- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 7 Nov 1957, p. 78-86
- Stanfield, The Honourable Robert, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The Province of Nova Scotia as very much part of the Canadian scene. Some prominent Nova Scotians. Conditions in Nova Scotia today. A promising outlook. A spirit of optimism and of confidence in the province, one reason being the development of a real Maritime outlook and a sincere measure of regional co-operation over the past few years. The speaker's belief that the people of the Atlantic area are willing to accept measures which applied to the region may be better for one province and perhaps less so for another. The desire by all four Atlantic governments to see a causeway built which will join Prince Edward island to New Brunswick, and to see a federal power development program for the Maritimes that is consistent with the interests of New Brunswick. The publication "The Atlantic Advocate" as a unifying spirit of the Atlantic Provinces. Other factors at work in Nova Scotia today. The right time for an all-out positive and constructive attack on Maritime problems. The speaker's confidence that this is going to happen. Some political history. Education in the Maritimes. How the Maritimes at times suffer for the success of the rest of Canada. Unequal and unreasonable hardship imposed on the Atlantic economy by nationally-imposed credit restrictions, and some effects of those restrictions. The need for practical, forward-looking realism. Facing the future with confidence in Nova Scotia.
- Date of Original
- 7 Nov 1957
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- Full Text
- "NOVA SCOTIA IN THE CANADIAN SCENE"
An Address by THE HONOURABLE ROBERT L. STANFIELD, B.A., LL.B. Premier of Nova Scotia
Thursday, November 7th, 1957
CHAIRMAN: The President, Lt.-Col. W. H. Montague.
LT. COL. MONTAGUE: We are particularly honoured and delighted to welcome The Honourable Robert L. Stanfield, B.A., LL.B.--The Premier of Nova Scotiaas our guest speaker today.
This is one of those all too rare occasions when we are to have the great privilege of being addressed by an eminent Maritimer who, to date, has achieved his greatest success in his own native province.
Mr. Stanfield was born in Truro a few months before the outbreak of World War I. His father was a four-time Member of the Legislative Assembly and, later, was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. That the inclination towards politics was passed from father to son is clearly evident in Premier Stanfield's educational programme.
His early schooling began in Truro. As a teenager, he attended Ashbury College, Ottawa, where he won the Southam Cup--that school's trophy for both academic and athletic proficiency. At Dalhousie University, from which he graduated, at 22, as a B.A.--having specialized in political science and economics, he won the Governor General's Gold Medal for the top academic standing in his year. At Harvard Law School, he acquired the degree of Bachelor of Laws.
In 1940, at 26, he was admitted to the Bar of Nova Scotia, and was appointed to the Halifax office of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board as a Regional Rentals Officer and, later, as Enforcement Counsel.
After World War II, he practiced law in the partnership of MacInnes and Stanfield, Halifax, and this activity continued until November, 1956.
Entering politics as President of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Association, he became Leader of that Association in November, 1948 and, shortly thereafter, the general election of 1949 brought Mr. Stanfield into the Legislature of Nova Scotia as the Leader of the Opposition.
On 30th October, 1956, when the results of that day's election in Nova Scotia were totalled, the Progressive Conservative Party had secured a majority of the seats in the Legislature. On 20th November, the present Government was formed with Mr. Stanfield as Premier, Provincial Treasurer and Chairman of the Nova Scotia Power Commission.
With this impressive background to draw upon, it would indeed be difficult to find a more competent Maritimer to deal authoritatively with the subject on which he will now address us--"Nova Scotia in the Canadian Scene".
Gentlemen, I am proud to introduce The Honourable Mr. Robert L. Stanfield--The Queen's First Minister for the Province of Nova Scotia.
MR. STANFIELD: It is a great privilege to be here to meet you and friends from the Maritimes.
The Province of Nova Scotia is very much a part of the Canadian scene; and Nova Scotians, themselves, are very much a part of Canada. As an Atlantic Province, Nova Scotia has ambassadors in every province in Canada and throughout the United States. Some of our ambassadors are here today; distinguished Canadians in the industrial, business, professional and commercial fields today whose birthplace is Nova Scotia.
I should make some mention also of those Nova Scotians--or a few of them--prominent in political circles today. There is our own Federal Minister, George Nowlan, Federal Minister of National Revenue, whose department's recent activities were such along Bay Street as to put Sputnik Mark Two out of the headlines. And I am sure you know that the Minister for External Affairs, Dr. Sydney Smith, is a Nova Scotian-born and raised on one of Nova Scotia's islands off the mainland.
When Dr. Smith was merely the president of Toronto University, he was even then a legend in Nova Scotia. They used to say of Dr. Smith, that, at the age of four, he used to row a boat one mile to get to school.
Since his elevation to the Canadian Government, the legend now is that Dr. Smith, at the age of one, used to row a boat four miles to get to school.
Nothing, Mr. Chairman, makes a legend grow like public office.
Now, Mr. Chairman, the purpose of my visit here is to render a kind of progress report on Nova Scotia. This is for the benefit of our "residents abroad," our many friends and, indeed, for all who care to listen.
Conditions in Nova Scotia today are generally good and the outlook is promising. The spirit of the people of Nova Scotia was never better. There is, in the province, a spirit of optimism and of confidence.
I hope--and I believe--that one of the chief reasons for this rekindled confidence and optimism has been the development, over the past few years, of a real Maritime outlook and a sincere measure of regional co-operation.
It has been easy in the past for a mistaken zeal of provincial sovereignty to lead one into a wilderness of petty chauvinism. But today, I believe all four Atlantic Provinces are learning that there is too much to be gained in co-operation and too much to be lost to allow the Atlantic provinces to be divided among themselves.
This has been a bi-partisan movement, endorsed and led certainly by the more responsible and progressive spokesmen for all political parties. Furthermore, it is being given leadership by the leading elements in the industrial and commercial life of the Atlantic area; the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council is perhaps the best example one could find to show the popular public support that the cause of Atlantic co-operation enjoys today. Although this is by no means a new movement, it has taken recently somewhat of a novel twist in that it is achieving results. Gone are the days when the people of the Maritimes can be satisfied by slogans. They are interested only in concrete measures that bring results.
I believe the people of the Atlantic area are willing to accept measures which applied to the region may be better for one province and perhaps less so for another. My feeling is that they have wisely concluded that the economy of the Atlantic area cannot be divided by the artificial boundaries of four provinces--we must consider that the particular problem of one is the general problem of all. And, of course, this is why all four Atlantic governments want to see a causeway built which will join Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick and why we are anxious to see a federal power development program for the Maritimes that is consistent with the interests of New Brunswick. And that is why all four governments have agreed to open Atlantic House in London for the purpose of promoting the interests of the four provinces abroad.
Certainly this co-operation is a unique achievement. Mr. Flemming and myself remain leaders of Conservative parties in our respective provinces and Mr. Smallwood and Mr. Matheson leaders in their provinces. Indeed, Premier Smallwood campaigned against my party in Nova Scotia last June. Had I felt I could have afforded the time, I would have returned the compliment. But there has never been any political conflict in a partisan sense insofar as our meetings together are concerned.
The unified spirit of the people in the Atlantic Provinces has many sponsors and many champions and I perhaps should make mention here of the publication which has dedicated itself to this cause and that is The Atlantic Advocate. For those who live outside the area and would like regular injections, so to speak, of the Atlantic spirit, they can certainly obtain them from this spirited and aggressive magazine. It is with allies like this that we have made such progress.
Now, aside from this growth of the Atlantic outlook, there are other factors at work in Nova Scotia today, which make the outlook for our province a promising one. It can hardly be any secret that the very aggressive and dynamic A. V. Roe company, in looking for new worlds to conquer, have come down to Nova Scotia to do business. And I suggest the reasons for their move, which was made only after a spirited struggle, was dictated by the fact that Nova Scotia looks to them like an attractive and promising and profitable place to do business. Even though our good friend, Mr. J. S. D. Tory, is from Guysborough County, I doubt that sentiment completely explains the move.
This is a business proposition and, we believe, a sound one for A. V. Roe. Now, there have been some objections from Nova Scotians and there are perhaps some good reasons for those objections. Many Nova Scotians can look out their windows and see industries shut down and abandoned following negotiations with central Canadian companies. This has been something of a historic fact of life in the Maritimes; it is one which has coloured the attitude of the Maritimer toward Upper Canada in general and Toronto, in particular, in years gone by.
In actual fact, Mr. Chairman, it is my personal observation that, as a result of the development of Atlantic cooperation and perhaps for other reasons as well, there is less fear and resentment in the Maritimes today towards the Province of Ontario ... which we refer to usually as "Toronto" or "Bay Street" or "those so-and-so", from Upper Canada. It is becoming difficult, if not impossible, to convince very many Maritimers that their basic problems have been created and are being multiplied by the mere fact of Ontario's existence.
It is becoming difficult, I am glad to say, to exploit regional differences to any great advantage in the Maritimes. Frankly, a lot of the goodwill which the Maritimes have today for Ontario, or Upper Canada, has been earned. It has been earned by those like Mr. Frost, Ontario's Premier, who has on several public occasions shown an understanding of and a sympathy for the Maritime problems. Nova Scotia considers him a friend.
The press of Toronto has done what is to me an eloquent task in defining Maritime conditions and, in some instances of note, championing our cause. News of this has reached home, as it were, and this has further confounded those who insist Ontario will never understand us and has added to the majority of us who uphold the view that nothing could be better for Ontario than a healthy, growing Maritime economy.
Now, Mr. Chairman, we do have our problems. Some of these we can meet ourselves and in others we need the goodwill, understanding and knowing assistance of the people of Canada. This seems to us to be the time and place in Canada's history when an all-out positive and constructive attack can be made on Maritime problems and I am confident this is going to happen. It is beginning to happen right now.
We want neither dole nor charity; spare us from a role in Confederation that will be one of chronic supplicants. The fact that we, as Nova Scotians or as Maritimers, earn less per man, owe more per man and are taxed more per man than anyone else in Canada is a clue to a part of our problem. We have been, as they say, too busy baling to fix the boat.
The people of Canada have, in their wisdom, underwritten the great Seaway project. They have, with mixed emotions apparently, underwritten the natural gas pipe line. These are great capital projects, and beyond question of great benefit to the people of Canada. But immediately they do nothing but work hardship for the Maritimes. This does not mean that we oppose these projects--far from it. The one thing that remains unchanged is the altruism that, since confederation, has distinguished the Maritime attitude toward Canada as a whole.
We are, of course, proud of our role in Confederation. Even though we were directly responsible for the merger and very quickly afterwards became minority shareholders, we are still proud of our achievement. The fact that Confederation worked to our disadvantage in many ways is a fact accepted without argument in the Atlantic area.
We gave up our railroads in the interest of a national system and have suffered for it ever since. We waived our just claims to the northern territories later awarded to other Canadian provinces and now proven to be rich in resources. We have stood aside in the national interest and seen the great seaway built and the trans-Canada pipeline laid--all the short-term prospects look to be to our obvious disadvantage.
All the while, the Maritimes have made heroic efforts to keep pace with Canada. To do so, we have had to become the highest taxed and most heavily indebted citizens in Canada. We have spent lavishly and almost beyond our means to educate our children, the majority of whom graduate from our colleges and emigrate to Upper Canada and contribute their skills to your expansion.
Speaking of education, I must comment on the increasing prestige and standing of our Maritime universities. We have, in Nova Scotia, recently added to the staff of Dalhousie University by appointing a new Chancellor. You know, of course, that the Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick is the Right Honorable Lord Beaverbrook. We believe we have found a suitable person for the position at Dalhousie in the person of the Right Honorable C. D. Howe.
Somehow, Mr. Chairman, the Maritimes continue to inspire and encourage those genuinely creative individuals in our society. In the Maritimes, art societies are flourishing in nearly every community; in the face of failure elsewhere, there are symphony orchestras and ballet groups and choral groups, the latter having been judged the finest in Canada.
And, I might add, when the need was felt to establish the Canada Council for the encouragement of arts and letters in our land, it was endowed from the estates of two outstanding Maritime-born captains of finance. It is only fair to conclude from this that the Maritimes provided much of the major cultural achievement we have had in the past and now the Maritimes have arranged the financing of future cultural achievement. We are only too happy, Mr. Chairman, to have been able to afford it.
We sometimes suffer for your success. While we were carried along in the swell of the great Canadian boom, the Bank of Canada decreed that you were suffering from inflation. Certainly we had none of the obvious symptoms.
But, as Premier Flemming said, everyone in the family had to take castor oil whether he needed it or not. And I want to stress the unequal and unreasonable hardship these nationally-imposed credit restrictions imposed on the Atlantic economy.
The present credit policy has retarded construction plans in Nova Scotia which were needed even if enterprise was to merely maintain its rate of growth. If this policy persists, it well may seriously delay the construction of the second great pulp and paper mill in Nova Scotia which is now scheduled to begin in 1959. Our own new crown company, established only a few months ago to assist in developing secondary industry, is being handicapped by these restrictions. I might add that the Chairman of the Board of the Crown Corporation to which I have referred--Industrial Estates Limited--is Mr. Horace Enman, formerly the president of the Bank of Nova Scotia.
Mr. Enman retired to Cape Breton Island and built an attractive permanent residence in Victoria County. Perhaps he had read the Gordon Commission statement that we led such a leisurely life. Well, we've put him right to work! He has graciously agreed to assist Nova Scotia in this great task.
I want to say just this final word in regard to the credit policy--So far as we in Nova Scotia are concerned, we view the policy as a unique failure and reasonably expect it to be abandoned.
Mr. Chairman, we in Nova Scotia have our problems. We are not the only ones who do. But we also are struggling to help ourselves, to raise the standards of living of the province and the area. You will have gathered from my remarks that the outlook is good. Indeed, the future has never looked better.
I say this advisedly, in face of a quite a lot of teeth-chattering talk about the economy in the months ahead. I think some of it is inspired by something other than real knowledge of economics. True, the AMERICAN economy--to which we seem inextricably tied--is pausing for breath and while it does so, perhaps we should hold ours. There are soft spots, and all is not sweetness and light.
Surely what is needed now is a lot less hole-in-the-corner pessimism and a little more practical, forward-looking realism.
We in Nova Scotia face the future with confidence.
In closing I would like to comment on the fact that last summer the Maritime Provinces were host to an unprecedented number of Canadians from Quebec and Ontario. I hope this pleasant traffic continues, not only because it is profitable to our tourist industry but because this allows us the opportunity to make new friends.
May I take this opportunity to extend a cordial invitation to all of you to visit the Canadian Maritimes in the near future. Here is where Canada was begun, here is the new land of the Acadians, the Loyalists, the victims of religious persecution in Scotland, the victims of economic blight in Ireland. And here are their descendants, on the threshold of their great day when they will become equal partners in their own hard-won enterprise of Confederation.
THANKS OF THE MEETING were expressed by The Honourable Dana H. Porter, Q.C.