March 16, 1954

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

If 1 may answer that, Mr. Speaker, one very important difference is that when some of these other bills came before the committee we amended one of the sections to provide that the pipe line must be built in Canada. That has been done with quite a few of these bills. But it cannot be done under this particular bill, because it does not contain the powers at all. It merely provides that a company which has already obtained its powers from the Ontario legislature can go ahead and build a pipe line. I do not see why there should be that discrimination. If other people have had to come here and get a proper charter, then there is no reason why these people should not do the same thing.

Another feature is that much of the control of Niagara Gas Transmission Limited is under the Ontario companies act whereas if they had a proper charter, as others have, the control would be under the dominion Companies Act. I think that is where it should be.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, I do not wish to speak at any length because I feel that the hon. member who is sponsoring the bill will want to get it through. But there are two or three things which I believe should be on the record, and I should like to indicate the position taken by the group I represent with respect to the bill now before us.

First I want to comment very briefly on something said on Friday last by the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis). He made what I thought was a justifiable complaint when he said, as recorded at page 2948 of Hansard of March 12:

I do not consider that a national project is in the best interests of this country if certain sections are going to be injured or thrown into complete economic chaos without consideration being given as to what compensations are going to be made in that area for the acceptance of what is loosely termed a technological advance.

3048 HOUSE OF

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited

What the hon. member had in his mind was doubtless the failure over the years of governments, the coal industry and others to adjust themselves to what was sure to come in the near future. I think he saw that we have never adopted a well-defined national fuel policy into which we have attempted to integrate the various factors that now affect some parts of the country adversely and some parts the other way. The part of the country my hon. friend represents will doubtless be adversely affected by the building of a trans-Canada pipe line. There is no question about the fact that some part of the coal market that has been enjoyed by Cape Breton and Nova Scotia generally will be taken away when western gas is piped into Ontario and Quebec markets.

It looks to me as though this possibility could have been foreseen years ago and some provision could have been made to compensate those parts of the country which will be adversely affected. I have in mind, for example, that while we were subsidizing the expansion of the steel industry in Canada perhaps more attention could have been paid to establishing such expanded facilities in the province represented by my hon. friend. I do not think we took too seriously the needs of Nova Scotia at the time. I have in mind that when the Trans-Canada pipe line gets under way we are going to need quantities of very large steel pipe of a type that few mills in Canada are prepared to make today. It seems to me that it could have been possible through some compensating policy for the mills of Nova Scotia to be equipped under a government-subsidized program to make this large pipe so we could have not only a Canada first policy with respect to a pipe line but also a Canada first policy with respect to providing the materials with which the pipe line is to be built.

If a subsidy is going to be paid in any way, directly or indirectly, in connection with the building of the trans-Canada pipe line, I certainly would suggest that it be paid to assist our Canadian mills to provide materials so that we may have Canadian materials going into a Canadian pipe line. I would oppose strongly any subsidy by way of taxation reduction or anything else with respect to the supply of pipe or other materials going into the pipe line if they are brought from the United States or any other country. That brings me to this point, that we have consistently followed a Canada first policy that goes beyond the mere provision of an all-Canada pipe line.

I should like to say briefly that I agree with the suggestion the hon. member for Cape Breton South has made. But I also

agree with the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Philpott) who the other night drew attention to the fact that the coal industry had failed dismally to meet the challenge of the times, in that it had not attempted to process its product so as to make it easily transportable and storable without disastrous loss. They have not done very much to help themselves; 1 hate to admit that. I believe there has been shortsightedness all round.

In connection with the proposal now before us I should like to place on record the attitude taken by the people in Alberta -and when I refer to the people in Alberta I am speaking about those in official positions who have to make decisions with respect to the export of natural gas from that province. It has already been pointed out that the building of the Niagara Gas Transmission Limited pipe line might seriously affect the success of the Trans-Canada pipe line. The Trans-Canada venture is a tremendous thing, one that staggers the imagination. We are told it will be capable of transporting 540 million cubic feet of gas per day, and that the cost will run to something like $300 million. The effort is perhaps the biggest of its kind in the world's history.

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited, whose application we are now discussing, will transport something like 23 million cubic feet per day, which is puny by comparison. One is inclined to ask himself how a short line of this kind, transporting only 23 million cubic feet a day, could endanger the success of the bigger enterprise. Well, it could; I do not think there is any question about that, particularly if the company that is going to take gas from Niagara Gas Transmission Limited were to take the stand that its franchise is permanent, or that it would continue for more than the period of 20 years for which the agreement is supposed to be made, or were to consider that there would be no restriction on the continuation of the franchise. I should think a situation of that kind might possibly endanger the financing and the success of the Trans-Canada venture.

To our way of thinking, however, the pipe line we are now considering is desirable, in spite of the fact that there may be some dangers involved. Niagara Gas Transmission Limited will bring Louisiana natural gas into the Toronto area two or three years ahead of the arrival of Alberta or other western Canada gas, making it possible for Consumers' Gas Company, the distributing company, to build up a market for natural gas in readiness for the western product when it does arrive. For that reason this bill should be passed through parliament as

quickly as possible, so the construction of the line can proceed and perhaps be completed this year. I understand there is a possibility that it can be, if orders for steel can be given soon.

However, we agree with the Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Howe) when he says that some form of coming into force clause must be written into the bill before it is passed so as to safeguard the interests and the position of Trans-Canada, the major venture. The clause should spell out the guarantee that the import of gas by Niagara Gas Transmission Limited will be tapered off as soon as western gas is made available, and that the flow will be reversed, if it is found to be desirable and economically and otherwise feasible.

At this moment, however, let me say emphatically that the eastern United States would provide the poorest possible overflow market for western gas; I do not think there is any doubt about that. It simply is stating what must be self-evident to say that the eastern United States is the most highly competitive market possible for our western gas. The middle west is a far more valuable market for Alberta producers than the market in the eastern United States would be. So when we talk about reversing the flow through the Niagara Gas Transmission Limited line I am of the opinion that we would be trying to get into a market so highly competitive we might find ourselves in difficulty. And so I am not at all enthusiastic about the reverse flow idea through this proposed pipe line. I am much more concerned about the provision of middle and far western United States markets for overflow Canadian gas. And I hope that point will be kept in mind, because we simply must take into consideration the economics of this whole enterprise, something which I fear is sometimes forgotten or overlooked.

Economics must be kept in mind because Alberta producers must never find themselves put in a squeeze so that the wellhead price would interfere seriously with exploration and development. We need that development constantly; otherwise we are not going to find the reserves of gas that will be required to keep a transmission line, like the Trans-Canada line, in operation for the years it will be required.

In closing I would say we hope the bill will be passed as quickly as possible, because the season is advancing and the company needs to know whether it can make application for the steel and get into the field in order to complete the building of the pipe line this year.

16, 1954 3049

Niagara, Gas Transmission Limited

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
LIB

George Prudham (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Liberal

Hon. George Prudham (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys):

Mr. Speaker, I had not intended to take part in this debate. However, as the department with which I am associated is very closely connected with the development of the natural resources of the country I think it is in order for me to state briefly what we think would be an orderly development of the natural gas resources in Canada.

As we all know, the natural resources belong to the provinces. Until Alberta declared it had a surplus of gas for export, this government had no gas to deal with. However, as soon as Alberta declared it had a surplus of gas for export, or that it would have a surplus at an early date, it became the responsibility of the federal government. My department has for years advocated that an orderly pattern of development of natural gas in Canada would involve the development of Peace river gas for the Pacific coast, and central and southern Alberta gas for Alberta; and, if and when there was a surplus, that it should come to eastern Canada.

We are very pleased that this pattern is taking shape now. Alberta has declared a surplus. In my opinion, they have been perhaps a little too conservative up until the present moment with respect to their reserves of gas. As a matter of fact, right now in the production of oil about 25 billion cubic feet of gas is being flared every year. This does not mean all that gas would be available for pipe lines. Some of it would originate in isolated places and it would not be economical to gather it, but a large portion of that gas now going to waste could be used by Canadians. The quantity now being flared in the production of oil just about equals the peak of the Turner valley waste, which Albertans especially and Canadians generally are not very happy to recall.

Several proposals have been before parliament and before the public as to how Alberta's surplus gas should be disposed of. Many rival companies, most of them United States companies, have proposed to take gas to different regions of the United States. Recently at the request of the Alberta government, the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) assisted in bringing two of the major companies together for the purpose of building a trans-Canada line. The federal policy in respect to export of gas from Alberta was clearly stated by the Minister of Trade and Commerce in this house on March 13, 1953, as reported at page 2929 of Hansard, when he said:

Therefore the policy of the government of Canada is to refuse permits for moving natural gas by

3050 HOUSE OF

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited pipe line across an international boundary until such time as we are convinced that there can be no economic use, present or future, for that natural gas, within Canada.

That is still the policy of this government, in spite of what many promoters and others seem to believe. Many of them still think permission will be given to send gas to Minneapolis and the inland empire south of Alberta, as they call the central western states, but the policy is as stated by the minister, and it still stands.

The Trans-Canada Pipe Line company has been incorporated. I believe an amendment to their charter is before the other house at the present time and will be coming here shortly. The amalgamation was brought about for the purpose of piping gas to eastern Canada. The Minister of Trade and Commerce went on to say, and I quote his words:

As I have said, the proposal is to follow this policy, within reason. To date one exception has been made. It was made in response to a request from the director of defence mobilization of the United States that Canada supply a defence production requirement for gas in order to maintain the production of copper at Anaconda's smelter in Montana. The requirement was small.

It was made originally to aid our common defence effort. The other exception was when we gave permission to export gas to the northwestern states through Vancouver. That was necessary in order to assure that British Columbia and the Vancouver area would get gas; otherwise the pipe line through that area would not have been economically possible.

As far as the bill before the house is concerned, I am not sure that it is at all necessary to bring gas in via the Niagara peninsula as the bill proposes. In the western part of Ontario we fortunately have quite a large reserve of natural gas. I am not exactly sure of the reserve, but I think it is in the order of 168 billion cubic feet. We are indeed fortunate that we have that gas storage basin at this end of the line. That gas is available for the early build-up of the market in Ontario.

In conversations we have had with the Ontario government we have been informed that they are quite willing to help facilitate the release of all that gas for the build-up period, but the latest information our department has is that there will not be quite enough gas in reserve in that storage basin in Ontario to meet the peak loads of the build-up period. In other words, they need a comparatively small quantity of gas at times. If they use that gas for the build-up they will need a small additional quantity at times of peak loads that will develop.

It may be that this proposed gas line will serve that purpose. There is, however, an

alternate proposal that the additional requirements of gas be brought in via the present international pipe line at Windsor. I do not know which proposal has more merit, but I presume the board of transport commissioners will weigh those factors very carefully, and when this bill goes to the committee and subsequently to the board of transport commissioners for study, we shall have all the facts.

That storage basin in Ontario will be vital. It will be important to the efficient operation of the Trans-Canada line and the operation of the gas line through the periods when there is a high peak of demand; and then probably during the night or hot weather there will be periods when the demand is low. If that storage basin in western Ontario is depleted in the building up of the initial market, in preparation for the flow that will come through the Trans-Canada line when it is built, the cushion will be there to absorb the off-peak loads and that will contribute to the efficient operation of the Trans-Canada line.

I do not know that I should like to say anything more at this time. I believe that the complete output of the Trans-Canada line can be used in central Canada, and I believe it will be needed there. The hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) mentioned that the building of this pipe line will probably interfere with the markets for coal from the maritimes. In my department I am between two fires, between coal and gas. I try to assess the merits of each and see how they both fit into the national energy picture.

There is a need now, and I believe there will be a continuing need, for coal in our energy picture in Canada. But I do know, and I think we all realize, that there will have to be adjustments. The coal industry is facing a crisis now. It seems that they have been in a crisis ever since I took over the responsibility of the coal board two years ago, and I cannot see anything but continuing -I was going to say "trouble", but at least continuing concern about the future of the industry for some years to come.

Maritime coal has never been a very big factor in the Ontario market. I believe it enjoys quite a large share of the Montreal and Quebec markets. If and when gas reaches Montreal it will probably mean that some of the maritime coal will be replaced. However, this country is not standing still. The population of the province of Ontario is increasing at the rate of 270,000 people a year, which is the population of a good-sized city. I think the gas will compete more with electricity and oil than it will with coal.

With our expanding economy we are going to need all forms of energy that may be available. During the adjustment period the coal industry is going to have to change its methods. There will have to be more research done by the industry as well as by governments. But I do believe that within a few years after natural gas reaches this market and the coal industry has had a chance to readjust itself to changing conditions there will be a place for both.

Probably I am getting a little away from the bill before us, and I do not think I shall digress any further. I wish to restate what I said before, that I think perhaps this proposed pipe line will fit into the picture. I am not sure that it will be absolutely essential, but I see no harm in passing it on to a committee and to the board of transport commissioners for study.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
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, the views of this group have been expressed already by those who spoke on our behalf when the bill was before the house on previous occasions, so I shall not take more than a few minutes now. As a matter of fact it is because of the reservations already indicated by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) that we see no objections to this bill going to the committee for study.

I found it most interesting to listen to those reservations made by the minister when he spoke on March 9. I think he made one or two very important and significant points. As others have pointed out during the course of this debate, he more or less indicated that he would not be prepared to let the bill go through its final stage unless an amendment was made to it in committee. The amendment the minister felt to be necessary would add a clause to provide that the bill would not come into force until a mutually satisfactory agreement between Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited and Consumers' Gas Company had been deposited with the board of transport commissioners.

I think that is a good idea. I suggest that when the committee is considering such a coming into force clause it should go a step further than was suggested by the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In my view the minister got down to the nub of this matter when he said, as reported at page 2818 of Hansard for March 9:

Obviously, bringing gas in from Buffalo through a pipe line involves considerable investment,-

I ask that these words of the minister be noted.

-and one wonders what is to become of that investment if the line goes out of use in a matter of three years.

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited

Indeed that is a question that concerns a good many of us. If it is to be understood that gas is to be brought in from the United States through this pipe line only until such time as gas is available to the Toronto area from western Canada, then the question arises as to the economics of the building of an expensive pipe line to be used for a very short period. The minister went on to say:

I believe ways can be worked out so that investment can be assumed by Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited; and I believe we should know, before this bill becomes law, that such an arrangement is being worked out to the mutual satisfaction of the Consumers' Gas Company and Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited.

The minister repeated his reference to a mutually satisfactory arrangement between those two entities, Consumers' Gas Company and Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited, but I suggest that in a matter like this there is a third party whose interests should also be satisfied in any such agreement. I refer to the people of Canada, perhaps in this instance more particularly the consumers at the receiving end. It may be all right for these two companies, so far as they are concerned, to work out a mutually satisfactory arrangement whereby the one buys out the other at an exorbitant price which is made the basis for extra cost to the consumer. That is a matter we should be concerned about. In my view that point, along with the others which have been discussed while we have had the second reading of the bill before us, should be considered carefully by the committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.

I am glad to note the reservations which were made just a few moments ago by the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Prudham) when he spoke with respect to this bill. It is because of those reservations, and because of the assurance we have been given that this bill will be studied very carefully in committee that we see no reason to object to it being given second reading at this time.

However, and with this I close, I stress the point that the interests to be protected are not just the interests of the two companies referred to by the Minister of Trade and Commerce. The interests to be protected include those of the people of Canada as a whole, particularly the interests of the consumers who will be using this gas, or the gas that will come later from western Canada.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
PC

Robert Hardy Small

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. H. Small (Danforih):

Mr. Speaker, following up the remarks made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) in regard to the interests involved, he touched on one which should really be

3052 HOUSE OF

Niagara Gas Transmission Limited given the most consideration; that is, the consumer. It is about the consumer that I intend to make a few remarks, particularly the consumer in the Toronto area which they seem to value so highly. The hon. member pointed out the fact that assurances have been given by the minister in charge of the bill that necessary guarantees will be forthcoming to protect the trans-Canada line.

The power situation, not only in Ontario but throughout the country generally, is very serious. By bringing gas from Alberta we are using one way of solving the problem of providing extra power. The economic problem will solve itself through increased demands and potential future markets. When electrical power was first made available to Ontario there was so much of it they did not know what to do with it. They were concerned with having it consumed. Then over a period of probably 50 years the situation changed and today we cannot get enough power to meet the demands.

The picture of gas being transported from the west is something that taxes the imagination again. I visualize the future of this country being such that we will be able to take all the gas that comes from Alberta and probably all we can get from the United States. But in the meantime it is essential that we have gas which is available at our door from the Louisiana source. This is where the consumers come into the picture, since they will get gas much cheaper because it has a higher heating content. I think the province of Ontario is vitally interested in having this source of supply at its door and it should be made available for use as soon as they can get it, which will be in perhaps one year's time.

There is only one means by which it can be used, through the Consumers' Gas Company. They have the facilities by which they can dispose of this gas, and they have storage for it in southwestern Ontario. I do not think there need be any worry about the future of Alberta gas. Once that line is put through to supply our markets-and according to those who have spoken on this bill that supply is expanding every day-there will be so much of it that we will have a problem in taking care of it. In fact much of it is going into the air and being entirely wasted, and the sooner we put it to some use the better. In the meantime, while building this line to bring Canadian gas here we should have the use of this other gas for the purposes suggested by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles). The sooner Consumers' Gas can get it, then the sooner the market can be provided, for in all

probability it will overcome the power shortage at present existing in Ontario, and assist the other eastern provinces in obtaining much-needed industrial power.

I mention this because I recall what took place earlier in the development of electrical power in Ontario, and I can see the very same development for natural gas in this country. Having seen what happened before we should take care it does not happen again. Once the line is built there will be no end to the demand. I believe they will probably be able to supply the western states as well, and even supply the northern part of Canada which has not yet been brought into the picture. The gas can probably reach as far as the maritime provinces even if they have to move it through the eastern part of the United States.

If you consider the development of this project over the next half century then perhaps you can visualize that project reaching the point where we can take gas from coal in the ground. If you wish to give full rein to your imagination there are many developments which can be visualized in relation to this project for the future. But at the present time the essential need is to get that gas to Consumers' Gas Company and thence to the consumers who want to use it. You need not worry about the integrity of the Consumers' Gas or whether they will observe their covenant. We are dealing with a reputable organization and we can accept their guarantees; and once the Minister of Trade and Commerce is satisfied, the company's conduct will be governed in the best interests of Canada.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is the house ready for the question?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
SC

Ambrose A. Holowach

Social Credit

Mr. Holowach:

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to direct one question to the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Prudham). How does the minister reconcile the policy as to the export of natural gas out of this country as enunciated by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) last March with recent statements that he approves and is in agreement with the "amalgamation principle" of the two pipe lines outlined by the government of Alberta? I ask that question because one of the companies concerned in this amalgamation has had the intention of securing markets in the middle states in order to ensure the pipe line in Canada being economically feasible.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink
LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member will, of course, realize that the minister cannot answer that question now, and the matter may be dealt with in committee. The bill,

once it is reported by the standing committee, will be considered in committee of the whole, at which time the hon. member may ask his question. In any event the hon. member's question is now in Hansard, and I imagine that at some future time there will be an opportunity for the minister to reply.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   NIAGARA GAS TRANSMISSION LIMITED
Permalink

Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.


SECOND READINGS-SENATE BILLS

LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

There are several bills on the order paper on which it is intended to move second reading at this time. Is it agreed that Bills Nos. 355 to 372 inclusive, being divorce bills, be considered in one motion?

Topic:   SECOND READINGS-SENATE BILLS
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   SECOND READINGS-SENATE BILLS
Permalink
LIB

John William Gordon Hunter

Liberal

Mr. John Hunter (Parkdale) moved

that the following bills be read the second time:

Bill No. 355, for the relief of Marie Jeannette Lucille Catherine Clement Cantin.- Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 356, for the relief of Pauline Prussick Astrof.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 357, for the relief of Martha Betty Schenck Clarke.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 358, for the relief of Felice D'Abate.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 359, for the relief of Olga Korim Falardeau.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 360, for the relief of Harold Robertson Mann.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 361, for the relief of Sophie Rosenberg Rosenberg.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 362, for the relief of Frederica Priesel Barrett.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 363, for the relief of Jean Bertha Thomson Lanthier.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 364, for the relief of Roger Tremblay.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 365, for the relief of Adelaide Nina Hall Lanktree.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 366, for the relief of Femande Gilberte Andrea Leclair Daoust.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 367, for the relief of Diana Barbara Boone Guinness.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 368, for the relief of Clara Sperber Meilen Fink.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 369, for the relief of Maria Assunta Pilozzi Raspa.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 370, for the relief of Robert James Cooper.-Mr. Hunter.

Bill No. 371, for the relief of Diana Frances Nash Milmine.-Mr. Hunter.

16, 1954 3053

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act Bill No. 372, for the relief of Ross Willis Garrow.-Mr. Hunter.

Motion agreed to and bills read the second time.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

Topic:   SECOND READINGS-SENATE BILLS
Permalink

AFTER RECESS The house resumed at eight o'clock.


VOCATIONAL TRAINING CO-ORDINATION ACT AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES, CHANGES IN ADMINISTRATION, ETC.


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. Gregg for the second reading of Bill No. 326, to amend the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act.


CCF

Robert Ross (Roy) Knight

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

Mr. Knight:

Mr. Speaker, before the dinner recess I had said that I supported this bill with a good deal of pleasure. It will involve some expenditure on the part of the nation and some on the part of the individual provinces. They are, however, expenditures that I think will be well justified. They are really an investment in the future of the nation, and also in the future of the individual for whose benefit the bill is introduced.

I think we derive the greatest satisfaction in life from the things we can do well. As I envisage this bill it will result in training people to do things well, and will turn into skilled workers much of the unskilled human material that goes to the vocational or trade schools which this bill should help to support. We are told that Canada is becoming more and more an industrial nation, and this fact is well known. But if we are to improve our position-nay, if we are to retain it-in the competitive industrial world, we shall have to have skilled workers who can produce and run the machines which can take the drudgery out of human labour. I think Britain is one nation to which we can look as an example of a country that realizes the importance of such schools in the training of its labour force. Britain is a country whose very life depends upon its export goods which are produced by its own skilled labour. Hence I say that we have great need for an expansion of our vocational training and for the creation of more and more trade schools.

Through the courtesy of one of the hon. members I was speaking the other day to a group of high school students. As I have spoken to other high school students on other occasions, I was talking to them about what they might do later in life. If you take

3054 HOUSE OF

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act a poll of the average high school, in its upper grades, you will find that the students have great ambitions, and that is as it should be. You will find that 90 per cent of them will tell you that they wish some day to go on to what they call the higher professions. But statistics prove that they do not eventually reach those higher professions. The Minister of Labour would know more about this matter than I do, but I imagine the figure for those who do is about 10 per cent.

A great many of those students will graduate into equally honourable and useful work. Many of them will become nurses or stenographers or skilled workers of various kinds. They will be working in industry. They can be fitted for that work by the improvements in vocational training that are envisaged in this particular bill. Therefore it has my wholehearted support. Many of the high school or public school students are just not fitted for higher academic learning. Some of them have no particular taste for it. Again there are many who, through force of circumstances, are obliged to go to work early in order that they may assist with the bringing up of the other children by a contribution to the weekly wage. Then again there are many of those who find satisfaction in some creative work with their hands, and I say all honour to them.

For the reasons I have stated, I think this bill is a good idea indeed and will be well worth the money expended under it. Of course a pessimist might say that owing to the vast technological advancement we already have experienced, and owing to our reliance upon machines to produce our goods, more and more people will be unemployed. But even if I knew that not all those people would be employed, at least in the immediate future, I would still advocate their training particularly for the personal satisfaction that it brings to them to be capable people, to know that they have a stake in the nation and in society, and that they are contributing to its good as well as to their own.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING CO-ORDINATION ACT AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES, CHANGES IN ADMINISTRATION, ETC.
Permalink
SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. F. G. J. Hahn (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, we in this group agree that this is a good bill. However, as with so many things, we find that it does not go quite as far as we would wish it to go. I am happy to see that the government is going to set up a committee to study the bill further, because I feel quite sure that it can stand some additional study. I think we are extremely fortunate in this parliament to have among the members one who has spent so much time as a prominent educator-I speak of the hon. member for Victoria, B.C. (Mr. Fairey)-who has contributed such

valuable information at this stage of the bill and who possibly will have more to say on it at another time.

In his explanation of the bill I found the address of the Minister of Labour extremely illuminating. I was particularly pleased to note that provision was made for the rehabilitation and training of disabled civilians. The continuation of training, wherever and whenever an extension is possible, should certainly not be frowned upon but rather should be greatly encouraged. I believe that the service clubs who have helped in any way to assist these poor unfortunates should be congratulated for their efforts.

In a subsequent explanation of the bill the Minister of Labour explained to us the reason for raising the number on the advisory council from 16 to 20 members. I would say this is a good move at this time. The bill, if anything, has suffered from the fact that we have had trade, labour and industry represented, and then they have had to go to the provincial governments and ask for financial assistance. This is rather like putting the cart before the horse. Sometimes it has been a little bit difficult to get the help that should have been forthcoming.

We found today that the hon. member for Cape Breton South had added substantially to the debate on the bill. I noted one remark he made respecting the provinces and the fact that they would not be capable of participating on a 50-50 basis in equalizing the cost factor as between them and the federal authorities. I think he was specifically pointing his finger at the province of which I am a representative.

I should like to draw his attention to one of the factors that I think is important in British Columbia. While we may have a higher per capita revenue than any other province in the dominion, we also have a higher per capita expenditure for social services than any other province in the dominion. Just by way of comparison I might say that 6-3 per cent of our population is made up of persons over 70 years of age as compared with 3-7 per cent in New Brunswick. The fact that we happen to give a cost of living bonus of $15 per month to those same aged people naturally adds to our cost of social services. Those dollars are therefore not available for purposes of education, much as we would desire to give them.

I also feel that we do not contribute enough in proportion to the cost of university education. However, we must remember in this regard that universities play a different part from that of vocational training in the

world of education. Upon our university educators will depend what place Canada will occupy among the nations in the future. The matter of research is very important, and while the comparison is not odious at the same time I do not think it is entirely warranted to say that we should spend as much in proportion on vocational guidance as we do upon university education.

The bill has other shortcomings. First there is the question of educational qualifications. The minister dealt with that in part when he suggested that the provincial governments have the authority to accept those pupils who do not have the necessary educational standing. I am quite willing to agree with that. However, I believe that in the final analysis the provincial authorities in making their choice of trainees will naturally select those who are more capable, those who have reached the secondary level of education as is required by the bill. If there is any room left they will probably then give consideration to those who have only obtained .grade 4, 5 or 6 standing, or whatever it may be.

I am not suggesting that there is a large group of people in Canada whose educational standing is only of grade 6 level. However, throughout this large dominion there are probably several hundreds or thousands who for various reasons, possibly because they were living in rural areas where no institution of learning was available, did not have the opportunity to acquire the educational standing required by the bill in order to qualify them for vocational training. Many of our unemployed today fall into this category and are ineligible. Therefore I suggest the bill should be modified in such a way as to permit all those who aspire and who indicate an aptitude for training to become eligible. For example, if a young lady has learned the art of the seamstress at home and indicates to the authorities in charge of the educational scheme that she has a certain aptitude, she should be made eligible for such a course. Similarly this is true in the case of machinists and others. I would not decrease the educational standards, but rather would suggest increasing the scope for admittance to vocational training courses.

I would say that the second factor requiring serious consideration is cost. The cost of education today is possibly the greatest headache of municipal districts. I do not believe there is a municipality in Canada where the school board and municipal authorities are not at loggerheads over the price that must be paid for education. I realize that under the vocational training scheme the federal government is willing to

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act pay its 50 per cent. I believe one hon. member indicated earlier that he felt, and I do too, that we are concerned with adult education in this case, and that the classroom education of these people should have been taken care of at the primary level. However, that is not available today; therefore vocational institutions are placed in such a position that adult education is not on a comparable basis with secondary or primary education, and probably should receive more assistance from the federal government.

I am quite aware that the federal authorities say that education is a provincial job. No doubt the provinces are jealous of their rights and want to look after their educational problems. However, the municipalities are very much in need of assistance, and since their only source of revenue is the direct taxation dollar they should be given more consideration. That might be given some thought.

I was interested in studying the report of the first national conference on apprenticeship in trades and industries, held at Ottawa on May 19, 20 and 21, 1952. The report deals in part with penitentiaries, and the interesting feature so far as I am concerned has to do with a suggestion made by an hon. member yesterday that possibly we would not have quite so much crime or so many criminals if we had more vocational training. In studying the report I found the following of interest. The total male population of the penitentiaries of Canada at that time was approximately 4,500. Those under 30 years of age numbered about 3,000 and those under 21 about 500. The report stated that 98 per cent of those people would be leaving these institutions as free men and returning to society.

I know the penitentiaries have a vocational training scheme. Apparently it is an excellent one, because the results would indicate that they are paying attention to vocational training. The penitentiaries have within them nothing but the worst criminals in the country, and this is what we find. Of 465 discharged, who had received vocational training, 86 per cent have not become repeaters in crime. That is a very notable factor. Apparently the reason they have not become repeaters is that they have taken vocational training courses. On the other hand, in the case of those individuals who did not take vocational training courses we find that only 40 per cent have not committed further crimes.

I would say it is better to stop a potential criminal by training him in a vocation than to imprison him following an offence. Eliminate the cause of his going to prison.

3056 HOUSE OF

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act I am sure the Minister of Justice (Mr. Garson) would be very happy if he found that the number of criminals had decreased because we decided to spend more money and make vocational training courses so interesting that more people would take them. These young criminals have indicated that they have the ability to think, the ability to plan and the ability to observe. In my opinion these three fundamentals are most important in teaching an individual art, and I believe the minister will agree that those factors are certainly present in the minds of these individuals. They should be encouraged along the right line of thinking. Make them eligible for jobs, and thus do away with the problem of criminal repeaters. It might be that a certain course would not be available at a particular institution, and it might be necessary to transfer a prisoner from one institution to another so he could take the course he wished. However, remember that education is cheaper than incarceration.

Another factor is the apprenticeship system. The industries taking part in this program are to be commended. I know that a good number of them have spent several thousands of dollars, and they are certainly doing an excellent job. The federal government, with the co-operation of the provincial governments and the industries themselves, has an excellent opportunity to bring about far-reaching results. I would say that we should have a rigorous apprenticeship system which would remove some of the unskilled labour from the ranks of the unemployed. I am in agreement with the hon. member for Cape Breton South that when in previous times the unemployed population stood at approximately 400,000, there were jobs available for about 370,000.

The apprenticeship system will re-establish the higher quality of workmanship. We often hear it said that we are losing our markets. Perhaps one of the reasons is that our products are deficient in quality. That may be possible, and is something that should be investigated. The apprenticeship system will result in a reduction in crime and immorality among our youth, and stop overcrowding in our penal institutions. I have already dealt with this matter to some extent.

Can it be that we have reached that point in our industrial revolution where the apprenticeship system is a necessary part of our guilds and unions system? I believe the industrial revolution we have today is probably as great as the one we had some centuries ago. Any apprenticeship system that is advocated must of necessity become an integral part of our method of solving our problems

in industry. Certainly the matter of guilds and unions should be investigated by provincial departments of education and by our federal government.

Perhaps hon. members would be interested in some of the factors set out in the book to which I referred earlier in these remarks. I shall not enumerate all of them, because the information is available to hon. members who are interested. However, there are two or three which I believe might be drawn to our attention. The first of these is a shortage of learners. There is a definite shortage of apprentices, as prescribed under provincial apprenticeship legislation, in those industries requiring skilled help, to which I referred earlier in my address.

There are three main reasons for the shortage of apprentices. First, there is a lack of interest on the part of employers, many of whom feel it is not their duty to try to find jobs for unskilled labour. They are not a bit interested in training people to work in their factories. I believe employers should be taught to revise their ideas, so they would become a valuable part of our apprenticeship system.

The second reason for the shortage is the fear by the unions of a condition of overcrowding. This is very common today, and I would offer as examples bricklayers and stonemasons, who are working only at half speed. A bricklayer will not lay more than a certain number of bricks each day, not because he is incapable of doing more but because he believes that if he did he would work himself out of a job and would have nothing to do next day. The apprenticeship system, they believe, would crowd them out of their trade. That is, in my opinion, one of the reasons for a shortage of skilled labour.

The third reason is the lack of information with respect to opportunities and benefits flowing from the apprenticeship system.

There are three suggested remedies, the first of which is continued support by provincial and federal governments of the apprenticeship idea. This would require the support of institutions of learning. Then, second, organized labour must be encouraged to consider the apprenticeship problem with a view to bringing about the best results from the use of our manpower. Third, we must induce employers to expand their training programs, so they will attract the most efficient help and turn out the best possible product at a given price.

I would suggest to employers' organizations and to groups of employees that they set aside a fund to promote an apprenticeship system. So far as the employer is concerned, one of the most irreconcilable

situations is that in which, after spending a certain amount of money to educate an apprentice, he finds that employee moving to another industry. The employee is a loss, so far as the employer is concerned; and I suggest the employer should have some protection.

In my view the apprenticeship age should begin in each province at the age at which compulsory education is completed, and there should be no maximum age limit. The purpose behind this would be to make eligible that group of individuals who, under the act as it now reads, are not eligible. Wage rates, of course, present a problem as between apprentices and skilled labour. These have to be solved through agreement between unions and management, and it should be possible to arrive at some satisfactory formula.

A decision must be made concerning a standard definition for a qualified apprentice, so that on this score there would be no difficulty between skilled labour and apprentices. There was some argument earlier about the type of vocational training taught in schools today. I would say that training must be supplemented by work in industry. One final factor is that the responsibility for this program must rest with the federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as with management and labour.

In conclusion I recommend that the following suggestions be given consideration. First, there should be federal financial assistance in education, at the municipal level. Second, the vocational training course should be made more effective by making it available at a grade lower than the level of secondary education. Third, in specific industries we must begin to make the apprenticeship system compulsory, by statute. This, I believe, would help relieve our unemployment situation, if we still have it with us. And, fourth, there should be a strenuous program of public education through all national outlets such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the national film board, with a view to teaching the people to make proper use of their leisure time through courses in vocational training.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING CO-ORDINATION ACT AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES, CHANGES IN ADMINISTRATION, ETC.
Permalink
PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. R. Pearkes (Esquimalt-Saanich):

Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Labour introduced the resolution preceding the bill hon. members must have noted that the opening words of that resolution were as follows:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to amend the Vocational Training Co-ordination Act to meet present-day requirements for defence-

-and so on. Then he went on to deal with other purposes. It is quite obvious that in

16. 1954 3057

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act the minister's opinion the present-day requirements of defence were the primary reason for introducing the amendments set out in this bill.

I have been surprised that during the discussion that has taken place the minister has not explained to the house how this bill is to be applied to modern requirements in so far as defence is concerned. We have heard a great deal about the advantages which will accrue to the ordinary civilian population, and the extent to which the increase in opportunities for vocational training foreshadowed in this bill will help them. We have also heard how vocational training will help the veterans, the men who may now be coming back from Korea or who may be taking their discharges from the armed services. But as yet we have not heard how this bill is to be applied at the present time for the purposes of defence.

I wish to make just a few observations regarding that aspect of the bill, to ask the minister to fill in the gap when he replies and tell the house definitely how the amendments he is now proposing in this bill will further the purpose of defence. Of course you may say lightheartedly that you can never have too many tradesmen in the armed services. No doubt everybody will admit that; and you can point out the tremendous increase in the number of trades in the fighting services and the need that exists for skilled men, artisans, artificers and so forth in the navy, the army and the air force. Perhaps you might claim that it is impossible to train too many tradesmen. At the same time we do have to avoid the danger of duplication in the training of tradesmen for the armed services, because the public are now being asked to pay for the training of these people who will be taking advantage of the vocational training opportunities which are to be set up.

When world war II started of course there was a very great shortage of tradesmen in all three services. As soon as the original formations could be trained they were sent overseas, and the majority of the tradesmen then in the services went overseas with those early formations. Consequently there was the necessity for building up some form of tradesman training here at home.

The hon. member for Victoria, B.C., (Mr. Fairey) explained a few days ago the growth of vocational training during the war and the assistance which was given to the armed services in all provinces by those vocational training schools. Those were days of great expansion of all the armed services, and at

3058 HOUSE OF

Vocational Training Co-ordination Act that time there was a great shortage of tradesmen. That shortage remained until almost the end of the war.

From my own personal experience I can speak of the excellent work done at the dominion-provincial vocational training school at Nanaimo, where hundreds of servicemen were sent while they were still in the services and trained so they could fill a tradesman's position in the navy, army or air force. Exactly the same thing applied to the technical training school in Vancouver. I speak from personal experience, and I know that these vocational training schools all across the country were doing very useful work.

But I do suggest that the situation at the moment is different. We are not in the days of great expansion of any of our services. We have been working for an increase in the strength of our three fighting forces on the three or four-year program which was announced by the government in 1949-50, and all three services are now within striking distance of the manpower objective that was set at that time. An extremely creditable effort has been made; the response of the young men of Canada is most praiseworthy in that they have come forward in such great numbers, and what seemed to be quite an ambitious objective in 1950 has now been practically reached.

As far as one can see at the present time- while I would certainly not be advocating any reduction in the armed services-there is no likelihood in the foreseeable future of any further expansion. In fact we hope we have now built up our forces so they will be able to resist aggression no matter where it breaks out, if it should break out, and we hope they are strong enough now to deter any aggressor. Therefore the policy, as far as one can see, will be to maintain the active forces that we have in the navy, army and air force at somewhere about their present strength.

In all three services a very well thought out scheme of tradesman training has been built up at the various corps schools in the army and the various training establishments of the air force. As far as the navy is concerned there are big training establishments for the ratings, men who are enlisted in the navy, both on the east and the west coasts. And the cruisers that we now have are literally classrooms afloat, where sailors of all different ranks are taking classes in tradesman work in order that they may fill the many positions which are open to them. In addition there are means of enlisting apprentice soldiers, young men who are still in their teens, and training them for the technical branches of

these services, in other words giving them a very complete vocational training in the services today.

Are we going to duplicate that? Is there a fixed plan under which the services are going to co-operate in the scheme which is envisaged by the amendments we are now considering? Are the personnel of the active forces, the navy, the army and the air force, going to have the opportunity of taking classes in addition to the facilities offered in the services themselves, or is this to be merely a general scheme we are going to use to build up a large reserve of trained tradesmen, or a large reserve of tradesmen who, if there is a general mobilization, would then be available? Is there to be any particular application of this bill to the services, or is there just wishful thinking that there will be a larger number of tradesmen available for the services should another occasion arise? Will facilities be available not only for the personnel of the active forces but for the personnel of the reserve army, the auxiliary air squadrons, the naval reserve and so forth? Just where will this fit in?

If we are going to send service personnel, both active and reserve, to these schools, what financial arrangements will be made? Will active personnel receive the pay of their rank while attending these schools? Will the Department of National Defence pay all the educational expenses in connection with the attendance of service personnel, either active or reserve, at these schools? Then we are faced with the difficulty of perhaps having service personnel attending one of these schools and drawing service pay while working alongside some lad who wishes to go into industry but who is not receiving any pay from the government, or who perhaps has to pay some tuition in order to be there. No doubt these are administrative problems to which the minister has given consideration, but the house has not been informed what is to happen. I hope the minister will inform us regarding these things.

Will there be opportunities for on-the-job training, improver training? I realize that this is a form of apprentice training, but it is a step further than that. This concerns a man who has perhaps finished his apprentice training, who knows something about the work he is to do, but who wishes to improve himself. I am not going to detain the house any longer, but I hope the minister will tell us how the services are going to be fitted into the improvements which this bill is trying to bring about.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING CO-ORDINATION ACT AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES, CHANGES IN ADMINISTRATION, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fort William):

Mr. Speaker, there are some things which I find it

difficult to understand. The minister has moved that this bill be sent to a committee of which the hon. member for Cape Breton South (Mr. Gillis), the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles), and many other intelligent hon. members are members. I am just wondering if the next speaker can give a good reason why we should continue this debate. Let this committee pull this bill to pieces, put it back together again, and send it back in a form that will be intelligible to us, and then let us settle the matter here.

Topic:   VOCATIONAL TRAINING CO-ORDINATION ACT AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENTS WITH PROVINCES, CHANGES IN ADMINISTRATION, ETC.
Permalink

March 16, 1954