Page 47 - "Parade of Concern" for Sydney Steel
ISSUE : Issue 58
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/8/1
care, as long as it stayed op? erating.) Right. (And, based on that then, you would look for other solutions.) Right. (The reason I say that is be? cause some people complain that, "The government was nev? er really committed to public ownership.") That might be true. There was an immediate problem that required an imme? diate solution, and there was no time to go look for a pri? vate operator. But in the meantime, something had to be done. And that's what the government was doing. Now, as time went on, then the public ownership issue may have developed. But not in the beginning. Something had to be done immediately. And the only solution that we could see was provincial government. Because quickly we saw that it couldn't be the federal gov? ernment, from a political point of view. Not a financial point of view. But from a po? litical point of view, we didn't see any hope in the federal government taking over the steel plant. So therefore it had to be this provincial government. 4 of the Speakers at the Parade of Concern t Clockwise from top left: Premier G. I. Smith; Allan J. MacEachen, MP; Fr. I Roach; and Eamon Park, U.S.W.A. Eamon Park, U.S.W.A., said this Nov. 19,1967: 'The decision that must come from the discussions between the Governments and Hawker-Siddeley must not be limited to the Immediate future. If they are so limited, we will face another crisis in a year...or in 5 years. It ought not be the policy of the Govern? ment merely to underwrite losses. Instead, it must be their policy to make this plant a viable operation that can compete with the most modern mills in North America. For 20 years our union has argued that the need here was to diversify or die.... The current problem here has touched many Canadians in many parts of the country. The problem . then is a national problem and I warn that the uneven economic development, the une- l!!i • '?' • i' J'I' • ??'''!f ' '?" regional development of Canada, will do more to destroy our national unity and ''''''''''.'' '''' '11 ''' separatist speeches in the world...." (Okay. Tell me about the Pa? rade of Concern.) The Parade of Concern was--it was well. parade like that in eastern Nova Scotia, before or since. And the time of the year. And we changed in time where we were going to hold it. We thought we'd have a big meeting in the Syd? ney Forum. And we were not long into the preparation when we realized Sydney Forum could not hold what we were planning for. We had no facility. And the only thing we could think of was the Sports Centre (the present-day race track at Tartan Downs). And that's totally open-air. You know, even the stands at the Sports Centre were open- air- -they 're closed in now. But they were wide open. And that's the only thing we had. We didn't have any other choice. And then how to get people to the Sports Centre was another problem. So all of that had to be worked out. And where we would start! And crowd control. We ran into all of these problems that we had no idea were part of organizing a major parade. And we had a lot of help from police and R.C.M.P., news media. The unions were tremendous, all of the unions. The schools. We had all the schools involved. And parking and buses--many of the people parked at Wooico, for example, and places like that. People from away, they never came into the city at all, with cars. There was no way that they could all come in. So we had trains and buses and every? thing all lined up to move the crowd into the starting point, which was over by the steel plant, to march up Prince Street.... And we ran into a whole lot of things that we didn't anticipate. We never realized how long it would take to bring 20 or 30-- whatever number it was--thousands of peo? ple into the Sports Centre through one main gate. So it took more than an hour, or an hour and a half--two hours, I sup? pose- -from the time the first ones landed at the Sports Centre until the end of the Parade finally got into the Sports Centre. And it had rained heavy all Saturday night, and stopped about 10:30, 11 o'clock Sunday morning--heavy rain. So they were standing in mud, literally. You know, you
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