House of Commons Hansard #225 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, last week, like all Canadians, I was deeply saddened to hear that Jean-Luc Pepin, who was one of my colleagues here in the House of Commons, had passed away.

He was elected in 1963, at the same time as I was, to represent a riding close to mine, near Drummondville on the other shore of the Saint Lawrence, and we began our career together. We even went back to university together. At that time, we were expected to be in the House in the evening. We both took courses in administrative law, so that we would be able to come to the House if there was a vote. We became good friends. We both had the privilege of studying, if I can use the term, under Mitchell Sharp. Mr. Pepin had been appointed parliamentary secretary to Mr. Sharp when he was at Trade and Commerce; I became Mr. Sharp's parliamentary secretary when he moved to Finance.

Jean-Luc Pepin was an intellectual who was actively involved in public life. One could not have wished for a nicer guy. He was kind to everyone, but at the same time he was extremely hard working. Any issue he was given would be examined in depth, so much so that he sometimes almost made himself ill through his thoroughness. I have rarely seen colleagues read through all the documents that had been prepared for them, but Jean-Luc Pepin certainly did.

Jean-Luc Pepin also had a broad vision of Canada. He always searched for solutions to our problems, and his participation in our very animated discussions, both in caucus and here in the House of Commons, was always followed with great interest. He was always well informed and constantly sought out new solutions.

He was a very good minister. He started as Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce. He was the first among the ministers to visit China right after we recognized China 25 years ago. He led the first businessmen's mission to Latin America. When today as Prime Minister I am involved in visiting the same area, I cannot help but think about the vision and wisdom of Jean-Luc Pepin in doing his work as Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce.

I remember he unfortunately lost an election in 1968, and he came back. It was a very amusing moment, because after-

When he lost the election, everyone deplored his loss and lamented the fact that Jean-Luc Pepin would no longer sit in this House. But suddenly, after a recount, he was back. He showed us all the glowing editorials that he had received and just as he was about to use them in the House in powerful speeches, he was ousted again following a judicial recount. He was absent from this House.

He served in numerous positions. He was a member of the Pepin-Robarts Commission and submitted a very important report which was widely discussed but which was not fully implemented. However, a good loser, he always accepted the decisions that were made, offering new solutions and never giving up. He chaired the commission on price and wage controls, something that was not easy to do at the time. He did so very tactfully and competently. Of necessity we became friends because when you are not from the big city of Montreal, when you come from the country, you tend to join ranks. He was a very good friend but first and foremost, he was an outstanding member of Parliament, an outstanding minister and a great Canadian. With his passing last week, our country has lost a great public servant.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my political party, I would like to pay tribute today to Mr. Jean-Luc Pepin, who passed away a few days ago.

Born in Drummondville in 1924, Mr. Pepin had a brilliant career both as an academic and a politician. He was first elected to the House of Commons in 1963 to represent the Drummond-Arthabaska riding.

In 1968, under the Trudeau government, he became the first Quebecer ever to be put in charge of an important economic portfolio when he was appointed Minister of Industry. During his career as a member of Parliament and a federal minister, he was at the centre of several major reviews and often had to meet tough challenges, including implementation of the metric system, transport deregulation and the development of a more open relationship between Canada and the People's Republic of China.

It is particularly important to mention the contribution of Jean-Luc Pepin as co-chairman of the Pepin-Robarts Commission, a working group set up to examine the constitutional and political problems facing Canada. Despite the extremely centralizing vision of the Trudeau government, this Quebecer had the fortitude to defend with conviction the concept of asymmetrical federalism. As we know, according to this concept, the province of Quebec would have been able to display its specificity and to have, as indicated in the commission's report, all the powers needed to preserve and develop its distinctiveness.

The rest is history, as we say. Pierre Trudeau and the current prime minister turned dow the report before forever entrenching in the 1982 Constitution the principle of equality for all provinces.

We will remember Mr. Pepin for his exceptional contribution to the political debate which is still going on today. We will remember how this Quebecer tried without success to ensure that the right of Quebec to develop as a distinct entity was recognized.

On behalf of my colleagues in this House and on my own behalf, I would like to extend to his family and friends our deepest sympathy.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:35 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to join with other members of the House in paying tribute to the memory of Jean-Luc Pepin and his contributions to the public life of this country over the years.

On behalf of my Reform colleagues I would also like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Pepin family on their loss and indeed our country's loss.

The media and other speakers today have made reference to the long list of achievements and contributions to our national life associated with Jean-Luc Pepin. These include his contributions to academic life, particularly at the University of Ottawa, his contributions as a senior minister of the crown, including his proposals as Minister of Transport for reforming the Crow's Nest freight rate, and his contributions as co-chairman of the task force on Canadian unity. Of course on the subject of national unity, if some of those proposals had been brought forward and acted upon more vigorously we wonder where we would all be today.

What we find most memorable about the contributions of Jean-Luc Pepin is that in his case we not only remember what he did and proposed but we remember even more vividly and fondly the manner and the spirit in which he did it: his humour, his enthusiasm, and his positive outlook. I can remember being a young woman in Canada in my high school and university days and seeing a picture on television of some mysterious man that was so far away in eastern Canada. I remember that glint in his eye when he was being interviewed. It is a wonderful memory I carry of him.

In a country where too often the spirit of pessimism prevails, the cheerfulness and optimism of a man like Jean-Luc Pepin should not only be remembered but imitated. In so doing we would be paying fine and fitting tribute to a man and his memory. May all of us in this House remember the remarkable role model he has been to us in Canada.

We wish his family well and we sympathize with them.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Carleton—Gloucester, ON

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity to pay tribute to the late hon. Jean-Luc Pepin.

Jean-Luc Pepin passed away a few days ago. This great Canadian, always gracious and charming, gave a good name to political life.

I first met Mr. Pepin as a student at Ottawa University where he taught political science.

Jean-Luc Pepin was first elected to the House of Commons in 1963 as member for Drummond-Arthabaska where he served until 1972.

A man of ideas which he expressed with the greatest of ease, he loved to serve his country. He was a firm believer in Canadian unity. He will probably be remembered for his significant contributions to Canadian life, especially his contributions to the Task Force on Canadian Unity know as the Pepin-Robarts Commission.

In 1979, he was reelected, but this time as member for Ottawa-Carleton which he represented until 1984. For the most part, this riding later became the new riding of Carleton-Gloucester, as a result of the 1988 readjustment of electoral boundaries.

It is for me a great honour to have been elected in the same riding as the hon. Jean-Luc Pepin who served it so well in the House of Commons as a minister and where he lived until his death.

I salute a man who defended both our official languages and promoted bilingualism across Canada. I salute a man who promoted Canadian unity with integrity, compassion, elegance and charm.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the NDP caucus, I join with others in the House of Commons in expressing condolences to the family of Jean-Luc Pepin and say a few words about him by way of recollection on the basis of my own experience in this House between 1979 and 1984.

One should be honest and say that what I remember of Jean-Luc Pepin is fighting him on all fronts with respect to the Crow rate and VIA Rail cuts. He had the misfortune, I would suggest, of being assigned these tasks by the then Liberal government.

I suspected at the time that he was not always completely happy in the role he was assigned, especially when it came to the VIA Rail cuts, because I know that his father worked for CN and he had a railway background. He sometimes looked a bit uncomfortable, but he handled everything. He handled those issues as he handled everything, with a great deal of grace, a great deal of generosity, a great deal of humour, and with a kind of philosophical touch that one does not see all that often here in the House of Commons.

The thing I remember most about him was the sort of intellectual delight he took in argumentation and debate. He was one of the few members of Parliament I can remember who sprinkled his debates on the Crow rate and other more seemingly practical issues with

quotations or allusions to Sarte and Camus and Nietzche and various other philosophers whose works he was obviously familiar with.

I remember him as a great parliamentarian, a great Canadian, someone committed, as so many have said, to Canadian unity. It is unfortunate that at this very critical time in our history we will not have the voice of Jean-Luc Pepin being able to contribute to the debate that is upon us about Canada's future.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, as I heard members pay homage to Mr. Diefenbaker and Mr. Pepin today, I could not help thinking that these two men, although coming from different parts of the country and having had very different, maybe totally opposite experiences, if they were with us today would both speak with equal fervour about Canada, each with his own point of view, as some others members in this House would.

Who knows, maybe it is a coincidence that we should be paying homage to both these men on the same day. As it has been said, Mr. Pepin was an intellectual but he was also a very sensitive man. He had an exceptional political career; that proves it is not always necessary to be aggressive to succeed in politics and it is not true that the political environment is always a very harsh one. On the contrary. Jean-Luc Pepin has always acted with a lot of tact and respect for others. It characterized his political career.

I am happy to stress that fact today for the benefit of all those who wonder if political men and women are people who still believe in the values Mr. Pepin cherished.

As my colleague just mentioned, Mr. Pepin was entrusted with very difficult departments and very complex issues. I am thinking, among other things, about the rail subsidies and the Crows Nest rate, two issues that were never easy to deal with, needless to say. He always took on the responsibilities with an exemplary sense of duty. He did the same thing when he co-chaired the Pepin-Robarts Commission. Colleagues from our party who had the pleasure and privilege of working with Mr. Pepin remember him as an absolutely exceptional man.

Jean-Luc Pepin and John Diefenbaker whom we have honoured today are two Canadians who, even though they came from two very different backgrounds, if they were with us in this House today would agree wholeheartedly on one thing and that is about Canada and its future.

On behalf of the party I represent and the men and women who knew him in this House I want to pay a special tribute to him. I extend our condolences to his family. I know he will be missed.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on September 5, the right honourable Jean-Luc Pepin, one of the most significant figures on the Canadian political scene since the 1960s, died on the eve of his 71th birthday. The death of this former member of Parliament and minister caught us by surprise. All those who knew him were also caught by surprise, but we also witnessed his numerous achievements and his departure can only fill us with sadness and nostalgia.

It was largely thanks to this great Canadian that our country adopted the metric system. It was mentioned earlier that it was also largely thanks to him that the Canadian government became more open to the People's Republic of China well before other countries did. The same goes for his work in the Department of Transport, with the elimination of the Crow rate and with Via Rail.

We will also long remember him for the Anti-Inflation Board and for the Pepin-Robarts Commission, whose findings still remain relevant today in any discussion concerning relations between the federal and the provinces. I wish I could avoid being partisan, because Mr. Pepin always avoided excessive partisanship. But after listening to some remarks, I cannot help but mention that, during a dinner that was held about ten days before his death, we had the opportunity to discuss the political issue of the day, the referendum, and I wish to note that, even though he was almost 71 years old, Mr. Pepin clearly said to me at the time that, if necessary, he would willingly agree to campaign for Canada.

I wish to thank him as a personal friend, as one of his students-because I was one-as his assistant, as an admirer and now as the member for Ottawa-Vanier. I would like to extend my condolences to the Pepin family as well as those who were close to this great political man.

The Late Jean-Luc Pepin
Oral Question Period

3:45 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park
Ontario

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I first met the late Jean-Luc Pepin in 1979 when I was elected to this House. That was the year the Conservatives won the election against the Liberals.

Every time there is a change of government there is also a change of caucus rooms because each party has a different size caucus. Jean-Luc Pepin was advising me as a newly elected member on what and what not to do. He always gave 100 per cent of his time. He was so intent on talking to me that when we arrived at the caucus room the camera lights all flashed and I did not know what was happening. What happened is that he was so engrossed in advising me that we walked into the wrong caucus room. That is a bit of the humorous side of Jean-Luc Pepin. It shows how helpful

he was to new members and when he spoke to us he gave 100 per cent. When he listened he gave 100 per cent.

The Prime Minister mentioned about his term when he was parliamentary secretary to the Hon. Mitchell Sharp. I happened to be his parliamentary secretary in 1982-83 when he was Minister of Transport. Yes, I along with the late Jean-Luc Pepin faced the Via Rail debates here and placards over our heads about the Crow bill, et cetera. He made the tough decisions. One thing about him is he listened to all sides before he made a decision. I think that is why he was so popular.

His immediate family and extended family can take great pride in the fact that he was a great Canadian. But we have not lost him; he will always be with us.

The Late Dr. Charles Willoughby
Oral Question Period

September 18th, 1995 / 3:50 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, it is my sad duty today to rise in tribute to Dr. Charles Willoughby who was a former member of this House.

Dr. Willoughby lived a long and very distinguished life practising medicine in the interior of British Columbia for many decades and serving as MP for Kamloops from 1963 through to 1965 when Davey Fulton was serving in provincial politics. He was said by one of his successors in the riding, now Senator Len Marchand, to have been regarded as one of the finest gentlemen of his community.

There are few Canadians who have been privileged to witness the unfolding of Canadian history as much as Dr. Willoughby who was born in rural Ontario 101 years ago when David Thompson was Prime Minister. He served in this House in the days of Prime Minister Pearson and Prime Minister Diefenbaker and indeed lived to see a fellow member of the class of 1963, the member from Shawinigan in turn become Prime Minister in 1993.

Dr. Willoughby wrote two books, one when he was 99 years old. One is called From Leeches to Lasers and is about the development of medicine. The other is titled Shuswap Memories , his warm, vivid and sympathetic recollections of his years in the Shuswap country in the early decades of this century.

Dr. Willoughby had four children, 20 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren. I know everyone in this House offers their condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

While it is sad to say goodbye to such a distinguished British Columbian and Canadian, I am sure that all of us also hope to enjoy as long and as rich a life as that of Dr. Charles Willoughby.

The Late Dr. Charles Willoughby
Oral Question Period

3:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to Dr. Willoughby and, on behalf of all the members of the Bloc Quebecois, offer my condolences to members of his family and his friends.

Dr. Willoughby was a member of this House in 1963; you will understand that at that time I was only 21 years old and did not have the opportunity to know him. However, from the notes I have in front of me, I gather that he was 69 when he was elected for the first time to this House. I understand that Dr. Willoughby first made a career in medicine, devoting himself to his fellow men, and then at an age when most people take a well deserved retirement, he decided to devote a few more years of his life to the service of his fellow citizens of Kamloops.

This is indeed remarkable, and it must be said that since he died this year at the age of 101, public life obviously rejuvenates and gives a taste for life. On behalf of all the Bloc Quebecois members, I reiterate our deepest condolences to his large family, to his children and grand-children and to all his friends.

The Late Dr. Charles Willoughby
Oral Question Period

3:50 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Okanagan Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the memory of Dr. Charles James McNeil Willoughby who passed away September 5 of this year in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Dr. Willoughby's life was a life of service to others. It is clear from his history that he with the support of his wife Marjorie recognized the full responsibility that comes with citizenship and actively sought to make his community a better place, a selfless characteristic we would all do well to emulate today.

From all accounts he was committed to Kamloops and her people as a physician and surgeon with the Burris clinic for 40 years, as a member of the Kamloops school board, as chairman of the United Appeal, and as the member of Parliament for Kamloops during the 26th Parliament. That commitment has now become his legacy, a legacy which has influenced many including his children, Marjorie, Lorene, Ann and John, his 20 grandchildren and his 33 great grandchildren.

During these times when outside forces pull against our families and our communities, people like Dr. Willoughby provide a strong and quiet leadership that inspires us to draw together.

To his three surviving children, Marjorie, Lorene and Ann, and to his daughter-in-law Berte, I send on behalf of my colleagues our deepest condolences. I hope they will find comfort in the knowledge that their father will be remembered as a courageous man who embraced the responsibility of making this place a better one.

The Late Dr. Charles Willoughby
Oral Question Period

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, all of us who knew him were sad to hear recently of the passing of Dr. Charles Willoughby.

Dr. Willoughby was one of those rare individuals who certainly left a lasting impression with those who met him. I had the honour of knowing Charles Willoughby for more than 30 years, first when he was member of Parliament for Kamloops. He was one of those individuals who was admired by all. Even his political foes could not find a negative statement to make about him ever. He was loved by all who came in contact with him. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word.

As others have indicated, he was a very dedicated family man. He was an admired doctor for decades. Again he was one of those rare individuals in that every patient who came in contact with him loved him and admired him. He was certainly a respected author. He was a distinguished parliamentarian. He was a proud citizen not only of the city of Kamloops but of the world.

Over the years I would encounter Dr. Willoughby at public functions and on the streets of Kamloops. He always had words of advice and suggestions and was always aware of the issues of the day. His family said that even beyond his 100th year when the evening news came on all became quiet to allow Charles Willoughby to be updated as to the events of the day.

He was a wonderful individual. The people of Kamloops loved him to the end. Our hearts and our thoughts go to his family today.

The Late Dr. Charles Willoughby
Oral Question Period

3:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the hon. Dr. Charles James McNeil Willoughby.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada lost a great colleague this year and the people of Canada lost a great Canadian with the passing of Dr. Willoughby at the age of 101.

Before being elected to the House in 1963 as the member for Kamloops, British Columbia, Dr. Willoughby was a local icon who was very well known. He helped found and establish the very successful Burris Medical Clinic, a clinic which is still functioning and thriving today.

As was mentioned by the minister from British Columbia, Dr. Willoughby wrote a very insightful book, From Leeches to Lasers which detailed the medical advances during his life. The title accurately illustrates what technological and medical changes Dr. Willoughby saw during his lifetime.

Dr. Willoughby was renowned for being a staunch federalist whose love for his country was second to none. Even after his term as a parliamentarian Dr. Willoughby kept abreast of national events and is rumoured to have stopped to watch the evening national news every day regardless of what he had been doing.

Dr. Willoughby's then Dominion of Canada lapel pin was his trademark. It is with great pride that I recognize his contribution to Canadian politics. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of this wonderful great man.

Privacy Commissioner
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Privacy Commissioner for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1995, pursuant to subsection 41 of the Privacy Act.

Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), this document is referred permanently to the Standing Committee on Justice and Legal affairs.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

4 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I have the honour to inform the House that Mr. Bob Ringma, member for the electoral district of Nanaimo-Cowichan, has been appointed as member of the Board of Internal Economy in place of Mr. Jim Silye, member for the electoral district of Calgary Centre, for the purposes and under the provisions of chapter 42 of the first supplement of the Revised Statutes of Canada 1985, entitled an act to amend the Parliament of Canada Act.