Mr. Speaker, may I suggest that this sitting be suspended until three o'clock this afternoon.
The house has heard the suggestion by the right hon. Prime Minister that this sitting be suspended until three o'clock this afternoon. Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt this suggestion?
I declare the sitting suspended until the ringing of the bells at three o'clock this afternoon.
At 11.15 a.m. the sitting was suspended until 3 p.m. this day.
[DOT] (3:00 p.m.)
The house resumed at three o'clock.
PRESENCE AT TABLE OF FORMER CLERK
Before commencing further proceedings, perhaps I might be permitted to 29180-2
Opening of the Session recall to the minds of hon. members that on Friday, July 7, 1967, the following motion was adopted by the house:
On motion of Mr. Martin (Essex East) for Mr. Pearson, seconded by Mr. Diefenbaker, it was resolved,-That the Members of this House, desiring to record their deep appreciation of the long and distinguished service rendered by Leon-J. Raymond, Esquire, O.B.E., as Clerk of the House of Commons, and acknowledging the dignity and profound learning with which he graced his office, designate him as Honorary Officer of the House of Commons with an entree to the Chamber and a seat at the Table on ceremonial occasions.
To give effect to the motion of the house Mr. Raymond today is sitting at the table of the house.
OPENING OF THE SESSION
Mr. Speaker read a communication from the Governor General's secretary announcing that His Excellency the Governor General would proceed to the Senate chamber at three o'clock on this day, for the purpose of formally opening the session of the dominion parliament. [DOT] (3:20 p.m.) A message was delivered by Major C. R. Lamoureux, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, it is the pleasure of His Excellency the Governor General that this honourable house attend him immediately in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker with the house went up to the Senate chamber. Then the Hon. Lucien Lamoureux, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: May it please Your Excellency, The House of Commons have elected me their Speaker, though I am but little able to fulfil the important duties thus assigned to me. If in the performance of those duties I should at any time fall into error, I pray that the fault may be imputed to me, and not to the Commons, whose servant I am, and who, through me, the better to enable them to discharge their duty to their Queen and country, humbly claim all their undoubted rights and privileges, especially that they may have freedom of speech in their debates, access to Your Excellency's person at all seasonable times, and that their proceedings may receive from Your Excellency the most favourable construction. The Honourable the Speaker of the Senate, addressing the Honourable the Speaker of the House of Commons, then said: Mr. Speaker, I am commanded by His Excellency the Governor General to declare to you that he freely confides in the duty and attachment of the
September 12, 1968 Speech from the Throne House of Commons to Her Majesty's person and government, and not doubting that their proceedings will be conducted with wisdom, temper and prudence, he grants and upon all occasions will recognize and allow their constitutional privileges. I am commanded also to assure you that the Commons shall have ready access to His Excellency upon all seasonable occasions, and that their proceedings as well as your words and actions, will constantly receive from him the most favourable construction. Then His Excellency the Governor General was pleased to open parliament by a speech from the throne. And the house being returned to the Commons chamber: [DOT] (4:10 p.m.)
I have the honour to report that, the house having attended on His Excellency the Governor General in the Senate chamber, I informed His Excellency that the choice of Speaker had fallen upon me, and, in your names, and on your behalf, I made the usual claim for your privileges, which His Excellency was pleased to confirm to you.
OATHS OF OFFICE
Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister) moved
for leave to introduce Bill No. C-l, respecting the administration of oaths of office.
Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.
SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
I have the honour to inform the house that when the house did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day in the Senate chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both houses of parliament. To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy which is as follows:
Honourable Members of the Senate:
Members of the House of Commons:
I have the honour to welcome you to the first session of the 28th Parliament of Canada.
Across the land there are great expectations of what this Parliament will produce. My Ministers recognize the responsibility for leadership which these hopes entail. They are determined to do all that they can to carry out the mandate they received from the people of Canada in the recent general election. They recognize their duty to ensure that the wishes of Canadians concerning their Government be fulfilled as quickly and as completely as the general advantage will allow. At the same time my Government is conscious that aspirations and their realization have to be tempered by a sober awareness of reality. In the complexities of modern society, effective programs take time to
develop and more time to implement. At all stages they require financial and intellectual resources which are not unlimited and must be used with careful planning and the hard judgement of priorities. It is a simple fact of life that everything cannot be done at once.
My Government has planned the legislative program of this first session in the context of a Parliament of normal duration. To make way for the consideration in later sessions of new programs that Ministers are already developing, it is proposed, during the current session, to elucidate priorities and to set in motion new policies. Of equal importance, though of far less drama, Parliament will be asked to deal with a host of matters essential to the smooth and up-to-date functioning of government which were not disposed of in the previous Parliament. My Government considers that its first responsibility, and the first responsibility of this Parliament, is to clear the accumulation of essential legislative adjustments, improvements and modernizations left over from the last Parliament. Unless they are cleared up promptly, efficient public administration and the effective operation of the Canadian economy and society will be hampered.
My Ministers believe that much of the delay and difficulty in the handling of Parliamentary business during recent years could have been avoided or reduced by the improvement of Parliamentary rules and procedures. It is their view that Canadians feel that Parliament is too far removed from the people it serves; its operations are too slow and ponderous; its deliberations are often insufficiently informed and its decisions are too few and too much delayed. In order that Parliamentary institutions may retain the confidence of the people, and in order that they may cope successfully with the vast scope and complexity of government today, it is essential that provision be made for legislative machinery that can act speedily on the large number of varied, detailed and complicated legislative, financial and policy questions that will be the normal, and indeed the growing, Parliamentary program of the future. My Government accords the greatest importance to Parliamentary reform and, to this end and as a matter of the highest priority, it has already had useful discussions with representatives of Opposition parties concerning changes in the rules and procedures of the House of Commons.
So that the Official Opposition, to which we in Canada give formal recognition as a vital part of our democratic process, as well as the other parties in opposition, may be in a position to cope more effectively with the heavy load of action and decision each session must face, you will be asked to make new provision for the Official Opposition, and the other parties in their Parliamentary role. You will also be asked to consider additional facilities for the better discharge of the functions of Parliament generally.
My Government is deeply and irrevocably committed to the objectives of a just society and a prosperous economy in a peaceful world. My Ministers believe that the unity of the country is fundamental to the attainment of these goals, as-indeed-to the enjoyment by each Canadian of the maximum possible liberty, happiness x and material well-being. Constitutional reform remains the best long-term guarantee of Canadian unity and my Ministers are directing officials in discussions with the Provinces which are proceeding well and will, through a series of intergovernmental
September 12, 1968
conferences, lead to proposals that Parliament will wish to consider. In the meantime, however, to further the objective of a united Canada, you will be asked during the current session, to enact a totally new Official Languages Act based on the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. You will also be asked to approve a new Publication of Statutes Act to change the way in which the law of our bilingual land is presented and made known in both the official languages of our land. You will also be asked to consider measures relating to Indians, to citizenship, to national symbols, to cultural agencies, to transportation of all kinds as well as to communications (including satellites), educational television, and the financing of the Post Office.
Some of these proposals involve the righting of wrongs and others the opening of opportunities long denied. Together they exemplify the essential connection between justice and national unity. The attainment of a just society is the cherished hope of civilized men. While perhaps more difficult to formulate for groups than for individuals, even the members of majorities-political, religious, linguistic or economic-must know what it is to suffer injustice. My Government is deeply concerned to provide and to ensure increased justice, dignity and recognition to the individual, particularly in an age which is characterized by large governments, industrial automation, social regimentation and old-fashioned laws. A great deal has been accomplished in recent years to make the Canadian society more just in terms of income distribution and security against the vicissitudes of life. Pensions for the aged, provision for the sick and for the needy have been made more effective by legislation passed in recent Parliaments and by action of the provinces. Notwithstanding such measures, poverty continues to exist in Canada. My Government recognizes that, but it also believes that it would be deluding and cruel to pretend that there is a simple, all-encompassing or instantaneously effective remedy. Poverty can be dealt with successfully and permanently only by continued and determined action in a variety of ways by all governments. For its part, Parliament can be assured that the federal government will contribute fully and assume leadership wherever it can properly do so. To this end, the proposals you will have for your consideration will include the establishment of a department charged with the objective of ensuring that people in all areas and regions of our country have as equal access as possible to the opportunities of Canada's economic development.
At the same time, there are other and broader elements vital to a just society, and my Ministers feel that these must receive, at this and in later sessions of Parliament, a degree of attention they have not had hitherto. Toward these ends, you will be asked to enact important changes in the Criminal Law, to provide new protections for consumers and investors, to up-date food, drug and health legislation, to revise or amend legislation relating to the machinery of justice, and to correct a number of particular injustices, including those resulting from certain provisions of the Industrial Relations and Disputes Investigation Act. During the course of the present session it is anticipated that the government will receive reports from 29180-2 \
Speech from the Throne inquiries with regard to labour legislation and veterans pensions, and it is the intention of my Ministers to bring their proposals in these matters before you as soon as possible.
My Government believes that the objective of a just society must always include the pursuit of a prosperous economy as well as the fair distribution of its proceeds. Just as we have in the past tended, perhaps, to consider justice in our society largely in material terms, so we must recognize that there has been a tendency in Parliament and to some degree in Government to concentrate on the distributive aspects of our economy. In this course we have sometimes tended to neglect those aspects that can affect the productivity of our country, and hence the total provision of economic well-being for our society, and its competitiveness in the changing conditions of the modern world. The natural resources of Canada and the industries based upon them continue to be of immense importance to our economy but the advantages of our great physical resources by themselves are no longer an adequate base for a growing and prosperous modern economy. We shall increasingly have to compete on even terms with those countries of the world which are most advanced technologically in the provision of the sophisticated products of modern life. Unless Canada can maintain an economy that is efficient, competitive and productive in relation to the most advanced nations on earth, we cannot have the basis for a society from which poverty has been eliminated, we cannot maintain high levels of employment and income and we cannot ensure the standard of life to which Canadians generally aspire. It is against this background, as well as with the consciousness that the interests of all must be fairly balanced, that the government is approaching its policies and programs of an economic character. In this same context, Parliament will be asked during the present session to consider proposals for a systematic and continuous review of prices and costs in our economy.
Just as incomes cannot increase faster than productivity if price increases are to be restrained, so government spending by all levels of government cannot increase faster than productivity if we wish to restrain the increase in levels of taxation. These two realities are among the most important that Canadians and their leaders must bear in mind during the months and years ahead. Measures that you will have to consider relating to the Kennedy Round reflect the outcome of a major international effort to reduce the barriers to international trade and emphasize the opportunities opening up for a great trading nation like Canada. A measure to be brought before you dealing with the amendment of the Bretton Woods arrangements, results from comparable efforts to stabilize and improve the whole international financial system.
Conscious of the limitations it must place on its expenditures, my Government has acted within the framework of previously announced guidelines to select carefully the programs which in the light of regional needs and opportunities it considers most promising for the promotion of a prosperous economy. My Ministers will bring before you legislation relating to the encouragement of manpower programs, regional improvements, domestic investment, export development, and resource administration, including a Yukon Mineral Act and an Oil and Gas Production Act relating to Canada's increasingly
September 12, 1968
Speech from the Throne important northern resources. In addition, my Government will propose a Freshwater Fish Marketing Act, and intends to investigate immediately a number of methods for promoting greater efficiency in the production and marketing of grains, including the establishment of a National Grains Council. You will be asked to approve amendments to the Farm Improvement Loans Act, the Farm Credit Act, the Farm Machinery Syndicates Act, the Prairie Grain Advance Payments Act, and the Fisheries Improvement Loans Act. You will be asked to consider a Canada Development Corporation Act, a Federal Cooperatives Act and an Export Development Corporation Act.
The growth of our population and the changes in the nature of our mobile urban and industrial society lend a new importance to conservation in its traditional sense. We have taken and are taking effective strides toward economic conservation through progressively better use of our resources to achieve a high and long-term productivity. We must also give new attention before it is too late to the preservation of our natural heritage for the enjoyment of Canadians of future generations. You will be asked to consider measures concerning National Parks and Historic Sites and Monuments. These and other facilities for the repose of the mind and restoration of the spirit, for sport, and for physical relaxation are and will be of increasing importance to our social environment. They offer Canadians and to visitors to Canada the possibility of a quality of life richly satisfying and ever more difficult to come by in this and in other industrial countries. Of broader importance is the problem of pollution, which must receive increased attention from federal, provincial and municipal governments. My Ministers are actively engaged in preparing proposals on these subjects and, in due course, these will be brought before you for your examination.
The natural riches with which Canada is blessed must serve to remind us that we have a substantial responsibility and a great opportunity in matters of foreign aid. My Government intends to press forward its plans and programs for international cooperation and development which include the establishment in Canada of an International Development Centre.
In international affairs generally, my Ministers regard the current situation as uncertain and deeply disturbing. Talks are under way in Paris concerning Vietnam but so far negotiations have not advanced as we had hoped they might. The Government has followed with anxiety the attempts to promote a peaceful settlement in Nigeria and has participated actively in international efforts to relieve the sufferings of the civilian population. The situation in Czechoslovakia has also caused the gravest concern to the government, not only for its effects on the prospects of detente and future evolution within Communist countries, but also for its consequences for the freedom and well-being of the Czechoslovak people. For those of them who have to seek refuge in other countries, my Ministers have already taken steps to offer permanent homes in Canada.
The Government has undertaken and is pursuing a thorough review of our external and defence policies. Canada's contribution to NATO, relations with Peking, with Latin America and with Europe
are being studied currently. Reviews of our relations with other areas will be undertaken later and, as conclusions are reached, Parliament will be invited to consider them.
The events in other lands to which I have referred are a vivid reminder that our gocJ fortune as Canadians includes rights and freedoms as well as material advantages. They alert us to the need, not only for vigilance in the conservation of our democratic institutions, but also to the importance of constant concern for their improvement. Efficient government, responsive to public requirements and open to public participation, is essential to the meaningful operation of the democratic process. It will be the more vital in the future as technology and science provide new and more immediate means for the dissemination of information and for the involvement, as individuals, of all our people. The Government has already taken steps to review its information services in order to introduce, as soon as possible, improvements by which the flow of information into and out of the government will be more efficient and effective, permitting the people of Canada a continuing, informed, and more active participation in the activities of their government. In addition, as part of the continuing process of modernization and development of governmental machinery, you will be asked during the current session to enact a Government Organization Act. This measure will complete a number of changes in organization and structure announced by the Prime Minister some weeks ago and will complement the Parliamentary reforms so fundamental to the successful operation of our democratic institutions.
The reinforcement and renovation of Parliamentary and administrative machinery and the clearing away of the substantial backlog now outstanding in the legislative program, will free Parliament so that it can come to grips with difficult and pressing problems relating to youth, poverty, regional disparities, urban growth, individual welfare, and the application and encouragement of scientific technology. These subjects are of concern to all governments in Canada and it is clear that a great deal more has to be done than has so far been contemplated. It would be wrong, however, to expect solutions to be found easily or indeed to be found at all except on the basis of close cooperation in good faith between federal, provincial and municipal governments not only in planning but in implementation as well.
To assist in this process it would be useful to have available to all governments an institute where long-term research and thinking can be carried out into governmental matters of all kinds. At the present time there is no such facility available in this country and it is the intention of my Ministers to bring before you in the near future legislation that will fill this most important gap in our governmental apparatus.
Members of the House of Commons:
During the current session you will be asked to appropriate the funds required for the services and payments authorized by Parliament. In addition to this business, the legislative program that the Government proposes is very extensive but many of the items have been seen before or are of an uncontroversial nature. A list of the Bills relating to the matters to which I have referred will be tabled by the Prime Minister later this day and
September 12, 1968
other portions of the program will be brought forward as the session proceeds. It is very important to the proper government of the country in the years ahead that the proposals for the current session be dealt with. In Canada as in other countries of the world democracy today faces a decisive challenge. It must adapt to new circumstances and new demands or fail in its purpose. This challenge is not abstract but a confrontation which you will have to face by virtue of your election to this Parliament.
Honourable Members of the Senate,
Members of the House of Commons,
May Divine Providence guide you in your deliberations.
That the speech of His Excellency the Governor General delivered this day from the throne to the two houses of parliament, be taken into consideration at the next sitting of the house.
Motion agreed to.