May 26, 1939

CON

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROOKS:

Now that the geography and history lessons are over, I should like to say a few words with reference to a proposed national park in New Brunswick. I think I can truthfully say that New Brunswick is the only province in Canada which has no national park at the present time. While we have a number of historic sites, we have no national park. I am rather ashamed to bring up this matter again because it has been brought up every year since 1936. The minister will remember that in that session a bill was passed authorizing the establishment of national parks in the three maritime provinces. Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia have taken advantage of the provisions of that act and their parks are now being developed.

I understand that the sites of these parks were well selected, and they are proving quite popular with tourists and the people of the provinces.

I should like to see some action taken in New Brunswick. The people of the province are growing weary of the delay, but I do not think the minister is being blamed particularly. I have good reason to believe that the delay is more the responsibility of the

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provincial government at Fredericton than it is of the federal government here at Ottawa. Has any definite site been chosen as yet for a national park in New Brunswick? If no definite site has been chosen, what prospective sites have .been reviewed and what is the order of preference? Can the minister give any assurance that the development of a national park in New Brunswick will be undertaken in the near future?

I have not his exact words, but in the session of 1937 the minister intimated that unless the provincial government took some steps to provide for a site, the federal government might have to act in the matter. I do not think it is necessary for me to point out that our province is losing tourist business every year because we have no park. Some $4,000,000 was spent last year for the development of parks throughout Canada, tout not one dollar of that was spent in New Brunswick. The fact that our province is beautiful is self-evident to anyone who visits it. We have splendid roads, and I believe that if a park were established it would prove a great added attraction so far as tourist trade is concerned.

There is another matter in connection with which the province is losing. I refer to relief projects. I understand that between $600,000 and $700,000 has 'been spent for relief purposes in developing the Nova Scotia site. I have heard considerable criticism of the way in which this money has been used, but we in New Brunswick feel that the federal government and the provincial government should endeavour to get together on this matter and provide a national park for our province. I should like to have some comment from the minister in this regard.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

Up to the present time no site has been selected for a national park in New Brunswick. My hon. friend is in error when he says that according to his memory I stated in the house a year or two years ago that if the provincial government did not act the federal government would.

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CON

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROOKS:

The minister intimated that he was growing impatient.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I do not wish the committee to get any wrong impression. I have stated several times when the parks votes have been under consideration in the past that the provincial authority has first to acquire the area and deed it over to the federal administration.

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CON

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROOKS:

I think that is generally understood.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

There are several sites in New Brunswick, perhaps of varying degrees of suitability, any one of which would be a 71492-2921

good park site; but I understand the provincial government, which has to provide the area free to the parks administration, finds itself in the position where it has to acquire considerable private property. We will not take over a park area if private property is held within its boundaries because we want complete control, which is necessary if we are to develop the area suitably for park purposes. I can assure my hon. friend that so far as the federal administration is concerned, we shall be prepared to go ahead when we secure the area; or rather I will put it in this way:

I am prepared to recommend to the government the commencement of development work on such a park site once the area is selected. At the same time I am bound to say that I recognize the difficulties which the provincial government have to overcome in getting an area. If they were starting de novo in an area where there was no settlement it would be a comparatively easy matter. That was the situation not only in connection with the Cape Breton Highlands park site in Nova Scotia, but very largely in Prince Edward Island.

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CON
LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

They surmounted the difficulties, but the difficulties were not nearly so great as I understand they are in New Brunswick. That is the position. I know the matter has been engaging the attention of the provincial government, and possibly by another year we shall be able to make a definite start.

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CON

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROOKS:

The minister did not answer one question I asked with reference to the survey that has been made by his department and as to whether there was any order of preference in the sites surveyed-first choice, second choice, third choice, et cetera. My opinion. I might state to the minister, is that the difficulty is not so much in obtaining the land as local jealousy in different parts of the province, and the provincial government does not seem to have the back-bone to go ahead and make a decision.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

If there are such difficulties I know nothing of them, but I do know enough of the situation to be quite certain of what I said a moment ago that there are difficulties in the way of securing the necessary area. I cannot recall at the moment the order of preference, and I am sorry I have not the information here. Various sites suggested have been examined by competent parks officials, men who have done that work in the other provinces. They furnish maps and complete detailed information regarding the different areas. I believe they did classify

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the areas in order of preference according to their judgment. I have not that information here tonight, but I can give it to my hon. friend if he desires to have it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MINES AND RESOURCES
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CON

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BROOKS:

I should be glad if the minister would supply me with the information.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

I should like to draw to the attention of the minister a matter affecting the employment conditions of some men who work in the Clear Lake national park in Manitoba. I have been asked to do so by a certain organization in Winnipeg. While these men are not employees of the government, they work as musicians for a man who has a dance-hall concession in the Clear Lake park. He is their employer, and there has been a dispute between the concessionnaire and the men he employs as musicians. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woods-worth) and I have had communications from the city of Winnipeg in reference to conditions of employment there. This man has a monopoly of the concessions there from the parks branch. While I am not personally familiar with the situation beyond what I have learned from communications received, I must say that there seems to be something in the complaint of the Winnipeg musicians' organization, which has taken this matter up on behalf of the musicians working at the dance hall in the park. From correspondence we have had with this organization, it appears that these musicians are employed seven days a week at a salary of fifteen dollars a week.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

If my hon. friend will permit me to say a word, I do not think it will be necessary for him to labour the point. The matter has been drawn to the attention of the department. This concession was secured several years ago. It was granted not by the present government but by the previous administration. There is an annual licence fee charged, and in the licence issued this year a provision was inserted that the licencee must pay the scale of wages approved by the province for that class of employees. I hope that will overcome the difficulty mentioned by my hon. friend.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

While I do not want to

labour the point at any length, I do not know whether the provincial government have set up any scale of pay for musicians. They may have schedules applying to other classes of work, but I doubt very much whether there is such a thing as an approved scale of pay by the province for musicians working in any part of Manitoba. But if an annual licence is granted by the department, there would

be a means of seeing that the men employed as musicians receive at least decent remuneration for the services they render. I draw the matter to the attention of the minister this evening, and if necessary I can take it up with the department later if the grievances are not properly adjusted.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MINES AND RESOURCES
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

We have been advised

that rates of pay will be established by the provincial department of labour covering the employees engaged in this particular dance hall. I do not think we can go beyond that. The question of what the operator of this hall shall pay to his employees is not, as my hon. friend knows, a question over which the federal government has control.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

I cannot allow that statement to go unchallenged. If that were to be accepted, it would be establishing a bad principle. At the present time the federal government in its own contracts always inserts some kind of a fair-wage clause. In this instance we are not exactly letting a contract but are giving a lease to some person who is using it for purposes of gain. I am sorry that I could not accept the statement of the minister, but no doubt we shall hear a little more about the matter at a later date, and we can see how it works out in the present year.

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I think it will be remedied.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

Has the minister received any recent request from the government of British Columbia to take over the Garibaldi area as a national park?

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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I understand that the

matter was brought to our attention some time ago-I am not in a position to say at the moment how long ago it was-by the British Columbia government.

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Item agreed to. Surveys and engineering branch. I.'i9. Engineering and construction service,


May 26, 1939