November 1, 1949 (21st Parliament, 1st Session)


John Decore


Mr. Decore:

-and I intend to deal with this matter. The insinuations are quite clear, Mr. Speaker. Such statements cast a reflection not only on the nine thousand people who voted for me in the election of June 27 but also on all the people in that constituency, numbering some 60,000.
We have in this house representatives from all parts of Canada, from Vancouver island to Newfoundland. I do not think that hon. members in this house should be left with the impression that whenever anybody mentions the constituency of Vegreville, they should associate that constituency with communism. I feel that I have the responsibility of defending the people whom I represent should any politician in this house or outside it choose to brand those people as communists simply because they chose to discard the kind of representation they had there for the last number of years.
Over half a century ago when these people came in from central Europe and settled on land around Vegreville, one of their chief characteristics was their deep religious feeling and devotion to the church. The first institutions which they built upon their arrival were churches where they could go and worship God. Today in this constituency you will find many churches of various denominations. The two main groups are the Orthodox and the Greek Catholic, both being churches of the eastern or Byzantine rite.
The village of Mundare, situated within my constituency, has been and is today the centre of the religious life of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Canada. Mundare is the cradle of the Basilian order which produced such outstanding religious leaders as Their Excellencies Archbishop Basil Ladyka of Winnipeg and Bishop Neal Sawaryn of Edmonton. Other outstanding religious leaders of the Greek Catholic faith came from this place called Mundare.
I might also mention in passing that in the early pioneer days a man by the name of Father Kryzanowsky came there as a missionary; he was responsible for putting Mundare in the position it holds today. Father Kryzanowsky has been highly respected by Canadians of various denominations and racial origins. He was closely associated with that great missionary and
[Mr. Decore.1
humanitarian of western Canada, the late Father Albert Lacombe. I mention this because the people in my constituency, regardless of the church to which they belong or of what their views may be, resent any such scurrilous attack made or insinuations cast by any such politicians.
It has been said that the fact that no communist candidate was running in Vegreville constituency in the election of June 27 was the reason my election was made possible.
I want to tell this house something about this matter. In my constituency there are elected to the provincial legislature about six or seven provincial members who are either wholly are partially dependent on the vote from my constituency. In the provincial election held last year, all those members who were elected from my constituency were Social Credit candidates.

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