February 8, 1955

CIVIL DEFENCE

AGREEMENT ON ENLARGED PROGRAM FOR PROVINCE OF ONTARIO

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to inform the house that agreement has now been reached between the federal government and the province of Ontario which will result in an enlarged and accelerated civil defence program in that province in the coming year. Announcement of this cooperative undertaking is being made simultaneously in Toronto today by the Hon. W. M. Nickle, the provincial secretary and new minister in charge of the province's civil defence preparations.

For some time now financial aid for civil defence purposes has been made available directly by the federal government to assist municipal civil defence organizations in their efforts at the local level. As a result of the agreement now reached with Ontario, provincial as well as federal funds will now be made available to municipal civil defence organizations.

Federal funds under this arrangement, when fully matched by provincial and municipal contributions, will result in a total of approximately $1,200,000 available for civil defence expenditure at the municipal level in the province of Ontario in the coming year.

One-half of this total amount will be provided by the federal government to help finance civil defence undertakings submitted by the municipalities concerned and approved by the appropriate provincial and federal civil defence authorities.

To supplement the federal grants to these undertakings, the province of Ontario, in accordance with the agreement, will contribute to the cost of these same approved civil defence projects submitted by participating municipalities an amount equal to one-half the federal contribution. As a result, for approved municipal defence expenditures, 50 per cent of the costs involved will be contributed by the federal civil defence authority, 25 per cent by the provinces, while the local authorities will be called upon to contribute 25 per cent of the total expenditure.

In addition, further funds are available from the federal government to match provincial civil defence expenditures on the organization of civil defence services at the provincial as distinct from the municipal level. These federal funds, when matched by equivalent provincial contributions, will result in further expenditures in the year to come. Therefore, a total of at least $1,400,000 will be available in Ontario this year for the development of adequate civil defence at the provincial and local levels.

It should, of course, be pointed out that the federal contribution to the development of civil defence in Ontario is substantially greater than the amounts which I have mentioned. These amounts take no account of the million-dollar hose-coupling standardization program, to which the federal government contributes one-third; nor do they include provision for the civil defence compensation agreement, nor for the substantial amounts of equipment and material-fire pumpers, rescue vehicles, and other items- which have been supplied exclusively at federal expense to civil defence authorities in the province. These federal expenditures, including, for example, the moneys spent for medical stockpiling and earmarked for Ontario, are considerably greater than the amounts provided by the provincial and local civil defence authorities from their own budgets.

I should like at this time to express my satisfaction at this important development which is bound to stimulate civil defence activity, not only in the province of Ontario but throughout the whole of Canada.

The present agreement arises out of discussions which I held with Premier Frost of Ontario, whose personal contribution to the successful completion of these arrangements I should like to acknowledge at this time.

Topic:   CIVIL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   AGREEMENT ON ENLARGED PROGRAM FOR PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. E. D. Fulton (Kamloops):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the minister if he would clarify a point for me. Do I understand from the announcement that the same arrangement as is now concluded with the province of Ontario will be available, if so desired, for all the other provinces?

Topic:   CIVIL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   AGREEMENT ON ENLARGED PROGRAM FOR PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. Martin:

Every province now has a similar agreement with the federal government except the province of Quebec.

936 HOUSE OF

Private Bills-Divorce CUSTOMS TARIFF

Topic:   CIVIL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   AGREEMENT ON ENLARGED PROGRAM FOR PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
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TABLING OF REPORT OF TARIFF BOARD ON WOOL CLOTH INDUSTRY

LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to table the report of the tariff board with respect to the Canadian wool cloth industry and the record of the proceedings before the board.

Topic:   TABLING OF REPORT OF TARIFF BOARD ON WOOL CLOTH INDUSTRY
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PUBLIC BUILDINGS

WINNIPEG POST OFFICE

LIB

Maurice Bourget (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Bourgel (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Public Works):

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the request made by the hon. member for St. Boniface (Mr. Viau) on January 18, 1955, I should now like to table a copy of the contract between the government of Canada and the Foundation Company of Canada Limited with reference to the construction of the Winnipeg post office.

Topic:   PUBLIC BUILDINGS
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG POST OFFICE
Sub-subtopic:   TABLING OF CONTRACT
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PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS-SENATE BILLS


Bill No. 23, for the relief of Maxine Samuels Resseguier.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 24, for the relief of Ginette Monique Cornu Lebegue.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 25, for the relief of Eugen Hart-berg.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 28, for the relief of Joseph Pierre Emile Jasmin Rheaume.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 27, for the relief of Elizabeth Jane Marcelin Belanger.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 28, for the relief of Hugh McCrone Dunsmuir.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 29, for the relief of Hazel Winifred Edwards Welcher.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 30, for the relief of Joan Audrey Baur Walker.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 31, for the relief of Pauline Alice Leduc Sponagle.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 32, for the relief of Lillian Greenberg Seligman.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 33, for the relief of Marie Antoinette Demers Vigeant.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 34, for the relief of Yoneyuki Watanabe.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 35, for the relief of Leslie Sutcliffe.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 36, for the relief of Rita Ursule Labadie Huot.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 37, for the relief of Evangeline N. Rodinos Zolotas.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 38, for the relief of Maria Lutz Kaczmarek.-Mr. Hunter. [Mr. Mart.in.l



Bill No. 39, for the relief of Clare Taylor Belanger.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 40, for the relief of Jean Claude Robitaille.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 41, for the relief of Ida Meitin Wooden.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 42, for the relief of Fleur-Ange Francoeur Therrien.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 43, for the relief of Maria Christina Vettore Austin.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 44, for the relief of Roland Lefebvre.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 45, for the relief of Augustine Denonville Leclere.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 46, for the relief of Mary Therese McSheffrey Richard.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 47, for the relief of Pierrette Marsan Short.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 48, for the relief of Greta Irene Kokko Marchand.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 49, for the relief of Yolande Sega-tore Grandillo.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 50, for the relief of Annie Laker Gillen.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 51, for the relief of Juliette Bertha Langlois Miller.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 52, for the relief of Arthur Johnston.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 53, for the relief of Bela Antal Kelecsenyi. Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 54, for the relief of Joseph Roger Gerard Doucet.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 55, for the relief of Elsie Amelia Armistice Wood Lavoie.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 56, for the relief of Joseph Rene Romeo Lafrance.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 57, for the relief of Gweneth Leslie Clarke Atkinson.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 58, for the relief of Muriel Claire Wilson Hart.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 59, for the relief of Violet Doris Hubbard MacGregor.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 60, for the relief of Christina Mellis Campbell Squires.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 61, for the relief of Katharine Hamilton Ellis Bishop.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 62, for the relief of Sheila Kathleen McNaughton Best.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 63, for the relief of Pearl Mendel-son Markus.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 64, for the relief of Mary Leona Dalton Dawe.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 65, for the relief of Ethel Tietle-baum Segal.-Mr. Hunter. Bill No. 66, for the relief of Sheila Mary Power Stone.-Mr. Hunter.


APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Acting Prime Minister) moved:

That a select committee to be designated be appointed to consider such of the estimates as may be referred to it and to report from time to time its findings and recommendations to the house.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I am informed that this is the first government motion of its kind which has been made since confederation, and that if it is carried we shall have established a new method of dealing with the estimates as they are submitted in the blue book.

On the other hand, it is not the first time that the subject has been discussed in parliament. I have no doubt that there were discussions in the early days. I find that at least as far back as 1921 a formal motion was presented to the house for a committee of this kind to consider the estimates and that, as one would expect, that motion was made by a member of the party to which I happen to belong. Of course, in the years since the world war there has been repeated discussion on the subject and in each of the committees on procedure which have been set up we have had extensive talks as to the method by which to bring about a better way of dealing with the estimates. If hon. members are interested, they would have noticed that the 1947 committee recommended that we adopt in general terms the system obtaining in the United Kingdom. To adopt any different system from that which has been obtaining in the committee of supply raises serious questions of practice. After all, if parliament meets for one thing only, I think it could be said that that thing would be to vote supply for the purposes of the government for the following year.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fullon:

Or, in the alternative, to withhold it.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Or to withhold it, as my hon. friend says. Lest one should think that I have not other matters in mind, may I say that of course we meet here to preserve the liberty and the freedom of the citizen. Nevertheless, if the government did not have legislation to present to parliament and if you can imagine a state of society in which there would be no other matter to be debated, we would still have to consider the estimates and either vote them or reject them. It therefore might be supposed that the consideration of expenditures in parliament would take a good deal of our time. Over the years I think we have found that we take about 50433-60

Special Committee on Estimates one-fifth to one-third of the time of parliament in considering the estimates. This time is spread out in the normal session from early in February until the final day, as a rule, on which we sit.

There has grown up in the country an impression that during the final week, and especially on the final day, it has been our custom to pass large sums of money at a rate which is not in accordance with the seriousness of the subject. To my mind that opinion is false; but unfortunately it is fostered by members in the house who, in my view, do not take the trouble to consider the amount of time we put in on estimates early in the session. I think it is true that in the last week of the session before last we passed about $800 million. It is equally true that we passed all the other expenditures in the preceding eight or nine weeks during which we had bten considering them. Both because the facts do not bear out what they say and also because I think it proper that parliament should not depreciate its own value, I suggest to hon. members that we should have a second look at the oft-repeated statement that we put through estimates in a scandalous manner in the last few days of the session.

The arguments that are usually advanced in favour of a different method of dealing with the estimates are these: First, in order to avoid what I have already mentioned is the false impression of the speed with which we deal with these things in the last few days of the session; second, that hon. members do not have in committee of supply sufficient time to cross-examine a minister until they obtain the information they have in mind. I have been spoken to by many members who say they do not feel like monopolizing the time of the minister or of the committee and that they are therefore constrained not to take tod long at any one time on a subject in which they are vitally interested. The third reason is-and it is a natural consequence of that-that if there was more time there could be better informed and more critical statements made about government policy and about a particular department in which an hon. member may be interested. I think we all agree as to the desirability of that objective. Government policy will be that much better in proportion to the good criticism which is directed towards it. I do not think any government wants to have passed through this house something in the order of $5 billion without careful scrutiny, careful thought and intelligent criticism. We have had some experience in dealing with expenditures of this order in the recent ten

Special Committee on Estimates or fifteen years. During the war we had a war expenditures committee; and since the war we have had a number of defence expenditure committees. These committees have served certainly two useful purposes and perhaps more. One on this side of the house cannot help saying that, despite all the sittings and all the work which was done, none of the committees turned up anything which was really detrimental to the manner in which the government had been spending the public money.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER CERTAIN ESTIMATES
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February 8, 1955