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.
Subtopic: AGREEMENT ON ENLARGED PROGRAM FOR PROVINCE OF ONTARIO