Liberal Nominating Convention - Held on 7th October, 1965.
Dr. A.M.A. McLean's Speech

I wish to thank the Liberal party and the good people of Charlotte for the confidence they have shown in me by nominating me again to carry the banner of Liberalism in our good county of Charlotte.

I will leave most of the National issues for a later date, as I expect to talk to all of you in various parts of the county during the weeks to come. Tonight I would like to talk about our own county of Charlotte, which, on redistribution, will be lost as Charlotte County, for, to my mind, this redistribution muddle was caused because at Ottawa we had a minority government.

Before going any further, I would like to pay tribute to two of my good supporters in the last election who have passed on: Hardie Ganong of St. Stephen, and Frank Grimmer of St. Andrews, both stalwart Conservatives. However, they could both put their politics aside when they thought the good of Charlotte County was at stake. Hardie Ganong was associated with me in the Boy Scout movement for many years, and when I told him that I did not wish any remuneration for my services at Ottawa and would give the money back to the boys and girls of Charlotte County, he believed me and supported me. When I told Frank Grimmer that I would put fishery regulations in to protect the weirmen of Charlotte County, he also believed me and supported me. They were both friends of mine and both loved Charlotte County.

I might say quite frankly that I did not intend to offer again. I was planning a period of leisure, but apparently leisure is not in the cards for me.

I do not wish to appear immodest, but I have been able to do a great deal for the county of Charlotte in my 2 years at Ottawa. However, there are a number of things yet to be done and quite a few things to be tidied up, and I believe this is the last time for a great many years that you will have a representative from Charlotte County in Ottawa. Our population is small, and, on redistribution, the bulk of the population of the new constituency is going to be outside Charlotte County.

The economy outside of Charlotte County has nothing much to do with fisheries and fishermen, seiners and weirmen, wharves and breakwaters, the islands and their transportation. I considered it a duty to offer myself as your representative for the next few years, in order that the interests of Charlotte County would be taken care of at Ottawa - and I consider myself capable of doing so.

I would refer you to the issue of the St. Croix Courier of September 2nd, 1965, in which I took a page at my own expense to answer some of the queries that were put out about what McLean was doing at Ottawa. Within the limits of reason, I have fulfilled all the promises I have made, except perhaps the one that I would go to Europe to look for industries. When I made this suggestion, I took for granted we would have a majority government at Ottawa, but I found out, ongoing to Ottawa, that in order to bring in industries, the climate for industries must be beneficial.

I found out that only the federal government could offer such things - the town or province could not offer rebate of income tax, could not offer special depreciation. In order to accomplish this, Charlotte was made a designated area, which meant that firms could not only get special depreciation, but could get rebates of income tax and could receive federal grants of money. This makes Charlotte County, especially Milltown and St. Stephen, attractive to industry, and I am given to understand that industry is coming.

Of course, there was one time I might have gone to Europe after the designated plan was put in for Charlotte County, but, at that, time, I had to go through a serious operation which took me some time to recover.

Now, of course, you know when I go to Ottawa, the taxpayers pay me, but I have returned this money by way of university and nurses' scholarships to the boys and girls of Charlotte County. I have not only returned this money, I have put more with it, as it would have cost me probably a couple of thousand dollars to take a trip to Europe: therefore, I returned the money paid by the taxpayers of Charlotte, plus 10%. So I really gave back to the county $2,650.00 more than I received as your representative at Ottawa. As I could not go to Europe, I took the money which I would have spent out of my own pocket and gave it back to the people of Charlotte. I sincerely feel that to get something out of life, you really must put something into it, and I certainly am not ashamed of my record in politics as your representative for Charlotte County.

At the nomination of my opponent something over a week ago, one P.C. member of the house stated that Charlotte County had no voice at Ottawa the last 2 years. Well, the record speaks for me, and the gentleman who made the statement - his voice is often raised at Ottawa, continuously: When listening to him, which is compulsory some days in order to have a quorum in the house, I sometimes thought of the old saying: "A loud voice bespeaks a vacant mind!" I may not have had a loud voice at Ottawa, but I have had an effective one.

The fishery regulations were put into effect, as I promised. This was one of the definite planks in my platform.

But I want to tell the weirmen of Charlotte County that the battle was won but the war has not been won - and they should not rest on their oars complacently and say we are going to live happily ever afterwards. I would say to the weirmen of Charlotte County that they should support a representative at Ottawa who is fair and honest, and who has kept faith with them.

I did not promise the International Bridge at Milltown, but I supported it at Ottawa, and I will say that the bill covering the erection of this bridge has been prepared by the Justice Department in Ottawa, and awaits the return of Parliament. I do not know whether it is possible to call for tenders or not before the bill receives the sanction of parliament, but I believe the tenders are ready - and I feel free to promise that this bill will have the assent of parliament when it meets in December. Of course, tenders may be called before that date - that is a provincial matter.

I believe that the town of St. Andrews has had a very wonderful season this year, but I think that a nice yacht club would be a great asset to the town as a holiday centre. We have the land and the government stands ready with assistance for Marinas. They will build breakwaters, do dredging, build small wharves. And I do not see any reason why money cannot be raised in St. Andrews. We have the land, and personally I would be willing to see that part of the capital was subscribed for this venture. With yachts coming to the international park at Campobello from all over, I believe that a marina and a yacht club would be a great addition to St. Andrews.

My opponent stated he would go to Ottawa to bring money back to the municipalities for education. I would like to do so too, but he knows at the present time that education is a provincial affair.

I notice that he elevated me to the peerage by calling me "baron". These personal smears do me no harm - they have never harmed me in the past. But there is a certain class of people - I would say perhaps the hardcore Tory - that this pleases, but it does not please my Liberal or Conservative friends in Charlotte.

I will say that taxes are low in the "barony" - streets are lighted free of cost to the residents: the churches are lighted free of cost to the congregations; the garbage collection is free to everyone regardless of whether they own their home or rent it ; the rents are the lowest in Canada; employees of the "baron", including a man's wife and children, are insured free of cost; medical aid is provided free of cost, and a seven month pregnancy is recognized as natural ; and, above all, the people are happy. So I consider the smears cast at me are, in fact, a direct insult to the intelligence of the people living in Eastern Charlotte.

Grand Manan have their ferry - I know this will stimulate the whole economy of the county. Deer Island should have improved ferry service, and whether this should be a federal matter should be looked into seriously.

All that has been accomplished is now yours to enjoy, but I know much more can be accomplished in the future if we have a majority government. However, as in the past, I need the co-operation and help of all Liberals-in fact, I welcome the help of all the good citizens of this county.

In closing, I have served my county without pay just as well as I ever served my company in Black's Harbour with pay, and, as I said before, in order to get something out of life, you have to put something into it. This goes for politics too.

Dr. A.M.A. Mclean (right)

 

 

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