Canada, Senate Debates, “Publicity Campaign of Federal Government”, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess (9 December 1981)
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, Senate Debates, 32nd Parl, 1st Sess, 1981 at 3437.
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PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Hon. Jacques Flynn (Leader of the Opposition): Honourable senators, I note from a report in the press that our vote yesterday on the resolution would give Ottawa the go-ahead to begin a $1 million advertising campaign in the newspapers, particularly in Quebec, extolling the virtues of the proposed new Charter of Rights. I wonder if the Leader of the Government can confirm whether this is the effect of the vote that we took yesterday.
Hon. Raymond J. Perrault (Leader of the Government):Honourable senators, I have no information on this point. The question will be taken as notice. Senator Flynn: I have a supplementary question. If the vote did give such a go-ahead, would the leader inquire as to why this campaign started last Sunday in the Quebec papers? I read full pages in the Sunday papers about this. Senator Perrault: Honourable senators, that inquiry will also be taken as notice.
Senator Flynn: Finally, if this campaign is needed, would the Leader of the Government tell me why he said yesterday that the Charter of Rights was acclaimed everywhere in Canada?
Senator Perrault: Honourable senators, in yesterday’s debate I made reference to the fact that in all the Canadian provinces there has been what can only be described as overwhelming support for a Charter of Rights.
Senator Flynn: That is what you said, yes.
Senator Perrault: However, there is a vigorous campaign by the Parti Quebecois in the province of Quebec to describe the constitutional proposals as not serving the best interests of Quebec. In the spirit of freedom of information, the Government of Canada is considering ways in which the facts can be made available to the people of that great province.
Hon. Martial Asselin: Don’t tell me those facts will not be partisan.
Senator Flynn: As I understood the Leader of the Governement yesterday, that Charter is welcome everywhere. There may be some reaction in Quebec about the amending formula or other parts of the resolution, but, from what I read in this document, the campaign is on the virtues of the proposed new Charter of Rights. If the Leader of the Government was right yesterday, we should not spend that money for this purpose, since everyone seems to agree, according to him, with the proposed new Charter of Rights.
Senator Perrault: Honourable senators, we are all interested in the opinions offered by Senator Flynn. Personally, I hope at some point in time the Government of Canada will make available to every home in Canada the Charter of Rights which now protects their freedom and liberty in this country. I hope that every person in Canada will have in his home the basic rights which he enjoys under this new Constitution, including his linguistic rights and his cultural rights, which are fully protected so far as Quebec and the other provinces are concerned.
Senator Flynn: You say they are now protected. I suppose you suggest that Westminster will be another rubber stamp, as was the Senate yesterday.