May 7, 1952

AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS

LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport) moved

that the house go into committee to consider the following resolution:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Aeronautics Act to provide that the governor in council may make regulations for the zoning of airports and also to provide for the payment of compensation in respect of any property injuriously affected by the application of the said regulations.

He said: There are two parts to this resolution, Mr. Speaker, which is concerned with a measure to amend the Aeronautics Act. The first part relates to the making of regulations to provide for the zoning of airports. The second part deals with the payment of compensation in respect of any property injuriously affected by the application of the proposed regulations.

Dealing with the first part of the resolution, it must be apparent to all that airport approaches should be protected. At the present time there are no regulations restricting the use of lands in the vicinity of airports or limiting the height of buildings or other structures which are hazards to the landing or taking off of aircraft. During the last war the airport zoning regulations, 1939, were made under the War Measures Act. These regulations applied to military airports and definitely restricted the height of structures and use of land adjacent to these airports. These wartime regulations afforded necessary protection to aircraft using the airports but are no longer in force. The only means of zoning airports at the present time is given by the Expropriation Act which authorizes the taking of land or any interest therein for public purposes. This method is not considered adequate to meet present-day requirements of airports.

By airport zoning is meant the division of certain land adjacent to or surrounding an airport into definite areas in which the height of buildings or other structures, and objects of natural growth, is limited and the use of the land is restricted according to definite plans so that the airport approaches are protected from dangerous obstructions. The need for protection of both the aircraft and the

public from dangerous obstructions in the vicinity of airports is obvious. The building of houses and other structures on locations from which later on they may have to be removed should be discouraged.

In most instances, airports have been located in sparsely settled surroundings, but the growing importance of air travel and the expansion of cities have caused a movement to locate various buildings adjacent to airports in recent years. If the height of these new structures is reasonably regulated so as to prevent them from interfering with the use of the approaches to the airport, the public interest in the airport will be protected, and the owners of property adjacent to the airport can make the best use of their land by adapting it to purposes which conform to this public interest. The recent casualties in populated areas where aircraft have landed out of control causing loss of life and extensive damage indicate that great care should be taken not only in the location of suitable airport sites but also in regulating the erection of buildings in the vicinity of an airport.

Turning now to the second part of the resolution which is complementary to the first, it is intended to make provision for the payment of compensation to persons whose property is injuriously affected by the application of the zoning restrictions. The introduction of airport zoning will permit the orderly development of land in the vicinity of an airport without danger to air navigation. Generally, this will be beneficial to property owners in the area but it is recognized that in some cases hardships may occur to property owners who have acquired land or have planned developments on property immediately adjacent to airports for purposes which no longer would be feasible under the restrictions imposed by zoning regulations. It is intended to take care of these cases by providing for compensation. This will apply

in regard to future structures which are dangerous to aircraft. The removal of obstructions now on the land will be dealt with under the normal procedures of expropriation for which compensation is provided under the Expropriation Act. It is not

the intention of the measure which I propose to introduce to have a retroactive application but to prevent the creation of future hazards. The zoning regulations, therefore, would be merely preventive as regards future action.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, we have two suggestions to make with regard to this measure. The first is that the bill, when it has been introduced, should be allowed to stand on the order paper for a reasonable length of time in order that

the municipalities concerned may study it and may be in a position to make representations. This measure will affect a great many municipalities and we think it will affect quite a large number of people. We would urge that time be given for the terms to be studied by people across the country who are interested. We also think that, when the bill gets second reading, it should be referred to the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines for careful study.

I presume that the bill will be somewhat similar to Bill No. 197 which was given first reading in this house on April 12 of last year. That bill of course dealt only with the zoning. There was no provision for the payment of compensation. I would ask the minister to explain, when the house goes into committee on the resolution, the type of airports which will be covered. Will the measure apply only to those airports where there is instrument landing or will it cover all of the airports in the country, large and small? It should also be possible for the minister to give us the approximate number of airports which will toe affected.

What consideration has been given to the legislative jurisdiction of the dominion? Here we have a measure which will interfere with property and civil rights. A man may own property adjacent to an airport. He may have bought that property for the purpose of erecting a factory or some other type of building, and is suddenly met with these regulations which prevent him from carrying out his intention. In a measure of this type there would seem to be a conflict with the jurisdiction of the provinces. We should like to know what consideration has been given to that particular side of the matter.

We would also ask the minister to explain in more detail how he proposes to compensate these owners. As he has mentioned, the present system has been to expropriate the land that is required. That procedure raises many difficulties. The owners usually think they are not getting the right amount for their property. I expect there will be even greater difficulty in working out a system of compensation for damage arising as a result of these zoning regulations.

Many of these airports are owned by the municipalities. Will the compensation be paid by the government in full, or will there be some responsibility on the municipalities to contribute to that compensation?

These are some of the questions which come to mind in connection with the resolution. When the house goes into committee I hope the minister will give answers to those various questions.

Aeronautics Act

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Charles-Arthur Dumoulin Cannon

Liberal

Mr. Charles Cannon (Iles-de-la-Madeleine):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the minister for bringing in this resolution at this time. I think it would be an excellent thing to standardize the regulations concerning airports in place of leaving them to the various municipalities, as has been the practice so far.

I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to make a suggestion. In the Aeronautics Act, as it is now, there, are provisions that enable the department to make certain grants to help in the construction of airports in certain municipalities which cannot afford to build them themselves. These provisions of the law do not provide for help being granted in the acquisition of land on which to build an airport, but only for a grant to help in the transformation of the land into an airport afterwards.

In my county a situation has arisen lately where one municipality had a great deal of difficulty in raising enough money to buy the land. I think the department would have been disposed to help, but unfortunately the act did not give it the necessary power to do so. I should like to suggest to the minister that he might consider amending the act to include these powers to help not only in the construction of the airport itself but also in the acquisition of the land.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I believe that all of us in Canada are justly proud of the wonderful safety record that has been established by our various Canadian air lines. Other hon. members are probably in the same position that I am in when I say that I have almost been able to persuade the members of my own family that it is now safer to fly in this country than it is to travel by any other means. Because this bill seems to have as its purpose the desire to take measures to assure that that safety record will be maintained and even improved, it certainly meets with our approval. There are a number of questions that occur to one, but most of them can be asked when we get into committee.

From what the minister says, I take it that one of the reasons which have prompted the government to bring in the bill at this time is concern for safety aroused by some of the tragic accidents that have occurred in the United States, particularly where planes have been taking off or landing at airports in thickly populated centres. That being the case, it seems to be highly desirable that favourable consideration should be given to this measure. When we get into committee I shall be interested in learning from the

Aeronautics Act

minister whether, since the War Measures Act became inoperative and the zoning regulations under that act therefore lapsed, there have been any cases where structures have been built which would have contravened those regulations. If so, I would be interested in knowing whether the regulations to be made under this act will be retroactive to the extent that any structures that have been built since the suspension of the War Measures Act will have to be removed or altered in conformity with this bill.

I think, too, we are interested in the other side of the picture. Perhaps today the minister might deal with this phase of the matter. For example, are there any provisions in the bill that impose restrictions upon air traffic, as well? From time to time complaints are made by people in some areas as to the route that planes follow. Some folks who try to sleep at night feel that the night planes always come in just over their homes.

I realize the problem involved here. For example, in my own city of Winnipeg we are proud of the fact that our airport is so accessible to the downtown area. We know of course that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot have the airport close to town and not have the aircraft fly overhead. However I have received a number of complaints from patients in Deer Lodge hospital, wondering if something could not be done to reduce to some extent the disturbance the patients in that hospital feel they are called upon to endure.

All told, the bill would seem to be a commendable one. I am sure the minister will see the reasonableness of the suggestion of the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra (Mr. Green) that the bill stay on the order paper for a while, so that those who are interested may have time to look into it. But we are glad to give the measure our support.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Beaudoin in the chair.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Mr. Chairman, perhaps I should answer at this time some of the questions put to me.

The hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra made two suggestions, the first of which was that the measure should be allowed to stand over. I would have no objection to that, but I would remind him and the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, who also made the suggestion, that the bill stood over for more than a year. Bill 197-

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

That was only part of the present bill.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Bill 197 stood over because it broke new ground. In other words, it provided for the zoning of airports in a certain area. Because it was stood over we received a large number of representations from municipalities. And from those representations-and they came not only from municipalities, but from other interested persons- evolved this bill. However, I would repeat that I am not making any commitments that that will be the case. Personally, however, I would have no serious objection to it.

The next question was, to what type of airports will this apply? It is difficult to give the number of airports to which these restrictions would apply, but it is not difficult to say the kind to which they would apply. As I see it, all the transcontinental airports would be subject to them, as well as many of the airports that lie on the north-south routes which are considered as major airports.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

What does the minister mean by the north-south routes?

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I mean the routes which go from north to south. For instance, Goose and Gander lie to the north of Halifax and Sydney-likewise on the west coast, and likewise in certain parts of central Canada. Then, unquestionably, there are military airports, perhaps a large number of them, to which regulations of this kind would apply. Offhand I can think of some 20 or 25 to which unquestionably the restrictions would apply.

I think consideration would have to be given to the closeness of a field to an urban area, and there would be other considerations as well.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Each airport would be considered on its own merits?

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

That is right. Special consideration will be given to each airport. For instance, in the compilation of these restrictions special studies were made of the conditions at Dorval and Malton.

In order to answer some of the other questions raised it would be necessary to give the restrictions. I hesitate to give them at this time. They will be given and explained during consideration of the bill. Generally speaking, however, they can be divided into three classes: Restrictions which would apply horizontally from the centre of an airport to about 13,000 feet outside the centre; restrictions which would apply to the approaches on a sloping plane; and restrictions which would also apply to the sides of the approaches.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

They are restrictions as to height?

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Yes. This would of course be much more stringent in respect of a plane which would go up and down than in respect of a horizontal plane.

I could go into more detail, but I do not think I should at this stage. A question was asked by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre concerning retroactivity. I do not think anyone will be affected in so far as retroactivity is concerned-certainly not at the two airports to which we have given consideration. I know that in the first group of restrictions no buildings will have to be taken down, nor will any buildings contravene the restrictions as we intend to put them into effect. Buildings however may contravene the other two groups to which I have made reference, and I think it will be adequately covered by the terms of the bill. I was asked what consideration was given to the jurisdiction of the federal government. I believe the jurisdiction of the federal government has been pretty clearly established by two cases-first, in re the aeronautics case, which was a decision of the privy council, and which established the jurisdiction of the federal government in respect of aerial navigation under section 132 of the British North America Act.

Then, again, that jurisdiction was more than amply confirmed under the peace-order-and-good-government clause of the British North America Act in the Johanesson case. This case came from the Winnipeg courts, and went I believe to the appellate division of the Manitoba courts, and finally to the Supreme Court of Canada. I believe it is a unanimous decision, and indicates clearly that, with reference to this question, we have jurisdiction.

In the case of Johanesson et al. v. Rural Municipality of West St. Paul et al.-this case is reported at (1951) D L.R., volume 4, page 609-the headnote states:

Aeronautics or aerial navigation is a matter falling within the exclusive legislative authority of the dominion parliament to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Canada and it includes within its scope the power to license, regulate and locate aerodromes. Consequently, provincial authorizing legislation, and a municipal by-law passed thereunder, dealing with licensing and prohibiting of aerodromes are ultra vires. Moreover, the field has been occupied by the Aeronautics Act, R.S.C. 1927, c. 3.

How do we propose to compensate those injuriously affected by these regulations? If we proceed under the Exchequer Court Act, as we intend to, the compensation rules are clearly set out. I do not think I am required to deal with that at this stage.

The hon. member for Iles-de-la-Madeleine raised a point which I know is vital to him and to others in that area or in other areas 55704-125J

Aeronautics Act

where the population is more isolated and segregated than in the central parts of Canada. I am not in position to say what the decision would be under legislation of this character. I can tell him that his and similar cases will be considered on their merits.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

Can the minister say whether this would apply to structures built since the regulations under the War Measures Act were suspended and which would have been contrary to those regulations had they still been in effect?

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I thought I answered that a moment ago in the negative. I speak from memory, but I do not think that structures built since the zoning regulations under the War Measures Act lapsed would be affected. I am referring only to Malton and Dorval where I do not think any building will contravene the regulations in the first group. The regulations under the second and third groups are far more stringent and I am not prepared to deal with them now.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

May I ask for a little more detail regarding the type of airport concerned. The minister has referred to transcontinental airports and airports on the north and south routes. But there are also feeder services coming into those transcontinental airports. Would an airport served only by a non-scheduled service be included?

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

This will apply to construction whether the airport is used by non-scheduled or scheduled lines. It will depend upon the proximity of the airport to an urban centre. Dealing more specifically with the first part of my hon. friend's question, I could give the names of the airports that would be affected.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

That would give us some indication.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Dorval, Malton, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Quebec, Goose, Gander, Moncton, Sydney.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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May 7, 1952