, Quebec is a separate nation,
part of a new confederal pact. It will deal
with the central government on its own and
as an independent unit. It will not be the
stumbling block to policies carried out in the
other nine English-speaking provinces.
Mr. Hogarth: This process of centralization
of economic power in Ottawa also anticipates
a surrender of the Province of Quebec of its
present economic power of its resources, does
Mr. Ross: Not as we see it as a two-nation
state. In the two-nation state, Quebec will
have sole power and authority within Quebec.
Mr. Hogarth: That is what I am getting at.
Why would you deprive Quebec of the Utopia
that you are going to create in the rest of
Mr. Ross: We would like to give Quebec the
opportunity to hew out its own future and be
masters in its own home.
Mr. Hogarth: I see. There is one remark
you made here about Western Canada. I
happen to be a Western Canadian. You said
that eastern monopolistic interests have deliberately retarded prairie development. Would
you be kind enough to name those interests?
Mr. Ross: I can refer to the Canadian Pacific Railway. I can refer to the banks and the
mortgage companies. I can refer to the big
industries and the agricultural implement
industries. I can refer to a whole number of
industries which have carried out a policy of
taking from the West everything that they
can and returning very little to the West.
Mr. Hogarth: The Canadian Pacific Railway
which was, in the first instance, built to
develop the West has deliberately retarded
the development of the West?
Mr. Ross: If you will speak to the farmers
of Saskatchewan and Alberta and Manitoba
as to what they think of the policy of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, you will get a different opinion as to the role of the railway in
Mr. Hogarth: How would you propose to
acquire the foreign interests that are vested
in this country?
Mr. Ross: I believe that over a period of
time Canadians will have to face up to the
fact that the foreign interests will have to be
nationalized in the interest of Canada.
Mr. Hogarth: Would you contemplate the
payment of the value of that to the present
Mr. Ross: Payment can be determined at
the time on the basis of the conditions existing. Yes. Bolivia did it. Peru did it. At some
time or other, I believe Canada will have to
face up to it as well.
Mr. Hogarth: No further questions.
The Chairman: Mr. Rowland.
Mr. Rowland: Mr. Chairman, I think there
is a large number of suggestions in this brief
that could usefully bear examination by this
Committee. I regret that there is not more
time to go into some of them.
One of the things that I find the least
acceptable in the brief is that it would seem
to anticipate a rather lengthy and detailed
document and put a lot of the functions of
government under constitutional regulation
and thereby remove them from the political
arena and put them in the hands of judges. I
am not entirely sure that that is always a
wise process. I think that the political system
responds more readily and flexibly to new
demands and situations than does the judicial
system in most cases.
There is one area that I would like Mr.
Ross to comment further on. With respect to
the actual mechanism to be employed in
creating the new Constitution, it would seem
to me that the implication of your remarks is
that the present continuing constitutional conference is not the appropriate agency. You see
the new constitution as a pact between two
nations rather than an adjustment between 10
provinces. An obvious corollary of this is that
the present continuing constitutional conference is not the appropriate mechanism nor is
this Committee the appropriate mechanism.
You also made reference to the possibility
of a constituent convention or something of
that nature which would have equal
representation from French Canada and from
English Canada which I take it would include
those minority groups which have associated
themselves most closely with the English culture in this country. How would this constituent convention be selected? Would it be
on the basis of national elections? Would it
be by appointment by the federal government? Would the present provinces participate in any direct way in its selection? Could
you give us some idea?
Mr. Ross: There are a number of questions
there. First, it is a twofold process.
The relation between French Canada and
English Canada to establish a two-nation
state will have to be done at one level. We
propose as a form of doing that the convening
representation from the two nations. They
would be elected by electoral districts. The
form can be worked out. It is immaterial. It is
the essence of it with which we are concerned.
Side by side with that there is the other
problem of the nine other provinces and
Ottawa and the federal government. Both
have to proceed simultaneously or consecutively as the case may be. Once Quebec is
regarded as just the tenth province, you avoid
the problem I have outlined. However, you
have a host of other problems which have
plagued Canadian politics for a long time. I
believe it is generally recognized that Quebec
cannot be regarded as just the tenth province.
There are these two fold processes which
have to develop. It is a matter of time. It is a
matter of debate between the federal government and Quebec; between the federal government and the nine provinces. It is a matter
of getting the people themselves involved in
this debate to see their interests. It is not only
a question of constitutional technicalities and
so on and so forth.
I feel that the consitutional conferences
held up until now cannot succeed until these
two areas are recognized as the basic problems for Canada. While your Committee here
can certainly achieve good work in hearing
opinions across the country, it is our opinion
that unless the problem of a new made-in-Canada constitution is resolved, unless the
problem of French Canada is resolved in a
new federal pact, and unless the problem of
greater centralization, which does not necessarily mean riding roughshod over the prov-
inces but greater powers for the central government to achieve national projects and
uniform standards for Canadians regardless
of where they live, unless these things are
achieved, the problem, of a constitution and
the difficulties reflected in the constitution are
going to remain with us for a long time.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Ross, I would like to thank you on behalf of
the Committee. Mr. Asselin.
Mr. Asselin: Just one question. If I understand correctly, Mr. Ross, the Communist
Party of Manitoba, which you are representing, is in favour of Quebec separatism?
Mr. Ross: First of all I would like to apologize to the member for not being able to
reply in his language which should be my
second language. Unfortunately, because of
the policy of previous governments in
Manitoba with regards to the rights of the
French language, as well as the way the
French language was taught in school when I
attended here, I can only say “j’aime, nous
aimons” and so on. I cannot discuss the technicalities of the constitution in that language
so you will have to forgive me.
I made it perfectly clear, we do not stand
for and we do not support the separation of
Quebec from Canada. We stand for the right
of Quebec to determine its own relationship
to Canada and it is up to the people of
Quebec to decide on that. We, as a matter of
fact, feel it would be a great mistake for
Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada.
Mr. Asselin: Then your theory is about the
same one as our friend René Levesque, of Le
Parti Québécois, concerning the relationship
with the rest of Canada?
Mr. Ross: I do not think so. If I may
introduce a personal example here. I favour
the right of divorce. I have no intention of
divorcing my wife nor do I intend to preach
to others that they divorce their wives. The
question of the right to separation is one
thing. My understanding of the position of
Le Parti Québecois is that they advocate
separation as the only course open for
Quebec. We do not advocate separation as the
only course open for Quebec. We claim that it
will be a mistake from Quebec to separate
and that there is a better alternative—the one
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I
understand that Mr. Allmand has a brief
Mr. Allmand: At one time you talk about
the right of the people of Quebec to decide
whether they will participate or not and at
another time you talk about the right of
French Canada. Do you identify the people of
French Canada with the territory of Quebec
and do you identify the people of English
Canada just with that territory outside of
Quebec? In other words, do you really mean
the right of Quebec to determine its own
destiny or the right of French Canada to
determine its own destiny?
Mr. Ross: We look upon Quebec as the
homeland of the French Canadian nation.
Mr. Allmand: The present territory.
Mr. Ross: The present territory of Quebec
as the homeland of the French Canadian
nation. English Canadians constitute a
minority in Quebec, an English minority in
Quebec, in the same way as French Canadians in Manitoba or Saskatchewan or Alberta
constitute French Canadian minorities in
Mr. Allmand: But when you talk about the
constituent assembly of French Canada or the
constituent assembly which would be made
up of equal groups, on a 50-50 level, for
example, would the constituent group of
French Canada represent those French-speaking people from Manitoba, Ontario and New
Mr. Ross: No.
Mr. Allmand: Very good. I just wanted to
clarify your thinking.
The Joint Chairman: Thank you very
much, Mr. Allmand. Our next witness is
Professor G. O. Rothney of the Department of
History at the University of Manitoba.
Professor G. O. Rothney (Professor of History, University of Manitoba): Mr. Chairman,
I have heard so much criticism of the Constitution from colleagues in political science and
economics and even law that I thought perhaps the historical point of view ought to be
expressed and something favourable said
about it. But like my colleagues, I have to
start by saying that I speak only for myself
and not for the University. My father was
born in the Province of Quebec and my
mother was born in the Province of Manitoba, and as an historian I have perhaps a
greater respect for the existing Constitution
than even practising politicians.
The decision of the three provinces of
Canada, the three provinces of 1867, which
were the provinces of Canada—now Ontario
and Quebec—Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, to be federally united in one domain
was one of the greatest acts of statesmanship
in the history of the civilized world. It is very
seldom that you can get political groups to
decide to unite, and when you consider that
the communications between Halifax and
Toronto in 1867 took much longer than it
takes now to communicate right around the
world many times, you can see that that
achievement was equivalent easily in a sense
to the federal unification of the entire world
Mr. Hogarth: Actually this summer by mail
it was about the same.
Professor Rothney: Well, I am not responsible for that.
What had threatened to be a disastrous
split between the English and French Canadians of the old Province of Canada was turned
into the basis for the unification of the whole
of British North America. That union is now
100 years old, and far greater changes have
taken place in this past century than in any
century in history. That the Constitution has
survived at all is proof of the foresight of the
Fathers of Confederation in that they laid
down a Constitution for the nation in 1867
that could be adapted in many ways.
If there is discontent today it is not to be
wondered at. I do not think it is the fault
mainly of the Constitution itself. I think it is
the result of the failure of policies which
have been adopted in certain parts of
Canada and sometimes at Ottawa to make
Canadians in all of Canada feel that they are
first-class citizens anywhere in Canada. So
that is my first point, that it is superficial and
simplistic to think that the issue of Canada’s
survival as one dominion or one country is
caused by weaknesses in the British North
America Act. The cause is wrong policies.
The main reason for the strains in our federal union is the fact that most Canadians
feel ties with the United States of America, a
much larger nation. These pulls are geographic, linguistic, and cultural in the broadest
sense. The other side of North American continentalism is provincialism, provincial
autonomy, which carried to an extreme
becomes separatism. Canada is an east-west
creation, an extension of the St. Lawrence
River. But the more people think in a north-
south direction, the more they identify with
the province that they are in and with the
continent, and the less important Canada
becomes to them. Thus the great improvement in communications, which has in countries that are really economically independent
always resulted in a greater strengthening of
the central power, has not worked that way
in the case of Canada because the improvement in communications in our case has
pulled us southward and has had the opposite
effect of tending to strengthen the provinces
and weaken our Canadian central power.
The unification that has taken place
because of improved communications is North
American rather than Canadian. And this is
the real reason for the gradual slow but
steady disintegration of Canada which has
been taking place. So the important question
to me is not what Quebec wants, but what
Canadians want the whole of Canada to be.
When we can state very clearly through our
government and Parliament at Ottawa, when
we can state what our conception of Canada
is in terms that will be intelligible to the
people of Quebec, then we can expect greater
enthusiasm in Quebec for the maintenance of
a distinctive Canadian nation. But as long as
we are fuzzy in our concepts of Canada’s
distinctive characteristics and unclear as to
the advantages of maintaining a separate
identity for Canadians in relation to the
United States, we cannot be surprised if the
people of Quebec think in terms of their own
province as a distinctive nation.
The less clear we are in Canada about the
character of the Canadian nation that we
want, the more we must expect the people of
Quebec to try to establish a distinctive nation
of their own, and the same, using different
words, goes for British Columbia and other
parts of the country. So I would submit that
our difficulties in Canada constitutionally are
far more the result of policies which have not
been based on any clear concept of the importance of Canadianism as opposed to North
Americanism and the provincialism carried
sometimes and increasingly in the direction of
separatism which the north-south attitude of
North Americanism gives rise to. I submit
that these are the most important reasons for
But to come to the Constitution, since that
is what this Committee is to discuss, to give
meaning to the concept of Canada, if the
country is to survive, it must continue to
embrace the two great principles which are
fundamental. These are that there is one Parliament for Canada—there really is no parlia-
ment in Toronto, despite the title they have
given themselves—which makes laws for the
“Peace, Order and good Government of Canada”, and that in each province there is a
legislature which makes laws generally in
relation to all matters of merely local or of a
private nature in the province.
The Constitution, including that part of it
which is the British North America Act, now
places no restriction upon the use of any language or the preservation of any cultural
group within Canada, and we should never
forget, by the way, that only a very small
part of our Constitution is in the British
North America Act. Most of our Constitution
is conventional. It is unwritten. The British
North America Act makes no mention of a
Prime Minister; it makes no mention of
responsible government; it makes no mention
of a Cabinet. The most important things are
not in the British North America Act. They
are in the convention of custom, as is the case
in Great Britain, and I think historical
experience has shown beyond all doubt that
the smaller the part of the Constitution that
is written down, the easier it is for a nation
to adapt its institutions to new conditions as
circumstances change. They should put as
little as possible into the written Constitution.
Written constitutions were an 18th Century
idea in countries which had just gone through
revolutions. With a complete change, the
revolutionaries wanted to put their revolutionary ideology down in writing, thinking
that in this way they could make it permanent. Britain and Canada did not have these
revolutions. We have been evolutionary.
In countries like Russia and India, these
revolutions have taken place in the 20th Century, but they are really delayed action. They
are imitating what happened in the 18th Century in the United States and France particularly, and as I say, it is quite contrary to our
experience and to British experience to feel
that we have to put down all our ideology in
a written document. You do not guarantee
your ideology by putting it in writing
anyway. As somebody over here—I think it
was the member for Lapointe—mentioned
earlier this afternoon, it is the attitudes of the
people, not what is written down in the document, that will determine our attitudes
towards one another. All that we really need
in the Constitution, in the British North
America Act, the written part of it, is a definition of the division of powers between the
centre and the provinces.
Much of what I have heard from witnesses
who have been speaking to you here has been
interesting, but what they have really been
advocating is policy. They have been advocating legislation, and I agree with many of the
proposals they have made about legislation.
But these are not things that should be written in the Constitution. These are things that
should be passed by the governments or the
Parliaments or the legislatures under the
Constitution. Rights for women, rights for
Indians, and all this, depend on legislation.
The British North America Act states that
either the English or the French language
may be used in the Parliament of Canada and
in the legislature of Quebec, and that either
of these languages may be used in any court
of Canada or in the courts of Quebec. This is
only a minimum that they require. They do
not say in the British North America Act that
other languages may not be used. They just
state the minimum that these two certainly
can be used in Canada and in Quebec. Other
languages are not ruled out.
The only change that needs to be made in
the British North America Act in that respect,
to put Quebec on the same footing with
regard to languages as the other provinces, is
to remove the special mention of Quebec in
Section 133. Just strike that out. That is the
section I just quoted. This must be done
because there is no reason why a special language guarantee should be imposed upon
Quebec and not on the other provincial legislatures and courts, and I say this as a person
who was born and brought up among the
English-speaking Protestant minority of the
Province of Quebec.
Never once did we ever dream of appealing
to the constitutional guarantees in the British
North America Act for our privileges. It
never dawned on us, even though they are
there, even though they were put in in 1867
by the English member for Sherbrooke where
I grew up. We depended entirely upon the
good nature and the tolerance of our French-speaking neighbours, and that was a much
better guarantee. It was all the guarantee we
needed. If we had had to appeal to Ottawa to
guarantee our rights, it would have shown
that we did not have them. When people
write these ideals down in a constitution, it
just reflects really that they have not got
these ideals that they are stating are their
Obviously, there must be a clearer definition of federal powers with regard to problems that have arisen since 1867, and in the
same way a clearer delineation of the prov-
inces’ jurisdiction enabling each level of government to levy taxes sufficient to enable it to
discharge its responsibilities under modern
conditions. Persons should be able to know
which level of government is taxing them and
for what purpose. Sections 91 and 92 which
state that the exclusive legislative authority
of the Parliament of Canada extends to:
The raising of Money by any Mode or
System of Taxation.
and then states that:
In each Province the Legislature may
exclusively make Laws in relation to…
Direct Taxation within the Province in
order to the raising of a Revenue for
have to be changed and clarified. That is too
confusing altogether, and I think this is by far
the most important point with regard to the
modernization of the British North America
How it should be changed depends upon
what is politically possible. The more you like
the Government of Canada the more power
you should give to the central government.
The more you dislike the Government of
Canada because, for example, you might
think, as many of my neighbours did in
Quebec, that they have wasted your money
on an elaborate and out-dated defence policy
which we do not need, the more you will
want to see power given to the provinces
which do things which you may consider
closer to you, more worthwhile and less
harmful, particularly if you live in one of the
I should also throw in here the remark that
the clause which gives to the provinces exclusive right to make laws with regard to property and civil rights in the provinces, has to
be changed too, because I think in 1867 they
meant personal, family property under the
Code Civil, but that has been interpreted as I
am sure you all know, by the courts in such a
way that it has turned the Constitution on its
head. You cannot legislate about anything at
Ottawa that does not affect property. So that
particular phrase, of course, has to be
If we want Canada to survive, however, we
must give to Ottawa as much power as we
can. The same can be said for the method of
amendment, the point that was raised by the
member for Hamilton-Wentworth on Friday
here. The present method of amendment is
there because that is the way Canadians in
the past have wanted to have it. It is a made-in-Canada constitution, by the way. Our Constitution, the British North America Act, was
made in Canada. It was passed by the Parliament of Westminster. In other words Canadians have trusted the Parliament of Westminster to be objective and fair much more than
they have trusted each other in the past.
There never has been any other way of
amending the Constitution of Canada and it
has survived because this method has worked.
All other proposals have been regarded as
Certainly no method of amendment within
Canada can be so simple and so quick as the
present one. For those who believe in a
strong, united Canada, the present method is
ideal because there is every indication that
the United Kingdom Parliament will always
do exactly what the Canadian government
requests it to do, even if on occasion a province might object. I remember in 1943 an
amendment was put through at the request of
the Government of Canada in spite of the
objection of the Premier of Quebec. Nevertheless, when the election was held in 1945,
the people of Quebec themselves upheld the
Government of Canada in spite of what it had
There is no reason to feel any humiliation
about the formality of having these changes
enacted in Westminster, because it is only a
formality. It does not do any harm and it
costs us very little. The important point is not
the manner of amendment but what kind of
amendment we want. If one wants to see the
influence of the provinces increased at the
expense of the central government then, of
course, the present system is theoretically
unsatisfactory. It provides no guarantee at all
to the provinces apart from what the members of the Canadian Parliament may think it
is politically expedient to do. So that is by no
means a negligible factor.
Members of the federal Parliament, members of the federal House of Commons, are
not going to put through amendments to the
Constitution which they think are going to
cause them to be defeated in the next election. It is obviously not possible to agree that
every provincial government should have the
power to veto amendments. In fact, no government should have the power to veto
amendments, in my opinion. The sad experience of the United States during the depression is a grim warning of how backward
rural States can block the kind of reforms in
the constitution that urban States which contain the vast majority of the population
Wanted, under the kind of cumbersome procedure for amendment that they have in the
Governments are not elected because they
represent the views of their electors on every
issue in any case. There are too many issues.
Every government will want to maintain and
increase its own powers. If I was Maurice
Duplessis I would want to maintain and
increase my powers because that is the job I
had, Premier of Quebec. They want to
increase their powers as much as it is financially possible, whatever the views of their
electorate may be. Thus, for example, we had
in Quebec the example of a whole generation
of the people of Quebec voting Union
Nationale in provincial elections and voting
Liberal in federal elections, even though they
all knew perfectly well that these two parties
held very different views about the Constitution. They were obviously voting for some
other reason besides their constitutional
views. Who spoke for Quebec on the constitutional question? Nobody could say whether it
was Mr. Duplessis or Mr. St. Laurent, because
they both got enormous support from the
Similarly, in Manitoba in 1896—the famous
election of 1896—the Manitoba government
had taken away some of the rights of Catholic
schools. The Conservative government at
Ottawa decided to force Manitoba to restore
these rights. The Liberal party, because it
championed provincial autonomy, opposed
this coercion of Manitoba. They held the general election of 1896. Quebec went overwhelmingly Liberal and so did Ontario.
Canada as a whole decided not to coerce
Manitoba. But how did Manitoba vote? It
went Conservative. It voted in favour of
coercing itself. It showed that for the electors
of Manitoba somebody was not speaking for
them on the constitutional question, neither
the provincial government nor their federal
representatives, because they were voting for
parties who held opposite views, at least on
So, we are drawn to the conclusion that
amendments should be only by direct referen-
dum, if it has to be done in Canada and not
through governments. Only in this way can
we get the views of the people on any given
proposed amendment. I would suggest that if
we are going to do it in Canada, any proposed
amendment approved by two thirds of the
members of the House of Commons should be
submitted directly to the people. I suggest two
thirds because that is the percentage of the
House that has to approve a continuation of
the House of Commons beyond five years in
the case of war or insurrection. That is a
figure that has already been adopted on one
occasion by Parliament. In my opinion a constitutional amendment approved by a bare
majority when submitted to the people will
neither be wise nor possible unless they rule
it out because of the fact we are divided into
such distinctive linguistic groups. Yet amendments should be as easy as possible to keep
up with new conditions. So the point to be
decided, if one is not satisfied with the present method of amendment, is what is the
minimum percentage of the people who
should be required to approve of an amendment. My own opinion is, Canadian conditions
being what they are, that an affirmative vote
of at least 70 per cent of the people of Canada
who vote on a constitutional proposal would
have to be required. That is the best we can
hope for, if we decide to amend the constitution within Canada. As I say, the alternative
is to leave the system as it is now. Of course
the language difference makes it much easier
for French Canadians than for English
Canadians to recognize their separate identity
from Americans. There can be no such
thing—and here I disagree with several other
speakers—as an English Canadian nation.
English Canadians are divided among 9 provincial governments, separated from each
other geographically, and their language and
culture is largely that of the United States.
The Canadian nation exists solely because
of the fact that we have chosen to unite ourselves under one federal government. If we
are to survive, therefore, any constitutional
changes will be successful only if we strive
much harder to establish an independence of
the United States both economically and in
foreign policy, and to see to it that French
Canadians in Quebec are able to feel that
they belong not only to their provincial
nation, la petite patrie, but also to the
Canadian nation, la grande patrie. If we are
not willing to make changes of this sort then
We are not really very concerned fundamentally about the survival of Canada and it will
make very little difference what kind of a
constitution we have.
If I might just summarize the points I
1. The slow disintegration of Canada, which
began with the hanging of Louis Riel in 1885,
has been caused far more by federal policies
than by defects in the constitution.
2. The principle cause of that disintegration
increasingly since 1896 has been North
American continentalism which pulled the
provinces south instead of east and west.
3. The less a written constitution contains
beyond the distribution of federal-provincial
relations the better.
4. The simpler the method of amendment
the better. And it is difficult to get a simpler
method than the present one. But if we did
get another method it would have to be by
direct referendum, to be workable at all.
5. No constitution in the world will serve
Canada if vigorous steps are not taken by our
political parties to counteract the continentalist trend and overcome the pull of geography,
as was done here in Manitoba in 1870 when
by political action they joined the east-west
organization rather than allowing themselves
to be pulled into the United States in order to
create a Canada that is independent and
world-oriented rather than United States-oriented.
The Chairman: Ladies and gentlemen, this
very fine presentation by Professor Rothney
shows us that there is a lot to be said for the
long perspective of history.
Mr. Brewin is to be our main questioner. I
wonder if I might just ask you a very brief
preliminary question. Why do you reject the
possibility of, say, having 7 of the 10 provinces agree on constitutional amendments
rather than a vote of 70 per cent of the
people? You did not discuss that alternative
and obviously it is an alternative.
Professor Rothney: This would mean that
three provinces could veto it.
The Chairman: It would take four to veto
Professor Rothney: These provinces could
be, with due respect to members here, Prince
Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, and they represent a
very small proportion of the people of
The Chairman: They also could be the four
provinces in the west.
Professor Rothney: Instead of allowing provincial governments to do the vetoing,
because they do not, as I tried to point out,
necessarily represent the opinions of their
own people on constitutional matters, we
must find a way to prevent provincial premiers, who naturally want to increase their own
powers, from vetoing proposals which their
own people would favour if they were given a
chance to vote in a referendum.
The Chairman: Mr. Brewin.
I would like to deal with the amending
process a bit, because that is something we
are going to have to tackle some time. We
have some very interesting ideas on it.
I fully appreciate the point that Professor
Rothney has made, that the present amending
formula is, objectively, perhaps very satisfactory because of its simplicity and its flexibility, but I suggest to him that it may be politically and subjectively intolerable to a
sovereign nation, even in form, to go running
to another parliament for its amending process. However much we may find this objectively satisfactory as a purely amending formula as such, do we not have to pay some
attention to national feelings? We may not
want to exaggerate them. But it really is
intolerable and an anachronism to think that
we should at this stage in history go running
to Great Britain to say, “please change our
constitution for us”.
Professor Rothney: This is a psychological
factor that is being raised, and I appreciate it.
Yet, as you know, our constitution broadens
from precedent to precedent, and this is a
peculiarity of ours. Other counties have their
peculiarities. Personally, I do not worry
about forms that are not realities. The real
thing that we have now is a system by which
the federal government decides when it
thinks it is politically desirable to amend
An hon. Member: You mean the federal
Professor Rothney: Yes, although I think
there have been occasions on which the federal government, without a resolution of Parliament, has gone right ahead. I think that the
Parliament in Westminster will act on the
advice of the Prime Minister of Canada, no
matter how the Prime Minister of Canada
reaches his decision.
Mr. Brewin: I take it Professor Rothney
that you do not think very much of this convention that has grown up—I do not myself—that you need the unanimous consent of all
Professor Rothney: No, that would ruin the
Mr. Brewin: And of course you do suggest
perhaps a system of referendum. Do you not
think that to establish the amending process
itself will require the consent of the provinces? Do you think they will ever agree to a
procedure which takes away from them, or
from the majority or a set number of them,
the right to have some say in the future
constitution of this country?
Professor Rothney: I would take the advice
of the members of the House of Commons
from the provinces as a good start in representing the views of the provinces. It is surely
a fallacy to think that the members of the
provincial legislature speak for the province
more than the members of the House of Commons from that province.
Mr. Brewin: I have a lot of sympathy with
what you are saying but, to clarify my point,
suppose the federal government were to suggest a method which excluded the provinces,
collectively speaking, perhaps seven out of
ten or whatever the proportion might be,
from any part in approving not only the
amending process but the new Constitution,
do you think we in the federal Parliament
could hope to get away with that?
Professor Rothney: This is a political question, and a matter of political judgment. My
personal view is that if 70 per cent of the
members of the House of Commons think it is
politically wise, you could get away with it.
Mr. Brewin: I am encouraged to hear you
Professor Rothney: What could a small provincial government do about it, if the federal
government called a referendum, on the basis
of the fact that 70 per cent of the members of
the House of Commons thought that this was
a good idea—which means that a large percentage of French Canadians will be there
Mr. Brewin: I think that you would agree
with our last witness, that anything we
attempted to do without the full concurrence
of representatives of the Province of Quebec
would be a mistake.
Professor Rothney: Yes, I agree, but the
representatives of the Province of Quebec in
this respect should be the members of the
federal Parliament, members of the House of
Commons—not the government of the Province of Quebec. Just out political expediency I trust the members of the House of Commons from Quebec would take into
consideration the views of the provincial government of Quebec and assess to what extent
they are speaking for the people of the province and to what extent they are just speak-
ing from a point of view of any government,
which naturally wants to increase and hold
on to every bit of power it has. As long as
you do it that way Canada is going to continue to disintegrate.
Mr. Brewin: I express a lot of sympathy
with your point of view, but I am not sure
that we can get away with it.
The Chairman: As I already have begun to
be the second questioner, perhaps I might
finish that role by asking another question.
Professor Rothney, with respect to your
comments on constitution-making, whether
you are to have a written document—perhaps
that was not the way you phrased it—or how
extensive the written documents should be, i
would like to ask you, since you did not
comment on this, how you would see a bill of
rights as fitting into it? It is of course true,
and I think most of us would agree, that it
would be a mistake to attempt to write a
particular political philosophy into any constitution, because of course when another
party representing another political philosophy came to power, and this happened so
often in France, you have to rewrite the
whole constitution. But the hope of the
Canadian government has been that it is pos-
sible to get agreement on fundamental rights,
on matters on which there is such a broad
consensus of opinion across the country, that
this cannot be considered just a particular
political philosophy; it is a genuine expression of the consensus of the Canadian people
on a very fundamental issue.
Professor Rothney: I have noticed that
countries which have bills of rights in their
constitution are those which have the fewest
rights for the people and the countries which
do not have bills of rights in their constitution but simply legislation, such as Britain,
are the countries in which there is the greatest amount of civil liberty. The fact that a bill
of rights is written into the constitution, as I
said before, usually indicates that there is no
confidence in the country that one’s neighbours will respect one’s rights. Writing the
bill of rights into the American constitution
of course was a farce. Ever since the Civil
War they have had all these rights—in fact
before that—guaranteed to Negroes and so on,
and it did not mean a thing. It is only when
the people feel a certain way that rights will
be observed. Now whether or not questions of
civil rights should be exclusively within the
domain of the province is a political matter
which I do not have any firm views on. It
may be that civil rights should be within the
realm of the federal government. There is
something that I do not think you would get
away With. In view of the feelings of the
Province of Quebec, especially the people of
the Province of Quebec, I think that civil
rights have to remain, for political reasons,
not for ideal reasons, with the provinces and
that the way that civil rights should be guaranteed then is through legislation by the
responsible legislature, not something written
into the constitution for all time. You cannot
legislate peoples’ attitudes for all time. For
example, supposing you wrote in “anti-hate
literature is abolished”. This might be then
taken to mean nobody can be anti-Semitic.
But suppose somebody is anti-Israel and is
accused of being anti-Semitic because he is
anti-Israel, can you take action in the courts?
Well, you can; it seems to me you can take
action in the courts under the laws of libel.
You do not need an anti-hate bill to protect
yourself in that respect. The laws of libel are
there if your position is misrepresented. I am
not one who favours at all a bill of rights
written into the constitution.
The Chairman: Mr. Hogarth.
Mr. Hogarth: Why do you differentiate
between a bill of rights that is legislative, like
the present Bill of Rights, and that piece of
legislation entrenched in the constitution?
Surely they are both just legislation. Admittedly, in the constitution it is of a very special kind.
I now will put my second question. How
can you mention the general good feeling of
people and the unwritten constitutional protective bill of rights in light of the recent
major decision in the Drybone’s case, where
Mr. Drybones had to use that statute for his
own protection to protect him from the
tyranny of Parliament.
Professor Rothney: On the first point, when
you write something into the constitution you
are saying that here is something I aspire to,
I do not think it exists, I am not very confident about, therefore I am going to put it
in there, it is going to be for all time and
no government or Parliament—even if the
people of the country elect a parliament to
represent them—is going to be able to change
this. This means that you cannot adapt to new
conditions as they arise. But if it is done by
legislation, as it always has been done in
countries like Britain, which have not had
revolutions, but have broadened down through
legislation, then when conditions change and
new circumstances arise it is easy as anything
to amend your bill of rights to make it apply
to a new situation. We should not tie our
h-ands to constitutions which are rigid. They
have had too much experience of that in the
On the second question, I feel terribly ignorant because I do not know a thing about the
Mr. Hogarth: Mr. Drybones was arrested
for intoxication and was levied a greater
penalty by the statute under which he was
arrested by virtue of the fact that he was an
Indian. He raised the point that this was discriminatory legislation and contrary to the
Bill of Rights. Now without that Bill of
Rights, without those entrenched rights in
thatstatute, he would not have had the benefit of that defence.
Professor Rothney: My answer to that is
that the Bill of Rights to which he appealed
was a piece of legislation, and that is exactly
what I am advocating.
Senator Cameron: And what is the
Professor Rothney: The difference is that a
piece of legislation can be amended any time
that thepeople of Canada through their Parliament feel that it is outdated and want to
change it, whereas if it is entrenched in your
constitution you are stuck with it 50 years
from now when conditions have changed and
it is not working right.
Mr. Hogarth: Freedom of speech is a pretty
good thing to be stuck with, is it not?
Professor Rothney: Yes. but you do not
guarantee it by writing it into a constitution.
Another example that probably everybody
will agree with is the Soviet Constitution. It is
the most liberal constitution in the world. It
has all kinds of rights written into it.
Mr. McQuaid: Mr. Chairman, could I ask
the Professor just one short question?
The Chairman: Mr. McQuaid.
Mr. McQuaid: You set out, Professor—by
the way, I agree with you—two fundamental
conditions insofar as our constitution is concerned, one, that there must be a Parliament
for Canada and, secondly, that there must be
legislative assemblies. We heard a proposal
this afternoon that possibly the time may
come when we may have to do away, or
perhaps we should do away with provincial
legislative assemblies. What do you think of
Professor Rothney: And replace them with
It seems to me to be a very complicated
and difficult kind of suggestion. Let us take
the Province of Manitoba, which was being
discussed. The majority of the people of
Manitoba live in metropolitan Winnipeg. The
majority of the members of the legislature, I
presume—I have not counted them—should
be from metropolitan Winnipeg. If the metropolitan urban point of view does not get
represented in the legislature, where is it
going to get represented? What is wrong with
that system? I cannot see that the suggestion
just referred to provides us with anything
new—unless it means creating some new
provinces. There is not need to create new
provinces, unless we carve them out of
Ontario and Quebec. Those are the two monsters. The others are small enough as they
The Chairman: Professor Rothney, I would
like to thank you very much on behalf of the
Committee. While I do not personally agree
with your views on the bill of rights I think I
can predict that at least the greater part of
your remarks will have considerable influence
on the Committee’s deliberations, despite the
fact that we have not been able to ask all the
questions we would like to have asked. Your
presentation has been a very fine one.
Mr. Arnett is not here, so we will go on to
Mr. Osler. Will Mr. Osler come up, please.
Senator Cameron: Mr Chairman, may I
just say we have been going five hours. I am
sure the rest of you have read Mr. Osler’s
brief and I would like to congratulate him on
it. It is a very interesting and clear-cut presentation. But if we are going to be of any
use tomorrow when we have another long
day, I would like to suggest, even at the risk
of being a bit unfair to the remaining witnesses, that we keep it short.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): We
have one other witness besides Mr. Osler. I
think that Senator Cameron’s suggestion is
well made. I take it that it is meant not only
for the witness but also for members of our
I would now like to call on Mr. Cam Osler,
an economic consultant in the City of Winnipeg.
Mr. Cam F. Osler (Economic Consultant,)
City of Winnipeg): Thank you Mr. Chairman
and members of the Joint Committee. I am
here completely in a private capacity.
I will be very brief. I have been trying to
find ways to be even briefer as the evening
My main objective is to point out what I
feel is distinctive in this brief and then to
give an opportunity for maybe one question,
whatever the Chairman will allow.
The objective of the brief is to pose and
answer one question. The question is this:
given that Canada is a federal country and
assuming it should remain a federal country,
do the regions of Canada have adequate and
just political power within Canada’s federal
parliament? The brief suggests that the
answer is “no”. It suggests that a solution
could be found in the case of an elected
Senate with a redistribution, a reconstitution
and perhaps a redefinition of its powers. The
brief deals mostly with what Senator Grosart
earlier referred to as the background
rationale for making such a suggestion. I will
not go through that rationale with you now
because it is in the brief. Many other people
have presented it in different ways this after-
noon. There is no need to go over old ground.
I am assuming that Canada is a bilingual
country, a multicultural one, not a bicultural
country but a multicultural country. Al-
though a bill of rights is not essential, I think
there should be one in the constitution. My
main reason is purely political. In a diverse
country to pull people together you probably
have to outline the rights in a bill of rights so
everybody can see them because they all
come from different backgrounds. If they
were all from the same culture and they lived
in the same region:—for example, the case of
some parts of the British Isles we probably
would not have to do that.
The next point would be in the context of
urban society. Granted the constitution has to
reflect the urban nature of modern Canada,
there are different urban regions. Therefore I
still go back to the question of regional power
within the central government, even if you
are dealing properly with the provinces, the
municipalities and everything else. Vancouv-
er’s problems as an urban area are quite dis-
tinct from Toronto’s in some aspects, quite
distinct in the aspect of its culture vis-à-vis
Montreal, distinct in the aspect of its econom-
ic interests in particular.
Finally, I would point out a Very definite
assumption—the desire for a very strong cen-
tral parliament; a desire to resist the tenden-
cy to balkanize power between provincial
parliaments; a desire to make the federal par-
liament unequivocably the spokesman for the
people of Canada and for the people of the
The history of Canada did not allow for
this at the time when the constitution was
made. I have outlined the reasons for that in
the brief. If you look at the history of 1867,
the federal parliament that came out was not
one concerned with giving adequate political
power to the regions in Ottawa. The result
today is that 61 per cent of your MP’s in
Ottawa come from Ontario and Quebec. You
only have 48 per cent of your senators coming
from Ontario and Quebec. You have 24 per
tnc coming from the West. Actually, we have
less represented in the Senate than we are in
the House of Commons. That I would suggest
raises a very prominent question as to what is
wrong with our central institution. If it is
meant to represent regions, the Senate should
be representing the regions according to most
federal thinking across the world. The West is
the most underpopulated part of the country.
We have fewer representatives percentage-
wise in the Senate than we do in the House
of Commons. Something is wrong.
The proposals starting on page 22 of the
brief are to give more regional representation
or to add regions in the Senate. I do not think
that the four regions are adequate. It is a
myth to talk about the West as being one
region. We should add members particularly
from the West in order to compensate for this
problem. Perhaps Western Canada together
with the Yukon and Northwest Territories
should be assured of half of the Senate seats,
that is one suggestion. An alternative, per-
haps more practical, is outlined which would
guarantee each province a maximum of 10
senators and a minimum equal to the number
of members they have in the House of Com-
mons today. And the only thing that might
not be clear in the actual text is that the
minimum always has to be an even number.
If you had three members in the House of
Commons from a province, the proposal says
the number shall be four in the Senate. It
shows you there the results of that type of
suggestion. It is a very flexible suggestion
although not my own. If the Yukon and
Northwest Territories grow and if the Mari-
times were to grow, their Senate representa-
tion could grow. I think we have to allow for
that in a constitution. It is not rigid saying:
“Thou shalt have two senators from the
Yukon until the next time the constitution is
amended.” It also does meet my fundamental
criterion which is that the regions be given
much greater representation in one of the two
houses, namely the Senate.
I favour the election of Senators. I reject
appointing either by provinces or by the fed-
eral government. I reject appointment by the
federal government for the obvious reason
that it does not represent the regions given
that the House of Commons is elected on the
basis of population. I reject appointment by
provincial premiers, as not being consistent
with my over-riding criterion that the Gov-
ernment of Canada should be elected by the
people and the region and should be the firm
and sole spokesman on national issues. I do
not want to get provincial politics mixed into
this which it inevitably would if men were
appointed by premiers and therefore respon-
sible to premiers.
My next point is cabinet responsibility. In
our system, we want to have the cabinet
responsible to the Chamber which is quite
different than the presidential system. I am
quite prepared to say that cabinet should be
responsible only to the House of Commons
and not to the Senate to avoid any possible
confusion. I am quite prepared to say that the
cabinet should be responsible to the House of
Commons in a very limited sphere only,
namely money bills and specific votes of con-
fidence and nothing else. If the House of
Commons was to defeat a cabinet measure in
another area, it would not consititute a want
of confidence. The Senate therefore, could not
possibly get into conflict with the House of
Commons on a questiong of whether or not
they have confidence in the cabinet.
The next suggestion is that the House of
Commons should have paramount authority
in the area of raising money. All bills to raise
money would originate in the House of Com-
mons and the House of Commons would have
the final say over them. The Senate would not
be allowed in the constitution to move a vote
of want of confidence in the government or to
vote on such a motion.
I do not suggest any other legal paramount-
cy between the two houses. I do not suggest
that the Senate should have a specified legal
realm of powers. Because it is going to be an
elected Senate, it is going to have more power
obviously in terms of its prestige. People
accept elected people more than they do
appointed people despite the worth of many
of the appointed people who are there now
and despite the great deal of good work they
have been doing recently. I am not suggesting
we define a series of powers for the Senate
and for the House. I agree that this would
lead to endless running to the Supreme Court
of Canada to seek legal clarification as to who
is working within their competence. I suggest
only one area where there be paramountcy. It
would relate to the House of Commons only
and that is in the raising of money and in
votes of confidence.
I do suggest however that by convention
there should be a distinct role for each house.
The distinction I am suggesting is that the
Senate should concentrate upon the regional
issues, perhaps domestic issues of the country,
such as pollution, transport, agriculture, natu-
ral resources and regional development. The
House should concentrate on the broader
national issues that affect the people, war,
social security, social welfare, labour legisla-
tion, et cetera. The only way I can see this
convention working itself out is that the min-
ister responsible for each of these affairs
would report to the Senate in one case and to
the House in the other case and would initiate
legislation in one of the two houses. By that
means you would give one house, by conven-
tion, primary interest and primary compe-
tence in certain fields.
Other than that, I am afraid that my con-
viction lead me to say that both Houses have
to have equal legal power if you are going to
have a federal state in which the people of
the regions are represented in Ottawa and the
people, “rep by pop basis,” of Ontario and
Quebec are represented in Ottawa. I do not
see any way of making one side of that coin
more powerful than the other side without
denying an essential point of federalism
which is to find a way, in the central gover-
ment, to give adequate representation to the
regions of the country and to the population
I see this as the history of federalism. I do
not see it as ever having been enacted prop-
erly in Canada. That is the gist of what I am
getting at here. i hope it is of some use to the
deliberation of the Committee. It is not only
my own work. It is the result of three or four
years of work in which a number of people
have probably contributed most of the ideas.
My only service to you today has been to try
to put them together to give them to you in
one package. I hope it has been of some use.
I thank you very much for waiting so long
to hear the views and for being here in the
first place. Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you Mr. Osler for a thoughtful and
even provocative presentation. Senator Cam-
eron wants to question you.
Senator Cameron: Mr. Chairman, I am
going to restrict my natural inquisitive ten-
dencies to the absolute minimum. First of all,
I would like to compliment Mr. Osler on a
very thoughtful and interesting brief. I am
delighted that this has come from a young
Does he think the ideas expressed in this
brief represent the thinking of a substantial
proportion of the young people in the West
today? I am speaking specifically with respect
to the proposal about an elected Senate.
Mr. Osler: I cannot offer anything more
than an observation relative to Manitoba. I
have noticed one thing about this concept.
Four years ago you could not even get a
hearing anywhere, young or old.
Most of our young people are probably
more brainwashed than the older generation.
They have gone through school and have
been told about how great our system is and
how distinct it is from America and therefore,
we should never change it.
In the last year to six months, it has been
fantastic to see how many people have come
up and said: “I have got a wonderful idea, an
elected Senate”. This again is across genera-
tions. There is only one discouraging point in
a direct answer to your question. This is in
Manitoba in particular. I do not think it has
filtered all the way through the West yet. I
think there is a certain undercurrent here in
Manitoba because the idea is being presented
here by some people who thought about it. It
is growing and I am very encouraged by that.
The only opposition I did have at one meeting
was from a university group. We had a long
debate and I think they are going along with
this to a large extent now.
Frankly I do not think the young people are
any more in favour of the idea per se than
anybody else is. Sometimes I suspect they are
more brainwashed by the history they have
been taught than some of the older genera-
tion. For example, the biggest fight that the
young people put up was you cannot destroy
the House of Commons this way. You have
got to have. “rep by pop”. I just do not buy
that that is the only way you run a federal
country. I do not think that you are going to
find that the 18-year-old and over per se is
the backbone of this idea. Maybe I am wrong.
I hope I am wrong but I am being honest.
Senator Cameron: I would just like to say
that this proposal coincides with a great deal
that I have been hearing in the last two or
three years about reform of the Senate. My
conviction is that the idea of an elected
Senate is growing. It is one that philosoph-
ically appeals to me personally. However, I
recognize a great number of difficulties in the
I feel that such a proposal is likely to be
rejected in the present House of Commons
and in the present Senate. I think that is the
consensus at the present time, I think it is a
Very Valuable Viewpoint to put forward and
one which I suspect will meet with increasing
support and response.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I am going to
leave it to others to go into the Very interest-
ing proposals as to how this might work out
in practice. It is going to be exceedingly dif-
ficult, more difficult than you make it appear
in your proposals. Nevertheless, I think we
are grateful to you, both as a young Canadian
and as a person who has the future in your
bones for making this Very thoughtful
Mr. Osler: I just omitted to point out one
area. I will probably leave it to be tabled with
the Committee. It is a background article to
do with the detail of election. One gentleman
has pointed out you could have terms but
why buy the American precedent of making
them statutory for a certain number of years.
Why not have it that every two Parliaments,
a senator must be re-elected? It could be six
months in the case of a really weird situation.
It could be seven or eight years in the case of
a more normal situation. Why not have your
Senate districts co-terminus with your federal
MP’s districts so you do not get into confu-
sion. I will leave the article with you but I
thought the man’s ideas vis-a-vis some of the
technical problems were interesting and per-
hapsmore adaptable to our system of govern-
ment than the holus-bolus adoption of Ameri-
Senator Cameron: May I just comment, Mr.
Chairman? To me the suggestion of a six-year
term would make this into the greatest politi-
cal pork barrel of our times.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like on your
behalf to thank Mr. Osler. Senator Cameron
has already done it better than I can. I would
just like on behalf of the whole Committee to
reiterate our thanks to him.
Would you please come up, Mr. Krueger.
While Mr. Krueger is coming up I would ask
that we recess for a moment while a picture
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I
have not for the last several cases asked com-
ments from the floor, but after Mr. Krueger
has spoken I will once again allow anyone
from the floor to make a comment. Our last
witness, ladies and gentlemen, is Mr. Leonard
Krueger of Winnipeg.
Mr. Leonard Krueger, B.A. (Winnipeg): Mr.
Chairman and members of the Committee, I
am somewhat nervous. The biggest word in
the English language is “predestination”. I
was hoping that I would be the first speaker
last Thursday morning, but in the wisdom of
the experienced Secretary, Mr. Kirby and the
Chairman, Mr. MacGuigan, by clairvoy-
ance, they must have decided that I should
speak last. I wish to thank them for giving
me the opportunity to be the last speaker.
As I am the last speaker, please forget what
the illiterate professors have told you. In my
travels through many countries on three con-
tinents, I still have to find a professor who
can give me the English word for Montreal or
how to cut a pie into five equal pieces.
Now I have a speech of only one sheet. It
has 6 points, 60 lines and 600 words. Every
word has the weight of 10,000 tons of dyna-
mite. In my last speech on the South Indian
Lake when I had ended the building of a dam
on the South Indian Lake, the Indians up
North understood me and it was the Indian
vote that defeated the last provincial govern-
ment. God help you people in the Senate at
the next election when I am through
Mr. Chairman, perhaps I should say a word
about my personal history before I read my
speech. I am sorry I cannot speak French, but
I am biracial, multiracial. My grandfather
was seven feet tall, one of the last teutonic
giants in Germany. One day he put all his
belongings in the wheelbarrow and pushed it
into Warsaw, Poland. My father was born in
Warsaw; I was born in the Ukraine. My
parents settled south of Thornhill in 911.
Within a few years my father died young
from bad water and for 40 years I have
talked about bringing water into the small
towns so nobody else would die from bad
water. So I am the waterbug. I wanted a dam
built in Saskatchewan in 1929; Mr. Roblin
An hon. Member: On a point of order.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, I wonder if you would be a constitu-
tional bug right now.
Mr. Krueger: I shall try to proceed. Oh, yes,
one more thing. Out of respect for our athlet-
ic the Right Hon. Prime Minister Pierre Tru-
deau who said, “smoking is a despicable hab-
it”, would you people please refrain from
smoking when I am speaking.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, I am afraid I cannot allow you to
establish the rules for the Committee. We
have our own rules and smoking is permitted.
Mr. Krueger: You should show some con-
sideration for the women in this room who do
not smoke. You are very selfish.
I have six points and there are some enclo-
sures. I will explain these enclosures as I go
along. As a naturalized Canadian citizen who
has never been a paying member of any
political party but who has always voted for
the candidate who did not patronize the
tobacco and alcohol industries, I feel that the
basic principle that confronts any nation in
formulating its Constitution can be detected
in the realization that by learning something
new every day we discover that the whole of
life’s span is a school. This we learn by
watching chickens who pick the ground in
search for food from sunrise till sunset.
Permit me to list several constitutional
problems that will usher in the dawn of
world government. In my travels I discovered
the language problem. In my travels through
Europe and both North and South America I
learned that a nation must be unilingual and
not multilingual. Hence we must drop the
imagination that Canada is bilingual. The
British North America Act states that that settlers
are permitted to retain their mother tongue
and private religion, but the British North
America Act does not say that the judge in a
court must speak French. You have the privi-
lege to use an interpreter; that is British jus-
tice. I am glad about that.
When my father settled here in Canada, my
father could speak five languages, but he gave
me only one advice—two: oh, I never forget
to pray—”speak English”, said my father, and
I speak English. I try to anyway. In my opin-
ion the French language is a jumble of words
with no logical sequence.
I have stated that my grandfather was
seven feet tall. Well, I asked my uncle, why
am I so short. “Oh, Leonard, back in history a
French lady got into our family from Alsace-
Lorraine”. I have here a letter from cet
homme avec le nez grand, the man with the
big nose, President de Gaulle.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, may I ask you to continue with the
reading of your brief.
Mr. Krueger: I have a letter here from the
Governor of New York State, Nelson Rock-
efeller, 43 of whose bodyguards were shot
during his visit to South America. I will
explain as I go along.
The French language, in my opinion, is a
jumble of words with no logical sequence.
The English mind first perceives the colour: I
see the red carpet, the black hat. In the
French language it is the reverse; chapeau
noir, hat black. That is all right in peotry, not
in English speech. I am part Frenchman; I
speak as part Frenchman.
Now the clauses of religious and linguistic
freedom give us all an opportunity to pray
and sing at home or in church where parents
should shoulder the family responsibility for
rearing a child. I should mentioned that I am a
member of the Lutheran Church. My younger
sister has been the organist for 45 years. I
wonder who will play the organ when they
carry her body from the church for the last
time. The Lutherans do not understand me.
Ultimately we need a universal world lan-
guage. At this moment some 291 million
people can speak English, although some 700
millions people speak one of the many Chi-
nese dialects. Russia encourages the teaching
of English in Russia, for example, Svetlana’s
children are attending school in Germany.
Stalin insisted that all his children study
German. He was very, very disappointed
when somebody attacked him. I am looking
forward to the day when English will be
accepted as a universal language including
such modern condensations of terms such as
UNRRA, NATO, laser, OIS—that is Overseas
International Society—sputnicks and beat-
nicks. Until then I am not ashamed to say
God Save the Queen.
Now if you want a new constitution, you
will have to have a new national anthem.
Here it is, translated in nine languages with
the premiers in the front. Had Mr. Juba sup-
ported me, I would have put His Worship
Mayor Juba’s picture right in the centre of
the globe, but here it says, “All roads lead to
Winnipeg for Manitoba’s Centennial in 1970”
translated in nine languages, in French and
also in Yiddish.
Now point number two is economy in mili-
tary defence. The late Right Hon. William
Lyon Mackenzie King stipulated in his last
will and testament that his will must not be
opened till 20 years after his death. People
who are wondering why the present federal
government at Ottawa under Prime Minister
Trudeau closes military bases at Gimli and
Virden, et cetera, will find the answer in Mr.
King’s will, the report of it by clairvoyance is
on file at McGill University library in Mont-
real. The present problem is continental
defence, not national defence, embodied in
missile bases every 30 miles along the Cana-
dian border. My brothers operate land in both
Manitoba and in North Dakota. The bulk of
my relatives are United States citizens. On
my brother’s farm at Langdon, North Dakota,
there is a missile base 30 feet underground all
connected with Arizona. A pigeon can set off
a false alarm and all bases, every 30 miles,
start shooting. If the Russians ever send a
plane, the planes will drop on Winnipeg. We
might be the first city that will be bombarded
by the missile bases in the United States, so
we do not need any airplanes at Gimli or at
Virden. Mr. Trudeau knows that because
recently Mr. Wilson, the Labour candidate
from England came to see President Nixon,
hush, hush, hush, nobody knows what Mr.
Wilson told President Nixon. Mr. Nixon spoke
to Mr. Trudeau.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, may I ask you to keep to your text,
Mr. Krueger: Yes, I am explaining as I go
along. Mr. Trudeau is closing the military
bases—because Washington told him to. The
head man in the United States Pentagon, in
the military ofiice, is Mr. Walter Krueger II.
Economy in military defence.
As I stressed in 1967, when the last Liberal
Convention in Ottawa did not permit me to
express my views over CBC, we need a
reduction in preparation costs for war, but an
increase in local police. We do not need more
soldiers, but we need more local police. Last
night I only slept half an hour. I live in the
slum district there. I have a room there in the
slum district. Yes, I will keep to my text. I
had to call the officers at half past three in
the morning to stop a couple of Irishmen
condemning Great Britain.
Now, let me repeat, as I stressed in 1967
when the Liberal establishment at the last
Liberal Convention in Ottawa did not permit
me to express my views over CBC, we need a
reduction in preparation costs of war, but we
need an increase in the local police depart-
ment to cope with our mentally disarranged
hippies who do not know what branch of
studies they apply in cutting a pie into five
equal pieces or putting nine spokes into a
wagon wheel. Ask your wives when you get
home how to cut a pie into five equal pieces
and what subject they apply in that.
My third point is coping with leisure time.
The Ford factory in England introduced the
four-day work week. A new problem arises.
What to do with three days of leisure time?
My solution is the space age calendar. Here
you have it, 61 Sundays. If you drop the
Saturdays and make nine more weeks you get
61 Sundays in a year. You can study that
when you get home. I start the year with the
shortest day. Long before creation, long
before there were any stars, planets, grass for
birds or grasshoppers or bedbugs created two
things were in existence; time and space. A
circle of 360 degrees of space equals 365 days
of time. You will understand the rest when
you read that. This space age calendar has
been accepted by the Vatican, but the Vatican
hopes that the United Nations will introduce
it. I lost out in 1962; Mr. Diefenbaker could
not understand it. I lost out in 1967; Mr.
Pearson wa.s busy with the flag and our pres-
ent very healthy Prime Minister is too busy
meeting ladies, but I hope to introduce this.
This calendar with 61 Sundays will solve
the Near Eastern problem between the Arabs,
Christians and Israelites. That is where the
Rockefellers feel determined to keep control
over oil. I have here a letter and I am going
to read it.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): No.
Mr. Krueger: The problem in the Near East
is oil and the Rockefellers are determined to
keep control over that oil.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, may I ask you to continue reading
Mr. Krueger: Yes. This is the brief; this is
what you should know when you go back to
Ottawa. The Rockefellers are going to keep
control over the oil. That was why 43 of these
bodyguards were shot in South America. He
wrote to me because Mr. Rockefeller is inter-
ested in the oil on my brother’s farm.
My fourth point is improved immigration
policy. My father said just speak English. I
think immigration people in Ottawa should
pass a by-law stressing that immigrants who
apply for immigration to Canada should be
told to learn English in their native country
so they will be able to speak a little bit of
English when they get here. That will simpli-
fy finding a job. That is all I am going to say
about immigration. Predestination is the will
of God that I should speak to you tonight.
Fifth, proportionate tax-sharing — our
youthful premier of the Province of Manitoba
had his picture taken last week. Our youthful
premier, Mr. Schreyer, is going to talk about
tax-sharing at the next session. He wants
some dough from Ottawa.
I prepared this chart in 1929 when I first
studied the Liberal government in 1929 when
I wanted a darn built. I was the boy who first
talked about exporting $66 billion of Canadian
water to the United States.
Now this thing you can study at home. It
has nine wheels; it shows that you need 16
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): As
you said, Mr. Krueger, we can study it at
home and our economic experts will be able
to help explain it to us when we get back to
Mr. Krueger: Yes. Now there are four small
wheels. I got this idea from Hebrew contribu-
tions to civilization. I can explain just one
circle. Old Abraham told his nephew Lot:
“Boy, you come and farm with me.” Here you
can have a choice, farm on this side or farm
on the other side; so they farmed. Eventually
young Lot said: “Now, Abe, you can farm. I
think I can make more money if I open up a
mart along the highway, along the road from
Babylon to Egypt.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, I think you can give us credit for
being able to understand the wheels and the
Mr. Krueger: Do you know the story about
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): No,
I did not know that story but I do not really
think that is too relevant to the Canadian
Mr. Krueger: It is very important.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Could you continue reading your brief, please.
Mr. Krueger: That is very important, sir. I
am doing the speaking.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I am
afraid, sir, when you are here you are subject
to our rules.
Mr. Krueger: Then Abraham and Lot
established a family compact.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Sir,
I am not prepared to hear your story about
Abraham and Lot.
Mr. Krueger: This you must learn, Mr.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): This
is not relevant to the Canadian constitu-
tion . . .
Mr. Krueger: This you must learn, Mr.
Chairman. The United States was not the first
government in the world to introduce the
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, I am afraid that if you are not pre-
pared to continue reading your brief that we
will just have to file it.
Mr. Krueger: Just a minute, sir—over my
dead body, sir.
The family compact has now been replaced
by the trade unions; that is the first small
circle. The next is the municipal government.
The third is the provincial government and
the fourth is the federal government. Now in
these nine wheels, any small wheel can stop
the wheel of industry. Now study that. You
need then 16 Ministers for the Cabinet, no
more. I classified this 41 years ago.
Now what is the last point? It is reduction
in government persons. This chart is entitled
Relationship Between Government and Indus-
try in Terms of Four Dimensional Govern-
ment. You have talked about three dimen-
sional government. I talk about four
dimensional government. Now you can reduce
the number of people in the government. You
must eliminate the Senate. You do not need
these illiterate people in the Senate.
Who is going to be the Parliament? I stand
for industrial democracy. The trade unions
will elect the Cabinet Minister to the provin-
cial government; only teachers will elect the
Minister of Education; only farmers will elect
the Minister of Agriculture and only miners
will elect the Minister of Mines and only
fishermen and so forth will elect the Minister
Now then you have 16 Cabinet Ministers in
the province, and you have ten provinces.
You will then have 160 members at Ottawa,
not 270. Now these 16 Cabinet Ministers will
discuss provincial problems in the province
for three months and they can take a vaca-
tion; go home and kiss their wives; look after
their chickens; plant a few plum trees; weed
the garden and then they can leave for three
months in Ottawa and meet the people in
Ottawa. The 16 Cabinet Ministers times ten is
160 people who will be the government at
Ottawa. One hundred and sixty people, those
are the provincial Cabinet Ministers who will
form the federal government and we do not
need an illiterate Senate that knows nothing
Some hon. Members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Krueger: The Ministers of portfolio for
the provincial governments could meet for
three months to discuss business for the
nation’s needs. This will eliminate election of
members of Parliament. Meetings could be
held alternately in the provinces thus leaving
Ottawa as a monument of mediaeval times.
I was going to say something else, Mr.
Chairman, if you will just give me half a
minute to reflect. Who is going to collect the
taxes? Yes, that is the thing. Here is a job.
Five times I was near death with ptomaine
poisoning so I do not eat in public. This is the
Treasury of the nation. I maintain that all
taxes should be collected and put into the
municipal treasury. Now, Mr. Chairman, if
you are the municipal treasurer you will
retain 33 per cent for the municipal treasury
and you will write out a cheque for 33 per
cent to the provincial government that leaves
how much for the federal government? That
leaves 34 per cent for the federal government.
The federal government would get only 34
per cent according to my system of taxation.
and I hope to live long enough—and I will tell
you another little joke at the end—to see this
come true for the Dominion of Canada, this
In practice the Dominion government, that
is the 160 Cabinet Ministers, will have only 34
per cent for spending; they will have 66 per
cent less for war propaganda. Mr. Nixon is
telling us that already when he is closing air
bases, continental defence. In practice it
means that the provincial and the federal
government will have 66 per cent fore for
For 44 years I have tried to bring water to
small towns. Mr. Roblin carried out my pro-
gram. Mr. Roblin built the Floodway and he
brought in German engineers to do this and
that. Whatever was done in this country was
done by German engineers. Some gentleman
here spoke about not sending money to the
United States. I agree with that gentleman.
We had two world wars. Twice Germany
was destroyed, completely destroyed. Today
every illiterate English-speaking country is
borrowing money from Germany. Mr. Weir
borrowed $40 million; Mr. Robarts borrowed
$48 million; Joey Smallwood, little Joey,
when he joinedthe Dominion of Canada, he
was going to do something but he could not
find anybody in Newfoundland who could do
anything besides catching halibut fish. What
did Mr. Joey do? Joey brought in German
engineers. They circled that island for three
years and built 24 factories. When an Ameri-
can company found oil in Alberta at Leduc,
Diefenbaker accused and St. Laurent accused
the United States of taking over Canada. It
was not quite true. The Americans only found
a spot where the oil is. A German company
came over and built two factories—Phoenix
Pipe Line at Calgary and another in British
Columbia—to make pipes to transport oil
across the continent. When a chemical compa-
ny from Ohio found potash in Saskatchewan,
they had drilled down 3,000 feet and found
quicksand. What now? They flew in a
German engineer. He got off the plane and he
said: “Gentlemen, what is quicksand?” He
saw a thousand dollars worth of drilling
machinery and he asked what is quicksand
and what answer would he give them, sir?
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, there is another gentleman who
wants to speak from the floor and the hour is
late. You have given us your constitutional
views and I wonder if I could ask you to
Mr. Krueger: Yes, I will conclude right
now. This gentleman, this German engineer,
he says quicksand is…
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, I do not believe this is relevant to
our point. I wonder if I could ask you to
conclude on the constitutional points.
Mr. Krueger: Every day you see 368 car-
loads from Saskatchewan carrying potash into
the rest of the world. What happens? The
German engineer said: “Forget about the
sand. Supposing we freeze the water.” They
froze the water and kept on drilling. Every
day you count two payloads, 368 carloads car-
rying potash out of Saskatchewan. It is your
engineering you see. Mr. Robarts has to bring
in German engineers. For the first time 3,000
Indians are going to have a job in Northern
Manitoba. That is why the Indian vote defeat-
ed the useless Conservative government in
Manitoba. It was the Indian vote.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Mr.
Krueger, these are privincial matters that we
are not concerned with.
Mr. Krueger: But you cannot have govern-
ment without the provinces.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan):
Thank you very much for your views on the
Mr. Krueger: Thank you.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): Are
there any questions?
Mr. Kruegr: Oh, yes, the President of
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): I am
afraid it is too late now Mr. Krueger. You
have just been thanked. The Committee has Krueger
applauded you and I am about to invite
people from the floor who wish to speak to do
Mr. Krueger: I have the answer why
Quebec wants to get out of Canada from the
President of France.
The Joint Chairman (Mr. MacGuigan): This
is a matter of external relations, Mr. Krueger.
I think this is not a matter of relevance to us,
so I will ask the gentleman from the floor
who wishes to speak to go ahead. Would you
take a microphone, please.
Mr. Edward Spalton: Mr. Chairman, my
name is Spalton and I do not have any pre-
pared statement. I just have a couple of com-
ments to make but I very much dislike to
usurp the other speaker, so if he is finished
and with your permission I will continue.
You, gentlemen, when you have finished
this tour and other tours are going to re-write
the constitution or amend the constitution.
May I appeal to you this time to write it in
clear, precise language so that everybody can
understand it. It is absolutely appalling to me
that we have to appeal to the Privy Council
to find out the meaning of the word “person”.
We have to go to the courts to find out
whether the boundary of Manitoba went for
100 miles into Hudson Bay. Designate, please,
clearly the powers and duties of the provin-
cial authority and the Dominion government.
It seems to me ridiculous that the Dominion
government could not build a highway across
Canada without permission on a cost-sharing
basis with Manitoba.
I have never been able to understand, Mr.
Chairman, the jealous regard which the prov-
inces have for education. It seems to me to be
a fair distribution to split the thing down the
middle and take the universities and make
the universities lock, stock and barrel the
jurisdiction of the Dominion government.
Then we could make the hgih schools the
jurisdiction of the provincial governments;
and the elementary schools the jurisdiction of
the local municipal government. It seems to
me that if we split the cost that way many of
the problems you have been having briefs
about by the municipalities and the metro
people would dissolve.
Now we come to the question of the reve-
nue producing authorities. I would like to see
the sole taxing power on dominion chartered
companies in the hands of the Dominion gov-
ernment. I would turn back to the provinces
all income tax on personal people, on
individual people and provincially incorporat-
ed companies. I think that would divide the
revenue to such an extent it would be able to
take over the financing of the university edu-
cation and solve many problems.
Just let me make one more comment. I
think the matter of succession duties and
death duties should be solely in the hands of
the Dominion government. The situation at
the present is absolutely ridiculous where it
costs more to die in one province than anoth-
er province and I commend all these things to
your good consideration.
An hon. Member: Would you be good
enough to give us your first name before you
leave the microphone.
Mr. Spalton: My first name is Edward;
The Chairman: Thank you. Any comments?
I would like to thank Mr. Spalton for his
comments which are very sweeping with
regard to the work of this Committee.
I am now prepared to adjourn the meeting
and the Committee will resume tomorrow
morning at 11.00 a.m. in Thompson city,
The meeting is adjourned.
“Potential Future Governmental Arrange-
ments for the Canadian Capital Area.” A
brief presented to The Special Joint Com-
mittee of the Senate and of the House of
Commons on the Constitution of Canada
September, 1970, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, by
A. R. Kear.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
1. Some Ideals of the Canadian Capital
2. Abbreviations used in this memoire.
3. Terms of Reference of Joint Committee
on the Constitution of Canada and the Inter-
4. Introduction and purpose of this brief.
5. Various descriptions of the Canadian
Capital Area and suitable geographical
6. Evolution of the Ottawa – Hull Area
towards a status as the Canadian Capital
Area: Economic, transportation and popula-
tion growth studies.
8. Commentson the Jones Report.
9. Comments on the Dorion Commission—
La Commission d’étude sur l’intégrité du Ter-
ritoire du Quebec.
10. Commentary on the B & B Commis-
11. Commentary on the Recommendations
of the B & B Commission Concerning the
National Capital, Book V, The Federal Capital.
12. Commentary on Appendix III entitled
“Institutional Arrangements for a Capital
Territory” contained in Book V.
13. Conclusion of Appendix III, Book V,
entitled “Institutional Arrangements for a
14. Studies of Particular Aspects or Devel-
opment of the C.C.A. by Bits and Pieces.
15. Studies and Public Participation therein
concerning the Canadian Capital Area.
16. What can or Might be Done by this
17. Arguments for a Commission “pas
comme les autres”.
18. What are the advantages of a Canadian
Commission over a Royal Commission?
19. Suggested Resolution to be adopted by
this Joint Committee.
1. Some Ideals for the Canadian Capital Area.
“a genuinely integrated capital area “B ffl
B Commission, Book V. p. 89.
“a capital region appropriate to Canada”
B & B Commission, Book, V p. 91, 93.
a bilingual, bicultural, central capital B & B
Commission, Book V, p. 105.
“. . .The focus of Canadian identity and
a symbol of which all Canadians can be
proud” Jean Marchand, Minister of Region-
al Economic Expansion, House of Commons,
(paperback debates), May 29, 1929, p. 9203.
“. . . the common meeting ground, the capi-
tal region, must be a strong and true reflec-
tion of the country. It must be one of the
major elements contributing to national
pride. In it each Canadian must find his
personal identity strengthened and his per-
spective broadened by tangible expressions
of mutual respect and trust”. J. Marchand.
ibid, p. 9204.
“The very nature of the urban environment
will be transformed (in the next twenty five
years). This poses a challenge and an
opportunity to create a unique capital area”
J. Marchand, ibid, p. 9205.
“There is an underlying Canadian wisdom
which has always prevailed in times of
stress.” J. Marchand, ibid, p. 9204.
2. Abbreviations used in this mémoire.
C. C. A.—Canadian Capital Area, designat-
ed by the Continuing Constitutional
N. C. R.—Nation Capital Region, created by
B & B Commission—Royal Commission
on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.
N. C. C.—National Capital Commission,
which administers the N. C. R. under
authority granted by Parliament.
Joint Committee—The Special Joint Com-
mittee of the Senate and of the House of
Commons on the Constitution of Canada.
C.C.C.—Continuing Constitutional Con-
3. Terms of Reference of the Joint Com-
ittee on the Constitution of Canada and
the Interpretation Thereof
The following resolution was adopted by
the House of Commons on January 27, 1970:
“Resolved – That a Joint Committee of
the Senate and the House of Commons be
appointed to examine and report upon
proposals, made public, or which are from
time to time made public by the Govern-
ment of Canada, on a number of subjects
related to the Constitution of Canada
during the course of the comprehensive
review of the Constitution of Canada,
which review was agreed upon at the Con-
stitutional Conference of the Prime Minis-
ter of Canada and the Premiers and Prime
Minister of the Provinces in February, 1968,
and alternative proposals on the same
That twenty members of the House of
Commons, to be designated by the House at
a later date, be members of the Joint Com-
mittee on the part of this House;
That the Committee have power to
appoint, from among its members, such
sub-committees as it may deem advisable
That the Committee have power to sit
during sittings and adjourmnents of the
That the Committee have power to report
from time to time, to send for persons,
papers, and records, and to print such
papers and evidence from day to day as
may be ordered by the Committee.
That the Committee have power to
adjourn from place to place within
In accordance with customary practice I
presume that this Joint Committee shall
interpret its terms of reference broadly while
remaining within the ambit of a Review of
the Consitution. I mention a broad interpreta-
tion of the terms of reference as there is no
mention therein about existing or future gov-
ernmental arrangements concerning what
shall be described at this stage as the Ottawa-
Hull metropolitan area.
This Joint Committee’s terms of reference
do refer to the Review of the Constitution
which “was agreed upon at the Constitu-
tional Conference of the Prime Minister of
Canada and the Premiers and Prime Min-
isters of the Provinces in February, 1968,
arid alternative proposals on the same sub-
The legal adviser to this Joint Committee,
Mr. D. L. McWilliam sent me the conclusions
of the meeting of the Constitutional Confer-
ence in June, 1969. These conclusions are
under the general title, “Constitution of
On page 1:110 of these conclusions the Con-
stitutional Conference discussed and adopted
a resolution on “Reform of institutions linked
with federalism—the National Capital
(Agenda item 4 (d)).”
The resolution of the Constitutional Confer-
ence is quoted in full in the section of this
memoire entitled “Evaluation of the Ottawa-
Hull Area towards a status as the Canadian
Since the terms of reference of this Joint
Committee mention the Review of the Consti-
tution being undertaken by the Constitutional
Conference, and since the Constitutional Con-
ference has discussed and agreed to study the
Canadian Capital Area, it is appropriate then
that this Joint Committee would be interested
in this brief.
Furthermore, your terms of reference do
not prohibit your Joint Committee from
studying the Canadian Capital Area. Further-
more, the B & B Commission specifically
remarked of “…the Continuing Constitu-
tional Conference, wherein all provincial
governments may speak for their people on
those aspects of proposed development of
common interest to all Canadians” (B & B
report, Book V, p. 92), thus suggesting that
the Continuing Constitutional Conference
has a continuing and long term interest in
When the Minister for Regional Economic
Expansion announced in the House of Com-
mons on May 29, 1969, the central govern-
ment’s long term plans for development of
Hull as part of the National Capital Region
he also said:
“It was this recognition (of the national
importance of the Ottawa-Hull area) by the
Canadian premiers at the Federal-Provin-
cial Constitutional Conference in February,
1969, which led to unanimous adoption of
the resolution, declaring that the core of
the Canadian Capital Region should include
Hull, Quebec, as well as Ottawa, Ontario.”
(Hansard, paperback version, p. 9204).
It is assumed then that the Canadian Capi-
tal Area falls within the terms of reference of
this Joint Committee.
4. Introduction and Purpose of this Brief
This brief will examine and discuss the
past, present and possible future governmen-
tal arrangements for the Ottawa-Hull Met-
ropolitan area, or what the Constitutional
Conference has loosely described as the
Canadian Capital Area. As there is some his-
torical and current ambiquity over the desig-
nation of an area large enough for the proper
development of the Canadian Capital Area, it
shall be necessary to examine differing desig-
nations of the geographical area encompass-
ing the Ottawa-Hull Metropolitan Area so as
to reach an understanding as to the area and
the concept to be analysed in this brief.
The purpose of this brief is to bring to the
attention of this Joint Committee a problem
of importance to the whole country, to all the
governments of Canada, and to the residents
of the Ottawa-Hull Metropolitan Area.
It is this writer’s hope and expectation that
this Joint Committee will accept the major
suggestion of this brief by recommending to
Parliament and to the Federal Cabinet the
creation of a Royal Commission to study and
report upon all aspects of the problems con-
cerning the Canadian Capital Area and that
the Royal Commission will make suitable
recommendations for solving these problems
in the national interest, in the interest of all
governments in Canada, and in the interest
of the residents of the Canadian Capital Area.
Limitations to this Brief
The limitations of this brief arise because
the author has no resources other than his
own, supported and strengthened as those
resources have been by generous assistance
provided by some governmental agencies.
Finally, the author has undertaken the prepa-
ration of this brief by himself, and has not
been able to draw upon any other research
A major limitation of this brief, which
should not detract from the attempt of view-
ing the situation of the Ottawa-Hull Met-
ropolitan Areas as a whole, or in an inclusive
comprehensive sense, has been the inability to
examine the Dorion Commission Report.
However, press clippings from Le Devoir and
Le Soleil, which include a transcript of some
recommendations, have enabled the author of
this memoire to make what analysis was pos-
sible on the basis of available evidence.
The Jone Report on the Ontario side of the
Ottawa-Hull Metropolitan Area was exam-
ined only briefly as it was received while this
memoire was being composed.
Advantages of this Brief
The advantages of this memoire stem from
a hopefully disinterested point of view, an
objective attitude to the problems to be dis-
cussed, an attempt to understand the prob-
lems of the Canadian Capital Area in as com-
prehensive and complete a manner as
possible, and the desire to seek a solution that
will satisfy these three sets or interests:
(a) the Canadian people as a whole who
desire that the Canadian Capital Region
reflect the best that is of Canadian ideas,
government, society, and sentiments.
(b) the Governments of Canada who pre-
sently exercise some responsibility for over-
seeing or governing the Canadian Capital
(c) that the residents of the Canadian Capi-
tal Region have their interests listened to,
weighed, protected and advanced in any
possible solution that is acceptable to all
these three sets of interests.
5. Various Descriptions of the Canadian Capi-
tal Area and Suitable Geographical Disposi-
The problem of determining the geograph-
ical boundaries of a suitable area has been
well analysed and described in the B & B
Report, Book V, Chapter II, paragraphs 53-72.
One problem has been that the concept and
hence the geographical extent of a suitable
area has undergone everal changes in the
development of the Ottawa-Hull area.
The British North America Act simply
states, section 16, “Until the Queen otherwise
directs, the Seat of Government of Canada
shall be Ottawa” and this description was the
result of the choice of Ottawa in 1857 as the
capital of the Province of Canada, which
province then comprised what is now general-
ly known as the Provinces of Quebec and
It was not until 1927, with the creation of
the Federal District Commission that a geo-
graphical area was set aside, and Hull was
recognized as part of this federal area. In
1946 about 550 square miles of Quebec terri-
tory was to be overseen and developed under
the authority of the Federal District Commis-
sion Act, which was legislation enacted by the
Parliament of Canada. By the National Capi-
tal Act of 1958 the area in Quebec was
expanded to 750 square miles. The same
legislation created the National Capital
Region having a total area on both sides of
the Ottawa River of 1800 square miles.
Creation of regional communities by the
Ontario and Quebec governments has provid-
ed another set of geographical boundaries
which do not conform in all instances with
the boundaries of the National Capital
Region. The Rural Municipality of Ottawa-
Carleton has an area of 1060 square miles
compared to the Ontario portion of the N.C.R.
of 1050 square miles. La Communaute
régionale de l’Outaouais has borders consider-
ably larger than the Quebec portion of the
N.C.R. but in some places the borders of la
Communaute régionale and the N.C.R.
The overlapping boundaries of the N.C.R.,
the Rural Municipality and la Communaute
are sketched on the accompanying map,
which does not pretend to be accurate but is
provided for illustrative purposes and to
focus our attention on an area of Canada
under discussion in this brief.
The problem facing the B & B Commission
and anyone else studying this area has not
been made easier by the Dominion Bureau of
Statistics creating for its purposes yet another
area known as the Ottawa-Hull Metropolitan
census area. This census area had in 1966 a
combined population of about half a million,
and an urban and rural area of 335 square
miles embracing 13 different municipalities.
This census area, while suitable for statistical
purposes, comprises approximately one-sixth
of the N.C.R. and an even smaller proportion
of the area contained within the combined
borders of the Rural Municipality and La
Communaute. Use by the B & B Commission
of this census area has meant that the statis-
tics analysed and used by the B & B Com-
mission did not cover the whole of the N.C.R.
Even with this incompleteness of statistical
analysis the reports of the B & B Commission
throw a great deal of light upon the problems
of the Canadian Capital Area.
If these differences in concept and geo-
graphical extent were not enough, and there
is merit for purposes of study of not having
fixed borders, the Continuing Constitutional
Conference meeting in February, 1969 used
three terms in the resolution adopted by that
Conference. The resolution adopted referred
to the Canadian Capital Area twice, to the
Capital Region once, and to the Canadian
Capital Region once. No geographical borders
were delineated but it was unanimously
accepted that “the cities of Ottawa and Hull
and their surrounding areas shall be the
Canadian Capital Area.”
map showing Interrelationships of the National Capital Region, the Rural
Municipality of Ottawa – Carleton, and la Communauté régionale de l’Outaouais
* See PDF for map
To avoid confusion this brief shall use one
term, except where the context requires
otherwise and that shall be the Canadian
Capital Area, or, the C.C.A. No boundaries
shall be assigned to the C.C.A. but it shall
mean the area designated by the Continuing
Constitutional Conference. (See the map
showing presently designated borders).
6. Evolution of the Ottawa-Hull Area towards
a status as the Canadian Capital Area
Quebec City and Toronto have long been
provincial capitals. With creation of the Prov-
ince of Canada there arose the “seat of gov-
ernment question” for the location of the new
capital. Kingston was chosen first in 1841, and
then Montreal was the capital between 1844-
49. The legislature decided that Toronto and
Quebec should be the capital during each
alternate four year period, an arrangement
that eventually was demonstrably unsuitable.
Finally in 1857 Queen Victoria was asked to
settle the question, and apparently acting
upon the advice of the Governor General of
the day she chose Ottawa.
Parliament was not transferred there until
after the Parliament Buildings were com-
pleted in 1865. Ottawa had a short life as a
provincial capital when the delegates to the
Quebec Conference of 1864 chose Ottawa to
be the capital of the to-be-confederated
Location of the seat of government was
finally decided by virtue of Quebec Resolu-
tion No. 52, London Resolution No. 51, and
Section 16 of the British North America Act.
Quebec Resolution No. 52, 1864, “The seat
of government of the Federated Provinces
shall be Ottawa, subject to the Royal
London Resolution No. 51, 1866, “The seat
of Confederation shall be Ottawa, subject to
the Royal Prerogative.”
British North America Act, section 16, “Un-
til the Queen otherwise directs, the seat of
Government of Canada shall be Ottawa.”
The Fathers of Confederation had appar-
ently no intention of creating another District
of Columbia in the Ottawa-Hull area even
though they had the opportunity if they had
wanted to, to make some special arrange-
ments before 1867. In the hiatus between
Ottawa being a provincial and becoming a
federal capital The “Union Parliament, which
held its first and only session in Ottawa in
1866, had the rather rudimentary structure of
municipal government in the United Province
within its own legislative competence. The
Federal Parliament that succeeded it in 1867
was in a very different position” (B & B
report Book V, p. 15) as it had no direct
legislative control over Ottawa and Hull that
passed under the jurisdictions of Toronto and
Quebec City respectively.
The Ottawa Improvement Commission,
created by the Central Government in 1899,
was the first step in improving the site of the
Government of Canada. This Commission
was replaced by the Federal District Commis-
sion in 1927 at which time Hull became part
of the federal area concept. In 1946 the Feder-
al District Commission Act was amended
enlarging the area under the jurisdiction of
the Federal District Commission.
The Central Government secured the ser-
vices of Jacques Greber in 1945 to draw up a
report which was completed in 1950. Greber’s
work has had a marked influence on later
material and social developments.
With the creation of the National Capital
Commission to oversee the 1800 square mile
National Capital Region, both created by
legislation effective in 1959, the pace of devel-
opment increased. The amounts of money
expended by Parliament also increased as can
be determined by examination of the annual
reports of the N.C.C. While the N.C.C.
remains an advisory agency to assist
municipalities in their planning requirements,
it continues to act as the Central Govern-
ment’s agent in developing the National Capi-
” . . .in order that the nature and character
of the seat of the Government of Canada
may be in accordance with its national sig-
nificance. To fulfill these objectives, the
Commission has certain powers including
the acquisition and development of proper-
ty, construction and maintenance of parks,
roads, operations in respect to railway relo-
cation, bridges, buildings and other works;
the right to undertake joint projects with
municipalities or make grants to municipal-
ities; construct and operate concessions,
and administer historic buildings. The Com-
mission is also charged with the co-ordin-
ation of the development of public lands
in the National Capital Region, and must
give its approval before buildings or other
works are erected, altered or extended by
government departments in the region.”
National Capital Commission, fifth edition,
1967, published by the N.C.C., p. 5.
In June 1969, the Continuing Constitutional
Conference took cognizance of the national
capital and unamimously adopted the follow-
Reform of institutions linked with federal-
ism—The National Capital (Agenda item
The Constitutional Conference, subject to
any comments that may be submitted,
(a) The Cities of Ottawa and Hull and
their surrounding areas shall be the
Canadian Capital area;
(b) No changes be made to provincial
boundaries or to the constitutional
responsibilities of the governments con-
(c) The boundaries of the Canadian Capi-
tal area are to be established by agree-
ment of the governments concerned;
(d) In line with the aforementioned
objectives, steps must be taken so that
the two official languages and the cultur-
al values common to all Canadians are
recognized by all governments concerned
in these two cities and in the Capital
Region in general, so that all Canadians
may have a feeling of pride and partici-
pation in, and attachment to their
(e) That the study committee on the
Canadian Capital continue its work,
giving particular importance the
(i) the definition of adjacent areas which
would eventually constitute, along with
the cities of Ottawa and Hull, and their
surrounding areas, the Canadian Capital
(ii) the study of the administration and
the financing of a tripartite organization.
7. Economic Transportation and Population
In addition to the Greber study, which
was commissioned by the Central Govern-
ment, there have been other studies related
to the national capital and environs.
The National Capital Commission secured
the services of Larry Smith and Company,
Real Estate consultants, to conduct an “Econ-
omic Prospects Study” of the National Capital
Region. An initial report was submitted to
the N.C.C. in August with the final report
being transmitted in December of 1963. This
has been the only study as far as I know,
that analysed the basic economy of the com-
munity within the N.C.R. The Economic
Prospects Study made projections up till 1986,
of population growth and development, the
geographic extent of the built up area and
employment and industrial growth. It recom-
mended, among other things, periodic review
of the developing situation in the N.C.R.
During the same period in 1963 the City
of Ottawa, in co-operation with the N.C.C.
and contiguous municipalities on both sides
of the Ottawa River, asked two companies of
consulting engineers to undertake a trans-
portation study of the Ottawa-Hull area.
“The main objectives of this study have
been to find ways of improving existing
travel conditions, to evolve a transportation
plan to guide the development of an inte-
grated street and public transit system, and
to inform all levels of government of steps
to be taken in scheduling the recommenda-
tions on a coordinated basis. Fundamental
to the plan has been the principle that it
should be compatible with the chosen char-
acter and extent of further urban growth in
the Ottawa-Hull area.” (Ottawa-Hull Area
Transportation Study 1965, p. 9).
The instititution in particular that has been
able to be continually concerned about long
range plans for the N.C.R. is the N.C.C On
May 29, 1969, the Minister for Regional Eco-
nomic Expansion, responsible also for the
N.C.C., said in the House of Commons:
“I believe it is of interest to all Canadians
that in recent months the National Capital
Commission has put before the Government
certain recommendations to guide the long-
range development of Canada’s Capital
Region. While study is still in progress with
regard to many aspects of this important
work, the Government has accepted certain
measures within the long-range concept. . .”
(Hansard, paperback edition, May 29, 1969,
The N.C.C. has developed a long-range plan
for development of the N.C.R. and three con-
cepts are basic:
“1. The creation of a unified, functional and
visually splendid urban form that will
shape the National Capital Region to ins-
pire the pride of Canadians in their
common achievement. Thus, the plan of
development must give expression to
national goals of social unity, linguistic
duality and cultural diversity.
2. The redressing of the social and econom-
ic disparities which exist between the
Ottawa and Quebec portions of the Region.
3. The development of a cohesive and
dynamic downtown core to make the Capi-
tal Region effective in its governmental and
In its expanded dimension, the Core
becomes the focus of cultural and economic
life in the National Capital Region. The
impetus for redeveloping downtown Hull
partly flows from the recently completed
central area study of Ottawa in which
explicit recognition is given to a single plan
embracing the two cities. The potential of
the north shore of the Ottawa River is to be
fully realized within the framework of a
comprehensive development strategy.”
Background and Statistics on the National
Capital Plan, May 29, 1969, mimeographed,
published by the N.C.C., p. 3.
Later in the document just referred to, the
N.C.C. has based its Regional Plan Concept on
“…an expectation of growth that foresees
1,500,000 inhabitants in the National Capital
Region by 1995. This will mean an increase
averaging 9,000 families during the next
twenty-five years.” (Ibid, p. 3). This projection
indicates a doubling of the population.
Later in the same document other projec-
tions are presented for growth in numbers of
jobs by industrial sectors from 1968 to 1996.
8. Comments on the Jones Report
The Jones Report is a consequence of a
study commissioned by the Ontario Govern-
ment. For this reason the Jones Report falls
into the category of another particular study
as, naturally, the Ontario Government was
concerned primarily with the Ontario
municipalities in the Ottawa region and how
these different municipalities could achieve
greater coordination of services to pursue
objectives common to the Ontario portion of
The fact that the Ontario Government was
concerned only secondarily with coordinating
any future form of regional government with
the federal authorities and the N.C.C. points
up a major weakness of this particularistic
Further analysis of the Jones Report is
inhibited as a copy of the Jones Report and
allied documents was only received during
the final stages of preparing this memoire.
9. Comments on the Dorion Commission—La
Commission d’étude sur l’intégrité du Ter-
ritoire du Quebec
The (Tremblay) Royal Commission on Con-
stitutinal Problems (La Commission d’en-
quete royale sur les problemes constitution-
nelles, cree 1953) examined only incidentally
the situation of Western Quebec ” . . . arising
from the creation of a federal district.” The
Union of Chambers of Commerce of Western
Quebec in presenting a brief to the Tremblay
Commission (which summarized the Union’s
brief) emphasized “…that, at first glance,
the realizing of such a project may appear to
the advantage of the region concerned, but
that the systematic conquest of a portion of
Quebec territory by the central authority in
order to establish there a federal enclave
gives rise to difiiculties which merit consider-
ation.” Finally, the Tremblay Commission
recommended in 1956 to the Quebec
“…that a special commission be set up
which would be asked to recommend the
legislation or attitude to be adopted.”
(Tremblay Report, English edition, Vol. II,
Book I, p. 315)
The Dorion Commission was created in
1966 and presented a volume to the Quebec
Government making recommendations for
provincial initiatives in the Hull area.
Unfortunately for the quality of complete-
ness for this memoire I have been unable to
secure a copy of the Dorion Study and I have
been forced to rely on newspaper reports. Le
Devoir, 18 decembre 1968, p. 9, quotes the
Dorion Commission as follows:
«La Commission d’étude sur l’intégrité du
territoire du Québec recommande;
que le gouvernement du Québec exprime
clairement son opposition à la création de
tout organisme impliquant le détachement
d’une portion du territoire québecois, que
cet organisme porte ou non le titre de «dis-
According to an item published in Le Soleil,
18 décembre, 1969, p. 1,
«Le Québec devrait s’opposer clairement à
tout organisme impliquant le détachement
d’une portion du territoire québecois, que
cet organisme porte ou non le titre de «dis-
C’est l’une des principales des 37 recom-
mendations que formule la Commission d’é-
tude sur l’integrite du territoire du
Le territoire concerné est celui de la région
de Hull et l’opposition préconisée par la
Commission s’incrit dans le mandat spécial
et prioritaire qui lui a été confié, par le
gouvernement du Québec . . .”
It is interesting and important to note that
Quebec is, according to the report of the
Dorion Study Commission, opposed to the
creation of a “federal district”. From 1927
until 1958 the central government agency for
developing the national capital was called the
“Federal District Commission”, a name that
was dropped in favor of the National Capital
Commission probably because the old name
was too reminiscent of the District of
Columbia. One option the Dorion Commission
probably didn’t study was that of creating a
capital-province, a suggestion that was made
in three briefs to the Royal Commission on
Bilingualism and Biculturalism.
Who knows but in the future Quebec may
be willing to cede territory to create a
capital-province, if there was a Franco-
phone majority, which would establish demo-
cratic form of government in the Canadian
tradition rather than an anti-democratic fed-
eral district or Capital Territory in the
10. Commentary on the B & B Commission’s
The terms of reference of the B & B Com-
mission refer not at all to the national capital
and surrounding area, so the Commission
need not have studied nor made any recom-
mendations about the country’s capital.
In its own wisdom the B & B Commission
decided to study what they called “The Fed-
eral Capital.” It also decided to recommend
implicitly the creation of a “Capital Territo-
ry” that has many of the earmarks of the
District of Columbia, which for the residents
of the District is a completely antidemocratic
and completely unrepresentative form of
The Commission could just as easily have
decided to study and then recommend crea-
tion of a “Capital Province” because this con-
cept was recommended to the Commission in
The Commission’s main interest was to
study bilingualism and biculturalism but yet
it deemed itself to be competent to implicitly
recommend creation of a Capital Territory,
which is a form of government requiring
more careful study than that devoted to it by
The Commission was created in a period of
extreme country-wide tensions between Angl-
phones and Francophones and the work of
the Commission was directed almost exclu-
sively to resolving these tensions.
It is now appropriate to ask if the Commis-
sion’s long-run implied recommendation for
creation of an anti-democratic Capital Terri-
tory is the best solution (though perhaps
popular in some quarters) for the country at
large, for Parliament, for the provinces of
Ontario and Quebec, and not least of all for
the present and future residents of the feder-
al capital areas.
11. Commentary on the Recommendations of
the B & B Commission Concerning the
National Capital, Book V, The Federal
The B & B Commission made a number of
specific recommendations concerning the
national capital based on the following
“. . .for the capital area, a regime of com-
plete linguistic equality and a full range of
services and facilities available in French
and in English;
the implementation of changes proposed
elsewhere in our Report, together with spe-
cific reforms to be proposed in this Chapter
to bring about linguistic equality;
the formation of a Tripartite Agency to
assume responsibility for advising the gov-
ernments involved on the planning and co-
ordination of future development in the
region.” (Book V, Chapter V, p. 57).
There is no quarrel with the excellent
recommendations for pursuing linguistic and
The only specific and formal recommenda-
tion the B & B Commission offered about
future governmental arrangements was for
establishing the Tripartite Agency. Linguistic
problems and solutions therefore were higher
on the Commission’s list of objectives and
priorities than governmental arrangements
for the national capital.
“Our research on the federal capital con-
centrated most intensively on the linguistic
policies of the various levels of government
there.” (Book V; p. 23).
“Our objective, then, is to spell out for the
capital . . . what we consider to be the most
appropriate way of applying the principle
of equal partnership in this particular set-
ting.” (Book V, p. 36).
“It seems clear that the federal government
is best situated to View the capital in the
context of Canada as a whole, and that in
future developments it should act to ensure
that this perspective is properly recog-
niezd.” (Book V, p. 51).
This line of reasoning becomes translated
into the need “. . . for a more effective federal
policy,” and “…for a more active federal
role in the capital” (Book V, p. 52) in the
pursuit of federal government objectives to
make a more truly national capital symbolic
of things Canadian. Later the Commission
urged “…the concept of a greater role for
the federal government in the future of the
region” (Book V, p. 54) but “. . . on the broad
issue of equal partnership between Franco-
phones and Anglophones, we should place the
interests and perspectives of Canada as a
whole on a par with local considerations.”
(Book V, p. 53).
The Commission recommended the estab-
lishment of an advisory Tripartite Agency
involving the central, Ontario and Quebec
governments with “broad advisory responsi-
bility for the planning and co-ordination of
immediate developments in the area.” (Book
V, p. 59).
Only one alternative to this advisory Tri-
partite Agency was examined, and that only
briefly. This alternative “….could be the
creation of a new Capital Territory, an idea
that was proposed in our public hearings…”
(Book V, p. 58). This alternative was spelled
out in Appendix III, “Institutional Arrange-
ments for a Capital Territory”, to Book V, pp.
Another alternative was suggested during
public hearings in three briefs to the Com-
mission—the idea of “provincial or city-state
status for the capital area” (Book V, p. 105).
This alternative of a capital province, perhaps
because no study had been published on the
idea’ of a capital-province (unlike the article
by D. C. Rowat entitled “The Problems of
Governing Federal Capitals”, Canadian Jour-
nal of Political Science, Vol. I, September,
1968, pp. 345-356) was not examined in the
main body of the Report or separately exam-
ined in an appendix while the idea of a Capi-
tal Territory was. The idea of an 11th prov-
ince or a capital province was put forth in a
newspaper article by Frank Flaherty, “Gift
Suggestion for Canada’s 100th Birthday:
Make Ottawa our 11th Province” Weekend
Magazine, June 29, 1963.
It should be noted in addition that the
Commission did not have special research
studies made either of the Capital Territory or
Capital Province concepts, although one brief
to the Commission had suggested that a spe-
cial study be made of the concept of a Capital
Province as a possible solution more in tune
with Canadian traditions of government.
Perhaps it is not inappropriate to note at
this point that British North Americans
system of territorial government with respect
to the British Government located in London.
The winning of Responsible Government in
those pre-1867 provinces meant the establish-
ment of the Canadian tradition of provincial
government, and provincial autonomy in rela-
tion with a central government.
This tradition of Responsible Government
being exercised by British North Americans
was an essential precursor to the idea of Con-
federation itself, after which time no province
has lost the constitutional right to its own
government responsible to the legislature and
the citizens of that province.
Indeed, the Canadian tradition for Respon-
sible Government in the provinces was one
reason why Louis Riel struggled for and won
the right to provincial status for Manitoba
when that province, now celebrating its
centenary, became a partner in Confedera-
tion. After the creation of the North West
Territories out of the area previously owned
and ruled by the Hudson Bay Company, the
residents began an agitation for provincial
status that did not cease until Saskatchewan
and Alberta were created in 1905 as partners
of Confederation. That story has been amply
and well told in the book by Lewis Herbert
Thomas, The Struggle for Responsible Gov-
ernment in the North West Territories,
Today, the residents of the Yukon Territory
seek the same goal as Riel and residents of
the old North West Territories in their
demands for provincial status for the Yukon
Territory. On all occasions beginning with the
demand for Responsible Government by Nova
Scotians led by Joseph Howe, through the
same demands being pursued by Lafontaine
and Baldwin in the Province of Canada, and
later pursued by Riel in the Red River
Valley, and then by residents of the old North
West Territories, Canadians have been singu-
larly tenacious in their belief and goal and
they have always succeeded in obtaining that
goal of Responsible Government and Provin-
For reasons of national necessity, which is
a strong argument to use for creating a Capi-
tal Territory as the Commission indirectly
and implicitly hints at, the Commission seems
to have been singularly ignorant and blind to
Canadian political and constitutional history
in the long, repeated and always successful
struggles for Responsible Government and
Furthermore, the Commission based part of
its case on three independent public opinion
polls which reported strong support for a
“federal district” concept. One of these three
polls showed some support for a capital prov-
ince. While the Commission admitted that the
evidence for a “federal district” was “. . .not
conclusive, it does suggest that there exists
even now sufficient interest in the question
for the idea of a Capital Territory to be given
serious study.” (Book V, p. 59).
It could be as equally strongly argued,
which the Commission did not argue, that the
case for a capital province should also be
given serious study.
Finally the Commission formally recom-
mended: (Underline mine).
“…that the federal government and the
provinces of Quebec and Ontario establish
a specific advisory Triparti-te Agency to be
charged with the responsibility for detailing
co-ordination of the programme we have
outlined for the federal capital area.” (Book
V, p. 90).
Subsequent quotations suggest the ultimate
goal of the Commission is the creation of a
“federal district” concept it called a “Capital
Territory” as the advisory Tripartite Agency
could be granted “powers.”
“We envisage no changes in jurisdiction or
territory at the outset.” (Book V, p. 90).
“. . .the paramount structural question is
ensuring adequate representation of the
various interests involved on the policy-
making body of the Tripartite Agency. Ulti-
mately perhaps, its members could be elect-
ed by the populations directly concerned.”
(Book V, p. 92).
The history of attempts, and all in vain, to
secure Home Rule in the District of Columbia
is instructive for Canadians contemplating
following the wishful thinking of the Com-
mission by adopting the American mistake.
Again the Commission returned to its
theme of a Capital Territory even though it
formally recommended an “advisory Tripar-
“But ‘co-ordination’ is more than co-opera-
tive planning. Certain specific powers may
be required to resolve conflicting points of
view in the interests of the whole, and to
enable the agency to carry out its mandate
for planning and co-ordination.” (Book V,
“Certain administrative functions, however,
seem appropriate for the Agency in the
near future.” (Book V, p. 94).
“We expect that an evolutionary process
would occur through this Agency.” (Book
V, p. 94).
Finally, the Commission is specific in its
desire for a Capital Territory.
“Whatever may be the long-run develop-
ment of a Capital Territorym a formal advi-
sory mechanism could contribute much to
the kind of development we feel desirable
in the present capital area.” (Book V, p. 95).
The Commission’s line of thought began by
formally recommending an “advisory Tripar-
tite Agency,” that later could be granted
“powers” and “functions” leading towards a
Even though the Commission didn’t
acknowledge the fact, the Commission opted
finally for a Capital Territory analogous to
the District of Columbia, a concept that
Americans have found to be anti-democratic
for the District’s residents, a concept of ter-
ritorial government that Canadians have
repeatedly and successfully refused to live
under in favor of provincial status with
12. Commentary on Appendix III, entitled “In-
stitutional Arrangements for a Capital Terri-
tory” contained in Book V, (p.p. 109-121.)
It seems from reading Book V that the B &
B Commission decided on a federally domi-
nated capital territory and then decided to
cut the cloth accordingly in describing the
institutional arrangements for a capital terri-
tory. Why did the Commission not present
two appendices, with the second analysing in
an objective way the concept of a Capital
Province? At least then the public would
have had the option of choosing between two
concepts: a Capital Territory or a Capital
Several aims were decided upon by the B
& B Commission:
1. “. . .The establishment of a new jurisdic-
tion over both the Quebec and the Ontario
sectors of the area to be designated as the
federal capital.” (p. 109).
2. “. . . this new jurisdiction would develop
a new governmental structure. This struc-
ture could carry out many of the functions
presently performed by the provinces.” (p.
3. “. . .such a territorial government need
not stand in the same relation to the feder-
al government as the provinces do.” (p.
The ultimate idea lying behind the “. . .es-
sence of a Capital Territory would be. . .the
continuing development of a stronger federal
participation in the government of the federal
capital.” (p. 109) and this is the crux of the
question. Is “a stronger federal participation”
necessary and good for all the interests
involved? The B & B Commission never ade-
quately answered this question The assump-
tion, indeed what could be described as a
belief by the B & B commission, in “a
stronger federal participation” points up the
weakness of the B & B Commission’s solution
for providing Canada with a national capital.
The B 8:38 Commission could have easily
recommended the continuation of a federal
“prescence” in an advisory capacity to the
Capital Province through the agency and
efforts of the National Capital Commission.
With a Capital Province faced with heavy
developmental problems the technical and
financial assistance of the N.C.C. would be a
benefit, with the N.C.C. still being concerned
as it is now with advancing the interests of
all Canadians. Canadians have traditionally
been believers in and practioners of demo-
cratic and provincial government rather than
efficient and territorial government provided
by “a stronger federal participation.”
The tenor of Appendix III is that of the
efficacy, indeed necessity, of centralization in
the hands of the central government to solve
the problems of the C.C.A. and to provide the
around in the no man’s land between a form
of government like the Yukon Territory and a
Canadian province, with the ever present
desire and assumed need for “a stronger fed-
eral participation” which could be provided
by a continuation of the National Capital
Commission with money supplied by Parlia-
For illustrative purposes only (as the con-
stitutional arrangements are more complex
than the accompanying diagram would sug-
gest), the governmental and institutional
arrangements for a Capital Territory and a
Capital Province can be examined and
demonstrated as follows:
*See PDF for image
The B & B Commission does not answer
the question it did not put to itself. Why
should the residents of the C.C.A. voluntarily
give up or have taken away from them the
right and practice of provincial government
(whether exercised now in the Ontario or the
Quebec portions) for a territorial form and
structure of government?
The B & B Commission stood on shifting
ground when it approved these words from
“There must be some element of flexibi-
lity in order to meet the constantly shifting
range of regional and federal interests that
would have to be reconciled. Most of the
ordinary powers of the territorial govern-
ment could be capable of amendment or
redefinition by federal statute, relying upon
the political strength of the elected mem-
bers of the territorial council to forestall
undue federal encroachment. (How are the
elected representatives of the C.C.A. to
withstand the pressures of Parliament
speaking on behalf of all twenty-one mil-
lion Canadians and “…the continuing
development of a stronger federal partici-
pation in the government of the federal
capital”?) Through such a division, a
balancing mechanism might be developed
to resolve new conflicts between regional
and federal interests as they arise.”
The experience of the residents of the Dis-
trict of Columbia, who have been trying for
more than a century to gain the constitutional
right to govern themselves, is close enough to
indicate the futility of “relying upon the
political strength of the elected members of
the territorial council to forestall undue fed-
eral encroachment.” As far as I know the
residents of the District of Columbia have so
far been unable to secure even the right to
elect representatives to their governing body,
all of whom are appointed officials. The “un-
due federal encroachment” has become a per-
manent fact of life in the District of
The Washington Post in marking the end of
the Presidency of L. B. Johnson editorialized:
“No modern-day President has done more
for the District than Mr. Johnson. He put
his prestige and all the weight of the White
House into the drive for home rule and he
counts his defeat on that issue as the turn-
ing point in his relationship with Con-
gress.” (January 20, 1969, p. A16)
Apparently the B & B Commission feels we
can avoid the errors of the District of
Columbia by adopting a Canadian version of
the District of Columbia.
The B & B Commission did not formally
recommend a District of Columbia but
Appendix III was blueprint for creating one
to be called a “Capital Territory.”
”In the context of this Report, the most
important single reason for forming a Capi-
tal Territory would be that it would create
a setting in which might be realized to the
fullest degree possible an equal partnership
between Francophone and Anglophone
Canadians in conducting the affairs of a
federal state. To this end, it is essential that
the linguistic and cultural rights of Franco-
phones and Anglophones in the capital
should be placed on a footing of complete
equality. If this equality cannot be firmly
assured, there would be far less justification
in asking the provinces of Quebec and
Ontario to co-operate. Indeed, both prov-
inces might insist on firm linguistic and
cultural guarantees as part of the agree-
ment by which the Capital Territory would
be established. For this reason it would be
essential that there be firm, constitutionally
entrenched guarantees for linguistic and
cultural rights in any future Capital Terri-
tory.” (Appendix III, Book V, p. 115).
While not downgrading the importance of
linguistic and cultural values for developing
the Canadian Capital Area, there are other
factors that need to be weighed and examined
too. The tenor of Appendix III, in which is
discussed the complexity and depth of the
problems to be resolved, is that national
interests are and should override local and
particular interests. The difficulty of this line
of reasoning is that it is the rationale for
sacrificing the interests of the N.C.R. resi-
dents to the needs and demands of the nation.
The rationale is essentially anti-democratic
for the residents of the N.C.R. but is “for the
good of the nation.” This kind of reasoning
seems incomprehensible when Canadians
pride themselves on their democratic past,
way of life, and determination to sustain
democratic values, institutions and practices.
The. line of reasoning is too simple and
reminiscent of the rationale that probably
preceeded and led to the creation of the Dis-
trict of Columbia—a frightening prospect as
the B & B Commission seems to be preparing
us to repeat the American mistake.
13. Conclusion of Appendix III, Book V ,enti-
tled “Institutional Arrangements for a Capital
“The preceeding pages have touched briefly
and tentatively on some of the institutional
arrangments that might exist in a future
Capital Territory. These reflections concern
primarily the problems that have been cen-
tral to the Commiission’s terms of reference
and to its research on the capital. To make
the picture complete they must be set
beside all the other issues facing the capital
region: economic growth, transportation,
pollution control, and so on.” (p. 121).
This is a major weakness of the B & B
Report; its lack of comprehensiveness and
completeness of all the factors involved in
recommending and eventually creating suita-
ble governmental arrangements for the
national capital area. This admitted weakness
on the part of the B & B Commission consti-
tutes the strongest argument for a new Royal
Commission to seek comprehensive and syn-
14. Studies of Particular Aspects or Develop-
ment of the C.C.A. by Bits and Pieces
All the different studies, to be listed short-
ly, have each been created for particular pur-
poses and each study has concentrated on
particular objectives and particular problems.
There have been studies on the National
Capital Plan itself, transportation, the econo-
my of the area, problems of governing federal
capitals, regional governments for each side
of the Ottawa River, and languages with the
latter being the most recent study. These stu-
dies have examined bits and pieces. These
studies have been undertaken or commis-
sioned by different governmental agencies.
While all these studies have been useful in
casting light on each set of problems and in
recommending solutions for the particular
problems under investigation, at no time has
there been a study that attempted to look at
the situation in a complete synthesizing and
comprehensive way. There has been no study
that attempted to fit all the bits and pieces
into one integrated whole with guidelines
indicating the interrelatedness of problems,
solutions and a set of goals for the future.
There has been another consequence of this
piecemeal approach, which has itself been a
consequence of a lack or an inability for
governments and C.C.A. residents to look at
the whole situation. These particularistic stu-
dies have both been a refiection of different
and divergent attitudes and have reinforced
different and divergent attitudes. The C.C.A.
residents have not yet been formally asked to
or faced with the responsibility of trying to
think of the problems and potential solutions
of all the C.C.A. as a region. Consequently, a
“community” approach has not been fostered
or has not emerged, partly because of these
15.—STUDIES AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION THEREIN CONCERNING
THE CANADIAN CAPITAL AREA
*See PDF for table
16. What Can or Might be Done by this Joint
There has never been a royal commission
devoted exclusively and wholly to the prob-
lems of the Canadian Capital Area. A study
by governmental experts alone, no matter
how highly qualified, is no substitute for
public participation whereby the public,
individually or through voluntary associa-
tions, may appear before a royal commission
by presenting briefs and so on. Some studies
initiated by the central government (such as
those undertaken by the N.C.C.) have been
undertaken without the public having the
right to pareticipate by presenting briefs etc.
Provincial and munciipal governments have
also not been able to appear publicly before
the N.C.C. to present their case.
The tenor of the B & B Report is that
direction by the central government is best,
and that there should be more of it. This
attitude may be based on the sincere convic-
tion that the central government should pro-
vide leadership, and is capable of providing
wise leadership, but public participation
seems somewhow to have been overlooked.
Why local public participation has been
overlooked has not adequately been
answered, in my opinion. After all, the resi-
dents of the C.C.A. will have to live under
any future governmental arrangements for
With all the publicity recently about pro-
posed plans for developing the Canadian
Capital Area, including the B & B Commis-
sion’s recommendation for an Advisory Tri-
partite Agency which would be implicitly and
eventually followed by establishment of a
Capital Territory, it is always appropriate in
a democratic country that the people be
Indeed, this Joint Committee is one means,
and an excellent means for listening to the
More than language and cultural rights, no
matter how important these are for building
the Confederation of Tomorrow, are involved
when examining, discussing and establishing
any future governmental arrangements for
What may probably be more important in
the long run is the form and type of govern-
mental arrangements for the C.C.A., even
accepting the mixed and intimate relationship
between forms of government and linguistic
and cultural realities.
The ultimate form of government chosen
will be the means by which and through
which, the people of the C.C.A. are to govern,
and the values of Canadian society are to be
This Joint Committee of the Senate and
House of Commons is empowered “…to
examine and report upon proposals. . .on a
number of subjects relating to the Constitu-
tion of Canada. . .”
This Joint Committee could, and I believe
should, recommend to the Canadian Cabinet
that a royal commission “pas comme les
autres” be created to study and report upon
all proposed and possible schemes for future
governmental arrangements for the Canadian
I suggest that this Joint Committee consider
recommending to Parliament and to the
Canadian cabinet that a royal commission or
a Canadian Commission (whose proposed
terms of reference will be discussed shortly)
be created to study and report upon all pro-
posed and possible schemes for the future
governmental arrangements for the Canadian
As men who are both ditizens of Canada
and voters in provincial elections, you know
you have the duty to uphold the constitution-
al balance between central and provincial
powers, so that the interests of residents of
the Canadian Capital Area are not needlessly
sacrificed in the nation’s interest while at the
same time the idea of the Canadian Capital
Area as a showpiece and symbol of Canada is
17. Arguments for a Commission “pas comme
The “bits and pieces” approach has had
successes in tackling particular problems in
an ameliorative manner. Throughout this
“bits and pieces” approach the C.C.A. resi-
dents have been able to make adjustments by
bits and pieces in the evaluation of the C.C.A.
The argument for a royal or Canadian com-
mission would be that its existence and terms
of reference would induce or require the
C.C.A. residents to express themselves in a
more comprehensive and concerted manner
than they may have been able to do up to the
present. Persons, governments, and voluntary
associations when presenting briefs would be
faced with the task of examining their own
positions and attitudes to determine how, if at
all, and if not, why not, what they could
contribute to the C.C.A. concept—a concept
larger than any individual municipality. Not
only how they could contribute and what
they fear but also what solutions they them-
selves would put forth for bringing the C.C.A.
closer to the ideal of a national Capital area
for all Canadians, while arguing how their
own interests could be protected and
advanced would constitute the substance of
briefs presented to the commission.
The requirement to think in terms of the
future, as persons and organizations prepare
their briefs for presentation to the commis-
sion, would in itself contribute to the evolu-
tionary process in the direction of the ideal.
It must not be assumed that everyone will
grasp or welcome the concept of the C.C.A.
Their objections and criticisms of long range
plans, and even of the C.C.A concept itself,
would contribute to exposing and clarifying
the problems that do exist, that have existed,
that may continue to exist, and they may
emerge in the future. The work of the royal
or Canadian commission should be beneficial
in the long run and its report, with any spe-
cial studies, would become the basis for later
thought, public discussion, and, from the
viewpoint of academics, for teaching purposes
Governments, like individuals and volun-
tary associations, would need to prepare
briefs and to justify their ideas not only
before this royal or Canadian commission but
also before the court of public opinion. The
central government, plus the Quebec and
Ontario governments with their associated
regional and municipal governments, would
all be expected to present briefs. All points of
view and all interests, national, regional, pro-
vincial, municipal and those of voluntary
associations and individuals would be consid-
ered, weighed and tested before the commis-
sion and before the bar of public opinion.
Agencies such as the National Capital Com-
mission, la Communauté régionale de l’Ou-
taouais, and the Rural Municipality of
Ottawa-Carleton would be expected to con-
tribute briefs in light of their own interests,
hopes and fears for the future.
Persons, governments and voluntary
associations when preparing their briefs will
have a wealth of written material on which
they might base their mémoires. Copies of the
past studies could be made available free by
this royal commission to assist persons, gov-
ernments and voluntary associations in pre-
paring their briefs. Persons, governments and
voluntary associations would be able to assess
the studies already published in the light of
experience, particularly how conditions have
changed since these studies became part of
the public domaine, and could elaborate their
aspirations and fears for the future.
Some questions that should be tackled by
those preparing briefs, or that should be
posed by the royal commission to those pre-
senting briefs are; among others;
(a) how has your group or yourself con-
tributed to the evolution of the C.C.A.?
(b) how do you or your group propose to
contribute to the future evolution of the
(c) Is it the unexpressed intention of Parlia-
ment and the N.C.C., to acquire by pur-
chase, expropriation or by both methods, all
the lands within the N.C.R. and, by these
means, create a District of Columbia with-
out having Quebec or Ontario cede one
square inch of land? (The N.C.C. now owns
110 of the 750 square miles of the Quebec
portion of the N.C.R. I have been unable to
discover how much land the N.C.C. owns on
the Ontario side but it must be considerable
with the greenbelt, parcels of land in
Ottawa’s centre and elsewhere. In any case,
the land, and the proportion of the N.C.R.
owned by the N.C.C. has increased over the
years, is increasing and seems destined to
continue increasing.) Is the ownership of so
much land by the N.C.C. in itself a good
thing? Are not gradually the N.C.R. resi-
dents being transformed into being tenants
of the N.C.C.? There may be other ques-
tions of the same genre that “aller au fond
(d) What would you regard as the advan-
tages and disadvantages of either a capital
territory or a capital province? (The differ-
ence in principle between a capital territory
and a capital province is that the former is
governed ultimately by Parliament whereas
a capital province is governed ultimately by
residents of the C.C.A.) Which form of gov-
ernment, if there was a choice between
these two alternatives, would you choose, in
the short run, or in the long run?
(e) What other forms of government do you
propose? What are the merits and draw-
backs of these other forms of government?
(f) Do you think the desire that the C.C.A.
become a symbol of Canada should take
precedence over the rights of C.C.A. resi-
dents? If yes, why? If not, why not?
Those presenting briefs will have no short-
age of questions to answer, but the foregoing
are examples of some important problems.
The B & B Commission admitted (Book V,
p. 85) that its “…research on the private
sector (of economic life) was not as extensive
as the work we did concerning public institu-
tions.” The private sector of the economy
would have the opportunity to remedy this
lack of research, as would also trade unions,
caisses populaires, and other aspects of an
industrial and business economy.
Like the aphorism that “war is too impor-
tant to be left to the generals” the future of
the C.C.A. is too important to be left solely
with the Canadian Parliament. For this
reason, and because of the complexity and
interrelatedness of the interests to be served,
reconciled, protected and advanced, a royal
commission ” pas comme les autres” could be
created—a Canadian commission.
What is now needed is a synthesis of all the
studies, and of developments since these stu-
dies, including projections into the future,
and the active participation of the public,
governments and their agencies, to ensure
justice in the long run for the residents of the
C.C.A. within the context of Canadian values
and Canadian goals.
In the meantime other developments are
The Minister of Regional Economic Expan-
sion, who is responsible for the National
Capital Region, said in the House of Com-
mons on May 29, 1969 “…talks continue
with the governments concerned with a View
to the eventual establishment of a revised
form of government for the capital
region…” (Hansard, paperback edition, p.
He went on to say:
“The long-term development program for
Hull is designed to produce a major federal
presence in the Quebec portion of the capi-
tal region over the next 25 years. It is also
expected to be the generator of considera-
ble private investment which has generally
avoided the area in the past because of the
lack of basic services and adequate
The government proposes to direct about
25 per cent of its new accommodation con-
struction to the core of Hull in the years
He also spoke of plans for reducing existing
economic disparities within the capital region
by these methods, by making plans for trans-
portation needs in light of an expected dou-
bling of the Capital area’s population by 1995.
All these initiatives are being taken under
central government leadership and at central
With the publication of the B & B Com-
mission’s Report, Book V and Annex III there-
of, plus the separate study entitled The Fed-
eral Capital Government Institutions, the
public debate has entered a new phase.
Because of the admitted weaknesses of the B
& B Commission’s Report in light of criti-
cisms contained in this memoire, the time
seems opportune for a new and synthesizing
study rather thean continuing the “bits and
pieces” approach or more studies by experts
far removed from public opinion.
A royal commission “pas comme les autres”
or a Canadian commission will facilitate
public debate, but more importantly the
public will be enabled to participate in their
future, an opportunity that has not always
prevailed in the past. (See the table in this
mémoire entitled “Studies and Public Partici-
pation therein concerning the Canadian Capi-
If the idea of a royal commission or a
Canadian commission is neither accepted by
this Joint Committee nor by the Canadian
cabinet the voices of the people will be heard
anyway in the long run.
Washingtonians have been unable to secure
home rule in the District of Columbia, but
they haven’t given up trying. It would be
wiser to try to avoid future problems by con-
sulting the C.C.A. residents now rather than
proceeding without this minimum contribu-
tion by the people. Participatory Democracy
demands nothing less!
Because the C.C.A. has been discussed by
the C.C.C. as part of the Constitutional
Review, because of the variety and complexi-
ty of the rights and interests that need to be
examined and reconciled, and because the
future of Canada’s capital area is too impor-
tant to be determined by Parliament alone,
extraordinary means might be employed.
These extraordinary means need only how-
ever be an adaptation of a traditional method
for investigating social problems. A royal
commission is a most useful instrument for
consulting the people and investigating social
problems before policy decisions are taken.
For all these reasons, I suggest that a royal
commission or a Canadian commission be
created whose members and terms of refer-
ence would be approved by the Continuing
Constitutional Conference. The report of this
royal or Canadian commission would be sub-
mitted to the Continuing Constitutional Con-
ference as an integral part of the Constitu-
18. What are the advantages of a Canadian
Commission over a Royal Commission?
The two concepts are similar in that a
Canadian commission, in the tradition of
royal commissions, would be appointed to
study and report upon the problems and
potential solutions for future governmental
arrangements for the Canadian Capital Area.
The essential difference between a royal and
a Canadian commission in that the former
would be established by the central govern-
ment which alone would determine the terms
of reference and choose the commissioners. A
Canadian commission would be created by
the Continuing Constitutional Conference,
which would determine the terms of refer-
ence and choose the commissioners. Whereas
a royal commission presents its report to the
central cabinet, a Canadian Commission
would present its report to the Continuing
A Canadian commission is justified because
the central and provincial governments
through their Prime Ministers or Premiers are
represented in the Continuing Constitutional
Conference, which is conducting the Constitu-
tional Review. As stated previously the future
of the C.C.A. is too important to be left only
invthe care of the central government, which
principle is recognized already by the C.C.C.
having discussed the future of the C.C.A.
A major concern of all Canadians is to
secure a constitutional balance between
powers granted to provincial and central gov-
ernments so that the rights of the people
come before the rights of governments. Or
what is the purpose of a Bill of Rights
anyway? What needs to be protected are the
rights, present and future, of residents of the
C.C. Area. These rights could be better pro-
tected now if a Canadian rather than a cen-
trally created and centrally appointed royal
commission were established.
A Canadian commission would operate like
any royal commission by holdinge public hear-
ings, conducting studies and the like. How the
Canadian commission would be financed—out
of the country’s treasury or by contributions
from provincial and central governments—is a
matter of operational detail provided the
principle of a Canadian commission were
accepted. If the C.C.C. has moneys it could
finance the Canadian commission. It could be
asked—would not the residents of the C.C.A.
face a harder task promoting their case
before a Canadian commission rather than
before a centrally appointed royal commis-
sion? This is a difficult question to answer.
The central government and its agencies
would also be in the “dock” as it would be
expected to appear before the Canadian Com-
mission, whereas if the central government
appeared before a centrally appointed royal
commission the central government would be
entangled in charges of “conflict of interest.”
If we are beginning to build the Confedera-
tion of Tomorrow through the Constitutional
Review currently underway, then the future
governmental arrangements for the Canadian
Capital Area would, on balance, I believe, be
better investigated by a Canadian Commis-
sion rather than by a centrally appointed
Because the Canadian commission would
submit a report to the Continuing Constitu-
tional Conference the Conference would con-
tinue to exercise the responsibility it assumed
when it discussed the Canadian Capital Area.
19. Suggested Resolution to be adopted by
this Joint Committee.
At this stage gentlemen it may be appropri-
ate to suggest what action might be taken by
this Joint Committee.
The next meeting of the Continuing Consti-
tutional Conference will be held very shortly.
To facilitate our discussion I have drafted
a resolution that might be adopted by this
Whereas, it is in the interest of all Canadians
that the Ottawa—Hull Area, or the Canadi-
an Capital Area, should be a fitting symbol
reflecting the best of Canada’s democratic,
social, cultural, and economic values;
Whereas, the Continuing Constitutional Con-
ference has taken cognizance of the Canadi-
an Capital Area during the Constitutional
Whereas, the Canadian Capital Area is there-
by recognized as being too important to be
the sole responsibility of the central gov-
ernment and its instruments;
Whereas, it is the intention of the National
Capital Commission to impliment its
Regional Plan Concept;
Whereas, the Royal Commission on Bilingual-
ism and Biculturalism made recommenda-
tions concerning the linguistic and cultural
features of the Capital Area;
Whereas, the Royal Commission on Bilingual-
ism and Biculturalism undertook an inade-
quate and unbalanced study of all potential
governmental arrangements for the Capital
Whereas, there has been no comprehensive
and synthesizing study undertaken of possi-
ble governmental arrangements for the
Whereas, Parliament and its instruments, and
the provinces of Quebec and Ontario plus
their municipalities, tend to develop their
own plans for their portions of the Capital
Whereas, national, provincial, regional,
municipal, and individual rights and inter-
ests should be examined, weighed, protect-
ed and advanced in any future plans of the
Whereas, the present an future rights and
interests of Capital Area residents must be
protected and advanced without being
needlessly sacrificed to Canada’s goals;
Whereas, it is desirable that a new study be
undertaken of all the factors concerning the
Whereas, this Special Joint Committee of the
Senate and of the House of Commons on
the Constitution of Canada has studied the
Resolved, that this Special Joint Committee
recommend to Parliament, that a Canadian
Constitutional Conference with suitable
terms of reference and personnel:
1. To study and report upon the princi-
ples and means by which the Capital
Area could better reflect and become a
better symbol of Canada;
2. To study and report upon all factors in
all possible governmental arrangements
for the Capital Area to secure a just bal-
ance among national, provincial, regional,
municipal and individual rights and
3. That the report of this Canadian Com-
mission be submitted as part of the Con-
stitutional Review, to the Continuing
Toward a More Effective Position for the
West Within the Federal Parliament, pre-
pared for The Joint Committee of the
Senate and the House of Commons on Con-
stitutional affairs, prepared by Cam F.
Osler, September, 1970.
Economic and political power in Can-ada
today remains concentrated in Ontario and
Quebec. For the developed western half of
Canada, with its own distinct needs and oppor-
tunities, this situation is not compatible with
the objectives of true federal union. Within
Confederation the west, given its relatively
low proportion of Canada’s population, must
insist upon a power structure which guaran-
tees a certain basic sovereignty and equality
to each of the major regions.
Three possible areas of action exist to
reform the present imbalance of power
between west and east in Canada:
(1) Canadian business, particularly larger
Canadian business, can be encouraged or
required to diversify regionally its operations
and head offices, lowering the present degree
of concentration within the Golden Triangle;
(2) Western political representation within
the federal political power structure could be
increased through a variety of means;
(3) Western political power could be
strengthened by consolidation of western
provinces into large groupings, combined with
aggressive demands aimed at giving western
provincial governments more power to con-
trol affairs affecting their constituents.
The first alternative—diversification of
Canada’s business power structure—would at
best require a considerable length of time.
Furthermore, it is difficult to see why such an
event should occur as long as Canada’s politi-
cal power remains concentrated within the
The third alternative—a western version of
Quebec’s “maitre chez nous” strategy—
assumes that union of western provincial
interests could be achieved with reasonable
haste, despite the fact that four distinct pro-
vincial power structures currently exist in the
region. Furthermore, such a policy implies
certain balkanist tendencies which would be
unacceptable to those who wish to work for
strong federal union of Canada’s regions.
The second alternative—increased western
political representation within the federal
political power structure—also presents cer-
tain problems. However, given current
Canadian concentration upon constitutional
reform, combined with the legitimate claims
for increased political power which can be
made by westerners, this alternative appears
to offer the best opportunities for speedy and
decisive action. In addition, this alternative
shows clearly a western desire for a strong
federal Canadian union, while testing the
degree to which people living in other parts
of Canada are prepared to alter Canada’s con-
stitution in order to provide the west with a
status fitting for a federal union.
This paper concentrates upon the second
alternative, for the reasons stated above. Fur-
thermore, this paper focuses upon possible
reform within the federal parliament. Other
possible reforms—such as guarantees for
increased western representation on federal
commissions, crown corporations, and com-
mittees—are also important, but are not dis-
cussed here. In effect, this analysis assumes
that reform of the federal parliament would
in itself provide the basis for reform of most
other federal institutions.
1. The Present Federal Parliament
The present federal parliament of Canada
is composed of two legislative bodies (the
House of Commons and the Senate) and the
Queen (acting as Head of State). By tradition,
the Prime Minister and Cabinet govern the
country solely on the basis of their receiving
support from the House of Commons. The
sole explicit legal limitation on the powers of
the Senate (as compared to the House of
Commons) is that bills for spending or raising
public funds must originate in the Commons.
Representation in the Commons is based
upon population, with each elected member
representing approximately the same number
of people for a maximum term of five years.
On this basis, approximately 61 per cent of
Canada’s M.P.’s today come from Ontario and
Quebec, 18 per cent from the Prairies, 12 per
cent from the Atlantic Provinces and 9 per
cent from British Columbia.
Representation in the Senate is by appoint-
ment of the federal goverment, with the term
of appointment lasting until a member
reaches 75 years of age. Representation in the
Senate is presumed to be on a regional
basis—however, the current definition of the
regions is based heavily upon historical con-
ditions which recognized the special status to
the Maritime provinces while assuming that
all of western Canada was one region. Thus,
47 per cent of Canada’s Senators come from
Ontario and Quebec, 29 per cent come from
the Atlantic Provinces, and 24 per cent come
from the Prairies and British Columbia.
The Canadian Cabinet is my convention
presumed to provide some basis for regional
representation within the government. How-
ever, this basis rests on relatively weak
grounds. Aside from the fact that power
structures within the Cabinet cannot differ
radically from the power structure of the
House of Commons, Cabinet representation
must be governed by the regional political
success of the party in power. At present
roughly 21 per cent of the Canadian Cabinet
is composed of members from Western Cana-
da—an even smaller representation than this
region would be entitled to receive on the
basis of population alone. In 1961, during the
Diefenbaker era, western membership in the
Canadian Cabinet rose to only 30 per cent of
the total. In addition to any analysis of power
structures, it is also possible to ask whether
or not extremely busy administrators acting
as members of the Executive should be
charged with additional responsibility to
represent effectively their regions. The
responsibility for representation is normally
considered to be vested in the legislative body
itself, not in the Executive which is responsi-
ble to the legislature.
In summary, at present some 27 per cent of
Canada’s population lives in western Cana-
da—an area which, according to virtually all
statistical analysis, contains at least two of
Canada’s major regions. Approximately 27
per cent of the members of the House of
Commons and 24 per cent of the members of
the Senate come from western Canada,
demonstrating the fact that (with the excep-
tion of the Atlantic provinces) legislative
power in Canada’s federal parliament belongs
to the densely populated provinces of Ontario
and Quebec. It is well known that political
power in recent decades has tended to become
concentrated into the hands of the cabinet
and the Prime Minister, at the expense of the
legislature. However, under even the most
favourable of conditions, representation of
western Canada within the federal Executive
has been only marginally greater than that
exhibited within the federal legislature.
These facts lead to the question: “Does the
present situation provide proper representa-
tion for western Canada within the Federal
2. Federalism and Representation in the Cen-
tral Parliament: the United States and
Federalism as a distinct form of govern-
ment requires that there be a clear division of
sovereignty between two distinct levels of
government—the central government, and the
governments of the member states or prov-
inces. Implicit to the historical development of
this form of government is the idea that a
collection of sovereign states join together to
grant specific powers to a central government
in order that this central institution legislate
within certain spheres in their common
Federalism offers particular opportunities.
It avoids the problems of total fragmenta-
tion—the problems of self-defeating competi-
tion, combined with the relative weakness of
fragmented states when faced by common
social, economic, or political dangers. Federal-
ism also avoids the problems of complete cen-
tralization—the problems created by tenden-
cles to stifie regional distinctiveness. In either
culturally or regionally diverse countries fed-
eralism in fact provides a basis upon which
union, with its various advantages, is possi-
ble—for federalism should provide a degree
of sovereignty to each distinct region suffi-
cient to ensure that no region will feel that
its basic integrity would be compromised by
Historically, negotiations proceeding the
creation of a federal union have tended to
concentrate upon two basic issues: the divi-
sion of powers between the central and the
state governments; the way by which the
regions or states will be represented in the
central legislative body. Given the theme of
this paper, it is appropriate to focus upon the
In the United States and Australia—two
examples of federalism, each having a radi-
cally different background—representation in
the central legislature is based upon two prin-
ciples: 1) one house of parliament has its
membership based upon population distribu-
tion in the nation, thereby providing basic
guarantees to the most populated states (these
guarantees ar.e strengthened by granting to
this house of parliament the sole power to
impose taxes); a second house of parliament
(referred to as the Senate) has its member-
ship based upon the number of regions or
states in the nation, thereby providing basic
guarantees that the interests of the less popu-
lated states will be protected. Furthermore, in
order to guarantee that membership in both
houses of parliament will be effective, all
members are elected.
It should be noted that the decision to
create a powerful regionally based elected
Senate was by no means a trivial decision in
either the United States or Australia. In each
country the political power of those few
states which possessed the largest populations
was significantly reduced by this approach to
3. Federalism and the Canadian Parliament:
Canadian Purposes at time of Confederation
The creation of the Canadian Confederation
in 1867 was based on somewhat different
principles than those accepted in the United
States. While a division of powers did emerge
between the provinces and the central gov-
ernment, scholars appear to agree that the
spirit of 1867 was the spirit of centralization.
Macdonald, who is credited with being the
chief architect of Canada’s form of union, was
guided by the conviction that the American
union (which was convulsed by civil War in
the 1860’s) had failed by granting too much
power to the states and too little power to the
central government. Thus, he concluded as
“The true principle of a confederation lies
in giving to the general government all the
principles and powers of sovereignty, and
in the provision that the subordinates or
individual States should have no powers
but those expressly bestowed upon them.”
The constitution-makers of 1867 took as
their model the British Empire, in which
Ottawa replaced London and the provinces
assumed the role of colonies. This fact is
underlined by the act of union itself which
gave the federal government a variety of
major powers: the power to disallow provin-
cial legislation; the power to appoint Sena-
tors; the power to appoint provincial lieuten-
ant governors; the power to legislate in all
fields not specifically assigned to the prov-
inces. Such a union fitted Macdonald’s aims,
as outlined in his following description of the
Canadian form of government:
“The General Government assumes towards
the local governments precisely the same
position as the Imperial Government holds
with respect to each of its colonies.”
The Canadian union created in 1867 was a
highly centralized form of federalism. How-
ever, during the first thirty years of Confed-
eration the provincial governments mounted a
powerful offensive to increase their relative
powers. By the late 1890’s, provincial govern-
ments had achieved, despite the British North
America Act, the sufficient power to destroy
Macdonald’s concept of an “Imperial Govern-
ment” role for the Canadian parliament.
During the last sixty years the Canadian par-
liament and the provincial governments have
in effect feuded indecisively for supremacy.
While the federal-provincial division of
effective power as designed by the Fathers of
Confederation has been substantially modified
since 1867, other critical aspects of the 1867
Pact of union have been more permanent.
The cultural rights agreement, particularly
respecting the status of Canada’s two official
languages, only began to be substantially
altered during the last decade. The basic
principles determining the way by which
regions or provinces are represented in the
Canadian parliament still remains as promul-
gated in 1867.
Admiration by the Fathers of Confedera-
tion of the centralized British form of govern-
ment lead to creation of a different type of
central parliament than that found in many
other federations. In effect, the Fathers of
Confederation believed that primary power
should be placed in the House of Commons
—an assembly elected on the basis of popu-
lations distribution within Canada. In the
British tradition, the Cabinet was expected to
be responsible to this body alone.
At the critical Quebec Conference of 1864
(where the basic agreement for Confederation
was made) delegates from the areas of
Ontario and Quebec received effective protec-
tion of their essential interests in guarantees
for protection of French language rights com-
bined with the fact that these densely popu-
lated provinces would control the House of
Commons. The Maritime region represented
the only area concerned directly With the
problem of guaranteeing essential rights for
less populated areas. The Western provinces,
which are today the least densely populated
area of Canada, were not involved in the
agreement of 1867.
It is clear, from the history of negotiations
leading to the formation of federal unions,
that less populated regions must strive to
achieve effective power in the Senate in order
to guarantee that their interests will not be
swept aside by the House of Commons (which
is controlled by the heavily populated regions).
It is not sufficient that less populated regions
fight for more provincial power—this strate-
gy, while benefiting the strongest provinces,
provides no guarantee that national laws will
reflect the interests of the less populated
regions. Without such guarantees, it is difficult
to see why regions with relatively small
populations would willingly enter into a fed-
At the Quebec Conference of 1864 the
Maritime provinces fought to create a Senate
which would protect their interests—near1y
six out of the fourteen days of discussion
concentrated on this issue alone. Demands for
elected Senators, and for equal Senate
representation for each province, were reject-
ed. In the end, the statesmen involved
claimed that a “great compromise” had been
achieved. Each of the three regions (Ontario,
Quebec and Maritimes) was granted equal
representation in the Senate. Furthermore, to
guarantee that the Cabinet could not at any
time increase its support in the Senate simply
by appointing more members (a practise per-
mitted in England where membership in the
House of Lords is not fixed), total member-
ship in the Canadian Senate was basically
It is difficult to determine how much of an
actual compromise had been achieved. Critics
of the agreement pointed out that members of
the Senate could only be expected to repre-
sent or protect their regions if they were elect-
ed, rather than appointed by the population
controlled federal government. Furthermore,
it is difficult to believe that the Maritime
region was really appeased. Prince Edward
Island and Newfoundland refused to join
Canada in 1867. In Nova Scotia, an
anti-Confederation party achieved power in
the provincial legislature in 1868. Within a
year of Confederation, Nova Scotia’s legisla-
ture voted unanimously to leave Canada.
In effect, as compared to the Canadian situ-
ation today, the less populated areas appeared
to have a relatively poor bargaining position
during the negotiations leading to Confedera-
tion. The Senate emerged more as a Canadian
House of Lords, available to review and
revise legislation, than as a powerful guaran-
tee for regional representation. It was expect-
ed that the Cabinet would provide the chief
line of defence for the protection of regional
interests. Legislative power in Canada was
firmly entrusted to the Ontario and Quebec
regions who together controlled the House of
Experience has probably shown that the
Canadian Senate has been even less effective
than the Fathers of Confederation intended.
As the critics of 1867 predicted, this chamber
has failed almost totally to fulfill any quasi-
federal function (i.e. to represent regional
interests). Furthermore, because members are
appointed to the Senate, this chamber has
been utilized primarily for party appoint-
ments. As would be expected, this appointed
chamber fails to possess the moral authority
essential to the exercise of an influential role
in a democracy.
The less populated regions of Canada have
had to rely upon representation within the
Canadian Cabinet and the large national
political parties in order to protect their
interests. However, the basic facts of Canadi-
an political life are little disturbed by such
miniscuie and ineffective forms of protection.
Canada remains today as one of the few fed-
eral states in the world where the central
parliament provides effective guarantees only
for those regions blessed with population
Western Canada’s political weakness within
the nation results directly from the fact that
Canada’s parliament is not a truly federal
institution. Reform of Canada’s parliament,
designed to provide the less populated areas
with just representation in a powerful Senate,
must be considered today as a major priority
for all Western provinces wishing to become
partners within a strong Canadian federal
4. Principles for Creating a Federal Canadian
As the Trudeau government has pointed
out in its position paper on “The Constitution
and the People of Canada”, our present
system for representing regions Within the
federal parliament is unique. In all other
major federal systems, representation in the
Senate (or its equivalent) is based directly on
the constituent unit (i.e. the state, canton or
province), while in Canada representation is
based on four separately defined regions—
only in the cases of Ontario and Quebec do
major divisions coincide with provincial
boundaries. The Canadian system also stands
as unique in that Senators are appointed by
the central government, and that these
appointments are for life (or until age seven-
ty-five). Needless to say, each of these unique
features serves to undermine the representa-
tive power of the less populated provinces
within the Canadian parliament.
The central issue, from the viewpoint of
Western Canadians, in reform of the Canadi-
an parliament is the desire to ensure that this
institution represents effectively regions as
well as population blocks.
The present position of the federal govern-
ment, as outlined in its position paper,
appears to claim that the House of Commons
has a primary claim to legislate for all
Canadians. The federal governments’ position
implies, using traditional British concepts of
government, that the House of Commons
—since it elected according to population
distribution—is the basis for responsible gov-
“In defining the powers of the S.enate, how-
ever, it must be recognized that the House
of Commons is the body directly elected by
all the people of Canada to deal with mat-
ters within federal jursidiction. Thus the
respective powers of the two Houses must
be balanced so as not to limit unduly the
power of those directly elected by the
people or to destroy the principles of
responsible government.” (Page 78)
Why should traditional British concepts
designed for a non-federal form of govern-
ment be applicable to a federal union? Why
should less populated regions, such as West-
ern Canada, belong to a federation where fed-
eral laws are primarily determined by the
House of Commons—from a western view-
point, this chamber could be said to directly
represent “the people of Ontario and Quebec”
rather than “the people of Canada”? On the
basis of procedures established in virtually all
other federal unions, is it unreasonable for
westerners to demand that legislative power
in Canada’s parliament reflect Canada’s dis-
tinct regions as well as Canada’s population?
The problems of French Canada have per-
haps blurred analysis of Canada’s constitu-
tion. In order to guarantee French rights
within Canada, the only major alternative has
been to guarantee these rights within a con-
stitutional document—it is not possible to
guarantee these rights on the basis of political
representation within Canada’s parliament. In
the case of western Canada, however, the
problem is fundamentally one of providing
just regional representation within Canada’s
parliament—representation guaranteed in all
federal unions except Canada. Without proper
representation, western Canada can legiti-
mately claim that Canada’s parliament is in
eflect a unitary form of government, unre-
presentative of Canadian interests outside
Ontario and Quebec. Such a claim could well
lead to western Canadians making demands
for greater provincial power—power which
could well serve to balkanize Canada by
weakening our unrepresentative Canadian
parliament and strengthening western region-
Of course, Canadians will continue to
ignore the Senate as long as its members are
appointed. Regardless of who appoints
(suggestions are now made that federal and
provincial governments should share in a
division of the spoils), and regardless of all
pious proclamations about ensuring that only
the best men will be selected, the fact
remains that an appointed legislative body is
repugnant to our collective democratic herit-
age. An appointed chamber begs dismissal.
An appointed Senate, which can so easily be
branded as “unresponsible”, forces political
power by default into the hands of the House
of Commons—and thus into the hands of the
heavily populated provinces.
Political theorists have debated for years
over the relative merits of an elected versus
an appointed chamber. It is natural that aca-
demics would view as an advantage an
appointed Senate where debate should tend to
be relatively calm and reasoned. However,
the issue at stake is not how to make the
Senate a better legislative chamber, according
to some abstract set of ideal rules. The issue
at stake is primarily that of power—power
for the less populated regions of Canada. And
in a democracy, power is presumed to be
vested in elected officials—this act of faith
done despite all of the opportunities created
for abuse, obstruction, and nonsensical parti-
In its position paper the present federal
government is opposed to an elected Senate.
Three reasons are stated.
1. “One factor is the importance of giving
to the provincial governments themselves a
means of naming people who could give
direct and clear expression to the views
and interests of the provinces, with such
appointments being for a limited term to
ensure that their holders are responsive to
major changes in provincial attitudes.”
This argument is confusing, and perhaps
dangerous to the interests of national unity.
The total proposition by the federal govern-
ment is that Senators would be partly se-
lected by the federal government and partly
selected by provincial governments, with all
Senators holding office for only a specific
number of years—perhaps six. In effect, it is
difficult to predict anything but chaos and
continued partisan patronage from this pro-
posal. The federal government would proba-
bly retain control over half of all Senate
appointments—thus effectively reducing the
opportunity for politically powerful represen-
tation by the provinces. More importantly,
however, one might ask why provincial gov-
ernments should have their viewpoints di-
rectly represented in the Senate? It would
appear that, as governments, the provinces
are perfectly capable of representing their
viewpoints today. Why should the Senate be-
come a Canadian version of the United Na-
tions? Will national unity be promoted by a
body composed of members who directly
represent governments that frequently have
a vested interest in reducing the power of
the Canadian parliament? Why should Canada
today embark on an arrangement which the
United States and Australia rejected long
ago? In summary, this proposal has all the
appearances of being a political concession
to current provincial governments, rather
than an attempt at fundamental reform.
2. “A second factor relates to our parlia-
mentary system. In the present Canadian
Constitution, as in those of other federal
states, a veto in the Upper House is not
regarded as a non-confidence vote. The
Government is therefore not defeated if its
measures are rejected in the Upper House.
In Canada the federal Cabinet should con-
tinue to be responsible only to the House of
Commons—the body elected directly by the
people on a basis of representation by
population. If both Houses were elected, it
would be difficult to maintain this distinc-
tion in authority. Each would claim to
represent directly the views of the people
in different ways, and new uncertainties
could creep into our system with conse-
quent harm to the effectiveness of
This represents the only fundamental
reason for hesitation concerning an elected
Senate. However, this reason is not insur-
mountable, as shown by the fact of an elected
Senate in Australia’s parliamentary system.
In fact, the reasoning used above implies that
the Senate should not be elected because this
would pose a significant threat to the power
of the House of Commons—this, of course,
being the very reason why the less populated
regions must insist upon an elected Senate? It
should be noted that current developments
even within the House of Commons are tend-
ing to strengthen the independence of the
legislature from the Cabinet, thereby shatter-
ing traditional assumptions that British effi-
ciency requires a Cabinet that virtually con-
trolled the legislature.
If the principle of Cabinet responsibility to
the House of Commons is in fact desirable, it
is still entirely possible to have a powerful
a) Cabinet responsibility could be clearly
defined to relate to a few major areas of
legislation (eg. the budget). In all other
areas, legislative defeat of a Cabinet
proposal by either the Senate or House of
Commons would not require the resignation
of the government. The major areas where
Cabinet responsibility was at issue would
be under the sole jurisdiction of the House
b) Even under the existing arrangement,
the Senate could be clearly allocated juris-
diction in certain areas. Defeat of Cabinet
proposals in these areas by the Senate
would not require the resignation of the
government, but would prevent passage of
1The governments’ position paper admits this
principle, advocating that the Senate have un-
restricted power “in respect of certain matters
concerning, for example, nominations of judges of
the Supreme Court of Canada, official languages,
and human rights.”
It is vital that the Canadian parliament be
composed of two chambres, each of which
would claim “to represent directly the views
of the people in different ways.” This should
be the essence of a federal parliament, gua-
ranteeing that government action is responsi-
ble to the regions as well as to the people as a
whole. It is well known that federalism
introduces many uncertainties—however, this
is recognized to be the price required for free
union. For these reasons, any general attempt
(aside from the area of Cabinet responsibility)
to subordinate the Senate to the House of
Commons must be resisted as being contrary
to the principles of true federalism.
3. “The third factor relates to the desir-
ability of being able to name particular
types of people to the Senate to help it meet
special powers and responsibilities we pro-
pose for it.”
This argument has no real significance or
merit. If the government is serious, it should
propose that Cabinet ministers be appointed
from outside the membership of parliament,
since the Cabinet clearly represents a far
more critical area where particular types of
people are required.
In total, the Trudeau government’s propos-
als for Senate reform have been aptly charac-
terized by E. D. Briggs (in an article for the
Spring, 1970 edition of The Queenie Quarter-
ly) as “minor surgery which is at best cal-
culated to cure peripheral ills rather than the
inherent feebleness of the patient.” Mr.
Briggs is even more specific:
“It seems clear, in fact, that the Govern-
ments’ whole design for Senate reform has
been motivated primarily by, and is aimed
primarily at providing a solution to, the
‘Quebec problem’. Individually and collec-
tively the suggested changes make sense
only within that context.”
If Canada is to have a truly federal parlia-
ment, Canada must have a radically reformed
Senate—a Senate assigned significant areas of
responsibility, a Senate having authority over
matters of substance, a Senate which provides
just and democratic representation for the
underpopulated regions of Canada, a Senate
which is neither an old maid nor a young
sister—but rather an equal—to the House of
5. Proposals for a Reformed Parliament of
On the basis of the principles stated above,
it is possible to outline the following propos-
als designed to increase the effective power of
Canada’s less populated regions within the
federal government, thereby promoting a
more equitable and consistent Canadian
a. Additional Regions Represented in the
Senate. It is essential that the facts of west-
ern Canadian development be recognized
—clearly, the relative number of western
members in the Senate must be dramatical-
ly increased. Assuming that French Canadi-
an rights will be amply protected in a
proper Bill of Rights (plus effective House
of Commons representation) a reformed
Senate should provide a radical shift of
power in favour of Canada’s underpopulat-
ed regions. Perhaps western Canada togeth-
er with the Yukon and North West Territo-
ries should be assured of at least half of the
Senate seats. Perhaps, as outlined in a
recent article by Frank Muldoon, it is possi-
ble that western Canada could settle for a
compromise formula which would provide
that each province and territory would be
entitled to an even number of senators,
equal in number to at least the area’s
representation in the House of Commons,
up to a maximum of 10. Such a formula
would produce the following results:
Atlantic Provinces 32 32
Ontario and Quebec 162 20
Prairies 45 30
B.C. 23 10
Yukon and N.W.T. 24
Total 264 96
b. Election of Senators. Reasons for the
election of Senators have been amply
outlined above. Guidelines should be estab-
lished to ensure both that appropriate
senate districts are established in each
region, and that Senate elections coincide
with House of Commons elections.
Appointed Senators would be appropriate
only in the terrifying event that the
Senate was to be converted into a “House of
the Provinces”, where all Senators were ap-
pointed as quasi-ambassadors by the provin-
cial governments of the day. Such an ex-
periment, while possibly interesting as the
topic of a future C.B.C. spoof, does not
appear to be likely.
c. Cabinet Responsibility: Reform of House
Of Commons. Without the support of the
House of Commons, no prime minister or
cabinet minister should be entitled to hold
office. However, the rules of the House of
Commons should be reformed so that the
defeat of a Cabinet would be limited to a
few specified areas (e.g. throne speech
debate, budget presentation, specific “non-
confidence” debates). Cabinet members
should be selected from both Houses of
Parliament, and should be entitled to speak
(but not vote) in both Houses of
d. Paramount Responsibility of House of
Commons in Money Raising. All bills for
raising revenue should continue to originate
in the House of Commons, and if these bills
are defeated in the House of Commons, the
Cabinet should be required to resign. For
this reason, the House of Commons should
have paramount authority over the Senate
whenever there is a dispute between the
houses regarding a money raising bill. In all
other areas, the legal powers of the Senate
and the House of Commons should be
e. Practical Division of Responsibility
between Senate and Commons. It is perhaps
important to consider means for a practical
division of interests between the Senate
and the House of Commons. By convention,
bills which primarily affect the regions
could originate in the Senate (e.g. pollution,
transport, agriculture, natural resources,
regional development). Similarly, by con-
vention, bills which primarily affect the
general social well being of Canadians
could originate in the House of Commons
(e.g. declaration of war, military treaties,
social welfare, labour legislation.)
The thrust of the argument presented in
this paper is that VVestern Canadians must
achieve reform of Canada’s parliament if this
economically powerful but underpopulated
area is to become an equal partner within the
modern Canadian confederation. Until West-
ern Canadians can clearly see that Canada’s
parliament is truly their parliament, pres-
sures to weaken our central government and
to balkanize political power into regional
blocks (e.g. One Western Province) can be
expected to continue.
Western Canadian reformers have a clear
choice as to their objectives: they can seek
either to become masters in their own house,
or equal partners within the bigger Canadian
house. This paper opts for the latter choice
with the belief that western vision has not
been and will not be willingly confined to the
limited geography of our own region.
With the proposal for a powerful elected
Canadian Senate, providing equal representa-
tion to each major Canadian region, this
paper aims essentially at strengthening the
power of Canada’s federal government. The
constitutional changes proposed would have
to be supported by other improvements (e.g.
federal financing for the creation of major
independant Research and Development
Councils for each major Canadian region). In
the long run, however, the consistent goal of
all such reforms would be to strengthen the
power of Canada’s democratically elected fed-
eral politicians to debate, direct and unite
Canadian affairs. This goal should be set in
contrast to Canada’s current situation of
regional alienation, an appointed Senate,
closed door federal-provincial bargaining and
power seeking by premiers who claim to be
the true and only representative of their
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