July 1, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin


Hon. P. J. A. CARDIN (Richelieu-Vercheres):

Mr. Speaker, as the rules of this house have already been broken on this seventy-fifth anniversary of confederation, I would ask your indulgence and that of hon. members while I express a few thoughts, in the French language.
(Translation) Mr. Speaker, as a representative from the province of Quebec, I think it only appropriate to add my humble tribute to those you have already heard celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of our Canadian confederation. I do so with all my strength of heart and mind because I am one of those who have believed in our Canadian confederation, in the opportuneness of its establishment and in the benefits to be derived therefrom by our citizens of all races and creeds. I rejoice with those who had the advantage of speaking earlier this afternoon in the remarkable success already achieved with regard to the development of our Canadian nation.

The Canadian Confederation
I am well content with the progress made and I sincerely hope that the results obtained to date will not be endangered by the differences of opinion and thought which [DOT] are liable to divide public opinion.
Let no one forget, Mr. Speaker that the Canadian confederation does not represent the union of the majority with a minority, but rather the union on an equal footing of the two main racial groups in Canada. At the time of confederation, the main problem was that of ensuring equal rights to all citizens, whatever their mentality or language.
Let us never forget this great truth: There is no minority, there is no majority in this country. There are only brothers joined together by a common agreement for the good of the entire community; not for the advantage of a certain class or group but for the greater good of all Canadian citizens.
There have occurred in the past, Mr. Speaker, just as there occur to-day, differences of opinion and thought on certain matters which may stir up public opinion. Human institutions can never command complete unanimity of opinion in every field. There are always different views held on every question. Despite all the good faith in the world, humanity must remain divided. Such division dates from the very beginning of time and will endure till the end. The human mind is not one; it divides itself into various points of view and there are no questions on which we may really achieve complete unanimity of thought and feeling. Such an achievement would be contrary to human nature. It would be superhuman.
It even appears necessary that these differences of opinion, these conflicts of thought should exist if only as a source of that light by which nations as well as individuals are guided.
I repeat that I share the views already expressed and I hope that now as in the future peace and harmony will continue to distinguish our mutual relations on this Canadian soil. If our opinions should differ on certain points, if we should1 not agree on the manner and means of reaching a certain goal, this does not mean that we have opposite aims. It does not mean that we from the province of Quebec do not share the same feelings, the same aspirations, the same desires, the same love of Canada that inspires those who belong to the majority.
On this anniversary day, I pray that there may come about a better understanding between all Canadian citizens and that silence be imposed on those who, in this house and
country appear inclined to sow disunity and misunderstanding which might destroy the master work of our Canadian confederation.
Let us try to understand each other, to get along better together. Granted this understanding, there is no doubt that Canada can become a great nation, without any of her different racial groups being forced to abandon their ties with the past, their traditions, in a word all that has made them great in the past and which they hold dear.

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