June 10, 1952

PC
LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):

Is the bill on which the hon. member spoke so eloquently a government bill or a private bill?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION
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PC

Léon Balcer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Balcer:

The energy with which members on the government side tried to crush any criticism of the bill in the committee has shown that if this bill is not a government measure it has at least a lot of supporters amongst them.

Besides, the silence maintained by the Quebec and Ontario members on the government side in connection with a bill which would deprive their respective province of the use of so valuable a product indicates that if the bill is not a government bill its supporters make it practically a bill of their own.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION
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LIB

Pierre Gauthier

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier (Portneuf):

Just as the hon. member has made it exclusively a provincial measure by praising his leader, Mr. Duplessis. (Text):

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION
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PC

George Harris Hees

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hees:

Mr. Chairman, the question we have to decide on this bill is whether it is preferable to have a small gauge pipe line delivering gas to southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which would be the case if the Boundary Pipeline bill went through, or whether it would be preferable to have a large gauge pipe line such as Western or Trans-Canada delivering gas to the people in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as the people in eastern Canada, all at a far lower price than would be possible through the small gauge pipe line which Boundary would lay down. The reason the two large gauge pipe lines could deliver gas more cheaply in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba is the greatly increased volume of gas which they could carry. In the case of Western Pipe Lines, gas would be delivered to the northwestern United States in exchange for an equal volume of gas to be delivered from the southern United States to eastern Canada. In the case of Trans-Canada Pipe

Boundary Pipeline Corporation Lines the gas would be delivered direct to eastern Canada over an all-Canadian route. It is obvious that the greater volume of gas carried by a pipe line, the cheaper will be the gas which will be taken from it at the intermediate points.

At the present time sound economics in the operation of a major pipe line running eastward from Alberta requires the inclusion of the markets of southern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba, in addition to the much larger markets of the provinces beyond the prairies. If the prairies market is captured by a company like Boundary operating on a relatively small scale it will rule out for some years to come an economically sound large-scale pipe line to deliver gas to eastern Canada, either by a direct route from Alberta to eastern Canada running through Canada all the way, or by the use of the exchange principle I have outlined.

Another objection to the Boundary project is that it would provide only a limited market for Alberta's gas resources and would thereby impede the development of Alberta's gas and petrochemical industries. For these reasons I believe the Boundary project is neither the best means of getting cheap gas to Saskatchewan, Manitoba and eastern Canada nor of assisting in the development of the Alberta gas industry. Therefore I intend to oppose the bill.

We must ask ourselves: What is the best means of developing Alberta's gas and petrochemical industries and of getting the cheapest possible gas to southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba and southern Canada? Gas from the southern United States delivered to eastern Canada under the exchange principle would be considerably cheaper than Alberta gas delivered by a trans-Canada route to eastern Canada. The reason is the long haul from Alberta to eastern Canada and the fact that there are few take-off points available over this route. For that reason I believe the government should approach the government of the United States as soon as possible to see if a long-term gas exchange agreement cannot be worked out.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION
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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 think the hon. member is going outside the scope of the bill. I do not think we ought to be concerned over what is the best and cheapest route to bring gas from Alberta to eastern Canada. That is a matter for the company asking for incorporation. This is a private bill and I do not think the hon. member should suggest that the government should enter into an agreement with the government of the United States.

Boundary Waters Treaty Act

All that we should be considering at the moment is the bill before the committee. May I take advantage of this opportunity to say that a general discussion has taken place on the first section of this bill during the last twelve hours during which private bills could be considered. We have spent almost eight hours in a general discussion of that section. I think it will be admitted that so far hon. members who have taken part in this general discussion have been allowed ample latitude, and I think from now on the rules should be observed. I am sure hon. members will want to co-operate in observing the rules and will speak directly to the bill.

Section stands.

Progress reported.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The hour for private and public bills having expired, the house will resume the business which was interrupted at six o'clock.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   BOUNDARY PIPELINE CORPORATION
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BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT

AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.


The house resumed consideration in committee of the following resolution-Mr. Pearson-Mr. Beaudoin in the chair: That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the International Boundary Waters Treaty Act to increase the maximum salaries of the members of the Canadian section of the international joint commission; to bring the secretary and all other employees under the provisions of the Civil Service Act; and to provide that all expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the act and the treaty shall be paid out of moneys appropriated by parliament for the purpose.


PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Unfortunately I was out of the chamber during the first part of the minister's explanation of this resolution and there are one or two points about which I should like to inquire. Perhaps the minister will not mind answering them, because I have not had an opportunity of reading today's Hansard. As I understand it, it is proposed to raise the maximum salaries to be paid the commissioners to $15,000.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

The bill will establish a maximum of $15,000 for the chairman and $10,000 for the other members of the Canadian section. Salaries would be established within those maximums by order in council. It does not necessarily mean that the salaries will be set automatically at $15,000 for the chairman and $10,000 for the other members.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

Is it the intention of the government to proceed on that basis and pay the chairman $15,000 and the other members $10,000 each?

[The Chairman.]

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

It is the intention of the government to recommend that the chairman be paid a salary of $15,000 and the members $10,000 each. It is for the present membership of the commission that it will be recommended that these salary scales should be established. With respect to the chairman of the commission, he is of course entitled to receive a substantial pension from the government now so that the additional amount from the public treasury will be the difference between the pension to which he is entitled and the $15,000, if that amount is adopted.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

I take it then that in the case of the chief commissioner the total amount he will receive will be $15,000. I never feel very happy raising questions about people's salaries. I do not suppose anybody in the house is anxious to do that, because there are always personalities involved. I think the committee will understand that so far as I am concerned that is the most remote thing in my -mind with respect to the principle involved in the legislation. With reference to the work of the international joint commission, up to the present time of course it has not been often involved in what one might term major undertakings. In the details of the estimates respecting the international joint commission, which were considered: by the standing committee on

external affairs, one finds that their work is fairly well confined in the present fiscal year to studies and surveys of the midwestern watershed, an investigation into the matter of air pollution in the vicinity of Detroit and Windsor, the Niagara Falls reference and the Saint John river reference.

Some of these projects of course have been under way for quite a long time. I have no doubt that in their own sphere they are very important matters. However, with respect to the composition of the commission one notes that there are three commissioners, one secretary, one engineer, an administrative assistant, one clerk grade 4, two stenographers grade 2B and one stenographer grade 1, which may indicate the amount of work involved from an administrative and secretarial point of view.

There is one question I wanted to raise. I refer to the bits and pieces approach to the matter of raising of salaries generally. I do not want it to be understood for a moment that I am concerned particularly about the personnel of this commission. I do not want anything I say to reflect upon them, but it seems to me there is something wrong in our

approach in parliament to the question of salaries of this nature. When one considers the heavy responsibilities of cabinet ministers not only in their own departments but in parliament and also in the international field; and when one couples with that the fact that they also have their constituencies to take care of, it makes one wonder whether or not their salaries are not sometimes completely out of line with the salaries we pay to certain other people in the government service.

In this particular case we are raising the salary of the chief commissioner to a level almost equal to that of a minister of the crown. There may be very good reasons for that, but it seems to me that somehow a good look should be taken at the whole picture throughout the government service. I am not suggesting that in most cases people are overpaid in any way, but so far as the salaries paid to cabinet ministers as compared with those paid to others employed in the service are concerned there is certainly a very great difference in responsibility and very little difference in the return.

I know that the minister cannot comment because he is one of those involved in what I am saying, and I do not expect any comment from that quarter. However, I think there comes a time when these things do get out of line. The Prime Minister's position is another instance. It seems to me that he does not receive as much money as some people who are employed by the government. I suppose if I were out on the hustings in an election campaign and somebody said, "Well, is he worth it?", I might be tempted to keep quiet when that question was asked.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

You would not do that.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

But I think in the house we have to take .into consideration the responsibilities the Prime Minister carries.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

You would not do that.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

If it were my hon. friend I certainly would not keep quiet. In any event when you compare the Prime Minis-ster's salary with those paid to certain other people, and when you contrast the responsibilities they carry, I think the Prime Minister's salary is out of line. I think most members of the house would say that it is out of line. I am not arguing for an increase in the Prime Minister's salary nor in those of other members of the cabinet, but I think we ought to stop and take a good look whether or not we are being fair right across the board to those who have the heaviest and most serious responsibilities

Boundary Waters Treaty Act of government and administration. I have taken the opportunity tonight on this occasion to raise this subject because it seemed to me that it provided an opportunity to say what I have been thinking for a long time. As I said, I do not want it to be taken that I have singled out this particular item because of the personalities involved. That is the furthest thing from my mind. Now I should like to say something about the work of the international joint commission. I was pretty disappointed a couple of years ago on an occasion when I thought we should have had one of the members of the international joint commission appear before the external affairs committee respecting the flood in the Red river valley. It was a matter of very grave importance but the committee decided they were too busy. Apparently they have been busy ever since, because we have never at any time had a member of the commission appear before the committee. It was represented at that time that they were so busy in the field it was not possible for them to come.

If the international joint commission is doing a major job in Canada I think we ought to examine that job in order to see what they are doing, what the extent of their work is and, more than that, what the future of the commission itself ought to be. Very few commissions or departments of the government have had less publicity and less investigation of their work than the international joint commission. I hope that as time goes on an opportunity will be provided to investigate the work of the commission and see what they are actually accomplishing and achieving. I think it is only fair to say that the international joint commission may of course be faced with more serious and heavier responsibilities in the very near future in connection with the St. Lawrence seaway reference and also the question of erosion. In that connection I should like to say to the minister that it seems to me it takes a long time before any conclusion is reached on these references to the international joint commission. What little experience I have had in connection with them would indicate that it takes a very long time to get any decision.

One problem with which we are faced in my province at the moment is the question of lake levels. I understand that is being referred to the international joint commission for some action. I suppose by the time the commission renders a decision the lake levels will have gone down from natural causes, and we shall never find out why the water went so high. I want to suggest to the minister that careful consideration ought

Boundary Waters Treaty Act to be given to just how efficient this commission is and how comprehensive their work is, in view of the fact that this amendment is to be made.

I want to mention as well the act which established the international joint commission. That act was assented to on May 19, 1911, by the parliament of Canada. It set out of course the purposes and the extent of the jurisdiction of the commission. Altogether it is a rather comprehensive act which has to do with a waterways treaty, of course, for which the commission was originally set up. The minister may have spoken about this matter before I came in, but I am wondering whether he intends to make a complete review of the whole act, which has been in operation now for 41 years, or whether he is only going to make the one change which the resolution seems to envisage, dealing with the question of salaries and the basis of the employment of certain people in that commission. I should be glad to have some information from the minister on that point.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

When this matter was before us at six o'clock I expressed the hope that the minister would give us the reasons as to why the government feels these salary increases should be provided, as well as the reasons for the other changes indicated in the resolution. I hope, in view of what the hon. member for Peel has just said, the minister will do that when he speaks again. I think it is fair to the minister to say that in his introductory statement all he did was to tell us what changes were envisaged by the bill to be based upon this resolution. He indicated that at the present time there are maximum salaries of $7,500, as set out in the statute of 1911, and that the amending [DOT]bill would provide a maximum of $15,000 for the chairman of the commission and a maximum of $10,000 for the other two members on the Canadian side.

Similarly he indicated that it would raise the amount that could be paid to the secretary, and that it would make provision for the staff to come under the civil service, as well as for the expenditures of the commission to be provided by an annual appropriation. Nowhere in his statement did the minister indicate an increase in the volume of work, increased responsibility or any other reasons as to why these changes should be made. No doubt to the minister there is no argument about it. No doubt he feels this should be done, and has probably already recommended it to the treasury board. However, I suggest parliament should not be asked to approve

CMr Oraydon.]

these increases, which percentagewise are rather great, without being given reasons for doing so.

While I am speaking I should like to ask the minister one other question. He referred to the fact that the salary of the secretary at the present time, according to statute, must not exceed $4,000. I would point out that in the original statute of 1911 the ceiling was $3,000. The change to $4,000 was made by chapter 5 of the statutes of 1914. One other change was made by that statute of 1914. However, it is true, as the minister said this afternoon, that there is at present a statutory limitation which says the salary of the secretary must not exceed $4,000. The proposal is to increase the amount to $6,000, I believe, or rather to bring the secretary under the civil service. But in the estimates now before us on page 15 one finds a general item for the international joint commission, and then is referred to page 171 where it appears that we are already being asked to appropriate the sum of $5,088 for the secretary. I checked with last year's estimates and found it was the same figure. I should like to know, justifiable though it may be, why the secretary should get a larger amount when the statute says his salary must not exceed $4,000. I should be glad if the minister would answer that point at the same time he gives reasons for these proposed increases.

Topic:   BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE MAXIMUM SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF CANADIAN SECTION . OF INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION, ETC.
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June 10, 1952