January 30, 1958


On the orders of the day:


SC

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson

Social Credit

Mr. H. A. Olson (Medicine Haf):

I should like to address a question to the Minister of Agriculture. According to this morning's Gazette, when the minister was in Montreal he reiterated the government's support of a world food bank. Have any steps been taken by the government toward establishing such a food bank?

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PROGRESS IN ESTABLISHING WORLD FOOD BANK
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness (Minister of Agriculture)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. D. S. Harkness (Minisier of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is aware that on several occasions the Prime Minister has indicated that the government supports the general principle of the establishment of a food bank. Efforts to establish something along that line under the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations have been unsuccessful so far.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PROGRESS IN ESTABLISHING WORLD FOOD BANK
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PUBLIC SERVICE

REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON DISMISSAL OF J. GEORGE NEUSPIEL


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. Sianley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Secretary of State. I wonder whether the hon. lady is in a position yet to make a statement concerning the case of Mr. J. George Neuspiel on the basis of the review which, on January 8, she said would be undertaken?

Hon. Ellen L. Fairclough (Secretary of

State): Mr. Speaker, I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON DISMISSAL OF J. GEORGE NEUSPIEL
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NEW BRUNSWICK

STATEMENT ON ALLEGED


On the orders of the day:


PC

Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Paul Comlois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys):

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday last the hon. member for Inverness-Richmond referred to a statement purported to have been made by the executive board of the united mine workers, district No. 26, that the New Brunswick Power Commission had reduced its orders for coal owing to the Beech-wood hydro development. The member then asked the following question:

Can the minister assure the house that steps are being taken to preserve coal markets against government supported hydro projects?

In answer I would say that the government has received no notification of a reduction in coal orders because of the Beechwood project. I would further point out that the recent legislation sponsored by the government for the development of thermal power plants in the maritime provinces will in future not only stabilize but should greatly develop the demand for coal in those provinces.

Topic:   NEW BRUNSWICK
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON ALLEGED
Sub-subtopic:   REDUCTION IN USE
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NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT

AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.

PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Alvin Hamilton (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources) moved

the second reading of Bill No. 249, to amend the Northwest Territories Act.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
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LIB

Jean Lesage

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Is the minister going to make a statement?

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
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PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present to the house at this time two small amendments to the Northwest Territories Act which will, indirectly at least, aid in the orderly development of the Northwest Territories, an area that holds

rich promise for the future and that even now has a significance to Canada out of all proportion to the numbers of its population.

I am happy to note that hon. members seem united in their desire to see the greatest possible encouragement given to the development of Canada's far north. I think it is only fair to acknowledge the special interest shown over the years by my predecessors in office, the hon. member for Calgary North (Mr. Harkness) and the hon. member for Montmagny-L'Islet (Mr. Lesage).

The object of the present bill, Mr. Speaker, is to add two new sections to the Northwest Territories Act, one section to improve the financial administration of the territories and the other to facilitate the administration of justice. The first is new section 19A. The purpose of this new section is to empower the commissioner in council to make ordinances (a) for the borrowing of money by the commissioner for territorial, municipal or local purposes on behalf of the territories and with the approval of the governor in council and (b) for the lending of money by the commissioner to municipalities and school districts in the territories.

The Northwest Territories Act as it now stands does not permit the territorial government to borrow or to lend money. In the past necessary capital expenditures have been provided out of revenues, which are now running at about $2 million a year and which are derived from the various revenue sources open to the provinces including, of course, grants from the federal government.

The time has now come, however, when capital expenditures will be too great to be met in this way. For example, the territorial government is faced with the necessity of providing a sewer and water service for the people of Fort Smith, and also a safe water supply for Hay River. The new section grants borrowing powers, but makes them subject to approval of the governor in council to ensure that territorial indebtedness will be kept within safe and reasonable limits.

The second part of the new section 19A will permit the commissioner, pursuant to ordinances passed by the commissioner in council, to lend money to municipalities and school districts. The territorial government is frequently faced with requests for loans for such purposes as the capital cost of fire protection and road maintenance equipment in municipalities, and to help meet the school districts' share of the capital cost of new school buildings in school districts. Since any moneys made available on loan would be either territorial revenues or funds borrowed with the approval of the governor 96698-255

Northwest Territories Act in council, there is, of course, no need for the governor in council to approve such loans.

Let me turn to the second object of the present amendment. The new subsection 3 which is being added to section 32 will permit the governor in council to appoint deputy police magistrates for the territories. This additional provision has been inserted on the recommendation of my colleague the Minister of Justice, who has responsibility for administration of justice in the territories. Subsection 1 of section 32 now provides for the appointment of police magistrates and subsection 2 requires such magistrates to reside in the territories and to refrain from practising as barristers and solicitors.

I hope no hon. member will conclude that the proposal here advanced indicates that lawlessness on a large scale has broken out in the territories requiring the appointment of deputy police magistrates. In actual fact there is at present only one police magistrate in the entire territory, and he resides at Yellowknife where the territorial court is located. When he goes on circuit throughout the vast area of the territory, or is absent or on leave, there is no one to carry out the work that he should be doing. It is inevitable, therefore, that a backlog of court work will accumulate in the Mackenzie area.

The government considers that in the interests of the prompt and efficient administration of justice it would be much more economical and practical, when the services of a magistrate are required in the eastern Arctic, to appoint a qualified lawyer from one of the provinces and send him into the territory as a deputy magistrate on a temporary basis, rather than to arrange for the attendance of the magistrate from Yellowknife.

Legislation covering the administration of the present Northwest Territories was first enacted in 1905. In the years that have followed this house has been ready to keep pace with the development of the territories by approving necessary amendments from time to time. I am sure all hon. members will agree that the two small but very important amendments which I have the honour to present to the house at this time represent an essential forward step in providing the territories with orderly and effective administration.

In concluding this statement on second reading, I should like to point out that the hon. member for Montmagny-L'Islet last night asked about several matters which were not covered by these amendments. I should like to inform the house that the department had a list of six amendments ready last spring for presentation at some

Northwest Territories Act session of this parliament. As hon. members are aware, the session commencing on October 14 was viewed as an emergency session to deal with such matters as pensions for the aged and disabled, aid to agriculture, and other things.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
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LIB

Jean Lesage

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

The South Saskatchewan dam?

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
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PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (Qu'Appelle):

Precisely. We asked the department if they would consider naming the amendments which were most important, and we would consider introducing the others at some future date. I hope this explanation will make it clear to the house that these changes are important and necessary, particularly the one advancing the right of the territorial council to borrow money. This puts this territory on an equal footing with the other territory and, as I pointed out in my remarks last night, is one step further toward self government.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
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LIB

Mervyn Arthur Hardie

Liberal

Mr. M. A. Hardie (Mackenzie River):

Mr. Speaker, last night when I was speaking on the resolution I mentioned that I thought this bill would provide for the territorial council borrowing money from the federal government. I find today, on reading the bill, that the council is authorized to borrow money from any source. The minister is well aware of the fact that the federal government has control of the natural resources of the Northwest Territories, and as a result the Northwest Territories are in a very weak position when it comes to borrowing money.

I should like the minister to clear up one point. Will government policy be to continue, as in the past, to lend money to the territorial governments at the low interest rates at which the federal government can borrow? My point is that if the territorial council is expected to borrow money on the open market at interest rates of up to 6.5 per cent, when the federal government has control of the natural resources, the federal government may find ways of escaping its responsibility toward the Northwest Territories.

We all agree, as the minister stated, that the Northwest Territories and the Yukon have a rich potential for the development of natural resources. I do feel that the territorial council should have the privilege, as in the past, of borrowing from the federal government. Why should we in the Northwest Territories allow the federal government of Canada to escape the responsibilities it owes us as a result of the control the federal government exercises over our natural resources? I think all of us from the territories are interested in a greater degree of self government, but our interest is not so great

[Mr. Hamilton (Qu'Appelle) .1

that we would allow the federal government to escape its responsibilities in any way.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Jean Lesage

Liberal

Hon. Jean Lesage (Montmagny-L'Islel):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to repeat what I said last night, that this legislation had been prepared and approved in principle by the previous administration. I am happy to say that this is another step forward toward the accomplishment of our aim, which is full provincial status for both the Northwest Territories and the Yukon in the years to come.

By the way, sir, I might say I am happy to notice that the new member for Yukon has been appointed already as unofficial parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources.

Topic:   NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO AUTHORIZE COMMISSIONER TO BORROW AND LEND MONEY, ETC.
Permalink

January 30, 1958