June 10, 1952

PRIVATE BILLS

BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION


The house resumed from Friday, June 6, consideration in committee of Bill No. 62, to incorporate Boundary Pipeline Corporation- Mr. Larson-Mr. Beaudoin in the chair. On section 1-Incorporation.


PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

Mr. Chairman, when the bill was last before the house I spoke for a few moments on it. I am very glad to be back here now and see you in the chair because it is an inspiration to me to have you there for the few remarks I am about to make. Sometimes you and I do not agree on the relevancy or irrelevancy of the subject being discussed, but that is only a small matter when all is said and done.

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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:

I hope we will agree on relevancy during this debate.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

I had dealt with the incorporation of the company and the incorporators. That is about as far as I had gone in my remarks last Friday. Since that time I have read some of the many speeches that have been made. I find that a great number of speeches have been made against the bill and very few in favour of it. However, I intend to look at the matter tonight from the point of view of whether gas should be exported from Canada for the benefit of another nation instead of keeping it at home. As I said, I had dealt partially with the matter of incorporation and the individuals concerned. The five men who have been instrumental in having the bill brought before the house are unknown to me. That does not matter. They must be known to quite a few of the western members. One of the things that surprised me was that no member from the west rose and spoke with respect to the incorporation of the company and the men who are behind it. However, the company may never be incorporated to export gas through the pipe line they plan to build.

In reading some of the speeches that have been made, also newspaper articles, I found that there seemed to be a doubt in the minds of some people with regard to the quantity of gas and oil to be found in the western provinces. Quite a number of people have said that it is only a flash in the pan. Twenty-five years ago I visited the northern part of that country and passed through the section which is today honeycombed with drills which are being used to search for oil and gas and are finding it in tremendous quantities. I started through that part of the

country a little over 25 years ago with the idea of visiting the northern section. I stopped one night at the Ranchmen's club in Calgary. The next day I was taken to see what I thought was the burning bush. I did not realize what it was. Finally I was told it was caused by gas forced up from the earth under tremendous pressure. It was rising into the air to a height of ten feet or more and then bursting into flames. When I saw it that night it was illuminating the heavens for miles. I thought at that time if it could have been harnessed and pipe-lined-of course I had never heard of a pipe line then for gas or oil-there was certainly enough pressure behind the gas to blow it through any pipe line clear down to the maritimes. I am not an engineer, but the quantities of oil and gas in the western provinces are one of the great resources of Canada. The eyes of the world are focused on the western provinces of Canada because of their gas and oil.

It is really wonderful, but when I saw the gas being wasted there I never conceived that anything would come out of it. However, capable engineers and men who knew their business turned the gas back down into mother nature's bosom, and there are countless cubic feet of it there ready to be made use of by those who want to speculate in the procuring of gas as well as oil.

By way of a little diversion, I might say that I extended my trip farther north. When I got into the north I commenced to realize what wonderful natural resources were there. I had seen this sprinkling of gas and oil, but when we got into the north I saw great farmlands. Further north one could see the waterfalls scattered all over the country which would be little Niagaras once they were harnessed. With the west now opening up due to the oil and gas developments, the day is not far distant when these waterfalls will be harnessed.

This Bill No. 62 is presented for the purpose of piping this natural product down as far as Winnipeg, then south into the United States. If we had a surplus of gas, as I said the other night, that would be all right. We have to look after ourselves and take a leaf out of the book of success of the United States; namely, Canada first for the products we need. Let us consider the provinces of Ontario and Quebec for a moment. At the present time Ontario is crying for more power, notwithstanding the considerable amount of power already developed in that province. Look at Ontario from a manufacturing point of view, and you will see what has been done with the power. Ontario may be -small in population, but it is growing; and why? It is because of this power;

and if Ontario can get more power there is no limit to what her manufacturing industries can do, not only for Ontario itself but for the rest of Canada as well.

A few years ago the population of my province used to start off for the New England states in order to look for employment. Where are those people going today? The majority of them are going to Quebec and Ontario, simply because of the industrial development of those provinces. Thousands of people are finding employment there. If cheap power is obtained, more factories will be built. If Ontario cannot get this cheap power some other form of power might be obtained; but I for one would favour subsidizing the producers in order to make the power available at a lower price as long as it would be used for manufacturing. If there is manufacturing in a province, it develops the whole province. It does more for the farmer than anything else, because the labourer must be fed and well fed. It is good for the lumberman also because more houses must be built. Manufacturing carries with it, in a province like Ontario, something that will develop not only that province but the whole of Canada.

There is not much more I desire to say about this measure. I should like to mention one thing; that is, if Canada has these great natural resources, as we know she has, let us endeavour to develop them in the interests of our own people and our own country. That is the most important thought in connection with the bill that is before us. I am going to vote against this bill, because if gas is required in one or two of our provinces those are the people who should have it. I am very anxious also to find out how many of these men who are in favour of this bill will produce arguments to show why the gas that is being produced should be sold to some other country when it can be used more profitably in Canada. The building of this pipe line will provide employment, as will its maintenance. As I said earlier, let us look to Canada first; and I hope the men who will be speaking now, especially those on the other side of the house, will give their reasons for being in favour of it. Some of them seem very anxious to have this bill passed.

Up until this evening there have been some wonderful speeches on this bill, and wonderful arguments used. I am .glad, Mr. Chairman, to say right now that I shall vote against this measure if it comes to a vote. Let us keep the gas at home, and let us think in terms of the slogan we should have: Canada first and Canada for Canadians, as well as all those we can bring in as long as we can provide employment for them.

Boundary Pipeline Corporation

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

Mr. Chairman, I hope if I diverge a little bit from the pipe line that I shall stick to the gas. I am speaking against this bill tonight because I feel that it does not give Ontario any chance to get gas from this particular line. As I understand it this bill is being sponsored by the Fish Engineering Corporation, and the company only proposes to build a 16-inch pipe line. It would start in Alberta, go through Saskatchewan and Manitoba to Winnipeg, then south to the United States, That is not going to do Ontario or Quebec any good. I feel that we should have a line that will come to Ontario and serve this province as well as Quebec.

From what 1 have learned in the committee this company has no intention of building a line from Alberta through Saskatchewan and Manitoba unless it goes to the United States. A question was asked in the committee as to whether it was the intention of the company to build a pipe line in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the answer was that it was not the intention to do so. If they are not going to build this pipe line past Winnipeg I do not see any reason why we should vote for it.

Some years ago when I entered the township council my sole purpose was to see that everything possible was done for my own township. Then in later years I became reeve of the township and went to the county council. I then had to raise my sights and do all the things necessary to support all the municipalities that went to make up the county to which I belonged. From there I came to the House of Commons, and again I had to raise my sights and look to the Dominion of Canada. I try to see things as others would see them from other parts of Canada. I do not see any good this pipe line will do us if it goes to the United States. I love our United States friends, but I love my own people better than I do the people of that country. I do not see any reason why we should pipe our gas over to the United States until we have been served. We have no reason to believe that gas from Texas will come into Ontario in any guaranteed quantity; and if we are going to get gas at all, we must have a guaranteed quantity before it will do us any good.

That is the reason I intend not to support this bill. Canadians should support their own product. We do not want to be subjected to foreign authority. If we have control of our own product we can have that product when we want it and in whatever quantity we need it. But if we are obliged to depend on a foreign authority we get it only when they want us to have

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Boundary Pipeline Corporation it. For that reason I think we should support a pipe line that will come through the western provinces and on down through Ontario into Quebec, and will serve Canadians. We want Canada served first.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoii:

The hon. member is talking through his hat.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

My friend says that I am talking through my hat. I have not my hat on, so that statement is not correct. He always makes statements like that when he does not know what he is talking about. As a matter of fact I do not think the hon. gentleman knows how much he has to know in order to know how little he knows.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoti:

Just a minute. I should like to ask one question. Since the hon. member seems to know so much about this pipe line, I should like to ask how many million feet of gas it is proposed to pipe in this line. Can the hon. gentleman give me an answer to that question? Oh, do not ask for any assistance.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

I would say just about as many as the hairs on the hon. gentleman's head. If we could count the hairs on his head, we could pretty nearly tell how many.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnott:

That is about all the hon. member knows about the bill.

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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:

Order.

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoit:

The hon. member had better cut out the personalities.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

As I said before-

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LIB

John Sylvester Aloysius Sinnott

Liberal

Mr. Sinnoti:

What has the hair on my head to do with the bill?

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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:

Order.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cardiff:

-we are not guaranteed any quantity of gas from Texas, and this is the only other hope we have of getting gas in Ontario. If we were assured of getting all the gas we wanted from there perhaps it would change our ideas. For the life of me I cannot see why Alberta would want to export gas before Canada was served first. I am one of those who believe in developing our own country and in using our own products as much as we can. By using the gas from Alberta we certainly will help our own people much more than we would by importing gas from the United States. We know that if, with regard to gas we do not get any more support from the United States than we have had with regard to the seaway, we are not too well assured that we shall get any gas at all other than as they want to give it to us. For that reason I intend to vote against the bill. I will, however, support a pipe line that will come right down through Ontario and serve Canadians in this

end of the dominion, rather than one that will come part way down, then turn off to the south to serve our United States friends.

(Translation):

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PC

Léon Balcer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

Mr. Chairman, the bill now

before the committee deals with the exportation of natural gas and oil products from the province of Alberta.

This is one of our most important natural resources. Well, everybody is aware of the usefulness of natural gas, first as a fuel and also as a raw material which can be put to a thousand different uses in industry. Every province in Canada, from Newfoundland to the Yukon, has need of it and wants it, and in none of them it is to be found in sufficient quantities, except in Alberta.

This natural gas, which can be used both for cooking and heating, is indeed an extremely useful product, as I had the opportunity to see for myself during a visit to Calgary. I was then able to make a comparison between prices paid in the province of Quebec and Eastern Canada for fuel like coal or electricity, with prices paid for natural gas, and I noticed a great difference in the cost of cooking meals and heating houses.

We are all happy to see that Alberta abounds in such an important natural resource. We are proud to find that one of our provinces is blessed with such wealth, to such an extent, in fact, that a short time ago the prime minister of that province went so far as to predict that within ten years the people of Alberta would not have to pay any more taxes and that the provincial debt would be wiped out. To my mind this defies imagination. At any rate, very few people could foresee this state of affairs ten or fifteen years ago.

I hope to see Alberta reach this degree of prosperity. I am happy to see that today they are in a position to share with the people of other provinces these magnificent and superabundant natural resources.

We see that this province is ready to export natural gas and even oil in substantial quantities. As a matter of fact, as experts discover new fields the government of that province are willing to authorize the establishment of pipe lines which will make it possible for other parts of this country to benefit from them. That was evidenced quite recently when the Alberta government authorized a company to export large quantities of gas from the Peace river valley to southern British Columbia. We have seen what reaction this has brought about, since Alberta's neighbouring province considers this product very important. This we have been able to

ascertain by the speeches of the various members from that province and by the very exhaustive survey of the matter made by certain members, including the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra (Mr. Green) who has always fought to preserve for the Canadian people natural resources which belong to them and from which they are entitled to benefit before the peoples of other countries and especially of the United States.

The bill now under consideration specifies that exports of natural gas must go first of all to the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. I am convinced that the members of this house will be delighted to know it is now possible to supply this fuel with such great industrial potentialities to provinces which really need it. As a matter of fact, everyone will recall the various representations made in this house by members from Saskatchewan, for instance, when they urged the government to exert pressure upon Canadian industrialists to make them build factories and develop a practically nonexistent industry. We have all, on several occasions, seen members from the prairie provinces exert pressure upon the Minister of Defence Production (Mr. Howe), asking him to do everything in his power to decentralize our industries, so that the prairie provinces should not be dependent upon a single crop, the wheat crop, a very important one, but one which nevertheless cannot make for a stable economy in the western provinces.

However, the unfortunate thing about the bill now under consideration is that, once the proposed pipe line will have crossed into Saskatchewan and Manitoba, nothing indicates that it will continue towards the other provinces of this country, thus enabling other segments of the Canadian people to benefit thereby. On the contrary, we see that, in the English version of the bill, it is the intention of the promoters to lay their pipe line in Saskatchewan or Manitoba or outside of Canada.

As you may have judged by the remarks of those who spoke before me, therein lies the basis of this whole discussion, for it is evident, from the study that has been made of the natural gas situation in that province and the different speeches we have heard in this house on the subject, that, in the national interest, only one pipe line can be built from Alberta to eastern Canada.

Boundary Pipeline Corporation

It would be unfortunate if this house were to encourage a company to use its powers to build a pipe line which, after crossing the city of Winnipeg, would immediately turn towards the southern United States, where it would supply American centres which may need that gas, for there is no doubt that cities like Chicago and Cleveland, for instance, have a pressing need for gas, as have also the other great industrial centres of the world. But it would be unfortunate it we were to supply those large cities with gas at the expense of our own large cities and our own industrial centres.

Besides, if no pipe line is built from Alberta towards the east, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario will have to depend on the United States for supplies of that product. The hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra was quite right in pointing out that those provinces will have to overcome all kinds of technical difficulties and will have to go begging from various governmental commissions in the United States, who will grant them very small quantities of natural gas, but only after the remaining large American cities have been taken care of.

The provinces of Quebec and Ontario, it is said, could very well get their supply of natural gas from companies in Texas and from other large natural gas centres in the United States. But they forget that cities like Philadelphia, for example, which is situated practically half-way between Texas and Canada, if not even farther south, are not yet properly taken care of and bring pressure to bear on the government or on any governmental agency concerned with the distribution of that product, so that they may be looked after before .anyone else.

And so it is rather fanciful to rely on the utopian proposal according to which our central provinces, Quebec and Ontario, should get their supply of natural gas from our American neighbours.

Anyhow the situation has been weighed very aptly by the governments of the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. They have both stated clearly their respective policies in the matter. May I be allowed to quote in that connection an article which appeared in the Star on March 29 of this year:

Quebec was in favour of importing natural gas from Alberta rather than from Texas, he said, to support Canadian industry. He said representatives of United States and Canadian pipe line construction firms had been in touch with him about the possibilities of exporting natural gas.

Boundary Pipeline Corporation

The premier said nothing had yet been decided as to whether pipe lines would be built or not into Quebec province. But he said, if natural gas is to be imported it will not be United States gas.

The premier said Quebec preferred to import the gas from Alberta because it was preferable to support a Canadian industry, not subject "to a foreign authority."

So much for the policy of the Quebec government, which, I think, is to be congratulated. This also applies to the province of Ontario, as can be seen from the statement made by the minister of mines of our sister province, who said, according to the Vancouver Province, of January 22 of this year:

Hon. W. S. Gemmell, Ontario Minister of Mines, said at a press conference that "our policy is going to be to encourage a trans-Canada pipe line both as a source of fuel for Ontario and Quebec and as a national defence safeguard."

"We see no other answer than an all-Canadian pipe line."

Mr. Gemmell made it clear the Ontario government backed the principle of the pipe line but no individual company, although the Trans-Canada Pipe Line Company has made the only application to the board of transport commissioners to build the line east.

Mr. Gemmell said Ontario backed a trans-Canada pipe line because of uncertainty of supply under the proposal to bring United States gas into Ontario. Such supplies would be subject to export permit rules of the United States federal power commission.

Besides, the views expressed by the prime minister of the province of Quebec and the minister of mines of the province of Ontario, both speaking on behalf of their respective governments, were reproduced in every newspaper in these two provinces and received favourable editorial comment in most of the leading papers of these provinces.

It would be most regrettable if the Canadian government, in its desire to hurry matters, took a step which would be actually detrimental to Ontario and Quebec, because this bill, if it were adopted, would place those two provinces at the mercy of the United States. Even if the American gas production were intensified, the United States require such large quantities that we need not hope that the American companies will ever let us have more than a very small share. By passing this bill, we would act against the best interests of Ontario and Quebec.

I am surprised to see that the only member from my province who took part in this debate is the member for Chicoutimi (Mr. Gagnon); he stood up for the industries of Quebec and endeavoured to prevent the government from making a blunder. If today Alberta's natural gas does seem to be rather

out of reach, it must nevertheless not be forgotten that in a not too distant future we would have cause for bitter regret. If Ontario and Quebec, but especially the latter, possess water power which might have appeared well-nigh inexhaustible at the turn of the century, we now have harnessed more than half of these resources because of the industrial expansion of the last few years and of the constant demands made upon our supplies of white coal. Already, in their wisdom, our leaders have looked to a new fuel which the industries of the province of Quebec may well put to such wonderful use.

Last year I took part in a pipe line discussion. I did so because I wanted to follow a Canada first policy, a policy which has always been that of this party. And, Mr. Chairman, I would very much like this house never to lose sight of this Canada first motto.

Before exporting our natural resources, before allowing companies or gentlemen of fortune to waste, export or use up our natural resources to the detriment of the Canadian people, I believe it to be the duty of every member of this parliament to ensure that these natural resources, whatever they are, and especially a natural resource as interesting and as potentially rich in industrial uses as natural gas, shall always be developed to the advantage of Canada.

We may possibly be able to export our natural resources but before doing so, we must see to it that we ourselves have been generously served. We must see to it that we export nothing but our surpluses.

Before I conclude this speech, I wish to thank the hon. members from the other provinces and especially the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra who have come to the defence of the Quebec consumers. They did not hesitate to stand up and protest strongly against the adoption of this bill while bringing forth indisputable arguments to the greatest advantage of the population of my province.

I feel that the hon. members from other provinces are to be commended for coming to the rescue of the population of Quebec, in order to protect its industrial future and ensure that all the great natural resources which our country possesses in abundance will always be developed in the best interest of the people generally; we must always think about Canadians first.

For these reasons I shall consider it my duty to vote against the adoption of this bill. I was glad to lend assistance tonight to the other hon. members who have stood up and protested, and I hope that the remarks made by the speakers who opposed this bill will bear fruit and that we will not witness such a colossal blunder in this house.

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LIB

André Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Porineuf):

May I ask the

hon. member a question?

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June 10, 1952