February 22, 1951

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Coldwell:

The matter could be left as it is this year.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Mr. Chairman, I listened to the hon. member for Cape Breton South with the utmost pleasure, as I always do, because he has the gift of speech. He reminds me of a former member, H. H. Stevens of Vancouver. I wonder if he will like my comparing him with a Conservative. However, it is only as to his manner. Unfortunately I must say that I think he was wrong because he led us to assume that there would be additional holidays. There will not be one hour more than there is at the present time. The date will be changed, that is all. If my hon. friend, who is such a gifted speaker, had considered that, he would not have spoken as he did. I now come to the hon. member for Eglinton.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Whom does he remind you of?

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

He reminds me of Cicero when he spoke against Catiline. Apparently he lost all sense of proportion. He gave us a fine Lenten sermon on our duties as members of parliament, on our standards of life and on the ethics of the sponsor of the bill. Why did he waste his energies like that? I believe in making the least effort at any time. Why did he show such indignation over a matter like this? He had no reason to be indignant.

I am glad the storm is over and we have come back to sunshine. The hon. member spoke of sunshine. Is it necessary to have bad weather in order to celebrate Dominion day and Victoria day properly? The hon. member said that members of parliament were not serious. Let me tell him that one may not be serious even when one is speaking solemnly. He knows that.

I am in favour of the bill and I hope it will be passed. Whether it is to be brought into force now or on January 1 does not matter to me. I seldom agree with the leader of the opposition, but let me tell him that he has offered the first sensible argument against the bill. I am glad to be able to say that, because this bill does not entail a matter of major policy. The same argument could have been used by a Liberal. Even if it was used by the leader of the opposition I must admit that it carries weight.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

Mr. Chairman, why is a hen and what is the difference between a piece of string? That is a foolish question, is it not?

I have heard that conundrum for many years and the answer is: Because St. Patrick's day is on the fourth of July.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Confederation day for you is April 1.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

As the hon. member for

Winnipeg North Centre has said, All Fools' day is our confederation day.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

In Newfoundland.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

That is right, in Newfoundland. The question and answer I have just propounded is as ridiculous as the purpose of this bill. In saying that, I do not cast any reflection upon the hon. member who has proposed that bill nor do I doubt his bona fides in offering the bill to the house. We must remember that a country that has no sentiments or traditions is never going to be a nation. All we have in any country or in any nation is its sentiments and traditions.

I am a brand new Canadian, as you all know. I like it. As we used to say back home, I am as green as a var bough. Perhaps I should say I am now as green as a Canadian var bough. The Canadian traditions and Canadian sentiments which I have adopted are as important to the people in this country as they are to those at home who have their own sentiments and traditions.

, of our traditions, which is quite new, is Memorial day which falls on July 1. That is in memory of soldiers killed in the first world war. It was on July 1, 1916, that the Royal Newfoundland regiment suffered such terrible losses. Ninety per cent of those who went into battle were casualties. That day has been celebrated ever since. We now call the same day "Dominion day", but as far as Newfoundland is concerned it is still Memorial day. That day is going to be kept by us whether the date is changed or not.

Coming back to the main point, as I said before, tradition and sentiment must be considered,. Unless that tradition and that sentiment are fully respected I cannot see how on. members of this house can consider voting in favour of this bill. My personal feeling is to vote definitely and positively against it. I am not particularly interested in the clause of the bill dealing with the other holiday, but I am interested in Dominion day. Newfoundland came into confederation -and I think this is the feeling of all Newfoundland members-ready to accept all the traditions of Canada. I understood Dominion day was the biggest day of the year. If that is so and you are going to do away with that day by this bill, you must remember that you are not only doing away with a holiday; you are doing away with a day that marks the birth of this great dominion. And you are going to do away with that tradition for what-to give people a holiday? People do not need holidays as badly as that.

Statutory Holidays

I do not think the sponsor of this bill really has given the matter the consideration it deserves. Either that is the case or the people out in his part of the country are not the Canadians I thought they were. I say quite honestly and sincerely, Mr. Chairman, that I believe Canada should preserve all the traditions it has. It is not a particularly old country, but if it is going to be the great nation we all believe it will become then the day marking confederation should be observed in such a way that succeeding generations will feel that we have kept faith with the founders.

For these reasons, reasons of sentiment and tradition if you will, I oppose this measure, and I feel sure that at least the other members from my part of Canada have the same view about it. I feel that the reasons given by the hon. member for Cape Breton South could be very well incorporated into my remarks. I see no reason for going further into the matter, since the hon. member has done it for me very well indeed. I also believe the remarks of my leader, as the hon. member for Temiscouata has just commented, should be given very great consideration. So, Mr. Chairman, I am definitely and positively opposed to this bill.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

May I ask the hon. member a question just before he sits down?

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

I was not going to sit down. Mr. Knowles: Does the hon. member know on what day of the week July 1 will be celebrated this year?

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
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PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

No.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

This year July 1 will be celebrated on Monday, July 2. That change is provided for by chapter 49 of the revised statutes of Canada. Already the law has changed it to July 2 for this year.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

Well a famous judge once remarked, "The law is a h'ass", and that might very well be the case here. However, even if the formal holiday is held on Monday, the occasion is celebrated on Sunday.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Question.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

You mean you are questioning whether it is?

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Order. Since Dominion day is dealt with in section 1 the hon. member is out of order, because we are on section 2.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

I am dealing with clause 1, Mr. Chairman.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
LIB

Joseph-Alfred Dion (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

But we are on clause 2.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink
PC

Gordon Francis Higgins

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Higgins:

Clause 2 reads:

Throughout Canada, in each and every year, the first Monday following the thirtieth day of June

Statutory Holidays

shall be a legal holiday and shall be kept and observed as such under the name of Dominion day.

Topic:   STATUTORY HOLIDAYS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED OBSERVANCE OF DOMINION DAY AND VICTORIA DAY ON MONDAYS FOLLOWING JUNE 30 AND MAY 23
Permalink

February 22, 1951