June 2, 1952

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Is the minister making any statement at all?

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 have already made a

general statement on the resolution, and I think a very complete statement on second reading of the bill. This bill has been sent to the committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, where it received careful study and consideration. It has come back to the committee of the whole with one amendment. I do not think I can add anything more.

Subsection 1 agreed to.

On subsection 2, paragraph 5-Publication of zoning regulations.

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

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Subsection 2 of the bill adds five subsections to section 4 of the Aeronautics Act. Some question has arisen concerning two of these new subsections. One, which is numbered 9 in this present bill, provided that an applicant for compensation for damage resulting from these airport zoning regulations must commence proceedings within one year from the time the zoning regulations were filed in the land registry or other appropriate office. When the bill was given consideration by the committee, that period was changed from one year to two years, which I think is a great improvement. We are not quarrelling with that particular subsection, now that that change has been made. But 55704-176

Aeronautics Act

we are still very much worried about the new subsection 8, which is the one providing for compensation for damage resulting from these airport zoning regulations. If hon. members will refer to the subsection in question they will find that it reads as follows:

Every person whose property is injuriously affected by the operation of a zoning regulation is entitled to recover from Her Majesty, as compensation, the amount, if any, by which the property was decreased in value by the enactment of the regulation, minus an amount equal to any increase in the value of the property that occurred after the claimant became the owner thereof and is attributable to the airport.

That means of course that a person who has suffered damage by reason of this zoning regulation having been passed can claim compensation for the decrease in value, but there has to be deducted from that compensation any increase in value of his or her property which occurred after he or she became owner of the property, and which is attributable to the airport. That would work out in this way. Suppose that damage caused by the zoning regulations amounts to $1,000. Then the owner of the property affected will not necessarily be entitled to get that sum of $1,000 from the crown, because the judge of the exchequer court, after determining that the damage is $1,000, would have to examine into other factors. First of all, he must decide whether the setting up of the airport in question increased the value of the property. Then he must decide whether the owner who is claiming the compensation got that property before or after the airport was built. If the property was acquired before the airport was built, and if there has been any increase in the value of his property by reason of the airport being built, then that amount of increase is deducted from the compensation. So that the owner of the property may very well find his thousand dollars wiped out completely by this string attached by the section with respect to the compensation. It should be pointed out that after this deduction has been made ini the damage payable because of the zoning regulations, then should the land itself be taken over by the government under the Exchequer Court Act, the same deduction can be made again. In other words, the increase in the value of the land by reason of the placing of the airport could be deducted from the amount a man would receive for his property. This would follow as a result of the provisions of section 50 of the Exchequer Court Act.

We believe this section is not properly worded. It is our feeling that, instead of deducting the amount by which the land was increased in value by reason of the airport, there should be deducted only such increase

Aeronautics Act

in value as is caused by the zoning regulations. Then an applicant who has proved that he has suffered damage would have deducted whatever increase in the value of the property resulted from the zoning regulations themselves, rather than mixing up the zoning regulations and the value of the property, as is done under the wording of the section as it now stands.

We suggest that the minister give further consideration to making a change accordingly in this subsection. The owner who is going to apply for compensation will have to go to the exchequer court, and that is an expensive procedure, as well as being cumbersome. I doubt whether many owners will be able even to get the compensation under this act to which they are entitled. It seems unfair that they should be handicapped by having the restriction contained in the last three lines of paragraph 8 in the bill, which reads-

-minus an amount equal to any increase in the value of the property that occurred after the claimant became the owner thereof and is attributable to the airport.

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

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

I should like to raise my voice at this time.

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

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

So that there may be orderly discussion, do I understand that paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 have passed? The hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra was discussing paragraph 8, and I would assume the hon. member for Peel is now about to discuss the same subject.

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

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Yes.

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

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Subsection 2 of the bill

includes paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

For that reason I have dealt with 8 and 9 because they are all in subsection 2.

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

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Then may we pass all of them with the exception of 8 and 9?

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

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Is it agreed that we shall consider subsection 2 of section 1, paragraph by paragraph?

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

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

That is satisfactory to me.

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

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Then, is subsection 2,

paragraph 5, agreed to?

Subsection 2, paragraph 5, agreed to.

Subsection 2, paragraphs 6 and 7, agreed to.

On subsection 2, paragraph 8-Compensation.

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

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

I should like to state my position concerning this paragraph. However, what I had intended to say has been covered by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra, and I have no desire to repeat what he has said.

I placed my views on record in the committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, but I think some further observations would be in order at this time. As the minister knows, in the bill which was to have come before the house on a previous occasion, the question of compensation had not been accepted by the government. Upon review, compensation was restored to the bill, with the result that the bill became more acceptable to many who had thought that the matter of compensation would raise difficulties in the minds of those who were adjoining owners of properties.

My thought concerning the paragraph at this time is that I fear that what has been done has been to give with one hand and to take away with the other. I am concerned because I feel this might mean that the compensation that was to become payable after adjudication by the exchequer court, by virtue of the express paragraph in the subsection, may amount to very little. Compensation is the chief feature of the bill as it relates to the adjoining owners of land. I am concerned particularly because all the rights and all the money values that could be awarded to an owner adjoining an airport may be subtracted as a result of the minus feature in the section.

I suggest that on this ground the bill is defective. In addition to that the question of ownership arises, because the section says that from whatever may be given by virtue of a decrease in value of land, due to these regulations, there may be subtracted an amount equal to any increase in the value of the property occurring after a claimant becomes its owner.

I pointed this out in committee, and I do so again at this time by way of emphasis to the minister, in the hope that at some future time a correction can be made. However, I should think that it is not at this time too late to make the change. It seems to me the provision in the paragraph does discriminate between the owner who held the property when the airport was first installed, and the new owner who has owned the property within recent months. Certainly they are not being treated in the same way in this paragraph, as I see it.

It seems to me that in the paragraph there is a vast difference between the way we treat the man who has held the land for a long time and the one who has acquired it only a short time ago. I do not wish to repeat in their entirety the observations I made in the standing committee, but I would point out to the minister that the wording

of the last two sentences in paragraph 8 is in my opinion faulty in that it indicates that such compensation shall be-

-minus an amount equal to any increase in the value ol the property that occurred after the claimant became the owner thereof and is attributable to the airport.

I had hoped the standing committee would see fit to support me. However, they did not see eye to eye with my view, with the result that I lost the battle. It is not -the first time I have lost a battle in the House of Commons, so I do not feel bad about it. I think it would have been better if we omitted the words, "is attributable directly to the airport." As the minister knows, in some of these instances the value of land has not been increased just because there happens to be an airport there. The increase may be attributable to the fact that there are large installations of industry and manufacturing at that particular point. I have in mind at the moment the Malton airport where the A. V. Roe Company have a large aircraft manufacturing centre. That fact has attributed to the increase in value of land about the airport much more, if I may say so, than has the airport itself.

I think that distinction should be drawn so that the "minus" provision would not be so broad as it might perhaps be interpreted to be. I think that would carry out the design which all of us in the committee I believe had in mind, that it should be considered as being directly attributable to the airport.

I want to raise only one other point which I raised before. I would have hoped that the minister would give what weight he considers advisable at least to suggestions that are made with the design of making the legislation better than it is.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Mr. Chairman, I should like to join with the previous speakers in objecting to the wording of this paragraph. I am quite sure the minister realizes the difficulty of drafting a paragraph that will satisfy the officials in the department and at the same time satisfy the members of the opposition. I think anyone reading this at first will certainly be puzzled when he comes to the word "minus". The phrase there is, "minus an amount equal to any increase in the value of the property". That would be minus an amount equal to any increase in value brought about by the creation of the airport.

It seems to me that there is no relation to the two things. We have airports now in existence and in the future we are going to have zoning regulations. As a result of those zoning regulations the theory is that damage may be done to property. If there were 55704-176i

Aeronautics Act

damage to property the owner would be entitled to compensation as a result of the zoning regulation.

But then the government says, "We are not finished, we must go back and see what if anything you got when the airport was constructed perhaps ten, fifteen or twenty years ago". It seems to me that that is mixing two things which should not be mixed up. For example, you might have two persons owning property, both being equally affected by the regulation. One man may have owned his property before the airport was built while the other man might be a recent purchaser. The first man would get compensation equal to the damage which his property had suffered as a result of the zoning regulation. But the other man would be asked when he had bought his property, and when he replied that he bought it since the airport had been built he would be told that his case was different, that he must take off part of the compensation he would get.

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

Joseph Warner Murphy

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Murphy:

It is the other way around.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

The government is saying that any improvement which has occurred after that owner took over must be taken off if the increase in value is attributable to the airport. Is it not reasonable to assume that there will be discrimination as between the two owners? It is a very subtle paragraph, I suggest. I think the paragraph would be greatly improved by dropping all the words after the word "regulation" in the fifth line. The paragraph would then read:

Every person whose property is injuriously affected- by the operation of a zoning regulation is entitled to recover from Her Majesty, as compensation, the amount, if any, by which the property was decreased in value by the enactment of the regulation.

That would be sensible. If you take anything off, then it seems to me you are taking away from the common sense of the regulation. Surely a man is entitled to any damage done to his property by government legislation. That seems to be only just and equitable. But if you go back and inquire into the value of the property ten, fifteen or twenty years ago, and if any improvement in value has resulted as a result of the utilization of adjoining property by the government in the meantime, then I think you are doing that man an injustice.

I do not think there is very much more that can be said on this question. I suggest to the minister that he will be much happier and we will be much happier about the paragraph if the last few lines are dropped.

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, I would feel much happier indeed if I could meet all

Aeronautics Act

the objections raised by my hon. friends on the other side, but I think their objections in so far as this clause is concerned are not well founded. I say that generally, and then I hope to be able to deal specifically with the objections they have raised.

I say that generally because, first, we have given careful consideration to the drafting of this section over a period of many months. Then I would remind my hon. friends on the other side that we are breaking new ground. To my knowledge compensation has never been paid in this country in connection with the zoning of airports or for that matter in connection with any other zoning restrictions.

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

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Zoning regulations of this kind.

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

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

Or of any other kind. No compensation is paid under municipal zoning regulations. When a municipal by-law is passed there is no provision for compensation because a man must build twenty feet from the street line or must erect a house having a value of $15,000 or $20,000. These restrictions are akin to the restrictions imposed by municipalities, and that is why I make the statement that this is a new field. I think we are entitled at least to a trial in order to see how it will work out.

Hon. members say that this is unfair because it gives with the one hand and takes away with the other. It does not provide any such thing, if you read the bill carefully, and I say this with all respect to those who have spoken. It has been suggested by an hon. member that if a person suffers damage to his property to the extent of $1,000, that $1,000 might be wiped out if the "minus" provision was applied. That is not a proper interpretation to put on the paragraph.

I would think that the proper interpretation to put on it is this. The moment we decide to zone an airport and pass a regulation we register a plan and the regulations which will indicate how the airport will be affected by the zoning that has been described in committee and here, that is, the horizontal zone limiting buildings to one hundred and fifty feet; the zone at the end of the flightway where buildings may go up one foot for every 50 feet out; and the zone on the side of the flightway where they can go up a foot for every 7 feet 'out.

Let me take the case quoted by the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra. Supposing these zoning regulations affect 30 acres of a farm of 100 acres; roughly speaking, a little less than one-third of the farm is

affected and the "minus" would apply only to that one-third and not to the two-thirds as suggested by my hon. friend. In other words, what the regulation will apply to is the plan with the description which will be deposited in the registry office, which in that particular case would be the one-third. The "minus" will apply to the same portion of the land as will the "plus". For that reason I think the section is properly worded.

It has been suggested that there will be discrimination between owners of adjacent properties, the one who may have bought his farm a long time ago and the one who may have bought it recently. I do not see that any distinction is being made at all. If an original owner disposed of his land one or two months ago he benefited by the increase in the value of the farm just as an original owner will benefit proportionately in the increased value of the farm if affected by these regulations. I cannot see any distinction between adjacent owners, one who bought the day before yesterday and the other who has held his property for years. The one who bought the day before yesterday paid the increased value attributable to the airport. Therefore the original owner will lose absolutely nothing, and so far as the new purchaser is concerned, why should he gain by it? He has just purchased the land at the time the regulations are put into effect so there is no discrimination against him.

The question has also been raised that the word "directly" should be added in line 14, clause 8, so as to define the word "attributable" more accurately. I indicated in the committee that I had no objection to adding the word "directly", but counsel for the Department of Transport indicated that the word would make no difference because the court would have to take cognizance of what was attributable. The committee decided against that amendment, and in the face of their decision I cannot come forward and suggest that the word "directly" should be inserted now. I do not think I should do that.

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

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Did you try

to persuade them to put it in?

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 did not hear that.

Topic:   AERONAUTICS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PROVIDE FOR ZONING OF AIRPORTS
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June 2, 1952