House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.


PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11:20 a.m.


Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to present a petition from members of my riding. There are 563 signatures. It reads:

"We the undersigned residents of Canada draw to the attention of the House the following: That one of the core values of Canadian society is a strong belief in equality. That equality for all Canadians includes freedom from hatred, harassment and discrimination. That all Canadians regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation must be treated equitably under the same circumstances. That great misunderstanding still exists in Canada resulting in acts of discrimination, harassment and crimes of hate against citizens on the basis of sexual orientation.

"Therefore we the petitioners humbly pray and call upon Parliament to enact legislation to amend the human rights act to prohibit discrimination against persons based upon their sexual orientation. Further we call upon you to pass the Liberal government Bill C-41 which gives tougher sentences to those who commit crimes of hate against others on the basis of their sexual orientation".

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to present a petition signed by 290 Canadians with regard to mining.

The petitioners are very concerned about the decline of ore reserves in this country. They are very concerned about the fate of the 150 mining communities that depend on mining for their livelihood. They call on Parliament to take action that will grow employment in this sector, promote exploration, rebuild Canada's mineral reserves, sustain mining communities and keep mining in Canada.

I concur with the petitioners.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition signed by 31 residents of Vancouver and the greater Vancouver region requesting that the Canadian Human Rights Act be not amended so as to provide for same sex relationships.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Patrick Gagnon Liberal Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine, QC

Madam Speaker, I have a petition with 30 signatures of Canadians who wish to bring to our attention the fact that this petition calls for an amendment to the human rights code to include sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination. The fundamental principle underlying the petition is to ensure that people are treated equally in Canada regardless of their sexual orientation.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Madam Speaker, I have petitions here from right across Canada to add to the over three million signatures that I have already presented in the House. These petitioners feel that there are serious discrepancies in the criminal justice system and many vulnerable persons have little protection under the current system, women, children and disabled persons in particular.

These petitioners request that Parliament recognize that crimes of violence against the person are serious and abhorrent to society and that Parliament amend the Criminal Code of Canada, the Bail Reform Act of 1992 and the Parole Act accordingly.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Len Hopkins Liberal Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions signed by people from Deep River, Rolphton, Pembroke, Petawawa and other areas throughout the Ottawa Valley. They request that Parliament act immediately to extend protection to the unborn child by amending the Criminal Code to extend the same protection enjoyed by born human beings to unborn human beings.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario


Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 43, 44, 69 and a supplementary answer to Question No. 82.

Question No. 43-

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

How many and what are the names of the Indian bands and tribal councils that are being co-managed and having their bank issued cheques co-signed by Indian affairs officials?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario


Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Currently there are 97 recipients under a financial management plan, FMP: 86 recipient controlled, seven co-management and four third-party managed. No Indian band or tribal council has their band issued cheques co-signed by Indian Affairs officials.

DIAND requires First Nations or their organizations, with a cumulative deficit greater than 8 per cent of their total revenues, to have in place a FMP to address the situation. The manner in which this FMP is managed depends upon the severity of the situation:

Recipient controlled: Where the FMP is exclusively managed by a recipient who is deemed to have the required administrative skills to address the difficulty;

Co-managed: Where the recipient is deemed not to have the required skills and recommends to DIAND the name of an independent qualified person or organization to be responsible for the financial affairs of the recipient; and

Third party managed: Where the recipient is deemed not to have the required skills and the health and safety of the community is at risk, DIAND appoints an independent qualified person or organization to administer the day to day affairs of the recipient.

The names of Indian bands and tribal councils who are under a co-management regime cannot be released as this information is confidential third party financial information under section 20(1)(b) of the Access to Information Act.

Question No. 44-

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

With respect to financial audits conducted by or for the government on Indian bands, tribal councils and aboriginal/Metis organizations, ( a ) how many audits were conducted during the last five years, ( b ) how many were considered fully satisfactory and approved by the government, ( c ) how many received a failing grade from the government?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario


Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

I am informed by the Departments of Canadian Heritage, Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Justice and the Privy Council Office as follows:

In so far as Canadian Heritage is concerned: (a) two; (b) two; (c) Please refer to Justice's reply, part (c).

In so far as Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada is concerned in the past three years-DIAND's automated audit tracking system contains three years of date, (a) 2,034 audits were conducted; (b) 1,573 unqualified and 318 qualified audit opinions were accepted by the department. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has classified audits into three categories, unqualified, qualified and denial of opinion. A denial of opinion is not accepted by the government; and (c) 143 audits have a denial of opinion. DIAND prepares action plans to address financial management problems for those recipients who have a denial of opinion.

DIAND does not fund Metis organizations. For such organizations, please refer to the answers provided by Canadian Heritage, Justice and the Privy Council Office.

In so far as the Department of Justice is concerned: (a) three; (b) one; (c) two. One audit was jointly sponsored by Canadian Heritage, the Federal-Provincial Relations Office of the Privy Council Office, Justice Canada, Saskatchewan Department of Social Services, the Saskatchewan Indian and Metis Affairs Secretariat.

In so far as the Privy Council Office is concerned: (a), (b) and (c) Please refer to Justice's reply, part (c).

Question No. 69-

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Morris Bodnar Liberal Saskatoon—Dundurn, SK

With regard to the recent audit of the Saskatchewan Metis Nation, completed by Deloitte-Touche, ( a ) what was the total amount of expenditures questioned by the auditors, ( b ) in terms of these questioned expenditures, (i) who made each expenditure, (ii) for what amount, (iii) for what purpose and on what date?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Cape Breton—The Sydneys Nova Scotia


Russell MacLellan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Total amount of funding questioned by the auditors: $2,770,131


Core Program, 1993-1994 Canadian Heritage: $514,180 Total: $514,180

Tri-Partite Program, 1993-1994 Privy Council Office: $313,320 Saskatchewan Indian and Metis Affairs Secretariat: $313,320 Total: $626,640

Core Program, 1992-1993 Canadian Heritage: $601,311 Department of Justice: $50,000 Saskatchewan Indian and Metis Affairs Secretariat: $10,000 Total: $661,311

Tripartite Program, 1992-1993 Saskatchewan Indian and Metis Affairs Secretariat: $370,000 Department of Justice: $460,600 Saskatchewan Social Services: $71,000 Total: $901,600

Fur Trappers Meeting, 1992-1993 Saskatchewan Indian and Metis Affairs Secretariat: $10,000 Total: $10,000

Justice System Program, 1992-1993 Department of Justice: $56,400 Total $56,400

Question No. 82-

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

What effect did the late signing of the aboriginal fishing agreements in British Columbia have on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans enforcement of the agreements and fisheries regulations in 1994?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland & Labrador


Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

On September 23 the hon. member raised the question of the impact of the late signing of agreements on enforcement and regulation of British Columbia fisheries. On November 18 a response was provided which assessed the impact of late signing on the overall enforcement of agreements and regulations pertaining to management of the aboriginal fishery.

The answer provided to the question posed by the hon. member in September was neither inaccurate nor misleading. The response acknowledged that late signing did have some effect.

In characterizing this effect as small, the response was correct in the context of management of aboriginal fishing throughout British Columbia and in the context of the legal capacity to enforce against unauthorized fishing. The question posed by the hon. member was set in both these contexts. The response was not meant to imply that in specific areas and for specific agreements the late signing of agreements did not have negative implications as recorded in the documents cited by the hon. member.

The response characterized the effect on "enforcement of the agreements and fisheries regulations" as small for the following reasons:

  1. The integrity of management systems made up of both agreements and regulations was maintained. All aboriginal salmon fishing before the signing of agreements was licensed under the aboriginal communal fishing licence regulations. These licences provided an enforceable framework for the control of aboriginal fishing until agreements were signed.

  2. While there were problems with the implementation of some of the more complex agreements, particularly the Sto:Lo agreement, these instances must be interpreted in the context of the 47 agreements signed in 1994 with aboriginal groups across British Columbia.

  3. In 23 cases steps were taken to minimize the effect of delays in signing agreements through bridge funding agreements starting at the beginning of May. These agreements provided aboriginal groups with funding to continue management and enforcement activities under protocols established the previous year while negotiations on allocation numbers and funding levels for the current year continued. In the Sto:Lo area, while bridge funding was not possible, a contractor was employed to monitor the fishery.

  4. Finally, many of the problems with enforcement which have been identified by fisheries officers are not related to the late signing of agreements. Problems of resource levels, planning and communication while real, and in some cases perhaps attributed by officers to signing of agreements, are actually more related to other aspects of the operation of the department.

The minister has never denied that there were problems with enforcement of aboriginal fishing agreements and regulation in British Columbia in 1994. Many concerns were raised by fisheries officers when the minister met with them on November 2. Some of these problems, such as the curtailed activities of aboriginal guardians and other problems with the ability of some aboriginal groups to participate in management, were related to the late signing of agreements and were identified as such in the initial response. However, in the face of failure to reach agreements at an earlier date, the department took steps to minimize these effects.

The minister is committed to conservation and has taken measures to ensure that the reasons for the disappointing returns to the Fraser this year are independently investigated and publicly reported on. The minister does not believe the late signing of agreements was the primary cause of poor returns in the Fraser. The minister would like to point out that, as agreements are negotiated documents, the department does not have complete control over when they are signed. However, if late agreements are bad, the government must consider the effect of no agreements and no aboriginal involvement on the management of the fishery.

This should not be a game of semantics debating the definition of "little impact". Suffice to say, all issues contributing to the situation on the Fraser this year are being assessed and the minister is committed to taking whatever remedial action proves necessary to ensure conservation.

With specific reference to the late signing of agreements steps have already been taken to commence negotiations on agreements for 1995 in early January. To provide time for planning the implementation of agreements the minister will not be authorizing the signing of agreements after a deadline well in advance of when fishing for major runs is to commence.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

The questions as enumerated by the parliamentary secretary have been answered.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.


Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

I ask, Madam Speaker, that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Maheu)

Shall the remaining questions stand?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

11:25 a.m.

Some hon. members



Department Of Canadian Heritage ActGovernment Orders

11:25 a.m.

Victoria B.C.


David Anderson Liberalfor the Minister of Canadian Heritage

moved that Bill C-53, an act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage and to amend and repeal certain other acts, be read the third time and passed.

Department Of Canadian Heritage ActGovernment Orders

11:25 a.m.

Mount Royal Québec


Sheila Finestone LiberalSecretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women)

Madam Speaker, the hearings on Bill C-53 by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage during the past weeks have given many Canadians from all sectors of our society the opportunity to present their views on the responsibilities encompassed in the proposed legislation.

Every kind of opinion has been heard about this bill, including the name of the department, the portfolio and its holdings, and suggestions on how to amend various acts under its jurisdiction. This expression of a wide range of views about the Department of Canadian Heritage is consistent with the objective of our parliamentary system of fairness and openness in government. It is consistent with the government's ideal about giving all citizens the right, the access and the opportunity to become involved in all aspects of Canadian life.

The Department of Canadian Heritage would encourage the possibility of greater participation by our fellow citizens in the social, political, cultural and economic life of their country.

In a few moments, my colleague, the member for Mississauga East, will speak about the many advantages of having one integrated department.

Indeed, the department's responsibilities, which range from natural reserves and historic sites and figures to sports and include the arts and cultural industries, really cover all aspects of life in Canada.

My intention therefore is to concentrate on the multicultural aspects of Canadian life and why there is a need for a program that focuses on building understanding and respect and on fighting racism, bigotry and prejudice.

For my government this program is more than building a monument. It is far more lasting in terms of daily living for Canadians, whatever their language, culture, milieu, newly arrived or long time resident. Multiculturalism is about the very fabric of our society.

Canada has been built by wave after wave of immigrants. All Canadians other than the First Nations have their roots reaching to the four corners of the earth. They have kept coming and they have come at different stages.

I was at a very moving and beautiful ceremony yesterday held at Rideau Hall with the Governor General of Canada. At that ceremony Dr. Dmytroa Cipywnyk, a very distinguished Canadian of Ukrainian descent and who is president of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, received in the name of the 37 groups that represent ethnocultural communities across Canada a coat of arms.

It was a very moving day as I saw Ukrainians, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Jewish people, East Indians, people from the Czech Republic, Poland, Argentina, people of Irish descent and people from countries all around the world who all belong to this Canadian Ethnocultural Council. They had decided that they wanted to have a heraldic emblem that would represent who they are and what it means to be part of Canada.

I was very touched and moved by the words of the Governor General. Mr. Hnatyshyn made a comment on the choice of the heraldry, the red and white crest with the winged seeds. He said maple trees are different. Maple seeds have a design that allows them to spiral to the ground far from the trees. They take root in new places, adapt to new conditions and thrive. That is the kind of spirit that has drawn millions of people to this land for hundreds of years. It is that spirit that draws people here today.

I thought that was very demonstrative of the role and the place that Canadians have played from all parts of this world, from the Irish who came here fleeing hunger and famine to the Chinese who came to help build the railways, to the blacks who came through the underground railway. All kinds of people have come to this shore and each wave has brought prosperity, growth and development. Each wave has had to live difficult experiences and each wave has been enabled by the concepts that are founded in our democratic process to grow and to prosper, but not without difficulty.

We have addressed those difficulties at many different times in different ways because we have been a growing and emerging democracy.

In that spirit that moved thousands upon thousands of volunteers to respond, to reach out and to work for social harmony and social peace as their communities arrived here, it was the small groups that lent a hand to the business people, to the families in need, the Baron de Hirsch, for food, for coal, for heat; it was the organizations that came together to give food and lodging, shoes and clothing for the cold weather. Whether it was my community or the Christian community or the other communities, they gave a helping hand and enabled us to feel a sense of comfort and welcome and then we made the choice to stay, to move on, to integrate, to associate, to make our way of life here in Canada.

That spirit, that generosity is found in the charitable social and cultural organizations of today. They all need respect, understanding and they need and come for some form of support as they work to face a very changed dynamic in society. Society is a great big global village whose people have still not learned how to live respectfully in many of the lands from which they come.

We have an important job that is different than before because technology has changed. The world we now see is in conflict and those conflicts are now coming here and we must stop those conflicts. It is a different kind of situation.

It is important that these volunteer organizations help us work toward social peace and social harmony. If we reach out our hand in friendship and we welcome the newly arrived as the host society, we will have received them at our table with grace and dignity and we will help others integrate into our society under the value system that we have built into our society.

It is fairly new. When we talk about what we have put in here it is the spirit of multiculturalism that moved much of the change that we saw as we brought in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as we brought in the Canadian Constitution, as we signed international documents to eliminate all forms of discrimination, all forms of racism, as we put into place acts of employment equity.

I have said it before and I will say it again. It is time for us to get up to date, to understand and to explain to constituents just what multiculturalism means for Canada, just how important it is to the fabric of life here.

We have never been a static society. Canadian federalism is a growing and evolving modern society. It is governance that looks at and adapts to change. It is not frozen in any particular mode or model. It has guiding principles today that form the very core of this nation and it moves based on fundamental principles. It means that Canada has been and is now and will continue to be a host country and a home country for people from around the world, from a multitude of other cultures that all share the same goal of making a good life for themselves and their families within the framework of our laws and our prin-

ciples of justice and fairness, of peace, order and good government at all levels of our society.

It is obvious that people see the structures we have in place and that is why they want to come here. As citizens we have adapted it, have adopted it and have allowed it to evolve because we do not all have in our hearts and our minds the goodwill we need to have to help ensure that the fundamentals are there and that we move forward with them.

It is very healthy that we have dialogue around the goals of multiculturalism. It is very healthy that we look at and analyse our society and recognize the ugly face of racism, recognize that those groups, Heritage Front, the Ku Klux Klan, are here, are out there, are spreading their poison and it has to stop. This is not a place where we allow them one seed from the maple tree to settle in the earth of this land.

Community groups, social, cultural and educational groups contribute their skill, knowledge, expertise and creativity to Canadian life. It is the responsibility of all Canadians in the public as well as the private sector to encourage the conditions that allow all of us, regardless of our origins, to expect these principles of fairness and justice flourish and grow and that we support those initiatives.

The government's multiculturalism programs are in place to assist us in reaching this goal. It is not an unreasonable goal and it is not an unattainable goal to expect that all Canadians be integrated into our society and become contributors to the country's progress.

I did not say assimilate. I did not say that one should lose one's identity, but one should learn to live in co-operation with respect and understanding in our neighbourhoods. Those are the choices we have in this society. This is nothing more than good common sense. It allows for peace. It allows for civil society. The multicultural programs are there because unfortunately there are still barriers that prevent some individuals and groups from realizing their full potential.

Canada was founded on a tradition of democracy, decency and civility, values of fairness and justice associated with this system that have guided and shaped our social structures, laws and institutions.

We have strayed. We have erred, but we have also grown and learned to cherish the fragile form of rule that we have in place here which calls for constant vigilance. It is in civility and respect, it is in an appreciation of our diversity that we live. Pluralism, diversity, multicultural and multiracial backgrounds are our reality. Together we shall weave a tapestry that forms the fundamentals that is Canada, as we look in the House and see how different we are, how different are the geographic regions, the backgrounds, the lands and the languages.

There is no one in the House who can look back more than two or three generations, maybe four. There are some here who tell me they have been here for six generations, but that is not the lifetime of this nation. We are all different and learning to live together, respecting each other. We do not have to love each other, but we have to respect each other for our differences and yet for our Canadian appreciation of the values of life.

To live with this reality, to ensure social peace and cohesion will not happen by wishing. That only happens by working for it.

Multiculturalism is not incompatible with Canadian values. On the contrary, it is based on the principles of the rights and responsibilities set forth in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Official Languages Act, the Citizenship Act and I might even add the Employment Equity Act.

Canada's multiculturalism policy makes it possible to overcome obstacles more easily and to promote institutional change.

It recognizes the richness found in cultural diversity. It is modeled on the values which guide us, are essential to our way of life and underlie what we aspire to as Canadians.

When I visited numerous cultural communities across the country, I had the opportunity and the privilege to meet many men, women and young people who were all representative of today's Canadian society. Some are proud that their ancestors were among the first ones to step on Canadian soil. Others take pride in their dual citizenship, or in their newly acquired citizenship.

I met members of organizations and associations involved in many sectors, including business, health care, education, law enforcement, as well as municipal and provincial administrations, to name but a few.

The message is always the same. The Government of Canada must help Canadians of all backgrounds to build a society where we can live in our neighbourhood in peaceful respect, united in the common purpose of securing the well-being of our families. That is what they told me. They recognize prejudice, they recognize bigotry, and they recognize the need to ensure that we stamp it out.

I believe that the government's multiculturalism policy and the programs it supported can help to achieve this goal but only in participation with the private sector and community based groups that speak for all Canadians. Those multicultural councils are vital to our well-being.

To do this successfully we are going to have to meet a number of challenges. First, we must recognize that pluralism does not contradict our assured sense of national identity, nor does it prevent social cohesion. We must not confuse national values with cultural pluralism because values cut across religious, cultural and ethnic and racial lines.

Second, we are going to have to work on ways to facilitate the long term integration of first generation Canadians. We must give new citizens the tools to be effective, responsible, and informed so that they can contribute to Canada's development and become full and active participants in building a stronger country.

Long term integration starts with learning about Canada, starts with civics. So many of the countries from which people are coming and have come do not understand democracy as it is lived here in Canada today. They do not and have not lived in democratic states. They have fear of speech. They have fear of police. They have fear of neighbours. They have fear of difference. It is our job if we want to live together in peaceful harmony to enable them to understand they are welcome, as I said earlier, at our table as part of the family.

We teach that Canada is a democratic country. That is what we do in multiculturalism. We teach that we welcome the expression of opinion. We teach that we welcome difference while ensuring that racism and bigotry find no home here. Otherwise it is pointless and it would be a pointless lesson if we do not practise what we preach.

Democracy requires that all citizens feel they are valued in this society. They must know that the opportunities to participate are available to everyone and should be available equally. We have to stop creaming those societies of their top intellectuals, bringing them here and not recognizing their academic qualifications.

We must recognize that we must teach one of the official languages of this country. If we do not do that you cannot participate in a democratic society. You cannot shop in knowledge. You cannot look after your children and apply medications and buy medications. You cannot understand political parties. You cannot make rational decisions if you cannot read and speak one of the official languages of this country, depending on where you live and in what region you live and from where you came and what seems to adapt best to you. One of the official languages must be a part of the background of training.

There must really be no barriers to participation based on race, religion, ethnic background or language.

All Canadians must be able to express their views so as to be understood by others. This is why, as I just said, we have made education in both official languages a priority. This is important, because Canadians must have a decent standard of living, and they must participate in the daily activities of our society. Otherwise, people feel isolated; they can be manipulated and they may not lead the life they should be able to, here in Canada.

The multiculturalism program is therefore organized around four key objectives. First is to facilitate community participation and integration into the fabric of Canadian society.

Second is to help those who render services in our hospitals and health institutions and those who receive the services; the police, the municipalities and the schools as well, to ensure that their policies and programs adjust to the reality of our diversity.

Third is to strengthen social cohesion by promoting harmonious cross-cultural, intercultural and interracial group relations.

Fourth is to promote public awareness of the economic and social benefits of pluralism.

We know already that we have the support of many major Canadian organizations and institutions that understand the value of a respectful, open and participating society. One example I would give is that peaceful harmony means good business. Therefore, removing racism and acts of racial prejudice undertaking is valuable.

We thank the Canadian Association of Broadcasters which has produced $10 million worth of air time which has been devoted to the fight against racism. In our schools across this land, parents and teachers associations have helped us fight prejudice and misunderstanding in the schools and have distributed very valuable materials that are lessons in civicism and civility.

Other partners, the Conference Board of Canada and the Asia Pacific Foundation, have made it clear that diversity has an economic benefit and that pluralism gives us a natural competitive advantage in a global economy that is in itself multicultural and multilingual.

The Canadian Advertising Association has done some excellent research and has put out a document called "The Colour of Your Money" that enable us to understand how important it is to be able to deal with the customers who live on our street and in our district.

Our broad range of partners also includes the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Multicultural Help Association, the Canadian Advertising Council, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Canadian Association of School Board Trustees, the Canadian Teachers' Federation, and the Canadian Conference on the Arts.

These are not song, dance and festivals. Although I would love to be able to finance them, we do not do that. They are partners that help us ensure an open, respectful and understanding society where we all have choices to live, choices to choose where and how we want to live within the laws of respect in this land so that we live in an integrated milieu that makes Canada the best place for all its citizens.

These are the partnerships along with the volunteer sector that open more lines of communication to provide all Canadians, men and women and our youth, with a greater knowledge of the richness and benefits of our diverse population.

We are working to change government from the inside as well as to ensure interracial understanding. The same way we work with shop foremen to prepare that floor as the host community to the new arrivals, so we are doing within our own house. For example, we worked and are working with the Departments of National Defence, Customs and Excise, and the RCMP to help ensure they are sensitive in their response to Canada's reality.

Our programs related to interracial relations and cultural comprehension, and also to the integration of first generation Canadians, help all Canadians, through community support, to work together to build an economically sound and socially just country.

Multiculturalism is not based on compartmentalization, nor on division.

It is not based on being a hyphenated Canadian.

It seeks to build an integrated society where everyone has an equal chance to succeed, as well as an opportunity to understand and apply the principles governing citizenship.

It is also not as I said before about funding song and dance, and unicultural festivals, as important as they are.

When we see the tragedies which occur every day in the world, we have no choice but to cherish human life, and that includes all men and women-Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, be they black, yellow, brown, red or white-who adhere to the democratic values of the Canadian society.

With an investment of less than $1 per year per Canadian, the federal government helps to promote a fairer society.

In a society with a government that spends less than $1 per year but depends on additions to that dollar through the voluntary sector and through voluntary effort, the federal government helps to promote a fairer society in which all Canadians have a chance and a choice to participate equally and with respect.

This is an investment we cannot afford to ignore. The value of our multiculturalism programs to Canadian society must be confirmed by ensuring that they can work effectively within the Department of Canadian Heritage. All of us, whether in this House or not, must be ever vigilant in our defence of the values of a democratic, free and open society.

Department Of Canadian Heritage ActGovernment Orders

11:55 a.m.


Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Madam Speaker, the bill before the House today, on third reading, is Bill C-53, an Act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage and to amend and repeal certain other Acts.

The Bloc Quebecois has five major reasons for voting against this bill. First, through this bill the Government of Canada denies the existence of Quebec as a nation and the existence of its culture.

Second, nothing in this bill points to any major changes in federal policy on defending the rights of francophones in Canada, although anyone who can read and use a pocket calculator will see that the federal government's policy on bilingualism has failed.

Third, this government has forgotten its commitment made to creators during the last election campaign with respect to patriating copyright legislation to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Fourth, at a time when there is a growing trend towards amalgamation in the communications sector, the government has decided to confirm the separate status of telecommunications and broadcasting by making the Department of Industry responsible for the former and the Department of Canadian Heritage responsible for broadcasting.

Fifth, nothing in this bill gives the Department of Canadian Heritage any real power to control foreign investment where cultural products and industries are concerned.

I will now comment on these points one by one, to demonstrate the major weaknesses of this bill. In his speech on second reading of the bill we are now considering at the third reading stage, the Minister of Canadian Heritage defined the word "heritage" as, and I quote: "the set of signs that enable us to recognize ourselves as individuals who belong to a group or even a country".

On the basis of that definition, it was reasonable to hope that the Canadian government would recognize in law what has been a fact since the beginnings of this country and what the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission recognized, and I am talking about

the existence of two founding peoples equal before the law and of several nations. Unfortunately, this bill makes no reference to the signs that would enable Quebecers to recognize themselves as belonging to this country. This bill recognizes only one nation, the nation of Canada, and gives the Minister of Canadian Heritage the authority to promote one identity: the Canadian identity.

There is worse. The heritage minister, who sponsored this bill, testified before the Standing Committee on National Heritage on December 1. My colleague, the hon. member for Québec, asked him at that time why his bill made reference to only one nation, namely the Canadian nation, instead of two, that of Quebec and Canada. With the arrogance and ignorance that have come to characterize him, he replied: "I would be grateful if you could tell me, or if there is not enough time, my officials who will be testifying before you at a later date, which clause exactly refers to a single Canadian nation. All I can see in this bill is references to Canadian identity. And that is not the same thing".

Again, the minister is playing games. He is insinuating that my hon. colleague from Québec did not understand a thing.

Let me explain to the Minister of Canadian Heritage a couple of basic rules of grammar. When you write "nation", it is a singular. And singular means one, not two, because then you would have a plural, meaning more than one. When you write "Canadian nation", the word "Canadian" is used as a qualifier or adjective and, in French, the function of the adjective is to modify the word it is combined with. In this bill, we are not talking about just any nation, but the Canadian nation.

Let us take a closer look at clauses 4 and 5 of the bill, which specifically give the minister the mandate to promote the Canadian nation.

Clause 4 reads, and I quote:

4.(1) The powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction, not by law assigned to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, relating to Canadian identity and values, cultural development, heritage and areas of natural or historical significance to the nation.

As for Clause 5, it reads as follows:

  1. In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned to the Minister by section 4, the Minister shall initiate, recommend, coordinate, implement and promote national policies, projects and programs with respect to Canadian identity and values, cultural development, heritage and areas of natural or historical significance to the nation.

In this case, there is no room for interpretation in the French version of the clause, as the word "canadiens" is spelled with an "s". If you go back to the grammatical rule I just gave, this means that the qualifier "canadiens" modifies every noun that precedes it in the sentence-the same way that "Canadian" modifies every substantive that comes after. The meaning of Clause 5 then is the following: "In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned to the Minister by section 4, the Minister shall initiate, recommend, coordinate, implement and promote national policies, projects and programs with respect to Canadian identity and Canadian values, Canadian cultural development, Canadian heritage and areas of natural or historical significance to the nation-that is to say the Canadian nation".

You will have noticed that this entire bill is predicated on the concept of a Canadian nation. For the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the cultural agencies under him, there is only one nation, the Canadian nation.

In the brief he tabled with the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, Mr. Monière reported to us the results of polls conducted by Léger & Léger and related by Maurice Pinard, a renowned McGill University professor whose integrity, credibility and intellectual honesty are unquestionable.

These polls show that Quebec's national identity has evolved considerably and that Quebecers are more and more likely to identify themselves as Quebecers first and foremost and not as French Canadians, much less as Canadians. In 1992, 54 per cent of respondents of all linguistic origins-this is important-referred to themselves as Quebecers, 26 per cent as French Canadians and 20 per cent as Canadians. These figures clearly point to the existence of a Quebec culture, a Quebec identity, a Quebec nation, which the bill before us does not reflect.

Many things were said in committee on this concept of nation. When department officials came to testify, they told us that since this bill was not a constitutional document, it did not have to mention the two founding nations of this country. I must humbly admit that I did not have time to verify this statement from a legal standpoint. But I know very well that at the time of the "beautiful risk", we tried to have Quebec's distinct society recognized in the Constitution, but the rest of Canada turned us down.

We are on the horns of a dilemma, the one about the chicken and the egg, which will be much more simple and easy to solve through Quebec sovereignty, since the government refuses to make any amendment to this bill which would have helped us feel at home in this country, even though we were the first to arrive in this country named Canada by Jacques Cartier, a country whose national anthem was composed-lyrics and music-by two Quebecers, Calixa Lavallée and Basile Routhier. We are being denied the right to feel at home in this country, so the only alternative is to leave.

Department Of Canadian Heritage ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.


Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

I feel right at home, and I refuse to leave.

Department Of Canadian Heritage ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.


Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

I listened to you, Madam, so try to listen to me while I speak. Thank you.

In summary, what the deputy minister, cultural development tells us is that the Canadian identity includes the Quebec identity. He said in committee that their general vision is that the Quebec identity is a fundamental component of the Canadian identity.

This vision, which would wipe out Quebecois culture as if it did not exist by itself but was only an integral part of Canadian culture, was denounced by many groups that appeared before the Committee on Canadian Heritage during the marathon hearings which, by using dilatory procedural tactics, we were able to force the government to hold.

François Rocher, a political scientist at Carleton University, said that what the government was doing was part of an incomplete process of nation-building, based on a denial of the national realities that already exist in Canada. Establishing a heritage department is part of a much broader plan to refashion the way that Canada's identity is to be understood and expressed. Mr. Rocher thus shares the idea expressed by his colleague, Mr. Monière, who said that the heritage department was really a propaganda department.

In fact, what the government is doing is, first, to deny the social and historic reality of an existing Quebec culture and nation; second, to imagine a fictitious Canadian national community to hide the lack of a common sense of Canadian identity; third, the government wishes to promote this made-up identity and even impose it on all communities in Canada.

It is quite obvious that this is intended particularly to counter Quebec nationalism. To oppose the growing demands for particular identities, the government proposes a homogenizing national vision. However, building a national identity on the denial of already existing identities that are strong and politically articulate can only exacerbate the tensions that exist in Canada.

It must be pointed out that all the efforts of this department consisted and from now on will consist in denying the existence of a culture other than the Canadian one and furthermore in using our taxes to promote this Canadian culture on Quebec territory. Why do the Bloc Quebecois and most of the witnesses who appeared before the heritage committee so strongly denounce this denial of Quebec culture by the federal government? Quite simply, because failing to mention it in the bill means denying its existence.

Mr. Rocher said that three conditions are essential for a culture to exist. First, it must be able to express itself; that is, it must be rich and flourishing. Second, it must be able to fulfil itself, that is, be used and valued in economic, social and political activities. Finally, it must be recognized, that is, accepted and taken into consideration by other communities close by.

The right to exist is part of one's identity. The identity must represent something, not only for the individuals which make up a community, but also for the other communities which recognize the legitimacy of that identity.

Let us now come to the second reason why the Bloc Quebecois will oppose this bill, namely the failure of the federal government's official languages policy.

This legislation provides no major change regarding federal policies on bilingualism, as was confirmed to us, in committee, by the responsible deputy minister at the Department of Canadian Heritage. According to paragraph 4(2)( g ) of the bill, the minister is responsible for, and I quote: g ) the advancement of the equality of status and use of English and French and the enhancement and development of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada;

Also, clauses 23 and 24 of the bill amend the Official Languages Act to confirm that the Minister of Canadian Heritage will be the one responsible for the implementation of sections 41 and 42, Part VII, of the Official Languages Act, which relate to the co-ordination and the implementation of linguistic policies within federal departments.

So, there is nothing new under the sun. Yet, the government should really have brought major changes to its linguistic policy. It should have clearly indicated its intention to salvage what can still be salvaged.

Let us take a look at some figures, 25 years after the Official Languages Act took effect. First, the percentage of Canadians whose first language is French is dropping drastically, and the official languages policy implemented in 1969 has done nothing to stop that trend.

According to Statistics Canada's latest census, 6.5 million Canadians, or 23.8 per cent of the population, have French as their mother tongue. In 1951, that proportion was 29 per cent.

Let us look at the assimilation rate, which is the ratio between the number of those who say French is their mother tongue and the number of those who actually use French at home. According to the latest census, the average assimilation rate in Canada, excluding Quebec, was 35.9 per cent, which represents an increase of 4.5 per cent over the 1986 figure.

British Columbia is the undisputed champion with an assimilation rate of 75.2 per cent. Saskatchewan is in second place with a rate of 69.6 per cent, followed by Alberta with 66.9 per cent. Even New Brunswick, which is the only constitutionally bilingual province and which prides itself in giving special treatment to French, has an assimilation rate of 8.7 per cent.

Some say that Quebec has the most racist linguistic policy. Yet, its English-speaking community is growing.

In the 1991 census, 9.2 per cent of Quebecers said that English was their mother tongue, while 11.2 per cent stated that they spoke English at home. Instead of hiding its head in the sand, Canada should look at what is being done in Quebec.

Let us now turn to how the federal government implements its policy on bilingualism in its own Public Service. Take Foreign Affairs, a sector that is crucial when representing Canada abroad and helping business people from Quebec, for instance.

Recent reports released by the department indicated that only 42 per cent of Canadian diplomats were bilingual and that 23 per cent were francophones, of whom more than 95 per cent were bilingual. We can therefore conclude that only 25 per cent of English Canadian diplomats speak French, which is totally unacceptable in their position as representatives of a country that calls itself officially bilingual.

The consequences of the lack of bilingual Canadian representatives abroad are well known. A unilingual francophone client abroad, whether he is a businessman or a citizen in distress, is unable to communicate with about 60 per cent of departmental officers. He cannot read unclassified documents drafted in English only and can only communicate with a minority of the diplomats in Canadian embassies abroad.

With this many of our diplomats being unilingual English, the problem is compounded when the embassy is a small one.

And what impression do foreigners get when they find that the Canadian ambassador, a career diplomat, does not speak French? That Canada is a unilingual, English-speaking country.

Turning to the Department of National Defence, 48.1 per cent of the total francophone establishment, both civilian and military, is bilingual, while only 6.9 per cent of the anglophone establishment is bilingual. Furthermore, 23.4 per cent of francophones are in English-speaking units and only 1.7 per cent of anglophones are in French-speaking units. There is no good reason for this. What makes these statistics even more depressing today is the closing of the Collège militaire de Saint-Jean. Both departments are, in fact, a microcosm of the situation in the federal Public Service.

In its latest report on the language situation in the federal Public Service, Treasury Board said that in Quebec, to serve a minority group that represents 10 per cent of the population, the federal government had an establishment that was of 52.7 per cent bilingual, or 15,945 positions out of a total of 30,234.

If we apply this ratio to the rest of Canada, the number of bilingual positions should be 30,666 instead of 7,465, which is the case today. So there is a crying need for 23,000 bilingual positions, which is not being met. After the Yukon, the francophone minority least well served by the federal government is in New Brunswick, where the percentage of francophones is 33 per cent and the percentage of bilingual positions in the federal Public Service is only 39.4 per cent. Applying the same ratio we applied to Quebec, the entire federal Public Service in this province should be bilingual.

It is obvious to me that the view in Ottawa is that a francophone is not worth as much as an anglophone, because when it comes to being served in one's own language, the anglophone gets the service, while the francophone has to speak English. Studies have repeatedly shown that the inability to obtain services in one's own language is a factor that contributes generally to assimilation.

If the federal government really wanted to put the status and use of French and English on an equal footing in this country, it would invest in this principle, in other words, when awarding bursaries for language training, it would give preference to anglophones in Canada with a very poor knowledge of French instead of to francophones, who generally have a fairly good knowledge of English. But no, the Department of Canadian Heritage does the opposite. On page 13 of his report, the official languages commissioner notes that of the 7,301 bursaries awarded in 1992-1993 for summer language courses, 3,150 went to Quebecers. What this program, like many others, is designed to do is anglicize Quebec, not to make Canada bilingual.

Here, I cannot help pointing out the difference in the treatment of the English and French networks of the CBC. While the CBC spends an average of $18,390 per production hour on its French network, it spends twice that amount, or $37,496, on its English network, and it does so with the blessing of the federal government, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.

In this regard, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation continues to be a clear example of what the federal government has in store for French in Canada and of the collusion of Canadian institutions in the implementation of this unequal status.

I could not close this chapter on the failure of 25 years of bilingualism policies without sharing with you some information that appeared in the summer issue of Language and Society , a magazine put out by the Commissioner of Official Languages. This particular issue looked at the accessibility of health services in the language of the minority. It contained the following lines: ``The government of British Columbia has instituted a program of access to multilingual services. French is not included, however, even though francophones form the fifth largest ethnic group in that province. Language assistance is offered in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Punjabi, Spanish,

Somali and Vietnamese, even though Vietnamese is only the sixteenth largest ethnic group in the province".

Surely British Columbia holds the gold medal for assimilation, since it does not offer any health services in French to its French-speaking population.

The spokesperson for the provincial Department of Health, Mrs. Susan Gee, explains the situation this way, and I quote: "There are not enough Francophones in British Columbia". Yet, there are more Francophones than Vietnamese. "They are not considered immigrants and they are expected to be bilingual since they are Canadians". In other words, they are expected to speak English.

Other provinces have no policy regarding the provision of health services in the minority language. As one witness told the committee: "Call 911 just to see if you can get service in French". When you think about everything the federal government said against user fees and its refusal to do anything to provide health services in French, there is only one conclusion to be drawn.

The third reason why we oppose this bill is that it gives the Minister of Heritage the power to legislate with regard to copyright. Let me remind the House that we have been waiting now for almost nine years for the Copyright Act to be amended. Let me also remind the House that the legislation was supposed to be amended under the previous government and that the current Minister of Heritage, when he was appointed, appeared before the Committee on Canadian Heritage, that was last April, and told us that the reform of the legislation was one of his priorities. At that time, he said it was only a matter of weeks before he could table the bill. However, creative artists will not even see the legislation before Christmas.

Why? Because the Copyright Act is essentially the responsibility of the Department of Industry. Every creative artists' group has demanded that the act be transferred to the Department of Heritage. All those who came before the committee indicated that the Department of Industry is in a conflict of interests in this matter. Indeed, the department must protect the interests of consumers and corporations, which are in direct contradiction with the rights and interests of the artists.

Before the election, even the Liberal Party had recognized that this was inappropriate. In response to questions by the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Liberals wrote: "The Liberal Party will have as a priority to review the Copyright Act. We will make sure that, above all, the writers reap the fruit of their labours, while easing the access to copyrighted material. Liberals understand how important copyrights are. That is why we will review the Conservative decision to share this jurisdiction between two departments, when reorganizing the administration."

This at least is one case where the Liberal Party has not kept its word and that is most unfortunate. In an almost unprecedented effort of manipulation, the chairman of the heritage committee did his best to make us and the witnesses believe that his government had, in fact, proceeded to review the Conservative decision but had finally decided that it was more logical to leave the responsibility of the Copyright Act with the Department of Industry.

His attempt to save face failed. Indeed, senior officials from the Department of Industry, who drafted Bill C-46 establishing this department, said before the industry committee that all they did was put into legislative terms Ms. Cambell's reform. This evidence was corroborated by Heritage Canada officials who, during the briefing session given to our staff, stated that Bill C-53 was just a housekeeping bill whose sole purpose was to put into legislative terms the Campbell reform, and not to correct its flaws.

Officials from the Department of Industry went even further. When questioned by the committee chairman, they stated that it would not help to add a reference to copyright in the Heritage Canada legislation. They said that if we had to add this kind of reference every time the interests of two departments overlapped, we would never see the end of it. By saying this, these officials confirmed what many had told us in committee, that the government amendment to Bill C-53 regarding copyright does not give the minister any new powers.

As my colleague for Richelieu said in committee, since the legislative power with regard to copyright rests with the Department of Industry, the protection of the rights of creative artists comes down to a matter of credibility and the strength of individual ministers.

Given the clout and credibility of the present Minister of Canadian Heritage, creative artists have good reason to be pessimistic, and they have the whole-hearted sympathy of the official opposition.

By its refusal to give copyright legislation to the Department of Canadian Heritage, the government has shown that it could not care less about creative artists. It sends an alarming signal to the artistic community and cultural industries. We all remember the decision made in the Ginn transaction, and we all know how that sorry saga ended.

I cannot conclude without saying a word on our last two reasons for voting against this bill. Against all logic, as far as the defence of our cultural industries is concerned, the Canadian government maintained another decision made by Ms. Campbell, splitting broadcasting and telecommunications.

At a time when convergence is critical to the activities of our cultural industries, it was important to rescind the decision separating two things that, by nature, belong together: telecommunications and broadcasting. The message this government sends to people in the communications business is that financial interests will take precedence over cultural interests in Canada and Quebec. That is a very serious problem because the value to be gained from the information highway will not be the physical network itself, but rather the information travelling through that network.

I would also like to say that today, we are witnessing another shift toward the industry department. Indeed, as for copyrights, the federal government chose to leave to the Department of Industry jurisdiction over foreign investments in cultural industries, thus giving to the Department of Canadian Heritage only the power to develop cultural policies. The former Department of Communications had that power. It used it to develop a publishing policy which the government light-heartily violated in the Ginn case and in the Maxwell-McMillan versus Prentice-Hall case, as well.

I am getting to the conclusion, which is simple: this government, with its Bill C-53, once again simply lacks vision.

At the dawn of this crucial year for our collective future, the Canadian government had a unique opportunity to send clear messages to the citizens of this country, whom the Department of Canadian Heritage has a mandate to protect. As a member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, this saddens me. But as a sovereignist, I am very happy that the government did exactly the opposite of what Canadians were expecting, but exactly what Quebecers were hoping for.

It simply denied the existence of our nation. It does not suggest any move to frenchify English Canada and to stop the bilingualization of Quebec. On the contrary, in our opinion, clause 4(2)( g ), which provides for the advancement of the equality of status and use of French and English, is not even worth the paper on which it is written. Finally, the government has not lived up to the expectations it had instilled in creative artists and an important part of the tools it could use to defend culture and creators is now in the hands of the Department of Industry. The government has just officially placed an important part of the Canadian Heritage under its administrative supervision.

For all those reasons, the Bloc Quebecois will oppose this bill. It is narrow-minded, dangerous for the Canadian nation and disrespectful towards creative artists. There is only one hope for Quebecers, which is to choose to have their own country. Only then will they be able to express their own culture and have it recognized for the best of our collective future.

Department Of Canadian Heritage ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.


Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise to speak at third reading of Bill C-53, an act to establish the Department of Canadian Heritage.

I must say it has been a unique experience to participate in the process of presenting this bill to the House, to hear the responses of so many of my colleagues at second reading, to acknowledge the efforts of all of us in committee and now finally to speak once again at this next step in its passage. In my view this represents the best of what democracy has to offer us: freedom of speech and the opportunity to disagree and present alternative points of view. Having said that, will we be left yet again with the status quo?

Speaking from this side of the House I believe that our point of view has enriched the debate as the government has continued its creation of a superministry of cultural identity. We have presented many arguments to challenge the new ministry. As I have said before, it denies us an opportunity to define ourselves as Canadians despite the insistence of some that it provides and promotes greater understanding and a greater sense of intercultural endeavour.

What is occurring is the legislative entrenchment of grants to a host of special interest groups. The total of all special interest group funding throughout all government departments is rumoured to be approximately $500 million. The government has not been specific in terms of the cuts it plans to make to special interest groups. Responses have ranged from the preparation of guidelines to the anticipation of reduced funding. There is nothing explicit in that regard but to wait until the February 1995 budget.

It is obvious the government is not comfortable discussing expenditure reduction. This is odd especially at a time when Canadians are seeking a more open approach to governance. It is also odd at a time when the opportunity to present a model for change, as has been presented in the creation of the Department of Canadian Heritage, has not been seized. The circle of virtue is reduced to a vicious circle and the status quo remains.

The ministry consolidates several subcabinet departments: the Secretary of State; the Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship; the Department of Fitness and Amateur Sport; Parks Canada; components of Environment Canada; and the heritage component of the Department of Communications. I will focus further on a number of these departments in this presentation.

Given the unacceptable, incomprehensible and contemptuous personal attack made yesterday by my colleague from Carleton-Gloucester with no regard or relationship to Bill C-53, I will clarify for the member the Reform Party's position on languages. I hope he will be able to understand this clear policy.

The Reform Party supports the promotion of language policy centred on the following:

first, freedom of expression; second, recognition of the French language in Quebec and of the English language in other provinces; third, recognition of bilingualism in important federal institutions, including the Parliament of Canada and the Supreme Court; and finally, recognition of bilingualism wherever the number of people warrants the presence of services in both official languages.

Explaining further so as to be perfectly clear, let me quote the hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan. He explained during second reading of the bill that the official languages policy is divisive. For proof of this, one need only to be reminded of the pejorative, anti-women comments that were hurled my way yesterday by the member for Carleton-Gloucester.

My hon. colleague from Nanaimo-Cowichan stated that "the mandate calls for the advancement of the equality of status and the use of English and French. Under this mandate the ministry will spend $24 million this year on official languages in education. The Constitutions of 1867 and 1982 clearly state that education is a provincial responsibility. Why then is this ministry spending a quarter of a billion dollars in this area of provincial jurisdiction?"

We oppose this bill for a number of reasons, only one of which is our opposition to the government's official languages policy. I would like to quote the profound words of my colleague from Surrey North when she questioned the need for this department.

The hon. member stated: "Webster's dictionary defines heritage as something that we inherit at birth; in other words it is like a legacy. It is something or anything that is derived from the past or from tradition. By definition then, heritage of an individual or a group or a country is what we actually inherit at birth, that which was created and moulded by the actions of those who preceded us just as what we do now in our lifetime will become the heritage or the mould of the lifestyle for those who come after us".

She went on to say: "Those in the present inherit a base from the past to build on for those in the future. Instead of there being a specific Department of Canadian Heritage, all departments or ministries should be responsible through the legislation they propose for the development and maintenance of everything we do, of the heritage for those who are to follow, not just a single department".

Let me share with the House a story about a man by the name of Glenn Bradley. I found his story in the book Worlds Apart: New Immigrant Voices written by Milly Charon. His story is titled ``The Dilemma of Multiculturalism''. This is Glenn's story and it constitutes the bulk of my remarks today. There is a poignancy to this story that I will leave with the House.

Language and nationality are current issues in today's society. In view of the laws and general social outlook in Quebec, one has to realize that to survive here, one must become French. Many of the language problems exist today because the younger generation did not want to learn to speak French, perhaps because of their parents who may have been immigrants and wished to keep the old ways and mother tongue dominant.

I grew up under the new age of political reform in Quebec. The social phenomenon of the quiet revolution and le Front de Libération du Québec were part of my childhood surroundings. These events played a part in the rise of the supremacy of the French language in Quebec.

My parents witnessed these social reforms and decided that if I was to have a future in Quebec I would have to learn to speak French.

They could have rebelled in their own way. They could have brought me up with all the Scottish traditions they had been raised with. However, teatime, the clans, and Robert Burns were not to play a part in my childhood education.

My family roots are deep in Scottish soil. My parents and all my ancestors were born in Scotland. My parents decided to leave their homeland in the late 1950s. At that time, Quebec was looking for skilled workers.

My father, who had been an engineer on merchant ships sailing out of Scottish ports, decided that Quebec would be the ideal place in Canada where his skills would land him a job without too much difficulty.

Quebec City was my parents' first stop, but when they realized that Montreal was the industrial centre of the province, they moved to St. Michel, a suburb.

My father worked in the oil refineries in the east end of Montreal and continued to do so even after the family moved to Duvernay, a predominantly French Canadian sector of the city of Laval. They chose Duvernay deliberately because they realized that the children they were planning to have one day would be able to learn French by association with the other people in the area.

During my early school days in the late 1960s, my father had decided that the shift work in the refineries would interfere with his responsibilities as a parent. Education was booming in Quebec, and the need for technical teachers was great. My father capitalized on this and easily landed a job with the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal as a metalwork teacher for Monklands High School in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. At the time, my mother was the vice-principal of Laval Highcliff Elementary School which I would attend.

Because both my parents were involved in education at different levels, it made them realize that if their offspring were to flourish in this country, they would need a good education.

In the late sixties and seventies the Laval school started testing its program with bilingual classes for elementary school children. Highcliff was chosen as the test school, and a group of students who were considered above average would take their classes in French. I was lucky to participate in that program.

My interest in the French language actually had started almost from the moment I could talk coherently. Living in a French neighbourhood meant that whenever you went out into the street, nine times out of ten the other children were speaking what I thought was a strange language. Little did I know that "ballon-chasseur" was dodgeball and that "cache-cache" meant hide and go seek. From then on I was determined to learn what they were saying so that I would not be at a disadvantage when playing with them. Oddly enough, this decision made when I was five years old would dominate the rest of my life.

Since English instruction in the French school system left much to be desired and I was already starting to learn French, I decided I would play ambassador. Just as an ambassador is a liaison in another country, my role would be liaison between the two languages. Imagine my surprise when I confronted the children in the street with my first garbled speech in French, my strained "bonjour, je m'appelle" was returned with "maudite bloke" a reference to the somewhat square-headedness of the English population. Chalk up one for French Canadian nationalism, I guess.

Good old Scottish stubbornness, or whatever you want to call it, made me decide to beat them at their own game. I excelled in my French studies through bilingual and immersion programs to a degree where my knowledge of the language and grammar was perhaps better than that of the French children themselves.

Unfortunately, the responses I received had gone from one extreme to another. Although I got along with the other children, I was never really accepted by them. I finally discovered the reason why. French Canadians hated the French from France almost as much as the English. My French accent was almost like that of the people French Canadians called "les snobbes".

By the time I was 13 I realized that French Canadian was a proper language and a culture all of its own. I decided to treat what I had already learned as a separate language and discover exactly what French Canadian was and is.

In my final years of high school I delved into dozens of written novels, the works of Savard, Thériault and Vallieres, the plays of Tremblay and Gélinas and the poetry of Vigneault and Nelligan. From these pieces written by prominent French Canadian authors I was able to obtain a good grasp of the emergence of the French Canadian culture in Quebec.

It was interesting to witness the transition in myself. I was so involved with these studies that a few of my high school buddies started calling me Frenchie. I graduated from high school feeling very comfortable with my knowledge of French Canadians. As strange as it may sound, perhaps I had too much knowledge.

Just before heading off to Carleton University to study communications, something in my brain snapped. I began thinking I was French Canadian. I did everything to convince myself that I was. I had become a staunch Parti Quebecois supporter. I even cried when René Lévesque lost the sovereignty association vote. I defended everything that was considered French Canadian.

At Carleton I was elected president of the Francophone Club. My plan for assimilation might have worked except for two things: my name and my ancestors. Once again my wise parents from the old country came to my rescue. They were able to grind into my thick skull that should the situation in Quebec worsen, my name alone would make me stand out like a sore thumb.

For most people it might have been too late to change, but at 18 I began learning about my own cultural history, the glory of the Scottish clans and all the benefits that Quebec and Canada enjoy today because of Scottish immigrants. Robert Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and the poet Robert Burns are well-known names in Scottish history, but what of those who immigrated to Canada and gave so much of their time and efforts to build this country?

Lord Selkirk, a Scottish philanthropist and colonizer was responsible for bringing immigrants to Prince Edward Island. They later spread to Nova Scotia and established a colony there. Selkirk opened the west with his settlements in the Red River Valley in Manitoba.

Scottish immigrants were instrumental in the establishment of the fur trade in Canada and played the greatest part in the foundations of education in this country.

Early Scottish settlers placed top priority on education. The first non-sectarian school for higher education in Nova Scotia, Pictou Academy, was founded by a Scot. Dalhousie University, McGill University in Montreal, the University of Toronto, Queen's, St. Francis Xavier and the University of New Brunswick all owe their establishment to Scots.

Sir Alexander Mackenzie, trader and explorer, discovered the Mackenzie River and was the first white man to cross the northern part of the American continent to the Pacific Ocean. Simpson and MacTavish are other names synonymous with the building of our country. Alexander Mackenzie, a Scot, was Prime Minister of Canada between 1873 and 1878.

In addition, Scotsmen and Canadians of Scottish origin have played formidable roles in communications and journalism. There has been George Brown, founder of the Globe ; William Lyon Mackenzie, founder and editor of the Colonial Advocate and one of the leaders of the 1837 rebellion; John Nielson, editor of the Quebec Gazette ; John Dougall, both father and son, of the Montreal Witness ; and Hugh Graham, Lord Atholstan of the Montreal Star .

Suddenly a new dimension was added to my research for cultural identity. I realized that I was neither Scottish nor French Canadian. Talk about an identity crisis! Because Canada is not the melting pot that characterizes the United States, there is really no distinct Canadian culture. Therefore, I didn't consider myself to be a Canadian. I was a mixture, a part of three great nationalities.

After much deliberation I decided that the only way out of this dilemma was to combine the best parts of all three nations. To become a part of the French Canadian culture, to be accepted as an equal, I needed more of the expressions in daily use.

To accomplish this I spent the summer of 1981 working in a French children's camp. That summer was the turning point in my life. I not only picked up the oral requirements but also a large group of French Canadian friends.

I learned more about Scottish culture by reading books and poetry by Scottish authors, as well as the stories of the clans. I joined a curling club to get a taste of a Scottish sport and social gathering.

In order to become more of a Canadian, I relaxed my hard line views on independence for Quebec. I now try to picture Canada as a whole and am more sympathetic to the feelings of the people in other provinces.

I thought I was all set-I had satisfied my goals and those of my parents. The one thing I had forgotten to consider was my friends.

Each group of friends I had made in the past few years had accepted me in the way I related to them. I was the one who had adjusted easily to each group by simply changing my frame of mind and attitude to what each group was interested in and expected of me.

I went partying with my French Canadian friends, bar hopping with my anglophone high school buddies and was involved in intellectual stimulation with my university associates. Each world was different, yet I fitted easily into each one. What I had failed to consider was the interaction between the groups.

I soon discovered through trial and error that my old high school friends would not be accepted by my university buddies; nor would my English friends be accepted by my French Canadian friends and vice versa.

This created a situation which is similar to the problems of Quebec society today. Because of my personal experience, I feel French Canadians and English Canadians will never associate unless some concessions are made by both sides. We will always run into people of both cultures who will refuse to speak the other's language. There is animosity even within each cultural group-animosity caused by intellectual, social and economic differences.

If only we could learn from one another, if we would be willing to mingle, we could absorb a great deal by association. With understanding comes acceptance. Unfortunately the situation may not be resolved in my lifetime. To keep the peace, the cultures may have to remain apart.

I don't favour apartheid in the South African sense, where one culture is discriminated against on economic, social, political and colour levels. I do believe, however, that many cultures can coexist in one province as long as there is agreement on the equal value of each.

My plight is understandable. I enjoy the knowledge of many worlds, yet to keep harmony among them, I have to keep them separate. Therefore, in a sense, I am trapped in the middle of all three groups.

Because I can't combine all these worlds, despite the fact that each has so much to offer, I have to spend an equal amount of time in all of them.

Although it is satisfying to experience the diversity, you can't give 100 per cent of what we have to share and at the same time receive 100 per cent of what everyone else has to offer. The basic explanation for someone in this dilemma is that you can be acquainted with many, but totally involved with none.

It is another way of explaining and learning to live with loneliness.

That is the end of Glenn's story in The Dilemma of Multiculturalism . We will notice in all the text there is no mention of dollars spent but one man's effort to become more familiar with his own identity, his own cultural roots, and to try to find a way in which he could fit into a culture in Quebec and still remain associated with the rest of Canada.

I leave the story with the House without further analysis. I think it is worthy as a reflection on what it means to be a Canadian living in this country of ours today.

I am going to move now to an experience I had as a member of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage when we had one of our witnesses come to speak to us about the issue of multiculturalism. His name is Dr. Rais Khan and he addressed the issue, stating that both the act and the department were evidently intended to facilitate integration of the different cultural groups into the Canadian society. But the policy of multiculturalism has become subverted in this noble intent. It has encouraged ethnic and cultural groups to perpetuate their distinctiveness and has thus prevented them, even though inadvertently, from integrating into the mainstream of society. Official bilingualism has erected cultural barriers and gender discrimination and encouraged social ghettoization.

Let me give an example of how multiculturalism goes wrong, an example with which my Liberal colleagues will most certainly agree, as did the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Multiculturalism gets twisted to such an extent that groups of individuals believe that by virtue of being a member of some identifiable group they deserve special funding and privileges. This is clear as was the case with the Writing Thru Race conference which was hosted in Vancouver by the Writers Union of Canada. This conference refused to allow anyone of non-colour to attend, that is to say whites were barred from attending a conference which received funding from the Canada Council. Thankfully the minister heeded my advice and took away part of their funding.

Dr. Khan, as he continued in his presentation to our committee, explained:

The exotic multicultural concept of the everlasting immigrant has come to function as an institutional system for the marginalization of the individual. While this is not hopefully the intent of official multiculturalism, it certainly is its consequence. Culture is not only a selective demonstration of exotic events; it is how people live and interact with one another in their daily lives. Canada in the next century will not even have a dominant plurality. What is especially puzzling is why the advocates of multiculturalism, many of whom are so-called leaders of ethnic communities, have embraced such a discriminatory label. The misdirected and shortsighted actions and propositions in the name of official multiculturalism have generated mounting criticism of both its intent and direction. The voices of criticism come from both old Canadians and new ones, from intellectuals and ivory tower academics, from writers of colour and those who lack colour, from respondents to several recent public opinion polls and from government appointed commissions.

Dr. Khan also drew our attention to the Keith Spicer citizens' forum which, in recognition of the inherent deficiencies and drawbacks of official multiculturalism, called upon the Government of Canada to eliminate funding for multicultural activities except those serving immigration orientation, reduction of racial discrimination and promotion of equality.

I believe this is the crux of the problem. Even the proponents of multiculturalism support the policy because in their view it contributes to immigration orientation, reduction of racial discrimination and promotion of equality.

It is a curious situation of people from opposing spectrums-those who oppose multiculturalism as well as those who support it-agreeing to a common set of objectives.

It is not just the Reform Party that has expressed what so many other voices are saying. The objectives that multiculturalism seek to promote are immigration, orientation, reduction of racial discrimination, enhanced participation and promotion of equality.

These can be just as effectively achieved through the implementation of the provision of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms supporting the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the acknowledgement of the opportunities offered through the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Special treatment to some at the expense of others is discriminatory in and of itself. No one is saying that ethnic groups should be suppressed in the Canadian context. Rather, our vision of Canada should be committed to the goal of social and personal well-being that values individuality while emphasizing themes like family, community assumption of responsibility, problem solving and communicating these value sets to a means of better group life. However at no time should the rights of a group supersede the rights of individuals unless the group happens to consist of a majority within Canada.

As I said earlier, I have concentrated most of this presentation on multiculturalism because it is something about which all of us in the House feel deeply. I also have to say that I am looking forward to 1995. We definitely have challenges lying before us in the new year. My wish for all of us, as we enter the new year, is that we use our collective wisdom in the decision days of 1995 that lie ahead of us.