House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with respect to comments by the minister of fisheries.

In response to a question posed by the leader of the Conservative Party, he referenced the fact that the member may not be aware of a motion that was brought forward. He also referenced the fact that the member was not present in the House.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

You are right. I believe I heard that and I should have responded quickly. All hon. members know that we do not refer to whether a member is here or not. These things happen. I hope they do not happen too often because I should be on top of that. The point is well taken. Orders of the day.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We had been led to believe that there would be tributes made prior to commencing orders of the day.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Of course. Forgive me, I did not have the note up here.

Yes, we are going to have tributes to two of our members who passed away. The first is for Mr. Fred McCain, with whom many of us in this House served.

The Late Fred McCain
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, as you mentioned, Fred McCain served in this House many years. Mr. Speaker, you served with him, as did the leader of our party.

I want to pay tribute today to Fred McCain. Fred served the people of New Brunswick and Canada for 34 years, 18 years as a member of the provincial legislature and 16 years as a member of the House of Commons.

Fred was a great orator, a tremendous speaker who spoke always from his heart with deep rooted convictions, convictions he held and defended to his last breath. He loved his country and certainly dedicated his life to that end.

In what I consider one of the most prophetic speeches ever made in this House, Fred McCain rose in his place on October 21, 1980 during the Constitution debate to say:

—this is indeed an historic debate and one in which, in a way, I find no great pleasure in participating. I think it implies that we either recognize the concept on which this nation was founded or we may be laying the foundation of its destruction. This is a debate on a resolution that has the potential to alter the face of this country like no other before it. I believe that if this resolution is accepted in its present form it will change the shape of federalism as it has existed historically and that it may not be accepted as a favourable change.

I think it would be valuable to spend time examining the force of federalism over the last century, because if this is to be called an historic debate, then, I say, history should play a part in the determination of its climax.

The precedents set by the wise men of the past, and the examination of these precedents, should not be overlooked—.

The good of the proposed nation as a whole was the primary objective of those who gave this nation their earliest consideration. Although these men had differences, they put those differences behind them and proposed a union that would be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.

On October 24, 1986, again he rose in support of a united Canada with these strong and eloquent words:

Let us not divide the voters of this nation. Let us not put culture against culture, region against region, man against woman, women against everybody and man against all concerned for the political purposes and for the gain of votes.

During the very contentious debate on the issue of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, with his quick wit and memory for quotes, he chose to say this in response to a challenging colleague's retort: “The hon. member is never lucky in the coincidence of his facts with the truth”. Fred went on to quote Sir Winston Churchill: “I think it hardly possible to state the opposite of the truth with more precision”.

Always the gentleman, Fred was always the gentle man.

How familiar to New Brunswickers are Fred's phrases, quotes, humour and kindness, and that genuine ability to listen to people and truly hear them. These attributes exemplified Fred McCain.

Fred leaves behind a wonderful family: his wife Frances, his one sister Deanne, two sons, Fred and David, two daughters, Susan and Patricia, two step-children, Susan and Richard, and 10 grandchildren.

His first wife, Marjorie, as many of us know, passed away in 1988 while Fred was still a member of this House.

In closing, I offer to this House these thoughts. Fred was my mentor. He was a great Canadian with a great capacity to listen and understand people. He had a remarkable record which was a tribute to his natural affinity for people. He worked hard and was eager to help others regardless of their political stripe.

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all of us who believe that politics is an honourable profession.

The Late Fred McCain
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to rise today to pay tribute to Fred McCain. I welcome the opportunity to do that following the fine words of the hon. member for Charlotte. I know they were heartfelt. I know the people of his constituency would see many similarities between the good representation provided by Mr. McCain and the present member.

I never met Mr. McCain, but he served in the New Brunswick legislature as the representative for Carleton county for 18 years before he moved to federal politics as the member of Parliament for Carleton—Charlotte in 1972. He served as the MP for what became known as the fish and chip riding until his retirement in 1988.

Mr. McCain was a classic example of a gentle rural politician who moved easily from the potato farmers of Carleton county to the weir fishermen of Charlotte county, always willing to work for his people and listen to their concerns.

New Brunswick and Canada have lost one of their longest serving and distinguished politicians.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, to Fred's wife, Frances Manning Crompton, to his four children, two step-children, 10 grandchildren and to his sister we extend our deepest sympathies.

Mr. McCain, a father, a grandfather and a brother, was a man who held service to the public in high esteem and, in turn, was greatly admired and respected by the public. We all benefit as politicians from the esteem which he brought to the job.

May Mr. McCain rest in peace and be an example to all of those who follow in his footsteps.

The Late Fred McCain
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I also rise to pay tribute to the memory of Fred McCain and to pay my respects to his family.

Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McCain, his reputation as a strong grassroots politician is well known. As others have mentioned, he served in this House from 1972 to 1988.

Mr. McCain was a politician with a hands-on approach to matters relating to his constituency. He had a genuine concern for his constituents.

As I read over the material about Mr. McCain, it struck me that, in particular, in his first year as a member of Parliament he logged over 50,000 miles travelling to each of the communities in his riding.

In the final years of his life his constituents would approach him and offer their thanks for the fine work he had done as their member of Parliament and in the legislative assembly.

Mr. McCain promised to do what he could for his constituents. He did what he promised. This was evident as he remained in politics, in elected life, for 34 years. I think all of us in this place can learn a thing or two from Mr. Fred McCain. He placed his constituents first and worked hard every day of those 34 years for his constituents.

Our best wishes go out to his wife Frances and to the entire McCain family. May Fred McCain rest in peace.

The Late Fred McCain
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Fred McCain, who passed away recently.

For 34 years, Fred McCain took up the difficult challenge of representing part of the population of New Brunswick both in the New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton and here in the House of Commons. He had decided to devote the best part of his career to serving his fellow citizens. His only promise, he said, was to do his very best to serve those who voted for him. This vision of political accountability does him credit.

As parliamentarians, we know how demanding political life is, requiring both commitment and generosity. That is why we want to recognize the outstanding professionalism of Fred McCain in his political career. His family and relatives have every reason to be proud of him and of what he achieved for his fellow citizens.

The Late Fred McCain
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I did have the pleasure of knowing Fred McCain and I did have the honour of serving with him in this House for nine years. Although he preceded me in this place by seven years, I did have the opportunity to serve with him for nine years between 1979 and 1988. I have very fond memories of Mr. McCain as a gentleman and a gentle man, as was said earlier by his Conservative colleague, who loved debate and who loved this House of Commons.

I think I tangled horns with him on a couple of occasions, but he was always the gentleman in debate and always the kind of person with whom you could discuss the issue afterwards. He was the kind of person who, when I first arrived here as a rookie, as a senior member at that time, would be willing to talk to newer members and give them the benefit of his experience.

I recall seeing him in the last year or so. I do not know if he was here for a meeting of the Canadian Association of Former Members of Parliament or what brought him to Ottawa but I remember bumping into him in the hallway, just before the last election. We had occasion to renew our acquaintance and talk about Canadian politics.

I want to say to his wife and family that his memory will always be honoured among those of us who had the opportunity to serve with him. I extend our condolences to them on behalf of the NDP caucus.

The Late Fred McCain
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, on October 12 Canada lost a man who dedicated over 34 years to serving the people of his community, province and country. Canada lost a statesman held in the highest regard by all those whose lives he touched in so many ways.

On October 12 the people of western New Brunswick and Canada as a whole lost a friend. Fred McCain died two Sundays ago and left behind a family and a province who loved him dearly.

Fred was a man who became the yardstick by which all other politicians are judged. Throughout both his public and private life, Fred always acted with a genuine concern for those around him. Fred was a man who did not see himself to be above those he represented but rather would take the time to walk through a potato field to check on the year's harvest and chat with the local farmers.

One of the last times I had the opportunity to see Fred was during the recent election campaign. The leader of the Conservative Party had taken the time out of a busy campaign tour through Atlantic Canada in order to stop by and say hi to an old friend. The look on Fred's face as the Charest tour bus pulled up and Jean stepped out is something I will never forget.

Even in his last months, Fred took the time to grant an interview to local newspapers. He took the opportunity to stress to the people of Carleton county the importance of a return to a Progressive Conservative government was in the best interests of our country.

Fred's commitment to the Progressive Conservative Party and to the people of this nation will never be forgotten. I consider it a privilege to have known Fred and to represent the portion of the riding he so proudly worked for just a few years ago. It is an honour for me to pay tribute to him in this House.

The Late Rodrigue Bourdages
Oral Question Period

October 23rd, 1997 / 3:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the benefit of those who did not know Rodrigue Bourdages, or who did not have the pleasure of meeting him, let me say that Mr. Bourdages was a major builder of the City of Laval, in addition to having been a Progressive Conservative member of Parliament under the leadership of John Diefenbaker. Mr. Bourdages was elected for the first time in 1958. Unfortunately, he passed away last weekend, at the still young age of 73.

Today, I want to begin by offering my most sincere condolences to Mr. Bourdages' family, his wife, children and grandchildren, and his party colleagues. I also want to pay him a well deserved tribute.

While it is not usual for us to do so, I wish to mention that some members of his family are here in the gallery. Johanne and Raymond Bourdages, as well as Rodrigue's sister, Thérèse, are here to relive fond memories of a father and brother who served in this House.

Mr. Bourdages, who was of Acadian descent, was born in Halifax, in 1924. As I said earlier, he became known in part for his central role in the building of Quebec's second largest city, Laval. At the time, Laval was made up of a number of cities and villages that were experiencing spectacular growth and needed someone who could bring them together, so they could be in a position to provide modern services. Rodrigue Bourdages was the one who rose to the occasion and provided his leadership for this extraordinary effort. He was indeed at the centre of one of the greatest achievements at the municipal level.

In addition, he decided as well to run as a candidate in the 1958 election. Pierre Sévigny, who was the organizer for the Conservative Party in Quebec at the time, recounts a rather funny story that well illustrates Mr. Bourdages' character. When he contacted this person he did not know, Mr. Sévigny had a candidate in mind for the riding, but Mr. Bourdages said that he would be the candidate and the next member of Parliament. And in fact Mr. Bourdages did run in the election and became the next member of Parliament.

He served in the House of Commons until 1962. Subsequently he continued his political activities serving as an organizer for our party in Quebec. After that he was, of course, very active at the municipal level.

Some of his achievements in the House still give food for thought. He accomplished things that are noteworthy today, because they are relevant to the debate on our future.

He was, for example, the first French Canadian to respond in French to the Speech from the Throne in January 19, 1962. That is not so long ago. I should remind those in this House and elsewhere in the country who feel that French is taking up too much room that 1962—the first time a member rose to respond in French in the House of Commons—is not so long ago.

He instituted simultaneous interpretation and bilingual government cheques. It was a real revolution at the time: bilingual federal government cheques, when francophones had founded Canada and lived there. He got Mr. Diefenbaker to agree to the idea of Expo 67, which was being considered at the time, thus enabling Montreal to become an international city a few years later.

As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Bourdages then became an organizer for our party. And he was an exceptional one. He later worked as a property administrator for the Quebec department of public works.

Mr. Bourdages has left us something, fortunately, an autobiography. Written in 1988 with great sincerity and warmth, it describes a past that is not so distant and pays tribute to all those who, like him, wanted to do things, to build things, to make a contribution.

I have an indelible memory of Mr. Bourdages from election time. You will pardon a little partisanship. The year was 1988. He was on the podium. In 1995, during the referendum, he was there to give us a hand and in 1997 as well. I even proposed to Mr. Bourdages that he run again, but he cited his family. He said: “You know, Jean, I don't think my wife would agree to it. I have done my bit”. Rodrigue Bourdages, in fact did a whole lot.

Today, on behalf of us all, I thank him and his family.

The Late Rodrigue Bourdages
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, like the hon. member for Sherbrooke, I too wish to pay tribute to Rodrigue Bourdages, who died on October 12.

On March 31, 1958, Mr. Bourdages was elected to the House of Commons in the 24th Parliament as the representative for Montreal—Laval. He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and graduated from the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal. He married Évelyne Arsenault, a native of Saskatchewan, and they had three children.

Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Bourdages, who played a major role in the building of Laval and was very involved in the community. He was also a Knight of Columbus. He was viewed by many residents of Laval as a successful entrepreneur, and he was an excellent manager at the Société immobilière du Québec.

He was also vice-president of the Corporation d'investissements de Laval, director of the Dicana corporation and vice-president of Rapidco. As a contractor, he was responsible for the construction of several schools and churches, which are now part of Laval's rich heritage.

Mr. Bourdages was proud to be a Canadian and was an example to all his French speaking compatriots. In 1962, he became the first French Canadian member of Parliament since Confederation in 1867 to give the address in reply to the Speech from the Throne in French. During this address, he expressed a wish that has since come to pass, for Canada now has the distinction of being the world leader in trade missions with its team Canada.

He said, and I quote: “We have reason to hope that other markets will soon be opened for our products and that the efforts of free enterprise ably seconded by the officials of the trade and commerce department will be successful”.

In this same address, Mr. Bourdages expressed his deep love for Canada, and I quote: “Canada is strong because it is united, because we have the feeling that its unity will develop into a closer and more efficient association—Canada is a great and grand country. Certainly in its geography, but even more so in its citizens”.

In 1989, out of a desire to give wider expression to his love for Canada, Mr. Bourdages published his memoirs.

I am honoured to pay tribute to him today, because it is through the pride of builders like Rodrigue Bourdages that Canada's francophones, whatever their province of origin, can proudly proclaim that they are part of our great country.

On behalf of the Government of Canada and the people of the riding of Laval West, I extend deepest condolences to Mrs. Bourdages, their children and his entire family.

The Late Rodrigue Bourdages
Oral Question Period

3:25 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mr. Rodrique Bourdages. It was so warm to hear these kind comments from the other parties. I am glad to see members of the family here.

Mr. Bourdages was a strong community worker and family man who played a leading role in the building industry in Laval and area. As a long time member of the Knights of Columbus, he achieved the fourth degree.

In his desire to help his community he ran as federal member of Parliament in 1957 and again in 1958 when he was elected to represent his constituents from the riding of Ile Jésus.

To his family, who are here, I would like to extend on behalf of the Reform Party and members of Parliament our sincere condolences. I am sure Mr. Bourdages will be sorely missed by all who have had the very distinct privilege of knowing him.

The Late Rodrigue Bourdages
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Madam Speaker, on behalf of my Bloc Quebecois colleagues and myself, I would like to extend our condolences to the family of Rodrigue Bourdages, who died on October 12.

Born in Halifax, Rodrigue Bourdages settled in Quebec and first got actively involved in the development of Laval-des-Rapides, one of the 16 municipalities on l'Île Jésus, and later, after 1965, in the development of the city of Laval.

As a building contractor in the 1950s, he pioneered the development of the city on the basis of urban planning standards and helped set up the Laval-des-Rapides police department, later to become the Laval police department as we know it.

Between 1958 and 1962, he served his fellow citizens as the federal member of Parliament for l'Île Jésus, then became the administrator of the Montreal courthouse and the manager of the Société immobilière du Québec. The man who passed away last week was more than a former parliamentarian, he was also one of the builders of Laval, the second largest city in Quebec.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, in my capacity as MP for Laval Centre, I want to acknowledge his contribution to the development of the Laval community. He served his fellow citizens with conviction and sincerity. He will always be a symbol of pride for his family, his relatives and every member of the Laval community.

The Late Rodrigue Bourdages
Oral Question Period

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Madam Speaker, first I would like to salute Mr. Bourdages' family. As an Acadian, it is an honour for me to pay tribute to their father's memory.

I take this moment to ask the House to remember Rodrigue Bourdages, who passed away on October 12, 1997 at the age of 73. Mr. Bourdages was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on October 22, 1923. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Adolphe Bourdages.

He studied at Brébeuf school and then became a general contractor in Montreal. As president of Bourdages Construction Ltd., vice-president of Laval Investments, director of Dicana, and vice-president of Rapidco, he excelled as a building contractor and as a manager for the Société immobilière du Québec.

Mr. Bourdages was a third and fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the international order of the Alhambra, and a member of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

He was elected to the House of Commons on March 31, 1958, under the Progressive Conservative Party banner, and he represented his constituents well during his four years of tenure, until his defeat in 1962.

Mr. Bourdages is mourned by his wife, Évelyne Arsenault, his two children Raymond and Diane, his sisters Fernande, Armande, Thérèse and Micheline, his grandchildren Sébastien, Normand, Ève-Lyne and André-Julien, and by many relatives and friends.

At this time, I would like, as an Acadian, to offer my condolences and those of my colleagues to the family and friends of Mr. Bourdages.